Witching Metal Webzine

Witching Metal Webzine

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Denouncement Pyre interview.

I recently had the opportunity to interview a member of Melbourne black/death metallers Denouncement Pyre, who have been working on a follow up to their killer debut album "World Cremation". Enjoy!

Let’s start things off with a brief history of the band. How long have Denouncement Pyre been around? What have you released so far? Who is currently in the band? And anything else you consider relevant

The origins of the band go back to late 2002 – early 2003. We began as a 2 piece consisting of myself on guitar/vocals and J. on drums. We operated in that form for about a year or so before recruiting C. Volcano on drums which allowed J. to take up the guitar and thus we recorded the first demo as a 3-piece in 2004. By the end of that year we played our first live show in Melbourne, performing as a 4-piece with a live session bass player.
Since then we have remained active although the line-up has changed here and there through the years. From 2007 we remained bound to the studio and have not performed live mostly existing as a 2-piece which limited our capabilities as a live band. We are now back to a full line-up and are preparing to record Album #2 over coming months for a scheduled release towards the end of 2012.

To date we have released:

World Cremation – LP/CD/DigiCD/Tape – 2010
Circle of the Black Flame – 7” ep – 2008
Chaos Rising – Split LP – 2008
Hells Infantry – mini-album/mc – 2006
Under the Aegis of Damnation – 7” ep – 2006
Barbaric Vengeance – live tape - 2005
The Storm to End all Wars – demo tape/Cd – 2004

The current line-up consists of 3 core members whilst we will use a 2nd guitarist from within our circle to join us for the live shows we have planned for 2012.

Why was the name “Denouncement Pyre” chosen to represent the band and what does it mean?

DENOUNCEMENT PYRE represents the individual’s stand against all that would threaten or hinder his existence. One must remove and overcome those tainted elements of their being, whether they are internal or external factors, in order to become something greater than the ‘merely human’ state he exists in.

Humans inevitably consist of and possess ‘natural’ traits that resonate with a path of weakness, herd mentality, a need to associate and be accepted by other feeble beings, the gravitation towards the inferior, denial and servitude as an escape, avoidance of responsibility, all of which is a path that most will follow unquestionably and unconditionally, and above all else, unaware. DENOUNCEMENT PYRE is about cutting those ties and forging an individual path, dismissing the notion of a so called ‘fate’ or destiny, and becoming the creator of your own existence. A conquest of the left-hand path and one that leads away from the light and points towards the dark, metaphorically speaking.

In the context of the band, the name was chosen simply because it represents this as the ideology that we present through our music and carry as individuals.

How would you describe Denouncement Pyre’s sound and style to someone who has not yet heard the band?

To the point I would say Black/Death Metal, more specifically with chaotic and violent passages mixed with some mid-paced, dark and at times melody driven parts (in reference to the newer material in particular). I think we have a backbone that relates to old school metal and we don’t hide or deny that. Naturally we create music that we would want to listen to ourselves; however we don’t care to re-invent the wheel or exist to pay homage to any scene or band, nor experiment for the sake of being different. Everything we put into our music is to please ourselves, to serve our own purpose, and to convey the atmosphere and ideology that we wish to convey.
Beyond the mundane level, this music provides a channel for certain energy and is a good means of both summoning and releasing that energy. As long as a song or release can conform to whatever energy and spirit we pour into it, that is the main purpose and leads to us being either satisfied or non-satisfied. Whatever outsiders think beyond that holds no weight with what we have created or will create, it does not determine the direction we will take as that course & purpose is focused internally, and so be it.

What are the bands influences, musical and non-musical? Do any specific ideologies or themes go into the lyrics? Are you influenced by literature or other works of art as well?

Musically we are influenced by old Black/Death Metal, mainly from the 80s-90s, as well as genres outside of the metal realm. I listen to a lot of different music including various styles of metal, industrial, noise, experimental and ambient, old rock n roll, some old punk, 70’s prog, while the other members also have a vast taste of musical appreciation. I don’t think consciously about how we ‘should’ sound when writing, so if any other influences creep into our music as long as it aligns and works with that particular song then I won’t hold back from it. This may be something that comes to the surface more with the new material in comparison to some of the earlier releases, but even so, the foundation for our sound will always be extreme Metal.

Non-musical influences are more commonly the basis of influence & inspiration. I never think about what other bands are doing or from the perspective of how others think we should sound. I will usually start with a basic concept, whether it surfaces from the subconscious as a spontaneous thought, or as an idea that is nurtured and grows as times passes, and then the ultimate goal is to give that some sort of audible representation. The influence comes from various experiences, thoughts, knowledge, occurrences as well as practice of western and eastern traditions related to the shadowside. Ideologically the left-hand path denotes a course of the limitless, the thirst for the all-becoming and absolute potentiality of existence, being and non-being. This is one of the concepts we work with which can be identified with other artists, texts, concepts, but it is not directly influenced by any single one or particular, but first and foremost by our own goals, will, experience, fire.

Does Denouncement Pyre play live very often? What is a live Denouncement Pyre show like?

We have performed live 7 times between 2004 and 2007. Since then all live activity ceased and we retreated to the studio to record the first album ‘World Cremation’ and the preceding 7”ep ‘Circle of the Black Flame’. This year we will once again take our music into the live arena which is something we are really looking forward to. I had thought at times over the last few years we would never do this again, for various reasons, but as everything has aligned the time seems right. We will play in Melbourne in March, Sydney in June, and have plans to play some other shows later in the year. Those interested should get in contact with us if they are interested in setting up some shows.

In the past a DENOUNCEMENT PYRE show typically proved to be something of a chaotic, forceful, aggressive and at times violent experience. I hope the same can be said for the shows we have planned for this year, except I think we are more focused now and have greater control over how we can present the band and our music. Whether that will manifest in a way that an audience will respond positively or negatively is still to be seen, I hope it would be a mixture of both.

I understand you’re playing Evil Invaders IV in Sydney in June. Are you looking forward to it? What can fans expect from Denouncement Pyre’s set that weekend?

Actually the last show we played was at the Evil Invaders fest that was held in Melbourne in 2007. It’s always a good festival to be a part of, especially as majority of gigs and festivals in this country are complete shit or consist of very unbalanced line-ups, at least here we have the rare opportunity to perform with bands we have some common ground with as well as catch up with a few individuals we rarely have the chance to see as we live at opposite ends of the country.

For the DENOUNCEMENT PYRE set, it will be one of the first opportunities to perform a few tracks from the ‘World Cremation’ album live as well as some new material that will appear on the upcoming album, ‘Almighty Arcanum’. It will also be the first time we have played in Sydney since 2005 and I think things have changed from our side a lot since then. That’s all I will give away for now, check it out in June and judge the experience for yourself!

It has recently been announced that you are working on a follow up to “World Cremation” entitled “Almighty Arcanum” (which is now one of my most anticipated releases for this year). What can you reveal about this so far?

The new album will be recorded early 2012, consisting of 7 tracks + intros and will again be released on CD/LP by Hells Headbangers. If all goes as planned it should be released late in the year.
The new material is by far the darkest we have written and is probably the closest yet to how I have envisioned for DENOUNCEMENT PYRE to sound. I think the songs have greater depth and consist of a balance of harsh & heavy parts mixed with some more melody driven sections, we are definitely avoiding the concept of it being a one-dimensional album. I will revisit that thought once we have finished recording and have had time to reflect on what materialises from the energy and will we are putting into it. So far it’s coming together as planned.

We also recently recorded an EP that consists of a new track and a b-side that will not appear on the album. We are putting finishing touches on this and the plan is to release it as a 7”ep leading up to Almighty Arcanum to act as a bit of a preview of what’s to come. This will be released by Hells Headbangers also. More news on this one soon!

How do you feel the band has changed (or not changed) musically from the time of the first demo “The Storm to End All Wars” ‘til now, leading up to the release of the second full length album?

Change is inevitable when working within the creative channel and I see no purpose in re-creating what we have already done or continuing on if we find ourselves restricted by creative stagnation. We have advanced in many aspects, I think we’re writing better music now and the new material especially is the best we have done. It’s natural that as we learn from past experiences and releases that we will grow as band, as musicians, as individuals, and I would hope this would reflect in the upcoming album. We don’t deny or hinder any growth so as long as it is natural and that each release is representing to us whatever we will it to then that is all that matters.

It’s important to note that the core of the band and the why as to we create this music has not altered since the beginning. If anything we have a better understanding of the themes we are exploring now and this is a reflection of our growth as individuals. This in turn draws us closer to our true purpose and causes things to manifest as intended. It’s not as easy as it seems in terms of having the foundation of an idea or concept, and then going through the whole process of nurturing that idea, chopping and changing it, transforming it into audible form, and then recording and releasing it as intended or as close as possible to its original form. A lot of things come into play along the way but I have found as we gain a better knowledge of what it is we are doing this starts to close the gap between how things materialise and how close they are to the energy we put into it. That is change within itself and from my perspective represents growth for the better.

Thank you for taking the time to complete this interview, I hope you enjoyed the questions! Any final thttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhoughts?

Thanks for the interest. Check out ‘Almighty Arcanum’ later in the year on Hells Headbangers. See you at Evil Invaders


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Denouncement-Pyre/18810643921

Official Merch: http://denouncementpyremerch.blogspot.com.au/

Label: www.hellsheadbangers.com/denouncementpyre

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Perversor – The Shadow of Abomination

Perversor is a 4-piece from Chile who plays a style that I would describe as bestial blackened deathrash. Influenced heavily by the old-school Brazilian scene, “The Shadow of Abomination” is the bands fourth release and the follow up to their killer split with Mexican warmonger’s Morbosidad.

Stylistically the band aims for a straightforward evil and bestial attack not unlike legendary acts Sarcofago, Bathory, Possessed and Sodom in their early days. Simplistic yet hard-hitting and fast riffs will have you banging your head like there’s no tomorrow, the drums pummel inside your skull like some kind of batshit insane machinegunner, the bass is there doing it’s thing and the vocals utter evil war commands from a bit back in the mix, which provides an “ominous” and old-school effect.

Choosing a favourite track on this 5 song, 11 minute EP would just be fucking stupid as each track is as good as the one before and after it. There’s nothing original in the slightest to be found here, but as I’ve said many times before; that’s the beauty of old-school devilish metal such as this. This is underground metal made for underground metal fans by underground metal fans.

I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next slab of demon metal these bastards puke out!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Secstesy - Promo CD 2011

Sectesy is a death metal band from the Czech Republic whose members have played in various metal bands in the past. This is their promo CD from 2011, obviously.

Musically, these guys know how to make good death metal. Take a bit of Incantation and a bit of Autopsy, throw them together and you get the base sound Sectesy are going for on this two track promo.

These guys definitely have the songwriting skills and instrumental chops to make excellent death metal, although, to me, it falls flat a bit; the production is extremely clean, which in my opinion doesn’t work well for this kind of death metal and lets the band down a lot. My other issue is the guitar tone, which sounds more like something befitting of a traditional/speed metal-ish band. All complaints aside, the two songs themselves are great and show plenty of potential… hopefully Sectesy will tweak out the kinks before their next release.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hyborian Steel- Blood, Steel and Glory Review

Hyborian Steel are an epic heavy metal band hailing from the American midwest. They focus on more of an old school metal sound, lots of barbaric imagery are in the songs. This is their sophomore release, their sequel to An Age Undreamt Of... And these heavy metal barbarian bards sure have a song to sing.

Like the savages they are, they start off with a beat of a war-drum and a demonic voice before taking out their axes and slashing their way through with their epic riffs. These guys sure know how to write some kick-arse metal riffs. It's much like old school Iron Maiden and Cirith Ungol. They manage to have some really nice dynamic songs, they're not the same tempo all the way throughout the songs. The guitar solos just shred your face off and aren't just blatant wank-fests. The widdly-woo of the guitars are like the swordplay in battle, fast and sharp but graceful in their movement. Now, the vocals are going to take some getting used to. They're a little on the deep side, not like Pavarotti deep, but more of a baritone-lower tenor. There are even a few guttural moments. It's not what exactly you expect from an epic band such as this, but it gives it more of a barbaric feel which is something they're going after. It's as if someone gave Conan the Barbarian lots of voice lessons.

Speaking of Conan, the Robert E. Howard fans should be pleased with their tribute to the great author. Aside from the obvious sword-and-sorcery songs, not to mention their name, they write songs directly from the Conan mythologies aptly titled "Mountain of Crom" and "Cimmerian's Blues." Within minutes you should be slurring your words together like Arnold and start making grunting sound, although I'm sure many of you already do. And if that doesn't tickle your fancy, then you need to reconsider your life. A nice cover of Cirith Ungol's "War Eternal" is also featured, Cirith Ungol purists might disagree but they do a decent job fitting it to their style.

This is probably not an album for the masses as not many are attracted to the whole swords-and-sorcery factor, but I would certainly recommend this to any fan of epic metal such as Heavy Load, Manowar, Cirith Ungol, and the like. The production doesn't have much spit and polish to it, giving it a more old school and warm feel. It's raw and real, it's no namby-pamby wussy band. I think the only thing that would really set someone off would be the vocals, they're different and not what many would be used to. However, it's a good, epic piece of heavy metal music. Not bad for a bunch of Mid-Western barbarians.

Gitchoo sum!



I'm a bit late in posting this... but here is the final interview from the SHARKBASTARDTERRORCULT zine...

You have played in monumental bands such as Blasphemy, Conqueror, and Revenge. What band have you enjoyed playing with the most?

R. Forster:
I have had moments of total triumph and moments of total disappointment and hatred in every band I've been in, so no one band stands out as the band I have enjoyed being in the most. All I can say is that I am proud that all 3 of those names (BLASPHEMY, CONQUEROR, and REVENGE) are known as some of the most merciless Desecrater Hordes around and that my name is connected to those cults!

What brought about the formation of Conqueror?

R. Forster:
Life got really stagnant in Edmonton, Canada (where we grew up) so J Read and I decided to move to Victoria, Canada with the intention of continuing our old bands out there (DOMINI INFERI and CREMATION). It didn't work out as we planned so we decided to start a new band together: CONQUEROR. We both had the same ideology and same taste in music so combining forces was quite natural for us.

How did you and J Read meet each other?

R. Forster:
We both grew up in Edmonton, Canada and were involved in the local Extreme Metal scene. The scene was small and there weren't too many others around that we could talk about releases like "Rumpus of the Undead" and "Crawling in Vomits" with at the time, so of course J Read and I clicked immediately.

How did the concept of Conqueror come about?

R. Forster:
J Read and I were into reading Friedrich Nietzsche, Ragnar Redbeard, and the like while listening to ORDER FROM CHAOS and watching programs/documentaries on genocide and terrorism, so it was just natural to combine all that we were interested in (and that we lived by) into our band.

Has Conqueror ever played shows?

R. Forster:
No. We were a 2 piece. There were no suitable members available to us at the time in the small city we were based in. In fact, even today there are only very few people that I would consider doing a band with. There might be a lot more people into Extreme Bestial Metal these days, but still not so many that take the ideology and the genre to the same degree I do though.

Conqueror has only a handful of releases but has left a massive impact. Did you expect this to occur when you first released your material?

R. Forster:
No. When we started CONQUEROR, all of those Swedish and Norwegian lightweight Black Metal bands were ruling the scene with their keyboards, melodic riffs, and clown make-up. We were the exact opposite of them so I never thought that we'd really be noticed in the sea of shit that was drowning us all. I had contact with a few die-hards from around the world at the time and they were the ones that I wanted to make sure heard our band. We didn't care about the rest of the wimps lapping up the crap spewed back then. The mid-90s were really bad for the Metal underground.

With that said do you think you could have done more with Conqueror and put out a few more solid releases or are you completely satisfied with how it turned out?

R. Forster:
We had our 2nd album over half way completed and definitely could have taken CONQUEROR a lot further after that.

You where also involved with Revenge at on point in time. How did this occur?

R. Forster:
This is a misconception. I only contributed music for the REVENGE track "Genocide Conquest" and helped them with the recording of the unreleased CONQUEROR track "Superion Revenge". J Read and I always maintained contact over the last 20 years or so. It was natural for me to help out REVENGE even if was just a little bit.

How were you initiated into the cult of Blasphemy and why where you chosen?

R. Forster:
Ceremonial initiation through a Blood Baptism Ritual. I was chosen because of my history with CONQUEROR. The BLASPHEMY guys were/are totally into the Superion Holycaust Attacks!

How did you meet the members of Blasphemy?

R. Forster:
I lived in Victoria, Canada at the time that I met them. I used to travel over to Vancouver, Canada to see shows as most bands skipped Victoria when they toured this country. The BLASPHEMY guys were at one of the shows I attended. They had their own section in the club while the rest of us had to mingle with the riff-raff and scum. I had a couple of CONQUEROR demo tapes with me and passed them to Black Winds and Caller of the Storms. They like what they heard and we established contact a few days later and kept contact ever since.

Where you exposed to Blasphemy's music before you meet the members or after?

R. Forster:
I knew of BLASPHEMY way before I met those guys! I subscribed to The Wild Rag zine/mail-order catalog and ordered "Fallen Angel of Doom...." on cassette tape as soon as it was released! I have been into this type of underground Metal since high-school and had to start with mail-orders and tape trading back in about 1989ce as the local record stores could no longer provide for my addiction to the most extreme and unholy music possible.

Ritual is one of my personal favorite songs, and seems to be one of the bands most iconic. Would you say that this would be your most "famous" song?

R. Forster:
Yes. When we do Live Rituals people are already chanting that song title even before we hit the stage!!

How does Blasphemy determine the set lists for the few live rituals performed every year?

R. Forster:
It depends on the occasion. At this years NWN! Festival we celebrated the 20 Year Anniversary of the release of "Fallen Angel of Doom...." so we started our set out with all the tracks from side I of the LP. (Until we got to "Ritual". We had to save that as our last attack.)

Will Blasphemy ever play in the U.S. again? I understand there are legal issues involved but I am sure many maniacs would love to see the gods of war storm our soils once more.

R. Forster:
Never. The 3 original members are banned from the USA due to extensive criminal pasts.

NWN! has had especially good lineups, and you headlined this years fest. How was the experience"? What were some of your favorite acts at the fest?

R. Forster:
The NWN! Festival was the most professional show that I have ever played! Everything was taken care of properly for us so all we really had to do was get on stage and crush everyone as hard as possible. Personally my favourite acts were PROCLAMATION, BLACK WITCHERY, ORDER FROM CHAOS, MYSTIFIER, BLASPHEMOPHAGHER, and EMBRACE OF THORNS! DEAD CONGREGATION, VANHELGD, MIASMAL, FAUSTCOVEN, and XIBALBA were damn great as well! I missed ARES KINGDOM getting ready for the stage with BLASPHEMY, and I missed VON GOAT. Overall, killer festival!! Highly recommended for anyone into underground Metal as the Fest kills, and Berlin in an inexpensive and interesting city! Let's hope there is another edition of this Festival!

Is there any new material for Blasphemy in the works?

R. Forster:
Yes! It's up to the original members get to the studio and record them though........!

Do you have any new projects you are working on?

R. Forster:
Nothing that I can mention at the moment.......... No.

What modern bands do you listen to and support?

R. Forster:
I still follow the Metal underground closely and listen to 100s of current bands. I support what current bands I can through my Ross Bay Cult distribution.

What three albums have impacted you the most?
R. Forster:http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
It depends on what the context is. For Bestial Metal than it has to be "Fallen Angel of Doom...." by BLASPHEMY, "I.N.R.I." by SARCOFAGO, and "The Oath of Black Blood" by BEHERIT. Those 3 releases affected me to my very core! TO THE DEATH!!!!!!

Any new releases coming from Ross Bay Cult?

R. Forster:
Beware of the newest addition to my small and probably never expanding label roster: WRATHPRAYER from Chile!!! Watch www.rossbaycult.com for the latest information.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Maximum Oversatan- Too Evil For Hell

Do you like d-beats? Do you like Satan? Goats? Hell? Tits? Then MAXIMUM FUCKING OVERSATAN is for you!

Torn from the foetid bowels of New Jersey in 2011, this horrid horde of hellraising miscreants sprang was unleashed upon the world late last year with the debut demo Too Evil For Hell. With production and songwriting halfway between early Sodom and Hellhammer with a syringe full of punk to the arm for good measure, this shit is any beer swilling metalpunk's wet dream.

The demo contains 3 original songs and 2 covers. The originals are rough, sloppy satanic speed metal assaults that follow in the anthemic footsteps of Burst Command Til War, To Hell and Back, etc. Just TRY not to sing along to the chorus of Reaper's Night after a couple listens. The originals all wear influences on the sleeve but the riffs are cool enough that it doesn't matter. The covers are (surprise surprise) Welcome to Hell and Outbreak of Evil, both of which sound great belted out by frontman Atomic Destructor From Hell.

Some listeners might be turned off by the extremely raw production, occasionally off kilter drumming, and overall sloppiness of the whole affair. But y'know what? Fuck you. That's part of the magic. This sounds like it came from about 1984, just before thrash and black metal properly got underway; posers fucking beware. To sum it up simply:


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Teitanblood : Purging Tongues

'Purging Tongues' by Teitanblood
Rating: 5 / 5

At long last, after years since the world was cursed by Teitanblood's infamously filthy cryptic death metal album Seven Chalices, we are offered an EP by them, entitled Purging Tongues.

The album consists of a single track on one side of a 12" record, crafted with elements of all of their material up to this point, more unsettling atmosphere than ever before and the unholy script of a Spanish doomsayer. All of this has been blended into 15 minutes of some of the most savage bestial black/death metal ever released upon the masses in the dismal year of 2011.

The vocals of Seven Chalices evolve into echoed sadistic verbal cursing straight from the pit and collide with the newly unearthed and more crushing incarnation of the riffs and drumming from the unforgettable Genocide Chants to Apolokian Dawn demo tape. Mix this with the unholy words of blasphemy and doom rolling from the purging tongues of a malignant prophet and you have Teitanblood in their prime.

This is the fucking epitome of whatever can be classified as 'extreme', musically. And I'm positive it will be a long while before I hear anything on par to this. For a single track it was definitely worth waiting for and I look forward to the next rites Teitanblood have planned for humanity.


Surtr : Weraldion Testautaz

'Weraldion Testautaz' by Surtr
Rating: 4.5 / 5

This is the first public release from a band of Dark Germanic Heathens hailing from Sweden, branding themselves as Surtr. Although it is fairly different compared to stuff released by other hordes all united in dedication to invoking the resurrection of the primordial void.

I won't say who their influences are, but judging from the white picture/red text, Moyen-esque art direction on the tape's cover, I would say Blasphemy and Beherit are possible influences. The demo's very sound only adds to my assumption of that, which I'll try to detail here:

What we have here is under 15 minutes of raw and punishing old-school black metal (you could call it "bestial blackdeath" or maybe even "war metal" if you wanted to; they work at least). If you're looking for atmosphere, melody or even the usual raw black metal sound of bands in this similar art direction, look elsewhere. The drums are violently struck, not played. The guitar riffs are at least "musical"; not fingered in such speed to create a wall of fuzzy noise to bring up any indication of Blasphemy/Beherit worship (it's about the only element which would only make me wonder if such bands are an influence, not immediately conclude that they are). Yes, it is a rehearsal demo, but the clear coherance of the drums being bashed, very well played guitar riffage and overall murky darkness over the two make up the recording's own atmosphere.

As for the vocals.. well they're my favourite part of the entire demo. They are far from your standard black metal shrieks, nor are they even any form of death metal (that I've heard beforehand) to compensate for the forementioned oldschool death/black metal elements.
In fact, I'm not hearing vocals suited for metal. I'm hearing the carnal warcries and commands of the Black One himself (or maybe even just any other rampant Norse beast in favor of him, eager to bash the visage of a Valkyrie open with a bludgeoning weapon). This is what primarily makes the demo fucking amazing in my honest opinion. I have never heard vocals this inhuman before. So many bands try to pull off trying to sound like a beast of some form or another; this one pulls it off very fucking well.

I grant this amazing demo 4.5 out of 5. Only thing that stopped me from giving it a perfect score was that it's too fucking short and it left me wanting more, playing the demo more times in succession than I would for most other releases. Even another 5 minutes would've done well for it. But it hasn't dumbed down my love for it and the band itself, and if this is but a taste of what's to come in the future, then this horde has my support all the way.


Monday, February 6, 2012

AK-11 – Legendary, Demonic and Invincible

AK-11 is a one-man black metal project from Melbourne founding by Valak F. Inspired by Russia’s war history, Siberia’s bleak and frozen wastelands, wolves, heathens and apparently a fucking shitload of vodka, “Legendary, Demonic and Invincible” is AK-11’s first demo, released digitally in November 2011.

Musically AK-11 sounds like a mix of Emperor’s epic melodies and Marduk’s warlike intensity. So basically, it’s pretty much straight down the line aggressive black metal with an epic flair to it. The song structures are interesting and actually seem to go somewhere, which isn’t too common in the world of one-man black metal projects and obviously is a major plus in the bands favour. Valak is competent with all his instruments, although the bass is nonexistent, but that’s kind of typical for this style anyway. As for stand out tracks, the title track is a fuckin’ ripper! Even if it is the shortest song.

There’s not really much else I can say about this… but the mixture of English and Russian lyrics is a nice touch and I enjoy the combination of all out aggressive riffage and epic melodies. I’d definitely be interested to hear further releases.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Tyranex- Extermination Has Begun Review

Hello my fellow metalheads! It’s time for another review! And, it’s ladies night again! This time I’ve got Tyranex’s Extermination Has Begun, the Swedish speed metal band’s first full length. It’s like a blend of Destruction and Holy Moses, with a few hints of Agent Steel. These guys are FAAAST, like top fuel cars on a quarter-mile drag race. This one is certainly for the speed freaks.

The album is all thrills and no frills, much how I like my speed metal. They nail it into high gear as soon as the first song on the album starts. Alas, the high speed doesn’t leave much room for riffage as they’re tremolo picking out chord progressions most of the time, but the singer’s acidic siren kind of makes up for it. Nearly all the songs in the first half of the album are going out all guns a-blazing. It’s great, until shit starts running together. But they do manage to break it up a few times and give out with a bit slower tempos, so you’re not cranking your neck at 200 bpm for a solid 10 minutes. Whew! I want to say after the third or fourth track the songs tend to be a lot stronger. “None So Cruel,” “Tormentor,” and “Road to Damnation” are just a few of the ass-kicking tracks in the latter half of the album. “None So Cruel” has a galloping, marching riff that makes you want to pump your fist in the air and yell along like a drunken bastard at a pub. “Road to Damnation” probably is one of the strongest tunes on here (I think the title track is probably the best), the riffs and chorus are so damn catchy and it’s still at a high speed.

Not bad for a girl, eh? But really, those that want to listen to a chick-fronted band and not have a more melodic, power metal feel to it, this is the band for you! She manages the tough-gal chic pretty damn well I must say. Aside her vocals, the instrumentation ain’t too shabby either. There’s fast riffs, mid tempo riffs, catchy choruses, noodley solos, and a singer that can show you how it’s done; what more do you want? They’re not original by any means, but they damn know what the hell they’re doing.

So gitchoo sum!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Magnetron – A Measured Timeframe

Magnetron is a thrash metal band from the Netherlands who have been around since 1996 (starting as a grindcore band before evolving into a thrash metal band), but for whatever reason, have only put out a bunch of demos until November 2011 when they finally unleashed their debut album “A Measured Timeframe” upon the world…

Musically, “A Measured Timeframe” is a pretty straightforward and in your face affair, sounding like a cross between American and Germanic thrash metal, but the band still injects their own flavour and sense of humour, no doubt relics left over from their grind days which give a certain charm to Magnetron. Throughout, you will find cool riffs spread between interesting mid-paced passages and the odd Forbidden-esque melody. At times the writing gets a bit technical, but not to the point of wankery, and the band clearly knows when NOT to show off, they know they’re good musicians who can pull off a bit of wankage, but they realize there is such thing as TOO MUCH WANKERY and thus, pull it off rather well.

The songs themselves are pretty much straight-up thrash but there’s enough variety to keep even the most “bored of thrash” metal fan (such as myself) entertained. The opening track “Nice Teeth”, the anthemic “Born Witless”, the title track, and the hilarious “Rob a Bank, Buy a Tank” are probably the most stand-out tracks for me, but each song has its moments and I don’t find myself feeling the urge to skip through any of them.

All in all, Magnetron serve to prove that thrash can be fun without being excessively dumb and old-school without directly ripping off their heroes.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Venenum - Venenum

Venenum is a death metal band from Germany featuring members of Delirium Tremens, Hellish Crossfire and short lived yet absolutely killer death metal horde Excoriate. They’ve been around since 2008 and dropped their self-titled demo in April 2011. Now, in early 2012 they are re-releasing it as an EP with a re-vamped production job, new artwork and apparently (I didn’t hear the demo) a few extra tid-bits added to the music.

This band really is a mixed bag sound-wise. You’ll find slow and eerie chords mixed in with a bit of Autopsy-worship, then some acoustic interludes, a whole heap of almost black metal-like atmosphere, then some doomy Asphyx-esque passages and lastly, a bit of Tampa DM a la early Morbid Angel chucked in for good measure. Yeah… a VERY mixed bag, but they make it work!

The main thing that has to be mentioned when discussing Venenum is the atmosphere they invoke with their song structures, at times it feels like I’m listening to a (good) black metal album when the riffs go into an almost trance-inducing structure, then I’m banging my head along to some good ol’ fashion ripping metal of death!

The guitar tone is pretty unique and really works to bring out the dark and eerie sound. The drums are quite audible in the mix and drive things along perfectly. Bass is audible and works well with the other instruments. The vocals are sort of mid-range and wouldn’t sound out of place in a thrash metal band either (at times they remind me of Luke from Hellbringer if he sang in a DM band).

What else is there to say? Well, if you’d like to get a decent glimpse of their sound before ordering the CD, I would suggest looking up the third track “Crown of Reversion” as it has a bit of everything mentioned in this review and is the best track on the EP. Get it into ya, death fiends!