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    Aalborg Metal Festival feature

    December 12th, 2010
    How do you summarize 3 days of amazing metal performances into a single paragraph or 2 – you don’t really do you? How easy is it to sell bands like Immolation, Pestilence, Macabre, Monster Magnet, Seventh Void and Napalm Death on anything else than their names and already (or coming) legendary status on the metal scene? This year’s Aalborg Metal Festival featured the mentioned bands among a bunch of others – 3 days of metal, beer and even more metal! Read the rest of this entry “

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    Herpes – Doomsday

    October 26th, 2010

    Doomsday

    Welcome to the universe of the French Herpes – death, doom and destruction are what this is all about! This is their first demo, released on tape by Carbonized Cells and on CDr by the magnificent underground label Nihilistic Holocaust – if you wanna get a scent of what’s going on in horrific darkness, jump their way!

    When the CD starts spinning, downtuned and dirty raw madness emerges from the speakers and the listener is intertwined in a doomy gloomy dark world of a gasping growl, raw guitar riffs, a rumbling bass and noisy drums, hidden just below the wall of guitar distortion and a heavy bass a little bit of control, in the controlled way. If you already haven’t thought Autopsy, this is the time – homage to the gods – without being a sad copy – this is wellmade and played death metal with intensity, darkness and passion!

    I dig the 5 tracks on this demo and this is yet a band I will be looking forward to hearing more from! They have a nice take on doomy and dirty brutal death metal and the keys utilized on the last track ‘Frozen Funeral’ is working quite well, more of that please.

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    Mordax – Slaughter

    October 26th, 2010

    Slaughter

    I was quite hooked on Mordax in the spring when they sent me their 2 track promo – consisting of some really well performed death-thrash – I soon begged to hear more from them and it didn’t take them long to get a mini album recorded and put out, and now they’ll finally get to read my words about it.

    As written, the band delivers death-thrash straight to the point. This recording oozes of nostalgia and energy. We are getting some great guitar, intense riffing and blistering leadwork. The rhythm patterns are simple and straight ahead, they pace the music forward and contains a lot of energy. The vocals are possesed and backed up here and there by the whole gang, a nice touch.

    The guys have good ears for writing flowing and catchy songs that thrashes along the highway, dynamic and hardhitting, just as I like it! The more classic thrash is seasoned with some brutality and sheer heavyness, which adds to the dynamics and energy.

    The quite thin and rehearsal-like sound does also fit the music and the style quite well, though it could be great to hear the music boosted with a full powered production!

    We’ll hopefully hear more to Mordax along the way, and hopefully soon, as I can’t be the only one in need of a weekly Mordax fix!

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    Triptykon – Shatter

    October 26th, 2010

    Shatter

    Welcome to the world of Tom Gabriel Fisher, the vocals of the mighty Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Apollyon Sun and now Triptykon. As a man that have explored quite a deal with his previous bands, even though it almost always was rooted in a dark and heavy distorted base – Triptykon seems as the perfect evolution. The debut full length ‘Eparistera Daimones’ never really caught me, though this new mini album release has done some havoc in my mind.

    A dark droning world of despair, despair that reeks from the vocals of Fisher, backed with doomy riffing, gripping and ritualistic rhythm patters and an overall feel of darkness without light. The droning and ritualistic shines wholly through in the electronic track ‘Crucifixus’, which is a nice ambient and disturbing work.

    Though the man know what we old fans want and need, Hellhammer, though this time we only get the second best, 2 live tracks of the mighty Celtic Frost ‘Circle Of The Tyrants’ and a blistering version of ‘Dethroned Emperor’ with Nocturno Culto of Darkthrone on vocals, mighty mighty worship!

    Give this mini album a shot, there are hints of the earlier works of Fisher and some haunting atmospheres and gripping moments, and the 2 live tracks to draw in the old fiends!

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    Aphyxion – Obliteration Of The Weak

    October 26th, 2010

    Obliteration Of The Weak

    Ribe was once the capital of Danish metal – though that is quite some years ago – though there is still flowing metal in the veins down there in the south-western part of Denmark.

    If you haven’t guessed, Aphyxion hails from Ribe and this is their third release following ‘Eradication Of Fates’ from last year.

    We are getting served a healthy dose of death metal, heavy and quite melodic yet brutal, nice shifts of pace and a guttural straight in your face growl. The music is well written, varied and catchy – Aphyxion haven’t reinvented anything, though are delivering a solid punch of death metal incorporating various influences, without directly letting us know who.

    I’m glad this demo was thrown my way, it has been through quite a deal of spins to my enjoyment. And I’m sure a label will see the future in the young band sooner than later and I would also like to catch the band on stage, the music have the dynamics for some serious headbanging!

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    Sick Of It All – Based On A True Story

    May 26th, 2010

    Sick Of It All – Based On A True Story

    ‘Based On A True Story’ – the new punishment from New York’s own Sick Of It All – If you want true NY Hardcore – Sick Of It All is the band to turn to. When did the band deliver something new with their music? It’s been quite some years, though the recipe made back in time works, and the albums from this bastion work as a well greased machine!

    14 tracks of anger and shout outs to the scene, society and those in power, Sick Of It All as we know them. Heavy and catchy guitarriffs, a pounding bass and pounding drums, with the vocals on top of it all, well spiced with the band as chorus, every time a statement is made. This is Hardcore as I enjoy it.

    Energetic and angry as hell, right in our face, catching on as the first riff kicks in, followed up by the fierce rhythm, the even fiercer guitar riff and the vocals, and shouted chorus – the album has been kickstarted with ‘Death And Jail’ and Sick Of It All does not slow down until the last track has faded out.

    The production the album has gotten fits like hand in glove, quite organic and loud, the instruments are loud and not totally fitted into the picture. The kickdrum muds out into the heavier parts of the basslines, which muds into the some of the guitar, though it fits the kick ass atmosphere so fucking well, that and it adds an extra layer of raw atmosphere and hints towards a forgotten time!

    If the above didn’t convince you, give the album a spin and I’m sure that somewhere along the 14 cuts, you’ll be hooked by the game these old schoolers are living!

     

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    Darkthrone – Circle The Wagons – How do they keep it coming?

    May 26th, 2010

    The metalheads that know me, know that Darkthrone has a huge star in my little black book of metal bands, that mean a lot to me. Since ‘Under A Funeral Moon’ hit me in the face like a handful of burning napalm back in the days, Darkthrone has been my leading star, on a sometime bleak and lifeless metal scene.

    It is not all the releases from the band that have been up there, ranking on the top of metal releases throughout the years. After ‘Total Death’ (I won’t count ‘Goat Lord’ as it was recorded in 90/91 and a part of their death metal legacy) the road was a little bumpy concerning, not really the quality, though the atmosphere and how the music touched me, compared to earlier. Until this year, when ‘Circle The Wagons’ saw the dark of night. That old feel and nerve had returned!

    A continuation of the rock ‘n’ rollish punky heavy metal version of black metal, that the last few releases have been showcasing. Though this time much more heavy metal and much more accomplished. An adventure of the band’s past, present and a few hints to Isengard, as Fenriz is doing a great deal of the vocals, and hit the notes of Isengard, both vocally and atmospherically here and there.

    If the last couple of albums from the brave Norwegians didn’t convince you, give ‘Circle The Wagons’ a listen or 3, and let it sweep your doubts away, and take you on a journey into an unforeseen and hellish future.

    Darkthrone has made one of the top 5 death metal albums of all time, one of the top 5 black metal albums of all times, and now a beast of a heavy metal punky black metal bastard, that’ll set its mark in time and history!

     

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    Throne Of Katarsis – An Eternal Dark Horizon

    May 26th, 2010

    Throne Of Katarsis - An Eternal Dark Horizon

    Norwegian black metal is not always what it has been, though once in a while a new band or release pops up, with some of the right things, delivered the right way, with the right atmosphere. Is Throne Of Katarsis such a band? Partly I’d say, they have some of it, though is still lacking the final touches.

    The Norwegians are delivering some nice long songs, spanning from 10 to 12 minutes, and are actually pulling it off. Not many bands can keep the intensity and excitement up, for such a long time. Especially not when we are talking more or less classic Norwegian black metal. We have it all from blazingly fast guitars, to evil rasping vocals, great cold melodic pieces, slower graverobber parts and an overall nice, cold and dark atmosphere.

    Besides writing long tunes, and delivering their music more or less spot on, there isn’t much new under the funeral moon. Throne of Katarsis is delivering some solid and great sounding black metal. Though I don’t think it is enough to make this album a classic. But a big kudos for making such long songs, and keeping the atmosphere, excitement and intensity going all the way through – crafted through some well tailored song structures and good guitarwork!

     

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    Beholder – The Awakening

    May 26th, 2010

    Beholder – The Awakening

    Heavy British heavy metal with a slightly modern touch, delivered with a ten ton hammer and brute force – that is what you get when you throw Beholder in your CD player and press play.

    Pounding kick drums, an aggressive snare, hard hitting guitar riffs and a great vocalist build up the power that is steamtraining out of the speakers. It is not like that Beholder is the new metal blessing or delivers anything new. They just have the ability to craft really strong tunes and deliver them powerful with a lot intensity and emotion.

    A well weighted blend of British and American heavy metal with a dash of a technical approach inspired by Nevermore it sounds, and the vocals here and there, do also bear that mark. A well crafted and solid album that can be blasted again and again without becoming bland – this is metal!

     

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    Altar Of Plagues – First Plague (Demo 2006) – Dark melancholic black metal!

    May 26th, 2010

    Yet an old and dusty album has been pulled from vast stacks of more or less forgotten releases. Though once in a while, while pulling out these old demos and albums, that were cast away within the first listen, back when they emerged, something great comes out of the speaker. If it is my progressed musical preferences, or the current state of music that are putting older music in a good perspective, I can’t say, but it is damn nice to be pleasantly surprised.

    Altar Of Plagues is from Ireland and is delivering mystical and atmospherically black metal. They are very good at painting dark and eerie atmospheres, which suck the listener into the vortex. The songwriting skills of the guys are very present and they know how to deliver and perform, quite exciting and fulfilling music. They are fond of a slight chaotic approach to both delivering the music and the production of said, though it works really well in this context, adding yet a layer of dark mystery.

    Since the release of this, their first demo, Altar Of Plagues has released 2 EPs, a praised full length and is more or less ready with a new EP entitled ‘Tides’. I’ve just been checking out the newer music on their Myspace site, and they have continued in the style of the demo, with a great deal of maturity and progression of course, and a lot stronger sense of songwriting and melancholy. Even with the quite bad sound quality on Myspace, the music burns through and marks the listener, with the dark and frantic atmosphere, especially the track ‘Twisted Against The Sun’ is a dark piece of great art!

    The band is also on their way onto a European tour which starts at the Roadburn Festival in Holland, and takes them to Copenhagen, where they’ll cloak Lades Kælder in utter darkness, so if you are near Copenhagen on the 27th of April, show up!

     

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