Palace of Worms – The Ladder – Sentient Ruin Laboratories

Is USBM alive?


Palace of Worms is a typical USBM band: non-linear riffs, yet it shows harsh vocals that are inherent to black metal. But alien elements (must I call them experimental, I don’t think so) enter in the music here and there.

Some say the band is “depressive” black metal, yet it has upbeat elements to prove otherwise.

Palace of Worms is a strange but a good band that deviated from the norm, tries to catch up in the black metal bandwagon, but after some years of American Black Metal trying to invert the senses of what people should perceive as BM, the fans know better.

The fact here is POW is a black metal band in the essence. But external elements that go to and fro are so many, that they became orphans in the labeling land.

The band has its moments in tracks like Nightworld and the excellent An Innate Sickness.

Creative with few black metal pieces to explore, POW do what it has to do and get things done with sinister riffs, somber passages, but not as sad as it was intended to be. Authentic or not (and I think it is) The Ladder is a good album, complex in its simplicity (no I’m not trying to use oxymoron just for the sake of it). But strange as it may sound, Palace of Worms sounds a little bit out of the black metal clique. Is USBM alive?

The Ladder is out now on Sentient Ruin Laboratories


(Daniel “Roderick” Death)

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Serpents Lair – Circumambulating The Stillborn – Hellthrasher Productions

Convoluted Black Metal.


One can call Serpents Lair a progressive Black Metal band. Don’t get me wrong. They are no Enslaved. But these Danes know how to create long songs without sounding boring.

This band is very obscure and Circumambulating The Stillborn has 7 tracks.

After the intro, Epistemology of Death has screaming riffs, very high-pitched, yet, they mix like no other the atmosphere of black metal with the heaviness of death metal. But for all effects they are a black metal band. The track is serpentine (pardon me for the pun) with long phrases, like various songs that where gathered together without sounding incoherent.

Circumambulating the Stillborn continues the excellent work with abysmal vocals, with fast parts and snail paced ones but never losing the grit for the extreme music, and not without pedigree, this is pure black, but encapsulated in a well done production.

Mortui Vivos Docent has a long introduction and then a reverberating drumming with a phantasmal riff that explodes in turn into an insane and multiplex music. What is complicated is not the technicality per se. It’s that the songs are long, and inside it infinite phrases can be put, so although it doesn’t sound pensive, the song has a tremendous net of riffs and variations and nuances.

Another fantastic track is the closer Devouring Wrathe with rapid fire sounds and malevolent atmosphere inside a lacework of vortexes that fathers admixed drives into one’s soul.

Circumambulating The Stillborn is not easy to digest, yet is a work of art. You can listen to it on bandcamp:

Circumambulating The Stillborn is out now on Hellthrasher Productions


(Daniel “Roderick” Death)

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MUSSORGSKI – Creatio Cosmicam Beastie – Godz Ov War Productions / Third Eye Temple

Something between strange and septic.


To be honest this is the first time that I heard of Mussorgski. This band, it seems, it’s old, but “they” returned with a brand new album.

The sound is very trippy, but somewhat it fails to get into imagination.

The first track Gaaya – The Planet Of The Dead resounds Sarke and that’s that, the sound is plain simple, repetitive, and soulless. It’s not exactly bad; it’s not exactly good either.

The second track is even stranger but it marries well with the proposal. Sterile like an inhabited planted, the band plays with experimental black metal in the first half of the song, and somewhat a “normal” inclination gets into the second part.

Stellar Core is something like Burzum and old Mortiis, a dark ambient, dungeon synth that is not bad. I dig this kind of sound. Really. Calm, spatial, oblique.

Sabbathum In Perpetuum goes into something like a soundtrack, just to change the atmosphere of the album completely to a brutal, industrial, fast Black Metal in the vein of old Aborym and Mysticum. Why Khorzon (Arkona (Poland)/ Pandemonium – the man behind everything except the vocals) did this is anyone’s guess. But everything changes. There is a long “soundtrack” part again, and to finish the track, another black metal attack.

Key to the Universe is another number that relies on repetitiveness, of course there are changes of phrases here and there, but although it’s clearly “industrial” the black metal riffs are inside the average of the torrent of the black metal bands.

Inverted Aeon is more interesting with its pure atmospheric passages, pure dark ambient.

Implanted Consciousness is more experimental, totally non-black metal, one can call it “black rock” if he will, but is clearly a merrier track.

Paradisum closes the album in a robotic way. Experimental riffs and dramatic keyboards like a rocker soundtrack for some futuristic movie.

This album is not bad. It’s strange. Sometimes it’s confusing not because it’s intricate, but because, there’s no clear purpose in it. I’m totally into experimental approach to music. Although some people call me a purist, I’m open-minded sometimes. But this album shows that Khorzon was bored and decided to record something… anything. Here is the result: something between strange and septic.

Creatio Cosmicam Beastie is out now on Godz Ov War Productions / Third Eye Temple

(Daniel “Roderick” Death)

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STILLBORN – Testimonio de Bautismo – Godz Ov War Productions

Warlike Blackened Death Metal.


Impure Death/Black Metal is what Stillborn is. The band’s clear influences are Sarcófago, Blasphemy and the likes so expect waves of brutal and uncompromising satanic sounds.

The first tracks are Martwo urodzony – rozdział trzeci, Ancykryst and Upiór. While the ears struggle a little bit to get used to the true production, soon the eruption of pure blasphemy starts to appear in the first two tracks and it’s finally clear in the latter and they are not here for jokes: Rusty riffs, mid to fast tempo, minimum change of phrases, quasi non-existent change of metrics, a heavy shower of blast beats and cutthroat attitude.

Satanic they start, satanic they continue: Człowiekowstręt is where all hells break loose, the ignominious waves of pure metal of hell takes over the whole place at once and when the time is ripe for Odezwa, the crescendo of old school, first wave of black metal music is even more powerful, organic and impure: they sound legit because they are legit.

Obłęd is EVEN truer, the riffs from beyond and the drumming from hell goes until the middle of the song and the sung part finally appears. But the song is mostly instrumental.

Modlitwa poganina shows a “thrash” sound, just like Tormentor, Bulldozer or Kat, but soon they return to what they started which is black and death metal.

Burst Command Til War is a Sodom cover, a perfect cover, ten times faster. Arrrgghhh!

The last track Apocalyptic Hymn of Satanic Warriors is an instrumental piece that sounds like a filler.

Stillborn is already a veteran band, but I still remember Los asesinos del sur which was a good album. But Testimonio de Bautismo is tenfold better. Truer, crueler, eviler, harsher. My weapon of choice in 2016 when it comes to bestial black death metal! Great opvs!

Testimonio de Bautismo is out now on Godz Ov War Productions



(Daniel “Roderick” Death)

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