Dec 24, 2018

Albums of the Year 2018


When looking at a certain scene from year to year, over a fairly long period of time (lets say, around five years), patterns start to rise and also the path a genre follows over time becomes more apparent. Trends come and go. Old bands get older, new bands pop up like acne, the system changes on many levels and the fan should be ready to adjust and follow. For the first time in years, I was actually disappointed by many bands I expected more from and was also impressed by bands out of my radar, while the situation outside the musical borders is clearly affecting festivals, artists and news websites.

Dec 22, 2018

2018: Top 15 non-metal albums

15. The Field - Infinite Moment
Genre: minimal techno, trance, edm


14. Nine Inch Nails - Bad Witch
Genre: industrial rock


13. King Dude - Music to Make War To
Genre: neo-folk, post-punk


12. Bruce Lamont - Broken Limbs Excite no Pity
Genre: industrial, electronic, goth


11. Pensees - Completion
Genre: future garage, trip-hop, experimental


10. Figure - Asylum
Genre: dubstep


9. Various Artists - We Out Here
Genre: jazz


8. Old Tower - Stellary Wisdom
Genre: dungeon synth, dark ambient


7. Mouse on the Keys - tres
Genre: contemporary jazz


6. Author & Punisher - Beastland
Genre: industrial doom


5. God Is An Astronaut - Epitaph
Genre: post-rock


4. Xylouris White - Mother
Genre: Folk, avantgarde


3. Fire! - The Hands
Genre: jazz


2. Merzbow & Hexa - Achromatic
Genre: noise


1. Anna von Hauswolff - Dead Magic
Genre: darkwave, neoclassical

Dec 20, 2018

2018: Top 10 Greek metal albums


10. Rapture – Paroxysm of Hatred

9. Mass Infection - Shadows Became Flesh

8. Embrace of Thorns - Scorn Aesthetics

7. Mass Culture - Primal | Ephemeral

6. Nigredo - Flesh Torn - Spirit Pierced

5. Μέλαινα Χολή - Στα βάραθρα της νύχτας

4. Ectoplasma - Cavern of Foul Unbeings

3. Akantha - Apocalyptic Psalms

2. Lucifer's Child - The Order

1. Varathron - Patriarchs of Evil


Dec 17, 2018

2018: Top 10 EPs


Out of a total of 77 EP releases I listened to in 2018.

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10. Sanguinary Trance (Austria) - Wine, Song and Sacrifice | Listen

9. Horna (Finland) - Kuolleiden kuu | Listen

8. Μνήμα (Greece) - The Remains of Human Bones | Listen

7. Catacombes (France) - Accueille le Diable | Listen

6. Drottnar (Norway) – Monolith II | Listen

5. Myrkur (Denmark) - Juniper | Listen

4. Profanatica (US) – Altar of the Virgin Whore | Listen

3. Evil Priest (Peru) – Black Seeds… Of Creation | Listen

2. Apognosis (Greece) - Cult of Human Sacrifices | Listen

1. Twilight (US) – Trident Death Rattle | Listen


Dec 14, 2018

2018: Top 15 demos


I can never do a proper run over demo releases, but this year it was slightly better than usually, when I totally ignore them. Some of the entries are not pure demos but demo compilations, but it isn't important for me, and probably for no one! Each time I say I will do better on this section the next time I'm on it, for 2018 it is slightly the truth.

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15. Najwyzszy (US) - An Orchestration in Shadows | Listen  
14. Sinira (US) - Dawnless Twilight | Listen 
13. Laudanum (Unknown) – III | Listen 
12. Morannon (Sweden) - Spectral Darkness | Listen 
11. Evulse (US) – Call of the Void | Listen 
10. Estve (Hungary) - Az enyészet ajtaja | Listen 
9. Drekavac (US) - Collection I | Listen 
8. Lathliss (US) - Demo I | Listen 
7. Ancient Morass (Netherlands) - Bog Barrow | Listen
6. Drowning the Light (Australia) - The Vampyre Cipher | Listen


5. Arditi (Sweden) – Bloodtheism

4. Knife (Finland) – Torture… Darkness… The Craft Of Sorrow

3. Staar (Netherlands) – Maanschaduwen

2. Voidness (Greece) – Forest of the Impaled

1. Dispirit (US) - Enantiodromian Birth


More coming.

Dec 11, 2018

2018: Some good albums


I usually would make a really long list (of say, 100 releases), or include a separate group of randomly placed records in the final post, yet this year I'm gonna use a seperate post for it. Here is a collection of various albums I liked in 2018, that all of them couldn't be in the final 25 top list (spoiler alert) but do deserve a mention somewhere, and a few of them were pretty close and right up there. Many of them you might see in other end year lists, and several should be in all of them, right? The upcoming posts are being made as we speak. 


Almost made it to the 25:
Taphos – Come Ethereal Somberness
Golgothan Remains - Perverse Offerings To The Void
Wiegedood - De Doden Hebben Het Goed III
Anaal Nathrakh – A New Kind of Horror 
Manes - Sinnets Irrganger
Torture Rack - Malefic Humiliation
Throneum - The Tight Deathrope Act Over Rubicon
Helrunar - Vanitas Vanitatvm 
Ectoplasma – Cavern of Foul Beings 
Craft – White Noise and Black Metal
Xibalba Itzaes – Ah Tza Xibalba Itzaes
Perversor - Umbravorous

A pool of good albums:
Abduction – A Crown of Curses
Abysmal Grief – Blasphema Secta
Akantha – Apocalyptic Psalms 
Augury – Illusive Golden Age
Autokrator - Hammer Of The Heretics 
Avslut – Deceptis
Baise ma Hache – F.E.R.T.
Barren Altar - Entrenched In The Faults Of The Earth
Barús - Drowned
Bloodbath – The Arrow of Satan is Drawn
Bonehunter – Children of the Atom
Burial Invocation - Abiogenesis
Burkhartsvinter – Hohenkrähen
Cosmic Church – Täyttymys
Chaos Echœs – Mouvement
Chaos Invocation – Reaping Season, Bloodshed Ahead
Corpessed – Impetus of Death
Craft – White Noise And Black Metal
Crocell – Relics
Curse Eternal - Antichristian Ceremonial Madness
Death Scepter – Black Trance
Deathhammer – Chained to Hell
Demonomancy – Poisoned Atonement
Drawn and Quartered - The One Who Lurks 
Drudkh - Їм часто сниться капіж (They Often See Dreams About the Spring)
Elegiac – Pagan Storm
Eriphion - Δοξολογία
Evil Warriors – Fall from Reality
Faustcoven - In the Shadow of Doom
Ghastly – Death Velour
Gorod - Aethra
Gortuary – Divine Indigenous Sacrament
Grá – Väsen
Haunt – Grimoires of Undead Power
Harvest – Medieval Satanic Poison
Human Serpent – For I, The Misanthropist
In the Woods… - Cease the Day
Ingested – The Level Above Human
Iskald – Innhøstinga
Iskandr – Euprosopon
Kalmah - Palo
Knelt Rote – Alterity
Knokkelklang - Jeg Begraver
Kraanium – Slamchosis
Krukh - Безглуздість!
Make A Change… Kill Yourself – IV 
Mornië Utúlië - The Dark Mysteries of the Multiverse
Mournful Congregation – The Incubus of Karma
Mythic Dawn – En Svunnen Tid
Nahtrunar - Mysterium Tremendum
Nightbreed – Beyond Inferno
Nigredo – Flesh Torn-Spirit Pierced
Panphage – Jord
One Tail, One Head – Worlds Open, Worlds Collide
Outer Heaven - Realms of Eternal Decay
Outre-Tombe - Nécrovortex
Ritual Necromancy – Disinterred Horror
Rodent Epoch – Rodentlord
Rundagor – The Beastrealm
Sepulcher – Panoptic Horror
Shakma – House of Possession
Skeletal Remains – Devouring Mortality
Solar Temple - Fertile Descent
Spectre – Grim Menace from Beyond
Sulphur Aeon – The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos
Summoning – With Doom We Come
Svederna – Svedjeland
Terrorizer – Caustic Attack
Trollheims Grott – Aligned with the True Death
Urfaust – The Constellatory Practice
Verheerer – Maltrér
Wallachia – Monumental Heresy
White Wizzard – Infernal Overdrive
Wyrms - Altuus Kronhorr
Uuntar – Voorvaderverering
Vultur – Entangled in the Webs of Fear
Γνόφος – Κατάνυξη

Dec 1, 2018

2018 sum up


December has arrived, and with it the summary of the year that is about to die has begun to take form here in the offices of Arson Café. It will probably be a devoted 4-5 posts on it this time, about the same as the last five years or so (look to your right at AOTY). It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year.

Nov 26, 2018

In the Woods - Cease the Day (2018)

Black / Avantgarde Metal, Norway
Debemur Morti Productions

1. Empty Streets 
2. Substance Vortex
3. Respect My Solitude  
4. Cloud Seeder 
5. Still Yearning  
6. Strike Up with the Dawn 
7. Transcending Yesterdays
8. Cease the Day

Like in cinema, some artists will always be overshadowed by a specific and extremely popular work of theirs, for all of their carreer.

Nov 20, 2018

Dødsferd & Fhoi Myore - Kresis (2018)

Black Metal, Greece / France
Svoboda Records

Dødsferd
1. Withered by Death

Fhoi Myore
2. Khimaira Atomos

Nov 11, 2018

Deathhammer - Chained to Hell (2018)

Thrash Metal, Norway
Hells Headbangers

1. Rabid Maniac Force
2. Satans Hell  
3. Black Speed Inferno 
4. Threshold of Doom 
5. Tormentor
6. Into the Burning Pentagram  
7. Chained to Hell 
8. Evil

What is it to unlike? Among the coolest bands of their breed out there. If you liked Evil Power, high pitched screams, and metal patches, one more treat your way.

Nov 1, 2018

lo-fi lowlife - d. 6

Abysmal Lord
Playlist:

The One - II
Sun Worship - Castle High
Aasgard - Splendour of the Barbaric Winter
Grafvitnir - The Great Beast
Azaghal - Tuhkaan Kirjoitettu
Celestial Bloodshed - Truth Is Truth, Beyond God
Morbid - Wings of Funeral
Hellvetic Frost - Ravaged through Sorrow
Rimfrost - Mountains of Mana
Slaughttbath - Impale Them
Profanatica - Scourging and Crowning

Oct 25, 2018

lo-fi lowlife - d. 5

Winslow Homer "The Woodcutter"
Playlist:

Winterfylleth - Casting the Runes
Ulver - Hymne IV: Wolf And Man
Pagan Hellfire - Plague Winds Howl Again
Sigh - Weakness Within
Forgotten Woods - Sjel av Natten
Clandestine Blaze - Myth Turned Alive
Vlad Tepes - Walachian Tyrant
Archgoat - Death and Necromancy
Negura Bunget - Blãznit
Avzhia - Black Prayer
Kawir - Eumenides
Abyssic Hate - Bloodletting

Oct 19, 2018

lo-fi lowlife - d. 4


The playlist:

Angelcorpse - Reap the Whirlwind
Veles - The Winter Morning
Diabolicum - The Hatecrowned Retaliation
Abigor - As Astral Images Darken Reality
Dødheimsgard - When Heavens End
Bilskirnir - Nordic White Desert
Setherial - Morkets Tid
Wolfsschrei - With Fangs and Claws
Necromantia - Ancient Pride
Inquisition - Nefarious Dismal Orations
Slaughtered Priest - Eternal Goat Reign
Horna - White Aura Buried in Ashes
Black Funeral - Valley Of The Shadow

with:

Train Station Dark Side Imperial Ale

Oct 6, 2018

Lo-fi Lowlife - D. 3


The playlist:

Fluisteraars - Stuk
El-Ahrairah - Stone Throwers
Chätiment - Sang des Carpathes
Slægt - Det Første Efterår
Ramlord - The Breached Sanctum
Deathhammer - Evil Blood
Skelethal - Putrefaction
Peste Noire - Paysage Mauvais
Entrails - Collection of Cracked Heads
Sargeist - Returning to Misery & Comfort
Katharsis - Ascent from Ghoulgotha

The liquid:

Bernand Amber Lager

Sep 30, 2018

Lo-fi Lowlife - D. 2


The playlist:

Carpathian Forest - The Northern Hemisphere
Sepultura - Necromancer
Mortuary Drape - Larve
Moonblood - Troglodytin
Death Courier - The Hauter of the Dark
Blasphemy - Darkness Prevails
Acheron - 666
Tha Norr - Tyrant of A New Aeon
Unanimated - Life Demise
Sort Vokter - Grålysning
Depressive Silence - Forest of Eternity
Swordmaster - Wraths of Time
Mütiilation - Black Wind of War
Rotting Christ - The Nereid of Esgalduin

The liquid:

Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA

Sep 28, 2018

Brutal Truth - Kill Trend Suicide EP (1996)


This is a proper lesson and example to the question of what a genre ideally sounds like, especially in the case of grindcore the recent years, which in my opinion, most of the bands are completely missing the point. Be careful what you listen to, because Brutal Truth is indeed the truth!

Sep 23, 2018

Grammy Awards 2018 - Best Metal Performance

Me posting this in September, which is an eternity later, makes the waiting for next year's event much less. I had thought of continuing last year, but of course I forgot and let's look into that shit now, long after the party's over.

Mastodon - Sultan's Curse
Body Count - Black Hoodie
August Burns Red - Invisible Enemy
Code Orange - Forever
Meshuggah - Clockworks

I'm not really surprised any of the bands are featured (maybe a bit for Meshuggah), all of them represent modern American mainstream as hell metal. Success is an important factor in picking artists and in these terms, Mastodon winning is a reasonable outcome and their had a good song here as well. It is a very polarizing band and the truth is, mostly non-metallers like them. So, that means a lot of people.

I also guess Power Trip would have participated in this, if their video clips managed 2 million views on Youtube, or more.

It shouldn't be mentioned how much I prefer Meshuggah to all of the rest. Like, levels above everyone, they shit on them for fun and "Clockworks" is an orgasmic track. I can't talk that warmly about Body Count, who I never listened and don't feel like jumping around with their stuff ("Black Hoodie" covers Sound of da Police, go on and check yourselves). Truth is, they are only relevant in the US.

August Burns Red are the least annoying right after Meshuggah, and I enjoyed the video clip of "Invisible Enemy" more than if it was the band itself jamming on it. The track has some sweet, characteristic ABR sound textures. Code Orange are completely uninteresting to me. I know local Greek hardcore bands that would hit harder than this "hardcore punk" circus.

If I were to put these tracks in terms of personal appeal, it would go like that: Meshuggah, August Burns Red, Mastodon, Body Count, Code Orange

Arson Cafe's best metal performance for 2017: Enslaved - "Sacred Horse"

Sep 19, 2018

Lo-fi Lowlife - D.1


Watain - I Am The Earth
Ravencult - Sacrilege of Death
Tsjuder - Lord of Swords
Baptism - Esoteric Spheres
Funeral Mist - Bread to Stone
Hate Forest - Elder Race
Aosoth - Songs Without Lungs
Nazxul - World Oblivion
Sorgsvart - Hedersmann
Korgonthurus - Puhtistuksen Tulet
Thunderbolt - Call from the Ancient Time
Belenos - Terre de Brume
Horna - Nostalgiaa

Aug 28, 2018

Bullet Ratings #6

Alice in Chains - Rainier Fog [2.5/10]
I don't think they are relevant anymore. Other than a couple of tracks ("So Far Under" is nice!) I couldn't listen to it. It will not sound bad for new listeners of modern alternative rock. I'm just not into their latest material at all.

Aether - Ego Vitium Sum [7.5/10]
It has power and deep atmosphere, I would prefer slightly different vocals than those howling ones but it didn't really bother me after all. Nice.

Coffinrot - Retribution Divine [3/10]
Too much blast beating and predictable riffs, the singer's scream try but it ain't really going anywhere.

Convulsing - Grievous [6.5/10]
While the compositions and the atmosphere are quite good, I would have preffered some faster moments at times.

Cultor Noctis - Demiurg (Demo) [8.5/10]
Brilliant.

Lampir - The Alchemy of Cursed Blood [5/10]
Extremely distant and cold, with nice ideas, even though it got a bit repetitive to me.

Manes - Slow Motion Death Sequence [4/10]
I always find a couple of moments to hung on to, in their new releases. I didn't find one this time. Manes are moving towards sounds I can't deal with that much.

Pious Levus - Beast of the Foulest Depths [1/10]
Shit vocals, no original content, fake production. What is this?

Plaguestorm - Eternal Throne EP [7.5/10]
Great black / thrash tracks, with awesome vocals and flow. Good stuff.

Rabbit Junk – Modified Mortality [6/10]
I don't know what that is, but it was fun listening to it, even though I ain't gonna touch it again.

Siege Column - Inferno Deathpassion [4.5/10]
An album with a good attitude that loses many points from its sound. There is space for improvement in the drums and guitar lines as well, but I really like the cover! Reminds me of old RPG games, sweet.

Sociasylum - Crossroads [6.5/10]
Sweet cover and good production of this powerviolence / grindcore act, they have some hardcore breakdowns and most of the songs are heavy enough.

The Red Coil - Himalayan Demons [2/10]
They need more time to clear their production, personalize their ideas and get a fuller and heavier sound.

Aug 17, 2018

Bullet Ratings #5

  • Aphex Twin - Collapse EP [7/10]
Fun listen and didn't make me wanna turn the player off, like some of his other stuff.
 
  • Black Tusk - TCBT [4/10]
I don't know why I can't get into this band and most of the tracks I found generic.
 
  • Candelabrum - Portals [3.5/10]
Too much flat noise that had me bored quickly.
 
  • Cemetery Urn - Barbaric Retribution [9/10]
A proper death metal record that honors the past and its greatest bands, as well as being in bed with the sound of the more recent greatest bands in the genre. Right next to Dead Congregation.
 
  • Defeated Sanity - Chapters Of Repugnance [8.5/10]
The deluxe edition re-release was a good reason to come back to one of my favorite BDM albums.
 
  • Ende - Goétie Funeste [6.5/10]
Not much innovation but a few good moments saved the day.
 
  • Excision - Apex [4/10]
An overall good listen, but no bangers were as impressive as in previous records.
 
  • Ill Omen - The Grande Usurper EP [6/10]
Nice guitar lines and melodies in general, but I didn't like the sound of the vocals and the production of the EP.
 
  • Innumerable Forms - Punishment in Flesh [7/10]
Sweet and dirty.
 
  • Mortuary Drape - Necromantic Doom Returns (Compilation) [7/10]
Including tracks from their early demos in the late 80's, as well as some early live recordings, makes this compilation a good rotten gem for the fans of the band.
 
  • Mørketida - Panphage Mysticism [5.5/10]
I had higher hopes for this release because of its promotion but it doesn't shake much ground. By no means bad though.
 
  • Nicki Minaj - Queen [6.5/10]
This album should have less tracks, because about half of it I really, really like. One of her better efforts, good job.
 
  • Primitive Man & Unearthly Trance - Split [6/10]
Primitive Man haven't impressed me in the past, they didn't now either. Good that something happened when Unearthly Trance hit.
 
  • Unanimated - Annihilation EP [8.5/10]
Amazing tracks with a feel of early Swedish melodic black (as they proudly are a part of) and touches of Dissection. Is "From a Throne Below" a title coincidence, thinking that Watain also have a track "A Throne Below" in their recent album? I will never know. Anyway, all four tracks are in my player.
 
  • Young Thug - Slime Language [5.5/10]
I have to say i like his solo material more than the songs here, which -almost all- feature other artists. Nice artwork (with a sign language reference probably to his deaf brother) and a few nice trap tracks here and there. Wouldn't listen to such stuff too many times though.

Jun 15, 2018

A Norwegian Black Metal Playlist - 90's Part I

I would usually make an album list for this but for once, I chose specific favorite tracks to support the case instead of whole records. I try to maintain one track by each band when it's not a specific band's playlist, which means of course I have more tracks but the artists I like that I didn't use here. Many of them are personal choices of some of my favorite tunes, so if anything's missing, it's not that I might have ignored or overseen it. I wanted to create a Spotify playlist but some tracks were missing so I decided just to list Youtube links to each track, for anyone to have a quick listen. I have a second part of a similar playlist and then a third installment for bands active after 2000, I don't know when I will write things up about them in the future though.

Feb 17, 2018

Turbonegro - Scandinavian Leather

Turbonegro (Norway)
Scandinavian Leather (2003)
Burning Heart Records (Sweden) | Epitaph Records (US)

After all this time, I'm returning to posts about shit I buy and it's not all too much lately. I've always wanted to look more into Turbonegro albums because it's a band that has been suggested many times and they seem to be liked by metalheads quite much. I found Scandinavian Leather in a second hand store for a really cheap price, mostly among totally random numbers there, but it was the discovery that made me buy it in the end. I don't know much about them and a track featured here, "Train of Flesh", is weirdly the first I heard by Turbonegro ever. Even though there's lots of "ooOOOoo" for my taste, some tracks are catchy and well written. From what I have heard so far, it's only specific tracks by the band I dig.

Favorite tracks: Gimme Somme, Train of Flesh, F**k the World (F.T.W.)

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