ABHORROT (Aut): “Death In Blasphemy” demo Cd-r 2008 s/p

Abhorrot - Death In BlasphemyI just wanted to skip on the countless useless promos and dug up the ones I enjoyed the most. Abhorrot is a band that just did it right (according to my own vision of this stuff that is) on this demo. Basically EVERYTHING is right here, and I will start with the amazing sounding name (I bet they were Finnish ah ah!), killer logo, great sketched artwork. I am one of the ones that got this on CDr which is cool, even though this is definitely tape stuff (I read some of these demos came out on tape too), I admit I would really like every single Death Metal demo came out this way, no frills shitty art, dripping logo and rough paper, nothing else. There is no real booklet but the other side of the cover keeps it old school: typewriter fonts, impossibly dark picture, and a scattering of song titles like “DIE IN PAIN”. Now I’d like to give a Nobel prize to any band that comes out with a title like this, I am serious. And then you have “Eternal Decay” and “Death in Blasphemy” which are equally ultimate Death Metal titles as well. And let’s not forget the Nihlist cover.

Being recorded in some place called “The Cellar” you cannot really expect Morrisound, can you? Here it is: pure cellar sound, and I believe they’re talking about a REAL cellar, not some studio with a cool name. The sound is as fuzzy and degenerated as you can imagine, and the rehearsal sound is just a perfect fit for the incredibly basic riffing we have here, it’s like some extremely early Death Metal recording from 1990 with guttural growls and a slightly drone metallic sound. Of course I do not  think a band should end his path here since a little bit of structure is mandatory even in Death Metal but what I liked is that I was n0t able to hear anything so refreshingly primal for many years. The band subsequently released some more stuff so the sound here is probably not even fairly indicative of their latest efforts but it is a nice demo to hear in a time where 13-years old freaks are able to blast 10000 bps hyper-technical riffs. Nice addition for a complete DM collection: guttural vocals, primitive riffing, sloppy (in a cool way) drumming and so on, just as it was.

ABSURD (Swe): “Discography ’91-’92” compilation Cd 2012 Black Vomit

absurd-discographyAhhhh! When Nuclear Abominations first became a webzine in 1999, one of the most boring things to do was scanning covers. It was outrageously boring shit, yet it was cool at the same time since it was difficult to see underground record covers, especially when we talk about very old releases. Am I complaining like an old sailor here? Hell no! All I had to do this time was just Google-ing the name of this compilation and, like magic, here is the cover. Man, these are really great times for lazy fucks like me. I wouldn’t even have to open the Cd, I could just listen to this on YouTube. Couldn’t I?

Considering I am not some high profile psychologist nor a hermit swelling in its own thoughts, I am not going to ponder the reason why I still do buy records sometimes. I haven’t really thought much about it but like I always did for music-related stuff, I just go with the feelings I have at the moment. That’s why I never learned to play an instrument I guess. Whatever the case I was intrigued to hear this retrospective. Obviously, I had listened to the  main recording that make up this collection before, namely the 1991 demo tape later repressed on 7″ on Seraphic Decay (mine is on trippy pink paper cover, combined to the abstract design it was quite a nice psychotropic experience), but I never had the chance to hear Absurd live before. Obviously we’re not talking about the German NSM band (I omit the B on purpose here), but one of the small underground Swedish bands that played in Sweden in the earlier days of this form of music. They were from a small town just north of Stockholm (Täby, same town as Treblinka)  for what I see, and well, you cannot really go too wrong with a 1991 band recording a demo at the Sunlight Studios at the time can you?

Before going on the the release itself, I’ll gladly spend a good word or two on the label: Black Vomit (from Greece) is the same label that released that Necro Schizma compilation we saw some 10 years now (IIRC it was From Beyond that released it) on wax, and – thank you Satan my lord – it has been released on super standard black vinyl with an super standard, bare packaging – enough with huge boxed sets spilling patches and pins from every corner. While I am a Necro Schizma fan and I did get the record as soon as I saw it, I have n0t bought their Genocidio vinyl yet but I plan to do it sometime in the not too far future. I have that old Ep of them and a more recent Cd from the early nineties (“Hoctaedrom”, how did it end on the local pop music store is a mystery) and I liked that stuff pretty much: good brutal sound without too much gloss.  Together with this Cd I also got the Necroccultus / Sub Niggurath split, which is also killer. Good work man. Support this label.

Now on this proper Aburd release. One big “thank you” for not using the bakery shop logo they got on the Seraphic Decay Ep, I am pretty happy with this one. Thank you also for keeping it lineart black and white, please somebody tell every label doing reissues today that this is the ONLY way to go. I learned from the interview repressed in the booklet taken from the Return of Swedish Dodsmetall that the band used to change logo continuously (more or less like Nun Slaughter?) so the one we saw on cover is probably just one of them According to the ex-Espulsion guy Christopher Wowden, the band (but I can read “him” between the lines) was not fond of classic Death Metal logos so my guess is the logo chosen and the cover we see here is probably not what the band would have used at the time. Have a read at the interview if you don’t have Nicola’s book because it’s quite interesting.  In conclusion, Absurd wanted to be progressive but the Cd came out way more similar to a old school Death Metal release than 80% of the retrospective I see these days. All in all, I am happy with this choice.

So what do these Absurd sound like? Well I am talking about the 3-trax demo here, because the live show, while interesting (there’s also a Pungent Stench cover), doesn’t exactly convey all the down-tuned, spectral sound of the band. I could dare to say sometimes the band has that slightly Crematory-ish semi-melodic vibe in the background, but all in all it’s Swedish Death metal. Highly structured, with a lot of tempo changes and blast beats, but Swedish Death to the core, hell yes. The vocals are not just the hyper-deep kind, and even have some metallic effect on the third track “See Through Me”. This last song definitely needs some extra attention because it has a lot of structure. I really like when bands attempted to experiment a bit while keeping it brutal (think Demilich or Crematory). It goes all through the spectrum of mid tempos and blasts but the choice of riffs and malevolent tremolos is something that could only come from 1990 Sweden. I have plugged off from the world for a few years but I am curious to see if any more recent band can capture this feel.

Good shit, get the Cd even for the three studio tracks if you don’t have the Seraphic Decay Ep. One single complain I could say is there is really little info except for a pretty regular collage and the aforementioned interview. I guess I would have liked a repress of the demo thank-list or some other extra information on the recordings, but after all you can excerpt the necessary info from the interview, so no big deal.

Not dead yet… (premature burial!)

It is really touching to see there are still over 50 views each day on this website despite the fact I haven’t updated it in eight months. I promise this webzine is not dead, but I am just trying to recollect some of the enthusiasm I had when I started it. The whole musical scene is so incredibly different today and I just feel so out of place… it is so funny but what really makes me feel like this has been this huge old-school revival. The bands, most of them at least, are so damn good. Yet there is something out of place… In any case I have a box full of promo material that WILL be reviewed as soon as I find some motivation.

Death Metal Eternal.

BLOODY SIGN (Fra): “Explosion of Elements” Lp Cd 2007 Ibex Moon

Wow. This Bloody Sign might not be a band that needs introductions, but it’s surely worth underlining from the beginning how damn mindblowing they are. Kilometers far from today’s opposing standards of “dark old school” and “brutal new school”, this is a band which “didn’t not surprise me to check they released a split on Nihilistic Holocaust“. As you might have guessed, the line follows from where the first album “Vana Vigala Loïts” ended, still knee deep in classic high level Death Metal that oscillates between South American warfare (Imperious Malevolence, Masacre etc) and Morbid Angelesque high-level writing (Ingurgitating Oblivion, Impureza, Act of Gods, Centurian, Serpents’ Aeon etc).

The songwriting is really impeccable, with plenty of that Floridian muscle we have started to forget about. I am not into 100% of the mid tempo bridges (a bit in the vein of old Morgoth maybe, even though the vocals are not that great – heck!), but it’s the the fast parts that are are something really worth hearing – amazing solos and intricate multi layered riffs, throat ripping vocals, granite solid drumming. This is a really impressive work of old fashioned professional level Death Metal like you rarely hear today.

Like I said I am not really 100% into it, mostly because the songs seem a bit lacking of precise personality at times, some riffs could have possibly been dropped (my friends in Kaamos told me they dropped dozens of riffs before getting to studio, and it’s something that generally pays in my opinion), but this is just a cheap comment from a critic that might not be worth considering (didn’t they say the same of Mozart?). The good work on this album however is much, and definitely enough to blast my personal rating quite high. I’m with this band completely, seems like the French scene is really giving birth to new killer bands lately.

Another thing worth saying is that all these songs are 4-5 minutes long. It’s not that common nowadays I think. You finally have the impression of buy a full length Cd, and not a 20 minute demo for the same price. All this to say this is a band that needs careful attention. They’re good musicians, with plenty of taste, dedication and vision. I am loom forward to hear a fast-only album!

I found the original cover artwork on the Internet and I cannot but say I am pretty much disappointed to see how this superb work was butchered by a mediocre Photoshop trick across the logo and a really muddy, dark print. The picture here is not how the real cover looks like, but how it should have. It is so dark you lose much of the detail and shading effect. Too bad really.

INFAMOUS GLORY (Bra): “Order of Doom” demo Cd-r 2007 s/p

Infamous GloryAs a standard rule, Brazilians just like most South Americans, do it better. At least when we talk about Metal, and extreme forms of Metal in general. Some of my favorite bands ever come from Brazil and – god be damned – I am always excited when I hear about a band from this country I don’t know, because they have a dedication to the cause which is completely different from that of most of us Europeans. In general, but now always, a Brazilian Death Metal band has a sense of belonging, a sense of brotherhood and mutual support which is unrivaled everywhere else on Earth.

My friend Douglas from 2+2=5 records handed me this fantastic demo (wrongly self asserted to be a “promo”) a few months ago. Top notch logo with skulls, black and white cover, raging song titles, big “old school death metal” statement on the cover – everything seemed to go for the better. I gave it a listen right as soon as I was home but… I wasn’t over escited about these 4 tracks, even after three listens. I preferred to wait a few weeks before giving it another try.

My conclusion is that Infamous Glory is definitely more a Metal band than a Death Metal band. Even if they describe themselves as “Old School Death Metal”, and I absolutely confirm it, they’re not exactly “old school” as we mean it today. Their roots come slightly before the 90’s, as most of the structures and riffs remind me of late ’80’s classic Metal than the raw, dark Death Metal of the golden age. Forget about old Imperious Malevolence, Ancestral Malediction or Mental Horror, as this band does not runs for the fastest and heaviest position. They play a mix of genres that goes from Death Metal a la Diabolic, Deceased, Infamy, Pessimist to more generic Black Metal, with an abundant influence of Thrash and some virtuous soloing. There is surely a good share of brutality, as the drummer knows how to blast, and the vocals are powerful, but in general I cannot find a line in the song writing. Some chugs seem pretty pointless and for some reason the fury doesn’t manage to pierce the amp if you know what I mean. Good, flawless Death Metal is what they play, but I feel it’s lacking some punch. Good stuff, but needs some more straightforward songwriting and to get rid rid of some embellishments. Add some Nunslaughter and we might get some really killer thing.