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

Belphegor - Lucifer Incestus

BELPHEGOR - Lucifer Incestus (NAPALM Records CD 2003)
Belphegor is not a band, which I would consider to be one of my favourites, although I do like some of their albums a lot. "Lucifer Incestus" is one of their better works, I think. But there are two things I have to say about "Lucifer..." and Belphegor before we go further in this review. First thing is that they really have their own, unique style of death / black metal and you can recognize this band immediately. Respect for it! And secondly, "Lucifer Incestus" shows some of the best songs of this band and really is a killer album, which I love to listen to, because of its killer sound and sheer fuckin aggression. 
This aggression and intensity are trademarks of Belphegor. Their music often erupts with great, powerful energy and is like a pure, relentless massacre. It's a cannonade of fantastic riffs, which hit you hard and create a beautiful, but painful effect. I love its ferociousness, how intense and violent "Lucifer Incestus" sounds and how strong it all is. And at the same time Belphegor always manages to perform songs that are kind of catchy and memorable. You will remember many of these riffs, breaks, vocal patterns immediately and will love them from the first listen. The band remembers also to balance the tempos, so "Lucifer Incestus" is not a constant blasting shit, but there are some slow or mid paced tempos as well. The songs are often built on the verse / chorus traditional formula what only makes them more memorable. Finally with all its obscure and violent nature, there's always some room for harmonies, even short symphonic parts which nicely diverse the music and give more interesting results. Yes, this way such albums like "Lucifer Incestus" must be a winners. And surely this one is and really Belphegor sounds insanely good here. 
I do admit that sometimes you can feel like the band was repeating some of their trademark ideas, breaks, riffs' similarity or other patterns too much. But that's nothing wrong, I suppose, since this band has their own, unique style and these arrangements must be coming naturally to them and to their songwriting. I personally don't care about it and through its 35 minutes "Lucifer Incestus" doesn't even let me think about such stupid things like clich├ęs, simply because I'm focused on this extreme and utterly evil slab of death / black metal, with its blasts, killer riffs and insane vocals of Helmuth. Such tracks like "The Goatchrist", "Lucifer Incestus", "Diaboli Virtus In Lumbar Est" are pure fuckin jewels of this band and I love them. Again I have to underline the fantastic intensity and aggression of this music, combined with its catchiness. And if you like when your metal is about Satanic and blasphemous stuff, strongly spiced with erotica and perversion then Belphegor is a must for you. The only thing I don't like about "Lucifer Incestus" is the front artwork, but that's not something what would have any impact on how I receive this album. 
Standout tracks: "The Goatchrist", "Lucifer Incestus", "Diaboli Virtus In Lumbar Est 
Final rate: 85/100

Gravewards - Subconscious Lobotomy

GRAVEWARDS - Subconscious Lobotomy (Self released demo MC 2017)
I was contacted recently by one of the members of new Greek band called Gravewards and asked if I would be interested to listen to and review their debut demo. Well, as usually I first checked one song on YT before giving an answer. And damn, I definitely was curious to hear more. And soon later the tape arrived. Good old style way of doing your first recording – a proper demo cassette, not pretending that your first release is an EP, in "digital" / invisible format. "Subconscious Lobotomy" contains four tracks and if you're into old school, traditional death metal, especially if you like when it has certain Massacre stench all over it, then please check this awesome and worthy band now! 
The music is shredding with groovy, slow / mid paced death metal, with great vibe and brutality in every riff Gravewards plays. They're pretty simple, with not so much technical bullshit, song structures are also not so complex, what makes the listening quite easy. Instead, we get groove and quite memorable stuff, which also sounds brutal and powerful – and that's great. I mentioned Massacre and for me this band is the closest comparison. But also the crushing attack of Bolt Thrower, Obituary, Morgoth, Master or Benediction could be a referring point for you. But these are just comparisons. More important is the fact that "Subconscious Lobotomy" really sounds damn good and solid and that I enjoyed this demo a lot. Every song is pretty memorable, their riffs are great... and even the last song "Deathwomb Incubation", which at first I thought wasn't as good as the rest of the material, turned great, due to some pretty nice melodic parts in it. More so, the production is fantastic... and maybe the biggest problem some of you will have are vocals, as they're not quite as brutal and deep growls as maybe they should. I can assure you though that you will get used to them after a while. And more so, they sound really like on some early 90's demos and albums! 
The best song is definitely "Casket Entrapment", you can check it on YT, if you wish... Do so, and then grab one of these 300 tapes for your collection, I recommend it strongly! 
Standout track: "Casket Entrapment" 
Final rate: 70/100