Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Baalberith / Parh - Total Regression of Humanity

BAALBERITH / PARH - Total Regression of Humanity (NECRO CREW CD 2017)
This is a split CD of two very little known bands from city of Płock, Poland. There's Baalberith with their debut recording and Parh, who I already knew before from two pretty damn cool demos. This split was released by Necro Crew and I have to say that I was very eager to listen to it and see what it's like. 
So Baalberith starts, with four tracks of pretty vicious death / black metal. I quite like their music, with its harshness, close to primitive riffage and primeval aggression. I do realize it's nothing even close to the most impressive recordings of nowadays, but who cares. It's pretty good. Stylistically it is maybe close to such Kingdom (who're also from Płock), although it's mainly mid or even slow paced, so if you like to hear constant blast then Baalberith may disappoint you. But I advise you to check this band out, they have some cool ideas and riffs, the performance it not bad at all... so, this is quite solid debut effort. "Show Me Your God" is my favourite song here, I guess, but all stuff from Baalberith is equally good, so I will definitely watch this band in the future, hope to hear some more good shit from them. 
And now Parh. Well, if you've seen my reviews of their previous recordings like "Journey Through Wasteland" for example, then you may remember that I liked their music. It was pretty cool death / doom filth, soaked in the Autopsy and Swedish influence, with such great songs like "Kvlt Of Fear". Now I am listening to Parh's newest songs from this split and I think it's even more soaked in that stoner / doom / sludge type of shit, with almost no death metal influence left at all. OK, maybe I am exaggerating, because the Autopsy stench is still there. I have to say that some of these riffs are pretty damn cool, I like the feeling of Parh music, especially with that harsh production they have. On the other hand I wish they used more growls and not just these sick screams, when speaking of the vocals. The music is fine though, especially "Last Step" and "Somatic Hallucinations". But I don't like the song "Inner Voices", it's definitely the weakest thing I have heard from Parh so far. I have to admit that it took me a while before I started to enjoy this material, at first I felt like it's total garbage haha, seriously, but later I discovered some good riffs, good feeling, so I know I was wrong. It's nothing exceptional, it's not even my favourite Parh recording, but I can live with it. 
Final rate: 65/100 

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Voids of Vomit - Ritval Expiation

VOIDS OF VOMIT - Ritval Expiation (UNHOLY DOMAIN - CD 2017)
I never had a chance to hear anything from Italian combo Voids of Vomit before, but after shredding my ears with their newest EP "Ritval Expiation" I know that I have to grab their previous recordings also (split with Morbid Upheaval and "Veritas Ultima Vitae" EP). This is a killer band! Another one! Damn, how strong death and black metal scene is these days, it's unbelievable. There's no week, when I don't put my hands on another killer release or another new fantastic band. The only limitation is my wallet, I suppose. 
Anyway, it's been already seven years since Voids of Vomit did their previous recording (the mentioned "Veritas Ultima Vitae" EP). I don't know how was this old stuff like, but if it's anything similar to "Ritval Expiation", then it must be killer. On this new EP we get two killer death metal songs, spiced with a small blackened touch. The main focus in their music is on crushing, heavy riffage, but also on creating obscure, sinister atmosphere. The first song "Ritval Expiation of the Parracide" is my favourite of the two. It begins with quite slow paced riffs, where the first part will surely force you to bang your skull, as it's very memorable and catchy (sort of, at least haha). After a while it all speeds up though and gets more vicious, so it's nice, diverse song, with many great parts. I have to say that I love such style of death metal. Then "De Fetialivm Ritv" is even faster and more right in your face, but there's also a good balance between fast and slow parts. In both songs there're some keyboards to enhance the dark atmosphere and I have to say that they give something extra to the whole sound of Voids of Vomit. The music is very well played and composed, I like the harsh production a lot... so, it’s just ticks all the boxes of what I like to hear in such style of death metal. There's a bit of old Finnish style, a bit of US death metal heaviness and obscurity... Just nice unholy death metal.
Yeah... I have tape from Unholy Domain Records, but I would need to find a vinyl 7" version. There's also a CD, which contains the songs from Morbid Upheaval split as bonus, so that's a tempting release to find as well. You better find a copy also, it's definitely worth stuff. 
Final rate: 85/100(fuckin deserved!) 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Morbid Stench - The Stench of Doom

This time we move to El Salvador and Costa Rica, which surely are exotic countries on the extreme metal map. I've been listening to tape from band called Morbid Stench and I have to say that I liked their music a lot. This band was formed by members of Conceived by Hate and Insepulto, who also played in many other projects before, so maybe this is why it all sounds so damn good – because they are experienced musicians and they just know what they're doing. 
Anyway "The Stench of Doom" is the first material of Morbid Stench. And there are three great old school death / doom metal tunes, which fans of the Swedish and Finnish styles should like a lot. They do come up with a lot of groove as well as with some nice melodic parts, which are reachly spiced with a strong doomy vibe. So, the final effect is a small, but worthy dose of putrefying filth. I have to say that Morbid Stench came up with some killer riffs, my favourites are those from the first song "Reborn from the Reek", which is just superb! Also the production is good and the vocals sound dark and gloomy, so I really cannot say anything bad about "The Stench of Doom". It's almost a shame that there are only three songs on this tape, but I know that Morbid Stench is due to release a split album and a full length, so there's more from them to come. And I can't wait to hear it. Until then I can only enjoy "The Stench of Doom" and recommend it. 
Standout track: "Reborn from the Reek" 
Final rate: 80/100 

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Vrtra - My Bones Hold a Stillness

VRTRA - My Bones Hold a Stillness (DAWNBREED Records LP 2017)
Completely unreadable, but quite good looking, logo and very austere design of the record caught my attention right away. And so did the music I have to say, because from the first spin I thought that "My Bones Hold a Stillness" is something worthier than your typical and average extreme metal release. And even though stylistically it's far from traditionally sounding stuff (which I usually prefer to listen to), Vrtra impressed me and didn't let change the record for different one for quite a while. Wow, what a great songwriting and performance from this unknown, obscure band. What a killer effort!  
In case of "My Bones Hold a Stillness" it's a hard task to really describe the music, as Vrtra definitely combine few styles of extreme music. But if I was going to describe "My Bones Hold a Stillness" in just few words, then I would say that it's a blackened, most obscure form of death metal, strongly infected by doomy, sludgy heaviness to capture the darkest and most frightening atmosphere. Yes, the aura that this music evokes is almost evil and malicious, it's going to possess you. I love how Vrtra uses dissonant and heavy riffs and blend them with more ferocious death / black metal parts, how they arrange their songs into lengthy compositions. Listening to them is like a journey through someone's nightmarish visions, which hypnotize the listener from the very first till very last second. You will find out that it's not easy to put this record back and do something else or to listen to something else. It draws attention and infects you with black mould. This sound is dense and bleak, with a lot of noise and good balance between slow, doomy heaviness and ferocious black metal blasts. Even the vocals merge screams, howls, growls and clean parts, adjusting them to the atmosphere of riffage. The twelve minutes long monolith from side B which is also the title track for this album is the most fantastic and thrilling part of "My Bones Hold a Stillness", I truly love what's going on in this song, with its most doomy and sepulchral riffage and killer vocals.  
It all is very intense, savage, very intriguing also, so personally I am surprised positively and liked this album a lot. I am not sure who's behind this band, because yet again we have some anonymous persons in the line up. I don't even know if there's going to be CD version. For the moment you can get Dawnbreed Records' vinyl comes with metallic gold ink, limited to 200 copies and the US press is from Sentient Ruin Laboratories with metallic silver ink, limited to another 200 copies. There were some tapes available as well. 
Standout track: "My Bones Hold a Stillness" 
Final rate: 80/100 

Centurian - Liber Zar Zax

CENTURIAN - Liber Zar Zax (LISTENABLE Records CD 2001)
Not so long ago I wrote few words about Centurian's debut and best album "Choronzonic Chaos Gods". Now it's time to do the same with their second full length, "Liber Zar Zax" from 2001. It's highly recommended album, for me personally these two Centurian albums belong to the best death metal releases of early 00's (and a decade later, after reformation, they did another killer record "Contra Rationem"!). I love that sheer violence and intensity of their music, I love how fierce and relentless it is and of course that evil, satanic aura around it is also impressive. From start to finish Centurian sounds killer and hardly anything has ever sounded as aggressive and savage as this band. 
I may like "Choronzonic Chaos Gods" slightly more, but "Liber Zar Zax" is also incredibly strong and killer album. The songwriting is very much on the same quality and just like on the debut we get a bunch of extreme and utterly powerful, vicious death metal songs that punch you like crazy until you bleed out and die in pain. Stylistically close to such Deicide, KrisiunMorbid Angel, Angel Corpse or Vital Remains, it is a fuckin death metal feast. Every song sounds like a furious beast, it's truly fast and extremely intense, but without sounding boring or pointless. Centurian does come up with many great riffs, a lot of them are quite memorable, sometimes they can even add a small melodic pattern.... And the arrangements are very good, without repeating the same ideas over and over again. Song structure is actually very simple, because usually every track is based only on three or four patterns, so maybe this is why this album is quite simple to get into and to remember (and all is spiced with many delicious guitar solos). But I prefer it that way, because I don't need to hear ten thousand riffs in every song to like it. More so, there's a good balance between blasting, tight parts and some slower, yet heavy fragments. Songs like "The Reading (Zarzax unto Zax)" and "Heading for Holocaust" and a bunch more are a must for you to hear. 
And right in the middle of the album Centurian decided to come up with "Feeding Flesh to the Vortex", which is a fantastic sounding instrumental piece, which gives you a time to gasp for breath, before another dose of carnage begins. I love these slow, sick riffs in it. Fuckin cool stuff. Good album then, not as good as the previous one, but still very damn worthy and recommendable release. Get it, if you love such sick and intense satanic death metal massacre! 
Standout tracks: "The Reading (Zarzax unto Zax)", "Heading for Holocaust", "Conjuration for Choronzon" 
Final rate: 75/100