Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Nekromantheon - Divinity of Death (2010)

   To hear great quality thrash metal nowadays is more than appreciated, because it counts occasional to find any new and serious thrash bands since the past few decades. 
   Nekromatheon recalls the late '80s with their wild and aggressive thrashing, that's strongly influenced by old Slayer, Sadus and Kreator. Their debut is definitely like a nostalgia album, not only the style, but the sound, the song compositions and the lyrical topics are also fitting to the golden age of thrash. The extreme speed of thrashing paired with the aggressive tone introduces the final accord of the genre, the point from where further styles developed. Though their music doesn't seem to lean to any direction, the borderline of death and black metal isn't far. This is one of the main reasons why "Divinity of Death" sounds so authentic. The band was able to catch the main feeling and the very core of the late '80s thrash metal, like nearly no one else was able to since the past decades. Old bands have changed during the time, and newbies are usually not so determined to recall that seemingly long time gone essence. The other advantage of this tone is, that even though it counts nearly vintage nowadays, it's intense wildness is more compatible with the audience since the appearence of more extreme genres. Not suggested to miss out for big thrash fans.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Kvelertak - Kvelertak (2010)

  Black metal was combined and experimented in countless ways lately, and even nowadays it's possible to find it in new, unusual forms. Mainly because of it's emotional/atmosphere based simple themes, right after it took part from the mainstream scene in the early '00s, many have discovered the possibilities in it's compatibility.
   Kvelertak mixed black metal with more classic styles, such as punk, hard rock, and rock 'n' roll, and by that they've created a new subgenre that was called as black 'n' roll. Unlike the old experiments with death 'n' roll, this style really had something to do with rock 'n' roll since the beginning by it's high intensity and frequently returning old school/basic themes. The idea of mixing an extreme style with essential mainstream classic styles is definitely like an absolute win, so it's still a wonder, why such bands are so rare to find. Especially in an age when the even most absurd and nonsense style combinations can be introduced as something extraordinarily unique, whether they fit to work together well, or not. The biggest advantage of Kvelertak's style that it was able to smuggle a different aspect into the mainstream scene. Something that didn't take part of a new music wave, and also didn't count as generic, or attention seeking-fancy. The band is able to play so fast and precise, as a black metal band, and turned it's atmosphere and intensity into an audience-friendlier aspect. If their music was more raw and focused completely on the simple old school themes, it would be like crust punk influenced black metal. The diverse switches, common melodies and mainstream references making it to something different. Even though their music includes only the essence of the styles that have been combined, and that means the very basics, the main view sounds enough complex to make it possible to analyze it for long. Kvelertak's music could be compatible with the fans of many way different styles the same time from black metal, through hipster metal until progressive metal fans.

Brutus - Brutus (2010)

   Similar to other older styles, the '70s hard rock also had to return in a form of a nostalgia wave. Even though that period included countless band, the whole scene was officially reduced to the so called big 4 (Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep), and in some way in nearly all other hard rock bands music it's possible to find a reference to any of them. 
   In case of Brutus it's not different either, and they didn't even keep in secret that their main goal was to recall the characteristic style of the mentioned bands. The themes are once more reminding to Black Sabbath, once to Deep Purple, assisted by the chilling, loose feeling of Led Zeppelin. Even if the similarity might be confusing, like if Brutus was a somehow missed and forgotten band of the '70s, there is a tiny difference to discover for those who are feeling the most familiar with that style: the music sounds quite sober. There is a genuine atmosphere in the music of the '70s that's difficult to describe, but suspects very high level of self-destruction. Brutus sounds more like a fun made project of very determined fans. Their debut is like a summary of everything good from that scene. The line of nostalgic references might be too long to list, since it's an intense album and the band didn't scrimp with great themes. Even though it was certainly not Brutus' intention to repeat the overwhelming effect of the big 4 on the main scene, it's important to mention that even if the music of the oldies had absolute rule in their time and it was able to gather extremely huge audience, the disadvantage of playing hard rock is to keep staying in the shadow of the classics. They cannot be exceeded, because they've depleted all possibilities. A nostalgia wave also doesn't matter, even amongst ancient '70s fans it can't spark too big attention like back then, not to mention the main scene. However, Brutus have left behind a high quality debut, that authentically reintroduces a long time passed, eventful musical period.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Conan - Horseback Battle Hammer (2010)

   The uprising of drone metal had a wider influence to the main scene, that was sensable from the late '00s. Many new bands were inspired by this rummbling noise centered new wave of musical minimalism. But because real distinguising features (or any real features) are difficult to make in something that's basically closer to a rehearsal room sound check than to music, most bands who didn't want to stuck in the shadow of Sunn O))), just involved the drone sound into other styles.
   Conan did the same, by their sludgy stoner doom influenced music, that already had past in the UK. At nearly every British metal band references to the local metal scene are inevitable, because they always serving as essential building materials. In case of Conan these could be Electric Wizard, Cathedral, and Black Sabbath. Those picks might sound both reasonable and promising according to a sludge/stoner/doom band, but these are just the basics. To this came the distorted drone influence, that matches the noisiest experiments of Electric Wizard, and also created an atmosphere, that they creatively developed further into a misty mythical direction. The band's main concept is based on long forgotten ancient times, mythologic creatures and battles, but without pushing a story or an epos into the listener's face. They're focusing on a primitive and raw essential feeling, that sounds ominous and very heavy the same time. It's an unusual aspect of psychedelic sound, achieved though extreme distortion. A different atmosphere than what was introduced by similar bands before. It recalls doomed ancient times and transmits the echoing message of participants of long forgotten events. No matter how poor and repetitive Conan's musical toolbar was, it proved to be strongly expressive, and by their minimalism they were able to open new dimensions. 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Expurgo - Burial Ground (2010)

   The new sound of grindcore - even if it's about an old school oriented direction, just like in the case of Expurgo - just left behind the traditional practice that builds on the contrast of simple punk influenced basic themes and intense grinding.
   This proved to be an advantageous tendency, partly because the music became more unified, and at the other hand because the songs kept their heaviness. That might changed the basic concept of the genre a bit and also turned it closer to grind/death, that meanwhile increased the effectiveness. Not speed was the only factor anymore, some bands wrote better themes and stepped out from the state of musical Dadaism, while those who preferred to stay, tried to sound more exaggerated. Expurgo also had horror and  goregrind as mainly inspirational features, so their style selection was not a coincidence. Their music defititely recalls the early '90s (Terrorizer, Revolting, Napalm Death, early Carcass), but with great sound quality, and that makes it also the part of a new waved movement. So their music is nostalgic and counts modern the same time, compatible with the taste of old school fans, but also could be enjoyable for the lovers of modern sounding brutality. The basic punk influenced themes didn't disappear completely, but because of the heavy, noisy sound they're not serving as contrast anymore. They're more reminding to thrash by this speed and form. Deep growling lead vocal assisting to the intense brutality with second, screaming backing vocal. In total "Burial Ground" is a well made modern masterpiece of the genre. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Poisonous - Perdition's Den (2010)

   Poisonous' one and only full-lenght album "Perdition's Den" was a quite heavy and obscure debut, that proved to be interesting for various reasons.
   First because their strongly Immolation influenced sound was kind of new to find in South America. Second: to play in that style and to be able to keep up the complex themes and to accord them together as it's demanded, definitely needs skilled musicians. And the experience comes with time, so even by not knowing much about the members background, it seems clear that they didn't start to play just a few years before the band was formed. That might lead back to the first point, because in this case musicians of the South American scene with notable past instead of playing something traditional, ended up with a massive, brutality oriented style. Their blasphemous lyrical concept also follows the Immolation influence, but of course in a simpler way of formulation. The album matches the expectations if the listener hungers for raw heaviness, as it's an ongoung feature during whole lenght. Only 2 short atmospheric intros are breaking the seemed like endless devastation. For this style less noise oriented, better sound quality is the most advantageous, and the band also knew that well, so on it's field "Perdition's Den" counts as a great, all-round well composed album. Strongly recommended for the fans of heavy blasphemous brutality.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Nervochaos - Battalions of Hate (2010)

    Nervochaos debuted as a strongly thrash influenced death metal band who (similar to older South American bands) gave a unique taste of mixed music influences. With time their style changed a bit and became more determined in the direction of death metal (probably the constant line-up changes were also responsible for that, since drummer and main man Eduardo Lane is the only permanent member of the band).
  Their music turned heavier and more complex during the years, mainly because of the increasing death metal influences in their themes, and therefore on the side of speed, further extreme features showed up. Still, the thrash metal roots and references didn't disappear, "Battalions of Hate" is definitely an old school spirited album, though it's modern sounding, and the influences of the more aggressive form of thrash (especially the German scene's influence), still could be discovered in their music. But the change that modernized their sound also took the band out from the old school sound of South American bands, though they didn't lose from their intesity. The old bands of this scene were able to mix styles in a way that not many others were able to, and that became the trademark of South American bands. The modernized sound might increased the heavy and brutal effects, but the same time gave the band a new quality, and stepped through the border of local traditional sound. "Battalions of Hate" was a high quality release, and it might be enjoyable for the fans of the old school and modern sound of thrashing death metal.