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TAATSI

"Amidst The Trees” 2014 CD

(Forever Plagued Records)

 

This is the first full-length from Finland's two man band Taatsi. The band plays mid to some faster black metal with a lot of atmospheric elements. The guitars are done with razor sharp chords. The drumming is done with a lot of precision, with some mid paced beats and even some slower beats. The vocalist does a great job with the vocals, employing some blackened shrieks and screams. Taatsi even add some great keyboard and acoustic guitars in a few of the songs. This is a great release, by a good band, who knows how to make memorable blackened atmospheric metal.  - Patrick

http://taatsi.bandcamp.com/   http://www.foreverplaguedrecords.com/       

 

 

TALES OF DARKNORD

“The Last” 1998 Cassette LP

(R.I.P. Promotions)

 

Simplistic, pounding heavy death metal from Russia. I liked their debut album ‘97’s “Endless Sunfall”, but the sound (of which I’m normally not picky with) was utterly tinny, so much so I got a headache listening to it. This time around everything has been cleaned up nicely. T.O.D. write, catchy riffs and throw in a few blasts but never really grind it up in their American-ish tunes. My only two nit-picks are things could have been tighter and I didn’t care much for their Acheron and Six Feet Under (Ugh!) covers.  – Dale

R.I.P Promotions, c/o Vlad Korolenko, P.O. Box 72, Smolensk - 04, 214004, RUSSIA or band contact: T.O.D., c/o Alex, Chelyabinskaya 14, Volgograd 400120, RUSSIA

 

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TEMPLE OF BAAL

"Verses Of Fire” 2013 CD

(Agonia Records)

 

The Temple Of Baal, one of France’s best black / death bands, release their fourth album to date. We get ten songs of fast, vicious blackened death metal. The blasting drums are done to perfection, as well as flawless guitars, which are played very fast and chaotic, but also have a great deal of skill to back them up. No Temple Of Ball are not all speed, they do slow it down too, to a more mid-paced tempo on some tracks. Check this out.  - Patrick

http://www.reverbnation.com/templeofbaal   http://www.agoniarecords.com/         

 

 

TENEBRAE IN PERPETUUM

“L’Eterno Maligno Silenzio” 2009 CD

(Debemur Morti Productions)

 

Tenebrae In Perpetuum lurk out of the ruins in a deep, dark corner of Italy. Tenebrae harken back to the mid-90s when a lot of bands were mixing fast and harsh black metal with long and short melancholic interludes. You know the slow, sort of haunting breaks with clean vocals, introspective guitar passages with a touch of feedback and reverb. During these forlorn passages it almost sounds like a perverted church choir sort of haunting background atmosphere with a trance quality to it. This album changes off between these two modes quite consistently throughout the album with fairly equal measures. They do this so much so that it becomes rather predictable after a while and I found my interest and attention wandering at times. Those transitions could be worked a little more smoothly. But the talent is there, the song crafting is lagging behind, I am confident that will come. It is almost amazing how much this reminds me of the mid-90s and even the production has that sort of feel. I guess that was intentional? The vocals float around the background and are kept purposely low in the mix. Which does in turn give them a slightly obscure quality and seems work for them in my opinion. At the end of the day it is fairly solid atmospheric black metal.  – Dale

www.debemur-morti.com      

 

 

TENEBRAE IN PERPETUUM / KROHM

"Split" 2010 CD

(Debemur Morti Productions)

 

Well unlike the Tzun Tzu/Altars split disc I just reviewed. This release has enough meat from both bands to sink my Zombie loving teeth into (okay I admit to being psyched at the new AMC series The Walking Dead and thinking about it). My point is in the end you do get a full album worth of material. I always find interest in bands chosen to do a split together. I mean are they just comrades that wanted to do something together or were they chosen because their styles either dovetail together nicely or yet again maybe the contrast is what makes it interesting. I would say Debemur went with the simpatico card on this one. Though both being essentially one man bands might have played a part as well. Italians Tenebrae start things off and take us away on some somber, mentally draining, yet relaxing dissonant soundscapes. The vocals are really obscure rasping hisses that melt into the guitar and add a creepy texture to their sound. It all comes off sounding sculpted and shows a real feel for what emotionally feels right, a real patience and maturity of the craft. Back on North American shores, by way of Washington State come Krohm. The sound on this half of the record is definitely not as full and rich. So it takes a few a minutes to adjust. Krohm present a similar melancholic, atmospheric scene yet the pace is slightly quickened and not quite as laid back as Tenebrae. The synth has a stronger foothold and can somewhat dominate the mix to slightly annoying effect. This personally is not something I like, but does not ruin the listening experience either, by any means. Krohm does make me appreciate further the advanced craftsmanship Tenebrae displays. Though Krohm is not immune to evoking a similar emotional response and possibly an even more downtrodden one. I think those that have the patience for and enjoy this style of ambient black metal can not really go wrong with this release.  – Dale

http://www.krohmcrypt.com/  http://www.debemur-morti.com/   

 

 

TERRORAMA

"Genocide” 2012 CD

(To The Death Records)

 

Yes the mighty Terrorama from Sweden return with their first full length in 4 years. I have to tell you it was worth the wait! Before you read Sweden and think oh I probably already know what they sound like, forget all of that, you do not know. Generally speaking they do not have much in common with most Swedish bands. If anything these thrashing black death metal bastards owe more of their sound to North and especially South America. By their own admission bands like Vulcano and Holocausto influenced them, I would add Sarcofago, Blasphemy and also some old school thrash metal ala early Sadus, early Exciter, early Razor. But it does not sound specifically like very many bands, Terrorama shape their influences into their own sound and execute it with such violence and hate it will send shivers down your spine. The music truly reflects the lyrics and overall concept of the album, which focuses as you can guess from the album title, on notorious events throughout history, acts of cruelty, brutality and callous systematic mass genocide. I know I mentioned some war metal type bands above, but that is not what I would call Terrorama, they take those elements yet are not just mindless uncontrolled chaos, they channel the chaos very militantly and focus it like a bullet to the head of a human being as they fall into a mass grave. The vocals Peter Liden are terrifyingly ferocious coarse and gruff yelling rasp growls, showcasing a heartless general in command of vocal weapon. I do not think I could recommend this album highly enough; it is a master work of hate and a hurricane of metal violence. Get it now!  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/terrorama  http://tothedeath.se/     

 

 

TERRORDOME

"We’ll Show You Mosh, Bitch!” 2011 Promo for upcoming LP

(Defense Records)

 

I was sent a link to download this album. I do not review a ton of link downloads, but they described themselves as thrash crossover. A style that is not very common these days, and a style that I have a bit of a soft spot for. We’ll Show You Mosh, Bitch! comes as advertised, ripping old school thrashing crossover in the vein of DRI, Cryptic Slaughter, early Nuclear Assault mixed with some early Slayer. The vocals are cool yelled gruff vocals in the old style with enough of a Polish accent to give them a certain extra charm. The drummer is a beast driving his drum kit straight through the floor with blitzkrieg speed. This promo has just 5 songs from the upcoming on Defense Records. If you love late 80s crossover, then this hail storm of pissed off violence will not disappoint.  – Dale

www.myspace.com/terrordomeband  www.terrordome.net.pl    

 

 

THORNIUM

"Fides Luciferius" 2010 CD

(Soulseller Records)

 

This full length release from Thornium is reminiscent of fellow Swedish black metallers Dark Funeral.  The band put out a demo and a full length and then went on hiatus.  This is apparently their second full length release as part of their reformation in 2007/2008. Well produced black metal.  Maybe too well produced.  Very clean with massive separation with all the instruments.  Rather predictable guitar lines and riffs with plenty of blastbeats from the drummer. I think one quality that separates average black metal from excellent black metal is conviction.  That feeling you get when you play a bands music - that they mean everything they say and play.  There are bands like Thornium that, while putting out a decent release, are missing that fire, that conviction, to go from average to excellent. Perhaps the hiatus did them harm but in 2010, this release could of been released by a hundred different black metal bands.  Thornium needs to dig deeper on their next album to find that element that will separate them from the rest of the hordes.  – Mark

http://www.myspace.com/thetruethornium  http://www.soulsellerrecords.com/     

 

 

THOU ART LORD

“Orgia Daemonicum” 2005 CD

(Black Lotus Records)

 

Oh man, I have not battered my ears with the sick sounds of Thou Art Lord in a decade probably. I loved their demos and first two 7”s and recall at least liking their first album. Since then I have really lost track of them and apparently they released a second album and then kind of called it quits for a few years. I do suppose it is of note that the old Greek band in question features The Magus of Necromantia and Sakis of the once great now crap Rotting Christ. In the included biography they spout off about how this album is a reaction to all the talent-less, over proficient, over produced plastic recordings, which have zero feeling and have literally flooded the market over the last number of years. You know what I have to say to that kind of belly-aching, bravo! I wish more people would tire of this garbage, I mean where has the passion and aggression gone in metal? It has been produced and pro tooled right out the door, if I never heard another razor monotone robotic guitar line, looped typewriter sounding drum run for the rest of my life, I would be perfectly happy. It is things like this that make the old guard want to stop buying new releases and bury themselves in a past filled metal collection, reveling in ignorance at today’s scene. Can you tell I too struggle with this from time to time? Okay, fine back to the album. First of all the sound on here does have a real feeling to it, the drums are played a little too tight for the vest and could use a dose of reckless abandon, but otherwise just fine. They keep things very simplistic and very rhythmic, often centering their songs around slowed down mid pace headbang kind of riff, often it works and other times not so well. Thou Art Lord certainly have changed since my past encounter with them, gone are the harsh straight ahead early 90s style black metal hell, well there are small traces left but nearly diminished out of sight or sound. Now I would have to characterize them as more of a black deathrash metal band and you can hear a lot more of their 80s influences. I like it to a certain point but I have heard this done better a lot of times, which kind of makes it middle of the road for me. It is good but not that good if catch my meaning, I do appreciate their attitude toward this album and there are some great moments here and there. – Dale

Black Lotus, Jianni Ritsou 8, 17237 Himittos, Athens, GREECE  www.black-lotus-recs.com 

 

 

THOUSAND YEAR WAR

"Tyrants And Men” 2011 Digi CD

(Abyss Records)

 

Alaska's Thousand Year War have released a great album of heavy straight-forward death metal but their is also a lot of melodic over-tones to give the band a nice mix of straight-forward brutal death metal and melodic death metal. Fast thunderous drumming patterns mixed with some intense outbursts of blasting rage. The guitars are heavy and thick sounding within their approach but there is also some well written complex riffs and solos. The vocals are powerful, deep growls and some blackened shrieks. The band does have some darker more melodic parts. TYW seems more comfortable and at home when playing the heavier straight-forward death metal style.  - Patrick

http://thousandyearwar.com/  http://www.officialabyssrecords.com/   

 

 

THRASH METAL WARRIORS

“Compilation” CD

(Selfmadegod Records)

 

It is always tough to decide how to review a compilation record. Do you just give an overview of the bands and which ones you liked best? Maybe you attempt to do an mini-review on every band based upon just 1 song? I will take the former over the latter most times. The truth be told I love listening to comps but I hate reviewing them. Anyway Hirax kick off the pure bred thrash assault with the explosiveness and an adrenaline rush that one comes to expect from these old legends. The Toxic Holocaust song kicks some ass and sort of stands out from the rest as their obscured shadowy vocals contrast the rest of the bands on here. This is a really strong quality compilation from top to bottom. I mean there are more kill shot riffs thrown around on this record than punches and kicks than in a Bruce Lee movie. This is put out by Selfmadegod Records and I believe in association with Katon De Pena from Hirax’s label Black Devil Records. The other poser slaughtering bands on here are: Sabbat (JAP), Slaver (Brazil), Hatchet (USA), Kat (Poland), Strike Master (MEX) and Execution (USA). Classic stuff!  – Dale

www.selfmadegod.com    

 

 

THRASHER DEATH

"Slaver” 2011 CD

(I Hate Records)

 

This is a compilation of old material, limited to 500 copies, from the rather obscure Polish band Thrasher Death - circa the late 80's. Featuring their '87 and '88 demos along with unreleased tracks, what you get is very nostalgic thrash metal that reminds me of German thrash of the time mixed with Slayer and Possessed. The riffing isn't the chug chug of bands such as Anthrax or Metallica but much more linear and somewhat sloppy - but that's part of the charm. All the instruments can be heard - even the bass which is somewhat of a rarity. Of course being demos, the production is rough but it fits well. Kind of a cool trip through old times for those of us that remember the old thrash scene (if you're reading this then most likely you do). But, that's about it. Nothing much else to offer here.  - Mark Sugiyama

http://www.myspace.com/thrasherdeath666  http://www.ihate.se/     

 

 

THRASHING RELICS

“Underground Thrashing Metal from Finland 1987-90” CD

(Bestial Burst Records)

 

Superb idea releasing 4 old Finnish demo tapes in their entirety on a single disc compilation. This review will go on forever if I do a full review for each, so here is a few words on each. Just another reason for me love Bestial Burst Records.

Lycanthropy “Sickness Revealed” Demo 1989 – Raunchy thrash metal which kind of reminds me of old Canadian bands like Sacrifice, Razor or something like Dr. Shrinker from the States. It has a dark feeling to it and the vocalist does the husky evil voice well.

Morphosis “Sick Standard of Living” Demo 1989 – Not sure what describe these guys as but maybe speed metal ala Nasty Savage, very early Voivod or something similar but with a huge dose of snotty punk attitude. A fun listen to be sure.

National Napalm Syndicate “Painful Ten Hours” Demo 1987 – Holy shit this band is still going. I looked up their page on the Metallum site and the current and past members have been / are in a million other bands over the years such as Ancestor, Eternal Tears of Sorrow, Ancient Dawn, Sacred Crucifix and about 10 more… Tons of energy from this pioneering band and some nice guitar work as well. I would say I hear some early Metallica mixed with the German speed raunch. Some wicked solos and guitar ripping for such a young band.

Mengele “Abominable Thoughts” Demo 1989 – That band photo is pure gold, just look at those little bad asses haha! From what I could dig up on them they changed their name to Insomnia shortly after this, then broke up but appears they reformed as Wengele and released an EP in 2004, nothing since but it looks like they are still active anyway. Classic soupy sound with I would say definitely some Slayer, Sodom, Kreator type influences. I love it. – Dale

http://bestialburst.blackmetal.fi   bestialburst@blackmetal.fi    

 

 

THRONE OF SACRILEGE / IMPURIUM

"A Cacophony Of Destruction” 2014 Split MCD

(Orchestrated Misery Recordings)

 

Throne Of Sacrilege comes out of the gate like a caged bear rampaging against the bars of his prison. They hit you with just aggressive blackened death metal, pure barbarity and dark hate, the music surges forward headlong, never willing to let you catch your breath. The storming riffs are excellent, the lightning barrage drumming is commanding and forceful, the deep flowing growl vocals are frightening and extreme. Damn I wish there was more of this band on here. Hell yes! Onwards to Indiana’s Impurium, they also have three tracks, as did Throne, on this twenty-six minute ball of sadism release. Impurium are more on the black metal side of things, but that underlying death metal element is still strong. It is hard to follow the awesome might that is Throne Of Sacrilege, but Impurium do a admirable job, with their manic, yet catchy cold strike of darkness and evil. The guitars are quite frenzied; the drums do their best to keep up to the savage speed the riffing sets. They do let you breathe, a little more than Throne did prior, but only a little, the guitars are really all over the place, but still have some real order in the chaos that had me intrigued and kept my interest. The raspy yelling hisses that fit the music well. This disc will be over before you know it, the good thing about that is the quality is strong, all the way through, and the music contained within is very infectious, so repeated listening, again and again, is a pleasure. Check this out.  - Dale

http://impurium.bandcamp.com/   https://www.facebook.com/orchestrated.recordings     

 

 

THRONEUM

“Death Throne Entities” 2011 CD

(Pagan Records)

 

Extremely crude, nasty and compromise-free, the Polish death metal throwbacks are at your throat again. Based on the fact that this is already band's sixth full-length (plus myriad of all kinds of splits and EPs) one might be tempted to think that Throneum have had somehow lost the urge to blaspheme, maim and mutilate. No chance, amigo. No fukkin chance. Off-putting and gross to those who like it slick and marketable, 'Death Throne Entities' is a raw sounding orgy of filth and mayhem, just what the doctor ordered. Disorienting savagery in full effect that could cast the most iron stomachs heave. Lovely. Stay clear if you fancy your breakdowns and false productions, for this is made for those who are not after the flavour of the month. Divisive? Yes. And that's how it ought to be.  - Vladimir Petrov

www.myspace.com/throneum  http://www.metal-archives.com/labels/Pagan_Records/97 

 

 

THUNDERKRAFT

"Totentanz” 2012 CD

(Svarga Music)

 

This record is billed as Industrial Folk Death Metal. I would say that is pretty accurate, though I would throw in the term symphonic, as that element is surely as strong as or possibly stronger than the industrial sound. To be really honest my favourite parts of Totentanz are the steamrolling heavy riffing and the intense, emotional scream / growl mixed vocals, those two items are killer. The rest, well the industrial stuff is not that prevalent or that well done, the folk, the computer generated sound effects and symphonic elements to me feel forced and come off a little weak, ultimately dragging the main strength of the record. I can see what Thunderkraft are going for; I just do not feel like they achieved that goal very well on this album.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/thunderkraft  http://www.svarga.eu/    

 

 

THY SERPENT

“Christcrusher” 1998 CD

(Nuclear Blast Records)

 

This is pretty disappointing. First off, they no longer claim to play black metal as they did in the past and now play “Antichristian dark metal”. I was really into their ’94 demo “Frozen Memory” and even further enamored with their debut long player “Forests Of Witchery”. Mainman Sami has also retracted his sole hold on the music writing and Azheim (who penned 3 of the 8 tracks). Gone is the luster and majesty of their symphonic black metal replaced by a stripped down regression into goth metal. Some parts are well done but come off as boring and uneventful. Back to the drawing board, this doesn’t even close to cutting it.   – Dale

 

 

TORMENTED

"Death Awaits” 2013 CD

(Listenable Records)

 

I am not going to lie to you this is some very derivative stuff, you have heard this all before. But you know what I worship this style of music so I still love the hell out of it! This Swedish band, featuring two members that played in a bunch of bands, first you have Roberth Karlsson who played in Darkified, Pan.Thy.Monium, Solar Dawn etc… second you have Dread who was the vocalist of Marduk in the early years, Infestdead, Total Terror etc… Both men were members of one of my fave death metal bands of all time Edge of Sanity! So they already have my respect. Now that you have some background, on to the music. Tormented mix a dash of old Celtic Frost with pretty much a total clone mixing of Dismember, Entombed and Grave. Which are all classic bands for me I love their music absolutely to death, so as unoriginal as this is I still fucking dig it. I just can not get enough of the classic Swedish death metal sound. It is like an addictive drug for me. I mean it is just so good as that amazing rolling riff sound on here just hits you cutting you to pieces and those killer semi-clear death metal growls would make Ola Lindgren & LG Petrov blush, and just put me in ecstasy. I would say this band is only for the true die hards of the sound, who just can not get enough of it, if that is not you then you might as well just keep spinning your Grave, Entombed and Dismember records.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/tormentedsweden  http://www.listenable.net/        

 

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TORN THE FUCK APART

"Sexually Transmitted Torture” 2014 CD

(Ossuary Industries)

 

The mental images I conjure up when reading that album title hehe. The sleazy, depraved possibilities seem endless to a disturbed mind. The song titles only further feed that fertile imagination, you gotta love ditties titled like “Autopsy Of A Cunt”, “55 Gallon Crypt”, “Sulfuric Semen Skank Dunktank” and “I Can’t Believe She Got In The Van With Me”. Yeah these are my kind of sickos. The level of technicality and proficiency, on their instruments belies the artwork, song titles and lyrics. This some real controlled chaos and precise brutality. There is actually some groove bits mixed in here and there, but only as accent, most of the time they race headlong with the violence and ferocity. But if you listen closely, there is method in that madness, there are cool nuanced guitar bits, and the drumming is a varied cacophony of wonderful precision. The riffing is feverish and brutal as fuck. The vocals are deep growls, nearly indecipherable, but there is enough elongation and emphasis on certain words, that you can make out some of the lyrics amidst that wonderful belching. All of this has that thread of audio samples and degenerate wanton lyrics of sexual torture and mental sickness. Which for me, just tops things off nicely, like a tasty spice, sprinkled across expertly cooked genitals. If you like your death metal, with a little grinding and thought, put into the song structuring nuances and do not get easily offended or grossed out, then I have an album you need to check out.  - Dale

http://tornthefuckapart.bandcamp.com/   http://ossuaryindustries.com/          

 

 

TORTURE KILLER

"Sewers” 2009 CD

(Dynamic Arts Records)

 

First off I must say I love the cover artwork by Jon Zig, another fine piece from him. Did I read right in another review that this Finnish band started out as a Six Feet Under cover band?! I never thought much at all of SFU and thought Chris Barnes really went downhill after leaving Cannibal Corpse. So I am almost incredulous that a band would be a cover band of that very average band. This is my first encounter with Torture Killer and as I understand it, Chris Barnes himself did vocals on their last record. Well alright then, not starting off the best foot for me ha ha. So Barnes is now replaced with vocalist Jani Sallinen who has quite a history it would seem with being in many bands. Interestingly enough the vocals were probably my favourite part of this album. They cool deep toilet growls that are mean and scary sounding and really drive things home. The music on the other hand, for me is just okay at best and is ultimately pretty forgettable. Their sound definitely seems to be rooted in the Florida dm sound of old and of course the SFU sound of new. I guess if you like Six Feet Under then you might like this. I will pass on it.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/torturekiller  http://www.dynamicartsrecords.com/   

 

 

TOWARDS GLOBAL HOLOCAUST

"Feuersturm" 2010 CD

(Scattered To The Winds Records)

 

After releasing a great mcd last year {...ever onwards also available on S.T.W} and a split with Christ Dismemberment. The U.S war machine Towards Global Holocaust are ready to unleash their debut cd Feuersturm. 9 songs of pure-war inspired metal madness. If you were lucky enough to hear this bands previous releases you will know what to expect but for those who are new to the band. T.G.H is a two-man band R.F. {vocals, guitars, bass} and Blaash {drums, vocals} on Feuersturm the band continues to defy being put into a certain genre or labeled. As you probably guessed by the name of the band and cd the band is heavily influenced by straight forward war metal insanity but there are moments of more straight-forward death metal. And I hear a bigger thrash influence in the guitars this time around.{T.G.H has always had a thrash sound but it is much more front and center on Feuersturm} Blaash's drumming has always impressed me with his ability to play chaotic, violent blast beats but he makes them memorable and even catchy in a few songs. Blaash is not all speed and noise as he does slow down from time to time to catch his breath and play in a mid-paced range with the guitars until he has caught his breath and then attacks again with a barrage of chaos and utter violent blasts. The vocals which are shared by both members are some of the most unique and scary sounds ever recorded! With shrieks and tortured screams. This is by Far Towards Global Holocaust's best and most impressive work to date. Highly recommended to fans of chaotic, violent war thrashing black/death metal.  – Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/towardsglobalholocaust  http://scatteredtothewinds.com  

 

 

TRAIL OF TEARS

“Disclosure In Red” 1998 CD

(DSFA Records)

 

Boy, are Holland’s bands/labels ever into this romantic/melancholic death/doom style. Which is precisely what T.O.T. from Norway present here on their debut record for Holland’s DSFA. All the elements are here. Clean male singing and growls, operatic female vocals, slow melancholic riffs, synths, violins. You know the usual. I dug the production on here it is rich and lavish. Some guitar bits are admittedly tasty and well played. This is good, but I don’t care for this style and you have to be better than good to impress me in this genre.   – Dale

DSFA Records, P.O. Box 5058, 4380 KB Vlissingen, THE NETHERLANDS

 

 

TRILLION RED

“Two Tongues” 2011 Demo CD EP

(Self-Released)

 

Trillion red are a two piece from the U.S and the members have created a very original and dark music style. Their are influences from the heavy crushing doom riffs, but then the band also does have an aggressive side speeding up the guitars a bit to a heavy metal/thrash feel with a lot of progressive riffs and solo's intertwined within the duo's madness. Also within the music is some experimental ambient soundscapes that keep the listener guessing throughout the songs on this e.p. This is a band that is not only hard but impossible to put into a certain genre {which I believe is the way they like it} so I will say this probably won't appeal to everyone. But I would highly recommend two tongues ep to anyone who enjoys dark, extreme music with a lot of variety.  - Patrick

http://www.trillionred.com       

 

 

TRAUMA

“Daimonion” 1998 CD

(Pagan Records)

 

Trauma (formerly Thanatos) are only second to Vader as the oldest Polish death metal band having formed over 10 years ago! They have released several demo tapes and their debut album on Vox Mortis in ’96. This is some great death metal, somewhat along the lines of Vader taking heavy influence from the American scene but still play, much of their material with true Euro dexterity. Trauma have a flare for solid song structuring, which are both driving and interesting with all spiced up by tasty drum work and smoking guitar solos. Recommended.

 

 

THE TRUE ENDLESS

"Legacy Of Hate" 2013 CD

(Aphelion Productions)

 

Italy's The True Endless are back with a new black metal masterpiece, the musicians have created some of the best violent, cold, uncompromising black metal I have heard in quite sometime. The music is vicious but quality written and performed with fast, relentless drumming that is non-stop, alongside chaotic and furious guitar riffs and some solos mixed in the insanity. The vocals are deep dark growls mixed with blackened screams that are a perfect match for The True Endless’ destructive, dark sound if you are familiar with this long running Italian black horde you know what to expect. But if you are new to The True Endless sound, if you enjoy cold, violent straight forward black metal then Legacy Of Hate is MUST hear.  - Patrick

http://www.reverbnation.com/thetrueendless   http://www.aphelionproductions.net/     

 

 

TUNRIDA

“Hierarchy” 1998 CD

(Solistitium Records)

 

I must admit, I really enjoyed listening to “Hierarchy”, the first full-length from Finland’s Tunrida. They play a fast and melodic form of black metal with some slight death metal touches. There’s a lot of music to be enjoyed here and the musicianship is creative, with well thought out compositions and some odd vocal effects ect. Added, here, and there are a plus. The album doesn’t contain just one straight-forward style of playing but mixes things up a bit with some more melodic non-double bass tracks and piano interludes, ect. “The Calling” actually sounds somewhat akin to something In Flames would release! The vocals are in the more shouted death metal vein rather than the black metal rasp common for this style and it perfectly suits the music within. I’m sure I will be listening to this one quite often and I strongly recommend this to anyone eager to check out new talent within the black metal scene. - Jeffrey Kusbel 

 

 

TWIN OBSCENITY

 “For Blood, Honor And Soil” 1998 CD

(Century Media)

 

I missed this bands debut album “Where Light Touches None”, but I am graced (?) with this sophomore effort. Frankly, I am perplexed as to why C.M. snapped up such a generic and inept unit like Twin Obscenity! These Norwegians are flat out a demo level w/ bland guitar riffs that work their way thru simplistic structuring, that mix in keys that really do not even sound like they were written for the songs they appear in! They also paint in trendy female operatic vocals across the musical canvass and are some of the worst I’ve had the displeasure to hear. With regards to the sound is this their full-length demo pressed onto CD!? Thin guitars, tinny drums and an inadequate mix. I did enjoy a few of the off-beat vocalizations but those are used sparingly. This LP gives a already limping and played out symphonic black metal scene a bad name.

 

 

TZUN TZU / ALTARS

"Split" 2009 CD

(Advoco Terra Sonitus Productions)

 

It is hard sometimes to get a very good read on a band, more less write a review based on one song a piece from each band. At least the songs are not short and the packaging the whole disc came in is fantastic for this type of release. Altars kicks things off with an extremely heavy death metal number entitled “Nepenthe… Sepulcher”, which is cloaked in doomy metal trappings, which sets sort of an introspective feel. But the pounding drums and extreme riffs do not let you stay in that reflective head space for very long. Likewise you get a wake up call in the form a hard smack going by the name “Kumosu”, it hits from the first second with a blasting, drum barrage of death metal played at break neck speed. There are some slowed down, subtle breaks in this lengthy song, but they tend to only last five or ten seconds. Then it is back to the attack over and over again with bludgeoning bliss and guttural vocal emanations rising form the murk. The whole release only clocks in at 13 minutes and still manages to be quite a ride. You will really enjoy this if you put the disc on repeat, as repetitive listens will not bore you despite the length. Check this out, more goodness from the fertile grounds of Australia.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/tzuntzu  http://www.myspace.com/altarsofficial   

 

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ULVER

“Themes From William Blake’s: The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell” 1999 Double CD

(Jester/V.O.W.)

 

Okay, first apparently Garm of Ulver was pissed at Century Media & split from them and formed Jester Records (distributed by Voices Of Wonder) and released this double album. This album is based on William Blake’s written work. Bruce Dickinson has made it well known to everyone in the press since his previous album was released in ’97. That his next album “The Chemical Wedding” (Which beat this Ulver album into stores by at least 6 months) was going to be based on this exact same work by William Blake! I guess nobody told Ulver. He (Garm) Probably stole the idea. Now let us get on to this abomination of an album. I am not the biggest Ulver fan but I did enjoy their early stuff and I am sure fans of the band early or late will be sickened and disappointed by this! I could go into a long list of all the awful points to be found. Just let me tell you this imagine if you will (though it may induce vomiting) Tears For Fears and Devo mixed heavily with a softer version of Ministry and KMFDM or some other gay techno/rap inspired beats (showing their Beastie Boys influence)! On top of this dung heap is Garm singing throughout in a clean voice that sounds like Micheal Bolten attempting to be a viking warrior. What a fucking mess!

Voices Of Wonder, PB 2010 Granerlokka, N - 05050, NORWAY website = www.vow.dk

 

 

ULCER

"Grant Us Death” CD

(Pulverised Records)

 

I like Pulverised Records because they seem to love old school death metal, so we are on the same page there. There have been a few Ulcer’s over the years, but this is the Polish one and they play old school death metal that is heavily influenced by the Swedish death metal scene. You can hear elements of Dismember, Grave, Entombed etc.. in their sound. Their music is pretty straight up, standard stuff, but done really well and shake your fist at me if you like, but I am a fucking mark for old style Swedish death metal, I worship this shit. These marauders have that sound down well, they pummel you over the head with it, through heavy razor riffs that hit you with blunt force trauma until you lose consciousness. There are a few fucking sweet short solos smattered throughout this album, which really add a nice little extra touch to the music. If you are not that big of a fan of this style of dm, then you can probably stick with the old classics, but if you are a die hard like me you will want to check this record out ASAP.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/ulcerdeathmetal  http://www.pulverised.net/    

 

 

ULCERATE

“Of Fracture and Failure” 2007 CD

(Neurotic Records)

 

Neurotic sends along a brutal little piece of vile death metal by way of Auckland, New Zealand. I should clarify that “Of Fracture and Failure” are not just more run of the mill straight forward grinding death metal band. They have a penchant for mixing in doomy spirals for atmospheric effect, not to mention mixing it up with different levels of speed and time changes, wiping away any fear of generics or monotony. Which for a debut album is quite commendable and as far as the technical playing goes these blokes are proficient and skilled. Their thick soupy wall of death has some influences to mine ears such as I think I hear a bit of the godly early Cryptopsy sound, Gorguts too (trying to butter me up with Canadian references, it just might work here) and some Immolation thrown in. The recording is really tight and fits their style well, no worries mate you can hear the 1 thousand riffs on here just fine. Alright it might not be terribly original but it is hellishly well done Kiwi metal and I enjoyed the hell out of it. – Dale

www.neurotic-records.com   www.offractureandfailure.com    

 

 

UNDOR

"Self-Titled" 2006 MCD

(Bestial Burst Records)

 

We are presented with torturous and atmospheric, black metal from this German horde of barbarians known as Undor. The music is a dirgy crawling, plodding rumbles with slow pounding drums. Undor are undoubtedly quite clearly influenced by Abruptum. I must say they do not do this style nearly as well as the old Swedish bastards did back in the day. I am listening to this and I just do not feel it and I can not shake the feeling this should probably have been released as nothing more than a limited demo tape. I do like the vocals though which are a cross between the Canadian gods Lust and early Burzum. Maybe it will come with time for Undor. – Dale

www.bestialburst.blackmetal.fi/   bestialburst@blackmetal.fi   

 

 

UPON A DARK HORIZON

“Underground Comp. Vol. # 1” 1998 CD

(Dark Horizon Records)

 

Cool compilation. It consists of all dark and evil black metal minus a few exceptions like Vomitory, Nocturnal Breed, & Hellwitch. It struck me as pointless to include so many well known bands on other labels: Mandanus Imperium (NBA), Aeturnus (Hammerheart Recs.) ect... Other bands on here are Sorhin, Hordes Of The Lunar Eclipse, Wallachia, Bethel, Legion, and Primordial. This release is the first volley in a assault by D.H.R. expect soon releases from The Black Witchery, Nebron, Lucifugum and more.

D.H.R., 6435 West Jefferson Blvd., Suite # 666, Fort Wayne, Indiana  46804, USA