Sunday, February 1, 2015

Malum In Se – ...of Death ...of Lurid Soul...

Malum In Se is a new black metal band from Poland. They formed and released their first demo ...of Death ...of Lurid Soul... last year. If you're a fan of Behemoth then I'm sure you'll love what Malum In Se has to offer.

Even though this is a black metal demo, the production is pretty good. The instruments can be heard clearly but it still has a grim cold touch. The music is spectacularly violent. The blast beats are rampaging. Although they're not as awe-inspiring as those performed by Behemoth drummer Inferno, they're still really impressive. They also make sure to break up the pace by playing some mid-paced rhythms that feature rumbling double bass.

The vocals sound almost exactly like Nergal. They consist of a hoarse growl that exudes absolute hatred. I'm starting to think there's something in Poland's water supply that makes all of their death metal vocalists sound like demented hellspawn. This would also explain why the country produces so much death metal. The guitars are a mix of black metal and death metal. They mainly play tremolo riffs that sound thick and crushing. They're nothing original but the performance is devastating.

This demo might only be two tracks long, but the music is fantastically violent. These guys play some awesome Behemoth worship.
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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tmärrdhë – Worship the Cult of Human Sacrifice

The unpronounceable group Tmärrdhë are a black metal band from Bosnia. They formed sometime in 2013 and released their first demo Worship the Cult of Human Sacrifice that same year. It's enigmatic to say the least.

The production has that old school lo-fi quality. It's dark, cloudy, and channels sinister energies. The music itself is mostly mid-paced black metal with a few bursts of speed sprinkled throughout. The drums are buried under a thick layer of wretched murk, but they still come through nicely. The blast beats are minimalistic in structure but quite violent in their delivery. The mid-paced rhythms sound like a trudge through vast swathes of sinful filth. The snare and cymbals are strong and they both manage to pierce the cloudy production.

Unlike most other black metal bands, Tmärrdhë's vocals consist of a growl. These growls are extremely deep and have a strong echo effect applied to them. It sounds as if they're emanating from a dark and forgotten cavern. It perfectly fits the ominous atmosphere of the album. As for the guitars, they play a lot of mid-paced rhythms that feel disjointed and have an unearthly tone. Sometimes they play tremolo riffs, and they have the same unsettling tone as the mid-paced riffs. These aren't like any black metal riffs I've heard before. Despite this, the riffs are still pretty sweet.

This demo was short and strange, but it was also an exciting and unique experiment. If the Bosnian metal scene is making more bizarre stuff like this, then maybe I should pay more attention to it.
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Friday, January 30, 2015

Cruor Cultum – Crown of Beasts

Holy shit, I've been focusing so much on the LLN's discography I had absolutely no time to review Cruor Cultum's latest album. Way back in 2004, they released their debut album Bloody Days on the Altar. It took them a full ten years before they released Crown of Beasts, their latest album. I was hoping they'd release something new.

Even though the band hasn't released anything in ten years, their edge hasn't dulled one bit. In fact, it's actually gotten sharper. The production is gritty and old school, but there's also a bit of clarity to it. The music itself is vicious, destructive, and pays homage to numerous legendary black metal bands. The drums are played by a guy named Leandro Gavazzi. He also plays in a band called Divine Uncertainty. He does a pretty good job here. The fury displayed by his blast beats is terrifying. They sound like the rapid shelling of demonic artillery. He also plays plenty of mid-paced rhythms that feature rumbling double bass as well as some intricate fills.

Everything else is handled by frontman Lord Mephyr. His vocals consist of an extremely distorted rasp. They sound utterly diabolical. He sounds like one of Satan's generals who is besieging the gates of Heaven. The guitars were the best part of Bloody Days on the Altar. They're also the best part of this album. Sometimes they play some upbeat yet heavily distorted thrashing rhythms. Other times they play tremolo riffs that bring down destructive hellfire. What really amazed me was that there was a hint of melody in these riffs. This is especially obvious on the title track. The melody makes the riffs deadly and beautiful at the same time.

Even though the album lasts a mere thirty minutes, it leaves a huge impact. The production is raw and the music is violent. These guys may have taken forever creating this album, but the end result is fucking awesome.
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cannabies – Sativa Syn

A few months ago I reviewed Green and Noxious, the first EP from Indonesian brutal death metal band Cannabies. They played some really good music that was influenced by Siksakubur. They've recently released their full-length debut Sativa Syn. Once again, these guys offer up crushing brutal death metal that encourages you to smoke weed everyday.

The production is as good as it was on the EP, perhaps even better. All of the instruments can be heard clearly and they sound incredibly strong. When it comes to the music, Cannabies takes the Siksakubur formula and mixes it together with some Bandung slamming supremacy. Drummer Indra Leutik plays a savage blast beat assault as well as some mid-paced rhythms that feature rumbling double bass. Sure, the snare has a slight thudding sound, but the performance is still incredibly powerful. The bass is played by guy named Ega, who used to be a member of Undergod. Not only is the bass prominent in the mix, but his performance can get quite complex at times.

Andriansyah continues to perform an awesome Japra impression. His hoarse growls are vicious, frantic, and spew forth fury. The guitars are performed by Esa Otot. He was known as Reza back on the Green and Noxious EP. His tremolo riffs are dark and slithering. They're destructive but have a touch of flair to them. He also performs a lot of mid-paced rhythms that feature a massive amount of killer groove. These grooves are some sweet dank shit, I tell you what. He even performs a few excellent solos on occasion.

This album makes me want to get some kush. They pay homage to Siksakubur while also bringing forth some sick slams. These guys are ultra talented and I hope they release some more weed-based brutal death metal in the future.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"Coloring the Black: A Black Metal Theory Symposium" aka "An Obnoxious Cavalcade of Social Justice Bullshit"

A friend of mine on twitter recently sent me a link to this thing called "Coloring the Black: A Black Metal Theory Symposium". First of all, anyone who talks about "black metal theory" with a straight face is talking out their asses. I've read the works of some of these black metal "theorists". It's some of the most pretentious and nonsensical bullshit I've ever read in my life. Secondly, this "symposium" proves that social justice warriors are no longer being subtle about their attempts at taking over the metal scene.

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Mütiilation – Sorrow Galaxies

In 2005, Mütiilation released Rattenkönig, an album that was far darker than their previous releases. Two years later, the band released Sorrow Galaxies. This was the last full-length album Mütiilation ever released. What an amazing final album it is.

Meyhna'ch took everything he learned from Rattenkönig and vastly expanded upon it. The production is darker, but it also has more clarity. It sounds as bleak and cold as the void but I can still hear the instruments quite well. The music is better as well. The most obvious improvement is found in the drums. In the past Meyhna'ch just used a drum machine, but here the drums sound real. I can't tell if Meyhna'ch is performing on a real drum kit or is using a more realistic drum machine, but either way, the performance is amazing. He plays a bunch of rampaging blast beats as well as wonderfully crafted mid-paced rhythms that feature a powerful snare sound.

This album features some of Meyhna'ch's finest vocals. He mostly performs a rasp that sounds sick and ghostly. They sound like they're being made by an ancient galactic entity that emanates a chilling aura of despair and misery. The guitars are even better than they were on the previous album. They're a lot more complex. The tremolo riffs still sound grim and ravaging, but some of them have this melody and structure that remind me of certain atmospheric black metal bands. Some of the mid-paced riffs have a certain gracefulness to them. The riffs now have many quality, but in the end, they still manage to be cold and evil.

I believe that since this was the band's last album, Meyhna'ch felt he needed to make it count. This album features amazing production and songwriting. It's a grand expression of sorrow. Mütiilation broke up two years after the release of this album. It marks the end of an amazing black metal legacy. The Black Legions were incredibly influential, and Mütiilation was the most influential member of the group.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mütiilation – Rattenkönig

In 2003, Mütiilation released Majestas Leprosus, an album that was much better than their previous effort Black Millennium (Grimly Reborn). Two years after the release of Majestas Leprosus, the band release Rattenkönig, a name that literally means King of Rats. This album is far darker than anything Meyhna'ch had recorded previously.

First of all, the production sounds bleak and depressing. It's cloudy yet crushing. It sounds like the music is emanating from a realm of plague, misery, and death. The music is also more menacing. The drum machine plays a lot more blast beats that feature the constant clattering of cymbals. Sure, they sound artificial, but they still sound vicious.

Meyhna'ch's vocals here are a lot better than they were on the previous two albums. He spends most of the album performing a vile, hateful rasp. Even his croaks sound better. They actually sound villainous and no longer make me cringe. Best of all are the guitars. They mostly play tremolo riffs that have this dark and ominous tone. After so many years of experimenting, Meyhna'ch has stumbled upon a tone that is a vivid expression of evil. He also makes sure to break up the pace with some mid-paced rhythms. There are even a few chugs on occasion.

I don't know what Meyhna'ch did differently this time around, but it worked. This album sounds so dark and evil. The atmosphere is overwhelming and the music itself is utterly vicious. This album truly sounds like it was made by the King of Rats.
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Touhou Tuesday #154

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Mütiilation – Majestas Leprosus

In 2001, Mütiilation released Black Millennium (Grimly Reborn). It was a disappointment. It felt unoriginal and half-baked. Two years later, the band released Majestas Leprosus. It's a bit better than the previous album.

First of all, the production here doesn't sound as thin. The atmosphere is more rich and full and the guitars no longer sound like farts. The music is better too. It feels faster and more energetic, but they still provide plenty of mid-paced parts. One minute the drum machine is blasting away and the next minute they play creeping mid-paced rhythms. One notable aspect about this album is that the bass is quite prominent. This is evident on songs like “Destroy Your Life For Satan”. The bass helps to make the music feel thicker and more powerful.

Meyhna'ch still performs croaks, but they sound a lot stronger than they did on the previous album. It no longer sounds like he's phoning it in. He also performs some screams on occasion. The guitars are a lot better too. They sound fresher, more energetic, and more original. The tremolo riffs have this dark atmosphere to them, but they also sound quite melodic at times. They also play a few mid-paced rhythms that feel more lively than they did on the previous album. If it's true that Meyhna'ch was a junkie, then perhaps he was a bit more sober when he recorded this album.

Majestas Leprosus is way better than Black Millennium, but it's still nowhere near as great as the band's past albums. However, I must say that “Destroy Your Life For Satan” is one of my favorite Mütiilation songs.
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mütiilation – Black Millennium (Grimly Reborn)

Just two years after the release of Remains of a Ruined, Dead, Cursed Soul, Mütiilation released Black Millennium (Grimly Reborn). You might be wondering why Meyhna'ch is sitting in a wheelchair on the cover. According to various rumors I've heard, Meyhna'ch was so doped up on drugs at the time he forgot how to walk, so he had to spend an unknown amount of time in a wheelchair. Again, these are rumors, and since Meyhna'ch is reclusive it's impossible to verify any of it. Let's just focus on the music.

Compared to the band's first two full-lengths, Black Millennium feels underwhelming. The production feels thin. In the past the guitars sounded either cloudy or abrasive, but here the guitars sound like farts, and I hate guitars that sound like farts. The music sounds more simplistic and tired. The drum machine mainly plays a bunch of blast beats and mid-paced rhythms, but they sound nowhere near as powerful as they did on past albums. No real thought went into the programming. It sounds indistinguishable from other black metal bands.

Meyhna'ch goes back to doing croaks again. His performance sounds incredibly tired, almost as if he's just going through the motions. He performed some great croaks on Vampires of Black Imperial Blood, so I don't understand why his performance here is so subpar. Then there are the guitars. As I said before, the distortion makes the guitars sound like farts, but even if they had proper distortion, the guitars would still be of low quality. The riffs are unoriginal. They sound like they've just been pulled wholesale from other black metal bands. I know for a fact that Meyhna'ch can create some great riffs, so I don't understand why he phoned it in on this album.

Overall, Black Millennium was a letdown. The distortion was thin and weak and the performance was unoriginal. It pales in comparison to Vampires of Black Imperial Blood and Remains of a Ruined, Dead, Cursed Soul. I did like the clean guitars, though.
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