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Video of the Week

Powerwolf, "Fire & Forgive" - From: The Sacrament of Sin, (2018) Napalm Records.

Aug 12, 2018

Unanimated (2018) Annihilation [EP] 'Review'


Band: Unanimated
Country of Origin: Sweden
Genre: Melodic Death / Black metal
Type: EP
Format: Digital 320 kbps
Length Approx.: 21:00 min.
Release Date: 08-10-2018
Release Label: Century Media Records

IR Classification: Moderate (3.4 / 5)

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Simply rawness, frantic rhythm guitars and cavernous grunts pulled from hell.

It has been quite some time since we heard something new from this iconic Melodic metal band Unanimated, clearly underrated by media and fans within the genre, but I can't blame only one side, because in the other hand we have the inconsistency of the band due to personal issues, other projects, etc. which have prevented them to feed us with their malevolent music.

With just two demos and three albums, two of them for the extinct label, No Fashion Records, the first one in (1993) "In the Forest of the Dreaming Dead" the second in (1995) "Ancient God of Evil" and their most recent album in (2009) "In the Light of Darkness" for Regain Records, now they are delivering an EP entitled "Annihilation" which is only the preview for their upcoming album to be released in the next couple of months or beginning of 2019 for Century Media Records.


What we got here is simply rawness, frantic rhythmic guitars and cavernous grunts pulled from hell, "Adversarial Fire" is a fast-paced song, pursued by "From a Throne Below" is a mid-paced track, heavy and vertiginous, while "Of Fire and Obliteration" it clashes in discordance due to the acoustic guitar work which build at serene atmosphere with some backing chants and "Annihilation" it retakes their classic sound as one of the pioneers of Swedish  melodic death metal.

Aesthetically the production sounds very polished, clean without major flaws; It is very comfortable to have such of bands back again and even more when they have new material loaded with malice and melodies.

Stay True... Stay Metal... Stay Brutal...



Track List:

01. Adversarial Fire
02. From a Throne Below
03. Of Fire and Obliteration
04. Annihilation


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Aug 7, 2018

Demonic Obedience (2018) Fatalistic Uprisal of Abhorrent Creation 'Review'


Band: Demonic Obedience
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Genre: Death / Black metal
Type: Full Length
Format: Digital 320 kbps
Length Approx.: 33:00 min.
Release Date04-17-2018
Release Label: Satanath Records

IR Classification: Moderate (3.4 / 5)





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Consistently heavy and filthy.

Demonic Obedience the Greek-Scottish band as many of you know for their two previous releases "Morbid Supremacy of Evil" in 2014 for Mexican label Azermedoth Records and "Nocturnal Hymns to the Fallen" in 2016 for Russian label Satanath Records, also the band has been known for being the solo project of George Ntavelas, former Deceptive Incarnation, from Greece, Demonic Obedience returns but this time as a trio recruiting bassist Mark Stormwhipper and vocalist Kruxator, to enter the studio and record what is their third album and it is titled "Fatalistic Uprisal of Abhorrent Creation" released by Satanath Records again and co-released by American label Sevared Records.

While "Fatalistic Uprisal of Abhorrent Creation" manages to retain the band essence heavy, crushing and devilish, it also attains to create more elaborated song structures and matures, in terms of production it sounds a little more clear than the previous releases avoiding the over distortion that made them sound generic, gaining their own personality that takes them away from a crowded Black metal scene and gives them the opportunity to reach a wider audience.



"Conjuration" is the starting point of this album with a full dense guitar riff, the guttural voice of Kruxator stands out, immediately comes to my mind bands like Vader, Morbid Angel and Immolation and that's a good sign for me, "Inception" is an aggressive torrent that bestially combines the fast and slow rhythms in this cut, "Awakening" shifts the pace drastically from the previous song furrowing with doomy and sinister passages to put in evidence the versatility acquired, "Outbreak" retakes the intensity from the beginning with sharp riffs and thoughtless attitude, this track is followed by "Decampment" which is a fast paced track with savages dynamic that will torture you and make you trembling with the hellish winds it carried itself with, Act 6 (66) delivers a bloody texture enriched with a vibrant emotion towards death, "Annihilation" unfolds with such destructive emotion and a perilous guitar to dare those who venture to not take them seriously, the last track delivered is "Scythes Bearer" consistent heavy and filthy lays in chaos through brutality leaving a path of devastation, that's how this album ends.

The overall of this album cannot be bad as its predecessor, the consistency in matter of songwriting excels in many ways from what we heard before with them and that is indisputable, the production is flawless and enhances the rawness and cruelty they want to transmit, however there are two facts I can't ignore, first is the length of the album, eight tracks and barely over thirty-three minutes, that amount of time of course let me down, but I can still survive, the second fact; but mainly reason why this album can't be as good as it sounds, is the lack of a drummer not even as guest or session drummer, at least the band doesn't give credits to anyone, anyway this is a sick album, for sick people, with sick taste.

Stay True... Stay Metal... Stay Brutal...

 
Track List:

01. Conjuration
02. Inception
03. Awakening
04. Outbreak
05. Decampment
06. Act 6(66)
07. Annihilation
08. Scythe Bearer




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Aug 5, 2018

Runemagick (2018) Evoked from Abysmal Sleep 'Review'


Band: Runemagick
Country of Origin: Sweden
Genre: Death / Doom metal
Type: Full Length (Ltd. Edition)
Format: Digital 320 kbps
Length Approx.: 52:00 min.
Release Date07-20-2018
Release Label: Aftermath Music

IR Classification: Excellent (4.8 / 5)





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Dark and gloomy feel with good harmonies.

What do we have here? nothing more and nothing less than the new album of the macabre masters, the gods of darkness, the demigods of doom metal and endless adjectives to describe them; I'm talking about Runemagick one of the most underrated bands of all times, but I'm sure they don't care about that, because they know who they are and what they are capable of. Over a decade of inactivity, it was enough time to worry about the band status for their horde of followers around the world, but time brings up good things to those who wait for them and this time comes in different shapes, cd, tape, vinyl, digital, whatever you pick "Evoked from Abysmal Sleep" will take you directly to hell.

Runemagick still formed by Nicklas Rudolfsson as vocalist and guitarist, Emma Rudolfsson plays the bass guitar and Daniel Moilanen sits behind the drums, I will dare to say Runemagick is a cult band, twenty-eight years in the underground, several demos, three EP's and twelve albums so far, all of them crafted with a solid consistence, might be one of the few bands that remain authentic as Incantation, Cianide and Asphyx just to mention some of them.



The arrival of "Evoked from Abysmal Sleep" is ruthless, with their grievous doomy style, to tear down all those fake exponents and claim back what belongs to them, every song included in this album spurns the current mainstream of nowadays and evolves with simplicity quite effortlessly, but filled with great intensity, piercing guitar riffs reverberate almost hypnotically, to sink you into a cathartic state, despite all I can say about this brilliant album, it's difficult to pick a single track that represents everything I would like to express, the opening song "After the End They Rise Again" is heavy, then "Evoked from Abysmal Sleep" is crushing, "Runes of the Dead" sounds restlessly oppressing and what can you say about "A Rising Fume of Returning Death"? it embraces a bitter loneliness, "An Anthem of Olden Magic" sounds evil filled with rage and comes to be the fastest paced track of the album, "Tomb to Womb" it is terrible and deliberately heartbreaking.

So far, I don't think 2018 has seen an album like this within the genre of Death Doom metal, a full discharge of the soul and guts to converge into a dark and gloomy feel with good harmonies that rave in solitude, an excellent album from an excellent band, Runemagick is back and ready to spread their disturbing sound.

Stay True... Stay Metal... Stay Brutal...


Track List:

01. After the End They Rise Again
02. Evoked from Abysmal Sleep
03. Runes of the Undead
04. A Rising Fume of Returning Death
05. The Mirror of Darkness*
06. Wisdom Keepers Resurrected
07. An Anthem of Olden Magic
08. Spirits From the Dark Shadows*
09. Tomb to Womb
10. A Shining Spirit from Beyond

(*) Bonus track






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Aug 4, 2018

Throne (2018) Altar of the Dying [EP] 'Review'

Band: Throne
Country of Origin: US
Genre: Blackened Death metal
Type: EP
Format: Digital 320 kbps
Length Approx.: 24:00 min.
Release Date07-30-2018
Release Label: Independent

IR Classification: Moderate (3.4 / 5)





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A vertiginous offensive against you.

From Jackson, Michigan rises Throne, a band with a powerful Blackened Death metal. This quartet is made up of former members of the band Winterus, the band was established in 2015 by vocalist and guitarist Nathan Barnes and drummer Kollin Perpignani, supported by bass guitarist Leslie Drake and guitarist Joe Kesselring, with this line-up Throne starts working on the material for their first release.

"Altar of the Dying" is the title of Throne's first recording which contains seven tracks in digital EP format, it was recorded produced, mixed, and engineered at Bricktop Studios by Andy Nelson, the album artwork cover was designed by Brian Shehan (Wolvhammer).



It starts with an "Intro" which I don't understand quite a lot, it seems to me more like a truncated track that finishes as soon as it gets more interesting, after such an abrupt ending, it comes "Heresy of the Highest Order" it launches a vertiginous offensive against you, loaded with powerful guitar riffs, "Not of Shadow nor Fog" doesn't decrease the intensity displayed at all, they are really convinced at what they do and that means destroying you, outstanding are the jazzy bass lines almost at the end of the track, which is then followed by the self-album title song "Altar of the Dying" where everything here sounds perfect, ceaseless drums reflect the skills and forcefulness to enthrall you, while the vocals are flagrant against the blindful lambs, "Covenant of Darkness" sounds provoking and irreverent, "Where Angel Cower in Fear" and last track "Plague Upon the Unholy" both are relentless, cohesive and malicious, however it just leaves you unsatisfied.

What prevents this record to succeed at all within me are few things, at the beginning we have an intro that sounds more like an unfinished song, then they manage to pick up what they probably envisioned for this recording brutal... fast... but short tracks! Just averaging three minutes and thirty seconds per track, which reflects somewhat the lack of creativity or commitment and I'm not just running my mouth, if you take "Not Shadow nor Fog" the longest track, you can appreciate the capacity and potential they have to deliver something more unforgettable and distinctive, the production is clean and compact, allowing you to appreciate the instruments and that's worthy to mention; So, Throne definitely have potential to grow up and develop into a great band, I will keep my hopes high enough for their next record. 

Stay True... Stay Metal... Stay Brutal...


Track List:

01. Intro
02. Heresy of the Highest Order
03. Not of Shadow nor Fog
04. Altar of the Dying
05. Covenant of Darkness
06. Where Angels Cower in Fear
07. Plague Upon the Unholy












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Aug 3, 2018

Kvalvaag (2018) Seid 'Review'


Band: Kvalvaag
Country of Origin: Norway
Genre: Black metal
Type: Full Length
Format: Digital 320 kbps
Length Approx.: 40:00 min.
Release Date07-30-2018
Release Label: Dusktone

IR Classification: Good (4.0 / 5)




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Exuberant on details, impregnated of evil and unexpected variety.

Kvalvaag was formed during 2012 by Kvalvaag himself, since the beginning he took care basically of everything (guitars, bass, keyboard and vocals) while he brought on board drummer Ishtar better known for his participation in bands like (Dødsfall, and Sorrowful) to mention a couple, the band made their debut by mid of 2014 releasing "Noema", it sounds very influenced by the early sound of Emperor, which make them gain positive reviews around the globe, two years later in 2016 they released their subsequent album entitled "Malum" with Carl Telal (Astaroth, Sarpedon) behind the drums.

What characterizes this band is its well-defined sound from its first recording "Noema", even though "Malum" is more energetic and blazing and what we can expect from their third recording "Seid" is no less than what they have already set; So! let's get digging in their newest album "Seid".



"Mare" opens with an intro seeking the boundaries with a pompous mysticism, the track is filled with such immeasurable rage and gives you the path to the following track "Nattegrøde" which translate as "Night Soil" it sounds so exuberant that it will drag you to a non-return point, "Volvesang om undergang" is marked with a dark atmosphere infused by the guitar work to the purest old school Black metal with keyboards that are impregnated of evil, this a very diverse track as far as composition at some point you can feel a folkish passage, that blend rapidly with the Black metal riff that dominates the entire track, next is "Bergtatt" a symphonic belligerent anthem fast-paced and incisive, blasting drumming as Dimmu Borgir at their best moment, the subsequent theme is "Vinterriket", a cover song from Gehenna which was included in their full length debut album in 1995 entitled "Seen Through the Veils of Darkness (The Second Spell)" a killer track, but the execution is far beyond any expectation, next is "Seid", it might be the weakest track for some, but they manage to deliver some droning with chants adding even more an unexpected variety, the last track is "I dyrets tegn" which means "In the Sign of the Beast" is fast-paced and for some reason reminds me a lot of Rotting Christ with their latest album "Rituals" this is a sweeping song from beginning to end, incorporating elements to enrich and make a bolder sound. 

In conclusion, this is a very good album, here you will not get bored thanks to the diversity and dynamics that makes "Seid", with ambitious arrangements to make it grandiose and why not? it could be an icon for the Black Metal releases from 2018; So... do not hesitate to listen them, it's a well worth it to spend forty minutes of your life listening to this album and trust me, you will get back for another dose of greatness.

Stay True... Stay Metal... Stay Brutal...


Track List:

01. Mare
02. Nattegrøde
03. Volvesang om undergang
04. Bergtatt
05. Vinterriket (Gehenna Cover)
06. Seid
07. I dyrets tegn











Dusktone


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Jul 29, 2018

Axis of Despair (2018) Contempt for Man 'Review'


Band: Axis of Despair
Country of Origin: Sweden
Genre: Grindcore
Type: Full Length
Format: Digital 320 kbps
Length Approx.: 32:00 min.
Release Date07-27-2018
Release Label: Southern Lord Recordings

IR Classification: Good (4.1 / 5)




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Twenty unrelenting, aggressive and fulminant tracks

Axis of Despair is a relatively new Grindcore band in the scene, but their musicianship averages almost fifteen years, formed out of the ashes of bands like Death metal Coldworker and the extinct masters of Grindcore, Nasum among others, they know exactly what they are aiming for, here you will find out a pure and straight forward discharge of the most beautiful blend of Swedish Punk and Crust to deliver a gratifying Grindcore.

By the end of Autumn 2015 we got their first warning in the shape of an 7 inch EP entitled "Time and Again" released by the Polish label Selfmadegod Records containing six furious tracks clocking around nine and a half minutes and then again by mid of Autumn of 2016 almost a year later, their second 7 inch EP called "Mankind Crawls" released by American label Give Praise Records saw the street light and as you know already, they didn't missed their intentions, delivering a total hostility and warlike sound contained somehow in six tracks, timing once again the nine and a half minutes, is it coincidental or intentional? you will have to decide!



It took them practically two years to release their very awaited debut album "Contempt for Man", released by Southern Lord Recordings, enclosing twenty unrelenting, aggressive and fulminant tracks, "Contempt for Man" production sounds remarkable with their previous works, more clear and distinctive, but; don't take my words to excuse yourself and avoid listening to this album, because you will regret it later. The first track is "Värdelös" violent from the beginning is only the prelude for what’s coming the next thirty-two minutes, "The Wolven Law" by a second will catch you off guard to pummel your senses merciless, "Crush the Empire" is one of the two longest tracks on the album, the dynamic here changes for few minutes delivering a semi-slow pace track, inflicting some heavy grooves riff, that allows you to catch your breath, a memorable track, however; Axis of Despair quickly hooks you up again within the next track, "Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike" filled with their characteristic raging speed, "Vile Behaviour" and "Defeat" won't let you get away both tracks sounds catchy and brutal at the same time, in the closing track "Flytande Död" you are tricked by twelve seconds with a semi-slow pace but suddenly shift gears into the only way they know, fast-paced and untamed, interesting is how they subtly alternate the speed along the track, a noteworthy ending. 

Something to remark in "Contempt for Man", every part that comprises this album, is undoubtedly very well structured, the heavy bass lines by Oskar Pålsson are tremendous, the guitar work is exceptional by Kristofer Jankarls, while the driven force falls totally behind the drum set by Anders Jakobson and nobody can ignore the energy delivered in every bark-style vocals by Joel Fornbrant, Axis of Despair really deserve to be in your forthcoming Grindcore bands list to check, if your likes goes from Napalm Death, Nasum, Repulsion, Pig Destroyer or Brutal Truth, then you don't have any excuse to listen them. 

Stay True... Stay Metal... Stay Brutal...


Track List:

01. Värdelös
02. Demons and Angels
03. Pawn Sacrifice
04. The Wolven Law
05. Lockdown
06. The Punishment Begins
07. The Noose Tightens
08. Det går aldrig
09. Crush the Empire
10. Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike
11. A Life of Ceaseless Grind
12. Streams of Sludge
13. Into the Hard Earth
14. The Pain Maze
15. Vile Behaviour
16. Defeat
17. Dull Dead Future
18. To Smite
                                        19. A Brutal Truth
                                       20. Flytande Död



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Jul 27, 2018

Infernal Execrator (2018) Obsolete Ordinance 'Review'

Band: Infernal Execrator
Country of Origin: Singapore
Genre: Black Death metal
Type: Full Length
Format: Digital 320 kbps
Length Approx.: 35:00 min.
Release Date07-27-2018
Release Label: Pulverised Records

IR Classification: Excellent (4.6 / 5)




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A demon that invokes the ancient Morbid Angel

Singapore is not a very big scene and not very well known yet, few bands have emerged from that scene gaining international acceptance to mention some of those bands that were born in the nineties are Impiety and Rudra, followed by brutal death metallers Flesh Disgorge at the beginning of the millennium and during the middle of that decade by black metallers Draconis Infernum, grindcore masters Wormrot and finally black death metallers Infernal Execrator, who are releasing their second full length record titled "Obsolete Ordinance" a demon that invokes the ancient Morbid Angel.

Infernal Execrator have been active for the last thirteen years releasing some recordings, a demo, two EP's, four split albums, a full-length album and a live album, quite a lot for a small scene and now with its second full-length album, Infernal Execrator comes to reclaim its place in the international scene, Infernal Execrator is formed by four individuals who have chosen pseudonyms to be identified, as bass player is Kommando Antichristo, as drummer is Christslaughter, as rhythm guitarists Halphas D. Nihilist and finally as lead guitarist and vocalist Lord Ashir, the style of the band falls completely in Black metal with Death tones accompanied by aggressive vocals addressing messages of anti-religion, hate and worship, so do not expect any kind of mercy from them.



"Obsolete Ordinance" opens with some kind of mystical, ritualistic and demonic intro, it possesses such huge aggressiveness from the beginning with "Infernal Execrator" (True Blasphemour Conqueror) which spits a sonic explosion without mercy, the vicious guitars burn out as the track reaches the end, the second track is "Incinerate Halakhah Theorem" it’s vertiginous, fast converging with the direct brutality that characterized the first wave of Black Metal in the early nineties, while "Scions of Irreverent Bloodshed" delivers a blasting drum work by Christslaughter, "Northern Superiority" it’s simply the result of the influence of bands, like Destruction, Venom with simple but brutal guitar riff, and here is where the best part comes, "Quintessence Of Timeless Void" that has a slower pace at moments shifting into madness of heaviness that drives you into hell between this track and "Supreme Barbarous Ordo" reminds me a lot of early Morbid Angel and that is quite enjoyable and will leave you speechless, "Obsolete Ordinance" is a track in the pure vein of Dark Funeral, frantic, fast and inherent for their own identity, the last track is "Absolute Celestial Condemnation" everything here sounds chaotic, the raspy evil vocals are out of this world; A perfect end for a journey into hell.

Infernal Execrator surpassed any expectations from even the most demanding and dedicated Black metal followers, hailing from Singapore they are here uncompromised just devoted to promoting and spread their anti-religious thoughts filled with hatred and evil, a band that cannot be ignored! 

Stay True... Stay Metal... Stay Brutal...


Track List:

01. Infernal Execrator (True Blasphemous Conqueror)

02. Incinerate Halakhah Theorem
03. Scions of Irreverent Bloodshed
04. Northern Superiority
05. Quintessence of Timeless Void
06. Supreme Barbarous Ordo
07. Obsolete Ordinance
08. Absolute Celestial Condemnation





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