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ACRIMONIOUS (Gre) "The Dawn Of Horns" 7EP '06. 2 tracks. Nuclear Winter.
The Swedish Orthodox B.M scene had impact on this Greek B.M combo as their latest 7EP is highly influenced by Watain, Funeral Mist and so on. The 2 tracks are straight B.M spelling the religious felling through mesmerizing vocals, and fierce guitar works. There's no compromise here, Acrimonious plays straight in the head, with a raspy singer and tortured songs. What's really strange here is there's absolutely no Greek sound we are in use to (i.e. Varathron touch). The final result is a typical low tempo Swedish with oppressing riffs such as in the middle of the second tune, melting haunting guitar interludes.

 

AFFLICTION GATE (Fra) "Severance" CD-EP'08. 4 tracks. Auto Prod.
Affliction Gate is a new combo from sourthern France. But this time there's no matter of any underground B.M , as the new band is about old school D.M. Indeed, they wanted to play the "purest" form of D.M possible, coming back to the root of this Metal genre, forgetting all the technical and sophisticated elements. Thence, what you've on this 3 tracks MCD is D.M influenced by the pioneers and the main influences are Master melted with Benediction. The vocals are a bit like Paul Speckman, both tonsil and scolding while the songs would bring you back early Benediction's material in mind. You know this kind of rather obscure songs due to chainsaw gain and background drumming more than structures being really dark. The overall of this material stands against the actual French D.M scene that is a great point, but according to me the songs lack of memorable ideas and riffs. They also should spend a little bit more time to find a much proper sound both through guitar and drum, as they're very standard. But nevertheless, the feeling is here, they need time before coming back with strongest songs.

APOCALYPSE COMMAND (Usa) "Same" Demo CD 3 tracks, 12 min. Auto Prod.
I guess this band intends to be one of the heaviest and most aggressive Black/Death Metal band of the world. Then imagine 3 tracks of pure War Metal that try to compete with Revenge, Von and Angel Corpse ! The vocals are hateful scolding, while the drum is playing at full speed tempo with a grinding touch and the guitars act like madness. This band comes to the root of pure Death Metal crossing the early Black Metal wave, such as Blasphemy were playing. Here and there they also have a slight Vomitory touch in their "thrashier" idea. The result is really crushing and convincing as these guys have the balls to create pure anger !

 

ARPYIAN HORDE (Gre) "Same". 7'EP '05. 2 tracks. Cult Metal Classics.
It seems Arpyian Horde is a new epic Metal band formed by some veterans of the Greek scene. "From Olympus..." is an epic Metal song with majesty while "Wind From The Cave" is a powerful track with a furious rhythm. From the first listening of that two tracker, you will easily find which old bands the influences come from. So there is nothing out of the ordinary, just traditional epic Metal well played. That is acceptable for a first EP, and I enjoy it. About their future, time shall tell... (P)

 

ARS DIAVOLI (Por) "The Absence Of Light" Demo 07. 4 tracks. Debemur Morti.
Through an hasty gaze Ars Diavoli is looking on the sharp cliffs of Portugal territories and handles the banner of depressiveness high above the waves. Even though Portugal is far from being the land of depressive and nihilist B.M, the 3 tracks are about melancholic and sad Black Metal played through a mid paced tempo. The forlorn guitar lines melted with the shrieking and high pitched agonizing screams yet unveil some terrible diseases to come. The 22 minutes to bear look like Xasthur's early materials with a personal touch. The result is rather convincing and sounds a lot like many records from Total Holocaust Records. Actually this is a great idea to print such kind of demo on tape format.


ASSAULTER (Austr) "Omnipotent". MCD'06. 3 tracks, 19 min. Auto Prod.
I can't explain why most of bands from either Australia or Canada kick ass, but Assaulter is another combo to put on the front line of your Metal discography. These 3 tracks are about old school Thrash Metal combining ripping chainsaw riffs with dark Thrash haunting vocals. The band labeled their music Dark Speed Metal, I think that really fits to the music delivered on their demo. They finely mixed the anger of Aussy bands such as Gospel Of The Horns, Vomitory or even Atomizer with The 80's American way of composing Thrash hymn. Tune like "Proselytiser" could be the perfect example of my description : in one hand this song sounds like a composition taken from Vomitory and in the other hand they sound rooted in the 80's. A very descent material, I think that this band could be really awesome with a powerful production !

 

ATOMIC ROAR (Bra) "School Of Lust" Demo'06. 6 tracks. Auto Prod.
The lads from Apokaliptic Raids and Farscape decided to get a bunch of fun and Thrash til death with their Atomic Roar side project. The 6 tracks pay tribute to old school Punk / Thrash Metal it was done in the early 80's. Imagine a mix between Venom, Motörhead, Hellhammer and At War then you'll get the result of this chain and leather band. They've recorded some cliché and kitsch Thrash Metal with a rather simple song structure but it Thrashes for sure. Titles such as "Play Loud" or "Chain In Your Face" yet announced the core of the tunes. Here and there I found some connections with Gehennah and Devil Lee Rot, especially in the old school guitar gain. Listen to this CD with a 6 pack ! Live fast Die Hard !

 

BALMOG (Spa) "The Discipline And Poetry Of Pest" MCD'06. 4 tracks, 22 min. Auto Prod.
Balmog plays grim Black Metal in the Norwegian way, the way it was played in the 90's that means a pretty frost and lugubrious Metal. Actually they remind me a bit Dimmu Borgir on their 2nd album, a kind of mid tempo drumming while the guitar parts are fast with very gloomy vocals from the underworld. They didn't reach the quality of the mentioned band, but they have a real potential in the written process, with some crushing songs such as "Hostility" through excellent mid tempo parts. For sure there's nothing news or any revolution in this MCD, but if you like Black Metal with variations and great musical parts you should check this new Italian combo. By the way, the sound is excellent.

 

BREIZH OCCULT (Fra) "La Contemplation Du Chaos" CD-R '05. 9 tracks, 46 min. Auto Prod.
This young French band plays raw and untamed B.M with a dirty, rehearsal sound and production that reminds me of early Vlad Tepes tapes. This CD-demo typically sounds like any other early French B.M bands you could find in any distro lists 12 years ago, so according to me there's not that much thrilling ideas here and most of them sound like "classic" riffs from any other underground band. Furthermore, the guitar gain is not that clear so that you can't precisely understand the songs structures. Nevertheless the vocals perfectly fit to this kind of B.M. breizoccult@yahoo.fr

 

 

CATACUMBA (Bra) "Birkat Ha Mumim. Demo-CD '05. 11 tracks, 45 min. Auto Prod
This Brazilian band plays Black Metal in the 90's fashion way of doing it. The 11 tracks from "Birkat…" are pretty similar to early Rotting Christ "Thy Mighty Contrat" melted with some kind of Sorhin's like vocals. The band uses lot of harmonics from the D.M genre in their compositions to assert their technical way of playing. The work on the bass guitar is very well done that really differs from the classic Black Metal album where this instrument is hardly used properly. Catacumba is yet a skilled combo, with a great ability of creating strong and crushing songs. Check them.

 

CRAVEN IDOL (Uk) "Demo I" Demo '06. 3 tracks, Auto Prod.
Here we've a very limited demo tape from UK (50 copies), I'm not sure that you could even get this material now. Anyway, the 3 tracks from the first demo of Craven Idol are about cruel and ugly Black/Death Metal in the way it was played in the early 90's just before the Black/Death scene was slowly turning into Nordic B.M. Can you remember the savageness from Bestial Warlust or Profanatica, then you got the may core of that demo. They use the primitive elements to record this tape, melted with a skinned vocal, and wild solos here and there. Even though Craven Idol will never compete the mentioned bands, and don't bring any fresh air this demo is "enjoyable" if you're seeking for destruction and pain. cravenidol@gmail.com

 

CRUCIFIED MORTALS (Usa) "Kill Upon Command" 7EP, '96. 2 tracks. Iron Bonehead.
Before listening to this EP, I thought the cover was very Nunslaughter like but with colours. Actually, I wasn't that much wrong as Craig Hornvel (from NS) is playing bass and delivers the lyrics here. Musically the 2 tunes from "Kill Upon Command" are…mhhh… well how to say that…excellent old school Death Metal with a fucking powerful song writing ??? The guitar lines are nothing but crushing and ripping. The vocals are exactly what I want to hear when playing a D.M combo : mid way between 80's Thrash Metal and growling typical D.M. They sound so fucking root, with one attempt in the high pitched scream à la Slayer. There's nothing to complain about this release, these lads are real Metalheads and know how to sound ! Buy it, murder to get it or fuck any bitch but listen to that vinyl !

DECEPTOR (Uk) "Bound To The Oath" CD'07. 4 tracks. Auto Prod.
Deceptor plays Speed/Thrash Metal like in the 80's, but more into the 2nd wave of the 80's than bands like Slayer, Exodus or Metallica. The 4 tracks are a mix between an ultra fast Gehennah and Mentors, the vocals really remind of El Rapo with a strong Punk like touch in the way of delivering the lyrics. This demo has been recorded in studio so the sound is ok without being thrilling. Actually the second track is very alike the American band, a mid tempo with Venom/Motorhead like vocals that suddenly goes faster then returns to mid paced tempo. The structures and the content of tunes need a bit more improvement, especially if the band wants to stand against common and sometimes average new Thrash Metal combos.
EIDOMANIUM (Swe) "Fear The Master" 7EP '06. 2 tracks. I Hate.
I've to admit doing reviews could be sometimes a bit disturbing. Actually when I saw this 7EP I thought it was a new Heavy/Doom Metal discovering from I Hate Records, both in the lay out and the music of this EP. Then I understood it was the same band that released "The Death" EP in 2001. The band drastically changed its musical direction, for something really original and rather hard to properly explain. I'd say they are a bit the in the Heavy / Doom song structures and vocals, melted with some of their early B.M roots. "Fear The Master" is a kind of mix between Nifelheim, Master Hammer and Candlemass. So, as you can notice all these bands doesn't really fit together, the 2 songs also sounds rather different from each other, "Fear The Master" behind a bit more Heavy and "Black Aura" sounding more B.M like. Eidomanium recorded something unique here and you must experience it.
EMBRACE OF THORNS (Gre) "Stench Of The Deceased Martyrs". Adv tape '04. 6 tracks.
The 6 tunes from this demo tape are about raw and underground chaotic Black / Death Metal. The main influences are Von, early Beherit and early Impaled Nazarene, with a vocal that is really close to Von's material. They emphasise the lugubrious and untamed concept through very chaotic song structures, tormenting guitar riffs and deadly vocals. Actually the songs are rather efficient if you enjoy this kind of Metal, as they success in writing very insane riffs and create mad atmosphere.
EMBRACE OF THORNS (Gre) "Chants Of Atomic Genocide" Demo'06. 10 tracks.
"Chants Of Atomic Genocide" is exactly in the same vein than the previous material reviewed above : they are still playing a kind of Von with more evolved song structures and better guitar ideas (I mean not as simple as Von did). The sound is a bit better than on "Stench…" which finally turns this item into something rather interesting if you're into this kind of furious Metal.
FIR BOLG (Fra) "Paganism" Demo-CD'08. 4 tracks, 23 min. Auto Prod.
Here we've a pretty new French Black Metal combo offering his 4-title tracks demo (we're dealing with a one man band, Dagoth). First of all, the production is top quality, with a clear sound for each instrument. Even though that Fir Bolg comes from the sounthern part of French he plays pagan Black Metal in the Scandinavian way. It reminds me a bit of Helheim in the guitar lines, with here and there the same way than Immortal on finishing the lyrics. The compositions are rather standard epic Black Metal, using the same pattern through nearly each song, dropping here and there some background synth touches (i.e. "Invocate The Old Spirit Of Woods"). Actually the good production helps a lot in the quality of this demo, we can see a real potential in the songs but nevertheless Dagoth should use more variations for the next full-length. It's a very descent material from France.

HATEFUL AGONY (Ger) "Obey" CD'06. 10 tracks, 39 min. Auto Prod.
That's typically the kind of German Thrash band you can't confuse among 1000 others ! They plays Thrash a bit in Tankard vein, with a great bunch of Punk attitude, a kind of unseriousness in their release (that doesn't mean they badly handle their instruments). They're some hilarious lyrics such as "Gothic Slut" that's about a girl wanted to be a Metlahead… The production is really tight here, they've some great headbanging ideas such as in "Slave" tune but there's something strange in this release : it sounds modern with a aim at being old school. Actually their sound doesn't really fit to their Metal, then I feel like Hateful Agony being a parody of Thrash Metal in the way there's nothing dark or evil in their compositions, such as in early Slayer, Destruction, Sodom.

 

HEMORAGY (Fra) "Jesus King Of Wine" Demo-CD'07. 9 tracks, 35 min. Auto prod.
Actually not many French bands can play Thrash Metal now and the less we can say is that our country isn't famous for killer Thrash Metal combos. Thence, the few bands that are into this music can highly be hailed, and here's the matter with Hemoragy. They play a kind of mix between 80's Thrash Metal melted with early Heavy Metal touches and a female as bassist. In fact, this band reminds me a bit a kind of Witchburner or even Blizzard from Germany, this kind of very cliché Thrash combo full of catchy riffs. But what is weird in this release is that even though they play Thrash Metal I didn't find any killing riffs on which you could bang your head til death, the songs are a bit too flat and lack of crushing ideas. They should have recorded less songs, but stronger ones.

INCORPOREA (Esp) "Tongue Of The Moribund" Demo-CD'08. 3 tracks. 21 tracks. Auto Prod.
Here we've a pretty young band from Spain playing Black Metal through their 3 tracks demo, that's a studio production. The demo is in the suicidal, depressive Black Metal field through slow tempo compositions and scorned vocals. Actually they sound a lot like the demo from Carpathian Forest melted with old stuff from Tenebrae OV. I mean they've the same kind of high pitched, shrieking vocals alternating with less aggressive spoken one. The compositions are pretty long and very moody, changing from traditional slow tempo Black Metal to atmospheric acoustic parts. Even though the song structures are interesting and convey toa doom atmosphere, the demo lacks of variations and gets lost into much too long compositions. A flash back to the 90's Scandinavian demos one would say, while other would argue it's dated.
L.S.N. (Usa) “Fall To The Reich”. 7EP ’05. 6 tracks. Stormbringer Prod.
Old Californian Metal. L.S.N. was formed with ex-Agent Steel bassist George Robb, ex-Vermin guitarist Greg Cekalovich, ex-Vermin drummer Mike Chacon and ex-Rape vocalist Tony Vargas. They're a kind of underground veteran metalheads. Side A is the “Fall To The Reich” ’86 demo, which contains four tracks of good old Speed Metal. You're thrust into insanity on a destructive road by listening to tracks such as “Deadly Kisses” or “Raw Deal”. Side B is the ’86 rehearsal with two instrumentals (including “Deadly Kisses” without vocals). It’s a shame they lost their screamer as the music sounds stronger than the demo. Again, it’s limited to 300 copies. (P)