Saturday, June 24, 2017

Aktor/War Hymns/2017 Demo EP Review


  Aktor  are  a  solo project  from  Colorado  Springs,  Colorado  that  plays  a  raw  form  of black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  self  released  2017  ep  "War  Hymns".

  A  very  fast  and  raw  sound  starts  off  the  ep  along  with  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  programmed  blast  beats  while  grim  yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  are  added  into  the  music  a  few  seconds  later  along  with  some  of  the  faster  riffing  almost  border  on  war  metal.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  music  also  incorporates  a  great  amount  of  90's  second  wave  influences  while  deep  death  metal  growls  are  also  used  briefly  and  on  the  second  track  a  small  amount  of  melody  can  be  heard  and  the  music  always  remains  heavy  and  raw  from  beginning  to  end.

  Aktor  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  traditional,  fast,  raw  and  aggressive,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  anti  Islam  and  anti  Christianity  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Aktor  are  a  very  great sounding  raw  black  metal  solo  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Kill  The  Pedophile  Prophet".  8  out  of  10.

https://aktorforthemasses.bandcamp.com/album/war-hymns   

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

BVDK/Architecure Of Future Tribes/2017 Full Length Review


  BVDK  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  a  mixture  of  post  black  metal,  industrial,  ethnic and  electronic  music  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2017  album  "Architecture  Of Future  Tribes".

  Melodic  choirs  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  heavy  and  melodic  riffs  a  few  seconds  later  that  also  mix  in with  elements  of  industrial  and  electronic  music  and  after  awhile  grim  black  metal  screams  and  programmed  blast  beats  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  the  music  also  gets  very  ritualistic  at  times.

  Elements  of  ethnic  music  can  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  spoken word  parts  are  also  utilized  at  times  and  the  tremolo  picking  during  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  gives  the  music  a  more  raw  black  metal  feeling  along  with  some  traces  of  the  more  atmospheric  post  style  of  the  genre  in  the  melodic  guitar  leads and the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  a  later  tracks  adds  in  clean  guitars  and  you  can  also  hear  touches  of  psychedelic  at  times. 

  BVDK  plays  a  musical  style  that takes  post  black  metal,  industrial,  electronic  and  ethnic  music  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  something  very  original,  the  production  sounds very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  French  and  cover  African  and  Haitian  Voodoo.

  In  my  opinion  BVDK  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  post  black  metal,  industrial,  electronic  and  ethnic  music  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Surreptitious  Cluster"  "Bahir  Dir"  and  "Psalm  32".  8  out  of  10. 

 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Black Blood Invocation/Self Titled/Deathrune Records/2017 EP Review


  Black  Blood  Invocation  are  a  duo  from  Greece  that  plays  a  bestial  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2017  demo  which  was  released  by  Deathrune  Records.

  A  very  ritualistic  synth  intro  starts  off  the  demo  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  a heavier  direction  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  war  metal  elements  can  be  heard  along  with  some  bestial  death  metal  growls while  the  tremolo  picking  gives  the  songs  a  more  raw  black  metal  feeling.

  A  great  amount  of  old  school  black  and  death  metal  influences  can  be  heard  in  the  bands  musical  style  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  none  of  the  songs  ever  use  solos,  leads  and  only  adds  in  a  small  amount  of  melodies  and  focuses  more  on  a  raw,  dark  and  brutal  sound  and  synths  return  briefly  on  the  closing  track.

  Black  Blood  Invocation  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  war,  black  and  death  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  ceremonies,  occultism,  atavism,  and  obscurity  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Black  Blood  Invocation  are  a  very  great  sounding  bestial  mixture  of  black  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  duo.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Black  Blood  Invocation"  and  "Baphometical  Prayers".  8  out  of  10.

Eskapism/Tales Of Elder Forest/Folkvangr Records/2017 Cassette Review


  Eskapism  are  a  duo  from  Ukraine  that  plays  an  atmospheric  form of  black  metal  and  this  is  a review  of  their  2017  album  "Tales  Of  Elder  Forest"  which  will  be  released  on  cassette  in  August  by  Folkvangr  Records.

  Atmospheric  sounding  synths  start  off  the  album  and  after  the  intro  they  also  start  mixing  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  which  also  introduces  grim  yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  melodic  guitar  leads  onto  the  recording  and  acoustic  guitars  are  also  used  at  times.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  music  a  more  raw  feeling  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sounding  very  powerful  and  the  songs  also  bring  in a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Angry  shouts are  also used  briefly  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  along  with  one  track  being  an  instrumental  that  also  introduces  acoustic  guitars  onto  the  recording  and  the  album  closes  with  a  cover  of  Coldworld's  "Tortured By  Solitude".

  Eskapism  plays  a  style  of  atmospheric  black  metal  that  is  very  synth  orientated  while  also  having  its  raw  moments,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Ukrainian  and  cover  nature  and  poetry  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Eskapism  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  black  metal  duo  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of t his  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  cassette.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "And  You  Speak  The  Runes"  "Have  Forgotten  Forests"  and  "Tortured  By  Solitude".  8  out of  10.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Blackest Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We've been around since June of 2012 writing and recording all of the album's material.

2.Recently you have released your first full length, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
I'd say it's very big sounding. The idea behind the mix was to give the listener all of the sound that was recorded in as raw of a form as possible with as much of that sound coming out of the speaker without any peaking or distortion. We want to immerse the listener with this album.

3.The band has been around since 2012 and except for a couple of singles and a contribution to a split you waited until 2017 to release a full length, can you tell us a little bit more about the first 5 years?
We did not wait 5 years on purpose. The reason we didn't put it out sooner is because this album from start to finish took 5 years to make. I wanted to get everything just right with this album and I had a lot of things I wanted to do with this album. A lot of the work was "off and on" kinda stuff but to put together an album of this scale it took a lot of time and considerations. Especially when you have little to no money to put into it. We could have said screw it and "half-assed" it but I wanted to put out something that 5 or 10 years down the road I could still look back on and be proud of. 

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Lyrics are kinda hard for me to write. The first thing I usually think is, "What can I say that hasn't already been said?" But a lot of the time if I can get an idea I can write around that idea. There are not a whole lot of tracks on this album and a couple are instrumental so I didn't need a whole lot of ideas this time around. Obviously a lot of the lyrics have a very dark tone to them and for this album in particular they seem to be a bit vague. 

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Blackest'?
I wanted the darkest name for the darkest kind of music I could write. It seemed fitting.

6.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future or do you chose to remain a duo?
I'd like to expand the band but only if I can find people that would be a good fit for the band. I'd like for them to kind of have the same ideas and mind set for the band, but I'd also be happy with anyone who can handle playing the material well.

7.I have noticed the one band member goes by the name 'Seidr', does Norse Paganism play a role in the music?
Well at this point I don't think it has but I'd like to think there is a lot of room to grow lyrically with the band so it could very well play a part in our future endeavors.

8.The album was released by 'Blood And Brutality Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
It's a label that I started about 10 years ago or so. I pretty much put out everything on the label myself. I've got a number of bands on that label but I also play in some bands that are not on that label. My most recent band I'm in that isn't on the label is Seid in which the vocalist of Blackest also does vocals. We, as Seid, have put an album out called "Darkness Shall Fall".  

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Well we're still growing considering we just put out this first album but so far with what little exposure we've had at this point, everything seems to be very positive.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Well we definitely still have plenty of ideas and plan on future albums. I like to try to grow musically a little without changing too much of our sound. I'd like to be able to offer new sounds and ideas mingled with what we've done with this first album.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I like to try not to let any of my music influences affect how or what I write. As crazy as that may sound. I know it's impossible for other bands or music to not influence what we do but there isn't a band that I know of that influenced the idea of Blackest. I like a lot of the older bands that have been around for a while and I listen to all kinds of stuff. But bands like Death, Slayer, Pantera, Immortal, Emperor, and Morbid Angel are probably what I like the best and listen to the most. 

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I would like to that you for the interview and the interest in Blackest and I like to extend my appreciation to anyone who happens to read this interview or listen to the album. Thanks to all.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Rimruna/Der Hatz entronnen/Naturmacht Productions/2017 CD Review


  Rimruna  are  a  duo  from  Germany  that  plays  a  cold,  grim  and  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of t heir  2017  album  "Der  Hatz  entronnen" which  will  be  released  on  June  25th  by  Naturmacht  Productions.

  Acoustic  guitar  playing  and  wind  sounds  start  off  the  album  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  a  heavier  direction  along  with  some  drum  beats  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  a  more  raw  feeling.

  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  the  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  while  most  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  when  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  raw  yet  melodic  style  and  the  music  also  brings  in a   decent  amount  of  second  wave  influences  while  also  sounding  very  modern  at  the  same  time  and  as  the  album  progresses  acoustic  guitars  make  a  brief  return  and  the  album  closes  with  an  instrumental.

  Rimruna  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  raw  and  atmospheric  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  German  and  cover  nature  and  coldness  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Rimruna  are  a  very  great  sounding  raw  and  atmospheric  black  metal  duo  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Wirrwen"  and  "In  Ewigkeit  versunken".  8  out  of  10.       

Catechon Interview

For those that have never heard of you before can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Sinister: Catechon formed in 2013 by the hand of Morgue (voice) and Dawn (former guitarist). Line-up would become stable only by the end of the same year with Jackal (bass) and me (drums). After recording the demo ‘Il richiamo di Orfeo’, distinguished by a mixed style Black Metal, Dawn left the band, and Dusk takes his place. After recording the new split with Infernal Angels and Ad Noctem Funeriis (which includes two new songs and the remake of the first demo track), Dusk left and the new guitarist, Mourner, joins in. In these four years Catechon played in 22 gigs along various bands of different levels and had to reprint the demo three times.
Morgue: I'm the only founder who's still around and I'm very proud of it. It's difficult to find musicians with the right attitude and skills to play Black Metal around here, this is why we had so many line up changes. This, and my authoritarian-ish personality, which keeps on causing some quarrel within the band. I'm very proud of our results though, since the band is growing musically and “spiritually”.

So far you have released a demo and a split, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on those recordings?
Sinister: The demo ‘Il Richiamo di Orfeo’, as we said previously, is distinguished by tracks which take inspiration from a diverse array of Black Metal styles. There was no intention to imitate the style of some bigger and more famous band, the songs were recorded exactly how they were composed in the first place, and in a live recording session. The songs to include in the split ‘Italian Black Metal Assault’, on the other hand, were picked for their raw and violent feeling: it's easy to find Blackened Death influences in ‘Legacy of Cain’, while ‘Succube’ borrows some element from the most Punk-ish Black Metal, and finally the third track is a remake from the demo.
Morgue: I hate limiting creativity, so Catechon will probably remain a multifarious and chaotic entity, without ever getting stuck on fixed standards; but if I must point out a  common theme between the demo and the split album, then it's the reference to those who came before us. I have the deepest respect for the creators of the black flame, and I'll never stop listening the classics with their atavic darkness, although I'm open to experiments.

What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Morgue: I don't follow a fixed pattern, I take inspiration both from everyday reality which disgusts me more each passing day, and from personal studies and experiences. A good portion of the lyrics I write involve a mix of philosophy, mysticism and occultism.

What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Catechon'?
Morgue: The name Catechon is borrowed from the second letter of St. Paul to Thessalonians, a text we also quote in latin in one of our songs in the split album. The literal meaning is “that which holds” and it stands for the last bond to break before the coming of the Antichrist and the end of the world, which however could be happening already (the “Mysterium Iniquitatis”). The exact meaning is still a matter of debate among scholars, some say it's the Roman Empire, others claim a symbolic meaning in connection with human nature. What inspired me in choosing this name was Deathspell Omega's EP ‘Chaining of the Kathecon’ (the usage of K is due to Greek spelling) and a book on the topic by the Italian philosopher Massimo Cacciari.

What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Sinister:  We have a handful of shows we remember more fondly among all the ones we played in:
- 13th of March 2015, in Padova with Common Grave, Helegion and Nocturnal Depression
- 5th of September 2015 in Marcerata (Howling at the Moon 2) with Goat Vomit Noise, Black Faith, Sedna, Selvans, Oltretomba, Ad Noctem Funeriis, Infernal Angels e Handful of Hate
- 9th of October 2015 in Venice with Dispersion, Brunndl, Enisum e Mortifera
- 27th of February 2016 in Verona (Verona Nera act 5) with Blaze of Sorrow and Vanhelga
- 7th of January 2017 in Verona (Verona Nera act 10) with Afraid of Destiny and Vanhelga
Our shows are often enriched with designs and rituals prepared specifically for the event, so no Catechon show is the same as the previous.

Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Sinister:   No.

Recently you were part of a split with Infernal Angels and Ad Noctem Funeriis, what are your thoughts on the other bands that are presented on the recording?
Sinister: We played with Infernal Angels and Ad Noctem Funeriis in Macerata in 2015 and there was an immediate and spontaneous synergy. Those two bands, despite being seasoned veterans of our genre, never tried to show themselves as “Kings of Black Metal”, something which is sadly common in Italy these days, and their music is terrific. We liked them, and they liked us, so the idea of the split was born.
Beyond the mutual esteem, I must say that personally, I consider Ad Noctem Funeriis the best italian band in terms of “pure” Black Metal.

The split was released on 'Adimere Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Sinister: Adimere Records is a label managed by the guitarist of my second band, Afraid of Destiny. After we discarded some labels which didn't think we deserved a reply, Adimere Records offered its help in producing the split.

On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Sinister: We're not that known around the world, so that's kind of a difficult question to answer. After all, we published just a demo and a split album. Here in Italy the feedback is generally positive, considering the fact that here, in Northern Italy, Black Metal is hardly seen anywhere in its live form.
Morgue: I agree, to me ‘Verona Nera’ events, in which I had the honor to take part sometimes, represent a safe haven in a simply desolating panorama.

What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Sinister: Afraid of Destiny (the Depressive Black Metal band formed by me, Mourner (aka M.S.) and Adimere) has a good feedback abroad. Our new full length has been released by a medium sized label, and we got a good number of positive reviews. We see ourselves as a slap in the face of Black Metal purists in Italy. Solitude Project (my Depressive Metal project) is currently in stand-by, but the first full length is completely ready, as far as composition is concerned.
Mourner: As Sinister already said I’m playing guitar in Afraid of Destiny although I’m mainly a live member as of now. I will be giving my insight, help during the production and possibly write something for the future releases but my main focus stands on Catechon.
Jackal: Outside of Black Metal, I'm working on a Funeral Doom project, A View From Nihil, whose first release will be out in September, with a mix of Funeral Doom and Drone.

When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Sinister: We're working on our first full length right now, and we hope to release it within one or two years. We're not gonna reveal how it will sound, but we can just say that it will be extremely different from our usual Raw Black Metal style.
Morgue: It will be a kick in the ass to everything that now represents a trend in Italian Black Metal.

What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Sinister: Personally I have no influences on my drumming style. I listen to so many very diverse bands, I couldn't make a unitary play style out of them. My ultimate goal is to have my very own style.
Lately I've been listening to a lot of Depressive Black Metal, but normally I listen to anything that succeeds on stimulating my emotions.
Morgue: Regarding vocal technique, my models are Attila Csihar and Meyhna'ch. Right now I'm savouring once more a lot of second wave albums along with the reading of ‘Black Metal Compendium’, a really well written book recently published in Italy which, in my opinion, perfectly pictures the true essence of Black Metal through a series of high quality reviews.
Mourner: My guitar playing is heavily influenced by modern Metal music, I love the new horizons that many bands have uncovered in the latest years and I personally think that some of those concepts can be applied to Black Metal as well. In my opinion Black Metal is lacking some kind of new element to find the spotlight once again. Of course the styles I’m talking about have nothing to do with Black Metal and as such many might label me as some kind of “poser” or “betrayer” but honestly I could care less, if listening to a Progressive Metal band or even electronic music can help me garner new ideas for Catechon’s music I don’t see the problem as long as I adapt those ideas toward a Black Metal aesthetic. Having said that don’t expect my songwriting to be following any kind of standard procedure, if it sounds good it’s good, that’s my motto.
Does Occultism play any role in your music?

Sinister: Of course.
Morgue: Absolutely, but we're still at the beginning of a long journey, a research that has somewhat yet to begin.

Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Sinister: Black Metal can be considered dead only if the public keeps listening to bands who are only on YouTube, born and dead on the internet, and keeps avoiding live concerts. True Black Metal is outside the social networks, it's on the stage and in our souls.