With three songs – Bǽl, Opaque and Mǽdland – Bǽl is a strong, lugubrious and poignantly aggressive EP, released by British black metal act Normakk. With a very somber, evasive, discreet and effective atmosphere, the songs are beautifully composed, and from the very beginning, denotes a pungent and starkly spontaneous originality. With a graciously sensible competence, able to display in a positively sincere fashion the most pervasive aspects of the genre, Bǽl is raw black metal done in a proverbially sophisticated and elegant scale. With strident and expansive, but sensibly reliant, and, to a certain degree, darkly sentimental guitar lines, the general musical groundwork of the band is thoroughly exhilarating, consistent and dense, and obliterates on the vicinities of its melancholic melodies the most elusive aspects of black metal. Undoubtedly, a work of irreprehensible grandeur, Bǽl is a marvelously fantastic and unique work of art. Normakk closely follows the traditional old school, with a very peculiar, creative and dense style, with premises that outstands its genuine and salutary virtuosities, shining away any possibilities of being classified as just another generic act of the genre.
black metal / death metal
Altar Of The Dying is an EP released on July 30, by American blackened death metal group Throne, from Jackson, Michigan. Almost twenty-four minutes long, the work has seven relatively short and very concise tracks: Intro, Heresy Of The Highest Order, Not Of Shadow Nor Fog, Altar Of The Dying, Covenant Of Darkness, Where Angels Cower In Fear and Plagued Upon The Unholy. With an aggressive, dense and very rapid sound, their style can be described as methodical, rude and severely traditional, albeit a little predictable, although this does not affect their general performance. With a fiber and a level of brutality that makes their sound to be profoundly eviscerating, drastic and virulent – but also efficiently concentrated –, Altar Of The Dying is a very energetic, hostile and straightforward work. With highly consistent harmonies and incredibly lucid and somber guitar lines, the group certainly manages to deliver a powerful and pungent style of extreme metal, that is poignantly effusive and dark. Although there is nothing here that you haven’t heard several times before in similar albums of the genre, Throne is a competent, skilled and creative band, that proves their ardent and passionate compromise with extreme metal, on this exceedingly great and powerfully grotesque EP.
Ashes is an EP released on July 20, by Danish doom metal group Doomcult. Almost twenty three minutes long, the record has three tracks: Sulphur, Ashes and Black Fire. An excellent, pleasant, very delightful work, with way more poetic tendencies if compared to the traditional groups of the genre, Ashes has a melancholic and disturbing, but exceedingly ascendant, philosophic and serene atmosphere, that rises above the sensational and placid stability of its harmonious and dense sonorous configuration. While the first song, Sulphur, deserves to be highlighted, all three songs present an artistic level of security and a musical technique that stands as far superior to the average level. With a sensational style that makes them a powerfully potential reference for the genre in the underground scene, the consistency of the sound of Doomcult – as well as the audacious, but at the same discreet originality present in their music – showcases in the end an absolutely splendid final result. Certainly being one of the most genuine and spectacular releases that I’ve ever heard on the genre – being amazingly passionate and frivolous at the same time – Ashes, by Doomcult, is an exponentially marvelous experience on doom metal, highly recommended to everyone that is an enthusiast of the genre.
A dark, rude, depressive and melancholic traditional black metal work, Drowning in Sorrow is an EP released in June by a Finnish musician, that presents himself by the alias of Sathanian. Almost twenty-four minutes long, the EP has five tracks: Depressing Dreams, Wanderer, Drowning In Sorrow, Despair and Kenkiintuijottaja. Despite being better described as traditional black metal, the EP has some discreet traits of DSBM, which is present in the predominantly slow, digressive and dispersive harmonies, that really stands for a surreal and profoundly melancholic mood. The cynic and sorrowful atmosphere of the work is genuinely beautiful, and has a formidable musical consistency, that is ostensibly framed by conspicuously sinister and funeral vocals, that sometimes emphasizes its presence more for its morbid, almost neutral sterile qualities, than for its grotesque nature. A promising, very interesting work, that is sidelined by its truly proverbial and eloquent understanding and execution of the genre, Drowning In Sorrow is an emotional, poetic and very somber work, that has everything to please enthusiasts of the genre.
black metal / post black metal
An interesting EP with four tracks – Dramatic Truth, Winds Of The End Of Afternoon, Jonas and Alone – the music of Sabactâni can be described as a melancholic twilight forever lost in the everlasting vicinities of depressive and anxious thoughts. A marvelous post black metal group from Brazil, their originality is amazingly eviscerating, with a powerful and afflictive sonority, that energizes the genre at the core of its structure. With powerfully ascendant melodies, that revolves around aggrandizing, but at the same time dismissive and dispersive harmonies, the disillusion that is felt as the epicenter of their style is symbolic to the mood that better defines the genre, and takes a major layer of beauty and poetry in the virtually insane musical diagram of the band, that can be felt as simple and humane, at the same time. A wonderful EP that brilliantly aggregates major qualities to the genre, with a severely robust and consistent anatomy of abundant sonorous virtuosity, B.O.R.E.A.L, by Sabactâni, certainly can be classified as a vigorous and sensational state of the art work.
black metal / crust punk
Fallen From The Hull is an Ep released by American black metal act Nailwalker, from Austin, Texas. Twenty-five minutes long, and with four sensationally fantastic tracks – Juvenile, Feeding The Devil, Without A Thread To Pull On and Meant For All Fours – Fallen From The Hull is a formidably majestic state of the art work, that brings on the crest of its tempestuous, direct and incinerating melodies all the aggressive devices truly inherent to the genre. With a sober, technically proficient and genuine veracity that is the main engine of their music, Nailwalker is a fantastic musical creation, that introduces into their music in a perfectly incisive and precise manner crust punk elements, as well as more melodic and melancholically somber sonorous tonalities. With beautifully poetic and thoroughly original guitar lines – that somewhere along the way, unveils an amazingly superb, lugubrious and dissonant solo – Fallen From The Hull is one of the most perfect, authentic and astoundingly beautiful experimental black metal pieces that I’ve ever heard. With furious, but lancinating and dramatic vocals as well, as soon as this EP is over, you want to hear it again!
S/T is a two track EP released on August 17, by Canadian black metal act Mandragora, from Victoria, British Columbia. With two amazingly sinister songs – In Scarlet Embrace and Beyond The Lacheist Prisons – Mandragora performs old school traditional black metal, on a virtuous and dissonant style. With somber and aggressive tunes, and pervasively grasping cutting edge vocals, the sound of the duo is thoroughly groundbreaking and energetic, doomed to fall beneath the imperial demise of its own projected desolation. With a responsive aggressiveness, that is more melancholic and lugubrious than hostile or belligerent, the overall sound of Mandragora is quite provocative and inventive. Very reminiscent of the early Norwegian black metal scene, the style of the duo is profoundly proverbial, obscure and essentially imaginative, although they do present a formidable degree of originality, that makes their sound quite distinctive, but without losing the quintessential trademarks of the genre. An excellent work – as a matter of fact, a gracefully fantastic two track EP – on the course of its seventeen minutes, Mandragora definitely gives a sonorous lesson about what true old school black metal really is.
Dark Lore is an EP released on July 27 by American DSBM artist Moon Bog. Almost twenty three minutes long, the work has four tracks: Under Burning Leaves, Reawaken the Frost, Mount Sorrow and The Strain. A splendid, beautiful, philosophic and marvelously poetic musical work, with an abundant layer of sonorous melancholy, the general style of the artist is profound, graceful and exceedingly rough on the introspective universe of its expansive sensibilities. With genuinely patient and somber harmonies, that plays on the majesty of its precociously filtered and salutary guitar lines, the melodies are dramatically tense, but profoundly calm at the same time, as they extend to the transparent, but lugubrious oceans of its frivolous sensitivities the turbulent pandemonium of its restless state of mind. A passionate, cosmic, exhilarating work, whose pervasive sensibility plays a vital role at the cornerstone of its infuriating, but peaceful and placid sagacious artistry, the formidable level of creativity and excellence displayed by the artist on this work is simply extraordinary, and will certainly please all genuine DSBM enthusiasts that will be happy enough to listen and to enjoy this fantastic pearl of the genre.
Self-Destruction is a wonderful EP released on July 25, by Russian DSBM artist Dystert Natt. Very concise, only ten minutes long, the work has four tracks: Ashes And Snow, Insomnia, Scars'14 and Sing To Me An Alcoholic Lullaby. The general style of this musician is DSBM on its most typical and traditional layer. Nevertheless, it is abundant in beauty, and has several qualities that stands out on the course of its sonorous brevity. The melancholy, the mordacity, the overall serenity and the discreet sadness that is overexposed at the most frivolous panel of its virtuous musical context is excessively evasive and lugubrious, but has a poetic beauty that easily disperses and dilacerates the macabre rudeness of its shadows. The guitar lines are ostensibly impeccable and whimsically elaborated, although they are plain and simple. Unadorned, direct and full of lethargic grievances, Self-Destruction – as predictable as it is –, has a consistent, dramatic and sincere layer of sonorous beauty and stylish purity, that certainly makes this wonderful EP a very pleasant experience to hear.
With only two tracks – Vacuous and Obsequious Vermin –, Histamine Haven is the debut of an eponymous Canadian project, released on July 24. With a raw and traditional approach to the genre, the record is absolutely fascinating, has a consistent style and definitely has what it takes to please a large audience. With solid, but at the same time dissolute guitar lines, Histamine Haven has a ponderable and serene conjuncture of harmonies, that – despite brief passages of virulent aggressiveness – gracefully elevates the internal dynamic conflagrations of its expansive rhythms to a fateful standpoint, where the experimental colors of the sound extrapolate the venomous frontiers of its own unfathomable hostility. Unraveling a fantastic and versatile tone of primordial stature and creative audacities, the style of Histamine Haven has mordacious peculiarities, and a very original musical groundwork. The way the artist promotes the balance of the most violent and hazardous aspects of his music with the more serene and sensible components of his sonorous splendor denotes a vigorous and majestic ambivalence that is gracefully dilapidated almost to the level of perfection, and certainly will captivate the listeners, almost immediately.
Federico Dal Pozzo - Untitled_VNZ
ambient / experimental / noise
Deadsmoke - Forest Of The Damned
doom / sludge metal
Antoine Panaché - Pleasures
experimental / avant garde
Misantronics - Zührpruym
drone / electronic / ambient
Woes - The Coldest Place Is Within Myself
hardcore / crust / black metal
Brass Owl - Brass Owl
psychedelic rock / stoner rock
Dead Man's Eyes - Words of Prey
indie / alternative rock / psychedelic rock
Jübl - Thinking Sweet
dream pop / trip hop
Autger - Eucharistia, Praedestinatio Gemina
dark ambient / neoclassical / dark jazz
Dr Space - Dr Space's Alien Planet Trip Vol 1
krautrock / psychedelic rock
A Scar For The Wicked - The Unholy
death metal / deathcore
Stelios Ventas - Faded Flower
Feelament - Hate Delivery
Ihä - Estructuras De Aire, Colonias De Soplo
ambient / drone
Spankraght - Spankraght EP
industrial / metal / drum & bass
August Rosenbaum - Rasa
Show Aniki - The Deep Blue Sessions
The Human Race Is Filth - Liberate
grindcore / crust
Misantronics vs Mint Narcosis - EPI
ambient / techno
The Room in the Wood - Magical Thinking
new wave / alternative rock
Twilight - Trident Death Rattle
Corpsehammer - Perversión
Grim - Requiem
classical / post rock / jazz
Mhönos - LXXXVII
Zero Theorem - Ataraxis
hard rock / metal
Vampillia - Happiness Brought By Endless Sorrow
black metal / noise
The Orchestra Of Mirrored Reflections - Narrow Escape
The Vale - Autumn in the Valley
doom / rock
Empress - Reminiscence
sludge / doom
Heligoland - Coriallo
shoegaze / dreampop
Duran Duran - Girls on Film - 1979 Demo
Luke Fox - Sugarloaf
pop / rock
My Deathbed - My Deathbed
Versus The Ghost - We Don't Belong Here
(D)juret - Sök Din Sekt
punk / crust
Concrete Eden - Left
Aidan Baker & Gareth Davis - Invisible Cities
drone / jazz
Planetariet - Planetariet
densely acquiescent serenity, majorly entangled in a human emotional diagram of omnipotent infinity, S/T is a simple, yet complete sonorous conflagration of a melodic universe, whose imponderability is virtually attached to the most restless deliberation of a wonderful and honest expressive moment in time.
Dead Neanderthals - Organ Donor
heavy jazz / grindcore
Brosandi - Music For An Unknown Galaxy
ambient / post rock
Boltzmann Brain - Sentences
jazz / noise rock / experimental
Knight – High on Voodoo
False Flag - EP
crust / hardcore
Scarlet Phantom - Singleness
Akadama Bros - Sunshine
hip hop / j-rap
Build Buildings - Glass EP
Vantablack Warship - Abrasive Pulmonic Speak
black metal / metal / death metal
Mist of Misery - Fields of Isolation
Hundred Year Old Man - Rei
doom / post metal
Obscene - Sermon to the Snake
death metal / thrash metal
Nordheim - RapThor
Project Renegade - Cerebra
The Human Race Is Filth - Human Exposed
grindcore / crust
Professor Electric - Gleam of Murder
psychedelic rock / blues / stoner
Seas of Years - Three Horizons Away
An effervescing idiosyncrasy of starving, but calm and levitating melodies swears to an infinite ocean of time a formidable conflagration of creative harmonious contingencies. The sound is beyond exceptional, and everything that revolves around your ears bears the scope of an infinite storm of peaceful eternity.
With precise and overly diluted, but poetic guitar lines, Three Horizons Away is an imaginative and surreal glorious panorama of exponential beauty. Despite its brevity, the sonorous sincerity expanded through the brave, but serene vastness of splendorous rhythms redirects the soul through a journey of ascendant and pure reality. The continual universe promulgated by its linear and constant propulsion of peripheral sounds exhibits the greatness of it’s fantastic, but discreet style, as a different pattern of sensibility.
Diary Of My Misanthropy - Leviathan
A full, energizing and pure post rock work, with profoundly melancholic, but genuinely organic sonorous vicissitudes, upon which formidable and lucid guitar lines comprehend the painful vicinities of incisive and latent harmonies, that revolves around a mysteriously ancient, but poetic silence. A monumental transformation of conscience reveals itself at the grandiloquent axis of serene melodies, that not only impress by the brutal honesty and sincerity of its audacious beauty, but also by the infallible ordination of its salutary sonorous manifestation, that opens an omniscient pattern of authentic intuitive creative algorithms over the impatience of its notes. With a striking, but overwhelming simplicity, the sensitive calmness of this work is a delightful experience, that makes this brief, but majestic masterpiece a glorious necessity for all enthusiasts of the genre. Leviathan is definitely a precious and marvelous state of the art work, highly recommended.
Man Against Mankind - Lift Off
A brief, but poetic immersion towards a recrudescing world of ethereal conflagration, Lift Off ably leads the listener towards a more introspective and interior version of himself. A calm, serene and minimalistic quasi-operatic work that derives the essence of its intrinsic value through the vastness of its sincere and genuine sonorous evaluation, this EP by Man Against Mankind is a rude, but decisive filtration of translucent harmonies eager to revolve around the undermining capacities of reality, determined to descend over a spirit of pure sensibility. With seriously experimental overtones, the audacity of the musician’s style is an experience that reflects the authentic rapture of his creative spirit. With plausible sonorous features that expand the antagonistic principles of its abundant qualities without renouncing the splendor of a glamorous simplicity, Man Against Mankind deserves to be comprehensively inserted in a more singular musical category, given the fact that its aura of original sensibility is highlighted by the fantasy of harmonies impossible to forget.
Infernus Presence - Ice-Cold Souls
An interesting EP, with a full atmospheric layer of enormous grandiosity, the hazardous and afflictive anxiety that comes out from the imperial harmonies of this grotesquely delightful sound replicates with precision the endemic agony and the intense features that characterize the genre, and its sinister overtones. With a somber expectation that announces an imminent conflagration of unraveling proportions, the melodies that strikes the tissue of infinite possibilities simply reaches a level of splendor that eagerly evolves to a planetary dissension. Perfect as the soundtrack of a really macabre movie, Ice-Cold Souls drives at the core of its majestic opportunities the real lancinating devices exceedingly genuine to the genre. Undoubtedly, it’s a marvelous example of how graceful, dense, subtle and evasive the tempestuous sonorous tissue of atmospheric black metal should be.
Cisza - If it is True What the Prophets Write
black metal / death metal
A majestic and very powerful metal work, with traditional elements brilliantly inserted at the core of the songs, If it is True What the Prophets Write is an elemental journey through the most sincere qualities of an intriguing style, that seems somewhat crossover.
Despite some moments of more generic harmonies, the group displays an intelligent and passionate singular style, that interestingly revives at the heart of its vibrant molecules an amalgamated version of metal. The human virulence of death metal intertwines the efficiency of its brutal coalescence with the furious fastness of black metal, in a sidereal conflagration of melodies, that exhibits fatally hostile harmonies, also abundant in sensible thrash metal intensities. Definitely a memorable work, If it is True What the Prophets Write is a curious and refreshing EP, that deserves to be highlighted at the center of the underground scene.
Yin Waster - Staying Awake, Out On The Rocks
indie / psychedelic / alternative
Aleksi Susi - 83 EP
electronic / downtempo
Marginal - Total Destruction
crust / grindcore
Fucking shitfuck, did I just become a crust/grindcore fan or what? I mean, I wanted to add this album to Brieviews because quite usually these albums are rather one-sided and there is just not much to write about them. I also wanted to promote these guys because they're from Antwerp. But when I started to play 'Barbarians', I was in shock. Here was a perfect industrial sounding crust punk tune blasting through my speakers. Fast, delirious, harsh and intense, just what we need. So I continued listening. 'The Violent Way' is another of my favorites. These guys have just turned crust and grindcore in one of the most immersive pieces of extreme music I've ever heard.
I mean. I know some of these guys. I often see them at gigs but I have never talked to anyone of them and now they present me with one of the most impressive albums in Antwerp (and the world, or as we say "the parking lot") today. Fuck yeah this comes highly recommended.
Fuck On The Beach / Terlarang - Split
Dirge - Alma | Baltica
post metal / drone
punk / grindcore / crust
First, a little background on the band name. A "Pink Mass" is a Satanic ritual performed after death that turns the deceased's heterosexual spirit into a homosexual one. It's an actual thing and has been performed, for example, on the grave of Westboro Baptist church (of the anti-gay picketings at funerals and tragedies in the US) founder Fred Phelps' mother. Who, according to the ritual is now lesbian in the afterlife. Now, as a devout atheist, I have no beliefs in the supernatural or spiritual or religious but as a firm believer in blasphemy I think this is hysterically funny. Especially because I am 666% pro-LGBTQ rights.
It's pretty safe to assume then that in a genre filled with über-manly theatrics, interests and poses, Pink Mass is one of the, if not THE most forward thinking bands with their brand of pro-gay crust grind. Needless to say, I love this to bits. They released an album last year called 'Slvt Kvlt' which I am definitely going to check out, but first this one: the wonderfully named 'Necrosexual'. With an album title like that it's pretty obvious that this is pure sexual debauchery transformed into sound. Blasphemy, sodomy, necrophilia, BDSM, you name it, it's all fair game (or should I say 'bear' game *badum tss*) for Pink Mass.
What all this aural debauchery amounts to is dirty, disgusting crusty grindcore. Filthy, raw, full of dirty riffs, d-beats, guttural growls, high pitched screams, blast beats, some old-school deathmetal, some hardcore punk, some blackmetal. It's a wonderful mix for everybody who likes their metal disgusting, decidedly unsophisticated and naaaaaasty. That's not to say there isn't some really great musicianship behind it, because there is, especially in the sparse guitarsolos and the basslines. And for something this dirty, the production sounds unexpectedly clear. Nasty it may be, but all the individual parts of nastiness can be heard clearly. It's not just a muddled mess. Bonuspoints all around!
A wonderful release for everyone who craves for something nasty. Just not with all the clichéd nasty grindcore tropes. Even more bonuspoints for the final track 'FOAD NSBM' because, you know, fuck national socialism! Do yourself a favor and check them out. And if you're up to it, look them up on YouTube as well..