(Andy Synn has finally reached his limit. And it was The Monolith Deathcult who pushed him to the brink.)
That’s it. I’m done. I’ve had all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more!
As a writer/review/self-important member of the liberal media conspiracy, I’ve come across a lot in my time writing for this site and for the various other publications which I occasionally do some work for.
But never before has a band so blatantly tried to buy my favour. And it’s just unacceptable.
You see, this is about more than just my honour and integrity, more than just my (now suspiciously full) bank balance. It’s about Ethics in Death Metal Journalism, dammit!
“Well, well, well,” I said to myself, “this little release has all the earmarks of a winner”. First, the band is named The Dead Goats. Second, there’s a song on it called “Festering Boils” (which is a cover of a Repulsion song). Third, the font for the band logo on the EP’s cover looks like Entombed’s (plus there’s a big skull on there). And fourth, there’s a dude in the band’s promo pic who’s wearing goggles.
And that was all without even reading about the music, much less listening to it. The only drawback was the name of the EP — Don’t Go In the Tomb — because I want to go in the tomb! Fortunately, The Dead Goats didn’t really mean that. They seem to have first-hand knowledge of the tomb, and they’re very happy to take you on a guided tour.
After many months of listening to the 2013 debut album by Italy’s Progenie Terrestre Pura, I finally attempted (here) to write something that captured the wonders of the album — and failed. I think all I succeeded in doing was to express the profound effect that U.M.A. had on me.
Even after the dramatic impact of U.M.A., I somehow missed the fact that last October, q[T]p (which is how they prefer to abbreviate their name) released a digital EP named Asteroidi. Andy Synn named it to his 2014 year-end list of the “Good” albums and EPs, and I still didn’t dive into it. And then yesterday I received a notification that Avantgarde Music is releasing the EP in physical form. Finally, I listened.
Those with long memories may recall that last October we reviewed two tracks that had surfaced from a forthcoming demo by the Swiss band Antiversum. Since then the Irish label Invictus Productions has arranged for the release of the demo — entitled Total Vacuum — and we now bring you the premiere of all four of its songs, in all their horrifying glory.
The demo is well-named in one sense: Total Vacuum creates an atmosphere of bone-freezing gloom, summoning immense vistas of a heartless, malignant cosmos. The demo begins and ends with eerie ambient sounds that include deep groaning tones and piercing electronic shrieks, effectively summoning sensations of dread and implacable menace. But in between those chilling bookends, Antiversum embark on a void-faring excursion that’s loaded with harrowing encounters. There is life in this vacuum, even if it is utterly alien and frighteningly voracious. And unlike a vacuum, it’s massively heavy and disturbingly oppressive.
Belgium’s Possession are moving from strength to hideous strength. They began precociously with their 2013 demo (His Best Deceit), took forward steps with their 2014 EP (Anneliese — reviewed here), and have made even more progress with their second EP, 1585-1646. Equal parts morbidly atmospheric and rifftastically raging, it’s an unholy union of black, death, and thrash metal that’s well worth adding to your musical arsenal.
The four songs on the EP are conceptually linked. As in the case of Anneliese, the band have taken as their subject matter the true story of a young woman who lost her life at the hands of religious zealots. Here, the misfortune befell a French woman named Adrienne D’Heur; the EP is named for the years of her life.
According to The Font of All Human Knowledge, she was arrested by the French Inquisition, tortured in an effort to compel her into confessing that she had entered into a pact with the Devil (she refused to confess), and was then burned to death. However, Possession have put their own spin on these events, as described in the press release that accompanied our promo of the EP:
(Austin Weber introduces our full streaming premiere of the debut release by Vermörd.)
Recently here at NCS, I wrote about a Maryland-based blackened death metal outfit named Vermörd. I can thank Islander for this since he steered me toward them, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. While my initial assessment of the band was positive, it was based only on a single track “Derodidymus”, which left me wanting more — a wish that was soon fulfilled upon getting to hear all of Dawn Of The Black Harvest recently.
After listening to all of it, my favorable impressions of the band have only grown, and I think that many of our readers will appreciate their multi-faceted and monstrous approach to destruction and mayhem from start to finish.
Yesterday brought a wealth of new music, and I’ve collected a few of the riches in this post. The first three songs are black metal, and the fourth isn’t — but it’s still obsidian and it still rips.
With only an untitled EP in 2011 and a split with Barghest in 2012 — collectively totaling three songs — the Minneapolis black metal band False have established the kind of underground credibility that makes their debut album one of the year’s most highly anticipated releases. For me, “highly anticipated” became an understatement after I saw them perform at last summer’s Gilead Fest in Wisconsin. In a word, the performance was stunning (reviewed here).
Yesterday, Gilead Media announced pre-orders for the album — which is also untitled — and put up the first advance track for streaming on Bandcamp.
Malthusian’s debut demo MMXIII (touched upon here at our site) was an auspicious start to their career, but they have taken significant strides forward on their new EP Below the Hengiform. It would not be hyperbole to say that it now places this Irish band among the elite ranks of blackened death metal practitioners on a global stage.
According to this recent interview of the band’s guitarist/vocalist, the “hengiform” referred to in the EP’s title was an Iron Age enclosure, a “ring fort” in which there is archaeological evidence that ritual sacrifices were performed, “like a gateway between the worlds of the living and the dead”. With that obscure yet evocative reference as the banner above this new recording, Malthusian have created a listening experience that suits the title: The music is obscure, ritualistic, and supernatural in its aura, and it introduces something new to the lexicon of extreme metal.
From the beginning, Malthusian have blended elements of doom into the formulas of chaos that are typically found in the blackened death sub-genre, and they continue to do so here. The music has a massive, distorted low end, filled with dissonant down-tuned riffs, deep grinding/groaning bass lines, and a percussive mix that’s heavy on the toms and the kick drum, and the band have a penchant for dropping into a staggering pace with repeating musical motifs that exude a thick atmosphere of imminent catastrophe.
I first came across the Russian band Serpentrance almost one year ago because a Facebook friend had posted a link to their first single, a killing track named “Obeisance To The Antiquity of Sin”. Details about the band were virtually non-existent, but I wrote about the song and I became their 60th “like” on Facebook. Two months later, a second Serpentrance hymn surfaced, a track named “Aphotic Temples”, and I wrote about that one, too. I still couldn’t find any details about the band, though by then their Facebook presence had risen to 294 likes. The word was spreading by word of mouth.
More months passed, and then in February of this year I saw the announcement that those worshippers of Total Death in Canada’s Vault of Dried Bones had released the first Serpentrance EP, a limited cassette edition named The Besieged Sanctum. It includes both of the songs identified above (though the title of “Obeisance” has been shortened to “Sin”), plus two others — and today we shudder to bring you a premiere of one of those other songs, a monstrous offering of primeval death metal named “The Tongueless Oracle”. But first, a few words about the EP as a whole.
(We welcome back guest contributor Gorger, who reviews a new split release by three Greek bands — Awe, Vacantfield, and End. For those with Scandinavian linguistic skills, check out Gorger’s Metal.
Me writing this post was triggered by the fact that this release was leaked more than a week prior to the release date. What kind of a person with actual love for metal would even consider doing such a thing? I can, to an extent, understand why some people download (that is a different discussion altogether). However, I can not understand those who supply others with pirated metal. Is it the need for admiration? To be respected like some generous Santa? At least bloody wait ’til the album’s released, you fucking retard!
But I’m not going to do a lecture on the subject of pirating. Rather, I’m going to promote this split and give three good bands some well-earned attention. What you see above is a marvelous rendition of the Moerae. Don’t worry, you’ll find out soon enough. It was painted by Vamon VII, who also created the rest of the gatefold paintings.
Three Greek black metal bands with varied years of experience each contribute to present one (approximately) 17-minute-long song. All of them offer rawness, intensity, and suggestion (hypnotic, that is), and the tracks suit each other surprisingly well, despite differences in production, which is something that is also fitting, as they are bonded together by a concept. It feels natural to do this short review, song by song, band by band.