30 Sep 2016

Aurora Purpurea: "I"

Musical poem, the brilliance of which lies in contrasts
Introducing a band about which there exists little to no information is a hard thing to do, at least from a factual stand point. Aurora Purpurea hail from Italy, and in 2008 they released their sole album, titled simply I. That is all. So let us instead let the music of Aurora Purpurea speak for itself.

28 Sep 2016

Distress of Ruin: "Predators Among Us"

Variation be damned, a monolith of groove in itself
Distress of Ruin is a Finnish bastard child of melodic death metal origin, fused together in a grotesque form with copious amounts of metalcore tendencies. Five man strong, the band from Joensuu presents itself with a classic lineup of two guitars, lead vocals, backing vocals, and a strong rhythm section courtesy of drummer and bassist Sami and Riku.

26 Sep 2016

Forestfather: "Hereafter"

Boundless admiration that would have been an immense recording if released at the right time
Forestfather, a band of Chilean descent, has its origins in the 1998 band Eternal Winter. Since its creation at the hands of Kveldulf Bjalfason, the debut - Hereafter - has been underway, awaiting the completion of the lineup in 2012 with the addition of drummer Jared Moran and vocalist Michael Rumple (of Desiderium).

The band "met" through the Metal Archives forum, and as such the band's reach stretches from Chile in South America to both Mississippi and North Carolina in the US. Many may already be acquainted with Moran's drumming, as he has performed in somewhere around 40 bands.

23 Sep 2016

Void Meditation Cult: "Utter the Tongue of the Dead"

Musical necromancy at its finest
Let the dead be ressurrected and once again walk the Earth so that they may behold the rotten fruit of a 5 year long wait. Half a decade would pass before we would finally hear another release from Ohio's Void Meditation Cult. And the wait has been worth it.

The previous 8 tracks - 4 from Sperm of Antichrist, the band's previous incarnation, and 4 from Void Meditation Cult proper - have barely been enough to keep the black metal withdrawal symptoms at bay. With Utter the Tongue of the Dead, the time has finally come to once again hear their noxious sermons.

21 Sep 2016

Amnion & Balmog: "Grim Repulse of the Southern Lodge"

Spanish duo in collaboratory split release
In 2013, two Spanish black metal bands - Both with a history exceeding a decade of active music making - got together to create the split Grim Repulse of the Southern Lodge. The bands Amnion from Zaragoza and Balmog from Galicia aren't exactly polar opposites of each other, but at the same time they are quite different. 

19 Sep 2016

Ragehammer: "War Hawks"

Unrepentant songs of war from Poland's finest
Poland's Ragehammer don't waste any time, having existed only for a short period before unleashing their beastly debut demo War Hawks in 2014. If any band has the right to call themselves blackened thrash metal it's Ragehammer. That being said, they aren't your garden variety D666/Desaster clone. Among the clusters of their fast-paced riffs and blasting drums there is left just a little room for something different - Something that definitely underscores and defines the entire sound of Ragehammer.

16 Sep 2016

Metal Gallows Triple Attack: Abominant, Morrow & Death by Fungi

Abominant (USA) – Napalm Reign (2016, Deathgasm Records)
To call Abominant yet another death metal band would not be doing them justice. This is a band that has been consistently been putting out solid material for the past 13 years. They have a total of 11 full lengths under their belt and while I can’t speak for the quality of all their releases, the work ethic of this band is very commendable indeed. Their 11th full length, titled Napalm Reign, was released earlier this year through Deathgasm Records, and here the band serves the audience a reminder as to why they are a band to pay attention to.
The album kicks off with sounds of an air raid and right out of the gate the band unleashes raw, old school death metal featuring buzzsaw guitars and typical death metal riffs. No Peace transitions into a groove oriented riff fest somewhere along the middle, treating the listeners to some pummeling downtuned savagery. Reborn Through Bloodshed follows a similar path to the opener and it is not until the third track Iron Clad that the true USP of Abominant shines through.

14 Sep 2016

Tod Huetet Uebel: "Morte e Caos"

Delightfully messy and death-defiant
Created in 2012, Tod Huetet Uebel is the musical outlet of Portuguese musician Daniel C. The unusual name harbours music equally uncommon, but not unconventional. Morte e Caos, the entity's debut EP from 2013, is above all sinister and oddly ancient in sound, exuding an atmosphere of substantial know-how in the dark arts of black metal. As such Tod Huetet Uebel's three offerings adhere to certain classic dogmas, but not without also taking cues from more up-to-date specimens where the good ol' fast-picking tremolo riff coupled with foggy, raw vocals are just mere byproducts of an experimental blackened death metal recipe.

12 Sep 2016

Nonsun: "Sun Blind Me"

Ukrainian duo delve into the darkest depths
Slowly, the ponderous, stoned out riff of Rain Have Mercy tunes in, accompanied by the soft yet intense sound of an organ. As the guitar gains momentum, the drums find their way inside, until finally the droning composition reaches some sort of culmination in a full-fledged clamour of heavy, sludgy, droning doom metal at the 4 minute mark. Goatooth's moribund vocals emerge from the shadows like a funeral dirge, and soon after the track slows down to a slower, improvisational tempo until once more it lurches into motion, exposing the consortium of trippy organ pieces and psychedelic guitars that were hitherto halfway hidden in the deeper layers of Nonsun's music. Alpha's drumming betrays a fascination for post rock atmospheres that Goatooth's ethereal strumming over the original riff only enhances.

9 Sep 2016

"Logos from Hell" by Mark Riddick

A high quality celebration of the rich history of metal logos
When you're met with the morbidly beautiful black and white drawings of various assortments of devils, demons, snakes and goats by Daniel Corcuera on the cover and a dripping, gothic logotype spelling out "Logos from Hell" you should know what to expect. But as they say, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

7 Sep 2016

Ranger: "Knights of Darkness"

Bust open your trashiest beer and put on this thrashing masterpiece
The artwork says it all: Black background, painted chrome-style logo, four black figures in front of a night time cityscape, and a small sticker with the words "skull splitting metal" around a fanged skull. Knights of Darkness is one of those records you love to bust out and show your friends for a night of binge drinking, air guitaring and shouting to the sound of shredding riffs and high-pitched screams, straight from Finland in a classic 80s speed metal style with no shenanigans.

5 Sep 2016

Vesterian: "Anthems for the Coming War Age"

In league with the gods of war
US black metal band Vesterian has existed in some form since 1994 where they started out as Centurion. Once they changed their name to Vesterian in 1997, several demos ensued before the release of their first actual album came out in 2013 through Glorious North Productions. Anthems for the Coming War Age is as tumultuous as the fractured past of the band, mirroring the revolving door lineup through the years in cacophonous black metal eruptions.

2 Sep 2016

Flower Travellin Band: "Satori"

Cult heavy-psych from Japan
The mighty Saxon once asked "where were you in '79 when the dam began to burst", but let us turn back time a little further and leave self-referential question for some other time. Let us tune in to early 1971. In England, heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath had already released their second album, and Led Zeppelin was still gaining momentum through their first three albums. In the US, The 13th Floor Elevators and the first incarnation of Iron Butterfly had already come and gone, and so had the guitar legend Jimi Hendrix.