Tag Archives: Norway

Urgehal – Aeons in Sodom

Urgehal - Aeons in Sodom

Urgehal [Norway]
Aeons in Sodom
2016
Full Length
Season of Mist
Black Metal

After the unfortunate demise of Trondr Nefas, I thought that Endezzma‘s Erotik Nekrosis would be the last that I hear of his works. But Urgehal and Season of Mist this year surprised me with a brand new Urgehal record. Despite having lost much touch with the extreme metal genres, I decided to just have a listen to Aeons in Sodom without putting much thought into the background of the album.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Abbath – Abbath

12568212_204424616577443_1467196871_n

You know Abbath means business when he uses his stage-name directly as the name of his new band as well as the title of their new album and to use his fierce corpse-paint ridden face adorn the album cover. And, hell, he sure does not waste any time to reminding the old listeners of Immortal and new unsuspecting listeners what he’s capable of musically.

From the first track of “To War!”, one is immediately transported back to realms of cold relentless beautiful brutality. The momentum does not let up, with “Winterbane”, “Oceans of Wounds”, “Count The Dead” and “Root of The Mountain” fast becoming my personal favourites. Especially with “Winterbane”, I found myself headbanging on the first listen – it really reminded me of how I felt listening to Immortal’s “At the Heart of Winter”, which is highly pleasant. Scattered throughout the album are sweet and succinct reminders of the sweeping soundscape found in Immortal’s “Damned in Black” and “Sons of Northern Darkness”, even bits of I’s 2006 endeavour. This is extremely pleasing for me since I’m a huge Immortal listener.

When Immortal was no longer, I admit getting negatively affected. When I listened to this massive album, I admit that Immortal has only changed its incarnation – to Abbath. Hails to Abbath!

Album Review: Execration – Morbid Dimensions

Execration - Morbid Dimensions

Execration [Norway]
Morbid Dimensions
2014
Full Length
Hells Headbangers Records
Death Metal

The only death metal band out of Norway that really captivated me so far is Kraanium with their relentless, brutal style of death metal. Apart from that, my knowledge of Norwegian death metal is as good as zilch. Yet here we are with Execration, already on their third full length album with Morbid Dimensions.

Continue reading

Interview with Den Saakaldte

den_saakaldte_cover

This interview comes in a bit late, being conducted back in April as Norwegian black metal band Den Saakaldte prepared for the release of their latest opus, Kapittel II: Faen i Helvete. Aside from the band’s Shining influences, along with the weird-fuckery that was on their previous release, All Hail Pessimism (which reminded me strongly of Japanese weirdos Sigh), the band goes back to their roots this time, and one can spot influences from compatriots Mayhem to the earlier works of bands like Ragnarok and Setherial on Kapittel II. Sykelig, founding member of the band enlightens us and tells us more about the creative process behind the album.

Continue reading

Album Review: Mayhem – Esoteric Warfare

Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare

Mayhem [Norway]
Esoteric Warfare
2014
Full Length
Season of Mist
Black Metal

Mayhem‘s Esoteric Warfare is probably one of the most highly anticipated black metal releases for this year. With the band already showing the extreme metal underground a sneak preview of the album with their Psywar single and the potential for Mayhem to once again go back to a more traditional black metal sound after the avant-garde and experimental Ordo Ad Chao, fans are understandably excited in finally listening to Esoteric Warfare in its entirety.

For those who have already checked out Psywar, one would already know what to expect on Esoteric Warfare. The album kicks off with the energetic Watcher, and while elements of what made Mayhem so influential with releases such as De Mysteriis are immediately obvious, with the riffs of Teloch creating a cold and uneasy atmosphere on the record. Yet like what we have already heard on Psywar, the experimental side of the band that made Ordo Ad Chao an album that stands out in the band’s discography are still heavily present, with the band often switching tempos and including dissonant riffs to create that sense of unease on the listener.

The theatrical side of the band is still highly audible, with Attila helping to provide much of the bone-chilling elements to the Esoteric Warfare experience through the usage of different vocal stylings throughout the album, from the crazed whispers that leaves one with an image of lurking shadows, to the chants that reinforce the ritualism that Mayhem has incorporated into their songwriting. There are even the quieter moments on MILAB, but even on moments such as these the sense of unease is not reduced at all, and instead the contrast between the calmness at the background and Attila’s tortured growls becomes more obvious. All these are backed by the relentless and tireless (and almost mechanical-sounding) drumming of Hellhammer, who once again proves his stamina and precision behind the drum kit.

Unfortunately, through all of these, Mayhem‘s endeavours on Esoteric Warfare has failed to really capture my attention, and I often find myself wondering where the band is headed towards. While the Psywar single in itself proved to be rather charming, the entire album ended up sounding rather same-ish to me as it progressed. Perhaps Esoteric Warfare would be an album that would be better appreciated by those who prefer a more occult, trance-inducing style of black metal.

[xrr rating=3.5/5]

http://w.soundcloud.com/player?url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F146249189%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-1vDOa&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&visual=true

Mayhem on the internet:
Official website
Facebook
MySpace
Season of Mist

Album Review: Den Saakaldte – Faen I Helvete

Den Saakaldte - Kapittel II

Den Saakaldte [Norway]
Faen I Helvete
2014
Full Length
Agonia Records
Black Metal

The thing that brought Den Saakaldte‘s 2009 debut All Hail Pessimism to my attention was the ability for the band to fuse cold, depressive black metal with slight avant-garde of bands such as Sigh to create a unique and memorable release. Hence, I eagerly awaited the band’s sophomore full length, Faen I Helvete, after 5 long years, curious what they now have in place for fans.

Unfortunately, on Faen i HelveteDen Saakaldte takes the more well-trodden path, with most of the album sounding like classic Norwegian black metal, though this is not to say that there is any lack of quality material on the album. The elements that made All Hail Pessimism a record that stuck to my mind are now mostly suppressed or gone, but in all honesty this is about the only complaint that I have of Faen i Helvete.

Anyway, the band’s influences from compatriots are obvious, and the riffs of Skyelig and Kvebek all bear rather strong resemblances to pioneers such as Mayhem and Gorgoroth, though there are also moments where the band bring in some slight punkish vibe not unlike that of Satyricon‘s later works. The coldness emanated from Den Saakaldte‘s music would also ensure that fans of early Ragnarok or Setherial are satisfied. The more aggressive moments on the album even brings in some Swedish vibe, from the belligerence in the more frantic and high octane moments to the slower and doomish moments on Du Selvproklamerte misjonaer bringing Marduk‘s discography to mind.

To keep things interesting, Den Saakaldte also puts in some elements of ritualism and the occult, with the creepy clean singing that appear at times throughout the album, sending chills down the listener’s back. Songs like Forbanna Idioter even has some inhuman shrieks and howls to create that haunting atmosphere in the air.

Some of my favourite black metal bands of late (such as BehexenMarduk, Koldbrann, et al.) have seen a shift to an updated style of old school black metal with a slight modern touch to their sound, and it seems that Den Saakaldte is heading towards a similar direction as well. But the band has managed to keep the listener enchanted, and while it lacks the weirdness of their debut, Faen i Helvete is still a powerful album in itself.

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

Den Saakaldte on the internet:
Official website
Facebook
Agonia Records

Heavy Metal Tribune #013

out now banner

OUT NOW: Heavy Metal Tribune #013

Returning after a 7-year long wait since their last album, Fields of Rot, Norwegian black/thrashers Nocturnal Breed grace our cover, with band mastermind S.A. Destroyer giving us a peek behind the scenes on what went on in the writing of their latest album, Napalm Nights.

In our chat with Matti and Jyri of old school Finnish death metallers Corpsessed, we uncover the history behind the band and their insights on the recent rapid growth of the Finnish death metal scene.

The departure of the Hoffman brothers from Deicide also marked the revival of Amon. While the band’s last release prior to the hiatus was in the 1989 demo, SacrificialAmon returns stronger than ever, and brothers Eric and Brian finally get to show their technical flair on their latest album Liar in Wait. Eric Hoffman, one half of the axe-wielding brothers gives us a short history lesson on Amon.

Marco’s reputation as ex-Blasphemy guitarist (aka The Traditional Sodomizer of the Goddess of Perversity), with even a track by the Ross Bay legends written in his honour (Goddess of Perversity off Fallen Angel of Doom), fans would expect Tyrants Blood to be equally bestial to Blasphemy‘s trademark war metal style. But Into the Kingdom of Graves proved to be a different breed of monster, and unlike previous releases of Tyrants BloodInto the Kingdom of Graves is a much more technically challenging release. Marco explains the difference in stylistics to previous Tyrants Blood releases, as well as his performance in Blapshemy.

Oriental extreme metal has quickly gained a foothold internationally, with ChthoniC amassing a sizeable fanbase. Over at Hong Kong, Evocation is slowly building up their brand of melodic extremity, and with comparisons of their newest album, Abracadabra to the early works of ChthoniC and Anthelion, the band is ready to leave their mark in the international metal scene. Tomy, guitarist and vocalist of Evocation, tells us what sets their band apart from other bands out of the region.

Swedish black metal band Necrophobic closes the 13th issue of Heavy Metal Tribune. In our second ever chat with Joakim, he explains the return of the style on their latest album, Womb of Lilithu to the one that fans of Hrimthursum are familiar with, as well as their quest in finding the void that has been left from the departure of Robert Sennebäck. (Read our previous interview with Joakim, conducted in 2010 right here.)

Read it all over here:

//e.issuu.com/embed.html#5689761/7024553

Local friends of Heavy Metal Tribune, grab your copy of #013 from Inokii and Roxy Records soon! More outlets to be announced soon, so keep your eyes peeled! Foreign friends of Heavy Metal Tribune, as usual, cancontact us for a copy of issue #013 (P+H of USD2.00 applies).

Album Review: Mayhem – Psywar

Mayhem - Psywar

Mayhem [Norway]
Psywar
2014
Single
Season of Mist
Black Metal

There is no need to re-emphasise Mayhem‘s importance in the history of black metal, with Deathcrush and De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas containing some of the landmark sounds of black metal history. And admittedly, those were the only two releases of the band that managed to interest me early in my journey into black metal, with their later releases failing to retain my attention.

Then came their last album, 2007’s Ordo ad Chao, which added a tinge of French sound with the heavy dissonance and weirdness going on in the record. While some hailed the experimental effort as one of the boldest moves of Mayhem, the band still failed to grab me. This year sees the band releasing a small preview of what’s to come for Mayhem fans with their brand new single, Psywar.

If one were to base expectations of Psywar on Ordo ad Chao, one probably isn’t too far off. The dissonance and weirdness that marked the recent experimental style of Mayhem are still present, but at the same time, the band includes some of the more conventional elements of the style that they created in the 90s, and indeed there are moments where the riffing of Teloch easily reminds one of the times of De Mysteriis along with the earlier works of compatriots Darkthrone. The energy provided by Hellhammer’s drumming is obvious, and creates a rather aggressive sound for the band.

The main difference though is in the theatrics that is on the album, with the band including lots of atmospheric elements to create a chilling, haunting effect that sends chills down the listeners backs. This not only in the way Attila executes his vocal lines, but also in the usage of orchestration, chants and what-not in order to leave one feeling hopeless.

I have to admit that I was quite surprised by how pulled I was to Psywar, and with the impact that this very short single has left, it leaves me waiting eagerly to hear what else Mayhem has in place for us in the near future.

Mayhem on the internet:
Official website
Facebook
MySpace
Season of Mist

Album Review: Tortorum – Katabasis

Tortorum - Katabasis

Tortorum [Norway]
Katabasis
2014
Full Length
World Terror Committee
Black Metal

The 2012 debut of Norwegian black metal band Tortorum kept me rather enchanted, and the return of the band this year with their sophomore full length Katabasis was certainly a welcome surprise, with the opportunity to experience the growth that the band has had in the span of two years.

Album opener Descensus already shows fans of the band the evolution of the band, with it being a neoclassical-inspired piano introductory piece, setting up the haunting and rather hostile mood for the rest of the album to come. As soon as the first cold and bleak riffs of The Great Apprentice appears, one instinctively knows what one is into. The melodies that are unleashed by guitarists Skyggen and Specter easily display the influences that early second wave black metal bands have had on them, with the riffs reminding one of the works of Mayhem or Darkthrone with that air of desolation that is evoked through their guitar work. The whole feeling of chaos is contributed by the vocals of Barghest, who goes from tortured shrieks to demented screams and laughter, sending chills down the listener’s back.

Compared to their previous offering on Extinctionist, while the material on Katabasis are somewhat slower, the band more than makes up for this in the atmosphere that is conjured throughout. Furthermore, the excellent production quality on Katabasis gives the album a nice ring, fitting to the atmospheric route that the band seems to be heading towards. There also seems to be an increased emphasis on the melodic side of Tortorum, with moments such as the intro of In Nameless NonBeing and the overall mood that is conjured by the band being rather reminiscent of Dissection‘s material.

Katabasis is overall an excellent album, and the balance between the aggression, the ritualism and the melody easily makes Tortorum‘s direction on this album one that Dissection would have probably headed towards, and one that Watain should be releasing instead of the mediocrity that is The Wild Hunt.

Tortorum on the internet:
Facebook
MySpace
BandCamp
World Terror Committee

Album Review: Nocturnal Breed – Napalm Nights

Nocturnal Breed - Napalm Nights

Nocturnal Breed [Norway]
Napalm Nights
2014
Full Length
Agonia Records
Black/Thrash Metal

For the past 7 years, Norwegian blackened thrash metal band Nocturnal Breed has been lying low, having all but disappeared with their previous output Fields of Rot. This year sees the highly anticipated return of the band with their brand new album, their fifth full length release in the form of Napalm Nights.

Right from the get go, the rock and roll attitude that the band takes in writing their music is rather obvious, with the swagger on opening track The Devil Swept the Ruins being rather reminiscent of fellow Norwegians Satyricon with the fusion of that simplistic playing and that black metal grittiness. But as soon as Speedkrieg begins, the band switches lanes into a more speed metal/crossover style, with the playing style of the band easily reminding one of bands such as Joel Grind’s Toxic Holocaust and Tiger Junkies, as well as Japanese blackened thrash bands Abigail and Barbatos. The Lemmy-styled vocals especially helps to reinforce that old school touch and rock and roll moments on the album.

Yet despite the entire rock and roll vibe that the band gives off, the band shows that there is a somewhat sensitive side to their songwriting as well. The lead guitars/solo moments on tracks like The Devil Swept the Ruins easily display this with these being some of the softest moments on the album, and the melodic sensibilities that are shown by Axeman and Fineideath. Songs like Cursed Beyond Recognition are also rather nice, melodic tracks, coming in nicely after the chaos of Speedkrieg, giving listeners a short respite from the high octane listening experience so far.

The title track, Napalm Nights is probably the most interesting of the lot over here, going for more than 12 minutes and showing the more atmospheric side of the band, what with the opening sound samples and the mid-pace, but heavy playing style that is utilised for the most part of the album. The heavy chugging playing style on the track at times even brings about comparisons with bands such as Metallica.

In fact, most of the tracks that are on Napalm Nights mange to sound somewhat different from each other, with each giving off a different vibe and showing off a different style of playing of Nocturnal Breed, and this is definitely something that captured my attention. There is no doubt something for everyone who is a fan of old school rock and roll music over here, and with Napalm NightsNocturnal Breed proves that the 7 years of wait has not been in vain.

Personal highlightsSpeedkriegThe Bitch of Buchenwald

Nocturnal Breed on the internet:
Facebook
Agonia Records