Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Sanctum of Human Darkness

Tenebrous Towers, last year's Desolate Shrine debut album, caught me by surprise. A band seemingly coming out of nowhere, skipping the usual underground demo stage, would normally make me cautious. And cautious I was when I first listened to the record. Then I listened to the damned thing again. And then I listened once more, this time paying the proper attention. By then, I had already put all my preconceptions aside and it took months until I reduced the frequency of listening to the record.
With their second strike, titled The Sanctum of Human Darkness, expectations were high. Fortunately these expectations were met. The a monstrous work of death metal, that stands miles away from any trends might plague the scene these days. Furthering the scope of their debut, Desolate Shrine come with their spears sharpened, producing a barrage of claustrophobic death metal with a black heart. The band creates a thick and suffocating atmosphere that demands your full attention in order to unveil all the layers and see and feel clearly under the reverb and the cavernous labyrinth that forms the eight songs that form The Sanctum of Human Darkness. At times the result can be almost transcending. There is no point at trying to describe the darkness this record emanates. It has to be felt and experienced at full. 
The only reference point that could come to mind while first listening to The Sanctum...was Aeternus' Dark Sorcery EP from 1995, in regard of the extremely dark atmosphere that threatens to engulf the listener as it comes crawling from all corners. In days that death metal suffers from boring repetition, Desolate Shrine can be a slab of rejuvenating energy to the genre. In coclusion and as a link with the previous post, it seems that the sinister forces have returned at last. 
Absolutely magnificent and essential.

The angels' trumpets sound like the coming of darkness and death. And ironically (and fittingly?) enough, while I am typing these lines, word comes that a close and loved relative of mine just died. May his soul now rest. 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The return of the sinister forces

If someone that is into black metal was to take a break and crawl into his lair for a couple of months, he would find himself in front of several (un)pleasant and darkly delightful surprises by the time he would decide to crawl back into the autumn half-light. 
Trying to put some of the noteworthy releases that have captured my attention this last few months, I would have to start with non other than Ofermod and their second full length, Thaumiel. One of the progenitors of the orthodox black metal wave that took the underground by storm some years back,  giving the much needed rotten and disgusting kiss of life to a stagnant and safe genre, returns with a record that already divides opinions and will probably do so more in the future.

Tiamtü, their first proper album, worked in me like a slowly acting poison. My first response to it was somewhat lukewarm as it was nothing like I expected it to be like. I realise that I wasn't the only one within that frame of mind. Most of the people were expecting something along the lines of  Mystérion Tés Anomias and Tiamtü was a beast that was rising standing strong on its own feet. Given time and after persistent listening the record revealed its horrible fruits that made it the classic that (at least) I consider it to be today. Above every other attribute, above the darkness and passion that record emanated, what made it stand above the pile of contemporary releases, was the infectious power of the songs. One of the rare occasions that one can use the word 'songs' talking about black metal, instead of talking about 'tracks'. Songs and riffs that would stay in your mind after the first few listenings. Infecting it, poisoning it, making you come back for more. The ones that didn't give the record a chance lost the opportunity to breath some of the air of a modern classic. Their fucking loss.

Thaumiel now works in a different way. It acts in a much more instant manner. After all, everyone should know by now, that expecting a repetition of Mystérion Tés Anomias would be pointless. Yes, there are already plenty of morons that wish that Ofermod would go fourteen years back to make them happy. But Ofermod do not exist to please such moronic demands. Thaumiel continues from the point we were left after Tiamtü's last echoes. More ritualistic that its predecessor, with an equally competent execution, exuding the dark magic feeling it aims to, staying away from the plastic modern standards,  Thaumiel rekindles the black flame in the heart of black metal. One more jewel on this years black crown that shines with records from Mgła, Dødsengel, Svartidauði and a worthy competitor for them all.

The list that follows contains some of the releases that I consider to be at the same level as Thaumiel and there will possibly be further reference in the future.
Don't hold your breath though...
Svartidauði - Flesh Cathedral
Dark Opus - Ignominious Fundamentals
Nocturnal Vomit - Cursed Relics
Weapon - Embers and Revelations
Atriarch - Ritual of Passing
Regulus - Ενθάδε Κείται
Godless - Via Crucis
Arktau Eos - Ioh-Maera


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

O Ancient immortal Spirit...

      ...pure father

Of beauty, of greatness and of truth,
Descend, reveal yourself and flash like lightning here,
within the glory of your own earth and sky.
At running and at wrestling and at throwing,

Shine in the momentum of noble contests,
And crown with the unfading branch
And make the body worthy and ironlike. 
Plains, mountains and seas glow with you
Like a white-and-purple great temple,
And hurries every nation,
at the temple here, your pilgrim,
O Ancient immortal Spirit. 

The Olympic Anthem, with lyrics by Greek poet Kostis Palamas.

I was wandering whether I am the only one that is sick and tired of watching dozens of africans disguised as british, participating at the olympics under the flag of great britain. There's nothing too humiliating in the pursuit of some more medals.
This is not anything new, of course. It's a common practise. 
What bothers me the most is that at the same time, the british prime minister threatens to close the country's borders to the greeks seeking job in england. 
It makes sense... greeks are not black, they cannot run extremely fast, jump high and far or throw stuff in great distance. They are just citizens of united (ha ha) europe, trying to find job in one of the countries that are ruining theirs, each and every day.Thus, they are a nuisance.

Here's to the death of europe.

Your pillars are colapsing...
Degial - Death's Striking Wings
Crebain - Night of Stormcrow
Dead Can Dance - Anastasis
Goatmoon - Varjot
The Howling Wind - Of Babalon

The earth is trembling...

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Paint your summer in black

Deathspell Omega cause frustration and nervousness to the safe thinking 'underground' majority. As usual.
Witchrist and Wrathprayer are blackening the world with their occult, ritualistic death metal.
The mechanical assault of Blacklodge leaves only corpses, behind...
...And The Howling Wind shred the last signs of hope into pieces, with one of the best black metal records ever to emerge from the usa.
Of course the best ones to come from those shores are the ones that close this fucking post along with my most hateful thoughts and curses.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Sick fuck

The times are fucking sick. This fucked up shitholle is boiling...and for a good reason.
Those who disrespect the roots of Europe will regret it sooner or later.
Those shaking their pointer finger in a threatening manner will see that finger cut off and fed to the dogs.
Fuck you.


Master - The New Elite
Thy Darkened Shade - Eternvs Mos Nex Ritvs
Der Sturmer - Transcendental Racial Idealism
Castle - Blacklands
Beherit - Celebrate the Dead
Kommandant - The Draconian Archetype

Curses and hate to everyone...

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


The Beast awakens...
Dødsengel - Imperator
Fields of the Nefilim - Ceromonies
This is Past - Μισανθρωπία
Pseudogod - Deathwomb Catechesis
Aldebaran - Embracing The Lightless Depths


Sunday, 15 April 2012


You have been told that black metal is dead with no hope of delivering anything new, exciting and interesting.
You have been brainwashed, mostly by scribes of american origin and european late comers-indy kids, that black metal is nothing more than a music style, just like any other. Anyone can and has the right to mess with it, they said. 
You have witnessed a fair amount of downfalls and possibly uncountable disappointments.
You have been more than tolerant with clueless kinds and fucking imbeciles, from all over the world, that have been desecrating an art form that has been crucial for your sanity, your development and your spiritual advancement. 
You have seen mongoloids like Liturgy in their flowery shirts, taking black metal's name in vain and not being thrown into Kaiadas in order to cleanse one more stain in the filth that is the human kind.
The omens were gathering...Something great was bound to happen.
The skies roared, the earth trembled and the beast with the countless heads, that is Imperator was unleashed upon us.
Yes you fucking morons...Black metal is dead...Black metal is just like any other kind of music...Anyone has the right to create within the borders that define black metal.
Now, you can just die a painful death an vanish from the face of this earth, just to let us become one with Dødsengel 's crowning achievement.
I shall say more, when I am ready to do so.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Imagination and passion versus monomania and stagnation

At the same time that Mgła release one of the most important black metal records of the modern times, Vikernes manages to prove that he can make a record even more boring than the two 'ambient' ones he recorded while he was in jail.
On their second full album Mgła continue refining their craft, offering what is easily the best 'orthodox' black metal record of the last several months. Is With Hearts Toward None the band's magnum opus? Only time will tell but one can shiver at the thought that this is only a sign of what is to come in the future and not their crowning achievement. As always, Mgła number the album's tracks instead of naming them, not allowing the listener to view their creation as a mere collection of songs...and they have every right to do so. Every Mgła record is a holistic experience that cannot be separated in its individual features. One could comment the spiraling guitar riffs, the inhuman shamanic drum performance, the coldhearted, intelligent and almost calculated execution of their material that is at the same time passionate and full of absolute satanic devotion. Yet too much words wont do justice to this record. Mgła rely on the sheer power of their work and belief without need for too much talking, even with no need for any extravagant or fancy artwork.
'Have ye courage, o my brethren?' If yes, then respond to the band's challenge and you will not lose.

On the other hand Burzum's new record is a test for the listener's nerves. After the excellent Fallen, this one is by far the worst record by Vikernes. Too much talking, spoken word and laughable singing, no inspiration, no intelligence whatsoever consist the man's creative nadir. Once more his lyrical concerns are of absolutely no interest and irrelevant but this time his music is surprisingly boring, to the point that it is more effective than any sleeping pill you can find. On top of all these come his hilarious promotional photographs. This whole case doesn't deserve more words. I assume that even the average imbecile would have something more constructive to do than give a second chance to that record.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Reveal - Nocturne of Eyes & Teeth

I avoid making this shithole a place for label press releases. There have been some notable exceptions in the past and this is another one. Reveal's Nocturne of Eyes & Teeth has been a vinyl only release, and a tough one to find, so far. Invictus Productions will be issuing one of the best records of the last couple of years on cd on the 31st of March.
Reveal's cavernous black heavy metal is to my ears europe's answer to Negative Plane.
On March 31 the deaf shall hear and the blind shall see.

Five spears on god's ribs...
Αίμα - Αίμα demo
Chaos Dei - Arising From Chaos
Mgla - With hearts toward none
Morgirion - Infinite Retribution Upon Paradise
Asphyx - Deathhammer


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Paper and tape

The Paper
It seems that Metalion's 'Slayer Mag Diaries' has prompted a lot of people to focus on underground printed publications again. Even if the book itself has nothing to do with certain people's decision to release a fanzine, it surely has to do with the fact that there is now at least a handfull of nostalgic assholes like myself with renewed interest in reading about music on a printed paper than the fucking computer screen.
Two zines were those that attracted me in the past couple of months. One is new, the other is old.
Chips and Beer magazine comes from the Left Hand Path team and is intended to be more of a magazine than a fanzine. In a relatively short period of time it has already its second issue out. So far I have only read the first one and it is hands down the best metal magazine you can find today, focusing on all things metal. From the lengthy Manilla Road extravaganza to the imaginative Eerie Von interview that is presented as a comic, from classic and contemporary great bands like Pentagram, Negative Plane and Vanhelgd to underground metal related artists like Putrid and B.A. Vierling, this extremely well written magazine is essential for everyone that is interested in the heavy metal subculture.
Isten fanzine has been going on and off since 1984. This double edition is the newest work of Miko Mattila and it is two 16 pages pamphlets that are being read in one breath. And the next day they challenge you to read them again. Featuring Superchrist, High Spirits, Dawnbringer, Primordial, Forced Kill, Negative Plane, Spiritus Mortis, Lord Vicar, Züül, and Quicksand Dream,a 'split 7'' interview' of Sólstafir and The Wounded Kings plus a couple of other short and clever features it is obviously a fanzine dedicated to the whole metal spectrum and as always highly recommended. 
Hopefully Chips and Beer and Isten could turn some people on well written printed journalism. It would be a pity if one more generation would musically grow up with the Terrorizers of this world.

The Tape 
There has been a bunch of very interesting death metal bands coming from germany those last couple of years. Deathronation, Obscure Infinity and Venenum has offered proper dark death metal that honours the genre's tradition. There is one specific band though whose aura has challenged me to focus much more and that would be Alchemyst. The average downloader will find absolutely nothing on the net. A couple of tracks on the band's pages but nothing to download. When the beggars are away the ones those who are truly willing to investigate further will be rewarded by Alchemyst's sulfurous occult death metal. I have recently heard their Blood and Ember tape which is basically a compilation of the demo of the same name plus four other tracks. The tape was out last year by Iron Bonehead and it is a fucking cassette that oozes darkness from the first second til the last. Heavy, dark and cavernous, oppressive as fuck this is one of the best death metal bands you will find around. Soon they will have their debut (titled Necromanteion) released and they seem ready to take the world by storm. The ones that will be not ready will be doomed. You have been warned.

Alchemyst - Blood and Ember
Diocletian - Demo  2005
Pilgrim - Misery Wizard
Züül - Out of Time
Shub Niggurath - A Deadly Call from the Stars
Alchemyst - Blood and Ember

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The hammer of the Master to smash your fucking face

Fuck you all
The soundtrack to the ending of your worthless lives...
Aptorian Demon - Libertus
Anguish - Through The Archdemon's Head
Triptykon - Eparistera Daimones
Argus -  Boldly Stride the Doomed 
Bestia Arcana - To Anabainon Ek Tes Abyssu
Possession Ritual - Incense Of Opened Gates 

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Aptorian Demon - Libertus

The general principle is not to write about a record before the dust is settled. There are times though that the first few spins of a record makes you feel sure about its value and the enthusiasm and nostalgic feeling they create makes you feel some kind of an urgent impulse to type some fucking words about it while in the heat of the first 48 hours (and after listening to the record a dozen times in a row).
The norwegian black metal scene has been relegated to the second or even third rate in terms of quality, in the late 90s and especially the previous decade. The 'true norwegian black metal' slogan has ended up as a joke, with all the leading bands of the second wave having abandoned the ship after 1995 or so. The result was that the norwegian bands ended up as mere followers and the poor relatives in a global scene that was slowly standing on its own feet again. A great change for a country that claimed black metal as its own but finally managed to limit it sound wise and sometimes has been a source of frustration for many people that where around from the beginning of this whole thing.
The only signs of life were coming from the local scene of nidaros (trondheim) that from the mid 00s was the obvious hope that all was not lost and there were still bands that were keeping the spirit alive. Bands like Mare, Black Majesty and later  Dødsengel (the only prolific band of the lot) have been sporadically poisoning the air with their own brand of occult black metal. Aptorian Demon had left their mark in the underground having recorded only a 7'' seven years ago. Libertus is the first full length and is the first record after many years that reminded me the days of 1990 or 1991. It is not so much the sound of it, that is rooted in the early days of black metal. They would not be the first to do that. It is mostly that the feeling they create is reminiscent of the sinister feeling of the first days. The sound is coming from the depths of moisty dungeons where the scent of incense is unbearable for the uninitiated. There is nothing new here for those that are obsessed with innovation over quality, talent and soul. There are bells, there are acoustic guitar intros and breaks into the songs (and no, they are no folk bullshit). There is the familiar guitar tone, that at least to these ears is more lava than ice.
Libertus is a ritual constructed around the thirteen minutes of the self titled track. A ritual that still haunts you for hours after being exposed to it. The bells and creeping atmosphere of  Var Aere Er Troskap echoes in your head, the chanting of Ignitus and  the acoustic Amir al-Mu`minin, resonates down to your very guts. All in all a sinister work that is better lived through vinyl and in total darkness. 
I haven't been that exited about a pure, 'traditional' black metal record in ages. 
This is true fucking black metal you bastards.