Tuesday, 30 August 2016

5 years have passed!

I didn’t even see this, but on 15th of June this blog / webzine / however you call it, passed its five years of existence. Well, I never thought I will carry it for that long, back then I hoped it will be just a short affair before I do another paper version of my fanzine - which I did in May 2014, but I kept on doing webzine as well, as I quite enjoy doing it. And I think it has its readers. Who I wanna thank now, for reading this bullshit that I sometimes write. I wanna thank also labels, bands and whoever else is there, for cooperation. Still most of the stuff that I review is stuff, which I buy, but I am obviously happy for every promotional shit that some people decide to send me. These days of digital promos it matters a lot and is highly prized and appreciated. I see that there’re almost 300.000 pageviews. No idea if it’s a lot or not, for me it’s great. Below you can see some statistics, which posts were most viewed (but they count only direct clicks to the link, not if you scroll down the page and view post after post), I am especially happy that three of the top ten are posts from recent weeks, which means that Panzerfaust got many views also recently. Cheers! I will carry on doing this stuff, until I get bored with it. And please, don’t ask me if there will be another paper version of Panzerfaust. I already had like 70% of issue 7 ready, but all the stuff got too old, I had no time to finish it and now it looks like I don’t care about it.

Dakhma - Passageways to Daena (The Concomitant Blessings of Putrescing Impurity)

DAKHMA - Passageways to Daena (The Concomitant Blessings of Putrescing Impurity) (GODZ OV WAR Productions CD 2016)
Some weeks after reviewing “Astiwihad-Zohr” EP of Helvetia beasts called Dakhma I am torturing my whole useless neighborhood with another piece of morbidity and violence from this band. And this is their debut album titled “Passageways to Daena (The Concomitant Blessings of Putrescing Impurity)”. This CD version, packed in very nice black / red coloured digipak, was unleashed by Godz Ov War Production and yeah… I think that all those who enjoyed the EP of Dakhma will surely like “Passageways…” as well. But in case you’re not so much into chaotic, totally obscure and vicious, rough sounding black / death metal, then don’t even waste your time on reading this review, as Dakhma will not interest you at all.
Normally I would say that I am surprised that something so fuckin raw and chaotic, so insanely vulgar and violent even had a chance to get released on a record label. And that somebody would bother to listen to it! But damn, it looks like such pieces of disgust and abhorrence are getting quite a lot of attention these days, so I am not surprised anymore that such Dakhma was also able to come from their bunker with a full length album.
“Passageways to Daena” is insanely vicious and bestial record. And even if I would wish that the production of it was a bit better and more powerful, I need to admit that Dakhma was able to kick ass with some killer riffs and songs. Every now and then you’ll hear something that will impress you massively. And the fact that everything is shaped into such brutal and chaotic forms only increases that morbid, bestial aura of the music. If you worship this sort of black / death metal, then you can really feel multiple orgasms when hearing “Passageways to Daena”. But it won’t be pleasant feeling, as bands like Dakhma should not be treated as entertainment or fun, this should be a spiritual and also physical, aggressive experience.
From the strictly musical point of view, I mentioned that I am impressed with some of these riffs and shit. I truly think that Dakhma had some killer ideas for this album, especially that it’s not constantly the same sort of guitar ripping or whatever. “Passageways to Daena” sometimes progresses even into sick, doomy, slow parts, other time it’s insanely fast… so, when you listen to it carefully, you will hear something more than just one dimensional bestial black / death metal. Take the truly fantastic “Ascension II (The Light Eternal)” and “The Silent Tower (Gather Ye of Life)” for instance. On the other hand I have to say that there are some weaker songs as well like “Where Shattered Minds Collide (The Immortal March)”, but that is just my opinion. That diversity is even bigger when Dakhma adds some noise / dark ambient passages, like “Chinvat (Ascension III - Agony)”, to create even deeper darkness and more horrifying aura. Let me also say that between all that black / death metal harshness I managed to spot some strong Morbid Angel influences, like in “Consuming the Nasu (of Shredded Impurity)” and that’s something what makes “Passageways to Daena” even more worthy for me personally.
Obviously this album is not without its faults. I mentioned some weaker songs. Another one would be the length of “Passageways to Daena”. In its first, digital, version this album was already fifty minutes long. For this CD is was extended into long seventy minutes, with additional two tracks (one of which is pretty useless Bathory cover). Damn! Believe me, even though I’ve been spinning this shit multiple times, not always I was able to focus on it entirely, sometimes around 30th or 40th minute my mind was wondering away, not really staying in contact with the music. It’s not easy thing to do when you’re dealing with this wall of harsh noise that Dakhma recorded. I would almost wish that Dakhma picked up the best pieces of this album and shrank it into 40 minutes killer beast. It is what it is though. Good album anyway.
Standout tracks: “Barashnûm (Defiled by Dead Flesh)”, “Ascension II (The Light Eternal)”, “Consuming the Nasu (of Shredded Impurity)”, “The Silent Tower (Gather Ye of Life)”

Final rate: 65/100

Voidkush - Stay Close to the Fire

VOIDKUSH - Stay Close to the Fire (EQUINOX DISCOS - CD 2016)
Voidkush is a new name on the Spanish metal scene, but the line up includes Gusi from Graveyard / Morbid Flesh / Agonised and Vomitor from Insulters. This band has released just recently their debut album “Stay Close to the Fire” and if you think that it’s something alike to any of the other bands that these maniacs are involved, then you’re rather wrong. There’s only one thing that all of them have in common and it’s their passion for traditional, old school metal. But each of these bands is different, so is Voidkush, who sounds like a tribute to not one, but rather several metal subgenres like doom, heavy, black – all in their archaic and classic forms.
Many of the riffs and the overall aura of “Stay Close to the Fire” has a traditional doom metal vibe. Even the production has that worm, organic, smoky, doomy feeling, although I think it’s a bit more aggressive and even darker that the usual Cathedral or whatever doom stuff you will think of. Mixing doom with other subgenres gives quite good results, I need to say, I really like many riffs that are here and the whole aura that this music creates. Sadly, the only thing, which sounds a bit odd are the vocals, which are like harsh, dry black metal screams. I cannot agree that they always fit to this sort of music. I’m afraid that quite often it all just asks to use a cleaner, powerful voice and who knows if it would give a better effect. For me personally the whole vocal performance is just too monotonous, so after a while I get a bit annoyed with them. The songs start to sound the same also, sometimes you don’t even know when one songs ends and another begins.
It doesn’t mean that “Stay Close to the Fire” is uninteresting. It is a good album, with some inspiring songs on it… but far from being exceptional. I like the musical background, with the riffage (good performance, good arrangements, etc), atmosphere, etc, but not how it all sounds together with the vocals. Which is a shame, I guess.
Oh, and I love the artwork for “Stay Close to the Fire” also, it looks just awesome, especially as it comes in a foldout booklet. Great lyrics as well!
Standout tracks: none of them really stands out, as they all get to sound the same. “Through the Shadows I Come” maybe??

Final rate: 65/100

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Triumvir Foul - Triumvir Foul

Triumvir Foul managed to capture my attention with their solid “An Oath of Blood and Fire” EP from 2014. Now the time came for their debut full length album simply called “Triumvir Foul”, which Blood Harvest unleashed on CD and vinyl. I did have quite high expectations for this album, I need to say. But although I’ve played it several times already, I am still not sure quite yet what should I think of it. Triumvir Foul surely went a bit different path and did something different when compared to the content of “An Oath of Blood and Fire”. The 7”EP was pretty traditional to the bone, conventional and really archaic sounding death metal, which actually had strong inclinations of bands like Grotesque, Nihilist mixed in one cauldron with the ancient US death metal of Death, Autopsy and so on. For the full length album Triumvir Foul went a path of more eerie, murky and sepulchral sounding death / black metal. Sort of, at least. The album sounds different and none of the EP songs are here, so…
I wonder though how much should I blame production for the whole change of my perception of Triumvir Foul music. Because this album’s sound is very different, with dense, harsh, massive heavy and dissonant, almost claustrophobic kind of sound, putting that Swedish tone of guitars away, which was on the EP. But I don’t think it’s just matter of production though, because the style of the songs has also changed. This time I am willing to put Triumvir Foul aside to acts like Teitanblood, Altarage, Paroxsihzem, Adversarial, Abyssal and all such stuff – all of which certainly bring a new quality to the rigid frames of death / black metal. If it’s a good change or not, make your opinion. I like this new scene of extreme metal a lot and many of these news bands turned into real giants. Somehow though “Triumvir Foul” cannot fully impress me. It is a good album, I’ve played it numerous of times over this long weekend and I am sure I will play this vinyl more in the upcoming week… but… I don’t know, it’s nothing what I can call spectacular. Don’t take this wrong! There are many excellent riffs, many killer fragments, when Triumvir Foul leaves no doubt that they’re solid and worthy band. Songs like “Pathways to Decay”, “Banished to Silence and Slavery” or any other will crush you with some great death / black metal embracing you in malevolent, dismal aura. But I feel like the entire album is a bit too one dimensional, it’s like every song starts to sound the same as the other, so relatively quickly the feeling of monotony appears, enhanced by the slightly cacophonic sound the band has.
Another important thing is the fact that “Triumvir Foul” is not an easily listenable album. It is derived of catchiness and hardly anything here is memorable. Of course one or two opening riffs, which were played in slower tempo, can be described as memorable, but usually they quickly drown in the maelstrom of chaos, dissonance and brutality. Compared to similar bands, you can say that Triumvir Foul is yet to capture that quality, which characterize albums of Grave Miasma or Abyssal or whoever (including some newcoming bands like the awesome recent EP of Temple Below). But they’re probably going the right direction and sooner or later they will be there. I stated in the beginning of this review that I’m still not quite sure whether I like this album over the EP or if I’m happy that it all went this direction. I’m torn apart, yes. But we will see in the future. Now I can say that this is a solid effort, but far from a masterpiece.
Oh, let me say also that not only Triumvir Foul wins a prize for one of the weirdest band logos ever, but also for one of the most useless LP posters. Haha, what the hell is that???!!
Final rate: 70/100

Serpent Spells - Mantras Within Ascending Fire

SERPENT SPELLS - Mantras Within Ascending Fire (GODZ OV WAR Productions - CD 2016)
I have to be honest and say that there are only few bands from Asia or Africa that I can enjoy. Most of the time stuff from there is just not worth it. Here’s a band that also comes from very exotic country, which is Bangladesh – they’re probably the first band from there, which I’ve ever heard. And they’re called Serpent Spells, who had their first CD “Mantras Within Ascending Fire” released on Polish label Godz ov War Productions. And well, I have to say that they’re quite good! As much as I was skeptical, I quickly thought of Serpent Spells as a band, which surely can be recommended to those, who enjoy some raw sounding extreme metal from the deepest chasms of hell. Maybe this is nothing truly special, but some solid shit for sure.
I surely like how they put together the harsh and totally obscure sounding black metal with aggression and ferocity of death metal, at the same time making sure that there’s morbid atmosphere in it. Their music is simple, but not primitive, and it brings to memory some ancient metal from 80’s and early 90’s, which can be compared to some South American cults for example, but also some Greek stuff, if it was more aggressive, rather than atmospheric. It’s actually quite fast and intense also, especially in the opening song “Piercing the Cervix of Nehemah”, which surely is the best piece of the entire EP. But it’s never monotonous, so you can expect tempo changes and variety as well. I sincerely have to say though that there are songs, like the one I mentioned above, that I think are good, but also some, where Serpent Spells sounds just dull to me. “Scourge Heretic Consecration” is for example quite weak, it starts with an annoying guitar solo, later it’s just unimpressive black / death metal harshness, which gets better near the end, when Serpent Spells comes with a slow, a bit sorrowful riff. This is why I cannot say then that I am fully impressed with “Mantras Within Ascending Fire”, but I cannot also say that it’s something completely unworthy. It’s rather one of those mediocre releases, which are OK, especially if you like to hear some exotic stuff, but which you don’t have to have in your collection by all means.
Summing it all up then, I like how Serpent Spells sounds, reminding the archaic, ancient extreme metal efforts. I like the vocals a lot and “Piercing the Cervix of Nehemah” or the title track, which is also quite good. But they’re not perfect and need to work more to really impress me, improve their songwriting and come up with some better ideas to have really killer release.
Standout track: “Piercing the Cervix of Nehemah”
Final rate: 65/100

Paganizer / Skinned Alive - Bred by Demons / Human Landfill

PAGANIZER / SKINNED ALIVE - Bred by Demons / Human Landfill (BRUTAL ART Records 7"EP 2016)
And one more Paganizer release, this time it’s a split 7”EP with Skinned Alive, who also came up recently with another very nice split CD with Fleshcrawl. This was a monster release, so I am happy that I can hear Skinned Alive yet again. And on a joined release with beasts from Paganizer – that will be a good start of the day for me haha!
I started with side A and Paganizer. There are another two songs from this band and well, I wonder when were these two songs written and recorded – before or after “The Portal” EP. Why? Because stylistically these two songs are quite different than “The Portal” songs. They lack the melodic side of “The Portal” and that blasting death metal, which I liked a lot. Meanwhile both “Bred by Demons” and “The Hammerhead” sound more in the vein of Grave or Vomitory, with that groovy, heavy and nasty mid paced Swedish death metal, that has almost a punkish simplicity and is characterized with total straight forward attitude, aggression and that it forces headbanging right from the first riff. Simple, vicious death metal as such was something that characterized Paganizer ever since their second full length album, so I am not surprised to hear this style again. And obviously I like these two tracks a lot, even though I have to say that “The Portal” EP was a little bit better, more interesting and powerful. Anyway, it’s another very good dose of death metal from Paganizer.
Skinned Alive does exactly what their name say – they slowly bring torture and skin you alive with great mutilating death metal, played in the traditional, old school way. Ferli Thielmann, who was a sole member of Skinned Alive at the time of recording this EP (and who’s also in Demonbreed and Museo), came up with some good stuff here. But I have to say that I am not so much impressed with the sound quality of these songs. The drum machine sound is quite irritating (not terrible though) and the overall production lacks the powerful vibe. I have to say also the tracks from his Fleshcrawl split were better (“Lingchi” for example!). But this is solid stuff anyway, I enjoyed his music again and I just cannot wait to hear more. I expected something better from these two songs, but I cannot also say that I’m very disappointed. Skinned Alive delivered just solid, standard death metal slabs.

Final rate: 70/100

Friday, 19 August 2016

Paganizer - The Portal

I do realize that many people feel sick seeing countless bands and releases that come from Rogga Johansson. And I understand them. I also think that it would be better to concentrate on less bands and less albums, but more on their quality – because honestly not everything that he recorded recently is that good. On the other hand who will forbid him doing what he loves? And besides, Rogga is still able to do some good shit, Paganizer especially released some very nice releases recently, like “Cadaver Casket” MLP for example, which had such killer songs like “Rot” and “Souls for Sale”. “The Portal” is one of the newest EPs, released on a 7” vinyl, with three new songs and well, I have to say that it surely is one of those releases that if you liked the previous Paganizer efforts, then you will like this one also. It doesn’t being anything exceptional, luckily it isn’t also as bad as for example split with Depression… It’s just damn good quality old school death metal in the Swedish vein.
But I am a bit surprised, as these new songs are relatively more melodic than I would expect. You know, “Cadaver Casket” EP, which I mentioned above, was really aggressive and ferocious. “The Portal” also has a nice aggressive side, just take the opening riff for “Forever Erased”, but it’s more varied and you’ll hear some nice harmonious parts frequently also. That diversity is something that really works great; songs are nasty and brutal, the tempo is mid paced and then it becomes very fast… and then it suddenly can slow down and bring a nice melodic lead (everything reminds me Centinex a lot). It’s nothing new, but in this case it’s just damn well played and I like how everything bursts with energy. Death metal needs to sound powerful and it definitely does in case of this EP! So, very good shit indeed!
This EP ends too quickly, I would like to hear more of Paganizer in such a good form. But that’s the charm of seven inches, they’re never long. But I can see that Paganizer also released two other EPs, both on CD, one is called “On the Outskirts of Hades” and another one is “As Sanity Dies”. Well, I wanna hear them also!

Final rate: 80/100

Thursday, 18 August 2016

In Twilight's Embrace interview

This interview was delayed twice. First Cyprian had to take more time than usual to complete his answers and later I fucked the things up, as I completely forgot about this shit! I literally forgot that someone answered my questions! Fuck, that never happened before. So, I am rushing my ass off now. I decided to put this chat online, so it gets more attention and people will check In Twilights Embrace music, as its worth it. New EP was released since this interview was done, I am yet to hear it, but I hope it will be as good as the killer The Grim Muse album. Check this interview out then, Cyprian answers my questions.

I’ve heard that zine editors praise you for your approach to the interviews and interesting answers you give. I must say that it’s more and more rare to see that. For example at the moment I have five (5!) interviews that remain unanswered since six or more months. And one particular band lets me wait now over a year to get replies for my questions. And of course they all keep saying “they’re gonna do it this weekend”. And still nothing comes! Well, I hope you’re not tired with interviews yet? How many have you answered already since “The Grim Muse” was released? Any from abroad magazines / webzines also?
Well, it seems that you have opened the door for a disaster by merely mentioning it! (Yeah haha! Maybe it was some sort of bad premonitions towards this long outdated interview??? – P666) This question now sounds like I sincerely apologize for letting you and your readers wait months for this to finally happen but a lot of private stuff has kept me from doing this properly. As you probably know, I'm a journalist and this means working under ever-changing circumstances, within 'flexible' time schedule, lots of stress, etc. Meantime, I do a lot of band-related stuff. These and other activities have practically prevented me from answering your questions. In the months after the release of “The Grim Muse” I have answered around 15 or 20 interviews, which is a pretty nice score for a small, independent band as In Twilight's Embrace. Nevertheless, here I am again, in for some serious roll of questions!

So, what is your approach to the interviews? I am sure that many questions are often repeated, some people ask trivial, boring stuff… Do you always try to do your best when answering them? You know, for example I never understood musicians, who answer interview using five words per sentence and one sentence for each question they’ve been asked. Why wasting time then? Do you feel comfortable when answering interviews or it’s just something you must do to promote the band and it doesn’t matter if you like it or not, it just has to be done?
That's an interesting one, Marcin. I think it's an essential thing to do one's best when answering someone's questions. Of course, stuff you mentioned happens every now and then, but there
is no escaping it. I have just answered an interview with a really young kid, who asked some really rudimentary questions, but should I ignore him because of his age, not-so-big experience or anything like this? Questions keep repeating themselves, and will keep repeating, but it's pretty evident that answers to some of them change over the years as people do. We change our mindset, values we hold dear and reinvent ourselves. So all in all, I think there is a certain value in being asked about the same or similar things from time to time. As of now, there is nothing I HAVE TO do to promote the record. On the contrary – I find it essential to speak my mind to the fullest during each conversation. This is probably why I kept you waiting so long for this interview to be wrapped up. I could have answered each question in one sentence, each filled with the 'get-the-fuck-out-I-have-better-things-to-do' undercurrent, but what for? I, too, get frequently pissed off by some musicians who treat interviews as necessary evil.

Ive heard it many times before that paper magazines or Xeroxed fanzines are a waste of time these days, as everything can be published faster and more updated in the internet. And with tablets or other stuff, you can now read webzines also on the toilet haha. What do you think about it? I mean, the same thoughts some people have about music – that the future belongs to the digital files, not collectable vinyl or CDs. Some even dare to say that – especially in pop music – it’s something normal just to release digital singles, not full albums, as kids don’t listen to full albums anymore, but make their playlists made of single songs. WTF?
Ha! This is one of these recurring questions, isn't it? To be honest, I do not collect paper zines as much as I used to back in the day. I read metal press, both printed and digital one. Printed zines are much more of the niche these days, as – we want it or not – the world around us is more and more digital. No doubt they also have a significantly smaller scope than things published on the internet, but on the other hand I couldn't imagine myself the situation in which metal community is devoid of its material aspect upon which it heavily relies. Printed/xeroxed zines and magazines, physical records, t-shirts and all the other artifacts are a crucial part of it. They all are craft which makes metal so different from any other musical environments. They all signify the passion other communities rarely exercise so intensely. The effort put into all these things is the best evidence that  metal is something that people wear on their sleeves, find worth investing their time in and – last but not least – a spirit which cannot be reduced to a nameless digital file.

You do write stuff for more commercial medias like Metal Hammer. How do you find yourself on the other side, as someone who asks questions and write reviews? Is it easier or more difficult for a musician? Ha, I must say that the last issue of MH that I bought was maybe in 1999, as this magazine had nothing to offer me, but tell me how’s it going these days? I saw that Hammer has opened for more underground stuff, you even did Graveland interview, which is nuts! Graveland in Metal Hammer?! That’s the end of the world haha!
I am fully aware that to some Metal Hammer is a metal equivalent for Bravo, BUT it gave me several opportunities to meet my favourite artists and learn about a couple of new ones. It also helped me build my contact network, which resulted in meeting Łukasz Dunaj, editor-in-chief of Noise Magazine, for which I write most frequently now. Despite its mainstream orientation, I believe Metal Hammer can – to a certain extent – be a platform for me to promote some of the finest underground metal bands and introduce them to a younger, less-experienced reader. Over the years, I managed to feature interviews with bands like Azarath, Bloodthirst, Stillborn, Voidhanger, The Dead Goats, Massemord, Furia, Thaw and Mord'A'Stigmata to mention a few. And yeah, Graveland was there too! No matter how much I disagree with Rob's politics, I consider him an important figure in the development of Polish Black Metal. Period.

Don’t you think that if people were forbidden to use modern technologies for one day, they would probably have no idea how to spend their time? I mean, people can’t even talk to each other often. I see couples coming to restaurant and doing some shit on their mobiles, instead of enjoying time they spend together. And kids do nothing, but play with gadgets. Are we all doomed slaves of technology for good?
Yeah, that's the unpleasant truth, but I can hardly find a reasonable alternative. Perhaps escaping into the woods? We are so bound to technology on the daily basis, that we simply forget to enjoy life in its purest form. You sit in front of a computer at work and you get so used to it that you find it impossible to handle your private stuff without the Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat bullshit. Things get even more complicated when you have some spare-time commitments like for example leading a band. It's pretty hard to operate and reach new people without all the social media stuff these days. So yeah, the ugly truth is I spend circa 12-15 hours a day in front of my laptop doing my professional, private and band stuff. Needless to say it can beat the shit out of you.

OK, we’re moving too much away from In Twilight’s Embrace, so let’s cut the crap! I was sincerely very surprised to see that “The Grim Muse” is your third album already. But then I saw that the previous albums, especially the first one, were more like deathcore or however you call it. Damn, the difference between the debut album from 2006 and “The Grim Muse” must be huge then? Ha, I wonder if you’ve heard some opinions from fans of the debut album that they don’t like new record at all haha? How do you remember the beginnings of the band?
Well, we started under a completely different name. The band was at first called Over The Edge and played something which probably could be called metallized hardcore or metalcore, in the original and proper meaning, i.e. metal riffs with hardcore message. Bands as various as At The Gates, early Heaven Shall Burn, Arkangel and Polish Schizma inspired us. Not much in common with that poppy crap metalcore has later evolved into. Soon afterwards, the metal element started to take lead and it felt natural for us to change the name. Yeah, listening our debut album just before “The Grim Muse” might be quite a journey for both hardcore and metal fans (laughs). I know lots of hardcore kids that lost interest in the band after “Buried in Between” as well a
s those who just can't stand it. Things like these happen to many bands, so why should I be worried about them? Especially when I feel literally proud of the long road we have travelled to the place we find ourselves at now.

Did this change of styles came naturally, was it a smooth, natural progress, which you maybe didn’t even notice at first? How did that occur? You also switched bass for vocals, so how do you feel on this position?
It has been a smooth process, indeed. Since day one, we have been fans of Swedish Death Metal. It was just a matter of time when these inspirations would start to surface in our music. I think there is a certain logic in our progress. The early metalcore movement was heavily inspired by the bands like At the Gates, Entombed, early In Flames, even old Dissection. This has always been the music I   listened to most gladly. Incorporating these elements as our influences would happen sooner or later. It took us a couple of years to realize it and I think “The Grim Muse” reverberates some of these traits. My switch from bass to vocals certainly played a role in developing a stronger metal identity of In Twilight's Embrace. All of a sudden, everything felt in its right place.

Did you notice any stronger interest in the old albums after quite a success of “The Grim Muse”? Do you think that any of these albums would have something to offer me, who’s rather diehard and quite orthodox death / black fucker? And are they still available, especially the second CD, as I heard that this one is a bit closer to “The Grim Muse”? Describe the old albums in few sentences.
Buried in Between”, the debut album is a typical representative of mid-2000's era metal-core. Mid- and fast tempos, way more thrashy riffing with a touch of Scandinavian melody here and there. The last time I heard it was about two years ago, when Marcin from The Dead Goats, who claims to be a huge fan of this record, forced it into my CD player. I could stand listening to barely three or four songs, so I think it shouldn't send a single shiver down your spine either, haha. The second record, “Slaves to Martyrdom” has a much more melodic death metal feel to it. Hardly anything 'core' music-wise, there are also more lead guitar parts. Although the sound is perhaps not the most fortunate one there and my vocals could be much stronger if recorded a couple of months later, I think this has traits which later fully manifested themselves on “The Grim Muse”. The title track from “Slaves...”, the least melodic DM and the gloomiest one, is perhaps the one I am most proud of on that one.

“The Grim Muse” is quite melodic death metal album. And I bet that “Slaughter of the Soul” or “Terminal Spirit Disease” can be your favourite albums of all time haha! But what I like about it – and what stroke me from the first listen – is that unlike many other melodic death metal albums, this one is still very aggressive, angry, with a lot of furious and fast stuff. So, it’s a nice mixture of harmonies and vicious death metal. One thing is certain, Swedish scene had a great influence on you, guys. So, tell me, how would you comment my opinion regarding this album and how would you summarize this whole material?
Of course the Swedish scene had a great deal of impact on what we do. I do love practically any sort of music being made there. Okay, perhaps Sabaton are a rare exception, haha. In general, I am so enamoured of Sweden as such. There is something in the air over there that gives you a kick to make things happen. At first glance, life seems much easier on the other side of the Baltic sea. People are way cooler than in my surrounding for instance. Guys from Swedish bands I have interviewed are quite easy-going. Perhaps all these factors result in so much good music being born out there. As for the music on the last In Twilight's Embrace record, I think with every record we get angrier, darker and more furious, which is a very good thing from my point of view. We do neither slack off, get more 'listener-friendly' nor move in some lame-ass direction, just the opposite. On the other hand, the songwriting gets much more refined with age, which is also something I value.

How much have you advanced as musicians over the last decade? Do you now feel more self-confident about your playing and songwriting skills? And that also includes writing the lyrics.
A lot. All such statements of course sound like clichés, but we have just become more aware of the direction we want the band to move in. I would say the band has become something more personal to all of us, a platform to puke our own hell and transform it into something of artistic value, and a relationship different than any other. Lyrics-wise, it's also become something much more personal. I do no longer write about political issues as during our hardcore period and neither do I write about all that zombie, cheap horror imagery circus which I have been tired for the most time in death metal. All my lyrics are backed with experience, be it real-life one or something I read, learned or heard about.

The guest vocalists, especially Tompa, are nice addition and selling point for “The Grim Muse”. How did they appear on the album, Tomas especially? Damn, that must be a great thing for your band to have such a legendary person singing some stuff on the CD! And what’s next, a small tour with At the Gates haha?
All of these three guests are friends of mine. If you ask about the story about Tomas, here it is: over the years I have interviewed him for a number of times. Each chat was a quality time. I discovered we have a similar outlook on many different issues and needless to say he's been quite an inspiration during all these years. After one of these interviews, I manned up and asked him – not without hesitation! - if he'd have been interested in doing some guest shouting on my band's next record. This was shortly after 'Slaves to Martyrdom' had been released. To my astonishment, he was like 'Sure, just send me the tracks and lyrics. If I like them, there is no problem'. When we met up before the release of 'At War with Reality', I asked again, because the songwriting for' The Grim Muse' had already been finished. He was still up for it, so we quickly discussed the details, and two or three months after he checked in the Welfare Sounds studio in Gothenburg to nail his parts. And he nailed them.

I am quite intrigued by the artwork for “The Grim Muse”. How does it correspondent with the lyrical content? I don’t require a deep analysis now, but I also don’t want you to say that everyone must decide on his own what to think. Just give us a general idea about it. How did you end up using Robert von Ritter for it?
I've known Robert for a couple of years now. He also designed the In Twilight's Embrace logo! Bearing that in mind, he seemed a natural choice for this one. The lyrics on “The Grim Muse” are by far the most personal ones I have ever wrote. Growing up, you notice that some of the ideas you held dear or fully supported need to be reviewed. You come to a conclusion that reality is far more complex than a binary sequence of zeros and ones. Sometimes it's both, sometimes it's none. At a certain age you become able to see not only the black and the white, but realize it's the grey that takes it all. This realization came to me after a series of personal ups and downs, which were a valuable lesson learned. So basically, “The Grim Muse” is about doubt and disillusion. It's about hardships and overcoming them. It's finally about growing up. The cover artwork is inspired by the sower statue near the place I live. It used to be a symbol of fertility and well-being of the Greater Poland region, so I decided to play with its meaning. Our sower impregnates entire cities with doubt and wretchedness.

These days it’s rather easy to do everything by yourselves; record the album, release it, promote it… So, why did you decide to deal with a label, instead of self releasing the CD? Sometimes I think it’s better to have control over everything, especially as the results can be similar, if not better?! What are the positive aspects of contracting with a record label for the release of an album? Anyway, Arachnophobia did very good job I suppose!
We decided to team up with Arachnophobia Records because its owner cares about the bands he releases and is extremely enthusiastic and effective. These are qualities any band seeks in a label, so we are glad having such a dedicated person as Krzysztof on our side.

How do you see an importance of the so called social medias as a help to spread the name of the band and promote the album? Band profile on facebook and such have basically replaced the more traditional websites and became something common. YouTube became an important tool as well.
Saying tools like Facebook, Bandcamp or YouTube are not important for band promotion would be a lie. If you want to reach audience, this is the way to do it, period. All of these tools are handy and user-friendly. It's a simple way to communicate or get your shit across the internet. No need to spend hours on irritating things like html or java coding, so that's what I consider to be the source of their popularity.  This of course by no means undermines the role of websites or traditional metal press, which we discussed earlier.

Do you think of In Twilight’s Embrace as an underground act, a part of a movement called underground? What is underground anyway and what makes the band a part of it and what makes it a part of mainstream? Can we even speak about mainstream and commercial matters, when dealing with extreme metal bands? I suppose that extreme music became more popular than ever before and maybe even more publically accepted, at least in civilized countries?
We consider ourselves part of the underground. Saying 'underground' I mean the community of people who share similar interests and convictions, the flow of ideas and inspirations far from the stimuli the day-to-day reality can offer. Perhaps none of us is a model underground supporter, because every member of ITE leads an ordinary life, but as fans we go to local concerts in our area, buy records and try to be up to date with what's happening in the community. Commercial matters? Is it a problem when guys do the band and get paid for it? If people want to pay for their talent and work, that's awesome. Does earning money on heavy music immediately make you a sell-out? Hell no. Extreme music's rising public acceptance is also something cool. People keep looking for something honest, art which transcends borders of conventional entertainment; are there for the experience of 'the other'. If this or sheer curiosity is what draws them to the extreme, then I find it something really good.

There were some important gigs performed recently like the one with mighty Dead Congregation. What’s your feeling on them, your personal satisfaction, etc?
Yeah, we played with Dead Congregation in December 2015. Right now we're just days before our mini-tour with The Dead Goats to start and we're super stoked before sharing stage with Degial and Vorum later in May. Each time we're invited to play with some of the world's renowned metal names is nice, but on the other hand we appreciate every concert.

What was the last album you bought / listened that you really enjoyed? I think I’ve read somewhere you’re big Tribulation fan?!
I enjoy a huge variety of stuff. Titles I have recently bought include Destroyer 666 - “Wildfire” LP, “Charnel Passages” LP by Cruciamentum, vinyl re-issues of “Exterminate” by Angelcorpse, “Monotheist” by Celtic Frost, “Nattens Madrigal - Aatte Hymne Til Ulven I Manden” by Ulver and “The Ultimate Incantation” by Vader. Stuff I have really enjoyed lately features the following albums: Victims - “Sirens”, Ragehammer - “The Hammer Doctrine”, Destroyer 666 - “Wildfire”, Temisto - “Temisto”, Cobalt - “Slow Forever”, The Body - “No One Deserves Happiness” and last but not least Iggy Pop - “Post Pop Depression”. And yeah, Tribulation are fucking incredible!

Plans and goals for 2016 are…? I’ve read about the vinyl version of “The Grim Muse”. Nice! Cheers for this interview, Cyprian!

The vinyl version of “The Grim Muse” comes together with the “Trembling” MCD, which features two additional songs off that session and the cover of Armia. Both are planned for 25th May 2016. We're getting ready for spring shows with The Dead Goats and prepare another trek in the upcoming months. This will be a hell of a year, I'm sure.

Obscure Infinity / Funeral Whore - Summon the Undead

OBSCURE INFINITY / FUNERAL WHORE- Summon the Undead (FINAL GATE Records split 7"EP 2015) 
So, what we have here? Two killer death metal bands on split 7”EP? Bring it on, I love such releases! And I like both Funeral Whore and Obscure Infinity music a lot, I am definitely an addict to such sounds. Funeral Whore is the band I was really into after their killer “Step Into Damnation” album and split EP with Profanal. Sadly they were quiet for few years and only recently they finally released the second album “Phantasm”, which I am yet to hear. On this split EP Funeral Whore brings a fantastic song titled “Traces of Death” and I am really into such sounds. Totally!!! This is the essence of old school death metal, a brilliant track that will crush you with killer brutal, vicious music. I love the riffs, also how Funeral Whore incorporates melodic parts into the obscure death metal, with this dark, horror atmosphere than completes this music so perfectly. “Traces of Death” sounds just excellent and I just cannot wait when I will finally hear “Phantasm”.
On the other hand Obscure Infinity – who started pretty much at the same time as Funeral Whore – managed to complete three full length albums plus several split releases, so they were very, very active. For this split EP they re-recorded a song “Maniac Destroyer” from the “Into the Depths of Infinity” demo. I haven’t listened to this demo for few years, so I honestly don’t remember this song, but on this small piece of vinyl it sounds great. It’s very harsh, vicious and fast piece of death metal that will blow your head off with its great dose of furious, maniacal (ha!) aggression! It sounds really damn good, in my opinion, I have to say that the whole performance is awesome and that guitar solo in the end is just excellent. Yeah, I wanna play the “Into the Depths of Infinity” demo now and compare both versions, see how much they’ve changed this song, because on this split EP “Maniac Destroyer” sounds fuckin great.
Final rate: 85/100

Revel In Flesh / Zombiefication - Eyeless Ghoulish Horror

REVEL IN FLESH / ZOMBIEFICATION - Eyeless Ghoulish Horror (DOOMENTIA Records - Split 7"EP 2015)
It becomes more and more difficult to keep the track on everything what Revel In Flesh releases! This band became very active and aside three full length albums, they managed to unleash also eight (!!) split 7”EPs! But don’t worry, so far I managed to grab everything they putted out, so I am happy haha. And this split with Zombiefication is the last shit that I grabbed. Called “Eyeless Ghoulish Horror” it’s a fine addition to my Revel In Flesh collection for sure. And even if the song “Nightrealm Ghouls: The Dead Will Walk the Earth” doesn’t bring anything new, I just enjoyed it. Because I like Revel’s music a lot. Yes, this song may just follow the same recipe the band had for their previous releases and songs, but the most important thing is that it keeps the high quality of death metal intact and the band still has guts and passion to create some killer riffs and compose crushing music. Some will obviously bitch about the point of playing same and same shit so many times, but why would we care? This is very good song, I like the melodic side of it, especially its dark and quite sorrowful atmosphere of the ending part… yeah, Revel In Flesh never disappointed me so far.
On the other hand I think that I’ve never heard Zombiefication music before, although I’ve familiar with the name of this band for a long time. They putted out three albums already, but damn - you just can’t buy everything, you will never know every fuckin album that is released these days, there’s too many! So, sorry if I’m not gonna make any comparisons of these two new songs to their earlier material. Aside that, I think their music is quite good, although it’s a bit different to your usual death metal, so it took me a while to get used to it. Their music surely has that raw, old school vibe, but I have to say that it sounds quite original, for example due to a bit different sound of vocals, which is far from your typical death growl. Some of their riffs also distinguish Zombiefication from the majority of other old school death metal bands, maybe because it has a slight thrashing vibe. Anyway, it all sounds very good indeed, it’s aggressive, crazy and just damn vicious shit! So, I like it! I will definitely have to check their albums also!
Final rate: 75/100

Morgue - Doors of No Return

MORGUE - Doors of No Return (FAT ASS Records- LP 2016)
Personally I’m not into this sort of extreme music, which French band Morgue serves us on their third album “Doors of No Return”, so listening to it was almost like a toothache – slow, long and painful haha! Yeah, I’m joking, but I really hardly ever – or never to be honest – listen to bands like Morgue and I’m just not interested in this kind of scene / style. So, having this album for review was not necessarily something I would be happy about. On the other hand I appreciate Fat Ass Records, who decided to send me a copy of vinyl for review!
What is Morgue then that it gives me all the pain? This was the first opportunity for me to hear about them and their music. And well, you can probably give it many descriptions, but I guess calling it extreme grinding death metal with some hard core influences would be the fairest. Morgue music is noisy, still relatively fast and technical, and you cannot say that it’s not brutal or whatever… but I just cannot find anything what I would really like about it, sorry to say. Aside the fact that it’s not my style of music, I’ve tried to give it a justice and find myself in it. I didn’t manage.
Every song on “Doors of No Return” sounds the same to me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m just too sceptical or what, but the vocals for example are all so one dimensional and through the whole album you can hear the same, boring scream. The music sometimes gets a bit more varied, like for example in the final song “Safe in Gods Care (Here In)”, but it’s still far from anything what I would really enjoy. Morgue music is just noisy wall of sound and lacks the atmosphere, which I normally want to hear even in the brutal death metal bands. But one thing I can admit though – they sound really pissed off and furious.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that “Doors of No Return” is entirely bad shit and that this album doesn’t deserves anyone’s attention. I suppose that those, who’re into such music will enjoy it, maybe some other people also. I didn’t just because I don’t like this style of music, although there are some moments, when I was quite intrigued, like for example in the beginning of “Transcend the Acheron”, where I almost had an impression that it may be something alike to Angel Corpse (at least this impression was for a short fragment haha). The ending part of “House of the Departed” is another fragment that really caught my attention (I like those slow riffs in it a lot!). Anyway, I doubt that I will come back to Morgue that soon. It’s nice to have another piece of vinyl in collection, but with the amount of stuff I get these days I just doubt I will listen to “Doors of No Return” in this decade again.

Final rate: 55/100

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

God Disease - Rebirth of Horror

GOD DISEASE - Rebirth of Horror (Self released CD 2016)
Not a long ago I was introduced to God Disease with their great CD compilation “Doom Howler / Abyss Cathedral”, which featured two EPs of the band. In my rather enthusiastic review I applaud their music and gave it a good score of 80/100. I am happy that that the band didn’t make me wait long for their another sonic attack and recently God Disease released their new EP called “Rebirth of Horror”. What a pleasure to find such a killer music in your mailbox and be able to play it! And yes, yet again I am fully impressed with their music! I do sincerely recommend their shit to everybody. You will love it, believe me.
Obviously we have many killer death / doom bands these days, like Hooded Menace, Uncoffined, Anatomia, Into Darkness, Temple of Void, Solothus, Swallowed and so on and on. Each is just fuckin awesome, in my opinion and yes, I am an addict to such sounds, I worship this gloomy, dark and utterly ghastly atmosphere, which such bands evoke. I can put God Disease among my favourites easily. Their music is excellent and now, when I listen to “Rebirth of Horror” I have to say that it also gets better and better. This EP is phenomenal. There are only four tracks, but what a fantastic listen it is! The music is obviously very heavy and gloomy, it’s mostly slow, but there’s not even a single moment of boredom, because God Disease brings some killer riffs, the arrangements are very good… And I love how they put many melodic parts in the slow, crushing riffage. I like how brutal this music is at the same time, with pure heaviness and nasty, deep growls of Ilkka Johannes Laaksonen. It works the best in the title song, but also such “Dreaming in Death” is simply fantastic (this songs is actually reminding me even some very early works of such Swallow the Sun). But every song from this EP stands out. “Catacombs” is the one, which is most aggressive and it’s actually faster than everything else here, combining some doomy parts with surprising fast fragments. And “Deeper into Flames” turns into a lengthy ten minutes long beast of death / doom, filled with darkness and sorrow.
Yeah, I don’t need to write anything else. “Rebirth of Horror” is an excellent EP and I have to say that God Disease should be a tasty offer for such labels like Memento Mori, FDA or Dark Descend – they should really look at this band and sign them for a full length album, right now!

Final rate: 85/100

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Oniricous - La caverna de fuego

ONIRICOUS - La caverna de fuego (EQUINOX DISCOS - CD 2016)
Oniricous really caught my attention with their solid debut album “Ritos diabólicos”. It was one of those very nice surprises, when you hear music that blows your head off and it turns out that completely unexpectedly it comes from an unknown band, a total beginner. Oniricous did that. And now the time came for their second full length release titled “La caverna de fuego” and I can sincerely say that this album is even better. Oniricous follows their recipes from the debut, but definitely matured and in every aspect their music got even more interesting. It’s like everything what I liked about “Ritos diabólicos” got doubled with “La caverna de fuego”. The riffs were already great, but on the new album there’s even more of them and the style of the band became quite original as it’s not a simple copycat of some old legendary bands. You just must admit that the way Oniricous mixes heavy, mid paced death metal with strong melodic base and spice it up with characteristic vocals (due to the use of Spanish lyrics), creating an eerie, horror aura is something extraordinary.
“La caverna de fuego” is surprisingly an easily listenable album. It’s almost catchy and memorable… at least as memorable as dark death metal album can be in its own ways. But really, many of these riffs and harmonies will stick in you. It helps that Oniricous is not a band, which would aim for something very extreme and brutality. Their death metal is about to sound aggressive, but dark and vicious in the first place. I cannot even put a comparison, which would be fair and smart and would give you an exact idea of “La caverna de fuego” music. None of these comparisons would work, because Oniricous managed to infect their music with the stench from their own crypt. These Spanish lyrics obviously do a lot of good work, because they make the vocals sound a bit different to your standard death metal growls. Then the riffs, the melodies and leads, the arrangements – Oniricous really did splendid job for “La caverna de fuego” and basically from start to finish, this album sounds just interesting. It is quite specific sounding record, but it works so damn awesome with songs like “Dentro del féretro”, “Los abismos del éter” and more.
As I said above, it’s memorable, easily listenable death metal album. All songs are pretty short, so they have this straight forward attitude, even if Oniricous music is not really fast. And I feel like it has almost a thrashing feeling sometimes, like in “La última puerta” for example. All in all, “La caverna de fuego” is a very solid and enjoyable death metal release. I am almost sure that every maniac out there, who worships old school, traditional sounding death metal will like it also… even if Oniricous doesn’t sound as raw and common as 99% of other bands around these days.
Standout tracks: “Dentro del féretro”, “Los abismos del éter”, “Sacrificio”

Final rate: 80/100

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Cryptic Realms / Astigarraga Thrower - The Rotten Is Alive / Aiako Harria

Really fuckin cool split CD arrived last week and I have to say that I’ve been spinning this shit a lot recently. Firstly comes Cryptic Realms, a very good band that debuted with “Eve of Fatality” EP last year. This time they serve us another five new tracks and I am yet again very pleased with what I could hear. OK, I said five, but technically there are just three songs, as the other two are short instrumentals. Cryptic Realms are another band that really makes you feel good about the whole old school death metal movement of nowadays and bring no shame in playing this style, as they manage to do that without being a useless and boring copycat. Interestingly their music reminds me not just old bands – like Morgoth, Obituary or Massacre (obviously taking the name for the band from their song obligate you to something haha) – but it also brings me some newer Kam Lee bands to mind, like Bone Gnawer or The Skeletal. It’s mainly due to the specific vocal style, which is very alike to what Lee has been doing recently. I would say that the vocals are like Kam Lee mixed with Mark Grewe, hope it makes sense haha. But the riffs are proper traditional mid paced death metal, with some groove, aggression and here and there with some melody. And all music is evoking horror ambience just very easily. Everything here sounds very, very good in my opinion, I like the band’s style and every song on their part of the split is just crushing. It’s not utterly brutal or fast, it’s just proper sick and classic sounding death metal. If you like the bands I mentioned above, then you will surely like Cryptic Realms also. I liked “Eve of Fatality” EP, but “The Rotten is Alive” sounds even better, so this band is surely going the right direction, in my opinion.
I was sceptical towards band called Astigarraga Thrower, with the Thrower word (and logo!!) being obviously a reference to Bolt Thrower. Will it be a joke band or useless tribute band that I will have no desire to listen to? These were my thoughts. Luckily Astigarraga Thrower defended themselves with some good death metal shit!! There are five tracks and sure, they have many similarities to Bolt Thrower, with some of these specific riffs, rhythms or melodies that the legendary UK band plays. But Astigarraga Thrower is something more than just that. For me they just sound like a traditional European death metal in general, as they remind me also Benediction, Morgoth, Asphyx, Grave or any other super awesome, heavy death metal bands from the old days. And to my surprise, their sound is quite Swedish like, with the guitar tone that remind me personally the Swedish style of death metal. But who cares for comparisons… the good thing is that Astigarraga Thrower sounds really damn cool and I like every song they came up with for this split CD. I like the feeling and aggression of their music, I love the riffs and vocals… More so, the production is just very good and so is the performance. I can only speak in positive words about Astigarraga Thrower. What a great debut from this Spanish band then and surely not a joke!

Final rate: 80/100

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Grond - Cosmic Devonian

GROND - Cosmic Devonian (ANCIENT DARKNESS Productions CD 2016)
Look out, here’s another really cool Russian band! Grond are from Moscow and damn, I really like this EP called “Cosmic Devonian”, which Ancient Darkness Productions released a while ago. For me this was the first time I had a chance to hear Grond music, but as they say it’s better late than never. Sadly, “Cosmic Devonian” is a short release, with four songs only (one of which is Possessed cover). But it’s enough to convince me about the quality of their music and definitely I will grab a copy of their upcoming “Worship the Kraken” album as well.
Style wise, Grond presents us very traditional and common death metal, which I think is very European sounding, with strong emphasis on British death metal style of bands like Benediction and Bolt Thrower, spiced up with a bit of the crushing heaviness, which can remind you Grave or Vomitory. Most of the music is slow or mid paced, only sometimes Grond fastens up, but that slower tempo I think underlines the old school feeling and heaviness of the music. There are some really awesome riffs, some nice guitar harmonies thrown between heavy guitar riffage, some good ideas and arrangements – like in “Japetus - the Ice Gate”, which is definitely my favourite song on “Cosmic Devonian”. The performance of every member is really good, sound quality also leaves nothing more to desire… and well, even if you cannot say that Grond is something spectacular, it’s just another very good death metal release that you wanna come back to every now and then and simply enjoy it, banging the skull like maniac. And the fact that they’re Russian is a bonus for me, because there were never any really good bands in Russia before. Now there are five or six, which I really like and I’m sure more will come in the future.
Standout track: “Japetus - the Ice Gate”

Final rate: 70/100

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Dakhma - Astiwihad-Zohr

DAKHMA - Astiwihad-Zohr (GODZ OV WAR - MC 2016)
Dakhma is another new band that I was introduced to recently. And another one, which really risen my interest and managed to convince me with their music. I didn’t know their debut album “Passageways to Daena (The Concomitant Blessings of Putrescing Impurity)” and I went straight to the cassette tape “Astiwihad-Zohr” (released by Godz ov War Productions), but both were released the same year (2015), so I guess it doesn’t matter which of these two releases you will hear first.
But to be honest, at first listen I was repulsed by this EP totally. Maybe it was due to the conditions in which I was playing this tape – which were rather inappropriate for this sort of music and definitely I played it way too quiet. But when I forced myself to return to “Astiwihad-Zohr” and this time played it louder and on better stereo, my impression has changed. For better, of course. I’m still far from jumping in joy for hearing the best shit ever, I can easily say that I’ve heard many, many better bands recently (fuckin Temple Below!!!)… but Dakhma is not bad also!
First you have to break through the chaotic, utterly raw and savage sound that Dakhma has. Their ultimately primitive and abhorrent production is the biggest problem I personally had (and still have) with Dakhma, as it often ends up with music sounding like unreadable and unlistenable wall of repulsive noise and chaos. Luckily, somewhere behind this you can catch some really fuckin awesome riffs and songs that make great impression. Definitely I like Dakhma music when it’s played in slower tempos, because this is when it is the most powerful and really heavy. Sometimes in the fast sections you will have troubles finding out what the hell is going on. But definitely if you’re looking for totally vicious, violent and primitive bestial black / death metal, then this rabid music will work for you well. It surely is no bullshit stuff, do not expect to hear anything nice or memorable. And with such brilliant songs like “Spirit (From the Plane)”, Dakhma shows that they have a lot of potential. This song presents some surprising harmonious and even doomy parts, all mixed up with outburst of pure, hateful noise.
With four songs on “Astiwihad-Zohr”, this EP is 27 minutes long, with average length of songs around seven minutes. And I have to say that sometimes this music has almost hypnotic influence, you can feel drowning in cacophonous maelstrom, begging for mercy from this sonic violence haha!
Standout track: “Spirit (From the Plane)”

Final rate: 69/100

Funebrarum / Interment / Putrisect - Pestilential Winds

FUNEBRARUM / INTERMENT / PUTRISECT - Pestilential Winds (DOOMENTIA Records 7"EP three way split 2016)
It’s a bit weird to find three bands on split 7”EP, as usually there are two bands, very rarely four… but three? I think it’s the first time I see something like this. But the list of bands that participated on “Pestilential Winds” is impressive and definitely it was one of those releases, which I just had to get.
After short intro, the feast begins with Putrisect, who are the only band from this split, which I have never heard before. This US commando has a song called “Pestilent Quintessence”, which is very solid and good sounding death metal. It’s very straight forward, brutal and no bullshit stuff, it’s also very traditional sounding, so it should be a good listen for you all. I like it a lot also, but it’s not my favourite song from the split. Funebrarum does brilliant job, as always! Although Disma will (for now at least) remain my favourite band from this sort of playing, Funebrarum also brings a lot of killer music and “Into Dark Domains” is an excellent song. I love this gloomy, dark atmosphere, I love that sheer heaviness of their sound and massive riffs, which sometimes are accompanied by more harmonious parts, so much in the vein of some old Finnish bands. It’s very harsh and brutal sounding death metal. And Daryl Kahan’s deep, monstrous growl sounds like it was coming from the abyss. Oh, excellent stuff.
Side B brings the Swedish godzzzz, Interment and yes, you guessed it right – I like this band and their song the most!!! I just love this sort of sound and style and feel like it infected every piece of my body forever, ever since I’ve heard this sort of music for the first time 25 years ago. “Drenched in Blood” is fantastic, almost perfect tune for this kind of death metal. It has killer sound, it is aggressive and powerful, it has great riffs and even better melodic parts. And Johan Jansson’s vocals are as always very, very good. Damn, I have to say that Interment are probably my favourite Swedish band these days, because everything they released recently was fuckin amazing (even if they were mainly splits). It’s been six years since the release of killer “Into the Crypts of Blasphemy” LP, but the new album “Scent of the Buried” was unleashed recently (finally!). I got my copy of it only yesterday, but I cannot wait to play it!!!!
Summing up, very good split here. Doomentia rather never disappoint with the quality of their releases, this one also looks great, sounds great and has three killer bands. I don’t need anything more.

Final rate: 80/100