Sunday, December 21, 2014

Black Murder – Feasts

One year after the release of their first demo, Black Murder, a collaboration between the members of Belketre and Vlad Tepes, released their only other demo Feasts. Not only does this demo feature more material, but the material is better as well.

The lo-fi production is somewhat different this time. It's still rather muffled, but this time around there's a great deal of reverb that helps to create a frightening atmosphere. The music here is a bit more complex and expansive. Vordb Dréagvor Uèzréèvb still plays a lot of stripped-down, rampaging blast beats as well as some extremely straightforward mid-paced rhythms, but there are moments where he plays some fills as well as a few marching rhythms, such as those on .

Vorlok Drakkstein still performs those deranged screams. They sound even more deranged on here than they did on the first demo. His crazed nature pierces through the lo-fi production with utter ease. As for the guitars, they too show a greater deal of complexity. Wlad Drakkstein plays a lot of mid-paced riffs that, thanks to the tone and reverb, sound ominous and foreboding. The spine-chilling atmosphere is present right at the beginning. He also plays a lot of vicious tremolo riffs that demonstrate pure raw supremacy. Some of these riffs even display a hint of catchiness. He even plays a few creepy acoustic guitars, such as those on “Interlude”.

Black Murder took what they recorded on their first demo and they greatly expanded upon it. It's too bad this was the only other demo they recorded. They could have done so much more.
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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Black Murder – Promo '94

In 1993, the brain behind Belketre and the two men behind Vlad Tepes got together and formed Black Murder. They released their first demo just a year later. This demo may only have two songs on it, but they're great.

The production is, as always, exceptionally lo-fi. It's kinda muffled but also harsh and abrasive, especially when it comes to the vocals. As for the music, it sounds as if Belketre and Vlad Tepes got fused together in some sort of magic spell. The drums are played by Vordb Dréagvor Uèzréèvb. He plays a lot of stripped-down, minimalistic blast beats as well as some well-crafted mid-paced rhythms. The snare manages to pierce through the haze and the cymbal work is rather elaborate.

The vocals are performed by Vorlok Drakkstein. Wlad Drakkstein's vocals consisted of a croak. Vorlok's performance consists of a deranged scream. It's pretty spine-chilling. The guitars are performed by Wlad Drakkstein, and they're just as great as they were on Vlad Tepes. Instead of playing the black/thrash riffs he usually plays, he plays more traditional black metal riffs on this demo. They sound cold, dark, and menacing. However, unlike most other black metal bands, he also throws in a bunch of wild solos to keep things exciting.

Even though this demo was incredibly short, the music is great. It's extremely raw and violent, especially when it comes to the vocals.
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Friday, December 19, 2014

A Metalhead's Thoughts On #GamerGate

Now I bet you're probably thinking to yourself, “BreadGod, you run a metal blog. Why the fuck are you talking about vidya gaems?” Well, allow me to explain. If you've been following me on twitter, then you'll know that I'm a proud supporter of GamerGate. What is GamerGate, you ask? GamerGate, simply put, is a consumer revolt that is demanding ethics in gaming journalism. Gamers are sick and tired of the backroom deals that occur between gaming publishers and gaming journalists and they're sick and tired of constantly being told that they're horrible people by journalists who have questionable morality.
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Torgeist & Vlad Tepes – Black Legions Metal

At the beginning of 1996, Torgeist and Vlad Tepes got together and recorded a split called Black Legions Metal. There's a mysterious wooden structure on the album cover. I believe that was the LLN Clubhouse. I'm pretty sure they had a sign out front that said “No girls or posers allowed”.

First up is Torgeist. I'm disappointed to discover that all they did was rerecord their Time Of Sabbath demo. There's not even that much of a difference between the two. The only difference I can find is that this version has slightly better production. Oh well. At least the music is good. The drums play a lot of tight mid-paced rhythms that feature plenty of double bass and fills, the rasps are angry and are shrouded in fuzzy distortion, and the guitars play lots of mid-paced riffs that are quite dark and sinister in their delivery. Other than that, I can't shake the feeling that their contribution to this split was just a lazy copypaste.

On the other side is Vlad Tepes. The songs they play here would later be rerecorded for their Dans Notre Chute demo. Unlike Torgeist, Vlad Tepes actually puts in a bit of effort. It begins with the upbeat and folksy “Raven's Hike” and just gets better from there. The production is beautifully lo-fi. The instruments sound wonderfully abrasive but can still be heard really well. The drums offer up a plethora of minimalistic blast beats as well as plenty of mid-paced rhythms that feature a strong snare and elaborate cymbal work.

The vocals consist of a sinister croak that occasionally turns into a manic scream. He puts on a great performance. It's almost as good as it was on March to the Black Holocaust. As for the guitars, they play a mix of vicious tremolo riffs and mid-paced black thrash riffs. The performance is really tight and the riffs can be quite infectious at times. I especially like the slow and somewhat melodic riffs they play on “Tepes The Unweeping”.

Overall, Vlad Tepes is the superior side of this split. Torgeist, were you even trying?
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Torgeist – Time Of Sabbath

One year after releasing their first demo, Torgeist released Time Of Sabbath. By this time, the lineup consisted of Lord Beleth'Rim on guitars and vocals, Aäkon Këëtrëh on guitars, Vordb Dréagvor Uèzréèvb on bass, and the drums were played by some guy named A Dark Soul. They improve on what they created on their first demo.

Time Of Sabbath begins with a short ambient piece that consists of heavily distorted keyboards. It sounds like it was pulled from an extremely obscure NES game. We then get to the meat of the demo, and it's obvious that they've been honing their craft. First of all, the production is slightly more lo-fi than it was on their first demo. The music is wrapped in this shroud of fuzzy distortion. This helps to create an enigmatic atmosphere. The music itself is a vast improvement over their first demo. The drums still play a lot of simple mid-paced rhythms, but they spice them up with lots of double bass and raucous cymbal work.

The bass still follows the guitars, but they still manage to give the music more depth. The vocals are a lot better here than they were on the first demo. Instead of sounding like Gollum, they sound more like an angry rasp. This definitely improves the impact of the music. As for the guitars, they continue to play a lot of simple mid-paced riffs. It feels like they're just retreading old ground, but at least the performance is a lot tighter.

Although this demo isn't very original, the music is still good. I especially love how much the vocals have improved.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Torgeist – Devoted To Satan

Torgeist is a rather odd case. Even though the band featured Vordb Dréagvor Uèzréèvb and Aäkon Këëtrëh of Belketre and even though they released a split with Vlad Tepes, Torgeist was never considered an official member of The Black Legions. Don't know why. Despite this, I'll review their work anyway. Torgeist was formed by a man named Lord Beleth'Rim in 1992. The band released their first demo, Devoted To Satan, two years later.

The production is more akin to underground death metal than underground black metal. It has this really crunchy distortion to it. As for the music itself, it's extremely minimalistic. The drums mainly play ultra simplistic bass-snare rhythms as well as mid-paced rhythms and d-beats that are only slightly more complex. They play some blast beats, but they're few and far between. I don't really like the snare sound. It sounds like the guy's pounding on a tin can. This gets especially annoying when he picks up the tempo. Unlike most other black metal bands, you can actually hear the bass. It mainly follows the guitars, but it still adds extra depth to the music.

The vocals consist of this strange rasping croak. Lord Beleth'Rim sounds like Gollum. Not exactly to my liking, but he's still better than most other black metal vocalists I've listened to. As for the guitars, they play a lot of mid-paced rhythms that have a prominent punkish vibe to them. They're pretty simple and straightforward. There's not a lot of originality to it, but the performance is tight and there are no hiccups.

This demo is really short. If you drop the intro and outro, then it's only eleven minutes long. Despite its short length, it's still pretty decent. It's a great exercise in minimalism.
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Touhou Tuesday #149

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Belketre – Ambre Zuèrkl Vuorhdrévarvtre

One year after releasing March to the Black Holocaust, their awesome split with Vlad Tepes, Belketre released their last demo Ambre Zuèrkl Vuorhdrévarvtre. That title is quite the mouthful, isn't it? This is because it's written in Gloatre, a language constructed by Vordb Dréagvor Uèzréèvb. It's not enough that the music is lo-fi as fuck, they also made the song titles and lyrics as alien and incomprehensible as possible.

The demo begins with three minutes worth of dark tremolo riffs and ominous clean chords. It reminds me of Branikald. After that, we descend into pure villainy. The production is worse than that of Twilight of the Black Holocaust. It's quieter and more muffled, but if you take your time with it, the music will come through. The drums play many more blast beats. These blast beats are minimalistic but still raging and destructive, especially on songs like “Aapr Dgyarveurtre”. They still play plenty of mid-paced rhythms, and these mid-paced rhythms feature a snare that punctures the fog and cymbals that sound like shattering glass. They then make things interesting by throwing in a bunch of elaborate fills.

The vocals are different this time around. Instead of sounding like a frantic rasping scream, they sound more like a croak. Personally, I liked the rasping screams better. Then again, that's just me. As for the guitars, they sound just as destructive as the drums. They play lots of spiteful tremolo riffs and creeping mid-paced riffs. Thanks to the lo-fi production, these riffs help to create a cold and morbid atmosphere. They also play a few piercing melancholic riffs, such as those on “Goebtrevoryalbe”. They then top things off with some awesome solos that harken back to their death metal days. I especially like the ones they play on “Brearmdreb”.

Sure, the production is shit, but this demo is pretty fucking sweet. The drums and guitars are utterly killer. Belketre's last demo is definitely better than Vlad Tepes's last demo.
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Vlad Tepes & Belketre – March to the Black Holocaust

It was November 1995. Vlad Tepes and Belketre, two of the LLN's most iconic bands, got together and released March to the Black Holocaust. Not only is this one of the best albums the LLN put out, but it's also one of the best split albums ever made.
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Saturday, December 13, 2014

#MetalGate is here

Unless you've been living in a cave for the past four months, then you're probably already familiar with GamerGate. For those who don't know, GamerGate is a consumer revolt that is demanding ethics in gaming journalism. (You can learn more about GamerGate here, here, and here.) Gamers are sick and tired of how social justice warriors are constantly telling them that they're horrible people simply for liking certain games. Gamers are sick and tired of constantly being talked down to by self-righteous moral crusaders. They are now fighting to reclaim their culture. This has inspired other subcultures to start fighting back against social justice warriors, including metal.
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