Friday, 20 October 2017

Sulphurous - Abomination Temple

SULPHUROUS - Abomination Temple (NIGHT SHROUD Records 7"EP 2017)
Sulphurous is a band, which may need a small introduction, because they're not so well known, yet. But if I mention Phrenelith, whose two members are involved in Sulphurous, then it will ring a bell to many. All in all, Phrenelith unleashed one of the most crushing death metal albums of 2017. Sulphurous has no full length yet, they did a fantastic demo in 2012 titled "Demo XII", which sadly was released on very strictly limited cassette, so you can only listen to it on Bandcamp or YouTube. Later in 2016 another demo has been recorded and luckily this one got a proper 7" vinyl format. It would be a fuckin shame to keep it hidden in darkness, because the music slays and I personally like it just as much as Phrenelith, maybe even more. 
I'm not gonna compare both bands though. There's no point. It is worthy to mention only that both play vicious and obscure death metal, which stylistically is like a fine combination of the Finnish coldness and gloom and US heaviness. There's as much from Incantation or Morbid Angel as from Funebre or Disgrace. And fuck, these two songs, which are on this 7", are complete for me and they provide the finest possible death metal blood-feast. I truly worship such sound, with these brilliant morbid riffage (with great marriage of heaviness and a bit of melody) and ghastly voice of Mathias Friborg. The blasts that dominate on both songs are also killer to hear. Sulphurous truly knows how to compose some spectacular tracks and this is a proof. More so, the production for this demo is just perfect, so you can imagine how good it is to listen to this seven inch. It's almost a shame that there are only two songs, I have no idea if Sulphurous will continue and record an album or not... All in all, these guys are busy in much more recognised now Phrenelith, but also in some other projects. We'll see. Now I can just say that this EP blew my head off. 
Final rate: 80/100 

Godless - Sic Luceat Vacuum Nostrum

GODLESS - Sic Luceat Vacuum Nostrum (ME SACO UN OJO - MLP 2016)
No doubt, Chilean death metal commandos belong to my favourite bands and I'm always pleased to hear more and more of them. Here's another one, which strikes with some excellent sounds and bring restless, insane massacre. Godless aren't newcomers, I already had some of their releases: "Irreligiosus Nemine Discrepante" double 7" EP, "Ecce Homo: Post Lux TenebrasPulsio XIII Ultima Ratio" album and split 7"EP with Unaussprechlichen Kulten, so I knew their quality and that they're no bullshit. This new MLP, released by Me Saco Un Ojo, brings another dose of monstrous, brutal death metal and I have to say that this is the best effort from Godless so far. I can hear great improvement in basically everything, starting from songwriting, great technical skills of the band members and finishing with the best production they achieved so far. I liked "Irreligious..." and "Ecce...", but damn, "Sic Luceat Vacuum Nostrum" takes them to new level, I think, and now Godless can match the quality of my favourite Chilean beasts, Unaussprechlichen Kulten and Demonic Rage. 
It's interesting that many of these Chilean hordes play similar type of malicious, dark death metal, very much in the vein of Incantation, Funebrarum, Immolation, Dead Congregation or Morpheus Descends. They must really love this shit there. I have to say that all these Chilean bands sound really honest and passionate, there's a lot of dedication for death metal in them. Godless is very much alike and their music has this savage and uncompromising, underground feeling. It is also soaked with brutality and evilness, and it's also damn powerful and dynamic stuff that truly crushes the bones. For "Sic Luceat Vacuum Nostrum" they came up with excellent riffs, I love that massive and truly slaying sound of it, with merciless, vicious blasting parts and crushing, heavy slow bits, which will leave your flesh completely dismembered.  
Yeah, these are fuckin sweet 16 minutes of music. These three songs are bestial and I can guarantee the best quality from Godless. More so, this vinyl looks fantastic, the artwork is just killer and etching on side B is something truly extra. Very recommended release then, grab a copy before these 500 pieces are gone! 
Final rate: 80/100 

Hetzer - Lets Bow Abaddon... Before the Battle Against God...

HETZER - Lets Bow Abaddon... Before the Battle Against God... (Demo 2006)
It's always a shame to see some promising bands split up too early. Polish Hetzer did manage to unleash two albums, "The Rise of Abaddon" (2007) and "Fall of the Holy Cult" (2009), but they ended their activity way too soon, in my opinion. They delivered some crushing obscure death metal, had a lot of potential, but I am not sure then why did it all end up so soon. Anyway, I come back to their music quite often and today I was giving a spin to Hetzer's 2006 "Lets Bow Abaddon... Before the Battle Against God..." demo. And damn, what a nice stuff it is. 
Hetzer played brutal and truly violent and vicious death metal, where there was no room for melodies, keyboards or freaking technical patterns. From start to finish this demo brings total devastation in the old school, obscure way. Personally, I think that Hetzer was really influenced by early Belphegor, you can hear some similar riffs, but even the vocals of Ulcer sounded very alike to Helmuth's harsh growl. Anyway, I like a lot how fast and aggressive, how intense and merciless this demo is. At the same time there are few more catchy fragments, especially in "Butchery & Torment", which definitely is the best song on the demo. I can sincerely say that this song could really match the quality of many Belphegor blasphemous anthems. And that is not an exaggeration! Songs are short, but they burst with energy and ferocity, "The End of Christian Hope" or "Butchery & Torment" are just fantastic, so I really enjoyed to listen to this demo. And it only confirms how good band Hetzer was. In case you would ask, yes, both albums are even better! So, if you will ever find them, grab both, especially if you dig Belphegor, Angel Corpse or Marduk. 
Standout tracks: "Butchery & Torment", "The End of Christian Hope" 
Final rate: 70/100 

Persecutor / Poisoned - Raw Torments of War

PERSECUTOR / POISONED - Raw Torments of War (UNDER THE TYRANT's BANNER - CD 2014)
This fine split CD arrived to me couple of years ago and I have to say that I enjoyed this music a lot. Both bands are Polish and are rather little known, I doubt that many people, especially abroad, have heard about them. Which is a shame, because they released some great shit. So, even though I doubt if bands like Poisoned care for attention and appreciation of the current metal scene, I decided to introduce this split to you, hoping that this review will interest some of the readers in this music. 
So, let's play "Raw Torments of War" again and again... Persecutor begins this sonic torment with four tracks of cool thrashing death / black metal, done in very old school, obscure way. Their music is filthy, nasty and simple, but ass kicking. They don't care for fancy arrangements or fashionable images, but bring pure, harsh metal feeling and tribute to the old cults. Their music can remind you quite few bands, but when I listen to song called "Armageddon Warhead" personally I can't think of another record, but Absu's "The Third Storm of Cythraul". And how well it fuckin sounds! It's been a while since Persecutor released their last full-length album, I am not sure if they still exist or not... but if they do, I hope to hear more shit from them soon! 
And then there's Poisoned, whose debut CD "Beyond the Gates of Fire" from 2016 was really damn nice. For "Raw Torments of War" they prepared three songs plus Massacra cover - and I like them even more than the album. What their music brings is total primeval and archaic death metal. When I hear it, I really feel like I was listening to some old songs from the late 80's / early 90's, but with slightly better production. Just check these vocals and tell me how often do you hear such raw, vicious voice in death metal nowadays? Hardly ever (I suppose only Throneum can be named as similar type of band)! It's like old Vader or Massacra demos rather than any fashionable old school stuff. And damn, I love to listen to their part of "Raw Torments of War". Total morbid metal of death with small hinfor raw thrash metal. Song "Torment of War" is a great proof of their worth. Very recommended band, in my opinion! 
Standout tracks: "Armageddon Warhead", "Torment of War" 
Final rate: 70/100 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Hermóðr - Hädanfärd

HERMODR - Hädanfärd (WOLFSPELL Records CD 2017)
I hate to say it, but it's just impossible to keep track with Hermóðr. This project is more active than anything else and Rafn composes and records more songs, than you even wish to hear. I am not even sure if that's good or not. Anyway, last thing, which I have heard from Hermóðr was "A Place of Eternal Twilight / Carved in Ice" in 2016, but Rafn didn't waste his time and recorded another pile of EPs and albums since then. He's crazy! I had no chance to hear few of these last releases, but recently I bought two... And I am happy I did so, because such "Hädanfärd" is one of his best works so far. 
Yes, it's good to notice that even though Hermóðr comes up with so many releases every year, Rafn is still able to keep great quality in his music and come up with some excellent ideas for it. "Hädanfärd" is a great proof for it. Unlike all these EPs, which he records (where are one or two very long songs), full length albums usually have more, but shorter songs. What definitely helps and makes listening a bit easier, you know? The album is also less monotonous, even if the music is constantly doomy, melancholic and nostalgic, when speaking of the atmosphere, which it awakes. I have to say that I love that combination of black metal harshness and repetitive, almost a bit Burzum-esque playing with melody and truly sorrowful aura. I even dare to say that Hermóðr music often sounds almost beautiful, even though such word would usually not fit black metal. But damn, just give a listen to these fantastic harmonies, long instrumental passages, which hypnotize with its sound... It may seem a bit too monotonous and too repetitive at the first listen, some will just say that it's boring, but give "Hädanfärd" a closer, more careful listen and you'll discover that this music is almost magic. So, these are some fantastic 50 minutes of atmospheric black metal. I like also the fact that Rafn can come up with some great riffs and harsh vocals, he doesn't focus just on keyboard parts. I was also surprised to hear some nice female vocals of Helga in one of the best songs "Under frusen älv". This is something new to Hermóðr, but it gave the music a bit new dimension. 
Definitely then "Hädanfärd" is a great offer for fans of atmospheric, melancholic black metal. I recommend it, but not only this album, but all stuff, which Hermóðr released so far. It's a lot of shit, so probably you won't be able to pick it up all at once, unless you're a millionaire, but few CDs should do well to start with. Great project, beautiful music, which I could listen to for hours, especially now in these colder Autumn days (well, even song titled "Höst" means "Autumn" from Swedish haha). 
Standout tracks: "Nord", "Höst", "Under frusen älv" 
Final rate: 80/100