Witching Metal Webzine

Witching Metal Webzine

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Demonic Slaughter – Revelations of Death

Recently I received an email from a record label called Hellthrasher Productions containing a couple of review requests that I happily agreed to look into since they asked nicely. Polish black metal horde Demonic Slaughter’s latest full length is one of those releases. I don’t know much about Demonic Slaughter but they’ve been around since about 2006 and put out 2 EPs and 3 full lengths so far and “Revelations of Death” is their third full length.

I haven’t heard any of their earlier material so I can’t make a comparison between the new and old stuff, but what I can tell you is “Revelations of Death” isn’t your typical black metal and the band incorporates a large Swedish death metal influence in their riffs, plenty of variety in the vocals ranging from death metal growls to blackened howls to Inquisition-esque “chanting” and the drumming is rather varied and the bass surprisingly audible for this type of metal.

It’s always refreshing to hear a black metal release full of actual songs that are catchy, chock full of riffs and go somewhere… I find myself hearing so much stale black metal albums which just go nowhere and repeat the same crap over and over that it’s gotten to the point where I’m very weary when looking into new black metal bands. Some of the more ear catching tracks here are; “Chant of the Graves” (probably my all around fave off the album), “Prayer of the Accursed” and “Communion of Dissolution”.

Demonic Slaughter aren’t exactly making waves of innovation or reinventing the wheel in any way at all and this won’t be remembered as the best release of 2011 by any means, but they play a decent brand of black/death metal and they do it well and I don’t think you can really ask much more of a band in this day and age.


Blasphemophagher - The III Command of the Absolute Chaos

Italian warmongering nuclear bastards Blasphemophagher have returned with another killer full length only a year and a half after their last LP! “The III Command of the Absolute Chaos” is their latest offering… and it certainly lives up to their bestial legacy so far…

If you’ve heard any of their previous releases, you should have pretty clear idea what to expect from a Blasphemphagher album; unrelenting, blasting bestial chaotic black/death metal with a thrashy, almost punkish vibe to it. The production, as usual, is much cleaner than your typical “war metal” release, allowing each instrument to shine, yet still a bit rough around the edges, which sets these guys apart from the crowd in a big way and works really well with their style. The vocals range from guttural growls to black metal shrieks to a Pete Helmkamp like “rasp” which keeps things interesting, as the instrumental parts are generally blistering riffs, blast beats and pounding bass riffs that follow the guitar.

Clocking in at 33 minutes, “The III Command…” is a short yet absolutely crushing album. It’s hard to say which songs stand out the most, as they’re all excellent in their own way and they all tend to follow a similar format (except for “Genesis of the Antiworld”, which wouldn’t sound out of place on an Angelcorpse album!) which just works for the band and doesn’t get boring. I’d say my faves are “Abominable Nuclear Penetration”, “Entering the Expanding Plasma” and “Genesis of the Antiworld” all three of which are terrific examples of what makes Blasphemophagher so devastatingly awesome.

Them crazy Italians have done it again with their intense brand of nuclear war worship…


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Em Ruínas - ... From the Speed Metal Graves

Em Ruínas are a speed metal band from Brazil who have been around since 2002 but only put out two demos and a full length so far. “… From the Speed Metal Graves” is their debut album, released this year on Mutilation Records.

These guys don’t fuck around and the album instantly kicks it up to high gear with the second track “Burn in Hell (The Self Damnation” after a brief intro. Expect ridiculously fast and heavy riffs, mid-high pitched vocals with a Lemmy-ish rough grittiness to them, punky drumming and reasonably audible bass. The production is a bit weird and jumps around in quality from song to song, but I didn’t find it effecting my listening experience in a negative way and grew accustomed to it pretty quickly.

My two favourite songs off this release are “Morbid Pits” which kicks off with a battle cry of “SPEEEEEEEEED MEEEEEEETAL” and proceeds to melt the listener’s face off and “Headbanger Race (Warriors of Tomorrow)” which is just a ridiculously fun song that kicks all kinds of arse. To be fair, though, stand-out tracks are going to differ from listener to listener as each song is a great example of old-school dirty and raw as fuck speed metal played the way it should be.
s I’ve often said in past reviews and will say again in future reviews; if you’re looking for something fresh, innovative and original… piss off!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Midnight - Satanic Royalty

I’ve been a massive fan of Ohio’s Midnight for a couple of years now, ever since I got my hands on the “Complete and Total Fucking Midnight” CD compilation. These rotten bastards have been putting out filthy Venom-worshipping black-speed metal demos, EPs and splits since 2003 like it ain’t nobody’s business. “Satanic Royalty” is their long awaited debut full length album… something that I have been eagerly awaiting for a while now.

So, one may ask, what can you expect of this album? How about appropriately produced simple and catchy tunes with a Venom, Motörhead or Tank metal/punk feel? There is a lot of variety to be found in the songs here, ranging from the ripping speed metal of “You Can’t Stop Steel” to the traditional “power-blues” metal of “Rip This Hell” to the almost doom metal feel of “Black Damnation” and the straight up punk burst of “Holocaustic Deafening”. There’s enough variety here that any “true hessian of the faith” or whatever you wish to call yourselves should be able to find something to enjoy about this album, and if not, well then it really is your loss.

This could very well be one of the best albums of 2011 depending on who you ask. Those who “get it” will worship “Satanic Royalty” in all its simplistic black rock’n’roll glory and those who don’t “get it” can seriously suck a fuck for all I care.

5/5 For true necromaniacs!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Eliminator - We Rule the Night

Eliminator is a metal band from Lancaster in the UK specializing in old-school NWOBHM worship. “We Rule the Night” is their debut, and while this release doesn’t try to do anything even remotely original, it kicks all kinds of arse!

This CD ticks all the boxes needed for some good old fashion ‘eavy fuckin’ metal: good but not-so-clean production, soaring air-raid siren vocals and straight forward songs full of ripper solos and great catchy riffage. If the opening track “The Warrior… of the Sky” doesn’t instantly grab your attention then you clearly just don’t like heavy metal… and if that’s the case, why are you even reading this?

Each one of the five songs on “We Rule the Night” is equally great and my favourite songs would have to be “Outlaws of the Highway”, the killer title track and the epic closer “Danger in the Skies”. I’m not going to break down any of the tracks as any fan of the NWOBHM should already have a rough idea what to expect. Put it this way: none of these songs disappoint.

All in all, this is a great classic metal EP that’s definitely worth checking out for a bit of fist pumping fun.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Arisen From the Crypt: Purtenance- Member of Immortal Damnation

In the heyday of the original wave of death metal, bands hailing from Stockholm, Sweden and Tampa, Florida were (and still are) the heavyweights of the genre. Absorbing the very modest commercial potential potential of death metal as well as dominating the very small amount of media attention available, these bands condemned scores of equally talented bands to toil in obscurity. Finland in particular had a tendency to produce quality death metal. From a scene nearly as prolific as that of neighboring Sweden, not one band ever received acclaim on the level of Morbid Angel and Entombed; the hidden gems of Finnish death metal have largely been the domain of obsessive die-hards.

One such gem is Purtenance; formed in 1990 as Purtenance Avulsion, they Shortened their name in '92 for the release of their first and only full length release, Member of Immortal Damnation. Featuring artwork by Chris Moyen of Blasphemy/Beherit/Archgoat Fame, an unusual full color death metal piece in the portfolio of an artist whose work is 99% black and white black metal art, Member of Immortal Damnation embodies the crawling, doom inflected approach that was the Finnish regional sound in the early 90's. I once heard Purtenance described as the Finnish Incantation, and while I don't think that's strictly true I can see where the comparison comes from. They're not really as suffocatingly cavernous production wise or structurally abstract but the eerie doominess and tremolo riffing are there. The overall sound is closest to Demigod and Convulse.

The album opens with an unsettling instrumental intro, and then a tolling bell segways into the first vicious track, Black Vision. This is one of the highlights of the album, evenly mincing slow doom riffs under deathly leads with tremolo picked blasbeat sections. The rest of the album has the same kind of flavor, but stays thoroughly entertaining throughout. The atmosphere is great, partially due to the fantastic production; old school Finnish production I have noticed, doesn't have the crushing American Morrisound feel to it or what we at Witching Metal like to call the Swedish "TURN THE HM-2 TO 10 GO FOR THE FUCKING THROAT D BEAT D BEAT D BEAT UUUUUUUUUGH". It's somewhere in between, not as clean as American production but not as bent on overkill as the Sunlight Studios sound. The drums and vocals are what you would expect, not really anything exemplary but they do EXACTLY what they're supposed to do and allow the riffs to do the heavy lifting. The bass, sadly but unsurprisingly, is mostly inaudible.

The bottom line is, if you already like old school Finnish death or are newer to the genre and want to hear something that doesn't sound like Entombed, Obituary, Grave, or Deicide, get ahold of this fucker by any means possible.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blasphemous Noise Torment – Ancient Insignias

Blasphemous Noise Torment is a black/death metal band from Italy who formed in 2002. “Ancient Insignias is their debut full length, released way back in January this year.

The album starts off with a militant intro that features boots marching under a militant guitar riff in the form of the title track. This sets a mid-paced yet warlike vibe that remains consistent throughout the album. The overall sound is not something you would usually expect of a band called “Blasphemous Noise Torment”… I personally was expecting something in the realm of Blasphemophagher and Revenge’s all out grinding war assaults, but BNT tend to borrow a lot more from Bolt Thrower’s mid-paced war march sound and chuck in a bit of a gritty, punkier edge (Amebix and Axegrinder HAVE to have influenced this!), that’s not to say the album is devoid of blasting chaotic madness, though.

The production suits the sound in that it’s polished enough to hear everything that’s going on, but still has a raw and dirty edge to it. The vocals reminds me most of Nocturno Culto on Darkthrones newer albums, which was unexpected but certainly not unwelcome, they sound nasty as fuck! The guitars are distorted and evil sounding, complimented well by the equally distorted bass sound. The drumming is varied and keeps things interesting.

There’s not a bad track or boring moment to be found over the 40+ minutes “Ancient Insignias” runs for. If you’re after something different to your usual “war metal” sound, I’d highly recommend checking out Blasphemous Noise Torment, as they’re one of the most original bands I’ve heard in the genre and these Italian bastards really bring their own style to an overcrowded scene.