Archive for June, 2013

Metal Eurovision 2013 – Part Two

Posted in Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom, Goregrind, Hardcore, Psychedelic, Sludge, Stoner, Thrash on June 18, 2013 by Badass and Grim

Ireland

Tricifix – Monothist (death metal)

As with Eurovision tradition, some golden oldies are brought out when there’s no hope left to relive their wonder years. This bunch from Donegal formed in the late eighties, and the track is taken from their 1991 album Diurnal Decay. Mixing smoothly flowing bass lines with an intricate and thrashy approach to death metal, Tricifix are worthy additions to any early death collection.

Israel

Betzefer – Doomsday (groove metal)

From their 2011 album Freedom To The Slave Makers, this track nods to Betzefer’s influences of Pantera and late Sepultura while still maintaining an original sound. Proof that keeping it simple can be as effective as any uberwiddly solo, the chorus chant has a tendency to lodge in your head all day.

Italy

Murk – In The Kingdom Of The Dead (black metal)

From Florence in Tuscany, Murk bring a dissonant and haunting breed of BM. Vocals are a little too reminiscent of a comical Strepsils advert for my taste, though these improve as the song progresses. Guitar tone and tempo however are spot on. Taken from the 2007 album Unholy Presences.

Latvia

Grondh – Bads (black metal)

Taken from their only album Necilvēks, not much has been heard of the band since 2011. The track hurtles in at a gallop rather than creating atmosphere, but the vocal style is commendable.

Lithuania

Dinozauras – Įpareigotas Maitoti (sludge/goregrind)

While seeming an unlikely genre, it’s certainly proof that in metal anything is possible if you hit things hard enough. Meaning ‘Obliged To Defile’ in Lithuanian, crushing drums and staggering riffs create a disgustingly brutal tone reminiscent of an explosion in an abattoir, and while the grind part is seemingly absent, the gore is definitely there. From their album Ecce Cruor!, released in 2012.

Macedonia (FYROM)

Furion – Queen Of Thieves (thrash)

Released in February of this year on their first full-length album Thrashing Folks, Furion have a solid style of thash that brings in elements of their native music with great effectiveness, seen best in the way the track boots back from an instrumental break into full headbanging glory. Even before this album release, Furion won a Battle Of The Bands contest and played at Wacken in 2009. Certainly one to get heads nodding.

Malta

Thy Legion – Sadism Through Holy Intervention (blackened death)

Playing at Chains’R’Us is certainly a good formula for a music video, but it helps if the music is good as well. These Maltese metallers certainly deliver, with machine-gun blast beats, effective vocals and catchy guitar riffs. Taken from Venerato Diaboli, released in 2010.

Moldova

Caligo – Behold Ragnarok (one-man black metal)

Immortal-like vocals reside in tin-can style production quality, adding to the grimness of this great track from solo black metaller Caligo. Released in February of this year, it’s the second track off his demo album Residing In The Black Void, which also features a cover of Darkthrone’s ‘Skald Av Satans Sol’.

Montenegro

Zaimus – Under The Unholy Spells Of Night (black metal)

More black metal, this time with two members, Khamul and Asmodai. While relying quite heavily on just a few riffs throughout the majority of the track, the track has a pretty nice tempo to it, lyrics are pretty good, and programming adds something new, particularly at around five minutes in. Taken from their self-released EP of the same name.

Netherlands

Acid Deathtrip – The Aftermath (sludge/doom)

Wonderfully crushing sonic dystopia, complete with ’60s moustaches and boobs. A relatively new band, they released their first EP on the 18th of March this year. Describing themselves as ‘blasphemous boogie’ and ‘getting face-banged by nudist midgets under a pagan moon’ should give you some idea. One to watch!

Norway

Summon The Crows – Menneske (crust/death)

Renowned for its prowess at most other kinds of metal, it was hard to find something a bit different for Norway’s entry. Translating as ‘Human’, this track from crusty riff-jugglers Summon The Crows is short-lived but amazingly intricate. It is the penultimate track on their EP; since then they have made two more full length albums and a split with Deviated Instinct.

A close second came Dødfødt with ‘Krigen’.

Romania

The :Egocentrics – Mystic Initiation (psych/stoner)

A truly commendable effort, this song just builds and builds with some truly amazing tone. This stoner-psych behemoth is from their demo, and checking out their other releases is highly recommended for lovers of the overweight chub riff.

Russia

Камни (Kamni) – Bong of Satan (stoner/doom)

Taken from their 2010 EP, crushing riffs and some pretty awesome wah-pedalling make Kamni’s ‘Bong Of Satan’ a pretty damn good track. Vocals sound oddly like Ramesses pretending to be Phil Anselmo, but it fits the style they’ve created nicely.

San Marino

Nothing Inside Eyes – The Day Skies Fall On Earth (thrash/hardcore)

The ever-valued Encyclopaedia Metallum is often vital in searching for new bands, but unfortunately San Marino, a country of just over twenty-four square miles, turns up two results, both of whom had split up. One of those, Alchimia 2012, went on to create this band after departing, and the result is a pretty modern-sounding ‘core affair. Released in July of last year.

Serbia

Putrid Blood – Kontraudar (thrash)

Meaning ‘Counterattack’ in Serbian, ‘Kontraudar’ has that rare quality of native-tongue songs that means once the words (or at least their approximate sounds) are learnt, it’s just as fun to chant along to as any other song. Even with Google Translates’ erratic guessing, the lyrical themes are pretty key to many other thrash tracks, and the riffs hammer them home well. Taken from their 2012 album Absolute Profit.

Slovenia

Somrak – Howls From The Devil (black metal)

Slovenian for ‘Twilight’ (though luckily no relation to a franchise of the same name), Somrak focus on Satanism and the occult as their inspiration, and between the four of the they’ve created some pretty good stuff, even if the vocals falter at times. Taken from the 2007 album The Abhorred Blessings.

Spain

Monkeypriest – Hanuman’s Dance (sludge/doom)

Breaking straight out with some Phurpa-style throat singing, ‘Hanuman’s Dance’ soon settles into a distinctly crushing plod, almost impossible to resist nodding along to. The opening track from their 2011 album, The Psalm, it sets both the pace and tone for the remaining six tracks brilliantly. It’s well worth listening to the album in one hit to get the full effect of it.

Sweden

Soliloquium – Crossroads (doom/death)

From Sweden hail Soliloquium, a two-piece band from Stockholm. The band mixes atmospheric clean-sung passages with more brutal sections, similar to the style of Katatonia and October Tide, but still manages to remain unique and intriguing, using switches between both vocal styles and tempo to keep the listener’s interest peaked. Taken from their new album The Concept Of Escape.

Switzerland

Moonfrost – Cleanse (black metal)

With their name winning triple points in Black Metal Scrabble, Moonfrost bring this fantastically desolate track forth from the land of snowy peaks and traffic incursions. It has some brilliant instrumental parts at the beginning that lead back nicely to well-paced BM, but the piano sections at the end may lead some to turn it off early. From the album Starfall, released in December 2011.

Ukraine

Marauder – Atrophied King (thrash)

With a vocal sound akin to Australian thrashers Mortal Sin, this Kiev bunch throw themselves headlong into a superspeed thrash assault for just over two minutes. Short, but sweet. Taken from the single of the same name, which was released in February of this year.

Venus in Binbags

Dead Awaken – Where Hope Turns Dripping Red

Posted in Death Metal with tags , , on June 15, 2013 by Badass and Grim

Cover

First order of business, “Where Hope Turns Dripping Red” is a great name for a great Death Metal album. You know exactly what you’re getting involved in. Secondly, this cover art is awesome, the font and image look like a fan mod for The Ultimate Doom, Wolfensteining it up with a spawn in the middle of WW2 with commandos and those weird shit coloured Imp things hunting you down with a furious salvo of 16bit devastation.

I shit you not...

I shit you not…

This is a near perfect, no bullshit execution of the death metal sub-genre. Each and every track on this album is a lesson in the blood splattered art, flowing seamlessly through blast beat intensity to neckbreaking groovefests and machine gun tight rythm delivery. Particular stand out points as follows: “Kingdom of Damnation” adds a sparing yet complimentary use of D-Beat which creates a welcome rythmic shift from the 4:4 double kickdrum, and gives the latter more impact when it does kick back in. “Deutsches Afrika Corpse” sums up everythings that is great about this album in it’s first minute, (Killer Riff – Brutal Gut Destroying Blast – Wyldesque heapings of Pinched Harmonics – Unstoppable Groove Machine). “Rocket Symphony” is a well placed mid-tempo effort with slow march riffs providing some gnarly relief from the more fast paced songs flanking it. There is no compromise here with complacency and over indulgence, no filler; these songs are so dense with quality material its like a pepperami constructed from prime veel, Ingredients: 200% industrially condensed blindly shrieking taste sensation. This holds true as much for the album as a whole as for individual tracks, clocking in at around 34 minutes it never outlasts its welcome and holds up after repeataed plays.

NOTHING CAN SATE MY BLOODLUST

NOTHING CAN SATE MY BLOODLUST

I’m finding it difficult to find anything critical to say about this release, the mission statement seems to be to carpet bomb the aural tracts of anyone who happens to be in the sonic vacinity, and essentially what you’re left with is a decimated firestorm where your ossicles used to be. “Where Hope Turns Dripping Red” is a living corpse that will throttle you to death with its gore caked talons.

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Deej

Metal Eurovision 2013 – Part One

Posted in Black Metal, Death Metal, Sludge, Thrash with tags , , , on June 9, 2013 by Badass and Grim

It’s been that time of year again, when countless screaming wannabes and several metric tonnes of glitter and sequin have been poured into a studio and left to simmer for two weeks in a bid to show everyone how lovely Europe can be when we’re singing and not kicking the shit out of each other or hunting cats for food. However, despite the best efforts of strange falsetto-singing Romanians and Thor in a dinner suit, it turns out that several people around the globe quite like kicking the shit out of each other and hunting for, if not cats, then at least the nearest bar. This is the B&G metal version of Eurovision, with enough grind, death, thrash, stoner, doom and black metal to drown out the sound of next door and their skinny-gin-and-tonic caterwauling. There’s a band for each country that entered this year’s spandex-fest, some of which you may have heard of. Some are resurrected, some no longer around, but in the fashion of the original show, hopefully most will be new to you.

Albania

Gverr – Sprained Instinct (prog-death)

First up are Albanian band Gverr, purveyors of prog-death and tasty basslines. Formerly known as Trout (?!), they blend an intriguing mix of old-school death and thrashiness with compelling guitar solos. Taken from their 2010 album, nothing has been heard from the band since 2011. Shame really!

Armenia

Bokrag – Mental Sickness (death/melodic death)

Armenian metallers Bokrag bring at first a slightly more brutal flavour of death metal, with ample technicality and catchy riffs. Rasping vocals courtesy of Alex Amiryan lend a more sinister edge to it than conventional death growling, but the melodic section is quite surprising after the initial fast pace of the first few minutes.

Austria

Ellende – Von Vergänglichkeit und Trost (black metal)

Translated as ‘Of Transience And Comforting’, this track clocks in at almost nine minutes long, and while mostly instrumental paints a satisfyingly bleak landscape in native German and haunting cries. Taken from Rückzug in die Innerlichkeit, the four-track album is available on Bandcamp.

A close second was ‘Todesschrei’ (Death-Cry) by Dunstzorn. Taken from their 2011 Mein Inner Kampf, it has an appealing lo-fi dustbin-lid feel to the drums, and keeping things simple riff wise ensures that they lodge in your head all day long. The militaristic vocal style is a nice touch, too.

Azerbaijan

Fatal Nation – Lord Of Another World (crossover thrash)

Though spoken in broken Englishes, it’s certainly better than my Azerbaijani and is ten times more relatable than most Rihanna songs. A commendable effort mixing thrash with Eastern music influences makes for something quite unique.

Belarus

Infestum – Void Of Nebulae (black metal)

Think Space Black Metal didn’t exist? Think again! These Belarusian black metallers use the gaping galactic maw as inspiration for fast-paced riffery, with synth and industrial tones to boot it into more suitably futuristic realms. Taken from the 2012 album of the same name.

Belgium

Saille – Fhtagn (symphonic black metal)

This Flanders band have based their most recent album, Ritu, around the writings of H.P. Lovecraft with suitably epic songwriting to boot. Indeed, the name of the track is part of a phrase in the Cthulhu mythos, roughly translating as ‘Dreams’. The haunting guitar tones are backed by well-executed and menacing vocals, and orchestral parts are tastefully restricted to eerie choirs rather than listening to Moonspell drive off a cliff with a full orchestra in tow.

Bulgaria

Enthrallment – Cane The Messiah With The Crook (death metal/grindcore)

Cookie Monster vocals and rapid-fire blast beats abound in this track taken from their 2008 album Immerse Into Bloody Bliss. Fronted by Ross Kemp’s Bulgarian twin, Enthrallment have been happily chugging away with Suffocation-style death metal since 1998.

Croatia

Nekrist – Slava Satan (blackened death metal)

Unfortunately no longer with us, this track was taken from their final 2010 album Dux Deus, which is also their only full length album. It’s a shame, as their satisfyingly blasty approach to black metal (complete with key changes) would be a fine addition to playlists everywhere.

Cyprus

Sabbah Navahthani – Pions And Prutend To Omit (sludge/doom)

This track, taken from their self-titled album of 2007, is a veritable bowel-rumbling doom effort from Nicosia. Catchy riffs and rolling basslines are great to bang your head along to, and feature members from Great Coven and Eight Hands For Kali. The drummer, Tas, also played bass for Electric Wizard from 2008-2012.

Denmark

Essence – Lost In Violence (thrash)

These Danish brutes have been dishing out Big Four-worthy thrash metal since 2005, and their new album, Last Night Of Solace, came out in March. This track, taken from the previous album of the same name, is pretty lengthy at nearly eight minutes, winding seamlessly through balls-out thrash and slower but beautifully intricate bass parts.

Estonia

Talbot – Cayenne (stoner/doom)

Wonderfully crushing, Talbot also have a new album this year that came out in April. From their previous album Eos comes this little beauty, full of lead-laden tones and lashings of cymbal bashing.

Finland

Garden of Worm – Hollow (doom)

And for Finland…Lordi! Only joking. Instead come Garden Of Worm, named after a King Crimson song. This track from their 2010 self-titled album initially sounds pretty much like old-school heavy metal slowed down with a couple of tonnes of lead thrown in for good measure. Clean vocals have a fairly monotonous and dirge-like tone to them (which sounds better than it reads), which can make an interesting change to other similar-sounding bands.

France

Benighted – Slut (death metal with grind influences)

A genre not often seen, but you can really see it work at around thirty seconds in as precise blast beats marry perfectly with death metal manic shredding and growling vocals. Taken from the 2008 album Icon, this track shows influences of Dying Fetus and Aborted but still manages to sound somewhat original.

Georgia

Bohema – Eternal Slaves (brutal death metal)

Another death metal band, this time a more brutal mix incorporating Sumerian mythology and mysticism, and some fairly intricate bass lines. Their new album came out around Christmas, but this track off their first album of the same name slows slightly more ferocity and inventiveness, and some bloody nippy double-pedal to boot.

Germany

Obelyskkh – Horned God (stoner/psych/doom)

Delivering a wonderfully rich and crushing tone reminiscent of Monolithian, this song is one of many delights found on their 2012 album Mount Nysa. Describing their band interests as ‘weed, acid, space, Captain Future’ etc. is certainly a good start for such a genre, but the all important wall of sound has certainly been perfected here.

Greece

Convicted – Merciless (thrash)

With a distinctly Rob Dukes Exodus-like tone to the vocals, ‘Convicted’ is perfect headbang induction material. Chugging riffs, war-cry lyrics and solid drumming make this and the rest of the self-titled album worth a good listen.

Hungary

Grizzly – Dagon (stoner/sludge)

Free album downloads are always good, particularly when the music you’re getting is as well-written as this. These Budapest-based stoners mix crunching riffs with Orange Goblin-esque stoner, with the addition of extra sludginess. Taken from their 2012 album Fear My Wrath, available from Bandcamp.

Iceland

Svartidauði – Flesh Cathedral (black)

Meaning ‘Black Death’ in Icelandic, Svartidauði use urban decay and more modern themes to bring about sonic destruction. Looming and oppressive, the sound they have created in this behemoth 11-minute track, and throughout the album of the same name, is a must-hear for lovers of ingenuity and the art of crushing terror.