Vredehammer – Violator (Review)

VredehammerThis is Vredehammer’s second album. They play Black Metal and are from Norway.

Vredehammer play aggressive Black Metal that keeps the core of the genre alive and well, while merging it with a state-of-the-art blackness that bands like Satyricon, Keep of Kalessin and Temple of Baal do so well. Add a bit of Death Metal in the form of something like Behemoth and even a touch of Aura Noir-esque Thrash and you have a good overview of Vredehammer’s style. Tracks like Ursus even have a bit of the Amon Amarth about them, to my ears.

The vocals consist of dark outbursts that strike a fine balance between legibility and outright harshness. Sitting somewhere between the styles of Black and Death Metal, they work well to provide a focal point for the music without dominating it.

Powerful rhythm guitars form the bedrock of the tracks and these punish and damage for all they’re worth. Interestingly though, the band build on these strong foundations to provide a more well-rounded listening experience than you might expect; Violator is not a one-dimensional album.

Twisted melodics and bright, ethereal leads occasionally add colour and texture to the band’s blackened rhythms, allowing them to explore wider pastures that their brutal tendencies might otherwise preclude them from. This adds a lot to the album and raises it to another level, quality-wise. This is all wrapped around their inherent malevolent nastiness though, which is never too far from proceedings.

Boasting a strong production to round things off, Violator is a very enjoyable album, and at 35 minutes in length it’s easy to get your fill of their blackened aggression.

Recommended.

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Nader Sadek – The Malefic: Chapter III (Review)

Nader SadekThis is the latest EP from “supergroup” band Nader Sadek.

The project features contributions ex- and current members of such notable bands as Cryptopsy, Aura Noir, Decapitated and Cattle Decapitation.

This is dark Death Metal with an aura of evil and a Classic Death Metal feel to it without it ever becoming overly Old-School in nature.

The general vibe is one of a cross between Morbid Angel and Deicide, although there is more going on here than just this, notably so on closing track Descent which features more of a Doom/atmospheric influence.

There are four songs on this EP, clocking in at just under 21 minutes in total, and each one of them has clearly had a lot of work put into it.

It’s very well recorded and the drums in particular sound thunderous. Everything is tight and well-played, as one would expect from musicians of this calibre.

The songs are enjoyable flights of Death Metal fancy and do a great job of delivering the goods.

Quality work.

Septekh – Plan For World Domination (Review)

SeptekhSeptekh are from Sweden and play Death/Thrash Metal with a Blackened edge.

Based on the album cover I was expecting something a bit calmer than this, but what bursts from the speakers when the first song Into the Void of My Mind starts is a frenetic and excitable beast covered in spikes and claws.

This reminds me of a mix of bands like Darkthrone, Audio Pain and Aura Noir, with the stylistic nature and playfulness of a band like Die Apokalyptischen Reiter.

The vocals are straight form the nails-down-a-blackboard school of throat shredding. They do the job well and manage to avoid the faceless nature of this kind of vocals by having a clear identity and personality behind the bark.

At an hour in length this is a long release with a lot of content to digest. This album works best over repeated spins though as it takes a while for the Blackened melodies and rhythmic patterns to imprint themselves on the psyche. But imprint they do as first and foremost these tracks are songs and as such have hooks and catchiness more than you would expect for a band of this ilk. Death/Thrash/Black they may be, but there’s a firm core of out and out Rock running through this album.

Satisfying and enjoyable, Septekh have produced a solid slab of Metal that will have you coming back for more, again and again. Perhaps world domination isn’t as unlikely as you first thought…?

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