Friday, 18 May 2018

Thanatomania - Resignation

THANATOMANIA - Resignation (SCHATTENKULT Produktionen CD 2018)
A mysterious project from Germania called Thanatomania comes with their debut full length "Resignation", released on Schattenkult Produktionen. Previously they unleashed an EP titled "Drangsal", and I definitely want to add it to my collection, because "Resignation" is a good piece of black metal, which I enjoyed a lot. For me it's one of these releases, which don't stand out with anything exceptional. It doesn't have anything what would put the album amongst the most memorable releases of the year. Yet, it's very solid and worthy music, which personally gave me a pleasure to listen to. OK, maybe words "pleasure" and "black metal" don't fit, but who cares. I did enjoy this album. 
Thanatomania plays a good mixture of slow / mid paced, kind of melancholic and sorrowful black metal with faster, more aggressive and harsh style. They do not avoid bringing melodic parts, but also feel quite comfortable when creating dark, cold aura. There's almost that DSBM feel to some of these tunes, which I'm usually not big fan of, but in this case it doesn't bother me. That slow, slightly minimalistic, yet not primitive, playing dominates on "Resignation"so Thanatomania really works on creating the specific mood in their music. But when it's necessary, a fast, more up-tempo fragments come in, bringing more energy and viciousness to the music. It also saves the album from being too one-dimensional. Definitely such "Resignation III" or "Resignation IV" are fine examples. 
Generally I think that Thanatomania offers enough good ideas to catch my attention. The whole album is a good variety of well written atmospheric black metal with whole spectrum of catchy riffs. Their arrangements and ideas may not be something unusual and unheard before, but rather standard for this sort of melancholic black metal, but the band did very well and quality is here. Every song is a potential standout for "Resignation"the music is quite memorable, what is surely a surprise. But this is what you get, when the music is mostly mid or slow paced, melodic and the production is so clean. For me personally the best songs are "Resignation II" and maybe "Resignation V"but with such a short album every song actually is a highlight. 
Standout tracks: "Resignation II", "Resignation V" 
Verdict: 75/100 

Nekron - Psychosis

NEKRON - Psychosis (PUTRID CULT - CD 2017)
"Psychosis" is third album from Nekron, which is a Polish one-man black metal project. But I don't think this name ever popped into my head before I got this CD. Maybe I missed something interesting, maybe I didn't... who cares. With "Psychosis" the band signed a pact of blood with Putrid Cult and only now their name is a bit more recognized. And I could give it a listen also. 
I have to say that the layout for "Psychosis" fits the music perfectly. It's all very minimalistic, very dark and simple. So is the music. All five songs from "Psychosis" are similarly built upon the doomy, slow and simple guitar riff, which is effectively accompanied by great sound of keyboard. It all has an utterly harsh and almost primitive feeling, but I have to say that the atmosphere, which Nekron builds is the strongest aspect of "Psychosis". Because it really reminds me some early Burzum records, with that necro sound and cold, truly malicious, obscure atmosphere that were characteristic not just for Burzum, but for many other old Norwegian black metal releases as well. Nekron brings that feeling back and I have to say that it sounds interesting. Maybe it could ask for a bit more diversity, because to be honest I feel like I was listening to one song over and over again - the tempo never changes, riffs and keyboards sound pretty much the same also. But it actually helps to achieve that hypnotic feel in the music. Nekron arranged his black metal in as simple way as possible, but this album is only 30 minutes long, which is just enough before it can get boring. And as I mentioned, maybe this music isn't innovatory or exceptional at all, but "Psychosis" won me with the atmosphere it evokes. This is why I truly enjoyed listening to this CD and have been positively surprised. I definitely will come back to Nekron more than once and if there's ever going to be another album coming, I'm sure that I will want to check it out. 
Standout tracks: neither of them, they all sound the same 
Verdict: 69/100 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Incinerator - Rotten Flesh Macabre

INCINERATOR - Rotten Flesh Macabre (PUTRID CULT - CD 2017)
Oh look at thatwhat a cool sounding piece of rotten death metal! Incinerator sounds like some of these old US brutal death metal bands, such as classic Cannibal Corpse on their Barnes - era albums, Baphomet on their cult "Dead Shall Inherit" LP, like Suffocation on "Effigy of the Forgotten", Monstrosity on "Imperial Doom" and so on and forthThe resemblance to these old records is so strong that if someone played me "Rotten Flesh Macabre", without saying what band it is and when this CD was recorded, my guess would be that it's something from the early 90's! This is how perfectly this brutal death metal, the production on "Rotten Flesh Macabre" especially, has been re-created.  
And who knows, maybe they did take "Eaten Back to Life" to the studio and asked the producer "we want to sound like Cannibal Corpse!" Haha! And cool, because the effect is really good! Sure, there's nothing revolutionary, nothing what you would call "exceptional" about these songs… but it's a solid piece of brutal death metal filth, which is always nice to listen to. It sounds slightly archaic, maybe also a little bit too infantile and sloppy sometimes, when speaking of the arrangements and all these "cannibal corpse'ishideas that Incinerator has used here (even the growls are so much like Chris Barnes haha). It's also slightly too one dimensional, but that's not a major problem, because "Rotten Flesh Macabre" contains only five songs. So, it's a good listen and I'm sure I will be coming back to this CD once in a while. I also have their previous demo "Death Descends" in my collection and I'm sure I will want to have their upcoming split with Profanity Angel as well. 
Standout track: "Devastated Graves" 
Verdict: 70/100 

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Hell's Coronation - Unholy Blades of the Devil

HELL'S CORONATION - Unholy Blades of the Devil (UNDER THE SIGN OF GARAZEL - CD 2018)
I liked Hell's Coronation debut EP "Antichristian Devotion" a lot. And I like their second EP "Unholy Blades of the Devil" also. This project perfectly recreates that very traditional black metal feel, which takes me back to the early 90's and bands such as Samael, VarathronMortuary Drape... But the old Polish black metal scene must have also influenced Hell's Coronation strongly (Christ Agony, Graveland, Taranis, and so on)! And it's great! Of corpse "Unholy Blades of the Devil" has much better, much cleaner production when compared to many classic black metal demos from early 90's (from Poland especially). It's still quite harsh, but not so primitive, noisy and chaotic! So, "Unholy Blades of the Devil" sounds like an oldie, but very refreshed and with better quality of everything. 
If you strip down these songs then you could notice that the music is rather simplistic and you cannot even compare it to the current trends of black metal scene. Hell's Coronation goes much, much further in the past than majority of current black metal bands. Even the visual side of "Unholy Blades of the Devil" with band's image are as simple as they have to be. But it works perfectly. I love that obscure, malicious aura of the music, I like how it slowly builds the atmosphere. Doomy riffs, eerie sound of keyboards, which help to achieve the atmosphere, harsh shrieking vocals... And five really great songs. I don't need anything more, only the proper conditions to listen to such music. Maybe it's trivial, but such black metal sounds the best when played at night, never in the summer daylight haha! 
Standout track: "Temple of Wickedness" 
Verdict: 80/10