Friday, 31 May 2013

Throneum - Bestial Antihuman Evil

THRONEUM - Bestial Antihuman Evil (WORSHIP HIM - LP 2004)
Throneum is one of the most specific death metal bands from the nowadays scene and I think I can say that from the very beginnings those Poles had their own identity and play music, which is more original than 99% of the rest of old school death metal bands. This originality comes from many aspects: from the specific, usually quite messy and chaotic production of their albums, the intense and usually damn fast and uncompromising style of playing, finally also from Tom’s necro voice – he just sounds like possessed – and so all these things make Throneum music original and I guess it also makes them as one of those “love it or hate it” kind of bands… not everyone can stand the pure, relentless force, chaos and bestiality of those sounds and not everyone is able to truly dig it. But I can promise you that once you get used to it, then you’ll enjoy it totally and it will just blow your head off. Nowadays Throneum has a decent number of full length albums, but their catalogue is also filled with a huge number of shorter releases: EPs, spits, MLPs… Damn, I actually used to collect them all, but at some point I resigned as I told myself there’s just too much of it and I stopped buying all those 7”EPs and other such stuff, unless it is really something special. I think I can say that “Bestial Antihuman Evil” belongs to the best and most appreciated of all Throneum releases. This MLP, originally released in 2002 on CD – and in 2004 on LP by Worship Him Records, and this is the version, which I have (later it has also been repressed on digipack by Pagan Records) – truly confirmed the quality of this band’s music and took it a step forward from “Old Death’s Lair” LP… At that time I think the name Throneum has also started to be recognised and appreciated also abroad of Poland.
Musically “Bestial Antihuman Evil” is a recording, which can be described with three words: CHAOS, OBSCURITY, EVILNESS. This death metal is certainly unlike anything else, it doesn’t sounds neither Swedish or American, it also is completely different to most of the Polish death metal bands. Sure, Throneum always confirmed that their main musical influences lay in the 80’s and the early outburst of evil from bands like Sarcofago, Possessed, Beherit, Sodom, Kreator, Bathory, Venom, Asphyx, Hellhammer and so on and on… but even if some parts are clearly resembling some of these bands, the whole music – with all its details, from start to finish – has more individual face. And I’m sure you’ll know what I mean once you’ll listen to “Bestial Antihuman Evil”. The first song from the MLP, “Godless Antihuman Evil”, is a phenomenal example of Throneum’s morbid and insanely bestial death metal. This song is damn fast, relentless like a legion of demons unleashed from hell to create some chaos and bloodshed, but at the same time there’s a nice and memorable sort of chorus part, which will make you scream along with Tom those three words: “Godless Antihuman Evil”!!! The whole MLP is all about violent and aggressive music, with no time to be wasted for useless intros or melodic stuff, and so “Death From Beyond Hell” and “Fuck Me Dead” will blow in your face with nuclear strength. And side B of the vinyl is pretty much the same – cacophonic riffs, aggression and bestiality, totally evil and morbid atmosphere… plus there’s a killer cover of Beherit’s “Dead Inside”, which turns out to be the only slow song from the whole MLP (and also not the most obvious choice for the Beherit cover, even though I must say that I just love this cover, it has been played and arranged brilliantly!). But what a crushing finish it is!
So, whatever you may think of the cruel and raw, almost primitive production of this MLP and whatever you’ll think of the merciless playing of Thronuem, I can assure you that “Bestial Antihuman Evil” is one of their best releases and if you don’t feel convinced by it then don’t waste your time on this band anymore, as none of their releases will convince you either. Personally I like it a lot and stand on the side of the supporters of this killer Polish band.
Standout tracks: “Godless Antihuman Evil”, “Fuck Me Dead”, “Dead Inside”
Final rate: 80/100

Kingdom - Morbid Priest of Supreme Blasphemy

KINGDOM - Morbid Priest of Supreme Blasphemy (HELLTHRASHER - CD 2013)
I already had known Kingdom for a while and I guess I can say that I quite liked the music of this Polish troop of death… at least their tape EP “Church of Death” really blown my head off (killer cover of Kat!), as the debut CD “Unholy Graveyard” was more mediocre, but still quite solid effort. But I wanted really to hear “Morbid Priest of Supreme Blasphemy”, as “Church of Death” raised the appetite for it strongly. Well, my first attempt to listen to some sounds from the new Kingdom CD failed… I got some mp3 I think of couple of songs, but somehow I didn’t enjoy them at all as they seemed to be quite noisy and chaotic, with terribly poor production. Luckily I didn’t put my final opinion basing it on some lousy mp3’s and waited with it before I listen to the whole CD, which I finally got last week. And well, what can I say… If I had any doubts whether Kingdom will be able to cause bloodshed and slaughter the innocent, then the sounds of their new album, which blew the speakers off, erased all the hesitation. Damn, this album is fantastic!
First of all I must say that it feels like Kingdom has matured a lot since “Unholy Graveyard”. And with that I don’t mean that they evolved into something different – not at all; musically it is still very obscure, morbid and violent old school death metal… It just feels like everything on “Morbid Priest of Supreme Blasphemy” has been improved, starting with the production and finishing off with the idea for the music and the songs, which on “Morbid Priest of Supreme Blasphemy” are just really, really good. One of the main advantages of the album is its variety, as – unlike the debut, which was pretty one dimensional – it has many different kind of influences thrown within all ten songs and it almost feels like every songs has something what would distinguish it from the rest. More so, I think that the music has just been better written, with some memorable parts here and there, but at the same time it is deliciously bestial and violent as hell, bringing destruction, slaughter and desecration as well as lots of nuclear energy to erupt in your face. The whole material is based on the death metal and bands like Acheron, Morbid Angel, Cianide, Nunslaughter, Throneum, Asphyx, Nihilist, Angel Corpse and Incantation, but they have been filled quite intensely with the insane portion of bestiality and blasphemy of black metal of Blasphemy, Beherit, Black Witchery, Revenge, Sarcofago and other such bands (just listen to the ghoulish vocals and feel the whole eerie, dark atmosphere!). The final effect – well, it for sure is something beyond my expectations and for sure it slays.
I must admit that the album is so even that I have difficulties with pointing out my favourite songs from it… for sure among my faves there would be such anthems as “Slaves of Ruin” – which is one of those songs, which are so utterly bestial and extreme that they’ll remind you all those black metal bands like Revenge, Black Witchery or Bestial Raids, if they were mixed up with some death metal bands like Acheron or early Morbid Angel. Then “Beast of the Sea”, which is more like Angel Corpse, but very fast and intense as hell. “Morbid Priest” is definitely my favourite track from the album – it is just a killer stuff, quite slower if comparing it to some other songs, but I love its atmosphere and that ritualistic, eerie feeling, which resembles (again) Acheron, Morbid Angel and some Blasphemy / Beherit. ”Summoned from Dead” is a sheer brutality, extreme and fast motherfucker, but with some excellent guitar work and when I listen to the opening riff of “Nameless King” I always have Unleashed’s “Execute Them All” main riff in my mind – the resemblance is quite strong, but luckily further on “Nameless King” walks away from this… and finally there’s a cool cover of Nihilist’s “Supposed to Rot”, which has been played quite fast and in one part when it is so speeded up it almost reminds me about Mayhem’s “Buried by Time and Dust” hehe! Anyway, the whole album is just excellent and with only 30 minutes on the clock it is a perfect dose of destructive force… and yeah, check out also that awesome artwork of Bartek Kurzok. For sure it is one of his best works so far! Very recommended stuff.
Standout tracks: “Morbid Priest”, “Slaves of Ruin”, “Summoned from Dead”
Final rate: 88/100

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Revel in Flesh / Revolting - Within the Morbid Ossuary

REVEL IN FLESH / REVOLTING - Within the Morbid Ossuary (CYCLONE EMPIRE - 7"EP 2012)
Swedish old school death metal… if you’re not bored yet with this music and countless bands, which play it nowadays, please carry on reading, as I have a great pleasure to review one of the coolest singles with this sort of music released in the recent years. And if you feel like you have heard enough of all these Entombed / Dismember / Autopsy, etc worship, then go away and do something else, drink tea with your granny maybe.
Whatever you think of the new wave of old school death metal you just must admit that it brought a number of excellent and truly killer bands and even larger dose of essential recordings. Sure, it also became quite fashionable and spawned a big number of mediocrity, but who would care? I rather prefer to look on the bright side of it, smell the decay with pleasure and not with disgust. But when I buy so many old school death metal releases I usually try to pick up only those most important and promising ones. This split EP, which I’m just going to introduce to you surely belongs to the best pieces of music, which I have heard and equals such awesome splits as Chapel of Disease / Lifeless, Graveyard / Deathevocation, Entrails /Ominous Crucifix, Anatomia / Burial Invocation, etc. This is “Within the Morbid Ossuary” – split 7” of Revel In Flesh and Revolting. I hope that both bands are familiar to you, so I don’t have to introduce them and I hope also that this review will convince you to buy this EP.
Starting with Revel In Flesh… Well, their debut LP “Deathevokation” was surely a solid piece of Swedish sounding death metal, but I guess I moaned a little in my review of it that it isn’t as great as some other similar albums. Well, but if regardless of that moaning of mine “Deathevokation” was rated for 80/100 then this one song from “Within the Morbid Ossuary” deserves for a perfect score. Yeah, I must admit that “Bonecrusher” is just absolutely fuckin excellent track and for sure it is the best song from Revel In Flesh, which I have heard so far. Obviously from the strictly musical point of view it is traditional to the bone piece of obscure, rotten death metal, but the thing is those Germans have picked up and glued together some awesome riffs and melodies, composing a killer, totally memorable and insanely “beautiful” death metal anthem. It is quite slow or mid paced, it doesn’t really move towards the sheer aggression and brutality, but that works fantastically well, as the effect is monumental and epic piece of music, which I worship. Great atmosphere of the music, great feeling and just excellent playing… “Bonecrusher” is a brilliant appetiser before I put my hands on “Manifested Darkness” – which is the second LP from Revel In Flesh. I hope to get a real death metal feast and something even better than the debut album!
And Revolting - with four full length LPs behind their belt and with the maestro Rogga Johansson in the line up - also doesn’t require a long and informative introduction; you just must have some of their albums, otherwise you must be a fan of that Korean jumpin’ music. Fuck, Revolting is a band all about gore, slashers, horror and murders. But these two songs from this EP surprised me a bit, as(s) they both sound unexpectedly melodic and harmonious, more than what you may know from the filthy and obscure pieces of decay, which they released before. Especially “The Spawning” made me raise my eyebrows. It sounds really surprising, so does “Operation Razorteeth” really, both reminding me Edge of Sanity a bit, with that quite weird atmosphere, but “The Spawning” (which is an instrumental song) is more experimental, almost like Furbowl! Anyway, even if I prefer “Bonecrusher” over these couple of songs, I still must admit that once more Revolting have proved to be a killer band and surely completes “Within the Morbid Ossuary” in great way…
And yeah, I guess I should write now how much I recommend you this 7”EP. Well, of course I do. There are so many positives about it… Killer music… Absolutely fuckin awesome piece of art from Juanjo Castellano in the front (it is one of his best works, in my opinion!!!!!!!)… Finally for 7” this split is quite long – Revel In Flesh’s song is seven minutes long and the whole is about 13 minutes long, which is not bad at all for a seven inch single. Damn, get it right now!
Final rate: 90/100

Funerus - Reduced to Sludge LP

FUNERUS - Reduced to Sludge LP

I already wrote a nice review for the Funerus' long awaited second album "Reduced to Sludge". You can find it somewhere on the archives of this blog. I was really enthusiastic about this release and so I was very happy when I've found out that Hellthrash Productions is going to release the LP version of this album. I waited and waited and here it finally is!!!!!!

"Reduced to Sludge" got a very nice packaging, the quality of the cover, as well as of the vinyl, are just very, very good and the whole release looks and sounds absolutely perfect. I must totally recommend you getting it, trust me, it is worth a sin crushing old school death metal in its best form! My copy is one of the 100's brown vinyls, it comes with a nice poster... and well, what else can I write - just get it now, will you? I am very happy that the quality of vinyl releases of Hellthrasher are as good as of the CDs... Resurgency's "False Enlightenment" was a killer vinyl release, now the same I can write about Funerus... Hellthrasher is planning some more vinyl releases:
PAROXSIHZEM - Paroxsihzem LP
SERPENT NOIR – “Sanguis XI” 12” MLP 
SERPENT NOIR – “Seeing through the shadow consciousness (open up the shells)” 12” LP (with DWP)
Damn, they all will be a mandatory purchase for me!

Abyssal - Denouement

ABYSSAL - Denouement (HELLTHRASHER - CD 2013)
Hellthrasher Productions surprises me all the time when they keep finding – probably somewhere in the pits of hell - more and more underground killer bands and release their stuff without any remorse. And it is always cool to find out that some unknown bands have quality, which matches the best and most popular acts of the current scene… and in case of Abyssal I can definitely say so, as this British band mercilessly crushed me with the material from their first album “Denouement”. The story is quite weird here… First of all, the band is relatively new, formed only in 2011… The line up is hidden behind the curtain of secrets; we don’t know who’s behind this project and how many people are there… Personally I don’t really understand the point of keeping the line up in secret and why would people not want to reveal themselves. OK, it would make sense if the music was shit – nobody’s so fetish to put his name on some crap straight from the devil’s ass… But if it (the music, the band) is great then reveal yourself so we can address the compliments and tell you how great your music is! OK, maybe it has something to do with some sort of concept of Abyssal – in the booklet you’ll find the line: “ghosts among people”. OK, cool, but I don’t believe in any extraterrestrial beings. Anyway, Abyssal delivers an album “Denouement” and it is their first CD (the second one titled “Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius” is also out already). Hellthrasher actually took care of the re-release of this album (but I don’t know how many copies of the first pressing, self released by the band, have been made and what happened to them all).
The front artwork of “Denouement” somehow makes me think of such bands as Opeth or Katatonia, as they often have quite similar pictures on their releases. But don’t let it fool you, as musically Abyssal has absolutely nothing to do with these two bands. Style wise the Brits combine all extreme genres of metal and do it in excellent way: think of great, dominating dose of utterly heavy death metal, mixed up with a portion of gloomy, sinister funeral doom and some furious, devastating, ghoulish black metal… for sure Abyssal are not the first band to combine all these styles, but I do must admit that what they’ve achieved on “Denouement” is excellent and pretty original. Sure, there are number of bands, which the reviewers constantly repeat while reviewing Abyssal music – bands such as Mitochondrion, Portal, Antediluvian, Incantation, Immolation, Vital Remains and some other. I would also add Grave Miasma and Cruciamentum. And I have no doubts that there’re many similarities between all those bands and I won’t deny that surely Abyssal must have had the same sources of influence as Antediluvian or Mitochondrion – just to name these two. And fine, but when I listen to “Denouement” I just feel truly amazed by the atmosphere of this music, by the sheer heaviness and brutality, which it brings and at the same time of how almost memorable it is and truly involving. Abyssal has great skills to deliver diverse sounds; you’ll find here some crushing, extremely heavy and slow parts, but also many blasting, ferocious, violent fragments – all nicely composed, so the songs are far from being boring. And more so, there are some almost melodic parts here and there like in “Swansong of a Dying Race”, which is one of the highlights of the album. The songs are also epic, monumental, with many atmospheric parts and with so many layers and textures that it will take you few spins, before “Denouement” will speak to you.
But when you’ll listen to it several times you’ll start to pick up some crushing moments and I can promise you there will be many. Already “The Moss upon Our Ruins” is just a monumental, severe opener, which has only one aim: to announce the coming of the end – in the brutal way! “There will be no graves to mark our passing, no monument to this folly, no tears shall lament this scene - a ballad of silence for the moss upon our ruins…”. Hell yeah! “Deus Vult” will bring some truly memorable riffs and some, which will force maniacal headbanging until the very last second (which is a challenge as the songs on the album are all pretty long!). With “When Paradigms Supplant Gods” the atmosphere is utterly ghoulish and sinister and will invoke some very disturbing feelings, but how fantastic is the sound here! And when I listen to it I feel like “OK, bands such as Encoffination and Father Befouled are truly awesome, I have many releases of these bands, but if they lack anything then it would be a variety and some distinctive changes through the songs and albums”. Abyssal delivers everything what those bands lack and that is a great advantage of those British ghosts.
When speaking of the whole production and execution of the songs, I have basically nothing to complain about – the guitar tone is very good, and so are those deep, guttural growls. I think that I can only be more sceptical for the use of the drum machine, as it will always make the music sound slightly artificial and definitely drum machine is so soulless and it hasn’t got the sound and feeling of the real drumming. But it is OK, it doesn’t disturb me too much, maybe only in the fast parts you can truly hear that and feel like it could sound better… All in all though “Denouement” is a worthy and great release and I can only hope to listen to “Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius” one day also.
Standout tracks: “The Moss upon Our Ruins”, “Deus Vult”, “Swansong of a Dying Race”
Final rate: 80/100