Saturday, 31 December 2011

Kali Yuga-One year closer

The death of every year brings a flood of lists from every fucking side you turn your head to. As usual, these last days have been an apotheosis of the same, tiresome, over-hyped kinds of (real or not so real) underground metal.
The power of the internet grows stronger and with the vast majority of sites or blogs or whatever that are english speaking (thus globally more influential) being american, there is a kind of a new order established in the world of extreme metal. An order that blurs and dilutes ones perspective, according to the tastes of the average american scribe. An order that dictates that every second sludge or post whatever band is noteworthy or that the average black metal band coming from the states or from cascadia (what the fuck?) is the best thing that happened to the scene since Bathory. Fuck it. What follows is an attempt to re-view the most appealing releases of a year where more important things than music came to my life, still black and death metal is the second best thing for me cause evil has no boundaries. Krallice, Wolves in the Throne Room, Falls of something I don't remember, Liturgy and suchlike will not be mentioned. Disma will not be mentioned. Some bands you'll never find in the usual sources will be mentioned and maybe glorified.
There's no specific order in the list that follows. When you see music as an artform and a source of emotion it is unthinkable to see it as a contest at the same time.
Here's to the death of the world...

Negative Plane - Stained Glass Revelations
Nobody can make black metal sound so personal as Negative Plane. This is the darkest sermon one can hope for.

Aosoth - III
'...The songs smell of incense and sulphur, the sick guitar tone dominates the atmosphere and MkM is one of the few persons on the face of the earth that can walk in those fields without being accused of trespassing. Passion, class and personality...'

Manilla Road - Playground of the Damned  
The best heavy metal band of all times keeps its teeth sharp with one more great work. Vastly epic and boldly lo-fi because when you are talented you have guts. The new kids shall know that they have the best of the best to compete with.

Burzum - Fallen
I've never been particularly fond of Burzum's black metal, although I enjoyed the older classics. This one came as a surprise after the disapointing and boring Belus. Fallen is a different case. 'It is raw, with that cyclic riffing that creates clever melodies that capture you like a web and drag you to the (fairy)tales the guy has to say. You know it is no true nor realistic, it is even naive but you are lured.'

The Wounded Kings - In the Chapel of the Black Hand 
The Wounded Kings have to be the best doom metal band of our days. Doom metal as we knew it. No sludge, no stoner, no desert, no bullshit. Emotional, heavy, dark and occult they have been carving an uphill path since their first record. Quietly, without the usual fanfare. The omens show that their best is yet to come.

Circle of Ouroborus - Armon keitaalla 
The triple cassette box that came after Eleven Fingers passed under the radar of the hipster sites and magazines that glorified its predecessor in their hysterical quest to find the new Joy Division. Thankfully. Armon keitaalla shits on Eleven Fingers' head from a hill high. It sees CoO return to form and deliver one of their best works to date.

Whore - Whore Tape 
In only 13 minutes Whore deliver some of the heaviest and filthiest death metal from the swamp, where you would never dare come close to. They're from sweden but they don't sound like they're from sweden. They don't sound like they are from this world. These are three tracks from the bowels of fucking hell.

Sonne Adam - Transformation / Necros Christos - Doom of the Occult
For some reason those two records have settled in my conscience as sister releases.
There are of course obvious similarities to the slow and grinding death metal the bands perform but there is also a distinct display of personality by both which is something you would expect from Necros Christos, but for a young band like Sonne Adam it is admirable at least.

Cult of Erinyes - A Place to Call My Unknown
Terribly underrated and overlooked by the vast majority of press and fans, yet awesome black metal  by this new belgian band. I see the blueprint of Ondskapt's unsurpassable debut in many moments of A Place to Call My Unknown, but whatever their inspiration is, it is filtered in a way that delivers one the greatest surprises of the year. A great first effort. In fact, such a great record that makes me overlook the fact that their alter ego is a former metalcore band.

Nightbringer - Hierophany of the Open Grave
They continue creating their own legend by refining their craft with each release. More varied than ever, the atmosphere here is suffocating. Hierophany... is here to make sure that Nightbringer are one of the great bands of our times. Mandatory.

Vanhelgd - Church of Death 
Once more in this fucking list, death metal from sweden that isn't the typical death metal of the land. Slowly crawling, infecting like poison a great band that owes as much to bands like Asphyx as to some of their fellow swedes this is some of the most essential devastating metal of death.

Verge - Sex and Violence
Fuck. No one makes black metal like the finns do. Verge is one of the most fucked up bands coming from finland and after last year excellent split with Blood Red Fog, Sex and Violence comes to complete the fucking devastation. Their second full album is a vast improvement from the Hatemagic debut. Raw, filthy and ungly the way it is supposed to be. Those with eyes to see, have seen. The rest...stay in your comfortable ignorance.

Charnel Winds - Der Teufelsbund 
An obvious choice to make after Verge. I've been awestruck when I first heard the demo version of the record a couple of years back. This year the album came to justify my ranting after my exposure to the sickness that is Der Teufelsbund. As I said back then...

Execration - Odes of the Occult 
In a year that had some of the best forward thinking death metal of all times released, Execration were the ones that had the greatest impact for me. Surely bands like Mitochondrion and Ulcerate delivered excellent records but to my liking they were topped by Execration's second album. This is a record that is asphyxiating in it's heaviness and totally crushing in its darkness.

Hell - Human Remains
In times where traditional and occult heavy metal is reborn, one would expect that the best record of the kind would come from one of the hopeful and talented bands of the new breed, like In Solitude or Portrait. Yet, all these ambitious youngsters will have to wait in line because for the time being they have to watch the backs of a group of hardened but forgotten veterans that never enjoyed any real recognition. Hell made their full length debut almost thirty years after their inception and completely erased all competition. Hadn't I heard the 1982 self titled demo that includes almost all the songs of Human Remains, I would be reluctant to believe that these tracks were actually penned three decades ago. And honestly, if these songs sound as amazing as they do today, it's no strange that almost no one managed to understand their true quality back in the early 80's.

Antediluvian - Through the Cervix of Hawaah
After a series of demos and EPs that carved their name in the upper echelons of the underground, the storming debut comes to seal their position and force everybody to turn their eyes to their dark art. Heavy, bestial, ancient, muddy, cavernous and at the same time open minded and incredibly forward thinking. A spear in god's fuckin ribs.

Malepeste - Malepeste Demo 
The  best french sounding french black metal I have heard in a long time comes from a band I had never heard of, until I listened to their demo. This is a quite apocalyptic experience as Malepeste deliver mystical black metal that is as dissonant as it need to be and as traditional as I would like it to be. Great occult metal that managed to beat  Thantifaxath's great EP, at the last minute. (So much for art not being a contest).

Void Meditation Cult - Sulfurous Prayers 
Ultra heavy and dark black/death metal that, to those of us that lived the glory days of 1989 to 1992 with bands like Samael, Mortuary Drape and Necromantia at their blackest best, brings tears in the eyes. Sulfurus Prayers indeed.

Brulvahnatu - Menstrual Extraction Ceremony 
Another criminally overlooked release coming from a prolific artist that has recorded 10 full length demos and three albums in four years. Fucked up and heavy, in many ways unorthodox death/black metal that will engulf you from the first moment of exposure at it. Not a surprise that the man behind Brulvahnatu is also a member of Antediluvian, Begrime Exemious and A.M.S.G. Highly recommended.

Deceased - Surreal Overdose
We are living in times were parody bands are ridiculing what we once knew as thrash metal. And then Deceased are coming to take them all by storm and teach them a lesson the hard way.  For a band that is active since 1985 to come up with an aggressive attack like this, is a big deal.


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

And the Devil Laughs With Us

One of the most hated (if not THE most hated) bands in the hardcore scene is back and all of us that couldn't care less about hardcore and its stupid subculture, can freely express our great joy.
I don't listen to hardcore because there's nothing for me to like in it. The exceptions for the last decade have been Integrity and Gehenna. And for the last couple of years Kickback. After the apocalypse that was their previous one, No Surrender the new record   Et Le Diable Rit Avec Nous is a massive load of oil that feeds the fire of hate, violence, brutality, rage and perversion that is Kickback. Haters will hate them and this will give the band life. After all FUCK FRIENDS, WE NEED ENEMIES.
Kickback have broke free from the trappings of hardcore here. The usual clowns that pollute every scene will argue about Kickback not being hardcore (anymore?) as if any living being above the level of an amoeba gives a fuck about it. This is a totally fucked up record with unusual structures, disharmonic and uncomfortable in its weirdness. Kickback are probably to hardcore what Diapsiquir is to black metal and new records by both in such a little time space might not be good for my sanity but who cares when great and true art is at hand? Et Le Diable Rit Avec Nous closes with two covers where the band shows how much they care about your worthless opinion. They will rap if they fucking feel they need to. The destroyers of all are back. Listen to this record and see if you can keep yourself from beating up the first asshole you'll meet out in the street.


Friday, 2 December 2011

Lucifer Before The Day Doth Go/Black Heksen Rise

The original intention was to post some black metal. But this is not black metal, right? Of course it isn't. Liturgy is.

Fuck you...
Ketzer - Satan's Boundaries Unchained
Pale Creation - Twilight Haunt
Vent - Reliquiae Doloris
Antediluvian - Through the Cervix of Hawwah
Aarni - Bathos


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Hosanna...With hearts toward none

The last few months brought two of the greatest releases of the year. The Wounded Kings' In the Chapel of the Black Hand has been in constant rotation for almost three months now, it obviously is an all-devouring monster in its bleak and occult magnificence but I don't feel ready to elaborate more, at least not yet. Nevertheless I am in awe.

  Antediluvian's Through the Cervix of Hawwah is still a newborn sinister abomination but it is one of those cases were even the blind and numb can sense that we are talking about a masterpiece. It is a heavy, muddy, engulfing beast that enshrouds you and leads you in a disoriented mindtrip that leaves mental scars. Music to be felt and definitely not just mere and mindless entertainment.

On top of all that, Mgła,our favourite purveyors of orthodox perversity are about to release their second album titled  With Hearts Toward None early next year. A bitter taste of things to come can be taken here. The Devil is preparing his final attack...beware.

The Devil's emissaries...
The Wounded Kings - In the Chapel of the Black Hand
Antediluvian - Through the Cervix of Hawwah
Venenum - Venenum

Void Meditation Cult - Sulfurous Prayers
Bestial Raids - Prime Evil Damnation
Ptahil - For His Satanic Majesty's Glory
Allfather - Weapon of Ascension
The Devil's Blood - The Thousandfold Epicentre


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Sonne Adam will take your sorry souls

Local offerings did not suffice
Bastards ruined this world
Torrent of hate is on its way
All that will survive are the ones who ruled before

Undead calling humming in our ears
"The mindless bastards' way must come to an end"
Distorted thoughts of paralyzing force
The path is clear for me
The message inked with blood

When the death is feeling near
And the black blood embarks
The doom of man so clear
I will remember the day they rise

Diabolic, ancient spheres of hate

The oath is signed with blood
We are the nameless ones
Raised for all to see
The punishers unleashed

Armageddon shall start here

Monday, 26 September 2011

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Between Scylla and Charybdis

There is a foul smell in the air. The mixture of treachery, incompetence and selfishness breeds destruction, but he who is used at living in darkness has nothing to fear from such a shallow danger of purely materialistic nature.

...a couple of months ago a proud lioness was born, reinforcing my already strong beliefs, enhancing my emotions towards the things I love and the ones I loath. Now, the rest of the world can go and fuck itself. I have got all I need. World...beware.

In the midst of all that haze, the (under)world continues to vomit some things of actual interest and value. Nightbringer launched their third assault to the forces of light in the guise of Hierophany of the Open Grave. The band's first two records have been landmarks that established them in the elite of occult black metal of modern times. On their new work they continue the course that is expected by worthy practitioners of the art. Hierophany of the Open Grave is an improvement in every aspect. Nightbringer use more weapons to achieve the unique atmosphere they usualy do. The guitar playing is more varied this time, while pianos, acoustic guitar and chanting are being used in an extremely tasteful and skilful manner just to contribute to the creation of the hypnotic atmosphere and never overshadowing it. Above all Nightbringer introduce the melody for the first time in their music. This previous 'unmelodic' approach was one of my favourite aspects of the band's songcraft, so I was kind of sceptical the first time I listened the album. Such concerns vanished completely with the repeated listening as I started being engulfed in the darkness of Hierophany...  All in all, a work that is in harmony with the depth and seriousness of the band. One step closer to the pantheon of black metal.   
Arckanum have been unusually prolific the last four years, Helvítismyrkr being their fourth record in said period. Truth be told from 2008's Antikosmos which I studied carefully, my interest started to fade with every new record. The new one though changed that, grabbing me by the first moment and never letting me off its claws. Helvítismyrkr is an honest effort by one of the most consistent individuals of the scene. Melodic when needed, baptized in the darkest waters of thrash and heavy metal it will steal 45 minutes of your worthless lives without you even noticing and it will enrich it with the powers of the forces of utter chaos. 

I leave you with the covers of two records that are on their way from hell and have already won me over with their visual aesthetics...

Rex Mundi - IHVH
Kaosritual - Rituell Katarsis 
Hrizg  - Inferno
Demonic Rage - Evoking The Pestilence
Ensnared- Ensnared
Obscure Infinity - Dawn of Winter


Monday, 29 August 2011


1. Asleep...Awake, my heart

2. Reflection, aware of the necessity to slay the sibling. Teach me the failure of lower two.
Sow and reap unity in my heart. As I shall become one in thee.

3. Rebellion, no heart beats in my chest. Rise above earthly contraries and broken mirrors.
Rod of equilibrium, born of yourself. Suspended in chains. Conjunction, a heart beats not in my chest.

4. As the wise mistaker spoke. There is only light in darkness. As I wander down the darkest valleys,
no shadow may cast on me. A world released of vileness and compassion, down in the core of light.
A word released of chains and contradiction, down in the core of light.

5. As the serpent passed the chalice of faith, I may be released from starvation.
As I wandered along the rivers of truth, I distinguished they never could stay still.

6. And god never spoke of peace (but the double-edged blade), knight under the banner of mixed blessing,
march, stumble, release yourself from this soul. O Heroine, dressed in white and red,
O Heroine, slay the unjudged.

7. O angel of the burning sun. In maternal love. Lactating, spilleth simmering tardrops down on me.
Searing, sealing my lips and aflameth my tongue. Thou art sky, concede me to ascend.
I cut this silent oath of love out of trembling flesh.

8. Consolamentum, nourished by fire a heart is pure. Sired of ash a soul will live.
Let me see what they see not, visions clearly while eyes rot. A gracious star fell burning from the sky,
O timeless king, you teached me how to die.

Monday, 1 August 2011

A secret well kept

After a couple of demos and a live album that I doubt there's anywhere to be found plus a split that you could possibly find if you search carefully, Maledicere have recently released their first proper record titled Leave Only What is Fit to Burn and it slays. This is the best american black metal band you've never heard and for that you should be ashamed of yourselves. Succumb to its rawness now. Tom

Caina - Hands That Pluck
Yob - Atma
Avichi - The Devils Fractal
Disma - Towards The Megalith


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

For your fucking displeasure

More displeasure for the perverts of the earth...
Avichi - The Devils Fractal
Disma - Towards The Megalith
Svartidauði - Those Who Crawl And Slither Shall Again Inherit The Earth

Saturday, 9 July 2011

8/2/2011 at 16:58

One more reason to fight you fucking babstards. The most precious one.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Dead and buried

Plenty of paper and internet space has been spent on Morbid Angel's new abomination. It's one of the rare cases where words don't seem to be enough to describe how awful a record is. The album is not awful because of the non metal influences, but because of the complete lack of inspiration and intelligence in the way those outsider influence is incorporated in the music, making the once death metal titans look like talentless midgets that cause sadness and pity with their downfall, more than any other emotion. 
With lyrics that flirt with comedy, 'innovation' based on ingredients that have expired 15 or more years before and with an overall exhibition of tragically bad taste this has to be one of the worst catastrophes in the history of extreme music.
Not surprisingly though, there have been scribes that have almost praised that thing. You know, the kind of music 'journalists' that also happen to work for record labels...those that find this creature exciting and a bold expression of a band that isn't afraid to break boundaries (ha). In a period of time where bands like Ulcerate push the borders of death metal to heights that Morbid Angel couldn't even dream of, to even consider listening to the new M.A. record for the second time would be a waste of time and disrespect to artists that really worth it. 

Mockery comes natural as a way to confront such an attack on any sense of good taste but in the case of Morbid Angel I doubt it that it is the appropriate one. Alternatively, I would treat them as an old man that took me by the hand and showed me the dark corners of the earth when I was young, but now is losing his mind due to his age.
I am in no way disappointed by the record, as I have stopped expecting anything worthwhile by bands that have become brand names, many years ago. The future will always lie in the underground. 
As for Morbid Angel...respect and farewell.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Avichi - The Devil’s Fractal

I don't like announcing forthcoming releases here but the second attack from Avichi seems too promising to be ignored.
Quote from Profound Lore Records :
In what will be seen as one of the more prominent and sinister U.S. black metal albums to surface this year, “The Devil’s Fractal” raises the bar from its successor by not only summoning that ancient black metal aesthetic harnessed by the great classic works of such acts as Mortuary Drape, Rotting Christ, Samael, and Necromantia, but by also offering that forward-thinking, twisted, and progressive black metal aesthetic found in, and forging alongside such luminaries as Deathspell Omega, Leviathan, and Negative Plane.

Masterminded by Andrew Markuszewski (aka Aamonael), who also performs in the bands Lord Mantis and Nachtmystium respectively, and where he essentially handles pretty much all instruments in Avichi (drums are handled by Charlie Fell, also of Lord Mantis and Nachtmystium), with “The Devil’s Fractal” Markuszewski has crafted a modern-day black metal masterpiece, one in which thematically peers into the historical importance and relevance of Lucifer.

To be released July 19th, tracklisting for “The Devil’s Fractal” goes as follows:

1.    Sermon On The Mount

2.    Under Satan’s Sun
3.    Tabernacle Of Perdition
4.    Kaivalya Of The Black Magician
5.    I Am The Adversary
6.    The Devil’s Fractal Part I
7.    The Devil’s Fractal Part II

Sample here.

Until then...
Universe 217 - Familiar Places
Shining - VII Fodd Forlorare
Lantern - Subterranean Effulgence
Saturnalia Temple - Aion of Drakon


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Fear and loathing in Gethsemane

'I, wanderer, between these sins and sights. Like a shattered vessel, never to sail these waters again. Found nothing ascending into the highest suns I have descended to the borders of divine being. World as a gateway to dark and cold desert of Mute Inanimate Nothing. Who once lost what I have lost will never rest under this tree again. I've entered the path I never ever wanted. I lost this life for ash and mud. My father left me the way I never wanted and now keeps silent in my last sacrifice.
Eloi Lama Sabachthani. Only emptiness stares at me from the abyss.'

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Throne of the tyrants and slaves

There is a rising anticipation in the world of extreme metal for the new Morbid Angel record that I find very entertaining. I'm not sure why but whenever people raise their hopes on something that is certain to fail them, I am really amused. False messiahs, false hopes, false heroes....whatever.
It is not surprising that in a field as shallow as the 'mainstream' of any kind of music (even death metal or whatever metal have their mainstream), people still expect great things to come by the same old tired bands that are actually in a creative and artistic coma for many years now. It's anybody's own problem choosing to lose anything exciting that might be happening today in order to consume the garbage he is being force-fed. So let the herd burn in fever for the new, probably mistakenly latin titled M.A. record (I don't speak latin and I couldn't care less but I would bet that this is not proper latin) and live for the present and future. 
The future of black and death metal lies in the underground...such was always the case and still is. Mitochondrion have crafted a monumental work of bestial yet forward thinking art with Parasignosis but the fast food modern music world has already forgotten about it just four months later. Show me someone that actually believes that the coming Morbid Angel album has a chance of topping Parasignosis and I will show you a fucking fool.
Sonne Adam is another example of a talented band coming out of nowhere and delivering an engaging and creeping form of death metal from the swamp.True, both Transformation and Parasignosis have deep and strong foundations on the older works of bands like Morbid Angel but far from just rehashing their influences they bring an aura of renewal to the game and certainly beat their influences in their own field.

It took me some listening to familiarize with the guitar sound of Possessed by the Rise of Magik but it was worth it. The third full length by Ramesses is a tortured occult journey that punishes with one hand and rewards with the other. Free from the doom/sludge/whatever genre restrictions, this is the sound of a great band's spiritual and artistic liberation. I wish I could have the knowledge, experience and talent to write more about the band but since I don't, do your pity self a fucking favour and head over to Julian Cope's lair to read a detailed and inspired review of their The Tomb EP from some years back. I should silence myself for the time being.

Reveal - Nocturne of Eyes and Teeth
Saturnalia Temple - Aion of Drakon
Autopsy - Macabre Eternal (Every rule has its filthy exception)
Integrity - Thee Destroy ORR
Εγγονόπουλος-Πουλικάκος-Socos - H Ύδρα Των Πουλιών


Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The burning fields ... Aosoth - III

As time passes and the dissolution of Antaeus becomes a given fact, Aosoth seem to benefit from it, becoming an ever growing force on its own merit. Their second record, Ashes of Angels, was a step forward from the self titled debut, but their third work is a huge jump from the previous one. The band names the record III, brings their logo on the forefront on the cover artwork and in a way they reintroduce themselves. 
The first two records were exhibitions of quality black metal infused with great amounts of energy on loan by thrash. III is their first work to challenge the heights of the best of Antaeus and the rest of the today's black metal finest. The perverse, 'backwards' and dissonant riffing of Blut aus Nord and Deathspell Omega become the gospel that leads them but Aosoth are no newcomers, they posses the necessary experience and personality to use any influence as a starting point for great things. The songs smell of incense and sulfur, the sick guitar tone dominates the atmosphere and MkM is one of the few persons on the face of the earth that can walk in those fields without being accused of trespassing. Passion, class and personality paint the orthodox background of III and Aosoth present us the second great black metal release of the last months after Stained Glass Revelations
Approach with caution cause it burns.  

Everything great is built upon sorrow...
Sonne Adam - Transformation
Sadistic Noise - Black And Chaos
The Axis Of Perdition - Tenements (Of The Anointed Flesh)
Witch Mountain - South of Salem
Heptameron - Blessed by the Name of the Dragon


Thursday, 21 April 2011


It's this time of the year again...

Crushing the holy trinity...
Sonne Adam - Transformation
Pentagram - Last Rites
Negative Plane - Stained Glass Revelations
Necros Christos - Doom of the Occult
Ravencult - Morbid Blood


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Diapsiquir are coming for you

Soon...your world will be dead...

Monday, 11 April 2011

Monday, 4 April 2011

Manifests of death

Black metal needs some (not many) ingredients in order to achieve its basic goals. Passion, atmosphere, dedication, faith, heart and soul. What it most definitely doesn't need is more newly 'enlightened' assholes with zero contact with the spiritual and true nature of black metal, explaining what black metal should or shouldn't be. When some of them have the nerve to write 'manifesto's' about it then the situation becomes unbearable. Anyway, it seems appropriate to write their thoughts (ha) down since there's obviously a problem with oral expression.

For every emo/indie/whatever the fuck pathetic kid that unfortunately decided not to commit suicide and discovered black metal, there's a bunch of ugly bastards like Necros Christos threatening to sodomize their sorry asses. Their second full length Doom of the Occult is a 73 min monster that is a manifestation of the actual nature of death/black metal. Dark, slow and crawling, ceremonial and threatening, this record evolves and perfects the already known model of Triune Impurity Rites. The general idea of including 23 tracks, with keyboard and acoustic interludes flirts with catastrophe as the easy thing to happen would be a record with no sense of continuity. The fact that Necros Christos make the whole thing work so well is a great proof of the exquisite craftsmanship of the band. This time they introduce the 'Gates', five in total, that are actually acoustic tracks based on eastern scales and enhance the occult atmosphere of the record. A mandatory listen...

...As is in fact the newest Blut aus Nord work. 777 - Sect(s) is the first part of a trilogy to be completed in the coming few months. After the lukewarm and of debatable importance What Once Was... Liber I the band return in full form and with full armour to meet their usual high standards. There will always be the ones that miss the point in their constant demand for novelties in Blut aus Nord's musical endeavours. The fact is that this is a record up with the best works of the band. There's a heavy use or maybe manipulation of melody in 777 - Sect(s) and the plain truth is that at the hands of BaN melody sounds so threatening that becomes an actual tool to cause horror. A fucking monster.

The amusing note of the days is that the (bad) joke called Nargaroth has a record out. The imbecile that wrote tracks with titles like 'The day Burzum killed Mayhem' and many suchlike comedies, has released one more excrement. I read that it is going to be out on double vinyl also, and I can't help but think that such a waste of vinyl should be punished as a crime. A friend of mine played me some parts of it earlier today and it is one more hilarious record worthy of the tradition of Nargaroth. Three tracks that dream of sounding like Burzum of the Filosofem era and five pathetic amateurish keyboard tracks complete the new disgrace of a joke that should stop as soon as possible.

The real thing...
Triptykon - Eparistera Daimones
Whitesnake - Forevermore
Current 93 - Honeysuckle Aeons
Embers - Shadows 
Obscure Anachronism -  METANOIA


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The bottom of the barrel?

This fucking place has to be the most stinking place on the planet. I will never stop believing that its people deserve every possible catastrophe finds them. Being a greek seemed always to be a curse. Now more than ever. 
The place is full of idiots mourning for the loss of their fake luxuries, instead of facing the future and trying to find viable solutions to the problems that grow exponentially. In a country that dies a slow death, sinking in its own shit, there is no room for the few enlightened persons that have remained. Recently this godforsaken place lost a writer and a musician/composer/lyricist, two of the last iconic figures that have remained in this shithole. Both died forgotten, neglected, forsaken. I had never been a huge follower of their works but for me that was never the case. The important thing was that you knew they (and some others) were there. They were the rare cases that would make you stay in front of your television when you would accidentally catch them talking. You would read their interviews on the papers because you knew that their spirit was surpassing the limitations of their art.

This fucking place is the most stinking place on the planet. It does not deserve its few special intelectual persons. It is the right time for them to depart. Because the people that think that their worst problem is that they cannot afford to buy the biggest car or the newest tv anymore, do not deserve to have beacons in their miserable lives. Let them vanish.

Pills against incurable diseases...
Those Poor Bastards - Satan is Watching
Mortem - De Natura Daemonum
40 Watt Sun - The Inside Room
Aptorian Demon - Angst, Jammer Og Fortvilelse-Til Helvete
The Wandering Midget - The Serpent Covent
Ulver - War Of The Roses 

Over and fucking out...

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Analyse it (symposium lexotanil)

I used to like lengthy conversations about music when I was younger. I cannot remember when exactly such conversations started to bore me to death, but these days I can rarely stand debating more than five minutes. When you are approaching your fifth decade in life all you have to offer in such discussions is worthless trivia and there's always the danger to make yourself look like a smartass that tries to show his supposed knowledge off. Besides after 28 or so years of heavy involvement with music I don't feel there's anything new to be said. 
Is there anything new to be offered in the general field of conventional 'rock' music? I think not...and the 2 or 3 extraordinary bands that come to the forefront of any sub-genre every year or two, does not change it. Everything has been played to the point of exhaustion and music repeats itself in circles. It seems only natural that certain metal genres resurface after a period of times and I guess this is the way it's going to be. I don't claim that new blood is unnecessary. On the contrary, new bands are always needed (even if they don't reach the standards of the ones whose footprints they follow) in order for every new generation to discover its heroes. I'm not certain if I'm right but I guess this is one of the reasons of the constant recycling of music. A certain sub-genre reappears when there is a new 'breed' of kids that their first encounter with, say, death metal is enough to catch their attention without causing any association to anything that is known to them. The relation with the previous waves of death metal will be revealed in time until they reach the forefathers of the genre, but the bands a kid hears first, will always be its 'heroes'. This is more or less the way we all discover the roots of music...after quite a long time and a lengthy travel. Except of course you are Fenriz and you discovered prog rock, punk and metal from your cradle but you were good at keeping secrets so in the late 80s-early 90s you were saying around that you only listen to death and black metal and you grew up on those.

Is there anything about the norwegian black metal scene of the early 90s that hasn't been already said and said again? Hardly. Or better no, I'm sure that everything has been said many many times so far. So what the fuck is the purpose of one more documentary about those days? Films like Until the Light Takes us are nothing more than failed attempts to rekindle a flame long dead. Twenty years later those events are completely out of date and at least to me this is a very old and tired subject. But the hipsters beg to differ. 
A couple of months ago the second black metal symposium took place (somewhere in england if I'm not mistaken). Melancology. Really. If it doesn't ring any bell is because you are not academics. Which means that you cannot speak for hours about (what you perceive as) black metal in a manner that none will understand you. A look at the list of subjects that were presented at both the first and second symposia, makes me feel that this is an idea of american origin. There's a hipster aura to the thing and a view on black metal that shouts america. Geographical bullshit aside, what's obvious is that this thing is out of focus and surely totaly unnecessary. Which is the least I can say about an event that its organizers find appropriate to close with a live performance by a clown band (Abgott is the name). Hats off to the hosts for their sense of humor, if that's the case. But in the case the organizers think that this is black metal I think we have a serious problem.
I leave you with a funny note. The link here will take you to an Abgott video. Comedy starts before  you even see the fist picture, as you will find yourself reading words of great wisdom by the supposed leader of the band. Fuck off you imbeciles...   

Friday, 25 February 2011

The fallen dawnbearer

As a part of the overwhelming second wave of black metal in the early 90s, Burzum were shining in a uniqueness that was better estimated some years later. The template Vikernes applied to his 'band' was responsible for some of the most abominable trash that littered the black metal scene for almost two decades. Bedroom bm, suicidal bm, ns bm(!), the one man band trend (namely some fucking imbecile claiming he is so fucking misanthropic to work with anyone else). Just name what you find appalling in black metal and you can find Vikernes at the beginning of it all. 
Of course a man is responsible for his actions only, so if anyone is to blame about this situation, these are the apes that mimicked whatever they thought was easier for them to reproduce. Burzum, Aske and Det Som Engang Var were landmarks of cold, misanthropic and inhumanly calculated black metal. From then on, the increased presence of ambient parts and the use of repetition in order to achieve the illusion of the hypnotic feeling started to alienate me from his work, which I started to consider more boring than ambient or hypnotic.
The two supposedly ambient-electronic albums he recorded from jail are mainly laughable affairs. The fact that even such mediocrity found ground fertile enough to prosper in the metal underground was one evidence more (if needed) of the decline of black metal from the second half of the 90s until the early 00s. 
Last years Belus was a lukewarm attempt to recapture the old feeling that was unfortunately focused on the period of Filosofem mainly and I found it to be boring and uninspired. The record was buried even more by the great expectations and the hype created by the media. 
Fallen is a completely different case. It is the record that made me pay attention at Burzum fifteen years after I have written the guy off. It is raw, with that cyclic riffing that creates clever melodies that capture you like a web and drag you to the (fairy)tales the guy has to say. You know it is no true nor realistic, it is even naive but you are lured. I am lured. His vocal performance is probably his best ever...he screams, he howls, he sings, he mourns and he sounds more convincing than ever. The choice of a (part of a) painting by the french realist Adolphe-William Bouguereau comes as no surprise knowing Vikernes' affinity for european history/mythology and classical art. At first I admit I mocked time passes I find it all the more fitting.

People that have a pure outlook on music and art and the feelings it should create, have always been a source of inspiration for me. Matthew McNerney is such a case. Greatly underrated obviously because of his low profile personality but also obviously an honest, cultured and educated artist that honours any music form he chooses to express himself through. True artists are comfortable expressing their spiritual or other concerns using any vessel suits them. Black metal, death metal, folk, rock etc are but tools that in the hands of talented  artists may unleash the great power they contain in the greatest effect.
Although the moniker of a project should be indicative of its creator's intentions and the feelings he wishes to communicate, rare are the cases where it is so representative and accurate as Hexvessel is. You'll find elsewhere plenty of detailed descriptions of the music that is being presented on Dawnbearer. Such details are completely unimportant. What matters are the feelings, emotions and images the music conjures up. What matters is the journey you will experience. Hell, the guy has even made me like a Paul Simon song, by reconstructing and darkening Diamonds (on the sole of her shoe). The essence of the whole world is in here...there's light, there's darkness, there's joy, there's sorrow, there's devoutness. Additionally there's Machen and Crowley and Capote and many more. Occult music can be extremely charming in the hands of gifted individuals. Enough said...

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Stained Glass Revelations

Negative Plane have crafted one of the best black metal albums of the last ten years and presented it to the unsuspected masses in the form of their debut Et In Saecula Saeculorum. Their logo might incorporate almost every cliche of the black metal universe (pentagram, goathead, skulls, 666), yet this is a rare case where this shouldn't bother at the least, as their music is anything but cliched. The fact that many where those that easily and superficialy named their music avant garde or progressive or experimental is one more evidence of the metal world's stupidity and luck of basic musical 'education'. In that sense, anything that is black metal but does not resemble the old scandinavian 'necro' sound should be progressive or avant garde. In fact Negative Plane have made the simplest of things. They have taken the lessons taught by all the greats of dark extreme music and made them their own shaping a personality that is unique and in the shallow microcosm of today's black metal this uniqueness is being magnified.

Their second spell has been in preparations for five years and by listening to Stained Glass Revelations, that is evident. There isn't a single part of the new record that is not an improvement compared to the debut. Cavernous, chaotic but above all outright EVIL. The legacy of three decades of occult metal finds it's worthy beneficiaries. Mercyful Fate, Bathory, Celtic Frost, Mortuary Drape, Samael, early Mayhem, early your successors. 

Most of all, the band honours the dark traditions with the passion and feeling they inject to their work. Belief and feeling is all that is needed for the greatest black metal and Negative Plane have those in amounts to spare for all the talentless flock that plagues the black metal scene. In the general frame of black metal Negative Plane would be categorised as orthodox bm. But if you expect to hear choirs, psalms and suchlike you lost. In Negative Plane's world there is no room for cheap tricks and trends. Their music is a religious experience by itself, the whole record is a liturgy, a mindfuck that shapes the listener's/participant's mind and soul the way the band wishes. There is no other black metal band today that evokes the occult and gothic horror the way Negative Plane does. Bear in mind that before the term gothic (in music) degenerated to describe the gay/eyeliner parody it does today, it was used for such great bands as Bauhaus or Fields of the Nephilim. Stained Glass Revelations invokes the occult magnificence of Fields of the Nephilim or Garden of Delight at their best although there are no obvious similarities in sound. 

This is the best exploration of the abyss one could hope for. Those that can feel the real darkness have found their haven. They will explore every detail of the music, they will study every aspect of the spectacular artwork, they will do justice to such a magnificent record.  More words would seem to be a disgrace for a work of such proportions. Bow down in respect.     

Burzum - Fallen
The Dead Brothers - 5th Sin-Phonie
The Beast Of The Apocalypse - Henosis
Mirror Of Deception & Garden Of Worm split
Dødsengel - Dødsengel
Hexvessel - Dawnbearer
Ättestupa - Begraven Mot Norr


Friday, 28 January 2011

Fall and fall and fall

...because when the idiot starts falling, there's nothing to stop him. Except maybe the sense of self preservation. Or maybe the sense of shame. But if the following abomination had any sense of shame it would vanish from the face of earth a decade ago. Instead they just continue their way to becoming the next gay icon...Maybe this is better than being the mediocrity they always were.

The winner of the eurovision song contest misuses the bow on the strings of the violin. It would be far more useful to the charming boys next to him. In the way y'all can imagine.


Thursday, 27 January 2011

Thursday, 13 January 2011

MMX - The grave (Stasis II)

Urfaust - Der freiwillige Bettler 

That Urfaust are one of a kind is not news. Their last album is everything I came to love and much more.
A monument of layers of hypnotic guitars, monotonous pounding drums and discrete keyboards that run under the surface and enhance the ritualistic vibe of the music. Out and away of any competition, this is some of the most original and personal black metal you can find around.

Nightbringer - Apocalypse Sun 

In many ways Nightbringer remind me of Urfaust although they are anything but alike.They both create trance like ritualistic black metal, they both exclude any traces of melody from their music, they both rely on repetition to create the hypnotic feeling they present. The record has grown immensely these seven months I have been listening to it. Death and the Black Work, the debut that preceded Apocalypse Sun was a beast. This one is the same beast, hungrier and more horrible. I cannot but repeat a comment I read at some greek blog...'Uncontrolled. Blatant.No outbreak. No emotional charge. No digestible passages. Black, almost not metal. Guitars built to slaughter'. Die.

Electric Wizard - Black Masses 

There is a specific moment, just before you fall asleep, that your thoughts blur and become uncontrollable eventually turning into dreams, possibly nightmares. It is that moment, that through thick layers of smoke and fog, Black Masses may appear to lead you to dangerous dreams...luring but unsettling, morbid but lustful. I never succumbed to Electric Wizard's music more than I have with Black Masses. When you awake you shall have Satan's seed planted in your mind and soul.

Valborg - Crown of Sorrow 

Bands that have adopted the mindset of such greats as Celtic Frost and have the talent to create unique and individual art deserve the highest praises. At first glance, Valborg are a death metal band. Use your patience to unveil the rest of the layers of Crown of Sorrow and you shall be rewarded. People are incredibly stupid thus the record passed almost unnoticed. Diamonds to the pigs.

Before closing Ι shall notice the great records that came out by bands like Diocletian, Witchrist , Blasphemophagher and above all my favorite's Vassafor promo. All in all it seems that 2010 has been the year that this specific style of 'bestial' death/black metal have matured for good. There's no reason to refer to such bands as 'that band that plays like Blasphemy' no more.
On the other hand, Ondskapt have offered a major dissapointment with their latest LP,  that was more of a parody of themselves than a proper album. RIP.


Saturday, 8 January 2011

Consolamentum and Falling Monuments

People's interest in worthless trivia never ceases to amaze me. There have been various black metal bands in the last few years that have chosen to work under a veil of anonymity, a decision I always found interesting and intriguing as I think it is fitting to the occult, esoteric and mysterious nature of this particular kind of music. Unfortunately the underground is flooded by imbeciles that behave like the retards they really are, spreading gossip and trying to spoil such paraphernalia that are not necessarily music related but for genres that demand a certain theatricality like black metal does, they are like salt and pepper.

So, now that we know that Ascension consists of members of the one and the other band, hoping that the parasites, having done their job, are gone, we may proceed to the beast that is Consolamentum. 

The band had released the Fire and Faith EP almost two months before the full length, as a harbinger of horrible things to come. Had Consolamentum been at the level of the EP, we would be talking about a monumental work that would make Paracletus feel its stinking breath. The album is great...actually it stands hands and shoulders above 99% of modern black metal with an ease that I find admirable. Unfortunately it does not achieve to create a double headed beast together with Paracletus. Nevertheless it stands right under the DsO's masterpiece throne, completing the trinity of 2010's most essential black metal records (From the Devil's Tomb being the third one).

To appreciate Consolamentum you need to leave aside some of the most common preconceptions concerning black metal. For some reason I never understood, many people believe that every black metal record that comes out owes to reinvent the wheel. This is a claim some people make exclusively when talking about black metal. I have yet to read someone criticizing a doom/thrash/death/heavy/whatever metal record for not bringing anything new on its field. On the one hand this is understandable as black metal has been the only sub genre of metal that has offered works of great innovation almost systematically for the last 15 years. On the other hand this does not mean that black metal HAS to be other than quality and adventurous music with religious and spiritual connections.

On the general map of black metal Ascension would be placed in the orthodox area and they view their art in the holistic manner that is almost the rule for such bands. Thus, the music, lyrics and visual part of the record are totally connected and must be viewed as one. Even the date of the record's release is a part of the whole concept. As is expected the band chooses to leave the 'frostbitten' ridiculous side of black metal for the kiddies that are now discovering the joy of masturbation. Even if we didn't know anything about the band, it would be apparent that this is a mature band and Consolamentum is the distillation of years of experience and devotion.

The album is carefully crafted and structured in a way that suits the vinyl version with Fire and Faith, in a different recording than this of the EP, being the epicenter of the album. The most important criticism I could make on the record is that it drags towards the end. Had it been one song less I think it would be quite close at fulfilling my high expectations completely. Make no mistake though...this is a mighty release. One of the most stupid, false and irrelevant cliches concerning black metal is the one that assumes that it should be freezing, icy and other such bullshit...bullshit...Consolamentum is burning fire, the boiling lava that threatens to melt everything that stands on its way. This is how modern black metal shall be...religious, apocalyptic, bold, melodic and luring in order to attract the unaware ones, poisonous and deadly in order to forever enslave them. Amen...

On the now infamous Deathspell Omega interview for the Ajna Offensive, the band has been asked about their decision to release a split with Clandestine Blaze and work with Mikko A's record label (let alone, recruit the man as their vocalist I should add) 'seeing as their doctrines are, seemingly, different' than Dso's. The answer was that Dso have noticed that they are really close with him, although his usual rhetoric would point otherwise. Also I quote 'He is one among very few who can take the most atrocious things very naturally, and he is one among very few who truly shares a fascination and appreciation for things of an utterly sadistic nature that I will not unveil here'.
Examining Mikko A's work with most of his projects, especially the noise and porn related ones, the above quote seems almost like an understatement.

His black metal vehicle has come to its sixth full length. Falling Monument features all the usual traits Clandestine Blaze showed in the past, enriching their sound with some simple tricks that are proven quite effective at adding a twisted charm to the rawness on offer here. Like on the Stabat Mater record that came one and a half year before, Mikko A shows an improved sense of control, one that helps at adding texture to his otherwise monolithic approach. For me this is the best Clandestine Blaze work to date. It features the best tracks he has written in quite a while, in fact some of them have the powers to come to be underground classics. As expected there is zero compromise here. The pounding drums are the base of the record, the guitar work is some of his best, his vocals are on top form. If you need just one record from the recent crop of black metal of the northern ilk, this is the one.
Once more...this is not the reinvention of the wheel. It is more an attack to destroy it and any other of 'mankind's achievements'...Ha