The Infernal Sea – The Great Mortality (Review)

The Infernal SeaThis is the second album by UK black metallers The Infernal Sea.

This is sophisticated black metal that still manages to somehow sound filthy, ugly and grim. It’s a beguiling combination that sees the band combine atmosphere and ferocity in tantalising ways across this 42 minute release. Continue reading

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.

Keep of Kalessin – Epistemology (Review)

Keep of KalessinKeep of Kalessin are from Norway and play Black Metal. This is their Sixth album.

Keep of Kalessin return, and it’s a very welcome one.

Fusing the best of bands like Emperor, Satyricon and Enslaved, Keep of Kalessin have produced an album that’s as epic and soaring as they’ve always promised.

Elements of the symphonic, majestic and even Avant-Garde combine with a state-of-the-art Blackened core to produce tracks that are brightly textured and rich in colour and taste.

Expertly performed cleans act as a central highlight of many of these songs, whilst expressive screams provide an acidic hit of aggression.

Highly emotive music connects with you on a visceral level as the band work their way through 52 minutes of top quality Metal.

The band may have a firm Black Metal core but they have used this to create music that almost transcends genre boundaries. Almost. Ultimately though, this is Black Metal, and it means business.

Their songwriting skills have been further refined since their previous work and this is a relatively varied album that takes in the past whilst leaning towards the future.

Intricate, inspired and sometimes warped riffing is impressively integrated into the wider song structures to create tracks that don’t always do or sound as you expect them to.

The musicianship and production values are first rate of course. Everything is played and recorded extremely professionally and the clean vocals in particular seem vibrant enough to jump out of the speakers.

A must listen for all Extreme Metal fans.