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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Ruach Raah – Submission In Absolute – War Arts Productions

Blackened Thrash Metal or just Black Metal?

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Sometimes labels can be confusing. This band from Portugal sometimes is labeled as Blackened Punk which I beg to differ. The thing is if they have some Discharge influence (as in old- Sepultura or HELLHAMMER, I can totally agree with that). So that it is, a Hellhammer-like kvlt of extreme black metal.

That being said this EP clocks in at only 19 minutes with 5 nasty black metal songs.

First song The Old Serpent indeed commence with a Hellhammer kind of riffage notwithstanding with a second wave of Black metal (in vocals mainly) appearing in the forefront of this simple but very rough song that got anyone by the balls.

Regressive Crucifixion resounds like a heavier blackened thrash band that ran amuck into the savageness of pure black metal rage. Extremely headbanging song, no quarter and no frills. Only for the strong in mind and soul. This is the one which most resounds like Apocalyptic Raids EP if it was recorded today. Fucking classic.

Great Advocator of Blood puts more pedal to the metal, with an unapologetic drumming, vocals from the abyss and elementary but effective guitars. A vision of hell itself.

Under the Influence of Lucifer brings more thrash-turned-black work with a mix of Nifelheim with Marduk. True to the bone, obdurate and perfect for invoking the horned one itself.

To pack the rusty metallic attack, The Sinister Bride is a party for die-hards of the old school culto. Scourging sound with terror and pestilence through bellows of infernal type, satanic velocity, everything runs amok and that’s the end of the massacre.

Before all Submission In Absolute is an excellent and pure-blood black metal work. And it deserves to be heard as such. Fuck the sub-labels, stay true!

Submission In Absolute is out NOW o War Arts Productions.

Rating 8/10


(Roderick Totentanz)

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Nocturnal Depression – Tides of Despair (Sun & Moon Records)

Black Metal in True Despair!

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The DSBM cult from France, Nocturnal Depression is back with another excellent album Tides of Despair. And no this is not “depressive rock” under disguise of Black Metal, this is the real deal.

While so many bands try to migrate or “evolve” their sounds, what Nocturnal Depression made throughout the years was to perfect what they’ve always done: quality black metal, even if it’s a very slow type.

Tides of Despair (the title track) shows a firm yet well produced sound without being sold out. Mid-tempo all the way, the riffages are very “down” without being cheap. They are repetitive without being boring. Actually, is a very enjoyable song.

The great song of the album is Solitude and Despair again with the iterations back in a simple riff that gains layers like a bass as the song goes on. Almost the half of the track follow this MO, but the phrases did change into an orchestra of anguish and misery. Over again, with instruments overlapping one another, this is a festival of mental squalor into a golden box.

The most interesting in this so-called evolution is that it doesn’t remember anything else, although the hypnotic songs are here, but over again, done with neatness mainly in the excellent track Slit my Wrists, that have some kind of atonal riffs and unexpected melodies for this kind of opus.

Farewell Letter is another high point of the album: this one showing extremely sad riffs and whatnot. Despondency in perfection, bereavement in high resolution.

Tides of despair is, as aforementioned (and before all) a black metal album. An example of a band that stays true to their original proposal, yet with grandiosity. This is not shoegaze or atmospheric black metal. Fans of DSBM can go wrong with Nocturnal Depression.

Tides of Despair is going to be out on Sun & Moon Records on November 25th.

Rating: 9/10


(Roderick Totentanz)

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Örnatorpet – Vid Himinsenda (Nordvis Produktion)

Dungeons Synth for connoisseurs!

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If you’re into dark ambient, dungeon synth, black ambient, Burzum and Mortiis this album is totally for you

Örnatorpetis an obscure project from Borås, Sweden, whose member name is unknown.

That being said, the quality in this so-called dungeon synth label (which are solely project made by kids in their bedroom) is not the best, but Örnatorpet enters in the market opposing (in quality) everything else and being the new Mortiis/Burzum when we talk about quality/production.

The sound is very pleasant to hear in 7 tracks of pure Nordic speechless medieval music!

Vættr, the track that opens the opvs has the quality of being very troll-like without being metal, and men that is incredible, because through the synths and whatnot the song grows on one who hears it paving the path to the rest of the album.

Third track Útgarðr follows suit and it’s a must hear for the die-hards of the genre. Viking feelings abound everywhere and it’s a delight to the eardrums!

Not so original tracks like Myrkriður and Nykr are imitations of Burzum (ambient phase, of course), but TELL ME, since when this was a problem? I see only qualities here, although the album Vid Himinsenda gains a lot of point when is being original as in the ominous track Hræsvelgr.

But the icing in the cake is the last track Níðhöggr, the most striking song in all the disc. It gets one by the balls. It’s like a sacred hymn of obscure proportions.

This “band” has his complete works easily found on Bandcamp, being Vid Himinsenda and (the previous album) Hymner Från Snökulla releases concomitant with Nordvis.

This is a gem for the those who seek QUALITY. Don’t look anywhere else, you’ve already found it.

Vid Himinsenda is out NOW on Nordvis Produktion .

Rating 9/10


(Roderick Totentanz)

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SAVAGE MASTER – Myth, Magic & Steel (Shadow Kingdom)

NWOABIHM – New wave of American British-Inspired Have Metal

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These American purists come to their fifth release (third full length) bringing nothing less than a torrent of zealot Heavy Metal mania!

No, it’s not speed metal or any variation, it comes directly from the 80’s source. Although being American and not being totally inspired by the Britons, having some influence of their American counterparts (and from other countries for that sake), this is pure Satan with Angel Witch in their British part and totally Cirith Ungol from their American (counter)part.

Okay, it’s being a little bit confused here and let’s take another way: American Heavy Metal from the first 80’s was totally British-inspired and let’s work with the perception that NWOBHM is just a label.

That being said, some claim that the Savage Master sound have something to do with Chastain for example, just because the feminine vocals of Stacey Peak but I beg to differ. The band of Leather Leone and David T. Chastain is much faster, whereas Savage Master is so traditional.

Of course, this is just to put the things in the right place and in the light of that let’s go to the highlights:

The opener which is the title track is overtly strident, ripping the ears apart with simple, but with efficient riffage and mid-tempo drumming, where is not technical (by the way, don’t expect nothing technical for a purist heavy metal band) but with bigger than life choruses and beefy soloing remembering Judas Priest.

One that is my fave is Flyer in the Night with its super singalong bulky chorus, impossible to not assimilate and love. By the way, it’s becoming rare to hear something very cool that is not original in the formula but feasible when listened to. This thing simply works much better than expected!

The doom-laden Warrior vs Dragon makes sense exactly because it remembers some Heavy Load from Sweden, Manilla Road and… Cirith Ungol! The dry organic beatings make this one not just a travel through time but a real epic rocker!

The problem here is: the other songs are not earworms as the aforementioned. No, they are not terrible, they are not a disgrace, they follow the formula all the way but what did I say about the working factor in the song Flyer in the Night? Well it’s not true for the rest of the album.

This is kind of a judge-by-yourself case, however is strongly recommended for the die-hards of this kind of strict heavy metal formula.

Myth, Magic & Steel is out now on CD, LP, TAPE via Shadow Kingdom!

Rating: 7/10