Archive for Black Metal

Hate, Belphegor and Suffocation live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 24th February 2020 by izaforestspirit

Hate, Belphegor, Suffocation
Klubi, Tampere, Finland
23rd February 2020

I usually tend to avoid attending gigs on a Sunday as it makes the next day difficult. This time however, I was lucky enough to have the next day free which made it possible for me to go. My husband decided to tag along to see Belphegor hoping that they would play some of the old material. I was mainly interested in the Polish blackened death metal act Hate. I like their old stuff and I recently managed to check out the newest release prior to going to the show.

The event started rather early and sadly we missed the first band, a Swedish death-thrash metal group called Carnosus. We arrived just in time to see the German death metal band Betrayal. They played a good, albeit somewhat short set of solid death metal with a thrash metal tinge. One of their songs featured a short melodic part guitar instrumental which was somewhat unexpected but it worked surprisingly well. So not a bad start to the night.

Next up was the main band that I came to see. The Polish blackened death metal outfit Hate put on a hell of a show. These guys hail from the same country as Behemoth and they often get compared to their Gdansk-based brethren due to the similarities in the music style. This show proved though they have developed their own style and they have earned their place in the extreme metal scene on their own merit. This is definitely my kind of metal and I am looking forward to hearing more from these guys. The only issue I had with the performance was that it was too short. They were only on for half an hour. I would have wanted to hear more from Adam the First Sinner and the gang.

The Austrian blackened death metal act Belphegor sure do like their props. The stage was decorated with animal skull motifs and burning incense. They seem to have quite the following too, they actually attracted a bigger crowd than the night’s headliners. Sadly they mostly played newer material which neither me nor my husband were familiar with. The only song I recognized was ‘Lucifer Incestus’. Some of the new tracks sounded decent such as ‘Baphomet’ but a lot of them seemed a little slow and not super memorable.

Suffocation were pretty much what I expected them to be. They played some very solid brutal death metal. That is the main problem that I have with American death metal in general, most of the bands sound the same. There is only a handful of American death metal bands that I like. Most of them do their best to make their music sound as brutal, fast and ferocious. Ultimately though, after minutes of head-banging along to a few of the tracks, you realize that they all sound very similar to each other. It was like listening to one very long song throughout the show. I have to admit that they did a good job of agitating the crowd and getting the mosh-pit going.

Overall, it was a fun way to spend Sunday night. Betrayal were pretty good. Hate were my favorite performance of the night and it’s shame that their set was so short. Belphegor have changed their style quite considerably over the years and I do not like their new stuff as much as the older albums. As for Suffocation, they were decent live but I do not think that I will be checking out their music anytime soon.

Iza Raittila

 

 

Iza’s highlights of 2019

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2019 by izaforestspirit

It’s that time of the year again. Time for my annual best of list or “highlights” as I prefer to call them. 2019 was a eventful year for alternative music. There was a lot of new material that caught my attention which made selecting a top 10 much more difficult than last year. After much deliberation I have narrowed it down to the following albums:

1. Eluveitie – Antegnatos
Genre: Folk Metal
Eluveitie - Ategnatos
2. Children of Bodom – Hexed
Genre: Melodic Death Metal/ Power Metal
Children of Bodom - Hexed

3. The 69 Eyes – West End
Genre: Goth n’Roll/ Gothic Rock
The 69 Eyes - West End

4. Mgła – Age of Excuse
Genre: Black Metal
Mgła - Age of Excuse
5. Combichrist – One Fire
Genre: Industrial Metal/Electro-Industrial
Combichrist - One Fire - CD

6. Hocico – Artificial Extiction
Genre: Electro- Industrial/ Aggrotech
Hocico - Artificial Extinction - CD

7. Blutengel – Un:Gott
Genre: Synth-pop/Darkwave

8. Darkthrone – Old Star
Genre: Black Metal/Blackened Heavy Metal/Doom Metal
Darkthrone - Old Star

9. Sabaton – The Great War
Genre: Power Metal
Sabaton - The Great War
10. Ad Inferna – Des Diables et Des Dieux
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal

Honorable mentions:
Aurelio Voltaire – She’s Glowing
Taken from the album What Are The Oddz?

God Module – Cross My Heart
Taken from the album The Unsound

Scandroid – The Writing’s On The Wall
Taken from the album The Light

The long-awaited new Rammstein album also came out this year. Sadly, despite a having handful of great songs including ‘Deutschland’, it was a little disappointing. I expected more from them after a decade of waiting.

Best live show of 2019
Metallica live in Hämeenlinna

Runners up, honorable mentions go to: Behemoth live in Tampere and Blutengel live at Hellsinki Industrial.

New discoveries for 2019
Raven Said, Priest and Cygnosic

Most anticipated releases for 2020
a new albums from Helloween and Vader
Mono Inc- The Book of Fire
Celldweller – Satellites

That’s all from me. Happy New Year Everyone!

Iza Raittila

Hanzel und Gretyl reveal new album details

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , , on 16th November 2019 by izaforestspirit

It’s only been a year since their last effort ‘Satanik Germanik’… Now the American industrial metal duo Hanzel und Gretyl are ready to unleash their latest creation onto the world next month. The new opus will be entitled ‘Hexennacht’ and it is expected to hit the shops on 13th December 2019 via Metropolis Records.

Here is the cover and the track-listing:

Hanzel und Gretyl - Hexennacht

1. Hexennacht
2. Draconia Teutonik
3. Nüll
4. Vultures ov Death
5.Wolves + Witches
6. Jägermond
7.Der kaiz3rn8tor
8. Hellmeister
9. Triple Hexxx
10. Cursed Be
11. O Great Hekate
12. Ein kleine Hexennacht Muzik

For more details visit:

https://www.hanzelundgretyl.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pg/hanzelundgretyl/

Mgła – Age of Excuse

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 18th October 2019 by izaforestspirit

Mgła
Age of Excuse
Released 2nd September 2019
Black Metal
Released via Northern Heritage Records

Mgła - Age of Excuse

The Polish black metal outfit, Mgła have come a long way since I first discovered them back in 2006 when the two Eps ‘Presence’ and ‘Mdłości’ were released. The line-up has not changed, Mgła is still a two-man team comprising multi-instrumentalist singer M. and drummer Darkside. They have additional live musicians for the live performances.

So this brings me to the duo’s latest work – ‘Age of Excuse’. There are six tracks, all labelled as Age of Excuse I – VI. A key part of what makes a good black metal song is the atmosphere, the creepier and the more bleak it sounds the better it gets usually. Everything about this album conveys eerie and nihilistic vibes. First there is the ultra-grim looking front cover. Then the first things you hear as soon as you press the play button, are the disturbing sounds of vocalist M. gnashing his teeth just before the guitars kick in. When the guitars enter the frame, they only add to the overall bleak atmosphere as do the vocals. It must be pointed out that this sounds a lot like their other project Kriegsmaschine.

It’s pretty pointless to discuss the tracks individually as the are essentially just six parts of the same concept. These guys have managed to maintain a good balance between the coarse guitar riffs, the drum work and the melodic tones without compromising the overall atmosphere. Even with the odd melodic guitar part, the music still sounds very bleak. It’s like walking through a forest at night, in deep fog. You can get accustomed to it but definitely is not pleasant.

In summary, ‘Age of Excuse’ is easily one of the best black metal albums that I have heard this year. It is great to see just how far Mgła have come and how much their sound has developed over the years. I would happily recommend this to any black metal fan.

8/10

Iza Raittila

Darkthrone – Old Star

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 5th July 2019 by izaforestspirit

Darkthrone
Old Star
Released 31st May 2019
Black Metal/Blackened Heavy Metal/Doom Metal
Released via Peaceville Records
Darkthrone - Old Star

My favorite Norwegian black metal duo are back with a new album. It is hard to keep track of all their releases. The one thing that I have always admired about them is that they do not follow any specific trend unlike many other bands in the extreme metal scene. Like where other black metal bands aim to shock, pile on more corpse-paint and act all grim and satanic; Darkthrone just do what they have always done. They play the style that suits them and they do not do live shows. If they release a music video, it might be a cartoon or just clips of Nocturno Culto or Fenriz hanging around in the woods or jamming the studio. Oh and they haven’t worn corpse-paint since the mid-1990s.

I enjoyed their previous studio effort ‘Arctic Thunder’, so I have high hopes for this one. These guys are no strangers when it comes to experimenting with other music genres. Even though Darkthrone are best known for the early black metal works, if you re-visit their discography you will find everything ranging from death metal, black metal to Motörhead-style heavy metal, speed metal to crust punk. Their latest piece of work bears some similarity to its predecessor ‘Arctic Thunder’, only this time there are some doom metal parts added to the mix.

Take the Alp Man for instance. It’s probably my least favorite track on here and one of the slower ones. It is a little too doom metal -inspired for my liking. While I have no problem with the odd droning guitar riff and slow drumming, this one just doesn’t seem to get going at all. It might have worked for bands like Tiamat or even Entombed in the past, it’s a little too slow for Darkthrone. Luckily the rest of the songs are much more to my liking. Overall, my favourite song is the opener I Muffle Your Inner Choir. I really like Nocturno Culto’s rocking guitar riffs on Duke of Gloat. The drum work on it is pretty good too. Then there is The Hardship of The Scots with its unique blend of doom metal, heavy metal and black-thrash metal to illustrate the other end of the spectrum. It took a while to get going, and I particularly enjoyed the rhythm guitar passage towards the latter half of the song.

In summary, ‘Old Star’ is another solid album from the Norwegian black metal duo. It has its flaws but overall I am pleased to say that it was worth the wait. I’m not sure what to call this style… “Blackened heavy, death metal with hints of doom metal…” To hell with genre categorization! It’s Darkthrone, doing what they do best. Rock on!

4/5

Iza Raittila

Gravefields – Embrace The Void

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 23rd June 2019 by izaforestspirit

Gravefields
Embrace The Void
Released 7th June 2019
Death Metal/Blackened Death Metal
Released via Redefining Darkness Records

Gravefields - Embrace the Void

Embrace The Void’ is the debut album from death metal duo Gravefields. The band was originally known as Dirtyprotest and they have been around since 2006. They released one album under that name two years ago before re-emerging again as Gravefields. Throughout this time there hasn’t been any changes to the line-up. Gravefields comprises Irish multi-instrumentalist Alan Hurley and French vocalist known as DM.

It took me a few listens to fully get into this album and it turned out to be far more complex than I expected. I thought this was going to be your standard Death, Morbid Angel, Dismember (insert old-school death metal band name here)_____ -style death metal but that’s not the case. In addition to the pummeling drums, bulldozing blast-beat guitar riffs and growls, there is also some elements of black metal. The record is a mixture of the two styles. For example Sulphur Injection is a vicious piece of fast-paced death metal packed with aggressive blast-beats and ferocious growls. So far, so very typical death metal…

Then halfway through the album, things change. You get to Mind Leech and the black metal parts start to creep their way in. For a brief period, the growling becomes shouting and the guitars slow down a little, adapting a more medium pace with the occasional melodic guitar part. It actually reminded me of old Marduk at times. These guys never really slow down but songs like this one add some variety to their sound. Void also caught my attention due to the multi-faceted guitar structures and variation in pace, combining the best parts of both black and death metal.

In summary, ‘Embrace The Void’ is a well executed blackened death metal opus which ought to please fans of both genres. There is a lot more to this than just nine tracks of solid, fast blast-beats and growling, which is refreshing to hear.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Darkthrone reveal new album details

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , on 22nd March 2019 by izaforestspirit

The Norwegian black metal duo Darkthrone have announced that their new album, the follow up to ‘Arctic Thunder’ will called ‘Old Star’. Here is what  their drummer Fenriz had to say about it:

“All in all it is our most 80s album so far and our most metal one to date with drum sound typical for the 80s USA/German market and damned lyrics, which are all written by me. We feel that OLD STAR is the big brother of ARCTIC THUNDER. More solid and with even better riffs.”

Check out the cover art below:

Darkthrone - Old Star

‘Old Star’ will be out on 31st May 2019 via Peaceville Records.

For more details visit:

https://www.facebook.com/Darkthrone-101075189934422/

https://darkthrone.lnk.to/OldStarFA

Fallen Tyrant – Children of A Nuclear Dawn

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on 18th March 2019 by izaforestspirit

Fallen Tyrant
Children of a Nuclear Dawn
Released 19th November 2018
Black Metal
Released via Bleeding Heart Nihilist Productions

Fallen Tyrant - Children of a Nuclear Dawn

‘Children of a Nuclear Dawn’ is the second album from the German black metal band Fallen Tyrant. The band started out as a solo project of bassist/vocalist Mithras back in 2008, then two more members joined two years later.

This is one of those cases where the cover and the song titles are a good indication of what you can expect from the music. The vocals are ultra creepy, angry shouts and the music is equally aggressive and eerie-sounding. So far so typical for raw black metal. At least that is what I thought after the first track, but then things changed… Approximately half-way through Shifting Tides Along the Rhine the song took an unexpected turn and things went a little haywire. I am somewhat accustomed to fast, thunderous guitar riffs and blast beats but the distorted bass tunes took me a while to get used to. But that is still nothing compared to what happened next. Suddenly the pace changed and they switched from fast raw black metal to some jazz-esque guitar jamming session! The only thing missing up to that point is the sound of a saxophone playing the background… Luckily it doesn’t last long and what follows is more fast paced black metal.

There are a few melodic parts on here such as the title track with its acoustic guitar intro and less vicious-sounding guitar riffs. This is one of the more consistent songs on the album. The long instrumental part towards the end is one of highlights on here thanks to the guitar work. If only the other songs were as well composed and consistent as that one. For example, what the hell is going on with the vocals in the second half of Death Code: World Manifest ?? It sounds like a completely different band and the music switches from black metal to something akin to Motörhead then to black metal again. Very strange and not in a good way either…

Overall, ‘Children of a Nuclear Dawn’ left me feeling a little confused as to what Fallen Tyrant were trying to achieve with this record. It feels disjointed, almost as though they had too many ideas to squeeze into one album. The songs seem too long and needlessly complicated.

2.5/5

Iza Raittila

Helheim unveil new album details

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , on 15th March 2019 by izaforestspirit

Good news for fans of Viking black metal. If you are into bands such as Enslaved, Kampfar or Taake then there is a good chance that you will also like the Norwegian black metal group Helheim.

Their latest album ‘Rignir’ is scheduled to hit the shops on 26th April 2019 via Dark Essence Records. The title means “rain” in Norwegian and it is inspired by the climate in the band’s home city of Bergen.

You can see the cover and the track-listing below:

1. Rignir
2. Kaldr
3. Hagl
4. Snjóva
5. Ísuð
6. Vindarblástr
7. Stormviðri
8. Vetrarmegin

Helheim - Rignir

The album release will be followed by an European tour with record label mates Madder Mortem as support. Here is the full schedule:

Apr 12  Kvarteret , Bergen, NO
Apr 21 Dark Easter Metal Meeting , Münich, DE (Helheim only)
Apr 25 Quantic Club , Bucharest, RO
Apr 26 Flying Circus , Cluj Napoca, RO
APR 27 Vörös-Kék Yuk, Budapest, HU
APR 28 Nova Chmelnice , Prague, CZ
APR 29 Backstage, Paris, FR
MAY 01 The Underworld , London, UK
May 02: Logo, Hamburg, DE
MAY 03 Konfus, Esbjerg, DK
MAY 04 Skullcrusher, Dresden, DE

In the meantime you can watch their latest video for the new single ‘Kaldr’.

For more details go to:

http://www.helheim.com/
https://www.facebook.com/helheimnorway

Apocalypse – Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 10th March 2019 by izaforestspirit

Apocalypse
Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
Released December 2018 (original version) / January 2019 (re-press)
Epic Black Metal
Self-Released

Apocalypse - Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

‘Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum’ is the debut album from the Italian, one-man black metal project Apocalypse. It was originally set up in 2015 as a full band playing power metal but the line-up did not last too long. After numerous line-up changes and rehearsals the founding member, multi-instrumentalist Erymanthon, made a decision to continue Apocalypse as a solo project drawing inspiration from black metal – particularly Bathory.

It’s pretty hard to miss the Bathory influence on this album. Starting with the cover art which looks remarkably similar to that of Bathory’s ‘Blood Fire Death’ album. Even the band name is written in the same font as Bathory. Also Erymanthon adapts a similar vocal style to Quorthon’s. The music itself is pretty much what I expected it to be from the description. I am not too comfortable using the term “epic black metal”; instead I would class this as atmospheric black metal with hints of thrash metal in guitars. There is an ongoing theme of war and battle scenes (as you would expect from the title) but there are no direct references to Vikings or Norse mythology. The pace varies depending on the song with the slowest being Chant of Glory Eternal which features an acoustic guitar and ballad-style clear vocals.

Soldiers of Rome has a definite thrash metal tinge to it due to the guitar work. It starts off slow with some acoustic guitar in the intro, then it gradually builds up the pace with some thrashing riffs and a few groove parts midway through the song. It reminded me of Bathory’s ‘Shores in Flames’. Erymanthon has a good vocal range and he seems to be fairly comfortable performing both the harsh black metal shouts and the clear vocals.

In summary ‘Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum’ is clearly a labour of love created in admiration and with the intention of paying homage to Bathory. In that Apocalypse has definitely succeeded. This album feels like a continuation of what Quorthon started.

4/5

Iza Raittila

At The Gates and Behemoth live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , on 31st January 2019 by izaforestspirit

Wolves In The Throne Room, At The Gates, Behemoth
Pakkahuone, Tampere, Finland
30th January 2019

My first gig of 2019! I have been waiting for a long time for a chance to see Behemoth again. The last time I saw them live was Tuska Open Air 2012 on their first tour shortly after their front-man Nergal’s recovery from leukemia. I have kept up to date with all their releases and news and last year I could not believe my luck when I discovered that they are coming to my home town.

The venue was sold out on the night and the there was already a sizable crowd right from the start. I could not really get into the first band – Wolves In The Throne Room. Their sound can be described as a mixture of atmospheric black metal and dark ambient. Some of the songs they played were incredibly slow and more ambient than black metal. While this kind of music might be fine to listen to at home, it’s not really something that I want to hear live 2.5/5

I guess that most people who are into melodic death metal are familiar with At The Gates. They are after all one of the forefathers of the genre with some genre-defining releases to boot. This was not the first time that I have seen them live and I hope that it will not be my last. They had a few issues with their performances. First, their vocalist Tomas got the name of the city wrong, a minor mistake which he spent the rest of the night apologizing for. The other issue they had turned out to be more serious – a broken drum set.


It took some time to fix the problem but luckily they managed to sort it out in time to play a few more songs. A very good show overall despite the setbacks. 4/5

Finally came the moment I have been waiting seven years for. Behemoth started their set a little later than planned but it was definitely worth the extra time. They had an impressive amount of visuals and various props all contributing to a wonderful performance. They played some of the hits such as ‘Decade of Therion’(my personal favourite), ‘Chant For Eschaton 2000’, ‘Slaves Shall Serve’, ‘Lucifer’ along with lots of songs from the new album including ‘Bartzabel’ and ‘Wolves of Siberia. What a fantastic show! It was even better than the last time that I saw them live. 5/5

In summary, the only band I did not enjoy watching live was Wolves In The Throne Room. It was a little too slow for my liking. At The Gates managed to overcome their technical problem and put on a great show. Behemoth were everything that I hoped for and more. I absolutely loved their show. This was their first time in Tampere and I really hope that they came back again in the future.

Iza Raittila

 

Inferitvm – The Grimoires

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 8th January 2019 by izaforestspirit

Inferitvm
The Grimoires
Released 25th January 2019
Atmospheric Black Metal
Released via Inverse Records

Inferitvm - The Grimoires

The Grimoires’ is the second album from the Spanish black metal band Inferitvm. The group was formed in 2014 and they are based in the Balearic island of Mallorca. It’s been a long while since I last heard any Spanish black metal. The main band of the genre I knew from there was Asgaroth, who called it a day back in 2007. So I guess it’s about time that I check out some of the current black metal scene in that region.

One quick glance at the cover and the song titles gives you a good clue about the themes of this album. This is very much centered around the occult, witchcraft and mysticism. As for the music, what we have here are eleven tracks of atmospheric black metal which appears to draw inspiration from the Nordic black metal scene, most notably Emperor, Satyricon and to a lesser extent Immortal. The vocalist has a similar style to that of Abbath. There are a fair few melodic elements on here such as the guitar passages and the keyboards on Malleus Maleficarum. They even included a short keyboard solo at the end of the track.

Another song that caught my attention is Goetia of Shadows. The pace is a bit more varied on here, ranging from slow and atmospheric to mid-paced and aggressive. The melodic guitar and keyboard parts at the start and mid-way through the track really reminded me of early Emperor. This song also marks a turning point in the album moving towards a faster, more guitar focused black metal sound enhanced by Vltra’s grim croaking and less keyboards.

In summary, ‘The Grimoires’ is a good example of modern atmospheric black metal that is heavily influenced by Northern European black metal from the 1990s. I reckon that fans of Emperor and early Satyricon would enjoy this album. I certainly do.

4/5
Iza Raittila

Agon – Hollowed Lake

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 6th December 2018 by izaforestspirit

Agon
Hollowed Lake
Released 21st October 2018
Atmospheric Black Metal
Self-Released

Agon - Hollowed Lake

‘Hollowed Lake’ is the debut album from the American atmospheric black metal artist Agon. The project is the brainchild of solo musician and vocalist Andre Basora, based in Miami, Florida.

Miami is hardly the place that you would typically associate with black metal. It offers a sharp contrast to the grim and frostbitten northern landscapes where the genre first became popular. Straight from the start of the opening track My Yearning Heart you get a sense of the haunting atmosphere. If I were to imagine a setting which would fit this kind of music, it would be a dark forest on a stormy autumn night. The guitars sound raw, abrasive with an eerie feel and the bleak keyboard only adds to the gloomy ambiance. The vocals are fairly sporadic, coarse sounding rasps and yet they are still clear enough for you to follow the lyrics. Tunnel of Desolation is a bit of an acquired taste – if you are a fan of avantgarde metal with lots of distorted guitar noise then this is the song for you. Personally speaking that track gave me a headache and I would rather skip it.

Luckily what follows is more atmospheric black metal. We are still roaming through the dark forests, desperately searching for shelter from the ongoing storm. There is constant sense of fear and dread of what might be lurking in the shadows. The title track also caught my attention mainly due to the shift in style from black metal to early Burzum-esque dark ambient in the first half before returning to raw and eerie black metal for the remainder of the song.

In summary, ‘Hollowed Lake’ is a decent black metal album which succeeds in creating an eerie atmosphere whilst offering enough variety to keep the listener interested. However, at times it feels as though the avantgarde elements have been taken a bit too far, making the music disjointed.

3/5
Iza Raittila

Huoripukki and Goatsodomy live

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , on 25th November 2018 by izaforestspirit

Warfare Noise, Huoripukki, Goatsodomy
Varjobaari, Tampere, Finland
24th November 2018

Just when I think that I will not be attending any more live shows this year, something new pops up unexpectedly. Varjobaari, a small pub in one of the largest districts of Tampere, was the venue for a night of extreme metal with three Finnish underground bands performing. This was my first time at the venue and I was unfamiliar with the bands but the names and the descriptions of the music sounded intriguing so I decided to check them out.

Warfare Noise were up first. They are a fairly new band with only a few self-released demos. The best way I can describe their sound would be a mixture of grindcore and black metal with an emphasis on the grindcore. I’m not the biggest fan of grindcore but I have to admit that the drum work was really good. 2.5/5

Huoripukki were the main band I wanted to see. I haven’t heard their music prior to the show but I liked their name, it means “whoremonger” in Finnish. Anyway theirs was the most energetic show of the night. They played good mix of blackened death metal and to a lesser extent thrash metal. There was no space to form a moshpit but more than enough for some headbanging. 4/5

Last up was a black metal outfit called Goatsodomy. They played raw black metal which is not the easiest stuff to play live. They started out a little later than scheduled and I only stuck around to hear a few songs so there is not a hell of a lot that I can say about their show. What I heard was raw, minimalistic black metal which seemed a bit one-dimensional at times. 2.5/5

Overall I am glad that I took the time to attend the gig. I liked the venue and Huoripukki were entertaining to watch. It’s good to see that Finnish underground extreme metal scene is alive and well.

Iza Raittila

Hypocrisy and Kataklysm live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , on 11th November 2018 by izaforestspirit

The Spirit, Hypocrisy, Kataklysm
Pakkahuone, Tampere, Finland
10th November 2018

This time I opted for an evening of melodic death metal. My exposure to Hypocrisy’s music is limited a handful of songs from their old albums but I am fan of Peter Tägtgren’s other side projects so I figured it was about time that I checked out his main band. Similar things apply to Kataklysm – I discovered them via their singer Maurizio Iacono’s side project Ex Deo. Out of the two bands I am more familiar with Kataklysm, particularly their mid-career works such as ‘Epic (The Poetry of War)’ and ‘Shadows & Dust’.

First up was a German melodic black metal band called The Spirit. I have never heard of them before but I really enjoyed their show. Their music reminded me of Dissection and Taake. 4/5

Hypocrisy drew in a sizable crowd and rightfully so because they put on one hell of a show. They started off slow with the first song but then they really got going. Mr Tägtgren is quite the show-man and these guys did a good job of entertaining the audience. I stayed clear of the mosh-pit but I did do a fair amount of head-banging. The only thing that could have made their show better is if they had played ‘Osculum Obscenum’ but I guess you can’t have everything. 4/5

This was Kataklysm’s first time in Finland and I guess that if you like their current style you probably would have enjoyed their show. They played a lot of tracks from their recent albums which I am not particularly fond of. I actually prefer their older material. Luckily they played ‘Shadows & Dust’ which was the only highlight of the performance for me. This was not what I expected and I was left feeling a little disappointed. 2.5/5

Overall, it was a fun night out but I did not enjoy all the performances as much as I thought I would. The Spirit were surprisingly good and probably the best show of the night. Hypocrisy also put on a good show. As for Kataklysm, I do not like their latest album and I was really hoping to hear more old stuff. Maybe the next time I will check out Ex Deo live instead.

Iza Raittila

Behemoth – I Loved You at Your Darkest

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 8th October 2018 by izaforestspirit

Behemoth
I Loved You at Your Darkest
Released 5th October 2018
Black Metal/Blackened Death Metal
Released via Mystic Production/ Nuclear Blast


It’s been four years since the Polish blackened death metal horde unleashed their masterpiece ‘The Satanist’ onto the world. Now they have returned with a new, long-awaited full length release entitled ‘I Loved You at Your Darkest’. I absolutely adored their previous opus so I have high hopes for this…

As far as themes go, this album offers the usual array of topics present in Behemoth’s music, including: Satanism, the occult, critical views on Christianity, particularly Catholicism. One new addition is the reference to alchemy on the opening and closing tracks aptly named ‘Solve’ and ‘Coagvla’.

The children’s chanting at the start of the first track ‘Solve’ gets a little irritating after a few seconds. I was relieved to hear the guitars reminding me that this is in fact an intro to a Behemoth album and not to some children’s choir. ‘Wolves Ov Siberia’ is a savage beast of a song with packed with aggressive, coarse guitar riffs, Nergal’s bleak shouts and Inferno’s relentless drumming. It sounds as harsh and bleak as a Siberian winter. ‘God = Dog’ is more complex and melodic than its predecessor and it features some progressive tones in the guitars. It has the hallmarks of a classic Behemoth track, including the eerie atmosphere, aggressive yet melodic guitars and powerful vocals. The one thing that I could have done without is the children’s choir which essentially continues from where it left off in the intro.

Oddly enough one of the slower tracks, the gloomy sounding ‘Bartzabel’, has quickly become one of my favorite songs on here. I can’t get enough of that eerie mid-tempo groove guitar in the chorus and Nergal’s haunting vocals. The rest of the album varies in pace depending on the song ranging from the fast and abrasive black metal on ‘Sabbath Mater’ to the slower, more melodic ‘Havohej Pantocrator’.

In summary, ‘I Loved You at Your Darkest’ is very different from its predecessor ‘The Satanist’. Parts of it reminded me of Behemoth’s black metal era while others show the band’s willingness to experiment with some new styles. It is not the easiest of albums to listen to, and it requires a lot of patience from the listener. But rest assured, patience will be rewarded.

4/5

Iza Raittila

SVARTIDAUDI live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , on 23rd September 2018 by izaforestspirit

Antimateria, Sacrilegious Impalement, SVARTIDAUDI
Olympia, Tampere
22 September 2018

It’s been several months since I last attended a black metal show. The last one was Behexen back in January. Black metal tends to be something that I usually listen to at home. Some of my favorite black metal bands never play live shows and out of the ones that do tour, not all are worth seeing. I’ve had mixed experiences of black metal shows, ranging from the really good, decent to the downright abysmal. This time I decided to check out a bunch of black metal bands whom I have not heard of before. Svartidaudi was the only name that I recognized from the line-up but I can’t say that I am familiar with their music.

First up was Antimateria, a solo artist with session musicians playing atmospheric black metal. This turned out to be my favorite performance of the night. It was the most melodic-sounding out of the all the bands and their style reminded me of Moonsorrow mixed with hints of Mustan Kuun Lapset. 4/5

Krypts was the only death metal band of the night. I had high hopes after looking them up on The Metal Archives. ‘Death Metal’ and ‘Lovecraftian horror’ listed in amongst the lyrical themes seemed promising. I was disappointed when I actually heard them. Yes, they played death metal but the music was slow, droning verging on doom metal at times. That might sound decent when played in the comfort of your own living room but when it comes to death metal live, I would have preferred to see something with more energy and aggression. 2/5

Luckily Sacrilegious Impalement were much better. They certainly put on an energetic performance. Their style wasn’t anything super unique; just good, old school black metal. Some songs featured some melodic elements but not quite as melodic as the first band. They reminded me of Horna at times. 3.5/5

Then it was time for the main act of the night. Svartidaudi also put on a good performance. They are essentially the Icelandic equivalent of Deathspell Omega. So if you like that kind of black metal, then this would probably be the band for you. Personally I found them to be a little bit one-dimensional despite all the technical greatness. 3.5/5

 

 

In summary, this was a good night out and I made some new discoveries. I wasn’t sure what to expect from these bands. Antimateria was the show that I enjoyed the most and the main one that stood out for me. Svartidaudi are good live but not really my type of black metal.

Iza Raittila

Psyclon Nine – Icon of The Adversary

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 17th September 2018 by izaforestspirit

Psyclon Nine
Icon of The Adversary
Released 24th August 2018
Industrial/ Industrial Metal with Black Metal elements
Released via Metropolis Records

I really wasn’t expecting to hear anything new from Psyclon Nine again. It’s been five years since their last opus ‘Order of The Shadow: Act 1’. The following year proved to be a very turbulent time to the band with various factors contributing towards what effectively became the end of Psyclon Nine. Or so I thought… It turned out that band needed some time to recover, regroup and refocus. After several line-up changes and a few successful live shows in 2015, it became pretty clear that Psyclon Nine were back. They are now a trio and frontman Nero Bellum is the only original member left.

So that’s the background out of the way, now on to music… If I were to sum this album up into just a few words it would be ‘creepy, gritty and disturbing’. As far as genre classifications go, there’s a fair bit of dark ambient on here. This is most notably on the opening track. The eerie-sounding, analog synth and voice samples are also prominent on Behold An Icon. Nero Bellum’s black metal -esque shrieks are as haunting as ever and the guitars have a coarse and unsettling feel to them.

The predominant style is industrial metal as evidenced by the likes of Crown of The Worm which reminded me a lot of their previous works. It has all the markings of a classic Psyclon Nine song; in other words thunderous guitars, atmospheric synth noise and harsh, creepy vocals. Beware The Wolves also caught my attention due to the change in vocal style, from shrieks to an eerie rasp which reminded me of Marilyn Manson’s trilogy. The only disappointing part of the album is the final track The Last. I’ve never been a massive fan of dark ambient so having to endure it for nearly fifteen minutes seems a little too much.

In summary, ‘Icon of Adversary’ is one of those bleak, creepy “feel bad” albums. ‘Creepy, gritty and disturbing’ seems to be very fitting for Psyclon Nine in 2018 given what they have been through. I would personally skip the final track unless you’re really into dark ambient but other than that this is a good industrial album and black metal fans might like it too.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Anaal Nathrakh reveal new album details

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , , on 7th August 2018 by izaforestspirit

Good news for fans of Anaal Nathrakh. Two years after the well received ‘The Whole of The Law’, the British black metal/grind-core act return with ‘A New Kind Of Horror‘.

Here’s what their vocalist Dave Hunt (a.k.a V.I.T.R.I.O.L.) had to say about it:

This is not a happy album, it is bitter, vengeful, sarcastic, sardonic, violent, terrified and horrified, terrifying and horrifying in equal measure. Above all, it is human, and all that that entails. It’s as sincere as we could make it.

You can check out the art-work and track-listing below:

. The Road To…
2. Obscene as Cancer
3. The Reek of Fear
4. Forward!
5. New Bethlehem/Mass Death Futures
6. The Apocalypse Is About You!
7. Vi Coactus
8. Mother of Satan
9. The Horrid Strife
10. Are We Fit for Glory Yet? (The War to End Nothing)

‘A New Kind of Horror’ will be out worldwide on 28th September 2018 via Metal Blade Records.

In the main time you can catch Anaal Nathrakh live in Europe on the following dates:

09/08/18 DE – Schlotheim – Party.San Open Air
11/08/18 UK – London- Blackheart
02/11/18 DK – Aalborg – Aalborg Metal Festival
03/11/18 UK – Leeds – Damnation Festival
05/11/18 NL – Rotterdam – Baroeg
06/11/18 FR – Paris – Backstage
09/11/18 NL – Deventer – Burgerweeshuis
10/11/18 DE – Oberhausen – Helvete

For more details visit:

http://www.anaal-nathrakh.com
https://www.facebook.com/Anaalnathrakhofficial

Hanzel und Gretyl – Satanik Germanik

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 31st July 2018 by izaforestspirit

Hanzel Und Gretyl
Satanik Germanik
Released 6th July 2018
Industrial Metal / Groove Metal / Extreme Metal
Released via Metropolis Records

Hanzel und Gretyl - Satanik Germanik

The New York -based industrial metal duo Hanzel und Gretyl have been around since the mid-90s. They’re often hailed as the only non-German band in the Neue Deutsche Härte scene. Their music has evolved a great deal since the beginning, ranging from experimental-industrial to industrial metal, groove with even hints of black metal and melodic death metal. Their latest opus ‘Satanik Germanik’ promises to be their darkest and most metal-sounding album.

This is essentially picking up from where Hanzel und Gretyl left off with ‘Black Forest Metal’ – the first part of the so called ‘Grimm Shiza’ era. As the title suggests there are some satanic themes plus references to stories by the brothers Grimm. So if you enjoyed that album, there is a good likelihood that you will like this one too. However, if you were hoping for the more wacky German space metal from their ‘Fukken Über’ -era, then I would suggest you skip straight to the party track Trinken Mit Der Kaizer (Die Bierz From Hell). Good to see that these two haven’t lost their sense of humor.

As far as the style goes, most of the songs have a dark, gritty black metal tinge that is particularly audible in the guitars while the industrial elements are not as prominent as they were in their previous works. Singer Vas Kallas’s voice makes this eerie, croaking sound, like the old witch from the Grimm stories, which combined with the coarse guitar riffs gives the music a creepy feel. They also occasionally slow down the pace like on the groove metal styled track I Am Bad Luck, which puts the emphasis on the bass guitar. Speaking of the bass, it also comes into the fore on 13 Moons; a track that is probably the closest they have ever come to producing a black metal song.

In summary, ‘Satanik Germanik’ can easily be classed as Hanzel und Gretyl’s heaviest album to date. In many ways it sounds exactly like I expected it to. It is not another ‘Über Alles’, in fact it is very similar to ‘Black Forest Metal’. And yet it’s darker, haunting and more serious than the earlier works; even moreso than their previous album. Luckily there’s still the odd party track to please fans of their older material.

4/5
Iza Raittila