Saturday, June 26, 2010

In Hoc Signo Vinces Compilation (Black Goat Records 2010)

Black Goat and partner label Shadowgraph Records have to be two of the hottest underground labels bringing us the most dreary and terrifying sounds imaginable through fusing black metal/doom metal/Death/Grind/ambient mediums. If you have not graced your consciousness with the sounds put forth from this label then you should do so. You have not experienced the best sounds that are available to you and grow like a fungus beneath the surface in the dark to eventually contaminate the weakly proclaimed sounds considered ideal and poison our minds back to health. This toxic compilation consists of 6 tracks of: Halo of the Sun, Gnaw Their Tongues, The Arm and Sword of the Bastard God, and The Slaughtered Lamb. Hopefully at least one or two of those names rings a bell, if not it doesn’t mean that you are beyond hope, you just need to get on the ball and check this stuff out. These artists and labels boldly go where many don’t have the talent, creativity or guts to do so, and even quite possibly because they have been gutted by the likes of some of these acts in the process.

The Opening track “Fenriz” by Halo of the Sun is melodic modern black metal complete with tremolo picking chords and a downpour of distorted background that remind me somewhat of the latest release by Twilight. The powerful and deep atmospheres created through melody and aggression, effects, mixing, and a keen sense for the right blend of: synth, guitars, percussion, and vocal effects to create the perfect experience make this track the ideal dramatic opener for this compilation. It’s the brilliance of acts like: Minsk, Nachtmystium, Evoken, Krieg, Burzum, Darkthrone, Xasthur, Isis, etc. all combined to create the blood boiling, adrenaline rushing, ultimately desperate feeling of the peak of destruction and death.

The contribution by The Arm and Sword of the Bastard God is pure blackened Doom sludge grime like a filthy resin from an old sewage pipe. Dense and throbbing, this heavily weighted Mack Truck of slow oozing riffs and condemning percussion will pound you into an oily pool of organic matter and then continue to reverberate the ground through low-end rumble until you are forced to trickle to and into the deepest crevice of darkness. Complete with warped, but still recognizable Sabbath riffs and doom elements this track is unmistakably doomy and rhythmic, but remains unique in it’s experimental progression that manages to be as unpredictable as it is smooth.

The two donations from the deranged and horror inducing black ambient/metal masters, Gnaw Their Tongues, are eclectic and experimental atmospheres of pure suicide. If anyone ever doubted the power of sound to move one to the absolute pinnacle of psychosis, they have not been educated by the likes of some of these acts. Everything sounds as though it’s echoing out from deep within some cavern of Hell, complete with the clanking of chains, growling and howling of some inhuman beast that is barely recognizable except for the pain and suffering that it calls out in hopes to relieve itself of.

Unfortunately I have not had the experience as of yet to put this one on in the dark with my prescriptions for insomnia and see what insanity awaits me in the limbo of consciousness, but now that I got my new prescriptions I’ll be doing so tonight. They always suggest that insomnia is helped by the use of white noise as a background, but when it involves haunting rantings of a mortal wanting to die and the chanting of the souls of murdered creatures from within the most disturbing places of existence calling to them to do so, it’s doubtful that GTT will induce anything but a state of pure shell-shocking insanity, total PTSD will result.

The Slaughtered Lamb sees us returning from that last terror trip only to be encased in a sad state of funereal doom and blackened atmospheric metal. Distorted spoken words of mildly coherent dread and hatred are spewed forth as they come through a sea of white noise fuzz and crackle, hiss, and rattle around. The message may sound interrupted to the undiscerning listener, but make no mistake, there’s no ambiguity as to the intention of the messenger. Slit your throat with me and do us all a favor, then slowly drown in your own blood and fluids and slowly emerge into the world in which The Slaughtered Lamb is bringing to you.

Equal parts sludge drone tainted with suicidal and raw black metal come to the forefront of the diseased mind that desires to be entertained by these images of mutilation and pain. But just when you think you’ve figured it out, The Slaughtered Lamb morphs into a pure ambient track to finish off the psychotic semi-subconscious ride that is this compilation.

Essential for fans of: any of the bands on this comp (obviously); funeral doom; Khanate, Asva, Twlight, Minsk, Portal, Xasthur, Ash Pool, Dead Reptile Shrine, Dead Raven Choir, Blood of the Black Owl, Pro-Death, Navicon Torture Technologies, Indigo Larvae, Megaptera, In Slaughter Natives,, Yen Pox, Subklinik, Profanatica, Cold Meat Industry Label.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Temple of Pain – Lord of The Undead Knights (Black Widow Records 2010)

As usual Black Widow releases some of the best in doom and knocks me on my ass in pure amazement and orgasmic delight with this Italian doom act featuring Fabio “Thunder” and anonymous special guests. As a huge fan of the label and their massive catalog of beautiful heavy releases Massimo rewarded me with this one as a sneak peak bonus to my Sancta Sanctorum. Sadly other than the MySpace page info and my listening experience I can’t get too much additional info on this band or release, but being that it’s classically epic doom and on BWR should be enough to prove its doom pedigree certification.

With doom, as many of you know, there is so much diversity in terms of sound and style so it’s not always easy to fit a band in somewhere perfectly and many of us have our specific preferences in those as well. Mine are most of the styles so I can’t really select any sound that dominates my hearing preference aside from my personal mood at the time of listening, which by now given the diversity of my reviews should appear schizophrenic or at least ADD. Fuck, regardless of what I like there’s something unmistakable about this one’s sound, it’s the perfect epic metallic doom of: Solitude Aeturnus, Candlemass, Lord Vicar, Mirror of Deception, Count Raven. You get the feel of great melodic metal, but you still get that indistinguishable tone and atmosphere that only comes in true Doom clothing. If you love the great melodic guitar work, the unforgettable riffs, variety in tempo, poetic and genuinely gloomy and desperate lyrics, phenomenal metal solos, and perfect vocal delivery that you get with the aforementioned acts, then you’ll be caught in the rip-tide of Temple of Pain’s take on Doom.

I really wish that I could say more about the band, but honestly it really doesn’t matter when the music is this powerful. All that I can say is that if you are a fan of Doom, a legitimate fan, then you really need to invest the time into hearing this album. Solitude Aeturnus is my all time favorite Doom band (if I had to pick, it’s damn near impossible to do so though) and anything that epic, devastating, and yet still alive and metallic will surely attract my attention like a shark to a drop of blood several miles away. I know many feel the same way, you like your doom: distinctively doom, metal, melodic, flawlessly executed, and HEAVY!!!!!!!!! So check this one out for sure, you’d really be a sucker not too. I’ve been unable to wean myself off of this release for the last week, and I have a ton of equally awesome new acquisitions to experience a bit deeper. Check out the audio on their page and feel the pull into the Doom abyss, it’s unavoidable really.