Demoncy – Within the Sylvan Realms of Frost (1999, reissued 2017)


Review by Cullen Toner.

Nuclear War Now! Productions has re-released Demoncy‘s hypothermic Within the Sylvan Realms of Frost, continuing the independent metal label effort to repackage every outstanding death and black metal classic into commercialized fodder for every awkward hipster deadbeat lurking online. While clearly this reissue CD is a cash grab from Ixithra (You can still find the Faustian Dawn / Within the Sylvan Realms of Frost anthology CD for under ten bucks on Discogs) marketed towards recent nu-metal drop outs who never heard the original, revisiting of Demoncy’s most mysterious full length is certainly worth a listen as it benefits from a much improved sound quality. Since every re-release inadvertently strips the original album of its cult status and lore let’s make the most of our opportunity to embark on one more journey through the frigid tundra of Demoncy’s best kept secret.

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Nokturnal Mortum – Verity (2017)

With Verity, Nokturnal Mortum continue down the more commercial path they started embarking on The Voice of Steel and their half of last year’s The Spirit Never Dies split with Graveland: commercialized rock-constructed music with Ukrainian folk and power metal aesthetics.  On the inferior half of the The Spirit Never Dies, Nokturnal Mortum abandoned the use of the progressive rock techniques with speed, power, and Gothenburg metal riffs to craft compositions similar to the extended, droning flowing black metal compositions of past greats. Verity continues the slide down into Wacken fare.

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Evil – Evil’s Message (1984)


Article by George Psalmanazar.

Evil were a Danish metal band from the mid 1980s often held up as yet another “lost gem” by record collectors as their sole studio release, the Evil’s Message EP, has never been reissued except for a hard to find, bargain basement compilation with French heavy metal band Sortilège’s self-titled EP in the late 90s. Evil’s Message is far from actually being good though; it is nothing special, bog standard Motorhead and Metallica style speed metal.

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Havukruunu – Kelle Surut Soi (2017)

Havukruunu, despite their Burzum like cover, worship Bathory‘s Blood Fire Death and 1980s synth pop on Kelle Surut Soi. Havukruunu attempt the folk choruses, epic atmosphere, and melodic solos as Quorthon did in his successful attempt at mixing black and speed metal. Unfortunately for my ears, Havukruunu are not so successful on Kelle Surut Soi.

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Burial – Unholy Sedition (2016)


Review contributed to Death Metal Underground by Rainer Weikusat.

Burial is a hipster/ bald beardo band from Manchester, England who claim to play black metal. Unholy Sedition‘s tracks are all pretty short, staying within the radio rock “about 3 minutes” window. Thus all of the songs are arranged like radio rock songs rather than in death metal riff mazes or black metal melodic narratives. Burial do not even try to actually play those genres of music; only to imitate the aesthetics of prior imitations in a poorly done Khyber Pass Copy constructed in a cargo-cult fashion by primitive tribesmen in a pathetic attempt at idolization.

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Lantern – II: Morphosis (2017)

Lantern take the Finnish black and death metal and move it back in time towards eighties speed metal to better appeal to a funderground hipster audience who never bothered to listen to Beherit or Demigod. The production of II: Morphosis is clean but slightly cavernous and vocals that sound like Per Boder of God Macabre help deceive inattentive millennials that Lantern are quality death metal and not Finnish Pantera.
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Condor – Unstoppable Power (2017)

Readers can probably infer from the title, logo, and cover of Unstoppable Power that this Condor are not the Colombian heavy metal / progressive rock act. Norwegian Condor plays rocking speed metal similar to the Canadians Exciter and Razor. Riffing is primarily in the Motorhead influenced style of those two mixed with the chromatic, tremolo-picked styles of early Slayer. Leads are Slayerian noise bursts or imitations of Kirk Hammet. Norwegian Condor’s drumming is mostly crusty, background d-beating which lends the music some extreme percussive aggression not found in many 80s speeding oldies.

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Cirith Gorgor – Bi Den Dode Hant (2017)

Cirith Gorgor try to apply the technical musicianship of the best death metal to black metal as Demonaz did on Immortal‘s heavily Morbid Angel influenced last gasp, Blizzard Beasts. However Cirith Gorgor’s songwriting on Bi Den Dode Hant cannot even hope to approach the level of the Norwegian greats and best death metal bands of the early nineties; Cirith Gorgor sound more like Hate Eternal or any other generic rock band recorded by Erik Rutan‘s Klingon forehead trying to be Mayhem as black metal is cool with the kiddies now due to them reading on Facebook that Varg stabbed Euronymous in the face over twenty years ago.

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Midnight – Shox of Violence (2017)

Midnight are the definition of beer metal. Midnight sound like Motorhead if Motorhead accidentally took tranquilizers and forgot to write chord progressions and progressive minor-key heavy metal leads in their songs. Midnight are Motorhead if when Lemmy got arrested for drug possession in Canada in the early seventies while touring with Hawkwind, Lemmy did not merely get kicked out of Hawkwind and deported back to the United Kingdom; Midnight are Motorhead if the Canadians were really the Soviets who institutionalized and lobotomized Lemmy while forcing him at gunpoint to cart around a potent IV drip of anti-psychotics and sedatives for the rest of his life.

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