Friday, 23 February 2018

Godless - Omega Omnipotens

GODLESS - Omega Omnipotens (CRYPTS OF ETERNITY Productions - CD 2017)
Time passes by quickly and it's already been eight years since the Chilean kommando Godless unleashed the fury titled "Ecce Homo: Post Lux TenebrasPulsio XIII Ultima Ratio", which is their debut and only full-length album so far. Since then they only released a split 7" with Unaussprechlichen Kulten (killer stuff!!!) and another EP, but 12" titled "Sic Luceat Vacuum Nostrum", which I also recommend. "Omega Omnipotens" is yet another piece of brutality, which comes from this band, but it's also an EP, although with 31 minutes of music one could consider it even a full length, since it's basically longer than most of Unaussprechlichen Kulten albums for instance. But what "Omega Omnipotens" actually brings are three songs from the mentioned two EPs that were previously releases (recorded in 2012), together with two new tracks and one instrumental piece (recorded in 2017). So, it's not totally new material, yet it doesn't even matter to me, because it's always great to listen to fantastic Chilean death metal from bands like Godless. So, new songs or not, it's killer for me. 
What I always enjoy from bands like Godless - or Demonic Rage and Unaussprechlichen Kulten, who are quite close stylistically, yet very different at the same time - is that sheer intensity and brutality of their music, combined with utterly obscure, evil aura which surrounds every sound. Heaviness is the key word here, because this truly is one of the most massive and crushing sounding death metal you'll find in the abyss of underground. It doesn't even need to blast like crazy to sound powerful and vicious as fuck. Actually, Godless is one of those bands, which use a whole variation of tempos, even within one song they may use almost doomy riff here and then speed up to the most chaotic and violent form. Sometimes their music has almost a black metal feel, I think! Obviously such band take a lot of influence from the classic acts like Incantation, Immolation, Mortem, Sadistic Intent or Dead Congregation (OK, this one is a newer band, when compared to the others, but equally influential I think), but that's never been a problem to me. Besides, I think that there's something unique in some of these Chilean bands, so maybe this is why I always feel very attracted to them. Godless is no exception and what else can I can I say... "Omega Omnipotens" is a killer EP. 
One more thing. Crypts of Eternity Productions did exceptional job with this CD, I love the artwork and layout for it, this digipak looks fantastic. It's limited to 500 copies, so I advise you better get a copy asap, otherwise it may be too late! There's vinyl version also available, I think?  
Standout tracks: "Mors: The Verb, The Antinomy", "Onto-Thanatos: The Sovereign Void" 
Verdict: 80/100 

Czort - Czarna ewangelia

CZORT - Czarna ewangelia (UNDER THE SIGN OF GARAZEL - CD 2018)
Polish black metal scene keeps surprising me, with so many great bands popping up every year and so many interesting albums, which come from here. It seems like 2018 won't be any worse than the excellent 2017 and one of the first newly released 2018 albums, which I've heard, was Czort's debut full length "Czarna ewangelia", unleashed by Under the Sign of Garazel Productions. Well, my knowledge about this project is none, it hasn't been unveiled, who's behind it nor even how many people are responsible for this devilish work. But damn, this debut album is just fantastic and listening to it was a real sadistic pleasure. 
These 47 minutes of music bring one of the most impressive and well composed black metal from the Polish scene I've heard in a long time. And it's interesting to say that it isn't so easy to describe Czort's style and put it straight into box or two with comparisons to other bands. Definitely we have here band, which seeks for something original, yet the whole skeleton of their music is as traditional as it only can. But that diversity of playing and riffage, even the characteristic vocals with Polish lyrics create an absolutely worthy album, which stands out from the black metal mediocrity, in my opinion 
The best thing about "Czarna ewangelia" is that every song on it sounds a bit different, so this album really keeps you interested and impressed for the whole time. Yet, despite this diversity, we cannot say that it's complex and difficult music. No, it actually is quite easy to get into it and with many memorable parts and riffage, which so often catches attention it is just a pure black gold. There's fantastic balance between the harshness, sometimes also simplicity of black metal and melodic, sometimes memorable parts. This music sounds aggressive and has really cold, grim atmosphere, but the production is surprisingly good and powerful. Even the fact that majority of these songs have been played at that mid/slow pace, doesn't ruin the effect, but rather deepens the aura and let you memorize it better. 
I would love to give you one band, which could give you a quick idea how "Czarna ewangelia" sounds, but it's just impossible. On one hand this album reminds me what Non Opus Dei used to do, but there are also similarities to Blaze of Perdition and Christ Agony, for instance... So, it really sounds like nowadays Polish black metal, especially with these croaky and vicious vocals, with spit forth some blasphemous texts to praise Devil. But I can also bring comparison to the old Greek black metal scene, even to Mayhem, whose influence you can definitely hear not only in many riffs, but also in the vocals. And as I mentioned, there's great songwriting on "Czarna ewangelia". Songs like "Wszystko w pył", "Czort" (FANTASTIC final riff here!!!) or mesmerizing "stwórcy..." are what you really need to hear. Get this album then, do not hesitate. 
Standout tracks: "Wszystko w pył", "Czort", "O stwórcy..." 
Verdict: 80/100 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Age of Agony - Machinery of Hatred

AGE OF AGONY - Machinery of Hatred (TERRANIS Productions CD 2011)
I truly regret that I got into Age of Agony music so late. This band has been active since two decades, released already five albums and some other recordings... But first time when I heard their music was three or four years ago, when they invaded my house with "Machinery of Hatred". And I immediately loved this album. This is just brutal as fuck, yet old school sounding, pure death metal effort, which has everything that the maniacs love about this style. So do I. 
This vile strike has plenty of killer songs, many of which blast with truly crazy speed. Yet the music remains quite memorable, because the it's quite simplistic, when compared to all those boring, too technical brutal death metal bands. Age of Agony is more straight forward, with that old school feel, which makes the music more worthy for my taste. And the similarities to bands like Krabathor, Vader, Benediction, Unleashed, Obituary and the likes is quite noticeable. Additionally, the music has a strong war concept, which may resemble legends such as Bolt Thrower, but honestly "Machinery of Hatred" is much faster and more brutal than any record this fantastic British band has ever recorded. Anyway, Age of Agony offers great death metal, which personally I loved from the first listen. Whether we speak of insanely fast songs like "Panzer Metal" or "Alteration", which gives you a feel like you're under heavy fire in the battlefield... Or songs like "The Last Division", "Summoning" and the fantastic "Fortress", which are slower, more crushing and vicious, yet equally BRUTAL... It always sounds great and even if sometimes the music gets slightly repetitive and predictable, I don't care, as it isn't something what would disturb me personally. I love the feeling of this music, I like also the production a lot, especially that nasty bass sound - in this aspect, this album actually reminds me Krabathor's "Unorthodox" album. Definitely it's a must to have for all death metal bangers, support this Hungarian band, because they're very underrated, in my opinion. 
Standout tracks: "Panzer Metal", "The Last Division", "Fatality", "Fortress" 
Verdict: 75/100 

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Morvigor - Tyrant

MORVIGOR - Tyrant (Self financed CD 2017)
Couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a band called Morvigor and asked if I would like to review their recently released album "Tyrant". Because I never heard of this band before, I decided to check one song first before giving them an answer. But this one song was enough for me to decide and say "yes". Finally one day a nice, professionally printed, yet self-released, digipak arrived... and I have to say that I've been playing "Tyrant" at least twenty times or even more and I really, really enjoy this album. This is just very good stuff and very pleasant surprise, especially because it came from completely unknown band and - judging by the photographs - rather young musicians. But I like such tasty surprises! 
What Morvigor plays is some sort of black metal hybrid, strongly mixed with melodic death metal and even in few parts like the fantastic "Blood of the Pelican" with post metal. Not sure, if in this case the word "Pelican" is accidental or not though haha (to those, who have no idea - Pelican are one of the best bands, who play instrumental post rock / metal; fantastic band). Well, on "Tyrant" it feels like every song is a surprise and brings something different. Four tracks are kind of instrumental passages, which glue everything together, so it even feels like you've been listening to one, 47 minutes long song. Another four tracks are much longer (the mentioned "Blood of the Pelican" is almost 16 minutes long!) and as I already said, each is just different.  
"No Repentance" is probably the most aggressive and angry track, it has nice vicious feel, even some blasting sections, so it's just a hard kick. Yet it can also surprise with the clean vocals section, so it's nicely varied and composed. It smoothly calms down for "The Martyr's Ascension" to come. This song begins with a sort of melancholic passage, which quickly builds the atmosphere and half way through the song opens the door to quite melodic and easily listenable, almost catchy black / death metal, played in slightly Swedish vein. "Blood of the Pelican", which I already mentioned twice in this review, is a fantastic journey, which really sounds like post metal piece in the opening part - and I have to say that I love that playing, which this song starts with. It's very atmospheric, slightly sorrowful maybe, but damn... it sounds so good. But all of a sudden, this song transforms into killer black metal, which personally reminds me some of the recent Helheim albums. Great cold, vicious playing, very good riffs, arrangements and vocals. Definitely a superb song and the most impressive part of "Tyrant". Finally the title track concludes everything... very similar to "No Repentance", also sometimes blasting like crazy, also with some clean vocals (which almost sound like Vortex from Borknagar!)... it's almost a twin brother to the first song. And a fine ending to the whole album. 
Yeah... I can say anything, but not that Morvigor plays orthodox and conventional black / death metal. They may not be the most original band on the planet, yet they have great idea for their music and talent to compose it. This album surprised me a lot, impressed even more... and well, I can only speak in super positive words about it. 
Standout track: "Blood of the Pelican" 
Verdict: 80/100