Thursday, May 30, 2013

Belzebong - Dungeon Vultures (2013) [Ep]

Belzebong "Dungeon Vultures"
Instant Classic, Spring 2013

I remember i stumbled upon their first demo in 2009 because that green smoking goat they had in the cover drew my attention, as always, and i thought i should check it out. I was not familiar with the stoner rock/metal genre back then, i had listened to some bands by accident but i didn't know what was what. To this day, i enjoy that demo. They later on released a full length which got me even more into them, despite the mixed feelings the stoner community has about them (some love them, some don't, at all).

And now, there we have a new EP that was released this April by a local polish label, there is another new song around the internet, assuming a second full album? Maybe. Till then, we have an EP with one 14 minute song. If you're familiar with this band, you know what that means. It follows the simple recipe they've been using in the past years, they hail the bong with down tuned slow and heavy riffs, samples and a talking introduction, stoner/doom melodies, no vocals (a relief, they would not fit anywhere here) and a trippy mood of course.


DAMAGE: [7.0/10]

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Youtube Sessions (I)

If you leave the shitty pop-ups and the advertisments, the ads before the videos, VEVO and other sponsors, the policies/rulings on the side, a very good feature of Youtube is its suggestions near the video you are watching. You might believe it's a kid's way to find bands, still i don't trust you have never listened to something interesting that way yourself. Especially if you were born after 1990, you were not around the tapetrading era and you don't hate the internet. I decided to exploit this feature and do something anyone can do, just wander through the videos only via the suggestions. 10 albums, with a random one for a start. Lame or not, it is great fun and you should try it.


Commando - Sudden Invasion
2008, Grenade Records

God damn these Mexicans! They obviously are old school worshippers but not in a copy-cat manner. Solid album with melodies you have heard before, still played in a unique way. The song "Kill the Posers" reminds me of the Coroner demo i once heard, in my early days of the genre, it is great. The fans will love it. Not over-sophisticated, just raw and plain simple, straight forward thrash metal.


Bio-Cancer - Ear Piercing Thrash
2012, Athens Thrash Attack

Im familiar with these guys since thrash metal bands to get famous in the greek metal community, as you can see, there is a label from the capital, they have solid bands that still stick to the underground. At least, for now. Again, typical thrash with much harsher vocals than Commando, closer to the old school way of the 1980s, but a little less yelling, more of shrieking.


Cross Examination - Menace II Sobriety
2008, Organized Crime
Never heard of these guys before. Fast paced thrash with -and it was bound to happen- horrible vocals. Great music, but seriously, the vocals are disturbing and they make the whole thing unlistenable. Skip this band.


Sleep - Sleep's Holy Mountain
1992, Earache Records

A sudden change. It had Pantera, Metallica, Megadeth, Gama Bomb, The Black Dahlia Murder, i've heard all these a lot of times before, plus this is my favourite album by Sleep. And im not a big fan of them. Anyway, we switch to much slower riffs and thick guitar tunings, high vocals and a trippy attitude. They might as well be pioneers of the genre.


Pelican - Australasia
2003, Hydra Head Records

Im (almost) always in the mood for ambient/post-metal. To me, the sounds are so full and musical, there are a bunch of experimental elements and weird effects, atmospheric compositions, intriguing titles and artworks, artist material in general. Pelican are no different, in fact they are a mandatory band for everyone into good music. An amazing album.


Opeth - Heritage
2011, Roadrunner Records

There were several post-rock suggestions of bands that i love (Godspeed You, If These Trees Could Talk) but for some reason i clicked on this. As magnificent musicians as Opeth are, i haven't paid close attention to their late albums (2000 and after), this included. As im listening, i can feel the instrumental awesomeness, they're doing a great work. Im not ashamed to say that i don't like his vocals this time. He's a great singer, but i can not get into them this time.


Katatonia - Night Is The New Day
2009, Peaceville Records

Here we are. This record is lovable, very lovable. The bitter feeling of melancholy reigns all over these tunes, masterfully composed by a titanic band. Flawless.


Arcturus - Sideshow Symphonies
2005, Season Of Mist

vortex was in here, and its obvious. I guess this is more of a theatrical attempt on their part, i can't say i will listen to this when i choose Arcturus. If you are not a fan of them, the possibility of falling asleep is high, i'd suggest their earlier albums.


Windir - Arntor
1999, Head Not Found

The sky splits and throws this album right near Arcturus so that i have no dilemmas what to choose next. Easily one of the best viking metal bands. RIP Valfar.


Ayreon - The Dream Sequencer
2000, Transmission

Last one for now. I didn't know this band until now, its something like space-related progressive rock/metal from a guy with many amplifiers and free time. I did not touch me, to be honest, even if he's good, its not for me.

Enjoy, till next time:

Monday, May 27, 2013

Blood Ceremony - The Eldritch Dark (2013)

The third and latest album by the female fronted band Blood Ceremony is sweet as can be. They play a mixture of occult rock/doom metal, creating a pretty warm feeling and a great atmosphere as well. If you find this genre attractive at all, you will be drown in their psychedelic jams, as they are using more than just catchy riffs. More instruments the better. There is even a cow bell somewhere in there. Go find it.

Perfect production and a very nice compositional touch by the guys here, the female voice fits like it was meant to be and the songs are just amazing. They really are, it only matters if it rocks. Im going to check their other albums to because i found out about them with this one. The keys remind of The Doors, the flute reminds of the folkish Jethro Tull and a bit of Sabbath, the synths enhance these feelings.

And they're signed to Metal Blade! ... I don't know why i mentioned this.

I personally believe this kind of bands is the closer to rock we have today, compared to the golden days of the 1960s and 1970s. They need a bigger fanbase and your love in general, i always recommend music approved by the devil.

Facebook Page

DAMAGE: [7.5/10]

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kick Ass Debut Albums Volume II - Swedish Death Metal

Entombed - Left Hand Path
Summer 1991, Earache Records

One of the best death metal albums ever recorded. From the beginning to the end, it has the "fuck yeah" aesthetic all over it. It really touches perfection. It is perfection. 

Unleashed - Where No Life Dwells
Spring 1991, Century Media Records

One of the bands that are usually labeled under the viking death metal scene. Remarkable production and energy pumping out of every song in here. A classic as well.

Dismember - Like An Ever Flowing Stream
Spring 1991, Nuclear Blast Records

Yet another masterpiece of swedish death metal and not only. An excellent work done in the composing session, brilliant musicianship. This record is a massacre.

Grave - Into The Grave

June 1991, Century Media Records

As graphic as this band name and album name can be, that awesome the music is. A more noisy approach with demonic growls, it definitely is one of the albums you need to listen when getting into the swedish scene and even more.

Carnage - Dark Recollections
Winter 1990, Necrosis Records

These guys might not be legends like the rest of the bands here, but their music sure is legend material. They are related to Dismember and this is the only full length. Well executed swedish brutality.

Hypocrisy - Penetralia
Autumn 1992, Nuclear Blast Records

Up until 1996, Hypocrisy played death metal and then changed to melodeath. Their music is still amazing, but the old school fans will always have their first albums in their hearts, with this one having a special place.

Other albums:
Carnage - Dark Recollections
Morpheus - Son Of Hypnos
Sorcery - Bloodchilling Tales
Centinex - Subconscious Lobotomy
Epitaph - Seeming Salvation
Desultory - Into Eternity
Wombbath - Internal Caustic Torments
Therion - Of Darkness...
Merciless - The Awakening
Cemetary - An Evil Shade Of Grey

Monday, May 20, 2013

Burzum - Sol austan, Mani vestan (2013)

Origin: Bergen, Norway (now France)
Genre: Pagan Ambient
Label: Byelobog Productions
Website: Homepage

Burzum albums have been dropping like bombs since he was released from prison, tools to express more and more his views on faith and life. Recently, he's been doing some photo shoots with armor in the woods and everything, what can i say, they are hilarious to my eyes. I also like RPGs and strategy games more than any other game type, but please. He has informed us (and stated numerous times in interviews) about how he doesn't quite fit in the modern society, i swear i've heard it before, can't recall where...

So, the new album is this:
Sol austan, Mani vestan" will feature almost an hour of instrumental electronic music, that can best be described as relaxing, slow-paced, contemplative and very much original. And of the concept Burzum says; I have still not been able to leave behind the Pagan religious-spiritual concept of a descent into darkness and the following ascend back into the light; the Pagan initiation, the elevation of man to the divine, the enlightenment of the mind, the feeding of the elven light in man.
(by Varg himself)

I understand that it is more than music, but i fell asleep in the first track. This is too calm and too weak ambient for my likes, i was sitting there waiting for something to happen in my ears but nothing did. Im not saying its a bad album, all im saying is that i clearly can't understand the concept and the purpose here, he must have deep meanings behind these goodnightsleep compositions. More ideology & less music, that's what im receiving from this guy lately.

Either we like it or not, Varg is doing whatever the hell he wants. No one can say he has gone mainstream because he clearly does not create mainstream music, he is not a rich black metal superstar, he just live an awkward life that we choose to laugh at. Or some of us. He still remains one of the most important people in the black metal scene that actually witnessed and created its birth, when the genre did not even exist. Anyhow, i think he should take a break from releasing albums.

DAMAGE: [3.0/10]

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Irrwisch - Irrwisch (2008) [Demo]

Origin: Netherlands
Genre: Depressive Black Metal
Label: Independent

In DSBM, a demo is more likely to be treated and judged exactly like a full length, because most of the times, they either have the same kind of gross or great production. Irrwisch are an obscure band that no one knows anything about, there are no biographies or information about them anywhere. An email is available and they have a site, pretty much empty.

I admire the production, its deep and thick and clear enough for all the instruments to participate. There are some amazing melancholic melodies and synths in here. Deep howling screams would fit perfectly and that's exactly what the singer's doing, it has the whole package and deserves a place among the masters of the genre. I strongly recommend the fans of the genre to give this a listen if they haven't already. For fans of Woods Of Desolation.

There is a new album or something like that in the works. You can listen to some samples at their website.

DAMAGE: [7.5/10]

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Graveland - Carpathian Wolves (1994)

Origin: Poland
Genre: Pagan / Raw Black Metal
Label: No Colours Records

The debut album of Graveland clearly smells of the rotten underground scene of its time. Listening to it, im happy that i wonder if it was recorded in a bathroom or in a studio, the sound is fucked up on purpose. There is a lot of sloppy work in this album, i still think something hateful was meant to be written, this or they had no money to record an album. I don't even think its negative. So, as the album progresses, you either hate Christianity or yourself for putting yourself in this situation, mission accomplished.

The reissued version i own contains some songs from a rehearsal in 1993 and a bit of different artwork from the original (different fonts, the main art is the same in the front cover). If you also know how to wield a sword and spend time in the woods, if you think black metal is serious business with a true mission and purpose, you will be good friends with Rob Darken and this is a must for you. They later went to viking / pagan metal, or something like that, not my cup of tea. Torn out black metal is my cup of tea. Im glad i have this.

DAMAGE: [8.5/10]

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Kick Ass Debut Albums - American Death Metal (Volume I)

I've been thinking of making such a post several days now and i think its time to get started. In the future, more volumes will come, im thinking of swedish death, old school thrash, scandinavian black (the common suspects).

Making something clear beforehand: The following albums, as always, were chosen based on my likes and judgement. I tried to focus on bands that had the death metal sound as it was shaped in the late 80s. This means no Death or Possessed, they did influence the death metal scene ridiculously much but their music had progressive and thrash elements. Please don't start whining your ass off the fact, i know you like to do that. Also, there are tons of bands that can be included, i could not include them all, thats why more parts are coming.

\m/ --- \m/ --- \m/ --- \m/

Gorguts - Considered Dead
Autumn 1991, Roadrunner Records

I know they are from Canada, but they can be included in this list. 

I still get chills listening to this album. I had a reissue of two of their records combined in a -somewhat- compilation CD, this included, i lost it though. How irresponsible of me huh? Anyway, it is technical, it is avant-garde, it has an amazing 90s death metal artwork, and of course, awesome tunes.

Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness
Spring 1989, Earache Records

If you need introduction to this band, i suggest you lock yourself in a room for the next month and learn your history about metal. A truly incredible album from the grandmasters of the genre.

Obituary - Slowly We Rot
Summer 1989, Roadracer Records

Even though my favourite album by them is Cause of Death, i believe both albums are top in their area. The stinking vocals stand out. Its beyond cool, haha... That label is connected to Roadrunner, in case you wondered (because i did).

Suffocation - Effigy of The Forgotten
Autumn 1991, Roadrunner Records

I know the term "brutal death metal" didn't exist back then, but the first primitive elements of that genre can be listened at some parts here. It has some of their best songs like "Infecting The Crypts". Holy shit.

Six Feet Under - Haunted
Spring 1995, Metal Blade Records

Here is a personal favourite. This is the first metal album i ever listened to and i love it from the beginning to the end. Its not that intense as the rest of the death metal albums but it is full of grooves and really catchy riffs. Haters gonna hate.

Immolation - Dawn Of Possession
Summer 1991, Roadrunner Records

Another breathtaking album by a band that has stayed spectacular for 20+ years now. We thank the gods about Immolation. Blast this when you're driving.

Autopsy - Severed Survival
Spring 1989, Peaceville Records

Faces decomposing. Screaming in pain and despair. Becoming one with the earth. Flesh deteriorates until bones are bare. No more blood to bleed. No end to the cadevers.

More albums for you:
Atheist - Piece Of Time
Deicide - Deicide
Massacre - From Beyond
Malevolent Creation - The Ten Commandments
Cannibal Corpse - Eaten Back To Life
Monstrosity - Imperial Doom
Nocturnus - The Key
Necrophagia - Season Of The Dead
Incubus - Beyond The Unknown

Stay tuned.....

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Kawir - Arai (2005)

Origin: Greece
Genre: Pagan Black Metal
Label: Solistitium Records

Im back from vacation. And of course, once again i don't have my collection with me. I found this at a local store, i was going to buy and Antaeus album but it turned out to be more expensive than i thought, then i almost bought an Aborted vinyl which was relatively cheap, ended up with this in my hands, i can say i don't regret it. I want to own an album or two of some specific bands whatsoever.

 Arai is a good album. It has that pagan feeling even though i would not describe it as pagan black metal, they have these lyrics in ancient greek, they have the artwork and everything. The latest 2 albums are the best to me, but this one too has some nice prayers.

The truth is that Kawir never intrigued me, except from the latest album in 2012. However, they are significant and have stayed underground, so there is support for that only.

DAMAGE: [5.5/10]

Friday, May 03, 2013

R.I.C. Jeff Hanneman

Important and sad loss. May you pollute the heavens with your shreds.