Friday, 30 June 2017

Archives of the Dead part XXIV - Ilbred - Ilbred (Demo 1994)

Archives of the Dead part XXIV - Ilbred - Ilbred (Demo 1994) 
Steve Castaldi (bass), Mike Thompson (drums), Greg Giomi (guitars), Mike McGarahan (guitars), Rick Ohl (vocals) 
Oh man, what a jolly awesome demo I've recently found, when checking some You Tube channels for unknown death metal demos. Personally I love to dig through these old demo recordings. Quite often I could find pure jewels and bands no one fuckin knows or hardly remembers, and it's a killer feeling and fun to listen to their ancient recordings. Such as in this case... The band is called Ilbred and they were from Chicago, Illinois, USA. They were formed pretty early, in 1989, but the first and only demo of Ilbred was recorded in 1994. According to the bio, which I managed to find, in the beginning band was heavily influenced by thrash bands like Death Angel, Nuclear Assault, Metallica, Megadeth, Voivod and Slayer. Demo 1994 is pure death metal though. These three songs are superb example for the classic US death metal style, alike to bands like Baphomet, Gutted, Morta Skuld, Bodybag (Portland), Contagion (also from Chicago area) and so on. Even though this is just a demo and there are only three tracks, it's enough to convince me that Ilbred were more than just your boring and average death metal band of the mid 90's era. I have to say that not only the demo has pretty decent production, but the songwriting is solid for this style of death metal. And the songs fuckin kill. Ilbred had some awesome riffs, especially in song titled "Betrayer" - very brutal, but kind of groovy also (sooo similar to Baphomet / Banished!). Rick Ohl's vocals also sounded damn awesome, technically the music has been played very well (I like how the bass sounds here), so basically everything about "Ilbred" demo is top notch for me. It's been a pure pleasure to listen to it... and damn, I was playing these three tracks for insane amount of times recently. 
I definitely think that Ilbred belonged to those interesting acts, which should have got more attention. Sadly in 1995 Rick Ohl, original Ilbred vocalist, died, killed in car accident. That stopped band's activity for a while. Later on Ilbred reformed with new line up and even managed to record a full length album "Unearthly Sufferance" in 1997 (you can listen to it on bandcamp The band gained a lot of exposure at this time but in the end of it all interests were fading in a couple of the members and the band finally called it a day. But damn, we can see so many old demos and albums re-released recently. I do hope that there will be some labels, which will find Ilbred as interesting enough and bring their album and demo to proper CD format. I want to have it in my collection!!! 
Standout track: "Betrayer" 
Final rate: 80/100 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Belphegor - Goatreich – Fleshcult

BELPHEGOR - Goatreich – Fleshcult (NAPALM Records CD 2005)
Another Belphegor review? I didn't plan this, but why the hell not? It's gonna be short, but I just wanna recommend another cool album from these Austrian blasphemers. 
Another Belphegor album and another one, which I like a lot. This is "Goatreich – Fleshcult" from 2005. I like this album almost as much as "Lucifer Incestus". Again the band delivers a bunch of killer songs and the quality of the whole material is just incredibly high. Even though someone may say that Belphegor really does the same thing over and over again and such album as "Goatreich – Fleshcult" doesn't bring anything new even to their style, it doesn't matter. This band sounds like no other band and it's rather obvious that they should stick to their own, characteristic sound and style. And if the quality is still there, no problem with it! 
Yet again Belphegor shows how well you can combine such different aspects as aggression and ferocity of extreme death / black metal with insane catchiness and hooky songwriting. It's just unbelievable how easily listenable this music is. They can play some insanely fast and vicious stuff and have disgusting, abhorrent vocals, with ultra-fuckin-blasphemous and brutal lyrics, but it sounds so damn memorable anyway! And if they include a killer harmonious parts within the song structure, then the result is even more catchy and interesting. Definitely Belphegor always keep a nice balance between both aspects of their music – extreme and melodic sides of it. And tempo wise "Goatreich – Fleshcult" is also very well balanced, as along ultra-fast, blasting pieces like "The Cruzifixus - Anus Dei", "Swarm of Rats" or "Fornicationium et Immundus Diabolus", there are almost sort of doomy tracks like "Sepulture of Hypocrisy" and "Kings Shall Be Kings". 
Best songs on the album are definitely those in the beginning of it: "The Cruzifixus - Anus Dei", "Bleeding Salvation" or "Fornicationium et Immundus Diabolus" and then also killer "Swarm of Rats" and "Festum Asinorum / Chapter 2". But yet again, just as it was with the previous album, I don't feel like any of these songs that ended up on "Goatreich..." would sound like a filler. Good album, great listen and a necessary item for your collection.
Standout tracks: "The Cruzifixus - Anus Dei", "Bleeding Salvation", "Fornicationium et Immundus Diabolus" 
Final rate: 75/100

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Destroyer 666 - Pheonix Rising

DESTROYER 666 - Pheonix Rising (SEASON OF MIST LP 2012)
Destroyer 666 is fuckin crazy and unbelievably killer band. One of my all-time favouritesI love them. They released some of the best records ever in the history of extreme metal music and I am sure that more are to come, even though "Wildfire" is my least favourite album in their discography yet. But such "Unchain the Wolves" and "Phoenix Rising" are for me the real essence of old school, uncompromising metal! Everything about those albums is perfect and from start to finish I worship every sound on them. Both are equally killer, both have some of the best songs Destroyer 666 has composed and both are absolutely recommended. Here I want to write few words about "Phoenix Rising", although I don’t even know where to start. Magnificence of this record is beyond me and it's so damn good that instead of typing these words I would rather prefer to listen to it and bang my fuckin head like crazy maniax, because this album doesn't let you sit peacefully. But I'll do my best haha! Here we go... 
Well, the biggest strength of Destroyer 666 music is I suppose their ability to combine harshness, violence and aggression of old school metal (that would have parts of death, thrash, heavy, speed and black metal in equal measures) with irresistible catchiness and hooky riffs. Their music can sound vicious as hell, be aggressive and just damn vulgar, but there will be some melodies and memorable parts also – like choruses, particular riffs or whatever else that makes every song sound like the best metal anthems of war you'll ever hear in your life. Idoes fuckin feel like not even a single song on "Phoenix Rising" is weak, there's no room wasted for fillers and unnecessary stuff. Destroyer 666 aims to kill you with every sound of their music and they truly do succeed. 
Ferocious and aggressive sound makes you feel like you're under relentless, inexorable attack. And this unstoppable cannonade of malicious deathriffage seeks no prisoners, but victims. It wants your blood! Whether the music is neckbreaking fast, mid paced or epic, slow – nevermind what patterns the band uses, it always works perfectly and the music is brilliantly composed and performed. The balance between all these different tempos and feelings has also been done in best possible wayAnd with the top notch production "Phoenix Rising" sounds powerful and vicious, I cannot imagine a better way for such music to sound.  
As you can see I can complement this album over and over. Obviously I have my favourites songs here, like for example the grand "The Eternal Glory of War", "I Am The Wargod (Ode To The Battle Slain)", "Lone Wolf Winter". But there's also the truly bonebraking "Pheonix Rising" and "Rise of the Predator". Yeah, we have here great songs from start to finish and with something like 40 minutes duration this record is a great listen. So I absolutely recommend it. It's been reissued several times, also on vinyl with great new artwork from Z.Bielak, the sound is perfect, the whole presentation also, so there's no excuse for not having it in your collection! 
Standout tracks:  "The Eternal Glory of War", "I Am The Wargod (Ode To The Battle Slain)", "Lone Wolf Winter" 
Final rate: 90/100