Shadow’s Mortuary – Kuoleman Portit (Purity Through Fire)

Suomi Finland Svart Metall! Arrrggh!

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This sophomore Shadow’s Mortuary album brings to the fore the great tradition of Suomi Black Metal, and I’m not going to put on an obvious list of super perfect Finnish bands… if you don’t know your Suomi black metal, go fetch some!

But I digress…

A 30-minute 8-track album, Kuoleman Portit is the pure essence of metal in that country: raw, hard, intransigent music of hell!

Opener Sielun Tuhkaa presents the modus operandi of this spectacular infernal opus: perfect Scandinavian riffs following the old school raw tradition of the north, but not with blast beats. This is more hardcore-like although I can’t see that it is some “blackened punk” in any way. This is the real deal black metal example of music. Although very raw in approach, this is not a terribly noisy and nonsense opus as the production is good. The riffs are the great highlight of this album for sure.

Riipus is a little more dramatic, using hissing guitar sound, very simple but efficient approach. For me this is the best song of the album, and even though the vocalist Void uses his native Finnish language, it seems that one can understand the harsh message. Of course, I know nothing about the lingo, but that’s the impression. Great song, really.

Ruoska is another great song and it can be said that it is the mix of Sielun Tuhkaa and Riipus… the dramatic riffage is still there, but this song is a bit faster than the latter. Abyssal sensations are transmitted by the pure hateful atmosphere of the band.

Kuoleman Portit (the title-track) starts with a mid-tempo drumming to over again go to the same modus operandi as before, only that this time around the vocals are different and the guitars are not, well, melodic… The riffs are looser and not so impressive but that’s the deal.

The other tracks are cool but the aforementioned are aces for sure.

All in all, this album is an ode to the true Suomi Black Metal musical tradition in pure infernal metal assault and it’s essential to all maniacs and die-hards of pure orthodox black metal. If you don’t like this album go back to your fashionable bands…

Kuoleman Portit is out now on Purity Through Fire.

Rating 9/10

AVSLUT – Tyranni – Osmose Productions

Judging by the current moment of music in general in this end of 2019 one can easily say that a band like Avslut is just generic Black Metal. Why should you buy it?

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Taking a fast heed at Tyranni by the Swedish band Avslust one can say that it’s not the greatest creative opus in the history of the music. But listening close this album is pretty good.

How come?

Comprising of nine tracks of unrelenting Nordic Black Metal tradition clocking in at 47 minutes, Tyranni offers quality music akin to their Swedish countrymen Dark Funeral, Setherial, Lord Belial and even some Marduk. They get the obvious and make something good out of it, like focusing in the composition inside an already done structure.

The fast and furious opener called Likvidering leaves one in the dust due to a classy guitar sound whereas Allt förgås follows the same way of showing black metal dexterity.

While the title track is not something very remarkable in riffage, the melodic fourth track called Stigens ände appeals to a melodic take and mid-tempo drumming. This is very similar to Dark Funeral by the way.

But the best tracks of the album are Den eviga flamman and Underjordens apostlar successively. The first opens with a fast, killer, strong riff while the latter is not so different, but it is faster and stronger. Both tracks are earworms. Fucking good.

There are still 3 tracks left but I’d choose Dråp because it sums up the idea of the album.

Okay, over again, it’s not the most original album but for those seeking traditional Swedish madness, it’s something very good indeed. Sometimes black metal clichés are still good black metal.

Tyranni is available now on Osmose Productions.

Rating: 8/10


Roderick Totentanz

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Svart1 – Monotono (Mask of the Slave)

Dark Ambient for connoisseurs.

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The project of Raimondo Gaviano hails from Italy. He’s a multidisciplinary artist who works with ambient, dark ambient, power electronics and so on.

Monotono (stylized Monòtono) comprises of nameless nine tracks clocking in at one hour of strange ambiences and strange soundscapes.

Although not being the most original work that one can hear inside this style of music, this is a decent opus with a good mix and sounds that is a true trip to the unknown.

Some songs have pulse while others have not, but this is very progressive in the performance. While the album starts just as something like a drone, as the track passes, sounds of water, loops and so on, make the background rhythm that makes everything better from the listener’s point of view.

Of course, there’s no highlight (dark ambient works rarely do), and this is a unique, abstract, personal and introspective experience that appeals only in an appropriate set up in an appropriate time, depending on one’s disposition.

That’s what will make the album of Svart1 such a good (or bad) experience, the angle and outlook of the listener: apart from that this is an exquisite and beautiful work of art.

Monotono is out now on Mask of the Slave.

Rating: 8/10


Roderick Totentanz

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SARTEGOS – O Sangue da Noite (I, Voidhanger Records)

The Spanish/Galician complex Blackened Death Metal of Sartegos.

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Sartegos is a band that hails from a region of Spain called Galicia and they sing in a language that resembles Portuguese very much.

Although they’re a relatively new band, they have quality works behind them including their first demo A Serpe do Escarnio released in 2010.

But while they’ve been so far a good band, O Sangue da Noite , their debut full length, shows an excellent one. Why? Because they did the impossible: an original blackened death metal sound.

Normally this terminology is a little bit confusing: One can be talking about Behemoth/Belphegor, or simply about the war/bestial metal of bands like Blasphemy, Sadomator, Morbosidad and so on. There is a chasm between the two “styles”. Sartegos is at the middle.

That is not to say that they are a mediocre band: NO! They concocted their own music using both death and black. They’re not an imitation, they’re not an act!

For instance, a song like Lajes em Tormento e Decadência shows a complex, fast and heavy form of satanic metal that is not progressive, indeed, I can´t label it. But there’s layers and changes of tempo in a myriad of riffs and passages.

While Solpor dos Mistérios follows suit, the song Arqueiro is the most complete of the album: exploding the speakers, it resounds some Poland bands like Hate but heavier. The main theme is an earworm without compromising the brutality of the opus.

But the best song for sure is As Devesas som dos Lobos that follows a theme while the song dramatically progresses in mid-tempo just to give space to brutality and chasmal bellows from hell. Simply perfect.

The last song is a Burzum-esque piece that serves as an outro and is called Águas Negras.

The complexity of this album will get the fans of heaviest black metal by the balls for it is a surprise. Yes, this is original to the bone. Ye,s this is difficult to assimilate at first. Yes, that’s the way I like it.

O Sangue da Noite  will be out on  I, Voidhanger Records on November 29th

Rating 10/10


Roderick Totentanz

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Front Beast – Shadows (Helldprod)

Taste the Germanic Steel!

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Front Beast is a long-running project of the Nocturnal’s axeman Avenger where he is the sole member. This one-man band (or project) released countless demos, splits and full-lengths along its prolific career.

That being said, Shadows is an EP released in cassette limited to 100 copies only!

The sound is a very simplistic black metal, yet a gem of the most underground pedigree.

Comprising of only 6 tracks clocking in at 20 minutes there is no really a highlight, but interestingly enough there is a song there is NOT Sepultura cover but carries the very same name which is Morbid Visions and the song remembers the vocals of Max Cavalera in the album… MORBID VISIONS. Of course, is not a fast-than-speed -of-light sound as all the songs here are mid-tempo.

For example, Circle Of Dancing Shadows which has a very PRIMITIVE production in a blackened heavy metal sound which is underground to the bone. Not for neophytes.

Wolfs Howl is very alike the aforementioned track which makes a kind of dichotomy: while the songs are ease to get in an almost punk MO, they are hard to distinguish between themselves.

It’s an interesting EP that keeps its value on a rarity-like release that is not going to become a classic but will become an item for collectors and fans in the future. This fact alone is the reason enough for you to run for your life and get a copy. Some releases have its intrinsic value not only in music, and old-schoolers know what I mean.

Shadows is out now on cassette via Hellprod.

Rating: 8/10


(Roderick Totentanz)

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Warsenal – Feast Your Eyes – Svart Records

Speed til thrash!

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I confess I was never an adept of the thrash revival and neither I like modern thrash metal bands in its majority. I prefer the old bands and a great deal of the thrash classics are great to me. Period.

In other words, if I have to listen to thrash, I’d go to the original material.

So how surprised I was when I listened to Feast Your Eyes by the Canadian demons of Warsenal. This is their sophomore full length. Their first album called Barn Burner is not something from outer space, but this one is a helluva album.

I mean, they are old school and original at the same time, so heck, this is bulls eye thrash/speed metal.

Just listen to the first two songs Forever Lost and I Am the Blade and you’ll see it’s not an exaggeration. The beginning of the former is pure Megadeth (old!!!) and the song gains the pure speed/thrash face (no crossover here) that goes with heaviness and gusto, and intricate structure that resounds like Rigor Mortis or Whiplash or even Kreator! The vocal is very aggressive and pure 80’s! The latter is more Germanic in approach just like an Assassin (old!) or Destruction, infernal as fuck!

Another excellent song is Lords of Rifftown that has the cohesive factor of not being a free jazz while at the same time having the creativity to sound different from the prior tunes, the song has an earworm chorus and marvelous solo, heavy as thrash can be.

Crystal Whip is another fast and furious classic of whipping metal! Frenetic and no-frills this song is a natural born classic. Over again the solos are over the top amidst the violent drum work that is second to none.

It’s not every day that one can hear an album like Feast Your Eyes. This really does happen one and million times. They use nothing new and yet they sound fresh. How come? Not of my concern, I just want to have a little more!

Feast Your Eyes is out TODAY on Svart Records.

Rating 9/10


(Roderick Totentanz)

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Blooming Carrions – Sisters in Blooming Flesh 12″MLP/MCD (Iron Bonehead)

Inferno and heat!

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Blooming Carrions is a very underground entity from Finland with only a guy called EvM. The one-man-band released two demos and this is his debut EP with only three songs.

First of all, the music is a blackened death metal in the vein of Grave Upheaval, so if you’re not into this kind of ultra-aggressive sounds you’d better stop reading here.

Fist song is an epic of heaviness in noisy satanic death metal: being the title track the song has a lot of passages with changes of tempo and of course, phrases. Difficult to fathom what is happening because the wall of noise, it demands some spins to get what is really happening in the somehow confusing mix. Although the admirers of this kind of bestial metal doesn’t expect something like a “good mix”. It’s noise upon noise, metal on metal affair. Density is what guide the whole EP.

Enchantment of Slaughtering sounds like an Aussie band, with Impetuous Ritual being the disgraceful reference: no quarter for the posers, yet not so different in MO from the first track, this song is a relentless attack to the senses, only made for the most radical headbangers out there. Although the tune has a kind of “guide” riffs, everything sounds chaotic and apocalyptic. The quintessence of the end of the world.

The long track Lehto just adds gasoline to the satanic fire and the explosion is imminent. Like the first one, the song is an epic operetta of infernal proportions. Over again, the changes of tempo, like a trip to hell itself, with vortexes of guitars, insatiable drumming, mega guttural vocals, all lead to the ultimate destruction of mankind.

This album has one mistake however: it’s too short and I’d like to hear a proper debut with all the nuclear destruction put together. It’d be an interesting experience.

 Sisters in Blooming Flesh will be out in 12″MLP/MCD on Iron Bonehead and the date of release is November 28th.

Rating: 8/10


(Roderick Totentanz)

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