Archive for Gorgoroth

Sweden’s Shining debut track from new album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 28th August 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Sweden’s Shining, who are fronted by the infamous Niklas Kvarforth, have debuted a track from their upcoming album 8 ½ – Feberdrömmar I Vaket Tillstånd which is due for release through Dark Essence Records. The album features tracks that date back to the band’s Livets Ändhållplats and Angst era. 8 ½ – Feberdrömmar I Vaket Tillstånd is described as a rare foray for the band, in that all the tracks bar one, feature vocalists hand picked by Shining founder and frontman Niklas Kvarforth. Some of the tracks are sung in the native language of the guest vocalists that have taken part in the album. The fourth track, Selvdestruktivitetens Emissarie, of the six track release features Gaahl (God Seed, Wardruna, ex-Gorgoroth) on vocals and is currently being streamed by Metal Hammer at this location.

The tracks on 8 ½ – Feberdrömmar I Vaket Tillstånd are still in their original pre-production format to which have been added newly recorded bass and guitars, as well as keyboards by  Lars Fredrik Fröslie (Angst), whose sound is a relatively new addition to Shining‘s releases. , having not being used before the sixth album. The track listing plus guest vocalists are as follow:

  • 1. Terres Des Anonymes featuring Famine of Peste Noire
  • 2. Szabadulj Meg Önmagadtól featuring Attila Csihar of Mayhem and Tormentor
  • 3. Ett Liv Utan Mening featuring Pehr Larsson of Alfahanne
  • 4. Selvdestruktivitetens Emissarie featuring Gaahl of God Seed, Wardruna, Trelldom, ex-Gorgoroth
  • 5. Black Industrial Misery featuring  Maniac of Skitliv, ex-Mayhem
  • 6. Through Corridors Of Oppression featuring Niklas Kvarforth himself

Shining online:

Shining – 8 ½ – Feberdrömmar i vaket tillstånd

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 22nd August 2013 by izaforestspirit

8 ½ – Feberdrömmar i vaket tillstånd
Released 23rd September 2013
Suicidal Black Metal/ Raw Black Metal
Released via Dark Essence Records

 photo SHINING-front_zps8529e428.jpeg

‘8 ½ – Feberdrömmar i vaket tillstånd’ is the new album from the Swedish suicidal black metal band Shining fronted by Niklas Kvarforth. It is the follow up to last year’s ‘Redefining Darkness’. This particular album features re-recorded versions of old tracks by the band featuring guest vocals from Attila Csihar (Mayhem), Gaahl (ex-Gorgoroth, God Seed, Wardruna), Maniac (ex-Mayhem, Skitliv) amongst others.

First up is Terres Des Anonymes, a lengthy and extremely grim sounding piece of raw black metal. There’s no mistaking that signature Shining sound; it’s eerie, nihilistic and depressing which is precisely what you’d expect to hear. The vocals resemble howling whilst the guitars have a coarse sound to them and music has that droning feel to it. That pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album as the subsequent tracks only add to the grimness.

Szabadulj Meg Önmagatól continues along the same path, though the keyboard parts at the start gives a certain melodic undertone which sets it apart from its predecessor. Yet do not be fooled into thinking that the keyboards make the track any less grim-sounding. Oh no, guest singer Attila’s haunting vocals ensure that eeriness and that bleak feeling of impending doom remain an integral part of the song. Another noteworthy track is Selvdestruktivitetens Emissarie which features a surprisingly melodic guitar and keyboard instrumental part complemented by whispers in the early stages of the song. The piano-like, melodic Through Corridors of Oppression features elements of Chopin’s famous sonata.

Overall this is a fine example of raw black metal. In terms of the rating, I would class this album in the same way that I regard other raw black metal bands such as Burzum and Xasthur. Would I listen to it all the time? Hell no, it would drive me insane. Is it intriguing enough to warrant another listen? Yes, very occasionally, in small doses and only when I’m in the right frame of mind.


Iza Raittila

Yorkshire black metallers Severed Heaven added to Valk-Fest 2013 line-up

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , on 2nd April 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Yorkshire-based black metallers Severed Heaven are the latest additions to the line-up for this year’s Valkyrian Festival – And without a doubt, they’re also the heaviest band on the bill so far.

Formed in 2007, the five piece black metal band expertly combine the finest elements of black and death metal to create a powerful and passionate sound which is lacking in today’s male-dominated metal scene. Having shared the stage with the likes of Gorgoroth, Gallhammer, Hecate Enthroned and more in the past, Severed Heaven are more than capable of bringing terror supreme at each show they play. With the follow-up to Incessant Darkness currently in the works, Severed Heaven will no doubt leave a trail of blood, guts and destruction at this year’s Valkyrian Festival.

Valkyrian Festival 2013 is in aid of RapeCrisis and will take place at Shades Nightclub in Bridlington, East Yorkshire between 29th November – 1st December. Weekend tickets are available online at this location for the low price of £5 and anyone who orders tickets before 31st August will be entered into an exclusive raffle draw. Further details for this year’s Valk-Fest can be found here.


Cradle of Filth w/Support @ Klubi, Tampere (Finland)

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 16th November 2012 by izaforestspirit

Dark End, Rotting Christ, God Seed, Cradle Of Filth
Klubi, Tampere, Finland
15th November 2012

Klubi is a medium sized gig venue located in the heart of the Tampere city. Last night it was packed full of goths and metalheads who had all come to witness the nightmare that is the Finland leg of Cradle of Filth’s ‘Creatures From The Black Abyss’ tour.

Dark End
This Italian symphonic black metal band really likes their stage props. Their performance featured amongst other things: a blood stained cloth, burning incense and some twig-like gloves for the singer. They were also planning to use some live pyrotechnics but the venue owner didn’t give them permission to do so. Sadly, in spite of all the props, their show lacked in energy and most of the songs were slow and not particularly memorable.

Rotting Christ
These guys proved that you don’t need any corpse-paint or fancy stage props to put on a great show. Rotting Christ’s energetic, no-frills approach to black/melodic death metal won them several new fans as they entertained the crowds with a set packed full of fast metal tunes. I’m not familiar with their work but after that performance I’m tempted to check out some of their stuff.

God Seed

I’ve actually seen this band live before, albeit very briefly at Hellfest a few years ago. The only things I remember about them was that they play black metal and feature two former members from Gorgoroth. Anyway, this time their show was a case of hit and miss. Some of the black metal tracks they played were good but then they had these slow ambient style songs featuring some weird, pop-esque keyboard which didn’t fit the music at all.

Cradle Of Filth
This was my third Cradle Of Filth gig and once again they did not disappoint. Their set was packed full of hit songs which have left their mark in the band’s long history including: ‘Summer Dying Fast’ (one of my personal favorites), ‘Funeral In Carpathia’, ‘Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids’, ‘Nymphetamine’, ‘Lilith Immaculate’ and two tracks from the new album. Interestingly enough they did not play ‘Her Ghost In The Fog’ or any other track from the ‘Midian’ album but instead they ended their set with a performance ‘From The Cradle to Enslave’. Another thing that had changed since the last time when I saw them live was that the female backing vocals were sung by the keyboard player at times, and from play-back on certain songs. This made some of the older Cradle of Filth tracks sound a bit different to the way they do on the albums. Nonetheless I’m really glad that they chose to play the older stuff and I hope to see them live again in the future.


Waylander – Kindred Spirits

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 7th June 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Kindred Spirits
To Be Released: 16th July
Folk Metal/Celtic Metal
Released via Listenable Records

Waylander have been influencing and pillaging the folk metal scene since their formation in 1993. The last 19 years has seen the band release two demos and three albums, with the fourth album, Kindred Spirits, to be released in July (unless you’re unlucky enough to be living in North America, then you’re waiting until August).

The album kicks off with Echoes of the Sidhe, which has an appealing introduction, being composed of melodic tin whistles and snarling guitar riffs. The vocals are astringent and unrelenting, adding to the vicious sound of the guitars and drums while the flute medleys add a more harmonious effect to the song. The guitar solo and the folky section that follow have a very defined, august sound. Lámh Dearg begins with a beautifully played acoustic section before the roaring guitar riffs make themselves heard. The acoustic sections are quite dominant throughout the song, creating a unique sound with the more heavier sections of the song and the harsh vocal work. Some of the melodic licks and riffs are pleasant to hear, giving the song a very varied sound. Twin Fires of Beltine begins sounding like a semi-heavy power metal anthem with Celtic influences. Compared to the last two tracks, Twin Fires is relatively more laid back, portraying more of a Celtic hard rock sound than a folk metal sound. The melodic use of tin whistles add a certain beauty to the song whilst the cleaner vocals in the chorus add some folky flavouring to the track. The most interesting part of the track is the combination of narration and an instrument I can’t quite recognise.

Of Fear And Fire teases the listener with a slow and dark acoustic passage before the menacing and fierce riffs echo through the speakers. The first vocal passage sounds like an early Gorgoroth before taking on the death metal guise. The tin whistles blend in majestically with everything else in the track. Grave of Giants bewitchingly soothing melody whilst the monologue speaks of beautiful landscapes and untainted rivers, far from the “over-populated, polluted and so-called civilised” cities. The following track, A Path Well Trodden, changes the pace and sound rom the last track into something more hostile and warlike yet alluring and statuesque at the same time, however, the tin whistles are the one part that really do stick out in this magnificent painting of sounds. The album steps up a few levels with the heaviness in the form of Quest for Immortality, a song that utilises a staunch use of both harsh and clean vocals with a charming use of tin whistles and barbaric drum patterns. The guitars combine a near-perfect use of melody and aggression that dances well with the tin whistles.

The haunting sound of Erdath gently rings out next, complete with almost-choir like vocals and a dark atmosphere, before the sudden transformation into a raging beast of double bass drums, energetic riffs and thunderous vocals. Of course, the track is full of aggression and speed as there is a section in the second half where it remains heavy but is relatively slower and gloomier, much like a doom metal track. The album ends with the title track, Kindred Spirits, which begins with an alluring tin whistle medley before the assault of guitars and drums begin. The vocals sound raw and much more harsh than on the other tracks, which I think really does add to the sound of the song. The tin whistles add the beauty to the beast that are the guitars and vocals, making the song harmonious yet chaotic – In the good sense of course. Kindred Spirits really is the stand out track of the album.

After listening to the album, I see why Waylander are an influential band. I’ve never really listened to the band before so Kindred Spirits was something new for me and it definitely displays Waylander’s sound perfectly. Everything just seemed to fit together in the album to create a folkin’ masterpiece and Celtic goodness.


Nico Davidson

Schattenlicht – Erinnerung

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 28th May 2012 by izaforestspirit

Due for release: July 2011
Black Metal
Seelengreif Klangwelten

‘Erinnerung’ is the debut EP from the Austrian black metal band Schattenlicht.

The opening track/intro ‘Am Abgrund’ can be summed up in a few words as eerie, slow and melancholic which is quite befitting for black metal. With ‘Ein Blick die Tiefe’ come the guitars and the standard, guttural black metal, Mayhem-style vocals. The overall mood, however, stays the same maintaining the eerie atmosphere even when the guitar picks up the pace adapting a somewhat more catchy style.

The title track ‘Erinnerung’ has a deceptively slow, soft guitar intro which then gives in to more black metal. This particular song has some melodic undertones, especially in the guitars which remind of old Gorgoroth or possibly even Satyricon at times. Another noteworthy track is the Ragnarok-esque ‘Gefangen’ which, once again, draws attention towards the guitars with a few solos added to the mix. The biggest surprise on here is ‘Frei’ which has a very long, slow guitar intro akin to that of the title track before a return to black metal although on this particular song the guitars sound disjointed at times.

3.5/5 – definitely a step in the right direction.

Iza Raittila

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

Gorgoroth European Tour Officially Cancelled

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

The update came via Facebook just hours ago. Personally, we’re all distraught since we were looking forward to seeing Gorgoroth as well Abigail Williams.

The update, via Gorgoroth’s Facebook, is as followed:

As many of you may have noticed, there has been no official statement from Gorgoroth confirming a European tour in May 2012, despite the fact that there have been several listings for such a tour on various non-band related websites, and there have even been tickets available for some of the supposed shows.

Since January 2012 we have intended to go on a 21-24 concert May tour of the UK, Germany, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, Austria, etc. And we have gone through a long process where ASP Concerts & Tourbooking (represented by Marcus Schreiber) were supposed to book this tour. It has been a nightmare process from day one, as Marcus Schreiber has shown a massive amount of both ill will and lack of ability in regards to arranging this in a professional and believable fashion.

I have waited as long as I possibly could in the hopes that this project would be possible to go through with after all, but after today it was clear to me that we have no other choice but to make a statement where we confirm that there will be no European tour in May 2012. This is of course very regrettable for the band, for the local promoters who have got involved in this mess, and for all those who wanted to see us perform in May. For this I am sorry. It was a mistake ignoring other people’s warnings about working with ASP and Marcus Schreiber. Both booking companies and other bands have warned us against this. We will never again work with him, and would not recommend anyone else to do so either.

To our audience: Do NOT buy tickets for any Gorgoroth concert in May 2012. These concerts will not take place. If you have already done so, you should check with the local promoter or ticket vendor for a refund.

Infernus, 30.04.2012

Vuohivasara – Perdition Reigns Supreme

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 31st March 2012 by izaforestspirit

Band: Vuohivasara
Album: Perdition Reigns Supreme
Release date: April 2012
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Inverse Records

‘Perdition Reigns Supreme’ is the third album from the Finnish black metal band Vuohivasara. The band’s name is Finnish for ‘Goathammer’ which, allegedly symbolizes evil and hate.

The opening track ‘Tears of Firmament’ has the ferocity of Dark Funeral characterized by the fast drums and raw black metal vocals mixed in with melodic guitar parts from old Satyricon and to some extent Gorgoroth. The next ‘Luopio’ is more melodic in nature and some of the guitar patterns remind me of Satyricon’s ‘Mother North’.

‘Anno Domini Infernus’ may not have the best intro due to the random ‘vomit simulation’ at the start but the music makes up for this very quickly. The drums and guitar riffs give this track a somewhat progressive feel but luckily it’s just just enough to make it stand-out without becoming overpowering. ‘The Great Aspect Of Desolation Of The God Of Light’ marks a return to brutal, raw black metal with the additional touch in the form of a choir half way through the track.

Other noteworthy songs include ‘Raise The Throne of Hate’ which contains atmospheric elements akin to Ragnarok and the epic black metal ballad ‘Though Shall Not Suffer A Sorceress To Live’.

Overall this is one of the best black metal albums I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing!


Iza Raittila

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

Episode 13 – Death Reclaims The Earth [2010]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 20th June 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Episode 13
Album: Death Reclaims The Earth
Release year: 2010
Genre: Black Metal

Turkey is a country known for its rich history and culture but less known for its metal scene. In 2001, Episode 13 formed, slowly building both a fan base and a name for the Turkish metal with their black metal stylings. “Death Reclaims The Earth” is their latest release.

”Ars Moriendi”, Latin for “The Art Of Dying”, begins with a dirge like guitar riff, which suits the track well considering its name. The vocals aren’t as rough or vicious as expected to begin with, though when the tempo increases the vocals become far more aggressive, fortunately. The drums are heavy, like they should be on any black metal track. the tempo switches between fast and slow, which is slightly irritating to begin with though one soon gets used to it. “Physical Comatose & Mental Overdose” starts with a slightly faster guitar section, whilst the drums are slow but precise to the beat. The vocals come in with a good start, full of aggression and angst. The blast beats are immense, bringing heaviness to the track.

The third track, “Unmensch”, which is German for either “brute” or “monster”, comes next, turning up the aggression, brutality and heaviness by a few notches. Everything sounds more violent and savage on this track, which is always a good thing. “Ignorance Is Bliss” turns things down a notch whilst staying murderous sounding. The drums sound disappointing at first though they gradually improve. The vocals, on the other hand, sound more grim and bloodthirsty. “Ultimate Sterilization” brings things back up a notch with a brilliant opening section that assaults the ear drums like a blitz over London. The riffs have a very old skool black metal sound to them, similar to a mixture of Venom and Gorgoroth. The drums are savagely intelligent whilst the bass work is immense and somewhat different in some sections.

Nearing the end of the album is the second track “Worthless”. It is lighter compared to the previous track though still heavy enough to considered metal. The tempo has slowed down as well which is a nice touch. The vocals, on this track, could be compared to the dying groans of a cow being mutilated – Which is pretty damned kvlt. A faster tempo does occur on this track, though it still stays light. The final track is “Spread His Word”. The introduction sounds like a stampede of a demonic legion due to the sheer brutality of it. The vocals sound more powerful, more aggressive and more violent while the riffs are like the hellish anthems of the underworld. This track is virtually unrelenting in its brutality, aggression and musical genius.

Episode 13 have proved themselves to be one of the best bands rising in the black metal scene. With a raw, untamed sound combined with unrestricted brutality, “Death Reclaims The Earth” is a gemstone of an album, worth every penny. Episode 13 are a band to keep an ear out for as we’ll certainly be hearing more great things from these guys!


Nico Davidson

Sulphur – Thorns In Existence [2010]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 19th June 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Sulphur
Album: Thorns in Existence
Release year: 2011
Genre: Blackened Death Metal

Sulphur, who formed from the ashes of nineties black metal band “Taakeriket” and are made up of ex-members of Gorgoroth, Aeternus and Enslaved, have been a fierce, dominating force to be reckoned with in the Norwegian metal scene. Following a few years of laying dormant, Sulphur are back and fiercer than ever with “Thorns In Existence”.

”Revelations” begins with an eerie yet cheesy keyboard introduction, the kind that would be heard in a low-budget horror film. The guitars and drums, while greatly composed, are lighter and more melodic than expected. “True Father Of Lies” follows after, continuing from where “Revelations” finished. The guitars are less melodic and focus more on violent riffs, whilst the drums favour an aggressive approach as well. The vocals are ruthless and unrelenting, keeping the track beastly and heavy. A huge improvement from the first track “Revelations”, though the keyboard section on this track has a hint of cheesiness.

“The Purifying Flame” begins with a very creepy set of sound effects which are soon replaced by ferocious guitar riff and a brutalising drum pattern. The vocals, again are ruthless sounding, unrelenting in their aggression throughout most of the track. The strained whisper-like vocals combined with the slow guitar riff bring a new dynamic to the track. The guitar solo is most impressive, blending well with the stream of double bass pedal. The next track, “Hunting Sickening Seas” starts with a slow, brutalising and shockingly good intro. The vocals have more of a death element which mixes in well with the slow intro. There is a use of clean vocals on the track which gives it more a creepy sound. The acoustic section about half way through the track is a surprise yet a welcome break in between the storm of guitars, vocals and drums.

“Luna Noctiluca” follows after with a slow-paced, brutal and melodic guitar and drums section. The tempo increases with the introduction of the vocals. There is a contrast of clean vocals and screams, which works well with the music. The guitar solo is certainly a highlight of the track and perhaps one of the most enjoyable things about the album. “Into Nothingness” fades its way next. Even after the faded intro, the track seems weak and soft. In some sections, the vocals sound odd and the drums are semi-audible. in the same way it began, it fades out, making way for “Inverted Visions of Eternal Salvation”. It begins with a half-muted intro which soon turns beasty and aggressive. The drum work is intelligent, whilst the guitars are masterfully played and composed. The vocals are still going strong, working well with the synth sections. The track ends on a very creepy note.

“Ravner Beiter I Banesår”, which roughly translated means “Ravens pastures in his death-wounds”, blasts its way next, turning up the level of violence and brutality. The vocals are more slow-paced compared to the guitars and drums, though just as beastly and savage. There are some melodic riff use in one or two sections of the track, which is a pleaser for those who prefer melody over brutality. The track ends with a dramatic symphonic section. “Throne of Illusion” is the second to last track, beginning with a ghastly synth riff, similar to one found in a previous track. The guitars and drums that follow are nothing short of violent, savage and barbaric. The vocals have the bloodthirsty sound to them, as is to be expected. The breakdown towards the end is extremely unexpected however brings a whole new level to both the track and the album.

“A Crimson Line” is the final track of the album. The introductory riff is similar to one found on a Lamb of God album, only with more bite. The brutality and melody contrasts and blends brilliantly and the vocals are still going stronger, perhaps stronger than what they have been for the rest of the album. The use of keyboards and drums only on part of the track is just pure genius. “A Crimson Line” is certainly one of the best tracks on the album.

It’s easy to see why Sulphur have been a dominating force in the Norwegian metal scene. “Thorns In Existence” combines the best of black metal and death metal and mixed in a vast amount of musical genius and talent. This is certainly one of the best albums to come out of Norway since the early days of the Norwegian black metal scene.


Nico Davidson