Jun 172012

Something about the isolated dual guitar harmony at the beginning of Livarkahil’s new Wrath of God EP sounds a warning, despite the fact that the tone is relatively clean and the melody mournful and memorable. Eventually, the dam bursts and the flood comes, the warning fulfilled. “The Eternal Sun” may start harmoniously, but it soon wrenches necks, and the vocals scald, sear, and melt flesh right down to the bone.

Falling somewhere in the No Man’s Land between Immortal and Behemoth, Livarkahil’s brand of blackened death metal strives for a feeling of martial might, with the sound of massive armies of the night surging across blasted landscapes, implacable and unstoppable. The songs are harsh, stern, infernally imperial, with a titanic low end and a distorted bass and guitar tone that crackles with indigo energy.

That militaristic quality is enhanced by martial drum patterns that emerge here and there in between bouts of blast-beats and thundering double-bass. The riffs hammer like industrial-strength nail-drivers, with the bleak melodies carried by chords that moan and groan and by skittering tremolo-inflicted leads that rise above the crushing barrage that thunders below. The bass delivery is also absolutely pulverizing, like the hammering of giant chains into place, from which there is no escape. Continue reading »

May 162012

Over the last 24 hours I saw different kinds of web teasers about new music from four bands whose past material I’ve really liked, and by coincidence I found out about all of them through Facebook posts by the French label, Listenable Records (even though Listenable is not currently the label for all the bands).  So it made sense to collect all those teasers in one post, right?


Last September I featured (here) the new official video from this French band for a song called “Above All Hatred”, which was then due to appear on their second album, Signs of Decay. The music reminded me of Behemoth-style blackened death metal with some DevilDriver groove in the mix, and man, did it have one motherfuckin’ head-smasher of an opening riff. Actually, the whole song was a sweet head-smasher. Signs of Decay was a wonderful album, too — one of many I just never got around to reviewing last year.

Livarkahil are following up Signs of Decay with a free digital EP named Wrath of God, which will be released later this month. I like that strategy of following a full-album release with a free EP.  Today, Listenable and the band started streaming a track from the EP called “Through Hatred and Devotion” — and yes, hatred is a consistent theme for Liverkahil. The song proves once again that Livarkahil know how to start a song strong — and how to follow the intro with pummeling rhythms, blistering vocals, and catchy melodies. Have a listen to this brutal beast right after the jump. Continue reading »

Dec 072011

When I had my head in the clouds on vacation last month, the French label Listenable Records compiled a sampler of music for free download that I completely missed. Fortunately, it’s still available, and it’s quite a collection of music. There are some bands on the list whose names I don’t recognize and a few whose music doesn’t do anything for me, but on the other hand, it includes songs from some bands that are as strong as horseradish. Just to name a few:









There are 22 tracks in all. After the jump, you can check out the full track list and get the download link. Continue reading »

Sep 142011

I mean other than an orgasm and a juicy rib eye steak cooked to perfection? And hatred? The answer is no. There is not. Unless, if you’re a vegetarian, it would be something like, uh, I dunno . . . squash?

I’m actually not urging the point that hatred is better than a big motherfucking riff, but that seems to be the assertion of a French death metal band called Livarkahil, because they have a song called “Above All Hatred”. I think they undermine their own contention, though, because the song includes a couple of monster headbang-worthy riffs that I think are better than hatred. You’ll see, and you will see (as well as hear) because they’ve recently released an official video for the song.

“Above All Hatred” is from the band’s second album, Signs of Decay, which will be released on September 26 through Listenable Records. It’s a concept album that appears to be an indictment and dissection of religious autocracy, which explains the not-very-subtle imagery in the video.

The song isn’t subtle either, which is just fucking A-OK with me. It’s like Behemoth meets DevilDriver with some gang shouts thrown in for the hell of it. Not breaking any new ground, not pushing the death-metal envelope, but plenty of big grooves, big riffs, and big fun. Check it after the jump, y’know, unless you’d rather be having an orgasm or your steak is about to burn. Or something about squash. Continue reading »