Saturday, 23 July 2016

Arma Christi - Egocentric Oblivion

ARMA CHRISTI - Egocentric Oblivion (WM PSYCHO CD 2016)
“Egocentric Oblivion” is a debut album from this one man project and I’m happy to say that this is surely the best thing, which Thorn came up with. It’s good to see progression in his song writing, with more ideas, better, more complex song structures, better performance and also with the improved production. Definitely he found a new quality with “Egocentric Oblivion” and I can only applause that.
And definitely I like this album, even if this is not my most favourite sort of black metal. To say it shortly, this is a chaotic, raw and usually totally fast aggressive attack, a stream of unstoppable, pissed off black metal. You can expect to hear many relentless, furious guitar parts, an insanely fast drum machine and distorted, maniacal screams of Thorn. And yeah, Arma Christi music is almost cacophonic, with not many slower parts or surely without much melody. Here and there you’ll hear a slight dose of keyboards, which really sound good and I almost wish to hear more of them, as they give something extra to the whole music. And it would surely make the whole album more diverse, as at the moment it is a bit too one dimensional, in my opinion, especially in those fast parts. You know, how many of these blasts you can listen to? But “Egocentric Oblivion” is a solid release and surely a good improvement in Arma Christi style. The whole album reminds me Mayhem a bit, with similar inhuman, furious attitude and hateful, malicious aura. There’s still some work to be done for Thorn, but damn, I can already say that he’s heading in good direction and comes with stuff that is not your typical, zillions times done before stuff. This album has some moments, which will simply crush you for sure.

Final rate: 69/10

Friday, 22 July 2016

Celebration - Dead Bodies Massacre

CELEBRATION - Dead Bodies Massacre (THRASHING MADNESS CD 2016)
Ready for another part of Polish Metal Classics? Well, Thrashing Madness is always doing fantastic job with this series, and it’s no different this time. And this time they decided to bring Celebration back from the crypt! This was rather short lived band, which was formed in 1990 and split up only year later, but managed to record three demos in this time. This double CD set brings us two of these demos: “Beyond the Grave” (1990) and “Dead Bodies Massacre” (1991), the latter is presented in two versions, one of which was never released before. Additionally, you’ll find here some live and rehearsal recordings, as well as a short rehearsal recording from 1987 of band called Szafot, in which Kacper (Celebration’s vocalist and guitarist) was playing in late 80’s. If you happened to see previous releases of Polish Metal Classics, then I don’t need to say how great quality releases are they. The booklet is excellent, featuring a lot of archival photographs, lyrics and in depth interview with Kacper. It looks just killer and the whole presentation is perfect, in my opinion.
I have to say that I was never a big fan of Celebration demos, but despite that I felt a lot of pleasure to listen to this CD. Surprisingly I still like “Beyond the Grave” demo the most. I don’t even know why… but maybe it’s because it reminds me some Swedish bands so much? Like for example you can surely find some similarities to Toxaemia, Therion, Nihilist, Grave demos and so on… There are some killer songs like “Sanctuary”, which is probably the best song Celebration ever did, “Suicide” or the title track. Sure, this demo sounds terribly archaic and harsh these days, you can hear many fuck ups and bad instrumentation on it – for example I just can’t say enough how bad does that short clean guitar piece sounds in the title song… but despite all that, I just like it a lot. I like the vocals with that reverb they have, I like these raw sounding, heavy guitars and so on. Great stuff.
“Dead Bodies Massacre” is obviously also pretty cool, I have to say that I’m really happy to have it on CD with proper quality. It will not be your best demo of all time, but a solid archaic death metal recorded in the days when I was watching Italia 1990. Definitely this demo sounds much better on CD version than on my old cassette, so I have admit that I almost felt like I was rediscovering this demo again. Oh yeah, there are some really great riffs, some very nice songs like “Lobotomy”. “Dead Bodies Massacre” surely sounds more tight and faster than “Beyond the Grave”, it is really straight forward and aggressive stuff. I’m very glad to hear this demo in two versions, because the one which was unreleased before sounds also awesome, maybe even better? Hmm, I guess I like the vocals much more on this unreleased version, while the music itself sounds more savage and aggressive on the original mix. Great stuff anyway.

Last thing I need to write about are all those live or rehearsal recordings. I’m always sceptical towards them, because usually they sound just very bad and for me are like a unnecessary addition. I just don’t need something what is unlistenable. In case of these Celebration recordings it’s not terrible. Two live songs (one of which is Venom cover) are very OK and give you a small idea what were the gigs like nearly 30 years ago. The 1990 reh sounds better than many official demos from that era, so it’s also cool. All in all, I think that this is one of the best Polish Metal Classics releases so far.

Memoriam - The Hellfire Demos

MEMORIAM - The Hellfire Demos 7"EP 2016
A new band formed by members of Benediction and Bolt Thrower?? That sounded way too intriguing, almost unreal to be true haha! But I had to check it, I had to have this seven inch vinyl! Memoriam comes with two songs set called “The Hellfire Demos” and musically delivers death metal that you could easily foresee. It’s a combination of both legendary bands, but with the strongest accent placed on the war machine that Bolt Thrower is, with their characteristic rhythm, heaviness, melody and even with the military concept. I honestly don’t know how did they start Memoriam and if both Benediction and Bolt Thrower are busy these days, or not? Maybe they’re not, so this is why some of these guys started new thing. Whatever… it’s just always nice to hear some new tunes from them!
But at the first listen my reactions was like “OK, it sounds good, but I expected more, to be honest”. I felt like these songs are not as good as the last albums from Benediction and Bolt Thrower and I was missing something there. Maybe my expectations were just too high? I don’t know. Anyway, after some spins I started to like this EP more. It’s very solid, well played old school death metal, with a lot of nice, heavy riffs, some melodic leads, I like the sound it has… everything is in the right place and “War Rages On” is the better of the two songs.
Obviously record labels had to sign Memoriam quickly, as this will be an easy sale for them. Nuclear Blast signed the band, so we can all wait for the debut album now. Good. I hope it will crush, but I will not tolerate mediocrity from these experienced musicians. By the way, Memoriam brings Andrew Whale back to the scene. You may remember this man, as he was drumming on all early Bolt Thrower records! You can hardly recognize him on the photo though haha!

Final rate: 75/100

Some words on Decaying - The Forgotten Conflict, again!

DECAYING - The Forgotten Conflict (RAW SKULL RECORDZ CD 2016)
Some months ago I has a pleasure to review Decaying’s fantastic EP titled “The Forgotten Conflict” – and you can still find my review on this link (http://panzerfaust666zine.blogspot.com/2016/01/decaying-forgotten-conflict.html). Back then I was playing this on cassette, as this is how this EP was originally released (via Let Them Fukkin Bleed Records). But in the meantime my good friend from Raw Skull Recordz released that stuff on CD, so I cannot waste this opportunity – I will write few words on this EP again, supporting it, so you know that there’s a CD version. And hopefully after reading this, hundreds of maniacs will want to place their orders on Raw Skull Recordz and buy this fuckin CD haha!

My general opinion on this EP can be found in the review. Let me remind you though that what “The Forgotten Conflict” is, are some old songs, from “New Order” demo (two tracks “The Aftermath” and “… to Decay”) and one from “Encirclement” album (“Conclusion”) all re-recorded for this EP and completed with some live recorded songs (cassette had two live tracks while CD has four). So, it’s not a new material and those, who have previous Decaying CDs will know it all very well. But damn, it’s awesome stuff and in case you never heard this Finnish commando yet, this is a great opportunity to check their music out. It’s classic, heavy death metal, a bit in the vein of Asphyx, Bolt Thrower, Hail of Bullets, Humiliation, Memoriam and all that kind of stuff. It’s aggressive and massive heavy, it has some crushing melodies and great dark aura. These guys have skills for writing killer riffs, like in the long monster song called “The Aftermath” or “Conclusion”. And the sound quality is just superb. Live tracks also sound good, especially the first two… so, even if these are not new songs, I listened to them with great pleasure. Because I’m big Decaying fan. Support this band, support Raw Skull Recordz. Buy this shit.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Rotten Casket - Consumed by Filth

ROTTEN CASKET - Consumed by Filth (Self release MC 2015)
This is really awesome shit in my opinion. Rotten Casket are new Dutch death metal band and I just love this cassette they titled “Consumed by Filth”. It’s actually a second demo they did in 2015 (first one is called “Simply Rotten Death”) and I regret that I don’t have the first one alo, but at least I have “Consumed by Filth” and was able to discover this killer band. What they’re like? Well, both sound and style of music, which you can find on “Consumed by Filth” is simply Swedish old school death metal worship. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s exactly that, so… you should know by know whether Rotten Casket will interest you or not.
I can describe “Consumed by Filth” in one sentence – that it is simply a fantastic, killer demo. I know that it’s not gonna surprise you with anything new. When I listen to it, I feel like there are so many old bands that influenced Rotten Casket – Dismember, Entombed, Desultory, Goddefied, God Macabre, etc – but at the same time their style reminds me some newer bands even more, like Entrails, Revel In Flesh, Puteraeon, Pyre, Smothered, Blood Mortized, Departed Souls and such. But especially Entrails. And it’s fuckin awesome, as I’m great fan of all these bands also haha!
Rotten Casket managed to compose six extremely good songs here. I really love each one of them and not even a single moment of “Consumed by Filth” sounds dull to me. They have great riffs that are vicious and aggressive, but they also have a good sense for memorable, killer melodies that always create such total unforgettable death metal that I cannot ever resist it. Sometimes their music can be quite predictable, to be honest, as you just know when to expect a mournful melody to appear or whatever else. For example, a slow part always means that they will do another melodic bit. But I don’t care at all, because the music sounds absolutely superb in my opinion. Just as I wrote above, Rotten Casket came up with many crushing riffs, splendid melodies (like in “Unknown Graves”), I love the vocals, the production is also great (even if it’s also the type of sound you would expect exactly to hear from such band)… I can only speak in very, very positive words about “Consumed by Filth”. Songs like “In Search of the Perfect Skin” (Perfect tune!!!!!!!), “Unknown Graves” and “Culpable Homicide” are simply fuckin perfect anthems of old school death metal, I just like this stuff a lot, so... Please, support Rotten Casket then! Because this band fuckin slays!
Standout tracks: “In Search of the Perfect Skin”, “Unknown Graves”, “Culpable Homicide”

Final rate: 90/100

Ligfaerd / Grigorien - På Den Yderste Dag / Matthævs 13:42

LIGFAERD / GRIGORIEN - På Den Yderste Dag / Matthævs 13:42 (ANCIENT DARKNESS Productions split 7"EP 2016)
Always cool to get some new shit. And this time Ancient Darkness Productions sent me over a nice split 7”EP called “På Den Yderste Dag / Matthævs 13:42” with Ligfaerd, who are really awesome Danish black metal band and Grigorien, who I never heard about before, but who also are from Denmark (and share one member with Ligfaerd, bassist Benedictus).
Starting with side A, we have song called “På Den Yderste Dag”. I already knew it, because it is taken from that very limited promotional cassette “Promo MMXIV”, which I’m happy to have in my collection. It is a great track; Ligfaerd style is very vicious, dark and obscure sounding black metal. Their sound is harsh and raw, the music is far from being polished and polite, but I like the malicious atmosphere they create a lot and how fast this song is. So damn aggressive!!! It’s just very, very solid and promising stuff, personally I can’t wait for “Dagen for Os - Natten for Eder” album to be released later this year. Oh, play it 45 rpm instead of 33 rpm! And then change back to 33rpm for side B haha!
As said above, Grigorien is something totally new for me, I had no idea what music will that be… But it’s quite nice kind of raw, thrashing, very harsh and noisy black metal. Oh yeah, it sounds really nasty and aggressive, it’s just pure violence and hatred haha! The vocals are a bit like Donald Duck in fuckin amok, but I’m joking, don’t take this seriously haha. Grigorien really did good stuff here also and if you like your old school black metal to have that ultimate fuck off attitude, then this may also be your stuff. Personally I prefer Ligfaerd song more though, as it’s darker and more eerie sounding. Nice split anyway!

Final rate:70/100

Vestibule of Hell Compilation

VESTIBULE OF HELL Compilation (WOLFSBANE Records LP 2016)
It took me ages to do this review (due to some problems  I had with my turntable). Finally I got it fixed and can review “Vestibule of Hell”. This vinyl was released by Wolfsbane and it’s a compilation with some more or less known death metal bands. And well, I suppose that compilation releases have as many fans as opponents. Some people like them, some don’t. I guess I’m somewhere in between, as there are some fantastic compilations like “Projections of a Stained Mind” and "Ressurected in Festering Slime", but many other were just boring and waste of time. Definitely thing, which I always require if you wanna have successful, killer compilation is not only ability to gather only great bands. But these bands must also provide exclusive material, otherwise their participation is just pointless. Luckily, “Vestibule of Hell” meets all these conditions. There’s a very nice set of bands – most of them I know very well, only very few were unknown to time. And all of them came with rare or unreleased songs. And more so, Wolfsbane remembered to house the record in fantastic cover. The killer artwork was done by Matt Carr and I love it. But there’s also thick booklet, where each band has its own page with some more artwork, recording info or lyrics and stuff like that. This is how I like the work to be done; no cheap shit, but great presentation that makes the purchase of this record even more worthy. Obviously the musical content is also very nice.
On side A Hacavitz comes with the best song, in my opinion. It’s just fantastic blackened death metal, totally vicious and fast as hell. I’ve never heard much from this band, but definitely I need to change it and grab some of their albums, because it looks like those Mexicans have recorded some good shit and with “Nighte” they caught my attention fully. Side A also delivers a memorable tracks from Entrapment (another very good song from this band!!!) and Eternal Rot. The latter will crush you with ultra slow, downtuned and massively heavy sounds, which are a great follower of their debut 7”EP. I definitely wanna hear more from them. Good songs also come from Denial (Mexico) and newcomer Dead Will Walk (who still didn’t release anything but this one very short song). But side A also has couple of bands and songs, which didn’t impress me at all – Necrofilth, whose punkish thrash is completely not for my taste. And Icons of Brutality who’re a decent death metal but nothing else.
The list of bands on side B is damn impressive. It is starting with Lucifericon, whose debut “The Occult Waters” was fantastic!! And this new song is also just killer, it’s definitely my favourite part of the whole “Vestibule of Hell”. I just love their obscvre or viciovs dark death metal. They have new MLP releases, so it’s something I will surely grab. They’re followed by the old heroes from Pentacle. These masters of old school as always have an impressive song, this time it’s Necrovore cover tune! Rude also comes with fantastic track. Damn, I have to admit that I bought their LP loooonnngg time ago, but still didn’t give it enough listens, I kind of forgot about them. So, I have to wipe the dust off it and play it finally. Further on Bombs of Hades, Wound and Sonne Adam present some great tunes and only The Howling Wind didn’t manage to interest me so much.
Tracklist:
-Hacavitz - Nighte                                             
–Entrapment - The Reaper                                
–Eternal Rot - Fatal Offering                            
–Icons Of Brutality - Region Of Flesh             
–Denial - Deprecatio De Profundis Tenebrae   
–Nekrofilth - Street Fight                                  
–Dead Will Walk - Prison Tomb                       
–Lucifericon - Omega Therion                          
–Pentacle - Divus De Mortuus                          
–Bombs Of Hades - When The Reaper Comes 
–Wound - Carrion                                             
–The Howling Wind - Pulsation Warfront        
–Sonne Adam - Halayala Shell Lucifer             
–Rude - Funeral Pyre

Final rate: 75/100

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Diabolizer - Apokalypse

DIABOLIZER - Apokalypse (THIRD EYE TEMPLE CD 2016)
Turkey is not a country, where you usually look at if you wanna find some killer metal bands. I’ve tried to come up with some names that would be worth being mentioning here, but the result is poor and there are just two bands that I have in my mind: Engulfed and Burial Invocation. These two are killer death metal bands that I really wanna recommend. But hold on, here’s another one, called Diabolizer from Istanbul!!! And guess what… Their line up consists of some Engulfed and Burial Invocation members haha, so it’s no surprise that these fuckers managed to form another killer project. They started in 2012 and quickly released “Shadows of Impending Decimation” demo. And now time came for the apocalypse!! “Apokalypse” is the title of their new CD from Third Eye Temple, with five new tracks and a bonus of both songs from the demo.
And man, I have to sincerely admit that from the very first minute this music blew my fuckin head off. I just love such death metal – which is so bloody intense, so vicious and aggressive, so powerful and fast that it can really rip your guts out and you can risk some nasty injures when this wall of sound (play it loud!!!) will hit you and you’ll start a maniacal headbanging! Yeah, I know, what a unimaginative description haha, but this is exactly what I felt when I started to listen to “Apokalypse”. When their first sounds hit me, I was like “ooohh yeah, this is gonna be good shit” – and damn, it is awesome stuff. Diabolizer music is so perfectly played and recorded, it has such a great dose of power that it just makes amazing impression on me. This unstoppable, furious beast sounds like a bastard son of Vomitory and Vital Remains, with some cum shots from Deicide right in the face. It also has that diabolic, evil atmosphere, their riffs are sharp and brutal, precise and so bloody fast…! While Engulfed is a slow bulldozer and Burial Invocation (who didn’t record anything since years, when their killer split with Anatomia was unleashed – what a shame!) is a proper old school death metal in the most traditional ways, then Diabolizer is again a bit different and surely it’s the most violent, brutal and fastest of all these acts. And probably also my favourite. Definitely you need to check them out now!

Final rate: 85/100

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Centurian - Choronzonic Chaos Gods

CENTURIAN - Choronzonic Chaos Gods (FULL MOON Productions CD 1999)
There was a time in the late 90’s when Holland started to come up with great bunch of fuckin brutal death metal bands. Pyaemia, Severe Torture, Disavowed, Prostitute Disfigurement and few more were crushing with some of the most intense, technical and extreme shit that you could imagine. Centurian was also there and they were also my favourite Dutch band from that era, simply because their music was also more like old school stuff, influenced by some of the old US death metal heroes. And yes, it was intense and brutal. And this album, “Choronzonic Chaos Gods”, is the best Dutch death metal motherfucker that was released at that time. This album is simply fantastic.
The sheer intensity and extreme, powerful character of music are the main strengths of “Choronzonic Chaos Gods”. Wow, this album blows away the speakers into damn cosmos and your ears will bleed, because you’ll play it too loud. Trust me, you will. You cannot listen to it quietly. I just love how it sounds, how fast Centurian music is on this album and that even if it’s technical and brutal death metal, it is still easy to listen to. And they even have some memorable parts in slower fragments, etc. I like the riffage and many ideas for arrangements or whatever, I like the vocals also a lot, because Seth has this kind of Glen Benton alike voice, which is just super cool. Basically Deicide along such Vital Remains or Morbid Angel were surely the bands that you could compare Centurian the most to. But also Aeon, Angel Corpse, Brazilian commando Krisiun and obviously Sinister as well. All these bands share passion for something totally blasphemous, evil sounding and malicious; intense, brutal and insanely ferocious. “Choronzonic Chaos Gods” is exactly like that, with a bunch of killer, standing out tracks like “Hail Caligula!!!”, “The Law of Burning”, “Misanthropic Luciferian Onslaught”
Yeah, this music will tear you up and its power will surely infect you in positive way, providing a lot of adrenaline and energy. It’s a pure slaughtering death metal, nothing more, nothing less.
The musicianship of every Centurian member is obviously top notch, they’re like beasts that were locked in a studio to unleashed all their fury and aggression and transform them into music. The production is also great, way better than it was on the demo “Of Purest Fire”… and that artwork, all covered in blood of band’s guitarist!! Can it be any better? Nope. Killer stuff!!!!
Standout tracks: “Hail Caligula!!!”, “The Law of Burning”, “Misanthropic Luciferian Onslaught”

Final rate: 80/100

Hooded Menace - Fulfill the Curse

HOODED MENACE - Fulfill the Curse (DOOMENTIA Records CD 2008)
Great things always come out of nowhere and unexpected. It was mid 2000’s and not many people around the extreme metal underground were thinking about playing fuckin doomy and classic to the bone death metal. And this guy, Lasse Pyykkö, formed his new band Hooded Menace and it immediately became a lantern for what will happen in the death metal scene in years to come – a total resurgence of traditional sound of death metal, including a fantastic evolvement and explosion of doom / death metal. Yeah, I love it. And surely Hooded Menace is one of my favourite acts from this sort of music that were ever formed. I love Lasse’s music. “Fulfill the Curse” was his first full length he ever did, even though Pyykkö was / and still is / involved in many bands. Fans of Finnish death metal will know him mostly from Phlegethon obviously! This band did some great recordings in the old days, “Fresco Lungs” being probably the most memorable. Years after Phlegethon’s decease in the 90’s Lasse Pyykkö not only reformed his own band in the mid 00’s, but also formed the greatest of all his bands, Hooded Menace. And “Fulfill the Curse” is a debut of this band, released in 2008.
I like everything about Hooded Menace. Not only the music, which is so super heavy and dark, but also how this band brings horror themes into their concept. The lyrics and artwork, and the music as well, are influenced by some of these old movies like “Return of the Blind Dead”, “Tombs of the Blind Dead” and other such obscure films from the 70’s. I have to say that I’m not necessarily big fan of this old cinema, but for example I just love the graphics, posters and atmosphere of these films. And damn, Hooded Menace is like a perfect tribute. The lyrics have deep connection to them and the artwork by Putrid Mat is simply exceptional and stunning. It looks very much like those killer posters from old movies and the result is killer. You can even see those evil Knights Templar there! Super awesome!
And the music surely evokes the malicious and eerie aura immediately, with the very first riff of “Rotting Rampage (Menace of the Skeletal Dead)”. Slow pace, creepy, sinister riffs, ghastly vocals and heaviness!!! Fuckin heaviness! Each song on this album walks one path and never really steps away from that formula of doom / death metal, except maybe the final track, which is a death metal version of theme from “Manhattan Baby” movie – and which by the way sounds super fantastic and belongs to the real highlights of the whole album (not the first time when a horror movie theme turns into super awesome riffs!! You all remember what Entombed did with “Phantasm” theme, right?). Hooded Menace has some riffs, which sound like a heavier, death metal Candlemass, with some harmonious parts here and there also… It all just sounds super creepy and massive, really dark and the aura fits the horror themed lyrics just perfectly. Some of you may find this music a bit too monotonous, but that’s only matter of taste, I guess. I enjoyed this album a lot, even though it isn’t my favourite Hooded Menace full length.
The vocals have very typical for old Finnish death metal sound, so common among bands like Funebre, Disgrace, not to forget about Demilich and obviously also Phlegethon! So, they’re very brutal, really deep and guttural growling that sound like some creepy monstrous gurgle echoing in the catacombs. And I think it’s fantastic. Not only because such vocals are not that common among death metal bands these days, but also because in the past they were unique just for a small number of classic Finnish death metal acts and this way it makes connection between Hooded Menace and the old scene from Suomi. The vocal approach is very simple, they have not even a single moment where Lasse would sound more melodic or cleaner, they’re quite one dimensional growl right from the guts from start to finish.
And you know what? This album could easily have been recorded in the early or mid 90’s. That should be enough for great recommendation. Check “Fulfill the Curse” and some other Hooded Menace stuff now!!!
Standout tracks: “Rotting Rampage (Menace of the Skeletal Dead)”, “Laboratory of Nightmares”, “The Love Song of Gotho, Hunchback of the Morgue”, “Theme from Manhattan Baby”

Final rate: 80/100

Monday, 11 July 2016

Dalkhu - Descend... into Nothingness

DALKHU - Descend... into Nothingness (GODZ OV WAR / THIRD EYE TEMPLE MC 2016)
Slovenian band this time. Well, I can’t remember any other band from this country that I would know… so, it’s something new and it can be either very interesting or very bad, I said to myself. Luckily it was the first and the experience of listening Dalkhu music was very good. "Descend... into Nothingness" is actually their second album, but I never heard about “Imperium” or Dalkhu before I got this tape (released by Godz ov War / Third Eye Temple and sold out already). But who cares… let’s go.
This album is quite weird, because it's not a straight up death metal, which you would normally expect. The whole "Descend... into Nothingness" music is a surprising effort to put up more unconventional death metal and even if this music has some influences from other acts (both old and new), the band managed to transform it into their own sound. And the result is something really intriguing and original, I think. I won't even bother to make some usual comparisons to this or another band, as I don't even know what would be fair for Dalkhu and what would make any sense. And well, I won't do this also because I am not sure, if I know any bands, which would really sound similar to Dalkhu. And please, take this as a compliment, especially as nowadays we're flooded with zillions of same sounding acts and only few dare to do something different and individual.
What’s so unique about Dalkhu then? Well, it’s just the way they combine specific type of melodies (which are a lot here) with some brutal, quite complex and often fast death metal what makes their music sound so original. And almost weird sometimes. It’s definitely hard to foresee what will be next and definitely the whole “Descend... into Nothingness” is one of those albums, which need time and several listens before you will get into it and actually figure out what’s it about. It’s not straight forward, easily listenable effort, there may be some memorable tunes but all are surrounded by some chaotic parts or melodic, almost mesmerizing bits with complexity of song structures, etc. So, don’t give Dalkhu opinion after the first spin of “Descend... into Nothingness”.
I’ve mentioned the melodic side of the album. Well, definitely there are many harmonious parts on “Descend... into Nothingness”, but it’s fascinating how different are these melodies, which the Slovenian band came with. They’re just not kind of melodies you would know and usually hear. They have almost black metallish atmosphere, Dalkhu sometimes comes up with them in the most unexpected ways and moments, so this is another reason why this album is not that easy to get into. And definitely it’s awesome how Dalkhu managed to combine that side of their music with harsh and brutal death metal. It often gets really fast, blasting with a killer wall of massive, heavy riffage and then again it abruptly slows down… Just take the opening anthem “Pitch Black Cave”, as it’s not only the best song from the album in my opinion (and one of  the fastest also!), but a great example for diversity of Dalkhu music. Oh, I need also to mention that I love the vocals, I really like this sort of deep, but quite understandable growling. Fuckin awesome. I don’t need to say anything about the instrumentation as it should be pretty obvious that the whole performance of both Dalkhu members is spot on. The production of “Descend... into Nothingness” is also great. And I love the artwork and band logo. Yeah, very nice, surprising band from Slovenia.
Standout tracks: “Pitch Black Cave”, “In the Woods”

Final rate: 70/100

Friday, 8 July 2016

Mhonos - Miserere Nostri

MHONOS - Miserere Nostri (NECROCOSM - CD 2016)
This is some weird stuff that I received from French label called Necrocosm and which offers sounds that I'm usually so much into and hardly ever play anything like this. And it was intentional to describe this CD with word "sounds" as this is not really music, which we would understand as something that has typical song structures, harmonies, rhythms, vocals, etc. Mhonos is more like a combination of dark ambient, noise, drone and fuck knows what else. Sounds like something you may like? Then read it on. But if you’re not into experimental stuff then I wouldn’t recommend it to you.
The whole album "Miserere Nostri" feels like one 40 minutes long track - divided into four chapters, but they’re all are connected, so it feels like you hear just one long track. As I mentioned, there are no specific rhythms or drums or usual musical patterns and melodies, but just bass, some keyboards, noise sounds and the vocals, which are like choirs or ghastly voices. And the feeling of the "music" is like a journey into some dark, obscure abyss, into disturbing, unknown and frightening depths. They bring almost painful feelings like something was drilling holes in your skull, slowly and sadistically, taking you into madness. And more so, everything has a strong ritualistic atmosphere. Everything about "Miserere Nostri" has minimalistic approach - and the simplicity of the artwork also, so it fits perfectly.
It's weird, but even though I'm usually not so much into such music - with probably few exceptions - I find "Miserere Nostri" as fascinating. There's something about this album that doesn't let you forget about it and it’s just ideal to be played in the darkness of your home; on headphones most preferably, so you will close yourself within it, cutting off from the surroundings. There are some fragments that really stack in my mind, like a piece from track called “Communio”, where I loved that haunting and sinister atmosphere, with vocals that sound like sort of mantra. Meanwhile the keyboards from the third part "Offertorium" bring a nice dark ambient piece, which is almost like a light in the surrounding utter darkness; very different in its aura to the rest of the album.
My knowledge on Mhonos, as a project, is basically close to zero though, I have no idea if they have more albums or not. But surely I’m going to investigate it and find out more about them, because "Miserere Nostri" is really intriguing. By the way , this is a third version of this album already (first one was released in 2010).

Final rate: 75/100

Humiliation / Taste - Bullet Storm / The Blood of the Disaster Dead

HUMILIATION / TASTE - Bullet Storm / The Blood of the Disaster Dead (BLOODBATH Records CD 2016)
I’m still relatively new into Humiliation, whose vast discography is yet to be fully discovered by me. So far I’m only familiar with few split 7”EPs and two albums, but I’m already really impressed with the music of this one of the best Asian death metal commandos. Here’s one of their recent releases, which I was really lucky to grab and which is another split, this time it’s a CD split with Japan based Taste.
Humiliation brings two songs of their ultra heavy and groovy old school death metal, which has that strong influence from bands such as Six Feet Under, Bolt Thrower or Obituary. I am sure that all fans of this sort of music will agree with my comparison, because it cannot be mistaken with anything else. And I’m sure that they will love this music, because Humiliation kicks ass. These Malaysians have great gift for writing memorable, killer riffs and they come with fantastic songs. I’m also glad that the production is always crushing and powerful, so I can listen to their stuff with pure pleasure. “An Absence of Peace” is especially killer song, so I’m really glad that I had a chance to hear another piece of their discography and I’m looking forward for more.
The second band is called Taste and they’re Japanese. I’ve never heard of them before and to be honest, I’m not so much impressed with their two songs. It’s quite brutal and technical sounding death metal, but not really one, which I would like a lot, especially for songs like “The Blood of the Disaster Dead”, where the vocals almost annoyed me (also because they’re so high in the mix), but the riffs were also nothing special. And the noisy production is definitely not helping. There’s the final fragment of “Extinction Force”, which I quite liked as it reminds me Immolation a bit, but other than that Taste didn’t manage to satisfy my hunger for killer death metal.

Final rate: 70 / 100

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Corpse Garden - Entheogen

CORPSE GARDEN - Entheogen (GODZ OV WAR MC 2015)
There are not many bands from Costa Rica that I would know. I can only think of Paganus Doctrina and Insepulto right now. But Corpse Garden is also from there and well, I guess this may be my favourite band from this small country with even smaller extreme metal scene. Sadly, I don’t know much about them, no more than I can find on Metal Archives, but I can see that “Entheogen” is a second album from Corpse Garden. Definitely I will have to check also their first CD, but until then it’s “Entheogen” crushing the walls. I actually have tape version of it, unleashed by Godz ov War Productions (limited to 100 copies), but there’s also a CD version released by unknown Satanath Records (need to grab a copy also!).
“Entheogen” is very long, over one hour long album and I have to say that it’s not necessarily an easy listen. And not only due to its length, but also because of the unconventional death metal that Corpse Garden performs. But somehow these sixty minutes go really fast, because the listener is hit by some incredible, exceptional sounding death metal that makes a stunning impression and keeps him interested through the whole album. Corpse Garden style can bring you reminiscences of Death, Gorguts, Pestilence, Nocturnus, Morbid Angel, Mithras and probably many more names… Basically it’s sort of technical, quite progressive sounding band that wants to give their death metal more original and interesting approach, rather than redoing something what was already over explored. And as such, they definitely succeeded. But this is also why “Entheogen” is not so easy to get into. Luckily, aside the whole technical approach of Corpse Garden players and regardless of how complex can this music sometimes sound, it still have many great hooks and absolutely memorable, stunning parts that help you get into it. More so, it is really brutal and aggressive, it is also quite fast, often blasting like crazy (“Suspended over the Abyss”!!!), so you can be sure that it’s very powerful and monstrous, with so much going on in every song, with so many dynamics and variety... It’s just damn well played and highly interesting. I also like the fact that there’s something haunting and eerie about this music and its atmosphere. It’s really dark sounding, not just in the death metal songs, but also with these creepy sounding interludes that Corpse Garden throws here and there. While listening to this album, you can feel like “Entheogen” is a conceptual work, but I don’t dare to guess more, as the cassette has no lyrics or more information about that.
As for technical aspects, I can only say that the whole band’s performance is very well done, from the bass lines and crazy riffs to solid drumming and good powerful vocals. I also like the production of “Entheogen” a lot. It makes the music sound very thick, very powerful and brutal, the bass is so well audible, the riffs are mighty... Yeah, basically everything about “Entheogen” is great, so I am personally impressed.
Standout tracks: “Portal to the Oneiric”, “Suspended over the Abyss”

Final rate: 85/100

Abscession - Grave Offerings

ABSCESSION - Grave Offerings (FINAL GATE CD 2014)
Abscession are basically nothing else, but straight up Swedish sounding death metal band (hailing from Germania though haha!). And yeah, I know that many of you will immediately start yawning from boredom when hearing great number of the same sounding bands, with the same influences, style, etc. Yeah, I can understand that, but on the other hand I am so deeply infected with Swedish death metal style that my tolerance for this music is very big. And I am not really bothered if band X sounds unoriginal and brings nothing new and if band Y sounds exactly the same as band X. It just doesn’t matter, as long as the music is good, then everything is fine. Obviously such bands and such albums will most likely perish unnoticed and will never get a status of “classics” or something “timeless”. But diehard collectors will be always coming back to them, I guess. How’s that related to “Grave Offerings”? Well, as mentioned before, this is not an album, which would bring anything new or extraordinary. It is not an album, which will get a wide recognition. Finally, it surely it not an album, which goes above the average quality of current new wave of old school death metal. As such, it is solid, but actually pretty mediocre. Which doesn’t mean it’s bad or something.
Starting with what I like the most about “Grave Offerings”, it would surely be the catchiness of this album. Damn, it is very memorable and easily listenable. Already since the first spin you will know some of these riffs or melodies and they’ll come back to you fast. The album plays smoothly, it’s so damn easy to listen to that you almost doesn’t realize when it’s over and you wanna play it again. Obviously there are some very strong riffs, some great moments… and well, I surely like those more aggressive ones the most (with songs like “Where Sleeping Gods Dwell”, “Gargoyle” and “Freshly Dug Graves”). Abscession digs the tomb of Swedish death metal and brings sometimes quite worn out, clichéd riffs and arrangements, but I like it anyway and listen to this CD with a pleasure. But yeah, it’s double edged sword and for many listeners this will be the case “oh, I heard it way too many times before, too many times in better performance”, etc. I agree. But the whole performance of Abscession on “Grave Offerings” is as solid as it can be from a debuting underground band and I see no reason why fans of (Swedish) death metal should not like this. This album has many hooks, many nice melodic pieces, some great aggressive parts, and it’s simply good.
I need to point out that two songs come quite different from the rest of the material. First, the closing song  “Downfall pt 1” is kind of ten minutes long monster, which you can divide into two parts. First one is pretty standard Swedish death metal but the second goes into very doomy, epic sounding style that may remind you some slower Hypocrisy songs mixed with a bit of Edge of Sanity, with piano and even clean vocals used. I even enjoyed it, but to be honest I was not so much convinced about all these pianos and clean vocals.
Another of the two songs and one, which I prefer more, is “In My Coffin”, which is very doomy, but at the same time it’s so damn heavy and vicious. And in this case I’m not even bothered about the clean vocals that appear in this song haha! No, this is very, very good song. I can compare it to Bloodbath a lot, they used to have quite few similar songs on their early albums!
So, all in all, a decent debut from Abscession. It’s already been almost two years since “Grave Offerings” and it looks like it didn’t get that much recognition, what can prove me right that it’s solid album, but also “one of many”. I enjoyed it, some more fans of Swedish death metal will also do. Everybody else, who is more of a moaning type of listeners, should get something else and not waste their time.
Standout tracks: “Where Sleeping Gods Dwell”, “Gargoyle”, “In My Coffin”, “Freshly Dug Graves”

Final rate: 70/100

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Deisidaemonia - Khthonian Hymns

DEISIDAEMOANIA - Khthonian Hymns (OLD TEMPLE - CD 2016)
Here’s the latest release from Old Temple Records. And this time it’s a debuting band called Deisidaemonia. Hmm, band or should I say project, as it’s basically just one dude, doing everything, including vocals and instruments. I have to say that I was completely unfamiliar with this project, I didn’t even know what kind of music it will be… so when I played this CD for the first time I was just unaware how great it will turn out to be. Now I know that this is one of the best albums that Old Temple has released so far. And it’s a great recommendation for you, people. Believe me, this is some seriously good shit!
Deisidaemonia is from Greece and obviously “Khthonian Hymns” is full of the influences rooted in the classic Hellenic black metal. The dark, evil atmosphere of this music, some of these melodies, riffs and drumming, and more, are all characteristic for this style of black metal. What may differ “Khthonian Hymns” a little is the production, which is a bit cleaner here than on the classic albums from the 90’s, but it surely is not something bad, as the sound quality and generally everything about this album is absolutely top notch. Anyway, take such song like “Hades Awake” and I am sure that it will bring you memories of some Hellenic bands; and not only Rotting Christ, but also Varathron, etc. On the other hand quite often I had a strong feeling like Dissection’s last album “Reinkaos” must have also been a strong influence on Deisidaemonia, for the harmonies, some arrangements and even the atmosphere of this music. So, put these ingredients together and you will have a small vision for Deisidaemonia’s debut album.
But to be fair, it almost doesn’t matter what were the influences for Deisidaemonia, when we hear such a phenomenal music. For example I mentioned the song called “Hades Awake” and man, the melodic side of this song and the way it’s been arranged is absolutely killer. But every song on this album is worth checking, really. And it’s important to note that the whole “Khthonian Hymns” is really diverse. You can get some aggressive, sometimes even fast played, vicious black metal, but later it can turn into an epic and melodic side. Such “Titanic Blood” will hook you with some great clean vocals that emphasize the monumental sound of this song, while the one after that called “Prometheus Disciples” will crush with some blasts, but also surprise with a memorable, sort of “scream with me” type of chorus (“Lucifer!!!… “Prometheus!!!…). Yeah, a lot of great stuff is going on with “Khthonian Hymns” and I am simply impressed. Not a single moment on this album sound boring, not for a second I felt that it’s something not good enough. From start to finish it’s just fantastic black metal. And if you like a bit melodic black metal, with a nice Greek touch, then this is surely an album for you as well. I cannot recommend enough.
Standout tracks: “Hades Awake”, “Titanic Blood”, “

Final rate: 85/100

Poisoned - Beyond the Gates of Fire

POISONED - Beyond the Gates of Fire (FALLEN TEMPLE - CD 2016)
Couple of years ago we’ve been treated with a nice split CD titled “Raw Torments of War”, which presented us two Polish beasts Persecutor and Poisoned. I’ve enjoyed it sincerely, so now I’m glad that one of these bands is back with a full length album. I’m talking about Poisoned. “Beyond the Gates of Fire” is their debut album and well, I’m sure that it will be an enjoyable stuff for all die hard old school metal maniacs, as surely it is something worth of their attention. But first off, let me say that I really like the whole presentation of this CD. The artwork and layout is superb and fits this music so damn well. It’s simple, but the frames, graphics, band photographs and even the lettering - all look great. I like it a lot, because I tend to put a lot of attention for the visual aspects of every release I get as well as for the lyrics. This is something people who only care for mp3’s will never understand I suppose haha. But that’s their problem and something to discuss on another occasion. Here we’re gonna speak about Poisoned and “Beyond the Gates of Fire”.
Musically this album is, as I already wrote above, kind of a feast for old school metal maniacs. Poisoned sounds almost archaic and this album, with the songs it contains and with this sort of production, feels like something that was taken from old archives, recorded maybe 25-30 years ago. And if this is what Poisoned wanted to achieve with their sound and music, then they surely succeeded. The production is the only thing, which I have to really complain about. It should have been a bit more energetic and aggressive, as it’s a bit dry and the guitars sound terribly thin… but that’s rather minor complain, not something disastrous. Besides, this sort of sound just fits this old school death / thrash metal. The music has that vibe, which you can find on albums like “Seven Churches”, “Hell Awaits” or “Darkness Descends”, it also reminds me such “Necrolust” demo (I have to say that the vocals sound quite close to Peter’s) and some more old Polish recordings, like early 90’s demos. And I don’t necessarily mean the strictly stylistic aspects, but sometimes it’s just the feeling and aura of the music or character of these riffs and vocals. All songs are really no bullshit and not even for a second they try to step away from the classic death / thrash formulas. Their poisoned riffs must sound sharp and aggressive, the drumming is rather simple, the solos are sick… It is often fast, but don’t even dare to think that it’s modern blast beat type of fast death metal.
Honestly I feel like “Beyond the Gates of Fire” is very easily listenable and you’ll get into it instantly. It doesn’t require anything else than a cold beer in one hand and skulls banging crazy. I cannot say that this is the most remarkable album in the old school death / thrash field, it lacks a bit in my opinion, to sound truly crushing and powerful. But it is not that bad also. I quite enjoyed it.

Final rate: 70/100

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Fleshcrawl / Skinned Alive - Tales of Flesh and Skin

FLESHCRAWL / SKINNED ALIVE - Tales of Flesh and Skin (BRUTAL ART Records / FDA Rekotz CD 2016)
Well… for me personally this split was something I really was looking forward to grab. Why? Because it brings Fleshcrawl back to our chambers of torture! It’s been way too many years since they released their last album “Structures of Death” – it was already back in 2007!!! They never split up, just got very quiet. Luckily with “Tales of Flesh and Skin” Fleshcrawl is (hopefully) back for good. Great news, for me personally, because I consider them to be my favourite German death metal band of all time, I have all their CDs, so it just felt weird to see this current old school death metal movement going without such important and exceptional band like Fleshcrawl. “Tales of Flesh and Skin” is a split release, with Skinned Alive, which I have not heard before. It’s interesting that this split was first released on digipak by Brutal Art Records, in only 300 copies. I grabbed a copy quickly, because all Brutal Art releases get sold out rather fast. It turned out that later that also an unlimited jewel case version was released, but by F.D.A. Rekotz, so the hurry was maybe not so needed… but at least I have sort of rare CD version now in my collection!
Fleshcrawl comes with four new tracks. And well, they sound exactly as I would expect. This band had quite strong Swedish sound on their last albums and it’s still here. It still smells like Swedish crypt, but damn, it sounds so bloody nice. I know that these days we have many bands that play similar stuff (also in Germania!). And probably there are some that are just as good as Fleshcrawl. But for me Fleshcrawl is special band, so I am only super excited about all these new songs, especially if they’re so damn good as “Return of the Flesh” or “Kingdom of Skulls”, which sound like a classic Swedish death metal anthems. It’s very solid, very aggressive and powerful death metal played in one of my favourite styles, so I must like it a lot. Good performance and songwriting, nice production… definitely I cannot complain on anything here. Nice comeback from this band.
It’s the first time I hear Skinned Alive music and I’m glad that they’re really damn awesome. Stylistically this German project – run by just one dude, Ferli Thielmann from Miseo and Milking the Goatmachine – is very close to what Fleshcrawl presents, so it was a nice choice to have both bands on a split release. I like how Skinned Alive combines aggressive and heavy tunes with some melodic leads – something what is obviously a trademark for Swedish death metal style, but not everyone is able to make it right. Thielmann (who recently completed Skinned Alive line up into full band) surely did great job. I like his songs (my favourite is surely “Lingchi” – what a killer piece of death metal!!!), I also like the sound quality, I absolutely worship this sort of riffs and harmonies… Definitely this is just superb stuff and even if it doesn’t bring anything new to this genre, it still kicks ass strongly and should be an exciting feast for the fans of this style of death metal. I am impressed!
Standout tracks: “Return of the Flesh”, “Kingdom of Skulls”, “Lingchi”, “Lifeless Flesh Released”

Final rate: 85/100

Friday, 27 May 2016

Pyre interview

PYRE Interview with Dym Nox!!!!!!!! YEAH!

Greetings Dym Nox! You now what? I did many interviews already, more than 150 for sure and never had a chance to interrogate a Russian band! Pyre is simply the very first Russian band, which impressed me so much, so I wanted to ask you some questions haha!
Greets Panzerfaust! For the first time? Well, I hope it's not unfortunately for you and you're pleasantly impressed, haha. (Well, I am by the fact that it took you a year to finish the answers haha – P666!). But In fact this is the first interview from Poland, although we had not so many interviews from around the world, mainly it was from Russia and somewhere near here, so I'm happy to be interrogated by you.

Ha, it couldn’t be more awkward moment for this interview – a Polish zine to feature a Russian band hehe. There’s quite negative relationship between both nations now… I wonder how do you feel about all this? I rather don’t give a crap about politics, but it could be interesting to know opinion from someone from the Mother Russia about all these international controversies. Some people even  see it as a seed of possible great war; nothing what could likely happen in my opinion, but people like to see everything in dark and pessimistic ways.
You know, I think that people just make (and love it) all these stressful relations between Russia and the rest of the world by their own will, enhancing and exaggerating on the background of the political game. As if we are all here lunatic savages who want to capture the whole world. People like to make mountains out of molehills, especially when it's Russia and it smacks useless war, which is interesting only for politicians and morons & assholes and those who earn huge money on this shit. But not for us! We don't give a fuck about all that political shit happening around Russia and in the world now anyways. I don't care who you are, Pole or German or whoever, it should in no way interfere with doing what we most prefer to do and shouldn't adversely affect on our relationship in the metal underground. If someone cares - they can fuck off.

I always like to ask some non musical questions, and here I can’t resist but ask about Saint Petersburg, where you live. All in all, it’s one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and surely one of the most historical in Russia. What can you tell me about this city? Does it still live with the old days of Tsars, revolution, Romanovs, etc? Are you much into the history? Do you like to know the historical backgrounds of the place you’re from?
For sure, we're surrounded by history in every corner of St. Petersburg. It was the capital of Tsarist Russia since Peter the Great built it on the marshes where no life was dwelling:) So the city is rather young comparing to Moscow or other central Russia. But the magnificence and abundance of it is determined by European-style streets, buildings and cathedrals. Peter the Great and his successors made good contacts with Europe and invited Dutch, German, Italian and French talents to make St.Petersburg a piece of art and to learn our own architects. So the city is a good sample of high Russian culture which was interrupted by revolution and Soviet period which we call "Sovok". It was a strongest curve in politics and people's minds, for their aim was to destroy the past!! I don't want to say that everything had gone bad, but the city's appearance much changed. Nowadays it is an enormous megalopolis with more than 6 millions of people from different parts of Russia, foreigners, immigrants and a total mixture of genres. It's developed social and cultural life attracts ambitious persons and it cannot be overlooked the even every Pyre member moved here from lesser known regions of our country. Our places of birth differ but Pyre was found and raised completely in Saint-Petersburg. Nonetheless the traditional St. Petersburg is closer to us. We feel ourselves better in old, central districts of the city, where the history is still alive.

Before we speak of Pyre, I need to ask about Russian metal. You know, I will be honest… Pyre is the first Russian band, which I really liked. I also like Pseudogod, but not as much as Pyre. (Ed-Since I sent the interview, I got to know some other cool Russian bands, like Darkeater, Grond, The Prophet, Chamber of
Torture and Trigger). All the rest I know is either worthless or just too mediocre to be remembered. So tell us, how come such a big country could not get a great extreme metal scene? Are there any bands that you would recommend me now? But please, avoid all that pseudo pagan / folk shit, because I hate it! Fuck Arkona. How come we hardly hear about good Russian death metal? What problems bands in your country mainly have to deal with?
And what about the fundaments of Russian metal scene? Do Russian metalheads respect their history with the foundators of the metal sound in the country, bands like Korozzia Metalla or Death Vomit? Do they have cult status like Kat in Poland or Root and Master’s Hammer in Czech Republic? What were the beginnings of Russian metal scene?
Russian metal and especially death metal scene is very poor. We cannot even talk about "Russian school" or "Russian sounding" of any metal genre. You know, in the Soviet Union all rock music was illegal and considered to be harmful by authorities. When USSR began to crash in mid 80-s, more freedom was given to musicians and some metal bands began to appear. But in the mid 80’s Russians knew only few heavy metal bands - Aria - Russian copy of Iron Maiden and some others: Kruiz, Cherniy Kofe and other conformist stuff. Heavy was a fashion and even pop singers used leather, spikes and rocky beats 
There were some thrash and death metal bands but they had no money or labels to make good recordings and promotions. They all were in a deepest underground. Korrozia Metalla were the first to make something like a community to help young bands with records and promotions. It was called "Koorporatsia tyazhelogo roka" (cooperation of heavy rock) and head their own magazine and metal compilation "Zhelezniy marsh" (Iron march). So with their help some good projects were heard. Like Grave Side of Tula. On the other hand bands like Aspid - a real brilliant of Russian metal scene - wasn't heard due to a very limited release. Bands Master and Hellraiser after two or three albums of a good thrash metal rolled into a piece of shit. But we had great underground stuff like Death Vomit, Kholostoi Vystrel and Mafia. However, Russia's new "democratic " government did not encourage the metal. Tushino massacre at the concert of Metallica and Pantera in 1993, where thousands of people were beaten and arrested - the clearest example of this. The population also didn't recognise metal music and metalheads had to fight on streets for their right to exist So on, in the mid 90’s many bands changed their sounding into melodic / gothic/ industrial / groove and death metal slowly became either melodic or techno / brutal. I’m not much into folk and pagan howls and as for me, nothing interesting happened on the metal battlefield till late 00's when traditional sounding and composing music was revived. Everyone was sick of triggered drums, plastic guitars and gay singing so we all owe the appearance of brilliant groups at this time not only in metal but in doom / crust / d-beat/ grind as well. I talk about Chamber of Torture, Internal Damage, Grave Disgrace, Ulvdalir and Wombripper not only because I shared the scene with 'em but for the reason they make good music too. As for the problems - the song remains the same: not so much promotion and money for the bands to make good releases. Many of them do not take into account that a good recording worth the money and vainly trying to do something at home on their PC's. Many of them underestimate live performance and still remain online chimeras. And as for death metal - it's UNDER GROUND as it has always been.

So, let’s speak about Pyre now! The band was formed in 2011, but I wonder how long do you know each other, I mean are you all school friends or maybe you come from the same neighbourhood or the band happen to be a gathering of people, who were interested in playing extreme metal and got together by auditions, recommendations from others, etc? I suppose it is quite stable line up, as no changes occurred so far! 
No, we are neither school friends nor got together by auditions, recommendations from others, etc. This was not quite so. We are all came to St-Pete from the different regions of Russia, in general from the south. And met through mutual friends from neighbouring metal bands from local underground scene. But at the time of creation of Pyre, Fred has already played with us a while in Ulvdalir. So there was no problem with searching of the second guitar player when we all leaved Ulvdalir. He is a very good guitarist and friend, so he immediately appeared in a band. And then we found Kannib Maledik. He was a guitarist in a local thrash metal band, but also he could play drums a bit. So we got guitarist who became a drummer in Pyre and also bassist / vocalist, who never played bass before, haha. And it worked out! 

I am so damn impressed by the first Pyre album “Human Hecatomb”… it is just great recording. I can sincerely put it aside to such bands as Graveyard, Maim, Tormented, Brutally Deceased, Morbid Flesh or Nominon… Tell me, how satisfied do you feel about the album and the songs? Musicians usually don’t listen to their own music often, but if I was you then I would personally be so happy and proud of such album that it would be listened just as often as my favourite bands haha!
Thanks for the words. You know, I got to tell you that “Human Hecatomb” when it was fully done, it was playing in every place where we were hanging out - at home, rehearsals, with friend. So I mean we're really fully satisfied with the result. Also it's great getting good reviews from different holes of this world.

Your music is obviously strongly influenced by the Swedish death metal and the Dismember, Entombed or Carnage cult records, but I
suppose there’s more to it and I would just generally say it’s death metal with the 90’s European death metal aura and influence. You’re all in your early 30’s already, but I don’t think you’ve been there at the time of early 90’s, so the more I am intrigued what caught your attention the most in those old albums and the old scene.
Yeah, we were not into Death Metal in early 90's. In 1990 me and my brother Roman have just tasted the first schooldays and it was fucked up from the beginning, haha. In early 90’s we listened to some punk and thrash metal. Death Metal found us a bit later. I guess for the first time it was in 1995. So 3 years later we had a large cassette collection with death metal records, including a lot pirated, Polish and of course DIY editions. That time we were giving more preference to the American scene, largely Florida's one, but also we loved Carcass, Bolt Thrower, Pestilence, Morgoth, Asphyx, Entombed, Dismember as well, Carnage, etc so you know what I mean. Guess it's not the worst time for that.

The music has a strong melodic accent, but at the same time it’s rough, aggressive and is filled with the obscure, morbid aura. At the same time it’s catchy and memorable! Are these the main characteristics, which you always aim for when composing, or they simply come up naturally? I mean, are there any sort of riffs, which you think you’ll never use because for example they sound too technical? Also, did you ever had to throw some ideas or riffs to the bin, because you felt they sound too much like something you heard from other band? Are you very demanding and critical of the new riff and material?
Almost all the riffs have been brought by Roman. His compositions have always been quite melodic. I mean quite catchy melodies and solos. Maybe that's why it is so. But all came up naturally. I usually do some syncopation and arrangements as well as the whole band is involved in that process at rehearsals, causing a material to sound like a song. Sometimes that bunch of riffs is already almost ready-made song. And eventually we achieve the desired sound and atmosphere and it begins to sound like Pyre. We will never be a technical death metal band. We have never tried to make excessive technicality in riffs or in music at all. The main aim is an obscure and morbid atmosphere, rough sound with heaviness and aggression. Actually we don't care if something is similar to a stuff of the band which we grew up on. You know, bicycle was invented long ago. It's a style, but not plagiarism.

My first encounter with Pyre was “Ravenous Decease” MLP released by Blood Harvest. And I was already very impressed. I like this label a lot, for their underground attitude and good taste in extreme music, they surely are one of the pioneering labels, when speaking of the old school death metal movement. So, I suppose it must have been sort of great prestige and privilege for you to debut in such awesome label? What’s your impression on the work these Swedes are doing and their releases, which are mainly vinyl?
You're right, Blood Harvest is one of the pioneering in that regard and such a suitable label when you need a dose of some excellent underground old school death or black metal stuff. All the bands are great and killer there. And to say that we were just pleased debuting there - to say nothing. It is really honour and pride for us. And impressions are only good. Release was done with amazing quality of production.

On the other hand, I am quite sceptical when seeing you now in Chaos Records. Nothing against this label, really, they also have some cool releases, but their distribution here in Europe is relatively poor and surely not as good and prestige as Blood Harvest’s. So, why this choice? I am obviously waiting for the vinyl version of “Human Hecatomb”, so it is coming soon I hope?
So yet during recording of “Human Hecatomb” we've got an offer from Chaos Records with good conditions. Despite the fact that we were not aware of this label so much, we decided to agree. Also he has a few really good bands released. Moreover I got a good recommendation from Nicklas of Turbocharged about this label. But at the same time I also got negative one. It's about slow work, but we were not so much disturbed with this at that time, until we're faced with that closely. With CDs all is okay. But vinyl! We are waiting for our plates a whole year and still didn’t get it. That's fucked up. And the promotion was not good enough. We got a lot of messages from everywhere that people find it difficult to get our records. So we decided to look for a new label for next album  and going to be issued remotely separating Europe from America. I mean two different labels for these areas. 

Are you personally a vinyl collector? What’s your opinion on the resurgence of this format as well as cassettes?
I can hardly be called a great collector of vinyl, but there are some sweets in my collection. As vinyl so cassettes. And yeah, I think it's very cool to see them back on the shelf. 

By the way, I’ve read that there was a demo before “Ravenous Decease”, but I can’t find any info on that recording, so tell me something more about it, OK? I only know the title "Ignescent from Within".
I remember we were surprised when we saw the title "Ignescent from Within" on metal archives. Actually it was the first home demo. And it seems that we mentioned once about it somewhere in the local social network. This demo hasn't been released and never will be.

Coming back to “Human Hecatomb”… Death I think is the main lyrical theme on the album, with such songs as “We Came to Spill Your Blood”, “Merciless Disease”… Tell me something more about them, please!
What can I say more about death? Death is death! Everyone can receive from our lyrics what they want. We dont carry or hide something sacral or deeply mysterious in them. Or we do - it's up to you. 

There’s also song titled “Possessed”… and I wonder if you believe in the demonic possessions? Personally, I rather have sceptical views on that. What about you? Is it possible to happen? I think this, as well as exorcisms, are rather good material for movies and books, and music also!
"We want to believe!", as agent Mulder would say, haha! Yeah, you're right, this theme is very interesting to use in lyrics, movies and so on, and probably to learn more about that.

There’s also one more release, which I have on vinyl and it is your split with Entrapment, another really cool old styled death metal band. How did this one occur? Were
you in contact with Michel before the idea for the split came up, did you know his music? I understand that both your songs will be exclusive for this release only?
I just found Entrapment bandcamp. There were only two first demos. It kicked my ass and I found Michel on facebook and wrote him. We decided to do split EP. All the tracks are exclusive. It was recently released on CD in Russia. 

Some old bands like Asphyx, Autopsy, Desultory, Morgoth, Massacre, Betrayer, At the Gates, Carcass and so many more came back from the dead with better or worse results… Some other experienced musicians have side projects playing old school death metal like Vallenfyre or Bloodbath. The latter one made a whole contest and circus titled  who’ll be our next singer”, what was simply childish. Anyway, it only proves that even the big ones were reminded about the classic death metal. Are there more positive or negative aspects for all that?
Yeah, it all happens now and it's difficult for me to judge them, 'coz these guys are fathers. But yeah some of them like Morgoth, Bloodbath and so on looks funny these days trying to earn money by reviving the genre. I don't know is it good or bad. But some of them are doing it right like Autopsy for example. We cannot possibly understand them due to the fact that our perceptions are not as kids have. In the adolescence we perceive all more sensitive and accept trustingly. But as for me now I still prefer to listen to the old classic records, as well as new bands in old style, and its fortunately a lot of good ones nowadays what cannot be said about all these reunions. 

Ha, I wonder what is your opinion on old bands / albums, which were more technical, more progressive and demanding, like Disharmonic Orchestra, Polish Violent Dirge, as well as Atheist, Carbonized, Pan Thy Monium, Phlebotomized, Afflicted… Were you ever fan of such more twisted death metal styles? Do you like albums, which require many listens, before you can really put your opinion on them?
If we talk for example about Solstice as a technical death metal band so I really like it. Also I really like Carbonized, yeah. And early Deicide or Angelcorpse. And many more. But in general the whole  technical death metal is not my cup of tea. I mean that fucked up bands like Beneath The Massacre and so on. with neverendless shredding, you know. It's soulless, boring and stupid, total shit for me. But I do like some near death metal like bands with atmospheric and black metal influences, as you said, which require many listens, before you can really put your opinion on them. But if not talk about death metal, I also like some another different kind of music, more complicated and sophisticated. It depends on the mood. 

You’ve received some positive feedback also from people like Gylve Nagel. Does it have any importance to you and the band, to find that such legendary persona liked your music so much?
I don't actually think that he love it as much as he listened to it everyday, haha, but we were totally surprised seeing Fenriz putting Pyre in his chart in the high position. So it was a good news we knew from our friends first!

I guess this interview would be incomplete if I didn’t ask about bands like Likferd, Teitanfyre, Drama or Ulvdalir. Tell us some more details of these bands i.e. what music can we expect from them, which are their latest releases, 
I am actually glad that now it completed at last, haha. Well, step by step. Likferd is black metal studio project from three members of Ulvdalir, Khashm, Pyre. Everyone at times plays all instruments and performs vocal parts. There's only 4-song demo recorded so far, but new material has already been composed and waiting for the studio work. Teitanfyre is a black metal band from Pskov, Russia, which I joined about 4-5 years ago and which needs no introduction I guess since their performance at Nidrosian Black Mass in Brussels. Currently we're releasing new EP on CD and vinyl and then we're gonna start to make a new stuff for the full-length album. And there will be a few shows in Germany next month hopefuly. Ulvdalir is fairly well-known black metal band I played drums with. Also Roman was involved in the line-up as a bassist. So together we recorded about four records in period from 2006 'till 2012 and then left the band. The same period Fred played guitars but only live. And Drama is also well-known (early black metal, late black/death metal) band in Russia. This is our band with Roman from 2001. Now it split up. In all these bands I play drums.  

In Pyre you hold the bass and vocals, in some other bands you’re a drummer. Is it difficult for to you switch from one instrument to the other? Which is your favourite?
Personally I am a drummer for about 20 years. And only in the moment when Pyre was founded by Roman, I decided to try to play bass guitar. I played guitar a little bit before, so it seemed to me it had to be easy, but when I took all vocals it became more difficult than I expected. But eventually I managed it. Now it's much easier for me. 

Tell me also, what the hell True Ingrian Black Metal Death is! What’s its purpose and bands around it? Is it only for the elite?
TIME is the circle based on the ancient Ingria soil. And yeah, it could be said that it's kinda self-titled elite narrow circle based in that land. It consists of the bands which play black/death metal, dedicated and loyal to what they do as musically so ideologically, separating themselves from the rest crappy bands on the scene in there. That's pretty much about it. 

I’ve noticed that Pyre managed to perform some interesting gigs, with well recognised and popular death metal bands, so tell me which were your favourite and strongest performances so far? Did the guys from bands like Entombed or Demonical enjoy hectolitres of Russian vodka haha?! Hope you had some good afterparties with them haha!
Yeah, we had a lot of good shows, gigs and festivals last year. Actually it's not easy to underline some particular performances, all was awesome. I think the most killer ones were at Graveland Deathfest (The Netherlands) and Old Grave Fest (Romania). It was really good impressions and experiences for us as well. We met a lot of good guys and headless maniacs and in general many of guys from the other bands we had a pleasure to play with are as simply a nice guys so a good drinking companions, haha. Looking forward to arrange a next round of alco-storm with some badasses we're gonna share the stage with in near future!