(Norwegian guest contributor Gorger has provided us with Part 3 of a multi-part feature on bands we seem to have overlooked at NCS. Part 1 is here; Part 2 is here. And be sure to check out Gorger’s Metal.)
Whilst Islander is busy polluting Alaska (Yeah, I’ve figured you out. Just wait until I tell Steven Segal), I thought I’d continue polluting No Clean Singing!
DENIAL – 11∞22.4’N 142∞35.5’E
If you recognized the band name Denial, that’s not necessarily surprising. There are at least 12 bands with that name around.
This Mexican band has been active for almost ten years and consists of five experienced men. Their discography already consists of an EP and a full-length album.
Two evenly long songs, totaling just over 11 minutes, make up this EP. The band plays dark, atmospheric death metal with a touch of hateful anger. They’ve got a technical approach, with moderate signs of occult undertones. This is far from typical tech. death, but they do blend in some rhythmic approaches in that direction.
Heavy riffs, and howling guitars set the agenda, while more rapid gunfire breaks up this progress before the band risks repetition, something they don’t seem to risk anyway, as their death metal is in constant motion.
The pure death metal is really solid, but I was in doubt for a moment as to whether the technical aspect contributed to or worked against their barbarous essence. It is definitely spicing things up while also creating character, but I’m still not sure their deadly assault wouldn’t have emerged as even more profane and morally depraved without these more civilized fractions keeping their beastly temper back.
Nitpicks aside. This sound killer. I’m sold. And so are you. (Who says I can’t give orders? Islander’s not here, is he?)
PS: I tried to plot the coordinates 11∞22.4’N 142∞35.5’E on a map to find the position. I ended up in the sea north of Papua New Guinea and east of the Philippines, not far from Guam. Hell knows what I was doing there.
11∞22.4’N 142∞35.5’E was released by Blood Harvest on October 2nd.
PENTAGRAM CHILE & UNAUSSPRECHLICHEN KULTEN (SPLIT)
The full and complete title of this split is Ritual Human Slaughter / La Mujer, El Diablo y El Permiso de Dios. It contains one song from each band, and clocks in at not much more than ten minutes.
I’m no big fan of very short releases, but when the music kicks as much ass as it does here, there is no reason to hold back on the enthusiasm.
Pentagram Chile‘s debut album The Malefice (2013) disappointed me a bit. The music had solid thrust, good sound, and was reasonably headbanger-friendly. All in all, a winning expression. Still, the songs were somewhat monotonous and featureless in a larger context. The song Ritual Human Sacrifice on the other side has one hell of a groove.
The six minutes begins in slow-moving Obituary landscapes, with deliciously creepy moods, before a few minutes later taking a new turn for more aggression. The song frequently switches tempo and offers very good diversity, awesome rhythms, frantic vocals, and a thick layer of malicious atmosphere. The band has shaken off their thrash elements and now stands as pure solid death metal of the old school. What a ripping surprise from this bunch!
Pentagram Chile appear as rather controlled compared to compatriots Unaussprechlichen Kulten. When the song Intro – Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggura burst out, my immediate perception, well after the initial goat bleating and ritual Silvester Anfang drums, is perplexity, due to bewildering brutality and chaotic fury compared to the first song. The unspeakable cult delivers a brutal and grotesque sonic blowout.
Both bands deliver solid vintage death metal with occult undertones that leaves large portions of the South American ’80s-inspired scene completely in the shadow. I guess I can’t claim not having heard it before. The first 25 seconds of Pentagram…‘s contribution in particular sounds very familiar. Yet, there’s no reason to be hung up on such trivial details as long as the quality is as devastating as this.
Also, would you look at that cover art! This striking artwork was conceived by Daniel Corcuera, currently active in the black metal outfit Slaughtbbath.
Unfortunately I can’t seem to find sonic evidence of Unaussprechlichen Kulten, but if the description sounds alluring I doubt that you will be disappointed! I can, however, prove how mighty Pentagram Chile sounds. Click this link, or jump to 55 minutes and 5 seconds in the embedded stream of Radio Fenriz #8 2015.
RHS/LMEDyEPdD, in short, was released by Iron Bonehead on October 2nd.
NEPTRECUS – FR»RES DE SANG
When Mortis Humanae comes knocking on the door, the topic of the day is always underground black metal, usually of French descent. The quality in the depths may vary but Neptrecus are no newcomers. All current members have experience from other constellations, and the band, having existed since 2011, have one earlier album on their black conscience.
The quartet’s black metal goes off with a bang. After a war-related intro they head straight into the battlefield of furious “Panzer Division landscapes”. The sound is cold and mechanical, and the drums are at times so frantic that I for a moment suspected that a drum machine was doing the job. Lagodas has been playing for Moonreich, but has not participated on any releases there. He also plays in The Negation, who released an exciting album this summer which KevinP has already brought to your attention.
It takes some time to penetrate FrËres de Sang‘s harsh and hostile armored exterior, but when my armor-piercing determination finally breaks through, it’s definitely worth the effort.
In close combat, it turns out that the French offer plenty of melody and mood. Melodies that do not compromise on rawness and hateful character, and asocial moods that reinforce the album’s malignant expression.
FrËres de Sang, or blood brothers in English, was released by Mortis Humanae Productions on October 13th, and can be coldly recommended to fans of grim black metal.
THYRGRIM – DEKADEN
As a Norwegian, I should probably be proud that a German black metal band honors our Norwegian scene and heritage by calling a song Dette er tysk svart metal (Norwegian for “This is German black metal”), yet it also feels a bit weird to hear a German sing in a broken Norwegian accent.
Did I say sing? The vocals may vary, but sharp black grating screams is a more appropriate description. Thus it becomes impossible to capture whether the rest of the song has Norwegian or German lyrics.
Zee Germans are releasing their fifth album. In true Nordic black metal spirit it nonetheless sounds slightly dÈbut’ish of Dekaden. Thyrgrim is not the most aggressive band in the genre, but dark riffs and gloomy melodies are still mixed with generous amounts of fierce and rapid crossfire, especially in the first five songs.
After these fairly aggressive songs, clocking in at less than five minutes on average, four longer songs follows, separated by an acoustic interlude. These songs have a bit more focus on dark atmospheres. Not that we’re met by a very marked distinction.
The sound, while far from necro, is quite naked and raw. Compared to parts of the contemporary black metal scene this might be perceived as somewhat primitive, but it fits their music in a highly complimentary fashion.
With Dekaden the band also offers strong song material that should be able to attract both fans of traditional and melodic black metal (which by the way is written with two Ls in Norwegian, dear Germans). I was somewhat skeptical at first listen, but the album has grown considerably. This is a wonderful and (un)comfortable companion in the darkness as autumn fades into winter.
Dekaden was released by Talheim Records on October 9th.