Tag Archives: Urgehal

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.

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Frosthelm – The Endless Winter

Frosthelm - The Endless Winter

Frosthelm [USA]
The Endless Winter
2015
Full Length
Black Work
Black/Thrash Metal

Formed back in 2009, American black/thrash metal band Frosthelm this year finally releases their debut full length album, The Endless Winter. It’s been quite a long while since my last black/thrash metal madness, so with all the hype surrounding The Endless Winter, I have to say that I was pretty excited to hear what Frosthelm manages to come up with after a wait of almost 6 years.

[xrr rating=4/5]

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Album Review: Horned Almighty – World of Tombs

HORNED ALMIGHTY - World of Tombs

Horned Almighty [Denmark]
World of Tombs
2014
Full Length
Scarlet Records
Black Metal

With the past 2 albums being rather successful and garnering critical acclaim, one wonders what else Denmark’s Horned Almighty has in place for fans with their new album, World of Tombs. Unlike Contaminating the Divine and Necro Spirituals which were released a mere year apart, fans of the band waited for 4 full years for the band to finally drop their new album, and as with so many other bands, this anticipation has led to heightened expectations of the Danish outfit.

The introductory track almost tricks one into thinking that Horned Almighty has gone towards a more viking metal direction (not that it’s a bad thing, and more on this later), but as soon as the title track World of Tombs hits the listener, one is treated to some classic, old school death metal. The whole grim atmosphere, combined with that slight groove that the band has infused into the music quickly reminds one of the black ‘n’ roll works of bands such as Satyricon, especially with the simplistic and repetitive riffs unleashed by Hellpig and the energetic, and at times rather punkish drumming of Harm (which reminds me of Frost’s works), especially on tracks like Diabolical Engines of Torment and Plague Propaganda.

It is also this rather simplistic, no-nonsense and straightforward style of black metal that one is reminded of the earlier onslaughts of Bathory, before their eventual shift to more epic masterpieces. As a display of the range of influences and sounds that Horned Almighty has put into World of Tombs, there are moments on the album where one is reminded of more traditional black metal tracks like Sacrifice, while the thrashy, crossover edge at times also brings songs like Satan My Master to mind. The more diabolical tracks like Unpure Salvations even brings in some Marduk semblance, what with the aggression and anger.

The production is also what makes World of Tombs such a stellar release. The bass is mixed especially high on the record, and this helps to retain a punchy sound for the band, creating a lasting and deep impression on the listener.

[xrr rating=4/5]

Horned Almighty on the internet:
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Scarlet Records

Album Review: Draconis Infernum – The Sacrilegious Eradication

Draconis Infernum - The Sacrilegious Eradication

Draconis Infernum [Singapore]
The Sacrilegious Eradication
2014
Full Length
Ketzer Records
Black Metal

The release of The Sacrilegious Eradication has placed Draconis Infernum at the forefront of the vanguard in the regional South-East Asian Black Metal fraternity. With this, their third release, the band’s conceptual vision and musical identity are both defined and proclaimed with uncompromising clarity. With two critically-acclaimed predecessors (Death in My Veins and Rites of Desecration and Demise), The Sacrilegious Eradication lends form and stability to a nascent but undeniably promising oeuvre. The technical and formal experimentation in both previous releases has matured into a structured synthesis that marries several established intra-genre styles of execution. The resultant product does not resemble a simple pastiche of stylistic variegation so much as a well-developed alloy that pays homage to, but is independent of, its constituents.

The stylistic range that The Sacrilegious Eradication manages to cover is particularly remarkable, and is arguably the record’s defining feature. Bestial and Orthodox Black Metal in the vein of Impiety, Besatt and Diocletian form one pole of the spectrum which Draconis’ brand spans; the other being heavy-melodic variants of which Inquisition’s Invoking the Majestic Throne of Satan and Taake’s pseudo-classical Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik are prime examples. Draconis’ overall sound inhabits the space between these two stylistic tethers, with each track situated at a particular point on the trajectory. With this constant interpolation between styles, Draconis Infernum succeeds in breaking the one-dimensional Orthodox monotony that has become characteristic of Black Metal from the region. Yet the individual tracks do not countermand each other, but yield a discerning, well-developed overall aural identity that the band can call its own.

Key to this success, and deserving of particular praise, is the strong writing of both guitar and basslines. An example of the stylistic interpolation that is employed in the writing is heard on the third track off the release, Anathema, which features an initially Orthodox bassline that burgeons into a fully-fledged melody in counterpoint to the guitar passages which are similarly layered in configuration. This shift provides the track with the dimensionality that is so often lacking in regional bands. The guitarwork throughout the record is especially well-executed and complements the phenomenal writing. Trampling the Divine features guitarwork of exceptional quality, with pronounced lead tangents bringing the strength of the writing to the fore. Also instrumental to the success of the record is its formidable drumming. The rhythmic complexity on The Sacrilegious Eradication extends far beyond the circumscription of blastbeat-laden monotony, and together with the complex basslines, provides the guitars with a fitting rhythmic canvas.

Lyrically, The Sacrilegious Eradication is relatively unsubstantial. A limited thematic locus oscillates between ritual and violence, remaining firmly entrenched in Orthodox territory. That being said, the lyrics do still provide navigable scaffolding for the listener to attempt entry into the ideological substrate of the work. The release also features two covers: Impiety’s Anal Madonna and Urgehal’s We Are Unholy. It should be noted that the rigidity of covering two well-known pieces, while detracting from the overall direction of the release, goes some way toward paying homage to the band’s heritage and diverse constellation of influences. The choice of covers proclaim Draconis’ bond to local and regional fraternities, while also managing to lift the band from regional-centricity.

The Dying Light is easily the best-written track on the release, and in the opinion of this reviewer, features the most nuanced and well-articulated guitarlines on any regional release to date. Not much can be said about the track itself that has not already been said about the record in its entirety, save for the fact that it is the most complete expression of the musical and conceptual motives underpinning this project. It must be said that The Sacrilegious Eradication is not merely a regional success or an opus for the regional fraternity, but a victory of note for the genre.

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

Draconis Infernum on the internet:
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Ketzer Records

Album Review: Cainan Dawn – Thavmial

Cainan Dawn - Thavmial

Cainan Dawn [France]
Thavmial
2014
Full Length
Osmose Productions
Black Metal

In just the past 3 months, we have already heard impressive releases from bands numerous pioneers of black metal, from the Psywar single of Mayhem to another new full length from Finnish black metal tyrants Sargeist. Osmose Productions decides to chime in as well with the release of French occult black metal band Cainan Dawn‘s sophomore full length album, Thavmial. With the number of remarkable black metal albums this early in the year, Cainan Dawn certainly has huge shoes to fill.

The occult themes are immediately obvious from opening track Keter, an ambient track that places the listener in the midst of a ritual and leaves one quickly feeling uneasy, with a dark omen of impending doom. Things get more exciting rather quickly as soon as The Brood hits the listener, and one is quickly reminded of the style of pioneers of black metal such as Mayhem, not only with the riffing of Avgruun, but also in the cold atmosphere that the band manages to evoke. Along with the gargled, undecipherable vocals of Heruforod, one could have easily mistaken him for speaking in tongues, a nice touch to the theme of occultism and mysticism of Cainan Dawn.

For all it’s atmosphere and ambient, Cainan Dawn still manages to retain an energetic touch to their brand of black metal, and this often through the hyperactive work of drummer Hljodr, often giving the band a nice sound that is reminiscent of TsjuderUrgehal or Gorgoroth. The epic, war-like tone of his drums even brings in some slight Bathory influence, helping to add a rather belligerent touch to the album. The slower moments on the album, like the transition between World Among Worlds and Kaon also bring about some nice Inquisition-like sounds, further enhancing that ritualistic aspect of the album.

The thing about Cainan Dawn is that despite their French origin, there is very little French influence that were spotted on Thavmial, be it in the dissonance of Deathspell Omega or in the shoegaze of Alcest, et al., utilising them sparingly, resulting in an album that is extremely effective and memorable without being overly weird or jarring.

So while waiting for the new Mayhem to drop later this yearCainan Dawn‘s Thavmial is probably the best black metal album of the year thus far.

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

Cainan Dawn on the internet:
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Heavy Metal News – October 30, 2013

URGEHAL Recording Final Album In Honor Of Late Frontman

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

The surviving members of the Norwegian black metal act URGEHAL are recording the band’s final album in honor of the group’s guitarist/vocalist Trond “Trondr Nefas” Bråthen, who passed away in May 2012 at the age of 35.

Commented the band: “Trondr Nefas left us all in May 2012. For URGEHAL, this meant the loss of our great friend and brother in arms. Therefore it is a very special announcement for us remaining members to tell you that the final URGEHAL album is now being recorded. We have decided to finish this last album in honour of our dear friend and to mark the end of URGEHAL.

Trondr was looking much forward to enter the studio once again and we had already done all demo recordings for the whole album before his death. Nothing else remains to be done but to finish what Trondr and we had already started together. We owe this to him and his memory.

“Drums and guitars were recorded earlier this year and in October we entered the studio for the first vocal session of many. The songs will be sung by several close friends of Trondr Nefas and the band. We will reveal those names in due time.”

Bråthen and guitarist Enzifer formed URGEHAL in 1992 in Hønefoss, Norway.

URGEHAL‘s latest album, “Ikonoklast”, was released in November 2009 in Europe and January 2010 in the U.S. via Season of Mist‘s Underground Activists division. An EP, “Death Is Complete”, followed in 2011/

URGEHAL celebrated its 15 year-anniversary in 2007 by releasing the album “The Eternal Eclipse – 15 Years Of Satanic Black Metal”.

Quality fan-filmed video footage of URGEHAL‘s February 14, 2010 performance at Baroeg in Rotterdam, The Netherlands can be viewed at this location (courtesy of “letthedeathmetalflow”).

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/urgehal-recording-final-album-in-honor-of-late-frontman/#FtkUBOzHdLZizwXj.99

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SKELETONWITCH: ‘Serpents Unleashed’ Video Released

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

The video for the title track of “Serpents Unleashed”, the new album from Ohio metallers SKELETONWITCH, can be seen at this location. Filmed in black and white, the clip features just over two minutes of stylized, in-your-face performance footage produced and directed by Ralph Miller (Turnstyle Fims) and edited by Jon Nix.

Due on October 29 via Prosthetic Records, the follow-up to 2011’s “Forever Abomination” was recorded this past spring at GodCity Studio with Kurt Ballou (CONVERGEKVELERTAKHIGH ON FIRE). The cover artwork for the CD was created by John Baizley (BARONESSKYLESAKVELERTAK), who previously worked with ‘WITCH on 2007’s “Beyond The Permafrost”.

“Serpents Unleashed” track listing:

01. Serpents Unleashed
02. Beneath Dead Leaves
03. I Am Of Death (Hell Has Arrived)
04. From a Cloudless Sky
05. Burned From Bone
06. Unending, Everliving
07. Blade On The Flesh, Blood On My Hands
08. This Evil Embrace
09. Unwept
10. Born of the Light That Does Not Shine
11. More Cruel Than Weak

Pre-order “Serpents Unleashed” digitally via Bandcamp now or physically on CD, audio cassette, three different 180-gram LP variants (black, clear or red) and a limited-edition seven-inch collector’s box via www.skeletonwitch.com. Also available for pre-order now is a new vinyl pressing of “Beyond The Permafrost”, which is back in print on 180-gram black vinyl as well as a new 180-gram clear vinyl variant.

Over the past decade, SKELETONWITCH has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe with a who’s who of modern heavy metal and performed at some of the genre’s largest festivals (Wacken Open AirGraspop Metal MeetingSummer BreezeOzzfestTuskaBloodstock), in the process gaining a dedicated legion of fans on both sides of the stage. The band recently completed a successful run of high-profile dates opening for Sweden’s GHOST, a group they will again perform alongside this fall.

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/skeletonwitch-serpents-unleashed-video-released/#9UuJcGYG225cA5c5.99

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SEPULTURA Biography To Be Released In Brazil

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

Brazilian publisher Benvirá, a subsidiary of corporate giant Saraiva, will release a biography of SEPULTURA before the end of the year. Written by American author Jason Korolenko (“The Day I Left”), the book documents the band’s storied career beginning in the streets of Belo Horizonte and São Paulo in 1984, and culminating on the eve of their 30th anniversary.

SEPULTURA is a phenomenon,” said Korolenko, “having formed at the tail-end of Brazil’s military dictatorship, during a time when artists and musicians were still recovering from the 1978 redaction of a law — the AI-5 — which saw supposed ‘subversive’ songwriters and filmmakers exiled from the country. SEPULTURA was born in the turmoil of a shifting political and economic landscape, and went on to become Brazil’s most popular musical export, selling over 20 million albums worldwide in the process. Theirs is a story with universal themes of struggle, change, and evolution, and it’s fitting that the book will be released in Brazil first.”

Having recently published autobiographies from such noteworthy artists as Ozzy OsbourneMEGADETH leader Dave Mustaine, and AEROSMITH‘s Steven Tyler, as well as acclaimed titles by Paulo Coelho and former U.K. Prime Minister Tony BlairBenvirá‘s SEPULTURA biography is described by Korolenko as “a celebration of the music, the integrity, and the attitude — as well as the truth behind rumors and misinformation spread throughout the years — of a band that brought Brazil to the world, and then brought the world back to Brazil.”

SEPULTURA‘s new album, “The Mediator Between Head And Hands Must Be The Heart”, was released on October 25 via Nuclear Blast Records.

The English-language edition of “My Bloody Roots: From Sepultura To Soulfly And Beyond”, the autobiography of former SEPULTURA frontman Max Cavalera, will be made available on April 15, 2014 through Jawbone Press.

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/sepultura-biography-to-be-released-in-brazil/#vL6MVswgquqSDTkP.99

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CHTHONIC: ‘Next Republic’ Video Released

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

“Next Republic”, the new Alulu Kuo-directed video from Taiwanese metallers CHTHONIC, can be seen at this location. The song comes off the band’s seventh album, “Bú-Tik”, which was released in North America via Spinefarm Records in the U.S. digitally on June 18 and on CD on June 25. The effort was recorded at Sweden’s Sweetspot Studio by producer Rickard Bengtsson, who also worked on 2011’s critically lauded “Takasago Army” full-length.

With “Bú-Tik”CHTHONIC continue their mission to build awareness of the myths of Taiwan and the tragic events in their country’s history. Centered around the story of the 228 Massacre, the Bú-Tik Palace and the Mirror Of Retribution, “Bú-Tik” highlights what bassist Doris Yeh describes as “righteous violence, justifiable defense, and the armed spirits!”

In late October, CHTHONIC will embark on its first-ever acoustic concert tour at century-old bú-tik palaces in Taoyuan, Taichung, and Tainan in line with the theme of the band’s new album, “Bú-tik”.

In fact, CHTHONIC members have visited Bú-tik palaces around Taiwan as they were preparing for “Bú-tik”, and it was during the visits that CHTHONIC first had the idea of having acoustic performances in these historic buildings.

“We wanted to perform in Bú-tik palaces so badly, but we were worried that we may damage the historic buildings,” Doris Yeh said. “So we came up with the idea to specially design acoustic concerts for the historic buildings.”

In preparation for the acoustic tour, CHTHONIC members have been rearranging songs and repeatedly practicing.

“This is the hardest tour at all. We don’t just rearrange the songs, we also have to rearrange our personalities,” said lead vocalist Freddy Lim. “We normally just can’t stay still, but this is a good chance for us to find our interior calmness,” Dani Wang, the drummer, said.

CHTHONIC invited the band CHOCOLATE TIGER, led by their good friend Enno Cheng, as the opening guest, while also inviting popular folk singers as special guests at each of the concert. Two of the guests will be Lin Sheng-xiang and Panai, while the CHTHONIC decides to keep the name of the third guest as a surprise for their fans.

“We can’t wait to see these master musicians to perform CHTHONIC music!” Doris said.

Following the unplugged tour in Taiwan, CHTHONIC will be traveling to Europe in early November to join the Norwegian band SATYRICON for a two-month European tour.

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/chthonic-next-republic-video-released/#SupA6ukXmeEb3j9e.99

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