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

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Natanas – смертность (Review)

NatanasThis is the fourth album from Natanas, a one-man Black Metal band from the US.

Another month, another Natanas album…

Okay so I exaggerate, but the man is Hellishly productive. And it’s good stuff too. He may have manufactured some form of Black Metal assembly line but his Quality Control department are clearly paying attention to the goods that are produced.

Having said that of course, this is clearly not for everyone, which is something I’ve mentioned before about the last two Natanas releases All Is Permitted and Treachery; the casual listener, the casual Black Metal listener, even, will probably find this a tad challenging.

If you like your Black Metal dark, challenging, atypical and in the vein of bands like Xasthur, Portal, Mitochondrion, Enbilulugugal, Ævangelist, etc. then Natanas is worth checking out.

Also, I’m sure his screeching vocals have gotten higher, raspier and wetter this time. It sounds like he’s rupturing himself every time he opens his mouth. This is not a complaint of course, rather the opposite. He takes time out from trying to turn himself inside out though, as other vocals are included from spoken word to deeper screams that almost remind of Neurosis/Crowbar in style.

смертность has a good amount of variety within its self-imposed framework, with the album retaining the tribal, hypnotic, pseudo-Industrial feel that Treachery did so well. As such this is a very holistic album; listening to a song in isolation is all well and good, but for the full effect it’s best to put on the entire album and just get lost in the murk.

Every time I listen to Natanas by the time I get to the second or third song I’m totally absorbed in the dark, unfriendly, bleak, rotten, urban sprawl that seems to be described. The low-key, lo-fi, production actually adds to the feeling of the album rather than detracting from it.

Natanas has always been a band that goes against the odds for me. If I had just flicked through one of these albums I’d probably think, “No, I don’t think so”, but against all expectations and prejudices смертность, and the previous albums…well, they just work. The various disparate elements and the raw, uncompromisingly lo-fi sound gel into something that just does it; it hits that hidden spot that you didn’t even know you had.

As such, I’m a big supporter of Natanas and heartily recommend that you give смертность a try. It may not do it for you, but who knows, maybe it really, really will…

Natanas – Treachery (Review)

NatanasNatanas is a one-man Black Metal project from the US. This is his third album.

This is a very prolific project and this is the third album from Natanas this year. I reviewed the second album All Is Permitted not that long ago, and already I find there is this new release.

All Is Permitted was in the style of bands such as Xasthur, Portal, Mitochondrion, Enbilulugugal, Ævangelist and the like, and Treachery continues the theme.

Treachery feels like a good progression, (in a short period of time), from the previous album in that it, as a whole, feels more coherent and better constructed. The tracks are still raw, lo-fi expressions of hatred and malevolence, but this time they seem to gel and work better than previously.

The vocals have improved also, and this time they seem to have more bite to them, as well as being generally higher pitched and sharper.

Although the tracks here still have a pulsating organic looseness to them there’s also much more of a pseudo-Industrial and an almost hypnotic, tribal influence to them as well. Discordant, murky drum ‘n’ bass for the Black Metal generation? Maybe, but this album definitely has a more percussive edge to it regardless.

I said last time that this kind of Black Metal is not for everyone, and that still stands. It is, however, an enjoyable sidestep from the bog-standard and has a lot to offer those with the time, patience and stomach for it.

Give it a listen.

Natanas – All Is Permitted (Review)

NatanasNatanas is a one man Black Metal project from the US. This is Natanas’ second album.

This is atonal, obscure, underground Black Metal that’s more focused on creating particular moods and feelings rather than songs in the traditional sense.

The vocals are deep gargles and spewings; barely-human sounds and daemonic mutterings are the stock in trade of this warped intellect.

The drums are off-kilter and sometimes seem quite out of place with the more organic guitars and bestial vocalisations. I get the impression that this is done intentionally however, thus fostering the strange atmosphere that All Is Permitted shows off.

This is not a release for everyone, not even necessarily the hardened Black Metal fan. This is for people who enjoy bands that put uncomfortable feelings and sounds before everything else, even production values and traditional Black Metal.

Think bands like Xasthur, Portal, Mitochondrion, Enbilulugugal, Ævangelist and the like, and although I don’t think the guy behind Natanas is currently playing at their level just yet, given enough time and development he could be.

If this is the kind of Black Metal that does it for you then check out Natanas and see what you think.

Enbilulugugal – Noizemongers For Goatserpent

EnbilulugagalComing from the US this is Black Metal Noise of the darkest and filthiest order.

This is so not for most people it’s almost funny. Even the majority of hardened Extreme Metal fans would balk at this.

This is a compilation of sorts – we get their 2004 album Noizemongers For Goatserpent, a remix/reinterpretation version of the same from 2010 and a whole host of smaller harder-to-find releases tacked on to the end. All in all there are 79 tracks and 2.5 hours of music. Yes, that’s right. Read it again. 2.5 hours of music. And it’s not easy listening music I can tell you.

Enbilulugugal fuse the most twisted, mutated Black Metal with the harshest of Noise to create a perfect fusion of the two that’s nigh on unlistenable unless you’re in a certain mood or just want to punish yourself. This is the sound of nightmares made urban where the remorseless decay of society is mechanised and abused.

To judge a release such as this as good or bad is missing the point in some ways. It’s more of an experience, or even an endurance test, than any form of pleasurable listening as most people would recognise it.

Upon first playing this it took me a couple of minutes to acclimatise to what I was hearing and adjust myself internally to this new way of existing where I was being constantly buffeted by the capricious whims of noise terrorists via short, rusted aural jabs to the mind. They must have altered my brain chemistry somehow though because after a while I became inured to it all and started to find it strangely endearing.

When you exist in a perpetual state of torment is it common to miss it when it’s gone?

I very much doubt that you have the fortitude to survive this release intact. It is expressly designed to push people away so that only the worthy are left. For the vast majority of people this is simply not music and not worth the time to listen to. For the remaining few, this is Enbilulugugal.