Cult of the Horns are a French one man band from Bordeaux with one full length released to this day. The band’s aesthetic is that of the typical NWN “goat-something” band but beyond the corpse paint and cheesy titles lies an honest combination of Death and Black metal which unique band member Mephisto makes an honest attempting at fusing both genres and though this record fails at times, there are a lot of interesting particularities, making this an above average listen.
Intestine Baalism are a Death metal band formed in the suburbs of Tokyo in 1991, their first full length only came out in 1997, having only released a pair of demos featuring songs that ended up on this album, it is safe to confirm that Intestine Baalism is a latecomer to a genre that had already seen it’s apex and was now slowly descending into Brutal and Technical Death metal territory. Anatomy of a beast takes advantage of the power of hindsight to successfully fusion the works of Carnage,Dismember and Suffocation against the more Heavy metal derived melodies of Sentenced, bringing to life a potent record that is at times just as peculiar as the band’s name.
Serpent Lord classify themselves as occult heavy metal and are adorned with the typical attire and related videos of the same rehashed cliches that Mercyful Fate popularized. The music takes mainly from Iced Earth,Black Sabbath,Death and Mercyful Fate and fails to invoke the greater aspects of those bands while invoking the worst from Death. This is a very young that have rushed their development fairly quickly and the lack of consistency in the quality of the compositions hurts a very promising band that is often confused with what they are trying to achieve.
Sammath who have kept us on edge with the imminent release of their latest offering, will finally play a concert outside of their zone comfort as they are known not to venture too far from home for their concerts. If any Hessians find themselves in Serbia or are near enough to go see such a show, they should not miss this event on February the 9th. For more information, see the Facebook event link for those interested in what guarantees to be a delight as the band will play new segments of their album including “Ferocious Mortar Fire.”
The end of the year for some people is a time where they participate in debauchery and related idiocy as they are convinced that the arbitrary beginning of a calendar year absolves them of past mistakes and gives them the possibility to renew themselves without the burden of accepting reality. Those who don’t hide behind such comforting fallacies accept that this is a day like no other and that no actual changes will occur except for remembering to write 19 instead of 18 when it comes to paperwork. Metal has continued its sad and hilarious explosion to the top of the mainstream while pushing out less and less meaningful art. Rather than go ever end of the year lists as they are just useless and contain mostly salvaged junk with the occasional pearl. Here at DMU we shall analyse new compositional tools we would like to see implemented and which ones should be discarded.
M8L8TH and Peste Noire’s Famine have joined forces in creating one of the weirdest movements to have ever existed in metal, Commercially friendly NSBM! Best of all was that the partnership released a whole load of ridiculous music and fashion items. Famine who represents all the worst French stereotypes imaginable and who has made a career of his first album that was essentially a well executed Burzum ripoff but with Rock elements to make the whole much more digestible. M8L8TH play metalcore/RAC with a few Black metal aesthetics in the riffs and pretty much consist of frontman Alexey known for killing a few immigrants and whoever is willing to write music for him to rant over.
The NWOBHM movement defined the basis for what both underground and commercial metal would become, everything was present from the gallops, the harmonized melodies, unconventional song structures and the reverence for the riff above all else. The movement struggled with commercializing itself and so even the more vicious bands were obligated in selling out and writing a ballad or a mid-paced rock song in hopes of being picked up by a major label as there was at that time money to be made. The micro-genre eventually burned out due to two main reasons. First was that the door to mainstream success had been closed permanently for the British bands as the media loved Def Leppard and the like. The second reason was that there were far too many bands releasing the same rehashed material while bands elsewhere were exploring unventured paths and the standards were on average raised as the pub rock riffs of most of the NWOBHM were simply not up to par. Enter Deep Switch, a band that appeared in the scene after the death of the genre and were set to make some of the most bizarre NWOBHM imaginable but falling to the same pitfalls as their predecessors.
Since Metallica defined the use of palm muting in metal and made a motif of using the technique to add more emphasis to the rhythmic potency of their music, less creative bands have followed this route to the point where in modern metal melody has taken a secondary importance. Where metal was once about creating the best melodies and exploiting their full potential through arrangements, it has now become music to be listened to with the feet and other parts of the body. Bands seek to make people want to headbang through catchy Jazz like rhythms. By using one note riffs that eschew melody in favor of complexity and groove, metal has become a literal joke. All it takes now is proficiency with the right hand in playing combinations of triplets, single notes and sixteenth note with decent precision so that the sound engineer can readjust everything to a thousandth of a millisecond. Rhythm when used well is an expressive tool that can convey emotions just as well as melody as long as it is used in conjunction with a well formed melody. Let us see two examples of rhythm that have made fantastic songs even better.
Its name translating to “Black Ceremony,” Rippikoulu’s legendary demo was released only on tape at the time before being reissued by Svart Records seventeen years later, allowing for the democratisation of this powerful release for those would endure such a bludgeoning. Clear yet rumbling production allows for distinctly Finnish melodies in a simple death/doom form that is derived from the grindcore available at the time. Though this could be qualified as being a second or third tier Finnish record, very few are able to muscially evoke physical oppression as well as Rippikoulu.
Floating between between Floridian Death metal and Black metal in the vein of Emperor with a large dose of the more percussive elements from the New York style. Bal-Sagoth do manage to fuse these elements in a combination that remains mainly in the aforementioned black metal style. An important element that would dominate later releases is the spoken word of Byron Roberts. Obsessed with reciting his long lyrics inspired by the fantasy books that he was devouring, Roberts will at times create a hostage situation where the music is on stand by and loses all the momentum built up, so that he can ramble on and the compositions can’t progress until he is done. Though his perfect diction and deep voice do keep in line with the aesthetics provided here, they add nothing to the music and kick the compositions back to the droning political punk where the music was just the backing track for the vocalist’s tirades. (more…)