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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BASILISK back in stock for the last time: A Joyless March Through the Cold-Lands LP

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We have returned to Sweden and the newly rejuvenated Unjoy to gather the last copies, stored away from all this time!
This must be the last time copies of this killer work of raw black metal will be in stock!
Released nine years ago by Unjoy (the label run by Kim of HYPOTHERMIA / LIFELOVER after Insikt), our original copies went quickly. A couple of years later we managed to get some of Vintyr’s copies. We now have a final restock directly from the label. The album was originally released in 2004 on CD around the same time as the Blackened Royalty and VIntyrhell demos and ABANDON. ABANDON of course became HATEFUL ABANDON, released three albums and hopefully we will hear more from them next year!

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Incoming: New INSTINCT compilation 2005-2016 (It’s no fun to do it twice)

In stock now at the distro, see: New Arrivals

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An Auroral Gathering of Skulls contains:

Blackmore Isolationist – the complete EP first released in January this year on cassette. This EP includes a unique cover of BLITZ’s I Don’t Need You (from their killer debut Voice of a Generation, available on vinyl from the distro!) INSTINCT manage to twist it into a much darker song!

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An exclusive song recorded April 2016. Instrumental, raw, d-beat!

Nocturnal Invocation, taken from the debut album Albion. Originally released by Canadian label Suffering Jesus in 2006

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INSTINCT’s side from two split 7″s – Chamber Dark (2011) and Further into the Arms of Nature (2013)

The Cold Return from the 2009 demo of the same name

The compilation ends with the first INSTINCT recording. Made in July 2005, Calls From Blood was originally included on Demo Two (2007)

Includes 8 page matte finish booklet.

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

30 Years Ago: SABBAT record and release Fragments of a Faith Forgotten

This tape is dedicated to all who have died at the hands of the christian church, by war and inquisition…….. They shall be avenged.

That was the demo cassette that got us the deal with Noise Records. The demos were copied one at a time, my parents had a hi-fi with a twin cassette player on it, and each of the cassettes was hand-copied in real-time recording. If anybody’s got one of those, it was recorded on my parents’ hi-fi. They were recorded on computer tapes – before disc drives, the first computers had a cassette instead of a CD, and we recorded on those tapes, because we had no money, and we had to do it really cheap.

This month marks 30 years since the recording of SABBAT’s second demo. All three songs made it to the classic debut History of a Time to Come almost unchanged, although the vocals here are savage! British Black Metal!

ROTW: Adorior – Author of Incest (Review)

Record of the Week

Adorior artist store

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ADORIOR of the 2000s became an unassailable force of late eighties thrash at it’s most extreme (ala DARK ANGEL) as it contorted into early death (ala MORBID ANGEL, ORDER FROM CHAOS) with black metal techniques setting much of the foundation, driven to excess by the relentless hammering of bands like REVENGE and AXIS OF ADVANCE. All held tight with intense songwriting and a strong studio production. Never entirely distant from those bands or those with similar influences like comrades DESTROYER 666, but not at all generic and as an LP stands on it’s own merits entirely as one of the UK’s best!

The whole thing has a personal immediacy at it’s heart. The barbarism is not cloaked in much mystery, the intent is a fist (…of the master!) to your skull: brutal and direct. Crushed. Melissa’s vocals howl and roar through the maelstrom, a centrepiece of the album. The message and delivery is savage and proud. Swords and semen, an orgiastic descent into blasphemy. A killer performance.

A rampage of unrestrained hatred and perversion. There are few records that capture and execute the elation of volatile aggression and blood boiling fury like Author of Incest.

Out Now: GHAST – Terrible Cemetery on Vinyl! See Original Draft Artwork

Today our comrades at Forgotten Wisdom (distro) have released GHAST‘s masterpiece Terrible Cemetery on limited vinyl!

We have copies of the White vinyl (100 copies) and Black vinyl (200 copies) available now.

The artwork, created by Arrrrrrrach, was drawn and painted on 12 inch canvas and looks KILLER presented in it’s original format!!

Here are some early versions of the cover art!

Click for Larger Image

Click for Larger Image

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.)

Daily Noise: Crom Dubh – Kings II (Live – UK Black Celtic Metal)

Epic Black Metal based in London.

I’ve been fortunate to hear CROM DUBH’s debut album for a while now, and this live recording from earlier in the year gives an indication of what’s to come…

Heimweh, likely to be released later this year, is a huge album! A triumph for the band. CROM DUBH have been building their sound over 10 years but the concept really began to crystallise on Defir in 2009 – atmospheric, epic black metal with almost professorial appreciation of history and culture.

I wanted Defir to be a record I could listen to at the top of a hillfort in Derbyshire or Wales, or looking down over the still-standing colonnades of a city built under Augustan Rome, that would tell me the same story regardless of location.

However, none of the past releases really prepare you for Heimweh. When the opening song Cutting Teeth tears into it’s leading riff, you’ll realise how special this record is. It continues to impress. Six songs, three interludes. The title song – my highlight. Studio production has improved the sound dramatically, giving drums a new clarity and power, and the lead-guitar[s] independence.
Influences do include ASH BORER, PRIMORDIAL and DRUDKH – you will hear it in the intelligent integration of song melody, history and lore… you may also hear some DESASTER – the mix of black and thrash metal with brutality and killer riffs!
Sound is clearer, but they hold on to a rawness with the guitar and bass tones. Matching the breath of the sound, the concept of the album is generational – a narrative of human life-to-death, metaphorically the life cycle of a nation. The power, the scope of this album stretches to the horizon.

CROM DUBH’s next gig is: 15 November at The Black Heart, Camden (London)

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.