Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Anatomia - Dissected Humanity (2005)

   A big empty hole was left behind after the split-up of Autopsy, and it seemed like nothing was able to permanently ease their lack. A line of new bands showed up from the second part of the '00s who were strongly influenced by Autopsy, and tried to imitate or bring back the endlessly sick feeling of their music. Anatomia was one of the first of these self-dedicated followers.
   The band focused mostly on the doom influences of Autopsy, so they approached the endlessly obscure feeling from it's core: the extented sick melodies that are able to open new perspectives of extreme insanity. The contrast of intense speed and slow themes had minimal role, the band preferred slow and middle speed, and wasn't into sudden tempo switchings. This direction could be also very effective by it's sinister feeling that predicts the arrival of the most inhuman events of gore and horror. The extremely brutal sexual crimes, rotting corpses and the necrophilia that seems like an inevitable outcome, are only the tip of the fleshberg. "Dissected Humanity" offers excellent entertainment and nostalgic feeling for those who are missing old Autopsy, and of course for everyone who desires to merge into the depths of musickness.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Barbarity - Hell is Here (2005)

   There was an endless line of brutal death bands and weird style mixing experiments from the early '00s, but fortunately there were some impressive productions too amongst them, such as Barbarity.
   The band became known of their horror and gore addiction. If the cover referring to the movie "Beyond the Limits" wouldn't be enough, there are other references on the album to find. The band didn't merge completely into brutal death slamming, they often switched to simple old school and groovy themes and mixed them well into the raw brutality. On "Hell is Here", their second album they've mastered their style completely, and even though the main impression is quite sick, it's very catchy the same time. This way how exaggerated features ending up more catchier than how it could be expected, reminds to the concept of "Butchered at Birth" by Cannibal Corpse. In fact there are some further musical similarities too, but Barbarity probably didn't plan that, they had a different approach. The excellence of "Hell is Here" lies in it's perpetual intensity and on the various ways how the band introduced the thirst for gore. Enjoyable and diverse brutality in high quality for the lovers of musickness!

TYMAH - Transylvanian Dreams (2005)

   By following strictly the traditional recipe of Norwegian black metal, TYMAH (or Tuman) debuted with "Transylvanian Dreams". Even though they've tried to create the exact Hungarian version of their preferred style and scene by copying it's features, they gave more to the tiny (and almost imaginary) local underground scene than just a simple concept album.
  They were fascinated by the usual black metal topics, like the misty dark forests of Transylvania, and the evil supernatural forces that are lurking deep within. What could be more authentic than to hear about these topics by first hand from a Hungarian band on their own language? The strong influence of Mayhem and early Darkthrone could be heard in their music, that represents extraordinarily high quality in the local scene. This kind of old school black metal isn't common around and definitely fits on the side of the biggest classics. It's rare to hear female vocal in this style, but the insanely aggressive screams of Dim are more effective and convincing than how most might expect. The performance reminds to Onielar's from Darkenened Nocturn Slaughtercult. It can be sensed that the same person wrote the guitar themes and and did the vocals too, cause the two are in strong balance with each other. The drums gave excellent basics for intensity of the album, that probably counts as one of the most inhuman and obscure records of the genre. Strongly recommended for the fans of trve black metal!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Infernal War - Terrorfront (2005)

   Since everything was made in black metal before it became the new trend from the late '90s, bands who seeked for the further depths of extremities, had to find another way. The endlessly exaggerated mix of black and death metal (that was first introduced by bands like Goatlord, Blasphemy and Sadistik Exekution) was their anwser.
   After listening to the starting lyric line of Infernal War's debut, that sounds like "Jesus fucking Christ, bastard son of the Jewish whore", the question may stand, why the most mainstream bands are judged all the time with following satanic and nazi ideologies. "Terrorfront" is surprisingly exaggearated all-round, in concept, ideology and music too. The incredibly intense speed they are playing counts as something very impressive even in this style. The death metal influences increased the effectiveness of the album, it sounds clear and therefore so aggressive as it's possible. The main impression strongly reminds to Abominator. They're occasinally showing more classical influences too, like short and very fast solo themes and melodies too, but insane brutality is the main feature of their music. From this level of extremity the former competition of brutality in death metal seems hilarious, and made notoriously anti-semitic artists like Burzum to look like boy scouts. "Terrorfront" is strongly recommended for the fans of the most insane and exaggerated musickness.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Holy Moses - Strenght Power Will Passion (2005)

   Sabina Classen is an iconic figure not only in thrash metal but also as one of the first women who growled instead of singing. And even though her name cannot be seperated from Holy Moses, the last year of the band passed without her. On their last album before their split-up, her ex-husband guitarist Andy Classen did the vocals too.
   After a long break the band returned in 2000, and fortunately without the unwanted line-up change. "Strenght Power Will Passion" was their second full-lenght album after regrouping, and Holy Moses didn't seem lost without Andy Classen at all, since Sabina proved to be the essential part of the band. Somehow they always sounded harder to go into and less catchy, so Holy Moses was never sorted to the "elite" of thrash bands, even though they were between the very first ones. Compared to the old albums, their music changed a bit too thanks to the new line-up, and on the side of the harsh wildness there are plenty of catchy themes to find. The new members meant different influences too, and wider diversity. While many old bands usually turning softer or more generic with time, at Holy Moses things seems to go to the opposite way: they sound more energic and intense than before, and even Sabina's growling is like more aggressive than ever. Big returns and style changes are mostly not welcome by the old fans, but Holy Moses didn't change too much, and only for their advantage, so the legend was successfully resurrected.

Desaster - Angelwhore (2005)

   Desaster had a quite eventful musical history during it's over 3 decades long existence and meanwhile they bacame an influental band in German underground metal.
   Their aggressive blackened thrashing was strongly influenced by the Norwegian black metal scene. This could be sensed on their demo recordings already, and counted as a determing feature of their music on their early albums. "Tyrants of the Netherworld" was some kind of turning point in the band's life, because their themes turned more old school, and thrash metal riffings predominated over the traditional blacknened themes. The current style of Desaster started to develop. In this direction they went forward on "Divine Blasphemies" and by a new frontman further changes came. Clear sound exchanged the previous black sizzling, and the vocal performance of Herr Sataniac upgraded the main impression from aggressive to insanely aggressive. "Angelwhore" was probably the album when their musical progression took it's final form. They wrote catchier and more diverse themes that are referring back by some hidden Venomous touch to the '80s when extreme genres were born. The clear modern sound increased it's effectiveness of this blasphemic masterpiece into very extreme levels. Hails to the "Angelwhore"!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Mind Snare - From Blood to Dust (2005)

   Similar to many active death metal bands of the early '00s, Mind Snare also existed since the early '90s, it just took a long time (and some name- and line-up changes) until they were able to release a full-lenght debut.
   But while it might be reasonable to expect the usual old school style of death metal, like in the case of any other bands in similar situation, Mind Snare was a bit different. Their brutal death slashing reminded more to Incantation than to the ordinary trends a decade earlier, and sounded like they kept an eye on the changes that happenned in the main scene meanwhile. The old school basics are still there, but they could be found only occasionally. Mind Snare isn't so chaotic and hard to go into like Incantation. Their music is definitely audience-friendlier, but the direction is the same: deep growls, intense speed, and heavy brutality. To this came the clear sound and themes, song structures that are more common to find at modern death metal bands. By the lyrics they've also stepped forward from the ordinary style of old school death, but only at the ways of formulation, because the concept is not different. "From Blood to Dust" (that was the third full-lenght album of Mind Snare) also includes the songs of their debut EP "Hegemony", that extends the album lenght almost to an hour long, to increase the enjoyability for both old school and brutal death fans. 

Battalion - Winter Campaign (2005)

   War obsession is a returning feature in death metal. When bands like Motörhead and Slayer started to write related lyrics commonly, it was still an uncommon topic, but had strong influence the same time. Lately Bolt Thrower and Asphyx expanded this to an obsessed level.
   Probably these tendencies inspired Battalion, who dedicated their complete musical activity to express the brutality of modern warfare. They stayed strictly on old school (killing) fields to play intense, aggressive death metal with deep growling vocal style. Various influences could be discovered in their themes, but the listener have to pay attention carefully to catch the small signs that are referring not only to Asphyx and Bolt Thrower. The band basically preferred groovy themes that are similar a bit to Six Feet Under, but they're often slipping into brutal death hammering. And the sound of "Winter Campaign" may remind to Swedish death. This kind of diversity that could be noticed "between the lines" is very usual at newer old school styled death metal bands, since they having plenty of direct influences in the genre. Battalion is strongly recommended for old school fans.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Carach Angren - Ethereal Veiled Existence (2005)

     I was skeptical about doing a review for an EP, but I figured if I would do one, it would be Ethereal Veiled Existence. Are you ready for another concept collection? Yeah, I thought so. 
     This is a great collection of songs. Well produced, and not overly symphonic, which can get to be a bit tedious if you're not used to it.  There is an even balance of grainy guitar leads complimented by keyboard. A bit heavier, vocally, than what modern Carach albums give us, but for me, it gives a much more fulfilling haunting/evil feel, which ties into the entire concept of the album, which revolves around the ghost that supposedly haunts Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England.
     This is actually a really cool album for anyone who likes to dig a little deeper into the actual story behind an album. The lyrical approach takes the perspective of the ghost and their identity, those who lived in the mansion, and even the photographers of the infamous staircase entity. An amazing lyrically illustrative concept that we see Carach evolve with in their later albums.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Slugathor - Circle of Death (2005)

   The traditional sound of Finnish death metal was represented by Slugathor during their decade long active period. They've started with an intense old school debut, and on the second album "Circle of Death" they went forward by giving place for other influences.
   Their music is based on old school death metal with deep growls that they completed with a second backing vocal to increase the insane impression. This they amplified with doom influences by common slow downs and noisy, heavier sound. All that gave a great opportunity to add the short simple repetitive melodies that are quite common to find in Finnish death metal. These melodic parts are effective by creating a contrast with the noisy/heavy background and resulting some netherworldish dark impression. "Circle of Death" may remind to old Asphyx or Bolt Thrower by it's combination of speed changes and heavy themes, but after more listening it gets clar that the band preferred to keep their local influences. The album offers excellent entertainment in high quality for the most committed fans of old school death.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Deathspawned Destroyer - WarBloodMassacre (2005)

   Deathspawned Destroyer debuted with a quite raw, noisy and insane album, that sounded like a primitive approach of goregrind from the direction of basic old school death metal themes. The band have returned with a less bloodthirsty, doom influenced record.
   It seems like "WarBloodMassacre" they tried to compose to be more unified, and maybe that's the reason why the doom influences came. The themes are referring to the sound and simplicity of old Asphyx, but the primitive and raw impression became more evident in this case by how they tried to build up their songs. War as the main concept also telling about the strong influence of Asphyx. The album includes catchy themes too on the side of noisy basic riffings, but sometimes the the selection of repetitively played parts didn't work out well, and hardly fitting together with the rest of the songs. This reminds to how some older German death metal bands tried to experiment to create something unusual, and how that was leading to something weird. The main feeling is similar to Apophis: common slow downs and involved simple melodies to create some contrast with the heavy sound and deep growling/animalistic vocal style. It's not completely clear how much  the band was determined to turn into death/doom, or it was more like some spontaneous experiment, but the results are interesting.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Night Must Fall - Night Must Fall / Funeral of Mankind (2005)

   Influenced by Thergothon, the most important creators of funeral doom, Night Must Fall showed another example of Finnish happiness.
   Their self-titled demo and debut EP was relesead together in the form of a compilation, so it includes total 3 songs that are lasting together almost an hour long. That means decent song lenghts, so the album offers itself as an excellent background music for the lovers of heavily depressed moods to merge into self-tormenting agony. Since the classics of the genre remained in quite bad/noisy quality, the clear sound of Night Must Fall (even their demo had incomparably better sound quality) could show wider perspectives. The band strictly followed the style features that Thergothon operated with a decade earlier. The deep growling vocal has stronger effect, but because of it's rare appearence and the endlessly long depressive harmonies, it's role isn't bigger. The EP song is more like a rehearsal improvisation, that means they've focused more on the effect of noises than melodies, and they combined their themes diverse, but according to it's over 22 minutes lenght of course. This piece of musical uncreation might be interesting for the fans of funeral doom.