Jun 252018
 

 

(In this post Andy Synn discusses the phenomenon of metal bands releasing remastered or re-recorded versions of older albums, and recommends two recent examples of the practice, by Vader and Hetroertzen.)

For all that we’re supposedly in another “Golden Age” of television, I know there are quite a few people out there (thousands upon thousands of them) who are becoming a little tired of the seemingly constant stream of reboots and remakes of supposedly “classic” (and some not-so-classic) shows from previous eras, under the assumption that some sort of ingrained sense of nostalgia will help sell them more than something like, say, quality writing or a new, interesting premise, would.

Don’t get me wrong. Some of these new versions of older shows are absolutely fantastic, and benefit greatly not only from the new and improved technology of today, but also a greater freedom to reimagine things which comes from a more modern idea of what television can be, when given the chance to do more than simply entertain. It’s just that, as you might expect, the number of lazy remakes vastly outweighs the more creative ones.

The same sort of thing goes on in the music world too, particularly in the Rock/Metal world, where artists with long-running, wide-ranging careers often feel the need to at least remaster, if not entirely re-record, material from their early days, if only because they feel that the technology or budget available to them at the time simply wasn’t sufficient to allow them to properly capture what they were really trying to convey.

And, let me tell you… I’m not entirely against this process. Continue reading »

May 232017
 


Acherontas V. Priest

 

(In this post Andy Synn combines reviews of three superb 2017 albums by Acherontas (Greece), Dødsengel (Norway), and Hetroertzen (Chile/Sweden), and provides full streams of the music from all three as well.)

When people talk about the background and historical impact of Black Metal, the majority of the praise and prestige is given to the genre’s Norwegian progenitors… and rightly so, as this is, ultimately, where the first seeds were sown.

But focussing entirely on Norway doesn’t tell the whole story. After all, not only is Black Metal these days a worldwide phenomenon, it’s also one with global roots, and, as its influence has spread, different countries and different localities have all given birth to their own particular variants on the style.

The three bands featured here – one from Greece, one from Norway, and one from Chile/Sweden – all epitomise, in their own particular way, the eclectic, exotic, face of Black Metal today, so it only seemed fitting to me to group them all together under one black banner. Continue reading »

Feb 122017
 

 

I tend to go overboard with the volume of music in these Shades of Black posts, but this one includes even more minutes of listening than usual. In this one you’ll find streams of two full albums, three full EPs, one single, and advance tracks from two forthcoming releases. And lots of my words, of course. In the middle, I’ve also spliced one very exciting piece of news.

Due to the size of this post, I’ve divided it into two parts. Part 2 is almost finished, but because of the volume of music here in Part 1 and in yesterday’s post, I think I’ll wait until first thing tomorrow to unveil it.

HETROERTZEN

Hetroertzen is a Chilean band now based in Sweden. I first discovered them through the music on their last album, 2014’s Ain Soph Aur (which I reviewed at length here). Their new album, Uprising of the Fallen, is now set for release by their new label Listenable Records on February 24. Continue reading »

Dec 142014
 

 

Here and there, Ain Soph Sur is adorned with the trappings of ecclesiastical music — angelic choirs and near-operatic male vocals, monastic chants and Latin verses, an overarching aura of mysticism and stately grandeur. In these moments, you can almost smell the aroma of incense wafting from a swinging thurible, and I half-expected to hear the chords of a cathedral organ (actually, I think I do hear them on one song).

But if the album sometimes brings to mind the musical accompaniment to a mass, it is a Luciferian hymnal, a celebration of the coming of the light-bringer. In Qabbalistic philosophy, “Ain Soph Aur” is an aspect of the Absolute —  the limitless or eternal light; in this album, it burns like a conquering fire. Continue reading »

Aug 142014
 

I intended to finish this collection and post it yesterday, making it Part 3 of a big Wednesday round-up of news and new music, but the old fucking day job interfered, and so I’m beginning our Thursday with it. This collection is a bit different from the usual “Seen and Heard” because it includes a couple of items at the end that aren’t new — I’ve just been really drag-ass in bringing them to your attention.

HETROERTZEN

I first came across Hetroertzen last May when I impulsively decided to explore (and write about) some of the releases by an underground Swedish label named Lamech Records. The band are originally from Puerto Varas, Chile, but are now located in Sweden. They have completed recording a fifth full-length album, entitled Ain Soph Aur. It’s currently projected for release on December 6, 2014, in a variety of formats by Lamech Records, Terratur Possessions, and Amor Fati Productions.

In recent days, two songs from the album have been made available for streaming — “Blood Royale” and “The Rose and the Cross”. Both are long pieces, in the seven-and-a-half minute range, and both are very good. Continue reading »

May 182014
 

As explained yesterday, I impulsively decided to write a weekend series on labels whose releases I have rarely (if ever) written about. As in the case of Ektro Records (featured yesterday), I happened upon the songs in this collection at Soundcloud. All of them are by bands whose music has been released by an underground Swedish label named Lamech Records, whose web site is here. I was unfamiliar with all four bands featured here before checking out these songs, but I really like what I’ve heard.

LVXCAELIS

LvxCaelis are from Santiago, Chile. It appears they have released a 2010 demo named Nigredo – The Dead Head and an album in 2012 entitled Mysteria Mystica Maxima XXIII. The song I stumbled across on Soundcloud is “Darkening Sun. Evolving Chaos”, which will apparently be included on a forthcoming four-song Lamech release called Slaughtering of the Lamb.

The song is aptly titled. It is the sound of the sun being eclipsed, and chaos does indeed ensue as murky, eviscerating riffs vibrate ominously and the drums blast and rumble. As grim and frostbitten as the melody is, the music nevertheless has the power to set a hook in your head, even though the vocalist is trying to tear it off at the same time. A really good fusing of black and death metal. Continue reading »