The recording here is excellent to me, raw but clear, the drums being noisy but at the same time powerful in their empty-barrel sound. The definition Death/Black/Thrash fits a bit awkwardly here, as honestly I find this band to be purely Death Metal, one has to explain me why one has to call in Thrash Metal anytime there is some complex structure in a riff. The chords remind me a little bit of Watain (and henceforth, Dissection – ah ah) but the vocals are generally speaking a bit deeper and it’s the hammering drum blast beneath which keeps the songs to another level. Taken in its whole, this is a good 15 minute demo, and a quarter of an hour is the perfect length, becouse I don’t think I would gladly listen to 45 full minutes of Primal Dawn. Not that they’re bad, mind ye you dwarfs, but they just say it all in 15 minutes, period I’s not criticism. The songs are so intense, so varied they seem to last way longer than they actually do. At 3-4 minutes each it’s refreshing to hear a band being able to handle instruments and play so tight.
It is difficult to review this album with complete honesty because the label which released it is owned by a close friend of mine, but it’s a matter of deontological ethics to be completely honest about your reviews all the time, for me. Just as a starting note, this album has been recorded in ’99 but it was only 6 years later that it saw its release. We’re talking about a rather old band here, adept at playing some sort of atypical Death Metal with broken rhytms, screams, technical drum changes, but all the way kept heavily into mid-tempos. The few accelerations hardly stand up to the average pace of today’s bands, and anyway they’re relatively marginal, just used to add variety to songs which already have a good personality each one of them. Personally a few things sound really terrible in my ears within album however, and these are a couple of Heavy Metal riffs disguised under heavy distortion, plus some solos which are really, really mellow. I can see someone into Grand Belial’s Key to be into this band too, but it’s a scene which just doesn’t belong here. A friend of mine compared this to Bal Sagoth (ehe) but to be serious, we’re far from that. While the general feel of the album is more than good, these sing along rides and happy tarantella riffs a la Iron Maiden really feel like a cold shower the moment they fall. I have to say, this is one of the most mature, well compsoed albums you could find today, if you can stand the huge traditional Metal influence, but to me the Metal in this Death Metal album has to go.
Holocaustia play blatantly derivative, run of the mill Black Metal, but I admit they do it with some competence. The clichès of the genre (after its consolidation post-1990) are all present here in abundance: screechy vocals, gothic fonts, black and white cover and all, and I might say some heresy here but I find some references to Marduk and older Behemoth to be here too; tThis is not just cold and grim music but it has a dose of punishing violence added which is typical of these bands. Some super-borniung and sleepy Dark Throne-ish passages of evocation break the otherwise always fast pace, but these are few and far between. This is a band which gives the best in the fastest parts, there are also some cool guitar licks which are not completely banal when things accelerate. Apart from a bass player and an unnamed drummer, lyrics and music are work of the guitarist/vocalist Oskar, yet again dealing with routine Satanic supermacy, Sumerian mithoi, plague etc etc. The cover artwork is atrocious, a sort of computer graphic thing in black and white, but the booklet itself has the sober, classic elements of a Black Metal booklet.
This promo tape contains all the songs from their upcoming album so consider this review the same when that Cd is out. From what I hear this stuff is is actually much better than the split with Goatchrist, with some added consistency in the song structures which really doesn’t diminish the overal feeling of blasphemous massacre. This shit is as fast as Black Witchery, with agonizing vocals which travel the whole low range spectrum in the best of the bestial/blackgrind school. The structures are chaotic and the multi-layered vocals add to the maelstrom of sounds, but this isn’t just completely abrasive upheaval a la Revenge, there is more speed and structure in here, which some purists might call “Death Metal” chords. I won’t agree to this point becouse to me this stuff is way more black metal than Enslaved with all their happy vikings shit or Emperor with their faggot goth keyboards, regardless of how simple and cold they might sound. To tell the truch we have here also very simple chord progressions but with sounds scaled down so much it feels like a long ritual humming not unlike totally different bands like Mortician. It’s the drummer here which blasts unerringly from start to end, and we also have a couple of Slayer like chaos solos. Good release indeed, purely black in soul, with a weird mix of South American growls and a indistict vein of Greek dismal misanthropy.
Deathevokation make no secret that the music they play is a big tribute to the 1990 ca. Death Metal scene, which is, obviously the best shit there is from my point of view as well. Not just the name is a clear tribute to the best Dismember/Carnage period, but the whole writing on this demo reeks old school, including the classic arpeggio tracks a la Morbid Angel and evocative intros a la Incubus/Morgoth. The riffs are most diverse here, with side A having more hooks from Benediction, Autopsy and Massacre, and side B more into Morgoth and definitely a LOT of Unleashed power gallops. The unifying element are always the vocals, raucous and deep without being intelligible, and a faint, far away streak of melody deign of the best early Swedish years. In a way, Deathevokation stand to Death Metal as Dark Throne stand to Black Metal: both are clearly tribute bands to the very principles of their respective styles, to the most untainted forms of these two big styles that intersected for years before splitting up into degenerate “scenes”. I must admit Dark Throne probably mixed the elements a bit better however, as songs in this demo tend to be quite distinct from moment to moment and in the end the “collage” effect is quite blunt. BUT as far as the single riffs are so damn good, and as far as the contaminations come from names which all stand among my favorite bands ever, who exactly gives a fuck. This stuff is well executed, genuine, and emotional as only early 90’s bands were able to compose, so there is no fucking way I am not going to reccomend it to the very extreme. Some more cohesion and we could have a HUGE album coming out one day from this band.
I am getting back on the work of reviewing stuff, or else I would risk of not managing to catch up by the 1st of December, deadline for starting the work on Nuclear Abominations #3. I added 4 reviews today, check out Proclamation, they’re a great band!
Moribund has planned a slick double Cd release containing the whole history of Masochist, I am personally counting days to see it.
The excellent Asutralian Death Metal band Nocturnal Graves is going to release soon a picture 7?EP on Deathstrike Records and a tape named ?Demonic Profanation? MC for In Coffin Productions. This is no average modern Metal shit, but crude, vulgar, bastard old School Death Metal also highly inspired by 80’s Black Metal like Hellhammer.
There is a new Tribulation from Sweden (they’re probably not old enough to remember the other one ehe), and they play terrific Death Metal the Swedish way of the early ’90s. This is as good as Repugnant in my opinion. Watch out for their 7″ on Blood Harvest rex.
A deadly mixture of extra hours in my daylight job and the serious involvement in the Nuclear Death project have blocked me from posting new reviews lately. But prepare to read a few new ones soon!
Demos and rare shit
This Cd-r contains a lot of rare and alternate tracks from my beloved Bowel Fetus, a band able to mix gore-grind with the best of sludgly doom/death. The compilation opens with a ridicolously rare “The First Session” release (5 copies made?). Bowel Fetus here was more like classic mid tempo goregrind with a very fake sounding drum machine, the ability to program it better might be the greatest leap in quaily this band had since these tracks. Some hints of doom are present here, but as normal, the development is not as total as in “Bloodsoaked Doomageddon”. The “Rehearsal August/October 2004” includes tracks 5-8 and include another Impetigo cover, a personal version of “Wizards of Gore” mit cyber sounds, I am afraid the tribal feel of the song is almost on-existant here, but fuck, how can you possibly do as good as the original? The sound is very clear anyway, for a reharsal, but either I can’t hear them, or there are no vocals in these tracks. The riffs are okay, but are mostly mid-fast and that is probably not the real shit for this band. Listening to the last few tracks of this rehearsal, you could hear Impetigo were a big influence for Glen at the time, as they have that feel of punkish groove that was so perfectly deleoped by our gods of Illnoize. The ninth track is pure sludge/drone doom, originally recorded as a bonus for the split tape with Viscera. This is really when this band starts shitting violets as we say here, this stuff is phenomenal, a bit in the vein of “Transcendence into the Peripheral”, with a resounding vibe that always remind me of a empty hangar. Fast Autopsy-worshipping riffs and chain tire vocals are all present in this track, fully developed. The two songs from the split with Gruesome Toilet start with pure noize bursts, nothing more to add to 1 second long songs. But there are also some unreleased ones which have solid structure and rather diverse structures from the classic Bowel Fetus including a weird B-52 cover. The song from the split with Anal Throne is also quite atypical, mostly composed around a single chug, but it ends in a funeral doom leak. The album ends with an Autopsy cover… terrific!