Black metal has always had a flair for the occult, the evil and the malicious, but few bands manage to place those elements into their sound better than Swiss cult Dakhma. Their blend of death and black metal seems to come directly from another world, darker, grimmer and loaded with spite. This album is no different, as they plunge the listener in an eerie atmosphere and throw a massive amount of screams, growls and chants over the already haunting music. This certainly is a must-have for fans of the most obscure and twisted extreme metal, like pretty much everything Dakhma produces. If they go more extreme, they cross the boundaries between metal and harsh noise. Awesome...
psychedelic noise rock
Claiming to be influenced by Kadavar and Keiji Haino while opening this ep with something that reminds me of Ministry, it is quite a surprise but nonetheless a nice one. French trio Noyades blends psychedelic rock with noise rock without uttering a single word. The result sounds like a lovechild between Dillinger Escape Plan and Sonic Youth after a night of smoking weed and tripping on LSD. The amount of energy coming from these three tunes is impressive, even though the songs are quite complex pieces of work, especially the massive closer 'Reflects'. 'Bear Rider' might be my favorite, a brutal fuzzed-out kick in your sperm-factory. You'll love it...
Brutal death metal with elements from grindcore and slam, coming from Bombay, India. There have been a lot of great extreme metal albums coming from that region of the world and this ep definitely is one of the best to date. The songs are loaded with thick riffs, rolling drums, a vast array of growls and even some pig-squeals. Yet, the whole is pretty damn varied, often changing tempos and coming up with massively immersive passages. My favorite track is opener 'Focus 22'. Heavily Sedated' probably is the most complex one and the other two are (also) perfectly capable of causing moshpits wherever this music blasts through the speakers.
thrash metal / death metal
Two bands from Costa Rica, each with their own specific sound, that should guarantee an interesting split album, no? Well, it certainly is a surprising one. Assailant kicks this thing off, seemingly in speedy thrash metal but then a number of progressive metal elements suddenly appear, turning the whole thing into an awesome metallic adventure, loaded with intense riffs, harsh vocals, flashing solos, breaks and hooks. Ubiquitous Realities seem to take the progressive elements and twist them into some brutal but technical death metal songs. Here the vocals turn to deep growls, perfectly fitting the already pummeling sound of the guitars and the almost constant hammering of the drums. Lovely.
ambient black metal
||| is a side-project for Italian black metal act Chiral. In stead of combining black metal with folk, this album delves deeper into the world of bleak, cold and harsh music. Fierce blackened passages alternate with eerie soundscapes, acoustic elements and at times even noise. Strangely, in all its bleakness, this album somewhat reminds me of the post-black scene, highly atmospheric but still clay-cold and depressive. It took me a few listens to fully appreciate this album, but each time I heard it, it grew, it became more and more immersive and epic. Check it out, play it loud and see the sun fade away, taking every color you can imagine with it until there's nothing left but a grey mass of lifeless debris...