Thursday, 28 January 2016

Lifeless / Obscure Infinity / Arroganz / Reckless Manslaughter - Sermon of Ungodly Dreams

I keep saying how impressed I am with the current death metal scene in Germany and all those killer old school bands that emerged there. And this release is kind of proof for it, even though it doesn’t feature two of my favourite bands from Deutschland (Revel in Flesh and Slaughterday). Damn, if they were featured here also, then this split would be greatest than everything else. Anyway, the line up is solid also: two bands, which I also like a lot – Lifeless and Obscure Infinity and two, which I only knew by the name – Arroganz and Reckless Manslaughter. The LP was released by Supreme Chaos Records and I must say that this label did amazing job here; I love the artwork, and the packaging is very solid, with insert sheet and double sided poster. More so, there are three coloured versions, of which I have the red/black marbled vinyl limited to 250 copies. And musically, this is just killer feast and great stuff from start to finish.
So, we start with Arroganz. They already have three albums released, last one “Tod & Teufel” was unleashed by FDA in 2015… but this is my first opportunity to listen to their music. And I like it a lot. It’s more like blackened death metal, not so pure, traditional style of death metal I think, but that’s not so important. What matters is that this is truly solid, great sounding stuff, with quite harsh and aggressive manner. It’s also quite slow, with really dark and gloomy atmosphere and generally really fine song. After hearing it I definitely have to check “Tod & Teufel” also.
Lifeless strikes with “Insanity Reigns”. I like their “Godcontruct” album a lot, it’s killer Dismember-like death metal, insanely good debut. And this new song doesn’t disappoint. I like that the band tries to come up with a bit different kind of riffs here and there, but generally sticks to what I liked on the debut album. This new song should not disappoint anyone, who worships Swedish death metal, it delivers great, crushing riffs, some nice melodies and great vocals of Marc Niederhagemann. It’s just powerful death metal, really good sounding, and for me this is the stuff I like the most.
Side B starts with Obscure Infinity and obviously their song along with Lifeless track is my favourite part of the split. I have all their previous releases, I like to observe how their music progresses and gets better and better. “Ashen Embalmment” is another truly fine song from them. It sounds awesome and again I have to say their music is on one hand deeply rooted in the traditional European death metal of early 90’s, but on the other have enough individual and original patterns to distinguish Obscure Infinity from the rest of old school death metal scene. This band is just special, sadly I feel they’re still not quite as appreciated as they should... but they’re going in the right direction. “Ashen Embalmment” is one of their better songs for sure, great riffs, some of which are slightly melodic (great leads!), killer dark atmosphere… maybe the dual vocals are not sounding quite as awesome as I would wish, but I am not bothered. It’s very, very good song anyway.
Reckless Manslaughter is left on the battlefield as last, to kill all what’s left alive… and maybe they’re last and I like their song least from the whole set, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad! What I don’t like about it is that it’s just too long and a bit monotonous, even if the main, opening theme is really cool. But it gets quite repetitive, so I would cut the last two minutes and maybe then it would be a bit better and we would get a nice heavy, bit mournful death metal played in slow pace. Don’t get me wrong though, I like it as it is, it’s enough to convince to get some of their CDs, maybe one day I will.

Final rate: 80/100

Monday, 18 January 2016

Belphegor - Necrodaemon Terrorsathan

BELPHEGOR - Necrodaemon Terrorsathan (LAST EPISODE - CD 2000)
I really enjoyed Belphegor’s early albums, “Blutsabbath” being my definite favourite, but “The Last Supper” is also very nice. “Necrodaemon Terrorsathan” is their third album, released in 2000, and well, I have rather mixed feelings about it. On one hand I cannot say it’s bad album, as it’s not, but on the second it’s just not quite as brilliant as some other Belphegor albums, even if I am sure many fans of the band won’t agree and they will put “Necrodaemon Terrorsathan” in their top three.
I can understand why they would do that. The album has everything people like Belphegor for. It’s so damn fast and relentless, so vicious and aggressive, but at the same time it’s quite catchy, what is rather unusual, when speaking of such fast and violent music. But “Necrodaemon Terrorsathan” do has many catchy, memorable, at the same time nasty and fierce riffs, the whole music is fast, but I don’t know why it’s just easily listenable. I like how Belphegor is blending death and black metal into one pissed off maelstrom and surely they managed to find their own sound and style, which is good. So, why I am not so much convinced by “Necrodaemon Terrorsathan”? Well, this album is not bad, I like it, but I don’t think it’s brilliant. I feel like Belphegor music started to be so fuckin predictable at that time and on their third album it starts to sound like they started to repeat themselves a lot. Some of these riffs and arrangements are identical to some other stuff they’ve already played and even if it sounds cool, then it’s just not able to really crush me. I know that I used to like this album more, back when it was released I loved it. Nowadays I’m a little less impressed.
But “Necrodaemon Terrorsathan” does have some splendid moments, it does offer a solid and neckbreaking death / black metal and if you like fast and violent music, then this album is going to slay you. “Necrodaemon Terrorsathan”, “Vomit Upon the Cross”, “Diabolical Possession” are the songs that I like the most and they’re the songs that open the album. Later the “repetition” feeling is growing and the enthusiasm is fading. Luckily Belphegor doesn’t go below some quality and in the end these 35 minutes of music are as enjoyable as they can only be in this sort of death / black metal.
Fans will surely love “Necrodaemon Terrorsathan” also for being so offensive, so damn blasphemous and satanic. Belphegor has no boundaries and don’t give a fuck about being politically correct or whatever, they also don’t care about good taste, so their albums are filled with blasphemy, desecrations, evilness, erotica and sadistic stuff (“Lust Perishes in a Thirst for Blood” lyrics are surely everyone’s favourite haha). Good, it always sells well haha. You see offending and sacrilegious pictures in the booklet and think “what the hell” and then laugh as it’s so funny to see naked chick doing the job on her pussy with a cross haha. And do you remember the video they did for “Vomit Upon the Cross”?
Standout tracks: “Necrodaemon Terrorsathan”, “Vomit Upon the Cross”, “Diabolical Possession”

Final rate: 70/100

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Archives of the Dead part XX: BODY BAG - Severed Existence

ARCHIVES OF THE DEAD part XX: BODY BAG - Severed Existence (Demo 1993)
Line up: C.J. Mikiten (bass), Jimmy "The Typhoon" Littlefield (drums), Eric Flath (guitars), Travis Dahmen (guitars), Mike Dexter (vocals)
Love the old US death metal demos. Even those, which came from small, hardly known bands, are often killer and better than many of those well known, popular albums. I’m not saying that Body Bag from Oregon was spectacular and sensation, as they were not good enough to be praised so much, but for sure they were one of those very good bands that should have done a full length and get more recognition. Unfortunately they only did three or four demos and then just split up sadly. “Severed Existence” is their second demo and one, which I really enjoy a lot. It’s one of those unknown releases that maniacs of old styled death metal and the early 90’s scene should love with the whole heart as the music has everything that we like about this style of music.
And so what if “Severed Existence” has quite harsh production, which obviously is not as professional as Morrisound recordings? And so what if Body Bag death metal is quite unoriginal and foreseeable? It’s jusy fuckin crushing stuff anyway, reminding me bands like Baphomet a lot. Yes, “Severed Existence” sounds a lot like this fantastic Buffalo commando. And obviously you can also compare Body Bag to Morta Skuld, Obituary, Morpheus Descends, Suffocation and lot more. For me these aspects like similarity to other bands or lack of something truly distinguishable isn’t spoiling the listening to this demo at all and “Severed Existence” is delivering such a crushing and punching slab of brutal death metal that it’s just a must to play it loud and bang the head with maniacal passion. I like how fast this music gets, but there are also some quite memorable, slower riffs that rip the flesh apart. Songs like “Human Remains” and “Dumpsite” are surely my favourites and I as I wrote above, the sound, riffs and even the vocals remind me Baphomet more than any other band. And it’s great, since I love their demos and “Dead Shall Inherit” LP, so take that as a compliment and very good recommendation. Yeah, very nice demo indeed and I am only disappointed that Body Bag went so little noticed back then.
By the way, I’ve heard the rumours that all Body Bag demos will be released on CD. I know it happens to 99% of old demos and bands these days, so it’s nothing exciting and new, but I am definitely looking forward for this CD. It can be really nice release.

Final rate: 80/100

Just Before Dawn - The Dead and Those About to Die

JUST BEFORE DAWN - The Dead and Those About to Die (CHAOS Records CD 2015 / TILL YOU FUKKIN BLEED MC 2015)
So, two albums behind and Anders Biazzi continues his World War Two conceptual death metal slaughter with another Just Before Dawn recording, which is an EP called “The Dead and Those About to Die”. The CD again came through Chaos Records, while the tape version was released on Till You Fukkin Bleed – and I am happy that I grabbed both of them ha! They do differ a bit from each other, with different cover art and more so, the tape has one extra song, which is a demo song for the upcoming third full length (and is nicely announced by Jonny Pettersson haha). I am not gonna say much about this bonus track though, let’s leave it till the album is out. The EP contains five songs and let’s stick to this.
And well, “The Dead and Those About to Die” is pretty much what you should expect from Just Before Dawn and is a continuation of the previous albums, without any experimentations, but also without a strongly noticeable progression. It’s the same stylistically and quality wise death metal which I would call Bolt Thrower played in the Swedish way and mixed up with a lot of Amon Amarth. That’s the best description for Just Before Dawn, in my opinion. All songs are slow or mid paced, with a strong melodic base and the monumental, kind of epic feeling, almost mournful and dignified. And yes, quality wise it’s again very solid and enjoyable material and like I was saying about the previous album, this EP is also nothing spectacular and tremendously exciting, but just good stuff that is worth listening to. And death metal fans will like it for sure. I do like it a lot of course!
On my review of “Aftermath” album I wrote that there’s one thing that I think works against Just Before Dawn and it’s the huge similarity between all the songs. You know, if each track is played with the same kind of melody and riffage, same tempos and maybe just the vocals change as they use different vocalists, then the feeling of monotony is inevitable. And Anders knows my opinion on this already haha! But on shorter releases like this EP it’s not a major problem, five epic songs go fast and I enjoyed them all really. “Graves Without Crosses” or “Counterbattery” are probably the titles that I remembered the most, but these songs are really fine. I like the melodies and the heaviness combined in the Bolt Throwerish way, especially in “Outnumbered”. I also like the production… yeah, there’s nothing really wrong about “The Dead and Those About to Die”, except maybe the fact that it is just repeating what was done on the previous albums. But does it disturb me at all? I guess I was not bothered at all and was playing this EP so many times in past few days that even my wife knows it by now haha. So, I am looking forward for Just Before Dawn’s third album, for which I already seen some killer vocalists will participate.
Standout track: “Outnumbered”

Final rate: 75/100

Friday, 15 January 2016

Kalmankantaja / Oþalan - Split CD

I have no idea where is Wolfspell Records finding all these bands, but almost each new release from them introduces me to another unknown project. This one brings Kalmankantaja from Finland, who I got to know recently from the excellent split with Hermóðr. On this another split CD they’re joined by Oþalan from Sweden, for whom this is a debut release. And for Kalmankantaja this is like, I don’t know, 20th release in three, four years?
It doesn’t matter, their stuff on Hermóðr split was great, and so is this one. They present two tracks, which are very much in the same vein as those from the previous split. So we speak of slow paced, melancholic, sorrowful and grim sounding black metal. Again both tracks are close to ten minutes length, but again there’s not even a slightest sign of boredom, because Grim666 just knows how to build atmosphere, the riffs and harmonies he came up with are just really good and the whole song structure, arrangements and performance are brilliant. I like the harsh vocals there also, they do sound fantastic also because the lyrics are in Finnish, and this language, just like the other Scandinavian languages, always sounds kind of unique and more interesting in black metal than English, in my opinion at least. The song titles are “Hetki kuolemassa” and “Ikuiseen tuleen” and I have no idea what is Kalmankantaja singing about, but I can say that the music is just really good.
I had no idea what to expect from Oþalan, but both songs they have turned out to be not bad at all as well. Their way of black metal is even harsher, kind of more traditional, with quite fast, aggressive playing, very harsh, obscure sound and generally a grim, cold aura all over it. The general attitude is very relentless and fierce, furious black metal, but Oþalan has left some room for diversity also, there’s even piano in the ending fragment of “Dimma i den norra skogen” and beginning of “Solens återkomst” and acoustic guitar in “Gokötta”. And even if it’s nothing remarkable, it’s just good stuff and I can recommend Oþalan to the black metal maniacs also.

Final rate: 70/100

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Samael - Blood Ritual

SAMAEL - Blood Ritual (CENTURY MEDIA - CD 1992)
“Ceremony of Opposites” will always be my personal number one in Samael discography, but the two previous albums – “Worship Him” and “Blood Ritual” – are also damn close to perfection and I love them almost as much as I love “Ceremony…”. But then if I was going to choose between “Worship Him” and “Blood Ritual” then I never know, which of these two albums I like more. Each has something special and each delivers such a stunning piece of doomy black metal… damn, they’re just classic releases and an important records in the history of black metal.
“Blood Ritual” is pretty much a continuation of “Worship Him”, speaking of the style of music that Samael was performing. But it shows a great progression in songwriting skills, as surely an album number two has some better written songs, there are better ideas, great arrangements and absolutely essential, killer riffs and more so, it sounds more powerful. “Blood Ritual” is sometimes also a bit more harmonious, is easier to listen to, which may be surprising to some… and that probably comes mainly because the production of “Blood…” is not as raw and obscure as the debut’s. Maybe that’s actually something what I personally prefer on the first album – that harshness and cruel sound of slow paced black metal and that it was bringing along an utterly dark, morbid, evil aura that freeze blood every time you hear it. All this is slightly missing on “Blood Ritual”. Or let’s put it this way – better production and slightly more accessible playing here and there has removed a little of the obscurity and evilness from Samael. Of course “Blood Ritual” is still a satanic doomy black metal album. And it still fuckin kicks ass, because as I mentioned they swapped the harshness for absolutely fantastic amazing riffs and killer songwriting. There are so many memorable, unforgettable riffs and songs here, many more than on the debut record!! Starting with “Beyond Nothingness” – damn, what a fine and crushing song this is! But later you have “After the Sepulture”, which is maybe even my favourite Samael tune ever! It’s so damn powerful, heavy, dark and incredibly gloomy song, you must love it. “With the Gleam of the Torches” is another my personal favourite here. And even if the whole album is rather slow and the tempo hardly ever changes (the title track is the only faster piece here), it has absolutely no trace of monotony and boredom, all because the song structures are varied and so much is going in each track, there are so many ideas and brilliant arrangements that it’s enough to keep you focused. Such “Macabre Operetta” is seven minutes long, with very short lyrics and short vocals parts, but the playing is great and actually a lot like on the debut album.
I need to mention also the subtle use of some keyboards or acoustics, especially in songs like “Since the Creation” and more so in the excellent, kind of ritualistic, “Total Consecration”. They probably show a growing interest of Xytras in playing keyboards, something what they’ll exceed on “Ceremony of Opposites” and later albums even more. Anyways, what they’ve done with them here should not disturb those fans, who don’t like to hear keyboards in metal music. And if it does anyway, then who cares really?
Standout tracks: “Beyond Nothingness”, “After the Sepulture”, “With the Gleam of the Torches”, “Total Consecration”

Final rate: 85/100

Monday, 11 January 2016

Coffins / Butcher ABC Split EP

An alliance between two Japanese crews – Coffins and Butcher ABC, this is what this 7”EP is all about. Usually I’m not much into Japanese scene, but there are very few exceptions, like Anatomia and Coffins. And this is why I bought this EP, as Coffins are just really cool band to listen to, so why not adding a nice split to the collection? Yes!
Coffins play this Neanderthal death metal that most of you will find as too sludgy, too filthy, too noisy and not entertaining enough. They don’t show off with ultra technical riffage or drumming, the music is simple doomy death stuff, the vocals are just disgusting and the overall aura is rather creepy and it stinks like some putrid shit mixed with vomit. But of corpse Coffins have their fans and people, who dig their stuff a lot. I also like some of their albums, that similarity to bands like Autopsy, Anatomia, Cianide, Repulsion and so on is undisputable and much welcomed. “Reborn Pt.2” is maybe not the most exiting song I’ve ever heard from them, but it’s fun to listen to and surely a solid and worthy slab of filth. I’m surely not disappointed with those Japanese sickos!
Side B is Butcher ABC, who I only know from their split CD with General Surgery. Well, maybe it’s time to catch up with them and get some more stuff, even though they still didn’t come up with a full length album, but only with a bunch of splits and EPs… but damn, “House of Meats” is killer song, I like it even more than Coffins’ track. They play a fantastic style of old school death metal mixed with some grind core, there’s a small Swedish influence (General Surgery, Unleashed, etc), plus the fuckin Autopsy again or whatever, who cares?!… “House of Meats” is so sweet, heavy and obscure, the riffs are excellent (sometimes doomy, sometimes death metal or grinding, sometimes punk), performance is awesome… all about this song is just great, I like it fully, also the production, which is raw, but so proper for this sort of music. So, Butcher ABC wins on this split, but both Japanese bands are really recommended.

Final rate: 75/100

Urgehal - Massive Terrestrial Strike

URGEHAL - Massive Terrestrial Strike (NO COLOURS - LP 1998)
No doubt, Urgehal is one of the very few older Norwegian black metal bands that always stayed faithful to their roots, never wimped out, never changed their style for something else or never “matured” like so many other bands from this country. And that is enough reason for me to have special respect and admiration for Urgehal works, even if not all their stuff is super good. But when you want to listen to some pure Norwegian black metal, this is the stuff! “Massive Terrestrial Strike” is their second album, released back in 1998, and maybe it’s not my favourite record from Nefast and Enzifer, but surely it’s a decent and solid slab of black metal filth.
And you know, you can accuse Urgehal for playing so repetitive, unoriginal and primitive stuff, but I like it anyway. Fuck off, this is pure Norwegian black metal. And yes, music style of Urgehal – not only on “Massive Terrestrial Strike” – is very comparable to Darkthrone. I would add also Bathory from “The Return” LP and Carpathian Forest for the full picture. But it’s mainly Darkthrone, from such classic records like “Transilvanian Hunger” and “Total Death”. Even the artwork of “Massive Terrestrial Strike” reminds me “Total Death”, but it surely fits the title very well. Lyrics aside, as they’re typical black metal bullshit, sometimes better written, sometimes worse (“…He rape the pure thoughts of those fucking christians and he penetrates the pure cunts of those delicious little nuns…”). The music is surely a mead for the black metal maniacs. It’s raw sounding, cruel, filthy, cold and aggressive stuff, with good balance between the simplistic, minimalist and monotonously sounding fast shit and slower, more rhythmic and “catchier” black metal. Of course I like the latter a bit more, the slower riffs are always good to hear, they have this nice vibe and bring more interesting ideas. And they have great, more memorable hooky black metal riffs, with better performed, less dry vocals. If you want some good examples, then take a listen to “Supreme Evil”, “Flames of Black Candles” or “The Sodomizer”, which even has a kind of thrashing black feeling, similar to Aura Noir. Surely though “Image of the Horned King” is the best song of all, with best riffs, very good arrangements, etc, so it’s a real standout here. On the other hand I don’t like such “The Saturnine Denomination” so much, as it’s just monotonous and utterly mediocre fast black metal.
So, “Massive Terrestrial Strike” has some better and maybe a couple of worse songs, it has some killer moments and some dull ones. It isn’t the best work from Urgehal though, their best were yet to come in 2000’s, but it’s a solid and worthy black metal slab for sure. It’s good to have a vinyl version, which comes with an extra song, but it was limited to 500 copies, never reissued, so it can be quite hard to find.
Standout tracks: “Supreme Evil”, “Image of the Horned King”, “The Sodomizer”

Final rate: 69/100

Monday, 4 January 2016

Coffin Creep - Howls from the Graveyard

COFFIN CREEP - Howls from the Graveyard (Sound of Records - MC 2015)
I’ve found this cassette in Till You Fukkin Bleed distro and bought it without hesitation. You know, the band is from Sweden, plays old school death metal… this sounds like something I wanna check right now haha! So, Coffin Creep second demo “Howls from the Graveyard” is here. It’s been released on Sound of Records, with just 100 copies made, so I can call myself a lucky to have a copy.
You’ll find here four tracks plus a cover and well… I have to say that this is another really fine young death metal band in the underground. I don’t want you to think it’s sensational, outstanding piece of music, because it’s not. Coffin Creep is as typical and unoriginal as many other old school death bands these days, but they’re more solid and interesting than most of them. Right from the first song they hit hard with great, massive heavy riffage, “Puking Necrophilia” is damn good opener that should cause your ears bleed after the massacring sounds get there. “Pyre at the Graveyard” is also very nice and yes, they do have some troubles with their sick necrophiliac interests haha (“Why did you dig out my wife? Coz I wanna fuck her” hahahaha!). What I like is that Coffin Creep doesn’t focus just on one type of rhythm or riffage, but their music is quite varied, even if fully oriented on heavy death metal shit. There are some slow, crushing parts, some faster pieces and generally if you think of Grave, Vomitory, Torture Division, Bloodbath and this sort of bands, then you should know what Coffin Creep music is like. Damn good stuff, in my opinion and very enjoyable demo, which is finished with a well done Bloodbath cover. Recommended.
Standout track: “Puking Necrophilia”

Final rate: 75/100

Kalmankantaja / Hermóðr - Split CD

Let’s waste no time and listen to another fantastic release from Wolfspell Records, which I have a pleasure to review and recommend. And this is split CD, with Kalmankantaja and Hermóðr. Obviously I already know Hermóðr quite well, but Kalmankantaja is new for me. And they’re opening this CD with two songs.
Well, Kalmankantaja are Finnish and it’s a band, which – what a surprise – is just as productive as Rafn and his Hermóðr. It’s one man project, formed by Grim666 and I know already this dude from Seal of Beleth and Grimigr. He’s also a member of few other bands, including Wyrd, which is probably the most known of them all. Kalmankantaja is I think his solo thing and only within three years he released around seven full length albums, six splits plus some EPs. Don’t ask me what’s the point for such frequent release of your work and if the quantity comes together with quality, I just don’t know. It’s the first time I listen to Kalmankantaja. And well, if the other stuff is as good as these two tracks, then I don’t mind how many albums Mr. Grim releases. It’s really good atmospheric, depressive, rough sounding black metal with small melodic touch and proper dark, eerie aura. Both songs are very long, closing in ten minutes and both are played in slow tempos, what can maybe sometimes bring the impression of monotonous, repetitive doomy music, but I don’t care. I like the drowned in melancholy harmonic riffs (which include quite few clean sounding guitar tones), vocals are also not bad, so is the production. I suppose that if they included some faster parts in the structure of the songs, then the whole aura would be destroyed, so it’s just good as it is. The second song “Varjojen Valtakunta” is probably my favourite from the whole CD, it’s really damn good, but expect the whole material to sound very solid and interesting. Kalmankantaja is definitely a very nice discovery.
Hermóðr also offers a couple of new tracks and surely they don’t disappoint, although I must admit that maybe these two songs – which again are bloody looonnngg – are maybe more monotonous and one dimensional not only when compared to Kalmankantaja, but also when compared to some of the previous Hermóðr songs. But I’m not saying it’s boring and shit, no, no no! It do require some attention from you to drown within the disturbing, ultra gloomy aura, to capture the eerie, cold feeling of it. Once you’re there, the music will paint pictures, bring visions of desolation, sadness, melancholic, frozen landscapes and so on. “Förfallen & Övergiven” is fourteen minutes long anthem, then “Vredesmod” takes your attention for nine minutes. You can call it boring stuff, you can moan that it’s too doomy or too monotonous… who cares?! Rafn is surely talented dude, it’s another recording of his that I truly enjoyed, so I can only hope to hear more from him in the future. And I still have some of his previous albums to pick up, so there’s plenty of music to come.
Standout track: “Varjojen Valtakunta”

Final rate: 70/100

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Old Funeral - Join the Funeral Procession

OLD FUNERAL - Join the Funeral Procession (HAMMERHEART - LP 1999)
Norwegians do know how to play black metal, oh yes. But do they know what to do to make a killer death metal? Sure they do! We all remember such “Soulside Journey” or “Hallucinating Anxiety”, right? And we have to mention also Old Funeral, whose old recordings belong to my favourite stuff that was ever recorded in fuckin Norge. I hope I don’t need to remind you what people were involved in this band, because if you don’t know it then I have no idea what you’re doing here. Listening to Amon Amarth? Cool for you. For me personally Old Funeral belongs to the BEST death metal bands from those old days of Scandinavian scene. And yes, if you wanna call something cult and legendary, this is one of those bands.
In their short history, Old Funeral recorded just a couple of demos and a 7”EP. The first demo – I don’t care about it. The title was absurd (“The Fart That Should Not Be” haha) and the music was shit also. But then “Abduction of Limbs” and “Devoured Carcass” happened and these two are just beautiful death metal filth! Obviously the original versions of these recordings are damn rare and impossible to find, but we’re lucky that Old Funeral putted out several compilations, which include both of them. I don’t care much about “Our Condolences (1988-1992)” to be honest, but the other two, released by Hammerheart Records, “The Older Ones” and “Join the Funeral Procession”, are excellent. I wish I had “The Older Ones” on vinyl, as this compilation has some extra songs, which feature Jorn from Hades in the line up, but sadly I never had a chance to grab a copy of it. But I have “Join the Funeral Procession”, which is quite rare vinyl also. There were just 500 copies made, all on the picture discs, which is cool, I guess, as they come with an insert sheet with some info and stuff. And it’s a 12” vinyl, not a 10” as it says on this sheet haha! This vinyl contains both “Abduction of Limbs” and “Devoured Carcass” and of course it’s a real feast for the maniacs of old death metal shit.
And if I was going to compare Old Funeral to any other bands, then sorry, but it would just have to be early Darkthrone. And Thou Shalt Suffer. I know these are so damn obvious and cliché comparisons, but I can’t think of any better! Obviously we also put here some names from the Swedish and Finnish underground (Abhorrence!), as they were all like brother death metal scenes and some bands had a lot in common. Anyway, the music is just superb. “Abduction of Limbs” demo is impressive as hell and all three songs are pure death metal feast. I like the production of this demo a lot and just everything about it is great. There are quite many very fast, grinding parts, some riffs are also quite technical, while other will be more straight forward. And Abbath’s vocals on this demo are just sick, much different to what you can expect from his Immortal performances. I guess I like this demo even more than “Devoured Carcass” EP, even though it’s also a fantastic stuff. This EP was recorded in 1991 and has Christian (hahaha) on guitars and the vocals are performed by Padde, also known as Kolgrim (yes, early Immortal drummer, he who said the famous “holocaust metal” words ha!). A legendary line up, no doubts. The music on this EP became slower, but also heavier, more crushing with that harsh, severe sound and deeper growls of Padde. Again three songs, again very obscure horror aura and just rough sounding, intense death metal. It’s enough for me to feel a pure delight and excitement with Old Funeral.
These are great, legendary recordings and maybe it’s even good that Old Funeral split up soon after and all the members – or most of them – have focused on their black metal bands. It makes Old Funeral even more worthy and cult, you know? Anyway, the way this picture LP was released is not perfect, but “Join the Funeral Procession” do its job perfectly: presents six tracks of killer death metal.

Final rate: 90/100

Unaussprechlichen Kulten / Pentagram Chile - Ritual Human Sacrifice / La Mujer, El Diablo y El Permiso de Dios

UNAUSSPRECHLICHEN KULTEN / PENTAGRAM CHILE - Ritual Human Sacrifice / La Mujer, El Diablo y El Permiso de Dios (IRON BONEHEAD - 7"EP 2015)
Another split 7”EP that I wanted to get badly. It’s a new release of Unaussprechlichen Kulten, which is a band that I pay a lot of attention to. They joined the forces with old Chilean crew Pentagram Chile, so it promised some good sounds. And damn, it is a fuckin amazing release, in my opinion.
I started with Unaussprechlichen Kulten, because I like this band so fuckin much! And I am almost sure that this is one of their best, if not the best, song they did so far. It’s in the characteristic style of those Chilean maniacs, so it’s a continuation of their previous recordings, but the sheer brutality and severe intensity of this song, along with its special obscure aura make it a stunning piece. The riffs are just great, so sick, so extreme, so fuckin rough and Curwen’s vocals are prefect. I love the production, I love the aura and concept… and so, yet again Unaussprechlichen Kulten managed to impress me and I am sure that they’re one of the best death metal bands of this fuckin planet now. Support them, support underground, hails!
And Pentagram Chile was kind of a riddle for me. I know some of their classic, old recordings, but just few. But it’s always different, when an old band comes back and records new songs, so many years after their legendary debut. And I don’t know “The Malefice” album. YET, as now I know that I want to hear this album asap. The song “Ritual Human Sacrifice” that is on this split is just great old school thrashy death metal, very much in the vein of classic South American style, it reminds me for example those faster songs which Sarcofago did on “The Laws of Scourge” LP. And damn, Pentagram Chile sounds so fuckin good, the riffs are sharp and cut like crazy, that the flesh bleeds with unstoppable stream and the whole performance is simply top notch. It’s one of those songs that you just have to play loud, so the energy destroys you and you feel its sheer power. So bloody good! I know that Atomic Aggressor also came back in good form, so that makes now two old Chilean crews that I have to rediscover.
Yes, it is that fuckin awesome split EP!

Final rate: 90/100

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Decaying - The Forgotten Conflict

I enjoyed all previous Decaying releases and have all the albums they unleashed so far. I’m very happy about it. Their last one, “One to Conquer”, is just absolute shredder and killer piece of death metal. I love it. And obviously I am gonna buy all future Decaying recordings also, unless they start playing some disco or rap – which will never happen! So, a cassette with “The Forgotten Conflict” had to be purchased! It came from Till You Fukkin Bleed and is a nice addition to my Decaying collection.
This is great EP, even if it doesn’t bring any new songs, but only some old tunes re-recorded live in 2015 (good sound quality!). But who cares!? This is just damn amazing death metal that the fans of Bolt Thrower, Asphyx, Hail of Bullets or other such stuff will and should love with all their hearts. Decaying has a great gift of coming up with excellent, memorable and damn heavy riffs, which here and there are accompanied by more melodic theme… and this dude, Matias Nastolin, is awesome vocalist, who may sound like van Drunen sometimes, but he sounds fantastic in my opinion.
So, three songs are here, three crushing tunes and I am not even gonna guess, which one of them is my favourite. Besides, a pile of massacred, smelly and disgusting meat and blood can’t think – and this is how I feel after being crushed again by Decaying: like a putrid pile. No more words are needed, this time I will keep the review short (my previous reviews of Decaying albums were much, much longer haha)… if you still don’t know those Finnish monsters, you’re obviously an Amon Farth fan haha!

Final rate: 85/100

Samael - Worship Him

SAMAEL - Worship Him (CENTURY MEDIA - CD 2005)
Switzerland is a weird country. They don’t have that many worthy metal bands, but when they do spit out some filth then it is often a killer, classic stuff. You have some legendary names there and yes, Samael is one of them! Fuck their disco albums and their gay image from recent years, I don’t care about most of the stuff this band did since maybe “Passage” album (although “Lux Mundi” was a nice surprise, musically at least). And what I care the most are obviously their early recordings, the black metal stuff Samael did from 1988’s demo “Into the Infernal Storm of Evil” to 1994’s “Ceremony of Opposites” (surely their best album in my opinion!). But let’s spend some time and remind people how killer is for example the debut LP of Samael, the almighty “Worship Him”! This is just classic, excellent album, filled with some deadly songs that give me goose skin every time I hear them.
Of course this album will sound unbearably fuckin harsh and raw, terribly obscure and evil to people, who like Samael’s disco crap. They will run away, scared because someone is worshiping Satan on this album and the music is so nasty, dark and cold that it must have been recorded in frozen hell! Yes, and this is why old Samael is the only Samael we should tolerate and listen to. “Worship Him” is ugly, raw black metal, played in usually slow tempos, so you can – if you want – bring comparisons to Celtic Frost or even Venom, but who cares!? Samael did something special out of it, the riffs, arrangements and whole performance on this album are splendid, in my opinion. From the first song – which is “Sleep of Death” – till the last one, it’s like participating in a ritual! “Sleep of Death” is actually one of the more aggressive and kind of faster (in old school black metal way of corpse) songs, but then such “Into the Pentagram” (CLASSIC!!!), “Rite of Cthulhu” or “Knowledge of the Ancient Kingdom” are simply epic, monumental pieces, which will catch your attention for good, once you hear them. “Morbid Metal” will also catch your attention, yes! The music is simple, but it sounds great, riffs are splendid, I also love Vorphalack’s vocals…
And the best thing about this album – and old Samael in general – is that when you listen to such albums like “Worship Him” you can hear how many bands were influenced by them, starting even with Behemoth on their demos haha! Yes, this is why I call them cult band (Samael, not Behemoth haha)!
I actually have a Century Media 2005 CD reissue here with me (never owned it on vinyl, which is sad!) and it comes with a bunch of enjoyable bonus tracks. I love Venom’s “Manitou” cover the most. I am not a big Venom fan, to be honest, but some of their old tunes are killer and “Manitou” is maybe even my favourite Venom song. Samael played it extremely well, this is just a killer cover! Then there are eight live songs recorded I think in 1991, that are a mix of tracks picked from first two albums. They have surprisingly good sound, so it’s also a pleasure to hear the band playing their satanic anthems live.
Standout tracks: “Into the Pentagram”, “Rite of Cthulhu”, “Worship Him”, “Morbid Metal”… and more!

Final rate: 90/100