SEHLAH - Ignoring The Cult - (Selfreleased - 2012 / Panama)
Here we have a real spit in the face of all that is called religion, have not heard a evil band like this since Deicide entered their throne a long time ago. This is really something out of the rawest that can be brought from hell. Sehlah from Panama had I never heard of before so guess I got nearly smacked down on floor when I heard those guys the first time. First up on this ep/mini album is an intro that warms up for the first track "Ecclesia Luciferis", no words is needed, it is raw and totally insane and the speed limit is taken several times already. Next track the third one is called "In Hell We Trust" that starts up heavy and almost a bit like in the same veins as earlier Cannibal Corpse, Blasfemia, Behemoth to come up with some. It is also very melodic here and there and suits perfect with their raw and hammering sound. Fourth up is "Subconscious Manifesto" that is a smash in the face of god right from the beginning and here it really feels much Deicide sounded combined with earlier bands mentioned + a bit chilean Unblessed and early Bolt Thrower too. Can just say that this band suprises me over and over again with their raw, filthy hammering underground sound that even can make the most hardest band get weaker, hehe. Anyway next up on this masterpiece is "Closure" that I really likes a lot, it has a very cool mixture that sounds a bit of some early thrash and death, Sehlah does it their own way and that they do damn good too. Much nice melodies and a great musical performing from the band members and not to forget their vocalist that must have been found very near the gates of hell. This is just so evil. Last up is an outro that is much like the intro but sets up a good end for this too short album. Last to say if you are into bands like Deicide, Behemoth, Bolt Thrower, Blasfemia and Cannibal Corpse this is the band for you I can guarantee.
Here we have a real surprise release from Damascus in Syria, Netherion have done some demos earlier, but is nothing that you can compare to this new "Sphere Of Terror" album so here we go now :) First out is an intro track "Into the Decay" that is really a good one with lots of power and with a great rhytm. Second track "Chains Of Slavery" is a real blasting one with a great drumming and it has a perfect combination of both earlier death metal and also some black thrash in it. It reminds me a lot of bands like early Morbid Angel, Melechesh, Mystic Circle, Al-Namrood and Cannibal Corpse. The track has a real nice female vocalist in it too, hmmm wished it maybe have been more of it in the song, but the track is anyway a real heavy and damn good one if not perfect! Third one up "Words Of Perdition" starts up with some heavy riff that is a bit like the one before, but this one is more gore/grind sounded especially when it comes to the vocal parts in it that is so awesome, likes it a lot, really enjoys Netherion´s perfect switches between raw growling death metal and almost screaming vocals like in some black metal. The fourth one called "Mutilate the Ignorance" is not much to say about just that I after hearing so far on the album gets really much vibes from Behemoth, Death & Obituary here and there in the music that makes it so raw and hard. The albums title track "Sphere Of Terror" starts up with great melodies and here like in all the other tracks you can also hear a lot of oriental melodies that together with the raw, hard and fast drumming and the heavy guitars gives a perfect dark atmosphere :) Still I think that the second track is the best, but this one is around the second best one so far. so go to the next one "Breeding Paralysis" that is number six on the album comes out with a slow, short but beautiful melody that goes fast over to their raw fast playing combined with hard knocking grunts and screaming that makes it so brilliant. A perfect symphony of pure darkness and rawness absolutely. "Catastrophic Reality" starts also slow first and with some nice guitar playing that turns over to heavy drumming and heavy riffs. Track is a bit more experimental than the others, but still so great and has a real dark atmospherical middle part that I liked a lot. Loves their oriental touch they got in the music, not so many bands does it so good, but Netherion is really good on it I must say. and if I would compare the guitarists with more known ones I really feels a bit dragged to the well known man Yngwie, but with death metal melodies in it, hehe Enough with that, track number eight "Dogmatic Separation" starts up with some thrashy guitars that has also the great oriental touch combined with good played death. Track nine "New Dimension" is an instrumental one, but here you can really hear the great musicians do it. And without any doubts they are good on it. "Legion Of Redemption" is the next one, great and a totally awesome track that I also like a lot, one of the better ones too on this album. The solo guitars is just so great, loves their sound on it too, suits so good with the hard music the plays. Last track up is "Kill With Hate" that starts slow and melodical, but dont you think it is some soft music. After about 30 seconds a heavy and thrashy blackened guitars starts pumping and the track is on. The track ends with a dark, but nice melody played on piano that is a perfect ending for a real great album of this year. Also must add that it now reminds me much of Morbid Angel, Behemoth and even a bit of the brazilian death/thrashers in Chaos Synopsis too that is also a band that I likes a lot. Some last words about this awesome band from syria that is also pretty new for myself, they has some real great melodies combined with raw and heavy grunting death metal and on that a brilliant oriental touch that makes this very special and unique. And for those who did missed it, I can recommend this album/band for those who likes early Morbid Angel, Melechesh, Mystic Circle, Chaos Synopsis, Al-Namrood, Obituary, Death and Cannibal Corpse. And the album has some great tracks that I likes more than others of course, but to be more fair in this I think the whole album gets better every time I hears it and it is wrong to say that just one or two tracks is better than the others. This is really worth a whole listen and the sound quality is good too in my opinion as I have seen some bad complaints on it earlier, but if you maybe are a fashion metal kid/person that prefer money metal you would not like this undergound band. The underground is for the real musical metal lovers \m/ The album is also all free to download so why the hell complain then? Hails and salutes to the real stuff!
Scores: 9,5 / 10
TERRA AUSTRALIS - SLAVE TO THE MOON SHADOW - (Selfreleased - 2010 / Australia)
After four demos, one split album, one best of /compilation and one full length album that came earlier last year. Is the australian black metal horde Terra Australis back again here with their second full length that also came last year, in december. And this time they really have done it better than ever, this is so fucking brilliant, raw, evil, dirty and at the same time very much old school sounded. Just in the same veins as very much early Bathory and specially a bit of the first album of Marduk and maybe also early Beherit and of course Darkthrone. Sometimes it even feels like you put on the first album of Bathory or his second one "The Return". It has that same feeling and atmosphere and to be honest this must be one of the better rawer black metal albums that have came out in 2010. Some tracks to recommend and that is better than the best is "Blazing Towards The Sky As White As Snow" , "Satan´s Soldiers Elite" and "Black Candles Black Wine". It is real hard to say that any track would be to bad here as the whole album has good class of black metal. But if you prefer high classed symphonic and high quality sounded black metal, this is probably nothing for you. This is so pure raw, dirty and old school sounded black metal with a touch of Satan himself nearly in it:)
Scores: 10 / 10
ACÉLDAMA - MELQUISEDEC - (Ensamble Producciones - 2010 / Costa Rica)
Here is another debut album released last year from a five piece death metal band hailing from Costa Rica. Tragically to say is this not the quality of well done and played death in my own opinion. It is not the worst or something I have heard cause the album has some brilliant riffs here and there. So it is wrong to say it sucks cause it does not. I always try to see or find something special and unique with every band as I know how hard it can be. I mean there is a jungle out there and the metal scene grows and grows. So the be heard and noticed can be a real hell. This album has some great tunes anyway that is to recommend and those are the first track "Destruccion Para Este Mundo", "Salvador de la Opresión" and "Mundo de Muertos" that I personally loves best. The band has much sound of many gore/grind inspired sounded bands, but without to be as it is still death metal. But this is really not a new shaped or unique album as I think the band has something that is missing in their musi. But still I think that the band can be better as they have some very original and well played songs and riffs. So do not underrate the band cause I did it a bit here. Musical taste is like your ass, twisted, haha. One extra notice about the album is that it consists of 8 tracks and a great booklet with all their lyrics and the album is also pretty well produced. And then I also have read somewhere that the band is supposed to be christian, but without any proof on that I think the album is anyway and still metal. If it is true, this is probably the first christian band I have noticed and also reviewed so far. The cover here is an earlier made one I think as it has a bit of changes in the band logo and color sharpness on the newer version from Eirene Records.
Scores: 4,5 / 10
ANTAGONIZED - INTENSE PERVERSION - (Selfreleased - 2010 / Panama)
is a brilliant and very surprising debut album from last year. Often I
also thinks that much death metal bands of today can be a band like just
many others before and sounds exactly like all others and that can be
very sad. But here it is real false this band from Panama has done a
great and excellent debut job. The album starts up with a short intro
that goes over to the first real track that gives me flashbacks and
shivers of old bands like Afflicted, Benediction, Bolt Thrower, Exodus,
Malevolent Creation, Defecation, Morbid Angel and Master.All tracks on
this album is excellent all from start til`the end and if you like much
old school sounded death metal with that true raw sound, this is the
album for you. Some tracks that sticks out from others here is the
second one "Antagonized", "Cynical Developer" that is track four and
"Intense Perversion" that is number five that also is the title one.
Other tracks to mention here is "Venomous Incineration" and "Witch Hunt"
and the last track on album that is a well done cover "Coronation Of
Our Doom" of Malevolent Creation. This album is selfreleased and
includes their lyrics in booklet and comes with great sound quality and
well played and made death metal in 10 tracks of first class and over 33
minutes of playtime. This one is now also re-released by Old Cemetary
Records from 7th of January 2011. Really recommended!!
Scores: 9,5 / 10
UNDER SILENCE - MEMORIES LOST IN TIME - (Selfreleased - 2010 / Spain)
is something really special and own and does not sounds like any other
metalband from this genre and of course that is my personal opinion
also. If you likes viking, pagan, folk, heavy metal and as well power
metal, check this band out. Under Silence that are a pretty new band
hailing from Spain has in this short time of existence become a really
promising band that can go far. The debut album that is selfproduced is a
damn good debut and is in fact one of the better debuts I have heard
from a band like this in many years. The opening on the album is a
shorter sort of introduction with same name as the album title (reminds
me of the old 80s). Next track is "Wartunes From Afar" that is so good,
melodic, folky and heavy that if no other track was good, only this one
would have saved the whole album, but that is not true."Around The
Blaze" number three is a song that gives you a sense of italian
Doomsword, Pagan Reign and Suidakra mixed together with old Running
Wild. Next track "The Only Truth" is the same nearly, but with a bit
more melodical feeling, but still with that right sense of pure power
and a extra notice here is that Under Silence really got the right
feelings for choruses and melodies combined together. Track number five
is a instrumental track, but oooh so damn good, "A Cycle Ends" that also
have the rhymes of bands like Manowar and even some sound of Freedom
Call in it. Next track "New Winds" that is a really great ballad has a
lot of a pagan/folk feeling and sound and is in my opinion one of the
best "new" ballads in metal music I have heard in a long time.Track
number seven "Wrath And Sorrow" is a great continue on this fantastic
album and here again I hear those vibes of bands like Doomsword and even
early Dark Moor some how and I really loves it. The last track is not
bad either here "Under The Serpent Spell" is like a mixture of all bands
I have noticed here + some touch of old czech Buldok and earlier
Helloween. Those bands I tells about here is only a way of giving you
that reads a better opinion and view on how this great band sounds like.
And even if Under Silence has many similar sounds of other bands this
band really does it their own way and I promise you they do it very
good. If you not have heard them before I really recommend you all to do
that. This is not just a new softy fashion band or another profit
hungry soap metal band. This is only true and pure raw, heavy, melodical
and well played viking/folk inspired metal that goes it´s own way and
honor to that. Extra bonus, if you like truly well played guitar solos
with a great viking atmosphere this is it and the vocalist has a very
original voice too that suits this music perfectly here. Some last words
to say is that those who likes Doomsword, Freedom Call, Pagan Reign,
Running Wild, Bathory (the viking years) and Suidakra will probably find
Under Silence real intersting as well you that are into the old school
Scores: 10 / 10
OAK ROOTS - THE BRANCH OF FATE - (Ogre Records - 2010 / Italy)
demo included four tracks from this italian pagan/folk metal band. It´s
opening with a melodical, raw and folky tune "The Branch of Fate",
words about that is that it is just so good and great and the sound of
flute combined with both raw male and beautiful female voices makes a
good chapter. And already here you can wonder if it is just a demo? Next
track "Curse of Moonlight" starts up with well played fiddle togehter
with flutes and is one of the best tracks on this one. Here I really got
vibes from Pagan Reign, Alkonost and Arkona in the same track. This is
just so pure great and is very recommended for those into pagan, folk
and viking metal. Track number three "Narrow Pass" starts up with a very
thrashy introduction that goes fast over to harmonical and pure folky
melodies combined with some great raw male voices combined with female
choirs that this band really does very good. Here I also feels a bit
taken back in history, this band has really a ancient philosophy and
nordic historical touch in it. Here and there you nearly feels that you
are on the highlands of Scotland, but as well much slavic, irish folk
melodies you can hear in this. And as this band is italian makes it very
original, unique and extra special in many ways and forms. The last
track and most ballad likely one is "Dalekij Crai" that I believe is in
the roman language? But it is heavy, dark and with a great touch of
mysterious atmosphere and here also with a very thrashy guitars, but all
those musical elements makes Oak Roots very own in sound as it also has
black metal in their sound. I guess we can see much from this band in
the future as this is a masterpiece in folk metal and pagan music. Fans
of bands like Slavland, Arkona, Alkonost, Pagan Reign, Nokturnal Mortum,
Frost, Cruachan and Pagan Flame and also folk/thrash metal/music should
like this one.
Scores: 9,5 / 10
VINTERSLAV - REVIVIFYING THE WHORE - (Hellspell Productions - 2009 / South Africa.
This is a debut ep from this raw black metal band hailing from South Africa and is a pleasant surprise. We can also mention that the band consists the member Vinter from the well known Frozenpath. The ep includes six tracks of ultra raw hammering black metal from start til´the end. It has also a very own and unique sound that is hard to describe and most of the tracks are real brilliant and a total knockout for true lovers of the black art. Some tracks that is a bit of that extra is "Revivifying the Whore", "Impure Disruption" and my own favorite track "Descend Into the Depths of Winter" that is a total masterpiece and comes last. I can absolutely recommend this band for all fans of pure raw black metal without compromises. But if you are into more melodical stuff this is nothing for you. I also guess that a full album from this band will not leave anyone disappointed. This is a really good production that is worth to check up.
Scores: 8,5 / 10
MARA - MÖRKERTID (DARK POWERS) - (Selfreleased Demo) - 2010 / Sweden
From sweden comes a really great surprise from this new black metal band that has some touch and influences from some pagan/folk metal too. This is a selfreleased debut demo from this one man project /band that is even great all from the intro "Forest" to the end. And to hearing the intro give me personally a flashback of early Nokturnal Mortum some how. The first real track on the demo is called "Mörkertid" or Dark Powers translated from swedish and is a real stone mangler and has a truly old school sound. And also here you can find some of the roots from good old Bathory, but also I think personal a bit sound of old Hellhammer even if it is maybe not on purpose. But tells a bit of this great demo. Last track and also absolutely the best one is "Hulders Spell" that has that special and unique combined rawness with some more mysterious and heathen parts that really gives this demo that extra push. If you have the chans to get this one, I really then recommend you to buy it. Extra notice is that this one is strictly very limited, but I have much hope in this band as it got something special and is not another typical band that just seeks and try to be the worst and most evil one. Truly heathen and with the spirit of ancient times. Hail black metal!
Scores: 9,5 / 10http://www.myspace.com/marvittra
SINGHASARI - KEBANGKITAN NUSANTARA (October Mist Records) - 2010 / Malaysia
A brilliant new ep in album length nearly from this folk/black metal band Singhasari hailing from Malaysia. First track that is an intro is very folky one and sounds as a typical asian tune (nice). And then comes a track that is real great "Srivijaya", but this one is just a taste of what to come. As this production is a very unusual one. It goes in the whole ep like a wild mixture between folk/pagan likely music with many variated melodies and black metal with some death inspiration in it. And beside of the first tracks is the third title track "Kebangkitan Nusantara" one of the best with a great variation and mystical vibe in it. The fourth track "Rajawali" is a bit faster and more black, but also this one with a lot of athmosphere that gives this typical sound of this band. Number five is a sort of intro also like the first track and gives something unique of this ep. And the track "Pertempuran Gelap" that comes after is a real masterpiece too just like the title song, so brilliant with a big sound of folk and even some ritualistic touch that really gives you something of an unusual black metal release that is not like many others. Track number seven "Darah Musuhu di Mata Sundangku" is a bit weaker than the others on this damn good release, but absolutely not bad at all. Last track that comes is an outro that is in the same veins and spirit as the two others on this ep and ends this one well too. To add some extra note here is that ep is very well worth to buy and give attention too as it gives you a bit sound of old school black metal also and with a big touch of folk and pagan spirits that makes it whole worth it. A very surprising release.
Scores: 9 / 10
HERPES - DOOMSDAY / Demo (Nihilistic Holocaust) - 2010 / France.
Here we have a real fantastic surprise from France with the bit exotic name Hepres, hehe. It is a brilliant debut demo I can say and consists five tracks of totally brainsawing ultra gore death metal in the same school of bands like Autopsy, Benediction, Nihilist, Obituary (early), Necrophagia to mention some. And there is nothing much to say about this demo more than it is a damn good debut by this band, a big salute to that. And sometimes it sounds even better than Autopsy that is the main influence here I guess. The sound has the typical dirty thing that makes it so pure raw, powerful and intense. Tracks that is a bit of extra here is the first one "Corrupted Flesh", "Stench of Death" and "Frozen Funeral". Other tracks "Doomsday" that is the title one is not bad either and then "Spinal Ashes" as well. And personally I love this kind of sound some bands have on drums, it is dirty, heavy and hammering and Herpes got it both in guitar and bass playing too. The whole demo has a very good quality all thru it, both in music and deliverance and the cover art gives you a thrill of true old school. Hope to hear much more from this band in the future.
Scores: 10 / 10
UPON SHADOWS - 7 Chapters (Shadows of Despair and Other Entities) - (Selfreleased - 2012 / Uruguay)
This is the second full length album from the female dark metal band Upon Shadows that comes from Uruguay called "7 Chapters (Shadows of Despair and Other Entities)" and includes 7 tracks. And I can also tell that if you are into gothic this is also a band to check up for sure. First up is "Cold steel & concrete" that is a truly collection of beautiful melodies combined together with a raw melody of black metal with both faster and slower parts.The album starts very nice and dark and this is also just the start of it. Second track "Breaking path to resignation" is very likely the first track with piano playing and then I also must say a very well played that suits perfect with the raw guitar and vocals. Next track "Our Sadness" is a totally masterpiece in my opinion, a perfect combine of raw black metal and some gothic elements. If you dont like the other tracks you cannot resist this one. Fourth one "Spiritual Submission" is much like the one before, also a brilliant song and I also shall add that Upon Shadows is very classical somehow in their composing, if a band could be called new and modern classic dark/gothic metal, this band would suits that labelling perfect. And there is not many other bands out there that have this sound. Fifth one "The way to the Pleiades" is cool one that starts up much like many fashion likely metal bands of today (nu metal), but there you got it wrong, just after a little more than a minute the typical sound of Upon Shadows returns and that is good, but I must say that I personally enjoy the tracks on this album more and more after every listening. It is absolutely not enough to have just one short Iistening to it I can assure you. Next to go is "Alchemy of Suffering that is the sixth one, starts up slow and mysterious and goes over to a very symphonical part that feels right into my bones. This one is damn great I must say and feels a bit depressive too in sound, but without to call it depressive metal. The band combines so many cool rhythms, musical elements in their music that you cannot really unlike this dark art. Last track up is the "Tragic Prelude" that is quite long one, but not at all repetitive as they do it so good (much shifting). Sometimes you gets the vibes of bands like Katatonia, Nocra, Sirannon, Tiamat, Asbel and even bands like old Blut aus Nord & Sol Evil to mention some that this reminds of "sometimes". The band does it their own way so do not forgetting that. This album comes in a very nice cool special packing with a double digi pack looking style and with 12 pages booklet. This is a very professionally made CD with a real awesome done cover art with it that makes this cd a very special place in my record collection. And some of the tracks that I thinks is more stronger than the others is number two, three, four and number six. So to say my special favorite songs I guess. My last words is that this is a truly recommended album that I believe many will feel satisfying and full of pure melodic darkness. Hails!
Scores: 10 / 10
BELTANE - AULD TOBY - (Satanica Productions - 2011 / New Zealand)
This band is pretty well known by now in the underground today. The fact is that Beltane is one of the first black metal acts that still is active all back since 1994 and with a lot of good releases in their back. This album that is their fifth full length (their sixth one is out when this is written). Album begins first with the slower dark and very melodical track "Return to Irongate" that is a damn good one and worth a lot as it is one of the best (more to come). The second track "Shelley Beach" is a very raw and intense track that really shows that Beltane can do fast music with lots of melody in it. Third track "Shadow Knights" is a bit of masterpiece and sounds a lot of a mix between dark metal, Iron Maiden, Manowar and this one must really be heard if you will understand what I mean, this is so fucking good. Fourth one "Yet Again" is very much Beltane, but with a bit of sound of symphonic / melodical and industrial parts somehow, real good and has a bit of a feeling from old Darkthrone and Burzum in it too. "Intro ov Death" is a bit like "Shelley Beach", but with a more sick feeling in it and is a introduction for the sixth track. And this one is one of the albums absolutely best tracks I believe personally "of course". It has a feeling of both black/viking and folk metal and some old traditional heavy metal. Real heavy one and with a great melody that you sucks in to a bit. Seventh one "Cape D´evil III-Lux Lucis Domus" is a melodical and also a very raw track that has a touch of goth in it. In fact I can inform that much in Beltanes music has a bit of both dark and heathen black metal and some gothic symphonic feelings. So those who are into many genres will not be disappointed here, I can guarantee. Next track called "Navigator" has even more goth rock feeling inside and also much industrial / electronical touch as weel, this track reminds me much of Blutengel and old Die Krupps, real nice and dark track, also one of my favorites. Track nine "A Dark Godess" returns more into the typical Beltane sound with pure raw black metal and with a true evil atmosphere in it. Also here I got the vibes from older bands from the early days, good as hell. Last track "From the Dark" is one hell of a good job, it starts up with some good introduction on drums and has a nice and heavy guitar that leads in and opening up a melody and musical thing that is so much Beltane and to be honest this band is worth much more than just a review. Some extra note, this album includes several great guest artists that gives the special feeling and very dark/heavy/melodical touch, but wihtout Xan and Baphgirl it would never be Beltane. This release is one of the best albums that have came out during 2011 I think without any doubts and even as they are a very underground, but known band they really proves that not just those "famous or true fashion" metal bands can do it and do it damn good :)
Scores: 10 /10
DESEKRATEWHORE - SHADOWS OF THE PAST - (Selfreleased - 2011 / Canada)
Here is something very pleasant and surprising. The canadian heavy metal/thrashers Desekratewhores second full length album included 8 tracks that is nothing that I have heard in ages. This band is to be honest a very knew one for me so there for this review also. With a true old school rehearsal sound, but good. What I mean is that this band has a very own and unique sound, reminds me much of the old days of middle and the late 80´s. To start with the first track "Fuck Philosophy" that I also think is one of the best has a typical sound of good old thrash, but also sometimes I gets the vibes from some earlier black and death bands in it. Second track "Souls Of The Insane" reminds a bit of good bands like Exodus, Assassin and Nuclear Assault, but is original and damn good too. Third track "Illusions In The Mist" is a bit slower, not bad. The fourth one "Shadows Of The Past" is instrumental and truly shows how good this band can be on just their instruments. Next stop is "As The Angels Burn" that starts with a typical thrashy introduction that fast turns over to a bit of very melodic one and even some hc/crossover warnings here and there. Number six is "Rising Flames, Falling Ice" that has a bit of same pulse and driving energy as the track before. Seventh track "The Cave Part I - A prelude to Insanity" is just brilliant and it is something with this band that makes it more special and that is also their lyrics and performance of screaming it out that is so damn good. Last track is a part two of the second one "Forever Descending Slumber" and is hard and heavy one with a great melody. The album comes out as a very professional and nice production and with a great cover booklet included all the lyrics. And some extra notice about the guitar solos on this album is that sometimes they are so damn good with a strengthful energy that even shocks the listener here. And I must say that I thinks of bands like old Venom, Warfare, Exodus, Nuclear Assault, Necronomicon, Living Death, Splitbeaver, Evil Blood and Virus when I hear those guys somehow, the list could be longer. Remember that the sound has not that professional sound that many are used of maybe and sometimes the music can be a bit unstable or what to call it, but the quality of the musical aggresion and true metal art is there and that is what counts. Thumbs up for this true underground piece.
Scores: 8,5 / 10
DEVIATOR - MIGHTY BLACK INNER FLAME (CyberBorea/Northern Lights Productions) - 2009 / Ukraine.