Rites of Thy Degringolade – The Universe in Three Parts TAPE – Nuclear War Now! Productions

One-song demo to rule all.

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The Canadian cult does the work with just one song!

The black/death band Rites of Thy Degringolade recorded and released this demo originally in 2016 but now it’s being re-released by NWN! In tape.

The only song is a 7-minute muddy track with the same name where some instruments are deliberately put in the background, while others (the drum rides for example) have a crystal clear sound.

The rule here is of a chaotic nature, but the first 100 seconds are made of mid-tempo “intro” varying the tones, causing an ominous confusion until it flares up to an uncontrolled sound comprised of fast drums and topsy-turvy bellows (albeit with some pattern along the way if listened with attention)

This tape is an essential item to all die-hards and followers of ROTD.

The Universe in Three Parts is out now in tape on Nuclear war Now!


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Laster – Ons vrije fatum – Dunkelheit Produktionen

Is atmospheric BM an oxymoron?

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By playing the newest album of Laster from Netherlands one question imposes: where does the black metal ends and another style commences?

The problem of the so called atmospheric black metal (mainly in North America, not exactly a problem here) and the similar blackgaze in Europe is that people ty to reinvent the steel (which cannot be reinvented). Of course, I’m not a stubborn who cannot live with changes but this is a subject for an article.

The thing here is that, differently from other bands, Laster is a pretty decent group, with pretty decent music. What one would call a flaw they would say they made on purpose, so it’s not a flaw.

For example, the album opens up with the title track with vitriolic black metal, no-compromise, Darkthrone style (with a better production, of course) but for those who expected pure black metal it is kind of anticlimactic, the layers start to wear off rather than come in, phrase by phrase the song starts to become bland until a full rocker, almost a brit pop, appears to the ears. It’s kind of a negative catharsis.

Second track Binnenstebuiten follows suit with the same MO, but although the third one Bitterzoet promises the same approach of take it or leave it, there appears an ultra-elegant sax to give a somewhat simple formula a lush treatment, merging the simple black metal bases with at least a complex layer of jazz.

But after the fail to convince the listener that this is indeed a black metal album although its pitfalls, the album suddenly starts to grow inside the audience with a cohesive factor, that doesn’t deviate from THEIR norm. That’s a bonus because, they do draw a frame for themselves and manage to keep inside this frame, which starts to make sense as some VERY repetitive phrases inside songs like Helemaal naar hui and Er wordt op mij gewacht appear.

This a 50/50 deal: to some this is heaven (woops) as music, to others this may not even sound interesting, and never before the perspective (as well as the mood) of the listener could decide if an album is ace or not. For me, at the end of the day, it worked very well.


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Holocausto – War Metal Massacre LP/CD – Nuclear War Now! Productions

The intransigence is back.

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For those who still ignore the influence of this band: Holocausto had its beginnings in the Brazilian scene alongside with Sarcófago and Sepultura (among others). Although not commercially successful, the band gained a notorious cult following over the years due to the imagery and lasting influence of their first effort: Campo De Extermínio which dealt a big deal with Nazism although the band always sustained it was for shock values only.

The fact is, after subsequent thrash and experimental albums (1980’s and mid 1990’s) and a coming back effort back in 2000’s, the band is candidly back to their 1987 intolerant war-metal form of Campo de Extermínio.

War Metal Massacre is an EP that carries an even fouler production than the 1980’s, which is, for the war metal standards, always a bonus!

First 3 tracks are re-recordings of obscure tracks: Massacre was originally released on The Lost Tapes of Cogumelo compilation (originally a single demo track from 1985) while Destruição Nuclear and Escarro Napalm were released on the rare metal compilation Warfare Noise. Here the tracks don’t deviate from their original forms, adding more insulting to injury in their new renditions…

The other tracks are originals: Eu Sou a Guerra is hardcore-driven terror black war metal, with inaudible bellows spewed in Portuguese, hissing guitars, and an all-out-war approach.

Corpo Seco follows suit with the political incorrectness that makes this band be so great in the underground cult.

Title track closes this really dissonant release with riffs that are awkward, but repetitive and hard-line at the same time.

Not for the faint of heart their perceptible rhetoric of war and extermination cannot be taken seriously: As aforementioned is all for shock, a sound for obstinate headbangers and not for boneheads.

War Metal Massacre will be out in March 1st in LP/CD formats on Nuclear War Now! Productions 


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Disharmony (Greece) – Goddamn the Sun CD/LP – Iron Bonehead

A Natural Born Extreme Metal Classic.

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Disharmony from Athens (there is another one which is prog metal also from Athens, this is the Black Death one) is not exactly a new band. Starting off back in 1991 (the belle epoch of Hellenic Black Metal) the band called it quits in 1995, achieving no fame. They’ve ignited again in 2014 and now in the 2017 CE they appear with this IMPRESSING release, Goddamn the Sun.

The intro is very (ahem) sad one, calling the demons in while the actual track The Gates of Elthon begins with a doom-laden sound, very heavy but don’t get deluded: the track explodes into a packed blackened Death Metal (or a black metal with parts of Death), fast as fuck, and with a hell of musicality, with remarkable vocals of Damien King III.

The song Elochim is an instant hit and one doesn’t need one million spins to “understand” the music: it’s a metal rocker of satanic sorts (just remember the first time you’ve listened to Morbid Angel’s Immortal Rites). No, they are no Morbid Angel, but yes, the song is THAT good. There are plenty (of) keyboards but somewhat they DON’T sound cheaply melodic, it’s strong music for strong minds.

Summon the Legions invokes the demons in an aghast track and it’s some in blasphemous fashion: one might ask himself if this is simple extreme metal or a coven. SUMMON SAMAEL!

War in Heaven is not that impressive, it’s a good track, no doubt but what calls the attention here is a sampled feminine voice being repeated as if it was a chorus. Strange.

Another highlight is Whore of Babylon with its somewhat broken tempo, tailor-made for those who like their metal extreme but their music good.

Third Resurrection sounds like the intro of the album, but strangely enough seems like a requiem version of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. No seriously, listen to it and give me a feedback and tell me I’m not paranoid. Eventually the track changes its phrase to somewhat more Rotting-Christ-esque (old). As the song is not that length (actually it’s pretty normal clocking in at 4:29) the vocals only start by the end of it, then a solo and it’s over.

Honestly, I haven’t heard something that good in quite a while, but judging that these guys aren’t newcomers I shouldn’t be that impressed. Well I really am.

Goddamn the Sun will be out in CD/LP via Iron Bonehead.


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Ignis Gehenna – Baleful Scarlet Star – Seance Records

A star exploding over Aussie skies.

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Although not exactly an industrial (as in working) band, having only an EP and a demo prior to this debut, I can honestly attest that Ignis Gehenna is an underrated band.

Baleful Scarlet Star is a rare state of art in Black Metal form: long songs, tens of phrases, creativity at its peak.

Counting with one of the busiest man in Aussie metal Nihilifer (ex- Erebus Enthroned, Shadow Magus, Turmoil, Drowning the Light) Ignis Gehenna makes solid and focused black metal.

The opener, Serpent Oracle, is a showpiece in purest form exhibiting dazzling riffs and changes of tempo and several phrases that are really complicated (it takes some spins to understand the whole picture), but nonetheless inspiring.

Violent and fast is the second offering Baleful Scarlet Star, hectic in its own rights, exploding pure negative energy in atomic proportions, fast as hell, with desperate vocals and strident riffs that abash the senses, the true symphony of bewitched.

Edict of Blood is a ten-minute humungous operetta of rapid fire drumming and riffs, still retaining some melodic factor in the backdrop despite the blatant production. The mental spiral of horror that may or may not repeat itself is a travel to the forests unknown, mowing the senses as it second passes and castigates our capacity to retain the truncate downpour of information.

Melas Oneiroi is not so lengthy, however it condenses inside one music what the album proposes so far. Still it has its own identity with a slightly different approach to the vocals.

Litany unto Thanateros is an infuriated metal, there’s no doubt about it. Over again they reach the mark of ten minutes and the tourbillion of ammo is fired with no remorse, over again baffling the senses with the true material it presents: fast riffs, wall of noise, soloing, bellows from the abyss, intense drumming… the second part of the song is superb giving hints to thrash and even heavy metal with perfect riff/solos; something like a great surprise.

Last track Anamnesis, is a great creative instrumental track, more melodic than the other ones and it’s never a filler…

 Baleful Scarlet Star is an album that deserves to get bigger attention because it’s not every day we hear something so good in the extreme metal.

 Baleful Scarlet Star is out now on Seance Records.


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Insulters – Metal Still Means Danger – Unholy Prophecies / Equinox Discos

The revenge of the 80’s

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Insulters (a band that hails from Spain) is not exactly new on the bill. They have some work behind them, including one full length, two demos, a split, a collaboration and a compilation.

This sophomore album is doubtless an amalgamation of Bathory, Venom, Motörhead, which cannot (and never will) fail.

Speed metal riffage with an icing of black metal bellows, it could be compared to Darkthrone latest phase, but that would be an understatement: they are no Darkthrone, they sound very different, yet they retain the velocity in tracks like Age of Terror and Highway of the Dead (a helluva track with a sinister soloing buried in the background) and an earworm attitude.

Although all the tracks sound equal (really) the trick here is to take several spins to make the album grow on you: for example, it’s undeniable that Bang your Fucking Skull makes one headbang proudly throughout the tune with fists in the air.

Another delicious approach of metal from hell is the trenchant Bastard Soldiers that brings grim riffs to the tableau, making one going reckless (and wild).

The song Here Falls the Hammer starts as a mid tempo tune (and this one, as the name infers is pure Celtic Frost, that’s even an UGHHHH to confirm). Maybe this one is the most different tune of the album, but that’s that. They don’t endeavor too far, and that’s the deal.

Maybe one is kinda tired of “retro” metal but this one’s worthy your time.


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Metallica – Hardwired… to Self‐Destruct – Blackened Recordings

The proverbial double-entendre, the conspicuous hindsight bias.

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Metallica has a great imperfection: they don’t sound like anybody else, so you just have Metallica to compare. Also, as in the constant artistic search to stay relevant they played their games in the past (Load and Reload) which were a mistake. Period. They triplicated their income. It was sell-out. Period. That’s why they are trying to prove since St. Anger that they are relevant to a new generation and now that millennials know that the truth is all there, they are playing for keeps, because, you know, confidence is something that is hard to get back.

That’s the price to pay to be the most famous band in the world.

The second “if” is their bet in a double album. Okay there’s nothing new here, they were always known for doing enormous songs. But Iron Maiden did that in their last album to a rate of 50/50 approval. Judas Priest made this bet some years ago with Nostradamus and they’d LOST! Why it should be different with Metallica?

And finally, the curse inside metal musicians: once you experiment and fans don’t approve it (over again Load and Reload) there’s NO turning back. I explain myself. Sepultura made a shitload (and a shit-reload, ha) of success when they released Roots and no matter how they try to differ from that, that Brazilian tribal sound will always make part of what they are. Another sample? Kreator: once they recorded their “goth” albums, no matter how badass they sound again today, that sound will always lurk…

But I digress… Forget Kill ‘em All and forget “Black album”. If you are nostalgic fan, you might get very disappointed.

But this time they make their stand and for real: take it or leave it!

After the fast and killer Hardwire and the mercurial Atlas, Rise! the song Now That We’re Dead is not that impressive, although the limpid production gives it some lost dignity and while Moth into the Flame is really up beating, Dream No More doesn’t exactly go down the road, I just believe that it’s not so impressive except for one thing – “Madness, they say Cthulhu awaken”. I mean, SERIOUSLY?

Now the really unnecessary song that would make no difference in the final cut: Halo on Fire (the last song of the first CD), and although I’m being honest when I say that the solos are killer, hell, why a 9-minute quasi ballad? It’s a hard-rocker for sure, but it has this dual facet: the first minutes are a real bummer, while the second half is decent. Oh well…

Okay after all, disc one is not that chore, so let’s jump to second part without further ado.

The opener Confusion is a real and good Metallica song, the real thing. It’s not fast but it has a killer rhythm guitar very characteristic of the older Metallica. Solos are plentiful and the tempos are many. Excellent.

After a lousy 30-second intro, the song ManUNkind is all heaviness with a syncopated drumwork and it’s a good song, vocals and all. Feel secure in this one, it’s a singalong and the gradation is there making it several songs into one. Almost seven minutes that sounds like three. It’s a good thing, isn’t it?

Surprisingly (for haters at least) Here Comes Revenge keeps the momentum and differently from the latter song, it’s more cohesive, more easy to understand at first heed. Another score.

Changing the pace, the tune Am I Savage? Is more of a commercial shot, but you see, it’s not irritating. It’s just more snail paced compared to the songs of the second disc. I dig the solos though.

Murder One follows suit and it’s all melodic.

But the icing in the cake is the last track, Spit Out the Bone which is a VIOLENT (man, am I really saying that?) thrash metal song, that makes me bang my head and open an invisible mosh until the cow comes home!

There is a third disc that I haven’t have the opportunity to hear, and it will contain covers of Iron Maiden and Deep Purple, plus a tribute to Dio, plus a live set. I am totally curious to hear those.

The conclusion: Disc one has its great moments and its strange flaws. Disc two is Metallica taking back their dignity and throwing up in the face of everybody. Some will love, some will hate. Again, forget the “old days”. And forget the lousy albums. Also, forget the “tentative” albums like St. Anger and Death Magnetic. Metallica haven’t got stuck in the past in any way or form. This time they got what they were after: a very good Thrash Metal album!

Hardwired… to Self‐Destruct is going to be out on November 18th on Blackened Recordings.


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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