Seeing as Diocletian and Witchrist (two killer bands from New Zealand) both released an album last year and they also share a few members, I’ve decided to review them both in this “special”. Prepare your orifices for a double dose of DOOM CULT!
Witchrist - Beheaded Ouroboros
Imagine, if you will, “Realm of Chaos” era Bolt Thrower having a jam with “Onward to Golgotha” era Incantation after listening to some militant black metal records (Blasphemy, Conqueror, Revenge and the like). This is evil and dark old-school death metal, not for the faint hearted.
“Beheaded Ouroboros” is one of those albums that you don’t usually “get” right away on the first listen, however, this is one album definitely worth taking the time to get into. It may take a few listens, but soon enough it will possess you with old-school bestial brutality and a hauntingly crushing atmosphere. However, I would not call this a “challenging listen” either, if you’re a fan of old school DM, you will enjoy it regardless.
It all starts off with some odd chanting and a bit of slow and crushing doomy type death metal that prepares you for things to come. A dark atmosphere and crushing riffs are the order of the day here. The production on this album fits the atmosphere that Witchrist aim to achieve perfectly, it’s not extremely raw but it’s certainly not clean, it keeps everything drenched in an aura of darkness and impurity.
The guitar sound is murky, distorted and down-tuned, as is the bass. The drum sound is great and goes from slow doomy dirges to blast beats whenever necessary, I’m not sure what else to say about it but don’t expect clicky triggered bullshit. The vocals sound like a mad man entombed in a deep dungeon. Basically, this release sounds as if it was recorded in a tomb, which is a good thing!
My personal favourite track here would have to be “Temple of War”. I’m not sure why, so don’t ask, there’s just something about this song that stands out for me. Every track is great and keeps up to a certain standard that the band has clearly set for themselves, though.
All in all, this is a completely solid release that proves to any naysayers that there is hope for death metal yet. For fans of: Teitanblood, Diocletian, Blasphemy, Archgoat, Proclamation, Incantation, Profanatica and Bolt Thrower.
5/5 one of my favourite releases of 2010.
BUY IT: www.thecoffinsslave.com
Diocletian – War of All Against All
If I were to say there exists such a thing as “forward thinking war metal”, you would probably think I’d lost my marbles! Unless, of course, you had already come face to face with the foul creature that is Diocletian.
“War of All Against All” is a unique record in every sense of the word. Try to picture in your minds’ ear, members of Blasphemy and members of “Sworn to the Dark” era Watain forming a band together and you’ll get some idea of where I’m going here. Intense chaotic madness transcends into melodic and atmospheric soundscapes all within the same song.
The production on this release fits the music perfectly and I have no qualms about it whatsoever. The guitar/bass sound is thick and crushing, whilst the vocals are inhuman and the drums flow perfectly with the different sections. Everything fits in together just right.
I can’t say much for stand-out tracks, as this is an album that you really need to experience in full, preferably with headphones on and in a quite and secluded place. It IS “war metal”, but it’s unlike anything you’ve heard before.
There isn’t much more to be said about this release, as it can’t truly be described with words typed on a screen. If you are a fan of black/death metal, but wish to hear something completely different at the same time, give this a go!
BUY IT: www.thecoffinsslave.com