Archive for Blackened Death Metal

Gravefields – Embrace The Void

Posted in Metal 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

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At The Gates and Behemoth live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live, Metal 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

 

Vecordious – Anthropogenic Deterioration

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 9th December 2017 by izaforestspirit

Vecordious

Anthropogenic Deterioration

Released 1st December 2017

Black Metal/ Blackened Death Metal

Self-Released

Vecordious - Anthropogenic Deterioration

‘Anthropogenic Deterioration’ is the debut album from the Norwegian blackened death metal band Vecordious. The band has been around since 2009. Some of my favorite black metal bands are from Norway so I have high expectations for this…

The opening track is essentially just a dark ambient -style intro which does not really give the listener any indication of what’s to come. All is calm before the storm, then it starts… The barrage of abrasive guitar riffs, pummeling drums and ferocious shouts. Oh yes…Make no mistake, this is definitely black metal, not dark ambient. Purging marks the real start of the album and it is an aggressive beast. Vercodious’s overall take on the genre feels like it is influenced by the likes of Belphegor and perhaps to some extent the blackened death metal of early Vesania. Yet despite the aggressive stance these guys are not quite as relentless or as fast as Marduk nor is the music as technically complex as some of the other bands within the scene.

If it’s fast and angry black metal you’re after then The Lycan is the song for you. It’s easily the fastest and the most fierce-sounding track on the album and the probably the closest the band has come to reaching Marduk levels of speed and vehemence. Then there’s the bizarre, experimental dark ambient track ‘The Apparition’ sandwiched between the bombardment of guitar riffs and aggravated shouts. It’s just about long enough to give the listen a short break to take a few deep breaths before the onslaught resumes. Ready or not here they come!! Ghastly Septicity caught my attention for all the wrong reasons, mostly due to the terrible backing vocals. It’s a shame because without those it would have been a decent black metal song.

Overall, ‘ Anthropogenic Deterioration’ is a decent effort; however I think Vecordious still have some work to do in terms of developing their style. The black metal scene is very saturated and there are a lot of similar sounding bands out there. This doesn’t offer anything particularly unique.

3/5
Iza Raittila

Godlike – Malicious Mind

Posted in Alternative, CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 26th December 2012 by mariadodarmata

Godlike
Malicious Mind
Alternative/Melodic Death Metal
Released: October 2012
Released via Inverse Records.

Godlike is a new Finnish band. Malicious Mind is their debut album. As soon as you start playing it you guess the kind of influences they have… Made me have a regression to the early 2000’s.

With strong nu metal references mixed with melodic death, kind of in a Five Finger Death Punch way, they manage to take that Limp Bizkit sound and put make it sound a bit fresher.

The album goes down the nu metal road the first 4 songs. In Original Rebel takes a turn more to the death metal side with heavier sounding elements on the music and a song theme that made me think of Destruction’s The Antichrist. Then comes Shi No Negai and stirs the album back in the previous direction.

The album doesn’t have a central topic that the songs revolve around, at least an apparent  one. Some songs talk about the Catholic Church and the original sin, same others talk about this chick who is a hot mess, or how someone betrayed them. I find these last ones extremely cheesy but they melody and rhythm are quite catchy.

The album sounds solid and like an album made of t best songs they wrote during the years. I am a bit excited to see how they do next, for I believe their next album will be deciding on their future. I am not such a big fan of this kind of music, but keeping an objective eye on that aspect, the album is not bad.

3.5/5

María Mata

 

Hammerdrone – A Demon Rising EP

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 20th December 2012 by izaforestspirit

Hammerdrone
A Demon Rising EP
Released: July 2012
Blackened Death Metal/Death Metal
Self-released

‘A Demon Rising’ is the debut EP from the Canadian blackened death metal band Hammerdrone.

First up is the title track with some Behemoth-style death metal guitar riffs. The singer’s growling or more accurately gurgling reminds me a little of other death metal acts such as Six Feet Under. There’s also hints of early Amon Amarth in some of the guitar patterns and the vocal style which can be heard on ‘Last Stand On Gibraltar’. Though unlike Amon Amarth, these guys have also incorporated a thrash metal tinge to their guitars, hence the Behemoth comparison.

‘Another Winter’ has an atmospheric intro in which the guitars provide a contrast the eeriness of the howling wind in the background before the vocals kick in. That particular track offers some pleasant sounding melodic guitar riffs. In ‘Annihilation In Equilibrium’ the emphasis shifts briefly towards the vocals which vary from growls to the occasional shout before the EP reaches its climax with an impressive guitar solo towards the latter half of the track.

Overall this is EP offers a range of different styles from death metal, melo-death to blackened death metal. Their style may not be the easiest to categorize but that only adds to the appeal.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila