Crowhurst – II (Review)

CrowhurstCrowhurst are from the US, and are an extremely prolific band with lots of noise/experimental/etc. releases. Their self titled album from 2015 was especially of interest, as it was essentially a pure black metal album, and a very good one at that.

Fast forward a year, and they have now released II. This continues the black metal theme started by their previously mentioned album, only this time with a wider scope and with industrial/sludge aspects, as well as contributions from members Continue reading

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Caïna – Christ Clad in White Phosphorus (Review)

CainaCaïna are a black metal band from the UK. This is their seventh album.

What do you get if you combine raw black metal with industrial and dark ambient? You get Christ Clad in White Phosphorus.

The ugly, intense black metal parts are my favourite bits of this album, as they rage with an underground fury and intensity the likes of which most bands only aspire to. It’s not all about Continue reading

VIII – Decathexis (Review)

VIIIThis is the second album from VIII, an Italian black metal band.

VIII have produced an ambitious release that spans 50 minutes across three sprawling, ugly tracks. This is not an album for people who like polished, shiny music. Oh no. This is the sound of dying, decay and forgotten dreams.

Decathexis sees the band playing raw, underground black metal with a mean, dispirited edge. Alongside the Continue reading

Terra Tenebrosa – The Reverses (Review)

Terra TenebrosaThis is the third album from Terra Tenebrosa, a black metal band from Sweden.

Terra Tenebrosa are definitely one of the stranger, more imaginative bands out there at the moment. This is experimental, avant-garde metal with a blackened side and all manner of sinister and misanthropic vibes.

If you take a mutated, warped black metal core, and add in Continue reading

Mekigah – Litost (Review)

MekigahThis is the third album from Australia’s Mekigah. They play Industrial/Classical Doom.

This is a tortuous combination of Doom, Noise, Industrial, Ambient and Classical that somehow ends up pulling you into its embrace before you even really know what’s going on. I’m not a huge fan of Noise and a lot of Ambient leaves me cold, usually because there’s nothing to draw you in. Litost is different.

Here we have elements of Noise and Ambient but they’re joined by the usually far more spirited Classical style. Orchestral sounds and emotive synths provide these minimalistic elements with a vibrancy, albeit a dark, malevolent one.

On top of this we have the Industrial aspect to their sound, and, of course, the Doom. This is not a guitar-oriented project though. It’s there, but used just as one instrument of many. Guest musicians aplenty feature on this release, providing everything from vocals, to mellotron, to taishgoto.

Vocals are few and far between. When they appear they’re quite varied and performed by multiple singers across the album. They’re usually quite low-key and are frequently employed as just another method of delivery; another instrument in this disturbing symphony.

This album is surprisingly emotive and engaging. The layers of synths and orchestral sounds work perfectly with the harsher Industrial base to fashion songs that work their way into your subconscious like hooks into flesh.

There’s a Gothic element to this music, but it’s one that has been killed and buried so that its influence is felt through the remainder of the thing that’s growing in its place. Almost as if the remains of a Gothic ancestry were feeding the music we hear here, so that the influence seeps into the cellos and Industrial sounds almost without anyone noticing at first.

If you’re into music that fuses the Industrial and the emotive with a dark atmosphere then this is definitely one to track down. Whether you’re a fan of Ævangelist, Axis of Perdition, Cloak of Altering, Ulver or Indian, Litost has something to offer you.

A very impressive release; I wasn’t expecting something to merge darkness and light so completely. Litost is a thing of grim beauty.

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.

Inexorable – Morte Sola (Review)

InexorableThis is the latest EP from German Technical Death Metal band Inexorable.

It starts with Doom. First track, Praeludium Mortis, is 2:39 of slow, agonising crawling through broken glass and razor shards. It sets the scene perfectly for Inexorable’s brand of impenetrable Black Metal-tinged assault.

This is no normal Death Metal. This is for fans of Gorguts, Portal, Mayhem, Axis of Perdition, etc. – bands that are interested in pushing the boundaries of traditional genre restrictions and will do so in their own way. If Mayhem went Death Metal, Inexorable might be what they sounded like.

The riffs congeal together to produce dark, murky feelings and the guitar lines almost seem alive with malignant presence.

Vocals are kind of an ethereal growl that reside half in our reality and half in some other, twisted dimension; or sometimes a plaintive semi-clean sung from the depths of a churning abyss. Either way they are not the standard for this kind of music, with the semi-cleans in particular coming across strongly.

The songs, and the EP in general, is a holistic experience; a nightmare reality to visit but hopefully to escape from at the end. Sometimes bands which attempt music like this can come across as unfocused or messy, but I’m pleased to say this is not the case with Inexorable.

Throughout all of the evil, grim sounds and communing with other realities is a firm foundation in, (atypical), Death Metal. This serves them well and keeps them grounded whereas they might otherwise carried away by the dark and lost to us forever.

This is not music for the weak hearted. If you can stomach it, however, there are some evil delights to be had here.

Very highly recommended.