Demonic Obedience – Fatalistic Uprisal of Abhorrent Creation (Review)

Demonic ObedienceThis is the third album from Greek/UK blackened death metal band Demonic Obedience.

On Fatalistic Uprisal of Abhorrent Creation Demonic Obedience offer up 33 minutes of malignant blackened death metal. Merging brutality with no small amount of mood and atmosphere, this is a very gratifying album. Continue reading

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Arkhon Infaustus – Passing the Nekromanteion (Review)

Arkhon InfaustusArkhon Infaustus are a black/death metal band from France and this is their latest EP.

After a decade of nothing, we now witness the rebirth of Arkhon Infaustus. The creature that has come crawling back out of the underworld is a fresh, reinvented version of the older one that so many people held highly, however. Continue reading

Mithridatic – Miserable Miracle (Review)

MithridaticThis is the début album from French Blackened Death Metallers Mithridatic.

Boasting a heavy and dirty sound that immediately puts me in mind of Arkhon Infaustus’ Blackened Death Metal classic Filth Catalyst, Mithridatic reveal themselves to be a similar proposition, albeit one with its own blackened charms, of course.

The songs are extremely satisfying and have that fine ratio balanced just about right between Black Metal and Death Metal influences. As such, these songs are both brutal and grim, providing the listener with some of the strongest Blackened Death Metal currently out there, in my humble opinion.

Mithridatic have obviously taken their time with these songs. They’re well-composed, well-structured and have just enough variation to keep things interesting without losing their sense of direction. Blackened riffs, fluid guitar solos, darkened melodies, moody malevolence, brutal assaults and blasting mayhem are all used effectively during these tracks.

High screams and growling shouts form the bedrock of the vocals. The singer has a certain quality to his voice that allows him to have instant charisma, putting me in mind of Morbid Angel on occasion, (whose influence also extends to aspects of the music).

A very impressive achievement. For me, Blackened Death Metal is a style that is all too easy to do poorly, but when it’s done right it really gets the hairs standing on end. This is one such release; not only due to the atmosphere the band create, but also due to the quality and personality of the songs themselves.

A mix of Arkhon Infaustus, Morbid Angel and a touch of Akercocke? Sign me up.

Go check this one out immediately.

Whore of Bethlehem – Upon Judas’ Throne (Review)

Whore of BethlehemWhore of Bethlehem are from the US and play Blackened Death Metal. This is their début album.

Whore of Bethlehem play Death Metal that’s saturated with Black Metal down to its very core. There is an aura of darkness that pervades everything on this album and it seeps out from every Blackened riff or thunderous vocal.

Said vocals alternate between deep growls and higher screams. It’s a very satisfying performance and both styles do the job admirably.

It’s a pleasure to hear such twisted, Blackened guitars on this release. Straddling the two genres sometimes means choosing between a Death Metal part here or a Black Metal part there; Whore of Bethlehem however have merged the two styles down at the cellular level and their riffs combine the brutality of Death Metal with the evil reek of Black Metal perfectly.

The riffs are evocative and punishing, yet not without nuance. The band work their dynamics well and the guitars have the right balance between feeling and aggression.

Even the production manages to capture the essence of both styles as it’s both heavy and sharp. Everything is perfectly matched against each other, with no one instrument gaining ascendancy to the detriment of any other.

These are very enjoyable songs; I’m quite partial to Blackened Death Metal when it’s done well and I always compare bands like this to Arkhon Infaustus who created in their 2003 album Filth Catalyst what is, for me, an exemplar of the style. Whore of Bethlehem could easily be spiritual successors to Arkhon Infaustus and Upon Judas’ Throne is a very meaty slab of dark Metal if ever there was one.

What a great album! More like this please.

 

Solace of Requiem – Casting Ruin (Review)

Solace of RequiemThis is the fourth album of Technical Blackened Death Metal from Solace of Requiem. They come from the US.

It’s fairly unusual for Technical Death Metal bands to have anything to do with the Black Metal style. It’s not unheard of of course, just relatively rare, so I was looking forward to hearing this band to see what they did with the style.

Straight away it’s apparent that they are very technical and they do wear their Black Metal influences on their sleeves.

The music is a dense, twisting affair. Technical Death Metal riffs fly everywhere at the speed of thought whilst Blackened keyboards and sounds add to the cacophony. High pitched Blackened screams add a further layer of evil and the entire thing reeks of a complicated rot.

It’s impressively harsh and the addition of the Black Metal influences to the Technical Death Metal core is atypical and done rather well.

The higher screamed vocals are joined by more traditional growls, once again sealing the deal between genres.

There are some great riffs here and the technicality doesn’t become overbearing or done just for the sake of it. Sometimes the band hits upon a great sounding mid-paced riff and they just let it settle in for a while and lot it flow naturally, which is a great thing to hear. This is frequently added to by keyboards and solos and the end result is very satisfying. As songs they work, and the entire album is top work by this band.

Everything is recorded well and the music is crisp and clear. These songs whirl by at lightspeed and you can’t fault the performances. As this is their fourth album they clearly know what they are doing by now and have the talent to achieve their goals.

This band remind me of someone like The Black Dahlia Murder if they had a lot more blazing technicality and Black Metal in their sound. It doesn’t completely describe Solace of Requiem of course, but it’s a good starting point; throw in some Spawn of Possession, Immolation and Arkhon Infaustus and you’re on the right lines.

Casting Ruin is a monster of an album and quite an achievement. By incorporating Black Metal into their sound they successfully differentiate themselves from hundreds of standard Technical Death Metal bands and immediately set themselves apart.

This is an album that is better than most and won’t settle for being ordinary. Solace of Requiem have their own identity that serves them well and they’re just waiting for you to discover them.

Do it now.

Hod – Book of the Worm (Review)

HodHod are from the US and play Death Metal.

Hod specialise in rough Death Metal with no commercial shine or anything that could resemble nicety of delivery. This is raw, underground and reeks of evil.

There is a Blackened feel to much of what goes on in these songs, which only goes to enhance the darkness and nastiness that the band generally give off.

The riffs are largely fast and melodic in a sharp, Blackened, way. The majority of time efforts are spent creating music that’s dark, dirty and brutal, although they do throw in the odd solo to add a splash of colour here and there.

The guitars, and in extension the songs, have a lot of good ideas and Hod pursue their Blackened Death Metal art with clear enthusiasm for the kill.

References? Bits of Morbid Angel, Master, Arkhon Infaustus. Snippets of others.

There is no softness on this album, no moments of respite from the chaotic Blackness and brutal assault. This is not a band who want to be your friends or play nice. This is music purely designed to destroy and worship the foul Gods of the Metal underworld, wherever they dwell.

Maybe you should open up the Book of the Worm and read this hymn for yourself?

Oath of Damnation – The Descent (Review)

Oath of DamnationOath of Damnation are from Australia and play Blackened Death Metal.

This release features a heavy and dense sound, as if the band condensed a planet’s worth of matter and used it to fuel the recording process.

The deep vocals sound equally impressive, with a depth of guttural growling seldom seen. This is coupled with higher Black Metal shrieking that offsets them.

The music is fast and furious, combining the intricate riffing of Nile, the claustrophobia of Immolation and the Blackened bite of Arkhon Infaustus. It’s a heady mix and the resultant cocktail is as intoxicating as it is venomous.

The band also incorporate symphonic elements into their brutal repertoire. These are used to punctuate and accentuate the churning maelstrom of chaos that the band create. These are used sparingly to good effect and never sound over the top or out of character with the rest of the music.

Oath of Damnation have released something special here. Seek them out and listen to them today.

Odem – The Valley of Cut Tongues (Review)

OdemBrutal Death Metal with a malevolent, blackened underlay. Somehow underneath the brutality and blasting the band have managed to inject a level of constant tension and uneasiness into their sound. It’s quite unusual, the closest comparison I suppose is certain Immolation songs, or maybe Arkhon Infaustus, but this doesn’t quite do it justice.

This is undeniably brutal, but it is also very, very evil-sounding. It’s as if someone has distilled the essence of Black Metal, created a foul-smelling tincture and upon consuming immediately vomited forth Odem’s style of Death Metal.

How to describe the vocals? Imagine a condemned, wretched and broken slave dragging a tombstone to his own grave. That is what they sound like.

Exceptional and savage.