Archive for Dimmu Borgir

Whorion – Fall of Atlas EP

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 6th January 2014 by izaforestspirit

Fall of Atlas EP
Released 17th January 2014
Symphonic Death/ Black Metal
Released via: Eternal Sound Records

 photo whorion_fall_of_atlas__zpsfdc2e456.jpg

‘Fall of Atlas’ is the first EP from the Finnish symphonic black metal band Whorion. The band was originally formed back in 2009. They describe their style as “brutal” and “symphonic”, creating a feeling of listener being “sucked into a dark matter of space, slowly waiting for the world’s end”.

So here it is, my first review in the new year. The terms “brutal” and “symphonic” don’t usually mix as far as extreme metal is concerned, so I’m a little intrigued as to how this combination could work… The opener Great Mass Suicide definitely fits the “symphonic black metal” -bracket. Comparisons to mid-career Dimmu Borgir spring to mind, though this also features death metal -style growls and guitar patterns. The Dimmu Borgir elements are present in the orchestral style synth melodies and vocal samples particularly audible on tracks such as Vortex of The Dead. By the time this second track comes on, the vocal style seems to have switched completely moving away from growling towards a more black metal sounding screaming or shouting.

One thing which spoils the effect is the use of the stop-start guitar technique and the somewhat odd-sounding vocals which seem to vary in style depending on the song. Sadly it is the title track which embodies all these problems offering a bizarre mix of technical guitar patterns, brutal blackened death metal and symphonic, orchestral style synths. The result is a rather confusing mess that leaves the listener hanging, and you are not quite sure where this is heading.

Symphonic, brutal and technical? Yeah, I still don’t quite get it.

Iza Raittila

Starkill about to set out on first Euro tour with Amorphis

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 4th November 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Chicago’s Starkill will embark on their first ever European tour this week, supporting Amorphis. The tour starts in Cologne, Germany tomorrow. Full tour dates are available below:

05.11.2013 – (DE) Cologne, Essigfabrik
06.11.2013 – (DE) Bochum, Zeche
07.11.2013 – (DE) Ludwigsburg, Rockfabrik
08.11.2013 – (DE) Munich, Backstage
09.11.2013 – (DE) Frankfurt, Batschkapp
10.11.2013 – (CH) Geneve, L’Usine
12.11.2013 – (ES) Barcelona, Apolo
13.11.2013 – (ES) Valencia, Rock City
14.11.2013 – (ES) Sevilla, Sala Custom
15.11.2013 – (PT) Lisbon, Paradise Garage
16.11.2013 – (ES) Madrid, But
17.11.2013 – (ES) Bilbao, Kafé Antzokia
19.11.2013 – (FR) Toulouse, Connexion
20.11.2013 – (FR) Paris, Divan Du Monde
21.11.2013 – (DE) SaarbrÙcken, Garage
22.11.2013 – (DE) Dresden, Tante Ju
23.11.2013 – (CZ) Zlin, Winter Masters Of Rock
24.11.2013 – (AT) Vienna, Szene
26.11.2013 – (IT) Milan, Alcatraz
27.11.2013 – (CH) Pratteln, Z7
28.11.2013 – (DE) Osnabrueck, Hyde Park
29.11.2013 – (NL) Uden, De Pul
30.11.2013 – (BE) Vosselaar, Biebob
01.12.2013 – (UK) London, O2 Academy Islington
03.12.2013 – (NL) Haarlem, Patronaat
04.12.2013 – (DE) Hamburg, Markthalle
05.12.2013 – (DK) Odense, Posten
06.12.2013 – (SE) Gothenburg, Brewhouse
07.12.2013 – (NO) Oslo, John Dee
08.12.2013 – (SE) Stockholm, Klubben

While most of their peers were listening to and playing to the “core” US-based bands, the members of Starkill spent their days cutting their chops to European metal – and the band makes no qualms about wearing their influences on their sleeves. Inspired by the likes of early Children Of Bodom à la the now classic Hatebreeder and Follow The Reaper, in addition to Nightwish, Amon Amarth, Dimmu Borgir and Dragonforce, Starkill aims to pay homage to these acts, while also putting their own spin on Euro-metal – and their new album, Fires of Life, does just that.

Starkill online:

Ol Drake leaves Evile

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 30th August 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Ol Drake has announced that he’s leaving Yorkshire thrash unit Evile. His full statement can be read below:

It’s been half my life (15 years) since I started jamming in a room with three other guys, in a group in which I didn’t know would grow to be Evile, go through what Evile has gone through and achieve what Evile has so far achieved.

Since 1999, I’ve put 100% of my time and life into the band we formed, while us all had/have to sacrifice a lot financially and personally along the way.

I’ve had some of the best times of my life in the past 15 years and met some amazing and fascinating people. I’ve had the huge honour to play a part in so many things I’d never have dreamed of: paying tribute to Dimebag [Pantera] by covering Cemetery Gates in Metal Hammer; supporting Megadeth, Exodus and many bands I grew up listening to; playing and recording with Destruction; touring/seeing places in the world I’d never have got to see otherwise and many more.

Over the past year, I’ve, unfortunately, found myself becoming more and more detached from the touring/band lifestyle.

In my opinion, the music business for a band of our genre and ‘level’ determines a very unrealistic way of life to me, and I personally find it difficult to make a living and have a ‘normal’ life. This is not a plea for sympathy, I’m simply being honest.

I’ve reached a point where I want a family/kids, a house, a steady and definite income and everything in between, and in regard to my personal preferences, a touring band’s income and uncertainties, in the state that I feel they would continue to be in, has become incompatible with how I feel and what I want/need.

There is no animosity between the rest of the band and I. This is purely a personal and financial decision I’ve been mulling over for a while and I wish them all the best for the future. “I am not unappreciative of the position Evile has in the music world; I know a lot of people would love to be where Evile are.

I want to thank each and every person who supports the band, and I want to extend a special thanks to Digby and the Earache Records crew.

Huge apologies to anyone this disappoints, but I have to do what makes sense to me.

I am not quitting writing or playing; I do plan on continuing to record and write my own music (solo project, general composing/recording etc), I just won’t be touring etc.

I’ll still be playing the two upcoming festival shows Evile have.

You can keep up to date with what I’ll be doing on my Twitter or on Facebook. A big thank you to everyone!

Evile released their fourth album Skull on 27th May in Europe on Earache Records and in North America via Century Media/Earache Records. The follow-up to 2011’s Five Serpent’s Teeth was once again recorded with producer Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir) at Parlour Studios in Kettering, England. The artwork for the album was painted by artist Eliran Kantor (Testament, Sodom, Hatebreed).

Evile online:

Carnifex ink deal with Nuclear Blast; Plans for new album announced

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 10th July 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Deathcore act Carnifex have recently inked a deal with Nuclear Blast, which is home to bands such as Dimmu Borgir, Children of Bodom and Epica, as well as bands such as Fleshgod Apocalypse. Frontman Scott Lewis comments on the recent signing:

Signing with Nuclear Blast is a career defining moment for Carnifex. To be aligned with the largest metal label on earth is a true honour. This world-wide deal signals a turning point for us as a band and individuals. Together with Nuclear Blast you will see CARNIFEX like you have never seen us before. Prepare yourself for an album that crushes any and all expectations. An album that will stand as the definitive mark for modern metal.

Carnifex will begin recording their Nuclear Blast debut this July at Audio Hammer Studios in Sanford, FL with famed metal producer Mark Lewis (The Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, DevilDriver). The band stated that fans should expect a release tentatively sometime in the first quarter of 2014.Carnifex also welcomes long-time friend of the band Jordan Lockrey as their new lead guitarist.

Carnifex online:


Evile confirmed to support Suicidal Tendencies at London show

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 23rd May 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Yorkshire’s young guns of thrash, Evile have confirmed a show in London with legendary crossover thrashers Suicidal Tendencies.

Evile will be supporting Suicidal Tendencies at the Electric Ballroom in the UK’s capital on Sunday, 7th July.  Evile‘s new album, Skull, is due to be released on Monday, 27th May in Europe via Earache Records, and on June 11th in the USA via Century Media/Earache Records. Evile’s bassist Joel Graham comments:

A show with Suicidal Tendencies?  Yes please!  Really looking forward to this one.  We have played a couple of festivals with ST, and watched on as they tear stages apart.  Such a great, influential and groundbreaking band.  We jumped at the chance to play with them at this only UK show.

Tickets for the show are available now from Alt Tickets at this location.

Evile‘s new album, Skull, was recorded with producer Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir) at Parlour Studios in Kettering, England.  The artwork for the album was painted by artist Eliran Kantor (Testament, Sodom, Hatebreed).

Skull is available to pre-order now in a huge selection of formats and bundles from the Earache Webstore in Europe at this location and in North America at this location.

Skull is also available on iTunes, including an instant-grat track which you receive as soon as you pre-order the album.  Pre-order Skull now on iTunes here.

See Evile live at the following shows:

Jun. 14 – Wervik, Belgium – SkullFest
Jun. 28 – Lesmahagow, UK – Les Fest
Jul. 07 – London, UK – Electric Ballroom (w/ SUICIDAL TENDENCIES)
Aug. 24 – Werrington, UK – Scar Fest
Sep. 26 – Cardiff, UK – Cardiff University
Sep. 27 – Dublin, Ireland – Button Factory
Sep. 28 – Manchester, UK – Academy 2
Sep. 29 – Glasgow, UK – Audio

Evile online:

Evile to perform special intimate show at Crash Records in Leeds tomorrow

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 19th April 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Yorkshire thrashers Evile are celebrating this year’s Record Store Day with a number of treats for fans, including an intimate live show at Crash Records in Leeds tomorrow (Saturday, 20th April).

The band will be performing live in the store at 4pm, giving fans the chance to see them in a unique, up-close and personal setting.  Evile are also releasing a split 7″ picture disc with Swedish death metal legends Entombed, featuring Entombed‘s classic 1990 track, Drowned, along with Evile‘s incredible 2012 cover version.

Evile drummer Ben Carter recently commented:

Evile are looking forward to making some stupidly heavy noise at Crash Records in Leeds on Saturday, 20th April in support of Record Store Day!  We’re going to start destroying ears at 4pm, so make sure to get in early as space will be VERY limited!  We guarantee this show will be utter carnage and something very different than the norm.  We can’t wait to see how a circle pit will work in a record store and need our fans there to show us!!!  To mark the occasion, we’ll be selling our new exclusive 7″ split of our cover of Entombed‘s Drowned, with Entombed’s original on the flipside.  All this is to show support to indie retailers, so get yer asses down to Crash and show your support for the old school!!!

Space for the show is limited, but fans who buy the 7″ from Crash Records on the day will get free entry to the show (space permitting).

Record Store Day takes place each year on the third Saturday of April, bringing together artists and independently-owned record stores around the world to celebrate the art of music.  Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and sold in independent stores.

For more information and to see which stores are participating in Record Store Day in the UK, head to this location.

Evile‘s new album, Skull, is due to be released in Europe on Earache Records on May 27th, and in the USA via Century Media/Earache Records on June 11th.  The album was recorded with producer Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir) at Parlour Studios in Kettering, England.  The artwork for the album was painted by artist Eliran Kantor (TESTAMENT, SODOM, HATEBREED).

Pre-order Skull now from the Earache Webstore in Europe at this location or in North America at this lcoation.

Skull is also available on iTunes, including an instant grat track which you receive as soon as you pre-order the album.  Pre-order Skull on iTunes now at this location.

See Evile live at the following shows:
Apr. 20 – Leeds, UK – Crash Records (Record Store Day UK show)
Apr. 26 – Dublin, Ireland – The Academy *
Apr. 27 – Manchester, UK – HMV Ritz *
Apr. 28 – London, UK – HMV Forum *
Jun. 14 – Wervik, Belgium – SkullFest
Jun. 28 – Lesmahagow, UK – Les Fest
Aug. 24 – Werrington, UK – Scar Fest
* with KREATOR

Evile online:


Interview with V’gandr [Helheim]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , on 15th November 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Helheim have been a lasting and destructive force on the Norwegian metal scene, while not achieving the same amount of commercial success as other black metal acts from Norway such as Dimmu Borgir or the infamy achieved by Varg Vikernes, the band have continued their reign of Norse-influenced terror in their own way. Regarded as pioneers of the Norwegian Viking Metal scene, Helheim have been apart of the scene for 20 years and with the release of Heiðindómr ok mótgangr last year, the band show no signs of slowing up.

Nico: Helheim is the abode of the Norse deity Hel, daughter of Loki. What inspired you to adopt this as the band’s name?

V’gandr: We adopted the name back in 92 after numerous of other names. We wanted to have a Norse approach to our lyrics where we had focus on the darker and more sinister parts of the Norse mythology and thus we chose Helheim as our name.

N: Heiðindómr ok mótgangr is the band’s latest album, what are the main lyrical concepts behind the album?

V: The main focus are circled around the four viten & mot parts which are based on the words of the wise (Odin) and his håvamål. Other than that the lyrics deal with human nature and its lacking of truthfulness towards the pagan. It’s all about longing as well as restrained hate. Heathendom is resistance and that’s what we’re all about.

N: What would you say are your favourite tracks from Heiðindómr ok mótgangr and why?

V: I’m proud of the whole album and every song got its moments, but the opening track kind of sets the mood and standard, so I really like that one.

N: Helheim have been a dominating force in both the Norwegian metal scene and the international metal scene. What do you feel has been the key to the band’s long-lasting career?

V: A dominating force? That’s the first time I’ve heard that, but thanks, hehe. I’ve always felt a bit aside the scene as we’ve never strived for fame or acknowledgment, but rather being truthful towards ourselves. Well, we’re a little family now and none of us are ready to leave it just yet. We have no recipe to how, we just have been around for 20 years and we have more to say.

N: Even though Heiðindómr ok mótgangr was released last year, do you have any plans for a new release?

V: Oh yes. All the material for our next release is ready and we’ll record it next year. Beware!

N: As we’re nearing the end of 2012, does the band have any plans for 2013? Providing the world doesn’t end on 21st December.

V: Release a new album and continue playing live. No more, no less.

N: What song do you feel defines Helheim as a whole?

V: Hmmm, a hard one. I can’t only pick one actually. There’s a few tracks that kind of adds up Helheim and that is: Jormundgand, Jernskogen, Dualitet Og Ulver and maybe Åsgards Fall 2.

N: When it comes to writing new material, where does the band draw inspiration from? And how does songwriting happen for Helheim?

V: We are our own inspiration believe it or not, but for Åsgards Fall MCD we were directly inspired by Bathory. Myself and H’grimnir creates music pretty much the same way we did 20 years ago and that is with and none-amplified electric guitar, hehe. And so the writing begins. Inspiration come from the inside and one song or idea can lead to another.

N: If you could replace the soundtrack to any film/movie with your own music, which one would it be and why?

V: That movie haven’t been made yet.

N: How would you describe your music to new listeners?

V: Passionate, serious, dark and beautiful. A view into the Norse.

N: As Helheim have been around for 20 years, you’ll obviously have a wealth of experience and wisdom. Is there any that you’d like to pass on to the new bands that emerging on the scene?

V: Nah, not really. Bands should do what the fuck they think is right for themselves. We learned the business the hard way and got nothing for free and I’m glad it was like that. It made us rise up and keep on going and learning from our mistakes. I think this is the right way for most bands to do it as then you see who got it and who’s not. Well, that was an advise after all…more or less. Hohohooo!

N: If you could be any hero or deity from Norse mythology, which one would it be and why?

V: I really can’t answer such a question as it wouldn’t make any sense. I never look to heroes or deities or gods or whatever. That’s what we’re trying to say in Helheim, you know. The gods are the tools of the trade.

N: Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?

V: As I’ve said before, I say again; heathendom IS resistance. Remember that kids, now go eat a kebab.

For further news and updates about Helheim:


Interview: Dakesis

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , on 3rd August 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Following the announcement of their Bloodstock appearance on the Jagermeister Acoustic Stage and their UK tour with Axenstar and Ascension, Nico interviews Birmingham-based power-prog outfit Dakesis.

Nico: You’ve been confirmed for the Jagermeister Acoustic Stage at Bloodstock, how are you feeling about playing the UK’s biggest metal festival?

Adam: We have indeed, how could it feel anything other than amazing? Most of the band have been attending Bloodstock for many years; some of us even from the early days of Bloodstock Indoor, so to see our name on the bill is incredible. As you mentioned, we’ll be playing the Acoustic stage this year, so it’ll be Dakesis, but perhaps not as you know it!
Wayne: We’ve given some of our tracks a complete makeover for the occasion, and rehearsals are going very well, so we’re looking forward to showcasing a side of the band many people will be unfamiliar but pleasantly surprised with.

N: Aside from being booked for Bloodstock, what’s been the highlight of the year thus far for Dakesis?

A: We were very lucky to support Edguy at Birmingham’s HMV Institute in February. I think I’m right in saying we’re all pretty big fans of the band as well as Tobias’ other work, so to share a stage with a band as infamous as these was a great experience.
Matt: You never know what to expect when you meet your idols, but Edguy proved to be some of the most friendly and welcoming people we’ve met.

N: Are there any bands that you’re looking forward to seeing at this year’s Bloodstock?

A: Iced Earth and Dimmu Borgir will be highlights for me. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Grand Magus recently. ‘The Hunt’ is incredible; I’m looking forward to seeing this live.
W: We were also very proud to see Kataleptic triumph at M2TM, so we’ll be supporting them at the New Blood stage, and our good friends Triaxis will also be gracing the Acoustic stage.

N: So your debut album was released in November of last year; what was the writing process like for it and what were your feelings when you had finished writing it?

W: A lot of the songs on the album actually predate the start of the band, they’re songs I’d written some years ago. Each member has added their own signature to the tracks though.
A: It certainly felt good when we finally had the finished product in our hands.
M: The process for album two is been different. Having said that, there’s not really a specific writing process we stick to; some songs are written in two hours, some have taken two years.

N: Where do you see Dakesis in five years time?

W: DAKESIS!!! COMING SOON TO A WORKING MENS CLUB NEAR YOU!!!! Damn, I forgot my crystal ball! In all seriousness, I hope that Dakesis continues to go from strength to strength – we’re certainly going to continually work hard and push it as far as we can!

N: Given the chance to share the stage with any musician, living or dead, which one would you pick and why?

W: There are so many, a good few I have already had the privilege such as Nino Laurenne [Thunderstone] but if I was to pick one I would say Stéphan Forté [Adagio] as he has been a major influence in my playing style so far.
A: I’d love to go back to 1976 and win the Genesis gig! Also a drum battle with Brann Dailor [Mastodon] would be fun, although I’d get my ass kicked.

N: So, you’re touring with Axenstar later this year, how are you feeling about that?

A: I can’t wait! It’s gonna be a lot of travelling, but it’s all good fun.
Wayne: It will be great to hit the road again, especially with a band the calbibre of Axenstar. (I have a custom guitar lined up specially for this tour too!)

N: What are the band’s plans for the rest of the year, gig wise?

W: We have a lot of travelling on the cards. Aside from the tour, we’re also heading to Northampton, Cambridge, Hull, Tamworth and Manchester to name a few. We’re making huge strides towards album two as well, so in between the live shows there’s a lot going on towards preparation for the next record.

N: Aside from the UK, is there any country you’d love to tour in the future?

A: Hopefully Europe is on the cards at some point in the near future. We’d love to try our hand in Germany and Scandinavia. Our sound is influenced by a lot of European progressive and melodic metal acts.

N: If you could replace the soundtrack of any film with your own music, which one would you pick and why?

W: Sorry, could you repeat the question please?
A: Valhalla Rising. I spent the entire film waiting for some epic battle to start and it never did, so something from Trial By Fire might have spruced it up.

You can check out Dakesis at their official Facebook or at Bloodstock August 10th at 2:50pm over on at the Jagermeister Acoustic Stage.

Bloodshot Dawn release video for free single Godless

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 1st August 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Bloodshot Dawn Photo noLogoUK Death Thrashers Bloodshot Dawn have released there second video Godless from the debut 2012 self titled release. This video has been released in there lead up to there second appearance at the UK’s biggest metal fest: Bloodstock Open Air on August 9th 2012.

You can download “Godless” for free from the band’s Bandcamp!

The band have now begun pre-production on Album number 2 currently unnamed with no date of released planned, they will continue to tour throughout the Autumn and Winter, with tours planned in the UK, Japan, India and Western Europe expect to see them obliterating a venue near you soon! – *Coming Soon*

FORTID–Voluspa Part III: Fall of the Ages

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 9th June 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Voluspa Part III: Fall of the Ages
Released on 26th March 2010
Folk/Viking Metal

Released via Schwarzdorn Productions

Fortid were formed in Iceland a decade ago, as the solo project of Einar Thorberg, with the main purpose of putting the Voluspa, one of the most famous pieces from the Poetic Edda, into musical form. Fall of the Ages is the final part of the musical trilogy that is Voluspa.

The sobering sound of Ancient Halls starts the album eerily with a combination of synths, guitars and the sound of waves crashing on the shore. The sound of ravens cawing adds a very grim, archaic feel to the atmosphere that is emitted from the music. Of course the song isn’t all slow as it takes a change in pace towards the end, which also alters the atmosphere of the track. The second track, Ragnarok Army From The East, has a gloomy intro before turning into a force of black metal styled riffs and overwhelming drum patterns. The vocals are raw, raspy and callous, sounding similar to the vocal style of Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir), only not as refined, which I find to be a good thing for the track. The use of more laid back riffs with atmospheric choir sections adds a certain distinct feeling to the song, giving it that tragic edge. The rest o the track is full of horde-like aggression and a subtle use of cleaner vocals that do work well with the riffs. The track does end with the aforementioned laid back riffs and choirs, however which leads brilliantly into the destructive stylings of the third track, Fall of the Ages, which is also the title track. There is a strong presence of black metal influences throughout the track, with sly hints of Bathory here and there.

Equilibrium Reclaimed differs from the previous tracks due to it’s more grand, majestic yet partially sinister sound that is emphasised by the use of clean vocals and death metal styled growls. The synth section, almost halfway through, brings a very aphotic sound to the track before proceeding back into murky yet epic sounds that preceded it. The acoustic stylings of New Dawn follows next, creating a dense atmosphere of sombre feelings, something that is added to by the strong use of clean vocals and synths. Fortunately for fans of the heavier side of music, there are some slight uses of heavier guitars, though they’re partially drown out by the other instrumentation and vocals. Heltekinn blasts through with a very noticeable august power metal sound, which is a surprise, especially when it’s combined with a heavy use of black metal screams. The synth sections make the song feel and sound more dramatic. Some of the riffs on his track are noticeably more melodic than any of the riffs on the rest of the album. The album comes to its end with The Future, a ten minute song that has a fierce sound with a touch of hopelessness thrown in for good measure. In a sense, the song is virtually a doom metal epic, but as whether Einar intended it be so is a completely different matter.

I’ve read the Poetic Edda a fair few times, especially Voluspa and while I’ve never envisioned it to be set to a mix of black and Viking metal, Voluspa Part III does do the poem justice. There are some parts that could be worked upon, such as the sound quality of some of the vocal parts and certain instruments being drown out but all in all, Voluspa Part III: Fall of the Ages is a damned good album full of Vikingtastic riffs and vocals harsher than a jotun’s wrath.


Nico Davidson

Arcite w/Support @ Hollywood & Vine, Hull

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 16th May 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Bands: Arcite, Broken, Righteous Indignation, Reflection In Exile, Bulletproof, We Are Carnivores, Fable
Location: Hollywood and Vine, Hull
Date: 12th May 2012

It had been too long since I’d been at Hollywood and Vine. In fact, the last time I was there was for my own show back in February for the celebrations of Valkyrian Music’s first year of existence in this dark corner of the ever growing internet, so I was more than happy to return for a long night of rock, metal and whatever the hell else was on the bill.

Opening the night up were Hull’s own rockers Fable, a band who I haven’t seen since their debut gig at this same venue months ago. The first thing I noticed was that their bassist Katie was absent, with a replacement bassist stepping in for the night. The band opened up their set with a pleasing to the ears rendition of Go With The Flow by Queens Of The Stone Age. Straight away, I noticed that Gary’s vocals had become more defined and stronger. A few songs into their set, the sound went completely though this issue was soon resolved. Their performance of Kryptonite, originally by 3 Doors Down, sounded different to the original version but a good kind of different. It had more of a fresh sound to it. Disappointingly, Fable’s set was filled to the brim with covers again, making it hard to know what their own sound is. Alas, hopefully they’ll have some original material for the next time round.

When We Are Carnivores took to the stage, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve heard mixed things about the band and their music. When they first started up, I was ready to write them off as a pop punk act due to the heavy pop punk influences in their first couple of songs though when they performed Carnivores, a song named after themselves, I soon changed my mind. The song had more of an alternative hard rock sound with several hints of old school punk thrown in. Later on in their set, they performed an entertaining version of Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night, which strangely suited the frontman’s vocals. Towards the end of their energetic and lively performance, We Are Carnivores’ set grew into something more violent sounding, displaying some beastly post-hardcore and death metal influences.

Bulletproof, who were third on the line-up, impressed me with their punchy bass riffs and dominating percussion sections, while the guitars were raw, overwhelming and more vicious than a bear with a headache. The guitar solos flowed like a mighty and fearsome river and were definitely the best part of the band’s set but it was the vocals that disappointed me. They seemed to have taken on a very death metal-style but simply didn’t suit the hard rock sound of the band and didn’t seem to be too well performed – It’s a shame really since I think the band do have potential.

Reflection In Exile, a band described as blackened thrash metal, were scheduled to play after Bulletproof and they did catch my attention, both visually, with their corpse-painted appearance and audibly. Their set was dominated by Gorgoroth and Mayhem sounding riffs with the odd bit of Dimmu Borgir and Testament slung in for good measure. The vocal style of the band’s frontman was typically black metalesque yet original sounding at the same time. The band’s live show was energetic and charismatic, working well with their punishing riffs and demonic vocal work. If you’re going to Bloodstock this year, I heavily recommend watching these guys.

Hull already has a strong thrash metal scene going on thanks to the likes of Pastel Jack and XIII, so I’m surprised that I hadn’t seen Hull’s other premier thrash metal act Righteous Indignation before. Their sound can only be described as a love-child spawned from the likes of Testament, Sepultura and Destruction with a carefully balanced blend of snarling vocals, drum work that’s tighter than a duck’s ass and a general all around brutal sound. The frontman, Joe T-Bone, displayed a solid combination of high amounts of energy and heavy-duty vocal work while the rest of the band proved to be capable and talented musicians. Could Righteous Indignation be Hull’s answer to Evile? Quite possibly. The main support came in the form of heavy rockers Broken.Their set consisted mostly of an alternative hard rock sound and some sweet solos, though I did feel that the vocals were a bit generic sounding for their style though you can’t fault the frontman’s ability to whip the crowd up into a frenzy. The last song of their set, 20 Years, was the best song of their entire set. Not because it was the last song but because it sounded well composed and masterfully mixed softer riffs with a heavier style of guitar playing and the vocals even had a unique sound to them. After watching Broken, I see why they’re playing Download.

By the time Arcite started up, I was feeling a bit tired and weary though the first couple of seconds into their first soon made me feel awake again. Their riffs hit the crowd harder than what a bus and monster truck colliding could do while the drum work was just as destructive yet very technical sounding at the same time. The vocals were harsh, raw and powerful while the cleaner vocal style were quite staunch. There was a certain aura of excitement that radiated from the band. The band looked to be in their element as their early hardcore punk roared throughout the venue. Sadly due to logistical reasons, I had to leave part way through Arcite‘s set, which really did disappoint me since I felt they were the most talented and impressive band of the night.

Nico Davidson

Bloodshot Dawn – Self-Titled

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 5th March 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Bloodshot Dawn
Album: Bloodshot Dawn (Self-Titled)
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Release Date: 5th March 2012
Label: Self Released

Having formed almost a decade ago, Bloodshot Dawn have rising through the ranks of the British death scene since their formation in 2003. Their UK tour kicks off tomorrow as they support the mighty Italian powerhouse Fleshgod Apocalypse, while today sees the release of their debut, self-titled album which had been composed for almost two years and finally recorded in Rome in late 2011.

The enchanting and atmospheric keyboards of Beckoning Oblivion start the album, adding a strong orchestrated feel to the track, much like that of Dimmu Borgir, Children of Bodom and the aforementioned Fleshgod Apocalypse. When the guitars finally kick in, it’s apparent that this is going to be to one hell of an album. The vocals are a small reminder of Gorod, helping build up the strong death metal sound. The guitars are more melodic than I expected yet they keep a constant flow of destructive bite, something a lot of melodic death metal bands fail to do, in my opinion. The two solos, provided by frontman Josh McMorran and lead guitarist Benjamin Ellis, fend off a potential stale sound, keeping the song fresher than a freshly picked apple.

Dedication to a Dead Cause starts with a very thrash-orientated sound before progressing into a Death-meets-Ex Deo combination. The bass, provided by Anthony Ridout, gives the song a very defined sound, while the vocals give it a character of brutality. Forlorn World takes the album down a less-melodic road. The drums and guitars add a sound more violent than an old school ECW match, the vocals on the other don’t seem to sound right with the riffs, like they have on the past two tracks – It could just be the way the track was mixed in the studio, as opposed to any flaw in the actual composition. Remember when I said this track is less melodic? Yeah? Well, I lied. The solos bring back the melodic elements, sort of like a heavier Iron Maiden but the track soon changes back to a pounding onslaught of aggression.

The next track is the free-to-download single, Godless. Musically, the song sounds like a combination of the last three tracks with some newer elements but that doesn’t stop it from sounding awesome. The vocals have stepped up since the last track as well, contrasting well with the riffs. Some of the riffs sound quite Arch Enemy and Children of Bodom-esque. The fast-paced, melodic stylings of Visions takes the album by storm next, doubling the dose of aggression and savagery in the music. In true death metal fashion, comes Sentiment Disease. The slower-paced intro acts well as a crescendo, building up into the main bulk of the song which is composed of acute drums and tantalising riffs, with a dash of aggressive and barbaric growls. The guest solo by Sebastian Nilsson [Aeon] is definitely a strong point in the album.

The Quantum Apocalypse has a quite unique sounding introduction, especially when compared to the previous tracks. The vocals seem to have taken on a Napalm Death/Children of Bodom sound, though they seem to be quiet compared to the guitar sections, which is very disappointing since McMorran’s vocals are enjoyable to listen to. The majority of the track feels quite tame and laid back causing it to be somewhat of a let down. The following track, Sickening Dogma, brings back the excitement and forces into the listener’s ears like a lethal injection. The bass riffs are quite distinct, amalgamating blazingly with the drum workings of Doug Anderson. The riffs have a quite melodic and groove sound to them, a plus for any groove metal fans out there. Slowly coming towards the end of the album comes Illusion Aesthetic. The riffs are merciless executed with intense precision, giving the song a very cutting-edge element. The drums ring out cruelly, keeping the song vicious which is always a plus.

Prototype acts pretty much as a guitar-orientated interlude between the previous track and the final part of the album, Archtype, which blasts its way through with a melodious guitar section that morphs into a savage assault of demonic vocals and skull destroying riffs. The track is quite agile, as well as disturbingly bloodthirsty. Prototype certainly lets the album end on an enraged note of sheer melodic brutality.

While I am left wondering why it’s taken them so long to finally release an album, I’m also left with a big impression of the band’s talent. The album, overall, is well worth the money and would fit into any metal fan’s collection. Some of the melodic use of guitars can be a bit tedious at times and while the vocal sections on a couple of the tracks are a bit disheartening, Bloodshot Dawn could easily have their own place in the history of death metal with this release.


Nico Davidson

Bloodshot Dawn begin their UK tour with Dyscarnate and Fleshgod Apocalypse tomorrow. Dates as followed:

6th – White Rabbit, Plymouth.
7th – Purple Turtle, London.
8th – The Lomax, Liverpool.
9th – The Pint, Dublin.
10th – The Parish, Huddersfield.
11th – Bannersman, Edinburgh.
12th – The Lamp, Hull.
13th – The Old Bell, Derby.
14th – Bogiez, Cardiff.

Dawn of Ashes – Farewell To The Flesh

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 1st February 2012 by izaforestspirit

Band: Dawn of Ashes
Album: Farewell To The Flesh
Release date: February 2012
Genre: Melodic Black Metal
Label: Metal Blade

‘Farewell to the Flesh’ is the new EP from the American melodic black metal band Dawn of Ashes. This is also the band’s third release since changing their style from industrial/EBM to black metal back in 2008.

The intro to the title track ‘Farewell to the Flesh’ features Fear Factory -style drums mixed in with Dimmu Borgir-esque symphonic elements and the odd guitar riff. The atmospheric keyboard sounds and the vocal style reminds me of ‘Chapter III’ -era Agathodaimon.

There’s quite a few remixes on this EP, most of which are re-worked versions of songs from the previous album ‘Genocide Chapters’. The first of these is K. Bathory’s mix of ‘Transformation Within Fictional Mutation’ which offers a very confusing atmosphere featuring the eerie ambience and the guitar sounds of the original version along with some very odd sounding distorted vocals.

The next three tracks are all remixes of the same song ‘Carnal Consummation in the Empty Space’. The different versions range from: the bizarre electronic mix by Falling Skies, which would only work as a soundtrack to a videogame, the dance-floor -orientated, re-vocalized version by Die Sektor to the blackened electronica version by To Mega Therion which reminds me of ‘Inri’-era Psyclon Nine. The latter is by far the most enjoyable remix.

The last remix is the Juggernaut version of ‘Seething the Flesh in the River ov Phlegethon’ which is confusing at best. Then it’s back to good old symphonic black metal for the last two tracks. The main highlight is ‘Torture Device Part 2’ which invokes an eerie atmosphere akin to that of a Gothic style horror film.
Iza Raittila

Not Above Evil- The Transcendental Signified

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 23rd November 2011 by izaforestspirit

Release year: 2011


‘The Transcendental Signified’ is the second album from British melodic death metal band Not Above Evil.

The opening track ‘Crossroads’ features a very promising melodic intro proceeded by fast guitar riffs and black metal vocals similar to those of Dimmu Borgir or even old Agathodaimon. There is also a clear Lamb of God influence in the bass guitar riffs and drums structures in tracks such as ‘Capture the Dawn’.

‘Against The Tides’ is one of the best tracks on here with memorable guitar solos that allow you to look past the slightly cheesy sounding lyrics. The only major let down is the progressive intro to ‘Nexus’ which doesn’t seem to fit the style set by the rest of the album. I’m not quite sure what they were trying to achieve with this. Luckily that track does have certain redeeming features such as the guitar solos towards the end.

Another notable track is ‘As The Curtain Falls’ which continues where ‘Against The Tides’ left off with more memorable guitar riffs and solos that have enormous mosh-pit potential. The final track ‘The Duel’ seems like the perfect way to end this album with its deceptively slow and melodic intro that ensures the listener is all the more unprepared for the intensity of the remainder of the song.

Overall this is a very solid release.

Iza Raittila

An Evening With Dimmu Borgir [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 21st November 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Bands: Dimmu Borgir
Location: The Cockpit, Leeds
Date: 19th November 2011

In celebration of “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant”, an album released 14 years ago, Dimmu Borgir embarked on their “An Evening With” tour which took them to the musically diverse heart of West Yorkshire known as Leeds. With a band as well-established as Dimmu Borgir, there comes a certain expectation of their performance and judging by the crowd’s reaction, they lived up to those expectations.

As they took their place on the stage, they looked somewhat sinister, almost demonic, thanks to the smoke and the lights, which helped add to the ethereal and mystifying atmosphere that had come over the crowd in the Cockpit. The first set of the night was composed entirely of the tracklisting from “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant”. Starting with “Mourning Palace”, Dimmu progressed into “Spellbound (By The Devil)” in which Shagrath encouraged, demanded even, the showing of horns in the air, to which the crowd happily obliged. “The Night Masquerade” was the most entertaining song of the first set.

After a short interval, Dimmu Borgir soon returned to the stage – Well, it was more like Daray at first who entertained the crowd with a drum solo before the band fully returned to the stage blasting their way through “Vredesbyrd”. After that, Shagrath recited the words “Left are the kings of the carnival creation, carrying out the echoes of the fallen” to announce the next song, which was “Kings Of The Carnival Creation”. The next three songs were taken from the new album “Abrahadabra” – The first of which was “Dimmu Borgir”, which hagrath described as a song about “strength, unity and the ever lasting flame flame that is Dimmu Borgir”. The band finished the set with a great rendition of “Puritania” which wasn’t enough for the horde of Dimmu fans who demanded more.

The encore was comprised of only three songs, “The Serpentine Offering” – which sounded strange with Vortex’s vocals being played back – “Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse” and “Perfection of Vanity”. It was strange seeing Dimmu in such a small venue considering their status as one of the biggest international black metal bands, whch was one of two down sides to the show. The other being the poor sound system which clearly wasn’t suited for the band. Aside from those two issues, it was a truly mystifying performance and a show of epic proportion. Hopefully, Dimmu will tour the UK again next year.

Nico Davidson

Svikt – I Elendighetens Selskap [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 18th October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Svikt
Album: I Elendighetens Selskap
Release year: 2011
Genre: Black Metal


Svikt (Norwegian for “impairment”) are a virtually new band within the Norwegian Black Metal scene. “I Elendighetens Selskap” (Roughly translated as “Of misery company”) is their debut album.

The first track of the album is Morkne Røtter (Loosely translated as “decayed roots”). Straight away, there is a strong hint of influences from the Norwegian black metal scene of the early 90s. The guitars have a raw, unpolished sound whilst the vocals are guttural and grim. The drums aren’t particularly impressive but they do keep up with the guitar and bass easily enough. Following straight after is the more barbaric sounding “Maktesløs” (“Powerless”). There is a heavy emphasis on the use of cymbals – An odd thing to combine with the savage riffs being cruelly executed on the guitar and bass. The vocals are reminiscent of early Dimmu Borgir, Gorgoroth and Immortal. The lighter guitar section in the second half of the track comes as an unwelcome change, ruining completely the adrenaline that the track had got flowing.

”Nattfall” (“Nights fall”) begins in a similar vein as “Maktesløs”. The drums, however, are more technical with an added touch of cymbal overkill and blast beats. The guitar sections have a very rough edge mixed with a dirty sound. It’s certainly one of the more better parts of the album. “Vi knekker sammen” (We are cracking up”) has the feeling of a Satyricon track for some unknown reason with a near enough copy-cat sound of the previous track. The fifth song of the album comes next, entitled “Lemlestet fordumssyn” (“Mutilated ancient vision”) ripping through with a much heavier element than the last four tracks. The guitars seem to have taken on a more gut-wrenching sounding while the drums are more fierce, violent and demonic in their playing. The vocals sound blasphemous as well, adding that special black metal element to the song.

”Gråbein I Fåreklær” (“Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing”) comes in with a weak introduction. The guitar riffs can’t seem to choose between heavy or melodic and poorly attempting to fuse the both. The vocals sound strained to an extent – Truly disappointing as they sounded great on the previous tracks. The guitars come back stronger later on in the track, fortunately – Even if they do overpower the drums several times. The second to last song on the album is none other than “A misteg in the wind” (“A Step In The Wind”). The introduction feels like a Gorgoroth track from the “Pentagram” album of ‘94. The drums are truly aggressive, virtually dominating the entire song but they are overused heavily. The album finishes with “La tonene tale” (“Let your voices note”). The introduction is soft like a Nickleback track until the distortion of the guitars booms out of the speakers. The drums seem to be filling places they shouldn’t be played in at all but the guitars have some truly strong parts on the track. One key thing about the track is the lack of vocals.

”I Elendighetens Selskap” isn’t anything special. The crude sound quality places emphasis on the band’s old school Norsk svart metall sound but the album sounds like any old black metal album. The drums are heavily overused which doesn’t do any justice for the band or the album. If Svikt want to get somewhere then they’ll have to up their game and try bring something new to their music rather than repeat what was done in the ‘90s.


Nico Davidson

All translations of the song titles are loose translations and should not be taken as the literal or correct translations.

Severed Heaven – Incessant Darkness [2010]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 6th October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Severed Heaven
Album: Incessant Darkness
Release year: 2010
Genre: Extreme Metal/Yorkshire Metal


Metal has always been a male-dominated scene, especially within the extreme metal scenes, though that hasn’t stopped the all-female brutalising force known as “Severed Heaven” from dominating the metal scene in their native Leeds and West Yorkshire. Severed Heaven have established a solid fan base and made a big name for themselves in the North of England.

The album starts with the intro track “The Fading Light”, composed of a majestic yet angry guitar medley. The album properly starts with the introduction of “Soul Desecration”, which has a very early Gorgoroth-like sound to it terms of the vocals. The slow use of drum and guitars at the beginning adds emphasis on the vocal work, giving them an extra bite. As the tempo of the instruments increases, the song becomes ever so much more violent sounding. The guitars are certainly impressive due to their crunchy and chugging sound, virtually multiplying the heaviness of the song. There are some slower moments in the second half of the track, which like the introduction, reinforce the vocals with an extra dose of aggression.

“Alone I Perish” blasts its way next, with a fast-paced tempo and a violent riff. The vocals are raw and harsh, adding that obscenely aggressive touch to the music. The track is basically as brutal and devastating as a collision between a monster truck and a bus. The slower sections flow nicely with the music. The introduction of “Autumn” packs a sluggish punch, heavy yet slow. The vocals stand out the most during in this song. The guitars help to keep the bloodthirsty edge of the song going from beginning to end, though the drums seem to be more enjoyable to hear.

“Desolation” brings about an old school death-meets-black metal kind of sound with a slight modern influence. Musically, it is fierce and unrelenting, like cornered wolf fighting to survive. Vocally, it could easily be mistaken for a song by Astarte. This is definitely one of the superior tracks on the album, virtually a masterpiece, due its brutalising sound and passionate composition. “Edge Of Despair” has a very melancholy sound and feel to it throughout the intro section. The melancholy sound seems to the calm before the storm as the song takes a sudden and sinister twist into something far heavier, aggressive and barbaric whilst showing signs of intelligent composition and soulful talent. The vocals sound like the hateful growls and screams of a demonic legion – Making this song that more sinister.

”Seal The Cavity” seems to lack in the heavy department, compared to the previous tracks, leaving the vocals feeling too powerful in sections. “Fallen Flesh of Worthlessness” starts with a riff too mellow for an album that has so far brought the thunder. Fortunately, the mellowness is stopped dead in its track and completely sodomised by the unexpected occurrence of a bloodthirsty guitar riff, mixed with the heavy drum work and very Hellish vocals. The bass lines are simply amazing throughout out the song, certainly adding some major low-end thunder to the guitar work.

Nearing the end comes “Traumatic Period”. The introduction is heavy, brutal and raw yet feels like its missing something. The feeling carries on throughout most of the track. Some of the guitar work during in the second half is interesting, to say the least. The album finishes with “Earth Decayed”. The intro is very old school black metal sounding in its style and the bass adds a unique sound to it as well. The riffs are well composed, bringing a certain fire to the track whilst the drums keep that ravenous, aggressive sound flowing. The vocals are impressive as well, switching brilliantly between screams and growls.

”Incessant Darkness”, put simply, is pure ingenious extreme metal in its prime – And the fact it’s an album by five lovely ladies in just a bonus. For the most part, the album excites the listener’s ears like drugs excites an addict. It’s hard to believe, after hearing this album [Incessant Darkness], that Severed Heaven aren’t being the main support for bands like Dimmu Borgir or Gorgoroth. Incessant Darkness is certainly a great addition to the extreme metal fan’s collection.


Nico Davidson

Adamus Exul – Death, Paint A Vision [2010]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 24th July 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Adamus Exul
Album: Death Paint A Vision
Release year: 2010
Genre: Black Metal

Australia is a typical tourist destination due to it’s wonderful sights and hot weather – Too hot for frostbitten music like black metal one would think, however, this is not the case because in the shadows of Australia’s tourist destinations lies an ever brutal, ever frostbitten, ever extreme black metal scene and at the heart of that scene are Adamus Exul.

The first track of “Death, Paint A Vision” is called “Dreams Of Desolation”. Even at a low volume, the listener’s ears are savagely assaulted by a great mix of guitars and double bass pedals. The vocals are strong, raw and beasty – As is to be expected of any black metal band. Interestingly, there are some slightly melodic sections which keeps the track entertaining. The drums are precise, almost machine-like though still barbaric and face-smashingly heavy.

”Ruins Of Zion” mixes melody with sheer aggression in its introduction whilst the rest of the track seems to favour straight forward brutality over melody, though this is not a bad thing for fans of no-holds-barred black metal. The use of a speech over is certainly unexpected but fits in well with the theme of the song. The vocal section that follows sounds very much like Dimmu Borgir and a casual listener to black metal would certainly make the mistake of believing it to be Shagarth. Another interesting section of this track is the short section that sounds very much like a breakdown of some sort.

The title track, “Death, Paint A Vision” favours a melodic yet bone smashing approach at the beginning. The drums add to the savagery of the track, whilst the vocals help it sound more beastly. Whilst the title of the track is somewhat poetic and intelligent, the track itself is the complete opposite, bombarding the listener with bloodthirsty riffs and demonic-like vocals. “Death, Paint A Vision” is very much like an old-skool Gorgoroth track in sections due to the fast tempos and sheer aggressive brutality. “In Absentia” is the half way point of the album and the interlude. Shockingly, “In Absentia” is acoustic though the acoustic guitar is a welcome change for those tired of orchestrated interludes.

“Echoes Of Self Destruction” tears its way through the album next, beginning with a frightening and hellish introduction of pounding guitars and drums. The vocals are more aggressive and unholy-sounding as well, mixing well with the demonic essence of the track. Though “Echoes Of Self Destruction”, there are small sections of melodic guitar licks every now and then which do keep the track interesting. The use of acoustic guitar returns as well, adding a certain calmness to the hurricane-like force of black metal, though this calm doesn’t long before the hurricane returns. “Abhorrent Euchrist” changes the style of the album a bit, bring a more melodic use to the album, which is both weird and refreshing. Even the vocals have changed, sounding more raspy, to fit in with the melodic stylings of the track. Drums still sound good despite becoming somewhat lighter for this track and the guitars seem to have less distortion. Fortunately for those who prefer black metal screams over raspy vocals, the screams make a triumphant return towards the end of “Abohorrent Euchrist”.

The final piece of the album is the song “Ashes” which like the previous song, begins melodically. However, “Ashes” brings back the raw aggression and savagery found on the rest of the album. The sound on this track seems to be more raw and barbaric with everything sounding like they have more punch. Interestingly, the acoustic guitar, once again, returns but combined with some majorly angry growls, making for a strange yet brilliantly created sound. Unfortunately, the sound doesn’t last for long. A military styled drum roll also makes an appearance, working well alongside the raw guitar riffs.

Adamus Exul bring a new sound to black metal with “Death, Paint A Vision” whilst sticking to an old skool Norwegian black metal sound as well. Most of the tracks are reminiscent of the early black metal scene in Norway while containing a fresh feel. Adamus Exul are certainly a band to keep an ear out for because they could be dominating more than Australian metal scene soon enough.


Nico Davidson

DEMONAZ – March of the Norse [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 31st March 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Album: March of the Norse
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Black Metal

DEMONAZ is the solo project of former Immortal guitarist Demonaz Doom Occulta. The debut album is “March of the Norse”, which is due or release 1st April.

“Northern Hymn” is the first track of the album, composed of acoustic guitar riffs and a haunting choir, setting a very tense atmosphere. “All Blackened Sky” comes blasting next, starting with a heavy and brutal guitar riff which is combined with heavy pounding drums. The vocals have a very rough Dimmu Borgir sound to them. The riffs throughout the track repeat themselves, which adds a certain simplistic brilliance to the track. The guitar riffs also have a slightly melodic touch to them. The guitar solo isn’t great but it’s not exactly bad. The title track “March of the Norse” is next. It’s intro riff has a Trivium-gone-black metal sound. The vocals don’t sound powerful on this track, with them being almost over-powered by the guitars and drums. In certain parts of the track, the bass can be heard clearly over the sound of distorted guitars.

The next track is “A Son of the Sword”. Beginning with a brutal intro, which is soon accompanied by a melodic riff, this track all ready sounds to be one of the best tracks on the album. The vocals sound much, much stronger – Matching the guitars and drums for brutality and power. The guitar solo is good, near to perfection. The track ends on a faded out yet brutal note. “Where Gods Once Rode” bursts in next, with a melodic intro which could easily be mistaken for a power metal riff. The vocals are still going strong and the guitar riffs seem to have taken on a more melodic sound for this track. The bass can be heard clearly in sections but the drums seem to be lacking in power and heaviness. There is a use of haunting choir-like vocals when the track turns softer, giving the track a more melancholy sound.

“Under Great Fires” starts with a brutal mix of guitars, drums and vocals.  The track turns melodic for a while before turning soft, though the vocals still stay brutal. The heaviness returns to the track eventually, though the guitars and drums begin to overpower the vocals. The guitar solo is sheer brilliance. After the solo, the vocals come back stronger than before. Disappointingly, the track finishes with an acoustic guitar section. The next track is “Over The Mountains” which enters the fray with a heavy intro riff. The vocals sound too strong for the guitars to compete with in terms of heaviness and brutality. There is a mixture o melodic and brutal riffs throughout the track, giving it a brilliant sound. The track finishes on a faded, melodic note. “Ode To Battle” comes next, composed entirely of choir-like vocals and acoustic guitars – Though the acoustic guitar sounds stronger than the vocals.

“Legends Of Fire And Ice” comes next, bringing a level of brutality and heaviness back to the album with a guitar and drum intro. The vocals sound somewhat raspier than what they have been on the previous tracks. There’s a use of choir-like vocals alongside the main vocals, which adds a very epic element to the track and the guitar solo is mind blowing. This track is clearly the best track on the album. The album finishes on the extra track: “Dying Sun” which begins with a slow yet brutal guitar intro. In sections, the drums leave much to be desired, though the guitars keep things interesting. With each development during in the track, it seems like the vocals will jump in at any moment but unfortunately they don’t.

“March Of The Norse” is undoubtedly one of the best albums that is going to come out of the Norwegian Black Metal for along time. There are parts which have room for improvement but Demonaz clearly hasn’t lost his ability to write black metal anthems. It is, however, strange hearing him perform vocals rather than guitar – Though with this album he could give a lot of vocalists in the black metal scene a run for their money.


Nico Davidson