Archive for Darkthrone

Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder

Posted in CD, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 16th October 2016 by izaforestspirit

Darkthrone
Arctic Thunder
Released 14th October 2016
Blackened Heavy Metal
Released via Peaceville Records

The Norwegian metal duo Darkthrone doesn’t need much of an introduction. Their early albums such as ‘A Blaze in the Northern Sky’ are regarded as classics of the black metal genre. Also, let’s not forget their drummer Fenriz’s witty comments and his passion of underground music. They’re one of those bands who isn’t afraid to alter their style and experiment with something new. Since the start of their career they have gone through various transformations ranging from death metal to black metal followed by experimentation with punk and heavy metal music. Personally I lost track of them after ‘The Cult is Alive’ album back in 2006. Then recently I heard their new song ‘Tundra Leech’ on Youtube and I decided to give them another go.

First up is the familiar, eerie sounding Tundra Leech – the track which convinced me to obtain a copy of this album. It’s great to hear Nocturno Culto’s haunting voice again, sounding just as grim as he did in the band’s early days of black metal. Nocturno Culto is singing on all the tracks on here which is really good in my opinion. I’ve always preferred his harsh and creepy vocal style to Fenriz’s hooting clear vocals. As for the music, the guitars have this old school feel to them as if they were trying to replicate similar riff patterns as they used in the 90s. By ‘old school’ I mean a mixture of old school black metal with a slight thrash metal tinge audible in the guitars.

In other words it’s still very grim-sounding but it’s way too fast and too catchy to be considered “true” and “kvlt” black metal any more. Boreal Fiends stands out due the melodic instrumental intro at the start; slowly drawing you closer into the deep dark forest with the grim guitars, drums and Nocturno Culto’s haunting howls as your only guides. Then there’s Inbred Vermin, a bit of an oddity, which sees the band play around with some heavy metal and (dare-I-say-it?)…Motörhead-esque guitar patterns mid-track, neatly sandwiched between frostbitten, ultra-haunting howls and black metal guitar riffs. These guys clearly enjoy both these styles, so why not combine those two? And why not? Who says that Motörhead doesn’t go well with Hellhammer or Celtic Frost? Also why stop there when you can also add some thrash metal into the mix? That pretty much sums up what the managed to achieve rather successfully with the title track.

Overall this ‘Arctic Thunder’ sees Darkthrone revisiting their roots – the sounds that have influenced them in the early days and putting a new spin on it. It’s got the same eerie and cold atmosphere as their highly regarded black metal albums, but it’s not restricted to one specific metal genre. The closest thing I can think of to describe their current sound would be something like ‘blackened heavy metal’. Luckily I’m not any kind black metal purist, so grim and frostbitten ‘blackened heavy metal’ sounds just as good to me.

4/5
Iza Raittila

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Demonic Cremator – Suffer In Hellfire

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 15th October 2013 by izaforestspirit

Demonic Cremator
Suffer in Hellfire
Released 20th January 2013
Black Metal/ Blackened Thrash Metal
Released via UKEM Records

 photo SufferInHellfireArt-scaled_zpsbbd0d3b9.jpg

‘Suffer in Hellfire’ is the third album from the Scottish black metal band Demonic Cremator. It is the follow up to their self-released 2011 album ‘Crucified’.

Straight from the offset we’re in for some fast faced, guitar focused black metal with shout-like, thrash metal style vocals. I can detect some influences from early and recent Darkthrone in the sound patterns and the overall speed of the music on tracks like the opener Slack Jawed (Lights Out). The main difference is that this is a lot more refined. Despite the obvious black metal undertones, the title track is definitely leaning more towards the thrash/heavy metal category thanks to the catchy, “rocking” guitar riffs and the thrash metal vocals. What style is this? The closest comparison I think come up with is ‘The Cult is Alive’ album by Darkthrone, even the vocals are similar.

This pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album. All songs on here are rather short with the longest clocking in at just under four minutes and most of them contain the aforementioned “rocking” guitar riffs. Fans of orthodox and raw black metal may be disappointed to hear some of the catchy guitar tunes that Demonic Cremator has to offer. Take Firehole for instance, the opening riffs and fast drumming are more typical of current thrash metal bands such as Toxic Holocaust than the likes of old Dark Funeral or Mayhem. Luckily I happen to like this style. Other noteworthy tracks include: Driven By Courage which reminds me of Merciful Fate for some reason; and the slower paced In The Face of God, one of the few songs featuring some down-tuned black metal guitar elements.

Overall this is a surprisingly enjoyable album which I would recommend to fans of modern Darkthrone.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Necrotherion – Live Misanthropy

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 31st August 2013 by hammersmashedlauren

Necrotherion
Live Misanthropy
Released August 2013
Black Metal
Self Released

Being a band that is focused on creating raw black metal, Ohio’s Necrotherion clearly portrays this with the release of their live album, Live Misanthropy. The seven songs range from  fast paced, Emperor/Darkthrone sounding songs to more drone based songs that sound like it was made by older Mayhem. Melodic and beautiful black riffs paired with vocals filled with agony and raw emotion make this band sound like they would’ve fit in the early black metal scene in Norway. While it seems like black metal has become less about the music and more about the trends, Necrotherion looks beyond those trends. You can tell that their only purpose is create music that is hard hitting and shocking while sticking to traditional black metal roots. Also, live albums can be boring to listen to because you’re not there to actually experience what the band sounds like, but with this album, I felt like I was there headbanging along to every song.

The first couple of songs on the album, Whispering Trees and Nihilistic Faith, didn’t draw me in right away. While I loved the build up intro for Whispering Trees, the rest of the song felt a bit jumbled  with what seemed like this huge wall of noise coming at me at a millions miles a minute. I feel like they could have opened with a different song, specifically Novus Ordo Seclum. That song was my absolute favorite out of any song on this album just because of how melodic the intro riff was and how  the entire song reminded me of another black metal band, Cirith Gorgor. While black metal isn’t my favorite metal sub-genre, sometimes black metal bands come up with these beautifully heavy riffs that just makes me love it so much.

Along with changing the opening song, the only other criticism I could even think of is the quality of the sounds on the album. I could sit here and nit pick about how Live Misanthropy didn’t have a great quality to it because it’s a live album, but that’s usually how live albums sound anyway. Of course there could have been screw up while playing the songs, but there was really nothing I heard that made me want to immediately stop listening to the album.

I highly recommend this album to anyone who is a huge fan of black metal, more so raw sounding black metal verses the over produced, hipster black metal bands that seem to be popping out of nowhere lately. Live Misanthropy was one of the best live metal albums I’ve personally ever listened to just because it did what a lot of other live albums didn’t do, and that was creating a show where I felt like a part of the crowd even though I was sitting at a computer. You could feel the stage prescience and passion from when vocalist Stellarvore spoke in between songs saying powerful but yet brutal messages such as “you have one life to live, don’t f***ing waste it!” Necrotherion are truly underrated and I honestly hope they put out a full length album in the future.

4.5/5

Lauren Gowdy

Damnation sponsored by Peaceville Records

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 24th July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Peaceville Records is proud to announce that, to coincide with celebrating 25 years of the label’s existence, we will be joining forces with Yorkshire’s own Damnation festival, as sponsoring partners. Damnation Festival, based in Leeds, UK, has brought a high-caliber of extreme metal’s finest & most diverse acts from around the globe to the north of England since launching in 2005.

Representing Peaceville on the night will be local doom heroes and heroine My Dying Bride – themselves a long-standing act on the label over a 20 year period of metallic tyranny – as the band return to the stage in support of their upcoming album due on Peaceville.

Since its inception in 1987, Peaceville Records has brought consistent quality & evolution to the metal universe, from early crust punk releases, to the death metal of Autopsy & At the Gates, through the black metal of Darkthrone, to being a leader of the gothic doom movement with the ‘Peaceville 3’; namely Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride & Anathema – all cementing the label’s legendary reputation as the home of doom. Later years saw numerous internationally renowned acts such as Katatonia & Opeth brought to the fold, & more recently the UK’s own Cradle of Filth.

“Damnation Festival are thrilled to be partnering up with Peaceville Records for the 2012 edition of the festival. It’s a killer label with an amazing history and we wish them a very happy birthday. Damnation fans will benefit from this fantastic partnership in the form of a free CD sampler featuring some of the best Peaceville tracks from the past two and half decades. There will be 2000 samplers on offer, so don’t forget to collect one alongside the complimentary programme courtesy of Terrorizer magazine. Here’s to the next 25!”

Earache’s Q&A with Hour Of 13’s Phil Swanson

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 25th May 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Phil Swanson, frontman for North Carolina doom metallers Hour Of 13, has taken part in a Question & Answer session with the band’s label, Earache Records, ahead of the release of their new album, 333.

333 was recorded at Epiphonic Studios in Lenoir, North Carolina, and is due to be released on Monday, May 28th in Europe, and on July 30th in North America.  The album has been hailed by Darkthrone‘s Fenriz, who recently featured Hour Of 13 in his ‘Band of the Week’ column, stating, “This new Hour of 13 album simply cannot do wrong – it is immersed in utmost respect and understanding of the ways of old”.

An excerpt from the Q&A with PHIL SWANSON follows:
Earache: The album is just about to be released to the general public, but how do you guys feel about the album now that you’ve been living with it for the past few months?
Phil: I actually feel much better about it now than when first hearing the finished mixes, as I have finally been able to listen with clean ears and an open mind, not looking for things I’d like to change or add.  Now I hear it as a finished and complete record, and I am very proud of it and feel it’s our best yet.

Read the full interview here.

Get more HOUR OF 13 news and info at:
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/HourOf13
MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/hourof13doom

Goatwhore – Blood For The Master [2012]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 22nd January 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Goatwhore
Album: Blood For The Master
Release date: February 2012
Genre: Blackened Death Metal
Label: Metal Blade Records

I’ll be honest, I’ve never listened to Goatwhore before despite them being a blackened death metal act. All I really know about them is that they’re from New Orleans in the United States and that “Blood For The Master” is their fifth studio release, which is available 14th February through Metal Blade Records.

”Collapse in Eternal Worth” greets you straight away with a frenzy of snarling vocals and barbaric instrumentation. There’s a slight Darkthrone influence ringing through the riffs here and there, keeping the guitars raw sounding but the song’s key feature is the speed. Goatwhore increase the dose of blasphemous heavy riffs in the next track “When Steel And Bone Meet” fusing it with furious melodic (I’m not sure if that’s the right term) guitar work, sounding like pissed off demon playing a solo. The lyrics conjure up some pleasantly violent images, which I think helps add to the enjoyment of the music.

”Parasitic Scriptures of the Sacred Word” smashes into the listener’s fragile ears like a bus crashing head-on into a raging rhino. The flow of the vocals weaves in and out of the music like sewing needle, carefully threading the track together into a brilliant piece. The guitar solo was a big turn-off for me though. “In Deathless Tradition” sounds oddly epic and grand when it first led the assault against my ear drums – That was until the vocals came in and rampaged through the track. The guitar work is sluggish, bordering on the lines of effete – It’s [the song] certainly not something I’d enjoy hearing live. The album bounces back with the more forceful and tenacious “Judgement of the Bleeding Crown”. The guitar work is stauncher than on the previous track algamating well with the rest of the music and the beastly vocals.

An intermix of melodic riffs and acoustic work sounds in “Embodiment of This Bitter Chaos”, which in turn summon up the song’s evolution into a storming creature of cold-blooded heaviness. The song is like getting an injection from the doctor – All over and done with before you know it despite it being almost five minutes long. The screaming of perverse and diabolical guitars call you back for another dose of aggressive, face-melting savagery in the form of “Beyond the Spell of Discontent” but the song soon grows stale like week-old bread.

“Death to the Architects of Heaven” doesn’t add any new buzz to the album, in fact, it adds to the staleness of the previous song. The guitars and drums are tighter than a well-built submarine but the song overall lacks flavour. “An End to Nothing” howls its way next with a very thrashy sound, injecting a sugar rush of excitement and blasphemous fun into the ears. The guitar solo leaves much to be desired but the thrills just keep coming with this track after the solo. “My Name is Frightful among the Believers” might sound like a line from a cheesy good vs evil movie but the song itself is so lacking in cheesiness that even lactose intolerants could enjoy it. The vigorous guitars work wonders with the dynamic drums and vocals which will no doubt leave you on the edge of your seat.

As stated above I’d never listened to Goatwhore before, so I had no clue what was in store for me. Ignoring the few prolix parts, the album [Blood For The Master] is a powerhouse of violent music and beast-like vocals and would definitely be a good treat for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day when its released.

4.4/5

Taake – Noregs Vaapen [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 27th October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Taake
Album: Noregs Vaapen
Release year: 2011
Genre: Black Metal

Noregs Vaapen is the fifth studio by Norway’s legendary Taake. The album is said to refine the band’s True Norwegian Black Metal sound and incorporate some new elements as well including black’n’roll grooves. Hoest, the mastermind of Taake, has invited his live line-up [Thurzur, V’gandr, Aindiachai and Gjermund] to contribute on some of the tracks and it was been stated that there is guest appearances from the likes of Demonaz [Immortal], Attila Csihar [Mayhem] and Nocturno Culto [Darkthrone] as well as others.

The first track of the album is “Fra Vadested til Vaandesmed”, which has Nocturno Culto accompanying Hoest on vocals and Bjoernar Nilsen [Vulture Industries] on the mellotron. The intro starts with a face ripping guitar section that only gets heavier when the drums soon come in. Hoest’s vocals are on top form, which is obviously to be expected. His trademark melodies can be heard clearly, incorporated in his riffs, making the track more interesting. Culto’s vocals are devilishly grim and guttural sounding, though they don’t hold a candle to Hoest’s vocal work on the track. The mellotron section towards the end is soul piercing and icy. A great addition to the song though very unpredictable.

”Orkan”, which only features Hoest on all instruments, starts with a grim yet mid-paced intro, a sort of crescendo to building up for the entry of the vocals. The drum work is astounding, adding a very edgy and violent sound to the song. Like the previous track, Hoest’s vocals are on top form – and it’s certainly good to just hear his vocals. The guitar work, however, is the most entertaining aspect of this track as it features Hoest’s trademark work and some black’n’roll grooves as well, enough to keep the listener hooked.

The third song of the album is “Nordbundet”, features Attila [Mayhem] doing vocal work alongside Hoest and Lava [ex-Taake] doing some guitar work. The guitar riffs are raw and somewhat terrifying while the drums tight and well played. The vocal work is impressive and entices the listener to keep the track playing. The guitar solo provided by Lava is brilliant though it is definitely not what you’d expect to hear on this album. “Du Ville Ville Vesteland”, which features vocal work from Demonaz and V’gandr as well as guitar solos from Aindiachai and Gjermund, begins with a sinister guitar and drums section which progresses into something just as violent as sounding with a hint of melody before reverting back to the original riff. The three differing vocals add a truly unique sound to the track and they add emphasis to the aggressiveness of the music. The softer guitar medley towards the end sounds somewhat like an old western medley but yet it works well with the track which is the really odd part. The two guitar solos are brilliantly delivered as well.

”Myr”, featuring Thurzur and Gjermund, as well as Nilsen and Skagg [Deathcult], takes a break-neck speed approach to the music in the beginning, sending out a vicious guitar riff mixed with barbaric drums. There is a slower section further in as the music progresses which allows for a voiceover which adds a different sound to the music. The song reverts back to its fast tempo as the vocals burst in. There’s a use of white trash styled banjo that’s provided by Gjermund. It takes the listener by surprise as it blends well with the rest of the track and the vocals – Kind of like a hillbilly rendition of black metal.

“Helvetesmakt” takes a slower approach compared to “Myr”, featuring vocal work from Nilsen and some mandolin work from Gjermund. The vocals are top notch, being the most brutal aspect of the song. The guitars are grim and bloodthirsty sounding whilst also cold and unmerciful in their sound. The mandolin brings about a strange and mystifying atmosphere that few bands – let alone black metal bands – ever successfully create. This is certainly the greatest piece on the album. The final track, which is also the longest, comes in the form of “Dei Vil Alltid Klaga Og Kyta”. It features vocal work from Skagg and guitar solos from Thurzur and Gjermund. The intro begins in true black metal style but not as generic sounding. The vocals near enough destroy the guitars in terms of loudness and aggressiveness. As the track progresses on it becomes more ingeniously composed and played. The change of tempos throughout the song keep the interest of the listener and Skagg’s vocals keep the track sounding fresh, as do the guitar solos.

”Noregs Vaapen” has been described as one of the most anticipated black metal releases of this year and no wonder why. Taake have done more than just refine their True Norwegian Black Metal sound, they’re refined the entire genre. Each track is so masterfully composed, you’d think it was crafted by the gods. “Noregs Vaapen” is a testament to the fact that black metal isn’t dead and it will no doubt be near enough impossible for Taake to top this release.

5/5

Nico Davidson