Thursday, 24 April 2014

Triptykon - Melana Chasmata (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 14/4/2014
Label : Century Media Records

Melana Chasmata, album track listing :

1). Tree of Suffocating Souls 07:55
2). Boleskine House 07:12
3). Altar of Deceit 07:06
4). Breathing 05:47
5). Auroræ 06:17
6). Demon Pact 06:06
7). In the Sleep of Death 08:10
8). Black Snow 12:25
9). Waiting 05:54

The Band :

Thomas Gabriel Fischer |vocals, guitar
V. Santura | guitar, vocals
Norman Lonhard |drums, percussion
Vanja Šlajh | bass, backing vocals

Review :

It’s been four years since Triptykon, led by the legendary Thomas Gabriel Fischer (Tom G Warrior), unleashed their debut album. The album was a return to form for Warrior, who had been much maligned for his experimentation and output since the more fruitful Celtic Frost releases.
As Melana Chasmata opens its doors, the styles and sounds of Fischer’s sound are evident in abundance.

Mirroring the sound of Eparistera Daimones, opener, ‘Tree of Suffocating Souls’ sets off at a rapid pace. Pounding and pulsating, it is glorious to hear ‘that’ guitar sound again. The real curve ball in the track comes in the form of the first solo. An almost eastern sounding guitar heightens the early interest. The tone of the guitar is reminiscent of the sounds utilised by the immortal Frank Zappa in the late 80’s. After a short burst of the more radical sound, a fiery few licks see the track settle back into its crushing, doom laden groove.

A gloomy bass and drum combo opens ‘Boleskin House’, before Warrior’s sullen and distinct vocal tones are beautifully complimented by the gothic-folk vocals of bassist Vanja Slajh. This dual vocal style is exploited more than once throughout the 65 minute duration of the album. ‘Altar of Deceit’s’ closing strains see Warrior’s vocal at its most rabid and vicious.

An early sampler for the album was put out in the form of ‘Breathing’. Different styles and ideas are employed for the duration of the track. There is the pounding death metal style that has made Warrior legendary, but there is a real sense of power in the shimmering riffs that are generated. Around the mid-point of the track, out of nowhere, the track descends into a power metal track. It’s this inventiveness and the ability that the band has to pull it off that makes Melana Chasmata a fantastic listen. The solo that is borne out of this section is furious and frenetic fret board work. Simply awesome!!

‘Aurorae’ offers a small portion of harmonic respite, although a great, and soaring solo finishes off a more serene moment amongst the album. Although ‘Aurorae’ feels more serene, it still has mitigating power. ‘Demon Pact’ conjures up all the imagery you would expect with such a song title. A menacingly high pitched noise is prevalent the whole time as the bass takes its place at the forefront of the track. The track is another high point amongst many peaks of greatness.

The reverberating thuds at around a minute and a half into ‘In the Sleep of Death’ is testament to the way that Melana Chasmata has been produced. It is with these skills, amongst the immense musical talent, that helps create the despairing and desperate mood. The vocal is extremely harsh; a few of the vocal passages would not have been out of place amongst Behemoth’s The Satanist. Drumming that sounds like a spiral down to hell is punctuated by high pitched guitar notes and a repetitive, pirouetting riff.

Penultimate track, ‘Black Snow’, is the longest track on Melana Chasmata. It clocks in at over twelve minutes and evokes the finer, lengthier tracks of Eparistera Daimones. Not for one second does the long duration veer from anything but exciting, and for sections, challenging. In particular, the shrill screaming that adorns the middle section of the track is wince inducing. Dense guitars begin the journey to the end of the track, with Fischer’s trademark, menacing vocals prowling like a jaguar waiting to kill. The repeated chants are akin to ‘The Prolonging’ from the bands debut opus.

A seamless move towards the final track is greeted with more tender vocals from Slajh. Her funeral march worthy bass is mournful for the first two minutes before the track bursts into life with Slajh’s vocals duelling once again with whispered, haunting vocals from Fischer. Repeated crashes of epic proportions break into more dreamy bass and ambience, before a cleanly picked guitar solo leads back to the repeated shoe gaze vocal motif, and devastating crashes. It’s an uneasy end to a fantastically crafted album.

Eparistera Daimones was a very long album, and as good as it was, it sometimes felt a track to long. Melana Chasmata has taken four years to come to fruition, and it feels as if Triptykon have trimmed the fat and refined the edges. Whilst also being a lengthy affair, Melana Chasmata holds your attention throughout, without a shadow of a doubt. 2014 has already produced some seriously good records. This is another one.

Words by : Dominic Walsh

You can get it here

For more information :

https://twitter.com/Triptykon

Live Review : Bohren & Der Club of Gore, St. Johns on Bethnal Green, London, UK – 5/4/2014



Review :  
Doomy Noir Jazz legends Bohren & der Club of Gore in such an inspired choice of venue obviously seemed too much to miss for many Londoners, and with the performance being sold out over a month in advance, we were lucky to be there for such a captivating evening of droning soundscapes and mysterious laments.
To begin the evening event we were treated to Dean McFee, a solo guitarist playing what could only be described as Sun Ra jams on downers. Whilst suitably cosmic and droning, moments straying into more folk-ish territory seemed ill-fitting with the nights headliners, and minus any shifting atmospherics had just too much of an air of deja-vu to be truly captivating.
St Johns on Bethnal Green turned out to be the perfect setting for Bohren & der Club of Gore.  Any worries regarding the sound quality of a practicing worship church were swept away as every note of the set reverberated around the building, lending an otherworldly tone to an already magical body of work.
Illuminated by four spotlights placed above their instruments, the band crept through their latest and most romantic opus ‘Piano Nights’ in full, stopping only to introduce themselves and offer a quick joke regarding the song Unrasiert (translated as Unshaven, and named after “a sexual preference”).
With only these two short breaks Piano Nights was allowed to unfold majestically amongst it’s surrounding, the crowd not only engulfed in its sound but also the monumental amount of smoke filling the venue.  With drummer Thorsten Benning absent, the band admirably played on to a pre-recorded drum track and saxophonist and vibraphone player Christoph Closer became the central focus of the stage switching between his illuminated instruments with ease and grace.
Breaking with tradition and playing two encores, the band ended with what sounded like an excerpt from Black Earth, closing the performance on a chilling and unforgettable note. A rare treat to see live in the UK, Bohren & der Club of Gore succeeded in turning a simple church in Bethnal Green into a more seductive and ominous proposition altogether and with both band and venue working in tandem, Piano Nights was given an unforgettable introduction to the UK.
Words by : Richard Powley 
You can read our review of Piano Nights here
For more information :

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Vinyl Corner : Admiral Angry – A Fire To Burn Down The World (EP, Limited Edition)


















Album Type : EP
Date Released : 26/4/2014
Label : Shelsmusic


Track  listing :

Side A). A Fire To Burn Down The World
Side B). A Fire To Burn Down The World

Total running time : 23:41

Bio:

Admiral Angry was an aggressively bottom heavy sludge band from California.
Their first album to be released, “Buster”, was released in 2008 on Sentient Recordings marking the return of their original singer, Chris Lindblad, who did vocals on their “9/11…Only Worse” EP, when they were more of a grind band.

Between 9/11 and Buster, the band recorded an album known as “Albania”, but it was not released due to various conflicts with their former vocalist.

All of Admiral Angry’s music was written by Daniel Krauss, who tragically passed away in February of 2009.

The band has stated on myspace that they will be recording one more EP of music written by Daniel. The future of the band beyond that is unknown.

The Band :

CL | vocals
BG | bass
CS | drums
MR | guitar
DK | guitar 

Review :

Shelsmusic label the brainchild of Founder, Mehdi Safa, he of the band *shels, have at least 36 releases to their name, with new and exciting signings such as Astrohenge, a new Manatees album coming out on vinyl this year, as well as releasing Eden Maine’s debut EP The Treachery Pact on vinyl.  Today, the focus of today’s vinyl corner was the label’s first vinyl release, ‘A Fire To Burn Down The World’ by Admiral Angry.  This record is presented in traditional black wax, art direction & photos by Daniel Kraus.

We’ve never stopped, and we never will. Sound lives forever. We hope our music is most unpleasant.“  -Daniel Kraus (RIP)

Following the release of their Debut release in 2009, entitled ‘Buster’, Daniel Kraus founding member and driving force behind the band had talked to Shelsmusic about an EP they were working on and his desire to release on vinyl, that EP would eventually come to be ‘A Fire To Burn The World.’  Tragically, Daniel Kraus passed away at the age of 22, before the band could even record the EP.  Affectionately referred too as the ‘Admiral’, the record was released posthumously, honouring his memory and acting as a fitting tribute to him, being the first vinyl release from the label. 

I affectionately remember picking up the record upon its initial release in 2010, as a 99p download, and remember thinking I had stolen from Amazon, (the record was full price the next day).  One can only assume, they cocked up, because they didn’t know how to price it, because in essence ‘A Fire to Burn the World’ is one track. 

Reminiscent to Khanate, Black Sheep Wall or The Abominable Iron Sloth for that matter, I became obsessed by the brilliance of their downtempo sludge, in 2009.  Indeed, their debut record ‘Buster’ is perhaps one of my very favourite records of all time. Songs like ‘Sex with a Stranger’, ‘Kill Yourself’, and ‘Bug Vomit’ are aggressively bottom heavy.  A striking riff sound reminiscent to Meshuggah, but without the djent cliches, coupled with harrowingly tormented vocals, think Burning Witch or Khanate.  ‘Buster’ is one of the very best records you’ve probably never heard. 

Acting in some ways as a companion piece to ‘Buster’, ‘A Fire to Burn the World’ is one piece of music played over 25 torturous mins.  Recorded to tape, the tone of the music is laden with fuzz and bleak distortion, crackling, like any vintage vinyl should.  This is nightmarish stuff.  Have the antacids handy, because this stuff isn’t swallowed easier. 

As the rest of the guys in the band put it, this album is “One 30 minute long song, meant to punish you for all the bad things you’ve done in your bedroom. A Fire is not meant for everyone, but is being released for the one person that had the determination to set this world ablaze before he left it.”  Not only was Daniel Kraus a talented musician but an artist of some note, designing artwork for Black Sheep Wall’s debut album, I am God Songs.  Also a brilliant and much underrated band, in case you lost your mind and overlooked that band too. 

As I sit at my laptop listening to ‘A Fire To Burn The World’ from the opening refrain of the drums, it is a tense affair, the maniacal and tortured vocals, are so fucking bleak it is like black bile.  The guitars come in and everything is played slow, chugging barred chords then a more open three note passage, this is ugly and uncompromising, like salt in an open wound.  There are some lead breaks, but they seem out of key, to add further discordance.  The mix is stunning, everything sounds huge, and the snare sound is just how i like it, snappy and thick.  Around 5 – 6 minutes they up the pace with that Meshuggah like tone of the guitars, bassy and downtuned to Z.  Then it is back to the chugging refrain of the opening.  You can’t so much nod to the music because it is so lacking in pace, but it is droning and truly captivating.  This dude on vocals must have lubricated his throat with Vaseline to prevent his throat from rupturing under the strain.  When you think things can’t get any heavier, the guitars somehow get more bass.  

Like in the olden days at the cinema with the timely interval for your ice cream or toilet break, side A comes to an end, splitting up the track and as the listener it is your opportunity to go to your ‘happy place’ before taking in side B.  ‘Cause I can guarantee this shit, won’t become uplifting. 

Valium consumed to stabilise your nerves after side A, things are indeed a little more melodious, guitars are clean, yet with feedback filtering in and the discord of the anguish vocals bleating through.  Admiral Angry, kick you in the teeth once more,  this is armed to teeth with chugging bass, like the sound The Terminator makes when he enters the scene, one thing is true this band absolutely will not stop until you’re dead.  Indeed the final passage of the record is merely feedback from the guitars, the sound your brain makes when it’s being pummelled into the floor. 

This is not pleasant, uplifting, shitgrin music, this is as bleak as it gets, but Daniel Kraus was an undoubted talent and with every subsequent listen of the record, it is a mark of appreciation of his final and perhaps most uncompromising work.  Indeed what better way to uphold his memory, by honouring his wish to have his music commits to wax?  

Words by : Aaron Pickford

You can get it here



For more information : 



Monday, 21 April 2014

Raum Kingdom - S/T Album

Raum Kingdom cover art

Album TypeAlbum
Date Released: April 15th 2014
Label: Self Released
Raum Kingdom S/T - track listing

1.Wounds 05:47
2.Barren Objects 06:36
3.Cross Reference 03:22
4.These Open Arms 03:58
5.This Sullen Hope 09:38

Bio

You are standing in a dark room. In the shadows of the walls you see glared eyes staring in your direction. When you move forward to investigate...........

The Band Members

Drums - Mark Gilchrist
Bass - Ronan Connor
Guitars - Andrew Colohan
Vocals - Dave Lee

Review:

Raum Kingdom is a Post-Metal/Sludge Metal band from Ireland who deal in dark and violent riffs that instantly draws you in with the very first crushing note on their excellent S/T debut album.

If you're a fan of Isis, Mouth Of The Architect and Neurosis then you will find much to admire here. Though Raum Kingdom still have a haunting superb style of their own. Their S/T debut album maybe on for a brisk 30 minutes or so but it packs quite a hard-hitting punch that will leave you floored for days.

First track – Wounds – paints the perfect picture of bleakness, soul and melody set against a picture of heavy monolithic Sludge/Post-Metal riffs to drown your soul in. Lead Vocalist – Dave – perfectly captures the bleakness and darkness of everyday life with some brutal vocals matched against the heavy post-metal riffage. This is a band with a lot to say and you will believe what they have to say.

Second track – Barren Objects – starts off slowly and quite coldly with Dave singing some slow-paced vocals that embraces the post-rock vibe of Raum Kingdom's music. But he is matched against some brutally heavy music going on in the background. This is a powerful track indeed that shows why Raum Kingdom a very powerful band indeed. Though Dave unleashes his violent inner-persona once more as his fury and anger come out in one dangerous final attack.

Cross Reference sees the band venture into experimental territory with harsh voice overs and slow-paced ambient based noises and riffs for an unsettling tale of modern day life. These Open Arms ventures back into normal loud and angry Sludge/Post-Metal territory for an unflinching sound that will leave you drained through out.

The band have one final journey to take you on with the almost 10 minute epic – This Sullen Hope. A bruising and encounter that will leave you no doubt that Raum Kingdom have taken you on quite an emotional journey. The band toy with your emotions as this track is full of twist and turns with slow-paced Post-Rock vibes matched against the brutal onslaught of Sludge/Post-Metal riffs. It's when the band embrace the darker side of their music is when they truly become a force to be reckoned with.

This is a stunning debut album from a band that I hope will be releasing many more releases like this in the years to come. As they have huge potential waiting to be unleashed on an unsuspecting world.

You can download this for free from BandCamp now. It's already becoming quite popular with the Sludge/Post-Metal community and on this evidence it's not hard to see why.

Brilliant and Highly Recommended.

Check The Band From Links Below


Written by Steve Howe

Sergeant Thunderhoof - Zigurat

Zigurat cover art

Album Type:Album
Date Released: April 09th 2014
Label: Self Released
Zigurat - track listing

1.Devil Whore 07:54
2.Pity For The Son 08:21
3.Om Asato Ma Sadgamaya 04:50
4.Lunar Worship 09:39
5.After Burner 08:31

Bio

Sergeant Thunderhoof were formed in late 2013 initially as just an excuse for old friends to get together once in a while and jam some tasty licks.

It soon became apparent that a collective sound was emerging and so it was decided that they would go into the studio and do some recording. The result of which is 'Zigurat', a killer 5 track EP, stretching over 40 psychedelic doom drenched minutes.

Psychedelic, groove rock from the dark realms of Somerset. Prime cuts of riffs served with a side of tasty psychedelic mushrooms, garnished with a sprinkle of doom croutons.

The Band Members

Mark Sayer
Jim Camp
Dan Flitcroft
Darren Ashman

Review:

Sergeant Thunderhoof. Weird Name. Yeah. Most definitely. But what a killer band. Sergeant Thunderhoof have just released their outstanding debut album – Zigurat – a psychedelic riff laiden monster that blends Doom, Stoner Rock Hard Rock and Groove Rock – for something quite special indeed.

The band call this an EP. Well it's a 40 minute EP that will have you on the edge of your seat through out every single second as this album is dripping with class. These guys have only been going for about 6 months or so and they come up with a stunning record such as this. WOW.

If you're a fan of Kyuss, Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu and Black Sabbath then you're going to be in musical heaven. Zigurat is going to take you on an epic journey into the next dimension. The first two tracks Devil Whore and Pity For The Son show you what this band is all about. Psych Doom based riffs with a lot of heart and soul. It helps that the guys know how to write some out-of-this-world trippy lyrics to take you on a drug fuelled journey.

If you're not swayed by the dreamy and epic progressive sludge like riffs of Om Asato Ma Sadgamaya then there is no hope for you. This is the perfect example of how to write a brilliant progressive Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal song that will have you scratching your head wondering what the fuck are they on about while head-banging to the sublime riffs on show.

Though my fave track has to be the epic almost 10 minute 4th track – Lunar Worship – which brings back memories of 90s Stoner Cosmic Overlords – Monster Magnet – when they were masters of cosmic intergalactic riffs. Well Sergeant Thunderhoof bring back that memory for today's audiences while giving it a progressive sludge/stoner kick in the nuts makeover that will have you begging for more.

If you want some new riff kings to follow or worship to then Sergeant Thunderhoof is the band for you. If Zigurat is still classed by an EP by the band then I can't wait to hear what they have in store for their debut full length record. As this is an incredible debut release that shows a band with masses of talent and ideas that will keep them in the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal spectrum for years to come.

You can find out for yourselves as the band have Zigurat available for Buy Now Download on BandCamp now. I would hurry though as I have a feeling this will be one of the must have releases of 2014 in the next few months or so. The guys are working on raising funds for a future Vinyl Release. I will definitely be buying a copy when it's available to buy.

Brilliant and Highly Recommended.

Check The Band From Links Below


Written by Steve Howe

ENTHRONED - Sovereigns - Album Review

Enthroned - Sovereigns

Album Type:Album
Date Released: April 15th 2014
Label: Agonia Records
Sovereigns - track listing

1. Anteloquium
2. Sine Qua Non
3. Of Feathers and Flames
4. Lamp of Invisible Lights
5. Of Shrines and Sovereigns
6. The Edge of Agony
7. Divine Coagulation
8. Baal al-Maut
9. Nerxiarxin Mahathallah

The Band Members

Nornagest: Lead Vocals & lead Guitars
Phorgath: bass
Neraath: lead Guitars
Menthor: Drums
ZarZax: Guitar

Review:

Black metal. A genre of metal that is legendary for so many reasons: church burnings, Satan worship, ritual murder, weird facepaint… all of which adds to the mythos of the genre, but tells you little to nothing about the most important aspect of all: the music. If you are new to black metal’s icy tones, then let me say that Belgian black metallers Enthroned’s new album ‘Sovereigns’ is a great way to dip into the brackish waters of a much-maligned metal subgenre. For those who have the black metal swimming certificates to proves their veteran status, Enthroned’s latest offering is a blood-freezing triumph of great dark music that not only shows off the qualities of this occult-driven genre, but also is enjoyable for the casual metal listener.

The music itself sounds like an Aleister Crowley counter-culture party: the grind of the guitars, the relentless pounding of the drums, the howl of Nornagest all adding to this outsider image of black metal. It’s good. Very good. Stripped of its label as black metal it is still a spooky, doom- and death-laden affair; couple the music with the mythos, and it transmogrifies into a pale figure of darkly twisted proportions, his arm outstretched towards you, his hand open, awaiting yours to reach out and touch it. With such tempting songs as the rolling and tolling ‘Baal al Maut’ and the out-and-out shredder that is ‘Of Shrines and Sovereigns’, you’d be a fool not to take the hand and be transported into Enthroned’s devilish Wonderland.

A prime pick of occult majesty from this album has to be, in my opinion, ‘Nerxiarxin Mahathallah’. Not only is the song title imposing as Hell, it’s a shrieking, titanic tank, hauling doom-dynamite, with a pentagram painted on the chassis and a crew of the most tortured souls known to man. Seriously, how drummer Menthor manages to keep up this breakneck pace without losing a foot to extreme repetitive strain injury I’ll never know. But he does, and this track is made all the more mighty because of it. It’s a triumph, not only as a black metal song, but as a balls-to-the-wall metal song. And when a song can transcend genres, you know it’s a powerful entity.

Enthroned are staples of the black metal genre, and have been for many years. ‘Sovereigns’ is a release that will please their loyal fanbase, while at the same time entice new listeners to check out what the fuss is all about. The dark side of metal never sounded so good, ladies and gentlemen: come to the Court of Black Metal and get Enthroned!

Written by Chris Markwell

Sovereigns is now available to buy from all good stockists from Agonia Records. Thanks to Agonia Records for sending us a promo to review.

Check The Band From Links Below

Greenhorn - Doom Hawk - EP Review


Album TypeEP
Date Released: May 2014
Label: TBA Later
Doom Hawk - track listing

1. Horse Cock
2. Enemies
3. Driven Like A Cunt
4. Kingdom By The Sea
5. Binoculars

The Band Members

Sid
AJ
Vlad

Review:

Bournemouth's finest purveyors of Sludge/Doom Metal riffsters – GREENHORN are back with their stunning new EP – Doom Hawk. I featured these guys back in 2013 when I featured their debut EP – The Plague Doctor's Mask. Now Greenhorn are back with Doom Hawk.

A 20 minute EP spread along 5 tracks filled with filth ridden and anger filled Doom/Sludge Metal riffs waiting to fuck up your entire world. Though Greenhorn are different from your usual Doom/Sludge Metal bands. As they guys have a killer sense of humour to their music to show that they know how to have fun with their music as well. Though you may not think of this when listening to the brutal onslaught of riffs the band have in store for you.

Need more evidence. OK first track – Horse Cock – Yeah a Sludge/Doom Metal track called Horse Cock. But it's the music where it matters most and Greenhorn have delivered 3:36 minutes of heavy punishing riffs that pays homage to bands such as Grief, Iron Monkey and EyeHateGod though done in Greenhorn's immaculate Doom Metal style. The vocals are full of anger through out and it gives Greenhorn a violent edge compared against their British friends and rivals of the Doom Metal scene.

2nd track – Enemies – carries on the devastating mixture of harsh vocals and riffs laid down previously though the band add elements of groove to this track and it makes it one of the EP's standout tracks. Play this one nice and loud as your speakers deserve it. Even playing this track at full blast and pissing off your neighbours deserve to hear the devastating riffs that Greenhorn have laid down here.

3rd Track – Driven Like A Cunt – has a violent blues based riff that sounds something like Church Of Misery would be proud to call their own. Though it's the dangerous vocals that make Greenhorn sound like a bunch of violent cunts on the rampage. No offence guys. But this is brutal with a capital FUCKING BRUTAL. The heavy pounding bass is the main driving force here with the drums and guitars slowly hiding in the background.

Now we come to the EP's main even. The epic 4th track – Kingdom By The Sea – which is worth the purchase of the EP alone. As it's a blistering 7:06 minute epic which shows what Greenhorn is all about. Slow-paced riffs which builds up the tension with each passing second with Greenhorn laying down some superb clean based vocals. This track is all about mood and the mood is DOOM!!! - Just embrace the carnage that Greenhorn are laying down for you here. It's an epic journey you won't easily forget.

The last track – Binoculars – only last for 6 seconds. What the fuck guys. I was just starting to get into the mood for some more heavy doom based riffs and you end this superb EP with a 6 second EP. Maybe a fuck you from the guys and their twisted sense of humour saying – Until Next Time Bitches!!!

Well Greenhorn have got my appetite well and truly destroyed. I want to hear more riffs you heartless bastards. Anyway joking aside. Doom Hawk is a brilliant EP. It really is. It proves that Greenhorn have the potential to be one of the UK's best and loudest Doom/Sludge Metal bands when they release their full length record.

Awesome. End Of.

Doom Hawk will be available to buy soon. Thanks to the guys for sending me a promo to review.

Check The Band From Links Below


Written by Steve Howe