Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Clandestine Blaze

Quietly and with no fanfare at all, the new, sixth curse of Mikko A's personal vehicle of black metal terrorism is upon us. Order now Falling Monuments from Northern Heritage or fucking die.
I quote '2010 album of Clandestine Blaze underlines the core of black metal as it has been interpreted by it. Utmost focus on the core elements of riffs, melody, song structures and lyrics, leaving out everything unnecessary. In stripped down simplicity of sound, music and artwork it continues logical journey since Church of Atrocity, with more distorted, lethal and fierce sound.'

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Silent night



AMSG

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Raining (black) blood

As the year's end is near, it is always fun to read the best of the year lists that everybody posts these days. Too many people seem to take themselves way too seriously, at least more seriously than they take the music they are writing about, creating much hassle just to write which records they liked the most. Me, I'm not much different as I will also post in the near future, a list of the records I consider to be the best for this year, hopefully avoiding the pompous style everyone seems to incorporate.

Meanwhile there have been some noteworthy (to say the least) releases of excellent black metal mostly EPs and suchlike. I will make a brief reference to the ones I have listened to for the past couple of weeks.

Infernal War/Kriegsmaschine - Transfigurations 

The polish preachers of satanic hate join forces on this EP, creating half an hour of havoc. With Antaeus being inactive Infernal War have a lot of free space that they can cover. Hopefully the underground will realise their potential and show them the respect they deserve. On the three tracks they offer on Transfigurations, in addition to their usual traits they show a great sense of control and dynamics, making them the best tracks the band have released so far.
Kriegsmaschine's connection with Mgla is not a secret. Until now I've been seeing Mgla as the most subtle alter ego of Kriegsmaschine's more ferocious self. On this split the latter show a face more reminiscent of Mgla with two tracks of the highest quality, relying heavily on the atmosphere and twisted melodies than on speed. My sincerest recomentations.

This would be a good chance for me to thank the guys from Infernal War for the t shirt I received the other day through my sister in law that studies in the UK...Hails.



Ascension - Fire and Faith
Ascension have made quite an impression with their With Burning Tongues demo last year and with their first full length coming out tomorrow this EP starts the fire that is to come. Judging from Fire and Faith those that were quick to close any best of the year lists before listening to the coming Consolamentum have made a serious mistake. Watain is the obvious influence but Ascension engulf all the influences they may have and their talented execution comes as anything but a copycat. Excellent guitar work, melodic when needed, furious and unrelenting when they wish, this is obviously a band blessed by Satan. 


Dødsengel - 2010 - Alongside Choronzon
Dødsengel - Ecstatic Horror
Ritualistic, dark, ecstatic, unconventional. Dødsengel is a jewel in today's black metal. Those two EPs are quite brief but intense and severe journeys. If you are worthy, you will experience them. If not...then be damned. 


Fuck your shitmas.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Crippled

The debate about Paracletus turns out to be even more amusing than expected. It doesn't come as a surprise that the lyrical content is what causes most of it. The most common of 'accusations' concerning the lyrics is that of pretentiousness. Hardly surprising. People have come to be spiritually numb to the point of not bearing the slightest challenge. Let them be.

Open your minds, ears and eyes...
Dødsengel...every fucking thing
Mare - Spheres Like Death 
Essenz - KVIITIIVZ - Beschwörung des Unaussprechlichen

Fuck off...

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Spheres like Death
























Mare together with Dødsengel are the only reason that nowadays the words norway and black metal don't seem as a joke when put side by side. In fact those two bands are anything but a joke. Dødsengel have put out one of the best records this year (Mirium Occultum) and this makes me eager, in anticipation of their two EPs that are coming. Mare have just put out their second EP titled Spheres Like Death and this is as good as 'traditional' black metal can be. The two bands share a common view on black metal as they both embrace its ritualistic nature creating the dark vibes that are so necessary yet so much forgotten lately. A vast improvement from their previous release, the Throne of the Thirteenth Witch 7'' from 2007, this is a work that relies heavily on the pitch black atmosphere it creates. That means that the ones that seek exercises on speed and technicality can go on to the next plastic abomination of the scene. Those who seek true, inspired and passionate black metal will find their haven in the 21 minutes of Spheres Like Death. My humblest recommendations.


AvE SATAN...
Flagellant - Monuments
Deadsoul Tribe - A Murder of Crows
Ipsissimus - Trampling the Host

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

You breed like rats

Victims of the capitalistic way of life
Slaves of the foul 'comforts' of modern life style
Casualties of a crisis that is much more cultural than economical

Rats that now live in total fear
A flock waiting for a new shepherd

In the most basic and stripped down sense
All one needs is
four walls
a mattress
and a tray with some food and wine

Sometimes not even the walls...




AMSG

Friday, 3 December 2010

Pallbearer

Almost all of europe is being raided by snowstorms and extreme cold. The (obvious?) exception is this shithole here, at the southeastern corner of the continent, where summer forgot to leave and one has the hellish delight to wake up at 7 in the morning in December the 2nd and watch the thermometer pointing at 22°C. Doom is imminent.

I haven't heard much traditional doom this year with the exception of the excellent Hooded Priest that are for me a surprise like Griftegård were last year. A couple of months ago I stumbled upon Pallbearer, an american doom band that were giving their demo away for free downloading. An honest effort of pure melancholic doom metal (this means no sludge, no drone, no whatever else passes as doom these days) in the vein of the mighty Warning. Guitars are crushing and oppressive but the focal point here are the mournful and passionate vocals that are complimenting the band's sound. The demo features two original songs plus a cover of 'Gloomy Sunday' by Hungarian composer Rezső Seress. The song was composed in 1933 to a  poem by László Jávor and it seems to be a song practically begging for a doom metal interpretation. The composer committed suicide in 1968 and numerous urban legends connect the song with various suicides which is why it is also known as the 'hungarian suicide song'.
Bjork has been one of the (not exactly few) singers that have covered Gloomy Sunday in the past. A recent performance was at the Alexander McQueen's memorial service. Obviously I couldn't care less about fashion and gay culture but I always had an affection for Bjork's avant garde and over the top persona. Furthermore I like the fact that the politically correct majority will turn blue by the disrespect shown by the individual that recorded the video in the cathedral.





Doom, gloom and Satan...
Deathspell Omega - Paracletus
Woven hand - Mosaic
Krieg - The Isolationist
Urfaust - Der freiwillige Bettler
Inquisition - Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm

AMSG

Friday, 26 November 2010

ΜΝΗΜΟΣΥΝΟ






They say that the cemeteries are full of indispensable men. Still when true visionaries leave, the gap that's left behind is huge and difficult to be filled in the age of ever growing mediocrity.

Fuck you...

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Under the skin

Paracletus is covering most of other music under its huge shadow but there are some other releases I've been listening recently and probably worth a mention.





Arckanum seem to get better with time and Sviga Læ sounds to my ears as the best record they recorded since their return with Antikosmos. The dark anti cosmic current manifests itself through a record based heavily on atmosphere and elements of melody that are more present on an Arckanum record than ever as much as I can recall.
Far from being anyone’s favorite band, Furze have always been worth checking out as their black metal has ever been capable of dragging attention whether because of its rawness or because of the fucked up aesthetics and execution. Reaper Subconscious Guide is Furze’s tribute to early Black Sabbath and this would not be a difficult thing to realize even if it wasn’t stated beforehand. Basically Furze are doing their thing using the musical aspects of doom metal as the foundation of their new work. It still sounds completely fucked up with chimes appearing out of nowhere and the vocals being the focal point. My favorite parts are those were the voice reminds me of a certain ‘mocking’ style that I have associated with some darkwave bands.
A record that I haven’t heard in ages yet I recently returned to, is Amen Corner’s Fall, Ascension, Domination. Coming from 1993 is one example more (if needed) of the wide sense the term black metal possessed in early 90s before the norwegians usurp it and lead it to degeneration. Dark and atmospheric Amen Corner paid attention to the lessons taught by Samael, Mortuary Drape and their compatriots Mystifier and their debut was a monument of dark, occult metal that is worthy of everyone’s attention even today.
Solefald have a new record out and my first impressions are positive. I haven’t heard it much until now, but so far I like it. I also didn’t pay any attention to the lyrical content but if the lyrics have to do with the title of the album (Norrøn Livskunst) I couldn’t care less about them, although the band’s approach to norse themes has always been miles away from the usual Viking bullshit. One way or the other, it still is contradictory for a band that is musically forward thinking, their lyrics to mention Odins and Vallhalas. All in all a good work but their debut remains unsurpassed in my book.
Some of the most noteworthy records of the year were delivered recently by Necrite, Sargeist, Electric Wizard and Essenz and hopefully I will have the chance to study them with the respect they deserve and elaborate on them in the future.

AMSG       

Sunday, 14 November 2010

ΠΑΡΑΚΛΗΤΟΣ μέρος 2ον

One of the aspects that shape Deathspell Omega's fame is the inimitable style that they have shaped musically, lyrically or philosophically speaking. For the casual metal listener the ideal band is the one that makes him want to grab his guitar and form his own band. It is tough to listen to one of Deathspell Omega's second phase records yet to know that when you hold your guitar the best you can come up with, would be sub Darkthrone mimickery. The only consolation then is that you can always hope to get featured on fenriz’s blog. More often issues like these lead to the awakening of all the complex syndromes possible and furthermore to dismissing Deathspell Omega as pretentious, false and sell outs that ruined what they had achieved with their early bunch of splits and full lengths - which of course ‘happen’ to be sub Darkthrone mimickery, only better than the average.
Metal fans don’t like clever and complicated music or individuals. They need a clear target, that’s why they are suckers for ‘anti-whatever’ lyrics. DsO’s music is a maze that confuses them, the lyrics are mind blowing and their non image policy doesn’t fit the metal book of rules. The same applies at everything the band does. Plus how can one listen to Deathspell Omega while have a couple of beers?


There has been a period in my life that I stayed away from the underground after being completely burned out by my heavy involvement for a dozen of years. So from 1998 until 2006 I didn’t listen to a single note of black or death metal (which is the only metal for me). Then in the summer of 2006, as I was waiting for my flight from Athens to Glasgow, I happened to browse some cds at a record store at the airport. Much to my surprise I noticed the dark and terrifying cover of Monotheist. I didn’t even know that Celtic Frost where active again, I only knew that I had to buy this new record from my favourite band ever. Thus my abstention from music ended in the cruelest of ways, with the best record I heard in my entire life. A couple of months later I discovered Deathspell Omega’s Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice and immediately ordered the cd. I still remember the day that I found the LP version of the album at an underground record store in Thessaloniki and the surprise on the clerk’s face when I bought it as he thought that no one in town would know of DsO. It might seem like an exaggeration but keep in mind that greece’s metal fans are among the most conservative imbeciles in the whole world. Here, Iron Maiden are still the most important band in the universe, Kreator are considered the epitome of thrash (old or modern) and power metal is all the average metal ape cares about.


Fast forward six years later and things are like this…Celtic Frost are no more but there is Triptykon that have recorded a monster that marks the new era and until now I thought it would be the best work of the year and possibly the new decade. Then there are Deathspell Omega that in the past years have seen the hype about them reach feverish levels. But the charisma of that band is that they have the ability to stand above and away such meaningless stuff and overcome their hype with their talent. Having perfected their uniqueness they come raging with the closing of a mammoth project and arguably the best record of the year and for me, possibly the best black metal record of all time.



Those that Satan hath blessed …

…have the talent to create monumental art in the era of shallowness and spiritual sterility. Paracletus stays along the lines of the madness and calculated chaos of Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum adding the musicality of Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice. It is always strange using terms as ‘musicality’ when referring to DsO as their art is largely based on destroying and re-synthesizing any widely known and used form of keys or tones or whatever musical norm. Then again this is a band full of contrasts and so is Paracletus. A-musical yet musical, free yet disciplined, bizarrely beautiful yet ultimately ugly this is a record where a myriad opposites collapse and create the black metal of the future.
Above all Deathspell Omega are messengers of the Truth and this is what they present. The Truth they bear comes naked, plain and raw. In a similar manner the band present an art form that is so pure that doesn’t need to hide behind tones of fuzz or distortion or whatever. There are times that the guitars sound like a piano, the bass comes on the front more often than ever and the drums are both creator and destroyer of rhythms.
On top of all those comes the inverse chanting of the Devil’s preacher. The words are more mumbled than properly pronounced. The french language has never sounded so threatening before…and there are many parts chanted or spoken in french. 
To dive deep into the madness of Paracletus is an unsettling and disturbing experience. No one can save you from the sudden fall that comes after its crescendos.
A record of 42 minutes seems like a brief one for Deathspell Omega…but these are 42 minutes of uneasiness and utter disturbance, 42 minutes of spiritual liberation, 42 minutes that pour salt on open wounds. I doubt there would be anyone that can live this experience in full, yet could stand even one minute more.

This is the evolution of black metal that I expected to happen but I couldn’t envision. What’s more remarkable is that I expected such a turn out of things, after maybe a decade or so. Yet it is here today.
All in all, Paracletus is the living and horrible (for some) proof that black metal is first and foremost a term that defines the distillation of dark feelings into music and stands above mere genre categorization. 
As for the lyrical-theosophical-philosophical aspect of the band, I hope to elaborate in the future if I ever have the courage to do so.

Satan-God-Man
The circle is complete…Silence    

Monday, 8 November 2010

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Ghost of grace





To the Devil its due...

Arckanum - Sviga Lae
Ghost - Opus Eponymous
Weapon - From the Devil's Tomp
Serpent Noir - Sanguis XI
Electric Wizard - Black Masses

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Shattered again

Triptykon - Shatter
EPs are an underrated and often misunderstood medium of communicating an artist's music. This should come as no surprise as most bands view EPs as a wastebasket were they get rid of undesirable songs, songs that are not on the same level as their usual work, songs that don't fit on full albums, songs that are different etc. One of the exceptions have always been Celtic Frost. They introduced themselves with two more than classic EPs showing that a short album can be a full experience when treated seriously. 
Triptykon couldn't be a different case. The band states from the beginning that Shatter should be treated as a piece that accompanies Eparistera Daimones and that makes sense. The title track is a melancholic and melodic track based on female vocals, I am the Twilight is a heavy and claustrophobic nightmare, while the ambience of Crucifixus works well in the context of the record. The point of including the Celtic Frost tracks is  debatable. Yet since they opted to do it, they do it in a majestic way to say the least. The two songs are heavier and better than ever...and these are songs written before 26 years or so.
Me, I will go for the complete sessions boxed set as this would reveal the full experience Triptykon have to offer.


Cromagnon - Orgasm
Experimental band that was active during late sixties and was way ahead of its time. Minimal, psychedelic, folk, noise, industrial rock from 1969. 
Some of those terms and styles had not been invented until even decades later.  Adding the horrific vocals that range from black metal shrieks to moaning, screaming and chanting we get an album that is frightening even by today's standards.  
Julian Cope noted on opening track Caledonia..." Now, when you stick the needle into the groove that is opener, "Caledonia", you'll immediately think you're listening to Einsturzende Neubaten gone black metal, then you'll realize you're WRONG and that there was no reference points such as that available in 1968." 
Absolutely correct. Today, in 2010 we have the reference points to describe Cromagnon's music. I can't even imagine the reaction of the listeners back in late sixties when confronted with the beast that is Orgasm. This is progressive and forward thinking music by definition.      


Seraphic Decay
Seraphic Decay was an american death metal (mostly) label in early nineties. It was relatively short lived but managed to have quality underground releases during its existence. The label released works (mostky 7'') by Rigor Mortis, Incantation, Mortician, Derketa, Disgrace, Agathocles, Disgrace, Xysma, and other underground bands between 1990 and 1992. Those are difficult to find today, they were sought after by collectors even back in the day.
Seraphicdecay.com is a site run by an obviously dedicated death metaller  and is a job well done. Streaming audio, photos, bios and all the information that is needed for all the label's releases. Not all the bands were great but this is not the point. The site is a great monument of a period that has been crucial for death metal. Seraphic Decay focused on the underground at the time when death metal started loosing orientation startled by the metal's mainstream lights. No wonder the label deteriorated by the time death metal became a completely lost cause somewhere in 1992. Death metal started loosing it from 1990 but 1991 for me marks the end of its golden era. Entombed were using Army of Lovers' singer for their Stranger Aeons video, MTV air play became a cause and even though there were excelent underground bands going on, the genre had lost its teeth. The momentum was lost once and for all. 


I realize that the underground status of a band or musician has become relative. What I didn't realize is when this has happened. Maybe it is the normal course of things as time passes, yesterday's underground to be today's mainstream but I still don't like it. Examples are plenty and one of them would be Steve DiGiorgio that started with Sadus and has worked since with legends like Autopsy, mainstream thrash bands like Testament, viking whatever bands like Vintersorg, hideous power metal bands like every power metal band on earth and Sebastian Bach!!!
Of course there's nothing to restrain an accomplished musician on certain music forms when he doesn't want to be restrained but a hired gun is light years away from a notable artist... and I like to view music as an artform.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

East and West

The cultural differences between different regions of the world are today far less than many years before but in general they are still there. Globalization, the constant technological evolution, the mixing of cultures and people, political power games etc have played a great role in creating a homogenized global culture system but when one scratches the surface of the TV laden brainwashed today's world, the fundamental differences are still there. Signs of this fact can be found anywhere.

________________________________________________________________________

The way the americans perceive black metal (at least today) is way different from the way europeans do. Actually the thing came to a point that often the music americans think of as black metal is no bm at all. Perhaps it is difficult for a country with a very recent and rootless cultural history to perceive forms of music that have a spiritual and cultural background that is rooted thousands of years back. The early americans wasted decades trying to systematically extinguish any source of the previously prevalent culture in their(?) soil. All these in order to conclude to today's civilization of the burger and coke. I realize that I am oversimplifying things but I think I am not altering the picture. 
So for most of the americans black metal is just another form of music, just a sequence of sounds (preferably the sounds of norwegian bands from early '90s) and all the rest be damned. Lyrics are irrelevant, the philosophical and spiritual background is considered unnecessary and so on. 
Of course not all people are the same and there are obviously individuals that are talented enough to break out of the norm. Such individuals have created remarkable art the last few years that has mistakenly been described as black metal. Using the basic sound of norwegian bands blended with hardcore which is mostly where those bands come from and an amazing urban aesthetic that passes from the lyrics to the overall aura of the music, they recorded some of the most amazing music I have ever heard. It is difficult to categorize it but none should care about categorizing great art.
Woe head towards that direction with Quietly, Undramatically but this is a record that leaves me puzzled. Their debut A Spell for the Death of Man was a masterfully crafted black metal record. This one adopts the urban ways described before plus some of those parts that most people call shoegaze and these are the parts I wholeheartedly hate and ruin a large part of the record. Someone wrote that the proper title for the album should be Quietly, Melodramatically and maybe it is dragging it to far but it is still indicative of the albums aura. No way the record is bad...it is maybe that I expected something different from a band that started playing what themselves described as 'raw, sloppy satanic black metal'. Six words from which only 'metal' applies to Woe today. On the other hand it's not the band's fault that I am seldom in the mood of listening to such music...and when I am, I go for Ludicra that are the undisputed kings of their kind.
And if I see another record with trees/branches/leaves/mountains on the cover I swear I am going to set a nice fire to the nearest forest.



Xasthur is far from being a band I like. Furthermore it isn't a band I usually think in relation with bands such the ones I described above. Yet the following video is very much in line with the urban and desolate feeling they incorporate. Plus it is very good.
 


From the West to the East
Three records I heard recently that had a certain eastern vibe and are worth mentioning (one of them actually deserves all the praise I can give)...

Weapon - From The Devil's Tomb
Weapon's second full album came as an apocalyptic shock devastating anything that dared stand on it's way, leaving only ashes behind. The fact that a band I followed closely for years and had great faith in their potential, managed to shock me with the extremely high quality of their new work is amazing. I have written before that I consider this the second best black metal record of the year, as I reserve the first position for Deathspell Omega but I think that even if DsO deliver a record of the caliber I expect, Weapon are going to give them a hard time. 
Drakonian Paradigm was an excellent record but it pales in comparison with the new one. It is brutal when needed, mystical at all times, calculated and precise but not mechanical. Furthermore there's an oriental occult aura prevalent throughout the whole album with eastern melodies that makes From the Devil's Tomb a poisonous elixir that should be approached with caution and mostly with the respect it deserves. The eastern influence is integrated in the music and doesn't act as a foreign part pretentiously added in the songs., leaving no chance to any of the  usual imbeciles to use the word 'folk' in relation to the album.So, this is one of the best  (true) black metal albums of the last ten years and a fine addition to the Devil's weaponry. Praise Satan.        


Birch Mountain - Silence Is Complete
Death metal from sweden with ties with an old swedish band called Egypt and it is not old school. The damned trees are on the cover again but I hope the two band members are there to burn them down so that complete silence is achieved.
The Egypt connection probably explains a lot about the eastern influence on the album that is omnipresent but again it is nicely integrated to the band's music and overall character so that it sounds perfectly natural. They don't overdo it with the speed which is a wise choice considering the atmosphere they want to create. All in all a very good record and one of the best 'modern' death metal jobs I have heard lately. I quote 'modern' so that no one will thing this is about one of those clinical and plastic abominations that pass as modern death metal. The album is available for free download by the band so all ye beggars can head over here.     
 

Melechesh - The Epigenesis
Melechesh for me have always been a band promising more than they delivered. As time passed and the promises were not fulfilled I learned to take what they were offering never asking for more. Nevertheless it is a pity when a band with potential restricts itself to just good works when they could make great or monumental records. The Epigenesis is not an exception. Ghouls Of Nineveh that starts the record is the best track on it. Founded on a robust slow paced rhythm it develops in a freeform manner that as the song progresses it sounds like a band jamming, free of the restrictions of certain genres of music. Those restrictions appear on the rest of the album when the band tries to match the thrash or black metal rules with the middle eastern/folk elements. When this fucking word ('folk' that is) appears it ruins my whole listening experience and unfortunately Melechesh are often approaching dangerously the borders of folk metal, a genre that I think is more of a caricature than a proper music style. I will always doubt the usefulness of folk interludes or instrumental songs, I will always be negative in the use of traditional instruments in black metal. I have to deal with the fucking bouzouki in my everyday life in this fuckholle that is my home. I don't need it in my black metal. 
All in all Melechesh once more didn't deliver what they promised and could. And I'm afraid this time my patience is almost over. I think they could benefit by studying what Weapon and Birch Mountain have done in order to incorporate the eastern element in their music effortlessly and naturally.       


AMSG
 

Friday, 8 October 2010

Prototype

The end of this month will bring a new EP by Triptykon, a few months after the Eparistera Daimones debut. The EP titled Shatter will contain two new tracks plus the electronic/ambient piece Crucifixus that was the first ever track we ever heard by the band on their fuckspace. It was also the only Triptykon track that flirted with mediocrity. Shatter will also feature two Celtic Frost tracks recorded live. This is a decision I can't really understand. A new chapter in the artistic life of Tom Fischer has started and I don't see the point of recycling what already has been done many years ago.



On the other hand I would never complain about the inclusion of Crucifixus despite its obvious mediocrity compared to the rest of the band's material. I always liked and respected that Fischer doesn't discard songs and ideas with the ease our fast food epoch dictates to. I admire his ability to toy and experiment with pieces that have been in his mind seemingly for ages until they find their perfect form. In that context I consider myself lucky that a couple of years ago I happened to find the 2002 Celtic Frost demo entitled Prototype, that contained the first recordings after the band's reunion. Here we can find the first blueprints and ideas of a band searching its inner self after years of absence never defying its iconoclastic nature. This is not a recording that is meant to be heard as a normal demo. Obviously it was not meant to be heard by none other except the band. It is mostly an experiment as half of the songs have nothing to do with metal. Instead there is trip hop, electronica, ambient and hip hop on a track titled Get Wicked that is based on Procreation of the Wicked. On the (more) metal side there are excellent songs like November that was later transformed to Obscured and included on Monotheist. Same was the case with The Dying I that is none other than Drown in Ashes also from Monotheist and Relinquished Body is featured on Eparistera Daimones reworked as Myopic Empire.
The past has shown that Fisher is one of the few that stick on their ideas working on them, shaping them until they become as they were envisioned. Not a common thing to do nowadays with bands first conceiving the idea of a riff at 10:00 o'clock, recording it at 10:05 and that's it. Then again that's one of the traits of true artists and artists/visionaries are needed today to make a difference in the flood of plain musicians.


Succumb...
Weapon - From the Devil's Tomb
Birch Mountain - Silence Is Complete
Zombiefication - Midnight Stench
Dethroned Christ - Roots of Ancient Evil
Lord Of Doubts - Lord Of Doubts

AMSG


Tuesday, 28 September 2010

ΕΧΘΡΟΣ



Algaion is one of the oldest and best swedish black metal bands. They have always been using the greek language in their art, starting with their name itself that derives from the word άλγος meaning pain. This is their fourth release that bears a greek title if we count their two demo tapes (Algaion from 1993 and Heosphoros Ho Proi Anatellon from 1994) and their first full length Oimai Algeiou. The greek connection doesn't stop there or even to the various song titles throughout their existence. Contrary to the norm that dictates that black metal bands (let alone the swedish ones) that wish to add melody to their darkness, should ape Dissection, Algaion choose to use the old greek ways of Rotting Christ, Varathron and Thou Art Lord as inspiration.
Their long absence has resulted to a record that refines all aspects they had shown in the past with masterful handling of atmosphere and rhythm. The furious cover medley of Sign Of Evil Existence / The Era Of Satan Rising blends naturally with the atmosphere of the album and comes as perfect accompaniment of That Time Is Nigh and Theos Tou Aimatos (Blood God in english) that set the atmosphere of the whole album. I could say that Algaion is the best greek black metal band that is not greek and I could mean it as a compliment but I understand that it would actually not do justice to the band. Besides greek bands haven't record such a good death/black metal record for over 15 years now.

Algaion seem to focus quite a lot on the matter of enmity in their lyrics. Εχθρός means enemy, while there are also We Are The Enemy and Ruach Adversi and the recurrent use of of the line 'I am the enemy' on several tracks of the album. Of course there is also the title of their second full length (General Enmity).

So, it is clear. Algaion  is your enemy. And you should die a miserable death.

Other small deaths...
Blood Covered - Wrong Direction
Holocaust-The Sounds Of Souls
Witchrist - Beheaded Ouroboros

Friday, 24 September 2010

Butchered

Never judge a book from its cover. Bullshit. I for one cannot stand a book with a cover that is misleading or not fitting to the content. Of course the importance of the general 'artwork' is next to non existent when talking about books. But what about records? It's often that bad artwork makes me avoid listening to a record especially when talking about black metal. I have debated before about the importance of the image in black metal. It is the image combined with the artwork and the music that create the whole atmosphere that is an integral part of this music. In that context it is often that a cover can draw me to a record without having any idea of its music's value. The artwork can be enough for me to give a chance to a bad and then decide how good it is. Disappointments are not rare in such cases but that doesn't mean that the visual aesthetics of an album are not essential and at least a first indication about about a band's seriousness and philosophy. 


There are also plenty of cases that bad artwork appalls me from certain releases or from the whole of a bands' work. I can't think of a better example than Maniac Butcher, a band that the underground deems as 'legendary' but whose record covers and their image could make clowns like Immortal look as serious as college professors. Until recently I hadn't heard not a single song of the band. How could one listen to a band that shows such a band taste (or a complete lack of it) by choosing to cover its work with 'art'work like this? Is it possible that good music could hide behind such hideous visual presentation? Furthermore there is also that legendary status given to the band. Usually the underground appoints such titles with great ease. Bands that exist for many years are automatically 'legends'. Whether this is the superficiality that characterizes the people or just bad use of language, I don't know. A band is legendary when it has to show exquisite work during its years of existence. A band that counts many years of life and nothing more, could be described as stubborn or persistent or plainly annoying in cases of completely worthless bands.

Stubborn could a description fitting to Maniac Butcher. After almost twenty years they managed to make a cover artwork that is half a step above their previous excrement, though it is still badly painted (if at all) and childish. This is their first record I listen to and it is pretty decent black metal but nothing above average. This is a universe away from being the work of a legendary band. Especially when one listens to the new Weapon that is expected soon - and will be possibly the second best black metal record of the year, after Deathspell Omega - the Maniac Butcher LP can become unbearably indifferent.   



On a (not so) different matter...What the fuck is wrong with all those so called modern thrash metal bands that are promoted by the mainstream press like Terrorizer and such magazines. Who told them that thrash metal was just about beers, supposedly funny poses and stupid grimaces? Suddenly the world of metal is full of Tankard lookalikes competing about the most stupid pose smiling or laughing like demented imbeciles.
To think that my generation grew up listening to thrash metal and thinking that thrash was Slayer, Exodus, Destruction, Sodom, Razor, Sacrifice, Assassin or Protector and 25 years later seeing this music being degenerated to harmless and mindless fun is a pity. But who are we to judge? Terrorizer knows best. Thrash metal is endless fun just as gothic is the garbage served in this lame insert called Dominion.


Fuck you.

Real butchers...
Procession - The Cult of Disease
Integrity - The Blackest Curse
Dead Congregation - Graves Of The Archangels 
Neil Young - Le Noise
Unholy Lust - Taste The Sin Through The Fire

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Time...what a sulphur

Time is precious. The more it passes the more precious it is. Moments are also precious. Some years ago I rarely felt the need to 'capture' moments, either by technical means (cameras and stuff) or by saving moments to my memory and thus to my heart and mind. As time goes by I feel this need more often. I don't know what it is with time and its whole concept that fascinates me but the fact is that I constantly find myself toying with ideas and facts that are relevant with time. The first thing that triggered my interest was some years back when I realized that time can by very relative. I remember the brief talk that me and my (drunk) group of friends had with a 10 year old kid. The kid was talking about a habit he used to have, 'back in the day'. When we asked when exactly this 'back in the day' was he told us that it was seven or eight months before. The general initial response was one of amusement and superficial 'teaching'. Which means a bunch of drunk elders explaining to a kid that eight months is as recent as yesterday. Yet it only took me a moment to realize that the kid was actually right. Or maybe both sides were right.  In the life of a ten years old, one year is 10% of his life, which is a lot.  In the life of a fifty years old, one year is only 2% of it. So the absolute amount of eight months time was really so much relative. Now that I summarize things I see that it took plenty of alcohol and a small kid to give me a new interest in life. 

                          _____________________________________________
     
The amount of new music I listen to everyday is threatening to burn me out. I don't know how things came to this point, but when you listen to at least three or four new records a day, your favorite habit becomes a race against...whom? The obvious fact is that the listening of music is superficial to say the least. There's absolutely no time to digest what you listen. The worst thing is that there's no time to listen to some of your favorites. The exact same thing happened to me in the late 90s and resulted to a six years withdrawal from the underground and music in general. So, less is more and I hope I will stick to this decision as I wish to take the full from the records I choose to listen. 
The thing is that this is also the problem with the music 'journalists'. (I always thought this term is ridiculous, hence the quotes). No one can write a record review after listening to a record just for a couple of times. I know none will admit doing so but I'm sure that 90% of them don't give more time than this to the records they write about. This also leads to the oversimplified and shallow reviews that plague the underground (and not only) that are plain descriptions of each song. Also the saturation of the scene with worthless and invalid subgenre tags cannot be irrelevant to this phenomenon. The shallow approach to a record leads the 'reviewer' to playing it safe by inventing his own genre like 'depressive ambient blackened doom death metal' in order to include everything he thinks he heard in 40 minutes and that's it. 

  


A brief reference to records I listened to and left a mark on me lately...


   
StarGazer - A Great Work Of Ages 
This is not the first time I refer to one of the greatest death metal bands of the decade. I had praised their first record and I will praise this one even more. This is much more mature and varied and it is also much more focused. It is actually so varied that now that the mainstream is discovering them I expect to read the most ridiculous descriptions a moron can invent. You'll see 'avant garde' or 'jazz' referenced a lot but fear not. This is death METAL with innovation and talent that is brutal as much as it is full of imagination.   


Wolfshade - When Above... 
This is a french band and their third full length is my first contact with their music. You'll see 'suicidal' or 'shoegazing' and other crap referenced a lot about Wolfshade but fear not. Their  black metal is maybe more doom metal at its core emphasizing to atmosphere and creating an aura of mysticism that is calm and relaxing in the outside but there's a sense of danger lurking in its shadows. Occult black metal you imbeciles.   


The devil will come...
Grave Miasma - Realm of Evoked Doom 
Hallow's Eve - Tales Of Terror
Griftegard/Count Raven - Split
Uriah Heep - Abominog
Hooded Priest - Devil Worship Reckoning


Satan is real...


Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Religion-spirituality-music

I had a great interest in religious matters from a very early age. The teaching of the christian religion is obligatory in the whole period of mandatory education in greece, so every kid is subjected to the 'truths' and 'superior' values of it from the age of 6 or 7 until 17. If I remember correct I was probably 12 years old when I started to question the thinks I was being taught. Some time later I started studying religious books other than the christian ones, starting with the coran and expanding to others the following years.
Anyhow, the result of those early, fairly immature attempts to explore religion resulted to a complete anti-religious stance that was obviously helped by the strict orthodox theocratic state greece is and the way it oppresses the ones that think in a different way. This anti-religious thing lasted for several years, although throughout these years I continued studying religious texts of any kind (including magical texts) especially focusing to the dark corners that passed unnoticed at first reading.
Things started changing maybe when I was 30 years old or something. It was the period of my life when Ι couldn't characterize myself as anti-anything. It just seemed a sterile and shallow way of dealing with serious matters. I also realized at some point that I couldn't view at religious matters cutting them out of the spiritual aspect. Most people tend to view religion under the aspect of the organized, distorted form that is prevalent today. Most people also view such matters being influenced by the way the herd face religiousness. Blind faith, fear, total submission, destruction of  any sign of self confidence and so on. All these can only lead a thinking person to an anti-religion stance. 


Anyhow, the way I see things is different. The fact that the herd sees religious matters in the superficial way it does, does not mean that those matters are really that shallow. Note that where I use the word 'religious' I could as well use the word 'spiritual'. For me spirituality is the very core of religiousness, yet it is usually absent by human belief. I have yet to confront a christian devout or not, that really is a spiritual person. Perhaps this is natural when talking about religions that are made and organized in a certain way, with the goal of attracting the more followers possible. It is also natural since religion is used as a tool to control massive groups of people. But is this religion's true nature? In my opinion the very essence of religion is that of a tool in the service of the individual. It is to be used for his enlightenment and spiritual ascension. 

All of the above things considered I now consider myself to be a religious individual. The path on which I walk is obvious by a brief browsing of this little lair. So, sterile anti-christian or anti-religion views does not interest me. Such rhetoric is fitting for imbecile viking wannabees but I am always unpleasantly surprised when I see such reactions coming from smart and thinking people. How can such people ignore the spiritual factor? Does the rejection of religion also mean they reject spirituality?
Some are skeptical about such matters believing in science as the answer to almost everything. But why should spirituality be seen as an answer to anything? I myself am a scientist studying and practicing my science for more than 20 years overall, yet I fail to see where science is against spirituality. The needs those two fulfill are quite different. In that sense does the rejection of religion/spirituality could possibly mean a rejection of ,say, philosophical thinking that is not always grounded on apt scientific proof? 
All in all spirituality for me is the tool for soul searching, self improvement and ascension, mind conquering over matter and flesh, establishing balance and communication with the multiverse. Linguistic difficulties force me to stop my rambling here.   


To connect all these with my favorite subject of extreme and violent music, it comes as no surprise that bands like Deathspell Omega, Watain and others are often being judged in the most negative manner because of views they have expressed in interviews. I still remember people being pissed off with DsO after this interview. I can understand that a plain metalhead is not the best example of a bright individual, so such things are beyond him. Lines like 'rape the anus of the virgin' and so on are more within such a person's mental ability, while DsO's lyrics are confusing but that doesn't mean that black metal should stay in a condition that suits people of the lower common denominator. Yet, deep inside I am satisfied when I see such bands being criticized for their philosophy even if this comes a result of malicious judgment, as it is a sign that black metal is much more than plain music made for instant consumption or entertainment. On the other hand bands like the aforementioned and some other (Funeral Mist comes first to mind) have made a poor choice of tool for their cause (that tool being metal). The odd mass we use to call metal community has not shown signs of liking intelligent individuals. The surprising thing is when otherwise smart persons choose to reduce a band's spiritual or theological or religious beliefs to a bunch of mumbo jumbo nonsense. This is surprising because I don't expect from a clever man to choose the easy path of mocking the other instead of confronting him. 

At the end of the day maybe it is not wise to connect spiritual matters with genres of metal music. The world of metal loves oversimplifications. Blastbeats and tremolo picking make black metal, a simple acoustic passage is folk, a drum machine is industrial, slow pace is doom and so on. Just like that. Just like fucking that. Alas, real music is a living organism much more complex than that. It needs soul, it needs to breath, it demands emotion. Either way it doesn't deserve to be defined in such a shallow manner. It doesn't deserve to be viewed as mere notes in a row. 

Hate and suffering for y'all.

This text was written under the company and influence of Esoteric's The Maniacal Vale.                   

Monday, 6 September 2010

A circle complete

'Paracletus, the last record of the trilogy, will be released November 8th in Europe.'


No.Ev.Dia.

The most important black metal artists of recent time are going to conclude the year with the final part of the trilogy that started with Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice. Unfortunately the hype around the band has brought a lot of parasites around them that started spreading their stupidity based on the band's new american label. I am ever amazed by seeing how many imbeciles there are around, always ready to drag everything down to their sub-basement level standards. 
Best thing they can do is stay the fuck away. There are always comedians like Immortal that are tailored made for them and their mind and spiritual capabilities. 

AMSG



Saturday, 4 September 2010

...καί άλλον Παράκλητο δώσει υμίν, ίνα μένη μεθ' υμών εις τόν αιώνα

On November 9, the mysterious, meta-physical, black metal omega lords will unleash their fifth album, "Paracletus".
 
Cleanse your soul, body and mind.
Amen

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Under the influence

I have never considered myself nor have I ever been a 'metalhead' in the sense that I've never liked plain old heavy metal. I used to find it boring, shallow and definitely not extreme enough for my liking. Plus the fans would best be described as fucking imbeciles. This is more or less my opinion until today. 
My interest in music started in early 80's with the post punk bands like Joy Division and Bauhaus and also bands like The Smiths, all three bands that are still some of my favorites. Sometime in 1985 or 1986 I got trapped into thrash metal's web and then it was a path of no return. Death metal, black metal in 1988 and the heavy involvement in the then burgeoning underground strengthened my roots in extreme music for good. When I started listening to thrash metal the only non thrash bands I had heard before were AC/DC and Iron Maiden's Powerslave. This means I still have a fondness for those bands although they are nowhere close to being my favorites.
These thoughts came to me recently when I was reorganizing my record collection. I filed the cds and LPs according to the genre the band belongs (Black metal, death, thrash, doom, martial/industrial, progressive, folk, post rock and so on). It was then that it became obvious that the category with the fewest records (by very very far) was heavy metal. In fact the heavy metals albums I own are so few that I could write all of them without being bored. Brocas Helm's three studio albums, Helstar's Burning Star, In Solitude's self titled debut, Mercyful Fate's, Iron Maiden's and Manilla Road's discographies, Satan's Court in the Act, Ram's Lightbringer and Running Wild's first two. This is pretty much all the heavy metal I can take. These few bands are the exception to the rule of shallow music, stupid lyrics, crappy and happy melodies that characterizes heavy metal. To put it simply it is not dark and brutal enough for me.


I usually don't talk about music when in the company of other people. It was always difficult for me to meet people that would share my extreme and twisted views in music or even my passion for it, so I stopped socializing (with the few persons I do socialize) on the basis of musical tastes. This has also made music a very personal matter for me. When I recently run into an old friend and comrade from almost twenty years back we had a long talk about the underground and 'the old days'. It is unavoidable when you get older to think of the older era as purer, better and in all senses greater than the present. So, we that lived the golden era of the underground in late 80's early 90's find today's situation pathetic. The things I would like to be different are many but what I miss the most are the printed fanzines. This was the purest indication of the fan's commitment and devotion to the scene. This was also the average fan's attempt to be a part of the scene and not just a passive receiver. The rise of the internet has led to a vast explosion of web zines which logically led to a great amount of rubbish being posted online with the internet acting as a huge dumpster that threatens to bury the underground under vast amounts of shit. I find it sad that the best web zines today are in fact indie music sites that give some space to black, death and doom metal. Sad in the sense that I have yet to find a web zine devoted only to said genres and worth even a couple of minutes of my time. 
Of course I am not the only nostalgic in the world. This means that printed zines still do exist, even in a smaller scale than before. The problem is that most of those that I happened to read suffer from baby diseases that are unacceptable in our times. What was charming in 1988 is annoying in 2010 at least for me as I am now 39 and have much higher expectations. When talking about an old zine the broken english of both the writer and the band featured were among others a sign of the times. Now I cannot stand a zine written in horrible english to the point were the reader cannot even understand the questions being asked and the answers given. I also cannot stand interviews that are anything but thought provocative. Another common feature of any zine was the overwhelming exaggeration and enthusiasm of the writer that led to the glorification of worthless bands and recordings. This was once bearable as this music was new and pretty much in its shaping so there wasn't really a point of reference and comparison so any exaggeration was excused. That's not the case today though. There are no more virgin ears, everybody is one click away from any music he desires so the last thing one needs is an uneducated shithead from the other side of the world ranting about how great is some demo that is actually worse than a pile of shit. 
It is obvious that there are some people that are confused. Making an amateur publication does not equal to making a bad one. Times have changed very much and the needs of the underground today are very different than twenty years ago. An imaginative layout that would not insult the reader's  aesthetics, proper use of the language, thoughtful and insight texts, be it interviews or any other text. The only zine I have read meeting the above criteria and many more is Oaken Throne, probably the best music magazine I have ever read. 
One great zine (and maybe a couple of others that I didn't happen to read). Can this make a difference?


The accused...
Profanatica - Disgusting  Blasphemies Against God
Lucifugum - Xa Heresy
Tortured Spirit - Arkham Sanitarium
The Secret - Disintoxication


Cut your flesh and worship SATAN




Saturday, 21 August 2010

Backwards

Although I don’t have any particular problem with the constant evolution of technology there are some matters were I am extremely ‘old school’. One of them is cars. In general I don’t have any interest in cars. They are just tools that I use to do my job, as it requires pretty long travels. So when it comes to my car I keep things on a basic level. This among other things means minimum electronics, not even a cd player. So the old and faithful cassette player helps me staying in contact with my music roots as it keeps my tape collection useful.

Having to drive many hours due to job obligations normally doesn’t bother me. Except the other day when I forgot to put my tapes back in the car after I washed and cleaned it (after a couple of years). Under the circumstances the radio was the only alternative. Now, I have never been a friend of the radio and I could never share the affection a lot of people show for the medium. I find it to be shallow and with no real meaning. When I want to listen to music I will listen to my cd's instead of waiting from a radio station to play some music that is of my liking. If I want to be aware of what's going on there's always the printed press and the internet.
This basic belief of mine was cemented after hours of torture, wandering among the lady gagas and rihannas of the world and the awful and unbearable popular greek music, during that recent trip of mine. The lack of choice that I confronted was astonishing. Inevitably my mind made the comparisons with the situation many years before.

It was sometime in 1987 when a 16 year old discovered in awe that there was a radio show on the national greek radio that was specializing in extreme underground metal. I would never think there would be any radio station that would cover the music I was listening to, let alone the national radio. Yet, there it was, an hour every Saturday afternoon devoted to raw and brutal thrash and death metal. Back in the day this was the fastest and easiest way to learn about and listen to new releases as mainstream metal press didn't bother about the underground, fanzines were covering new records some months or years later and the internet was not in the people's vocabulary. The show used to present new records in their entirety as soon as they were released. I remember as if it was yesterday some of the LPs featured...Death's Leprosy, Protector's Urm the Mad, Axegrinder's Rise of the Serpent Men, Sacrilege's Within the Prophecy and Turn back Trilobite , Thanatos' Emerging from the Netherworlds and plenty more. The show vanished somewhere in 1990 or 1991 and with it vanished the one and only attempt of the mainstream media to shed light in the underground of metal. Some years later even mainstream metal disappeared from the greek radio as you couldn't even listen to an Iron Maiden song.


This way we come to here and now. As long as I know there are a couple of self proclaimed rock radio stations with a strange idea of what rock music really is. Metal is an unknown word in the cosmos of greek radio, so anyone can guess what is the situation with black and death metal.
The real problem is that this situation is not a result of business decisions or marketing plans made by the stations but it is what comes from the complete setback of the greek society that started from early 90s and continues until today. In today's context it is unthinkable for a radio station to play something like Leprosy, not because there is no audience but because there would be many that would protest if such music was played on air. We the greeks are fucked up, demented  and peculiar in many ways. I find it strange that the many problems (mostly economical) the average citizen of this shithole faces in his everyday life for many years now, do not result in rage or anything like that. Instead they lead to a strict conservatism and a stupid turning towards harmless and cheap entertainment that further stupefies them.



The league of extraordinary gentlemen

Thankfully we don't need no radio to point us towards two amazing new records that are the best things I heard lately.

Blood Revolt's Indoctrine is the best example of today's extreme metal. It is not black metal, neither it is death, thrash, doom, war or whatever stupid tag would anyone thing. It is all of the above and many more. 'This is the sniper filing down the pin before picking off innocents, this is the suicide bombers sweaty greasy hand on the ignition, dead bodies piled in the politics of the mass grave. Unforgiving and unrelenting elitism' in the words of A. Averill as spoken in an interview (read it here). It is one of those rare occasions where a band describes exactly its work with no exaggerating or falling into the web of megalomania.
This is by far the most brutal music Averill has put his voice along and his performance is stunning. In the same interview he says 'I’ve never done music this violent or brutal, so I just went back to my roots and the old school vocal performances from the likes of carnivore, holy terror, dark angel, slayer etc. this tight sharp thrash approach'. Picture this and add his talent on performing in a unique theatrical manner (spoken word, narration, melancholic passages) and maybe you'll have an idea.
On the other hand this is the most 'well produced' and professional recording C. Ross and J. Read have ever made and their performance is of the highest caliber. It is not often that a record is as complete as Indoctrine is, both in inspirational/compositional level and in execution.


I would also like to pay my respects to  Annthennath's States of Liberating Departure.

 The remarkable black metal records of the year have been enough. One of the absolute best is the debut from these frenchmen. Having formed a scene with strong personality to the point of being considered an established force, france now meets its new pretenders to the throne.
The members are all veterans with the most notable being ex Deathspell Omega vocalist and prolific underground figure Shaxul. His period of Deathspell Omega is anything but my favorite as I find it to be mediocre and uninspired both in musical and lyrical/philosophical levels. But I don't like to bite the hand that feeds me, and since I feed on hateful, raw and filthy black metal mostly, States of Liberating Departure is essential.
The guitars are along the lines of the french tradition, but with no fear in adding melody or being more free-form with leads appearing very often. After all, the guitars have all the freedom to do as they wish having the strong backing of the bass which here acts as another lead instrument almost equal to the guitars. Shaxul contributes his strongest performance ever and all these combined with the great cover constitute a work that is a mandatory listen.



Sometimes when reading comments of any kind on whatever subject interests me, I keep notes. Unfortunately it is often that I don't write down were I read each comment either out of laziness or because I am so naive to believe that I will remember the 'source'. Of course after four or five pages in my notebook my memory fails me. Such is the case with a comment I read concerning Nightbringer's Apocalypse Sun. I only remember that it was posted on a greek blog because I remember me translating it in english. In just two lines it summarizes every feeling and thought I have about this record but I could never manage to phrase myself. I quote 'Uncontrolled. Blatant.No outbreak. No emotional charge. No digestible passages. Black, almost not metal. Guitars built to slaughter'.

Amen

Friday, 13 August 2010

Anti

Villa 21 was an experimental unit for young schizophrenics, established by David Cooper in Shenley Hospital. D. Cooper was a psychiatrist and one of the leaders of the anti-psychiatry movement. He coined the term anti-psychiatry to describe the opposing methods of orthodox psychiatry. Villa 21 was in fact some kind of an anti-hospital running in the confines of a hospital. The unit was run under the principals of Psichiatrica Democratia as opposed to the authoritarian institutions of the time. A good representation of the latter can be seen in S. Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange.



Villa 21 was a greek post punk/new wave band formed in 1981. Adopting their name from Cooper's psychiatric unit and taking musical inspiration from bands like Joy Division, The Cure and early Christian Death they were quite productive from early on.
Their first two LP's (A ghost on the move and Men of clay) were among the lines described above and were arguably the best post punk works ever recorded by a greek band.

Their third LP (Electric poison) marked a departure from their known style and was in fact a garage rock and roll work. I am probably out of my usual field here but this was rock and roll that showed its hairy balls in the most impudent manner. The fourth album (Hellucinations, 1990) completed their turn and humbly but loudly ended their career. Of course as is usual with bands of that kind Villa 21 was quite prolific having also recorded several singles, EP's and songs for compilations.

Although back in the day I was well aware of their existence and had a vague knowledge of their work, I only approached their music in early 90's when I learned that the late Nick 'Flesh' Tagalos (guitarist/vocalist of Sadistic Noise aka the best greek death metal band of all time) had played with them. One way or the other I am glad I did so.






Cursed be thee...

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Only death is real

One thing that makes me feel optimistic about the near future of the music of darkness is the seemingly endless wave of real death metal bands. I am already fed up by having to use the word 'real' but death metal has suffered in the hands of awful plastic/technical/deathcore/shitcore bands with four or five or more word names.
The genre's decline that started with the coming of the 90's, triggered the birth of the second wave of black metal that came to reinforce the basic foundations on which death metal was created and were abandoned by the bands of that period.
Whether the recent resurfacing of death metal is part of the cyclic resurgence of music genres or a genuine revival caused by the needs of the true underground, remains to be seen. It is probably the former but the important factor here is the great amount of quality bands that deliver outstanding music. Having leaved the golden era of death metal I would even dare say that the quality of those new bands is higher than of those of late 80's early 90's. Of course it is unlikely that we are going to see any classics created by those new bands. The classics are always those that come first and provide the blueprints for those that follow. This doesn't mean that those that follow cannot compete in talent, will and creativity.
Of course many things are yet to be proven as most of the hopefuls are still to the demo stage of their career and the whole thing will show its seriousness in the near future. All the same, the return of death metal in all its glory, filthy, raw, immersed in the swamp of decay, is only to be celebrated.


Whoever is interested in having an idea of the scene back in mid 80's to early 90's shall have a look at the excellent deathmetal.org were he can find a collection of scans from fanzines of that period (go here or fucking die).

Holy Death...
Antediluvian - Under Wing of Asael    
Adversarial - Thralls
Disma - The Vault of Membros
Interment  - Into The Crypts Of Blasphemy
Vanhelgd - Cult Of Lazarus
Bastard Priest - Merciless Insane Death

May you all die a painful death...