Thursday, 21 May 2015

Archives of the Dead part XVI: Absorb – The Call (Demo 1992)

Archives of the Dead part XVI: ABSORB – The Call (Demo 1992)
Line up: Jochen "Yogy" Steger (drums), Pfisty (guitars), Rainer "Rancey" Panzer (bass), Wom (vocals)
It keeps amazing me how many old death metal bands, which I’ve never heard of before are still there, and which I finally find out about twenty or even more years since they were releasing their demos. Partly it’s because a lot of labels tend to re-release these old death metal recording (of which not all are of the best quality, let’s be honest here!) and partly also because there are some download blogs, which offer many such unknown demos or EPs, even old fanzines, which is great thing, as this way I can check out some absolutely little known bands. And Absorb demo was among those demos, which I decided to check out lately. And damn, “The Call” demo from 1992 is simply fantastic. Of course I never even heard about this band before, never seen this demo anywhere, so it’s really cool to hear it 23 (!) years after its release. As for Absorb, this is a German band, formed in 1989 and back in the old days they also did one more demo “Last Regain” in 1991 and then had a long break, as they split up in 1994 but reformed in 2007, what led to a release of their debut album in 2010. Anyways, I only know “The Call” and as I already mentioned, this is awesome stuff.
In many ways Absorb reminds me another hugely unknown German band, Agoraphobia, whose demos from the early 90’s were also absolutely killer. Both bands perform this sort of thrashing death metal, which to some may sound quite archaic and outdated nowadays, but which has this killer, special and unforgettable sound. And along with Agoraphobia, I could probably compare Absorb to such Morgoth (old!), Sepultura, Pestilence… Anyways, there are seven songs (plus intro / outro) here and damn, I really enjoyed them all. Great aggression, thrashing death metal riffs, crushing with no remorse and quite good, but raw production. Surely Absorb wasn’t creating anything spectacular for those old times, as there were many similar and many better bands. But it’s not really a point here. What rather matters is that this is just great music, with many awesome riffs and such songs as “Enlaced”, “The Call” or “Reflected Images” are simply very, very nice. Also “Out of Control”, as it’s such a good, fast thrashing tune!
Absorb didn’t go far with “The Call”. I don’t know why; if it was due to the overcrowded death metal scene and lack of interest in newer bands or they were simply unlucky. I don’t know, but it’s great that “The Call” was saved from being forgotten and that I could put one more band on my list of worthy old death metal acts. They’re active nowadays, by the way, but I am not sure if that’s good thing or not. It’s important to mention also that Jochen "Yogy" Steger (drums) plays also in band called Delirium Tremens, which I remember from really cool album titled “Thrashing Warthogs”.
Standout tracks: “Enlaced”, “The Call”, “Out of Control”, “Reflected Images”

Final rate: 70/100

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Sinister - Diabolical Summoning

SINISTER - Diabolical Summoning (NUCLEAR BLAST - CD 1993)
In my honest opinion Sinister was creating some of the best death metal tunes back in the early / mid 90’s. All their early recordings like demos and EPs were already killer, then “Cross the Styx” full length actually belongs to my favourite DM records of all time, as it’s simply perfect death metal in the most intense, ferocious and sick vein, with killer dark, blasphemous feeling. Yeah, this debut album is just spotless and I still consider it to be Sinister’s finest recording. Generally though, all the 90’s Sinister is great, I always considered the Mike van Mastrigt era as their best, not only because I like his possessed vocals most, but I also feel like the songs were simply the most interesting; brutal and ferocious, with absolutely barbaric riffage. After Mike van Mastrigt left, the band did one more really good album with new vocalist and then it all went downhill, as the stuff with the Rachel behind the mic is mediocre, to say most politely. So, I mentioned “Cross the Styx” as my favourite Sinister album, but the following records: “Diabolical Summoning” and “Hate” are not so far behind and are killers also.
“Diabolical Summoning” is maybe quite underrated full length, as I hardly ever hear people mentioning it, when talking about their favourite 90’s death metal.. but damn, surely it doesn’t deserve to be forgotten! It’s still a very strong and killer album, continuing just where “Cross the Styx” stopped, style wise it’s a natural follower of the debut, again with some absolutely outstanding and memorable songs. Sinister in my opinion belongs to the bands, which had their own, unique style. Once you hear their riffs, you simply know it’s them. It’s maybe slightly close to such Monstrosity, Malevolent Creation or Deicide, speaking of the sick, blasphemous and vicious feeling, but very different at the same. Their riffs were often quite technical, but some were almost groovy and memorable… they used as many blasting parts, as the mid paced motifs… Mark’s vocals also sounded like no other growlers, so this is why all those early Sinister albums stand above the majority of other 90’s bands and releases.
As I already mentioned, “Diabolical Summoning” contains some truly fantastic tunes and is a damn killer album. From the entire tracklist I need to mention two songs first and foremost: “Sadistic Intent” and “Leviathan”. The latter we all remember from that awesome video, which was presented on MTV, but it’s just brilliant, rather slower song, with almost eerie atmosphere, especially in the opening theme… It’s slower, but turning into some beastly blasting outbursts once or twice. Generally, it’s just damn memorable, brutal death metal piece. “Sadistic Intent” has so many great riffs, is based on precise, very tight playing and awesome arrangements, including some nice bass lines. I like how this song progresses, as basically each verse of the lyrics brings different pace, from slow to mid and damn fast stuff! Brilliant! Yeah, these two are the finest anthems here, but I would also like to recommend especially the title song – which is the fastest piece on the album, with a real strong Deicide similarity and “Desecrated Flesh”, which on the other hand is maybe the slowest of all, but I just love the riffs in it. But generally, all songs are great and strong and this is yet another Sinister album, which is so close to perfection. No weak points here; great production, proper length of the album, killer front artwork… absolute classic.
Standout tracks: “Sadistic Intent”, “Leviathan”, “Diabolical Summoning”

Final rate: 89/100

Entrails - Berzerk

ENTRAILS - Berzerk (METAL BLADE - 7"EP 2014)
Entrails surely is among my favourite new Swedish bands, which are playing death metal based on the classic recipes. They unleashed three killer and worthy albums, some demos and splits… and now I’m listening to a 7”EP “Berzerk”, which Metal Blade released in 2014, in 500 copies limitation. Ha, would you believe that Metal Blade is releasing old school death metal singles again haha? Crazy world. Anyway, it took me some time, before I finally found a copy of this single (cheers, Ra, you’re the DUDE!), so I am very happy to own a white vinyl, which is limited to 100 copies only (and handnumbered).
Anyways, “Berzerk” brings two songs. Side A contains the title track and it’s something what we all expect to hear from Entrails, so this is slightly melodic, but damn aggressive and powerful, ravaging death metal in the old school Swedish death metal vein. This is great song, indeed, I love the opening melodic theme and then how it turns into killer, crushing beast. There’s a lot of diversity in this song, I almost feel like it’s slightly too short, as so much is going on here that it could easily have been a minute longer… At the same time this song repeats some of the Swedish death metal clich├ęs, so you have melodic beginning, then more aggressive tune, memorable, repetitive chorus… Yeah, it’s very typical, but damn, it’s awesome anyway. And side B contains a cover of Swedish band called Heavy Load, called “Dreaming”. I don’t know this band, as I am not a fan of power metal, so you could only imagine how weird and unexpected this choice is for me. On the other hand it can be more interesting to play song like this than a hundredth cover tune of Entombed or Nihilist, right? And surely such more unusual covers fit well the 7” singles format. Anyway, it sounds way better than I expected; Entrails obviously played it death metal way, with harsh vocals, gloomy atmosphere… This song has a strong melodic touch, is rather slow, but works great with that Swedish death metal sound… yeah, it turns out that hard rock / power metal when played death metal way can sound damn fuckin cool.

Final rate: 80/100

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Betrayer - Calamity

BETRAYER - Calamity (MORBID NOIZZ 1995)
It’s difficult to be fully objective towards albums, which you’ve been knowing since twenty years and were always so highly estimated by you. But damn, even though I know every single riff and arrangement on albums like “Calamity”, they still don’t bore me, what only confirms me that they’re timeless, excellent pieces of music and I don’t need to be afraid that I will sound pathetic and pompous, when praising them more than some other people would. Why would I care anyway? In case of “Calamity” I can really say that I love this album and along with “Thor”, “Invisible Circle” and “The Ultimate Incantation” / “De Profundis”, this is my favourite Polish death metal album of all time. I don’t accept any questioning of it; my opinion is what it is, if you don’t agree then piss off.
The album begins with “After Death” and damn, this is the best representative of this material, this song is an absolute crusher and has everything I love about death metal: utterly fast, furious parts, some heavy slow bits and small dose of melody – all generating dark, evil, sinister atmosphere. Oh, this track is for me among the best death tunes I’ve ever heard and in my opinion it’s just as good as Vader’s “Dark Age” for example. But there’s more about “Calamity” than just one track and generally this is a really solid, fierce and quality album, with many quite memorable and crushing songs. I guess a lot of people use to compare Betrayer to Vader – and maybe there are some similarities, but I would not exaggerate much about it. More so, one can probably find some resemblances to Morbid Angel (they even have song titled “Maze of Torment… tfu, I mean “Maze of Suffering” haha) and I don’t only mean (some) riffs or the aura of the music, but also some vocals from Berial, whose voice is truly powerful and angry! Love it.
Later on “In Sacrifice” stands above, for being among the most fierce songs here, sometimes it even reminds me good old Sinister – which is another important band, that I can compare Betrayer to. But I like that Betrayer feels so comfortable and great in both fast and slow, crushing heavy death metal as such “From Beyond the Graves” is simply fantastic and this is actually my second favourite tune here. I also need to mention “Before Long You Will Die”, as this is some weird and sick shit, not the usual blasting death metal, but an experimental song, which has really weird feeling, with one distorted, repetitive motif and some possessed vocals. Simple but awesome. The whole album, when compared to the previous demo, surely sounds cleaner and more powerful, the production is not so harsh anymore and musically it’s also less obscure and with not so obvious thrash / death fierce influence.
But the whole “Calamity” has this awesome old school charm and feeling, which later a lot of death metal bands have lost for years. And I am happy that it grew old very well, it’s a vintage stuff, but still able to crush with every sound and still have that powerful, fierce strength, so this is why I easily call “Calamity” a classic album. Yes, I love it. It’s now twenty years, since I bought it on cassette (and I remember that first time I heard some songs from it was in the metal radio show, here in Poland… I was blown away!), I have the CD now, but I really wish to see it on vinyl once!
Standout tracks: “After Death”, “From Beyond the Graves”, “In Sacrifice”

Final rate: 90/100

Bolzer - Roman Acupuncture

BOLZER - Roman Acupuncture (IRON BONEHEAD - 12"LP 2015)
Bolzer is widely considered as one of the most impressive and worthy new bands and I definitely agree with this opinion. I love their two recently released EPs, it’s also good to see them playing many gigs, including tour with such a popular band like Behemoth – what only confirms that Bolzer is something of a sensation. But I know that quite many people moan that Bolzer only did EPs, but not a full length album release. People have high expectations… Meanwhile another new Bolzer release came out and all moaners will moan again, as it’s not a full length album yet, but a demo re-release! Well, personally I don’t care, as long as quality music is released and damn, so far Bolzer never disappointed me (besides, their music fits such shorter releases perfectly!). And here’s 2012’s “Roman Acupuncture” demo, now released on the single sided 12” vinyl. I actually did not have an opportunity to hear it before, so the more I am glad that Iron Bonehead came out with an initiative to re-release this material. Also because the quality of the packaging is simply killer!
As I wrote already, I did not have the chance to hear “Roman Acupuncture” before I got this LP, but now I can say that it’s another crushing Bolzer release. Damn, I am even more impressed knowing it was a debut recording of this band, but they already sounded like no other band before! Wow, this is something extraordinary and rare. You know, usually when new band appears we say “they sound like band X or Y”… For Bolzer, I simply cannot make such obvious comparisons. Sure, they have some similarities to other bands, but generally their style was unique and original from the very beginning. Awesome! I can’t even call it simply black or death metal, as those Helvetians have both styles glued together, but in special way. Their sound is very epic, obscure, the riffs and style of arrangements simply hypnotize the listener and the vocals of KzR are more like some evil summonings, rather than singing. And all three anthems (yeah, three again… I don’t know if it’s a deliberate action, to have three songs on each release?!) are simply impressive as fuck, the music is so damn interesting and rich with many killer riffs, harmonies, the aura is simply dark and grand, also very ancient, if you know what I mean (it’s almost like a musical / extreme metal illustration of the Great Rome!), so I always listen to Bolzer with my mouth open wide and jaw dropped to the floor. I don’t care also if people moan that Bolzer gets very repetitive, as it’s stupid opinion and I don’t agree with it.
Finally, I also love the production, as it’s harsh, but together with the music it all sounds very spatial, like the band was playing in a great chamber, so the sounds are echoing and hitting you with a great force. This is what I call a powerful and crushing death / black metal. So, I absolutely recommend this band to all maniacs, who had no opportunity to check them out yet. Believe me, “Roman Acupuncture”, as well as “Aura” and “Soma”, are real masterpieces.
Standout track: “Soul Eclipse”

Final rate: 89/100

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Hades Almighty - The Pulse of Decay

HADES ALMIGHTY - The Pulse of Decay (WITCHING HOUR - LP 2013)
There’s one thing, which must be said first and foremost – this album doesn’t sound like any other Hades record. The band have made a huge progress since the old days and really became something what can be only called as progressive black metal and original form. And yes, I do realize that a lot of maniacs are suspicious about such descriptions, as too often it happened that progressive equals something completely unlistenable and came as a result of forced changes, forced and fake originality that was also a result of new Norwegian trends from the late 90’s.
But it’s not a case with “Pulse of Decay”. And I tell you something – I did not like this album so much, when I heard it for the first time back when it was released. I felt disappointed, when I heard this different style, sound and approach and I could not convince myself to it. But years pass on, everything changes and so did my opinion regarding “Pulse of Decay”, as nowadays I think it’s just excellent album!
Yes, it’s so much more progressive than the previous records. There’s very little, if anything, left from the style of Hades, which we know from “Again Shall Be” and “Dawn of the Dying Sun” and which was slow based, very epic, monumental and majestic, raw, cold black metal. But it’s great that this newer Hades is able to defend itself for the high quality of the music is undisputable. If there’s anything connected to the old albums, then I guess it would only be the epic and monumental feeling of the music, which is always present. Of course one could miss the dark and obscure, evil atmosphere from the old albums, but it’s just pointless to moan that the band has progressed and changed over the course of ten years, as it would be even more dangerous if they stagnated and played the same stuff all the time. Besides, the band delivered something more original and their performance on “The Pulse of Decay” is seriously excellent.
Let me start with the first song here, “Submission Equals Suicide”. I simply love it. I love the brilliant main riff here and what strikes the most is the vocal performance of Jonto, who sounds so different! I mean, his vocals became cleaner, but still have some harsh screaming… in the cleaner parts he sounds like Quorthon and generally his vocals are very original sounding. Very good work! What’s also awesome about this song is how epic, but also aggressive it sounds. It gets faster near the end and the result is truly amazing. With next song (which is the title track) it becomes obvious that Hades will not commit suicide from the previous album “Millenium Nocturne” and won’t be so monotonous anymore, as “The Pulse of Decay” is so damn varied, with many different styles of riffing, vocals and also great drumming of Remi. It’s among the most experimental and progressive songs here, with the main style of playing, which can be compared to some oriental melodies and drumming – but how fantastic it sounds, and still so damn dark and vicious! Finally there’s “The Antichrist Inside”, which at the same time belongs to the most aggressive and fastest songs on the album, with truly vicious atmosphere, but also more epic and slower middle part. Truly, I must admit that all these three tracks are superb!!!!!
On side A there’s only the bonus track “Generation Murder – Rape”, which I like less and which is below the highest quality the other songs deliver. This song may be damn fast and aggressive, but it’s just not as good as the other songs, not to mention quite raw production of it (it was recorded during different recording session). During the same session “Cyber Alchemist” from side B was also recorded, which is the second bonus track on this LP… but this one is awesome, it’s memorable, also quite fast, but really damn good. From side B I guess there’s only one song, which I don’t like so much and it’s “Apocalypse”… On the other hand such “Vendetta Assassination” have some riffs, which could easily fit to “Dawn of the Dying Sun”, so harsh and cold it sounds and have some of these characteristic arrangements Hades is known for. And let’s mention also the epic “Razor” – fantastic song!
Yeah… I hardly ever mention almost entire album’s tracklists in my review, I did so here, for two reasons. One was to underline how diverse and interesting this album is. Secondly, to show how awesome “The Pulse of Decay” is. It’s a highly underrated album, but I hope that it will get what it deserves one day!
Standout tracks: “Submission Equals Suicide”, “Cyber Alchemist”, “The Antichrist Inside”, “The Pulse of Decay”

Final rate: 85/100

Ascended Dead - Arcane Malevolence

ASCENDED DEAD - Arcane Malevolence (BLOOD HARVEST - 7"EP 2014)
I’ve been waiting for months for the new recording from US death worshippers, Ascended Dead, whose demo I was happy to receive couple of years ago. Finally Blood Harvest announced and unleashed upon the mankind this nice 7” piece of vinyl titled “Arcane Malevolence”! Yeah, this is great news for me, as I like this label a lot and obviously I enjoyed also the mentioned “Demo 2012” cassette, so a perfect match it is! And surely this EP doesn’t disappoint. It’s exactly as I hoped – a relentless, fierce, obscure, morbid death metal, played in the most uncompromising and harsh way one can desire.
These sounds are deeply rooted in the primeval death metal and all those classic, ancient bands such as Possessed, Mantas / Death, Necrovore, Morbid Angel, Nihilist, Sarcofago, Treblinka, Merciless, Sadistic Intent and even some early satanic thrash metal releases like “Show No Mercy” and “In the Sign of Evil” must have obviously had an impact on this music. And among the newer bands I especially need to mention Throneum and Repugnant, as two acts, which have a lot in common with Ascended Dead. These are all important influences, certainly the only rightful ones, but many will say that they’re nowadays just as common as Malaysian airplanes crushing (ha!). Yes, I agree that we have many bands, which pay the tribute to the old days and perform such music today, but the question is how many of them are really worthy? And is Ascended Dead among them? In my honest opinion, they certainly are. “Arcane Malevolence” may not be exactly on my top ten list of favourites yet, but I do enjoy this EP a lot and I think it’s just killer music. Ascended Dead performs it with passion and has this great ability to slay with every damn riff they came up with. More so, their music is irresistibly harsh and violent, with that necro aura and almost chaotic sound. Some may say it’s even too chaotic and hard to listen to, especially if we combine such ferocious style of playing with insanely raw production. Some riffs may be slightly unreadable, some sensitive listeners may also feel like each song sounds too much like another, but this is something I would not exaggerate much about, as each track has some significant parts, even melodies, like some absolutely killer riffs in “Emanation from Below” and “Blood Consecration”. So, yeah… maybe the production could have been slightly better, but as it is, it’s also powerful and obscure, so I have no complain on that, really.
“Arcane Malevolence” does sound a lot like some of the ancient demos or 80’s albums and that’s something I like a lot about it, especially as the band feels truly authentic about what they’re doing. Now I have to wait for their debut full length album, which I hope will come out soon.
Standout track: “Emanation from Below”

Final rate: 75/100

Soulless / Pandemic Genocide / Arminius - In Shadows of the Damned We Reign

SOULLESS / PANDEMIC GENOCIDE / ARMINIUS - In Shadows of the Damned We Reign (OLD TEMPLE - CD 2006)
I almost forgot that I own a copy of this split CD, so when I found it in my mess, I decided to play it. And now I will also write couple of words about it, as all bands are very little known and it’s always cool to introduce new bands to people… and more so, I think this is really cool release. It was unleashed in 2005 through Old Temple Records, in 1000 copies supposedly (but I’ve read somewhere that nearly half of that quantity got damaged). All copies are hand numbered anyway and I have a copy number 86. Next important aspect is the unusual form of the release, as this CD comes in foldout cardboard sleeve, with three small booklets, each for every band that participate on this split. Cool and unusual idea, I must say! Finally I guess I need to mention what bands are featured here: two of them are Polish: Soulless (also known as Soulless Profanation), Pandemic Genocide and one is Dutch and is called Arminius. And yeah, I definitely like it…
…except one band. I don’t like Arminius at all. And to be honest, I would rather see another Polish band here, instead of so total mediocre or low quality Dutch band. They do not fit here and I just don’t understand the reason for them being here. Anyway, here Arminius feature the debut demo “Storms Below” plus an additional intro. And as mentioned, I don’t like it. It’s just poor quality death metal, with no “powerful factor”, with flat sound, awful vocalist (seriously awful), uninteresting riffs and arrangements and… well, everything about Arminius is bad or mediocre, I think. They’re more than uninteresting. It’s one of those bands, which you hear and want to forget quickly, as it’s a simple fuckin waste of time. And definitely they’re not even half as good as the two Polish bands here! So, this one band I easily skip, luckily they’re coming last on the CD, so it’s rather easy.
Soulless (Profanation) is surely the best, on the other hand. I remember them very well, as I was in touch with Daro (guitar / vocals) in the early 00’s, he sent me some demos of his band… I only don’t know if Soulless split up or was just putted on ice for some years, as Daro moved to Thailand, where he formed his second band, a killer Sturmgewehr666, which is a real destructive piece of death metal. But damn, Sturmgewehr666 is also silent for many years, so I don’t know what’s up with Daro nowadays. Anyway, here Soulless presents their best material, “Peri Psyches” demo, originally released in 2004. Hmm, I wonder how many times was this demo actually released? If I remember, I think it came out as a separate CDR first and then it appeared on at least 3 (!!) different splits: one was with Kamaloka, another with Exsecrator and then finally this one, with Pandemic Genocide and Arminius (here it comes without Deicide cover). Oh, it was also featured on “Sentenced to Desert of Fire” compilation. Damn! How many times you can release one demo haha?! But if it’s because it’s just damn good material and you want to spread it as much as you can, then I can understand it (especially as some of these releases had small limitations). Musically Soulless performed some seriously killer, brutal and sick death metal, with quite original touch. It all begins with truly furious “Desecration is Now”, which is a killer song, if you ask me, so damn fast and brutal that it blows everything off. There’re some parts, which can remind you Vader, Morbid Angel or Immolation, but damn, what a nasty stuff it is! It’s short, but effective. “Ornate God” is next and it’s more complex, the riffs are quite complicated and not so easy to memorize, not to mention that this song has some slower parts that sound unlike to the majority of your death metal, with some sick leads, surely inspired by Trey Azagthoth. Yeah, definitely Soulless liked to experiment a little. And that’s especially hearable in the slowest and most “difficult” to listen to song titled “Peri Psyches”. Yeah, weird atmosphere, aggressive riffs with a long guitar lead make this song not so easy to listen to. It’s technical, also intense, but just different. And good, definitely! But you just must listen to it carefully, to figure out what sort of death metal is this band offering.
Finally the last band, which is Pandemic Genocide. They perform straight forward, aggressive death metal, with many fast tempos and generally with such old school feeling, which I like a lot. You can hear some influence from the Polish scene (and the likes of Betrayer or Vader), but also the American death metal surely must have been an inspiration. What I like is how aggressive, but also atmospheric this music is. Damn, Pandemic Genocide was not afraid to use some keyboards here and there, which increased the heaviness and dark feeling of some parts. Awesome. The first song “Unleash the Beast” is definitely the best, as it’s fast and harsh, but I also need to mention such “Abyss of Blasphemy”. It’s very nice stuff. Maybe nothing utterly brilliant and groundbreaking, but surely a solid old styled death metal. I like it. By the way, all songs were previously released as “Abyss of Blasphemy” demo in 2003.
Standout tracks: “Desecration is Now”, “Ornate God”, “Unleash the Beast”

Final rate: Soulless (75) / Pandemic Genocide (70) / Arminius (35) = 65

Monday, 4 May 2015

Procreation - Ghostwood

PROCREATION - Ghostwood (Self financed CD 1014)
Procreation is a new band (formed in 2012) from Zwolle in Holland, but it features for example Ronald Louwsma, who had a short episode in classic death / doom act Beyond Belief (among others). And “Ghostwood” is Procreation’s first recording, released on nice, self financed digipack CD. And well… I don’t know if you’re in a mood for another death metal band, but if you are then check it out, as it’s quite solid and worthy piece of music.
Obviously Procreation doesn’t create anything original, their music is also far from being utterly brilliant and for sure it’s also not the best debut of recent years. But it’s good enough to give it some listens and enjoy some nice tunes. The band is quite old school rooted, I think that stylistically they take some influence from such bands like Bolt Thrower, Morgoth, Pestilence, Vader… also I must say that the vocalist sounds quite like a mixture of Marc Grewe with Peter Wiwczarek. And yeah, solid and decent death metal, with quite melodic touch here and there, some blasting parts also, but mostly it’s mid paced, groovy stuff to bang the head and enjoy the aggression.  It’s quite diverse, nicely arranged… uh, just listen to the title track, with its more melodic parts and some nice guitar leads, which are even thrash metal rooted; not to mention that blasting part, which sounds almost like a black metal bit. But obviously I prefer the harsher and more aggressive side of Procreation music, so songs like “Killing Culture”, “Can’t Stop the Bleeding” and “The Frenzy Is Tideless” are my favourites here. I also must mention “The Cycle in Black”, which is like Hail of Bullets with some thrashy stuff here and there. Awesome song. Damn, all are good, in my opinion.
So, good start from Procreation. Surely the band did good work on “Ghostwood”, so I do wish all the best to them and will keep my eyes open for their future
Standout tracks: “Ghostwood”, “Killing Culture”, “The Frenzy is Tideless”, “The Cycle in Black”

Final rate: 68/100

Hate - Victims

HATE - Victims (METAL MIND - CD 1998)
This is one of the lesser known Hate releases, because it was released only for the Polish market (I think) and maybe not so many copies have been thrown abroad. Which is a shame, I must repeat again, as it’s another really awesome pure death metal recording from this band and just as the two previous materials – full length albums “Daemon Qui Fecit Terram” and “Lord is Avenger” – this one also deserves more attention. Who knows then, maybe one day it will be re-released. If it doesn’t, then you may still try to find it in Poland.
But what is “Victims” actually? It’s an EP, with four new songs from the band plus two covers. And as a bonus the CD contains an old demo, which is a fantastic addition, in my opinion. Well, starting with those new tracks… This is Hate we all know from the albums I mentioned above. Brutal, fast, satanic death metal, which devastates everything on its way. Quality wise it’s the same level as “Lord is Avenger”. Hate didn’t make any improvement, didn’t change anything in their style, so these songs may even sound as some leftovers from the session of the previous album… or could have easily been featured on the mentioned album and it would make no harm to it at all. They’re just equally good, in my opinion and the sound (again from Selani Studio, which back then in the 90’s was quite popular among Polish death metal bands) is also very alike. I suppose the song “Holy Dead Trinity” is the best here, it’s also quite popular I think, as it was played on gigs quite often and more so, it’s also featured on the next full length album “Cain’s Way”. I also like “No Life After Death” a lot, as it’s fast, crushing song, creating a bloody massacre instantly. Awesome! The same recording session brings two covers (Napalm Death’s “Kill” and Slayer’s “Postmortem”) and especially the second one is fantastic.
I mentioned that the CD contains also a demo as a bonus and it’s “The Unwritten Law”, truly killer demo from 1995 and damn, I love it. Of course the sound difference is huge, the demo doesn’t sound even half as powerful and clean as the recent Hate recordings, but I like it anyway, as I love such harsh, demo productions. It’s because of it, the music sounds so damn aggressive, dark, obscure, morbid and brutal. I can even go as far and say that I like this demo more than any other Hate recording! It’s just excellent insanely fast and furious, possessed death metal in the vein of Deicide (“Living Sacrifice”, what a killer, fast song, but it has an ending part, which sounds like a copy of “Sacrificial Suicide” haha), with some Slayer-ish riffs here and there (“Performance”) and generally it’s impressive and beautifully reinless. I like also Adam’s vocals, as they sound harsher and just different from his quite recognizable voice on the future albums. Sadly “Victims” doesn’t bring the whole “The Unwritten Law”, as there are two songs missing… anyways, this demo fuckin kills brutally and is a fantastic addition. Love it.
Standout tracks: “Holy Dead Trinity”, “Living Sacrifice”

Final rate: 80/100

Hate - Lord is Avenger

HATE - Lord is Avenger (VOX MORTIS - CD 1998)
So… I just published my review of “Daemon Qui Fecit Terram”, but no rest for the wicked! And so, here’s the album number two, titled “Lord is Avenger”, which Hate recorded and released two years after the debut. At that time they were already a known band in the Polish underground, with three demos and now two albums released, but they were still suffering for something what many other Polish death metal bands had – and which was a criminally underrated status in the European and worldwide underground. “Lord is Avenger” hasn’t changed that. Blame small Polish labels or whoever… the fact is that nowadays these old Hate albums are quite difficult to find abroad and even if “Lord is Avenger” was released on CD twice – both times with “Daemon Qui…” album as bonus, but first it was a double CD version (Vox Mortis) and then a single CD version (Apocalypse Productions, which was Hate drummer Mitloff’s label) – it’s still a rare item.
When you listen to “Lord is Avenger” it’s just obvious that in almost every aspect this album is better than “Daemon Qui Fecit Terram”. I mean, first of all, the production is awesome. It’s more brutal and aggressive, it’s more powerful, so every riff sounds heavy and the whole music is just like a bulldozer, crushing everything with no hesitation. Not to mention that it’s fast as hell. Musically we can also hear some improvements, as Hate slowly got rid of the “Deicide followers” sticker and became more original and interesting. Sure, one can still point out some similarities and not only to Deicide (“Vexation of My Spirit”), but also to such Vader, Sinister, Vital Remains, Monstrosity or Krisiun. But generally Hate sounds like a band with their own identity. And yeah, the songs are better, more interesting, with some truly killer ideas and brutal, but at the same time quite memorable and catchy riffs… This is easily listenable death metal, I can say. And did I mention how fast it is?!?! Of course it’s not Krisiun, so it’s not so monotonous and one dimensional, Hate songs are way more diverse and interestingly arranged, but basically each song here has a strong, fast section, which will destroy you! So, if you prefer slower songs then you have “Paradise as Lost”, if you prefer truly fast shit then there’s such “Share Your Blood with Daemon” and “Dead and Mystified” for instance. Oh, I must also mention really awesome intros that were used on this album!
I don’t need to repeat that I prefer such “Daemon Qui Fecit Terram” and “Lord is Avenger” way more than all the more recent Hate albums, I think. They are awesome death metal albums from the late 90’s and if you don’t have them yet, then you can only cry and hope that someone will decide to re-release them. Recommended.
Standout tracks: “Share Your Blood with Daemon”, “Intransigence of Evil”, “Paradise as Lost”, “Dead and Mystified”

Final rate: 80/100

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Slaughter Messiah - Putrid Invocation

SLAUGHTER MESSIAH - Putrid Invocation (GOAT KULT - 12"EP 2014)
This is the newest release from Belgian tormentors, Slaughter Messiah and it’s a 12”EP titled “Putrid Invocation”, released on Goat Kult Symphonies. Some may dispute a point of releasing 13 minutes of music on 12” as it would easily fit a 7” format, but who cares. I think that 12” size is the best, especially when we have such an awesome artwork as the one on “Putrid Invocation” (by killer artist Mark Riddick!). Besides, it reminds me some of my old 12” singles, like Entombed’s “Crawl”, not to mention dozens of Iron Maiden 12” singles. So, great decision for releasing this music as it is.
Now, as for the content of this EP, I already described my enthusiasm and support for Slaughter Messiah music few times. “Putrid Invocation” confirms that it’s a killer band and more so, this is actually their best recording so far, in my opinion. Side A begins with “Swamp of Torment” and fuckin hell, for me this is the best Slaughter Messiah song so far. It’s quite different to most of the other songs from this band, as it’s not as harsh and furiously aggressive as songs from “Black Speed Terror” EP for instance, although such riffs / fragments are here also… but this song is surprisingly melodic, for example the opening theme sounds a lot like classic Swedish death metal! Of corpse later on Slaughter Messiah brings their usual weapons, which are thrashing black metal riffs, violent and relentless, with the characteristic harsh vocals of Sabathan… Anyways, the song is quite memorable and definitely it is my favourite track from this band so far! And when listening to it, it’s also noticeable how much better is the production of “Putrid Invocation”, when compared to the previous EP especially. And I like that change. Don’t get me wrong, “Black Speed Terror” was fine and solid effort, but maybe sound wise it could have been better, more powerful and straight to the guts, less chaotic and obscure… and “Putrid Invocation” is exactly like I like it! The production is cleaner, but still very aggressive and powerful as hell, keeping the morbid aura intact. Awesome! And it’s also why all songs sound so just better.
Yeah, basically the whole content sounds killer. I mentioned “Swamp of Torment”, but “Hills County Witch Trial” (with its more old school, thrash / black metal riffing) and “Consecration” (which is more like a classic black metal song) have no bad moments, this is just brilliant, neckbreaking stuff. So, I recommend “Putrid Invocation” totally. Furious, merciless thrash / black / death metal, the old school way. Fantastic.
Standout track: “Swamp of Terror”

Final rate: 90/100

Disgorge - Necrholocaust

DISGORGE - Necrholocaust (XTREEM Music - CD 2003)
Mexicans from Disgorge definitely belong to my favourite brutal death / grind bands! Not that I am a big expert of these most brutal of sounds known to mankind, as I am not, but here I can say that not only I like them more than the US Disgorge, but also for sure their music speaks to me more than what I can usually hear from the majority of similar bands. And the reason is that I think too many brutal death bands play it with no ideas, sound the same and generally puts the brutality over a common sense of good riffing and decent production values. This music easily turns into some pointless silliness. Which is not the case with these Mexicans as they do blast like crazy and perform the torture of guts ripping and head splitting for all eight tracks in great way. And the sound is also damn awesome, so in the end Disgorge do create a proper sick, gory atmosphere with great results.
“Necrholocaust” is maybe nothing spectacular or original in the field of brutal death metal, but Disgorge do know how to shred. I like these songs, filled with some awesome riffs, which not necessarily are always fast, as there are also some killer, slower parts, which crush with the massive sound. But sure, the main weapon of Disgorge is the brutally blasting, merciless and violent death metal. What’s so awesome about it is that Disgorge have more diversity in their music than most of similar bands, not only tempo wise, but also the riffing, which in few places can even be called “melodic” (yes! Just listen to “Raise the Pestilence”, somewhere in the mid part), etc… Obviously this one melodic bit hides between ultra fast and brutal stuff. But I love also the ending part of this song, as it’s slow and heavy like classic Incantation!!! Take also such “Necrholocaust” song, which also has a strong Incantation similarity, in my opinion, and it’s for me the best song here!!! But most importantly, this is truly powerful and crushing, devastating and unstoppable death / grinding metal as a whole. And damn, isn’t Antimo a killer vocalist, who can even put early Chris Burns to shame? What a beast he is (or was, as he’s not in the band anymore… but he plays in many other projects also)! Anyways, take such songs as “Macabre Realms of Inhuman Bestiality”, “Raise the Pestilence” or “Necrholocaust” shall please all maniacs!
The band no more uses such unpronounceable and impossible to memorize song titles like “Stygmatodermuropyanephrosism on Impetiginose Urogenism” from the debut or “Urethrive Decortico-Xanthomatose Muco Gestated Scaffolds” from the second CD, but of course the albums still deals with gore, perversions, deviations and all other macabre things. So, you always must be ready to bath in blood and excrements, when dealing with bands like Disgorge. Fine stuff.
Standout tracks: “Macabre Realms of Inhuman Bestiality”, “Raise the Pestilence”, “Necrholocaust”

Final rate: 70/100

Monday, 27 April 2015

Hate - Daemon Qui Fecit Terram

HATE - Daemon Qui Fecit Terram (VOX MORTIS - MC 1996)
This album can surprise many Hate fans, who joined the legions of their supporters after some of the recent CDs like “Erebos” for instance. Why? Well, because Hate used to be quite decent, pure death metal band! Those were the days of no make ups, no black skirts and generally no “I-wanna-be-like-Behemoth” image. No keyboards, no black metal influence, but just straight up death metal. Yeah, and you know what? Even though I can’t say that the old Hate recordings are the best thing I’ve ever heard, I still prefer them way more than the new incarnation of this band… and surely prefer to listen to some of these early albums and demos than the mentioned “Erebos” CD.
“Daemon Qui Fecit Terram” is I think the most underrated Hate album. Maybe it’s because it never had its own CD version – originally it was released on cassette only, but you can find this album also as a joined release together with the second full length “Lord is Avenger”. Anyways, it’s weird that it never had its own, separate CD version – maybe something what should be fixed one day, as it’s really damn good and worthy album. Ha, I must even admit that I enjoy it nowadays more than I did back in the 90’s, maybe it’s due the sentiment I have for old Hate albums? Or maybe it’s because I also underrated this album a little back then? Don’t know, but I think it’s even better than “Lord is Avenger”, so…
Ha, those who remember Polish zines and magazines from the 90’s will remember that back then Hate was always struggling with the “Polish Deicide” sticker. This influence is also hearable on “Daemon Qui Fecit Terram”, but think of such albums as “Serpent of the Light” (which actually came up later than “Daemon Qui Fecit Terram”) or “Once Upon the Cross” rather than “Deicide” or “Legion” haha! There are surely some riffs, which are very much in the style of Hoffmann brothers, just listen to “Merry Christless” or “Lords of Sin” for instance. The latter is one of the best songs here and if only Adam had similarly demonic voice to Benton, then it would be almost on the verge of duplication. Luckily, he sounds different and his voice gives slightly different dimension to the whole music. But let’s be fair – it’s not that Hate sounds only like Deicide and is some sort of rip off band! No. And if someone says so, then he’s deaf and just stupid as fuck. Sure, Deicide did influence Hate a lot, but at the same time their music had also some original aspects and this is what makes it even more exciting. And first and foremost, this is killer brutal, aggressive satanic death metal, with many fast tempos, great drumming, some sick guitar solos and quite clean, but powerful production. And even the instrumental song “Cadentia” sounds nice… I am also glad that the albums contains no more than 30 minutes of music, as within this genre and brutal style it’s ideal timing I think… and even each song is rather short, hardly ever a song is longer than 3 minutes; most of them are around 2,5 minutes, what only gives even stronger impression of that aggressive, uncompromising and fierce, quick assault.
Yeah, for me it definitely sounds better than all past “Anaclasis” albums putted together. It’s a shame then that “Daemon Qui Fecit Terram” – and all early Hate recordings to be honest – are so damn difficult to find. I wish someone can take care of their re-releases, including their killer demos!
Standout tracks: “Animate the Blood”, “Heaven Like a Hole”, “Lords of Sin”, “Almost You Are Dead”

Final rate: 75/100

Slaughter Messiah - Black Speed Terror

SLAUGHTER MESSIAH - Black Speed Terror (DEMONHOOD Productions - 7"EP 2014)
I already have praised Slaughter Messiah for their demo “Deathlike Invasion”, which they did in 2012 and which was a truly crushing piece of black thrashing assault. Later on I kept my eyes open for the activity of the band, there was also a killer interview, which I did with Sabathan and finally I was happy also when the drummer Spencer Elliot a’ka Sodomaniak contacted me… and that led to receiving two newest Slaughter Messiah releases. “Black Speed Terror” is the first of the two and it’s a 7”EP, released on Norwegian Demonhood Productions. There are three songs here and the quality I know from the demo is still here. Great!
The title for this single says everything about the music one can expect from the band. It is fuckin merciless and violent black / speed / thrash metal!! And the title track is also my favourite from the whole set. I really like that kind of riffing plus the uncompromising, aggressive attitude, not to mention also the memorable and killer chorus part, where we’ll all scream ”Black Speed Terror” of course!!! Yeah… it sounds very nice, indeed! “Cosmic Funeral (The Great Old Ones)” is also very vicious and totally recommendable song, it’s slightly chaotic here and there, due to the always fast tempo and harsh production, for sure Slaughter Messiah doesn’t even want to play harmonious parts or any weaker and softer riffs; it’s straight ahead and nasty, ferocious and sadistic black / thrash in the old school vein. I suppose that only the shortest song titled “Demon” is mediocre, but it’s solid anyways…
Maybe the production isn’t the best on this single, it surely could have been more powerful, but on the other hand such harsh and brutal recording quality fits such music very well, so why should one moan about it? No point. A nice 7”EP for sure, limited to 300 copies only, so sell your soul if you need, but grab a copy and support this awesome Belgian band!
Final rate: 70/100

Inexorable - Sea Of Dead Consciousness

INEXORABLE - Sea Of Dead Consciousness (UNHOLY PROPHECIES - EP 2015)
This is new band for me, but I am truly satisfied that I had a chance to hear their recent release, which is “Sea Of Dead Consciousness” EP, released on cassette by Unholy Prophecies (thanks a lot, Walter, for sending me a copy! You rule!). And the reason for this is simple; it’s just absolutely killer and mindblowing demonstration of obscurity and brutality. It’s actually the third official release from Inexorable – the two previous were also EPs, but they were released on CD format only, “Morte Sola” from 2013 was supposedly released on digipack in 1000 copies quantity, which is quite a lot… but damn, I just never heard of those Germans until I got some info from Unholy Prophecies about their newest release, which was “Sea Of Dead Consciousness”, also quite limited, but to barely 200 copies.
The whole EP can be split on two halves. The first one is on side A and consists of three songs, titled “I”, “II” and “III”. And it contains what I described above – great maelstrom of obscure, brutal, chaotic and morbid death metal riffs, played in the style, which one can even compare to such bands as Grave Miasma, Portal, Immolation, Mitochondrion, Teitanblood or Impetuous Ritual. It’s awesome. Obviously Inexorable creates utterly dark and sick atmosphere in their music, obviously the majority of these three songs have been played in fast tempos, what along with the thick and dense riffs creates a bulldozer of sound; a wall of sonic devastation, with some complex structures and arrangements, deep, ghoulish vocals and many truly impressive fragments, great harsh, massive production... Yeah, it almost creates this claustrophobic aura, when you think of being putted alive into the coffin and the lid was nailed to it… And you’re there in the small box, devoured by darkness, catching the last breath in panic and slowly suffocating, terrified and with no hope for survive. This is why I absolutely love bands like Inexorable and recordings like “Sea Of Dead Consciousness”; for the atmosphere of such music. Truly a spectacular release, I have no doubt.
And then there’s side B, which offers something different… as it contains three covers! First there’s truly killer “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”, performed in brutal and sick way, with the vocals sounding not much different from the possessed performance of Attila in the original version. Absolutely love it!! The second choice for cover is more obvious, as it’s Immolation with “I Feel Nothing” from “Here In After”… yes, this one fits the usual style of Inexorable more and you can be sure that this technical and brutal track was performed in an impressive way. Finally the third cover is the most surprising one, I think; it’s Mysticum and “Black Magic Mushrooms”! Ha, I don’t even know this song in original version, as I never had a chance to hear “Lost Masters of the Universe”… but it’s typical Mysticum song, with that love it / hate it sound of drum machine… and Inexorable made it in very similar way, including that characteristic drum beat. Surely a nice cover again…
So, summing it all up… damn, do I need to, really? You can read only positive words on this EP and yes, I like it totally! Three absolutely awesome songs of Inexorable plus three killer covers, I don’t need more. I am totally crushed and I can say that I feel exactly the same as when I listened to the truly amazing tape EP from band called Peine – what a slaughter. Totally recommended, so get it ASAP! And I hope to see this release also on vinyl one day, as it truly deserves also this greatest of all formats.
Standout track: “II”

Final rate: 80/100

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Warmaster - Promo 2012

WARMASTER - Promo 2012 (Self released)
There are few bands known as Warmaster, the most interesting is surely the US War Master, I think… but here’s a Dutch band, which decided to name themselves after the classic Bolt Thrower album. I have here only a short Promo CD from 2012 and honestly, I have not heard of this band until I received this small gift from a friend… but after giving some listens to this promotional recording, I know that I need to keep my eyes open for those Dutch basterds!
I am not sure what was the number of copies, which Warmaster released of this Promo CD, I also am not sure whether these songs were recorded during the same session as their versions from the second album “The End of Humanity”. The band did try to find a label to release their second CD with this promo and they did succeed, although I am not sure whether the choice for Dead Beat Media was good at all, if I never heard of this album / band before and it’s rather difficult to find it. Anyways, this Promo CD offers three songs: “Deadly Artillery”, “Nuclear Warfare” and “Death Factory” and it’s really cool old school death metal, I tell ya! Sure, Warmaster doesn’t create anything new and unbelievably amazing; they’re just another solid and worthy death metal band. But I do enjoy these songs a lot. I like the riffs, the brutal atmosphere… it’s simply very well performed and composed death metal influenced by such bands as Bolt Thrower (of course!), Asphyx, Autopsy, Obituary, Grave and some newer bands like Paganizer. So, you can imagine that Warmaster prefers mid paced crunchy, heavy and brutal riffs, sick atmosphere and sometimes they even put more doomy passage, to nail the listener to the ground even more mercilessly. Yeah… This is well known recipe, but once more it works very well. And some of you can moan on lack of originality or that you heard it so many times before, I don’t care at all. Warmaster is really cool, so I am definitely gonna try to find their both albums.

Final rate: 75/100

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Hades Almighty - Millenium Nocturne

HADES ALMIGHTY - Millenium Nocturne (HAMMERHEART - LP 1999)
Hades… Who from the third album became Hades Almighty… For me they were one of the best Norwegian bands, but I say so mainly as I love their first two records. I worship them and oh yeah, they are fantastic. I also really like album number four… but what about their third opus? Well, it’s also damn good, but surely not even half as exceptional and killer as the early stuff. Anyway, we can surely say that Hades were / or maybe still are, as new album will come soon, among the best and most excellent bands from Norge. One of those bands which had their own personality and sound. I have all their stuff on vinyl, also the album number three “Millenium Nocturne”. Which I remember to be hugely disappointed with, when it came out. I had it on tape first and felt like it’s so damn boring haha! I actually didn’t listen to it for quite many years, so after giving some justice and good reviews to the previous Hades albums, I decided it’s also time and good opportunity to remind myself about “Millenium…” record.
I guess that one of the things, which for me personally works against the album is that it feels like the majority of it, basically every song, sounds the same. Like for example the tempo is practically similar all the way through – and it is a slower pace, which accompany to those majestic, monumental riffs… But you know, the previous albums were also slow, but somehow they were better in every aspect, the riffs were better, the whole songs were more interesting, with some stunning, memorable fragments and truly cold, dark atmosphere. “Millenium Nocturne” continues doing that, but in less effective way I suppose. None of these songs can match the previous materials and even if there are still some fragments of pure brilliance, then they sort of disappear in the entire, long album (which is 60 minutes long… maybe a little too long, for this sort of slow paced, monotonous music). I guess I could pick up some awesome parts from every song, some ideas, which I love totally, some excellent riffs, great vocals of Janto… Each song has something spectacular, but it is still not enough to impress me, when taking the whole album as one. Or let me put it that way – it is good album, no doubt, it is enjoyable, sometimes brilliant, but it fades, when compared to previous efforts and as a whole it’s just too monotonous.
Obviously Hades Almighty will be always a special band. They play something unique, original and special on the Norwegian black metal scene. The previous albums are simply perfect, so maybe that burden was too much to handle and besides, you just can’t make three amazing albums in row. “Millenium Nocturne” is a natural evolution of the style from the previous records, but it failed to deliver something utterly exceptional. I feel always torn apart, when I listen to this LP, because as mentioned before, there are some brilliant parts, but the entire album drags on as fuck and all songs melt into one. More so, I feel like it would be just better if we cut off some fillers, songs like “Carnival Blaspheme” for example, which is basically based on one or two themes that are going for six minutes and is just boring! Sure, such song shows also that Hades was progressing, started to experiment, but I just prefer simpler, but more in the face stuff and darker, more obscure approach they presented on previous LPs. Another rather filling song on the album is I think “To Reach Devine Fullfillment”… again, rather simple, one dimensional riffing and drumming, slow pace … but it just goes for seven minutes without a special excitement. It’s not a terrible song, but I guess I could have lived without it one the album. “Nightmare Endurance” – the same. Long as hell, dragging on forever!
On the other had such songs as “Dream Traveller” really kick ass with some great riffage, thundering drums (ha, sounds cheesy, but find out what I mean when you hear the song!) and generally really monumental atmosphere. I also love that mix of harsh vocals with weird, eerie howling... that sounds just uncanny. Hades was always a very riff based band, they didn’t use much of the keyboards or other stuff, their songs were always concentrated on the power, the strength of good, heavy riff… Song like “Dream Traveller” reminds us that. As mentioned, basically every song has something spectacular to unveil, but I must also mention “Nemesis”, as this one belongs to the most powerful and energetic songs on the album, even though the riffing in it has also some more progressive touch in few parts… but in this case, it just worked fine. “Gardens of Chaos” has the best motif from the entire record, I just love how this song begins, with nice acoustics, etc. and it just sounds superb, very much like the good, old Bathory, but that calm, acoustic theme is suddenly interrupted by awesome, harsh and aggressive riff – and real hell breaks loose, what a good song that is! Very heavy, doomy, but also powerful and truly monumental. Yes! “A Ballad of Death ad Obsession” is again starting with a nice acoustic theme, which is a trademark for Hades, so known on the previous albums and I love it. Further on this song has some better and worse moments, but is a decent and worthy one for sure. It’s just maybe too long again… It again has some of these howling vocals from drummer Remi (I think), which sound just like he was a Viking possessed by demons. Or drunk hehe! He has very specific voice and I know that not everybody will like his vocals, but I do.
OK, to conclude… this is solid record, yes, but it contains some better and worse moments. As a whole, I think it is just too long and too monotonous and so even these truly splendid fragments can’t save the entire record. In my opinion, this is Hades (Almigty) weakest recording. But I can’t imagine not having it on LP. I need this band’s entire discography, as they’re worth of that praise I give them!
Standout tracks: “Gardens of Chaos”, “A Ballad of Death ad Obsession”, “Dream Traveller”

Final rate: 69/100

Depraved Literature part VI – Abyss Ritual 'zine, issue 5

Depraved Literature part VI – Abyss Ritual 'zine, issue 5
Authors: Tshoggua and Putrid
Origin: Colombia
Release date: winter 1996/1997
Interviews: Crimson Midwinter, Choronzon, Nordic Vision magazine, Sorhin, Herodez, Enkil / Undead Productions, Infinite Black, Mortiis, Nordlys, Strid, Full Moon Productions, Skogsposten, Sear Bliss, Golden Dawn, Into the Sunless Meridian / Shadowcaster / Night Conquers Day, Iadanamada, Iudicium
It’s been a longer while (almost two years now!!) since I did the Depraved Literature last time… but damn, I did read some zines, mainly newer ones, but simply did not have time to write about them, focusing on music releases so much. Hopefully though I will remember about this section and make some more updates of zine reviews also. Fingers crossed. Here I am presenting you a fanzine from Colombia, Ancient Ritual, released in 1997!!!
Hmm, I guess I never had a chance to read any Colombian fanzines, expect the killer Bells of Acheron, which is a newer title, with three real nice issues released in last few years. But other than that, I never saw one. So, it’s time to introduce another Colombian title from their history of zine editing; and so here is Abyss Ritual zine #5, released around 1997. Wow, an old title I know, but what a fine piece of reading it delivered! I honestly didn’t even expect high quality from it, don’t even know why, probably due to the whole primitiveness of the South American scene, but I am happy that Abyss Ritual delivered some really nice texts. I suppose the only thing, which I don’t really like about it is the poor layout, so typical for that time I know, but the editors of Abyss Ritual didn’t even try to make their zine look interesting. This is simple text machine, with typical for A5 size two columns page, with some bad quality photos thrown here and there… I guess you can compare it to some early Necroscope zine for instance. But the texts are a great advantage of Abyss Ritual #5. Just read such interview as the one with Crimson Midvinter. Woowwee, those Columbian guys have asked some truly interesting and not so usual questions and the member of the band was able to give some interesting answers also, so the result is very nice! Of course it’s always cool to read such interviews from the perspective of nearly 20 years, which have passed since they were conducted, especially as the reality and the scene has changed so much… Anyway, such chat as this one with Crimson Midvinter is a real highlight of the issue, even if the band is so little known (although they did release an album for Black Mark some time later). Check out also such chats like Choronzon, Nordic Vision magazine (also interesting from the historical point of view of the whole Norwegian black metal scene), Sorhin, Strid, Mortiis, Sear Bliss and so on… all are real cool and informative. As you can see, Abyss Ritual #5 is mainly focused on the European black metal and to some extent also on the US scene (Into the Sunless Meridian) and there’s not so much of the South American scene introduced, which can be a disappointment for some (but there’s Mexican Iadanamada interview and Colombian Mephiztophel presented in form of short bio / band article… plus also Colombian Nebiros talks very shortly about the split up)… But the quality of the writing will make it up for you, I think (it’s awesome that both editors also spoke a flawless English, something quite rare among the Latin American maniacs). Besides, there are several bands, which I’ve never heard of before (like Herodez, Into the Sunless Meridian, Nordlys, Infinite Black, etc) so this zine allowed me to find out their names as well.
I don’t know what was the future like for Abyss Ritual and if issue #5 was their last one or not… but damn, it was really cool to find scans of this old Colombian zine and read them. The scans are to be found on Asmodian Cover blog (http://ascoven.blogspot.com).
Quotations: “It is hard to describe why, but I have believed in vampires since I was young…” (Magnus Thorne / Undead Productions / Enkil)
“The most blaspheme thing I would like to do would be to knock the pope down to the ground, piss on him and laugh when he forgives me. And then I would impale the old bastard “Vlad Tepes” style!” (The Unnamed / Infinitum Black)

“I know nothing about Nazi holocaust; in every war people must die” (Torsten / Nordlys)

Ad Noctum - Excellence of Supremacy

AD NOCTUM - Excellence of Supremacy (ANCIENT DARKNESS - CD 2004)
Another discovery from the Denmark’s death and black metal scene. Here’s band called Ad Noctum. And this CD is actually sort of a compilation, which includes two Ad Noctum demos: “Jus primae noctis” from 1999 and “Excellence of Supremacy” from 2000. It’s interesting that the band was quite active in those times, but later it took them eight years to release their first full length album “Arrogance” (2008). Anyways, I never heard of Ad Noctum before, so it’s all my introduction to their music. And I definitely must say that I prefer the 2000 demo over the 1999 one and the reason is simple: it just sounds better and stronger and it seems like Ad Noctum had just better ideas for the music. And more so, the execution is more precise and effective. It’s nice, fast and relentless black metal, which is not avoiding some melodic parts, but in majority it is based on harsh and destructive playing. It kind of reminds me some Finnish bands like Unhola, Flauros or Nighside and vocal wise I have also a resemblance to such Odium. And I like it quite much, except just two fragments, when the band decided to use some odd sounding and surely out of place clean male vocals (title track) and female vocals (“Satans Son”). They sound shit in my opinion and definitely do not fit that sheer aggression and violent aura of Ad Noctum music.
I mentioned that I like “Excellence of Supremacy” demo more, but it doesn’t mean that “Jus primae noctis” is bad. Oh no! It’s also very solid and worthy piece of obscure, fast and violent black metal. The production is much rawer and abrasive, so the attitude on this demo is also even more aggressive and vicious. Nice! And this approach is the main strength of Ad Noctum, who don’t play anything exceptional or original, but are solid followers. This demo contains also couple of covers (Bathory and Mayhem), so you can be sure it’s as traditional as it’s possible – and with no clean male or female vocals, which would ruin the effort.

Final rate: 65/100