Record of the Week: TORTORUM – Rotten. Dead. Forgotten.

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I’d say “RDF” is more atmosphere-based work than our two previous full-lengths. It just came out this way naturally. It’s hard to define it with words, it’s probably best to spend some time with it. I’ve heard opinions that it’s not as straightforward as our albums, it’s perhaps more experimental too. It’s (as always) channeling darkness, but with a slightly different approach.
– Skyggen / Tortorum interview, Norskmetal.net

The excellent new mini-album by TORTORUM! Usually described as a Norwegian black metal band, founding members also include Barghest from UK death metal band SPEARHEAD and Skyggen, formerly known as Paimon, from Polish bands THUNDERBOLT, VELES and SWASTYKA (SUNWHEEL)

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Record of the Week: SALUTE – The Underground (Raise a black flag, you’re going home in a body bag!)

…as i before have said about this band – if you don’t like SALUTE you probably have a truckload of extra chromosomes. and if that sounds positive, you’re out taking a long walk on a short pier, my friend.
– Fenriz ’09

After the Law LP SALUTE dug deep and exhumed this monster album!! Darker, heavier and harder. Thunder and diesel, iron sinew!!! A killer from 2 to Six.

” We’ve barely scratched the surface…OUGH! you want another?? OUGHGHH!! OUUUUUSEE

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Record of the Week: Virus – Memento Collider (ex Ved Buens Ende Norwegian Avantgarde)

Plectrum drags reverberating fragments of dissonance/harmony, and the bass… the bass. Plenum makes his return matter!

Riffs refracted in a hall-of-mirrors. Czral, creative as ever. Mr Sjursø in high form. Well, it goes without saying VIRUS are top-tier writers and executors. After three albums surprise gives way to anticipation, which they frequently manage to exceed.

Abstract, twisting and fascinating music with more rhythm and punch than ever.

Three Norwegian Masters. Bravo!

Record of the Week: Instinct – The Black Wound

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The more you return the more you will find.
On first impression, The Black Wound may appear to be a meandering, atmospheric and largely ‘ambient’ album. Good, but maybe not standout.
Go back. Within the dense, slow progressions the layers begin to separate. The repeated theme on Thunor Hycgh with its dissonant sting, the fleeting sweet riff buried in Chamber Dark. Touches like that continue until it’s clear Verst has laboured and layered and built a very impressive third album!

BURZUM, abstractly, is a comparison. Intelligent repetition and disciplined song writing. It’s meant respectfully.

Ambience does still play a strong role in the overall atmosphere. Each song fades undramatically into a dark and desolate droning which eventually consumes everything and comprises part II of the title track.

I am the only one who will ever truly understand the significance and meaning of Instinct beyond the musical…

One thing we do know, INSTINCT is nature worship. Blood and bone. The music radiates mystery without pretension, and I think it’s safe to recommend listening is isolation. Whether that’s sheltered or surrounded by vast empty landscapes, there you will find some truth.

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more records of the week

Record of the Week: Dysemblem – Strength of Giants

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Dissolve and bring demise…

Formed by Aees after the dissolution of INJEKTING KHAOS, joined by Nuctemeron of EMBRACE OF THORNS. Let that be a signal of their pedigree, not the music.

Aees moves away, not entirely, from IK’s blasting black metal towards death-doom, closer to EMBRACE OF THORNS but not the same claustrophobic atmosphere. The music here is large and often lumbering, the riffs (especially the sustained doom notes) are allowed to breathe with a relatively clean and open production. This could be over-emphasising “doom” though, much of this album is not slow, just slowed to a pace that gives it an added weight matched perfectly by the imagery and title. One influence that emerges on at least a couple of tracks is ‘FROST (specifically CF via Norway) – like the tough thrashing on Hypnopompic.
A confident and varied introduction! (BLACK/)DEATH METAL DOOM.  Strength of Giants is the first major release by DYSEMBLEM.

…chaos descends in a form eerie!

Record of the Week: Mystifier – Wicca (Brazilian Cult Black Metal on Vinyl and CD) (Review)

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MYSTIFIER – Wicca on Vinyl | MYSTIFIER – Wicca on CD (2CD digipak includes original mix and T.E.A.R. 7″ 1990)

Die hard to the underground mercenaries and long live to the true ones. I would like to say that MYSTIFIER plays unholy anti-music exclusively, okay!!
— Beelzebuth, Witchcraft zine #3 1994

Originally released in September 1992, the majority of these songs actually date back to 1991 and some like Cursed Excruciation all the way to the earliest days of MYSTIFIER in 1989.

Wicca is a bestial and dark album! The production, especially for guitars (thin) and drums, is similar to I.N.R.I. The only reason to not consider it great is in comparison to Goetia (1993) which manages to elevate their entire sound and influence many to follow. With several Wicca tracks re-recorded for Goetia, it’s easy to find a preferred recording and vocalist.

The main comparisons are SARCOFAGO, BLASPHEMY, SODOM and BEHERIT. Roots in thrash, HELLHAMMER etc. with the distinctive Brazilian/Cogumelo sound. While the music blasts and solos rip, there are always moments to slow and build atmosphere and soak in the text… MYSTIFIER always felt like a band imparting deep wisdom and knowledge (from An Elizabethan Devil-Worshipper’s Prayer-Book!).

Their music is a mysterious and dense conjuration, blasphemous rites from the shores of Bahia.

Record of the Week: Icons of Filth – Onward Christian Soldier

Four concerned individuals. Acidic anarcho-punk with a sound and passion that aligned them instantly with CONFLICT. They were also aligned in support of the ALF, and Not On Her Majesty’s Service was the first release on Mortarhate!
We have this album on CD and the compilation “The Mortarhate Projects” in stock on CD and LP. The compilation includes this album and their EPs including the incredible Brain Dead!

…with their assurance of life after death
Have convinced me that my shitty life will be compensated
For when I’ve finished feeding their mouths & lining
their pockets & fighting their wars & believing their lies
I will live peacefully ever after in some imaginary christian utopia
In heaven with god
In harmony

Onward Christian Soldiers!
Another life awaits……

Record of the Week: 13th Moon – Abhorrence of Light

Limited vinyl edition available from Todestrieb Records distro

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A kaleidoscope of the death arts. Like other spiritually fixated death metal-influenced bands you’ll hear echoes of INCANTATION, MYSTIFIER, BLASPHEMY, BEHERIT… deep cavernous grinding (in sound, not speed) and repetitive riffs. There are also occasional European death metal touches. But above all is the smokey atmosphere of ritual with careful attention paid to ambience. It comes close to obscuring the music with a cold, distant production; but never buries the music – which is absolutely worth exploring. An excellent first album, promising much for the future! 4/5

Record of the Week: Excessum – Death Redemption (Review)

Record of the Week

Excessum artist store

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A return had been hinted for a while, but it was still a surprise to hear new material from EXCESSUM last month. Over ten years have passed since the release of Death Redemption, their last album.

Released in 2005 amid an abundance of Swedish black metal releases, specifically the sound and ideology associated with NED and Sweden’s SPR. EXCESSUM belong comfortably in that set, comparing favourably to some of the NED roster, early WATAIN, and DISSECTION to a lesser degree. It does feel more measured and less chaotic than their contemporaries, partly due to the slightly muddy production, but principally the sombre atmosphere filled with great riffs as on the triumphant Lies of the Deceiver.
Guitars bring consistent, evocative Scandinavian black metal, the bass is steady, drums natural, vocals hoarse and shrouded. The lyrical content is and remains consistent, most members have formed or continued bands exploring the same strains of forbidden knowledge.
Originally overlooked or frequently dismissed as derivative, this album does deserve attention approaching that still granted to bands from the same era.

Before and after EXCESSUM members have been active in the Swedish underground with bands such as MATRICIDE, HUMAN DEATH and THE ASCENDANT. Most recently guitarist/vocalist D.C. has been playing live with GRIFT.

Death Redemption remains a great work. The two new songs released this year are excellent, familiar EXCESSUM with 10 years of growth. We will see if this remains their final full length…

Record of the Week: Regiment – On Les Aura (Review)

Record of the Week

Regiment artist store

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Black/Death Metal summoning the French military experience of the Grande Guerre.

Taking inspiration directly from contemporary artifacts and ephemera, the intention with this record is to produce something more personal and critical than a straightforward glorification of war. The cover and title – of and spoken by Philippe Pétain. Commander during the Battle of Verdun who is also remembered for his treatment of mutinous soldiers hints at some of the paradoxes. These nuances are confined to the lyrics and artwork. The music is never so introspective. To it’s benefit. A barrage of thickly produced black and death metal (in equal measure) and bestial vocals. Powerful and driving. Here are reflections of blood and destruction to be exalted or questioned in the lyrics. There is some influence from heavy metal riffing. La mort du Nègre (inspired at least in part by Conrad’s The Nigger of the Narcissus) displays the influence most potently, similar to ARGHOSLENT‘s blending of death and NWOBHM.

Formed in 2011 by guitarist Hyvermor of HANTERNOZ (Celtic history) and E (Sumerian history) the lineup includes BORGIA vocalist Géraud de Verenhe, AORLHAC bassist Marc, and Thomas Jacquelin who drums with several black and doom bands. Not as barbaric as war metal or so riff heavy and melodic to be instantly memorable, this is black metal with all the above elements performed by an experienced group; a very good 25 minute album.