Archive for Doom

Primordial w/ support – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 22nd October 2018 by Pieni

Primordial, Basalto, Aura
Hard Club, Porto (PT)
21st September 2018
Promoted by Notredame Productions

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One month yesterday and the memories still send shivers down my spine. Primordial’s songs already have that effect on their fans, but something about that night’s performance made them more enthralling. I always thank the promoters for allowing me the chance of shooting these gigs but this time my heartfelt reverence towards Carlos Freitas and Notredame Productions goes deeper, for bringing such show to us.

DSC_0067 copyBut first things first. Post black metal Aura, promoting their debut EP “Hamartia”, which had been released in July. Aggressive, but bearing the somberness of a doom band, the mix works out extremely well, the four musicians really “into it” when on stage. For what I could gather, “Your Eyes Can Sweat My Desire For Catharsis” is their strongest track. An extra note on the bass player’s professionalism, as the piece on the bass that holds the strap broke but he didn’t stop playing; he just put his foot up on one monitor and held the instrument on his knee. I can only imagine the strain on his back and arms while doing it. In the end of the song he fixed it with duct tape, but since their songs are over 6 minutes long, consider my hat tipped.
https://www.facebook.com/oficialauraband/

Then came the 99%-instrumental Basalto. In fact, the first I’d seen them, a few months prior, I’d say they were an instrumental act. But this time, on the first and last track, guitarist António Baptista growled something indecipherable.
The final product is labelled as stoner/doom metal, but it’s achieved with a variety of other elements, such as jazz and blues, making it a lot spicier, more spirited. “Doença (“disease” in Portuguese) is their second album, released in February, and according to them, it represents everything black or dark in Humanity’s intellectuality. Interesting concept.
https://www.facebook.com/basaltostoner/

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In +25 years of attending concerts, I can only remember three concerts that went on for two hours: Iced Earth (the “Horror Show” tour, which coincided with the release of the boxset “Dark Genesis” and so the band decided to play a little bit of their full discography so far, with three different stage sets); Queensrÿche (the “Operation: Mindcrime” 20th anniversary tour where they performed both the album and its sequel in full) and Moonspell (the 20th anniversary of “Irreligious”, where they also played the whole DSC_0272 copy“Wolfheart” and “Extinct” albuns). Primordial was now the fourth, but the first without any special reason for it, apart from “not being like one of these new bands who play for an hour and go home” (quoting Nemtheanga himself). You’ve probably done the math by now: more time to play, less key-songs left out of the set, even if they have to insert new ones out of the latest “Exile Amongst The Ruins”. Plus, if you know how charismatic Nemtheanga is, you know how intense every minute of a Primordial show can be; 120 of them is something just beyond words.
Nemtheanga recalled several times their first show in Portugal, 20 years ago, praising “his friend” José Costa for it, and also mentioned the last time they’ve played at Hard Club (although that gig happened in the original venue, on the other side of the river, but that he didn’t seem to remember). Such sweet nostalgia, brought on not just by the older songs…
From “Nail Their Tongues” to “Empire Falls”, going through “To Hell Or The Hangman” or – my all-time favorite – “The Coffin Ships”, this concert was a roller-coaster ride of emotions that will hardly be forgotten by any of the presents.
https://www.facebook.com/primordialofficial/

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

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My Silent Wake – An Unbroken Threnody

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 24th February 2016 by Paul Macmillan

My Silent Wake
An Unbroken Threnody
Released 08th February 2016
Doom metal
Released via Stone Groove Records

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‘Best of’ compilations can be a great way to introduce new listeners to a band, and in An Unbroken Threnody, My Silent Wake have properly grabbed my attention. This collection of music is drawn from the first ten years of their fairly prolific career, and therefore encompasses a fairly wide spread of style, ranging from more or less pure doom, through a touch of death metal, and what might even be a hint of psychedelic doom, a la The Blood Divine’s Mystica.

As the press release states, this is ‘for fans of’ Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, and Indiscience. The influences of these bands are plain as day, out there for all to see – and it’s glorious! PL and MDB are clearly a massive part of the mix, and, for someone who remembers the soul shaking gothic riffs of the  1990s, it is a welcome return to a sensation long resigned to the ‘meh’ pile of life. If I’d been aware of this band throughout their existence, I would have devoured their releases one after the other. However, I’m almost glad I didn’t, as this is a real pleasure to delve into without prior warning.

There are naturally parts which are stronger than others. It’s a good sign that two of the crowning moments, Highwire & And So It Comes To An End, are taken from 2015’s Damnatio Memoriae, and show a band who have matured rather than grown flaccid with age. Older material still stands up perfectly well, such as the diabolically hefty Tunnels – the opener from 2008’s  A Garland Of Tears -and the almost folk-infused Shadow Of Sorrow from their debut of the same name.

It’s inspiring to hear a band who have delivered such consistently high-calibre output, even more so when a decade’s worth of their music hits you square in the chops in one sitting. If you were a fan of any of the acts mentioned in this review, but haven’t yet checked out MSW, I highly recommend you do. Although the comparisons are spot on, this is no imitation. This is the real deal.

4.5/5

Paul Macmillan

King Witch – Shoulders Of Giants

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 19th November 2015 by Paul Macmillan

King Witch
Shoulders Of Giants [EP]
Released November 09th 2015
Doom / classic metal
Self-released

King Witch - Shoulders Of Giants

Kicking off with an eerie intro to the title track, the real fun with King Witch’s debut EP, Shoulders Of Giants, starts when they cut to the chase with their strange concoction of slightly black, doomed-up, sludgy trad metal. Although this may leave you expecting a drawling beast of a record, lumbering on at tectonic velocity, there’s actually quite the rapid flow at times, and in shying from self-indulgence, King Witch make every shot count, never lingering in one territory for too long.

They also seem to have access to bottomless pockets of metal-ology into which to delve in the quest to keep things engaging. While Black Sabbath are riding high in the Shoulders… world, there is equally a shadow of Death looming ominous on the barren horizon, casting a prog-metal tone over the landscape. When you have three tracks of doom to state your case to the world, set to diverge at several musical tangents, it should be self-apparent why KW have seemingly made efforts to keep things moving along fairly swiftly.

The warlock on top of the mountain, however, we have still to address here. As some may already know, King Witch included the talents of long-term partners in crime, Laura Donnelly and Jamie Gilchrist, formerly operating in the much lauded Firebrand Super Rock. Where Gilchrist’s guitar work shines through as part of the musical character described above, Donnelly provides what is quite simply ultimate power, full blast, metal vocals; a classic delivery in the realms of Tony ‘The Cat’ Martin or Brittney Slayes, with the slightly cheesy undertones switched out for something altogether darker.

Although this is their first release, and they only formed in 2015, this is something special, and King Witch could well make a significant dent in the scene in 2016 if they keep up this level of work. There’s nothing quite like this kicking about at present, and it’s likely that any who tried to emulate it would fall far short of the mark. Powerful, professional and unique.

4/5

Paul Macmillan

Vallenfyre w/ Foscor – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 9th February 2015 by Pieni

Foscor, Vallenfyre
Hard Club, Porto (PT)
7th February 2015
Promoter: Prime Artists

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Last autumn, Vallenfyre played a few shows across central Europe and England, in support of their second and most recent album “Splinters”. They left the Iberian Peninsula for the winter, in a total of eight shows in Spain and two in Portugal, under the suitable name “Splinters Over Iberia Tour”. The last one was in my hometown, Porto – courtesy of Prime Artists.

 photo foscor3_zpsrobyqpnh.jpgThey also decided to choose an Iberian band to support them and the lucky ones were Barcelona-based Foscor. Not that it was just luck – they actually deserve it. Formed in 1997 and having released four albums – the latest, “Those Horrors Wither”, last November, so it’s quite fresh – Foscor play a mix of black and death metal, with some melody in-between. Plus, singing in both growling and clean tones, in English and Catalan, the outcome is exquisitely good! And Foscor means “darkness” in Catalan, by the way.

They focused mostly on “Those Horrors Wither”, of course, but played a couple from the previous “Groans To The Guilty” and the title-track of their second album “The Smile Of The Sad Ones”. Singer/bass player Fiar addressed the audience often, in Spanish, which was totally fine since Spanish and Portuguese are very similar; but still he apologized for not being able to speak Portuguese. How nice of him! He did say “obrigado” (thank you), and then spoke in English when it was time to thank the crew and their Vallenfyre “brothers”.

Too bad there wasn’t that many people to welcome them, and the few who were present were a little cautious at first. Eventually the applauses became more vigorous and genuine, but still too far from what it should have been, given the quality of the show. (5/5)

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https://www.facebook.com/foscor.official

 photo _DSC0393_zps8sfgisr1.jpgI’ve seen Paradise Lost almost as many times as they’ve played in Portugal (having only missed the first one), so I knew how expressive Gregor Mackintosh could be. Or I thought I knew. As much as I’d imagined he would have more liberty to move around without the guitar in his hands, I confess I’ve never expected THAT! The man is restless! And funny too! Among the quotes that made me laugh the most, there’s the one where he claimed to love God with all his semen running down His back; that he believed we were all born equal – except for their bass player Scoot; Obrigado! See? I can speak Portuguese. Took me twenty years to learn how to say ‘thank you’. Give me another twenty and I’ll learn how to say ‘please’.”; how the following song (“Bereft”) was a calm one so “there’s the bar. Go have a drink and come back in eight minutes”; how he asked some (supposedly) upper middle-class guy in the crowd for some borrowed money, adding right away that he was joking, as he had more money than any of us could possibly imagine, “that’s why I’m wearing these pants”; or how another guy could buy him a pint at the end of the show for knowing the name of their first single (“Desecration”) – something Mackintosh was certain no one knew. Oh, and how they would play a song about beef (“Cattle”). Having such humorous moments mixed with the abrasiveness of Vallenfyre’s death metal and the heavy sorrow of their doom was just priceless. Amazing performance in all fronts!

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On a less-of-a-joke note, he said Porto was his favorite city in Europe; that he’d been here for gigs, on vacation… although he had a drinking problem (this because we have very good wine – not just our trademark Port – and beer). Now I don’t know if he really meant that – the favorite part – but it obviously put a smile on my face and brought out a roaring ovation from the crowd.

Despite promoting “Splinters”, as they only have one other full-length album (“A Fragile King”), the one-hour-and-a-half setlist was equally divided between the two, but starting and finishing with the opening and final tracks from “Splinters”“Scabs” and the title-track, respectively, the latter “a video you might have seen. It has demons.”

Everyone hoped for an encore, especially when the lights took so long to be turned on, but it didn’t happen – either because they hadn’t rehearsed any other song or because of the “Techno Lovers” night that was taking place at Hard Club afterwards. Anyway, no one can complain – the show was perfect as it was (except for the low number of people, that is, but at least we made it count). (5/5)

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https://www.facebook.com/Vallenfyre

Text & photos: Renata “Pieni” Lino

Foscor release entire back catalogue digitally

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 6th March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Dark metallers Foscor have released their entire back catalogue digitally, including the band’s first three albums: 2004’s Entrance to the Shadows’ Village,  2007’s The Smile of the Sad Ones and 2009’s Groans to the Guilty. Each album includes lyrics and information. For the first month, the albums will be available for free download from this location. The band’s back catalogue is also available for streaming on YouTube.

With over a decade in the music scene, Foscor recently announced that the band’s natural musical progression and development has led to a change in style away from the traditional 90’s Black Metal mixed with other classical and modern extreme styles, for which they became know.  Breaking free from the restrictions the genre places on bands has enabled Foscor to expand their sound to include shades of Doom and Dark Rock, majestic interludes and a healthy flirtation with Prog.  Frontman Fiar is quick to point out though that fans will still recognise the distinctive Foscor style, which the band have not rejected, but have made better, and which will be very much in evidence in the band’s newly completed  fourth full-length album Those Horrors Wither.

Currently in search of a label for Those Horrors Wither, Foscor have chosen a somewhat unusual direction with the guest appearances on the album.  Instead of the expected vocals or instrumental solos, the notable guests have written and performed connecting passages between the tracks.

Foscor online:

http://foscor.com
http://facebook.com/foscor.official
http://soundcloud.com/foscor
http://twitter.com/FOSCOR_Official
http://youtube.com/user/FOSCORbcn
http://foscor.bigcartel.com
http://myspace.com/foscor
http://reverbnation.com/foscor

 

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Cripple Bastards release first track from new album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 8th January 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Long running Italian band Cripple Bastards have released the first punishing track from their new album Nero In Metastasi, which is due out mid-February. Crushing everything in its way with almost three minutes of total bombardment, the album’s opening track Malato Terminale immediately lets the band’s devoted following know they’re in for an ultra-metallic neckbreaker of expected chaos, and lets newcomers know to join their movement or get out of the way. The song can be heard down below and you can pre-order the album at this location.

Cripple Bastard will also heading out on later this month. You can catch them at the following shows:

11/1/2014 Cueva Rock Live – Cagliari, Italy
14/1/2014 Viper Theatre – Florence, Italy
25/2/2014 Kingcobra Squat – Osaka, Japan w/ Red, Riverge, Ramone Takayama & The Students, Palm, Masterpeace
26/2/2014 Huck Finn – Nagoya, Japan w/ Black Ganion, Not A Name Soldiers, Hell And Hell, Sacred Aeolia, Top Breeder
27/2/2014 Bar El Puente – Yokohama, Japan
28/2/2014 Asakusa Kurawood – Tokyo, Japan @ Obscene Extreme Asia w/ Jig-Ai, Contrast Attitude, Butcher Abc, Brain Corrosion
02/3/2014 Asakusa Kurawood – Tokyo, Japan @ Obscene Extreme Asia w/ Doom, Framtid, Systematic Death, Gore Beyond Necropsy
05/3/2014 Blackwire Records – Sydney, Australia w/ Jig-Ai
06/3/2014 The Basement – Canberra, Australia w/ Jig-Ai
07/3/2014 The Reverence Hotel – Melbourne, Australia @ Obscene Extreme Australia w/ Jig-Ai, Captain Cleanoff
08/3/2014 The Corner Hotel – Melbourne, Australia @ Obscene Extreme Australia w/ Doom, Nowyourefucked, The Kill
22-25/5/2014 Maryland Deathfest – Baltimore, MD

Cripple Bastards online:

http://cripple-bastards.com
http://facebook.com/cripplebastard

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EXCLUSIVE STREAM: Wolves by Edenfall

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 22nd December 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Gothic doom metallers Edenfall have recently been working on their second album Under Sultry Moons and Velvet Skies. The guys – and gal – in Edenfall have been kind enough to let us stream Wolves, which is taken from the album. You can listen to the song down below.

Under Sultry Moons and Velvet Skies was recorded at Recorded at Batcave Studios, Cheltenham (England) and Sonic Forge Studios in Cardiff (Wales). The album will be released via Ravenheart Music but the release date is still to be confirmed. Artwork, as seen above, was made by Becca Dancer.

Edenfall online:

http://edenfallband.co.uk
http://facebook.com/edenfallmusic