Sheidim – Infamata (Review)

SheidimThis is the latest EP from Sheidim, a black metal band from Spain.

As far as EPs go this is a lengthy one – at 28 minutes in duration it’s actually longer than some albums. This is absolutely not a complaint, of course, nor does it really impact on anything as such; merely an observation. Continue reading

Sheidim – Shrines of the Void (Review)

SheidimSheidim are a Spanish black metal band and this is their début album.

This is orthodox black metal with a modern coating and a matching cover. It’s extreme, passionate, vicious and venomous.

Sheidim’s music is heavy and full of darkness, injecting streaks of colour through the blackened melodies that burn with intensity and passion, as does the band’s music as a whole.

Shrines of the Void is powerfully Continue reading

Exterminas – Dichotomy (Review)

ExterminasExterminas are from Italy. They play Black Metal and this is their second album.

Dichotomy is 40 minutes of Orthodox Black Metal that’s fast, aggressive and venomous.

Exterminas have managed to inject a decent amount of atmosphere and melody into this release without watering down their inherent aggression or hatred. It’s a great combination to hear, as the razor-sharp guitars do what they need to for the songs; strike out in deadly haste, pull back in contemplative readiness or soar up high with colourful grace.

The singer’s dark growls are full of malice and the music backs his sentiments up to the hilt. He’s probably channelling pure evil through his throaty delivery, but whatever he’s doing it works as a brutal counterpoint to the sleek, sharp songs.

Featuring a great combination of speed and malignant groove, Exterminas certainly know their stuff and Dichotomy is a well-wrounded and complete Black Metal effort.

A strong sound cements the package, giving the band the base of power needed to propel the songs higher without compromising the integrity or feel of the underground aesthetic.

Very highly recommended. Cult Black Metal with a bit of personality and plenty of style. Seek this out.

Narbeleth – Through Blackness, and Remote Places (Review)

NarbelethThis is the third album from Cuban one-man Black Metal project Narbeleth.

As I said about his second album, A Hatred Manifesto, this is the real deal. Here we have 35 minutes of Underground Black Metal, spreading darkness, disease and terror through all the lands.

Like the second album, this contains seven originals and one cover, (this time by Judas Iscariot).

It’s dark, icy music that sticks to the well-loved Orthodox Black Metal left-hand path and pays homage to the 90’s Scandinavian scene.

The production is sharp and clear, allowing the songs to scythe through the airwaves like a cold blade through flesh.

The songs are enjoyable and never attempt to be anything they’re not. The riffs are good and the guitars frozen in time. It’s a style that’s instantly familiar and comfortable to any fans of the genre, and on Through Blackness, and Remote Places it’s played well and with passion.

This is a release that it’s easy to like; unless you never got into the style or you’re just tired of it, you’ll find plenty to satisfy here.

Wederganger – Halfvergaan Ontwaakt (Review)

WedergangerWederganger are a Black Metal band from the Netherlands. This is their début album.

This is largely mid-paced Black Metal with a haunting, mystical sound. They have a knack for combining typically dark Black Metal auras with more hopeful/heroic feelings to create music that is a double-edged blade, with one side sounding evil and malevolent and the other sounding epic and heroic.

Let’s start things off by saying that this is a damn fine record, with strong songs and interesting ideas.

The vocals combine strangled screams and confident cleans. These work with the dual nature of the music to create an atmosphere that’s both epic and grim. You can kind of think of it as Darkthrone meets Bathory, with probably a little more of the former in their sound rather than the latter. Either way, it results in Halfvergaan Ontwaakt sounding a bit different to the usual Black Metal norm, which is to be commended.

Wederganger continue in this vein for just under 44 minutes, working their black magic on the listener and weaving a spell that’s quite enticing. Their interesting take on Black Metal is infectious and it’s quite clear that the formula they’ve developed on Halfvergaan Ontwaakt works. These are enjoyable songs that perfectly straddle the boundaries of Orthodox Black Metal and epic, Folk Black Metal.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable release that uses two very old styles as its musical base, allowing the band freedom to create their own vision of what Black Metal should be.

And do you know what? Their vision looks pretty damn good.

Favourite Track: Dodendans. Perfectly judged, sorrowful cleans with just the right amount of vigour, powerful leads and a hypnotic, crawling delivery make this track a winner among a wealth of strong songs.

Chalice of Blood – Helig, Helig, Helig (Review)

Chalice of BloodChalice of Blood are from Sweden and this is their latest EP. They play Black Metal.

This is sleek, occult Black Metal that’s sharp and vibrant. It’s Orthodox Black Metal played well and with a great production that fits the band like a warm death.

Chalice of Blood’s songs are covered in Blackened melodies and violent darkness. The tracks are largely fast and have strong guitars which hack out subtle melodies from the ice and sharpen them to killing implements.

The singer has a good Black Metal croak that sounds sufficiently evil and inhuman. The music complements this by sounding cold and unnatural but very professional at the same time. Chalice of Blood have a polished sheen to them which manages to enhance rather than detract from their malevolent nature.

The riffs sting like razorblades and the drums lacerate at 100 paces. As I sit here absorbing this music I can feel it getting under my skin, going direct through the layers of flesh to get at my lifesblood. I don’t try to stop it, that would be folly. Chalice of Blood have produced music that’s worthy of devotion.

Top quality Black Metal. Highly recommended.

Malhkebre – Revelation (Review)

MalhkebreThis is the début album from French Black Metallers Malhkebre.

Underground Orthodox Black Metal played with spite and venom.

The vocals are traditional Black Metal croaks that mix in some occasional chants and more ritualistic utterances and hymns to create an overall impression of worship or summoning of some hideous deity.

Revelation is ugly and unhinged, sounding only one step removed from losing its identity in a feral nightmare of debauchery and twisted filth. There’s nothing pretty or romantic about this form of Black Metal. This is all about the dark side, the underbelly of the scene. The occult feeling is strong but in a base, sacrificial way; rather than being shrouded in mystery or fog it’s shrouded in blood and gore.

For all of this though the band don’t truly lose themselves in a frenzy as they’re more than capable of holding back when necessary and playing slower, no less warped riffs and passages; Hystérie Révélatrice (Part II) is a perfect example of this.

Utterly devoted releases like Revelation are surprisingly rare these days. If you like your Black Metal primal and unadorned then this is for you.