Sunday, August 17, 2008

Darkest Grove - Pain and Suffering Shall Be Known

Year: 2006
Genre: Philosophical Black Metal

Deriving its name from the darkness of nature and from the sanctuary of a grove. A name that may as well mean to dwell alone in darkness and in contemplation of existence. Darkest Grove concepts are that of philosophy, psychology, astrology, science, etc. As well as an everlasting connection with the solitude of darkness. Pessimism is a very strong force within the Darkest Grove's lyrics, simply because of the lack of spiritual acknowledgment in mankind. The imbalance of life is the chaotic falsehood that persuades this entity into the dark forces of nature and with its skepticism towards normality. Individuality is also another very strong ideology of Darkest Grove as it represents the empowerment of the self [Spirit], these all are a very prominent force in the concept of the Darkest Grove.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lifelover - Promo

Year: 2005
Genre: Dark Ambient

Much different from what subsequently followed it, the Lifelover promo was more in the vein of a strange ritual caught on tape. Ambient sounds and drones encompass the recording, with a few wails and shrieks heard here and there. Overall, quite a mesmerizing, though a disturbing and depressing atmosphere can be found here. Good for a late night listen with one's own company.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Farsot - IIII

Year: 2007
Genre: Avant-Garde Black Metal

With IIII, this young German band proudly present their debut release on Lupus Lounge, which is the first of a five album deal inked with this label. On their 2004 demo titled 042103Freitod, Farsot had a rather raw and cold version of the black metal art. On this brand new work, their black metal roots are very present, but they have taken an appropriately refined sound production to deliver their darkened message. Their lyrics and song titles are all in their native tongue, conveyed by efficient and expressive rasps, perfectly suiting their musical direction. Of the first six tracks, the pair numbers are all short musical bridges. "Hass: Angst" and "Angst: Tod" are more of the industrial/noise/electronics style while "Tod: Trauer" has a more melodic/ambient approach with choirs, dark keyboards and samplings. The three Thematik ("Haas", "Angst" and "Tod") are all high quality black metal with classical and modern elements: varied paces, strong bass, punchy drums, distorted vs. clean arpeggios, tremolo pickings and of course, great raspy vocals with a certain sickness involved once and a while. Not too many blast beats as such but more of the mid-fast to fast furious paces meeting calmer and melodic passages, much to my liking. Then, the closing song "Thematik: Trauer" is a long lasting pleasure clocking in at 20:40! It doesn't feel that long since it is varied in tempo and intensity; including great clean arpeggios, a nice piano solo, excellent crushing riffs, fast/furious black metal parts with some sort of cool psychedelic lead near the end. IIII is a very good introduction into the underground from a promising young German black metal act.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sombre Présage - Infernale Procession

Year: 2006
Genre: Dark Ambient

As the sound of rain and thunder hit your ears, you're immediately warped to another time and place. The church bell tolls, signifying the coming of a new age. An age of sorrow and desperation. Voxum carefully works his moods and takes the time to weave the dark veil that envelopes us throughout the listening. While the instruments and sounds used differ, everything is done to us into a single trip: the abyssal depths of the human soul in all its most bleak, desperate and morbid. Percussion, bass, keyboards, distant guitars, feedback, murmurs and whispers. You are then completely helpless facing this flood of frightening sensations, a darkness unprecedented. The atmosphere is wet, cold, opaque, the music is particularly disturbing, ritualistic, but to which one can not help being attracted. The attraction uncontrollable in fire, water, vacuum, and even death.

Bosque - Dead Nature

Year: 2005
Genre: Funeral Doom Metal

The demo consist of three songs, clocked at 30 minutes of atmospheric and crawling doom metal, with a strange experimental sound, sometimes reaching almost noisy atmospheres due the ultra slow riffs, which sometimes sound like a dense and saturated buzz, but adorning this chaotic background we find some interesting, quite delicate, guitar lines creating a remarkable contrast. The drumming is really slow, but very fitting to the whole of the music. But to this point, you will probably ask: what the main differences between Bosque and 1,000 other “crawling” moom metal bands are? Well, the music of Bosque is very climatic, with few melodies, some monotone, trance like atmospheres and a clean voice, which seems to be singing from the depths of some catacomb or something. The whole production is pretty poor; almost rehearsal sounding in some passages, but the music is undoubtedly good.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Beatrìk - Requiem of December

Year: 2005
Genre: Black/Doom Metal

Hypnotic chiming and discordant guitar work is woven over the most basic drum lines, and topped with grimy jarring Varg-like barks. The songs are mainly mid-paced, and on average are roughly eight minutes long, although they do have the occasional blast-ridden section when the bile is fully raised, and the vocal department begins to sound as if desolation and despondency have been captured in corporeal form, transferred to aural format and been laid alongside a musical accompaniment. Let this not fool you into thinking that "Requiem of December" is not without its hugely placid moments too, as it has some really doom-laden passages with church bells tolling as an accompaniment, intertwined with melancholic acoustic guitar and church organ styled keyboards exuding the overall dark vibe of morbid sorrow. Just listen to track four 'Eternal Rest', with its imaginatively radiant use of trickling stream and birdsong samples alongside sad, downcast guitar – striking in its magnificence.

Black Seas of Infinity - Within Daathian Chasms

Year: 2005
Genre: Ritual Dark Ambient

Within Daathian Chasms is a journey to hell and back. From the industrial tinged beginnings of "Vortex of Awakening" to the crashing waves of "Path of the Void", the listener is pulled through soundscapes of beauty only to be pushed to the brink of terror and back again. This is the soundtrack to the horror movie in your mind. Total ambient beauty like "Blessed Sacrament of Levanah" puts you in an alpha like state, while others like "Retromingent Periodicity" had me jumping out of my fucking skin. These are complete contrasts of dark and light, the aural Tao. In reality, "Daath" is the Hebrew word for "Knowledge". 11 tracks to that end.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Boris & Merzbow - Sun Baked Snow Cave

Year: 2005
Genre: Ambient/Drone/Noise

A single hour-long composition shuffled back and forth between the two groups to yield maximum aural overload, Sun Baked Snow Cave is something of a wolf in sheep's clothing, playing possum for the better part of twenty minutes. Then, out of nowhere, it sandblasts your synapses with the sound of a million locusts devouring a steel mill, boring relentlessly forward until your cerebral cortex is nothing but a pile of dust. Fifteen minutes in, you'll be slightly confused, lulled by the song's murky piano lines and murmuring electron pulse. A half-hour in, you'll swear that your speakers are melting, or that an avalanche of poisonous Vietnamese beetles is about to crash through them and kill you where you sit. At the forty-five minute mark, you'll start seeing things: your toaster is walking away with your laptop and the television is broadcasting nothing but pornographic low-def H.R. Pufinstuf episodes. After the full hour, you'll be slack-jawed, drooling like a mental patient and twitching like a ballerina on crack, rendered immobile and unrecognizable to even your closest friends.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wold - Screech Owl

Year: 2007
Genre: Ambient/Black/Noise

Man has long since lost the connection to the primeval world. Ephemeral desires replace the hunt, the ritual. Wold erect a Winter Lodge out of this behavior, banished by convenience, left like tusk-less boar to bleed out in the field. From pounding, overdriven guitar to vocals as hot-wired power tools, these songs work to betray their source material, ultimately serving as manipulated field recordings. When device fails to shake its mask, there’s only imagination. The mind turns percussive strings into evergreen branches torn from their trunks, others hum and buzz and throb like waning insects, their wings and antennae slowed by sap. Keys bleat and thump, a buck’s heart cut from his chest and bright with deep red gore. The title track opens with yawning guitar, cold breath in tight clouds that melt away. Fortress Crookedjaw’s voice is the river and the sky; below and above, in motion and static by nature, it creeps free of river rock, rushes over tonal stones, breaks over banks and falls into great white din. As much indebted to early Sightings as it is Cree Indian Conservationist proverb, Wold distorts the Black Metal paradigm into a perversely plastic idiom. Their disregard for fundamentals has empowered their sound, and like the seasons that conditioned its release, this is a work in flux. The unfinished quality that pervades the sound, the music, is not for lack of polish or resource. Intentionally left undone, the listener’s only recourse is to configure the loose matter into something figurative.

Anubi - Mirties Metafora

Year: 1995
Avant-Garde Black Metal

An avantgarde black metal band with strong psychedelic and ancestral folk infusions from Lithuania. Anubi is a name taken from an Egyptian mythology, it is a name of an ancient Egyptian god. The band emerged in summer 1992, when a guitarist Skro and a drummer Renofer started rehearsing and experimenting at home and recorded some psychedelic music. Vocalist Ptah (later renamed to Lord Ominous) joined in 1993 and the band recorded their first demo in March 1993 during full moon (which was very important for them), which they called God's Pantheon. Anubi said that these compositions were intended to affect listener's psyche and create a darker world. Later, during 1994-1995, they recorded two more demos and released an EP, Sutemus Skambės, in 1996. The only full-length album, Kai Pilnaties Akis Užmerks Mirtis, was released in 1997 by Danza Ipnotica Records; after that an EP was recorded, titled Sielų Pirklys, but it was not released. The band got a four-album deal - the biggest deal in Lithuanian underground history - with Code 666, an Italian record label, but it was canceled due to a tragic split up of the band: the main person in the band, Lord Ominous (Martynas Meškauskas), lost his life in a boating accident on Lake Michigan in USA on March 30th of 2002.