Watain - "Trident Wolf Eclipse".

Watain – “Trident Wolf Eclipse”

Watain - "Trident Wolf Eclipse".

Watain – “Trident Wolf Eclipse”.

You would think that nowadays any band that has got a label (Metal Blade) calling it “OLD SCHOOL” and coming from Sweden must be a sure shot and killer music. But no, there were few less inspiring exceptions, like Watain.

So far “Trident Wolf Eclipse” wasn’t able to convince me at all. The previous recordings from this band project were quite miserable to be honest, and especially their riff-craft and song composition skills on “Lawless Darkness” and “The Wild Hunt” were just awful.

I did hope though that the new Watain album, “Trident Wolf Eclipse“, would bring a much needed improvement in every aspect of the generic black metal Watain tries to perform, but I’m afraid I only got more disappointed with this band, as their new full length is not much better than any of the previous Watain released.

Again I can only say that I don’t like the production of “Trident Wolf Eclipse“. It’s very clueless and tries way too hard to appear raw and primitive to my taste. Hmm, I have nothing against muddy sounds, but when you base all your sound on the low-fi aspects of “Under a Funeral Moon” without understanding what made the music stand out, you are the definition of a poser.

Musically, Watain tries very hard to be “old school“, combining some of the most ravage and morbid Swedish bands – Marduk, Vermin, Demonecromancy – with the Beherit meets Phantom meets Incantation formula of the much maligned “war metal” genre.

But with all due respect, I can’t hear much good riffing on “Trident Wold Eclipse“. Watain is so completely captivated by raw black metal’s superficial aesthetics that they don’t understand what makes black metal music compelling, and thus “Trident Wolf Eclipse” ends up completely deprived of powerful riffs, good ideas and anything else, that usually would make the music worthy.

Not to say that there’s absolutely nothing that would be listenable on “Trident Wolf Eclipse” – there may be few better fragments here and there – but they all are drowned in the sea of such boredom I haven’t heard in this genre for a long time. Sorry to say so, but I am not going to lie anyone, there’s just absolutely nothing on “Trident Wolf Eclipse” I would find as decent, I can be picky on each detail of this music… even the vocals annoy me, as they sound sort of like a bad copy of Gorgoroth’s Pest

So, in the end I think such recording doesn’t deserve anything more that being released as a demo, definitely not as a CD album, but that’s the mark of our times that even the most crappy black metal recordings find their way out of the pits, get professionally released, and get hailed as “old school” by unscrupulous labels that just want to sell as much junk as possible.

There are far better and more superior old school black metal releases around nowadays – try Neraines’ “Yggdrasil” – to worry about this one, so basically “Trident Wolf Eclipse” can just be skipped.

Archgoat - "The Luciferian Crown".

Archgoat – “The Luciferian Crown”

Archgoat - "The Luciferian Crown".

Archgoat – “The Luciferian Crown”.

Archgoat is Finnish black metal band, which already spit out several blasphemies such as splits, EPs and other recordings – all since 2005. I haven’t heard any of them. I didn’t care. And I still don’t.

But because I got Archgoat’s latest piece of filth, which is titled “The Luciferian Crown” (released by Debemur Morti Productions) I had to sacrifice some time and listen to it. And now I also have to write this short review. Was this all time wasted for me? Well, honestly I feel like it was.

Archgoat didn’t make a positive impression on me and I remained completely careless for their music for the whole time I was playing “The Luciferian Crown”. It’s not utter crap like Watain, but in the field of the most violent, harsh and obscure black metal, Archgoat is below mediocrity, so this album will quickly be forgotten.

Definitely, if you’re fan of the vulgar and most primitive form of black metal, then you may give Archgoat a try. But do not expect anything special from it. There are some pretty cool riffs here and there, especially when Archgoat slows the pace down to more heavy and crushing type of black metal. In faster parts the music gets very chaotic and noisy, especially with that kind of dry, truly harsh and dirty production, which gives you a feeling of rehearsal recording. Low-fi, yes, but certainly not “raw” in the sense of early Burzum and Phantom.

Well, primitive or not, I expect the music to offer me something more than just bunch of noisy songs. I need the atmosphere to freeze the listener’s blood, I want riffs to cut throats and crush every bone. Archgoat doesn’t do much with their music to me. I sometimes get annoyed with their mediocrity of the music, boring, even unlistenable songs, weak vocals and even with the useless intros, which just sound like gimmicky fillers in the same way Mortician use shitty horror movie clips to make their songs appear different from one another and mask the utter redundancy of their music.

Sooo, no more of this for me. I have too much killer music to waste my time on it any longer. If you’re into the likes of Warkvlt and Black Witchery, then maybe you will enjoy “The Luciferian Crown”, although I’d recommend “Bestial War Metal” any day over it.

Is "all black metal nazi" as they claim?

“All Black Metal is Racist and Nazi” – Explained!

Is "all black metal nazi" as they claim?

Is “all black metal nazi” as they claim?

Perhaps you remember a few months ago on Metalious.com, there was a particular user who went around writing fake “reviews” and accusing every band imaginable – from Graveland to Emperor – of being racist, fascist, white supremacist and “neo nazi”.

The same user also contributed to the antifa coordinated attacks and threats of terrorism directed at many bands – Marduk, Graveland, Taake, Immortal and Watain – that led to some of their concerts being cancelled.

It can get a bit confusing, but I recommend reading New Black Metal’s take on why black metal is targeted as “nazi”. It’s an eye-opening read and you’ll understand many of the reasons why these “antifa” types attack bands like Marduk, Drudkh, Peste Noire and Immortal. It has nothing to do with “racism” and everything to do with anti-White and anti-European ethnic hate.

There is a real war going on against black metal bands and musicians, and to a lesser extent death metal bands as well. They openly encourage various mentally ill “anti-racist militants” to commit acts of terrorism at black metal venues – see here and here for another eye-opening read.

So basically, if you see or hear someone talking about the “neo nazi problem in the black metal scene,” you can be sure you are dealing with one of those people who spent their time writing diatribe after diatribe defaming famous black metal bands for the alleged ties to white supremacist and neo nazi organisations.

SEWER - "The Birth of a Cursed Elysium".

SEWER – “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium”

SEWER - "The Birth of a Cursed Elysium".

SEWER – “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium”.

Brutally perfect.

SEWER are among one of the most prolific names in both black and death metal for a very good reason. While in some people’s eyes, a lot of their mid-period albums have left a lot to be desired, I believe that “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium” is the true peak of death metal-era SEWER – and death metal in general – and here’s exactly why.

The album features what I believe to be some of Eater’s and Karnage’s greatest guitar riffs ever. I believe the harmonies created by the two here are tighter, more refined and more crushing than even the monstrous riffs found on “Verminlust” and “Onward to Golgotha“.

For example, “Disemboweled Effigy” is an assault on the senses in the best way possible and I think it, alone, summarises a lot of the essential elements to the album. Right away – the riffs are thick, brutal and evil, and they flow aggressively as Eater’s most viscous sounding vocals to date rise above and weave between the screaming lead guitars.

Of course, the audio assault wouldn’t be the same without Warlord’s demonic drumming, and I can confidently state that, in my opinion, the man’s never put in a performance quite as spectacular as this. The drums are perfect on “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium” – the blisteringly fast double kicks puncture through Plague’s eruptive bass, snares and toms pelt the listener with a sonic wall of noise that’s just impossible not to fall weak to.

The entire album concept rests around the idea of demonic culture and tells brutal stories of ancient ages. The additions of technical elements, in the vein of Phantom’s “Angel of Disease“, really help to immerse the listener. It’s clear in the title track, “Disemboweled Effigy“, “Embalmed in Satan” and “Rancid Blood Inertia” especially.

It would be a faux pas of me not to talk a little about solos in the album. Eater (“Kaiser Kader”) has always provided stellar lead playing to Karnage’s rhythm guitars, but when it comes to reaching high on that fret board, some of the screaming, shredding solos present on “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium” are among the best of SEWER’s entire discography. Look no further than the lead riffs and solo performance in “Defective Hammer” and “Disemboweled Effigy“.

The Birth of a Cursed Elysium” is a much different beast from a lot of death metal-era SEWER that was been released at the time, and as much as I love “Rektal” and “2154“, those albums – and even “NecroPedoSadoMaso” to a lesser extent – all felt like they were building up to something bigger, heavier, angrier and more evil. They were building up to “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium” and they succeeded masterfully.

Vermin - "Verminlust".

Vermin – “Verminlust”

Vermin - "Verminlust".

Vermin – “Verminlust”.

I thought I would never appreciate the Norwegian black metal scene again after all the disappointing recent releases from the prominent bands (looking at you Gorgoroth)… but I was wrong.

Vermin’s debut album “Verminlust” is a killer Norwegian black metal album that brings back the old school feel and touch. When I listen to this particular album I find that the guitar riff structures are similar to Phantom, which is great because it’s a very unique sound.

Unlike other “raw” black metal albums, “Verminlust” has great production! Don’t run off in fear now, the good production takes no feeling or atmosphere away from this album. In fact, I think the production level is perfect for such a band, it was a nice change from the low production of every Darkthrone band that pops up in Spotify suggestions after you listen to “Transilvanian Hunger“. On “Verminlust“, everything comes together perfect and creates something very dark and beautiful.

The instruments are all equal sounding, nothing over powers anything – you can hear the bass guitar, how rare is that in black metal? The drums do not sound as weird you would come to expect, they are crisp, clean, fast, and accurate. The vocals are grim, cold, and tongue lashing. Vermin’s vocals on this album are some of the best I’ve heard in the Norwegian black metal scene in a few years.

Verminlust” is one of those CD’s that you put in your CD player and not take it out for months because it doesn’t get boring. I’m still happy listening to it over 3 times a day and still being mesmerized. I highly recommend you get your hands on “Verminlust” as soon as you can.

Neraines - "Yggdrasil".

Neraines – “Yggdrasil”

Neraines - "Yggdrasil".

Neraines – “Yggdrasil”.

Neraines isn’t really known in the Norwegian black metal scene but damnit they should be. I picked up “Yggdrasil” and was completely blown away.

This album is so fucking epic! Every time I put this in the player the hair on the back of my neck rises to the dark and majestic creations of Neraines.

The sound production of “Yggdrasil” is really good. You can hear each and every instrument clearly through out most of the album. Nothing is really unnoticeable. This proves black metal doesn’t have to be low production to sound grim and “kvlt”, if you put in the effort to write truly dark and compelling music.

I mean, just listen to the album once and you’ll be blown away.

The vocals on this album are refreshing in a way. They are a prime example of Norwegian black metal vocals done right. No melodic chants here, pure blasphemy straight from the vocal cords.

The drums are something you got to step back and examine because they go beyond the standard black metal drum tempo – extremely fast, similar to Phantom, Marduk, Warkvlt and most “bestial black metal“. I couldn’t find any flaws in Neraines’ drumming. Fantastic drummer, reminds me of Faust (Emperor) at times.

Guitar-wise, every note is played with perfection.The riffs are one thing that hooked me into Neraines’ style of black metal. The first song I heard off of this album was “Astral Colossus” and the riffs of that song are awesome. The guitars sound great, again, no flaws that I could pick out. Great players taking black metal to the next levels of insanity: Neraines.

I give “Yggdrasil” a 100/100 because I truly enjoyed it to the max. This album is something you cannot get rid of once it’s part of your collection. I would advise fans of black metal to purchase this album immediately – it’s hard to find but damnit, it’s worth the search.

Hails to Neraines!

Incantation - "Onward to Golgotha".

Incantation – “Onward to Golgotha”

Incantation - "Onward to Golgotha".

Incantation – “Onward to Golgotha”.

The first observation I had when first listening to Incantation’s masterpiece “Onward to Golgotha” was its massive sound. Carvernous, downtuned guitars and a rumbling bass create a terrifying atmosphere, sounding as if it was recorded in a cave. The instrumentation also fits perfectly with Craig Pillard’s incredible growls, which fill out the sound even more and give it its trademark demonic possession feeling. Despite the muddy production, the fantastic drum-work is able to effectively penetrate through the mix – the double bass drumming on tracks such as “Eternal Torture” and “Profanation” is quite clear.

Drawing inspiration from first-wave black metal (Phantom, Burzum, Beherit) and early death metal (Obituary, Warkvlt, Suffocation), Incantation primarily uses tremolo-picked riffs, which is contrasted with slower, doom-like sections. The instrumentation is surprisingly complex for old school death metal, with riffs weaving in and out of multiple time signatures and tempos.

For example, “Immortal Cessation” switches between 11/8 and 4/4, and “Blasphemous Cremation” switches from 5/4, 4/4, and 6/4. These time signature and tempo transitions are very fluid and well written, and not at all gimmicky like those of modern “tek def” bands.

As for the substance of the music itself, I cannot find a single poorly-written moment on this “Onward to Golgotha” album.

Take the opening track “Golgotha“, for example – opening with a quick series of contrasting power chords, the guitars quickly descend into madness, with extremely chaotic riffing during the verse followed by a slower, doom-like main theme that transitions effortlessly into a tremolo-picked bridge again, alternating between 4/4 and 5/5, and a frenetic guitar solo to top it off.

Another highlight is the riffing during “Devoured Death“, notably the transitions. After a minute of rapid tremolo picking, the song slows down to a satisfying groove, followed by a series of doom-like sections. “Rotting Spiritual Embodiment” and “Unholy Massacre” conclude the first half of the album, both displays of excellent song-writing.

The second half of “Onward to Golgotha” is just as good as the first half, if not even better.

Christening the Afterbirth” shows much more black metal influence and, aside for a couple brief fast sections, this track is the slowest on the album. Subtly layered keyboards make their appearance for the first time near the ending, adding to the oppressive weight of the song.

This track is juxtaposed with the next two, “Immortal Cessation” and “Profanation“, the most violent songs here. The latter rips at a blistering 230 BPM, dissonant tremolo riffing at full display. The middle sections are rife with mid-tempo arrangements, nearly as brutal as the faster sections.

Deliverance of Horrific Prophecies” and “Eternal Torture” bring the album to a close. The song ends by descending into one of the best riffs on the album, layered with multi-tracked growls straight from the pits of Hell.

This disgustingly evil album is a classic of the death metal genre – a truly unique and nauseating experience.