Archive for Death Metal

Darkthrone – Old Star

Posted in CD, Metal 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

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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

Cannibal Corpse’s European summer tour

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , , on 10th June 2019 by izaforestspirit

The American death metal outfit Cannibal Corpse have started their summer onslaught on Europe. They will be playing in Budapest, Hungary tonight (10th June 2019). Here is the rest of the schedule:

10.06.2019 (HU) BUDAPEST / A38
11.06.2019 (RS) NOVI SAD / Novosadski Sajam
12.06.2019 (RO) CLUJ-NAPOCA / Form
13.06.2019 (RO) BUCHAREST / Quantic
14.06.2019 (BG) SOFIA / Mix Tape 5
15.06.2019 (GR) THESSALONIKI / Principal Club Theater
16.06.2019 (GR) ATHENS / Piraeus 117 Academy
18.06.2019 (MK) SKOPJE / MKC
20.06.2019 (HR) ZAGREB / Boogaloo
21.06.2019 (AT) SALZBURG / Rockhouse
22.06.2019 (CH) AARAU / KiFF
23.06.2019 (FR) CLISSON / Hellfest
24.06.2019 (FR) LYON / Ninkasi Kao
25.06.2019 (IT) PARMA / Villa Del Fulcino
27.06.2019 (DE) LINDAU / Club Vaudeville
28.06.2019 (DE) GRAEFENHAINICHEN / Full Force
29.06.2019 (NL) DOKKUM / Dokk’em Open Air
30.06.2019 (DE) ASCHAFFENBURG / Colos-Saal
02.07.2019 (DE) BREMEN / Tivoli
03.07.2019 (DE) KIEL / Pumpe
04.07.2019 (CZ) TRUTNOV / Obscene Extreme
05.07.2019 (DE) STUTTGART / LKA Longhorn
06.07.2019 (FR) LIMOGES / CCM John Lennon
07.07.2019 (ES) BARCELONA / Rock Fest Barcelona

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For more information visit:

http://cannibalcorpse.net

https://www.facebook.com/cannibalcorpse

Vader – Thy Messenger

Posted in Metal with tags , , on 18th May 2019 by izaforestspirit

Vader
Thy Messenger
Released 31st May 2019
Death Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records

Vader - Thy Messenger

Polish death metal titans Vader are back with a new EP called ‘Thy Messenger’. For those who are not aware, Vader is a band that I have been following since my early teens. So needless to say as soon as I heard about this new release I simply couldn’t resist listening to it. These guys have a habit of releasing at least one EP before a new album. So just as the ‘Iron Times’ EP acted as a teaser for ‘The Empire’ I’m guessing that there will be a new Vader album coming in due course. ‘Thy Messenger’ clocks in at little over thirteen minutes and it includes one Judas Priest cover and a re-recorded version of ‘Litany’.

For those who are familiar with Vader, the band originally started out as a thrash metal act. Despite changing their style to death metal later on, they have always maintained a thrash metal tinge in the guitars. That is one of the main things that makes them unique. This EP is no exception. Kicking it off is Grand Deceiver, a short but ferocious beast of thrash guitar driven death metal. It’s full speed ahead from there until the very end. Emptiness is classic Vader doing what they do best; thrashing guitar riffs, powerful growling and relentless death metal drumming. I also enjoyed their cover of Judas Priest’s Steeler. That track is probably the closest they have come to returning to their old thrash metal style. It is also the catchiest song on here.

Overall, the only issue I have with this EP is the length. It’s way too short. I want more!! Come on Vader, when is the new album coming?

4/5

Iza Raittila

Krisiun and Septicflesh live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live, Metal with tags , , , , on 15th April 2019 by izaforestspirit

Dead Shape Figure, Krisiun, Septicflesh
Klubi, Tampere, Finland
14th April 2019

I’ve been really busy lately. So busy that I wasn’t sure when I would have the time for any gigs. I had some stuff planned for the summer but apart from that my gig calendar was rather empty. Then something amazing happened– Septicflesh came to town and I just happened to have the next day free. Normally I try to avoid going to a gig on a Sunday due to the implications it has on the next day but this time it was no problem.

I arrived a little late so I missed the first band W.E.B., but I was there right on time for Dead Shape Figure. They’re a Finnish band playing what is best described as a mixture of melodic death metal and thrash metal. I enjoyed their set and it seemed to go down well with the crowd. 3/5

Next up was the Brazilian death metal trio Krisiun. They played some really good, solid death metal. Fast, Furious and brutal, perfect for headbanging. Just like all good death metal should be. I wasn’t expecting a Motörhead cover but it seemed to work well. 4/5

Then it was time for the night’s headliners. Septicflesh took to the stage in what was literally a cloud of smoke. I’m not normally a massive fan of elaborate stage decorations but their snake motif and other visual displays worked well. But enough about the decorations and on to the music. Symphonic death metal is not the easiest of genres to perform live but these guys really pulled it off. It was a very energetic and passionate performance. Their frontman Spiros did a great job of agitating the crowd. They played quite a few tracks from their latest album including: ‘Portrait of A Headless Man’, ‘Enemy of Truth’ and ‘Dark Art’ along with some older classics such as ‘Anubis’ and ‘Communion’. Great show! 5/5

Overall I had a great time. Krisiun were better than I expected. Up until recently my knowledge of Greek extreme metal has been limited to Astarte and Rotting Christ. Septicflesh are a fairly new discovery for me but after that performance I will definitely be listening to them a lot more.

Iza Raittila

God Dethroned announces European tour this spring

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , , , , on 12th March 2019 by izaforestspirit

Dutch death metal outfit God Dethroned are coming to Europe this April in support of Suffocation. The ‘Europe Under Black Death Metal Fire’ tour also include Belphegor, Nordjevel and Dakrise and it starts on 4th April 2019 at Rockfabrik in Ludwigsburg, Germany.

You can see the full schedule below:

04.04 – “Rockfabrik”, Ludwigsburg (GER)
05.04 -“Turock”, Essen (GER)
06.04 – “Royale Metalfest” *, Aalborg (DEN)
07.04 – “Kulturpalast”, Hamburg (GER)
09.04 – “Bastard Club”, Osnabrück (GER)
10.04 – “Baroeg”, Rotterdam (NLD)
11.04 – “Victorie”, Alkmaar (NLD)
13.04 – “Metropool”,  Enschede (NLD)
16.04 – “Kulturfabrik” ***, Esch/Alzette (LUX)
17.04 – “l’Usine”, Geneve (SUI)
18.04 – “Schuur”, Luzern (SUI)
19.04 – “MS Connexion”, Mannheim (GER)
20.04 – “Seilerstrasse”, Zwickau (GER)
21.04 – “Melodka”, Brno (CZE)
23.04 – “Quantic Club”, Bucharest (ROM)
24.04 – “Form Space”, Cluj Napoca (ROM)
25.05 – “Barrack Club”, Ostrava (CZE)
26.04 – B”Durer Kert” **, Budapest (HUN)
28.04 – “Xplosiv”, Graz (AUT)

* – no Belphegor
** – no God Dethroned
*** – no Nordjevel

For more details visit:

https://www.facebook.com/goddethronedofficial

Iza’s Highlights of 2018

Posted in Alternative, Editorial/Opinionated, Industrial, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2018 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. This year I have decided to do just one list rather than two separate ones for metal and non-metal. The main reason for this is that there have not been too many industrial/EBM releases that caught my attention this year. So without further ado, here are my top ten albums of 2018:

1. Powerwolf – The Sacrament of Sin
Genre: Power Metal
Powerwolf - The Sacrament of Sin

The German power metal wolves are back with a new album. And what an album it is!! I honestly cannot get enough of it. It may not be very profound as far as the themes go but it is hell of a lot of fun. Stand-out tracks are ‘Fire & Forgive’, ‘Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ and ‘Nightside of Siberia’.

2. Lord of The Lost – Thornstar
Genre: Dark Rock/Gothic Industrial Metal
Image result for lord of the lost thornstar
I absolutely adore this band. They combine the best of dark rock with Gothic metal and Deathstars-like industrial metal. ‘Thornstar’ has to be their greatest and most complex album to date. In order to fully understand the concept, I would recommend that you download the 21 paged ‘Thornstar backstory’ from the band’s website. It’s a fascinating read that offers some insight into Pangaean history and culture. Alternatively you can simply enjoy music. Stand-out tracks are ‘On This Rock I Will Build My Church’, ‘Haythor’ and ‘Black Halo’.

3. Behemoth – I Loved You At Your Darkest
Genre: Blackened Death Metal

Behemoth are back with their long-awaited new album. As I mentioned in my review, this is not ‘The Satanist part 2’ but rather a mixture of both old and new Behemoth styles. It takes a few listens but once you get into it your patience will be rewarded. Stand-out tracks are ‘Wolves ov Siberia’ and ‘Bartzabel’.

4. Chthonic – Battlefields of Asura
Genre: Melodic Black Metal/Oriental Metal
閃靈 - 政治 / Battlefields of Asura
My favourite oriental metal band are back. Their latest album might not be a memorable as ‘Bú Tik’ but it has its moments. Music-wise it offers more of Chthonic’s unique blend of melodic black metal, death metal and oriental folk music with the addition of some choirs and guest vocals from the Cantopop singer Denise Ho. Stand-out tracks are ‘A Crimson Sky’s Command’ and ‘Millennia’s Faith Undone’.

5. MONO Inc. – Welcome to Hell
Genre: Gothic Rock/Dark Rock
Image result for MONO INC WELCOME TO HELL cover
More Gothic rock…’ Welcome to Hell’ is my favourite MONO Inc. album to date. Their music is essentially melodic hard rock but it also has this wonderful, eerie Gothic feel. Stand-out tracks are ‘Long Live Death’, A Vagabond’s Life’ and Reign of Rats’.

6. Grimner – Vanadrottning
Genre: Folk Metal/Viking Metal
Grimner - Vanadrottning

I had the pleasure of reviewing this album earlier this year. It’s been a long while since I’ve heard any folk metal that was this good. I would recommend this to fans of Finntroll, Ensiferum and Månegarm. Stand-out tracks are ‘Vanadrottning’ and ‘En Fallen Jätte’.

7. Monstrosity – The Passage Of Existence
Genre – Death Metal
Monstrosity - The Passage of Existence
My kind of death metal and my favourite death metal album of 2018. It is hard to pick out a stand-out track since in all honestly I like them all but ‘Kingdom of Fire’ and ‘Maelstrom’ are the ones that stuck in my head the most.

8. Hanzel und Gretyl – Satanik Germanik
Genre: Industrial Metal/Groove Metal/Extreme Metal
Hanzel und Gretyl - Satanik Germanik
‘Satanik Germanik’ is Hanzel und Gretyl’s heaviest and most metal album. As mentioned in my review it is darker and more serious than the material from the “Fukken Über’ era, much like its predecessor ‘Black Forest Metal’. Luckily that does not make it any less fun. Stand-out tracks are ‘I Am Bad Luck’ and the party song ‘Trinken Mit Der Kaizer (Die Bierz From Hell)’

9. Scandroid – The Darkness
Genre: Synthwave
Image result for scandroid the darkness
One of the few electronic releases that made it to my top 10. ‘The Darkness’ is the third album from Klayton (Celldweller/Circle of Dust)’s synthwave project Scandroid. Delightful retro synthesizer tunes, a little guitar and melodic vocals all with a futuristic feel. Stand-out tracks ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Red Planet’.

10. Auger – The Awakening
Genre: Darkwave
Image result for auger the awakening
A new discovery for me. I really enjoyed Auger’s show at Lumous Gothic Festival 2018. This British dark wave duo combine the best of darkwave and Gothic rock. I would recommend their debut album to fans of Blutengel, Gothminister and The Vision Bleak. Stand-out tracks are ‘Monster’ and ‘My Guardian’.

Honourable mentions:

Xentrifuge – Desensitized Parallels, Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods, Psyclon Nine – Icon of The Adversary. All good albums but with only a few outstanding tracks they missed out on a space in my top ten list.
IAMX’s latest album ‘Alive in The New Light’ also came out of the start of this year. While it didn’t make my top ten I did enjoy it, especially the track ‘Mile Deep Hollow’.
Check out the video here:

Best live show of 2018: Helloween live at South Park Festival in Tampere.
Biggest New Discovery: Auger
Most anticipated albums in 2019:
Blutengel – Un:Gott
Blue Stahli – Obsidian
Also hopefully new albums by Helloween and Rammstein.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Iza Raittila