Archive for Season of Mist

Defiled – Towards Inevitable Ruin

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 12th July 2016 by Paul Macmillan

Defiled
Towards Inevitable Ruin
Released July 8th 2016
Death metal
Released via Season Of Mist

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The second of a triple hit of death metal reviews for this writer this week, and for the second time, I am not really a fan of the production values. Towards Inevitable RuinDefiled’s fifth full-length – states flat out, from the beginning, that this is an album which is ‘not pretty, nor pretending and reduced to the bare bones. DEFILED are definitely making a statement of naked brutality.’  I understand that minimalist sound can be a characteristic with charms and appeal, but on this occasion, I really feel it has missed the mark.  It takes a bit of perseverance to see through it to the album underneath. That said, it is possible to get used to it after a couple of spins, once the initial impact has dissipated, and you know what to expect.

Musically speaking, it’s insane! Sporadic drums and twisted riffs, blasted out in an aural labyrinth bizarre. What more could you ask? In terms of technical listening challenges, TIR tramples In Crisis, delivers a sneaky uppercut to Ugliness Revealed in passing, and leaves Erupted Wrath’s crippled body in a road-side ditch. Divination is likely the closest song-writing match from their back-catalogue. Naturally, this turn-on-a-dime complexity comes, to some degree, at the expense of coherence, but to different listeners, this will have different pros and cons. Considering the band in question, you would expect more pros, but the mix/master is still a little distracting, which may harm the delivery on first contact.

Defiled have well and truly invaded grind territory on this one, steaming headlong into crust-punk influenced lunacy, and who knows, maybe it will pay off in the long run. The riffs are there, as is the indefatigable, essential energy. These are ingredients which have seen other albums rise above uncomfortable mixes to classic status in the past. After all, people still love …And Justice For All, right?

3.5/5

Paul Macmillan

 

Abbath – Abbath

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 19th February 2016 by izaforestspirit

Abbath
Abbath
Released 22nd January 2016
Black Metal
Released via Season of Mist


The ex-Immortal frontman Abbath is back with a new album, his debut release under his own moniker after parting ways with his former band members. He is joined by two other musicians, bassist King (God Seed, Ov Hell, ex-Gorgoroth) and drummer Creature aka Kevin Foley (ex-Benighted, live drums for Sepultura and Decapitated). The album includes a cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Riding on the Wind’ and an old Immortal track.

Straight from the start we’re greeted by a barrage of thrashing guitar riffs, Creature’s relentless pummeling drums and of course Abbath’s signature black metal vocals. So far, so grim and frostbitten, which is exactly what I expected this music to be. Winterbane sounds as though it was a leftover from one of last two Immortal albums, possibly ‘Sons of Northern Darkness’. Other parts made me think of Abbath’s currently dormant project I.

The pace tends to vary, shifting between the aggressive and intense,”blackened heavy metal” war anthems like Count Your Dead; the ferocious acid rain of guitars that is Fenrir Hunts to the more melodic, mid-career Bathory-style Viking black metal tracks like Root of the Mountain. On the whole, it’s the subtle details that make certain tracks stand out more than others. This is one of those albums that requires a few listens in order to be fully appreciated.

In summary, this is a fairly decent black metal album. My only issue with it is that it doesn’t offer anything distinctively different to what Abbath has done before. Only time will tell how this band will develop in the future.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Inquisition announce UK & Eire tour dates

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 25th March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

The darkening stars of black metal, Inquisition have announced the dates of their unholy conquest around the UK and Ireland. The blasphemous conquest around the British Isles will begin on 23th July at The Boston Arms in London before the sinister plague of black metal spreads to Scotland and Ireland before the final battle at Manchester’s Sound Control on 17th July. The full tour schedule is as follows:

13th July – London (UK) Boston Arms
14th July – Glasgow (UK) Audio
15th July – Belfast (UK) Voodoo
16th July – Dublin (IE) Voodoo Lounge
17th July – Manchester (UK) Sound Control

Inquisition online:

http://facebook.com/inquisition.official

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Mayhem reveal tracklist and artwork for new album Esoteric Warfare

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

Seven long years have passed since the legendary Norwegian black metal kings Mayhem released their fourth and latest album Ordo ad Chao. In the year of the band’s 30th anniversary, the single most notorious and important band in the history of black metal returns with ten venomous and vicious tracks in the form of their new album Esoteric Warfare that are true to the Norwegians’ immense legacy as kings of the underground.

Esoteric Warfare will be released via Season of Mist on 23rd May this year. The album will be available in many different formats including a limited edition vinyl collector’s box through the Season of Mist e-shop. The tracklist and album artwork can be seen down below.

The tracklist for Esoteric Warfare is as follows:

1. Watcher
2. Psywar
3. Trinity
4. Pandaemon
5. Mylab
6. Six Seconds
7. Throne Of Time
8. Corpse Of Care
9. Posthuman
10. Aion Suntalia

In related news, Mayhem have also announced a headlining European tour which will take place in May and will celebrate the 30 years of the band’s reign over the Norwegian black metal scene. Tour dates are as follow:

14th May – Hamburg (DE) Markthalle
16th May – Bochum (DE) Matrix
17th May – Köln (DE) Essigfabrik
18th May – Eindhoven (NL) Effenaar
20th May – Bruxelles (BE) AB
21st May – London (GB) Electric Ballroom
22nd May – Paris (FR) Le Divan du Monde
23rd May – Winterthur (CH) Gaswerk
24th May – Milan (IT) Factory
26th May – Bratislava (SK) Randal
27th May – München (DE) Backstage Club
28th May – Berlin (DE) C-Club
29th May – Warsaw (PL) Proxima
30th May – Plzen (CZ) Metalfest Open Air Festival
31st May – København (DK) Pumpehuset

Additional festival shows have also been published:

28th Jun – Lausanne (CH) Les Docks (Inferno Festival Swiss Edition)
8th Aug – Øya (NO) Tøyenparken (Øya Festival)

Mayhem online:

http://thetruemayhem.com
http://facebook.com/thetruemayhem

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Saint Vitus – Lillie: F65

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 9th September 2012 by Paul

Saint Vitus
Lillie: F-65
Released April 27th 2012
Doom Metal
Released via Season of Mist

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California Doom legends “Saint Vitus” are back after a long hiatus, with their first album since 1995’s “Die Healing”, “Lillie: F-65” seeing the return of vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, who joins founding members Mark Chandler and Dave Adams to produce a record that includes a total of three of the band’s classic eighties line-up. Good news for any fan. It’s a shame that long time drummer Armando Acosta sadly died of a brain tumor in 2010, otherwise I’m sure we’d be seeing the whole band together again. Fortunately for the others, it’s as if they had never been away.

The album begins with “Let Them Fall” – a textbook Saint Vitus song, and “The Bleeding Ground” which rightfully speeds things up with a good old bluesy solo. As soon as the distortion drenched guitar tone kicks in, you’re transported back to the eighties. “Vertigo” however, is an unexpected strange little atmospheric instrumental, a half-time slowdown that comes out of leftfield. The band is not entirely resting on their laurels with this gloomy instrumental. The remaining three songs are all enjoyably solid slabs of old school Doom Metal. “Dependence” is perhaps the standout track and opens with an eerie acoustic intro which opens into a predictably depressing song – the slowest on the album, and the band round off the record with a disturbing psychedelic instrumental “Withdrawal” that I think runs for just a minute too long.

With the laid back, droning pace of Saint Vitus’ signature style and catchy riffs, the band makes it seem easy. The album is short (just over half an hour), but after waiting 17 years for this release, I think the band can be forgiven, especially as some of the band’s best work such as “Born Again”. “Hallows Victim” and their self-titled debut also finish up around the 34 minute mark. This is not a band in their prime producing an innovative work of art, but rather a more or less direct continuation of an otherwise winning formula. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

This album features two things that have been (with the exception of a few niche genres) sorely missing from the Metal world since the beginning of the 80s: The first being blues influence, and the second being a sense of fun. This album is set squarely in the Black Sabbath style of early, featuring bluesy-rock guitar based metal that is equal parts Doom, Traditional and Stoner Metal. Yes – this is Doom Metal, and the lyrics feature the usual doom and gloom that is expected (the albums strange title is named after a depressant), but in a genre that has been dominated by 30 minute Atmospheric Funeral Doom songs for the past decade, this is a breath of fresh air. Band’s such as Ghost, Witchcraft and Orchid have been spearheading a retro/stoner/doom movement in recent years, but old legends Saint Vitus show them how it’s done. As nice at it is to listen to new bands inspired by the late 70s and early 80s Doom and Heavy Metal sound, it’s even better to hear the return of one of the genres great pioneers. If you were expecting some kind of shift towards modern sounding Metal music – perhaps cleaner sounding guitar tones or the more guttural, Death Metal influenced vocals that have leaked into just about every genre of metal in the past decade, then look elsewhere. This is a band returning the vintage Heavy Metal music that they helped to create, and the world of Metal in 2012 is better for it.

3.7/5

Paul Gibbins