Fides Inversa – Rite of Inverse Incarnation (Review)

Fides InversaFides Inversa are an Italian black metal band and this is their latest EP.

Featuring almost 20 minutes of black metal art, this EP is occult, Satanic black metal that’s littered with dark incantations and grim atmosphere. Continue reading

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Mayhem – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive (Review)

MayhemMayhem are a Norwegian black metal band, but do they really need any introduction?

In case the cave that you inhabit doesn’t get wifi, this is the live incarnation of the band’s 1994 landmark debut album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. This is a black metal must-have, of course, so you already know that the songs on this live version are absolute classics, so all that remains to discuss, really, is the band’s performance and the quality of the live recording. Continue reading

Balance Interruption – Door 218 (Review)

Balance InterruptionThis is the third album from Ukrainian experimental black metal band Balance Interruption.

All I knew about this band before I listened to them was that they were a black metal band of some description. As such, I was not prepared at all for what I found inside Door 218.

Here we have an album that might not sound as you expect it to upon hearing the black metal tag. Yes, a lot of the familiar elements are present and correct, but there’s a lot of unusual aspects to the music too. Continue reading

Créatures – Le Noir Village (Review)

CréaturesCréatures is an avant-garde/experimental black metal one-man project from France and this is his debut album.

The vocals on this release are quite varied, shifting and morphing in line with the demands of the music. Apparently multiple guest vocalists contribute to the tracks, each having a different part to play in the narrative.

Sometimes we get a voice that’s full of commanding authority and blackened malice, sometimes even Continue reading

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

Cult of Erinyes – Transcendence (Review)

Cult of ErinyesCult of Erinyes are a Black Metal band from Belgium. This is their latest EP.

Featuring 19 minutes of Black Metal, (2 originals and a Mayhem cover), Cult of Erinyes play sharp Black Metal with ritualistic auras.

The EP has a strong sound that allows all of the instruments to be heard well, even the lesser-spotted bass guitar gets to play its part.

Poisonous riffs and black moods pervade the tracks and the guitars give a good account of their time in Hell. At least, I’m assuming that’s where they’ve come from.

The songs are of the classic style, wrapped in darkness and grim portents. It’s mainly a mid-paced affair that gives the listener plenty to think about as the band attempt to bring on the apocalypse.

The singer’s icy rasp is well-performed and heavy with contempt. It sounds good.

Transcendence is probably my favourite track out of the three. It boasts a crawling, malevolent aura and really slow-builds to an unnerving ending; the music slows down and takes on a mystical quality while the singer repeats “remember my name” over and over.

An enjoyable EP that provides a good blackened fix.

Inexorable – Sea of Dead Consciousness (Review)

InexorableThis is the latest EP from German Death Metallers Inexorable.

For Death Metal that’s dark, obscure and worrying, look no further. Operating in the netherworld of the deep Death Metal underground, Inexorable are like a gathering storm, ready to rage and destroy in dense, murky fits of violence.

Their last EP Morte Sola was a disconcerting journey into the abyss, and this is much the same only further down into the maelstrom. I described them on that release as Mayhem gone Death Metal, and I’d stick to that on Sea of Dead Consciousness.

Vocally the singer doesn’t really do a very good job of convincing us he’s human and I see no real reason not to believe he’s actually some daemonic entity. I’m pretty sure that every time I play this EP a rift to Hell gets slightly wider somewhere, but that’s the price we pay for good music, eh?

The EP offers us three originals and three covers. Of the covers, we get Mayhem, (fitting), Immolation and Mysticum. The original Inexorable tracks are terrifying and disturbing, and the cover versions are stamped with the crippling malevolence of Inexorable’s dark vision. It may not sound it, but that’s a compliment and all three are reimagined in grimmest glory.

So have they progressed from Morte Sola? Yes. Speaking plainly, Sea of Dead Consciousness is the superior release. The songs are more fully-realised and confidently performed. They were good before, but here they’re even better.

When they eventually release their first full-length album you can be sure I’ll be queuing up to get at it. After all, that rift to Hell isn’t going to open itself is it?

Fell Ruin – Devices (Review)

Fell RuinFell Ruin are from the US and play Black Metal. This is their début EP.

This is Black Metal of the raw and underground variety that’s been dragged wilfully through a dark, dank swamp and picked up all manner of Sludge and Doom accoutrements along the way.

It’s essentially an odd, distressing Blackened dirge that combines ferocity of vision with otherworldly vibes to create something that feels both wrong and strange, albeit in a disconcertingly agreeable manner.

If Mayhem and Electric Wizard were to do some form of collaboration, it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to imagine something like Devices being the end result.

The standard Blackened guitars are supplemented with riffs that are odd, unusual and atmospheric in a claustrophobic, unsettling kind of way. This is a subtle malevolence though, rather than the crushing horror of someone like Ævangelist. Devices gets under your skin.

These tracks are extremely well-written, with subtlety, shading and emotive darkness all featuring heavily in their sound. I really like discovering a band like this as Fell Ruin aren’t your typical Black Metal proposition. On Devices they’re attempting to imprint a well-worn genre with their own style and personality and it works really well.

Oh, there’s some deep fucking oddness here! Not in an ostentatious, extravagant, “look at me” kind of way where some bands feel they need to go to great lengths to show how “wacky” and “weird” they are. No, this is an under-the-radar, “hmm, there’s something not quite right here” kind of way, just before the daemon erupts from someone’s brain and starts slaughtering everyone…

A dark revelation of uncomfortable truths.

Don’t miss it.

Aezh Morvarc’h – Mare Humorum (Review)

Aezh Morvarc'hAezh Morvarc’h are a Black Metal band from France and this is their latest EP.

This is sharp and frosty Black Metal that carries a melodic edge with its raw delivery.

Dark screams and ghostly clean-chants populate the musical landscape and recall Mayhem at their esoteric best.

The songs have their atmospheric moments but for the most part it’s a grim assault that the band undertake. Melodic riffing softens the effect though and the inclusion of so many heroic-sounding cleans further distils the rawness factor. This is all a plus point as it gives the band their own character compared to countless other bands playing underground Black Metal.

The speed of the songs is enticing, but it’s the mystical melodies that really do the trick here.

Aezh Morvarc’h have taken their Classic Metal heritage seriously too, and Mare Humorum has more than its fair share of real Metal riffs mixed into the Black Metal. This is a welcome aspect of their style and combined with the clean vocals really gives the band an epic/heroic streak to their sound.

I enjoyed this. For a band that is ostensibly an underground Black Metal group, this release offers the listener something a little different.

A recommended listen.