Ares Kingdom – By the Light of Their Destruction LP/CD  – Nuclear War Now! Productions 

The empire of blackened thrash is back.

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As aggressive as ever, Ares Kingdom returns with this excellent album By the Light of Destruction. Being a long-time fan, somethings sound very obvious at the very first spinning: the songs are excellent.

Never meant to be the favorite “thrash metal” band of the modern kids (or in other words, never meant to be Metallica) these titans show an aggressive, dirty but efficient sound, sometimes repetitive, never melodic, and always headbanging to the core.

An example of that is Burn, Antares (Scorpius Diadem) with a great riff and the vocals seems to never start, just after 2 minutes (the song clocks in at 5 minutes). The variations between black/non-black beats are the thing and the desperation is different from Other From Chaos, more like a mix of Bestial Mockery and Sacred Reich (if the later were rustier and eviler).

All the disc is very noisy but another tune that deserves citation is Eighteen Degrees Beneath, a delicious piece of infernal vomit, for die-hards only (as always). The difference here is that their previous album called The Unburiable Dead used the First World War as a backdrop and this one seems to have no central theme on it.

The tribal sounds of Talis Chimera Est announce the end of the album (in a total of 8 tracks). It may be that more often than not I say that the most violent track is kept to close the album and in this very case is the truth. Warlike anthem of unspeakable dissonance and rampage, Ares Kingdom perfects the proposal of the album in this track.

A must-hear album, if you haven’t listened you should, if you won’t, you deserve to die.

By the Light of Their Destruction is out NOW on LP/CD on Nuclear War Now! Productions

Rating: 8/10


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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NORDJEVEL – Necrogenesis – Osmose Productions

Norwegian Black Metal still breathes.

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When one thinks that all is said and done, then comes the new Nordjevel album to prove us otherwise. Necrogenesis comes maintaining the Nordic tradition of Black Metal, but the fact is, it’s not the different sound that bands like Vreid, Borknagar, IHSAHN and Enslaved do.

It’s is something more like Taake and Tsjuder with Immortal production.

The sound is pure black metal, don’t you dare having any doubt about it, but is it original?

Sunset Glow starts off the album with a decent sound, but it has nothing great about it in its 3-something minute.

However, Devilry comes with a melodic sound, but fast as the speed of light, so this song is dead on! Some non-atonal riffs permeate the whole song and there’s even a syncopated drumming in the midst of it.

The Idea Of One-Ness is very complex music, although never going to “experimental” or “avant-garde” side of the force.

Black Lights From The Void remembers me Dark Funeral in it’s slow-paced moments. It’s melodic and not so creative, whereas is not boring at all.

Conversely Amen Whores, although the great chorus, it’s not that impressive.

The Fevered Lands is a great track, fast as hell, noisy and somewhat confusing, somewhat fitting in the general proposal of the album.

Nazarene Necrophilia is less noisy, backing to the “melodic” black metal, (I’m not talking Dimmu Borgir here), now this one remembering Immortal mainly in the involuntary nods to thrash metal.

The complexity of Apokalusis Eschation makes it one of the best songs of the album. A myriad of nuances, earworm riffs, just great.

The epic Panzerengel, the song that packs the album has something of spectacular in it, larger than life track with Wagnerian vibes.

Necrogenesis might not be original, it resounds (as aforementioned, Taake, Immortal, Dark Funeral a lot), but the complexity, the familiarity with the instruments, the somewhat gritty mastering, all points to an excellent opus. It’s difficult to dislike it. It’s difficult to try and find flaws in it. Once one hears it one knows he’s in a conundrum between originality and professionalism. The latter wins.

Necrogenisis is out now on Osmose Production.

Rating: 7,5/10


Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Filtheater – Blight of Sempiternal Putrefaction – Memento Mori

Fuck you (and then some)

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I remember when Filtheater started off and K. J. showed me, I was astonished  by such stinky death metal sound.

Now years later, K. J. founds like-minded peers like C.E., R.S. and A.W. (who the fuck are these guys?) to release Filtheater marvelous debut album, Blight of Sempiternal Putrefaction.

Much can be said about it, and the press release suggests bands likes Incantation, Phlegm, Grave, Entety, Rottrevore, Baphomet, Autopsy, Nuclear Death, Embalmer to be compared to. While some of that might be true (mainly Incantation) the sound here is much more pungent: it’s for die-hards of Impious Baptism, Prosanctus Inferi, Impetuous Ritual and Grave Upheaval (how can anyone can get more primitive than that?)

Pure guttural waves of brutal and ugly bellows are delivered by K.J. and the velocity of drums with the semi-confusion coming from a myriad of riffs make the whole process of listening to the album something very dreadful; you know it’s only brutal horrid repulsive death metal (and I like it)!

Made of 9 tracks and clocking in at 37 minutes, there’s no earworms here, but I’d like to point to a track called: Vapors of Human Sacrifice. Extremely vicious, this track will melt your fucking face off with noisy riffs and competent music.

The other fave of mine is Amorphous Bulging Appendages: Pure brutal American Death Metal, (and by brutal I don’t mean any tech or modern trick, just disgraceful organic music), this track is the epitome of the album that intends to be what it is: a state of art disguised as a “tribute” to the old ones.

Okay, Blight of Sempiternal Putrefaction is not a fucking tribute: it’s a masterpiece of behemothic proportions and if you are none the wiser, you can FOAD!

Blight of Sempiternal Putrefaction  is going to be out on April 22 on Memento Mori.

Rating 9/10


Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Accursed Spawn – The Virulent Host – PRC Music

Virulent Death metal.

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Contagious: that’s the one word for this album of Accursed Spawn.

Created in 2010 in Canada, this is their first full length after other releases: you know EP’s and stuff.

Their sound is bullet-proof death metal, and as any band that records its debut, it’s difficult to know if it will be their best. But for the moment this is their best. And how best is the best in this case?

Doing a solid death metal, (I detest to use “modern death metal” so let’s say it’s NOT old school death metal) they work in the thin line between technical and brutal death metal, not really fitting in those labels, but they play like hell, and that means much.

For example, in the track The Ageless Curse they have some touch of Cytotoxyn, it’s what a “normal” death metal band means to be. Blast Beats? Checked. Guttural double vocals? Checked.

You see as new band they’re not original at all, but who cares when they make quality metal?

This stuff is really ultraheavy, like in the track Shotgun Facelift that is an binge of death metal. Destructive as fuck.

Dogmatic Affliction has a nod to Morbid Angel and Hate Eternal, but somewhat more intense and faster. Great song too.

The case here is that album is a behemoth, but originality is not their expertise, at least for now. That doesn’t mean that this is NOT a helluva album.

The Virulent Host -is out NOW on PRC Music.

Rating 7/10


Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Imprecation – Damnatio Ad Bestias – Dark Descent Records

The older the better.

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Imprecation is not exactly new on the scene. They have their classic opus Theurgia Goetia Summa which was released in 1995 (which is in fact is compilation of everything Imprecation had released before this period. But after a hiatus, they’d returned in 2010 with the EP Sigil of Lucifer. Since then, they’re making the exactly same sound they were doing in the past so, it’s not exactly new guys trying to get into the “old school” bandwagon. We’re talking about a very classic band.

Damnatio Ad Bestias shows this very approach in their music: incorruptible, just pure satanic death metal, without “tech “ or “Br00tal” in it.

Being Satanic, they don’t exactly fit into the “bestial black metal” label, although all the imagery points to that. Here you’ll find death metal and doom alike in a mix of Autopsy and (old) Morbid Angel.

The sound is also very organic, no electronic tricks, no super fancy production. That’s the charm here.

If even with this information, you can’t relate, think they are truly headbanging. It’s heavy. It’s guttural. It’s the real deal.

First song Temple of the Foul Spirit pollutes the ambient with bellows of purest hate while the second sound called Morbid Crucifixion recalls Morbid Angel’s track Blasphemy from Altars of Madness.

Baptized in Satan’s Blood is very serpentine (according to old scrolls of death metal), a difficult song to learn by heart. But, man, this is heavy as fuck.

But the song that summarizes the whole opus is The Shepherd and the Flock. No it’s not the earworm of the album, but the doomy riffs, oh fuck, are second to none. How can they transform something allegedly simple into something like a state of art? The fast parts are equally exciting, vomiting blasphemies after blasphemies just to get into another phrase and with more energy and a quintessential death metal solo. That was the stuff I used to listen to when I was a kid, mind you.

Excellent album, Damnatio Ad Bestias is an album primarily for old schoolers, but any fan of extreme music should hear it to learn from the masters of Satanic Death Metal.

Damnatio Ad Bestias  is going to be out on March 22nd via Dark Descent Records

Rating: 8/10

 


Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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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 Icing in the Cake is the latter (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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