Thursday, 31 December 2009


What is with these bands that feel that the vocals should be all over the song? The way I see it, the instrumental parts are of vital importance in the crafting of a song. It is the air the music needs in order to breath.
Black metal is plagued by bands like that.
I remember how disappointed I was when I first heard Verivala's Voittomme. The vocals are everywhere chocking the music and the result is inaudible, at least for me. Thankfully things are better on the new record.

The ouroboros is reaching its tail again:
Azaghal - Teraphim
Abhorrer - Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt
Shever - Ocean Of Illusion
The Beast of the Apocalypse - A Voice from the Four Horns of the Golden Altar
The Gun Club - Mother Juno


Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Small gods

Regardless of one's views about religion, I consider Terry Pratchet's Small Gods an essential book. A great satirical novel about how institutionalized religion manipulates and deceives people and religions' race in order to attract as many believers as possible.
One of the rare cases where the reader can have a good time reading a book that is much more profound that it seems.
As reads on the back cover: "Religion is a controversial business in the Discworld. Everyone has their own opinion, and indeed their own gods - who come in all shapes and sizes. In such a competitive environment, there is a pressing need to make one's presence felt. And it's certainly not remotely helpful to be reduced to be appearing in the form of a tortoise, a manifestation far below god-like status in anyone's book. In such instances, you need an acolyte, and fast - preferably one who won't ask too many questions..."
Isn't this the ideal acolyte for any organised religion?


Monday, 28 December 2009

The voice of steel

I always thought that the idea of mixing folk tunes with any kind of metal is ridiculous, to say the least. Thus I was never interested in bands like Nokturnal Mortum, although I remember having fond memories of their Lunar Poetry demo/cd as it was a good example of quality symphonic metal. A friend of mine handed me their new album asking my opinion about it as he thought that I would find it to be interesting.

I could say that The Voice of Steel is more of a folk rock inspired album than a folk metal one and for that I am grateful. The prog rock interlude in Valkyrie is the first sign of very interesting things to come. Such influences, be it folk rock or space rock, are scattered all over the songs. Most of the folk melodies are cheerful and for me this is a let down.    
Besides that, what remains is enough to keep the interest of an 'outsider' like me, running until the end of the record.
I'm not sure that I'm going to be listening the LP in the future. Most probably not. What's for sure though,  is that I had a pleasant time listening to this and for a sceptic like me this is enough.

Currently listening:
Nihill - Grond
Deiphago - Filipino Antichrist
Todtgelichter - Schemen
Shever - Ocean Of Illusion
Yaoyotl - Tecuicuiquehualiztli (Ce) (Seriously, this is so clumsy that seems unbelievably charming)
Aldebaran - Dwellers in Twilight
Opium Warlords - Live at Colonia Dignidad

Currently enjoying:
All those sites or blogs that are adorned with pentagrams and upsidedown crosses, that are so fucking evil that are full of 'happy holidays' and 'merry christmas' crap wishes.


Friday, 25 December 2009

Dying times

A decade is coming to its end. I am not one of those that use such cases as opportunities to organise, revision, evaluate and make lists of significant events. I was just thinking about the records that I think are the most crucial for me and my way of thinking, living and my overall evolution as an individual. In cases like these it is the first couple or three records that come to my mind instantly, without any effort or having to do any kind of search through my records catalogue or anything like that. The truth is that in the first half of the dying decade I had lost any interest in music. That was probably because of my heavy engagement with the underground during the 90's that jaded me, and secondly because my job schedule left me little time and no desire to show any interest in music.
The records that are the most essential and gave back my lost appetite, thus they are the most important records for the decade,  are two.
First and foremost Celtic Frost's Monotheist. Dark, monstrous, heavy, mesmerizing, this is my all time favourite album. I feel that I'll begin to rant and any words could never do justice to this work. Celtic Frost works have been important for me from the mid 80's and the closing chapter has been their crowning moment. I cherish the memories of their live performance in Thessaloniki as one of the most important of my life. I can only describe the show in my mother tongue as μυσταγωγία, in english translated (very) roughly as a ritual or 'to lead to the mysteries'. A ritual that was later ruined by the party atmosphere of Kreator that led a big part of the crowd to leave the club after Celtic Frost left the stage.
I am grateful to Celtic Frost for the great part they had in my shaping in what I am today. I am grateful to them for broadening my horizons. Until today Tom Gabriel is an extremely important figurehead for me. Not to mention that through the bands that he called for the Only Death is Real event at Roadburn 2010 I searched and found precious gems like Valborg, Shever and Noneuclid.

The second most important record of the decade is Deathspell Omega's Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice. This is the record that made black metal intriguing again. This is the record that made black metal dangerous again as it forced the outsiders to view black metal as an artform that has to be considered seriously. It also established orthodox black metal more than any other record and their interview on the Ajna website (read it here), serves as the manifesto of the genre.

May Lucifer enlighten thee.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Lists be damned

The year had plenty of worth mentioning releases. I listened to a lot, I digested only a few.
On the top of my head, I think those are the records I appreciated the most...

Teitanblood - Seven Chalices The epitome of bestiality. Period.
Portal - Swarth Had death metal been in this vein in late 80's, the second wave of black metal wouldn't need to exist.
Oranssi Pazuzu - Muukalainen Puhuu The thing with the so called psychedelic black metal has gone too far but if this hybrid has a reason to exist, this record is the one.
Nefandus - Death Holy Death As if Tiamtü was not enough.
Griftegård - Solemn, Sacred, Severe I wouldn't dream of a doom metal album that would be better than that.
Katharsis - Fourth Reich ....
Grigori - Principivm et finis I had not heard black metal with ritualistic atmosphere for quite some time...until this one.
Furia - Grudzien Za Grudniem I still think that Furia should be as big as Shining.
Funeral Mist - Maranatha Infidels be cursed.
Embrace of Thorns - Atonement Ritual The stench of sulphur is so strong here.

Black metal hasn't left a lot of space for other music for me this year, as there was a flood of quality albums.
Of course the mainstream press that names itself extreme, survived the flood by promoting its beloved cartoonish excrements that they like to think as black metal. Extra points of amusement for Terrorizer that reached new levels in the art of ass licking by sponsoring the comic abomination from Korea (or something like that) known as Chthonic.


Friday, 18 December 2009

Master's Hammer - Mantras

Master's Hammer have always been like a totem to me. They could do whatever the fuck they pleased and it would have an unbelievable high level of artistic integrity that would leave me speechless. I first found out about the band in 1988 when I heard their second demo, 'Finished'. This was like a revelation for me. From then on every single note they put on tape, or vinyl, or cd, has magical properties. 'Ritual' is one of the five best black metal records of the 90's, combining the basic teachings of Bathory with the weirdness, isolationism and sophistication of a band coming from an eastern european country. 'Jilemnicky Okultista' was a complete work of art that put the norwegian hype bands of the time to shame. Fuck, this band made me love the tympani sound in black metal. Even the underrated 'Šlágry' was a unique piece of music, bringing their weirdness to a new level. Of course this record was hated by the so called "purists". Who gave them the fucking right to consider themselves purists is another debate. Hell, I consider myself to be a black metal purist, only I believe that black metal is first and foremost a state of mind, a spiritual experience that has to be lived to the full and not just listened to. Leaving the parasites of black metal behind I will proceed to the new album.
'Mantras' is what one would expect Master's Hammer to be in 2010. That is, anyone that can understand the aura that surrounds the band. That is kind of a company of middle aged men, playing the music they are best at and telling stories about the everyday life in the Czech countryside. From a musical point of view this is a summary of everything they have done in the past. The guitars sound like they are shifted from 'Jilemnicky Okultista', the weird electronics are there, reminding that this is a band that could even make almost disco-like parts sound at home with the obscure atmosphere they create. And yes, the tympani they introduced in black metal is here too. The differences between  Master's Hammer circa 2010 and the early 90's is perfectly summed up in the excellent reworking of 'Jáma Pekel' that was first featured on their debut and it also appears here. Yes, in the 'pits of hell' with a glass of wine in the hand. I welcome the old friends back.   



From End All Life Productions' site:

'January 18th of 2010 will see the release of two astonishing records :

ABIGOR “Time is the Sulphur in the Veins of the Saint”
BLACKLODGE “T/ME [3rd level Initiation = chamber of downfall]”

Format : CD digibox, and a gatefold double LP that features both records, marking concretely the conceptual link between both albums.

“Time is Satan’s way of keeping everything from happening at once” (Albert Einstein)'
All the believers come forth...The rest can fucking die.

Sunday, 13 December 2009


Two tracks from the forthcoming Triptykon debut "Eparistera Daimones" is up on their suckspace page. Total darkness. Listen, obey or die.


Friday, 11 December 2009


Wandering in the mountains of Pindos, Greece with a group of friends and the vast, cruel forces of physis, 27-29th November 2009.
Photos by Ophis666.



The small church carved on the rocks was left intact after our visit.

Thursday, 10 December 2009


Few things are worse than not evolving as an individual, with the passing of time. I am sick of being surrounded by people that are almost in their 40s but seem to have learnt absolutely nothing since they were 15. Same way of thinking, same ideals, same actions and habits.
This is not stagnation, really...this is degeneration.
Human garbage...stop polluting our fucking lives.


Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Satan ex machina pt.III

Conclusion of  a series of references to worth mentioning and listening records that blend black metal with industrial sound or/and aesthetics.

Dødheimsgard - 666 International

No surprises here. An instant classic that leaves no space for a lot of words. A work of a genius collective that remains unsurrpassed more than ten years after its release. Black metal was not the same after this work of satanic black art. The Lord smiles triumphantly.

3 - 666 Knives to the Son's Heart 

This is a personal favourite of mine. 3 has four works released, all in demo form. Personally I love all of them. Cold, harsh, mechanical, hateful black metal that gains from its own defects. Listen or fucking die. Or better, listen and fucking die.

Abigor - Fractal Possession 

Contrary to the opinion of the flock, I used to find the old Abigor works to be mediocre attempts by obviously talented individuals. Most of those records showed promise and potential that usually remained unfulfilled. Until Fractal Possession came to punish me for losing faith in them. This is the record that will place Abigor to the pantheon of black metal. No more cheap Emperor-isms, just harsh, dark bm that is full of dark inspiration. No wonder that the low life 'true' bm kiddies failed to understand its magnificence. Thank Satan for that.

Currently listening to:
Master's Hammer - Mantras (time was not kind with their looks but was generous with their talent)
Mortuary Drape - All The Witches Dance 
Borgia - Ecclesia
Rising Of Yog-Sothoth - Tribute To Thergothon

1000 curses...

Thursday, 3 December 2009


"December 3:
We're back. Seventeen miserable years after The Jilemnice Occultist, ...with Mantras!"


Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Little diamonds

Way to End - Desecrated Internal Journey 
They are french and prior to hearing this record I was not aware of their existence. For a debut album coming without any demos or EPs preceding it, it is quite spectacular. Not great but surely good enough, as to promise that their second one will achieve greatness.
 Desecrated Internal Journey is a quality piece of music, dark, dissonant and disharmonic that left me mesmerized after I first listened to it. The  title is more than descriptive of the audial experience that is the listening of this album. I expect great things by this band, when the (many) ideas settle down and gel together.
An excellent work of misery. 

Sanctus Nex - Aurelia 
I have commented on this record before and my opinion is even more positive now, after extensive listening of the cd. I have not much more to add, other than that Aurelia is singlehandedly the best Occult black metal work I have heard, since Mortuus' De contemplanda Morte; De Reverencie laboribus ac Adorationis. 

Other hard drugs:
Sammath-Triumph in Hatred
Inquisition - Into The Infernal Regions Of The Ancient Cult
Lycia - The Burning Circle And Then Dust
Gorath - Misotheism
Cosmic Church - Arcana Dei III - Totuuden Portit
Pentagram - Day of Reckoning

and a film...
Alejandre Jodorowski's  The Holy Mountain (La montaña sagrada)


Thursday, 26 November 2009

To Know, To Will, To Dare, To Keep Silent.

"The Ajna Offensive unveils a manifold collaboration in sound and image, presenting all original songs and artworks, crafted with the exclusive aim of evoking the Powers of the Sphinx: To Know, To Will, To Dare, To Keep Silent.

The allegory of the Sphinx points to Man. Both are composed of the four Elements, but in Man they exist in different proportions and are unbalanced, while in the Sphinx the Elements are harmonious and synergistic. The Sphinx represents the perfected Man, the Magus. The Four Powers of the Sphinx are "the four words of the Magus," the "four indispensable conditions" which bring Man to the state of perfection and balance.

The Aural journey is taken forth in logical sequence by Saturnalia Temple, Nightbringer, Nihil Nocturne & Aluk Todolo, each of whom heralds their respective Power with commensurate gnosis.

“To learn how to will is to learn how to exercise dominion. But to be able to exert will power you must first know; for will power applied to folly is madness, death, and hell.” (Lévi)

To Know- Saturnalia Temple (Sweden)

To Will- Nightbringer (United States)

To Dare- Nihil Nocturne (Germany)

To Keep Silent- Aluk Todolo (France)

First issued as an LP- limited to 500 copies with 12 page booklet, full 6 color printing and silver vinyl.

Later to be issued as a very affordable CD.

The AJNA Offensive. Winter Solstice, 2009. "

Available in Europe from

Sunday, 22 November 2009

The Devil comes from France (Satan ex Machina pt. II)

I usually avoid categorization according to a bands' country of origin. This time it is a necessary evil. It seems that, in France, there is a flood of (worthy) bands that blend the aesthetics and sonic mayhem of industrial with the ones of black metal. Some records that guaranty a journey to hell, coming from french bands.

Alien Deviant Circus - Satanic Djihad

Starting with my personal favourite in terms of musical, aesthetic, artistic and philosophical competence. This is a complete offering and for me this record serves as the definition of "industrial black metal". Raw, cruel, punishing, pitch black. Words cannot do justice to this record. Absolutely essential.
Also worth checking out is the related project NekronoiZ.

Blacklodge - Solarkult
 Following close is the second LP from Blacklodge. This one refined and perfected their style that first appeared on the debut Login:SataN. More mechanical, less blastbeasts, more sickness, less conventionality. Unsettling rhythms attack all over. No escape. Die.
Diapsiquir - Virus STN

A fucking masterpiece. Total insanity, mostly represented by the amazing vocals that leave no place for hope. Satan is here, you are doomed. Extra credits to the sickening baby cries in Génération Maudite, Pénétration Interdite. Noone can sleep well after listening to this monster of a record. Mandatory.

Puritas Virginum - Décénie de Souffrance 

Strange and pretty hard to swallow release. Industrial, darkwave, black metal blended and not blended. Worth a listening but should be shorter.

Reverence - Chamber of Divine Elaboration 

Reverence stand out because of the quality of their music and their capability to create dark atmospheres with minimum use of electronics. Slow rythms, some resemblance with Blut aus Nord but not as experimental and progressive. Reverence choose a different path than most of the bands that have been referred here. Like slow poison...

Spektr - Near Death Experience 

 This seems like an attempt to create cinematic, disturbing, horror filled music. I liked both their albums and their Mescalyne EP, but I tend to like this one more. Feel the pain.

Terrodrown - Colonize and Regulate 

I only recently heard the band and I just listened to the LP 3 or 4 times. My first impression is positive enough to mention it here. Requires more attention but is definitely worth checking out.

Third part will follow...

Over and out.

Satan ex machina

The mixing of traditional black metal techniques with industrial ones. Possibly the future of black metal? Some records that I find interesting or even essential. More parts are going to follow.

Diabolos Rising - 666 
If I recall right this was my first encounter with such a hybrid. With members of Necromantia and Impaled Nazarene, this was released in 1994. Sick, disturbing, hammering the listener without mercy. Two years later the second album Blood, Vampirism, Sadism was equally good but more of an electro case than the debut. Then they changed their name to Raism but I didn't really follow them.

The Axis of Perdition - Deleted Scenes from the Transition Hospital
A constant feeling of urban decay, harsh and distorted guitars and vocals, ambient sounds that freeze the blood. The nightmare that begun with The Ichneumon Method (And Less Welcome Techniques) and continued with  Physical Illucinations in the Sewer of Xuchilbara (The Red God) reached it's climax here.Totaly fucking recommended.

 Samael - Passage 
Being a fun of Samael from their first demo in '87 up to their more than classic and essential Worship Him debut, their transformation to an electro metal entity was hard to swallow. Nevertheless their 4th album crowned the first period of this process that started with Ceremony of Opposites, with a crown that glows for almost thirteen years now. If only their following works were of the same stellar quality.

Semargl - Manifest
Third album by the Ukranian band. Their first attempts were decent yet fairly standard affairs. This one is a completely different beast. There aren't many electronic influences on Manifest but there is a cold, mechanical, precise execution that proves that the use of blimp-blomps is not always necessary.

The following two records does not fall in the same category as the previous ones but are personal favorites that I cannot ignore...

 Coroner - Grin 
The closing chapter of the great Swiss band was a criminaly overlooked and underestimated album. Less of a platform for their technical abilities, more of an atmospheric/industrial case. All the same, a work of a genious. How could an average thrash metal fan appreciate it?
The machine is roaring and is full of soul.

 Apollyon Sun - Sub 
I have admitted my admiration for Tom Gabriel's work several times. This record, his industrial incarnation, could not be left out. His interest in such fields was evident from his earlier works (remember One in Their Pride).
Worth checking out even just out of curiosity.

Second part follows soon.

Over and out.