Misþyrming – Algleymi – Norma Evangelium Diaboli.

When a new generation comes with really good ideas.

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Misþyrming is not a strange name for those who are connected inside black metal. But as the “old Norwegian” way of making black metal saturated, (that was some 10 years ago), bands started to have really strange ideas, and I’m not even talking about avant-garde bands: they tried to reinvent the wheel. Shoegaze, folk-pop, DSBM, boring sounds, you name it. Like Fenriz said: “There’s way too much black And there’s too little metal”

But over the course of the years I heard really good ideas, call It “modern black metal”, “new black metal”, for me it’s just metal updated. And that’s exactly what Misþyrming does with their new album Algleymi: excellent sound, totally different from the “original sound”, not exactly avant-garde and yet metal as fuck!

This sophomore album of these Icelanders is a mid-tempo effort that pays off: songs like Ísland steingelda krummaskuð is an innovative way to assert the old. Riffs that can be both interpreted like being Viking or just metal in extreme form, at the same time melodic without being cheap. Its abundance of production shows that these cats are not joking around. Black Metal for the music sake.

The strangest track is Hælið that is DSBM and adds nothing to the opus, being the only flaw of the album.

Apart of that, is just an excellent album culminating in the final title track: aggressive and melodic, this song is a trip and it appeals to several nuances of black metal.

That’s the quality of Misþyrming: they converse with everybody, they include everybody; from the curious to the die hards, their property is to play an comprehensive sound, and for that they deserve to be where they are today, soon to be a great name between the great ones.

Algleymi is out now via Norma Evangelium Diaboli.

Rating 9/10


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Sanguinary Trance – Wine, Song and Sacrifice (self-released)

Industrial Black Metal or askew bedroom project?

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Let’s get to the point: this is a mess. Why? Because (of) the production.

Oh, the production, every guy talks about it, but here it’s the focal point: everything here sounds electronic, the drumming seems to be recorded in 1986, and the guitars use a strange distortion that amounts to pure reverb! Confusing is the final result.

Formed in Austria, the guy (or girl who knows?) wants to keep his identity secret, playing the Batushka/Ghost card. Won’t work here. I’m not EVEN curious to know his/her/IT identity. So one has to stay with the music which is not a good black metal deal.

Granted, the person shows a skill in musicianship by not committing mistakes like playing out of time. Other thing that is clear is that he/she/it wants to create a kind of melodic/progressive sound given what one can hear by the spatial guitars, but apart of that it is just a mess of high-pitched sound in syncopated drumming that was badly programmed.

What would save this album from total disgrace? Something very simple: delegating the production to someone else, like capturing, mixing and mastering.

It’s my motto that nobody can understand thus liking a song without spinning it several times. Several times here mean wear out its welcome.

Wine, Song and Sacrifice by Sanguinary Trance is out now and can be heard digitally – (and downloaded for free) on Bandcamp. (https://sanguinarytrance.bandcamp.com/)

Rating: 5/10


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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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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ARCHGOAT – The Luciferian Crown – Debemur Morti Productions

The finest Finnish Tradition.

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Archgoat is the archetype of destruction and satanic intransigence. Their history goes back to the beginnings of Finnish black metal and this says much about the new album The Luciferian Crown .

Traditionally their attack is 100% inexorable, fast velocity, non-stop violence. But in this album, they’ve got a different stance: they are making slower songs and Finnish as they are it’s quite impossible to not link them with Beherit in the days of Drawing Dawn The Moon.

But, of course the comparisons stop here.

Star of Darkness shows a brutal and raw blackened death metal, like in the old days, organic as fuck. Needless to say, they follow this pure sound all along.

The Obsidian Flames is the slow one: it follows a quasi-hypnotic tempo, repetitive riffs: the pure sound of evil invocation.

The title track accelerates things quite a bit, but always maintaining the monstrous sound with a good production, although the guitars seem like a chainsaw!

The thing that highlights however is the Sinister-like vocals. Naturally their sound has nothing to do with the Dutch band, but the way Lord Angelslayer growls sound like the early vocals of that band.

The Messiah of Pigs is a crazy interchange of Impaled Nazarene (old) with Beherit and of course, Blasphemy. Cool as hell.

This album maintains the purest tradition of the goat worship. If you know your real extreme metal, you know Archgoat!

The Luciferian Crown is out today on Debemur Morti Productions on Digipak CD, vinyl, Bandcamp and other popular digital platforms. Don’t lose this one!


(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)

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Iskald – Innhøstinga (Indie Recordings)

The true evolution.

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Iskald is a relatively young band. With a first independent EP recorded and released in 2006, the band released five albums so far (including Innhøstinga). The progress they made since then is clear, mainly if one compares the new album to the last one, released in 2014 called Nedom og Nord.

Funny thing is that people use to call them Thrash metal (really?) or Melodic Black Metal (which makes more sense). Granted, if by thrash metal people are thinking about Immortal’s At the Heart of Winter era, then it makes some sense, but honestly Iskald is much more than just a comparative measure.

True to their original take on Black Metal, the band follow the tradition of the extreme metal bands from Norway to create something totally outwordly. Innhøstinga (which is Norwegian for The Harvest) takes the band to an extreme level, much more complex than before with changes of tempo being the main course back to back!

The songs are difficult to fathom at the first spins, and primarily the songs that stand out are the first track The Atrocious Horror – a track that sets the pace for the rest of the opus – and No Amen – a more recognizable effort that shows the listener something near a strong chorus.

Although black metallers like Even Dawn Drew Twilight appear, the heaviness is muddy and moody.

The serpentine guitars are tricky for the guy who is trying to catch them, so lots of spins are necessary to stick in the memory. The example is the song Resting, Not In Peace with so many layers that is confusing sometimes, but that’s the album’s charm.

The disc never goes through the motions and once the listener learn the ropes the album turns essential. The growls of the track From Traitor to Beast along with the beefy riffs are second to none.

Innhøstinga proves something very important for a band like Iskald: if they’ve been under the headbanger’s radar for so much time, it isn’t the case now. Although one can easily start with this album, the curiosity will grow and people will discover their excellent moments in the previous efforts too. They were born to be big. Time will prove that I am right!

Innhøstinga is out now on Indie Recordings on vinyl and digipak CD.


(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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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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