Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Necromantia - IV: Malice

Band: Necromantia
Album: IV: Malice
Genre: Black Metal
Country of Origin: Greece
Year: 2000

Track Listing:
  1. The Blair Witch Cult
  2. Those Who Never Sleep
  3. Disciples Of Sophia (The Templars)
  4. Murder, Magic And Tears
  5. Invictus
  6. Malice
  7. Circle Of Burned Doves
IV: Malice is a unique monster of a Black Metal album. Black Metal through and through but sometimes incredibly Thrashy, with fast, choppy riffs topped off by hateful, raspy vocals. The songs are grandiose and almost Classical in nature and occassional synths and keys add a haunting touch. The most apparent oddity of the album is the incredibly audible bass. The bass moves around in the music with a beautiful timbre and plays not just a bass line, but actual riffs. At times, the bass takes the lead away from the guitar and forms complex and stunning melodies, and on "Murder, Magic and Tears" it plays the melody of Hall of the Mountain King. IV: Malice is a severly underrated and excellent release that any Black Metal fan will enjoy (especially bassists).


Stalaggh - Projekt Misanthropia

Band: Stalaggh
Album: Projekt Misanthropia
Genre: Harsh Noise/Black Metal
Country of Origin: The Netherlands
Year: 2007

Track Listing:
  1. Projekt Misanthropia
Stalag was, in the past, a Nazi concentration camp. The extra 'g' and 'h' in Stlaggh's name represents a world holocaust; a destruction of everything and a world wide descent into hatred and chaos. The music displays this perfectly; Stalaggh takes the most deranged Harsh Noise, mixed it with passages of creepy Black Metal, and adds the shrieking, hateful, pained and deranged vocals of an actual mental patient. All this together creates an almost 35 minute mindfuck of an album that gets inside true horror itself.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Carnival in Coal - Collection Prestige

Band: Carnival in Coal
Album: Collection Prestige
Genre: Avant-Garde Metal
Country of Origin: France
Year: 2005

Track Listing:
  1. Party At Your House
  2. Fuckable
  3. Satanic Disaster
  4. Right Click... Save As...
  5. Cartilage Holocaust
  6. The Lady and the Dormant Sponge
  7. Delivery Day
  8. Ohlala
  9. Living In the Plastic Age (Buggles cover)
  10. D.O.A. (Drunk Once Again)
  11. Promenade
Carnival in Coal's Collection Prestige continues the band's apparent mission to make the whackiest, funniest Metal possible. It's everything from Grind to New Wave to Black Metal to Funk to pretty much everything mixed all together with hilarious lyrics. "Fuckable" is about a guy in a band who is convinced of how hot and famous he is, but can't get laid. "Right Click... Save As..." is a sardonic attack at music downloaders. "Cartilage Holocaust" is about a guy who gets turned on by violent crime scenes. "Ohlala" makes fun of goth girls, etc. Recommended to fans of bands such as UneXpect and Stolen Babies, or anyone interested in something bizarre, hilarious and infectuously catchy.


Darkthrone - NWOBHM (New Wave of Black Heavy Metal)

Band: Darkthrone
Album: NWOBHM (New Wave of Black Heavy Metal)
Genre: Punkish Black Metal
Country of Origin: Norway
Year: 2007

Track Listing:
  1. Wisdom of the Dead
  2. Canadian Metal
  3. Hedninger Fra Helvete
  4. Bad Attitude (Testors Cover)

New EP by the legendary Norweigan Black Metal band Darkthrone. Continuing with the Punkishness of The Cult is Alive, NWOBHM is almost Black 'n' Punkish or even Black/Speed Metal, like Black Metal meets Motorhead. The EP ends with an appropriately placed Testor cover; an excellent cover of a Punk Rock song. A definite step up from The Cult is Alive and makes the wait for their upcoming 2007 album more exciting. Recommended.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Disillusion - Back to Times of Splendor

Band: Disillusion
Album: Back to Times of Splendor
Genre: Progressive/Melodic Death Metal
Country of Origin: Germany
Year: 2004

Track Listing:
  1. ...And the Mirror Cracked
  2. Fall
  3. Alone I Stand in Fires
  4. Back to Times of Splendor
  5. A Day by the Lake
  6. The Sleep of Restless Hours
Back to Times of Splendor is a wonderful melding of Progressive Metal with Melodic Death Metal (real Melodic Death, not Gothenburg). Their riffs are very technical and Vurtox's growls agressive and deep, but the music often changes pace with beautiful synths, clean guitar work, keys, violins, acoustics and incredible clean singing. "Fall" and "A Day by the Lake" are entirely clean sung. All the songs are long, "Fall and A Day by the Lake" being the only ones under 5 minutes and even then by a hairs length, and the masterpieces are the 14 minute long title track and the 17 minute long "The Sleep of Restless Hours." What makes the album even more spectacular, is that each song is it's own concept, telling a different, beautifully penned story. Highly recommended by Prog and Death fans alike or anyone who wants anything brilliant and original.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Melechesh - Emissaries

Band: Melechesh
Album: Emissaries
Genre: Middle Eastern/Sumerian Black Metal
Country of Origin: Israel (early), The Netherlands (now)
Year: 2006

Track Listing:
  1. Rebirth of The Nemesis
  2. Ladders To Sumeria
  3. Deluge of Delusional Dreams
  4. Touching The Spheres of Sephiroth
  5. Gyroscope (The Tea Party Cover)
  6. Double Helixed Sceptre
  7. The Scribes of Kur
  8. Leper Jerusalem
  9. Sand Grain Universe
  10. Emissaries And The Mysterium Magnum
  11. Extemporized Ophtalmic Release (Bonus Track)

Melechesh play Black Metal with a unique twist: their music is, at its very core, full of Middle Eastern melodies and sounds. Not in a gimmicky way like many bands, like Nile, do or in a way similar to Lykathea Aflame where there is very real melodies but it's not totally natural, Melechesh are right from the area and know the melodies by heart; it is in the band's very soul. Not only do they mix Middle Eastern folk melodies into the Black Metal, but they also have pure Middle Eastern Folk parts and songs, like "The Scribes of Kur." They use it to a breath taking and authentic end. Aside from being unique, their music carries great technical talent and can often be very complex. They gain a Sumerian tag too, their lyrics deal mainly with Sumeria and Sumerian mythology, rather than your average Satanic run of the mill content. All over, Emissaries is a taste of Ancient Sumeria and the Middle East in the package of skillfully played Black Metal.


Deathspell Omega - Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum

Band: Deathspell Omega
Album: Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum
Genre: Black Metal
Country of Origin: France
Year: 2007

Track Listing:
  1. Obombration
  2. The Shrine of Mad Laughter
  3. Bread of Bitterness
  4. The Repellent Scars of Abandon and Election
  5. A Chore for the Lost
  6. Obombration
Deathspell Omega's Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum is Hellish chaos in aural form. The music is an ever changing storm, whirling around in a series of ever changing and discordant notes before lapsing into silence or eerie passages of smooth bass and sparse and haunting notes or even occassional beautiful melodies and harmonics that creep in for a few seconds before being carried away in an infernal storm of discord. The music is in-your-face, rife with blast beats, speed, intensity and evil vocals, but does it abstractly. The riffs bend crazily, moving from one to another, while remaining oddly coherent and memorable. They're mind boggling, harsh and utterly evil, though sometimes beautiful, and all around malevolently intelligent. This is especially noticable in the lyrics, which carry the same insane and brilliant genius as in Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice. Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum is Hell incarnate in music.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Merrimack - Of Entropy and Life Denial

Band: Merrimack
Album: Of Entropy and Life Denial
Genre: Black Metal
Country of Origin: France
Year: 2006

Track Listing:
  1. Of Ashes And Purification
  2. Seraphic Conspiracy
  3. Melancholia Balneam Diaboli
  4. Redeem Restless Souls
  5. Insemination
  6. The Birth Of A Life's Sacerdoce
  7. Descension From Life
  8. Subcutaneous Infection
  9. Consecration Of The Temple
  10. Carnaceral
  11. Adiabatic Bonds Of Consanguinity
Merrimack play a grandiose style of Black Metal. Of Entropy and Life Denial displays a great increase in production value over their previous album, Ashes of Purification, but without sacrificing any atmosphere. Rather than using rawness to display atmosphere, they use myriad riff and tempo changes, in true Merrimack style. Each song is chockful of riffs, make each unique and truly alive, with the audible bass pounding below. The second track, "Seraphic Conspiracy," starts off blasting intensly and then slows down ritualistically before traveling through numerous other riffs and speeds. Every song is a pulsing invocation, a powerful praising of Satan. Track 6, "The Birth Of A Life's Sacerdoce," is particularly ritualistic and evocative; the vocals consisting of nothing but disturbing and eerie distorted narration. Spitting out the venomous words of worship is Terrorizt. His voice is raspy and hate filled, and the production and use of echo effects and multiple trackings of his vocals make him sound utterly demonic and take each track from merely being a song to being a powerful, unstoppable Satanic machine. Of Entropy and Life Denial is an infernal beast, sincerely dedicated to the Devil, and a force to be reckoned with.


Aborym - Generator

Band: Aborym
Album: Generator
Genre: Industrial Black Metal
Country of Origin: Italy
Year: 2006

Track Listing:
  1. Armageddon
  2. Disgust And Rage (Sic Transit Gloria Mundi)
  3. A Dog-Eat-Dog World
  4. Ruinrama Kolossal S.P.Q.R.
  5. Generator
  6. Suffer Catalyst
  7. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
  8. Man Bites God
  9. I Reject!
Aborym play a kind of Industrial Black Metal that can be aptly described as apocalyptic. Their music is a gateway to a horrifying brave new world, choked with smog and eaten up by machinery; an industrial anageddon. Generator is filled with ambience, menacing Industrial effects, synths and even Dance and Rave beats, along side some well placed and appropriate sound clips of Charles Manson speaking. Their riffs are razor sharp and intense; driving, energetic and sometimes pounding. They weave together with the electronic and synth effects to create a powerful and dramatic image of a world gone wrong, topped off with Prime Evil's distorted vocals, which carry an otherworldly and robotic tone, like a mechanical incarnation of Satan. Generator is a trip through Hell on earth and back, leaving you choking for air as the last, black nihilistic notes fade off. Oh, and Attila Csihar makes a guest appearence on "Man Bites God."


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Carnival in Coal - French Cancan

Band: Carnival in Coal
Album: French Cancan
Genre: Avant-Garde Metal
Country of Origin: France
Year: 1999

Track Listing:
  1. Bark At the Moon (Ozzy Osbourne cover)
  2. Out of Misery
  3. Maniac (Mickael Sambello cover)
  4. Piranha (Afric Simone cover)
  5. My Favourite Armchair
  6. Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty cover)
  7. Fall From Grace (Morbid Angel cover)
  8. Mama (Genesis cover)
  9. Fucking Hostile (Pantera cover)
The France based Avant-Garde Metal band Carnival in Coal played a bizarre form of music. Much of their guitar work is in the vein of Death Metal and Deathgrind but it's mixed in with moments of everything from Black Metal to Funk to every sorta of weird synths, sound, sample and riff. Their music, above all, has an excellent sense of humor and French Cancan displays that wonderfully. French Cancan consists of two original tracks, including the eerie and hilarious "My Favorite Armchair," and 7 covers. They aren't just covers though, they tear the songs apart and put them together in a unique, Avant-Garde fashion. The add jack in the box clicks, carnival music and horns, symphonics and all sorts of goofiness to Morbid Angel's "False From Grace." Their interpretation of Afric Simone's "Piranha" includes catchy guitar riffs and power chords, death growls and calypso. They take the famous Dance song "Maniac" from the movie Flashdance and add chugging and Thrashy riffs, a jazzy keyboard break, and Death growls. And finally, in my favorite song on the whole album, they cover Pantera's "Fucking Hostile" from their album Vulgar Display of Power. They take this tough guy Redneck Half-Thrash song and tune it down a notch into classy Lounge/Calypso with clean, sometimes goofy vocals. They replace the word "fucking" in the chorus, in all but the last repetition with "definately," they change "joint" to "martini," and "fucking" in the line "Because of heaven/hell A fucking wives' tale" with "bloody." The album is a cooky interpretation of some classic and/or well-known songs and makes for an enjoyable, wild listen.


Blood Red Fog - Blood Red Fog

Band: Blood Red Fog
Album: Blood Red Fog
Genre: Depressive Black Metal
Country of Origin: Finland
Year: 2006

Track Listing:
  1. Bloodthirsty Soil
  2. Ruins
  3. Follower
  4. Morbid Sleep
  5. Visions of Destruction
  6. Kingdom of Death
  7. Frozen
Blood Red Fog is a one man Depressive Black Metal band from Finland, masterminded by B.R.F. Blood Red Fog contains seven epic tracksl; the shortest, "Ruins," clocks in at 6:34, and the longest, "Frozen," is 14:55. Each song is full of memorable riffs, sometimes beautiful, like the waves of riffs in "Bloodthirsty Soil," and sometimes utterly bleak and depressing, like the painful and cold descending chords of "Visions of Destruction." The drums are simple but affective, making good use of the cymbals to bring a beat to the music, and topping off the music are the vocals. B.R.F. delivers his vocals uniquely. Rather than being up front, they echo in the back. No words are comprehensible at all, it's just the echoing and tortured wails of a ghost trapped in a cold Hell for all eternity. The album itself is a like a descent into Niflheim, the each song getting colder and more depressing than the last, finally finishing the the epic "Frozen." This album will crush your soul.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Vlad Tepes/Belketre - March to the Black Holocaust

Bands: Vlad Tepes, Belketre
Album: March to the Black Holocaust
Genre: Black Metal
Country of Origin: France
Year: 1995

Track Listing:
  1. Wladimir's March (Vlad Tepes)
  2. Massacre Song from the Devastated Lands (Vlad Tepes)
  3. In Holocaust to the Natural Darkness (Vlad Tepes)
  4. Drink the Poetry of the Celtic Disciple (Vlad Tepes)
  5. Dans Notre Chute (Vlad Tepes)
  6. Misery Fear & Storm Hunger (Vlad Tepes)
  7. Diabolical Reaps (Vlad Tepes)
  8. Under the Carpathian Yoke (Vlad Tepes)
  9. Guilty (Belketre)
  10. A Day Will Dawn (Belketre)
  11. Hate (Belketre)
  12. Last Sigh of God (Belketre)
  13. Night of Sadness (Belketre)
  14. Despair (Belketre)
  15. Those of Our Blood (Belketre)
  16. If We Had... (Belketre)
In the early 1990s, the underground French Black Metal scene gave birth to Les Légions Noires, aka LLN. The LLN gave birth to numerous super raw underground, but, in expected kvlt fashion, the only band ever allowed to release full lengths was Mütiilation. The LLN made up for the lack of FLs with some excellent demos and, of course, some splits. One of the best known splits, March to the Black Holocaust, was a collaboration between the legendary bands Vlad Tepes and Belketre. March to the Black Holocaust is a raw Black Metal masterpiece. Both halves of the split exude an insidious, hateful and misanthropic atmosphere but Vlad Tepes and Belketre each go about their buisness differently. Vlad Tepes opens with the marching "Wladimir's March" and goes on to blast 7 tracks of sinister and hypnotic and at times catchy Black Metal with a thick guitar tone and sick vocals. Belketre's guitars are a thin harsh fuzz in the background, backing maddeningly hateful, distorted vocals. Despite the fuzz of the guitars, each song is distinguishable from every other and the riff changes are audible, atmospheric and cold. At times they become experimental and unique, with the eerie "Hate," the instrumental "Despair," and the outro "If We Had...," one minute of disturbing, overlapping vocals.

March to the Black Holocaust is is a necessity for any Black Metal fan, it is truly a piece of cold, hateful art.