Monday, 19 May 2014

Blood Storm - Pestilence from the Dragonstar

BLOOD STORM - Pestilence from the Dragonstar (SOUL SOLD - CD 1999)
Blood Storm belongs to my favourite blackened thrash metal bands and sadly I must also say that they seem to be one of the most underestimated and almost kind of forgotten bands around these days. I cannot understand that, really, but from the other hand Blood Storm was never signed to the big and fancy record labels, they remained more underground, hidden in the abyss… and more so, their last album “Sirian Storm” was released way back in 2005. OK., later in 2008 they also appeared on “Ancient Entities Arise” split with Abazagorath… and that’s it. So, maybe it is about time to remind you this amazing American horde and for that I decided to exhume their second CD “Pestilence from the Dragonstar”.
And trust me, motherfuckers, “Pestilence from the Dragonstar” is incredibly killer album. And I dare to say that all of you folks, who shred themselves with all these bestial black / thrash metal like Destroyer666, Aura Noir, Witchmaster, Gospel of the Horns, Pentacle, Sadistic Intent, Absu and several others will love Blood Storm as well. To me Blood Storm on “Pestilence from the Dragonstar” may sound slightly more barbaric, vicious and furious though. It sounds totally like someone mixed old Sodom with truly fast and violent black metal… Interestingly in many fragments of this and other albums Blood Storm reminds me Enthroned, while in some other they sound similar to Absu, especially if we speak of some vocal arrangements, plus some riffs, breaks, not to mention their lyrics etc. So, give a listen to such songs as “The Chaos Magician”, “Sirius Rebellion” – this is pure, harsh, fast as hell, obscure black metal, with that great feeling and arrangements, which really do remind me Enthroned. They erupt with pure energy, chaos and aggression – love it! And then such “Warth & Vengeance” can remind me the mighty Absu, also because of the lyrics… No surprise really, as Mezzadurus used to help Absu for many years. Such “Death Thunder” has even a stronger resemblance to such “Third Storm of Cythraul” and damn, it is amazing song, with a great old styled, harsh thrash metal influence. And “Successor to the Plague Gods” goes even deeper into these archaic sounds – Sodom, Hellhammer, bit of Venom, you know all these influences well. Great! On top of everything, I must say that I really like the production of the album; nice, slashing guitar tone, great vocals… truly perfect stuff.
I guess that the only thing, which I don’t like so much about Blood Storm and “Pestilence from the Dragonstar” is the artwork / colouring of the booklet… But that is something what I can say about all their albums, really, just take a look at that artwork of “Sirius Storm”. So maybe it is better for me not to comment the artwork and the Blood Storm image and rather focus on the truly amazing music of this band. Definitely “Pestilence from the Dragonstar” is one of those albums, which I must recommend to all freaks of obscure metal… Damn, it is just awesome material, so vicious, so powerful… You just must get it for your collections!
Standout tracks: “Death Thunder”, “The Chaos Magician”, “The Angel Web”
Final rate: 85/100

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Just Before Dawn / Blood Mortized interview

Here is interview with Anders Biazzi, guitarist for two killer Swedish death metal bands.
Hi Anders! How are you? Hope you’re ready for some serious questioning! But first I wanna start with something I am just curious about… Your real surname is Hansson, but for some time you’re just Anders Biazzi. Why this change? Are you hiding from police or mafia hehe?
Hi man, I’m great! Bring it on! I can tell you this man; my real surname is Biazzi nowadays hahaha. I’ve got married and changed it from Hansson to Biazzi, now I’m the only Anders whit that surname!  And yes I’m hiding from the Mafia also.

Let me first ask you about the band you formed quite recently called Just Before Dawn. I am guessing that this is more like your own band, for which you wrote the music, am I right? What were the reasons for forming this project, especially since you’re quite active with Blood Mortized? What motivated / pushed you into this?
I started to write the first song “Raped Soil” after I’ve seen a live video from Hypocrisy with the songs  “Apocalypse” and “The Fourth Dimension”, posted on Facebook by Jocke Ringdal (Paganizer). Damn heavy shit and I always wanted to do a project like that and a kind of Bolt Throwerish! After that I called up Rogga (Pagainzer) and asked him if he would like to growl on some songs, he said yes but “…only if I can sing in Swedish…”, he said. I came up with the name and Rogga came up with the idea to bring in some more singers! We were going with five songs first, but I was on a riffing spree at the time so I did three more. We got a contract with Chaos Records for the eight track CD and vinyl!

Just Before Dawn is a band, where you play with your old buddy from Pathalog, Gustav Myrin. It almost feels like a reunion thing hehe. How long have you known him already? Was it you who also invited him to join Blood Mortized? And is Jonas Lindblood a full time member now? I must say that I love his Puteraeon! 
I’ve known Gustav since the beginning of the 90’s, when we started the band Mortus! We never did any demos with that band, only rehearsal tapes that are lying dormant in Gustav’s basement at the time! We later on started the band Pathalog! We did go separate ways after two years, when I joined Scum / Amon Amarth in 1992 and Gustav joined some various Rock Bands (Apes IQ). And in the year 2010 I asked him if he would like to join Blood Mortized and later on I also asked him if he wants to do some stuff on the Just Before Dawn album, like solos and growls, so yes - a kind of reunion. And no; Jonas Linblood is not a full member in Just Before Dawn. I’m the only one. I recruit new guys every time.

The idea of having different vocalists for every song on the album is not new, if we think of such bands as Necronaut or Megascavenger. But tell me what criteria did you have when picking up the growlers for your album? Did you have certain vocalists in your mind already when writing the songs? And are there any, who you wanted to have but it didn’t work out?
The thing is like this: the guys that are growling on the first album are friends of mine, the only one I really did not know was Tony Freed. Some of the songs I had made I had certain vocals in mind like Jonas, he did fit to his song perfectly. And no - all guys I asked really loved to do it, no one turned it down.

Unlike Necronaut and Megascavenger, who I mentioned above, you picked up some lesser known vocalists. OK., we all know and like Rogga, Jonas is also well known now. But such Dennis Johansson is completely unknown, also Arthuro Vargas is less known… Not many will also know Tony’s Godhate / Throneaeon. The question is why them then? From the marketing point of view, it would be better to choose some well known and characteristic vocalists, so their name would attract the fans more, don’t you think?
As I said above I did bring in some friends and did not have any marketing stuff in my head, only cool to make some great music for you guys. I think it turned out great anyways, the first album does sell pretty good hahaha.
Of corpse it turned out great, I cannot deny this! And to have Rick Rozz, playing a solo on one song… what does that mean to you? All in all, he’s been a Death / Mantas / Massacre member and played death metal as early as it is only possible. I’m not into Massacre’s come back album at all, but I suppose it is cool to have someone like him playing a solo on your album, don’t you think?
Yes, Rick is a great guy to have on the album, he’s also playing on the Blood Mortized’s “The Key to a Black Heart” album! That’s why I asked him to join the Just Before Dawn crowd also, he was honoured, he said! A really down to earth kind a guy.

Just like bands such as Bolt Thrower, Hail of Bullets or Decaying, the IIWW is the main lyrical theme for Just Before Dawn. And being interested in it, I like the idea a lot. Can you tell me something more about it? Who chosen this to be a concept for the band? Also, reading the lyrics I feel like they’re not really telling some certain stories from the history – like Hail of Bullets does – but are rather briefly saying about things such as warmachines (submarines, tanks), about nuclear weapons or just death in war in general.
It was my idea to bring in the war theme, I did think the music sounded like tanks on a battlefield. So I asked Rogga to write some war lyrics. And no, the lyrics are not historic. They’re only about the destruction that the war was, the historical chapter is coming on the new JBD!

Different question now… but imagine that WWII has ended differently. Blitzkrieg was a success, Russia has surrendered and the Allies decided to sign a pact with the Reich. Let’s use our imagination and think how would our world be like after the war? Have you seen “Fatherland” movie with Rutger Hauer?
I don’t really know how the world would look today if it had turn out like that, but it sure would have suck I think. And I do not remember much from “Fatherland”.

The lyrics for two songs written by Rogga, are in Swedish; they’re called “Precis innan gryningen” and “Slagfält efter slagfält”. What are they about? 
“Precis innan Gryningen” (Just Before Dawn) is about a guy that’s waking up in a trench crawling up from it and meeting his destiny on a battlefield just before dawn! “Slagfält efter slagfält” (Battlefield after battlefield) is about the will to survive on a battlefield. The lyrics on those two are pretty bloody hahaha.

I must say that what I especially like about Just Before Dawn are those slow, almost kind of doomy parts, with some truly incredible melodic riffs or leads… like in “Raped Soil”.
Yes, that track turned out damn great with the heaviness and the melodic riffing and Jonas great solo at the end! More of this great stuff on the new Just Before Dawn album! That’s my still, use the right kind of  tones in the riffs!
And speaking of the new album… I did hope that Just before Dawn is not just one time project, but a band you’ll continue with. So, I was very happy to read about “The Aftermath”!! Give me some more details on this upcoming album. When will it released, who will sing and play on it and finally what will be the lyrical concept of it?
The new album is going to be a blast, my best work to date! We are still on the war theme and are always going to be, have been working with 24 great musicians on this one! Started to work on this one directly after we have finished with the new Blood Mortized album. We did finish then new Just Before Dawn like one week ago! So it takes time when you work whit so many guys! Benny Moberg (Malfeitor) did a hell of a job mixing and mastering this beast of war! He also did all the artwork and layout on the album! Here’re some names of guys that are going to growl and solo on the new album: Dave Ingram (Benediction / Bolt Thrower), Jonas Stålhammar (God Macabre), Gustav Myrin (Blood Mortized), Jonas Lindblood (Putereaon), Johan Jansson (Interment), Marc Grewe (Morgoth), Anders Strokirk (Necrophobic), Rick Rozz (Massacre), Ralf Hauber (Revel in Flesh), Thomas Wouters (Bodyfarm), David Nilsson (Feral), Ronnie Björnström (Aeon), Nick Jones (Crepitus), Rogga Johansson (Paganizer), Jonny Petterson (Syn:drom), Håkan Stuvemark (Wombbath), Dennis Håka Johansson (Headstoned), Mathias Lodmalm (Cemetery), Teddy Möller (FKU), Jocke Mikiver (Tormetion), Mathias Borgh (Crypt of Kerberos, Blood Mortized), Dennis Blomberg (Paganizer), Brynjar Helgetun (Liklukt, Ribspreader, Crypticus)… The release is going to be in May / June this year! It’s going to be two editions released with two different cover artworks and one bonus track on each edition! There is also going to be a free download track out there soon, a teaser of things to come so to speak! So keep your eyes open for the upcoming war mayhem!

Damn, that list of the session guys is impressive as hell! And I already had a sneak listen of the album and I’m sure it will turn out excellent!

Meanwhile Blood Mortized has released their third album! I loved the two previous CDs, as well as the brilliant “Bestial” cassette, so I was really expecting it. And obviously “The Demon The Angel The Disease” does not disappoint. It is exactly what I expected to be… Classic, old styled groovy aggressive death metal! I wonder, when you compose such albums, do you care about being original, or just want to play what you feel passionate about, what you feel is killer, without giving a shit about originality? And in that matter, would you say that Blood Mortized has – after three albums – its own identity, something characteristic and recognisable?
Me and Gustav wrote the music as always and did our best giving no shit about any originality! Originality is only a wet dream in the death meal business hahaha. 1/5 percent out of 100 is original and yes you hear when Blood Mortized is spinning in your sound system! I write in a certain way and Gustav writes in a certain way, combining them together you get “The Demon The Angel the Disease”!

How did the whole composing process of “The Demon The Angel The Disease” look like? Is it usually a team work or rather it’s just one of you, who’s responsible for the writing of music? Did the composing of “The Demon The Angel The Disease” go smoothly? I wonder what was the biggest challenge for you when writing / recording this album?
Both me and Gustav are doing the writing on this album. We did six tracks each and we did write them by ourselves, only a small stuff we did together on each other’s tracks. The writing was no problem and the recording went smooth. Me and Gustav have recorded all guitars and bass at my place, Parkkila recorded his vocals at his place and Brynjar recorded the drums at his place. Then we sent the recordings to Linus studio and he did an hell of a job on it!

If I can describe “The Demon The Angel The Disease” in one sentence, then it would be nothing new, but just a classic, groovy Swedish death metal. No more, no less and no bullshit! This album is powerful, is filled with a lot of energy and passion, and more so, it has killer riffs, so this is why I love it. What do you think about it?
I think it’s a great mixture of groove, doom and grind and classic death metal with killer riffs - all stuff a metal head need from a death metal album! Hahahahaha!!!!
So, tell me… is this guy, who’s been presented to us on the covers of your last two alums is sort of creepy, horror version of Lemmie hehe? I’m guessing he’ll be returning with every new release of Blood Mortized, am I right here?
Yes, it’s Lemmy alright and we will see if he returns once more in the future.

I must say that I am not sure whether the choice of Chaos Records, instead of FDA Rekotz was a good decision. All in all, FDA is brilliant with their old school death metal roster and have quite good distribution here in Europe. And I am not sure whether I can say the same about Chaos (for instance I haven’t seen both Just Before Dawn and Blood Mortized available anywhere here in Poland yet!). So, why this decision?
It’s all about the money! FDA code not give us any money for “The Demon The Angel the Disease” album, Chaos did, so if we had chosen FDA then the album would not sound this way! So we walked with Chaos instead.

Exotic record labels are nothing new for you… The debut CD was released by Singaporean label, which does not exist anymore, so the debut is quite hard to get. I’ve heard you’re very unhappy with their work, or rather a complete lack of it. I’m lucky to have a copy, but do you think about doing a re-release the debut?
In the future maybe if someone are interested in doing a re-release.

Mattias Borgh has left your ranks. Any reason for this change? On the other hand Per Ekegren has an impressive list of bands he played in!
Hi did not have any time, he had a baby on the way and left right before we started “The Demon The Angel the Disease” album , so he left in the right time. Söderlund left at the same time, our bass player.

I must say that I was quite surprised seeing on Metal Archives that Blood Mortized has also few demo recordings! Were they officially released on tape or CD/CDR and have you released them in many copies?? What were they like, what songs were there? Any plans to re-release these demos for the fans?
Yes, there are four demos out on Spotify right now. There are actually more recordings off tracks on Benny Moberg’s computer,  recordings from the early 2007, but that shit is not going to be released hahahaha. And also here anyone is free to release the demos on CD!

When recording these demos I suppose Blood Mortized was treated more like a fun band, rather than something more serious, am I right? Now you evolved into a respected, powerful underground death metal machine, with three albums. I suppose you must be happy with how’re the things going?
Yes, in the beginning when it was me, Parkkila and Benny we did this for fun! To live the 90’s all over again hahaha, but later on when we got a contract the serious stuff started to happen! Yes, we were really happy when things started to move.

OK., what are your expectations with “The Demon…”? Is Blood Mortized a full time band, which will play gigs / tour Europe any time soon, or it is mainly focused on being a studio project?
We have played some gigs in Sweden and Germany last year and we are trying to get the word out about Blood Mortized, but it’s hard! So, we will see how this is turning out for us, we hope for the best!

Can I ask you about some of the older bands of yours? I mean bands such as Scum and Pathalog… I have never heard their music, so I am curious what were they like? For Pathalog you recorded the guitars just for one demo and then left. Do you still remember why? And Scum later changed the name for Amon Amarth and you also played on Amarth’s early demo / album. What are your feelings towards this band now, when they became so successful? I’m personally not their biggest fan, their albums are too repetitive for me, but the kids seem to love them, maybe for their viking image…
Pathalog was an average death metal band. I don’t know how to explain how they sounded when I played with them, but after I left they turned into a more Cannibal Corpse / Suffocation act! I don’t really remember why I left the band to join Scum / Amon Amarth. Scum sounded like a death thrash act, when I joined, but turned more into Amon Amarth after some years. I played on the bands’ two first demos and then on two first albums.

It seems that after leaving / or being thrown away (??) from Amon Amarth you didn’t play in any bands for few years. So, what were you doing in the meantime, speaking of the music? Were you still interested in death metal, searching for new killer bands and records, watching the underground? Have you noticed the coming of new awesome Swedish bands such as Nominon, Repugnant, Kaamos, Paganizer back then?
I did quit Amon Amarth after I got a kid on my throat as we say in Sweden haha. I also did separate from my girlfriend so Amon Amarth was too much work for me at that time, we had just signed a contract with Metal Blade and the career was shooting straight up! So it was hard to have a kid and play music at the same time!  So I left the music scene for about ten years, till Benny and Mattias called me up one day and that’s the start on Blood Mortized! Under those ten years I left death metal! Did not listen at all to that kind of music, only to the new Amon Amarth that came out from time to time!

Do you feel some regrets that you left Amon Amarth so early? What was your influence on their early recordings? Have you composed some songs, been responsible for arrangements, etc?
I  did not have any choice, I had also lost the will to play the music and did not understand how big the Metal Blade thing was! Till their first tour with Deicide and Brutal Truth hahahaha! I did not compose any stuff for Amon Amarth, but I came up with some cool riffs here and there, for example I did the opening riff for “Victorious March” one of their most famous song that they’re still playing from the early days! I did also help to arrange some songs. It was hard to contribute with stuff in the band, we had a main song writer that had a strong will that was hard to break! I think that’s why I lost the interest in the end!

And just to finish the interview, maybe I can ask which older and newer Swedish death metal albums / demos / EPs are those, which are most important for you and are kind of special as well?
These albums and demos are the most important to me:
Entombed – “But Life Goes On”
Entombed – “Left Hand Path”
Therion – “Time Shall Tell
Carnage – “Dark Recollections”
Grave – “Into the Grave”
Dismember – “Like an Ever Flowing Stream”
Obituary – “Cause of Death”
Terrorizer – “World Downfall”
Napalm Death – “Harmony Corruption”
Morgoth – “The Eternal Fall”
Morgoth – “Curse”
Massacre – “From Beyond”
Death – “Leprosy”
Death –“Human”
Hahahah that’s a list alright!

OK. Anders! Let’s leave it all here… I suppose we know enough about you and your bands! And last comments?  

Thx for this interview man, and to all you metal heads out there!!!!  Check out Blood Mortized and Just Before Dawn!!!! CHEERS!!

Monday, 12 May 2014

Fördärv - The Echo of Emptiness

FORDARV - The Echo of Emptiness (NIGREDO - CD 2014)
Here we have two debuts, which I would like to present and recommend to you all. A newly formed Nigredo Records is unleashing their first CD, which is also a debut of Fördärv, a black metal duo hailing from Sweden. The band is quite anonymous, as “any connection to their personal lives would destroy the magic they create in the music”… I don’t really care about that matter. If the music is good and brings the right feeling, then there’s no need to create such artificial anonymousness. The music always speaks for itself. And yes, definitely I can admit that “The Echo of Emptiness” is an awesome release and a truly worthy piece of music.
Musically Fördärv pays the great tribute to the classic Scandinavian, mainly Norwegian, black metal scene. When the first seconds of “The Breathless Sound of Silence…” resound, you just know what bands have influenced Fördärv. The guitar tone for example, along with that sorrowful, melancholic riff / atmosphere sounds totally like the classic Burzum. And I personally got hooked by it instantly. The second song “The Echo of Emptiness Part I” kicks off with faster, harsher take on the classic black metal and you start thinking of other classical bands… Darkthrone obviously will come first, but no way it is an accusation, as Fördärv managed to get everything right, composed an excellent song and touched the essence, the proper cold, eerie and obscure feeling of black metal. That is even more noticeable in “The Echo of Emptiness Part II”, which sounds just like a song taken from “Transilvanian Hunger” or “Panzerfaust”. Ha, I dare to say that one of the main riffs of this song (the second one, to be more precise) may even sound too close to one particular Darkthrone track… Anyway, the result is truly damn good; I love how this song starts, it’s just a killer, classic black metal!!!! Fördärv do not rediscover the genre, but they use their influences in the proper way! I especially liked the opening and finishing songs and the second of “The Echo of Emptiness” songs.
The whole album is built quite untypically. Three of the five songs are instrumentals – they are the first, third and fifth tracks… and the two remaining tracks are both titled “The Echo of Emptiness Part I / II”, so in the end I think that Fördärv created sort of a concept on this MCD. They definitely did pay a lot of attention on creating the specific atmosphere and feeling in their music and surely have succeeded. I have no doubts that we’ll hear something great from Fördärv in the future and the band will be a total must for all die hard maniacs of the classic Norwegian black metal. I can’t wait to hear their debut full length, which is planned to be released by Katia’s Nigredo later in 2014.

Final rate: 75/100

Interment / Tormented - Imperial Anthems vol 14

INTERMENT / TORMENTED - Imperial Anthems vol 14 (CYCLONE EMPIRE - 7"EP 2014)
Cyclone Empire continues releasing their Imperial Anthems series of 7” vinyl split singles… and this is already the 14th volume of it. And I think I can say that it is also my favourite so far, as it contains two totally killer Swedish death metal bands; two, which belong to the best currently playing Svensk dods metall hordes, definitely. I am a great fan of both Interment and Tormented, I collect all their stuff, so I couldn’t say no to the ideas of having both united in death on this seven inch green piece of vinyl.
Both troops deliver exclusive songs, what only makes the whole EP even more worthy. And you know what? I really don’t wanna describe each song separately, as in both cases I would probably say the same words, use the same sentences… So, let’s avoid that. Interment presents “Praise the Death” and Tormented comes with the song called “Necromania”. And both are truly fantastic, totally killer slabs of old styled, obscure death metal. If you know their previous efforts, then you exactly what to expect, what quality stuff they always record. And damn, this split is no different! I just worship this dark, eerie atmosphere of these sounds, this totally killer riffing, harsh vocals and always a memorable, possessing chorus. These two bands are real fuckin leaders of the current New Wave of Old School Swedish Death Metal, as some people call it and I just cannot say ANY bad words towards them. They both slay. I especially love Interment’s “Praise the Death” – this track sounds like a real fuckin classic death anthem, with amazing riffs and just perfect sound. Tormented sounds slightly rawer and more obscure, their “Necromania” is almost like a bastard son of very early Sepultura and Nihilist but damn, it is again so fuckin brilliant. Arrrrgggghhhh, I am dead!

Final rate: 95/100

Bestial Raids - Order of Doom

BESTIAL RAIDS - Order of Doom (Demo CDR 2004)
Time for some total bunker and sonic annihilation! Why? Well, demos like this one do sound like recorded in a bunker or fuckin catacomb hehe! But seriously now. Here is a second demo of Polish deathsquadron called Bestial Raids. And I am sure that many will know this band nowadays, as they’ve released a couple of excellent albums through Nuclear War Now! and gained some recognition in the worldwide black / death metal scene. More so, Bestial Raids played some very crucial gigs, like the NWN! Fest. So definitely this name should be known to the maniacs of the extreme music! Here is their demo titled “Order of Doom”. I also should have the previous demo CDR “Necrowar Holocaust” (what a suitable title!!!) somewhere, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Anyway, I can say one thing: if you like Bestial Raids for their ultimate black / death devastation and only know the full length albums, then you should definitely also try to get the demos!
This music is obviously for die hard maniacs only. It won’t speak to those, who only like their metal to sound highly professional, polished and over technical or whatever. This is not for these people and Bestial Raids is a complete opposite to all that. It is one of those bands, which you’ll hate for their cruel, bunker production, which is more like a rehearsal recording than anything else... it is also one of those bands, which offer a total devastation, uncompromised, merciless sonic attack. It’s bestial and primitive… It’s a chaos and noise, but damn... in case of some bands, such as Bestial Raids, it works beautifully. And sure, “Order of Doom” may not be quite as awesome as their second LP “Prime Evil Damnation”, which is just KILLER, but it is still damn good, in my opinion. I also liked the previous demo “Necrowar Holocaust”, by the way. “Order of Doom” is very intense, vicious, it is an extermination of all sacred and a real blast in the head of chaotic and severe black / death metal in the vein of Archgoat, Black Witchery and Blasphemy. If you’re into this style of music, then I am sure that you’re familiar with Bestial Raids already. Others probably would not be able to enjoy these cacophonous sounds, so they should not even bother.

Final rate: 70/100

Thyruz - Svik

THYRUZ - Svik (Self released - CD 2014)
This time I have a pleasure to introduce you to rather little know Norwegian black metal band… and you know, it is always a great thing to listen to some classic black metal bands from this country, which will always be my favourite black metal scene, despite some ups and downs of it. But I must say that I feel a little uncomfortable, reviewing “Svik”. Why? Well, this is already Thyruz’s third album (plus they had an impressive number of five demos recorded!), so it sucks that I only find out about this band, their existence and their music now… which is so damn late. It makes the whole experience a little bit more difficult and obviously any tries to compare “Svik” to the previous releases are impossible. I’m simply not able to say whether the band has progressed or changes at all during all these years. But from the other hand it gives me a fresh perspective, an open mind and more importantly it has a feeling of surprise, which is also priceless.
I must say that right from the beginning I liked Thyruz. First there’s a nice intro “Prodita”, which sets a great war mood and then “Dødsriket” kicks off… and damn, this is just a classic Norsk black metal! If you think of such bands as 1349, Mayhem, Urgehal, Koldbrann, Svarttjern, Endstille (which is not Norwegian, but deeply influenced by this scene!) and in some riffs there’s even a sign of the great craft of Thorns, then you’ll know what Thyruz is all about. Quite harsh, uncompromising, utterly cold, emotionless, inhuman, furious and merciless stuff! Great, throat-cutting, sharp riffs, a lot of fast and vicious, cruel parts… and you know, I do realize that “Svik” is not the most impressive and brilliant black metal of all time, but it is good and solid enough for me and more so, I think that the fans of the bands, which I mentioned above will worship this music totally. Personally I like this bleak, austere, cold atmosphere of their music, this feeling which it has… and most importantly, there are several absolutely fantastic riffs / fragments spread over the album, which makes it just special and totally worthy. Like that opening motif for “Dødsriket”… I like how this song progresses into some total neckbreaking ferocity – it is just madness, but so fuckin awesome! It definitely is my favourite song from the album. But there are more killer anthems; “The Final Holocaust”, “Svik” (which is a great, more monumental, but still very misanthropic and cold song)… in total the CD offers 30 minutes of black metal madness. The album is released on thin digipack, more so, it is a self released effort of the band, so I can only recommend it now to all maniacs! Support to Thyruz!
Standout tracks: “Dødsriket”, “The Final Holocaust”
Final rate: 70/100

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Panzerfaust #6 ready to be shipped!

Panzerfaust #6 is ready to be shipped. I made 150 copies to begin with. Feel free to contact me if interested!

Paramnesia - Paramnesia

PARAMNESIA - Paramnesia (Les Acteurs de l'Ombre Productions - CD 2014)
I got to know Paramnesia only a while ago, when I had a chance to review their truly excellent split LP with Unru. I honestly loved both bands and their music, so I was looking forward to hear some more music from both… Paramnesia came first, with their debut album simply called “Paramnesia” and I was very eager to hear it. Les Acteurs de l'Ombre Productions kindly sent me a copy, so I did not have to wait long and once I finished with the excellent album of The Great Old Ones, I started to listen to “Paramnesia”.
One thing you must know about “Paramnesia” is that it is an album, which demands a careful listen. It is not one of those records, which can accompany you when you’re washing your dishes, play with your dog or pick the snots from your nose. No, it is an album, which works the best if you play it, sit and listen. Maybe the best would be to put the headphones on, so this way you’ll cut yourself off from your surrounding and let these sounds devour you fully. Otherwise I think most of the music from “Paramnesia” will sound too blurry for you, maybe too monotonous and definitely you won’t be able to not only distinguish one song from another, but most importantly you simply won’t be able to pick up all these great details, layers and everything what is going on in the music on Paramnesia. It is even more difficult hence there are just two songs on the album, each circling around 20 minutes length, so Paramnesia doesn’t even try to make your life easy. Bu that’s good, I guess. So, get yourself ready, throw your woman, kid and dog out, send them for a walk and when the house is empty play the album… and let it possess you. Because possessing it is!
As mentioned, on an uncareful listen this album may sound slightly unreadable, due to kind of fuzzy guitar tone it has and also because the music is quite derived of the catchiness or hooky, memorable moments. You know, harsh production, with this guitar sound and howling, furious vocals… it is very traditional black metal in that matter, but maybe it is not something what will be easy to listen to. It’s almost like some of the early Abigor material… first you hear the rough sound and wall of noise, but only later you realize that the music is actually quite complex and brings something more than just a simple, primitive, badly produced black metal. And the same case is with Paramnesia. You make a careful listen and realize that there are  many layers, many complex arrangements, long songs, with intricate drums’ parts and so on and on... There are many fragments, when Paramnesia plays some furiously fast and harsh black metal, where there really is no forgiveness and the whole music sounds totally insane and possessed. But then there are also many moments of calmness, of softness, of more muted playing, with delicate guitars and almost sort of post black metal character and feeling. Put these things together and you’ll have a nice picture of what Paramnesia is about. Just listen to how this albums begins… after a peaceful introduction a real hell breaks loose, bringing such a ferociousness and viciousness that it is almost chaotic. It goes on for a while, until a killer, slower motif breaks this insanity. “IV” brings a lot of diversity, it also has some haunting melodies, so in the end I truly love this song. And the same I can say about “V” (where for example I really liked the opening theme!). I must say though that it took me a while to really discover the album and feel its essence and atmosphere.
Oh, by the way, if you ask why such weird song titles… The band’s debut EP had songs titled “I” and “II”, then the split with Unru had song “III”, so obviously now it was a time for songs “IV” and “V”. So it is kind of continuation and link between all releases, yes? A nice concept, I must say, sadly though I have no idea about the lyrics of Paramnesia, as they’re not included on the booklet. And besides, I think the band sings / howls in French, so I wouldn’t understand a shit at all anyway hehe.

Final rate: 80/100

Wound - Inhale the Void

WOUND - Inhale the Void (FDA Rekotz - CD 2013)
F.D.A. Rekotz turned quickly into one of the most interesting labels around these days, focusing their roster mainly on the old styled death metal. And damn, they did discover some excellent bands such as Slaughterday, Chapel of Disease, Revel In Flesh, Sulphur Aeon, Skeletal Remains, Lifeless and so on and on. They are all truly killer bands. But to be honest, I must also say that not all albums / bands, which the label has released have been a total shredder, and there are also few, which I think are fine, but sort of more mediocre. I won’t give you all these names now, except the one, which I am going to write about here in this review. And which is the band called Wound. It is quite new band, formed only in 2011, with one demo released, followed by the full length album “Inhale the Void”.
I don’t wanna says that “Inhale the Void” is terribly bad and is not worth a shite. No, it is not the case here. Even with their more mediocre stuff, F.D.A. Rekotz never goes below the level of decency and surely they never shamed themselves with releasing an utter shit. But I just feel like Wound is not as great as some other bands in the roster of this label and I don’t feel so excited about “Inhale the Void” as much I am with “Manifested Darkness”, “Godconstruct”, “Nightmare Vortex” or “Summoning Black Gods”. Maybe it’s because stylistically the album is not entirely in my taste? In total this album just has its ups and downs.
I have noticed that people (reviewers) force themselves to fit Wound into the category of classic old school Swedish death metal, even if not entirely this is correct. I’ve seen even someone who compared “Inhale the Void” to “Soulside Journey”! Uhhh, come on people, be serious. Wound definitely have some influence from the Swedish style of death metal, but I would not exaggerate much about it and surely I would never compare their album to Entombed or Dismember, because the similarity to these two bands is very minor. If any bands from Sweden are close to Wound, then I would rather mention such acts as The Crown, Defleshed, a bit of At the Gates, if they were less melodic and more vicious – as an example you can take the killer song called “Codex Arckanum” (and the vocals are often similar to Tompa’s). Also I think that the band is close musically to Necrowretch, if you’ve heard their “Putrid Death Sorcery”, then you may notice some similarities. This is how I see “Inhale the Void”. So, forget about all those stupid comparisons to Autopsy, Darkthrone, Grave or Dismember. And I must be honest here – I completely did not like Necrowretch’s album. I think it is boring, it is mediocre as fuck and uninspiring. Wound is definitely way better than the French band I think, I can hear some great tunes on the album, some really nice moments, but in general it still not something what I would love completely. Why? Carry on reading.
I guess it is always a matter of your expectations. I cannot deny that Wound knows how to handle the instruments, how to play some good stuff. There are definitely some great riffs and moments on “Inhale the Void” like the song called “Codex Arckanum”, which is really brilliant. It is fast, quite vicious, but melodic at the same time, so it sounds cool to me. “Forever Denial” is another great song, sounding like The Crown on steroids, speeded up totally. Then we also have such “The Unsolved Obscurity”, which shred nicely. But it is due to such songs as “Corroded From Within”, “Among You” and “Confess to Filth” why I am not entirely happy about the album. “Corroded From Within” is especially boring! Such songs are in minority, luckily, but affect me enough to feel less impressed. It is interesting that the album starts in quite vicious manner, with some fast and crazy songs and then near its end it slows down and we have these three or four slower and not as good songs. It’s almost like Wound have fired all the ammo quickly.
So, you can see that generally I am far from calling “Inhale the Void” a waste of time and money. No, Wound is not that bad. But it is this feeling like there are just so many better bands around these days, so my expectations for the quality of music are high. And Wound did not manage to match that quality quite entirely. There are some advantages to their album like some great, fast and relentless songs, I also like the production of “Inhale the Void” a lot. For positives, I think I can also mention the fact that Wound is not yet another the same Autopsy / Entombed kind of clone band. It is just that unevenness on the material here, what I don’t like… Wound didn’t manage to keep the highest quality through the whole album. All in all, this is a worthy stuff, I do not regret adding it to my collection and surely I will keep my eyes open to see what Would will create later.
Standout tracks: “Codex Arckanum”, “Forever Denial”, “The Unsolved Obscurity”

Final rate: 69/100

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Danish Death History... out soon!

Be prepared!!! Finally the Danish Death and Thrash metal scene, will get its attention it needs!!!!
Stay tuned, and follow Panzerfaust Zine and Ancient Darkness Productions...
Use the following links to get your info for things coming....

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Paganizer - Cadaver Casket (On a Gurney to Hell)

PAGANIZER - Cadaver Casket (On a Gurney to Hell) (CYCLONE EMPIRE - LP 2014)
A month without new album from Rogga Johansson is lost… but for this LP I had to wait a little. This is the newest Paganizer EP, which originally was added to (what a freaking idea!) Close-Up Magazine #157 (to subscribers only). I was afraid that I will have no chance to hear it, when suddenly it turned out that there will be a vinyl version released. And that is even better for me!!!!!! I certainly prefer such music to be on vinyl! Surprisingly though, it is only my first Paganizer 12” vinyl, I have many releases of this band, but all on CD and one or two on 7”. So, it was about time to get something on the best format ever. Especially as “Cadaver Casket” comes with such an amazing artwork (I seriously love it!) and on golden vinyl. Priceless.
Musically I seriously think this is one of the best Paganizer recordings ever. And yes, I know what I am saying, I’m not mad. The band has some truly amazing albums in their discography, but if I can be honest there are also some, which are more mediocre or kind of fillers to the whole goregraphy. Anyway, most of their stuff is great, like the last two albums. Anyway “Cadaver Casket (On a Gurney to Hell)” surely belongs to my favourite Paganizer materials. I just like everything about it. The band fires off with a killer title song and ever since the first note I am into this shit! “Cadaver Casket” has a classic, meaty, brutal, powerful sound, where every riff sounds like damn chainsaw and each drum sound is like a blast. And Rogga’s vocals are – as always – extremely good. And when they kick off with the blasts in “Rot” then the madness is in the peak! What I love here also is that Paganizer incorporates some harmonic parts, like killer leads and stuff like that, what makes the whole music not only more interesting, but also just more varied and it is just touching the essence of the classic Swedish death metal, with the dark, eerie atmosphere and memorable, possessing riff. Rogga is a never-ending mine for the killer riffs, what such “Souls for Sale” proves again. I’m not gonna mention any more songs though. For me “Cadaver Casket” is close to perfection, speaking of this style of music! And I really don’t give a shit if someone will moan that it is repetitive and has been played hundreds of times before. This is not what it all is about, at least not for me. I do take a lot of joy and passion from bands like Paganizer and yes, I can certainly consider “Cadaver Casket” to be one of the best Swedish death metal tunes, which I have heard lately. Enough said!
Standout tracks: “Rot”, “Souls for Sale”

Final rate: 90/100