Monday, 28 July 2014

Skyconqueror - Under The Pentagram (CD Review)

03.The Sanctuary Of 83
04.Horsemen Of The Grail
05.The Dusk
06.Under The Pentagram
07.Fallen Rainbow Warrior
08.Bells Of fate
09.Through Different Eyes
10.Running High
11.Blade Of Black

Demondawn (Vocals)
Hellduke (Guitar)
Mayhem (Bass)
Messiah Of Evil (Drums)

German band formed in 1997 by Jan Tappert and Carsten Stiens, after a few line up changes they settled on a four piece and drew influence from NWOBHM and classic hard rock bands.

After numerous demos they released their debut album 'Hellstory' in 2008 and later made an appearence in the movie 'Fate & Destruction', work on this new album began in december 2012.

'Monolith' kicks us off and takes us back to the glory days of early 80's metal, this one has a touch of Armoured Saint about it (remember 'Can U Deliver'??)mixed in with some Tygers Of Pan Tang.

Some faster riffs and drums for 'Demon' and a very obvious NWOBHM influence, they do manage to keep it the correct side of proto thrash/speed metal and create a good solid song.

Quite a moody start to 'Sanctuary Of 83', a spoken intro which works well and you are left waiting for the song to explode through the speakers, which it does for quite a Dio sounding song.

'Horsemen Of The Grail' has another awesome little riff running throughout, good strong vocal and some nice timing changes to drive this one along, but where was the blistering guitar solo that this one cried out for?

Acoustic guitar intro, then slow bluesy electric guitar, this one 'The Dusk' is looking dangerously like a "Ballad", lets hope not, but oh fuck slow and melodic then a heart wrenching vocal, yep this was a ballad, why oh why do bands insist on putting this kinda crap on their albums?

Do i detect some good old 12 bar chords? I was expecting 'Under The Pentagram' to have a Witchfinder General vibe, but this one is more like Saxon.

'Fallen Rainbow Warrior' is another one that is early 80's NWOBHM influence, and funnily enough another one i could have imagined Saxon doing.

After more of the same with 'Bells Of Fate' we get 'Through Different Eyes' which sounds like a 45 second intro dragged out to a four minute instrumental that goes nowhere and does nothing, a pointless waste of 4 minutes.

Fortunately 'Running High' gets back on track, this one reminds me of an old song, though cant remember which one, but whatever it is, this is another good track.

Ending with 'Blade Of Black' soild powerchords, mid tempo drum beats and a powerful vocal delivery, we end on a good one that even has some shout it out loud style backing vocals.

Rating 8/10
For Fans Of: Saxon, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Amulet, Cauldron

Thursday, 24 July 2014

King Dude - Fear (CD Review)

01.Open The Door
02.Fear Is All You Know
04.Devil Eyes
05.Cloven Hooves (Of Fear)
06.Demon Caller Number 9
07.Bloody Mirror
08.Lay Down In Bedlam
09.Bottomless Pit
10.Never Run
11.Miss September
12.Empty House
13.Watching Over You

TJ Cowgill (Vocals/Guitar/Field Recordings)
Joey D' Auria (Drums)

Contributing Musicians:
Bill Rieflin (Backing vocals/Piano/Organ/Bass)
Don Gunn (Backing vocals)
Brianna Atwell (Violin)
Emily Denton (Vocals on "Maria")
Vanessa Dandurand (Vocals on "Devil Eyes")

Pulling together the biblical sound and isolation of the bygone days of revelation with an atmosphere filled with hope and salvation, KING DUDE has woven his own unique brand of purely American music. He brandishes many varied influences in his songwriting... Everything from British Folk, Americana, Country and Blues can be heard in his songs. The resulting songs are much more of a modern day hymn then your average pop song.

Reverent as it is prophetic and stark, King Dude's latest album, entitled Fear, was produced by the legendary Bill Rieflin (Ministry, Swans, Pigface etc).

With Fear, TJ set out to make "the most horrifying music I could", so this one sounds intresting.......

The first track is basically a Ministry sounding intro and then the album gets going with 'Fear Is All You Know', quite a goth sounding track to my old ears, kinda like Bauhaus playing with Nick Cave via Captain Beefheart, really good, atmospheric and moody.

The style changes for 'Maria' which is very reminiscent of a down beat country take on Unchained melody, some haunting backing vocals give this a melancholic feel.

Yet another change of sound for 'Devil Eyes' this is Tom Waits meets Johnny Cash for an upbeat and dark modern country rocker.

Touch of acoustic rock with 'Cloven Hooves', quite a seventies feel to this one, reminded me of early Bowie.

Very weird opening to 'Demon Caller' must be some of that 'Field Recordings' by TJ, song is kinda run of the mill country tinged rock, nothing that special to make it stand out.

Some pure acoustic country blues for 'Bloody Mirror', gets weird towards the end with strange sound effects.

More dark country sounds with 'Lay Down In Bedlam' is followed by 'Bottomless Pitt' has waht i call that sing a long americana sound, dont know what else to say except that maybe if Joan Jett covered it you would get what i mean.

After some country with 'Never Run' we come to 'Miss September' a Lou Reed meets Neil Young (Circa Eldorado album) electric guitar driven downbeat song.

'Empty House' is a bleak ballad that has some simple guitar lines running through and a very simple drum beat, i dunno funeral/folk hybrid?

Back to a happier sound with 'Watching Over You', great backing vocals and some nice violin, a perfect way to end a dark album.

Rating 9/10
For Fans Of: Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Lou Reed, Neil Young, Nick cave, Mark Lanegan

The Badly Written Adventures Of Mycroft D'Sarde (Surreal Steampunk Noir)

So if you dont like reading then this is the perfect answer, because this online mini novel is badly written by ME!

Follow the link if you can be bothered.
Its a sort of steampunk, sci-fi, detective noir kinda thing, oh and had been described as 'Surreal' by another author of "real" books :-)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Dread Sovereign - All Hell's Martyrs

01.Drink The Wine
02.Thirteen Clergy
03.Cthulu Opiate Haze
04.The Devil's Venom
05.Pray To The Devil In Man
06.Scourging Iron
07.The Great Beast
08.We Weild The Spear Of Longinus
09.Cathars To Their Doom
10.All Hell’s Martyrs, Transmissions From The Devil Star

Nemtheanga (Vocals/Bass)
Dubh SOL (Drums)
Bones (Guitar)

Dread Sovereign is the born dead brain child of Nemtheanga from Primordial. Years of string hacking and slashing on guitar have finally come to realization as backed by Dubh SOL (Primordial) on drums and Bones (Wizards of Firetop Mountain) on guitar they have forged a new band.

A year's worth of riffs and crusty catharsis has been distilled into this ten track debut, picking up what was started with the 12" Pray To The Devil In Man, released in 2013.
Recorded and mixed at Sun Studios, Dublin in just seven days, the raw power and heft of creativity is as oppressive as it is head-bang-inducing.

The intro 'Drink The Wine' sounds more like something Ministry would do, this then follows on into 'Thirteen Clergy' as bass driven slow and pounding slab of doom laden metal, really good vocals as well, not your usual screaming crap either, proper singing!

Did i speak too soon? the vocal on 'Cthulu Opiate Haze' is back to generic growl vocal style, music's bloody good though.
Half way through the song changes for some ambient synth and guitarwork over whispered vocals, then its back to the heavy doom style.

Next song is just a little intro of synth and vocal sample that leads straight into 'Pray To The Devil In Man', a very choral vocal on this one, like a group of satanic monks, when the lead vocal starts its back to the cleaner style and works well.

'Scourging Iron' is very anthemic, superb vocals again, solid drums and a thumping bassline, pulled together with some slow guitar riffs followed by a blistering solo.

Another short intro that sounds like a recording of Alistair Crowley over some synth moves us into a doom laden 11 minute epic called 'We Weild The Spear Of Longinus'.
This one sounds more like Black Sabbath than Black Sabbath actually did.

'Cathars To Their Doom' picks up the pace a little and then gets this solid headbanging rhythm going, having mentioned Sabbath im going throw in Zeppelin with this one, that classic stop start sound, another great track.

Finally 'All Hell’s Martyrs, Transmissions From The Devil Star'and at 13 minutes the albums longest track, nice drum intro punctuated by some feedback guitarwork, this one is bordeline sludge metal then at around 10 minutes gets quite psychedelic with the synth backing over some phased guitar playing.

Rating 9/10
For Fans Of: Candlemass, Pentagram, Primordial, Cathedral, Triptykon

Friday, 18 July 2014

Nefandus - Reality Cleaver (CD Review)

01.Verses From The Chaosverse
02.A Single Second Of Clarity
03.Qayin's Hunt
04.Redeemer Of Fire
05.Reality Cleaver
06.Reborn As Wolf
07.From The Great Deep
08.Scorn Of The All Mind

Ushatar (Guitar)
Belfagor (Vocals)
Vrash (Drums)
Slob (Bass)

Swedish band Nefandus was founded as a satanic Black Metal band in 1993 by Belfagor, Ushatar and Blackwinged.
Now the band is still active as a duo (Ushatar & Belfagor) with principally the same agenda as in the beginning: "to spread the Light of Lucifer and the satanic legacy that has been chosen to the band by the gods and goddesses of Sitra Ahra."

The band released a demo tape entitled "Behold the Hordes" in 1995, when they had chosen the name Nefandus after a few other alternatives.
In 1996 came their debut album through Secula Delenda productions entitled "The Nightwinds Carried our Names".

After some years of silence Nefandus entered the studio (Endarker) in 2008 and recorded their second CD "Death Holy death", which was released by Belfagor´s Left Light Emanations with LP version through german World Terror Committee.
This was later followed by a MCD entitled "Your God is a Ghost" through Daemon Worship Productions.

The latest release 'Reality Cleaver' sees the band hone its unique, ritualistic and infectious music and delivers it in a deceptively paced fervour. The new album features artwork by Iblis Art and lyrical contributions from Grim Vindkall (Domgard, Snakeskin Angels), J.K. (Ofermod, Mortuus) and Vaerulv, as well as special vocals done by Thomas Sabbathi (Griftegard and Year of the Goat).

Right from the start i must confess to being a little surprised i was expecting some brutal and extreme music based on their bio and image, however clicking play on the first track 'Verses From The Chaosverse' i hear melodic Black Metal, slow and doom like, sure there is a blast beat over riff element thrown in, but the music remains moody, the vocal delivery is to be expected full of menace and growls, but again somehow remains melodic.

An upbeat bass and drum opening for 'A Single Second Of Clarity' and the pace is a little faster, but not to the extreme, that atmospheric quality remains.

'Qayins Hunt', 'Redeemer Of Fire' and 'Reality Cleaver' stick somewhere in between the 2 rhythm styles set out from the opening songs.

Now then 'Reborn As Wolf' is much faster, more in keeping with that more traditional based Black Metal sound, dual vocal effects thrown in for extra menace.

After getting back to that slow rhythmic sound with 'From The Great Deep' we come to the last track 'Scorn Of The All Mind'.
First of all there are some great female vocals on this track, but i have no idea by whom, the other vocalist on the song is Thmas Sabbathi and its a clean vocal style which works well with the music.

Rating 9/10
For Fans Of: Satyricon, Dark Funeral, Marduk, Phyrexia, Celtic Frost

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Rectified Spirit - Rectified Spirit (CD Review)

01.To Hold A Sabre
03.Paradigm Lost
04.The Magicians Birthday
05.Rectified Spirit
06.There Is No Tomorrow
07.Where The Ashes Fell
09.Until We Expire

Rainjong Lepcha (Vocals)
Samudragupta Dutta (Guitar)
Dishankan Baruah (Guitar)
Himangshu Borah (Bass)
Nishant Hagjer (Drums)

Rectified Spirit from India is doing something quite daring - it's merging various styles and calling it "Libero Metal" which defies classification. It has elements of Thrash, Power, Death, even modern metal and the music effortlessly oscillates from something powerful to something that's clean and soul-touching.

Formed in August 2005, the band started performing in various gigs of the active metal circuit of their hometown. However, after a few years of being active in the circuit, some of the band members left the band due to various individual engagements, from 2009 onwards. Thereafter, founder member and guitarist Samudragupta Dutta and long term bassist Himangshu Bora reformed the band again in the year 2011 with guitarist and long term friend of both, Imtiyaz Alam. With newly associated vocalist Rainjong Lepcha and drummer Nishant Hagjer the band started performing again in the active metal circuit of their hometown. But due to sudden departure of their friend Imtiyaz Alam, on account of his pressing individual engagements, the band has newly recruited guitarist Gitartha Goswami.

What a strange album, quite stunning really, a mix of Maiden and Megadeth superficially then so many other elements layered in.
Take the opening track 'To Hold A sabre', starts with this spoken introduction over a simple guitar piece then goes into Megadeth style riffs and drums, then the vocals come in, very melodic (Ie the guy actually sings!), but then the the vocals get all mixed up with high pitched to cookie monster styles, by which time the drum pace had doubled and the guitars have slowed slightly.Towards the end throw into the mix euro power metal rifferey and finally metalcore vocals!

So that track sets the standard for the entire album, i'm not going to go through each track, take what i said about the first one then multiply by 10, look fuck reading this just go and get the bloody album!

Rating 10/10
For Fans Of: Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Queensryche, Symphony X, Judas Priest

Necropoli - i (CD Review)

01.Ashes Of My Soul
02.Inner Space
03.A Step
04.Silence Awaits Me
05.Curriculum Vitae

Rodolfo Baroni (Guitar)
Dario Fabiani (Guitar/Bass/Synth/Vocals/Programming)
David Unsaved (Vocals)

Italian band born from the ashes of the funeral doom band Damnatio Memoriae in 2011, when founder guitarist Rodolfo Baroni met Fabiani Dario, with whom he immediately started composing for a new release, due to a good working harmony.

The duet try to go beyond the classical path of doom metal, defiling it with Drone, Death, Black and Downtempo influences, and aiming to express their music with no trivial.
They work together on the guitar lines, while Dario writes the bass and the drums lines, and part of the synth arrangement,they are also joined by Ennui vocalist David Unsaved.

Fairly straight forward opening song, 'Ashes Of My Soul' treads the funeral doom path with confidence.

Black Metal blasts beats make 'Inner Space' a bit more diverse, as does some of the chugging guitar riffs.

Very atmospheric start to 'A Step' and then those doom powerchords crash in only disturbed by some frantic double pedal work, a really haunting little keyboard riff runs throughout, slightly unnearving at times.

Up next is 17 minutes of 'Silence Awaits Me', melodic and heavy to start with, this epic is broken up by solem guitar solos over synth backgrounds and some intresting timing changes.

Finally 'Curriculum Vitae' a short 4 minutes to end with, weird vocal effects over simple synth patterns to make for a very disturbing ending.

Rating 10/10
For Fans Of: Celtic Frost, Pantheist, AHAB, Boris, Cephalic Carnage

Luna - Ashes To Ashes (CD Review)

01.Ashes To Ashes

DeMort (All Instruments)

Hailing from the Ukraine, DeMort has created a 56 minute gothic/symphonic/doom masterpiece.
Whoever this DeMort is, he or she has some talent, everything from string and wood instruments to synths, guitars and drums are used to near genious levels, this is a soundtrack to a gothic horror movie that you can create in your own mind.

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Nightwish, Therion, Dimmu Borgir, Epica

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Doomed - Our Ruin Silhouettes (CD Review)

01.When Hope Disappears
02.In My Own Abyss
03.A Reccurent Dream
04.The Last Meal
05.My Hand In Yours
07.What Remains

Pierre Laube (All Instruments/Vocals/Programming)
Pim Blankenstein (Vocals 'When Hope Disappears')
Andreas Kaufmann (Vocals 'The Last Meal')

East German doom project started by Laube in 2011, creating a traditional sound based on powerful harsh rhythm guitars, low accented bass and intensive solo guitars.

Starting with bells and various choral voices 'When Hope Disappears' grabs the attention straight away, soon moves into slow pounding doom with gutteral vocals.
The guitar is very melodic playing harmonies as opposed to de-tuned powerchords.
Towards the end the pace picks up, very 70's in style, then ends on more harmony.

Slow funeral doom for six solid minutes and 'In My Own Abyss' creates the perfect soundtrack for misery.

While 'A Reccurent Dream' returns to the style of track 1, the next one, 'The Last Meal', is more Black Metal with hyper drumming mixing it up with slower passages

Some really nice spoken word parts to 'My Hand In Yours', bringing yet another element to Laube's clever take on the doom genre, even some late 60's sounding guitar playing in this one.

'Revolt'could almost be a mainstream heavy metal song, quite a "nice" commercial take on Doom riffs, very catchy guitarwork, and a hypnotic drum beat.

Some prog elements to 'What Remains' at the start and then keeps the pace throughout, this one, again, has a lot more to offer than just Doom, very well put together, some striking bass work towards the end and that deep demonic vocal style all go to create something special.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Witchsorrow, Electric Wizard, Boris, Type O Negative, Triptykon

Friday, 11 July 2014

Emil Bulls - Sacrifice To Venus (CD Review)

01.The Grave
03.Pants Down
04.I Wanna Feel You
05.Rainbows And Butterflies
06.The Way Of The Warrior
07.The Reckoning
08.The Age of Revolution
09.Sacrifice To Venus
10.Gone Baby Gone
11.Man Or Mouse
12.Keep On Dreaming
13.Behind The Sun

Christoph v. Freydorf (Vocals)
James Richardson (Bass)
Andy Bock (Guitar)
Stephan Karl (Guitar)
Manuel Lotter (Drums)

They are the exact opposite of ‘typical German’ and at the same time one of the flagships of the German music scene.
Like no other band EMIL BULLS stands for a subtle underground spirit. For the past 19 years, the band has been delivering fresh and captivating tones without repeating itself.

3 years since their last release they return with a new record deal and new sound of "Alt Metal".
Hmm "Alternative" metal, that usuallly means crappy shouty music from what i have heard, dare i click play?

So play is engaged and 'The Grave' starts and yep its shouty crap with melodic pop chorus.Maybe the next track is good?

Well sounds better so far, 'Hearteater' has good drum playing, limited shouting and a strong melody running throughout

Oh no not again, shouting rubbish again, desperatly trying to be "Metal" sounds like a bunch of retarted post emo kids on an Andrew W.K bender!

No no no, there is a reason this stuff is called Alternative metal, just left out "To", sorry this is crap for kids who are looking for a new reason to pretend to metal, this is scene kid music.

Rating 4/10
For fans of: Black Veil Brides, Fightstar, Five Finger Death Punch, Kerrang! Magazine

Kurgaall (Italian Black Metal Band New Album Details)

Care for a little Black Metal??
KURGAALL, the Italian Satanic Black Metal Cult released it's new album entitled VOLUNTAS LUCIFERI through Deathstorm Records. 

The track listing is: 1. Lucifer will Reign Again2. Domination of Satan3. Raping the Corpse of the Holy Virgin4. King of Blasphemy5. Infernal War6. Ego Promitto Domino7. Night of Satanist8. Demon Seal9. Skull Throne of Satan

Wanna know what it sounds like then check out their first video for the single "Night of the Satanist".

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Vexilla Regis Prodeunt Inferi - Vexilla Regis Prodeunt Inferi (CD Review)

01.Chapter I: Serpents Council
02.Chapter II: Ceremony Of The Impure
03.Chapter III: Towards Battlefields
04.Chapter IV: Ravenous Apocalyptic Raids
05.Chapter V: Purification By The Sword
06.Chapter VI: Leviathans Coronation
07.Chapter VII: Nine Kingdoms
08.Chapter VIII: Hunting And Sacrifice
09.Chapter IX: Necropolis Rising

Bonus Tracks (Demo 2012)
10.Serpents Council
11.Ceremony Of The Impure
12.Towards Battlefields

Rubens Nergal(Vocals)
Jesus Inukai (Guitar)
Ignis Deo (Guitar)
Edgar Ramirez (Guitar)
Angs Balandran (Bass)
Daniel Sanchez (Drums)

Formed in 2009 V.R.P.I. is Mexico's best kept secret. With members of Necroccultus, Sargatanas, Ominous Crucifix, Supplicium and Leper Messiah in the lineup, this death metal force is stunning in its encapsulation of death and satanic heavy metal, taking into account all that we love about the genre - the darkness, the sheer intensity, the blasphemous flavour, not to mention the music.

From the horror movie styled opening of 'Serpents Council' you get the feeling that something is about to happen and yes the music does indeed explode through the speakers, yet surprisingly its quite melodic musically with some quality demonic vocals.

When the next song kicks in, it becomes a more traditional style of Blackend Death Metal, hyper drumming and screaming riffs, yet some great little breakdowns and some spoken word parts thrown in.

'Towards Battlefields' has a doom element to it, pounding drums but slow solid riffs, then short bursts of power.

Up next a short mix of samples and death metal that leads nicley into a six and a half minute onslaught, furious double pedal work, more screaming vocals and riff hell, thrown in are a few more horror movie samples, creates a great sound.

From this point on its more of the same, a well executed and produced mixture of death and black metal.

Rating 8/10
For fans Of: Necrophagia, Celtic Frost, Darkthrone, Morbid Angel, Deicide