Archive for Extreme Metal

Hanzel und Gretyl – Satanik Germanik

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 31st July 2018 by izaforestspirit

Hanzel Und Gretyl
Satanik Germanik
Released 6th July 2018
Industrial Metal / Groove Metal / Extreme Metal
Released via Metropolis Records

Hanzel und Gretyl - Satanik Germanik

The New York -based industrial metal duo Hanzel und Gretyl have been around since the mid-90s. They’re often hailed as the only non-German band in the Neue Deutsche Härte scene. Their music has evolved a great deal since the beginning, ranging from experimental-industrial to industrial metal, groove with even hints of black metal and melodic death metal. Their latest opus ‘Satanik Germanik’ promises to be their darkest and most metal-sounding album.

This is essentially picking up from where Hanzel und Gretyl left off with ‘Black Forest Metal’ – the first part of the so called ‘Grimm Shiza’ era. As the title suggests there are some satanic themes plus references to stories by the brothers Grimm. So if you enjoyed that album, there is a good likelihood that you will like this one too. However, if you were hoping for the more wacky German space metal from their ‘Fukken Über’ -era, then I would suggest you skip straight to the party track Trinken Mit Der Kaizer (Die Bierz From Hell). Good to see that these two haven’t lost their sense of humor.

As far as the style goes, most of the songs have a dark, gritty black metal tinge that is particularly audible in the guitars while the industrial elements are not as prominent as they were in their previous works. Singer Vas Kallas’s voice makes this eerie, croaking sound, like the old witch from the Grimm stories, which combined with the coarse guitar riffs gives the music a creepy feel. They also occasionally slow down the pace like on the groove metal styled track I Am Bad Luck, which puts the emphasis on the bass guitar. Speaking of the bass, it also comes into the fore on 13 Moons; a track that is probably the closest they have ever come to producing a black metal song.

In summary, ‘Satanik Germanik’ can easily be classed as Hanzel und Gretyl’s heaviest album to date. In many ways it sounds exactly like I expected it to. It is not another ‘Über Alles’, in fact it is very similar to ‘Black Forest Metal’. And yet it’s darker, haunting and more serious than the earlier works; even moreso than their previous album. Luckily there’s still the odd party track to please fans of their older material.

4/5
Iza Raittila

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Cradle Of Filth – Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 15th September 2017 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Cradle of Filth
Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness Of Decay
Released 22nd September 2017
Extreme Gothic Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

If you’ve never heard of Cradle of Filth, you’ve most likely been living under a rock for God knows how long. Once hailed as the “most successful British metal band since Iron Maiden“, Dani Filth and and the band have proved their worth, despite various line-up changes throughout the years. Now the band are set to release their twelfth studio album: Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay. A bit of a mouthful, isn’t it?

The atmospheric invoking Exquisite Torments Await opens up the album with its sinister beginning, followed closely by the demoncially possessed guitars and banshee-like wails and guttural growls of Filth himself. Heartbreak and Seance glides in with the graceful sound of tragedy before the remorseless storm of guitars and symphonic sections come raging in as though a hurricane. Achingly Beautiful is a grandiose display of Dani Filth‘s vocals, charging through the tempest of unforgiving musicianship, while Schoolcraft’s narrative vocals bring a whole new dynamic to the track. The choirs and orchestration, however, truly make the song what it is – a dismal, ominous anthem.

Wester Vespertine is a furious blitz upon the ears, weaving Filth‘s, and occasionally Schoolcraft’s, refined vocals with cimmerian melodies and stout riffs. The title track, The Seductiveness of Decay, is a gloomy composition, weaving slow and fast riffs with dispiriting keyboard melodies and Gothic lyricism. Vengeful Spirit creates more of an atmosphere in its beginning, as the prophetic sound of guitar notes ring out, accompanied by Filth‘s voice. When the song comes into its prime, it is essentially a standard day in the office for Cradle Of Filth – agile, cumbersome and melodic. The part of the song that really stands out however is the guest vocal appearance from Liv Kristine, as her vocals soar majestically through the track.

You Will Know The Lion By His Claw is a swift, threatening and unwieldy track, leaving little room for prisoners as it bludgeons its way through, like a hunter chasing his prey. If you had to sum up Cradle‘s current sound with just one song, this would be it. Cryptoriana comes to its closing with Death and The Maiden, a track that is as weighty as it is shadowy, really embodying the sense of dread and darkness that one would expect to find within Victorian Gothic horror.

Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay is at the same level that Cradle‘s classic albums, such as Midian and Dusk… And Her Embrace, stand. It is a demonstration of the band’s current sound and displays their potential to keep writing awe-inspiring music.

4.8/5

Nico Solheim-Davidson

Akercocke set to no longer play Bloodstock

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 25th May 2016 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

In a bizarre turn of events, Akercocke, who recently reformed, have announced on their Facebook page that they will no longer be playing at this year’s Bloodstock Festival. The announcement reads:

Dear friends and fiends,

Owing to politics we neither understand nor participate in, we have been pulled from the Bloodstock 2016 line up.

Akercocke

Understandably some Akercocke fans have voiced their displeasure at this news, with some of them referring to the festival as being petty and a joke. While the exact reason is unknown to Akercocke being pulled from the billing, it appears that it has something to do with the organisers of Bloodstock trying to keep an illusion of exclusivity as the band have been confirmed to play Damnation in November and will be touring the UK later this year.

At the moment, Bloodstock have not made a statement to as why Akercocke are no longer on the bill.

***UPDATE***

Adam Gregory, one of the organisers of Bloodstock left the following comment on the band’s post:

As much as we would like to answer your questions with our reasons for being forced to cancel the bands appearance, out of respect for the band, we wont air our laundry in public, but rest assured Bloodstock was left without any option on this occasion.

Akercocke online:

http://facebook.com/akercockeofficial

Cradle of Filth live in Helsinki

Posted in Gig, Live, Metal, Uncategorized with tags , , on 22nd November 2015 by izaforestspirit

Frosttide, Ne Obliviscaris, Cradle of Filth
Nosturi, Helsinki, Finland
21st November 2015

Cradle of Filth are one of the bands that I grew up listening to. I’ve seen them live three times before, in three different countries (the U.K., France and Finland). The last time I saw them was in Tampere back in 2013. This time they announced that they will only be playing one show in Finland – Helsinki.

The venue was a club called Nosturi (“the crane”) located near the shipyard, just outside of the city centre. I haven’t been there in years… Yesterday was the first day of winter which meant that I stood in the snow and rain waiting to get in. The place was packed by the time I entered the building.

First up was a Finnish band called Frosttide who won the competition to open up for the main band on the Finnish leg of the tour. Their style is a essentially a mixture of melodic death metal and folk metal. I enjoyed the show but I couldn’t help thinking about just how much they reminded me of Ensiferum. 3.5/5

The next act was the Australian metal band Ne Obliviscaris. These guys have a really unique style which is difficult to classify. They have two singers, one doing clean vocals whilst the other does the harsh, melodeath-style growling. The music itself features elements of death metal, prog-metal and folk. Think Opeth with a violin player and you will have a pretty good idea of the kind of style I’m referring to. Whilst I liked some parts of their songs, the mish-mash of styles was a bit too confusing for my liking. 3/5

The good thing about seeing Cradle of Filth live more than once is that no two of set-lists are ever the same. So whilst it’s guaranteed that you will hear some stuff from their latest album, you never know what else they decide to play… The new tracks played included : ‘The Right Wing of The Garden Triptych’, ‘Blackest Magick in Practice’ and many more. In addition to this there were some classics such as ‘Her Ghost in the Fog’, ‘Lord Abortion’, ‘Malice Through the Looking Glass’, ‘Nymphetamine’ and ‘Thirteen Autumns and a Widow’. I was also really happy to hear some of the old songs from the band’s early days such as ‘Queen of Winter, Throned’ and ‘The Forest Whispers My Name’.  5/5

Overall it was a really good night. It was well worth the trip. Whilst  I still prefer to attend local gigs, I’m willing to travel further so for bands like this.

Iza Raittila

De Profundis – Frequencies [EP]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 4th June 2014 by Paul Macmillan

De Profundis
Frequencies
Released June/July 2014
Progressive death metal
Self released/Released via Terrorizer magazine

Frequencies De Profundis

As I sit down for a third listen to the second offering from De Profundis, their Frequencies EP, I’m acutely conscious that this is also the third time I’ve got too caught up in the song-writing to actually put finger to keyboard and construct a review. Some music just draws you in so you forget about everything else for a while, but I guess instead of getting so engrossed I should concentrate on tackling the task at hand.

From the offset, this stands out as something a bit different. It’s as if De Profundis have crafted a recipe for metal cake: 1 part ‘80s Maiden, 1 part Death circa Human, baste liberally with Vader (a nudge and a wink to those who find the band name familiar), and top with a generous helping of secret sauce, possibly handed down from an old Swedish relative.

Having leaked some of the tracks on-line, they have received a mainly positive reception, but a few seem to have found it complex and confusing. I may just be more acquainted with the technical side of metal, but I’m certainly not suffering from a similar affliction. Yes, the musical ability is of a high calibre, but the ebb and flow of each song is natural and there are hooks galore for the more experienced(?) listener. I would prefer to use the word ‘unpredictable’ rather than ‘confusing’ as a descriptor here: It is far more appropriate to suggest intelligence than self-indulgence in conjunction with this release. I say detractors be damned! Sometimes, this kind of epic is just what the doctor ordered.

I was really impressed with De profundis’ last full-length The Emptiness Within, more so than their early doomy back catalogue. However, this selection of new tracks – most of which will be featured on another upcoming album – reflects a rising maturity which could well see them take the step to the next level in the UK scene. I’d expect, or at least hope, to see festivals sniffing around their door in the next year or so, because this material would easily translate to that environment.

Initially, I wasn’t that enthused by the production. It wasn’t that I thought it was poor, it just seemed to be missing the biting point. Until I had to whack up the volume to drown out the crazy noise of my surroundings, and BOOM! Suddenly it all made sense! This just sounds better LOUD! The thrashing sounds thrashier, the growling sounds…growlier..? Quiet just doesn’t do it all justice, and there’s no way around that. It’s just one of those recordings.

It’s also the first to feature the talents of newest member Paul Nazarkardeh, and one has to wonder if this has had any influence on the increased speed and ferocity. If so, long he remain with them! Personally, I can’t wait to hear the full album if it hits the ears like this does, but in the meantime, impatient people can grab the digital copy of the four track Frequencies as of June 19th, but if you prefer something solid, then a physical release will be available to subscribers of Terrorizer magazine in July. I’ve got my promo copy and it is getting cranked up as far as my skull can handle!

4/5

Paul Macmillan

Vader reveal artwork and tracklisting for Tibi Et Igni

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 19th March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Polish extreme metal legends Vader have revealed the tracklist and album artwork for their upcoming release Tibi Et igni, which is set for release in June via Nuclear Blast. The artwork was created by the legendary Joe Petagno (Motorhead, etc). Vader’s mastermind Piotr comments:

Joe is a Legend! Not just because he created Motorhead logo or breathtaking artworks for many outstanding albums. Joe is over all times and his imagination touches the Hell itself….And this is enough reason to ask him for painting ‘a Hellfire’  for Vader’s new music. He accepted it and… made me so proud!

The legendary artist also adds:

They have been on my “get in touch” list for years. Finally we managed it and for a killer album very appropriately titled: Tibi et Igni.

The tracklisting for Tibi Et Igni is as follows:

01. Go To Hell
02. Where Angels Weep
03. Armada On Fire
04. Triumph Of Death
05. Hexenkessel
06. Abandon All Hope
07. Worms Of Eden
08. The Eye Of The Abyss
09. Light Reaper
10. The End

Digipak Bonus:

11. Necropolis
12. Des Satans Neue Kleider

Bonus 7“ Vinyl Version:

Side A: 01. Necropolis
Side B: 01. Przeklęty Na Wieki (Cursed Eternally)

Vader online:

http://vader.pl
http://facebook.com/vader

 

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UKEM Records announce new signing

Posted in News with tags , , , on 10th February 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

UK based extreme metal label UKEM Records have announced a new signing in the form of Days Of Perversion. The London-based progressive death metallers are season veterans on the UK’s underground metal scene, featuring members of Crepitation and Blasphtized. Slated for a late 2014/early 2015 release, the band’s debut EP will feature bonus demo material.

Days of Perversion online:

http://facebook.com/DaysOfPerversion

 

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