Tag Archives: Reviews

Belphegor|Conjuring the Dead

belphegor

 It has been three long and cold years since Austria’s Belphegor has graced us with their legendary hateful sounds.  Lineup changes have interfered with Belphegore’s ability to record, but being ever resourceful, they’ve unleashed their ninth album to date on August 8th, 2014.  With Helmuth on vocals, “Conjuring the Dead”, takes on a more pronounced death metal feel than the band’s other releases.

Being a black metal elitist type, I found myself longing for the classic and frigid sounds of Blutsabbath or even the hate-filled screams of Bondage Goat Zombie, particularly in the beginning of the album.  That, however, could have been a personal preference.  “Conjuring the Dead” is solid, well produced, death metal release–a force to be reckoned with–bearing all of the ferocity of prior releases.

The album really starts to pick up around the fifth track–”Black Winged Torment”–with dissonant riffing and melodic undertones.  This trend continues to spread throughout the release like a malignant tumor, reaching a high point in the track “Lucifer, Take Her”, a particularly dramatic track, a prototypical Belphegor song, that accentuates all elements of the true Belphegor we’ve grown to love over the years. They end the album eerily, with the foreboding and slower track, “Pactum in Aeturnum”.

Overall, “Conjuring the Dead” is a solid release, even if it’s not truly representative of Belphegor’s career.  This release may get lost in the mix in comparison to the colder and more intense prior releases.  Even though “Conjuring the Dead” may not stand out as one of Belphegor’s more memorable albums, it will not disappoint fans. But listen for yourself.  Below is the official music video for Conjuring the Dead (some of the most evil shit I’ve seen in the past month).  Happy Listening.  Hails!

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Morbidity- Revealed from Ashes

morbidity

It’s not everyday that band hailing from Bangledesh blows me away.  Recently signed to Memonto Mori Records, Morbidity has, as their debut album so eloquently pontificates, revealed themselves from ashes.  Seriously, this band came out of nowhere and punched listeners in the face with a sound so true, so Swedish before In Flames fucking ruined Sweden, that Attack Attack fans everywhere are tucking their penises and running away.

Evoking images of warfare and Hell’s firey gates, Morbidity’s debut, entitled “Revealed from Ashes”, is eerily reminiscent of early Swedish death legends like Unleashed and Grave.  Their neatly placed guitar riffs remain thrashy while carefully merging an unpolished and intense sense of melody untarnished and uninfluenced by the mainstream’s definition of “melodic”.  Defiler’s vocals are an echoing growl to nethergods, while unobnoxious blast beats spew forth naturally from the heels of Israfel.  Can you get any more metal than a name like Defiler?  Here is a band that understands the importance of having a metal image.

Morbidity doesn’t feel the need to overwhelm its fans with intricate guitar solos or ridiculously long songs, instead making every riff count.  At times the songs seemed to meld together, as though they were one 45 minute assault, but I found no real complaint with this.  This element only immersed me deeper into Morbidity’s dark world.  Tracks like “Decaying Souls” incorporated melodic and eerie interludes that broke up the the typical lightening fast riffing found throughout the album nicely.  I really enjoyed the bridges in songs like “Pits of Eternal Torment” and “Let There Be Chaos” and the track “Morbidity” is as unapologetically brutal as any track named after the band itself should be.

Overall, this album, this band, impressed me very much.  This is one of those new releases I am happy to have discovered and will revisite time and time again.  Beginning to end, “Revealed from Ashes” had me spellbound in all it’s melodic glory.  But what do I know, right.  Listen for yourself.  Happy listening! Hails!

Abduction

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Doom and gloom is everywhere you look anymore. French quartet Abduction are no exception to this rule with their 2010 demo Heights’ Shivers. An intriguing mix of melody emblematic to Sweden’s distinguishable sound and shoegaze, Heights’ Shivers conjures images of dreamscapes and dead forests drenched in rain.

The demo showcases solid musicianship, catchy melodies and hypnotic acoustic interludes. Not intricate enough to be defined as progressive and not depressive enough to be shoegaze, at times the demo fails to capture a definitive feel, specifically the song Banquet for Another Dead World, leaving he listener a bit confused.

Emulating bands like Sweden’s Dammerfarben, China’s Midwinter and even early Opeth, the demo will likely please most shoegazers and headbangers alike, with progressive changes and depressive lapses, followed still by melodic black metal riffing. Time will tell if Abduction is to hone their sound to a more tangible feel. For now Heights’ Shivers is an interesting addition to my collection, but, as usual, I will let you all put this artist to the test. Happy Listening. Hails!

http://www.last.fm/music/Abduction

Herode

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You know a band kicks ass when you’re headbanging to their demo, sans company, in comfort of your bedroom. This was exactly the state of which I found myself whilst listening to Herode’s most recent demo Antichristus. From the bowels of Judecca, Canadian quartet Herode (side project of also unsigned Difamation), assaults listeners with classic, in your face, melodic death metal.

Thrashy riffs, perfectly timed breaks and demonic dual vocals characterize the band’s 2009 demo, Antichristus, leaving a scar-like impression on unsuspecting listeners. Reminiscent of bands like Dismember and Autopsy, death metal connoisseurs are sure to be pleased with tracks like Beast or State of Decay. The 2009 demo is a war march, beginning to end, never boring the listener with sloppy soloing or predictable breakdowns. Instead Herode provides catchy riffs, interesting interludes and solid production.

With only one full length release entitled Death of Vengeance and latest demo Antichristus, one’s left with the question of why the band has not released more material. We can only hope that freshly pressed, new Herode will soon be underway. For now, though, I invite you into Hell with Herode. Below are links to the bands Myspace page, Lastfm and even a live video. Happy listening. Hails!
http://www.last.fm/music/Herode
http://www.myspace.com/herodemetalband
http://www.myspace.com/zonemetalquebec72/videos/herode-quebec-2009/56365632

Dawn

dawn band

First in my artillery of clandestine talent are Swedish Melodic Black Metal pioneers, Dawn. The quintet are seasoned veterans in the genre, bludgeoning Sweden with their brand of Black Metal since 1990. Despite being active for over twenty years the band has only released two full length albums to date, Nær Sólen Gar Niþer For Evogher and Slaughtersun.

Lack of recording is most likely the reason this band has yet to be signed. That said, those two releases deliver a symphony for the senses. What stands out about Dawn is the brightness of their sound. The production quality is impressive to say the least yet they remain kvlt, never sounding overproduced. Drummer Tomas Asklund (former Dissection, Gorgoroth and Dark Funeral) is clearly the creative force behind the band as the style is akin to Storm of the Light’s Bane era Dissection.

The ’94 release Nær Sólen Gar Niþer For Evogher is a genius throwback from beginning to end, ranging from the haunting melodies of Eyesland to the epic beauty of As Tears Fall and even the victorious battle cry that is Everflaming; Nær Sólen Gar Niþer For Evogher promises not to disappoint. The album reaches a climactic point at track 7, Svarter Skiner Sólen, leaving the listener hypnotized. Overall the album is good, solid, classic Swedish Black Metal. The world needs more bands like Dawn. But I will let you be the judge. Happy Listening. Hails!