Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Archives of the Dead part XXVIII - Obscure Infinity - Requiem (demo 1993)

Archives of the Dead part XXVIII - Obscure Infinity - Requiem (demo 1993)
Line up: Erik Norberg (bass), Frank Johansen (drums), Jocke Rydbjer (guitars), Magnus Persson (vocals)  
Recorded between 4th-6th of December, 1992 at Gorysound Studio. 
Obscure Infinity is a lesser known band from the early 90's Swedish death metal scene, but I think they're worth to check, especially if you love all those fantastic obscure demo bands like Fulmination, Adversary or Toxaemia. They all had great quality and released killer demos. Unfortunately, they never had enough luck to unleash full lengths. Which they should!!!  
Obscure Infinity were brilliant. Formed in 1990 they debuted with "Beyond the Gate" in 1992 and then "Requiem" was released in 1993. This demo consists five unbelievably good death metal songs. The band sounds pretty much typical for the Swedish scene. Think of Cemetary, Goddefied, Interment, early Dark Tranquillity, Edge of Sanity... But that's not a reason to complain for me, because the songwriting here is fantastic. These songs are aggressive and dark as hell ("Follow Us"), but are combined with a strong melodic base and atmospheric parts, which in songs like "Request in Peace" are even underlined by acoustic guitars and keyboards. This seven minutes long track is almost epic and progressive with all these melodic passages and impressive arrangements. It's exceptional for a demo band from those old days. Listen to the final part of it, how unique it sounds. Ohh, I just love this song and the atmosphere the band creates there! This is why I always loved the Swedish death metal scene the most - for the amazing feeling and darkness that comes from all these bands. But on "Requiem" each of these five songs is brilliant, for me personally this material is equally good to the bands I mentioned above. Even the production from Gory Sound studio is excellent, what proves that this is high class Swedish death metal. And one of my all-time favourite demos from that period of time, along Adversary, YES! 
Interesting fact about this demo is that most copies of this cassette that were printed (released in 500 copies) were burnt in a fire of bedroom of Exhumed Productions' owner. What a shame!! But think how rare this demo is because of that! I actually saw copies of the first demo going for 60 euros, which is nuts! Anyway, I would love to see it released on CD and LP, compiled with all other Obscure Infinity stuff. I know that Vic Records was interested, but without luck yet. Fingers crossed that they will manage one day! 
Standout track: "Nocturnal Autopsy", "Request in Peace" 
Verdict: 90/100 

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Kingdom - Putrescent Remains of the Dead Ground

KINGDOM - Putrescent Remains of the Dead Ground (GODZ OV WAR Productions CD 2018)
Even before I got this album in my hands, I already heard quite a few positive opinions about the musicSo my appetite for killer death tunes was strong! Personally, I'm fan of the previous Kingdom albums, not necessarily their debut CD, which I think is the weakest piece of Kingdom discography... but both "Morbid Priest of Supreme Blasphemy" and "Sepulchral Psalms from the Abyss of Torment" are killer! Did "Putrescent Remains of the Dead Ground" fulfil my expectations? Well, it kind of did, because it's good album. But I have to say that I liked such "Sepulchral Psalms..." more. I'm not disappointed, because Kingdom as always delivers great portion of bestial death metal devastation and I will be listening to this album a lot. But will I praise it for being the best piece of death metal of the year or something like that? Not necessarily. 
Kingdom recorded full length, which is a natural follower to their previous efforts and should not surprise their supporters with anything new. So, you'll find here venomous and utterly blasphemous, morbid metal of death in the very vicious and bestial, but also brutal vein. The music is quite simplistic, almost savage and primitive, but it's exactly that kind of primeval sound and character, which you would expect to hear from Kingdom. Just old school and uncomplicated, yet interesting death metal. There are many killer riffs, I have to say. Especially, when Kingdom stops blasting like crazy, but allows some slower tempos to infect their music, then I like the effect the most. In such "Putrescent Remains" they even came up with some slightly melodic and memorable parts, reminding me early Immolation – and maybe this is why I think it's one of the best songs on the album. But my real favourite and most skull-crushing piece from this CD is song called "Niemy krzyk zagłady". It's the slowest track, but its heaviness, viciousness and insanely good riffs stand out from the whole album and even from the whole Kingdom discography. And it's an instrumental song, what makes it even more valuable for me. Great stuff. "Grobowiec ludzkości" is another truly killer and exceptional song – and once again I have to say that I like Kingdom music, when the lyrics are Polish written. The vocals in these tracks sound more harsh and poisonous, more evil! And the blasphemous lyrics sound great in Polish language! It's cool, because usually I'm not big fan of Polish lyrics in extreme music, but there are always some exceptions and Kingdom is one of them. There's almost black metal feel to some of these riffs and vocals, but it only makes the music more interesting. Oh, listen to also "Martwa ziemia" with that Morbid Angel-esque riffage! Nice! 
There's a cover also! I don't like it at all. I like Immortal's "Blashyrkh" in its original version (but I haven't really listened to "Battle In the North" in quite many years now, to be honest), but I think that Kingdom's version is not so much interesting. They mixed up with the tempos, added these ferocious blasts... I understand if they wanted to make something more unique from this famous track... but I don't like the result. Not how they arranged it, but also because it completely lost the cold, frosty atmosphere of the original. Sorry, I rather skip this song. But other than that, this is a very good and worthy album. Get it and begin the annihilation! 
Standout tracks: "Niemy krzyk zagłady", "Grobowiec ludzkości", "Putrescent Remains", "Martwa ziemia" 
Verdict: 80/100 

Paganizer - Born to be Buried Alive

PAGANIZER - Born to be Buried Alive (ASPHYXIATE Productions CD 2008)
And well, here's another oldie from Paganizer, this time it's an EP titled "Born to be Buried Alive", which came out in 2008 through Asphyxiate Recordings. I have to say that I like this short material, there are some really good brutal songs here. It may not be the most thrilling and exciting stuff from Paganizer, but it's a solid and good piece of filthy old school death metal, in that usual style known already from albums like "Promoting Total Death". So, the music is not too technical or complex, their song structures are usually based on three, maybe four riffs, but they have good vibe and are memorable as hell. Some riffs even have groove, a punkish simplicity and that D-beat, which will crush you to blood miasma. On some songs like the killer opener "Flesh Collector" Paganizer blasts like crazy, but keeps that sick and brutal feeling, which works so damn well here. And in "The Morbidly Obscene" I can even smell a huge influence in couple of riffs from Celtic Frost, which is so fantastic and I have to say that this is my favourite part of the whole EP. All together you'll find here six studio tracks plus a couple of live recordings. Good stuff. 
Standout tracks: "Flesh Collector", "The Morbidly Obscene" 
Verdict: 70/100 

Paganizer / Depression - Unglaube / Split Wide Open

PAGANIZER / DEPRESSION - Unglaube / Split Wide Open (SUFFER Productions CD 2008)
I have to say that there was time, when I was picking up every Paganizer new release. Whatever it was... new album, EP or split, I had to have it. And then I also started to collect anything that Rogga Johansson decided to record with his other (countless) projects. But the problem started, when I realized that some of his stuff sounded mediocre at best. Some was really fuckin killer, some other was just useless and forgettable. So does this split with Depression. "Split Wide Open" was released four years after the killer "No Divine Rapture" CD, but I am not quite sure when exactly it was recorded. Two songs were released on split with Eroded, which is good. But you can hear that there's a mixture of songs from various recording sessions, so the sound quality differs and even the style between some tracks is varied. I mean we have here songs like "Abortion Van", "Gasmask Obsession" or "This Place Is Rot", which offer a solid, mid-paced groovy death metal in the classic Swedish vein and they sound really great. Nice riffs, good feeling, proper heavy production... Good stuff! But there are also songs, which not only suffer for bad production, but stylistically are completely different from the usual Paganizer. They're more like a simplistic, blasting grind core. The thing is, these songs sound like were composed and recorded in five minutes (some songs don't even have titles, come on!). Rushed and with no particular idea. The result is poor and rather annoying. I think that publishing such stuff is just waste of time. So, we get maybe four pretty solid songs and whole bunch, which I can skip, because they're worth shit. 
Depression is also a band with huge discography, but if I have to be honest, this split with Paganizer is the only thing from them, which I know. They did many splits and some full length albums, but I either never cared or never had a chance to listen to them. Besides, I can't say that their style of music is my favourite. It's sort of grinding death metal, with a bit old school feel, some groovy, chunky riffs, rather simple song structures and arrangements... It's music, which needs to have energy and be easy to get into, yet it has to sound brutal and kind of "sick". And as such, I think it's pretty solid effort, Depression (what an unsuitable band name!) came up with ten songs (plus intro / outro), which sound not bad at all, especially when the tempo is slowed down. Like in "In the End...Unknowing" and "Howling at My Backdoor Pt. 2". I can say that I quite like these two songs, because Depression has some cool riffs there, the performance is good and production is decent. I like also their death metal growls, they sound perfect, but I hate when they use these high shrieks or whatever you call it. That ruins everything for me haha! Anyway, as I mentioned, there's plenty of solid stuff and if you enjoy rather mid or slow paced death metal with grind influence, then it can be for you. There's Benediction cover ("Artefacted Irreligion" from their debut LP) also. Unfortunately, again there are three or four songs, which are very good and some other, which are simply mediocre...  
What I would do, I would cut the whole split and leave up to 25 minutes of music and this way I would get an excellent effort. Split was released in 2008 by Suffer Productions, limited to 1000 copies, but it should be pretty easy to find. Not a mandatory release though, even for die hard Paganizer fans. 
Standout tracks: "In the End...Unknowing", "Howling at My Backdoor Pt. 2", "Abortion Van", "This Place Is Rot" 
Verdict: 65/100