Loputon Suo – Loputon Suo (Review)

Loputon SuoLoputon Suo are a Finnish Black Metal band and this is their début demo.

Lasting only 12 minutes, this is a dense, murky affair with elements of Melodic Black Metal and Death Metal included.

The vocals are bestial growls that are worryingly feral. They give the band a feeling of something dangerous and uncompromising. Decent riffs and a dark aura work with the melodic guitars in a complementary fashion.

When the ferocious growls are mixed with the atavistic music and Old-School melodies, something quite special emerges. This demo has an obscure and authentic feel above all else.

The recording is stripped back, raw and befitting of both the demo status and the style. However, that’s not to say it’s a bad sound, and it’s quite endearing in a harsh, violent way.

Very enjoyable. Check this out for your underground, Blackened fill.

Heathen – Heathen (Review)

HeathenHeathen is a one-man Black Metal band from Norway and this is his second album.

This is Atmospheric Black Metal played with an Old-School flavour and swamped in darkness.

Here we have 53 minutes of music that is authentic Norwegian Black Metal; recognisable enough to be instantly appealing and enticing enough to hold attention.

This is in the lo-fi style and sonically everything just fits perfectly. This is the kind of sound that Black Metal was born to.

Musically the brain behind the outfit is extremely talented and these compositions are very advanced. A lot of bands either concentrate on riffs or atmospheres but on this release we get a decent amount of both.

Quality riffs lay a bedrock on which the moods evolve and dark atmospherics unfold slowly and malevolently.

The pace picks up as well so as to provide variety but even here the aim of the increased speed is to also increase the impact of the feelings that are evoked.

The vocals are high pitched static screeches that are barely audible above the guitars. In effect they act as another layer to the music and it’s like someone is trying to scratch your eyeballs out with sound.

What can you say about an album like this? It needs to be experienced. This is the kind of Black Metal that keeps you in love with the genre.

An absolute must.

Angmaer – Toward Darkness’ Paradise (Review)

AngmaerAngmaer is a one man Black Metal band from the UK. This is Angmaer’s début album.

This is raw, Old-School Black Metal with a cold sound and an even colder heart.

Angmaer is the sound of a horrific curse, born of its Scandinavian forefathers and birthed into an uncaring underground world where it has slowly been uncoiling and feasting on lesser entities.

This will take you right back to when you first heard badly recorded Black Metal back in the early 90’s and it all sounded so visceral and nasty. Toward Darkness’ Paradise harken’s unashamedly back to this era.

The vocals are acidic and burn upon exposure. They’re performed as well as any in this genre and really have a sharp, frosty tang to them.

The songs have plenty of aggression but also slow the pace where necessary. The darkened feelings and Blackened atmospheres are cultivated through every part of these songs and it really does almost feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.

This is also a release that looks to the future though. Reliving past glories is one thing, but the riffs here have their own take on Black Metal’s infernal light; Norway filtered through the UK.

Time to support the underground and check out Toward Darkness’ Paradise.

Demonic Slaughter – Haunted (Review)

Demonic SlaughterDemonic Slaughter are a Black Metal band from Poland. This is their fifth album.

This is Old-School Black Metal with good Darkthrone grooves and a cold, frigid heart.

The production is underground and raw whilst still retaining a power and presence; it fits the band perfectly and recalls a golden era of the style.

Vocally we have traditional Black Metal croaks, rasping out blasphemy and hatred with relish. Again, like the production values, it suits the band’s aesthetic to a tee and the delivery never slips.

The songs are traditionally composed and use winding melodies to add atmosphere and Blackened intent. The rhythms are dark homages to all that is evil and the riffs seem to circle malevolently like waiting carrion feeders.

If you enjoy largely mid-paced Black Metal with a grim melodic sensibility then I would definitely recommend Demonic Slaughter to you.

A very good listen indeed. Bring on the darkness.

Ius Talionis – Eleutheromania (Review)

Ius TalionisIus Talionis are from Germany and this is their first release. They play Black Metal.

Although this is actually a demo release the quality of both sound and content belies this.

This is underground Black Metal with a raw-in-a-good-way sound that has a warmth and approachability to it despite the icy aura that the riffs themselves exude. The bass deserves special mention as not only is it audible but also adds tangible atmosphere and depth to the proceedings.

The songs lack ostentation and are atavistic beasts drawn from the dawn of Black Metal and harken back to the days when the likes of Burzum and Darkthrone were just dark amalgamations of potentiality and burgeoning threat.

This is Old-School Black Metal viewed and produced through the prism of history and hindsight. As such it perfectly captures the raw essence of Black Metal without ever falling into the trap of complacency, pointless hero-worship or any number of pitfalls that might befall the common Black Metal band.

These songs have a good deal of honesty about them and each one is truly enjoyable as an exemplar of the Blackened art of mood, pace and malevolent tribute.

Eleutheromania is a very impressive début release. With 4 songs in 36 minutes it could have easily passed as a début album. The fact that they haven’t done this and we still have this future début to come is a very exciting prospect indeed.

Ius Talionis are a band to watch that’s for sure. If they can keep the quality levels up then I predict a great album from them at some point.

Tarnkappe – Tussen Hun En De Zon (Review)

TarnkappeTarnkappe are from the Netherlands and this is their début album.

As soon as it starts it makes an impression. The band have the classic-era Darkthrone/Burzum feel in spades and I can’t help but get a bit excited. It may be an old style but it’s a very welcome and enjoyable one.

Their cold-hearted Black Metal has a great sound that’s raw and organic whilst retaining a clarity and strength about it. Quite simply they sound fantastic.

The vocals are evil croaks that are genre-perfect and adequately portray the evil and disgust that’s spewed out. They also sound suitably demoniacally demented on occasion. It’s a flawless Old-School delivery that fits the music perfectly and the entire package is authentic and historically accurate.

Tarnkappe are their own masters though and are not simply Darkthrone clones. This is an album which has a darkness all of its own and the songs fill me with a deeply personal satisfaction in that special grim way that only Black Metal can.

Listening to this album is a real joy. The Blackened melodies and mid-paced icy rhythms have infected the pleasure centres of my brain and won’t stop.

It’s not new, it’s not perfect but it’s Old-School Black Metal through and through. If you still enjoy this style then you’ll enjoy Tarnkappe.

Ondfødt – Hexkonst (Review)

OndfødtOndfødt are a Finnish Black Metal band and this is their début album.

This is Old-School, underground and raw Black Metal that clutches influences from both the Norwegian and Swedish scenes in its grim claws.

The band utilise a firm Old-School Darkthrone-esque base that they start off from and they incorporate other elements into this. Not content with merely copying their heroes they inject their own personality into the album and add their own touches to the style.

The vocals are Black Metal rasps for the main part. These are punctuated by Viking-styled heroic cleans, forceful semi-cleans, unhinged screaming and pretty much everything in between on occasion as well. It adds up to a full package of quite characterful vocals.

The production may be raw and fuzzy but not overly so. The band have a good dark sound suited to this style and the guitars make the most of it.

Energetic dark melodies form the lion’s share of the riffs and the songs tear along nicely under their self-created veil of Blackened hatred.

This style of raw Black Metal is an easy style to do but it’s also an easy style to be bad or boring at as it essentially all comes down to the quality of the riffs, for the main part anyway. Ondfødt are neither bad nor boring and have managed to congeal a good collection of riffs into a good collection of songs. They then add to this with some strong drumming and a vocalist who certainly puts 100% into his performance. The end result is that Hexkonst is a worthwhile listen and manages to avoid being a Darkthrone clone by virtue of the band’s personality and strength of will.

Block out the sun and have a listen.

Despot – Satan in the Death Row (Review)

DespotDespot come from Brazil and play Black Metal.

This is Old-School Black Metal with a distinct streak of personality and individuality about it. The core is of the 80’s/early 90’s Black Metal fused with an unusual album art/band logo and with added musical flourishes such as a few more modern moments and unexpected guitar solos/leads.

Subtle keyboard embellishments haunt the tracks like a ghost of forbidden memory just playing around the edges of perception. It’s almost like it’s not there, but you can definitely sense something on the outskirts of hearing.

The riffs are interesting and inventive and the general structure of the songs is an impressive homage to all things dark Metal. The band use melody well and manage to infuse the tracks with a sense of wonder and awe in addition to the usual Black Metal trappings.

Not content with this there are some Celtic Frost influences at play here as well as a bit of a Death/Morbid Angel-inspired Death Metal influence on occasion. They even flirt with some almost sci-fi touches now and then.

The songs are ambitious and as the above description shows they are not afraid to throw different influences into the blender. It all works.

The same is true of the vocals; although primarily an Old-School Black Metal croak there are also deeper grunts and cleaner utterances as well as shouting and chanting.

The sound is authentically Old-School and could in fact be some long-lost gem from decades ago.

This is a top-of-the-line Metal album with lots to draw the listener in and keep them enraptured. This is one Despot to be listened to attentively.