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: INFERNUM – …Taur-Nu-Fuin… (Review)

Record of the Week

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Everything in this world should be ruled by the ancient laws of nature. It’s a light in the Chaos of the Universe, it’s a fire burning deep inside of me that gives me the right and power to hate subhumans, it gives me the vital strength of a warrior. – Anextiomarus

Ten years after this album released Anextiomarus was dead and a confusing duel of releases and reformations followed. For all the splinters after his death, the true legacy of INFERNUM lives eternally in …Taur-Nu-Fuin…. A masterpiece of atmospheric Polish Black Metal (BEHEMOTH, GRAVELAND, VELES) and the first release on Astral Wings, which would become home to NORTH, PERUNWIT and ARKONA in the coming years. Cold, mysterious, barbarous black metal featuring every member of GRAVELAND at the time. With Anextiomarus’s songwriting, guitars and vocals the songs remain distinct from Carpathian Wolves-era GRAVELAND, although this is still the simplest and best comparison! Transcendent, grim black metal with thick layers of Darken keys and bitter, wretched vocals. Production is raw, keys drown guitar, drums are distant; but this barrier between us and them only enhances the mystery. Music outside the realm of humanity (or more appropriately, above.)

Our aim is to raise the storm amongst the silence, to destroy the Old and start the New Order. – Anextiomarus

Record of the Week: THEOLOGIAN – Some Things Have to be Endured (Review)

Record of the Week

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…and that’s what makes the pleasure so sweet.

Industrial music summoned from human emotions. Inspired by Barker’s Hellbound Heart and the Faustian legend.
Heavy and oppressive noise, darkwave and ambient are also elements within the album. Eight individual songs, each unique. Each a new voice – musically and literally. There is a whole, and it lies in the atmosphere and quality of production. The quality is high, peaking on the THEOLOGIAN / Nikki Telladictorian (PROMETHEUS BURNING) / Rachel Maloney (TONIKOM) life/death cycle song Writhing Corpus Landscape. A celestial crest of synthesizer ambience with darting metallic shards and subterranean pulsating rhythm. All presented with an exquisite clarity of sound design.
Some Things Have to be Endured spans genres and internally shifts focus from oppressive to majestic, often marrying them. You will find highlights, but the quality is entirely consistent throughout the numerous collaborators.
The Genesis is complete.

Record of the Week: MOSS – Carmilla (Marcilla) / Spectral Visions (Review)

Record of the Week

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The first release by newly independent MOSS! Vintage doom, a continuation of Horrible Night, the 2013 album which marked a distinct new sound. Drugged and crawling SABBATH doom; moving away from the subterranean, Lovecraftian nightmare of their earlier albums. Never simple nostalgia, this is high quality (mammoth production!) horror doom, inspired by the 60’s/70’s sound and aesthetic – music and film – drawn through the mire and erupting through the earth.

Record of the Week: DRUDKH – A Furrow Cut Short (Review)

Record of the Week

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To be a Soviet citizen means to be a slave. I am not fit for such a role. The more I am tortured and abused the greater is my resistance to my slavery and to the system of abuse of a man and his elementary rights.
– Vasyl Stus

A DRUDKH album musically continuing it’s lineage from Eternal Turn of the Wheel, with an emotional attachment, clear and distinct, to the present. Powerful as ever: arrangement, production and performance! Layering, depth, melody and aggression. Guitars again carve great monuments with gradual progressions (a prog- moment too); drums show impressive variety amidst a solid, driving force. This album eliminates virtually any leading intros and non-musical elements, every second is advancing with urgency. An iron focus and absolute belief. Unbroken momentum with frequent eruptions of grandeur as few others can achieve. Having themes and lyrics derived from dissident poets, the connection to the past two years is clear. Songs of loss and anger, reminiscence and a new clarity. Songs of strength and resistance!

Record of the Week: VADER – Morbid Reich (Review)

Record of the Week

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13 April 2015 – A PERFECT demo! In its time a complete underground phenomenon, bursting through the iron curtain into the European tape trading scene, influencing plenty of upcoming bands. Many in Norway. Absolute intensity throughout. Thrash, speed, death and early black metal. SLAYER and KREATOR big inspirations, naturally, with sawing riffs and wailing solos. Grotesque vocals, never forced, twisted, calling up from the depths. Properly insane drums by the late Doc, some of the best ever blastbeats – natural with a physical force you can never synthesize! And according to Bard Faust the blueprint used by Euronymous for MAYHEM‘s drum sound on De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Breakneck death, morbid thrash..

Metal Forces Review Ghast – Yes, The Old UK Print Magazine!

Neil at Metal Forces has reviewed the new GHAST album:

With Dread Doom Ruin, Ghast have hit the proverbial nail on the head in describing their sound, because it’s one that is very much steeped in black metal lore with those scathing, chords of dread which evoke images of remote, stark ruin and primal landscapes. But above this littered debris is a smog of doom-laden quality that worms its way through the sound like a strong, formidable and very much shadowy presence.
Neil Arnold 8/10

Read the full review

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Metal Forces are doing doing good work adding their archive of reviews and features, going back to their earliest issues – 83/84! Here are a few highlights:

Avenger interview 1986
Bathory interview 1987
Death interview 1987
Destruction interview 1985 (No, we don’t like to be called black metal, that’s why we changed our original name Knight Of Demon. Okay, we have some lyrics in the black metal direction, but that doesn’t matter. Exodus for example, also have some Satanical lyrics, but you can’t say that they’re a black metal band. I think it depends more on the music if you’re a black metal band or not, not the lyrics. Anyway, the subjects we write about now in our newer material are things like euthanasia and death wishes, not Satanism. If you’re gonna label Destruction’s music, then call us a speed metal band.)
Diamond Head interview 1983
Exciter interview 1984
Exodus interview 1985
Mercyful Fate interview 1983
Possessed interview 1986
Razor interview 1985
Tysondog interview 1985
Venom interview 1984 (I don’t think there are any similarities musically between Venom and Bathory at all. But I do think Black Metal (1982) – which I heard for the first time three months after we formed Bathory – is one of the best albums ever made because it has genuine feeling. At that time there was no speed or thrash around, so Venom were very unique, even though they wimped out later on and spoiled the whole thing. I mean, At War With Satan (1984) and Possessed (1985) are shit compared to Black Metal.)

Ghost Cult Review Dread Doom Ruin

Chris at Ghost Cult has reviewed GHAST’s new album:

In black metal’s vast spectrum there are tonnes of bands that push the styles and structural and musical boundaries beyond reason, whilst there are also plenty that play the recognisable imprint with greater technicality and precision than is displayed here. Very few bands however can generate such an uncomfortable but addictive atmosphere than is present on Dread Doom Ruin however, making this just as valuable of your time. 7/10

Read the full review

Ave Noctum Review Ghast – Dread Doom Ruin

Angela at the Ave Noctum webzine has posted a review of GHAST’s new record:

There’s a depth within the music that’s rarely heard within this style and it conjures a feeling of gut-wrenching unease. The entire album feels as though it could launch into a fast paced traditional BM assault at any moment, and listeners will spend the entire hour anticipating this. The band never grant this release of tension though and when this record ends it genuinely feels like you’re being let up for air. Each track will grab you and hold you under its surface of slow moving grime.

8/10

Full review here.

Barshasketh - Sitra Achra

ThisIsNotAScene Review Barshasketh

A passionate review by Cheryl Carter for the forthcoming Todestrieb Records album:

Barshasketh seemingly began their life in 2009 with their first demos surfacing from the wilds of New Zealand and making their sinister tones known to this world before vocalist and founder Krigeist left his home country and relocated to Edinburgh, picking up a band along the way and producing “Sitra Achra” in the meantime. Barshasketh are now a fully realised entity, with members from bands such as Haar and Cnoc An Tursa taking their curiously French infused ritual to new planes of raw truth.

Barshasketh are deeply rooted in texts of old and their sound writhes with both agony and occtultic vibrations without sounding overdone or trite in the process. Nods to peers such as Peste Noire come thick and fast, particularly in the title track ‘Sitra Achra’ and the atmosphere it creates. Swirling mists of madness rise from the ashes of the harsh terrain Barshasketh inhabit, Krigeist intoning with growls of great power over sublimely melodic guitar progressions before it heads into pure Peste Noire worship. Which is not to say this is a bad thing in the slightest; it’s clear that Barshasketh hold the French band in high regard and wish only to pay tribute rather than rip them off entirely.

‘Malaise’ is delightfully raw in the production sense yet you can hear that there is something much more terrible at work beneath the surface. There’s hints at a greater force bubbling just below the cries and rhythmic nature of the band and their instrumentation and harmonic moments cut through otherwise heavy textures and add new dimensions of chaos to the dark nature of an already shadowy record. Barshasketh tear through the veils of night with the monumentous offering that is ‘L’Ange du Meridien,’ which twists and turns with a rage unheard of from most bands of this ilk. Where they tend to fail is in the believability of the delivery, but here Barshasketh truly take a hold of their material with utter strength and it’s this deliberate sense of authority that gives this outfit their command.

‘Sonnets to Orpheus’ roils in a fiery pit of riff-based hell; climbing solos give way to stripped back chords which allow the song to breathe a sigh of relief when the torment finally ends as “Sitra Achra” coils towards it’s closing stages of doom. Barshasketh continue their bitter and bleak black metal attack with final track ‘Schlußstück’ and it’s unnerving sense of destruction that perpetuates the moodiness heard throughout the record via doomed structures and the often soaring sound of the guitar (Guillaume – also of Haar and Acatalepsy) off-setting the coarse voice of Krigeist. Frenetic passages of terror infiltrate the latter stages of the song with a classic nuance that recalls the heady days of the second wave acts we all know and love. Drums are pertinent and wildly obvious and Cnoc An Tursa’s Bryan Hamilton does much to bring about a sense of pure aggression in his playing.

Barshasketh may owe a debt to their forefathers but this band are by no means content to tread in their footsteps and consistently outclass other advocates of their genre, and even themselves throughout the blissfully desolate nature of “Sitra Achra.” Engrossing.

Full Review at ThisIsNotAScene