(We welcome the return of our Norwegian friend Gorger with the first 2017 installment of his ongoing series embarrassing us about releases we’ve overlooked. To find more of his discoveries, type “Gorger” in our search bar or visit Gorger’s Metal.)
Ah, finally back in the NCS saddle. This is my first post on this putrid site in 2017. About fucking time.
I decided to get off to a soft start; EPs. I wrote down a dozen candidates, but when finished removing those that had been covered here, I was left with only three. Although a small number of items suits me just fine, I’ve added a short review of an album to make the equation true. I’ve sorted them by release date, not that it matters.
IN AETERNUM – THE BLASPHEMY RETURNS
In Aeternum is a Swedish band with more than 20 years of experience, or 25 years if counting the years under the moniker Behemoth. This EP contains four songs and clocks in at barely 18 minutes.
Wolfpack and Stench Of Victory are new songs, while Majesty Of Fire, derived from their debut album, is re-recorded for the occasion. The band’s only original member, guitarist and vocalist David “Impious” Larsson was a part of War for a while, and I Am Elite is a cover of a War song. By today, the band also consists of bassist Claes “Clabbe” Ramberg (ex-Godhate), lead guitarist Joel Lindholm (ex-Degial, ex-Shining), and drummer Perra Karlsson, who plays live for Benediction and hammered on Wildfire, the latest Deströyer 666 album.
In Aeternum mixes death and jet black satanic darkness with an ethos of hell’s flames. The riffs are unholy, in a good old Morbid Angel spirit, and the obnoxious stench of fuming sulfur pricks in the nose. The guys have namely also heard their share of Scandinavian black metal. The mixture is superb, and the guys make it swing like the devil on the dance floor.
The Blasphemy Returns was originally released in July, but a CD plus a 10″ limited to 300 copies was released by Pulverised Records on October 21st.
ACOD – INNER LIGHT
The French extreme-metal mongers of AcoD released this three-track EP at the end of their ten-year anniversary last year. The quintet has three albums and another EP behind them, without my radar picking up the band. During eleven minutes, they find an outlet for their aggression by burning three evenly long songs characterized by fiery indignation. The music contains a bit of all three major extreme metal genres, but the thrash segments are the most dominant.
Inner Light goes straight for the throat with fairly hasty aggression and tough riffing, before an evocative and quite mighty middle section gives a break. And Darkness Around continues with fierce rhythms and rasping irritable vocals. The middle of the song becomes rather melodic before a new atmospheric sequence containing a symphonic sensation comes along. Black Creed offers dark mood initially, before the stallions trot off toward more industrial interludes with cautious and careful undertones of techno. The EP ends melodic and modestly symphonic.
The compositions are not exceptionally exciting, but the way different ingredients are incorporated and the songs are structured still makes Inner Light an interesting treat from a band I’ll make sure to jot down. As with the album II The Maelstrom, released scarcely one and a half years ago, this EP was recorded with Shawter from Dagoba as sound engineer. Both bands dwell in Marseilles, on the southern side of the country, with coastline to the Mediterranean. I suddenly feel like going on vacation.
Inner Light was released independently by AcoD on December 10th.
FIDES INVERSA – RITE OF INVERSE INCARNATION
The Italian duo Fides Inversa released their sophomore album Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinans in 2014. I awarded it with an approval, but not without a desire for even stronger material the next time. Islander and a good handful of readers gave their ovation when NCS premiered the song VI.
The band plays black metal of a fairly intense and chaotic form. The gentlemen Omega A.D. (Blut aus Nord, Frostmoon Eclipse, ex-Acherontas and more) and Void A.D. are the generals who pull the strings and give orders of ongoing acts of war and hindering of any attempt at ceasefire or peace agreement. Humanity’s loss, their gain. Especially when they get commissions on arms sales.
The warlords have on this occasion expanded their staff with World Terror Committee proprietor Unhold (Absurd) on bass, and Wraath, aka Luctus from Behexen, One Tail, One Head et al., on vocals. This frees up time and energy for Omega A.D. and Void A.D. to concentrate on drums and guitar respectively.
The black metal is pummeling, with a balanced ratio between variety and monotony when malicious moods seep out and embrace the listener. I still don’t find the music to be very eventful, albeit not directly uneventful either. The band’s ominous stream of destructive lava is perhaps not particularly original these days, but the two tracks of almost ten minutes each are still hard not to enjoy.
Particularly in the sequences where the pace is most mid-tempo and the drums resort to a more dynamic approach, Rite of Inverse Incarnation becomes both eerily evocative and hypnotic. This, of course, doesn’t make the more furious sections superfluous. The music is a touch more frenetic, with a sharper sting to the sound than last time. A wee bit of improvement, in my ears. This may not be a super-strong recommendation, after all, it’s only a matter of 20 minutes of music, but it’s an approval nonetheless, and without any real doubt as such.
Rite Of Inverse Incarnation was released by World Terror Committee on January 13th.
NASTY SURGEONS – EXHUMATION REQUIEM
The quartet from Spain release their first-born a year after coming together. In other words, it didn’t take long to become pregnant with this debut. The band swear to a relatively brutal offspring of gore-based death metal. And as if a bloody dripping expression wasn’t enough, they pick up the scissors to maim the corpse a little extra. For that purpose, grindcore is used as a remedy. The result is frantic, unusual, and quite cool.
The sound is crisp as crackers. The basis of the music, delightful death metal, is somehow laying a bit in the background, while abstract intense whispering vocals occasionally sticks its head all the way out of the speakers. The main vocals are coarse but not excessively gurgling. Equally whimsical echoing sound effects also come into view, so to speak. Resounding solo guitar leads to increased spiritual activity in a diabolical landscape of angels gone morbid. The obligatory samples are in place to lead the thoughts to unspeakable barbaric activities in dilapidated shacks in rural regions, far off the beaten track.
Time isn’t coming, it’s going, and it’s going fast. Rather than boring you with a more elaborate and time consuming description, you may digest these 40 minutes on your own. Notice the raw version of Chopin‘s Marche FunËbre (or Funeral March) in concluding Exhumation Requiem.
Exhumation Requiem was released by Xtreem Music on January 15th.