Thursday, June 17, 2010

Denouncement Pyre – World Cremation (HHR 2010)

And the Blackened- Death metal conquest continues for total domination of the underground!!!!!!!!

This Australian beast of blasphemy and hatred is bringing to our hungry ears another piece of unadulterated filth and fury courtesy of Hells Headbangers Records. To me “World Cremation” is another perfect mutant hybrid of black metal, death metal, and thrash metal. You get the thrashy almost Hellhammer-like riffs and rhythm, but you get the low-end bomb blast rumble and aftershock of doom and destruction from the guitar tones along with the shredding “squeal like a fresh hog getting it’s throat slit” that harkens back to early Death metal days. As for being Black metal, which is a sort of glorious bastard child of thrash, shock value, and a need to vent and destroy anything unworthy, so this band fits into that box nicely.

This blackest thing about this band aside from their ideals is the soot of charred remains of things considered pure and sacred that they leave in their wake. This maelstrom has been around for close to a decade, gone through many line-up changes, released successful and promising sounds to wet our appetites for their future unveilings of diseased intentions, and has now finally grown into a mature sweltering heat wave of Hells force. As refreshing for myself as it is offensive and fear inducing to many naïve and weak sheep, this is yet another storm of death complete with winds of holocaust to further plague our lives this year. Worshippers of violent murder and the morally corroded rejoice and partake.

Fans of: Profanatica, Prosantus Inferi, Church Bizarre, Inquisition, Deathspell Omega, Dead Congregation, Bestial Mockery, The Royal Arch Blaspheme, and Sacrilegious Impalement will be especially delighted with the sound of this one.

Band Contact:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Sullen Route - Madness of My Own Design (Solitude Productions 2010)

This is the debut album of Russian band The Sullen Route and already is racking up some great reviews. Sadly the Russian Metal scene doesn’t get the recognition that it deserves and hopefully more artists like this one will continue to push it forward a bit more and thankfully a label like Solitude Productions and it’s off-shoots will keep it growing.

Marketed as a Death/Doom album and compared to the likes of Mourning Beloveth, Officum Triste, they create atmospheres as cold as an oncoming Ice Age and as immobilizing and gloomy as the anticipated approach of the reaper himself. No symphonic elements are used to create this mood of pure disparity, just the sullen guitar string arpeggios and the pain-filled growl of an almost suicidal mood. The Sullen Route makes a memorable impact on listeners with “Madness of My Own Design”, you can feel your body ridden with agony and exhaustion as you yearn for death and the solace of your lost love. Every chord will be another blow to your psyche as you spiral into the deepest hole of doom, the drums count out the rhythm of your dying heart as your soul begins to drift out of your soon to be empty and wasting physical mask, and you fall at the base of the gates of your destiny.

This is unbelievably powerful and deep stuff, and obviously not for the weak minded or hearted…menacingly entrancing and heavy and an absolute doom release to be looked into. Would appeal equally to fans of: Isis, Minsk, Mouth of The Architect, Centurions Ghost as it would those of Evoken, Skepticism, and Esoteric.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chaossworn - Challice of Black Flames (Abyss Records 2010)

Another fireball of melodic brutality set aflame by Abyss records, this Swedish black death metal band releases a piece of rhythmic and melodic yet brutal metal EP. I’m not a huge fan of EP’s, but on a very rare occasion like this one it’s totally worth it. I’d like to say that hints of the brutal occult melody found on classic Dissection i.e. “Storm of the Lights Bane” comes to mind for me, but that’s up to great debate as are most comparisons. It’s been sadly quite a few years since I graced my ears with that album and the likes of Amorphis’ “Tales From The Thousand Lakes”, as I’ve been going more into my classic death metal days of gore and blood, blasphemy, and good old fashioned doom sounds.

Every so often a band comes across my path like a blessed black cat and inspires me to revisit those sounds, maybe I gave up after Jon’s death and their final album, it felt a bit lost from what I’d been accustomed to, but nothing will undo that initial powerful presence as Emperor’s “In The Nightside Eclipse” or Mayhem’s “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” also had on my ears. Some things are immortal to a certain extent, and Dissection is a band that falls into that realm. There are very few bands these days that earn that cycle of continual listening and always sound as thrilling as they did the first damn time. Now I’m digging out “Storm of the Lights Bane” from my library of albums to revisit. This damn band inspired it too, so it will do the same for you if you give it the chance.

This review is obviously not about Dissection, but there is a definite hint of that black/death melodic feel of the great days past felt strongly on here and that seems to be what memory struck me. Regardless of the accuracy of my memory, which might be as flawed as any, memories are very inaccurate and unreliable, but mark my words “This band brings that dark melodic feel back”. You can feel the blizzards blow, the frozen wasteland, and the rising of the eternally condemned. There is something as catchy and memorable with Choassworn as with the classics mentioned, you can feel the life swell within the sounds as the supernatural within your veins. For those who yearn to recapture that classic Dissection/ early Emperor sound and continually live frustrated shall be ultimately relieved to hear this band.

Chaossworn holds the torch to the majestic and awesome sounds of the past and Abyss Records seems to release albums with the intent to re-awaken that era. Maybe some have moved on, and rightfully so, but once an impression that deep has been left it’s very difficult to resist those nostalgic urges to hang on. Those catchy phrases and distinctively unique and evil, yet inspiring moments, will always tug at us and leave us in that state of permanent reminiscence. Shit…if the opening and main riff on “Crowned” doesn’t instantly make you drool and boil your heathen blood, than you clearly don’t belong here. I hope to Fucking Hell this band releases a massive full-length soon. If anything will resurrect the glory days it’ll be a band like this. I know a few friends of sorts from within my circle are reading this right now and will grab at the chance to check this out, hopefully they will and many others. If this shit sucked and wasn’t worthy of my time and words, it wouldn’t be here.

Do yourselves a favor and give this one a spin, it may be three songs, but it’s three songs of pure old-school joy. Nothing here is cliché, stale, borrowed, or uninspired, this is electrocuting and exhilarating menacing metal played the way it should be, so get off your spoiled pathetic asses and listen to something worthy for once, as opposed to a barf fest of knock off crap form a bunch of pussies with a hard-on to be scary and “brutal” or “cult”. This is fifteen minutes of your mundane existence that will actually count for something so get off your ass and check this stuff out!!!!!! If you still HHHHMMM and HUMMMMMM because it’s a bloody EP than you should be strung up by your balls, or nipples (some of us are female) until the weight of your body causes them to tear apart and your nerves are severed and your body goes into shock form the pain.

The Howling Void - Shadows Over the Cosmos (Solitude Productions 2010)

This very recent release of US based funeral symphonic doom act The Howling Void is one of the most powerful albums that I’ve heard this year in terms of creating an encapsulating ominous and 100% isolationist atmosphere. This is definitely the epitome of the sounds of tragedy and despair, eternal suffering and longing for someone or even death itself. With most of the tracks clocking in at almost fifteen minutes a piece you can be sure that you will have very little difficulty being absorbed into this deserted world of pure despondent emotions, like being deserted in a vast wasteland of nothing, not even a mirage to keep you company.

When something is labeled DOOM, I expect and look forward to this depressive and heavy sound, the sound of your breath shortening from the weight of the burdens of life, the feel of drowning in ones regrets and emotions that amass like an ocean and intend to swallow you whole. On “Shadows Over The Cosmos” you get exactly what the title suggests, there’s no light at the end of the tunnel here as the entire universe is consumed by shadows and sadness. All of us need a break from our groovy and rhythmic doom to take a deep journey into another dimension or universe of gloom and despair at times, especially when looking to unwind after a long week or day and just disappear altogether. This is the perfect soundtrack to embark on that treacherous voyage to, it’ll wash over your consciousness in waves of dark and cold chords of doom.

In terms of sound you can expect something along the lines of Esoteric/Evoken/Ahab/Astral Sleep, in other words a grandiose and ultra heavy sound of abysmal dismay and utter hopelessness coming at you from within the catacombs of absolute suffering. The ultimate in heavy is here and not just present in the sound, but in the feeling as well. The experience created here lies somewhere between the epic, poetic and gripping ones created by the likes of Solitude Aeturnus and an Edgar Allen Poe tale. Highly recommended to fans of: Hallowed Butchery, Ahab, Esoteric, Evoken, Skepticism, My Dying Bride, Officum Triste, and label mates Astral Sleep.

Check them out at:

Ophis - Withered Shades

Another new arrival from the heavy leaden hearts over at Solitude Productions, this sophomore full-length release by highly praised German Doom band Ophis is a more classic doom metal sounding album than The Howling Void and other label mates, although no less gloom filled or heavy. This is definitely one of my favorite new Doom metal scores.

The length of the tracks are yet again the roughly fifteen minutes of pure and unbridled abysmal gloom and lead-like chords, but where others go more into this trance-like sloth fog of emotional and symphonic elements, Ophis likes to throw in some great riffs and melody with speed in places to add a bit more metal throttle and momentum to this beast. Honestly, most of this release is a return to a fathomless and abysmal Doom metal sound that will equally appeal to fans of: Candlemass/Solitude Aeturnus/ Solstice/Mael Mordha/Centurians Ghost; as it will to the funeral doom crowd, for it still predominantly remains as slow as a glacier gliding across the bottom of the ocean, but the dreamy feel is gone in favor of massive riffs heavier than the gravitational pull of a nearly dead star about to implode into a black hole. The vocal style is very much the hollow and foggy growl heard from bands like Esoteric, Skepticism and Ahab, sounding as if they are a calling from some inhuman beast or mythological creature entrenched miles beneath the Earth.

Regardless of how you like your doom or metal, Ophis will satisfy the craving for absolute despair and the haunting of one’s soul, as you ache with eternal pains and crawl across your existence toward the end. This just came out and has already been on constant rotation with me, I can’t seem to escape its pull as it’s equally hypnotic as it is heavy. You’d be doing yourself a major disservice to not check into this release. It’s diverse, heavy, melodic, and will appeal to fans of anything just mentioned. “Withered Shades” trades in the funereal and isolationist feel for a more narrative feel of something Lovecraftian or even Tolkien, like a giant basilisk or serpentine creature deep within the bowels of the Earth doomed to lurking and slithering along for all eternity in search of an escape.

Check them out at:

Neon Bastard – Meikhaus (Robotic Empire 2010)

I think that it’s damn mother fucking obvious at this point that I really get my kicks from heavy crusty and sludge grime sounds and SURPRISE…Robotic Empire sends this release my way because they thought I’d be digging it based on my reviews and spot on they were in that assumption. With a name like Neon Bastard it doesn’t it doesn’t take too much else to convince me to investigate them any further.

Instantly the album opens up as a sludge-core fury whip, I was blown out of my chair and onto my ass from the blast of audio coming out from the speakers. Neon Bastard provide the perfect cross-blend poly-cotton audio fabric of: Black Cobra, Fistula, Melvins, Black Market Ministry, Eyehategod, with Discharge, Anti-Cimex, Butthole Surfers sound and feel. Sort of a punk/indie/sludge/doom/stoner/ “louder than an explosion in an airplane hanger sealed airtight with you as the only witness to the blast” type of atmosphere is what these New Zealanders create here. Amidst the riot there are also slow doom riff moments that crawl along at the pace of snails fucking, but are short-lived as the anger and “bull in a china closet” energy is the overwhelmingly dominant force here.

Either way you slice it “Meikhaus” will result in the un-scratchable itch to bang your head and run around in an intoxicated anarchic frenzy. This band is BOSS!!!!! These New Zealand miscreants also served time in some other acts: Dial, Strangers, and Captains Log. Hey man, even the cover art shows cacti that appear to be giving us all the finger!!!!!!! It makes my eyes swell up with tears of joy.