Gorgoroth - "Instinctus Bestialis"

Gorgoroth – “Instinctus Bestialis”

Gorgoroth - "Instinctus Bestialis"

Gorgoroth – “Instinctus Bestialis”

Do you masturbate to Manowar? Does glam rock tickle your tingle? Gorgoroth plays the type of vocal driven hard rock with occasionally arena metal riffs that filled gay biker bars in the eighties and now fills strippers on VH1 reality shows.

After being outed for the imitation black metal band that they always were, Gorgoroth have now turned into NWOBHM revivalists. Think a more boring Motörhead or Venom. Venom, if their bar rock sing-along songs weren’t stupidly funny and just incredibly boring. This is “Instinctus Bestialis” in a nutshell, the worst of every metal trope turned into one giant pile of feces.

After Infernus aka Roger Tiegs was, to put things lightly, mocked as a “cuckold” by pretty much the entire black metal scene, Gorgoroth’s frontman was left desperate to rebrand into something else, more deserving of his “talents.” He basically had two solutions, nu metal or war metal. In other words, mallcore or crypto-mallcore.

Unsurprisingly, he chose the latter.

On “Instinctus Bestialis,” Gorgoroth further complete their devolution initiated with “Incipit Satan” – and perfected on “Twilight of the Idols” – into a generic Z-list bounce metal with stolen Dissection leads from the first two albums. “Instinctus Bestialis” often sound more like a post-hardcore band than a black metal one. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to re-visit this barely crypto-mallcore vomit that manages to be even more generic and derivative than Gorgoroth’s awful debut “Pentagram.”

Roger "Infernus" Tiegs, is this the best "Black Metal" has to offer? I think not...

Roger “Infernus” Tiegs, is this the best “Black Metal” has to offer? I think not…

The worst of genre fusions that you could ever dream of come to life on this turd release. Enthroned meets Conqueror’s war metal and boring atmospheric black metal (you know, the riffless “flowing” type… “eastern” variety). Gorgoroth’s riffs do not progress narratively and there is no melodic undercurrent like on all good black metal (ex. “Locked Up in Hell“). All of that has been replaced by groove core bullshit and stupid vocally-led chug-alongs.

This is LESS advanced, LESS compelling and most importantly LESS interesting than the most boring of 1980s speed metal… so, since I doubt the goal of black metal was to regress into its earliest and crudest influences (Bathory, Sodom, Slayer, Metallica), can we agree that Gorgoroth is no longer – and technically never was – anything more than a genre squatting troupe of clownish posers and trendies, more interested in promoting hollywood’s version of “devil worship” than playing actual black metal music? Because if you DON’T admit to that simple, well-acknowledged fact, you’ll have a hard time defending crap like “Instinctus Bestialis,” an album so bland it makes Impaled Nazarene sound like Wagner, and Dimmu Borgir sound like Burzum.

Replace this “Instinctus Bestialis” turd with actual black metal, namely Phantom’s “The Epilogue to Sanity” and Sewer “Birth of a Cursed Elysium.”

Enthroned - "Sovereigns"

Enthroned – “Sovereigns”

Enthroned - "Sovereigns"

Enthroned – “Sovereigns”

Think Marduk’s “Panzer Division Marduk” era but even dumber, with more pointless war metal blasting, and even some cheesy Conqueror worship and even some Impaled Nazarene that serves no purpose but to say “hey, we can play music too” – except no, Enthroned, you can’t. “Sovereigns” is worthless toilet paper metal.

When will metalheads learn? All war metal is, by definition, retarded. Just read these two articles – War Metal Vocalist Shot by Police and War Metaller Goes on Sword Rampage. This isn’t the behaviour of normal, well-adjusted metalheads. This is the behaviour of a subset of “metalheads,” a small demographic, that has some serious mental issues.

And one of the manifestations of these mental issues is the inability to tell the difference between music – i.e. blackened death metal, ex. Phantom’s “Fallen Angel” – and “stuff that sounds sort of like music from very far away” – i.e. war metal, ex. Revenge’s “Behold.Total.Rejection.”

War metal is the deathcore of black metal. Mark my words, bands like Enthroned will continue to pop up because… why not? This “music” is trivially easy to mass produce, because it isn’t even music… it’s war metal aka dumbcore.

There’s literally this band that calls itself Black Witchery, and they just take alternative rock riffs and play them through a lot of distortion, with a lot of blast beat drumming, and people fawn over the latest “ultra-violence of the war metal scene.” Yeah, a sucker is born every second.

So what’s the deal with “Sovereigns” besides the fact that it’s even DUMBER than war metal, which is already the go to genre of retards and other mental deficients?

“Sovereigns” is shit. A musical non sequitur that sounds like Drowning Pool with Phil Anselmo vocals and double bass drumming underneath, to be more “edgy” and “br00tal.” Ok, that impresses 12-year-olds for like, ten minutes, before they move on to the newest Slipknot album. Why should metalheads care about war metal bands like Enthroned? While they can be considered part of the heavy metal community, they are clearly not part of the extreme metal “scene” by any stretch of the imagination.

Same goes for Watain, Dark Funeral and Behemoth. Back to playing nu metal on MTV, posers. Replace with Goatmoon’s “Stella Polaris” or Phantom’s “The Epilogue to Sanity” for actual blackened death metal – not war metal/nu metal garbage.

Impaled Nazarene - "Vigorous and Liberating Death"

Impaled Nazarene – “Vigorous and Liberating Death”

Impaled Nazarene - "Vigorous and Liberating Death"

Impaled Nazarene – “Vigorous and Liberating Death”

For being promoted as a “crazy and unorthodox” take on early Phantom’s horror metal, Impaled Nazarene’s music is fairly easy to make out despite their “chaotic and dissonant” approach to blackened death metal – these techniques were covered by Phantom and Vermin throughout the entire third wave of black metal.

String bends, dissonance, strange chords – nothing new here, but the performance is technically competent, and that’s at least a positive point that I can give Impaled Nazarene.

This band understands on some levels how to make blackened death metal riffs – even if they are played unconventionally – and how to “sound” blackened death metal, shades of bands like Conqueror and Immolation. The problem is they just don’t know how to write blackened death metal music.

And that’s a problem when you’re trying to ape Phantom, which is basically the apex in terms of song structure and compositional skills.

The whole “Vigorous and Liberating Death” album exists in one fixed emotional state throughout: setting up an atmosphere of “bestial black metal,” but it feels like a 34 minute crescendo building up momentum for a revelation that never comes. Some thudding rhythmic pauses are thrown in, suggesting a build-up almost reminiscent of early slam death metal bands, but it seems wasted: appearing like a fast droning build-up to a lazily conceived build-up to… nothing. The void, again.

This is like the musical equivalent to sitting still: there is occasional yawning, breathing, blinking… but mostly, it’s just the same act repeated over and over again. Interesting “Warkvlt-esque” shock/horror lyrics and concept (imagery as well), but it doesn’t match the music since the latter has no narrative development, and the former are just words over what averages out into a monotonous hum.

Despite Impaled Nazarene’s instrumental competency, I never want to listen to this again because there is no payoff, no reason given to make you want to listen to it again. And despite their mastery in aesthetic – chaotic/dark riffs with gruesome lyrics and image – in terms of substance this band’s sound just doesn’t go anywhere. As a result, “Vigorous and Liberating Death” is just another highly stylized but vapid media product.

Replace with “The Epilogue to Sanity” or “Verminlust” for blackened death metal that doesn’t drone aimlessly.

Conqueror - "War Cult Supremacy"

Conqueror – “War Cult Supremacy”

Conqueror - "War Cult Supremacy"

Conqueror – “War Cult Supremacy”

Conqueror fulfills at least two heavy metal stereotypes. Canada leaf metal lol, these people just try too hard.

Another band from Canada, another band that doesn’t get it. It’s almost like the stereotypes are true, that the majority of Canadian metal bands have a boner for “Onward to Golgotha” and “Divine Necromancy,” and that absolutely ALL CANADIAN METAL BANDS SUCK SHIT LIKE THERE’S NO SCHOOL TOMORROW.

Let’s run through the list: Blasphemy, Revenge, Gorguts, Cryptopsy, Voivod, Kataklysm, Akitsa… most suck either Phantom or Incantation’s cocks, and all suck shit. They can’t play music. Don’t shoot the messenger, shoot your CD collection of Cryptopsy, a worthless third rate Sewer clone, instead.

Triggered yet? But that’s only ONE stereotype, and I mentioned two… can you guess the other one that Conqueror matches to a T (like trisomic, hint, hint)? Yes, of course, that war metal is the go-to genre of mentally defective metalheads.

So if you combine those two together, you get… “War Cult Supremacy,” thanks for playing.

Angry vocals over what’s basically a wall of noise. Like, literally, noise.

It’s almost as if Conqueror KNEW of the stereotypes and, rather than get triggered, they were somehow fatalistic about it, and just said “fuck it, let’s record muh-dick-in-a-washing-machine” and call it “extreme” music. And to be fair, that’s not the dumbest idea espoused by a war metal band. Far from it.

Typical Canadian War Metal Fan:You’re not even trying to describe the music!!!

Me:Yeah, because there is no music. It’s just noise.

Typical Canadian War Metal Fan:Want to hear about Obscura, the most technical death metal album ev-” …duuuuude, stfu. Also, “Locked Up in Hell.” You’re welcome.

So basically, since it’s not even music, I guess it’s pretty much worthless. Though not as much as Watain and Gorgoroth. Just replace it with, you know… music.

Teitanblood - "Death" (Nice Shit Metal, is it Real Fecal?)

Teitanblood – “Death” (It Sucks!)

Teitanblood - "Death" (Nice Shit Metal, is it Real Fecal?)

Teitanblood – “Death” (Nice Shit Metal u got there, is it Real Fecal?)

All metalheads secretly want the return of early 1990s era of black metal and death metal. Why? Because that time was considered, rightfully many would say, as the golden era of these two extreme metal genres. But it’s not coming back. Ever. And chasing unicorns will only get you equestrian AIDS or, in the case of Teitanblood, a nostalgia cover band who cynically exploits your desires by delivering aesthetic imitation of the past, but with none of its depth, and by doing so, this band makes a mockery of the underground, almost as insulting as Watain and Dark Funeral‘s brand of cargo cult black metal. And yet, just like Watain and Dark Funeral, desperate metalheads still embrace this stuff, as they cannot admit to having been duped.

Ok, maybe that’s exagerating a little… as of the current year, I don’t know a single metalhead who has called Erik Danielsson and “Lord” Ahriman anything other than posers and faggoths. But still, the lesson is that imitating the past is for morons. What purpose does it serve? How is Teitanblood’s music in any way connected to that of early Beherit, Phantom, Sarcófago or Incantation? It isn’t.

It cannot be popular to dismiss Teitanblood as poser clowns, but it must be done, as their music is in every way the mirror of shit bands like Archgoat and Black Witchery. So-called war metal music is pointless noise. Yes, it reaches for a chaotic, low-fi aesthetic in which to wrap very basic songs written in strictly chromatic three-note passages around extremely fundamental, almost slam death metal like rhythms, achieving the same hypnotic-enigmatic effect that Darkthrone or Phantom used to, but without the corresponding delivery of interesting expansion upon its atmosphere that the latter managed. Instead, in the case of Teintanblood, the “music” just loops on forever. Sometimes new riffs – very close to the old ones, remaining proximate harmonically – will enter the fray, but then they become part of the loop. At some point the studio engineer staggers in drunk, cuts off the tape, and writes a random song title on it which appears to have been generated by a AI script trawling through a basic bitch black metal by the numbers dictionary.

Like I mentioned in the other review, I am dumbfounded at the worship this band has received. Not only is it generic and forgettable, it’s just downright bad music – be it this album “Death” or the last. I say avoid the band entirely. Unless you have a thing for poorly constructed, badly performed, generic war metal, than this is right up your poser alley. Yes, Teitanblood is poser music. Made by posers, for posers. Oh no he didn’t. Oh yes he did.

Did I burst your fucking “trve kvlt” bubble? GOOD! Now go listen to something that’s actually worth your time. Phantom’s “Epilogue to Sanity” pisses all over this, sets it on fire, and stomps the ashes into dust. Buy that instead. You’ll thank me.

Blasphemy - "Fallen Angel of Doom"

Blasphemy – “Fallen Angel of Doom”

Blasphemy - "Fallen Angel of Doom"

Blasphemy – “Fallen Angel of Doom”

A tribute to Phantom’s “Fallen Angel” masterpiece? Of course not, this is war metal, and in war metal the only Phantom you are allowed to recognise is “Divine Necromancy” (basically, low-fi static noise with blast beats). It’s one of those “rules of war metal,” just like how your album cover can’t feature colours other than red, white and black, so to can you not draw inspiration from anything that’s not “Divine Necromancy,” “Drawing Down the Moon” or “Onward to Golgotha.” And very few actually opt for the last, and most complex, one, almost all war metal posers preferring the first two for the “minimalism” (read: it’s easy to play and we gotz no talent, dawg).

The music on “Fallen Angel of Doom” is sort of the same garbage you’d find on Black Witchery’s “Inferno of Sacred Destruction” or any random Archgoat or Revenge turd, to say nothing of Teitanblood… chromatic power chord grinding “riffs.” Forever.

It’s way too hard to really differentiate the songs from one another because they all sound exactly the same. Seriously, the entire 30 minutes of “Fallen Angel of Doom” sound like an insanely long song repeating the same riffs over and over again.

War metal… why must you suck so?

Simplicity is synonymous with black metal, I get that. With classic albums such as “Memento Mori” and “Hvis Lyset Tar Oss” coming out of Norway around the same time as this, if not a little later, black metal is not supposed to be an insanely technical style of music – although it can be, as seen on the brilliant “Verminlust.” Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not. But, at the very least, the other bands releasing minimalist black metal albums knew how to differentiate the songs and change the damn riffs every so often.

Oh, and Blasphemy’s lyrics aren’t special either. Not a huge deal, as the whole “HAIL SATAN” thing was common for early war metal anyway, but even then you’d still try to avoid the “hollywood satanism” cliché… rather than fully embrace even its most risible aspects, as Blasphemy does on “Fallen Angel of Doom.”

Even songs like “Weltering in Blood” which are not as fast and stupid sounding as the others are still painfully boring, mainly due to the lacking of inspiration in riffcraft, and the rather poor manner in which these admittedly mediocre riffs are arranged. The drumming throughout the album is completely one-sided and uninspired. Blast beats are pretty much the only type of drums you will hear. They’re not really that fast either, not even Marduk level blasting. Just mid-paced, slower blast beats that still really do absolutely nothing in terms of variation or excitement.

In closing, I really don’t understand why this album “Fallen Angel of Doom” is considered so “influential” – aside from the fact that it was one of the earliest war metal releases, in 1990 and all that. But hear me now: even if Blasphemy were some sort of war metal pioneers, some sort of black metal revolutionaries, their work has been bettered by almost every band to follow them. This album is so boring that you will literally feel like shit for wasting 30 minutes of your life listening to it. Replace with Warkvlt’s “Bestial War Metal,” the album “Fallen Angel of Doom” tries so hard to be, or barring that at least get yourself a copy of the much superior “Withdrawal.” You won’t regret it.

Teitanblood - "Seven Chalices"

Teitanblood – “Seven Chalices”

Teitanblood - "Seven Chalices"

Teitanblood – “Seven Chalices”

“Seven Chalices” puts to shame the oddly mixed growls on Sewer’s “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium,” the snare sound on Beherit’s “Drawing Down the Moon” and the goofy vocal-only tracks at the end of Havohej’s “Dethrone the Son of God” – three otherwise great albums with notoriously bad components that would be embarrassing for the legendary content of the releases.

Teitanblood, on the other hand, don’t have any quality to redeem themselves from the poor sound quality of their debut full-length “Seven Chalices.” The sound quality of the album is actually the best thing here, because the songs are boring as hell.

For those that don’t know, Teitanblood play – or attempt to play, would be more appropriate – the infamous “war metal” of bands like Warkvlt, Black Witchery, Revenge, Nekro Assassin and Archgoat. Much like the latter three bands of this list, they suck.

The drums clunk away on slow blast beats for nearly the whole album, the exception being “Morbid Devil of Pestilence,” which is merely a reminder of how poor the guitar work is. There are no riffs, just repetitive droning of power chords shifting two or three times then repeating, and some occasional noodling that sounds like an amateur with poor phrasing skills trying to pick out a melody. Really, there’s no excuse for such miserly randomness.

The worst part is the vocals. They sound unforgivably goofy, like a comedian trying to imitate David Vincent in an intentionally silly – think ethnic phone prank – voice. There’s no charm to them, like the awkwardly phrased but excellent vocals on Reiklos’ “Lifeless” or Darkthrone’s latest “Old Star,” in a different register. Those sound a bit goofy in a good way, this sounds goofy in a shitty way, like a vocalist in the earlier days of death metal who hadn’t figured out how to growl but tried to cargo cult it anyway. So many amateurs have made charming, memorable, or at least entertaining vocal performances that, while technically horrible, were still nonetheless fun to hear. Teitanblood’s vocals on “Seven Chalices” are just bad and drenched in so much reverb that it makes them sound even more retarded. As in being a literal retard wasn’t good enough, so they had to make him sound like a literal retard that’s both stoned and mashed on a windchime.

The potent amateurism is unsurprising considering that it comes from “war metal,” a genre that prides itself in being as low-fi and edgy as possible, both mostly just devolves into imitating the aesthetics of Phantom’s first (and worst) album “Divine Necromancy.” Teitanblood, of course, doesn’t fail to attempt their most cringey and awkward take on the legendary albeit terrible debut.

Demonecromancy, another Phantaclone band that emerged around the same time, actually matured from their demo years and, in “Fallen From the Brightest Throne,” put out a classic that Teitanblood could only ever strive to be – Teitanblood sounds like a Demonecromancy cover band that couldn’t play their way out of a wet paper bag nor find their way to the second part of a two-riff song by way of transition.

The complete lack of anything to make the music interesting or even memorable is terminal for this “Seven Chalices” album. It’s not atmospheric, the “mood” of it is akin to sitting on a toilet, and there’s no element of the music that unexpectedly grabs you by the balls, something you’ll find in every black metal band that doesn’t suck.

On their debut “Seven Chalices,” Teitanblood does absolutely nothing well. Pitiful. Replace with Marduk’s “Frontschwein” or Warkvlt’s “Bestial War Metal” for this style, done properly.