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lunedì 29 aprile 2024

Destruction - Thrash Anthems II

#FOR FANS OF: Thrash
This is a good second round of re-done tracks by the MONUMENTAL Destruction. It's pretty tight, sounding better than the originals (I think). Though they don't have Harry Wilkens back in the band and I think their former drummer Olly still is supporting the band, it's just that he doesn't play on any of the newer albums. Mike (guitars) seemed to step up his game on leads. I'm used to him being a bit sloppy, but he's done a good job on here. It seems as though they sort of lost that spunk a bit on intensity, but they're getting up there in age. Mike admits that he smokes too much weed.

The music is classic Destruction, it just seems milder. And the Dead Kennedy's cover was good, showing that punk rock influence. I'm sure Jello Biafra knows or might know about them covering his former band. Weird to hear it in thrash metal fashion. Some great remakes her of songs like "Dissatisfied Existence", etc. shows that they still have it, just slowed down a bit like I said. At least they have two of the original members, Schmier and Mike. They've gone through a bunch of drummers since Tommy's departure way back in the 80s. The band never really changed, just their newer material all sounds the same.

The production quality is top-notch. I like the sound of it and how all the tracks mixed together. Though the guitars could've sounded a little more crunch-like, but still they did a good job of remaking these tracks. It really does sound like Harry on some leads it's just not specified on here, though it has to be him. Mike can't pull off such fast leads the way Harry did. I know that he did participate in more recent albums as a guest musician. Mike's great on rhythm. He's been a good songwriter in the 80s, though their more recent material doesn't seem to change. They're not as catchy as the old stuff. Which is probably why the remakes.

I have the physical CD of this release and enjoyed it a lot. I think the first one is good as well, maybe even better. Furthermore, I liked both of them, though, and I think it was a good idea to put these songs through better production quality and mixing. I think they did a good justice to the songs from the early days. Maybe they received some criticism over the older material sounding low-budget and the new material monotonous and songwriting monotonous as well. I liked this remake the entire way through. They did a good job from start to finish. Especially enjoy the Dead Kennedy's cover as well! (Death8699)

(Pledge Music - 2017)
Score: 70

Moon Incarnate - Hymns to the Moon

#FOR FANS OF: Death/Doom
The German trio Moon Incarnate, born in 2022, has recently released its debut, 'Hymn to the Moon', with the well-known label Iron Bonehead Productions. With just two years of existence, things have moved quite fast, which is not a big surprise considering how experienced are the musicians involved in this project. All the members have at least other two side-projects, a fact that clearly shows how active they are in the metal scene. This indicates that the musical vision behind Moon Incarnate was quite clear for them, which led them to rapidly focus their efforts on their first release, which is a pivotal moment for any project.

Moon Incarnate's sound is firmly rooted in the doom/metal subgenre, with a classical touch that I would mention. The influence of quintessential projects, especially from the mighty 90s, is clearly present and serves as a lighthouse for them. Their debut album, 'Hymns to the Moon,' also features old-school album artwork and consists of seven enjoyable pieces of pure doom with expected elements and enriching arrangements that are always welcome. The riffing plays a main role, as you can imagine, with a good dose of very competent riffs and appealing melodies. The vocals are harsh, but they don't exclude the use of clean ones, while the arrangements are used in a very good way and quantity. The guitar harmonies of the album opener "Hymn to the Moon" are a good taste of what to expect. This is pure doom with its slow pace accompanied by tasteful guitar riffing. Things become serious with the first track, "The Tempest." The somber riffing is complemented by deep and intimidating growls, while the pace is even slower compared to its predecessor. The atmospheric touch of this track gives an epic feeling and definitively enriches the composition. Some clean vocals are already included here, but just in the form of narrative voices. This is generally how these vocals are used, but we have a couple of good examples of a more relevant use, like for example in "Nemesis." The track has an interesting contrast between the mainly guitar-oriented structures and some atmospheric moments, where clean vocals are generously used, achieving an enjoyable combination. Furthermore, although this album's pace isn't particularly varied, a track like "Nemesis", offers a slightly faster rhythm with a good use of the double bass. The aforementioned atmospheric arrangements are used in moderate quantity, but they always work. It can be an introducing dark keynote, some vocal imitating synthesizers, or a similar resource, but they always give an extra point of richness and ambience to the composition. 'Hymns to the Moon' comes to its end with one of the best tracks, entitled "The Kraken". An album closer has the responsibility of ending the album on a high note, and this track achieves its duty. Here we can find another interesting use of clean vocals, in this case as the track opener. Once again, these soft vocals are used in a remarkably atmospheric section, which marks a great contrast to the following traditional/doom part, where growls and riffs command the song until its powerful finalization.

In conclusion, 'Hymns to the Moon' is a very solid first step in Moon Incarnate’s career. The listener will find here seven songs of trademark doom/death metal, appropriately enriched with different elements that give them their own personality. (Alain González Artola)

(Iron Bonehead Productions - 2024)
Score: 78


Morgue Supplier - Inevitability

#FOR FANS OF: Death/Grind
This release is pretty "weird" in my opinion. It sways from slow to metal to grind to chill time. It's definitely the strangest release that I've heard from 2022. That's what makes it so intricate and appeasing. These guys have been around for a long while, but 38 minutes of different Aboriginal feel or vibe to it makes it what stands out. When you think you're being pulled into one extreme to total disheartening atypical dementia. These guys have some death metal mixed with grind action. Though they fluctuate quite a bit! Guitars are fast, mid-paced and overheartenly slow. Their lead guitar work is quite astringent. And the vocals you get quite a variation retro Napalm Death 'The Peel Sessions.'

Guttural vocals mixed with screaming you get all sorts, especially like Lee Dorrian (ex-Napalm Death, Cathedral). Those of whom they seem to draw their influence from. This album is only a little more than 38 minutes. However, what you get is 38+ minutes of death/grind.

I have not heard a band so strange yet episodic and manumatic as these guys via Morgue Supplier. They're incorporating many different sounds and vibes until finally the album fades out. The grind pieces are fluctuating and speedingly incorporated.

The guitars are just an atypical type of mixture between single picked notes to a little bit of everything. The vocals go with the guitars, but both, they encapsulate gore mixed with screaming anguish. Throughout, they seem to go nowhere except on the path of resilience. The vocals shriek highly and the guttural sound doesn't let up. It goes on and on with total morbidity. I enjoyed this album, but I'm thinking that what I enjoyed the most is them going on and on hitting walls with the drum slots and guitars mixed with praying different versions of guttural onslaught. I think the best part of the release is that it doesn't sway too much into oblivion, it is oblivion that slays it! (Death8699)

(Transcending Obscurity Records - 2022)
Score: 80


The Pit Tips

Francesco Scarci

Labyrinthus Stellarum - Vortex of the Worlds
Severoth - By the Way of Light
Blazing Eternity - A Certain End of Everything


Cannibal Corpse - The Bleeding
Cardiac Arrest - The Stench of Eternity
Metallica - 72 Seasons

Alain González Artola

Anima Hereticae - Descenced From The Mountains
Sworn - A Journey told through Fire
Kings Rot - At the Gates of Adversarial Darkness

lunedì 22 aprile 2024

Corpus Diavolis - Elixiria Ekstasis

#PER CHI AMA: Esoteric Black
Rieccoci alle prese con i blacksters francesi Corpus Diavolis. Dopo aver recensito le ultime loro tre fatiche (abbiamo fondamentalmente saltato solo l'esordio del 2010), ci ritroviamo per le mani il nuovo 'Elixiria Ekstasis', che ci riporta nei meandri torbidi e oscuri di questo misterioso ensemble marsigliese. Nove pezzi per quasi un'ora di musica senza ombra di dubbio malvagia (e come potrebbe essere altrimenti con tale moniker e una copertina del genere?), diabolica, ma al contempo evocativa e, a mio avviso, molto più matura che in passato. Forti del costante supporto della Les Acteurs de l'Ombre Productions e di una carriera che inizia ad assumere una certa rilevanza, negli oltre quindici anni di militanza nell'underground, fanno di questa release una grande release. E lo si evince immediatamente, ascoltando le imperiose melodie dell'opener "His Wine Be Death", che può vantare una solenne intensità, ritmiche oblique, ottime vocals demoniache, ma anche quei cori salmodianti che avevamo già incontrato in 'Apocatastase' e che donano una certa eleganza a un lavoro di questo tipo. Certo, la proposta dei transalpini rimane comunque lacerante, se pensate a quanto sia corrosiva la porzione iniziale di "Key to Luciferian Joy", ma il brano da quello che sembra essere un anonimo black di stampo norvegese, va progredendo in tutta velocità, offrendo sperimentazioni davvero ragguardevoli in un incantesimo (o meglio maleficio) sonoro che non avevo percepito in precedenza nelle corde dell'act francese. Avvincenti, non c'è che dire. Possono prenderci a frustate sulla schiena, come accade in "Carnal Hymnody", ma è una fustigazione alla fine piacevole, cosi avvolti da quell'aura mistico incandescente prodotta dalle chitarre e soprattutto da quei vocalizzi devoti all'occultismo, che si palesano in tutto il disco e alla fine, si rivelano addirittura il punto vincente di questo 'Elixiria Ekstasis'. Un disco comunque importante che segna un bel salto in avanti nel songwriting della band transalpina, che vanta comunque altri pezzi di una certa rilevanza: da sottolineare infatti la claustrofobica irruenza sonora di "Cyclopean Adoration", un pezzo sghembo e glaciale nei suoi dieci minuti di durata, ma anche caratterizzato da sinistre partiture atmosferiche che dal quinto minuto solleticheranno non poco i miei sensi. "Vessel of Abysmal Luxury" riprende invece con oscure ritmiche al fulmicotone, mefitiche chitarre in tremolo picking, vocals animalesche e un senso di angoscia che al termine pervaderà tutto il mio corpo. Dopo questo brano mi verrebbe da etichettarli come annichilenti, in realtà non ho ancora ascoltato "The Golden Chamber", song che mette sul piatto un'altra bella dose di violenza, la medesima che avevamo già avuto modo di assaggiare nelle vecchie release, e che forse toglie quel pizzico di originalità che ritengo sia contenuta in grandi quantità in questo lavoro. Fortunatamente, nella stessa song si palesa infatti quella componente ritualistica che esalta l'operato dei Corpus Diavolis, e che saprà ancora impressionarci nella liturgica veemenza di "Menstruum Congressus" o nella conclusiva "Chalice of Fornication", gli ultimi dieci esoterico-orientaleggianti minuti all'insegna di un black mid-tempo, di un disco deflagrante, disturbante, epico, eretico, semplicemente maestoso che vede, a questo punto solo nella copertina da teenager satanici, l'unico peccato veniale. (Francesco Scarci)

(LADLO Productions - 2024)
Voto: 80


Mallephyr - Ruins of Inner Composure

#PER CHI AMA: Black/Death
Devo dire che la Epictural Production inizia ad abituarci bene con le proprie uscite. Dopo Karne e Theosophy, positivamente recensiti nel 2023, ecco arriva i cechi Mallephyr e il loro concentrato malevolo di black metal dissonante. Pronti quindi a farvi risucchiare dal gorgo ubriacante di 'Ruins of Inner Composure'? Si, perché dopo il cerimoniale in apertura di "Contaminated Tongues Embracing the Lifeless Sculpture", a prevalere sarà infatti un vortice di ritmiche super tirate che guardano al nero più nero, peraltro con le vocals di Opat a evocare, a tratti, il buon Attila Csihar di 'De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas'. Poi, i nostri ci sparano in faccia tonnellate di riff cervellotici, alternati a rari intramezzi atmosferici e ancora diluviate di riffoni iper serrati. Come quelli che incontriamo anche in apertura di "I Am the Two-Headed Serpent", dove il quartetto originario di Rokycany (patria della birra Pilsen) arriva a tagliarci le mani come quel loro rifferama acuminato e costantemente in evoluzione, tra accelerazioni furibonde, rallentamenti asfissianti e continui cambi di tempo che non fanno altro che disturbare quei pochi neuroni rimasti in vita dopo i primi due assalti. E sarà anche peggio proseguendo nell'ascolto di questo funambolico lavoro, di cui premierei la tecnica strumentale di Tom, il distruttore che siede dietro alla batteria. "Hail Death", dopo il classico incendiario incipit, trova modo di offrire un break che chiama in causa i Mayhem, in un centrifugato sonoro che lascia ben poco scampo, nei suoi tre minuti e mezzo di suoni a dir poco inviperiti. Apparentemente più ragionato il prologo della title track, ma non fatevi ingannare da questi audaci manipolatori di menti: le ritmiche marziali iniziali lasceranno il posto infatti a taglienti linee di chitarra, che diventeranno da li a poco, belle caustiche, come se nel sound dei nostri ci fosse anche qualche retaggio che guarda a un passato hardcore. Il malato e sinistro break centrale ci consentirà di prendere fiato in vista del rutilante finale della song, ma soprattutto della super maratona affidata ai tredici minuti di "When Death is Light at the End of the Tunnel". Forse (ma dico forse) il pezzo più tranquillo del lotto, grazie a un black mid-tempo non cosi eccessivamente esplosivo come i nostri ci hanno abituato sin qui. In realtà, dopo i risvolti melodico strumentali che coprono i primi due minuti del brano, ecco arrivare l'ennesima sassaiola di un album tanto lacerante, quanto pregno di ottime trovate melodiche, che per cosi dire, stemperano una furia altrimenti assai complicata da digerire. Interessanti le pseudo linee solistiche del brano, cosi come le suggestive partiture atmosferiche, ma quello che continuano a convincere, sono i costanti cambi di tempo e qui anche un utilizzo pulito della voce, che va ad affiancarsi al cantato in screaming del frontman. Dopo aver preso schiaffi a destra e a manca, ecco che il disco va a chiudersi con la più ritmata "Chaos Chants Across the Path to Universe", song che ammicca ai Blut Aus Nord e che vanta una serie di cascate di melodie laviche che sapranno avvolgervi nel caldo gelido abbraccio infernale dei Mallephyr. Paurosi. (Francesco Scarci)

giovedì 18 aprile 2024

Borknagar - Fall

#FOR FANS OF: Epic Black/Viking
What a transitory epic platter that's filled with the utmost soul-driven heart. I'm not a big fan of bands like Amon Amarth or other Viking metal bands, but Borknagar is one of the ones that I'm totally into their vibe. They're totally chill and hold an illicit like vibe. These guys over the years have kept it mild. Not their first releases, but some that I've come across have been mellow. The more releases they put out, the more they mellow out. It doesn't make them totally like eunuchs, it just means they're getting older and more musical. They have made a turn for their best in precepts with their latest sound, which is the greatest they've put out.

The guitars go mainly in a slow pace with some variation and melodic as all heck, do they swarm. The music is the best part of the release, alongside the vocals. They're in unison of the music wholeheartedly. What melodies and an overall beautiful all be that will never 'Fall.'

Every song on here is full of passion in the music! The vocals sway from hoarse to clean and back again. It's killer if there's an exact moment to highlight the whole release is a highlight! The guitars seem to go well with the songs/album/riff by riff. I've been a fan since I got 'Winter Thrice.' I just like their overall sound to their songs. This stuff isn't appeasing the brutal metal people, just those of whom are more into bands like Katatonia, et al. They're way mild and intricate in that sense. Just getting milder and milder they seem with each passing bar. To that realm, they appease the masses of listeners to Viking mild sense of direction that they have become.

These guys have been around for some time now, belting out their melodic metal till way back in the 1990's. I think they've moved on with careful progression and sticking to their Viking metal roots! This is one you don't want to pass up on! So many great songs! (Death8699)

lunedì 15 aprile 2024

Poroniec - W Po​ł​ogu

#PER CHI AMA: Black/Death
Della serie picchiare come fabbri, questa sera vi presentiamo 'W Po​ł​ogu', atto primo dei polacchi Poroniec. Una tempesta sonora che potrebbe essere assimilabile al moniker dei nostri che si rifà a un demone maligno della mitologia slavonica, dotato di una faccia deforme, nato dall'anima di un feto morto intenzionalmente, e direi ben rappresentato nella cover del disco. Non lasciatevi pertanto tranquillizzare da quell'intro melliflua che apre il disco, perchè ben presto verrete investiti dalla furia disumana del duo di Kraków, che in "Nieprzystępni" vi travolgerà brutalmente con un black death senza troppi fronzoli, comunque tecnicamente valido e interessante. Produrre musica originale al giorno d'oggi è diventato qualcosa di più unico che raro, quindi sarà meglio non riporre troppe aspettative in fatto di originalità della proposto, e semmai sarà meglio gustarsi questo treno impazzito che vi si scaraventerà addosso, traccia dopo traccia, il suo enorme carico di odio. I brani scorrono veloci che è una meraviglia, tra parti cazzutissime e altre più rallentate ("Niedorzeczności"), dove la band arriva a proporre addirittura cori puliti (e anche una voce femminile in sottofondo, che dovrebbe appartenere a Hekte Zaren degli Adaestuo) che fanno da contraltare a un growl possente e convincente, oltre che a ritmiche dapprima oblique e poi sparate a velocità impressionanti, ma sempre permeate di una sottile epicità di fondo che renderà l'ascolto di 'W Po​ł​ogu', un'interessante esperienza conoscitiva. "Moralności" continua sulla falsariga delle precedenti, affidandosi a una disarmonica e compassata linea di chitarra su cui poi imbastire le varie accelerazioni, distorsioni, rallentamenti e incursioni di altre ospiti (la già citata Hekte e tal Justyna Walczyk) che vanno ad arricchire un brano che altrimenti rischierebbe di finire nell'anonimato. Il disco è comunque solido, e lo testimoniano anche altre song, dalla malinconica "Przypadłości", passando per la glacialità post black affidata agli splendidi tremolo picking di "Mądrości", fino ad arrivare ai 13 minuti conclusivi di "Wątpliwości", che condensano tutte le peculiarità esibite dal combo polacco. Si passa infatti con somma disinvoltura dal black mid-tempo iniziale al debordante sound innescato attorno al terzo minuto, per poi rallentare pericolosamente un minuto più tardi. I nostri ci offrono poi un demoniaco e salmodiante intermezzo ambient tra il settimo e il nono minuto, per finire di scardinare ogni barriera sonora nella coda del brano e sancire definitivamente la loro pericolosità strumentale. (Francesco Scarci)

Deathlike Dawn - Among the Graves of the Archetypes

#PER CHI AMA: Black Old School
Melodie sinistre, oscure e malefiche per un black metal avvolto da profondo mistero. Stiamo parlando dei polacchi Deathlike Dawn e del loro secondo album, 'Among the Graves of the Archetypes', uscito a distanza di quattro anni dal precedente 'Deliria and Dreams'. Un disco che affonda sicuramente le proprie radici nel black old school anni '90, con tanto di scricchiolanti riff, ridondanti ritmiche (come il buon Burzum era solito infarcire i propri lavori) e gracchianti grim vocals, il tutto impastato da un suono sporco e cattivo, in cui gli strumenti non sono peraltro cosi facilmente identificabili. Eppure, nonostante quello che sembra essere un bel pastrocchio, il disco dei nostri riesce a cogliere la mia attenzione e generare comunque emozioni piacevoli. I primi due pezzi, "A Monument I Shall Raise in Flame" e "Plutonic Ether" li trovo davvero buoni, per quanto non propongano nulla di innovativo nel loro ipnotico incedere di chitarre e azzeccatissime melodie che non tolgono comunque quell'impatto old school alla release. Sembra infatti di essere catapultati indietro nel tempo di 30 anni quando (i futuri) mostri sacri norvegesi, si stavano affacciando sulla sena. E penso ai primissimi Enslaved, Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Burzum e Gehenna, e le loro proposte di black minimalista ma comunque contraddistinto da un piglio atmosferico, che alla fine convergeranno tutte insieme nelle note di questo disco marcescente ma indovinatissimo. Nella proposta dei Deathlike Dawn ci sento poi anche un che del cosmic black dei Darkspace, soprattutto nel secondo brano, che inizia all'insegna di un black doom, per poi evolvere con i suoi synth e tastiere, verso un black atmosferico, in grado di creare una sorte di sospensione del tempo. Con "Forked Tongues of Eternal Fire", il duo di Wrocław esibisce un black più tirato, che ammicca anche ai Windir nella linea delle chitarre in super tremolo picking. Che dire, se non che tutti gli amanti di simili sonorità, dovrebbero approcciare questa nuova realtà polacca, per lo meno per dargli un'occasione. Io mi sento di dargliela, anche laddove i nostri non offrono palesemente nulla di originale. Ascoltare però "Darkly Treads the Twilight" è un po' come riscoprire 'Vikingligr Veldi' degli Enslaved, mentre con la rutilante "In Tenebrous Depths, a Transfiguration" mi lascio piacevolmente investire dalla martellante contraerea dei nostri. In chiusura la caustica "Dew and Blood", pezzo rabbioso ma che forse non concede grosse emozioni, se non nel comparto solistico, dove la band si diletta con ottimi assoli e una furibonda cavalcata conclusiva. Nostalgici. (Francesco Scarci)

domenica 14 aprile 2024

Nunslaughter - Angelic Dread

#FOR FANS OF: Death/Thrash
Killer death metal, though the songs are short. I didn't mind that, they reined with fury! Catchy riffs and tolerable vocals, there's no going wrong with this band! The vocals go well with the music! Best Nunslaughter I've heard from them. Excruciatingly immense death metal galore! Check out one of their lengthier songs called "Looking Into The Abyss."

The music is thrash/death metal, more thrash in the guitars and a tinge of death metal with the vocals. But I know they're considered to be solely a death metal band. The vocals reflect Jeff Walker via Carcass. Same screaming sound if you didn't notice, but it seems to be true to that!

Riffs sound crunchy and catchy. There isn't a Nunslaughter album I've heard that tops this one. And it's good they're re-establishing a great fan base. They need it and their music is unique.

The production quality on here is superb! I enjoyed how they weaved everything into place in terms of instruments/voice. The aggression is totally there, and wouldn't want to change anything on this release. They diversify, they're not aggression totally, but the guitars are HEAVY! I think that they down-tune the guitars to reach that thickness sound. What a great band, they're wholly underrated! I ordered their CD from Hells Headbangers because I thought it one album that I couldn't pass up! The music took over and I loved the vocal department. This band is way unique and uncompromising! Be sure to take a listen to the song I mentioned and see if it's up to your death metal pallet! (Death8699)

(Hells Headbangers Records/Fatalism Musickness - 2014/2021)
Score: 74


Endorphine - Godmind

BACK IN TIME: recensione gentilmente concessa da Nihil Zine
#PER CHI AMA: Thrash Metal
Si trattava di una nuova scoperta per la prolifica agenzia italiana Kick Agency. Gli Endorphine, con questa loro fatica intitolata 'Godmind', aggiungevano un nuovo tassello alla scena thrash melodica italiana anche se vi erano presenti “tocchi” ispirati al crossover (soprattutto per quanto riguarda la voce), che secondo me suonavano fuori luogo rispetto alle buone trovate che poi costituivano il fulcro dell’album. Ottime le chitarre, sia quella solista che la chitarra ritmica di Maddalena. Entrambe erano arrangiate molto bene e con la tecnica dei nostri non perdevano di potenza. La sezione ritmica reggeva bene questa potenza, sostenuta da una batteria che variava tra giochi più tecnici e velocità abbastanza sostenute, in pieno stile thrash metal. A completare il tutto, la voce: capace nell'essere cattiva, sebbene spesso si perdesse nelle melodie pulite, che come accennato prima, a mio avviso, rappresentavano l’unico punto debole di questo secondo MCD composto da tre tracce. Un discreto lavoro che vide un seguito, 'The Future Seed', prima dello scioglimento della band nel 2008.

(Self - 2002)
Voto: 65


venerdì 12 aprile 2024

Naglfar - Cerecloth

#FOR FANS OF: Swedish Black, Dissection
This release is a re-visitation of the "old" Naglfar via the 'Vittra' release with a little fine-tuning. The guitars are similar like in the past tremolo picking and a slight reverb upon the production the vocals are similar as well just darker I'd say. They're screaming vox but darker and dreary. It sets the tone on how the album is going to be like, especially on the production quality.
I don't agree that this album averages a moderate "65" rating I believe that it's top-notch. It stole me right away, and I liked it immediately. Especially the doom if there entails. There really aren't an overabundance of lead guitar work, just some. It weaved into the tremolo picking of the rhythm guitar.

They really did well on here, I mean so eerie and desolate are the guitar riffs with vocals accompanying the riffs making it so depressing. They really upped their game in the melancholic department, as most of their work has done. I'd say it's more morbid than 'Harvest.' The melodies flow in the depths of hell.
If you key into the production/mixing/sound departments, you'll hear that they wanted this to sound ultimately grueling.
I'm not much into the lyrical conceptions, I just care about the vocals and the music. I feel they're at a really strong point and that they are at the pinnacle of their melodic black metal. They are pretty much experts on how to make such good recordings in this genre, and I feel that they were undercut on the ratings. They really are sending home a message that they're not letting up in their intensity. And the tremolo picking is superb. There's a lot of it on here, not too many bouts of slower tempos, most of it is fast, I'm a huge fan of this band and rightfully so because they keep putting out songs/albums that grasp the listener with their immense intensity. Don't pass this one up!
The eerie sense of this release is all there, and they definitely upped their underground vibe that you can feel totally throughout! Check it out and see! (Death8699)
(Century Media - 2020)
Score: 76

Sathanas - Psalm Satani

#FOR FANS OF: Black/Death
Only 30 minutes in length, but I feel like these guys put on some pretty great blackened metal. I love the vocals and the guitars. Paul indicated that the recording quality wasn't the greatest, but you can as sure as hell make out the riffs. No blast beats just underground metal galore.

Production wise, this album could've done better, but the guitars and the vocals made up for that! I like the fact that Paul's vocals are screams that fit well with the essence of this album. I really like this album, especially the riffs. Too bad, it's only a little over 30 minutes. It deserves a lengthier LP. But, nevertheless, it's better than quality music for this rare genre. It's really made metal to sound better than just unique. It's made it more experimental and creative. Each song is good to my standards. They put an effort into everything, especially in making this album flourish, even though there's a claim that they got somewhat screwed over by the label. But the next LP will be at Morrisound. So that's pretty exciting!

The music on here was in the vein of 'Necrohymns' but it has its own kick to it. Definitely looking forward to the new album, but for now it's this blaring through my speakers. It's a raw recording, again reminiscent of the past. Paul is the main contributor of the band as he's the driving force.

This band has their own sound, especially the blackened metal that they play. They have sort of weaved it into their own. I like how they display their talent throughout this recording and past recordings as well! The music on here is filled with progressive riffing and a unique style.

I've yet to find a way to get a physical copy of this album, preferably on Amazon or Hells Headbangers. But they're not stocking it. Best to download off bandcamp. Check this album out! It shan't disappoint! (Death8699)

lunedì 8 aprile 2024

Disinter - Designed By The Devil, Powered By The Dead

#FOR FANS OF: Grind/Death
These guys formed quite a bit ago, Native Chicagoans! I'm quite surprised that no one took a shot and reviewed this. The vocals sound like Adam via Cardiac Arrest (US). And the music is quite unique and technical as well. They hit home with me, I've found this platter to rip musically and aggressively. It's too bad that they dealt with a death in the band (Preston) RIP 2017. I've found nothing but good things to say about this band/album. It's just a little hard to find online. It isn't readily available on Amazon.com and there are different bands with changed names (Disinter). I can't fathom that it's been 10 years since this album was released!

Keeping the metal faith there on Disinter's end, they rip quick musically, and they're (I believe) five members making this release happen. I just so don't like to listen digitally without giving the band money to buy a CD. I would love to have this album as a part of my collection!

These guys are not only death metal, but their talent goes to show that it does still exist, and we hear here that talent belting out fast riffs mixed with upbeat but still underground vocals alongside burgeoning music that utterly is in command. There's so much going on with the vocals, music, and rhythm guitar sounds that perpetrate along with its unfathomably dark intricate metal. You can hear how much they unleash their musical display. Very talented musicians!

They have intricate groove and tenacious licks that simply catch you off guard. But yeah, the vocalist sounds like Adam Scott from Cardiac Arrest (US). If you've heard any of their music, you'll hear what I'm talking about. The other side of the vocals deals with screaming. The music is their own. I'm glad to be aware that metal is alive and well in Chicago. These guys rip it to pieces on the guitars, the production sound, varying vocals and undying spirit. They've owned Chicago since their birth in 1991. This band is the embodiment of terror, destruction, and songwriting.

I only took a little bit off because there were some slow parts but wholeheartedly uncompromising and intricate abomination! (Death8699)

Tank and Tears - Timewave

#PER CHI AMA: Gothic/Dark Wave
Tornano in pista i Tank and Tears, che dal 2017 si erano messi in pausa di ogni produzione musicale. Tornano in pista e mai definizione fu più appropriata, poiché dal precedente album, 'Aware', dove sfoderavano un post punk dalle forme ansiolitiche e dalle chitarre aggressive, si passa al dancefloor delle discoteche new wave/goth, con le chitarre che si rendono meno roboanti e più d'atmosfera, contornate e dirette da synth di stampo New Order e la forma compositiva tipica della band numero uno in questo ambito, i Clan of Xymox. Rincorrere ed emulare i sacri crismi e gli stilemi di tale genere, porta sicuramente a buoni frutti, e le nove tracce di 'Timewave' lo dimostrano, sebbene allo stesso tempo si denoti quanto il suono sia un vero e proprio derivato di quello che a suo tempo marcava le sperimentazioni degli Ultravox e dei The Dance Society, rendendolo unico, magico e indimenticabile, in un periodo storico a cavallo degli anni '80. L'album è quanto mai fedele nella ricostruzione storica e, avvalendosi di un'ottima produzione e un'ottima scorta di suoni vintage, riesce nell'intento di far ballare chi ancora oggi, adora quelle sonorità fredde e sintetiche. Prendete un goth club e fate ballare le sue oscure figure al suono di 'Timewave'; traccia dopo traccia avrete reso indimenticabile la loro serata. Canzoni mirate a colmare la nostalgia di un suono che in realtà non è mai caduto in disuso, che da decenni si rinvigorisce e rinasce dalle sue stesse ceneri, inglobando elettronica, dreamwave e visioni gotiche, in un incedere ritmico ipnotico, costantemente permeato da cupe atmosfere. Trovo superficiale dire quale sia il brano migliore, partendo dal fatto che i toscani Tank and Tears hanno creato un disco praticamente perfetto, per soli nostalgici del genere però, sebbene alla fine suoni moderno e studiato nei minimi particolari, per ricalcare maniacalmente i passi dei padri fondatori, con effetti e dinamiche del suono estremamente curate. "Galaxies" mi ha colpito particolarmente per la parentela eccelsa dei synth verso gli Ultravox più colti, circondati da chitarre che ricordano i The Cure più freddi, mentre "Vampire Bite" ha un sussulto più gotico e orientato anche all'universo esteso dei The Sisters of Mercy. Tuttavia, i paragoni non possono essere presi alla lettera in un genere dove le regole compositive rimangono comunque ferree e quanto proposto finisce per rimandare volutamente a un tutto già sentito. Rimane comunque stupefacente il grado di qualità, fluida e coinvolgente, sprigionata da quest'album che ha una omogeneità ammaliante che non mostra alcun segno di cedimento durante il suo ascolto. Ascolto che consiglio a tutti quelli che vogliono inoltrarsi nel mondo dell'elettrowave a tinte gotiche, o nella new wave di stampo ottantiano, per rendersi conto quanto la linea di suono della new wave sia poi proseguita dai monumentali 'Movement', 'Subsequent Pleasures' e 'Vienna' fino ai giorni nostri. (Bob Stoner)

(Swiss Dark Night - 2024)
Voto: 75


sabato 6 aprile 2024

In Autumn - What’s Done Is Done

#FOR FANS OF: Death/Doom
Founded in 2011, the Italian band In Autumn hasn’t been particularly prolific, as they have released only three albums in more than a decade of existence. Its line-up has been reasonably stable, although they have changed the lead singer a few times which is always a quite crucial element, so this might explain why they have taken more time to release new music. In any case, as I always say, it’s better to focus on quality instead of quantity as we can also see bands which release so much music that it can lead to some boredom.

Let’s focus on In Autumn’s new opus entitled 'What’s Done Is Done', which has been released by the well-established Italian label My Kingdom Music. In Autumn combines doom and post-metal sounds, which makes its music a bit more dynamic and varied than the typical doom metal band. Which doesn’t change is the expected melancholy and despair that the music breathes, a fact that it is not totally surprising as both genres, even being different, share this approach when music is created. Vocally, there is a mixture of slightly rasped aggressive vocals and a quite melancholic clean ones which are well-balanced in their use, being the most usual ones the aggressive ones, although the use varies depending on the song. The guitar tone has a greater influence of post-metal sounds, particularly when it sounds heavier, while the most melodic riffing has a clear classic doom metal approach. This is clearly noticeable in the album opener "What’s Done Is Done" where the band uses all the aforementioned resources. The most melodic riffs are especially welcome, as the sole use of post-metal style riffing may sound a bit repetitive for me. As always, balance is the key element, and this composition achieves its goal of using both sides in a very good way. "Inside My Soul" is one of those compositions where the different elements are used, succeeding with creating a great contrast between the different sections of the song. The first half has the most melancholic touch with those clean vocals and a calmer pace, while the second half brings back the more aggressive vocals and a good use of lead guitar melodies. This, combined with a faster pace, makes this song of the most enjoyable ones. Another highlight of the album is the track "The Illusion Of Reality". For sure, one of the heaviest ones. Here we can enjoy some of the most powerful riffs, use of the double bass and a headbanging inducing pace. I do also enjoy the combination of nice lead guitar melodies and the clean vocals in the chorus, which helps to make this song particularly addictive. The contrast between heaviness and melody is even clearer in the track "Block", which also has a quite vivid pace. As it has been the case in other compositions, heavier and calmer sections come abruptly one after the other, although this song is maybe the clearest example of this approach. The ups and downs in the intensity of the song achieves to get the attention of the listener from the very beginning to the end.

At the end, 'What’s Done Is Done' is for sure a quite entertaining piece of work. Its mixture of doom and post metal gives to the album a more varied touch and helps to create quite enjoyable tracks. The solid performance makes this work a good dose for those who enjoy this mixture of genres, although it doesn’t bring anything new on the table. (Alain González Artola)