Friday, August 30, 2013

Nordor - Erga Omnes (2012)

Nordor "Erga Omnes"
Summer 2012, Deathrune Records

Is this another Nordor full length album? These dudes released three demos in a period of six years, and then nothing. Everyone thought they were dead, and the fans were feeding on the 3-demo compilation that was released (finally) by a label in 2003, or by the handmade and handnumbered copies of their early work, and nothing more. Despite having a poor discography, a movement was behind their backs the whole time. Until 2007, when a new EP named "Mandattu" came out, and that gave a sparkle of rebirth to Nordor, similar to the spasms of a dead body for about a second, when you electrify it.

In 2008, the long awaited moment arrived, the band came through to release their first ever full length after 19 years as a gift to the supportive fans, a true feast it was. It was mean, straightforward and breathtaking for the most part, without managing to surpass the limit of excellence because of it's production and compositional strength. Despite that, the album was directed to a cast of people and these people devoured it, guaranteeing that the mighty Nordor, one of the first death metal bands from Greece, was back. At a time when any experimentation in death metal results into mediocre melodeath or overproduced technical death, a band from the past is of some use, since it's intentions and visions are deeply rooted to the original cause that was introduced two decades ago. This is not another act that i would include in the new wave of old school death metal (which is a great wave anyway). And yet, four years after the release of Honoris Causa another album was announced, titled "Erga Omnes". Man, i hope this is going to be good.

If they have done anything different, it was just filling the missing parts of the first album and improving it in every way. The great artwork is a trademark of Spiros "Seth" Antoniou's work, who plays in Septic Flesh and has done covers for many bands, including Dagoba, Belphegor, Heaven Shall Burn, Nile, Moonspell etc... So, there's a first step up for the band. From the art, it seems like professional work has been done here, and that is matched with the music itself.

There are 14 songs this time and the album lasts a little longer (40 minutes, to be exact), so that means that they have increased the length of each song. I thought of the short songs in the first album as something that should be done otherwise, and they probably understood it as well. We have some 3-4 minute songs that don't end abruptly, they are fully developed and that means that the composition process worked just fine and it helps the band to show its musical briefcase in a better way. Of course there are some two minute songs again, but they have a good structure and contribute to the album's easy listening process. The production is as clean as it needs to be, its quite pleasant and powerful, especially compared to the first album. After a short introduction, the first song starts and it does have chunks of Six Feet Under and Cannibal Corpse combined, in fact the singer does sound like Chris Barnes, but with much better high screams. It reminds of a more death metal version of Six Feet Under, since there are no rock'n'roll riffs around here. It seems like these guys had still room for an improvement in the musicianship, the songs are well constructed, tight and heavy. It's definitely a solid album, to say the least. The previously superficial progressive elements have now risen and they are making their presence more apparent.

Lyrically, they have not changed that much. The anti-religious and occult element is all over the album again and there is a really cool initiation to Satan song called "Vow", where a priest calls a girl's faith in thy lord. There are far less greek lyrics this time, even though the subjects are not completely off-topic, as in the songs "Thelisis", "Labyrinthian", "Hyenas Embrace". There are some catchy grooves here and there, enhanced with ferocious blast beating and heavy bass, not to mention that Lordwinter (the singer) has literally, a hell of a voice for the genre. Credits should also be given to False Prophet, the guitarist of the band, who is self-taught and a prodigy in creating solid riffs and solos for the band.

To sum up, i think this album is the best Nordor offering we have so far, because of the musical improvement and the correction of past mistakes, they erased any misgivings i had about them being a great band. I saw them live last year, and i purchased this album from there, it was an amazing show and they can handle delivering their brutality as good as it sounds on the CD. Recommended for fans of Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, a bit of Six Feet Under, and solid death metal in general.

Track listing:
1. 5a
2. Memories from the Future
3. Misanthropic Κaleidoscope
4. Salvation from the Stench
5. Thelisis
6. Iscariots Fireshower / A Hymn to Traitors
7. Lycan
8. The Child of Mandragora
9. Vow
10. Bow to Me
11. Eye Contact With a God
12. Labyrinthian
13. Entrance to the World of Stars
14. Hyenas Embrace

DAMAGE: 7.5/10

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Nordor - Honoris Causa (2008)

Nordor "Honoris Causa"
Summer 2008, Under the Sign of Garazel Productions

Not seeing these guys at the tribute to Greek metal in the Greek Metal Hammer issue several months ago was frustrating, since they are one of the bands that can't be left out in such articles, with more than twenty years of history in the country's death metal scene. Their formation took place in 1989 and they have only released two full length albums all these years. This is their debut, which was anticipated since its announcement. Honoris Causa means Τιμής Ενεκεν in Greek, which is a phrase that translates as "to give honor".

Even though the construction of the album reminds of grindcore albums, meaning that it has a bunch of short length songs, the music isn't near that genre at all. They have been storing negative energy for years to release a powerful and hateful 17 track machine, which is made of pure death metal and occult references to Necronomicon in the Greek language. They have been described as satanic death metal numerous times and it's not completely wrong, since they use various samples of anti-christian and ritualistic content, not only in their lives but also in their albums. With so many tracks, Nordor have the space they need to insert some preludes without ruining the ongoing brutality, which is delivered by 1-2 minute tracks, as well as a couple of  3 minute ones. The band reflects the early nineties american death metal scene and bands like Morbid Angel or Deicide, who also had religious themes in their music. Apart from that, some progressive elements appear in a hurry here and there.

I can pick on some very interesting ideas on various songs, but the whole vibe of the album leaves no chances for them to flowrish, mainly because of their length. It seems as each song is starting to develop, and then all of a sudden it ends and everything fuzzes out. I would prefer fewer and longer songs, which would probably mean more complete compositions and a better result in total. I have this problem with almost all albums like this and yet it was not much of the problem this time, enjoyable as it is. The production of the album is pretty shallow as well and it buries the musical quality of the band, i don't know if it was their choice to do so or what. The guitar lines are full of interesting riffs and this combined with the deep, pure growls of Lordwinter, keep everything interesting until the end. I was not satisfied with the sound or the playing of the drums in some songs and was amazed in others, it feels like they are subordinates to the rest of the instruments, even though there are no major mistakes or flaws.

The album creates its own cult atmosphere with the Incantation fueled music, the Necronomicon chants and the dirty production, and that's what gives it its own character. The songs don't lack brutality or speed and they would get the job done for any death metal fan of the nineties, but still it has some negative points. It is a bit hasty and perky, not getting into each song and taking full care of it but more focusing on the album as a whole. If you listen to the album from start to finish, it's more likely you enjoy it than listening to a couple of tracks.

Track listing:
1. Absorption
2. The Invocation of the 4 Gates
3. Equalization of Powers
4. Walking on the Circumference of the Circle
5. The inevitable Unexpected
6. The Book of the Invocation
7. For the Love
8. Maskim Xul
9. Condemned to be Acquainted with
10. The Spirit of the Possession
11. For the Strength
12. The Exorcism of Ia Andu Eni
13. The God Neglect
14. Seven They Are
15. Affliction for Those Who Left Us Alone
16. Purification
17. Offering to the Uncurbers

DAMAGE: 6.0/10

Monday, August 26, 2013

Caedes Cruenta - ΣΚΙΕΣ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΩΝ (2009)

Caedes Cruenta "ΣΚΙΕΣ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΩΝ"
2009, Whisper of Death Records

I remember, i first saw this band on Metal Archives and there was nothing available by them anywhere around the nets, so i waited until someone graces the community with a personal rip. Yet, as that day seemed like it was never going to arrive, i decided to hunt down a physical copy, but the album was everywhere by the time i actually got my hands on it. Caedes Cruenta (meaning massacre in latin) have released one full length only during their 10 year carreer and if you wonder what the title means, its Greek for "Shadows of Demons".

The band is praising Scandinavian roots with heavily influenced songs from the second wave, with early Darkthrone/Gorgoroth riffs and sound. The vocals, along with the music, reminded me of Satanic Warmaster as well, at some parts, even though this one has a cleaner production in general. Yet, they maintain a personal approach to their music and they don't exactly fall into the trap of being  clones of other bands. It is a scourge of the early days of Greek black metal combined with Norwegian riffology and melodies,  keeping the ideas simple and straightforward. Lyrically, they are not stepping into unexplored areas and they ensure a standard quality with simple anti-religious and hateful lyrics, delivering an honest and notable message that all blacksters, to some extent, share. There are some clean chanting vocals and lyrics in native Greek in the self-titled song, which is quite pleasing and interesting to hear (even though i generally dislike songs in Greek).

The album lacks power at some bits like the vocals and the drums, which is a common problem in primitive black metal. Here, the drum work sounds a bit empty and weak as a whole, but still it doesn't ruin the riff-driven result. Timing a total of almost 40 minutes, it is an easy to listen album for the nostalgics of the early black metal scene like myself. There is little experimentation and a person who would like to listen to this should know that it's the real thing with no extra characteristics or anything. As a whole, it is not a groundbreaking album, but not a piece of trash either.

Track listing:
1. The Path where the Dark Legion Dwells
2. Eosphorus
3. Maccabre Sacrifices beneath the Hollowed Graves
4. Cold Eternal Night
5. Through the Forest of Wolf's Possession
6. ΣΚΙΕΣ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΩΝ (Skies Daimonon)
7. Religion of Blasphemy
8. Into the Ashes of the Unforgotten Woods

DAMAGE: 6.0/10

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Nightbringer & Dødsengel - Circumambulations of the Solar Inferno (2013)

Nightbringer & Dødsengel "Circumambulations of the Solar Inferno"
Spring 2013, Daemon Worship Productions

Occult masterminds Dødsengel from Norway meet the infamous Americans Nightbringer to collaborate on a split release under the aegis of Daemon Worship Productions, which is one of the most legit labels in the industry, hands down. It's the only release that both bands have scheduled for this year and a combined ritual of these guys together is an extraordinary event that should not go unnoticed.

Such an album should have artwork of some proper level of artistic merit, and it surely does. In dark brown, there is a sigil with a pentacle-like symbol and drawings of the God Ra all around it, which provides some information about the concept of the release as well. The conceptual background of this split is the esoteric doctrines of the journey of the sun in four courters, to death, to the underworld, to the rebirth and finally its ascent. Did you expect anything less enigmatic?

If you are familiar with Nightbringer's Hierophany of an Open Grave, you probably know what to expect. The first two songs are by them and they are very similar to the full length work of the band, consisting of intense black metal combined with parts of slow and decaying riff melodies. There is a new drummer called Menthor (has also played in bands like Lvcifyre, Corpus Christii and Enthroned) who doesn't miss a hit, if not improving the overall outcome. The production of the band is polished, as it was in the last two full lengths. Nightbringer have assured that there is a ritualistic and noisy introduction in their first song "Watchtower of the West: Gate of the Mighty Dead" so that the listener is welcomed to the claustrophobic oblivion that they will be in for about half an hour.

As Dødsengel kicks in, the differences in the production are apparent. Their sound is thinner and somehow dirtier, even though everything can be heard almost perfectly. They are known for their experimentation and it is a main characteristic of these two songs as well, melding doom metal with black metal, as well as some ritual ambient parts. "Watchtower of the East: Horus Sunflesh" has some shivering riffs and reminds a little bit of Negative Plane, whereas "Watchtower of the South: Drunk Upon Inmost Fire" has a tight intro, some chanting voices in the middle, solid musicianship as well as a meditating aesthetic.  It's more self-reflecting and the longest piece of the split, lasting 12 minutes.

I can't decide which side of the split i prefer and i believe breaking this release into parts would cause it to lose some of it's beauty. It is a multi-sided record with many hidden aspects around it, it can be described as innovative, and i'm positive for that alone. If you are a fan of these bands, check this out, some of their best stuff are acclaimed to be inside here.

DAMAGE: 7.5/10

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Nightbringer - Hierophany of An Open Grave (2011)

Nightbringer "Hierophany of an Open Grave"
Summer 2011, Season of Mist


I can't decide if time favors this band's ideas on writing and releasing albums. Only one year passed since the release of "Apocalypse Sun" and Nightbringer unleashed their third full length, and maybe their best work to date. This is an album that puts to the test theories like "Only the European BM is true", which is of course false, but just for the sake of arguement. I knew these guys were amazing musicians and i'm glad they decided to quit goofing around and get down to serious business. All the objections i had in the previous albums have been diversified and transformed to something greater and complete, which puts them among the top of their field.

Despite its length being a little bit over the top with one hour of music, the album is full of intriguing musical uances. They have perfected the art of switching tempos during the songs, improving the dynamics and comforting the listener that the listening experience will not be staggering this time. It has finally stepped into a room of real cosmic darkness, violently claiming the throne, as the tracks vary from chaotic fast melodies into tormenting doomy ones.

The blending of the two is perfect and almost goes unnoticed, making the album's flow truly amazing. The musicianship reigns supreme, erases any signs of mechanical studio recreation of the music (something that did not achieve in the previous releases) and all the instruments are alive with flesh and blood to praise the recording. 

Nightbringer experimented with new progressions and added some acoustic guitars while keeping the pattern of riffs they followed in their older albums. Some of the tracks on this album, like "The Gnosis of Inhumation", "The Angel of Smokeless Fire" and "Psychagogoi" are the best the band has ever released so far.

The ideological content of the album is a malicious presence, haunting the music. It is enshrouded in a mysticistic aura that is a painful burden to someone not familiar with their music, it is unfriendly and aims for the highest values of life and death, via a path of thorns. The band is exposing itself to serve the music, with a glorious vision of the genre as a unique art. Ritualistic chants, scourging sounds, demonic synths, never used before and invoke into an overwhelming result.

The difference is that this record is full of variety and wealth of melodies. It has become even harder to assimilate their music now, but that doesn't prevent them from getting the credits they deserve for it. As far as i'm concerned, the album was welcomed with open arms in the underground community, and i'm glad. This album has given birth to the wings that evolved the band from something unclear to a true, majestic band.

DAMAGE: 8.5/10

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Nightbringer - Apocalypse Sun (2010)

Nightbringer "Apocalypse Sun"
Spring 2010, Avantgarde Music


Coming back with a second album two years after their debut, Nightbringer released "Apocalypse Sun", which was highly anticipated at the time. It seems like "Death and the Black Work" worked great for the band's carreer and triggered them to continue, as the fanbase kept growing. I can't see what's so special about their first record, but this one is a notable improvement, by all means. To me, they fully placed themselves among the best bands of USBM and the orthodox scene with this album, which is ferocious and demonic from the start to the finish.

I had a feeling that the production would not let the compositions rise in the first record, and since this one is following the same path, i was correct. The immense musical borders of the band are unfolded with great success here, since the sound is clear and polished. The compositional ideas are not vastly different from the ones on the first but they do have expanded and they are much more enjoyable, as they are distinguishable. The album fails to avoid repetition, but it does create a chaotic atmosphere, which at least helps the band spread their occult message. One that listens to this album will recognize that it roots deeply into the orthodox territory, without having to read about the band's views in the first place, and that means victory for a record. The concept of the album, once again, will not be understood by the average listener because of the lack of knowledge on the subject, and that's why it's important for the music to somehow speak for itself. I'm sure part of the band's fans are trully inspired by these apocalyptic lyrics, and most of them probably peruse on them as well.

Nightbringer have wisely increased the number of tracks and they have divided their work to shorter portions. The album again lasts more than one hour, but it's easier to go through when there are tracks as short as 4 or 5 minutes. I'm glad they decided to move away from the slow pace they had, with additions to several fast songs and parts of songs, as the first two of the album "I Am I" and "Supplication Before the Throne of Tehom" and "Goblet of Sulfur and Poison". There is less ambiance as well -if there is any- and that leaves room to the tracks to create a vibe of their own. The guitars have that unbridled riffing method again and it fits most of the times, except when the album gets sluggish in songs like "Excitium: Litany of the Devouring Earth" and "The Utterance of Kasab'el", which are the weak points of the album. They don't have any major down points on their own, but compared to the delightful variety contained, they are cast aside. The vocal work is deep, painful and interesting. It helps the instruments most of the times, even though some howls are a bit inordinate and cover too much space for their spot. I admire the drums a little bit more as well, despite the fact that their machine-made sound is too obvious in a couple of songs.

All in all, it is a memorable album. When you listen to it for the first time, it feels like you have not consumed 100% of what it has to offer, and it seems one has to shut everything else off to fully appreciate the album. I can't speak for the black metal kvltsters that might be disappointed with the clean sound, which of course is not a negative issue. I did enjoy it more than the first album, but it didn't leave me with the best impression after i was done for half a dozen times. The comparisons with Deathspell Omega can't be avoided, but not in terms of which band is better (no contest) but as an example similar to Nightbringer's music. I can feel the potential and apart from my own taste, which did not fully approve it, i recommend it for the fans.

DAMAGE: 6.0/10

Monday, August 19, 2013

Nightbringer - Death and the Black Work (2008)

Nightbringer "Death and the Black Work"
Late winter 2008, Full Moon Productions


Nightbringer had already been around for almost ten years when their debut full length album "Death and the Black Work" was released in 2008. They are by now well known for their contribution to the USBM scene and their daring occult concept, which is present in their first work as well. I did listen to the album when it was first released and Nightbringer were not that popular, and it seemed like a cool record with bits and bites of value, but not something i would choose to listen to again anytime soon, if anytime. As Nightbringer built their own cult name in the scene and now the whole land knows them, i decided to revisit the first vile recordings. Today, it's just an unimpressive record.

The band is heavily devoted to the occult ideology and they are influenced by that in the aesthetic and lyrics of their music. I do like the orthodox style and i have high hopes of such bands, since they ought to breed darkness in them and deliver it via dim noises and melodies. However, i can't get any feeling out of this one whatsoever, even after several listens. The whole package (artwork and lyrics) is rather simplistic and uninventive, which brings up wonders like "Is that what they were preparing the last decade?", "Was this band formed the day before they released this?" or even "These kids listen to too much Deathspell Omega". An experienced listener would not fall victim of the superfluous mysticism and blackness, especially when one would get into the music itself. I've seen various comments about how this is a trendy black metal album etc... Its not completely false, but not correct either, considering that they proved their commitement the following years, but not with this sloppy and poorly written album. Because of the fact that the music is rather weak, all the occult characteristic seems like a fancy addition. I have to admit that i can't derive much from the actual lyrical work here, since i'm not that educated on the subject. I'm not getting skullcrushed by the artisticly violent music it shall have, as i do with other bands of this kind.

"Death and the Black Work" clocks up to one hour and five minutes from seven tracks. I was prepared for long songs and that's what i get. A disappointing aspect of that matter is the speed of the album, which is always middle-paced and repetitive, like the music is trying to hide behind the dusty production, like its afraid to get a little faster and heavier. The riffs are slow and dissonant, trying to create that occult atmosphere but failing, whereas the bass and the drums are scarce. There are a couple of fast parts and they don't bring anything new to the table, because of the drowning overall sound the album has. I had a hard time looking for a decent drum line into the mass of mediocre and lifeless plays and i'm confident that it would not sound very different if they were not at all there. The variatons from blast beats to slow and fast paced lines would have a certain beauty, if the production and the rest of the instrumentation weren't that brain entagling. They are focused on the guitars more, trying to create multiple riff layers as the compositions develop (Darkspace also attempt it, but with much better success). There are some interesting guitar lines, randomly scattered around the confusing main body, close to their ideal bands like Deathspell Omega, lacking the originality and variety the latter have. As if all that was not enough, the record is also way too long to be bearable, sooner or later you'll find yourself yawning and sighing in silence as if it will never end. I was begging for it to stop and i had the two 14 and 10 minute last songs to get through.

There is a short introduction in the beginning of the first song, something like dark ambient/noise to help the stench establish itself, but it does not have any effect, with its repeating samples and tape-recorded-like sounds. Various dark ambient parts are used throughout the album, but they don't move the earth any more than it already moves. So, was there anything i liked about it? Well, i can't say i did not enjoy a part of it, simply because i has been played again and its easy to dig. And because i like the bands they tried to immitate. If you skip the intro, "Caput Draconis - Black Saturn" is a solid song and so is "The River Lethe", as well as the beginning in "Of Silence and Exsanguination" which shows some vague influences from drone doom metal. Even if these parts seem attractive to me, i would not exchange a couple of good moments with an hour long below average album.

DAMAGE: 3.5/10

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Necromass - Calix. Utero. Babalon (2013)

Necromass “Calix. Utero. Babalon”
Summer 2013, Funeral Industries

The Italian horde is back with a vengeance, as they have been silent for the last fifteen years or so. They have their own reputation in the underground extreme metal scene, since they are considered one of the cult bands of the middle nineties in black metal. Time worked in their favor this time, since the new album has finally some taste. I had to go through the limb blender and the celestial testacles to reach into this gem.

First of all, there is an immense improvement in the production, and it finally helps their musical ideas to unfold. There is a balance between the sound of each instrument and it creates a pleasant, clear and enjoyable result. Or maybe i feel this way because the music is solid, but i don't think anyone can argue that this sounds better than their early stuff. I know there a lot of fans/worshippers of their early sound, however, this is a really good effort to be considered inferior to the rest of their discography. In fact, it is exactly the other way around to me.

There are many interesting ideas in the album, nicely melded together, creating something that i happily recongize as innovation. Its not pure straightforward black metal, it does not have a repetitive pace, it changes moods and melodies again and again in each song, without making the difference too obvious so that it would ruin it. The occult feeling is maintained more with the two interludes they have in between the full compositions, that consist of demonic speaches/vocals and weird samples. The guitar work and the vocals mostly create the atmosphere of the album, which is more melodic and less ponderous, with epic elements as well.

If i was to point some standout tracks, these would be "Scarlet Void of Lust" and "Dawn of the Silver Star", but the introduction and outro do add the cherry to the top. I can't hide my admirarion for the cover art as well, which reminds of a painting of a different era. It is a work by Franz von Stuck named “Tilla Durieux as Circe”, created back in 1913. I would buy this if i found it somewhere and so should you,  they deserve the support of the scene.

DAMAGE: 7.5/10

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ataraxie - L'Être et la Nausée (2013)

Ataraxie "L'Être et la Nausée"
Autumn 2013, Weird Truth Productions

Most of the times, you have to be really patient with funeral doom metal. You also gotta have a trained stomach to appreciate the music, since it’s very unwelcoming towards an unsuspicious listener. It is also dangerous when it comes in touch with mental instability, as the average funeral doom metal band is more serious and damaging than the average i.e. DSBM band. I’m not a die-hard fan of the genre, im very selective and i usually discard most of the stuff i listen to quickly. However, this right here is a really nice album after all.

Ataraxie are French and they have been around since the beginning of the century, counting three full length albums, with this included. They do flirt with doom/death, if they are not completely, and their albums dare to approach the checkpoint of an hour in duration, if not more. As for the band name, ataraxia is a Greek term used by Pyrrho and Epicurus for a lucid state of robust tranquility, characterized by ongoing freedom from distress and worry (go Wiki go). From the cover only, one can be warned and prepared about the content and the music here. Plain black with an edgy logo and a woman screaming, that's definitely music to work your overthinking on. L'Être et la Nausée means something like “Being in Nausea” and it consists of two disks, lasting 38 and 41 minutes each. I knew this band is somewhat popular and i always listen to albums like these, even if i think that i won't like them, but it turned out that i did not waste my time. On the contrary.

The first CD starts with “Procession of the Insane Ones” which is about 20 minutes. There is a clean melody in the beginning and continues with doomy slow riffs, as predictable as that would be, it’s bread and water for the fans of that scene. A nice characteristic that took me by surprise, is that the band is not afraid to increase speed and create fast parts in their songs, as in this one. It alters from clean guitar, to slow distorted and fast parts, as well as a middle paced rhythm in the end, quite heavy, depressing and damn great. The second track “Face The Loss Of Your Sanity” gets to the point from the first second, with a fast paced melody and howling vocals. Throughout its 17 minutes, you can hear many interesting ideas that give such variety to the song that it steps a little further from typical funeral doom, without losing its power whatsoever.  The last piece of the disk is a three minute interlude with sorrowful clean guitar riffs, its slow and relaxing, as if you’re swallowed by a deep black hole and you slowly see the light fade away.

The second CD has two songs, and it welcomes you with a fast, cut-throat, blackmetalish riff. It does not hesitate to drown into slower punishing doom lines again, always executed perfectly. Lasting ten minutes, it could be considered as a bridge between the previous songs and the massive ending track, which clocks about 27 minutes alone. “Nausée” is really long, slow and menacing. The first 20 minutes are the very meaning of funeral doom/death, with some clean parts in between, but mainly with these one-note-a-decade riffs all over it. For a couple of minutes then, it gets some velocity that creates a moment of black metal, before its final, miserable end.

All in all, this is a fine composed album, with a great production, great musicianship and great wretched vocals. If you are a fan of the genre, you should grow into it immediately.

DAMAGE: 8.0/10

Door to Door Promotion: Old Skin & Napalm Christ & Thula Borah

These releases were sent to me via email and they are posted by request.
Old Skin - MÆRE [EP]

 We are called Old Skin, based in Manchester, UK, and after just one show we were likened to Hessian, Oathbreaker and Amenra and played our second show at a sold out venue supporting Trash Talk.
Which means, this is a hardcore band for the hardcore peeps around here. MÆRE offers exactly what the fans want to listen, which is music easy to headbang and dance to. The new EP consists of five songs lasting about fifteen minutes. The first four songs are heavy and straightforward, whereas the last one is more down and low, merely an instrumental one.

Try a slice: Soundcloud
Download: Dropbox

Napalm Christ - Demo 2013

Napalm Christ hail from Arkansas, US and they are influenced by bands like Autopsy, Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower, Brutal Truth etc... Don't hesitate to think of another clone band, they do have their own sound, and this is their demo for 2013. These three songs, along with an additional 4 songs, will soon be available on cassette via Goatprayer Records.
Support on Facebook
Listen: Bandcamp
Download: Mediafire / Dropbox

Thula Borah - Qualia [EP]

Glasgow-based four-piece Thula Borah have just released their eagerly awaited new album 'Qualia'. The new album, a year after the release of highly acclaimed EP 'Live Secretly' which earned the band air play across a broad array of broadcasters, from BBC Radio 1, Channel 4’s Planet of Sound to an unlikely appearance on Radio 4’s Today Programme as well as encouraging reviews in the Daily Record and Blog sites all over the world.
The distinctive Thula Borah sound – which fuses post and alternative rock with ambient and acoustic textures - has been described variously as “a fiery cross between Mogwai and King Black Acid” (Dead Earnest) and “like pre-Screamadelica Primals, with a churning Ride undertow” (Channel 4). The band themselves shy away from any attempt to pigeon hole them, citing an eclectic array of influences, ranging from Low and Isis to the likes of Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins.

This is something totally different. A great mixture of post-rock and alternative rock, creating something relaxing, trippy and atmospheric. Thula Borah are listener-friendly and it seems that they had some great ideas to put in this release, making it a notable album for its style. Kudos to the band for having amazing vocals that don't ruin the euphoria. Recommended.

Listen and support on Bandcamp