Archive for the Black Metal Category

Istapp – Frostbiten

Posted in Black Metal with tags , , , , , , , on August 18, 2015 by Badass and Grim

Istapp-Frostbitten

Are you feeling a little toasty after 3 months of Ra’s searing attention (or just uncomfortably sweaty following a similar period of muggy cloud-cover if you’re in the UK)? Worried about your supply of tundra-based shredding due to the increasingly acrimonious fallout from Abbath’s departure from Immortal? Then worry no longer, Istapp’s “Frostbiten” should more than tide you over.

Istapp have been active since 2005, based in Sweden, with a 5 year gap since the release of 2010’s “Blekinge”. They are also endowed with the frankly brilliant “Encyclopaedia Metallum” thematic heading of “Winter, anti-light, anti-sun, absolute zero”; so get back in your box hateful sky orb! Having been a fan of “Blekinge” I was keen to hear what lay in store with this second full length offering from the frost lords.

Although lyrically it is easy to reach for the Immortal comparison, Istapp are much closer to the duel guitar harmony wielding style and heavily rhythmic vocals of Taake, although notably more jaunty due to the folk influence. Title track “Frostbiten” combines all those aspects that most appeal about Istapp, swaggering out of the gate before dropping into the blast beat driven verse which compounds it’s intensity before soaring into the ancestral chant of the chorus, juxtaposed against the continuing rage of vocalist Isar.

Equally brutal is “Må det aldrig töa” proceeding moodily to the 50sec mark before a grim torrent pours forth, I hope you brought your thermals, because this shit is going sub-zero. What’s that in the distance? a helpful swede shouting from the opposite mountain, too late, the blizzard has resumed and pulled him down into a gaping chasm of whirling sterility below. Find your own way home.

Many of the tracks tend to swing between bass-blasting hail and upbeat folk riffing before inevitably both give way to more of those heroic tundra power-stance inducing guitar melodies at which Istapp so excel. It’s like eating spoonfuls of frosting [pun intended], you know there are more complex and balanced diets out there, but its so god damn tasty.

In this vein “Vinterland”, “Primim Frigidum” and “Vit Makt” should have you strolling manfully around on a hallucinatory tundra quest, while confused passers-by look on at the guy pulling exaggerated grimaces on his way down the Morrison’s freezer aisle, before being escorted out for smiting the discount stand with some frozen cod.

While there isn’t much variation across Frostbiten, Istapp do not overplay their hand, and by keeping the total record length at a well paced 36 minutes deliver a collection of hard hitting and well executed ice-storms. I feel cooler already, roll on the Fimblevinter.

Stay Frosty

Deej

7/10

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Kampfar: Djevelmakt

Posted in Black Metal with tags , , , , , , on February 2, 2014 by Badass and Grim

Kampfar-Djevelmakt

With the temperature outside dropping to bollock hide and seek levels, it seems appropriate that a new black metal review should grace the B&G interspace. As this is my first encounter with Kampfar a brief biog is as much for my benefit as for yours. Formed in 1994, and with their first full length release in 1999, the band then took a lengthy hiatus before reforming in 2006, since when they have release four subsequent albums. If you hadn’t guessed by now these guys are from Norway, and there is a good dose of the viking metal strain in their sound. The album art and design elements are taken from a 1981 oil painting by polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński.

To place Djevelmakt within the current musical constellation, I’d go somewhere between God Seed’s “I Begin” and “Ylem” by Dark Fortress, which is nothing but a compliment; here is another black metal act whose sound is full and interesting, and not hampered by a self imposed preconception of what the genre “should” sound like. Most of the songs incorporate keyboards, synths, or strings, but without them becoming the focus, rather adding texture to the raging blade cyclone of the guitar riffs.

“Swarm Norwegicus”, the album’s single, is a moody, inevitable stomp, funereal in tone, which leads into an anthemic chorus, building with the use of a synth which doesn’t overstep the mark. The stand out track on the album is “Fortapelse” with its extended keyboard introduction, leading into a series of melodically interesting and memorable rhythm progressions on the guitars. Another great track is “De Dødes Fane”, with its haunting spoken word refrain and Windir-esque central section, I have absolutely no idea what this dude is talking about but he sounds as bitter as a bucket of lemon rinds.

A great black metal album with a good balance between lacerating grimness and catchy-ass guitar riffs. Recommended for fans of Windir, Vreid, God Seed, Dark Fortress. Now, please excuse me while I go sit still for 8 hours until Behemoth’s ‘The Satanist” is released.

Deej

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B and G Podcast – 2013 Album of the Year

Posted in Badass and Grimness Podcast, Black Metal, Blackened Death Metal, Death Metal, Doom, Folk Metal, Heavy Metal, Pagan Metal, Prog, Viking Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2014 by Murderdeth

Seasons Greetings,

Here we are, twelve months down the line since our First Annual Badass & Grimness: Album of the Year with the next fine instalment The Second Annual Badass & Grimness: Album of the Year!

 

In this years goodie bag we have: Tyr, Amon Amarth, Fen, Watain, Satyricon, Carcass, Sepultura, Windhand, Orphaned Land, and a few honourable mentions.

Please remember to subscribe on iTunes and follow on Twitter. Other social networks are available, links can be found below!

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Cheers

Murderdeth

iTunes – Badass & Grimness Podcast
Twitter – @BadassnGrimness
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Email – BandGReviews@icloud.com

Best of 2013

Posted in Badass and Grimness Podcast, Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom, Heavy Metal, Thrash, Viking Metal on December 20, 2013 by Badass and Grim

Best of 2013

Watch out assorted denizens of the internet, we’ll shortly be making our return, and first up is our Top 9 Metal Albums of 2013 show!

Ninkharsag – The Essential Salts of Human Dust

Posted in Black Metal with tags , , on September 1, 2013 by Badass and Grim

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This was a brutal 6 minutes 47 seconds that I wasn’t expecting to be added to my day. I’ll level with you, I’m having a shitty week, and this has been a good pick me up. Ninkharsag are a band I’ve never heard of until ten minutes ago, and a band you’ll never hear me try and pronounce. “The Essential Salts of Human Dust” is however, a great name for an EP, and is lifted from the short story “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” which peaked my interest.

Track 1 is the title track, and let me tell you, this is some frosty shit. This is English Black Metal, but forget the oaken woodland tones of Wodensthrone and Winterfylleth, this is like having shards of ice fired into your face by a very angry tundra dwelling Jotun, charging into your Fen laden picnic screaming “NO, NO hippies!!!, It’s THIS, THIS Black Metal, the kind that freezes your veins while beating you over the head until you curl into a shivering mass of emotionally scarred man-fetus!!!” (I probably just put a metaphor inside my metaphor, the review just turned into Inception for poor analogies.) This is second wave inspired grimness with enough fresh musical corpses ground in to keep things spicy.

The Essential Salts of Human Dust has catchy ass melodies which is no way detract from the fact that you’re being blast beated into the floor. Around the 2:20 mark there is some pretty handy bass work which is pretty novel for the genre which normally dispenses with the instrument all together or mixes it into oblivion.

Second Track “Liber V vel Reguli” continues in a similar vein, and is equally pleasing to my frankly “I’ve had enough of this fucking week, can it please end now so I can forge into the sunset of solving the mountain of shit on my plate” eardrums. Makes a change from having The Wild Hunt on album repeat anyway. Excellent work from these guys, and highly recommended to fans of Taake/Windir, its got that melodic dominance and interesting guitar harmonies. Can’t wait to here a full length release. 

Deej

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www.facebook.com/ninkharsagblackmetal
www.ultharrecords.com
www.facebook.com/ultharrecords

 

 

 

 

 

B and G Podcast – Viking Special

Posted in Badass and Grimness Podcast, Black Metal, Blackened Death Metal, Cake, Death Metal, Folk Metal, Heavy Metal, Pagan Metal, Prog, Viking Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2013 by Murderdeth

B and G Podcast – Viking Special

From the Havamal –
Ale
Has too often
Been praised by poets.
The longer you drink
The less sense
Your mind makes of things.

That pretty much sums up the following.

It’s been a long, long time coming but here it is in its full, glorious 90 minutes….

“The Badass and Grimness Podcast, Viking Special.”

Featuring: Bathory, Amon Amarth, History Channel’s “Vikings”, Tyr, Wardruna and three progressively drunken idiots!

Not Featuring: Unleashed, Windir, Burzum, Arkenham and many others.

Thanks to JMG for joining us on this one. You can find him on twitter @jmgcreative.

Please remember to subscribe on iTunes and follow on Twitter. Other social networks are available, links can be found below!

Cheers

Murderdeth

Photo on 29-06-2013 at 22.07 #3

iTunes – Badass & Grimness Podcast
Twitter – @BadassnGrimness
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Email – BandGReviews@icloud.com

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