DEIPHAGO – I, The Devil – Hells Headbangers

 

Give the devil his due.

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Deiphago, the Filipino phenomenon that is taking over the bestial blackened death metal, sets off another disgraceful opus, getting better and better but never compromising their most disgraceful sound.

If you don’t know them, just go check Filipino Antichrist, Satan Alpha Omega and Into the Eye of Satan, only for die-hards, and the most “hardcore” fans of extremity at its limits.

Of course, if you ever read in some interview that I, The Devil is their best work you MUST believe in them.

One of the most waited 2019 albums by me, I, The Devil explodes, after an intro, into a track called Quantum Death. And from the outset one realizes they get into strange tempos in an ever-chaotic vortex of destruction.

Congruently, Neuro-Satanic Circuit follows suit, with a sound which is 100% untold merciless attack. Forget the old names of the style, here Deiphago brings lawlessness to a whole new level!

11/4/6 is the showcase of the ultimate horror and noisy perfection. Yes perfection. Although for the majority of “headbangers” this may sound just like noise, Deiphago perfected their sound to something singular. No band ever sounded like them as they sound in I, The Devil.

But here are my two faves: Chaos Protocols and Anti-Cosmic Trigger.

The former shows a spectacularly well-done kind of infamy. The song is sort of serpentine, but never ever losing its true blackened death bestial appeal. Think about this: a noise so severe that for a moment hides the great and inventive musicians that they are.

But the Ice in the Caking is the later (Anti-Cosmic Trigger). Just imagine you work in a factory. Just imagine that something goes very wrong with the equipment and all hells break loose. That’s the basis of the sound. Just imagine that things can get worse, when one of the parts of this very equipment comes in a constant velocity into your direction making a non-stop but constant noise, that will crush your bones to pieces. That is the song and the change of tempo, and what the drums sound like. I’ve never, ever in my entire life, heard something like this. I thought, man this so fucking cool! I tried to link with another tune in my mind, but it was nowhere to be found.

Last track, self-titled is a trip and a collection of what the album is. The delay in vocals makes one believe that the sound is instrumental, which is not. And the final words are spooky.

Simply put: if you like “normal” death metal or normal black metal you may hate it. It’s not for you. But if you’re into REAL AGGRESSION, this album is totally legit. One of a kind and the best extreme album of the year. I doubt that it’s going to be another one in the next years.

 I, The Devil is due to be release on Hells Headbangers in CD, LP, TAPE on April 30th 2019.

Rating 10/10

 


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Bergraven – Det framlidna minnet – Nordvis Produktion

The true Scandinavian Jazzy Black Metal.

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Swedish band Bergraven started out as a sort of “regular” black metal band, and its last album was released 10 years ago.

Already going into unknown territories, the album is creative but not so much as this new one. Well, let’s think for a minute: 10 years is a LOT OF TIME to hone one’s skills, and from regular, it went to UNIQUE.

Det framlidna minnet may be the first album in history to convert an old thing like Jazz/Progressive death metal (think about Atheist and Death) into something totally Black and European, in this case the solo albums of Ihsahn come to mind. But different to that artist the things here get really complicated and experimental, but never ever losing its Black Metal soul. Maybe because the basic traits of the style are maintained intact, like harsh vocals, the buzzing sound of guitars and the organic drums. Then get those traits, put the strangest tempos into it, and layers upon layers of sax and some acoustic guitar and then you have what Bergraven was always supposed to be.

Det framlidna minnet is a chef-d’œuvre of the originality, a difficult album but a really pleasant one to immerse oneself into.

The first track is a Zappa-based craziness just to start out with Allt, which, although summarizing the album’s sound is not the best song. It’s really good though.

The crazy atmosphere changes when Den följsamma plågan starts to unveil what the album is all about. The intimist traits of jazz and experimental songs with the density of Black Metal, very interchangeable and mid-tempo. And that’s the subtle difference of the band compared to other bands. Believe me, I listen to strange stuff all the time. As a black metal band, things don’t go like a crazy train here. Maybe fans of the most brutal and war-like metal will find this very, very bland, but this is the exactly charming about Bergraven.

Then the songs start to clock in at 8-plus-minute, three in sequence: starting with Minnets melankoli: superficially it’s not very different than Den följsamma plågan, but a good look into it, shows that, for dilletantes, the structure maybe the same, but the song goes from pure hate to idyllic without further explanation. Real negative atmosphere broken into acoustic guitars, just to go back to complicated bellows with quasi- free jazz tempos.

Leendet av hans verk, the second one, starts very Zappa, but in a moment changes to Burzum , into repetitive mode, but without the synth sound. A piano-like sound is used instead, then just to gain an acoustic guitar, clean vocals, very progressive and just to finish as the most hateful black metal that it is. But in the midst a mysterious sax takes place a somewhat Opeth sound (yes, it IS THAT crazy), and the Mayhem-like sound take everything by assault. Mate, this is totally MY THING!

Last in line of the “trilogy” (there’s no trilogy, I invented it) is Den dödes stigar that starts very heavy , blacky with that strange negativity that permeates the whole opus, blast beats along with a riff that dies out in a iteration of peaceful ambience that gains some elements, but at the end of the day, never changes, going over and over until the sound fades out. It’s a trip. That happens more or less from the middle of the song to the part that is somewhat sad. One beat here, another there, very slow-paced.

The track 7 is called Till priset av vårt liv: think about this image (and try to translate into sound). Using the very same materials, Bergraven deconstructs the building, just to build it up again, but with a crazy architecture. Clocking in at almost 11 minutes, some elements of Death and Frank Zappa (no, I’m not drunk) appears with full force, somewhat sounding too crazy to be assimilated, and it is, but conversely with a repetitive chorus that sticks to the mind. Go figure. The solo is pure Death from the albums like Human and Individual Thought Patterns. Simple perfection.

How it ends? With an outro that is the extended version of the intro, with a segue but “backwards”.

How does inventive and dedicate someone have to be to create such a marvelous and mature state of art?

I don’t know about the other publications but here on Dark Souls United this album will get a… check out the rating…

Det framlidna minnet by Bergraven is out on Nordvis.

Rating: 10/10


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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The origins of Origin.

Old and new recordings from the pre-Origin era.

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Paul Ryan, the mastermind behind Origin has recreated former songs from pre-Origin era, playing all the instruments with never-released songs.

Prior to Origin, Ryan used to create songs with his two previous bands: Necrotomy (1990-91) and Thee Abomination 1992-93. (Origin became Origin only in 1997).

Now he’s re-recorded everything from this obscure era: a work made between 2013 and 2018!

That’s what’s all about of the “new” Origin album Abiogenesis – A Coming Into Existence. The trick here is that the very first EP A Coming Into Existence was not re-recorded, but remastered as bonus tracks and its cover is identical to that EP.

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To better understand, here follow the tracks:

Tracklisting:

“Abiogenesis”

  1. Insanity*
  2. Mauled**
  3. Autopsied Alive**
  4. Spastic Regurgitation*
  5. Bleed as Me*
  6. Mind Asylum*
  7. Infestation*
  8. Murderer**

“A Coming Into Existence”

  1. Lethal Mainpulation the bone crusher chronicles***
  2. Sociocide***
  3. Manimal Instincts***
  4. Inner Reflections The Pain from Within***

* Necrotomy (pre-Origin) 1990-91.

**Thee Abomination (pre-Origin) 1992-93.

Over again: tracks 1 to 8 were fully re-recorded and they haven’t been heard… Until now. Tracks 9 to 12 are the remasters of the first EP (already with ORIGIN name) but this EP hasn’t been released worldwide though.

Abiogenesis – A Coming Into Existence, will be out on May 3rd.

Listen to the “new” never-heard track here:


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Doombringer (Poland) – Walpurgis Fires LP/CD – Nuclear War Now! Productions

The serpentine way of blackened death metal.

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Formed in 2007 by Old Coffin Spirit (Bestial Raids / ex-Cultes des Ghoules) Doombringer crafted their sound through out the years of occultism and musical barbarism.

Prior to this album, the band debuted with The Grand Sabbath five years ago. Yet, the band had released two demos and an EP.

So, everything is relatively “new” and painstakingly crafted through the intervals. The result is Walpurgis Fires with twisting sounds, but never appealing to technical death metal. This is organic, yet complex stuff.

Heaviness into the production maintain the cohesive factor all along: but don’t take the sounds for granted, the climates are always saturnine yet evil as fuck.

The opener Into the Woodlands and Agenda del Aquelarre sets the stage for the magnificent things to come (being these two tracks not so impressive though).

It’s when Sworn to Malice enters that everything starts to make sense: mid tempo black/death, guttural vocals, a myriad of riffs and tempos in which the intricate and familiar collide.

On the other hand, Stupor Infernal merges the calmness and the satanic attack with majesty, with a strange glue that doesn’t make them lose their way through the song.

The album clocks in at 39 minutes and by the time Briceia Chants the Spells arrives one can feel the end approaching: old-schooler, this track is just the way to go. The riffs are the best, in which the obscure and unknown are converted by the guitar solos. Damn, it was a while I haven’t heard something like that!

Unnatural Acts of Flying serves as an intro to Walpurgis that mergers death/doom/black into one entity of musical power.

Walpurgis Fires is a strange album, difficult to fathom. But this is the kind of music that grows with time. Maybe they just made a classic for future generations.

Walpurgis Fires by Doombringer will be out on LP/CD via Nuclear War Now! Productions on April 19.

 

Rating: 8/10


 

(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Ad Baculum – The Birth of the Human Tragedy – Brazilian Ritual Records.

Not so fast, but it’s really furious.

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Once again, BRR presents us with another opus of the – not so old – but already traditional death black band Ad Baculum, one of my faves from this decade.

If you’re not aware, the band is formed by Meugninousouan (here with nom de guerre Lord Hades – the same guy who sang in the seminal album Wicca by Mystifier.

The being said, the band honors its past, not by being an imitation, but by being hardwired to the sound (production and all) of more than two decades ago.

The difference from this album to the others is that this one is more radical in this proposition.

Not so fancy, fast, brutal or tech. Nothing you will find here. Just honest Black Metal made in Brazil from times ago (those were the days)

Songs like The Birth of Tragedy are compelling, with drumming always castigating one’s eardrums. Perfect.

Born in Chaos is more mid tempo with few variation and repetitions of phrases. It’s like old Samael.

But for me the best song is Ritual de Sangue Asteca (Astec Blood Ritual) which is macabre to the core.

This fidelity to the old metal is what makes the difference here. Ad Baculum proves that being radical is not to play fast and evil. It’s to be a preservation society of the old black art that is dying.

 

The Birth of the Human Tragedy is out on Brazilian Ritual Records on CD and digital via Bandcamp.

Rating 7/10


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Malediction 666 – We, Demons. – Voz da Morte

When Brazil and Hellas collide!

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Yes, this band is from Brazil but with a great Greek vibe!

Factor number one is that the guy behind Malediction 666 (Iser, who by the way plays EVERYTHING and produces the album) is a huge fan of Greek scene since forever.

Factor number two: Necroabyssious (Varathron) and Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ) make very special appearances in the album.

The songs are earworms: they have a repetitive factor, but at the end of the day it’s still excellent extreme music: A powerful mix of death and black metal, but forget “war metal” or Behemoth/Belphegor: Malediction 666 has a UNIQUE sound. How exciting is that in world where the music itself is dying?

His creativity goes beyond borders: for example, in the track Portal, the cosmic trips appear in a blend of brutal blast beats and a shy expression of Greek folk song. Of course, no “typical” instruments are used here but the sound is the very epitome of the Greek black metal from the beginning of the 1990’s. If the intention was that, well, mission accomplished. The best solo in the album is in this track: strident, metal, occult!

Unmasked Savior is another natural born classic, and it’s the song where Sakis Tolis appears; expects waves of negative energy when the gates of Hades opens. Pure Rotting Chist collaboration, it’s not every day we hear that.

The tortuous ways of Forgotten Rage with a myriad of climatic experience leads to another great song which is Cursed Penumbra. Maybe the best song in the album where the riffs and vocals clash, this one for this etherial experience may be recorded in 1990’s and Iser is guarding this secret for this very long. Well I’m kidding it was obviously not, but hell, this one deserves all the kudos. This is the track where Necroabyssious appears in all his satanic splendor.

All in all, this is not your average extreme metal album. The effort led to a spectacular result. I’m totally bitten.

We, Demons is available on Voz da Morte via Bandcamp (click hear to stream and buy) only in digital version. The physical edition is coming soon but no date was announced as of now.

Rating: 8/10


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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LORDS OF CHAOS. IS IT GOOD ENTERTAINMENT?

What’s behind the truth… and the lies.

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DISCLAIMER:

By the time Lords of Chaos was advertised times ago, the bands went vocal against it: the obvious reasons were (and are) that the movie is (PARTLY) based on the book by the same name written by Michael Moynihan, Didrik Søderlind and it was lambasted by some musicians at the time. Most vocally Varg Vikernes as pure lies.

As time passed by, Jonas Åkerlund, the director (and ex member of Bathory) made some research. There are tons of free documentaries on Youtube about the subject.

Before watching, it is important that people remember that as near the truth as a movie can be, there are “dramatic licenses” in order to the history to make some sense on the screen. No movie EVER depicted the truth exactly as it is.

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THE MOVIE:

You all know the history, but if you don’t, here it is according to the movie: a group of youths, led by a guy self-named Euronymous (Rory Culkin) decide to form the evilest group ever and raise some hell across Oslo.

Parties, fun, misguided youth, sex, booze and Satan.

Until things start to go wrong, when their depressive vocalist Dead (Jack Kilmer) dies and a strange guy from Bergen named Kristian appears from nowhere and tries and join the “Inner Circle”.

Although Euronymous seems to sincerely like Kristian (which chooses for his nom de guerre Varg– played by excellent Emory Cohen), the clash of personalities is inevitable.

Who’s the leader of the circle? The guy who has the ideas and invented the True Norwegian Black Metal, or the other one, who buys the whole idea and makes a real call to action by committing crimes and try to involve other member of the circle into problems to promote his first album?

Nobody will ever know what really happened by the times of the events (who covers a span of time roughly from 1987 to 1993 packed at one hour and fifty minutes), but as most of fans tend to “remember” the Norwegian black metal as really evil guys, the fact is that they are portrayed as stupid kids, which can get the most die-hard fans irritated.

Varg is portrayed as a fat (?), introvert and vegetarian fan of Scorpions (really?) while at the same time is the rock star who gets all the girls to bed. That seems a little disconnect as Faust (Valter Skarsgård) is never credited as the Emperor’s drummer and the only reference to the band is made by a t-shirt wore by “the Varg’s driver” (Wilson Gonzalez Ochsenknecht) (the guy is NOT credited as Thorns). Reference to the Darkthrone is made by a tee-shirt as well and there’s absolutely nothing about Enslaved, Satyricon or Immortal. Euronymous is a handsome leader, and as photos of him always circulated he wasn’t handsome at all. He even has a girlfriend (Sky Ferreira).

Technical problems apart, the viewer may enjoy the ride as there are really comic scenes and real violent ones.

The actors made the best with they’d got and there is something cinematic big.

Maybe is not the whole truth anyway and it won’t function as an introducing and inspiring factor to Norwegian Black Metal, but the movie is well done and surprisingly fun. (No Fun, No Mosh, No core, No Trends).

To summarize the whole idea: the movie starts dull but gains momentum and one has to have patience in order to get to the climax.

Oh, the “soundtrack” is excellent!

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TRIVIA:

The actor who plays FaustValter Skarsgård – is the brother of two more famous actors (actually more than two). One is Gustaf Skarsgård (the guys who plays Floki in Vikings) and the other is Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise the Dancing Clown from IT). They are sons of Stellan Skarsgård (Dr. Erik Selvig in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).)

 


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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