The Promise of Plague – Sleepwalking into Armageddon (Review)

The Promise of PlagueThe Promise of Plague are an industrial black metal band from the US. This is their debut release.

Featuring members of Fatal Step, Astrum, Empyrean Asunder and the mighty Abominant, here we have 16 minutes of raw black metal with industrial/modern influences that place it somewhere between the underground and a more accessible area; not quite polished and commercial, but potentially getting there. Continue reading

Aborym – Shifting.negative (Review)

AborymThis is the seventh Aborym album. They play industrial metal and hail from Italy.

I love Aborym’s earlier work, but after Generator I lost track of the band unfortunately, so Shifting.negative is my first experience with them in about ten years or so. What a shocking omission on my part! This review will inevitably come from this viewpoint, as I have missed out on their last two albums, which would probably, (I imagine), have given me a more smoother transition to the current incarnation of Aborym. Continue reading

Orbseven – .ismos. (Review)

OrbsevenOrbseven is a solo project from the US and this is the third album of Experimental Black Metal that the project has unleashed.

This is a combination of electric Black Metal, sleek Post-Black Metal and ambient/avant-garde darkness. It’s an interesting combination and the resulting album is an exploration of state-of-the-art Blackness and atmospheric expression.

Darkened sounds and interesting effects enhance the tracks in a way that’s subtle enough to not steal any thunder from the main driving force of the guitars but has enough impact to be noticeable.

The songs are propelled by Blackened melodies and experimental sound structures, but there’s also enough Post-Black Metal wanderings to allow the room for shades of both light and dark. They’re well written, have great dynamics and are potent affairs.

.ismos. fosters an atmosphere that’s vaguely mechanistic but overtly malevolent and mysterious. Everything about this album from the music itself to the album cover deals in these mysteries and although there are no answers forthcoming the search for them is what’s important.

The vocals are a curious and varied affair. Multiple styles collide as spoken/distorted words, barely audible pseudo-ethereal sounds and subtle cleans all appear at various times during the tracks.

If you think along the lines of Dødheimsgard, Aborym, Red Harvest and Arcturus then you’ll have a good idea of the basic building blocks of the Orbseven sound. There’s even a couple of riffs here and there that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Mastodon album.

Orbseven is a creative and novel approach to what Black Metal should sound like in 2014. Taking the basic Black Metal template and building/distorting it is common enough, but the always interesting thing is where the band ends up once they have done this. In the case of Orbseven we end up with Experimental/Post-Black Metal that rolls smoothly out of the speakers.

A great effort – show your support.

ART 238 – Atavism (Review)

ART 238ART 238 are from France and play Industrial Extreme Metal. This is their latest EP.

Here we have three tracks lasting almost 22 minutes in total that showcase the band’s harsh blend of Industrial sounds and Death/Black Metal know-how.

Usually when bands attempt to merge these two genres the result is some half-hearted Death Metal with keyboards on top. ART 238 don’t fall into this trap, as the Extreme Metal they play is actually extreme, and the Industrial influences seem coded into the band’s make-up at the genetic level and then hybridised with cybernetics to create this fascinating beast.

ART 238 manage to merge ultra-brutal blast beats with more atmospheric Industrial workouts in a way that recalls Aborym if they had gone the Death Metal route rather than the Black Metal one.

Another thing I really like about this EP is that the songs take the time to explore their surroundings, like they’re genuinely trying to find the best fit for their various component parts. In a feat of ingenuity the band manage to work with both sides of their sound expertly and incorporate them into an Industrial Extreme Metal whole.

It’s a musical framework that not many bands try, as most that do usually sound weak, incoherent or like some 80’s synth parody. ART 238 sidestep all of this by going straight for the jugular with their creative brand of urban Metal.

For fans of and mixing influences from – Aborym, Mithras, Red Harvest, Axis of Perdition, Blut Aus Nord, Ministry, DødheimsgardKekal, Invertia, etc.

Highly enjoyable and highly recommended. This is the sound of a mechanised apocalypse.