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“Phantasmal Triunity” 2018 CD, LP & Cassette

(Shadow Kingdom Records)


I was a little surprised to see a band billed as Norwegian black metal on Shadow Kingdom Records, a label that usually focuses on old school heavy metal, doom, speed and thrash metal. Though Nachash does possess a certain level of olden heavy metal and thrash to their sound. I was also surprised when I did a little digging on this band’s members. Apparently drummer Kenneth Tiller played in the black/death band Nephrite at the start of the ‘90s releasing two demos. Then I can find nothing on him (disappeared from the scene?!) until he showed up in the band Celestial Bloodshed in the year 2000, and the band released some eps, split ep’s and two albums. Okay, that has no real bearing on this review, but I enjoy interesting history tidbits of info like that on bands or their individual members. The other two member of this band, by the way, seem to be new on the scene for the most part. Now Nachash is a black metal band, but they incorporate a lot of heavy metal into their sound, sort of like the first wave of black metal did and the early bands of the second wave at the start of the ‘90s. I like it though, a lot of the time they are more of a black heavy metal band more than anything. But, there are definite elements of early to mid ‘90s style black metal in there as well, as well as slight traces of dark death metal from the same musical epoch. I like the vocals they are part yell, part bm rasp with an whispering of a death metal growl, but they sound evil and commanding complimenting the evil music well, adding an extra element of audio pestilence. I think my fave tracks on here are the two opening tracks, starting off the beginning of “Red Death Eclipse…” reminding me a lot of the opening title track to Venom’s “Black Metal” (did I mention I worship at the Venom altar?), with it’s caustic opening build up and finishing off with demon vocal sounds straight out of early necromantic Impaled Nazarene. This quickly leads into the second track “Apex Illuminous”, which continues the build up and launches into an evil sounding yet headbang inducing metal chugging with a killer tremolo riff and infectious melody that Satan himself would dance around a bonfire to. The rest of the album, while it does dip a skosh, ultimately keeps a pretty high level of quality and settles into a little more of hypnotic moody vibe on the final two songs, “Vortex Spectre” & “Elder Night…”, which combined clock in at over fifteen minutes. I would recommend this for fans of the current UG metal scene that are also die hards for ‘80s dark heavy metal, and the first wave of black metal from the late ‘80s and very start of the 1990s.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/nachashnorway    https://www.shadowkingdomrecords.com  




“Living Flesh” 2013 CD + DVD

(Self Released)


I used to get stuff all the time, but it has been a long while since I reviewed anything from Season Of Mist (who released their debut album). Just looking at their website apparently Gorguts is back and releasing something with them! But I digress, that is for another time and another review. The packaging on this release is just fantastic, as you can see above you get an audio live cd, plus you get a live DVD, that was nicely filmed, multiple camera angles all edited together. I am not sure a live record is always the best introduction to a band, but that is what I get, as this is the first release I have heard from the band and apparently only the second in their career?! In fact, essentially from what I can figure about the band, this is basically their one and only release, their debut album In The Flesh, re-released in live album form. Usually bands wait until they have a wealth of material over a number of albums before doing a live album, seems a touch pompous to me. I might as well review the dvd portion of the show mainly. The band do go all out with set pieces adorning the stage as atmosphere, a throne for the vocalist, what appears to be branches or brambles on the front the stage, various things draped around, a woman wondering around in medieval garb, visually it is pretty pleasing and reflects the music. Basically they play fast, ripping death metal, somewhat in the old Floridian style I would suggest. Think of Monstrostiy, Morbid Angel, Obituary, Malevolent Creation and the like. I see now after writing that sentence, then stopping to look online, the vocalist is actually Steve Tucker who did vocals in Morbid Angel for a time. So maybe that influence should not be too surprising. In fact, colour me surprised, I had no information on this band going into this review, now upon looking it up, this is apparently a super group of sorts. You have Novy (Dies Irae, ex-Vader, ex-Behemoth) on bass, Blasphemer (Aura Noir, ex-Mayhem) on guitar, and the Canadian drum god Flo Mournier of Cryptopsy on drums. As you can imagine the drumming is fantastic and easily the strength of the band. I forgot to mention above the vocalist and guitarists are in the back and the drum kit is out front, virtually in the audience with Flo having his back to the crowd and facing the rest of the band. It is a really different, yet cool set up. One thing that is missing is there seems to be no in between song banter to the crowd whatsoever for some odd reason. The music itself is admittedly a little derivative; it might be that this group is more of a tribute to the Floridian dm scene. That is not to say the music is not good, because it is pretty damn good, just nothing utterly mind blowing, as you might expect from this super group, just a mish mash of some of the better elements of that scene and time in the 90s especially. I do not know that I would call this essential at all, but for the dvd alone it is probably worth the price and I had a good time watching / listening to it. There apparently is a special edition of this on blu ray and cd limited to 100 copies or some such.  - Dale

http://nadersadek.com/  http://www.season-of-mist.com/ 




"Larvario” 2019 CD

(Mythic Metal Productions / Gates Of Horror Records)


Narkan come blasting out of my speakers all the way from Peru! Yes, this is an old release, but I was sent it in for review and I love South American bands so I will make an exception here. These guys have not been very prolific with their output (1 demo, 2 split CDs & this 2007 full-length album) since their debut demo in 2004. This seems common in the SA scene, though all members of this band are in other bands like Eternal Exhumation, Estigma, Psicorragia, Black Heaven, Armagedon, Akraetia & Epilepsia – so I am sure that has a lot to do with Narkan’s somewhat sparse release productivity. Now, on to what brought us here and that is intense, energetic and vicious deathgrind music! This is true deathgrind too, some bands throw in the grind tag and it is barely noticeable, but Narkan play some brutal and memorable death that is laced habitually with lethal injections of potent grindcore insanity. The vocalist named Dr. Gonzales is killer! At first, I was not sure whether or not it is was multiple members doing the deep growls, higher pitched growls, nasal high screams that will pierce the ear drums. But I watched a couple rehearsal songs on their facebook and it all one guy on the mic, moving seamlessly from one style to the next and he destroys it! He is fantastic. The rest of the band is no slouch with in writing a powerful death and grindcore mixture that even manages to slide in some short, tasty guitar parts or a brief cool mini bass guitar solo. I mean this stuff is impressive, it is a shame that this band is not better known outside their country around the whole world’s UG scenes because they are that damn good! I highly recommend this and please to the members some new material soon please!!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/narkan.deathgrind    https://myspace.com/mythicmetalprods      




“Mustan Auringon Riitti” 2012 CD

(Hammer of Hate Records)


Finland never ceases to amaze me with its never-ending sea of great bands whether it is the traditional, hateful black metal or more atmospheric blackened death. It is mostly always good. Well you can now add Nattfog to this ever growing long list of bands. Nattfog is a duo creating what else? Cold, grim and harsh black metal. The songs are fairly long for this style of music though ranging from 3 minutes up to 9 minutes. But the band members are good enough song-writers and musicians they can make the songs a little long but never gets boring  to my ears. Raw, primitive production and harsh mid-paced raw guitars, with some killer drumming along with some well-done sick, violent black metal shrieks. Fans of Sargeist, Horna, etc.. will love Nattfog so definitely give this a chance.  - Patrick

www.myspace.com/nattfog  http://www.hammer-of-hate.com/   




"Styggdom” 2020 CD

(Osmose Productions)


This band Norge band has been around apparently since 2010, but did not start releasing anything until just over 2 years ago for some reason. “Styggdom” is Nattverd's second full length and first for the legendary Osmose Productions. The album contains eight tracks of traditional, cold Norwegian black metal similar to the mid 90's era. The guitars are played with icy cold patterns, which for the most part are aggressive and fast riffing arrangements. The guitarist does slow to a more calm, mid pace style throughout some of the songs, before going to a more crazed fast tempo. The vocals are grim black metal screams and screeches that fit well. This is my first encounter with Norway's Nattverd, but I hope to hear more music from this Norweigan black metal band.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/nattverdofficial    https://www.osmoseproductions.com       




“Vandring" 2021 CD & LP

(Osmose Productions)


Norway's Nattverd return with a brand new release continuing the rich traditional Norse black metal style that was they have become known for over the last decade. But on “Vandring” the band seems to incorporate some cryptically epic and atmospheric elements into the music this time around. The musicians still keep the music in the traditional cold and hateful realm, but do add more melody and again epic flowing elements into their songwriting. The vocals are grim black metal screams and screeches that are spat out with a powerful delivery; the vocalist uses some deeper gruff growls and screeches in a few of the songs. The musicians never really slow down too much even when the music goes more to the atmospheric areas of their sound which I like. It seemed a lot of bands in the early 00's dropped the cold black metal style, and went all atmospheric and lame. But that is not the case here. Nattverd have incorporated both styles into their grim music to forge a great release that is recommended to fans of quality black metal.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/nattverdofficial/    https://osmoseproductions.bandcamp.com/     




“Sob o Feitiço do Necrobode” 2020 CD & LP

(Iron Bonehead Records)


Necrobode is a band of black death metal zombies from Portugal, compelled to hunt you down to the ends of the earth to eat your flesh and steal your souls. This is my first listen to Necrobode with this album, the bands debut full-length. This release is filled with chunky ‘n heavy, gear grinding bitingly evil riffing and barbarous drum work that will beat you into submission. I think of Necrobode’s music as being executed at Michael Myers speed. Like Myers it walks at a brisk pace, taking long deadly strides yet never running or rushing, just coming for you endlessly, tirelessly hunting you down. That is not to say there is no speed variation at all, but this bands tempo cadence and musical gate vary only ever so slightly in either direction of slower and faster. Their mainstay pace is always the same; it is for me, both pleasingly hypnotic and wholly menacing, all at the same time. The vocals mimic the music, rarely changing, but relentlessly present in their much obscured combination of barking yell and husky, ominous whispery growl. Like the music the vox are quite hypnotic and rhythmic, yet threatening in their ever unchanging fearsome and undecipherable form. This music may not be varied enough, or slick enough or melodious enough for some black death metal fans, but that is okay this is not meant for you. It is for die hards of filthy, raw black death metal who enjoy an evil, old school suffocating atmosphere summoned straight from the pits of hell itself. I look forward to more from this band in future.  - Dale

https://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com/    https://ironbonehead.de/ 




Grip Of The Dead” 2013 CD

(Pulverised  Records)


Sweden's Necrocurse may be a new band to the scene, but the musicians of Necrocurse have been a part of the scene for many years. Featuring members of Sweden's legendary bands like Swordmaster, Nifelheim and Sacramentum the band draws inspiration from the late 80's/early 90's death/thrash scene with some well crafted traditional heavy metal guitars placed into the mix. Raw thrashing guitars, the drumming is really well played and mixes in both elements of blasting thrash beats and more mid-heavy beats. This is definitely worth checking out for all fans of old-school death, thrash metal with some black metal elements mixed in.  - Patrick

http://www.reverbnation.com/necrocurse  http://www.pulverised.net/   




"Paths Are Left Here...” 2022 CD & LP

(Osmose Productions)


I normally never touch on anything political with Canadian Assault. But while listening to this bands debut album, who hails from Kharkiv, Ukraine it is hard not to think of their country being invaded by the filthy dictator Putin and his war criminal regime. This should be a happy and proud time for this band and instead for all I know they have weapons in their hands as I write this fighting to defend their homeland and fighting for all democracy around the world. The province of Alberta in Canada I grew up in for the first 23 years of my life has a very large Ukranian population, some of which have traveled to Ukraine to fight alongside. I have included a picture above of the Canadian Brigade badge that are now fighting over there. Okay I got that out of my system I think let’s move on to the bands music. Necrom is a relatively young band having formed in 2018 and only previously released an EP in 2019, they now are able to present their debut album. When I say young band it is a bit misleading, as the members have currently or in the past done time in many bands over the years. That list includes guitarist Knjaz Varggoth who was in the death metal band Suppuration who released a demo tape way back in 1992 (!!), which eventually changed the bands name to the well known Nokturnal Mortem. The music on this record is high energy brutal death metal which forcefully shreds everything in it’s path. It is old school death metal and while I hear various influences from the US and across Europe, possibly the strongest influence sounds to me is drawn from Sweden with the earlier works of bands like Entombed, Dismember and Grave. There is a level of melodicism mixed into the crushing brutality, just enough to make things interesting and keep anything from getting stale. Something else that is quite evident is the presence of well thought out songwriting on here, showcasing a talent for emotive builds and crescendos that pay off in a very satisfying way. I did not yet even really touch much on the killer guitar fills and rapid guitar solos, not to mention the commanding and powerful growling from vocalist Andrii Verovkin but suffice to say they damn good too. Hail Ukraine!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/necromofficial/   https://www.osmoseproductions.com/       




"Dogme el Rituel de la Haute Magie” 2021 CD & LP

(Helter Skelter / Regain Records)


This is a one man band from Greece, and that one man is Echetleos (Caedes Cruenta, Ithaqua, Kawir, Opus Magorum, Walpurgia plus more) who is obviously a well known figure in the UG scene. This is the bands debut release and I believe this was first released as a demo on cassette, and now Helter Skelter & Regain Records have combined to release this on disc and vinyl. The music on here is total old school first wave style black metal, slower to middle paced, very atmospheric music that just bleeds audio darkness in a chilling yet hypnotic and ritualistic fashion. Some influences I hear are Necromantia, Varathron, Mortuary Drape, early Grand Belial’s Key, early Ancient Rites, and even King Diamond (especially on the epic fifteen minute title track) believe it or not. There is absolutely no getting around the Necromantia influence comparison on the ten plus minute song “Necromantical Ritual”, none, I mean this track sounds like a long lost and unreleased Necromantia recording from the early to mid ‘90s. So is that a problem for me? Absolutely not I fucking worship old Necromantia and that style, it is amazing, well done and captures that sound and spirit so completely, it is both frightening and invigorating for me to listen to. Necromantical Invocation most definitely keep the classic Greek bm traditions alive here. Both epic length songs are wrapped around with an intro / outro combination, and both sound quite different from one another, which I suppose could be a positive or negative depending upon your tastes. I really hope we hear more from this one man band in the not too distant future.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/necromanticalinvocation    https://regainrecords.bandcamp.com/       




“Holocausto De La Morte” 1998 CD

(Red Stream Records)


I guess you have heard by now that new member Anton Crowley is really Phil Anselmo of Pantera and he wrote all the guitar on this album! Weird but anyways. This is the heralded return of Necrophagia one death metal’s originators “Holocausto De La Morte” marks the first bands album in 12 years! There are many facets of this album I enjoy such as the zombie rattlin’ riffs that are catchy yet always somehow sick. The vocals are bloodcurdling rasps that could be described as depraved and disgusting. So you know I love ‘em. The style is still primitive death metal that would make Nun Slaughter proud. The drawbacks are that the songs seem to go nowhere and are just parts sewn together and this band is no seamstress. The production could be much fuller, I don’t knock on sound much so you know it is bad - the guitars just hang out there like a hacked limb. Good but nothing great. - Dale

Email = RedStream@aol.com




“In Chaos Ascend” 2022 CD & LP

(Transcending Obscurity Records)


This new Swedish band is a trio that includes Tommy Carlsson on Vocals & Guitar, Jocke Svensson (Birdflesh & Skogen) on bass and Martin Michaelsson on drums. As well these men have history together from the long running band Entrails; all three were in that band and seem to have all left at the same time, possibly to form Necrophagous for all I know. Something else they all have in common I would say is they are fans of old school American death metal, primarily from the early to mid nineteen nineties period of this magnificent genre. Some band influences surely are Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Dying Fetus, Immolation, Cannibal Corpse, Broken Hope, Malevolent Creation, Deicide and the like. They keep this traditional sound alive and well here with this record. The music is fucking brutal with those chunky guitars and riffs, which vary from pure pulsating pummel to adroit speed with some tasty little rhythms to add some spice. The drumming is commanding and powerful, keeping that backbone strong with some help from bassist Jocke. Tommy Carlsson nails those old traditional US death metal growling vocals with a demonic cadence nicely, it sounds like he is ripping his throat to shreds in the process. Yes, it is some retro worship, but everyone has their influences they are passionate about and some wear it on their sleeves more often than not. But when this traditional style is done this well and gets me headbanging like ‘In Chaos Ascend’ has managed to do, I am all about it.  - Dale

https://necrophagous.bandcamp.com/    https://transcendingUSmerch.com/    https://tometal.com/   




Documentaries Of Dementia” 2013 CD

(Comatose Music)


It has been nine years since Necrotic Disgorgement's debut release and the wait is over! Ohio's violent sicko's are back! With their follow up and I tell you the wait was well worth it! Ten tracks of skull crushing, barbaric death metal. Purely inhuman pummeling blast beats that are both devastating and precise in execution. The guitar duo of Ben Deskins and Tony Tipton {who some may remember from the legendary band Regurgitation} sounds amazing and tight with their extremely heavy and fast riffs, with solo's intertwined in the chaotic riffs. New vocalist Jimmy Javins sounds amazing and has some of the best vocals I've heard in this style in a long time! Some real sick deep death growls and screams that spew out the bands lyrics. Recommended to all fans of sick, quality brutality.  - Patrick

http://www.reverbnation.com/necroticdisgorgement  http://www.comatosemusic.com/    




“Dead Point” 2005 CD

(Khaaranus Productions)


This is the first time I have heard of Needful things. I was surprised to find out that they have been around for over a decade! Yet this is their debut album. Though they have released many split releases (I think around 11 splits) and some compilation tracks over this long time. I may have missed out on them for many years but I finally get my chance with “Dead Point”. After just finishing reviewing both Alienation Mental and Cerebral Turbulency’s “Crash” this record is a welcome relief. No crappy mallcore here my friends! So put down your imaginary pogo stick and step away from the ledge. This is more like it. Needful Things just flat out clobber you over the head and drag you back to their cave. They play a little loose and not as tight as some bands. To be honest I really like that it gives a more organic and off-kilter sort of feel to the music and gives it room to spread out. Some of the riffing on here is just heavy as all hell and I am guessing the headbanging and moshing at their live shows must be pretty violent. There is a healthy dose of straight up death metal mixed with the grinding and it is mixed up nicely. There is no doubt some Napalm Death influence (like “Harmony Corruption” riff sections) and also you can clearly hear that in the growling vocals along with some Dave Ingram from Benediction style. Besides the Napalm influence I hear also things like Extreme Noise Terror, Rotten Sound and similar bands. I must say again I love the riffing it is just so brutal and massive! Needful things do not get fancy they just bash your skull in and they are good at it. Check this out.  – Dale

http://www.khaaranus.wz.cz   http://www.needfulthings.wz.cz/




“Ad Disipulum” 2010 CD

(Agonia Records)


An Italian band playing that melodic harmonic death we know well in the old Swedish style. You know everything from Dissection (at their most extreme moments) to Dark Tranquility to In Flames to Children of Bodom and beyond. The band is polished and intense and sounds like so many that came before them. I can not deny Nefarium are forceful with their speed and the riffing is catchy as hell. I have to confess as well that I am not the biggest fan of this style, except maybe a select handful of classic bands that championed this style. They look like a black metal band but as I stated do not sound like one. Those of you that love super slick productions that are pro tool’d up the wahzoo. You will dig the sound on here, for me as most Assault readers know; I do not care much for it as albums come off sounding cookie cutter and plastic. So as you can tell though this is decent enough for the genre, it will not be receiving repeated listens from me. But those into the bands above that can not get enough of this style. Well you probably can not go wrong on this one.  – Dale

http://www.nefarium.org/  http://www.agoniarecords.com/ 




“Nefarious Dusk” 2021 CD, LP & MC

(Purity Through Fire)


Hrafn is the mastermind behind the great Nefarious Dusk who release their self-titled second album through the well respected label Purity Through Fire. Hrafn is one very busy and productive man in the British UG scene as he is also in the bands Helvellyn, Morte Lune, Skiddaw, Thy Dying Light, Torver, Úlfarr and more past and present! I wasn't fortunate to hear the debut release, but this self-titled release consists of ten tracks of cold hateful black metal intensity. The music is delivered with a mix of extremely fast passages and some slower mid paced patterns that are done with skill and a great writing ability. There is also an epic flowing quality to the music despite being so frosty and bitter at the same time. The vocals are delivered with raw raspy black metal screams and screeches. If you are looking for a release that is uncompromising black metal then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of the self-titled release today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/nduk666    https://www.facebook.com/Purity-Through-Fire      




“Urban Cancer” 2006 CD

(Candlelight Records USA)


It is always a pleasure to review bands from my homeland of Canada. Nefastus is new to me and this is their debut record so no surprise there. From what I understand this album was released on a small label a couple years ago. But now that they have been snapped up by Candlelight it receives a wider audience. Presumably while the band gathers it’s forces and continues the assault with writing a follow-up to “Urban Cancer”. I would have to call N.D. sympho melodic death metal ala the Scandinavian pioneers with some black metal touches as well. While it is symphonic and atmospheric in spots, it is also a pretty fast paced record with good energy. I have to confess I am not the biggest fan of this style. I do however really like a handful of classic albums in this style. So a band playing this sub-genre generally has to be really fucking good to impress me. Does “Urban Cancer” accomplish this for me? Well in all honesty no. But as this style goes they do it very well and as I mentioned the speed quotient and adrenaline energy helps separate them a little. If you are a devout follower of this kind of music I am sure you will not be disappointed with this purchase. On the other hand if you generally only collect the cream of the crop or only dabble as I do then you can probably live without this record. It will be interesting to see how this band progresses on their sophomore release as it will be a couple years at least for them to brew and perfect it.  – Dale

www.candlelightrecordsusa.com   www.myspace.com/nefastusdies 




“Memento Mori” 2015 CD

(Kaotoxin Records)


French band The Negation plays black metal, with some touches of death metal, within the guitars. The guitarist knows how to handle his instrument, and write some excellent riffs, going from intense fast riffs to a more mid paced range, in some of the songs. The vocals are raw blackened shrieks and harsh screams. This is a decent bm release, for those that are big followers of black metal, who do not mind some other subtle varied metal styles, intertwined throughout, then you might enjoy this one.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/the.negation.band   http://www.kaotoxin.com/  




“Zarnindu-sa” 1998 CD

(Breath Of Night Records)


Hailing from Romania, N.B. unleashes their first album “Zarnindu-sa”. All through this release, one cannot help notice the strong Emperor influence. That being said this is one of those albums that can easily be lost in the shuffle due to it’s lack of originality. This is a fairly common formula in black metal these days and while not an unsatisfying listen, I’m sure there are those that would turn it off on the first listen to something else. The keys are pretty dominating in parts and that detracts from the riffs strength and overall clarity. There are some good moments on here though, usually the opening riffs to the songs and then everything just kind of tends to mix together. Not something I’ll listen to often, especially when there are many other bands doing this style, and better.  - Jeffrey Kusbel




“Black Metal Hordes” 2021 CD

(Plague Demon Records / Blasphemous Creations Of Hell Records)


‘Black Metal Hordes’ is the debut release from California's Nekcrium, which is a re-release of their debut (and only) album that was released over a decade ago with an extremely limited release. As you can see above this is a joint release through Plague Demon and Blasphemous Creations Of Hell, both American labels from the high north and the deep south. The band plays a brand of grim and unrelenting black metal similar to the mid 1990's elder gods of the bm scene. Each musician on this album knows how to create and write some good music with their own individual instrument; for the most part the music is played with raw and fast passages. The vocals are raw black metal screams and some deeper gruff screams are also used throughout a few of the songs. If you are a fan of well delivered and performed traditional black metal then be sure to pick up a copy of this forgotten and under appreciated release.  - Patrick

https://plaguedemonrecords.bandcamp.com/    https://bchrecords.storenvy.com/     




“Worm Ritual” 2018 CD & LP

(Hells Headbangers Records)


This mighty trio of musicians is led by Zack Ripper, formerly of Nunslaughter, who moved from Ohio to Colorado and recruited two members of the band Weaponizer to continue the fight with Nekrofilth on this, their sophomore full-length. Just imagine if you will a slightly updated sounding version of a mix of Celtic Frost, Venom and Slaughter from Canada, but played faster and more brutal! I can also hear fleeting hints of Repulsion and Autopsy – what a fantastically sadistic and wonderful set of influences, at according to my musical tastes (all among of my fave bands of all time). The energy and caustic adrenaline radiating off of this bands music incredible, I feel like destroying everything in the room with a spike fisted headbanging frenzy! ARGH!! They have this sort of violent punk aesthetic or vibe, then again so did Venom and Slaughter to an extent. They also, like many punk bands have short lightning songs on here that are all 3 minutes or under, it hits you hard and it hits you fast. The vocals match the music with a vile mix of yelled gruff thrash vocals with a hoarse growling death metal edge, but it is all very decipherable, and oh so grimy sounding in a very good way. I have to say musically these guys live up to their band name, to an extent so few bands can, because this is definitely great Nekrofilth-y metal! If you like the description above then trust me you need to get your paws on this thing.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/nekrofilth    https://hellsheadbangers.bandcamp.com/    




"Welcome to Bonkers" 2018 CD

(Mystery Box)


Imagine a bright green bouncy ball. This bouncy ball has spikes--shiny steel ones. They glimmer grotesquely as they catch the light from passing stars. Yeah, this bouncy ball is in space, somehow rebounding off of planets as if they were only models in an elementary school classroom. This ball is analogous for how Nekrogoblikon's brand of melodeath sounds to me: a strangely entertaining mixture of silliness that sometimes has an unpredictable edge to it. It is superficially enjoyable with indisputably catchy riffs and refrains, but sometimes they are catchy to a fault on this album. While the verses of most of the tracks on Welcome to Bonkers have suitably speedy death metal riffing and Nekrogoblikon's trademark eccentric flair, their quirkiness and repetitiveness can become slightly vexing in such tracks as "Dressed as Goblins" and "Darkness" where the choruses are springy earworms. Since I am not accustomed to listening to "party" metal, or death metal pizza with extra cheese, heavier tracks such as "The Skin Thief" strike my fancy more. However, that is also an important point about the appeal of Nekrogoblikon: they defamiliarize death metal for fans of the genre with their incorporation of extra-genric components like vivacious keyboard lines, as well as in this way make this genre more accessible to newer/younger fans of heavy music. Their liberal and varied use of keyboards on Welcome to Bonkers would have the potential for putting this album on the cusp of being excessively bogus if it were not for how well-executed and incorporated they are into the compositions. The piano-toned lines in such tracks as "Dragons", for example, foreshadow the animated tempo of the guitar riffs to come, making it even more satisfying when they do make their entrance. Listeners must keep in mind that the purpose of this album is to have some fucking fun with conventions that folks in the metal community often take too seriously. It is not cerebral, and it is not downright brutal even though it definitely has its moments; it is funny, fun, and certainly bonkers.  – Aaron

https://nekrogoblikon.bandcamp.com/    https://www.facebook.com/mysteryboxfortress/        




"Witches Funeral” 2018 CD

(The Sign Records)


Now, it's time for some thrashy Black Metal, I guess. A catchy type of raucous, so far. It sounds like mischievous raccoons scurrying around fibrous tree trunks on a moonlit night. The songs have a tight structure yet have a deliberate sloppiness stemming from (or around) their core - to make the overall atmosphere feel lively and present. They have that "controlled chaos" aspect, I'd say. A little off kilter but masterfully gliding along the left hand path - with a smirking knowing wink, no doubt. A raw touch of the diabolical with a seemingly aloof panache. I like the two different guitar patterns going on much of the time (left and right variations - complimenting each other). Keeps things interesting. Quality deviltry, here...or pseudo-deviltry? Either way...it's pretty enjoyable. Oh...wow. Just as I was about to end this review, I heard a familiar song beginning. It's a cover of Slayer's "Angel of Death". Not bad. Not great...but not retch-worthy, either. Seems a bit out of place, though. Two more songs to go. Back to the more impassioned style of their own. Yeah, this is some fine work, here. Recommended.  - Anders

https://www.facebook.com/nekrokraft/    http://thesignrecords.com/       




“Visions Of Trismegistos" 2021 CD, LP & Cassette

(Hells Headbangers / Indie Records)


After a nine year slumber Norway's old school thrash maniacs Nekromantheon return with a brand new release. Some of the members have been active in the meantime as members of great bands like Obliteration, Black Viper, Flight and Audiopain. ‘Visions Of Trismegistos’ is the bands third full-length release in the last eleven years and features eight songs of intense and ferocious thrash metal mayhem. The guitars are played with skill and extremely aggressive guitar patterns and riffs. For the most part the guitars are played with insane and chaotic speed passages, but the guitarist does write some slower memorable passages even adding in some well written solo's. The vocals are traditional thrash metal screams that are delivered with tremendous power and intensity. If you are looking for a band that brings it with relentless old school  thrash metal then look no further then Nekromantheon.  - Patrick

https://nekromantheon.bandcamp    https://indierecordings.no/    http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/      




Suffering Is The Seed” 2012 CD

(Metal Hit.com)


South America has always had been known for it's aggressive, violent metal and Colombia's Nepente carries that tradition on nicely with Suffering Is The Seed. In fact I would say the band raise the brutal bar just a little bit with Suffering Is The Seed with insanely fast {you have to hear ‘em to believe them} blast beats mixed with chaotic, uncompromising guitar riffs that rarely slow down. The guitars are a little thicker giving them a death metal feel and sound. After listening to the vocalist I'm surprised his vocal chords are not completely destroyed after the recording sessions for this album, as they are some of the most intense, sick shrieks/screams I have heard in quite some time, but there is also a Glen Benton death metal growl mixed in on some of the songs and both vocal styles fit Nepente's uncompromising war metal style nicely.  - Patrick

www.reverbnation.com/nepentedeathblackmetal  http://www.metalhit.com/ 




To The Death” 2012 CD

(GreyHaze Records)


I remember hearing this Brazilan's bands 2006 release "Quarrel In Hell" through Ibex Moon records. But since then I lost track with the bands activities. It's great to see the band has been carrying on and keeping active in the underground scene with releases and looking at their bio, the band has played quite a few shows with some great underground death and black metal acts. To The Death is Nervochaos’ fifth release and is thirteen tracks of pure well played, aggressive death metal. Unrelenting fast drums with some mid-paced passages before the pace is picked back up. The guitar riffs are intense and heavy with some solo's thrown in the mix to keep the listeners attention while the musicians pound your eardrums and senses with the heaviness of the music. The vocals are done pretty original sounding with brutal, angry death growls and some gruff/screams. Fans of past Nervochaos releases should enjoy this or if you enjoy heavy, fast uncompromising death metal, then you will definitely want to check this South American band out for some quality death metal.  - Patrick

http://metalmedia.com.br/nervochaos/  http://greyhazerecords.com/      




“The Art Of Vengeance” 2014 CD

(Greyhaze Records)


Nervochaos return with their sixth cd to date, entitled “The Art Of Vengenace”. While it still has Nervochaos’ fast thrashing / death style, the band is showing a little progression and maturity, in their writing ability. The music is still pretty fast and heavy, but the band does have a slower mid-paced tempos mixed into the song structure. The drumming is extremely good, with some fast thrashy drum patterns and some heavier death metal drums. This is probably Nervochaos’ best release to date, so if you are a long time fan, or just someone who enjoys death / thrashing mayhem, then definitely pick this disc up today.  - Patrick

http://www.nervochaos.com.br/   http://greyhazerecords.com/      




“Nyctophilia” 2017 CD

(Greyhaze Records)


Brazil’s raw thrash black metallers Nervochaos are back with a new release featuring thirteen songs. The guitars are played with intense, fast guitar patterns throughout most of the songs. But the guitarist does slow down to a more controlled mid pace pattern in a few of the songs. The drumming is done in the vein, with chaotic and crazed drum patterns, but does slow to a heavier slower pacing. The vocals are a mix of raw death metal growls and some screaming intertwined within the mix. If you are a fan of the previous Nervochaos releases then be sure to pick up a copy “Nyctophilia” today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/NervoChaos    https://www.greyhazerecords.com/      




“Dreaming Neon Black” 1999 CD

(Century Media Records)


When this band first came out, I was so excited as I loved Sanctuary (whose ashes this band was created out of) but Nevermore for me has been nothing but a big disappointment. This album does nothing to change those feelings, I mean even though Warrel Dane’s diminished vocals still have enough of that old umph to sound good. It’s not enough. The straight-forward groove laden material on here just bores me to tears! After a couple spins, I thought maybe if I listened to it the last time before review w/ headphones I will pick up on what I’m missing, but no this is just mediocre drivel.  – Dale




“Obscure Master Plan” 1999 CD

(Nuclear Blast America)


Here’s a young act on the scene, who execute mid-paced, heavy metal in the ‘80’s tradition. N.E., have a penchant for riffy tunes laced w/ some stylish and classy guitar leads. Smooth vocals that remind me, oh so slightly of Fates Warning. They are let down though from a lack of catchy harmonies and memorable choruses. New Eden are a strong group of slick musicians that all leave their mark. Yet the group’s lack of original and interesting song writing really let’s this album down. Maybe next time? They have all the tools to pull it off.  – Dale




“Vietnamm” 2016 CD EP

(Merdumgiriz Recs / NBRD Recs)


This is the solo release of Nick Noro, who comes from the robust Bay Area thrash band Survival, I have reviewed a couple of their releases now, if you want to check those out. There was already an older re-release of a Survival recording, which was essentially a Nick Noro solo release using the Survival name. But this one is quite different, man how to even begin to describe this, it is so different from Survival and different from most of what I get to review or choose to listen to. After a spoken word recount of a victim, who was shot in the head, it then cuts over to Bruce Buffer from the UFC of all things, doing one of his trademark intros. So yeah, that is the start of this four song, roughly eleven minute EP, yes it is weird. The music, which makes up the rest of “Vietnamm” is actually pretty good stuff, much better than the old Noro solo Survival record. But it is kind of hard to describe the music, it consists of cool but random short songs that are strange hard rock things, which is a mix probably of who knows what, but maybe stuff like Rollins Band, Faith No More, Mr. Bungle with some art rock and like pop punk or something. I obviously have limited references points on these styles. When I read that description of the style above, I think fuck I don’t want to listen to that, but honestly if you can stomach that kind of weird mix, this is actually some pretty interesting and catchy stuff. One thing it shows for sure, there are many musical sides and lot of talent, within this tortured (see my Survival review for details on his imprisonment etc..) artist Nick Noro. This is a pretty tough sell to most readers of my site, and honestly it was a tough sell on me too, not my kind of thing either truly, but I can appreciate the talent and vision going on here.  - Dale

https://nbrd.bandcamp.com/    http://www.merdumgiriz.org/     




“Peculiar Worship” 2013 Cassette EP

(NoVisible Scars Records)


It is always a pleasure to get a review package from the great NoVisible Scars Records. Visually the layout on this cassette looks great and the tape itself is awesome, it is a cool deep piss yellow with blood colour writing / graphic across it. There are only two songs to go on here, so that is not a lot to judge a band. But what is here is really, really good stuff and exceeded my expectations to be honest. The first song reminded me of darker sounding early Queensryche and a healthy dose of Sanctuary. The solo towards the end of the opening title track is superb. The second track entitled “Blind Men And Occult Forces”, has a decidedly different sound and vibe to it. Apparently this song is a cover version, of an Italian band named Black Hole, which I must confess I am unfamiliar with. I can say this track is fantastic, very dark and moody, it reminds me of a mix of Candlemass, Demon, Angel Witch, Holocaust type of sound. This tape is excellent, if you are a New Wave of British Heavy Metal fan, like I am, then you will like this and it should be in your collection. Now I really want to hear more Night Bitch, I need to find out if the first track or the second is the true Night Bitch sound. This is limited to 150 copies, it might already be sold out, but I believe a digital version can be downloaded for just a couple bucks.  - Dale 

http://nightbitch.bandcamp.com/  http://nvslabel.blogspot.com/    




“Thunderbeast” 1998 CD

(Nuclear Blast America)


This has to be one of top few bands out of the huge melodical euro-styled death metal movement. This is my first encounter with N.I.G. and they are more forceful and acidic than most of their ilk. Vocalist Bjorn is multi-talented utilizing several different ranges, paces, & emotions and is a strong link in this band. These guys play almost too tight and rigid for me but you can hardly fault them for a razor sharp performance - tastes aside. Very rhythmic, heavy music with structuring as tight and pristine as a nun’s asshole. 54 quality minutes.  – Dale




Night Demon” 2012 MCD

(Shadow Kingdom Records)


Shadow Kingdom Records releases / bands have always been hit or miss with me. Well California's Night Demon is a major hit! They start off with high energized guitars and catchy drums. Night Demon plays a nice mix of fast adrenalized rock and traditional heavy metal. You get some catchy, memorable guitars, drum patterns and the vocals are well done screams with some melodic vocal touches. Fans of NWOBH or traditional eighties heavy metal will definitely want to check out Night Demon very soon.  - Patrick

http://nightdemon.bandcamp.com/   http://store.shadowkingdomrecords.com/ 




“Apocalypse Sun” 2010 CD

(The Ajna Offensive)


Some black metal from the dark, festering armpit of Colorado. The first thing that struck me was how long each song is on this 10 track album. To cut right to the heart of the matter, some of these songs are too long for their own good, and tend to meander along over staying their welcome. Also something about the speed of their songs is weird to me and so often unchanging with little to no thought given towards range. The pacing reminds me of a nervous person, who is hyper and drumming their leg up and down in a weird sort of jerky motion that people with no rhythm often exhibit. It just never settles into a cadence or pulse that feels comfortable and as I mention there is no dynamic with speed changes. The drums often follow suit though at least there is some variety and up and down range that lets the drums to stay fairly interesting. The vocals on here are obscure black metal rasps with some hint of a dm growl in the bottom end of the vocal projection. The vocals are pretty good, though a little low in the mix and as a result tend to fade into the background at times. The synth and atmospherics feel like they were added more as an after thought, rather than something intended from the beginning. I am just not feeling this album, it evokes little emotion in me, and the album as a whole is a tad forgettable with nothing standing out at any particular point in time. I am sure there will be those that like Apocalypse Sun, but it did little for me personally.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/nightbringerofficial  http://www.theajnaoffensive.com/




“Oceanborn” 1999 CD

(Spinefarm Records)


Can anyone imagine and not cringe at a more commercial and symphonic The Gathering!? I can now, after listening to this. The female vocals are a bit different from the aforementioned but not terribly. I imagine they could be a good barmitzfa band with some of these songs.  – Dale 

Spinefarm, Box 212, 00181 Helsinki, FINLAND Label website = www.spinefarm.fi or band website = www.nightwish.com 




“Elevenfold Tail” 2022 CD, LP & Cassette

(Into Endless Chaos Records)


Trying to track this Mexican band’s history is a winding road for sure. It all starts in it’s birthplace of Mexico, the somewhat confusing part for me is Encyclopedia Metallium lists all members as being from Mexico yet apparently they all now live and have their home base in Sweden! My early impression was from Jacobo’s deadly cutting, rasping and harshly yelled vocals that slash through everything like a deadly poisonous serpent strike. This band musically has a really interesting mix I have not heard before, at least not quite how they do it, some of the music is heavy yet catchy tuneful thrash metal style, then it speeds up a little and will completely morph into pure second wave cold and harsh black metal. This transition is pretty smoothly back and forth between these two usually disparate musical styles and moods in my head, it feels like they should not work together, but with how Nigrum employs these influences it really does. At times, it feels like two different bands yet there is never any doubt it is all one overall musical vision assimilating one another. Additionally, despite the thrash comparison I would not call them a thrash band and/or they do not even sound/feel like your usual black thrash either. I would say It feels more like thrash based musicians decided to do a black (even death ala early Dissection) metal band, and this result is how their influences bled through. I would also say the talent level of these fellows is higher than your average black metal band, some of the guitar work and songwriting with regards to the guitars especially resides at a pretty high level. Nigrum brings bits and pieces of their Mexican musical origins with American touches, then mixed them liberally with Scandinavian extremity and the result is a pretty solid debut record.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/Nigrumofficial   https://intoendlesschaosrecords.bandcamp.com/   




“Reborn / Resurrection / The Calm Before The Storm…” 2019 / 2020 Compilation Cassette Album

(Eternal Darkness Creations)


This is a compilation release of a few of this malevolent and depraved Texas bands many ep’s, which were released over the last couple of years by the long running (many years before cassettes became cool again) cult UG tape label Eternal Darkness Creations. E.D.C. is ran by the notorious grey bearded metal goat (full disclosure Keith is one of my very long time, as in 3 decades time, best friend) Keith Dempe. I have reviewed all of these N.O.C.O. releases, and more in CA previously, so I will keep the actual review somewhat brief as it will just be me repeating myself. N.O.C.O. as hinted at above is prolific in their release history, most being short ep’s, but they have progressed and morphed their sound in a brief time. A lot of their early sound and influences came from hardcore / crust styles, as they continued to evolve those elements became almost non-existent in their newer material. Some wisps of their scathing metal influences remain, but they pop in and out of listening view in quite fleeting fashion, yet still leaving an indelible mark on the coarse & caustic disturbing atmosphere that is almost always present. In my opinion, the music is largely centered on Paul’s scathing, acidic vocals and the samples, both of which are often heavily manipulated in some form or fashion. This is achieved with a barrage of quick edited bits of those elements embroidered into a collage of deviant auditory aural sensations. It is not an easy or comfortable listen, it is in your face and abrasive, and if you like that sort of thing you will find this an interesting, at times infectious listen. I guarantee you Keith from E.D. Creations makes the absolute best and most creative tape layouts in the UG scene! These things fold out in every direction, the cover itself is a small booklet with all of the covers of collected releases on here like a front cover booklet, then there is a slipcase design over top of the cassette case and a banner band/strap that you slide off just to get the slipcase off. It is a fucking brilliant design concept and Keith is a legend that deserves your support!!  - Dale

$5 US to: Eternal Darkness Creations at c/o Keith Dempe, P.O. Box 268, Coraopolis, PA. 15108, USA  keithdempe@gmail.com       




“The Child Must Die” 2015 CD

(Infernal Kommando Records)


This is my first listen to Nihilistenen Barbaarisuus, I mean I had heard the name (and quite mouthful it is too at least to an English speaking tongue). But I thought they were a band from Finland itself. So imagine my surprise, when delving a little further, and finding out, NB is actually from Philadelphia, just a couple hours down highway from my house. As is becoming clear for you, this is a band, whose mastermind is of Finnish descent, and this album is a celebration of his heritage. The lyrics in fact are derived, and apparently at times, directly adapted lyrics taken from the legendary Kalevala, a Finnish book of poetry dedicated to the history, folklore and mythology of Finland. It is an interesting and strange combination, all at once I am struck by cold, hateful sounding black metal, yet there is this clear ever present underpinning of an uplifting, triumphant atmosphere driving throughout the harsh exterior. I think it shows a level of vision and talent to be able to pull that marriage off. The vocals on here are pretty monstrous as well, combing a dark death metal growl with traditional bm rasp, all done with solid range. The vocals are performed with vigor, and there was actual thought put into the inflections, speed of delivery and rhythm. This is a pretty fantastic album, I must admit it took me a little off guard, I was not expecting this level of quality and craftsmanship.  - Dale

http://nihilistinenbarbaarisuus.bandcamp.com/   http://infernalkommando.blogspot.com/       




“Madness Incarnate” 2016 CD EP

(Symbol Of Damnation)


If you see my review of this bands album, entitled “The Child Must Die”, you know I have become a big fan of this band. So, I was very pleased, to find this new release (limited to 500 copies) in my mailbox. The main man you should concern yourself with is Mika Mage, who is Finnish and now resides in Philadelphia, he is generally responsible for the majority of everything Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus (Nihilistic Barbarity in English), from the musical creation, to composing and concept. Though on this release, he has decided to enlist some friends, and former band mates, to lend their playing and voices to these songs. I get that feeling, from this release; it is a collection of songs rather than a cohesive whole. This just feels like it is Mika letting loose, and stretching his artistic legs, outside of the album concept, to where the individual songs are meant to be enjoyed on their own, the opposite of the old saying the sum of it’s parts… Which I think, on an ep is where you like to see that kind of thing, which if done well can be a welcome and enjoyable distraction, whilst you await the next full length album. Regardless of intentions, Mika’s superior composing skills and vision are ever present. It is a little different here at times, compared to the album, but that combination of ambient black death metal mixed impressively with frosty aggression, yet maintaining this perplexing infectious, uplifting and triumphant quality that is fast becoming a celebrated (by me at least) signature of Mika Mage’s writing style. His style is not easy to describe, but it is a near perfect blend of ambiance, cold hate and melodicism. The style, on this on five track nearly 20 minute release, varies more than the album, nowhere more apparent than vocal performances with no less than three guest vocalists. Despite the lack of cohesion in that area, it also adds a certain dynamic, varied quality which is sure to keep the listener engaged, as all the variant performances are well done. This is yet another fine Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus release, which only serves to wet the lips of the bands parched fans, myself included, who eagerly await the next full length album!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/nihilistinenbarbaarisuus    http://satanath.com/sodp 




“Ulvekrieger" 2022 CD

(Blasphemous Creations Of Hell Records / Plague Demon Records)


“Ulvekriger” is the fourth masterpiece from Puerto Rico's Niohoggr. Musically on this release, it is delivered with a dark and sinister mid paced black metal style. The guitars and drums are crafted with some very well performed passages, which is all done with a skillful writing style. There are some faster and more aggressive parts intertwined within the music, before slowing things back down. The vocals are a mix of grim and gruff death metal growls and some raw black metal screams. “Ulvekrieger” is a much darker and haunting release, then their past releases. If you are a fan of quality, well performed black metal then be sure to check out Niohoggr newest masterwork today.   - Patrick

niohoggr.bandcamp.com   plaguedemonrecords.storenvy.com    https://bchrecords.storenvy.com      




Package Round Up Part 1

(No Name Records / Addicted Label BNiL)


This interesting and new to me record label from Russia sent me a big package of discs. Some recent releases and some from past years, all still available I believe (either on CD or mp3), in interest of not having to wait while I slowly do a full review of them all. I decided to do an overview of mini-reviews to give an idea of what this dedicated label is all about. All bands are either from Ukraine or Russia. Okay, here we go:

Sound Of Ground “Sick” CD (2013): When the first song started I was not sure I would like this, they threw in this funk part that did not fit at all, but after that they settled down and I got into it and dug it a lot more than expected. Sound Of Ground plays Stoner Rock with adventurous song structuring thrown in now and then. Think of a more progressive version of Kyuss mixed w/Acid Bath. Solid Stuff.

Flower In My Lung - Flower in My Lung CD (2013): This pure mood music. It is completely instrumental, atmospheric rock music to just mellow out to and let your mind wander and bathe in relaxing emotion. This is not something I would listen to very often, but it is superbly crafted and hard not to like, especially since they create this soundscape with largely traditional instrumentation, which is something I really appreciate.

Pressor - Weird Things CD EP (2018): Pressor perform extremely slow moving experimental doom metal with heavy synth atmospheric accompaniment is what I got from the first song. Then the second kicks in and my thought they were purely an instrumental band went away as the speed picked up and rapid, caustic sludge style vocals spread across the music like a plague. It feels like those vocals don’t belong with this music. As things progress, they even mix in some stoner metal riffing. I really love some elements of this release yet other elements just do not work well for my tastes. The crushing doom stuff is great - more focus on that in future would be welcome for me.

Disen Gage – Nature CD (2018): There are only 3 songs but do not let that fool you this album is 45 mins long! However, if you tend toward liking bands with mainly traditional instrumentation you will be disappointed. The bulk of their sound is just taking sci-fi samples (like from 70’s/‘80s movies & TV), random synth sounds and manipulating them into what felt like to me a kind of directionless audio stew of atmospheric sounds ‘n samples slap chopped into three 16 minute chunks. I am sure there is an audience out for this band, but it is not me.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/NonameRecordz    https://noname666.bandcamp.com/     




Package Round Up Part 2

(No Name Records / Addicted Label BNiL)


Now part two from this interesting Russian labels package. As you see above, all bands hail from the Ukraine or Russia, and this label is doing a very admirable and professional job promoting them abroad. Let’s keep it rolling:

Soom – Джєбарс CD (2018): Soom play grinding, gritty and dark rumbling stoner / sludge doom metal, which is slow and moody with sparse use of vocals. I like that as the spoken word vocals are on here are pretty so-so. The band is at their strength when they let their morose hypnotic doomy riffs and foreboding atmosphere take control of the proceedings. This is a band I will keep my eye on in the future. Some really good stuff.

Pree Tone – Kiddy CD (2018): Psychadelic Shoegaze rock? I have to admit I really dislike sappy shoegaze. PT adding some psychedelic elements softens the blow a little bit, but honestly I am trying to be nice by saying that as I just hate this. It is not for me, even the robot collage turns me off; does anyone reading this like shoegaze stuff? Maybe you will like this, but I am happy to hit stop button.

Transnadežnost' – Monomyth CD (2018): This band is instrumental, for the most part, and it works for them. The production and certain elements in the bands music sound modern, but overall their music feels very ‘70s progressive space rock to me. Which, it may surprise some; this is a style I am a fan of. This is some killer trippy music that produces a kaleidoscopic of flowing atmospherics and emotions. This is very good if you like that kind of music?!

Злурад - Во благо злу CD (2019): The translation is Zlurad – A Blessing Or A Curse. This is some crazy shit, it almost seems a bit out of place on this labels roster. Apparently, this is at least partially improvised. It is barely controlled chaos punk, hardcore, metal mixed with spazzed out jazzy horns. There are multiple vocalists, which sound like it is feeding time at the insane asylum and everyone has been starved half to death. Have you heard John Zorn’s Naked City or Zorn’s Painkiller? Well, Zlurad are basically attempting that exact style, except they are not quite as musically accomplished as John Zorn and company. But, if you like that style of insanity and can not get enough (even if it is a bit of a low on ink xerox), then this release might hit the spot for you. If you do like this, you need to get the John Zorn stuff ASAP.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/NonameRecordz    https://noname666.bandcamp.com/      




Package Round Up Part 3

(No Name Records / Addicted Label BNiL)


The No Name Records / Addicted Label catalog overview series continues here in part 3 and finishes below with part 4. This is a very professional label that does a great job promoting their bands, all of whom hail from either the Ukraine or Russia. Let’s go:
Spaceking “In The Court Of The Spaceking” CD (2013) I know the title brings to mind King Crimson, but this band sounds nothing like them. No, this pure stoner rock in the vein of early Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu, Slo Burn and that style of sound. The band does get a bit daring with the odd progressive spice injected into their songwriting, but for the most part it is fairly straight forward stoner rock, but pretty good stoner rock that is worth checking out. Just a heads up, the vocals are very sparsely used as it is mostly instrumental.
Detieti “Ne eP” CD (2013) It is hard to describe this band. I am not sure progressive would cover it, more like an extremely eclectic clusterfuck that is at times is pretty brilliant and other times a little confused sounding. I would say think of more of a metal, hardcore, punk tinged band trying to re-create the quirky, freeform jazzy tinged Frank Zappa material (replete with Xylophone) that was often improvised on stage. It is quirky and most extreme metal fans that read this site might not like it, but who knows, if you want something very different this is a good place to try to spread those wings. These guys are very talented to be sure and I can respect them for their talent level.
Soom & ИЛ “ИЛ – Soom” Full-length Split CD (2013) The ИЛ portion of this split I guess translates to IL, so that is the bands name. IL starts things off two tracks, the first being 22 mins (!!) long. It is a moody slow mix of Sludge and doom metal, with few short spoken word bits. Not much going on, it feels kind of off the cuff at times and forgettable. Next up is Soom who I liked last time around, but that release was 5 years after this one. Honestly, the Soom tracks on here are a slightly higher quality version of the IL tracks, except maybe a little bit more doom and little less sludge-y sounding. It is also lacking those spoken word tidbits; in fact, their side of the split is virtually instrumental. I already know the future that Soom will get better going forward, but this is a decent start.
The Grand Astoria “Deathmarch” CD EP (2013) A cool name and an even cooler band. Damn, nearly every song on this five song, thirty minute EP is filled with excellent kinda Psychadelic fuzzy stoner rock in the vein of Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu, Sheavy etc… The first four songs are just killer stoner doom rock, like fairly heavy, but also catchy and memorable as hell. The last song is a moody, mellow number, still good but not quite on the level as first four bad ass songs. If you love stoner rock you definitely need to check this out.
- Dale   

https://www.facebook.com/eskhaton666    http://www.lavadome.org  




Package Round Up Part 4

(No Name Records / Addicted Label BNiL)


Time to wrap up  this in-depth introduction / overview of this quality Russian record label:
The Grand Astoria “The Mighty Few” CD (2015) It was a pleasant thing to realize the next review was another Grand Astoria review, after I liked their EP above so much. TGA has gotten extremely ambitious since then, there are only 2 songs here, but the total run time is 50 minutes!! Their old sound of fuzzy stoner doom is still here, though very sparsely employed now. But now, it is wrapped in again, an ambitious experimental greater whole filled with atmospheric sounds, dabs of jazzy instruments & sounds, space-y sounding synth accents, along with some swingy moody guitar excellence. The vocals are a little trippier sounding too. These guys are so talented, both in instrumental skills, but also in song constructing vision. I am not sure I loved it as much as the previous extremely catchy EP, but this release is surely at a higher level than that and it is hard not to be impressed.
Mother Witch & Dead Water Ghost “Ruins Of Faith” CD EP (2016) are a psychedelic doomy stoner rock band from the Ukraine. The doom is not the crushing heavy doom you might expect, but it has that doom feel, the stoner side of things is not as catchy and rocking as most stoner bands, but still has that fuzzed out vibe to it. No, MW&DWG is a very gloomy and lugubrious, pensive band that will bring out heavy emotions in you. The vocalist has great range and great feel, on how to manipulate her voice to maximize it’s relationship with the music. This is a band for me to keep an eye on for sure.
Jahroom “Cut-Price Goods + Nyx” CD (2016) This is a real mixed bag of psychedelic and schizophrenic prog rock fusion, mixed with jazz improv / instrumentation and all 11 tracks on this album are instrumental. It is an extremely eclectic and eccentric mix of musical directions, as well as genres played with crazy melodies and time signatures. I am not sure this is my kind of music, but damn are these musicians exceptionally impressive. I say that in relation to their wide scope of musical skill and ability to assemble coherent interesting songs within a musical wind storm! This is next level stuff, the only thing that comes to mind (in my limited listening repertoire in this area) is the “Black Light Syndrome” album from Bozzio Levin Stevens.
Dekonstruktor - Fuck Life We Go Further CD EP (2017) I finally get to hear the 4 song EP follow up to their great debut album (my review of which apparently brought CA to the attention of Anton from Addicted Label). Maybe it is because most of the other releases are not at this level; it is a nice change of pace for me to listen to something so crushingly heavy and brutal, like the opening track is on here, which is great. They dropped the ‘70s exploitation movie samples as vocals, other than brief acidic partly sung, partly spoken word vocals mixed with some more industrial sounding vox. The rest of the release is more trippy, more chill yet still introspective feeling. I am not sure I like this as much as their debut record, but it is still pretty great and this band are true artists spreading their artistic musical sickness like an audio drug for you brain. - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/NonameRecordz    https://noname666.bandcamp.com/          




Package Round Up Part 5

(No Name Records / Addicted Label BNiL)


We have been doing a series of Round Up Packages, which gives a rather in-depth history and overview of this very dedicated and cool Russian record labels diverse catalogue spanning over a decade of existence. This is the final installment of this series, so let’s dig in...

Thy Grave “Anhedonia” CD (2013) Play a very different and interesting mix of death doom, sludge sorta droning metal. They make very long, drawn out and all-encompassing atmospheric songs (like 11-15 minutes!) with some smaller interlude tracks breaking them up and are short straight up quicker death doom tunes. The vocals are manical yells, gruff ‘n growly hoarse throat screaming that do kind of cut through the atmospherics of it all, usually in a good way, but in a few spots it is a bit grating. This is pretty cool all in all; okay a little monotonous in a couple sections possibly. But overall Thy Grave is a somewhat unique combination, which is a good thing in this day and age in the UG scene.

The Grand Astoria “La Belle Epoque” CD (2014) This release is like the missing link for me. I adored the more straight ahead stoner fuzz psychadelia of their 2013 release, but was not as into the much more epic, experimental 2015 album yet I also came away impressed with that release as well. What were they up to in the year between was “La Belle Epoque”. My early impression listening to this is honestly disappointment. These guys are extremely talented, but this time around they decided to set aside some of their talent and just write some very catchy, but also mundane, light and airy commercial radio type of songs. This is something, if you know me I really dislike; gone (or at least nearly all gone) is the heavy, stoner fuzz and driving amazing songs of the previous release as well as the more intricate progressive song constructing brilliance of the release that followed this album. These guys are so talented that I honestly hate criticizing anything they do, but especially the first three quarters of this release I just did not like.

Soom - Ніч На Полонині CD (2015) The album title translates to Night On The Mountain. As you can see, in the above reviews, I thought the bands 2013 split album was just okay, but quite enjoyed their 2018 album entitled “Джєбарс”. Let’s see what they were up to in the meantime and in between time of those two releases. The opening track is a long mood setting intro leading into the second song, which has a heavy as fuck, atmospheric riff like if you took it off the first Black Sabbath album and tuned it to a death metal tuning and played it in super slow motion! I like it a lot! Just like later material, the vocals are very sparse and generally just spoken word with echo effects and other things distorting them, though in a spot or two there are actual sung vocals that are obscured yells ala a more subdued version of Godflesh or something. This to some extent is like Thy Grave above being filled with long songs (7-8 minutes plus one 11 min song) along with a few short ones mixed in, much like Thy Grave they are soundscape type songs, like sludgy doom death that goes along at a crushing snails pace. But Soom have more interesting songs than Thy Grave and are at a higher level of overall quality in my opinion. Just like their 2018 release, I can really recommend this to death doom maniacs, as it is a great release. Cheers to Soom!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/NonameRecordz    https://noname666.bandcamp.com/     




“Atmospheres Of Desolation” 2019 CD & LP

(Blood Harvest / Helter Skelter Productions)


Denver, Colorado’s Noctambulist are a fairly new death metal band. ‘Atmosphere Of Desolation’ in fact is the bands debut release, which features six songs of fast and heavy death metal music. The vocals are low and deep growls, though the vocalist does add some gruff screams in some spots in a few of the songs. I have to say these are best vocals I have heard in quite a while and fit the music perfectly. The music is weighty and powerful with some heavy drum patterns that are both extremely chaotic and fast, but do slow down to a mid paced drum style throughout a few of the tracks. The guitars are done in the same vein with some very well written and performed patterns that are mainly played with a lot of speed. The guitarist does add some very well played solos and nicely placed within the bands music. If you are looking for a new with a lot of potential then you should definitely be sure this release out, surely there will be some good things to come from this young band.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/noctambulist303/    https://helterskelterproductions.bandcamp.com     




"The Barren Form" 2021 CD, LP & MC

(Willowtip Records)


Creeping on up from the densely forested pits of Denver, Colorado is Noctambulist with their sophomore album and first on the excellent Willowtip Records. The individual members have been kicking around the Colorado scene for quite some time, doing time currently or previously in bands like Nicaraguan Death Squad, Cordyceps, Despise The Sun, Burn The Fleet, Twatrot, Expurgate and more. They play blackened and brutal semi-technical death metal with a high degree of polished musicianship. Their style is interesting despite them always keep things dark and very brutal, there are also numerous sequences smoothly mixed in that are very depressive, moody and brooding. Which when combined tends to create an intriguing, discordant emotive misery blend that is quite striking and appealing to me. The vocals of Sean McConnell are excellent deep growls that expand and contract expressing a lot of anger and rage, but also manage to mimic the depths of despair you can feel from the music. It is this strange alluring yet also disturbing mix of fury and despondency. It took me a few listens before this album went from a dark death metal album to something deeper than that as the top layers peeled back for me. I have not heard their debut album, but this second offering is something to behold if you are brave enough to really embrace it’s joy draining grasp.   - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/noctambulist303    https://willowtip.bandcamp.com/       




“Self - Titled” 1998 CD

(Solistitium Records)


Solistitium have finally done it. They put out a band that I don’t like! Another perfect record snapped. Nocti Vagus (ex-Norwind) play limp keyboard dominated black metal. The synth’s are so much in the forefront that it simply drowns out the music. When you can hear it is over the symphonic ruckus N.V. play slow sounding melancholy. Pass on this but be sure to check into everything else on Solistitium.   – Dale

Solistitium Recs., Postfach 12 10, 26802 Moormerland, GERMANY




Ave Noctem” 2013 CD

(Do Or Die Records)


Yet another one man band, from this young but promising record label, like its roster of bands Do or Die is based out of the Chicago area. Nocturne like label mates Deathcult is a one man band and that one man is Dan Klein who writes all the music and handles all instruments. The music is a successful marriage of old school dark American death metal and ‘90s Scandinavian black metal. The music is dark and heavy, but always maintains a strong sense of melody and atmosphere, giving it a dense level of depth and style. Dan pulls everything off with obvious skill, not that it is super technical music, but it is pretty involved all the same. If I had to guess I would say Dan’s weapon of choice is the drums as drumming is very well done, thought out and executed. His vocals are a combination of black metal rasp and sinister sounding death metal growling undertone. The vocals are just forceful enough yet also possess an obscured element to them, which convey some subtlety in the overall musical maelstrom. I have to admit Nocturne when I heard them on the sampler last year were decent enough, but did not stand out as much as the other two bands did for me. This album has corrected that and I was in for a much more quality listen than I had originally anticipated based upon that sampler. I came away quite impressed with this excellent debut record. I can definitely recommend this one.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/NocturneChicago   http://www.doordierecords.org/   




“Devastated Graves – The Morbid Celebration” 2010 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


Hells Headbangers pump out new releases like nobodies business. I am not sure sometimes how they even find the time away from releasing/promoting to scour the planet for so many good new bands to release. It is evident immediately to me that Nocturnal Blood worship at the feet of Blasphemy, Archgoat and the very early works of bands like Beherit, Sodom, Incantation, Bathory. I mean the very creepy and low-fi, old school production itself just absolutely smacks of Beherit and Blasphemy. I would suggest Nocturnal likely worked hard to get that sound on this recording. The atmosphere of the recording definitely helps create a very sinister classic early days of death and black metal sound. I guess one difference between Nocturnal Blood and some of the mentioned bands is they are fairly monotone and mostly unchanging from song to song and within each track itself. Something about that just draws me in and manages to keep me there. Not something that is essential by any means but devotees of some of the above bands mentioned will doubtlessly love this.  – Dale

http://nocturnalblood.hellsheadbangers.com/  http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/ 




“Aggressor” 1998 CD

(Pavement Music/Hammerheart Records)


Pavement licensed this release for North America, a wise move indeed! Try to imagine some the most intense, raging, volatile, catchy and pounding thrash metal possible and you will have a clear picture of Nocturnal Breed! 11 trax of skull rattling, skin shredding thrash crush - I cannot get enough of this album! Listen to “Maggot Master”, “Metal Storm Rebels”, and “Rape The Angels” to realize what fuels my enthusiasm.  – Dale




“Metal Of Honor” 2009 CD

(Moribund Records)


When I had seen the album title, I was immediately reminded of one of my fave albums from the 80s by the same name released by the band TT Quick. The record starts off with an intro collage of audio taken from the new Rambo movie. Which is pretty predictable stuff, but it does reflect the lyrical content, and set the stage to get you in the mindset of bombs, guns and blood. There is no doubt what they sound like to me at least. Which is 80s thrash ala Dark Angel, Sacrifice mixed with classic German thrash like Kreator & Destruction. You get a full platter of head down, racing forward riffing, simple high octane speed drumming and old school gruff yelling vocals that will bring you back. The searing hot guitar solos that pop up here and there cannot be ignored either. I am not going to try and sell a false bill of goods. Which is saying stuff like this is brings retro into modern times because no this retro through and through. But, fuck guys this is good old school shit, it is not original in any way, but it is some truly quality and aggressive thrash perfectly played in the way the forefathers meant it to be. So if you do not care for the retro thing, then just move along, but if all you care about is great thrash that will rip your flesh off, then you need to get this.  – Dale

www.moribundcult.com   http://www.myspace.com/nocturnalfear 




“They Come At Night” 2012 CD

(Deathgasm Records)


This is some good but noisy shit. I would say this is a blending of influences from the old great Swedish death metal bands like Dismember, Grave, early Hypocrisy mixed with American sounds ala Incantation, Resurrection, Monstrosity type stuff. The vocals remind me a little to one of my fave death metal bands of all time and that is Benediction. This record hits you in wave after wave of fuzzy distorted brutality, just a wall of guitars relentlessly closing in on you from all sides. The drumming is a non-stop pummeling motor that stalks towards you like the killer from a slasher movie and the cutting, brief guitar leads do their damage as well. It is blistering music man! There is a lot going on here and They Come At Night is a quality listen, it is always brutal, it is catchy at times, it is always intense and you will discover new things upon repeated listens. It is hard to ask for too much more from a death metal album. This is well worth picking up.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/eternalnocturnaltorment  http://www.deathgasm.com/   




The Cleansing” 2012 CD

(Deathgasm Records)


Nominon return with their newest and possibly their best release to date. The Cleansing consists of ten tracks of crushing old school brutal death metal as only the mighty Swedish can do it. You get heavy guitars that are as complex as they are heavy and fast. The drumming is right on with the guitars playing at chaotic, fast speeds but also manages to pull off some really good patterns. This is another great release for both Nominon and Deathgasm, so if you’re a fan of fast, brutal old school Swedish death metal you know what to do.  - Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/nominon  http://www.deathgasm.com/   




“Attack Of The Salami-Smokers From Venus” 1999 CD

(Poserslaughter Records)


Here’s another label I had lost track of and wondered if they had ceased to exist!? N.T. spews forth solid blasting grind (w/ guitar solos!!) and traditional metal mixings w/ spoken decipherable growling. The sound is raw but still very rich and clear, just right really. Nothing too terribly original and becomes a bit monotonous by the latter half. I still find this crazy grind enjoyable. How can not with catchy tunes like “Fuck Off”, “I Came To Shoot Your Dick Off”, “Confess U.R. Shit”, and album closer “One For Your Face, One For Your Butt”.  – Dale

Poserslaughter Recs., P.O. Box 180141, D - 10205 Berlin, GERMANY




Entity” 2019 CD

(Unspeakable Axe Records)


This is the second full-length album from this Chicago band; they have been releasing material (two demos, a couple EPs & a split CD) since 2012. I am a little disappointed it took me this long to catch on to them. Because they play great old school heavy & mammoth metal of death, with a great sci-fi concept enveloping everything from the great cover artwork, to the lyrical content and bleeding into the music itself. When speaking of this little sub-genre, it is hard not to include Nocturnus in the mix when talking Sci-fi death metal, in this case conceptually the answer is yes. But, I would say Nucleus actually sounds different enough from especially early Nocturnus, and their vicious speed and heavy synth use makes it is hard to mention them as an influence. However, surely bands like Timeghoul (who I was a pretty big fan of early ‘90s when I tape traded for their demos), Demilich for sure musically, it is also hard not to think of early Immolation, Adramalech, Rippikoulu, Purtenance, Abhorrence, Demigod and a touch of later day Gorguts at times too. The music and the dense roiling growls on this album remind me to another old fave Convulse as well. None of those influences are a bad thing, I am a big fan of all the bands I have named, and Nucleus has managed to put their own touch on that sound. It is clear these guys love the early to mid ‘90s Finnish death metal scene, and who can blame them it was a great time for death metal in that country. The speeds vary slightly, as do song structuring changes, which morphs enough to keep things interesting. But the speed generally speaking, stays in the middle tempo range, with brief slow and quicker accents that serve to manipulate the listeners emotional spikes. Every now and then, there are even some tasty guitar fills, but it is kept to a minimum as the boys make sure the overall dark, sinister atmosphere is nurtured and maintained throughout. This is a quality about them I appreciate very much. “Entity” without a doubt is one of the better death metal albums I have heard in the last couple years, and I hear a lot of them!  - Dale

https://unspeakableaxerecords.bandcamp.com/    https://www.facebook.com/nucleusmetal/       




“DEMOslaughter” Double 2011 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


Here is a real treat for all of you long-time metal-fanatics brought to you by the US legends of death and one of the leading pure-metal labels Hells Headbangers. Nunslaughters first 6 demo's and various 7 inch tracks are included on this release. As if this was not enough for a real metal-filled treat included on the double cd or 4-lp box set is a demo from Death Sentence {a band some members had pre-nunslaughter!} Just in case some reading this are new to the scene or if you have never crossed-paths with Nunslaughter. The band Nunslaughter has been a major force within the true, diy death metal underground for 22 years! Yes 22 you saw that right. Nunslaughter play death metal the way it was meant to be played raw, filthy, uncompromising and just plain heavy. This is a band that doesn’t follow any trends or worry about what’s the flavor of the week instead they just keep pumping out one great metal-release after another. If you are a fan of this band you know what to expect so buy this! As mentioned if you have never heard Nunslaughter and enjoy the old-school raw sounds of early death metal then buy this you will not be disappointed!  - Patrick

http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/  http://www.nunslaughter.com/  




“Hells Unholy Fire” 2012 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


This was released in 2000, which has been long out of print and I am sure in high demand. Because simply put Nunslaughter is one of the very best death metal bands in the history of the genre and there is no doubt about that. Honestly that is all you need to know about this album. If you are reading this site you better fucking know who Nunslaughter is and if you do not have a copy of this album, there is no excuse for it, get on it now! Just to fill out this interview listening to this reminded me back to 2005, if memory serves. I went on a mini-tour with my friends band Bloodstorm around Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York City. That tour also had the first US shows of Destroyer 666 and more importantly, featured Nunslaughter. I got to watch Nunslaughter live every fucking day!! Those shows were some of the best I have seen in my lifetime, Nunslaughter is one of my fave bands of all time and great memories of this band and more to come!  – Dale

www.myspace.com/nun666slaughter  http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/    




“Red Is The Color Of Ripping Death” 2021 CD, LP & Tape

(Hells Headbangers Records)


Unholy shit Nunslaughter return with their first full-length album in ages! I am so, so damn stoked for this thing. I am tempted to write an entire essay on how great the sadly departed drummer Jim Sadist is, who I was lucky enough to get to know a bit personally and even hang out with, but I will try to refrain. I will instead quote the bio who sum things up well in a briefer manner than I could “…at long last, the band's first album in seven years. Many are still mourning the loss of legendary drummer Jim Sadist (RIP), and while Red is the Color of Ripping Death is their first full-length without him playing on it, some of the 14 songs contained herein are unfinished / unrealized music that Jim and founding frontman Don of the Dead wrote years ago”. So, the patented black blood sadistic death metal the band is revered for is alive and well, surging and roiling along in classic fashion and this particular devotee of the band is exceptionally jubilant about it all. It also conjures up so many good memories connected to this band and it’s music. Don’s pipes are in fine form as his wonderfully gurgling and acidic growls, screams and howls creep into my ears and into my body into through violent headbanging gyrations. New or at least recently (you know you are an old goat when call 5 years new Haha) drafted drummer Wrath has a tighter, more technically precise style that is forceful and powerful. It definitely contrasts to an extent with Jim Sadists drumming that had more of, for lack of a better term organic and natural feeling, where the spirit of the music seemed flow through his sticks. While I do prefer Jim’s style a little more, the drumming here still kicks some ass and conveys the diabolic character of the music more than well enough. While there is little doubt in my mind during his 20 years in the band that Jim Sadist put his stamp heavily on Nunslaughter and indelibly changed and improved the music of the band, it is equally true that the true essence and heart of the band is Don of The Dead, who was there from the formation of this band nearly 35 (!!!) years ago. No matter whom Don recruits to join his blasphemic musical horde, it will always be Nunslaughter and it will always be truly great, uncompromising and evil metal of death, devil metal to the fucking core!  - Dale

nunslaughter.bandcamp.com/    facebook.com/NUNSLAUGHTER/    shop-hellsheadbangers.com/   




“Blast From the Past” 2006 CD

(Khaaranus Productions)


This is the old German band some of you might know or at least should know. They formed some time way back in 1992. Since then they have released a whole bunch of shit including 4 albums between 1995 and 2000. Before this release from Nyctophobic recently came my way, I had thought they were RIP. But according to their website they are again going to be active and have a new vocalist. This is good to hear. What we have here on “Blast From The Past” is a collection of tracks from the bands old split CDs, seven inch eps, split tape etc… + 4 unreleased songs. There are also some great live tracks included. Mainly the tracks come from the’94-’98 period of the bands history. All in all you get 27 tracks that have been remastered and honestly sound great. I was surprised and impressed at how even they got the different recordings to sound. What else is there to say besides this is some amazing and intense grind man. Nyctophobic are heavy and brutal and dirty. They never let up, it is a straight ahead pummeling barricade of rolling guitars, pounding yet dynamic drums and the vocals switch off from guttural to the classic nasal high pitched variety. It all works very well and if you are a grind fan. Well then I can only suggest that you need to own this one.. – Dale

http://www.khaaranus.wz.cz   http://www.nyctophobic.de





“Militiae” 2010 CD

(ATMF Records)


The album begins and ends with ambient synth tracks, both of which clock in at exactly two minutes and two seconds. I have no idea of the significance of that, but it seems too simpatico to be a coincidence (unless they are Chuck Woolery fans or something?). The main portion of the record from these French black metallers, is comprised of four lengthy songs that weigh in from the 6 to nearly 9 minute mark. Which always conjures the word epic in my mind and I think it applies here to an extent. But also Militiae has an avant-garde sort of feel to it and is rife with atmospheric tapestries. That is not to say the black metal foundation of their description is virtually non-existent, it definitely lives and breathes an icy cold breath of hate into the material. I think the track “Les Symboles de la Catharsis”, illustrates this point nicely as it is a meaner hymn and the Nyseius’ aggression and darkness are allowed to spread its wings. That is the classic black metal sound I love and that old way is ever present in the raspy vocals. I like that the band has not let their experimental avant-garde side run rampant. They refuse to forget their roots at this point. Militiae is a record worth exploring.  – Dale

http://nyseius.free.fr/   http://www.myspace.com/nyseius    


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"Sermon To The Snake” 2017 CD EP

(Horror Pain Gore Death Productions)


Obscene are a new death metal band, coming to us out of Indianapolis, Indiana with their debut EP. “Sermon To The Snake” features four tracks of death metal with some elements of thrash guitars mixed in with their brutal style of music. The band plays mainly in the mid paced range with some fast guitar sections mixed into some of the songs. The drums are performed with both extremely fast drum patterns, but he does slow down to calmer more mid paced beats now and then. The vocalist is the only thing I don’t care for on this release, as the vocals I feel, just do not really fit well with the music. The music itself is done with a lot more maturity than most new bands, due to the members of this band having done this before in other bands (Black Goat Of The Woods, Acheron, Summon The Destroyer etc…), and their experience bleeds through with some well thought song structuring. If you are a fan of old school death metal, with some thrash influences, then be sure to give Obscene a listen today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/obsceneDM    http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/       




“Suspended In The Brume Of Eos” 2009 CD

(Bindrune Recordings)


Suspended in The Brume of Eos is the debut of this metal horde from Minneapolis, Minnesota. In my view, this is a strong first release for the band and it becomes quite apparent why Bindrune became interested in them. Bindrune are known for having fine tastes when it comes to melodic, epic and progressive sounding dark / black metal. They are a label that releases in quality and not quantity, Obsequiae continue the tradition. There are some wonderful twin guitar harmonies going on, as well as some fine acoustic work, yet it is always balanced structurally with a thought not towards making it just catchy, but rather towards mapping out a long and winding mental journey. They mix their dark metal sound with elements of heavy metal, black metal and medieval folkish strains, so nothing new there yet they do it more skillfully than most. Obsequiae create songs with it, not merely a patch work quilt of influences. The vocals are kept obscured in the back of the mix and at times are sparsely used, but decidedly they are decidedly of the style most often associated with black metal. The vocals are deployed in a somewhat accompaniment type fashion rather than being a focal point of their musical landscape. Suspended In The Brume is not just a collection of songs, but as I said earlier a journey which must be taken resulting in a wonderful album.  – Dale

http://www.last.fm/music/Obsequiae  http://bindrunerecordings.com/  




"Animate//Isolate" 2021 CD & Cassette

(Unspeakable Axe Records)


This Minnesota band creates and plays ultra technical deathrash metal that is usually paced at breakneck speed too. I mean this is some high level stuff my friends. I am surprised listening to the high end and crafty musicianship that the members past bands (which seem to be more local Minnesota scene bands) are not ones I have heard of before, because they come across as talented seasoned musicians. I have to say in my view that it is not just technicality for technicality sakes here most of the time either, it is not wanking, and there is actual song flow and emotion in there. Which is not an easy thing to convey within such intricate and high velocity song structuring. There is so much going on in these songs at soaring speeds, it is very intricate but also there is a memorability factor to the music, it is heavy and you can headbang to it, which again speaks to the flow that I find important with bands that play techno metal. The drumming on here does not take a backseat to the amazing nuanced guitar showcase; the drums have their own impressive and elaborate web of patterns while staying extremely powerful. Another area that can get overlooked with this style are the vocals, which are very decipherable gruff growls that possess some range, and manage express an array of emotion reminding me to the great later day Shuldiner vocals in Death. Technical death metal bands have been on the rise in recent years, now it is great in my opinion, that some talented deathrash bands like Obsolete are also starting to take up the mantle. Fans of bands like Disciples Of Power, Demolition Hammer, Coroner, Hellwitch, Theory In Practice, StarGazer, Cynic, Sadus, later day Death and the like should really dig this marvelous debut album.  - Dale

https://unspeakableaxerecords.bandcamp.com/    http://www.unspeakableaxerecords.com/         




"The Beginning" 2021 CD EP

(Brutal Mind Records)


I have been a devoted follower of the Quebec (Canada) death metal scene for a very, very long time. How long? Well I had a few different tape traders I regularly traded with from Quebec from the early ‘90s and throughout the decade. One of those traders (Alexis Gagnon RIP) was an avid UG gig attendee and made quality recordings of gigs on a weekly basis, and collected video of the same, so I had literally around one hundred audio and video recordings of most UG bands from that province in my collection at one point. I ordered many demo tapes from bands (for example Lord Mortis, Dislocation, Necrotic Mutation, Gorguts (1990 demo tape) etc...). I wrote for a fanzine from there and I even helped facilitate three dates to fill in the gap (the guitarist told at the time the tour may have fallen apart otherwise) of Cryptopsy’s first Canadian tour to promote their as yet unreleased debut album “Blasphemy Made Flesh”. I know I am rambling here, but the flood of memories is overwhelming me right now, I could go on and on. But let’s turn our attention to Obvurt, who despite this being their debut release have some interesting history already. As this band started out as a solo project for main man Philippe Drouin, who was then in a car accident that badly damaged the dexterity of his right (playing hand), and he ended up re-teaching himself to play left handed player. That is impressive, and since doing that he has filled out Obvurt with band members Samuel Santiago (Agony, ex-Gorod, ex-Black March) on drums and on bass guitar Olivier Pinard (Cryptopsy, Cattle Decapitation, Akurion, Neuraxis). The music on here is semi-technical and very brutal death metal with that great old Quebecios traditional base I have enjoyed so much through these decades. It is not all brutality and blast beats though, as there are some stretches where they just let a memorable riff go for a bit of a walk and mix in some brief darkly emotive guitar fills and the odd manic succinct guitar solo. There is definitely a ‘90s feel to a lot of the songwriting, but there are moments that nod to the current movement in the UG scene with a lot of the technical brutal dm bands as well. The material on here is not stupefying in it’s greatness, yet it really is some strong headbanging, pit inducing skillful death metal barbarity that many diehards will appreciate.  - Dale

https://www.indiemerch.com/obvurt    https://brutalmind.bandcamp.com         




“Dark Passion/Kingdoms Of The Darkest Side” 1998 Split CD

(Sempiternal Productions)


Occultus from the drug stained grounds of Columbia play obscure and primitive black metal that brings to mind the first works of Necromantia. On the second half of the disc, Esgaroth blast some truly evil and brutal black metal in the Norwegian tradition of ‘91-93, you know back when that scene was good. Excellent release!  – Dale

Sempiternal Productions, c/o Fernando Castel, 1804 S. Ashland Ave. # 106, Chicago, IL. 60608, USA




"Sten” 2013 CD

(I Hate Records)


Take your average doom metal song, slow it down a bit and stretch it out and you start getting an idea of this Swedish bands sound. There are four songs on here, but do not worry you get your albums worth my friend, just let me say the two shortest songs clock in past the 15 and 17 minute marks. Yes just four songs, but you get close to two full albums worth of material! As you can imagine listening to Ocean Chief takes a certain mindset, not to mention a dose of patience, good things come to those who wait right? Yes, yes they do. The songs as you can imagine are droning and repetitive, but those are positive descriptions in this context. It is true at times there is not much going on, but the music of Ocean Chief, it is a journey and not just a listen for quick gratification. I like to think of this style of doom, in the context of those great old slow burn movies from the 1970s, there were some amazing movies from back then, some might call them boring, while others, who feel the slow burning elements make it pay off that much more at the end of the trip. You are listening to a metal record, but think of it more as atmospheric music, more than a metal album. The vocals, consist of obscured warble-y yells, they are very sparse throughout the album, not particularly remarkable in any way, but they get the job done and fit the music well enough I suppose. This band is probably an acquired taste, not for everyone, probably even for a lot of doom fans, but if you are into this ultra slow, ploddingly epic style, then Sten is not a bad place to be. This is recommended for those with a measured doom hunger.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/oceanchief  http://www.ihate.se/     




"Universums Hard” 2014 CD

(I Hate Records)


Well, well, well…Ocean Chief return to the pages of Canadian Assault. They also have abandoned the extremely long song lengths; they only have three songs here, which are in the eight to ten minute range. Does that sound long to you? Try their previous album, where the songs were of the fifteen to seventeen minute variety! This time around, Ocean Chief even has a couple tracks, which clock in at less than five minutes. I think this album is likely to be, more easily palatable to even the most ardent doom fans, than the last record “Sten” was, which was not an easy record to get into. Maybe my memory is faulty, but it feels like “Universums Hard”, is also a little more uptempo, as opposed to the previous record, which had a pace slightly faster than the growth of grass. Which of course means, an increase in speed takes you from the pace of a snail to the speed of a turtle with a hard on and warm, wet pussy beckoning him from a mere ten feet away. It is sludgy, down tuned heavy doom, with some pretty good meandering rhythm, if you are willing to peel back a layer or two and pay attention to it. The band to set the soundtrack, to the lyrical themes of the album, a sort of a loose concept piece, which attempts to explore a vast cosmic ocean, traveling far beyond this little mud ball we call earth. At some points, I think they are successful in creating that wandering, exploring the vast beyond dreamy feel. Which of course means, at other times, for me at least they did not quite get the desired effect. I think enough of it hits its mark, to call the album a success and an enjoyable listen. The vocals, much of the time, play a pretty small part in the musical landscape, just sort of stepping in to add some depth and support from time to time. But, when the vocals do come in, they are filled with a surprising level of angst and hatred. Those vox, sort of remind me of some of the stuff out of the NOLA area, often in some crusty doom bands. I like how dirty and fuzzy the production is, I am sure it will illicit some consternation, from those that love everything crystal clear and over produced. I say good to that, it is dirty and sludgy (there is that term again), which it only enhances the experience for me. I mean the production, is more than clear enough to hear everything that is going on, but mean and heavy, just hazy enough to give an extra air of darkness and filth to the proceedings. I have to give kudos to Ocean Chief, for going in a new direction, while never sacrificing their balls or their roots, which got them here in the first place.  - Dale

http://oceanchief.bandcamp.com/   http://www.ihate.se/          




“A Collapse of Faith” 2010 CD

(Debemur Morti Productions)


I am not foreign to Falls music, but I do believe this is the first time I have reviewed them. Something that struck me while listening to this is that nothing really stands out from the rest of the instruments on any of the three epic length songs. But that is clearly an intentional and integral part of the musical concept that is October Falls. From the vocals to the drums to the guitars, including acoustic they work together to make a whole album an experience, no one element strays from the goal of becoming one. You will surely get lost within “A Collapse of Faith” as it carries you on a journey through mental landscapes and emotional forlorn. It is up to you whether or not you even care to return from this melancholic sojourn. When reading back what I written above, it almost makes me question is this even Metal? Before you read my words and begin asking yourself the same question. The answer is most assuredly yes. Right down to the growling vocals that also manage to melt into the wonderful atmospheric tapestry. I loved the camp fire sounds crackling, popping and hissing through the record and somehow just like staring into a campfire. Just the sound of it sends me into that blank stare we all share when the mind is wandering. Perfect mood Metal. Check into this I say.  – Dale

http://koti.welho.com/mlehto4/of/of.html   http://www.debemur-morti.com/      




"Tunnel Of No Light” 2013 CD

(Pulverised Records)


October Tide has within it’s ranks two former long time members of Katatonia, they were members during a time I would say most Katatonia fans would call their classic period. That would be my read on it, I have a couple Katatonia albums from that time like Brave Murder Day and Last Fair Deal Gone Down, but I would be lying if I said I was a devoted fan of that band at that time or super knowledgeable about them. My fave Katatonia period is actually their early harsh black metal days, but that is a whole other can of worms we will not open here. Katatonia since those “classic days” from what I hear and have heard have changed their sound a fair bit and not for the better. Well October Tide seems to be a return to that classic Katatonia period / sound. You know what I mean dark, almost gothic like depressive death metal, which is what I am referring to when I say that sound. It is not an overly preferred style for me and my listening habits, but when it is done well ala early Paradise Lost (Shades of God, Gothic era) etc… then I can get into it. Tunnel Of No Light is a very quality album within this type of music. I think for this sound to really succeed it has to really touch that depressive nerve within you, that dark emotional despair feeling and I am not sure this album did that for me as well as I hoped. Like I said though, keep in mind I am pretty picky with this sort of thing. I think fans of classic Katatonia, early Paradise Lost, middle era My Dying Bride will probably like this, not that this album touches those old landmark releases in my view. Just pretty a pretty good album, nothing more than that.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/octobertide  http://www.pulverised.net/      




"Esperalem Tkane” 2014 CD

(Arachnophobia Records)


Godz Ov War Productions strikes again! That wonderful label, who support their scene like no other, have once again sent me a large package of discs, not discs they released, but rather from labels and bands from their country they wish to support and promote. That is what I call the true underground spirit. Alright, on to Odraza, like all the bands in this package, they hail from Poland and play black death metal. This may be the bands debut album, but it is clear upon listening, there is a lot of skill and maturity present, it makes one think they are not newbies at all. This suspicion is quickly confirmed correct upon looking up the two members. They are both from the band Messemord, which has been around a decade or so, plus they have both had stints in or are currently are in a number of other bands. “Esperalem Tkane” is an interesting album, it is not all speed and brute force, no this is a well thought out and crafted album, by two men that possess skill in both their chosen instruments, as well as possessing a talent for arranging music. There is a lot going on here, it is not you’re every day black metal, there is a lot of variation and dynamic, worked expertly within their chosen genre. The envelope is constantly pushed, but their black metal roots are never pulled from the soil, if you get my meaning. The music is very dark and evil sounding, it is brutal as well, yet it is filled with very emotional brooding elements, which add such depth to their musical landscape. Yes, it can send you on an introspective journey, but you will not get too lost in it, because there lays violence and barbarity lurking around each and every corner. This is an impressive album, if you like your black death metal on the slightly adventurous side, but also music that takes care not to forget the dark aggression and barbarism spawned it, then I can strongly recommend that you pick up this great album. Now if you will excuse me, I suddenly have a strange craving, to smoke some cigarette butts off the floor and suck on some lovley old Gilf titties.  - Dale

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2-o2Zfv4b8i_xxHPzktRyw   www.arachnophobia.pl      




"Pentagrammaton” 2020 Double CD, Double LP & MC

(Shadow Records & Regain Records)


The Swedish Ofermod debuted in the UG scene with an explosive and refined seven inch EP way back in 1998. This piece of vinyl really made ripples in the scene, so revered that this two song EP has been re-released on disc, vinyl and cassette no less than seven more times over the years. So it was surely puzzling to some, as to why it took no less than 10 years for their next release, a full-length album to finally surface. The answer to that is main man Michayah Belfagor, was in and out of prison for the next 12 years after the release of that EP. So, in between these stays in prison (for things like assault, robbery etc…) in 2005 word got around that Ofermod was working on and recording their debut album, but it never came out and Michayah went back to prison for a couple years with that recording never surfaced all of these years… That is until now, some 15 years later, that rumoured (and thought to be long lost) debut record now see’s the light of day and dark of night under the title ‘Pentagrammaton’. The album actually sounds great too, having just recently listened to the ’98 EP, this long player picks up right where that release left off even though it recorded so long afterwards. It is still the same high quality evil and hateful black metal with an undercurrent of dark death metal. This is listed as a double album, but the total runtime, for those interested is about 45 minutes long. It is interesting that Moloch from the Spanish band Teitanblood does vocals on the first half of the album, and Michayah Belfagor himself does vocals on the second half of the material. They both sound good to mine ears, strong and sadistically sinister black metal rasping with a growling whisper. I mean I can hear slight differences in cadence and tone, but if I was not trying pay close attention I would not have picked up that it was two different vocalists. It is cool that Shadow Records (run by Marcus Tena as of the band Triumphator) decided to dust off this no longer mythical recording and for me at least it does not disappoint.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/OfermodOfficial    https://www.shadowrecords.se/       




"The Last Neanderthal" 2014 CD

(Minotauro Records)


Ogre returns to the scene, having split up shortly after their last and third album, released in 2008. They picked a great label to make a comeback on. But they are not back just to be back, they have brought the real goods on “The Last Neanderthal”. The bands plays classic heavy metal based doom metal, with a deep 70s base mixed with a slight hint of newer stoner doom sound, but I hesitate to even mention that last part as it is a minor ingredient. Ogre tend to like to slow it down at times and play moody, introspective cool meandering pieces, that create a pensive atmosphere. The vocals, I understand with some are a source of irritation, for myself however, I love the hell out of them! They are high pitched vocals, a unique sort of mix of something like Bon Scott with a young Black Sabbath Ozzy, when his vocals were higher and more nasally. They seem to fit the music for me, the vocalist seems to know when step back, shut up and let the music do the talking, which only serves to heighten the music and the impact of his vocals when he does eventually jump back in. When the band does decide to go beyond the atmospheric classic rock and doom it up, they are fucking heavy, like a gigantic glob of molasses obliterating all in its path. Yes, in case you can not tell, I really like this album and I am now a confirmed Ogre fan. You should be too! Before I go, I forgot to mention on The Fury review prior, that the packaging (gorgeous over sized Digi-sleeve with booklet and all trimmings) on that release and on this album is just fantastic, no expense was spared, pure class all the way by this legendary record label.  - Dale

http://www.minotaurorecords.com/   https://www.facebook.com/Rockogre     




"Sexforce” 2013 CD

(Regenerative Productions)


This is an interesting release coming to us from frosty Norway. Okular play progressive death metal, the term will raise some eyebrows, but it is true in many ways and Okular is surely not your usual dm band. I was not sure what to make of this at first; it is filled with heavy burning riffs, but also a lot of quirky shit, a dose of little off kilter elements that will grab your attention. They do things differently than most bands you hear, they take a lot of chances and do different things and mostly it works quite well. The growling, yet clean understandable mainstay vocals, because while very good, were bugging me because they sounded like a band I know, that was on the tip of my tongue but I could not quite place it. Then it hit me I am thinking of the vocals of Edge Of Sanity, once I made that connection more influences from EOS fell into place as the guitar sound and some of the rhythm / riffing style to my ear is clearly influenced by that amazing Swedish band. I would say much like that band Okular has a talent and penchant for creating really catchy, emotional songs while keeping things heavy. That all by itself shows some talent in the song writing and arranging. This is a very creative album. Now I said most of the time right it works right? That is true, but there is an acoustic song on here with growling vocals over top, that is a new one on me, but this particular song experiment in my view falls flat on it’s face and did not work for me at all. The album would be better without that track. But do not let that deter you from what is a very creative, different and at times even slightly original quality death metal album. If you are not a death metal purest and appreciate a band trying something new and unusual then Sexforce by Okular comes recommended.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/okularmetal  http://www.regenerativeproductions.no/  




“Visions From Beyond” 2016 CD

(Chaos Records)


Russia’s old school death metal band Old Chapel returns to us with their third full length release. The album features nine songs of early to mid nineties death metal with some doom elements mixed in to some of the songs. The guitarist knows how to write and perform heavier mid paced style and sound, but also is adept at a faster paced style in a few of the songs. The drumming is done in the same vein going from thunderously heavy to smoothly mixing together middle paced and faster paced beats. The vocals are totally old school death metal growls that fit well. If you are a fan of the mid ‘90s US death metal scene then you will definitely add this album to your collection.  - Patrick

https://oldchapel.bandcamp.com    http://www.chaos-records.com    




"Old Mother Hell” 2017 CD

(Cruz Del Sur Records)


Cruz Del Sur leave no stone unturned, in their search of traditional heavy metal and doom bands, the world over. This time around, they landed their all seeing eye upon Germany, holding up Old Mother Hell like the gleaming shield of a brave armor clad warrior engaged in some ancient battle. So, even though I threw in the doom tag here, as does the band and record label, an element of their sound which is indeed present, like a whispering thread of audio smoke wafting throughout proceedings. But, having said that, Old Mother Hell are mainly a classic heavy metal band, largely employing a pacing which is often a little more brisk and invigorated, than what you would think of when you see the doom label attached. Dare I say, they even rock out now and then, inducing a little headbanging and air guitar from me. Speaking of the guitars, they are very stylish sounding with a real smooth grace to the playing and structuring, which produces quite a contemplative yet heroic and affecting medieval atmosphere, to match the lyrical content. The vocalist has a rich stouthearted tone, with a slightly trembling, but highly emotive quality, which I dig an awful lot. I think die hard fans of ‘70s and ‘80s heavy metal with doom touches, will like a little of this particular hell, in their lives and their record collections.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/oldmotherhell/    https://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com         




"She Loves The Pain" 2021 CD

(Plague Demon Records)


Old Pagan are a band coming out of the German black metal scene. ‘She Loves The Pain’ is the bands newest and fifth full length release in the bands twenty five year career. The music features skillful writing ability that mixes both fast paced and a more controlled mid paced range in the songs. The guitars are played with aggressive, fast patterns that are executed with high intensity and destructive guitar parts. The guitars do slow to a more mid tempoed range throughout the songs even adding in some memorable passages. The vocals are a mix of grim black metal screams and some gruff old school growls are used throughout the recording and that fit Old Pagan's music perfectly. The drums are done with powerful and furious drumming that is delivered with excellent drum patterns. If you are a fan of Old Pagan's previous releases then do not miss out on ‘She Loves The Pain’ it will please both long time fans and new ones that are into quality dark black metal.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/groups/oldpagan    https://plaguedemonrecords.storenvy.com/          




"Where The Snows Are Never Gone" 2011 CD

(Negative Existence Records)


Russia's Old Wainds are a band that has been flying under the black metal radar for a few years now. I have heard the bands previous release and instantly became a "fan" of the bands early 90's cold Norse style and structures. Well the warrior's over at negative-existence must have become a fan of this bands darkened brilliance as they have re-released the 1997 classic "Where The Snows Are Never Gone". Eight tracks of cold, Norse inspired blackness. The music is grim, cold and fierce just the way black metal should sound. The vocals remind me a little of early immortal and fit perfectly with the razor-sharp guitar riffs and blazing drums. Fans of early 90's Norwegian style black metal will love Old Wainds!!  - Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/oldwainds  http://negative-existence.com/  




“The Omega Experiment” 2013 CD

(Listenable Records)


Now I have listened to, I suppose my fair share of progressive metal bands in my time. But still I am not sure if I am much of an authority to speak at length on the subject. The first thing that immediately strikes me about this Michigan band is the command they have on their instruments and their song writing abilities. I mean I understand fully there are some reading this that can take over leave Progressive Metal, truth be told there are times I have felt that way. Not to mislead anyone here, knowing I have many extreme metal readers, most of the time this band would be considered to be on the lighter end of the metal spectrum. But no matter what you think, there is no denying the talent and imagination on display with the bands self-titled debut. It is not by any means that they sound exactly like them overall, but I can definitely hear some similarities to one of my favourite progressive metal albums ever, the 1997 album A Pleasant Shade Of Grey from Fates Warning. I have the feeling they may be an influence on Omega, also there are hints of the progressive rock/metal Canadian gods Rush. I will be damned if there is even a short section on here that sounded like a Frank Zappa homage. There is an even flow throughout the album, but there is a lot going on in that running through thread and it can be a pretty emotional journey if you give yourself over to it. It is like the old onion cliché of peeling back all the layers, that is what you have to do here, it is not an easy quick little instant gratification listen, it will take some patience and attention to take in everything the band is trying to present on here. But it is worth the journey, if you choose to take it.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/theomegaexperiment  http://www.listenable.net/  




“Live In The Castle Of Quiet” 2014 Live Cassette Album

(NoVisible Scars Records)


This was recorded live, but not so much at a live gig, as you might be assuming, no this was recorded live at a radio station in NJ, with the call letter WFMU. I was present when my friends band (Bloodstorm), did the same thing at WNYU in New York, nearly a decade ago, it was an interesting experience and environment. But back on the release at hand, this thing came off very well, it sounds good, it still has a bit of a raw edge, but is quite clear and the guitars are full and heavy. One Master play old school black metal, with some hints of late ‘80s evil thrash in there, and to my ear, I hear influences like Judas Iscariot, Horna etc… even a hint of old Celtic Frost. I say musically, because the vocals are very different from the bands I mentioned, they are maniacal yells and screams, that would be closer in sound and delivery of something like early Burzum than the traditional hissing bm rasp. I like them, some great emotion in the singers delivery at times, loved the one song where he yells out the bands name, with equal measures of anguish and hatred that is palpable. I am not saying this is mind-blowing stuff, but it is damn good, violent and cold black metal. I would say, this is a release, that is even good for bm fanatics who do not usually get into live albums, as this is no normal live record. It sort of has the best of both worlds, live feel and studio album feel.  - Dale

http://www.one-master.net/   http://novisiblescars.bandcamp.com/   




"Darkest Origins” 2012 Split CD

(UW Records)


For the first time ever UW records has unearthed these two old school black metal bands unreleased demo's and released them on to one killer cd. Up first is the mighty Ophidian Forest with three tracks of primitive, raw mid-paced black metal. Topped off with harsh whispery vocals that go very well with the bands raw sound and approach. Haresiarchs of Dis are up next, their approach to black metal while still definitely old-school is a bit more aggressive and chaotic sounding. Just raw fast guitars with some intense riffs that are all over the place. The drumming is a non stop barrage of blasting beats. The vocals truly sound as if the vocalist is being tortured with his screams and tormented shrieks. If you are a fan of raw, primal black metal then this is definitely a split cd you will want to add this to your collection, but be warned there is nothing pretty or emotional about either of these bands. Both bands show the true meaning of hateful black metal in all its raw, powerful glory.  - Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/ophidianforest  http://www.myspace.com/heresiarchsofdis      




"“Globalni Orgie – Stritni Protokol" 2009 MCD

(Khaaranus Productions)


The cover is both weird and disturbing. I thought Opitz had a lot of hardcore influence on their split with Rubufaso Mufako I reviewed previously. It is still a very distinct element in their sound, but better sounding / executed this time around. Though there also seems to be a bit more of a death metal & thrash influence these days. Not to forget the grind base that often shows up, especially in the drumming. The guitar work still seems to have an American style to it. I was about to write that I hear a little bit of Dismember in their sound, only to realize the next track coming up was “Soon To Be Dead” from that exact band. That is always a plus for me as I am a huge Dismember fan. I think Opitz sound best though when they let go with their death metal and grind sides and do not try to stay in control as they do in some of their less exciting moments. When they go frenzied it is their strong suit, in my opinion. On the vocal side of things they alternate a few styles like dm growling, high pitch nasal yells, hardcore grunts plus you get lots of sampled spoken word type stuff that keeps things interesting. This material definitely, for me, beats the shit out of the tracks Opitz had on the Rubufaso split. Check this out.  – Dale

http://www.myspace/khaaranus   http://www.bandzone.cz/opitz   




“Time Traveling Blues” 1999 CD

(T.M.C./Rise Above Records)


If you picked up on O.G.’s ’97 release “Frequencies On Planet Ten”, then your probably impressed with this bands output thus far. Their new “Time Traveling Blues” will not disappoint. “…Blues” sees the band take their Trouble influenced, psychedelic doom style to a more refined riff heavy approach. There’s still plenty of the relaxed atmosphere’s here, mind you, but the riffs in general are heavier as witnessed in the powerful lead track “Blue Snow” or the previously released 10” track “Nuclear Guru”. This is a heavy doom rock album w/ just enough classic rock and psychedelic influence to please all doom and stoner rock fans a like. Orange Goblin are starting to make a name for themselves and it is not undeserved.  - Jeffrey Kusbel




"Black Rust” 2014 Full-length Cassette

(Forever Plagued Records)


Orcultus are a Swedish band, who play cold, raw black metal, in the early to mid nineties tradition. The guitars are fast, with some mid-paced guitars mixed in. Orcultus is a band that know how to play their instruments and it shows on this recording. The drumming is excellent, with semi-fast with bouts of time when the speed on the drums kicks it into high gear, but in a controlled way. The vocals are screechy / screams, very demonic and demented sounding. I would have to say Orcultus, are one of the best new bands out there right now, I can not wait to hear their next release!  - Patrick

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




"Arrival Of The Plague Bearer” 2021 CD, LP & MC

(Purity Through Fire)


Order Of Nosferat are an international duo with members from Germany and Finland, ‘Arrival Of The Plague Bearer’ is the bands second release that showcases the bands ability to compose both dark, atmospheric passages and some grim traditional black metal elements to give the band their own style and sound. Usually I am not a fan of keyboards in black metal, but the band uses them to add another layer to the music and to give the music a dark and eerie sound. The two tracks that stick out to me are "Followed Path Of The Carpathian Wolves", which does a great job of showcasing the bands ability to write harsh black metal along with some slower more melodic passages mixed into the structure of the song. “Beyond Pitch Black Woodlands” is delivered with a more aggressive harsh black metal approach, but the song does add a good amount of atmosphere and slower more controlled patterns to give the song a mix of harsh and atmospheric blackness.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/Order-of-Nosferat    www.purity-through-fire.com          




"Haspu” 2012 Cassette Mini-Album

(Nyarlathotep Records)


I have to apologize to the band. This tape fell behind my review pile stack, it was lost for a bit, now it is found and this review is a lot later than I intended it to be. The music on here reminds me of the early 90s demo bands. It is essentially just straight ahead stripped down riffing, constant drum beats all over the place, some growling over the top. I have to admit this release did not do a lot for me. There are some good, brutal riffs on this death metal assault, which I enjoyed. But outside of that, there is not much in the way of actual song structure, purpose or direction, in which it seems to be headed. It sounds more like a rehearsal jam session at times. The vocals, are very obscure and undecipherable, they are okay for what they are, but could be better. I am a bit surprised this was picked up and released by a record label. It feels, kind of like, a fairly cool rehearsal demo tape and nothing more than that. But hey, on the positive side, it is from Costa Rica, just how often do you get to experience bands from that country? So it is a novelty to have in that aspect.  - Dale

http://ordocaper.bandcamp.com/   http://nyarlathoteprecords.yolasite.com/          




"Chthonic Blood Mysteries" 2019 Cassette Album

(Eternal Death Records)


This was originally released in late 2019 on limited cd, so now Eternal Death is giving it a cassette version which I am sure will be welcomed by fans of the Polish band. The duo plays a raw, old school black metal style similar to early Root. The vocals are a mix of gruff old school growls and screams, there are even some well sung clean vocal patterns employed in a few of the songs. The music is rooted in the mid 90's black metal style with both slower, mid paced music and some faster passages are intertwined into the song structures. If you are a fan of Ordo Sanguinis Noctis’ previous releases then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this quality release on it’s new format. If you are a new listener to the band and enjoy early Root albums and musical atmosphere then do yourself a favor and check out Ordo Sanguinis Noctis.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/OrdoSanguinisNoctis/    https://eternaldeath.bandcamp.com/          




"Towards Eternity” 2017 CD

(Horror Pain Gore Death Productions)


This is my first time hearing Ordoxe’s music, the band combines elements of aggressive and melodic black metal, even throwing in some death metal influence in a few of the songs. The guitarist knows how to write, and play various speeds and styles, going from a fast black metal guitar to a slow to more mid paced guitar pace in a few songs. The vocals are a mix of harsh black metal screams along with deeper growls. “Towards Eternity” is a good mix of both melodic and forceful blackened death metal, so if you are a fan of Ordoxe’s past releases, then be sure to pick up a copy of the new release today.  - Patrick

https://ordoxe.bandcamp.com/    http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/          




"Ruins Of Eternity” 2019 CD & LP

(Cruz Del Sur Music)


Rochester, New York’s Orodruin have been around since the very end of the ‘90s, but this is only their 2nd full-length album. Having released their well admired debut album some sixteen years ago! They have released a split MLP with Reverend Bizarre and a couple EP’s since then, but this album has been a long and much anticipated release among the doom circle of diehards. For those not in the know, the band play classic doom metal in the tradition of bands like Black Sabbath, St. Vitus, Trouble, Solitude Aeturnus and that sort of realm of bands. I would say unlike some of those bands, Orodruin mix in and wear on their sleeves a NWOBHM influence, which bleeds in and out of their quality traditional doom metal sound. As you can imagine with that influence, the pacing is decidedly epic doom, but they do speed things up (even rocking out) here and there, from time to time and even inject some tasty lead guitar parts at times. The vocalist John Gallo has an amazing voice that is very well suited to this style of music and I enjoy listening to him sing. He has a sound to his voice of his own though there is no denying that I hear little bits of Sabbath era Ozzy, Robert Lowe of S.A. and Messiah Marcolin in his vocals and all are great influences. I know the question you are asking, was it worth a sixteen year wait? Well, that is a lot of expectation to live up to, not to mention subjective depending on how big of a doom hound you are. So, I would have to say, okay maybe not, those are extremely weighty expectations to try and live up to after so many years have passed. However, that does not stop “Ruins Of Eternity” from being a quality album that devout followers of epic heavy metal and doom should enjoy and appreciate.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/orodruinofficialband    https://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com         




"Novus Lux Dominus” 2019 CD, LP & Tape

(The Sinister Flame)


Orthodoxy create an all encompassing, nearly impenetrable and thoroughly suffocating atmosphere with their brand of brutal, somewhat doomy death metal magic. This is one impressive debut album from this Spanish band, though do not let that fool you, as the band may be relatively new, but the members are veterans of the scene and come from past or current bands like Obscure, Domains, Profundus Tenebrarum, Whoredom, Pestkraft etc… This is pure traditional death metal, you will not find pretty melodies here, nor adventurous progressive song structuring or diverse cross sub-genre pollination – no this pure crushing fucking metal of death! The riffing on here is wonderfully repugnant and pulverizing, unrelenting yet doomy and the drumming is really powerful and precise. The vocals are enjoyable deep, acrimonious boiling growls that pour across the music like a river of black blood, complimenting perfectly the superbly evil smothering atmosphere of the music. I could definitely see fans of the classic death metal bands with doomy touches like early Incantation, Funebrarum, Morpheus Descends, early Sinister, early Immolation, Asphyx and Cianide etc… I am loving the hell out of Orthodoxy’s “Novus Lux Dominus”.  - Dale

https://orthodoxy.bandcamp.com/    http://www.thesinisterflame.com/      




"Mortes Fables" 2021 Cassette Album

(Nihilistic Holocaust Records)


I reviewed a re-release of this bands 2005 demo tape about five years ago, which was also through Nihilistic Holocaust. The label has decided to finish re-releasing the bands entire catalog with ‘Mortes Fables’, the bands debut album from 2010 and their final output. Ossuaire produce dirty and obscure sounding death metal with definite roots in the embryonic years of the genre. I like the murky ambiance that saturates the entire album; it is a strong feeling gloom and suffocating darkness. While listening to this I get an impression of a more stripped down, slightly less technical sound similar to the early works of bands like Immolation, Incantation, Suffocation, Gorguts etc… They have some good riffs that propel some middle to slightly sped up songs at times, alongside some good rhythmic brutality. The vocals like the music are obscured boiling and gurgling growls with some varied supporting accent voices that fit the underlying music nicely. If you love old school death metal wrapped with a blanket of murky atmosphere in the ancient traditions then you need to get a copy of this tape for your collection.  - Dale

https://nihilistic-webzine-distro.fr/    https://nihilisticholocaustrecs.bandcamp.com/music          




"Calcified Trophies Of Violence” 2018 Cassette EP

(Blood Harvest Records)


Portland Oregon’s newest emerging death metal horde Ossuarium as they release their previously self-released demo tape out officially now on Blood Harvest. “Calcified Trophies Of Violence” features three songs of dense, dark medium paced death metal. The vocals are low death growls with some raspy screams sprinkled through a few of the songs. The drums range from a fast, crazed drum style to a more controlled steady style. I believe there will be a CD version of this release through Blood Harvest later in the year. But if you are a fan of early Incantation and Autopsy, as well as, other similar bands of that ilk then you should most definitely give Ossuarium a listen today.  - Patrick

https://ossuarium.bandcamp.com/    http://www.bloodharvest.se       




“Demonize The Flesh” 1998 CD

(Galdre Records)


There has been quite a bit of talk about Ossuary Insane and now I see why! O.I. are surely one of the best death/grind outfits in the scene today. One listen to this album and you will know why as “Demonize The Flesh” will rip you a new asshole. O.I. have a knack for writing as heavy as steel brutal material with a ton of foreboding, passion and pure emotion to separating themselves from the pack. A perfect example of this is the brutish and cruel “Imprecari” with it’s grinding chaos but breaking thru it all is catchy riffing and structure and all the while reeking of a lurking, uplifting militaristic crass atmosphere which I am very much enjoying. Brilliant track! The lyrical content resides heavily as anti-christian, as this excerpt duly highlights “In The Name Of Christian Scum, All Will Burn In Hell’s Flame…” Cantor Celebrant’s vocals are sick mid-range comprehendible sharp, caustic growls straight from the pits. The guitar work by Der Prophet is also of note as some sections of music other bands only wish they could pull off! Also included as a bonus is O.I.’s great 3 song (bringing the total to 10 at a running time of 48 + minutes) “Fallen To The Pits” ’95 demo remixed for your enjoyment. Utterly recommended!! I sent this band a interview in October ’98 and after months of wait still nothing - a pity.  – Dale

Ossuary Insane, P.O. Box 22094, Eagan, MN. 55122, USA or Galdre Records, Dresdener Strabe 3, D - 15232, Frankfurt/ Oder, GERMANY




"Awaken The Reason" 2012 CD

(Listenable Records)


Awaken The Reason is a real hodgepodge of styles and elements mixed and mashed together. Sometimes it is done skillfully and other times, it feels a little too much like they are just trying to show off that they can do it and force it, the flow and quality of the song be damned. Outcast mix a small dash of death metal with hardcore, metalcore, commercial leaning elements, at times they try to slow it down and be atmospheric, other times they just try to be as technical as possible with some math metal time signatures thrown in. Maybe this is just not my thing, but I had a hard time, even upon repeated listening to get into this.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/outcastband  http://www.listenable.net/     




"Metal Attack” + “Swords And Axes” 2021 CD’s

(Regain Records - Reborn Classics)


Regain Records through their new Reborn Classics sub-label continues to dig up gems that need to be discovered by new metal fans or reminded to old metal dogs like me. These two albums by the Swedish Overdrive were released in 1983 with the debut “Metal Attack” and the following year in 1984 with “Swords And Axes”. Now somehow I missed and never managed to track down their debut album, but “Swords…” on the other hand I bought this cassette back in 1985 (Only 25+ years ago!!), it was released on Banzai Records in Canada. It is cool to hear their debut album, finally, all of these years later and it is fantastic example of classic early ‘80s heavy metal. An album while relying fairly heavily on the NWOBHM, it is not only extremely well done and showcases these young fellows talents and sound, also shows them honing in on mastering their craft. They would really perfect their craft on the second album, which is a true classic in my opinion. I have not listened to the “Swords And Axes” album for probably over a decade. I believe I even reviewed it in my classics section of the print issues of CA at the end of the 1990s. I could not believe the waves of nostalgia I experienced when I hit play on this album, back in the ‘80s & ‘90s alone I listened to this album hundreds of times! I swear every note, nuance, hook, siren scream and lyric immediately pulled up out of the recesses of my brain! I had not listened to this record in probably 15 years at least, yet I knew everything that was coming next in each and every song before it came out of my speakers. I mean the constant chills of goose flesh upon hearing tracks like ‘Black Revenge’, ‘Burn In Hell’, ‘Mission Of Destruction’, ‘Swords And Axes’ – well fuck honestly I could name every song on this album, they are all great. Okay, yeah I should emerge out of my nostalgia fog long enough to let you know these releases are deluxe to the max, with thick booklets and both discs feature a half dozen bonus tracks for die hards like me to fawn over. If you love classic eighties heavy metal and do not have this in your collection yet, then you must have it! I want to give a personal thank you to the label from me for re-releasing these albums. - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/OverdriveMetal    https://regainrecords.bandcamp.com/music       




“At The End The Dead Await” 2013 CD

(Apostasy Records)


This is the debut of this Swedish band, yes their debut but the members are pretty experienced, having played in the past in bands like Grave, Demonical, Insision and currently in other bands like Thousand Year War, Bloodride, Soils Of Fate. It is the Swede way to be in a million bands haha. But on to the music the band definitely let’s their Swedish roots bleed through, with a mixing of the early Sunlight death metal sound mixed with the newer melodic Gothenburg sound. It is usually one of those influences or the other, not both in my experience, but I do hear a little bit of American influence as well, in particular mid-era Morbid Angel. This is some good death, very solid, quality stuff but nothing too mind blowing and definitely suffering from the heard it all before-itis. I will say I thought some of the guitar work on here is pretty tasty, some real nice guitar fills here and there, as well some good emotion conveyed through the guitars while maintaining an edge of brutality. This is good, it probably sounds like I am ripping on it above, I am not, this some damn good death metal. It just depends if you are a devotee of the above mentioned sounds and have to get your hands on everything or if you are more of an elitist with it, only having time for the cream of the crop. I think I have provided you with enough information to decide which side of the fence your loyalties lie.  - Dale

https://soundcloud.com/overtorture  http://www.apostasyrecords.com/