Tag Archives: Poland

Outre – Ghost Chants

Outre - Ghost Chants

Outre [Poland]
Ghost Chants
2015
Full Length
Godz ov War Productions/Third Eye Temple
Black Metal

Polish black metal merchants Outre has already proven their worth on their 2013 releases, Tranquility EP and their split with Thaw. Yet it is this year’s debut full length Ghost Chants that the band finally unleashes the full extent of their wrath upon fans of black metal, with 7 ritualistic, trance-inducing chapters to their opus.

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

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Infernal War – Axiom

INFERNAL WAR - Axiom

Infernal War [Poland]
Axiom
2015
Full Length
Agonia Records
Black/Death Metal

When I first heard Infernal War on their 2009 EP, Conflagrator, I was absolutely blown away by the speed, aggression and intensity that these Poles manage to squeeze into a short 20-minute release. Since then, Conflagrator has pretty much remained one of my favourite Polish extreme metal releases. This year, Infernal War finally returns with their brand new full length release, Axiom, and it remains to be seen and heard if their third album is indeed a statement for the Polish underground.

[xrr rating=3.5/5]

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Albums of the Month – January 2015

The Gods of Heavy Metal have been kind on metal heads, with so many outstanding releases so early into the new year. In January, bands – both underground and more, erm, mainstream – have put out some of their best works in their career so far. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top few picks of January 2015.

Iron Lamb – Fool’s Gold (30/1/2015)

Iron Lamb - Fool's Gold

Featuring members of bands such as DismemberRepugnant, General Surgery, etc… My point is, Iron Lamb features a lineup full of old school Swedish death metal veterans. Yet Fool’s Gold is nothing close to Swedish death metal, as the band indulges in their old school rock ‘n’ roll pleasures with their infectious brand of punk/metal fusion. While the band’s debut The Original Sin was a fun as hell, Motörhead-inspired record, Iron Lamb expands their range of influences on their sophomore full length. [Read our review of Fool’s Gold here]

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Album Review: Abusiveness – Bramy Nawii

Abusiveness - Bramy Nawii

Abusiveness [Poland]
Bramy Nawii
2014
Full Length
Arachnophobia Records
Black Metal

It’s been a long time since we last heard from Abusiveness, with the last full length Trioditis being a rather distant 4-year back. The band’s infectious brand of pagan black metal got me craving for more, and this year Abusiveness returns with their brand new, fourth full length release, Bramy Nawii.

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Album Review: Disorder – Pure Hatred

Disorder - Pure Hatred

Disorder [Poland]
Pure Hatred
2014
Full Length
Independent
Death Metal

While the band is now already in its 15th year of existence, Poland’s Disorder has largely remained rather quiet, and up until last year, the band had only a single full length release out, 2006’s Confess. 8 years on, as the year came to an end I received this death metal squad’s sophomore release, Pure Hatred. With such inactivity (at least on the songwriting and recording front), one can only wonder what took the band so long to finally release the follow up to their debut, and whether the long, 8-year wait was worth it.

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Album Review: Cinis – Subterranean Antiquity

Cinis - Subterranean Antiquity

Cinis [Poland]
Subterranean Antiquity
2014
Full Length
Old Temple
Death Metal

The year 2014 has been quite a successful one for Polish death metal, what with the return of black/death metal greats Behemoth with one of my favourite releases from them yet, as well as Vader‘s kickass Tibi et Igni. While the high quality releases have given one confidence in Polish death metal, it comes with the corresponding level of expectation when presented with another Polish releases. After 6 years of silence, death horde Cinis returns with their sophomore full length album, Subterranean Antiquity.

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Album Review: Hyperial – Blood and Dust

Hyperial - Blood and Dust

Hyperial [Poland]
Blood and Dust
2014
Full Length
BlackTeamMedia Records
Death Metal

Just as we thought that the year for Polish death metal could not get any better, with the release of Vader and the comeback album of Behemoth (and possibly one of their strongest releases), Hyperial drops their sophomore full length album, Blood and Dust. The band’s 2012 EP Industry left me rather surprised and extremely impressed and craving for more, and this year the band finally releases a 40-minute album to satisfy that craving.

The band wastes little time in their aural onslaught, and The Plague of the Used Masses quickly hits the listener like a freight train, and Hyperial easily proves themselves to be of Polish origin with the crushing intensity, both in the riffs of Grochu and Kula and that relentless, yet seemingly effortless blasting of Bocian. Coupled with the guttural vocals of Grochu, one quickly draws comparisons from the thrashy style of Vader to that somewhat blackened material of Behemoth or Hateespecially the sound on songs like In the Abyss of Madness.

Hyperial also doesn’t shy away from the utilisation of synths and keyboards to create a haunting, or heavy ambience on Blood and Dust, and In the Abyss of Madness sees the band’s first heavy usage of synths, giving a somewhat operatic feel to the track, at the same time leaving the listener with an anticipation of the next round of lambasting.  Other times the synths can also give a rather industrial tone to the band, not unlike the sound of The Project Hate, like on Gehenna Upon His Feet.

Blood and Dust is yet another worthy addition to the repertoire of exceptional death metal releases out of Poland, and Hyperial have once again gone on to prove the excellence of Polish death metal.

[xrr rating=5/5]

Hyperial on the internet:
Facebook
BandCamp
BlackTeamMedia Records

Album Review: Behemoth – The Satanist

Behemoth - The Satanist

Behemoth [Poland]
The Satanist
2014
Full Length
Nuclear Blast
Black/Death Metal

Behemoth may be one of the first extreme metal bands that I encountered early in my journey into the genre, but despite their stature in the international scene they have never really been one of my favourites, and all too often I find myself finding their music sounding rather boring. The Satanist is the band’s 10th album, and the first full length release after band mastermind Nergal’s successful battle against cancer, never wavering in his stance against religion throughout the process.

With five years in between albums and tough personal battles fought between Evangelion and The Satanist, one can almost be sure that the band returns with renewed vigour on their new album, and already The Satanist has received heaps of praise from international media. Despite so, the cynic in me put off listening to the album until recently, and what a mistake that was.

Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel quickly let listeners and fans of the band know that the band are as focused as ever, and the riffs of Nergal are instantly recognisable, reeking of that classic Polish style that has been characterised by bands like themselves and Hate. Unlike the Behemoth that we have grown to know of late, the band does not rush into full speed death metal onslaught, and instead the band takes a markedly atmospheric path this time round, and the layers upon layers of orchestration that are on tracks such as these ensure that the listener constantly feels suffocated. And it is precisely this shift in songwriting and playing style of Behemoth that makes The Satanist such an enjoyable release, with the band displaying their versatility and introducing a larger range of stylistics instead of focusing on being brutally satanic.

The blackened elements on the album are also more evident this time round, such as that dissonant playing on songs like Messe Noire, bringing in some rather French sounding influences of Deathspell Omega or Blut Aus Nord, further building the anxiety and sense of unease that one feels as The Satanist progresses. This certainly helps in making The Satanist an even more atmospheric listening experience, fusing the coldness and bleakness of the genre with the intensity of the death metal.

While the entire band are definitely at the top of their game over here, it is Nergal’s works, both on vocals and on guitars that really take the spotlight on The Satanist. His vocals bring the listener through the entire spectrum of negativity, with desperation and desolation on some of the tracks, though he ends off on a high note, with the strength to finally conquer all. The lead guitars as well, also show a different side of the band, with Messe Noire even including a rather melodic and somewhat melancholic-sounding solo towards the end of the track. Heck, even songs like Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer see the band indulging a groovier style than what Behemoth has come to be known for, without losing any energy at all.

I could go on and on about what makes The Satanist an excellent album, and with each listen Behemoth‘s latest work just sticks with me more and more. With the band now exploring and experimenting more with their songwriting style, I eagerly anticipate even more material from these Polish legends in the near future.

[xrr rating=5/5]

Behemoth on the internet:
Official website
Facebook
MySpace
Nuclear Blast

Album Review: Incarnated – Try Before Die

Incarnated - Try Before Die

Incarnated [Poland]
Try Before Die
2014
Full Length
Selfmadegod Records
Brutal Death Metal

Almost 8 years after the release of their last full length album, Polish death squad Incarnated this year finally releases their third full length album, Try Before Die. While these death metal veterans have been practising their craft since 1992, Try Before Die will be my first encounter with the band, and already the bloody cover artwork has managed to sufficiently capture my attention, reminding one of the good old days of gory extremity.

Zombieland creates a post-apocalyptic setting for Incarnated for the upcoming onslaught, building up the climax before all hell break loose. The first riffs of Thomas and Pierscien hits the listener without any mercy, and the abrasive tone of their guitars as well as the riffing style quickly reminds one of early Swedish death metal bands such as Nihilist and Vomitory, with the vocals of Pierscien adding a nice touch of brutality on top of the relentless aural assault that the axe-wielding duo provide. Bartosh aids in adding that crushing touch as well with the tireless blast beats that engulfs the listener from the start all the way through to the end of Try Before Die. In displaying their influences and overtones as well, the alternating between the more extreme and merciless blasting style and hyperactive d-beats, like on Second Side (Out of Mind) also brings about some Autopsy or Dismember comparisons.

Unfortunately, it is also this tireless drumming of Bartosh that is the slight downside of Try Before Die as well. The rather heavy focus on speed, precision and technicality on Bartosh’s side stands in rather stark contrast to everything else that’s going on in Incarnated, and though this isn’t a bad thing in itself, Bartosh’s drumming sounds almost mechanical in comparison to the wall of noise that is provided by Thomas and Pierscien. However, for speed maniacs, the ease with whcih Bartosh unleashes the countless instances of blast beats and rolls will be a delight.

Overall though, Incarnated‘s third full length effort is still a pretty enjoyable one for fans of Swedish death metal looking for an album that is more brutal with a tinge of grind included.

[xrr rating=3/5]

Incarnated on the internet:
Official website
Facebook
MySpace
Selfmadegod Records

Album Review: Loathing – We are the Hunt

Loathing - We are the Hunt

Loathing [Poland]
We are the Hunt
2014
Full Length
Independent
Death/Sludge Metal

With the band stating that they play a style of “aggressive, technical death/sludge metal with strong doom and thrash influences”, Loathing immediately got me rather curious with their debut full length album, We are the Hunt.

The mention of anything Polish would immediately bring to one’s mind bands like Behemoth or Vader, but right from the opening riffs of I Rot Inside, guitarists Kuba and Mariachi quickly remind one of bands such as Benediction and Bolt Thrower with that lethal combination of grooviness and crushing heaviness in their playing, though the slight thrashy edge also brings about comparisons to Vader. That slight technicality that the axe-wielding duo exudes are even rather reminiscent of Behemoth and Azarath.

But as the band promised, there is more to Loathing compared to your standard Polish death metal releases (and to be honest, Behemoth kinda bores me to tears). As the album progressed, the sludge and slight stoner elements start to become clearer, and there are even moments on the album where the songs could even start sounding rather comfortable in a Mastodon or High on Fire album. This especially so with the clever usage of softer segments like on Blood Breed, giving a short respite to the listener from the high intensity listening experience so far. The high energy drumming of Don also captures the listener fully, who manages to alternate between the more blasting style of the death metal face of Loathing, and a style that is more befitting of the sludge side of the band.

Perhaps unintentionally, the band has even managed to include some black metal elements as well, most prominently in the riffs of Kuba and Mariachi, like on Red Sands.

We are the Hunt is probably one of the more exciting and interesting new releases that I have heard out of Poland in quite a long time, and with the whole host of influences that the band has included in their debut, it is only a matter of time before Loathing gets the recognition that they deserve.

Loathing on the internet:
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