Archive for Mayhem

Schattenlicht – Erinnerung

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

Schattenlicht
Erinnerung
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

Concrete Lung – Die Dreaming (single)

Posted in Experimental, Industrial with tags , , , , on 19th March 2012 by izaforestspirit

Band: Concrete Lung
Album: Die Dreaming single
Release date: April 2012
Genre: Industrial/Powernoise
Label: Armalyte Records

Fans of synthpop and dance-floor friendly Aggrotech, please look away now and cover your ears!!!

For those still with us…Die Dreaming’ is the new single from the nihilistic, industrial noise band Concrete Lung. It follows their debut album ‘Visions of Hell’ and it is available on 7” vinyl only, limited to just 250 copies with mp3 download codes.

The title track ‘Die Dreaming’ makes for some serious uneasy listening with its eerie vocals and raw industrial noises. It’s hard to pinpoint what the vocals remind me of …they are like a bizarre mix between early Skinny Puppy and Attila from Mayhem! ‘Communal Slave’ is somewhat easier to stomach. Here the music produces a haunting atmosphere with the keyboards, bass guitar and drums luring the listener towards the abyss the whilst the vocalist howls a like beast.

The howling and chanting alone is enough to cause shivers down my spine!

3.5/5- it freaks me out but that could be a good thing!

Iza Raittila

Taake – Noregs Vaapen [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 27th October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Taake
Album: Noregs Vaapen
Release year: 2011
Genre: Black Metal

Noregs Vaapen is the fifth studio by Norway’s legendary Taake. The album is said to refine the band’s True Norwegian Black Metal sound and incorporate some new elements as well including black’n’roll grooves. Hoest, the mastermind of Taake, has invited his live line-up [Thurzur, V’gandr, Aindiachai and Gjermund] to contribute on some of the tracks and it was been stated that there is guest appearances from the likes of Demonaz [Immortal], Attila Csihar [Mayhem] and Nocturno Culto [Darkthrone] as well as others.

The first track of the album is “Fra Vadested til Vaandesmed”, which has Nocturno Culto accompanying Hoest on vocals and Bjoernar Nilsen [Vulture Industries] on the mellotron. The intro starts with a face ripping guitar section that only gets heavier when the drums soon come in. Hoest’s vocals are on top form, which is obviously to be expected. His trademark melodies can be heard clearly, incorporated in his riffs, making the track more interesting. Culto’s vocals are devilishly grim and guttural sounding, though they don’t hold a candle to Hoest’s vocal work on the track. The mellotron section towards the end is soul piercing and icy. A great addition to the song though very unpredictable.

”Orkan”, which only features Hoest on all instruments, starts with a grim yet mid-paced intro, a sort of crescendo to building up for the entry of the vocals. The drum work is astounding, adding a very edgy and violent sound to the song. Like the previous track, Hoest’s vocals are on top form – and it’s certainly good to just hear his vocals. The guitar work, however, is the most entertaining aspect of this track as it features Hoest’s trademark work and some black’n’roll grooves as well, enough to keep the listener hooked.

The third song of the album is “Nordbundet”, features Attila [Mayhem] doing vocal work alongside Hoest and Lava [ex-Taake] doing some guitar work. The guitar riffs are raw and somewhat terrifying while the drums tight and well played. The vocal work is impressive and entices the listener to keep the track playing. The guitar solo provided by Lava is brilliant though it is definitely not what you’d expect to hear on this album. “Du Ville Ville Vesteland”, which features vocal work from Demonaz and V’gandr as well as guitar solos from Aindiachai and Gjermund, begins with a sinister guitar and drums section which progresses into something just as violent as sounding with a hint of melody before reverting back to the original riff. The three differing vocals add a truly unique sound to the track and they add emphasis to the aggressiveness of the music. The softer guitar medley towards the end sounds somewhat like an old western medley but yet it works well with the track which is the really odd part. The two guitar solos are brilliantly delivered as well.

”Myr”, featuring Thurzur and Gjermund, as well as Nilsen and Skagg [Deathcult], takes a break-neck speed approach to the music in the beginning, sending out a vicious guitar riff mixed with barbaric drums. There is a slower section further in as the music progresses which allows for a voiceover which adds a different sound to the music. The song reverts back to its fast tempo as the vocals burst in. There’s a use of white trash styled banjo that’s provided by Gjermund. It takes the listener by surprise as it blends well with the rest of the track and the vocals – Kind of like a hillbilly rendition of black metal.

“Helvetesmakt” takes a slower approach compared to “Myr”, featuring vocal work from Nilsen and some mandolin work from Gjermund. The vocals are top notch, being the most brutal aspect of the song. The guitars are grim and bloodthirsty sounding whilst also cold and unmerciful in their sound. The mandolin brings about a strange and mystifying atmosphere that few bands – let alone black metal bands – ever successfully create. This is certainly the greatest piece on the album. The final track, which is also the longest, comes in the form of “Dei Vil Alltid Klaga Og Kyta”. It features vocal work from Skagg and guitar solos from Thurzur and Gjermund. The intro begins in true black metal style but not as generic sounding. The vocals near enough destroy the guitars in terms of loudness and aggressiveness. As the track progresses on it becomes more ingeniously composed and played. The change of tempos throughout the song keep the interest of the listener and Skagg’s vocals keep the track sounding fresh, as do the guitar solos.

”Noregs Vaapen” has been described as one of the most anticipated black metal releases of this year and no wonder why. Taake have done more than just refine their True Norwegian Black Metal sound, they’re refined the entire genre. Each track is so masterfully composed, you’d think it was crafted by the gods. “Noregs Vaapen” is a testament to the fact that black metal isn’t dead and it will no doubt be near enough impossible for Taake to top this release.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Behemoth – Demonica [2006/2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 21st October 2011 by izaforestspirit

Band: Behemoth
Album: Demonica
Release year: 2006/2011
Genre: Black Metal

Before I begin I’d like to say that this album doesn’t actually contain new Behemoth material. It is a limited edition 2CD box-set, compilation consisting of old demos, covers and some previously unreleased tracks from Behemoth’s early days as a Black Metal band. These songs, like many of their demos, have been influenced by the bands from Second Wave of Norwegian Black Metal, notably Mayhem, Hellhammer and Darkthrone.

The result is 2CDs worth of wonderfully haunting, atmospheric Black Metal to reminiscent to that of early Emperor. Also present in the mix is a handful of fast-paced re-recorded tracks such as ‘Transylvanian Forest’ which are bound to attract the attention of fans of Marduk or Ragnarok; along with covers of Hellhammer’s ‘Aggressor’ and Mayhem’s ‘Deathcrush’.

The highlights include: the instrumental ‘Goat with a Thousand Young’, the relentless ‘Marduk-esque’ pummelling of ‘Transylvanian Forest’ , the eerily atmospheric ‘From Hornedlands to Lindisfarne’ and the melodic ‘Thy Winter Kingdom’. The two cover tracks reveal the lengths to which the band was prepared to go to sound like their idols. So whilst their version of ‘Deathcrush’ may have persuaded me to see Mayhem in a different light, the cover of ‘Aggressor’ has done little to make me consider listening to Hellhammer.

4.9/5

Iza Raittila