Friday, 30 January 2015

Parh - Nihil

PARH - Nihil (Demo 2014)
Time for a new filth from the Polish underground! This band is called Parh and I have no idea if “Nihil” is their debut or not or when they were formed… I suppose it doesn’t even matter, the point is that this demo is really fuckin cool. And more so, I am so glad to say that it is unlike to anything else what you can expect and usually get from Polish metal bands! So, don’t expect the high tech Behemoth like death metal or other stuff. Parh is just from completely different planet, but still extreme in its own way. And by the way, this band from Plock has a drummer who is also a vocalist in Mort Douce, killer band! Ha!
Now trust me... I know that the front cover of this demo doesn’t look promising or attractive, but it is very misleading impression. It’s really cool demo! Filthy, obscure, disgusting and fuckin doomy metal! Musically it is quite sludgy, slow stuff, with some really old styled riffs and a lot of heaviness and maybe also a small trace of melody, but vocal wise this demo for me is a total Chris Reifert worship! And this is why I immediately had Abscess in my mind, when I listened to Parh for the first time! Yes, Abscess and obviously also Autopsy come to my mind and it is a compliment! And I bet you all know that sick, disturbing vomit of Reifert! Rafał, who screams in Parh, is actually really good at it also! All together, with the raw sound and heavy, bass molesting music it creates a killer, but disgusting, obscure atmosphere and damn… if you like Abscess, Necrophagia, Repulsion, Anatomia etc then this demo is for you! I like it and I am so glad that “Nihil” came from a Polish band, that makes it even more special! Really cool debut!
Standout tracks: “Kings of Filth”

Final rate: 80/100

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Escarnium - Genocide Ritual

ESCARNIUM - Genocide Ritual (MISANTHROPIC Records - 7"EP 2014)
I hope you all know and remember Escarnium, a killer Brazilian death squad, which delivered a truly awesome album titled “Excruciating Existence” couple of years ago and before that also some very nice demos, collected under “Rex Vormitorum” title. Yes, for me this is one of the strongest and most interesting, worthy South American bands at the moment, so I kept my eyes open for some new recordings of them… and finally a new EP came under the title “Genocide Ritual”, released on 7” vinyl by the unknown Misanthropic Records. And let me tell you that this is another insane recording from Escarnium. This band is just awesome and I can’t already wait for their upcoming full length album.
As for “Genocide Ritual”, there’s only one thing, which I don’t like about it… and that’s very short duration of this EP. Only two songs and about six minutes of music! OK, I know this is a single and they’re always short, but nowadays some bands come up with 7”EPs with ten or more minutes of music, so six is maybe slightly not enough for me hehe! It just finishes too quick, each side goes by with the lightning speed… and I want more of this crushing, dark, brutal death metal! Anyway, Escarnium, just like such killer bands as Demonic Rage or Coldblood, deliver fantastic dose of South American death metal highly influenced by two major US heroes: Immolation and Incantation! Of course, there are some more influential bands, but these two are the major ones. And when I mention these two, then you’ll immediately know what to expect from this music. And it is a real crazy, fast, massively heavy and violent death metal, perfectly executed and with awesome production, not to mention the dark, gloomy atmosphere. Escarnium waste no time, take no prisoners, but delivers their artillery with no hesitation and fire with no mercy. I just love both songs here, especially “Radioactive Doom”… it’s a stunning release, so I am sure that all maniacs of this style will love it also. Well, if you liked “Excruciating Existence” then “Genocide Ritual” will not disappoint you. I’m waiting for more and a longer recording!

Final rate: 83/100

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Sigihl - Trauermarsche

SIGIHL - Trauermarsche (ARACHNOPHOBIA - CD 2014)
If you’ve read some of my previous reviews then you may remember my quite enthusiastic feedback for Arachnophobia Records’ releases such as the albums from Odraza, Genius Ultor and Abusiveness. Yes, these are superb stuff. But more recently I was forced to give rather mediocre review to Eerie’s debut CD… which wasn’t bad, but also nothing truly spectacular or as good as the previous Arachnophobia releases. And now it got even worse! Damn, I feel like this new CD, from another newcomer called Sigihl, is just totally disappointing and nothing what I really would like to listen to. Let’s call it simply - “Trauermarsche” is not my flask of vodka! More so, I can’t remember when was the last time, when I got such a big headache, when listening to music… I tried to get into the atmosphere of this album, feel its essence… but no, I just failed. And I am not even sure if we can call it “music” or maybe rather noisy “anti-music”. But who cares. And maybe there is some sick control over this madness, but I can’t see it and all I can say is that “Trauermarsche” was more like a torture rather than an entertainment.
The idea for music, which Sigihl has, is really crazy. This is some sick and unlistenable fusion of slow, doomy sounds with all that drone / sludge and other shit, which people usually use, when hearing some experimental music… All is built on distortion, heavy, ear-drilling bass and no guitar, as far as I am concerned. On top of that, there’s saxophone, which creates even more schizophrenic mood and has almost a leading role in the music, delivering some sort of… melody? Is that how we should call it? And it’s accompanied by a lot of noise and other effects and absolutely hilarious screaming vocals, which sounds almost inhuman. The final result is something rather far from what I call black metal (and this genre appears quite often, when people describe Sigihl). It’s music without even the slightest sign of harmony or anything pleasant; it’s disharmony, cacophony, noise and distortion – and all will drill your head and deliver pain and pain and pain again. I hardly find myself interested in such masochism. And maybe Sigihl has an original idea, maybe they see it going somewhere, to the target they have set and for them it all makes sense, has its beginning and end… but not for me. I can hardly stand it and truly I could not find even one small part of “Trauermarsche”, which I would like with no hesitation, really!
This is almost unlistenable. More so, this album is so fuckin boooorrring! Take the first two tracks… both are almost identical to me, for being built on similar patterns and “riffs” (or how would you call it hehe!), both have the same slow and boring tempo, the same hysterical vocals… And inside of these songs, absolutely nothing happens; it’s the same shit going on all the time, without any effort putted to interest me (me, the listener, not reviewer!), to make something spectacular and memorable. It just sounds like Sigihl had an idea for one song, but made two instead. Or four, because let’s be honest – the remaining two tracks are also very alike. Maybe some will say that this music will put in you in some sort of trance, it will hypnotize you… For me it is boring and barely listenable. I know it gets rather positive reviews... But even if I am the only one who doesn't like it... I don't care.
Standout tracks: none

Final rate: 50/100

Monday, 26 January 2015

Mercyless - Abject Offerings

MERCYLESS - Abject Offerings (GREAT DANE Records - CD 2014)
I guess I should start with some history facts first… Back in the early 90’s, like most of the Polish metal fans, I was buying / trading all these pirate Polish cassettes from “labels” like MG or Takt. They were releasing many great foreign death or thrash metal albums, not only from big bands like Slayer, Metallica or Morbid Angel, but also a lot of smaller, more underground stuff. Oh, I remember having so many killer, now classic, albums on these pirate tapes… like for example Torchure and “Beyond the Veil“, Acheron and “Rites of the Black Mass”, No Return with “Contamination Rises” or Baphomet “The Dead Shall Inherit”… Just to mention few, as there were more! And one of them was also Mercyless and “Abject Offerings” album. I don’t remember where I got this cassette from; I never read any interviews with this band, I don’t think anyone recommended them to me, so I guess I just got this tape, because I liked the artwork and maybe I got someone in the shop to play it to me… And such death / thrash metal sounds were my favourite thing back then, so I probably could not resist. Oh, this turned out to be truly a killer band and amazing album! Years later I also got a CD version of “Abject Offerings” and I still consider Mercyless to be one of the most underrated and killer European bands. This album is just so damn good. I don’t know why they were not as lucky as some other bands, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that really Mercyless did only two great albums (“Abject Offerings” and “Coloured Funeral”) and later, when death metal stopped being so popular they did just poor recordings and soon split up, never breaking through into the first death / thrash metal league. I come back to “Abject Offerings” quite often and recently I had one more opportunity, as Max Otero (guitarist / vocalist) sent me over a newest version of the album, released in 2014 by Great Dane Records. It is then a killer opportunity to remind or recommend this awesome band and their classic debut, more so also because it is now easy to find in distros around, so maybe you’ll have a chance to get it and listen to some of the best French death / thrash along with Massacra!
But let me just say first that this new digipack version does look quite poor in my opinion and the layout is rather disappointing. It’s just a simple fold out digipack, with no booklet, which would contain the lyrics or some archive material… So, all you’ll find here is the artwork – which by the way has also been changed (but it stays in the same style as the original artwork) and one band photo. What a shame that they did not take more care of this release! Even my original CD looks better, as it has quite few band photos and all lyrics! So, this 2014 re-release is disappointing from the visual side… Luckily the music still sounds damn awesome and it’s the only reason why it is so worth getting! Yes, this album didn’t grow old at all!
“Abject Offerings” is just pure, classic thrashing death metal, so typical for the early 90’s. Imagine a mixture of bands like Pestilence, Massacra, Death, Possessed, Morgoth, Burial (Holland), Torchure, Cancer and so on… This is really nice, technical, but intense and aggressive material, with quite few faster, but also some slower songs… all in all, very diverse, technical, but maybe not too complex, but really memorable, sometimes even slightly melodic death / thrash in the old school vein. I really like the riffs here, as they’re aggressive, but also memorable, with some truly awesome parts or guitar solos and really nice arrangements. There are so many details, all these nicely arranged parts that the album really makes a stunning impression. And more so, this album did not grow old after all these years. It still sounds so damn fresh and spotless really, better than many other albums from the same time. And that is something remarkable. And it only proves the highest quality of this album and that it’s just one of these special, classic death metal records from the old days, which are just a must to have for all fans.
So, I am disappointed that “Abject Offerings” is so rarely mentioned among the best European death metal records from the early 90’s, I hope that this reissue will bring some more credit to Mercyless. This digipack, despite its poor presentation, is truly must to have, also a new vinyl version is coming, so… what else can I do, than once again recommend “Abject Offerings”? Fantastic album. Also, check out Mercyless’ come back record “Unholy Black Splendor”, which is also a fantastic, killer stuff!
Standout tracks: “Abject Offerings”, “Substance of Purity”, “Without Christ”
Final rate: 90/100

Kalopsia - Amongst the Ruins

KALOPSIA - Amongst the Ruins (GODEATER Records - CD 2012)
First thing, which caught my attention on this CD was the absolutely killer artwork and design of this digipack. Wow, just WOW! What a nice artwork from Pär Olofsson!!!!!!! Of course I already know some of his works from other bands, they were all good, but this one for “Amongst the Ruins” is especially amazing. It looks just superb on this three panel digipack, when you fold it out and see all these nice details and killer ideas for ghastly, creepy picture. I can only imagine how nice it would also look on the vinyl, but it’s enough to have a look at the digipack. Great work, Pär, truly!
I honestly never heard of Kalopsia before I received “Amongst the Ruins”. I can see that there are some experienced musicians involved in this beast, who play or played also in such bands like Funebrarum, Deteriorot, Dehumanized... So, this is US death metal band and they surely sound like one also hehe! When I listen to “Amongst the Ruins” I just find similarities to such Malevolent Creation, Kataklysm, Suffocation, Broken Hope, Deicide. You can call it modern, technical, brutal death metal or whatever you want… I don’t think it’s really so important. The thing is that this is a very nice album and I did enjoy it a lot. Maybe not all riffs or ideas are totally my flask of vodka, sometimes Kalopsia may use some rhythms or riffs, which are sometimes even close to this deathcore stuff… or simply modern death metal… Anyway, as a whole, this album really is a crushing release and even those parts, which I may not like entirely, don’t spoil it and this is just a great listen.
It’s just because Kalopsia made everything possible to make a killer, brutal death metal album. They have really good, flawless production and songs, which are filled with some awesome riffs, drumming, vocals, arrangements, etc. Quite a big part of this album is fast and violent, but there is also room for some more groovy fragments and even some melodic pieces, which spice this album in excellent way. Take “Green Eyed Monster” as an example for such song. Mind also such killer, aggressive as fuck tracks like “Salt Sown Earth” – real killer, reminding me Aborted meets recent Deicide(s) a little! – or “Pillars of Ash” and “Scatter the Remains”... Good blast, crushing death metal. Nice! I like also “Marred by Tragedy”, which is really a heavy fucker… Take a listen also to these perfectly played and composed guitar solos. Yes, very well played stuff!
So, as you can see, Kalopsia waste no time and really deliver some quality death metal. It may not be the death metal style, which I listen to the most often, but surely it is something worthy and destructive. Play it loud and don’t hesitate to bang your skull like crazy motherfucker!
Standout tracks: “Green eyed Monster”, “Salt Sown Earth”, “Scatter the Remains”

Final rate: 70/100

Friday, 23 January 2015

Exit Humanity - Undead Savior

EXIT HUMANITY - Undead Savior (GOD EATER - CD 2014)
There’s a nice pile of CDs from Godeater Records lying in front of me and this morning I took one of them, which is Exit Humanity’s “Undead Savior”. It’s been playing almost for the whole day and I must say that this is really cool debut material. It’s actually a demo, first released on tape but now also available on the CD… Which is good, as those Germans really did a nice job on their debut.
Or maybe I should be more precise… There’s still some room for improvement, for getting better and better, for sure Exit Humanity will need to work even more on their songwriting, making it even more interesting and killer, with even more lethal riffs and great feeling. But for the debut recording, “Undead Savior” is already very solid and nice release! I like it. Those Germans perform some old styled, filthy death metal, pretty slow and brutal, also slightly groovy, with that feeling and riffing, which may remind you Grave, who I think must have been the main influence for Exit Humanity! And it’s not just the riffs, but even the vocals are quite close to good old Ola Lindgren hehe! Also think of Vomitory, Torture Division, Paganizer and the old UK scene with Bolt Thrower, Benediction… plus all such similar bands and you know… This is pure, groovy, dynamic and aggressive death metal, with very few melodic accents, which will lead you straight to the Swedish soil… Simple, not too technical, but effective and aggressive, quite memorable stuff, with just good, solid songs. It’s an easy listen, with no stress, just a pleasure from hearing some classic old styled death metal. Exit Humanity, as I wrote before, may not be the most impressive band around these days and sure, they will need to work on their music more and more, but I already like them. And “Undead Savior” is just damn good. More so, I also really love the artwork for this CD. Damn, what a nice, blasphemous picture of zombie Jesus and apostles!
Standout track: “Plague of the Undead”

Final rate: 70/100

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Bloodshed - Skullcrusher

BLOODSHED - Skullcrusher (LEDO TAKAS - 7"EP 2001)
Some time ago I was reviewing an awesome album from the Swedish band Bloodshed titled “Inhabitants of Dis”. This is rather little known and very underrated band, but I loved that album a lot, it impressed me totally. I was searching then for some more recordings from them and soon I found also the 7”EP “Skullcrusher”. It was released by Ledo Takas from Lithuania on vinyl, while Code666 (Italy) took care of the CD version. For 7” vinyl, it’s quite lengthy material, with over 15 minutes of music, which is really cool. It’s good that musically “Skullcrusher” is also a worthy recording, what only proves that Bloodshed was not an average, forgettable group, but better than you would expect! 
Anyway, “Skullcrusher” is on the turntable today… and it is really nice 7”EP. Stylistically it blends death and black metal, with small advantage of the latter of these styles and with more rough and harsher sound and playing when compared to the “Inhabitants of Dis” album. “Skullcrusher” is actually pretty straight forward and merciless offering, built upon some very rude riffs and often quite fast pace. This is not a pretty music, let me tell you! It’s sometimes even close to some Mayhem meets Marduk, etc, no mercy then! The production is quite crude (so unlike to anything else you’ve heard from Sunlight Studio!), but it fits well such aggressive and violent death / black metal. And such songs like “Laughter of Destruction” and “Skullcrusher” are just great; furious, intense and fuckin brutal. But at the same time such “Let the Bloodshed Begin” is nothing special, but rather boring song... So, this EP is not quite as excellent as the mentioned full length album, but still a very decent and solid recording from criminally underrated band. And I have only one problem with this EP – the recording quality of the vinyl is not perfect, maybe because of these 15 minutes of music squeezed on a 7” vinyl. Limited to 666 copies it is.

Final rate: 68/100

Devilry - Muslim Genocide

DEVILRY - Muslim Genocide (BREATH OF PESTILENCE - EP 2006)
I thought that now, when there’s such a big panic in Europe and fear for the fuckin Jihad, especially after the recent events in Paris, it would be good to show what I think about all that fuckin muslim shit. So, I decided to play “Muslim Genocide” by Finnish band called Devilry! I honestly don’t know much about this band, I only know a couple of their releases, one which is a split 7” with Throneum and another one, which is this 7” single from 2006, released by Breath of Pestilence. They have also several other splits and EPs, plus one full length album “Rites for the Spring of Supremacy”, but I never heard them. Anyway, “Muslim Genocide” is just a killer extreme death / black metal slab and one big fuck off and death wish to the muslim shit fucks.
There are two tracks plus two intros… and damn, the music of Devilry is just so damn vicious, so fuckin violent and bestial! This is like a combination of some of the most obscure and fast, extreme black metal bands with the intense, bulldozing brutality of bands like Angel Corpse, Impiety and Order From Chaos. Absolutely hateful and cruel. The sound of this EP is raw and harsh, but powerful and both songs are simply intense and bestial. These two songs are very uncompromising and straight forward, Devilry doesn’t even think about incorporating some melodic accents or whatever useless crap you want to hear. And that sounds so damn good for my ears, especially with this uncompromising message behind this EP! Yes, this is what I wanted to hear after the fuckin terrorist events in Paris. Muslim genocide!

Final rate: 75/100

Ferosity - Blasphemous Verses

FEROSITY - Blasphemous Verses (LET IT BLEED - CD 2014)
For quite a while there was a silence around Ferosity. Their last album, “Primordial Cruelty” was released in 2009, but I feel like it didn’t get the deserved recognition. I didn’t see many reviews and interviews after all. I blame the record label, Redrum 666 a little bit, this label sucks, when speaking of the promotion! Anyway, Redrum is I think dead now (I am not sure though), but luckily Ferosity continues their death metal crusade, in 2014 releasing the newest album “Blasphemous Verses” through another small Polish label Let It Bleed Records. I must say that I am happy to see this band still going strong and doing a new CD! Both previous albums of this Ferosity were surely good, brutal death metal beasts and “Blasphemous Verses” is a worthy continuation of the previous works.
But this review will be short, really. There’s not much bullshit philosophy or sophistication behind “Blasphemous Verses”; it’s a straight forward, brutal death metal, simple as that. Blood, gore, extremity, blasphemy… US styled death fuckin metal in the vein of Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Malevolent Creation and many other similar heroes. I am happy to say that Ferosity again managed to rise the quality level of their music and again just slays like crazy with these ten deadly weapons. This music is obviously nothing unremarkable, it’s not an album, which will be set in the annals of death metal history… It’s just solid and good stuff, nothing more. But the death metal fans will appreciate and enjoy it, I am sure of that. All songs are very even, none of them stands for me as the best one (but maybe after some more careful listens I will choose one, who knows), the band is consequently doing their best job… Very good technically, nice, vicious production. Yes, solid and worthy bestial death metal!

Final rate: 70/100

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Dissection - Storm of the Light’s Bane

DISSECTION - Storm of the Light’s Bane (BLACK HORIZON - LP 2006)
Dissection certainly belongs to the most respected and important Swedish extreme metal bands. No surprise really, if you look at their short discography… short, but filled with important and essential releases. Not only there’s “The Somberlain” – one of my favourite records of all time, a true death / black metal masterpiece, but there’s also an insanely good follower, “Storm of the Light’s Bane”. I am not sure if it is a better record when compared to the debut… and I probably don’t even care, as I would rather say that both are equally killer. Both have truly amazing songs, both characterise that exceptional songwriting and arranging style of Jon Nödtveidt… and both are masterpieces of melodic, dark death / black metal. Of course “Storm of the Light’s Bane” was a step forward for Dissection. They got signed by Nuclear Blast Records, who surely had bigger promotional possibilities than No Fashion. Luckily, bigger label didn’t affect the music, and the second album is a natural continuation of “The Somberlain”. The second LP maintains all the strong, powerful aspects of Dissection music and only the production is cleaner, less obscure, but still nice and powerful, fitting well to such dark and cold music.
One look at the tracklist of “Storm of the Light’s Bane” and you can spot that literally all songs on the album are top quality, all are killer tunes, so well known also from the band’s live performances. It is basically flawless, high quality and perfect record from start to finish, without even a second of filler material. Just give a listen to side A (I have the LP, but in case of CD version then I mean tracks 2-5): “Night’s Blood”, “Unhallowed” and finally “When Dead Angels Lie”. Isn’t that a perfect combination of songs? Just as on the previous album, also here Dissection composed amazing songs, where aggressive, obscure riffing goes hand in hand with great harmonies, the work of guitarists is simply astonishing, so well performed, so well composed and arranged music… Just as on the previous record, also here Dissection comes with lengthy songs, but this time is never wasted, as a strong care was taken to craft the long instrumental parts, where both guitarists bring excellent harmonies, which never sound boring and surely are not too melodic. And these lengthy songs never fell apart, being solid and complete… It’s a great achievement of Dissection that they can perform melodic death / black metal without sounding cheesy, but it’s always so dark, sharp and rough. There’s a lot of anger, aggression, but also melancholy and all in all it can be described as emotional music even. Ah, I forgot to add also that some space has also been spiced with acoustic guitars. They add some epicness and even more atmosphere to the whole record, clearly “When Dead Angels Lie” being the best known example for it. And let’s not forget about Jon Nödtveidt’s characteristic ice cold, harsh vocals, which are just as unique as his composing and playing style. With all these aspects together, you always know and recognize easily that this is Dissection and not some copycats or whatever.
“Night’s Blood” and “Unhallowed” are definitely my favourite tunes on this album. But then, as mentioned before, the whole record is perfect, so if I also take as an example such “Retribution - Storm of the Light's Bane” or “Soulreaper” then it’s also a very good choice. And this is how you recognize a masterpiece album. You listen to it for one decade, then for another, but it still gives you a goose bumps, still excites you like crazy… and every song is a winner. “The Somberlain” is exactly like that and “Storm of the Light's Bane” as well.
Finally, I have here an ultimate vinyl version of the album, released in 2006, which not only contains a nice 12” size booklet with lyrics, graphics and some band photos, but also a second bonus LP, which brings an unknown, previously unreleased, mixing of the whole album. And usually I am quite skeptic about such doubtful quality bonuses, as mostly you simply can’t tell the difference between both versions… In this case it’s actually a good addition, as the sound of the unreleased version is different; it’s harsher, more obscure, rawer… So, it was also a great experience to hear that album with more obscure sound and it’s nice to have now a choice which version I want to listen to. Fantastic, complete vinyl release, really!
Standout tracks: “Night’s Blood”, “Unhallowed”, “When Dead Angels Lie”, “Retribution”

Final rate: 88/100

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Bölzer - Soma

BOLZER - Soma (INVICTUS - LP 2014)
One of the death metal sensations of past two years, Bölzer, came back in August 2014 with their newest release. Those, who had hopes for a full length release shall be disappointed, as “Soma” is another EP in the discography of the Swiss band… but who really cares what material it is, when the music is again so damn mesmerizing, so crushing and infectious? I surely don’t. I am just happy that I managed to get the vinyl so quickly this time and didn’t have to wait for the third pressing, as I did with “Aura” – what was actually my fault, as in the beginning I completely ignored Bölzer, but finally decided to check what is all the fuzz about and is this new band really so damn good like everyone says? My impressions on “Aura” you’ll find in another review, here it’s time for “Soma”!
The formula for “Soma” is pretty much the same as for “Aura” and in every aspect this new EP is a rightful continuation of the predecessor. It follows it in every aspect; starting with the characteristic artwork, then going through the production and finishing with the music, which keeps all these characteristic ingredients, all these details, which made “Aura” sounding so spectacular. Yes, Bölzer did come up with something quite new, refreshing and unique in the style of extreme metal, where they blended the death and black metal with very epic, monumental feeling and that heathen and ritualistic atmosphere which adds a special flavour to the whole. Bölzer is often compared to bands like Necros Christos, Mitochondrion, Malthusian and Grave Miasma… but at the same time they are just different than all of them. Great creativity, awesome ideas and performance and that incredible feeling which this duo has, when they hypnotize with their riffs… this is something extraordinary.
This is very atmospheric music. It is aggressive as well, sure, but mainly I think it is about creating this special feeling. You can play “Aura” and then “Soma” one after another and have sort of continuity (I personally can’t even decide which of these two EPs I like more!). “Soma” contains only two songs and the first one “Steppes” is very much like the songs from side A of “Aura”. What I don’t like about this song is that it ends so quickly, so abruptly hehe! But the next one “Labyrinthian Graves” will make it up for all, as it is a twelve minute long monolith, a great and massive, powerful motherfucker, epic and thunderous, monumental and heathen. In both songs I just love the riffs or KzR’s savage vocals, which are more croaky than on “Aura”… All in all, “Soma” is truly an impressive recording and damn, Bölzer wins again. Time for a full length album now. “Bow shall I not!”

Final rate: 90/100

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Eerie - Into Everlasting Death

EERIE - Into Everlasting Death (ARACHNOPHOBIA - CD 2014) 
Arachnophobia keeps bringing all those new bands and new projects from the pits of the Polish underground and they surely must be praised for bringing to the light some truly exceptional names. Last weeks brought us two new such discoveries – one is called Sigihl and other one is Eerie. And about the latter and their debut „Into Everlasting Death” I will write couple of words now. I’ve read somewhere that this is an easy going album.. Ha, it wasn’t for me! I really had some struggles with „Into Everlasting Death”, as I just couldn’t really decide if I like it or not, what really bothers me in the music of Eerie and I could not make my final judgement straight away. Probably if someone gave me a dead line and told that I must review it on the first day when I started to listen to „Into Everlasting Death”, then I suppose my review would be quite negative. Of course I didn’t review it straight away, I never do and instead I decided to take few days, give several listens, at some point I even putted it aside for couple of days and then returned to it… all that to see, if „Into Everlasting Death” has really that something, that spark! Well, now I can say that I am still far from being truly enthusiastic about Eerie’s debut, I cannot say that this album is such an instant killer like Odraza or Abusiveness who blew me away from day one… But it’s not bad either. My opinion has to be one of those “yes, it’s a good album, BUT…”…
Generally Eerie performs sort of nihilistic black metal and I usually like such music a lot. But maybe in case of Eerie, there’s not enough quailty to impress me fully. This is one of those black metal albums, which are taking the old classic formulas, but on the other hand are using much broader influences. Of course we can’t say that Eerie discovered something new, because nowadays there are quite few similar black metal acts. The style / sound of this music has progressed incredibly over the past years, also towards something what we can find on „Into Everlasting Death”, so it is nothing new, but still surely exciting and adventurous. It may be unfair for Eerie to place them in a box so quickly, but this is inevitable for young bands (luckily though the band didn’t make “hooded” photos hehe!). So, we have here only four, long songs, with rich structures, some complex arrangements, not an easy or primitive means… Surely, they are not songs, which you can memorize easily and are far from being catchy. They do have some melodic accents, but it’s also harsh and uncompromising. More so, the band creates such sick, dark atmosphere, which often is almost hypnotizing. There are many impressive riffs or particular fragments and it’s also interesting that while most of similar acts would rather use slower, maybe doomy tempos, Eerie doesn’t avoid fast, blasting parts and such can be found on the album quite often. Listen to such “Of Descending Moon” as the most obvious, but not the only, example. But there’s a lot of diversity in this music as well, which you can especially hear in “Among the Ashes”, which by the way is my least favourite song from this album, I think it’s just boring a bit and I am happy than this is the only such slower song here.
So, what went wrong for Eerie, if I say that I am far from being utterly impressed? Well, I suppose it’s just that feeling, which tells you it’s an average album, nothing more. I just can’t feel that excitement or something truly remarkable in it. This music often flows and runs by without making any damage, being too indifferent… It’s fine, it’s decent and listenable, but nothing more than that. I must say also that I am happy that there are just four songs and little over 30 minutes of music. If it was longer, then it would just be boring. Finally, I have some doubts about some vocals here… The vocals on „Into Everlasting Death” are generally quite varied, V.O.W.O.C., who’s responsible for them, is using many different expressions, he has harsh vocals, screams and some more cleaner singing too… I understand the idea, but I don’t like some of his arrangements, some of the voices he uses, especially those cleaner ones… I simply can’t get used to them, they’re annoying and destroy otherwise a good fragment of music.
So, to resume… it’s good that these 30 minutes are all we get. I give this album 69/100, I don’t think Eerie deserves more, maybe I am actually more generous that I should… My opinion is that it’s slightly more than mediocre, nothing else than that. 

Final rate: 69/100

Monday, 12 January 2015

Morbid Flesh interview

MORBID FLESH interview with Gusi
Are you still searching for some killer old styled death metal bands? Are you also impressed by the new Spanish acts like Atarazia, Graveyard, Onirophagus and DDDD and want to listen to another brilliant representative of their scene? Well, search no more. Here is MORBID FLESH! I suppose they could be known to you already, because the debut CD “Reborn in Death” was released already in 2011. But I am now truly impressed with newest recording of this band, “Embedded in the Ossuary”. It’s nothing new, but just like in many similar cases the music is so damn good that I cannot walk by it carelessly. I must recommend it. Read now what Gusi had to say about his band and also about Insulters, which is his another project. I could probably ask more questions, even relate some part of this interview to Graveyard, but damn… it would be too long then. So, Morbid Flesh is the most important subject here. Enjoy!
Hellz!!!!! Great to have you here on the Panzerfaust pages. Ready to answer few, not necessarily music related, questions? Hope you have some cold beer and killer music in the background playing, so they will make the whole answering thing more easy and pleasant he! 
Hails! It’s a pleasure to be here on these pages. Let’s start!

A lot of cool things started to be going on in Spain in the past couple of years, when speaking of death metal. There were years, when not many really good bands have existed there, but suddenly we were blessed with the killer sounds of bands like Graveyard, Insulters, Teitanblood, Ataraxy, Banished From Inferno, Morbid Flesh, Domains, Onirophagus, Decapitated Christ and so on and on. Tell me your impression on that! What caused this resurrection of Spanish death metal scene?!
The thing started a few years before of what you mention I think… In the past it was indeed the case that there was no space for a Spanish Death Metal band in the scene. It’s true that music-wise there was nothing really impressive here, there were just a couple of good bands. I think that after all these years all of us, musicians and all the rest that somehow were involved, started to fit together and now we are a bit more respected outside of our borders. I don’t think that something extraordinary happened… I think that the musicians involved started to be more serious. Many of us are the same guys in other bands as well, that helped a lot to start new bands by only changing the one or other musician.

And what’s your view of the early 90’s death metal scene of Spain? I think there were some truly great bands, but somehow not many of them really managed to get a bigger status in the European or worldwide scene. Which of these old demos / albums / bands belong to your favourites, which you would truly recommend and wished they actually gained a little bit more? 
Frankly speaking I was never a big follower of the Spanish scene of the 90’s due to the fact that I’m too young. My generation is a bit later than that…

How would you estimate the role of Dave Rotten and his labels in the process of creating and evolving of the Spanish death metal scene? I have a feeling like he was kind of a leader of it back in those days and today he also supports it strongly with his Xtreem Music. 
Back in the day probably yes but nowadays it’s not the case I think. I had connections to bands that were on his roster of bands on his label and they were not that satisfied. Maybe if you are a bigger band then it’s a bit different. Beside of this, it’s very good that there is a label that also reviews tons of other bands of the region.

Ok, Morbid Flesh now… First I want to ask you about the band called Undertaker, which is a predecessor to Morbid Flesh. What memories do you have from these times and two demos, which Undertaker has recorded? What led you to change the name into Morbid Flesh and kind of start everything from the beginning? 
All this happened long time ago when I wasn’t a member of the band yet. The band was established, they simply changed the drummer and I joined them. Makeda (bass) came a bit later and there were some other lineup changes but the band remained the same for years now. Undertaker was a band that had several problems with the lineup again and again. It was like a first band in which many of us did the first steps. I can’t remember exactly what happened but I can remember a day when we all were in the rehearsal room and we were bored of the songs. More than the songs, I think the problem was the type of music. It wasn’t that personal. It was OK, but we weren’t 100% satisfied so to say. This was the reason why we had so much lineup changes all the time I guess. We started thinking about a radical change in our music. Something more raw and dirty. We buried Undertaker and established Morbid Flesh. For us it is a completely new band, they have nothing in common excepting that some of us were already there. Very good moments we had with that band, but that is all history now.
Has this change of the name also brought a change in the music, which both bands played? Or maybe Morbid Flesh is kind of continuation of Undertaker? 
Yes, yes, completely. Once we changed the name it all changed. An absolutely new face! Hell!!!!

With Morbid Flesh you quickly recorded a demo and an album titled “Reborn in Death”. How happy are you with them? How do you perceive the songs, the sound and everything about them, few years after the recordings? What feedback did you get with that LP? 
They were good times of change, but we were on the border of splitting the band. The demo “Dying Lapidation” was very well received and for the LP “Reborn In Death” we already had many songs completely ready to be recorded when both guitarists left the band. Only three of us were still there: Makeda (bass), Vali (voice) and myself. 
We thought of giving up the band but on the other side we didn’t want these songs to get lost. We wanted to record them and let them pressed in some edition for the future. Exactly on that time we got an offer to press “Reborn In Death” on CD. So I recorded the guitars and the drums by myself. That was hell! Believe me! Hehehehe. But it turned out well. At that moment we were very satisfied with the sound of the album. As usual, you always find here and there some things you would change if you have the chance but taking into consideration the situation we had in the band at that moment, we can’t complaint at all. 

There was quite long break between “Reborn In Death” and “Embedded in the Ossuary”. What were you all guys doing in the meantime? Was Morbid Flesh active or maybe putted slightly on a side, considering that most of you play also in some other projects like Insulters, Graveyard, etc? 
That was the moment when the lineup changed. The new members had to learn all the songs and then we started to work on new material for “Embedded In The Ossuary”. It was a long time… I don’t think that the other bands / projects influenced somehow at all..

And now “Embedded in the Ossuary” is out. And damn, it is truly killer piece of death metal. I can see a great progression and maturity in your music, in the way that it just sounds better; it is more aggressive, the riffs are just awesome, great arrangements, dark atmosphere, killer production on the EP… And fantastic artwork! Well, I can only say positive things about it. How would you see this? Any plans for the vinyl release? 
Yes, we are very happy with this edition. It has a lot of positive aspects, it sounds more personal in our consideration. And slowly we feel the whole thing is more and more mature in a way. We are waiting for the news about the vinyl edition. I guess we have to wait and see how the sales of the CD develop… 

Music of Morbid Flesh obviously has a strong influence from the classic Swedish death metal, and it can be heard not only in the sound of it, like the killer guitar tone, but also in the melodies and leads you incorporate (like in the truly amazing “Entrance to the Ossuary”), in the specific groove, atmosphere… Since you’re a guitarist, tell me which of the aspects is more important for you, when songwriting: the atmosphere and melody or that aggression and groove? Also, such “From Beyond the Bounds” sounds a lot similarly to Bolt Thrower, which is also one of my fave bands ever!
Frankly speaking, the music we write is not intended to sound Swedish... The influence of those bands is there, no doubt, that’s true. The same case if the one or other song sounds for you a bit after Bolt Thrower. That’s inevitable, this is something you carry inside of you, in your head every time you write a new song. Every song needs a passage, and atmosphere… call it the way you like. Everything is important I can’t choose only one. 
In Morbid Flesh you swapped the drums for guitars. Was it difficult for you to adopt to new instrument, especially in the live circumstance? 
It’s actually easier that what I thought it would be. It isn’t easy, of course, but with some edication and some effort it was possible. Perhaps the most difficult task is the section with the solos, but the result is OK, I think. 

I suppose there must be a great comradeship between Morbid Flesh and Graveyard, as not only you, Gusi, play in both bands, but you also always work with Javi at his Moontower Studio. How does it look like then from your perspective? Is there a special bond between the bands?
Yes, indeed. We know very well and we understand each other. Music-wise we are also on the same level. And we also go to the same studio, for many years now. Javi has a lot of experience and he has a vision of how every instrument and every aspect has to sound. That makes it all a lot easier. By the way, if the formula is working, why should we change it? It’s true that we are somehow bonded to the circle of people we have actually here surrounding us.

Do you like sitting in the studio, working on the album, recording all instruments, etc? Or this process is always stressful or boring for you, so you prefer playing rehearsals or gigs? What was the recording session of “Embedded in the Ossuary” like for that matter? 
Back in the day I loved it to go to the studio, record something and enjoy there as many hours I could. But nowadays I have to agree that it’s harder to record all the instruments… Once recorded it’s easier to mix and master them; I like  that part, adding some details, melodies and so on... That’s nice. I prefer to play live; that’s the moment when you see the band giving it all on stage. The record process of “Embedded In The Ossuary” was very smooth though since we shared the sessions with the guys from Insulters. It was great! We were all there, all together!!

IIt is no reason to deny that Morbid Flesh belongs to the new generation of old styled, classically sounding death metal bands… this scene has arose into something of a monster, great and killer movement, with many fantastic bands, albums, demos… What is your view on that? Many people say that the “Swedish death metal” book is one of the things, which ignited this old school flame, what do you think? 
I guess that all this was not originated by only one thing. There were a lot of circumstances I think... That book you mention, all the revival of the Death Metal had... Think that some people say now that Swedish Death Metal is a trend now… But I think we should not give a shit about all this. We should enjoy all this and feel a little bit how it was back in the day when I didn’t have the chance to live. For me it’s great and I totally enjoy it. 

You’re absolutely right. Looking back into the history of death metal… Back in the early 90’s quite many – mainly Scandinavian and British – bands started to change their music drastically after one or two LPs. Let me just mention such Convulse, Disgrace, Amorphis, Paradise Lost, Cemetary, Tiamat, Atrocity, Pyogenesis and so on and on. How do you see this nowadays? Why do you think so many bands started to change back then? Do you like some of the albums, which these bands released after the (r)evolution or you don’t tolerate it and only stick to the early demos / death metal LPs? 
You can call me an idiot, but I think that usually, when a band wants to innovate, they ruin it all. All the bands you mention started very well but they followed some trend or I don’t know what. Fuck ! They all do not have that feeling anymore with the stuff they created before. 
Do you think that the same can happen also nowadays, with this New Wave of Old Styled Death Metal? Actually such bands as MorbusChron, Tribulation and Miasmal are already bringing some new influences to this music, I think and they really succeeded. 
This may happen in some years, I agree with that. For the moment I think it’s still far away though. You are right with that statement that many bands, and the new Morbus Chron is a clear example for this, are losing a bit of power and are instead adding some experimental things. The productions are also cleaner and cleaner. Sometimes I miss that destroying guitar tones of the 90’s…

Shall we talk also about Insulters? You just released a killer album and I am very impressed. “We Are the Plague” is very different to your other bands, but similarly devastating. How did this project start? Whose idea was it to play something in this style, which would combine the classic thrash metal with obscure black metal? 
If I remember well it all started in a local street where we stopped to eat some hamburgers with some friends. All of them became later members of Insulters back in 2008. The idea was to have a project that could serve as excuse to share some beers, parties and all the rest what could come, hehehehehe. We wanted to play a “cabrón” Metal, hehehe, some dirty thing we could play being drunk. Something easy and primitive. But the whole thing started to develop and the reactions were great after recording our first Demo. Hence we took it more seriously until this day and we are now really established as a full band. 

Any words about the previous to “We Are the Plague” recordings of Insulters, like the demos and split you released? What were they like? Are any of them still available? I ask this, simply because I only know the album. 
The first demo was titled “Skull Krushers” and was released by Fistbang from Greece. The second demo was called “Black Vomit” and released by Praise Unholy Records from Portugal. Afterwards we released a split with Nocturnal Hell under the organization Sabathell Metal Attack. All of them on tape. I think it will be very hard to find that material… perhaps you can still find some copies of the split. A compilation with all the demos was released as well and I think there is still the chance to get a copy of that edition.
Ok, something different now… but I just must ask this hehe! I suppose someone living in Barcelona, you must be a freaking fan of blaugran? Is it true that for you people in Spain football and club is a religion? Is it possible to live in Barcelona and not be infected by it at all? 
Yes, it is indeed a fucking shame. I think one of the few people not infected by that plague it’s me! Hehehe! And I’m fucking proud of it. It seems that when a game starts the world stops completely. And also the music. Regrettably the metal is on a second place when the game starts… Fucking football fans!

Ha, I also have one more question related to Catalonia. Your parliament has forbidden corrida, which is quite controversial matter, knowing how important corrida is for the Spanish traditions. What’s your view on that? 
I think it’s good. On the one side you have the situation to have to kill animals for food or to survive. But to kill animals for pleasure or for party with our people I think it would be better if all those fucking maggots would kill each other. It seems that those idiots still live in the past, in the time of the barbaric hordes.

I must use the opportunity and ask what’s new in Graveyard, what plans do you have for the nearest months? I ask this especially as Graveyard belongs to my very favourite death metal bands around these days, I collect your vinyls and damn, love them all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Well, currently we are “on vacation”. I guess we will be in that mood all the summer and a bit more because we all have other projects and bands like Korgull The Exterminator, Foscor, Lux Divina, Insulters, Morbid Flesh… We can use this time to concentrate on those and disconnect a bit of Graveyard. The next step will be to write new songs for new releases like a split or a mini-CD. Nothing is certain yet. I’m really happy that you like Graveyard! Thanks for your support!

I finally, I also need to ask you about Agonised, which is your new band. What it is like?! Why so many bands? 
Well, many years ago I had a lot of free time… I was unemployed so I started several projects. Agonised was my solo project but I can’t dedicate much time on it now due to the reason that I’m involved in too many other bands. I keep it aside until I have some free time…
 For some recordings you used an unusual name Bourbon Devastator. Ha, any funny story behind it? Drink too much Jim Beam or what hehe?
Well, I’m sure you can think for yourself why I have this name hehehehehe... Some time ago I had a bourbon bottle the whole day. All days a week. And it was typical to open a Jack Daniels bottle on every INSULTERS show and drink it empty until the fucking last drop. If we had a Jim Beam bottle it was no problem.. we drank that one as well! Hahahahaha

I love the artwork for “Embedded in the Ossuary”. But the one for “Reborn in Death” was also killer. I think that such horrendous horror stuff simply fits the best for such death metal and I never enjoyed the lyrics of some old school bands from early 90’s, which played rough death metal but had social or other lyrics (Death, Gorefest, etc). I am very happy to see that most of the bands nowadays also use some of the best artworks ever created for death metal bands! Your opinion?
For me this are aspects that are connected to each other. Obviously that the music is the most important thing but you need to add some cool cover. A cover able to represent the whole work you did for the album. And I think that Death Metal lyrics shall not cover aspects like society, politics or that shit. Death Metal is obscurity!!!!!

OK, thanks Gusi for your answers and time you spent on this interview! Hope you enjoyed it! Any last words?
Many thanks for the time invested in this interview!

MORBID FLESH - Reborn in Death

MORBID FLESH - Reborn in Death (MEMENTO MORI - CD 2011)
Not a long ago I had a pleasure to review Morbid Flesh’s newest release titled “Embedded in the Ossuary”. But recently I was checking through some of my reviews and I found out that I haven’t reviewed their debut album yet, so here is a chance to catch up. And recommend you “Reborn In Death”, as it is truly a killer album. I sometimes even have troubles deciding which one I like more; the mentioned EP or this album, but both are so good that it is like choosing which of your kids you love more – so, something you just can’t decide. So, let’s just stick that both are killer death metal recordings and are a damn must to have for all traditional, old school death metal freaks out there. Yes! This CD was released by Memento Mori and along with the “Reborn In Death” album it contains also the demo “Dying Lapidation”, which is a welcome bonus material.
As I already mentioned, Morbid Flesh performs old school death metal and just like bands such as Undead Creep, Graveyard, Revel In Flesh, Brutally Deceased and so many more, they are just awesome at what they do. Stylistically they are surely close to the Swedish scene, but I would just say that “Reborn In Death” is a worship of European and US death metal in general, as there are as many influences from bands like Dismember, Grave or Nihilist as from Autopsy, old Morgoth, Asphyx, Bolt Thrower, early Death, Demigod,  and so on and on. You know the old cults, right? “Reborn In Death” is almost as good as some of these classic bands, really. Morbid Flesh has killer songwriting; some of these tracks and some of these riffs are just mind blowing and if you worship the old DM style and the old albums, then surely this is an awesome offer for you also. Not a single waste of time, no fillers are to be found on “Reborn In Death”. Such songs like the title track, “Into the Abyss” or “Impaled Ratzinger” (haha, what a crushing title!) would now be killer classics, if were recorded in the early 90’s, really. They just have everything; great, memorable riff, some awesome melodies, dark obscure atmosphere and great production. And you know… when people say that they don’t listen to these new bands, which play the traditional rough and morbid death metal, because they prefer the old bands and albums… I just don’t understand such stupid opinions. Sure, it’s not my problem, if someone is blind, deaf and stubborn. But what I want to say is that many of these new bands have so much to offer and quality wise they often match or even are better than some of these old bands... And Morbid Flesh is one of such bands for me.
I mentioned just a couple of songs, which are truly excellent, but there is more and I could really bring here the whole track list and each song on it would be awesome. Such “Walking With the Undead” for example goes for over nine minutes and is a brilliant summation of the entire album: drenched in blood and morbidity, crushing and aggressive as hell, but with quite few melodic parts and guitar leads. Damn, this is something  what I could listen to for the whole day. Dismember is no more? Who would care, if there are bands like Morbid Flesh?
And the demo material? Well, “Dying Lapidation” is maybe not quite as good as the album, but it is also a solid and worthy material and I am truly happy to find it on this CD also. There are four tracks plus Death cover and it is enough to say that they offer obscure, harsh, guts ripping death metal. I like that the demo has just two songs, which later ended up also on the full length album, so the other two are only to be found here… and that Death cover is also a nice addition, so… The demo has a good production quality, so there’s nothing I could complain about.
Standout tracks: “Into the Abyss”, “Impaled Ratzinger”, “Reborn in Death”, “Walking With the Undead”

Final rate: 85/100