Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Dark Legions Archive News / Hessian News

Dark Legions Archive News / Hessian News
September 23, 2006, 01:51:29 PM
Dark Legions Archive News

Torchure - The Essence and Torchure - Beyond the Veil

Live Death: Milwaukee Metalfest 1994 Live Death Metal - Suffocation, Malevolent Creation, eXhOrDeR and Cancer (mp3s)

Malediction - Chronicles of Dissention (mp3s)

Morgue - Eroded Thoughts (mp3s)

Organic Infest - Penitence

Projections of a Stained Mind Compilation (Entombed, Housed of Usher, Merciless, Mayhem, Dismember, Unleashed, Macrodex, Nirvana 2002, Therion)

Deeper Into the Vault Compilation (Testament, Mercyful Fate, Venom, Overkill)

Spiritual Productions - Sampler 1995 (Lepra, Resuscitator, Sepsism)


Thanks for reading! If you want to check out the works of a real writer, here's David Anzalone on the new TV idiocy "Metalocalypse":

Metalocalypse: Hipsters Slanging Hessians

He's also working on a satire of the satire called Metalocalypso, about a mega-giant metal band (they're 400 lbs each) who find religion in multiculturalism, humanism, capitalism and liberalism and become a calypso-rockabilly-metal band in Austin, TX.


Terrorizer - Darker Days Ahead

Killing Joke - Killing Joke

Necrovore, Incubus and Morbid Angel - Harmony Dies Vol 1 Compilation


Metal Sell-Outs and the Definition of 'Selling Out'


Pantalgia - An International Death Metal Compilation (1992) includes Therion, God Macabre, Cadaver, Malediction and Cenotaph.


Death Metal Mythology

Black Metal Mythology

Hessian News and Events

What's a Hessian?

June 6 - Hessian Holiday: National Day of Slayer

Hessian Meetings


Re: Dark Legions Archive News / Hessian News
September 26, 2006, 03:50:04 AM
why are some reviews on neoclassical and others on dla? what's so neoclassical about seance?

Re: Dark Legions Archive News / Hessian News
September 26, 2006, 10:51:13 AM
why are some reviews on neoclassical and others on dla? what's so neoclassical about seance?

Neoclassical covers classical, metal, ambient and all genres; DLA is metal and metal-history specialized.

Cynical is our Neoclassical editor, and Vijay "Half-Jew, Half-Negro" Prozak remains our DLA editor.

Re: Dark Legions Archive News / Hessian News
September 26, 2006, 11:02:27 AM
The Mortem review is excellent.

Re: Dark Legions Archive News / Hessian News
October 09, 2006, 09:18:36 AM
More reviews, and no time to post 'em:

Volkurah - The Pagan Ritual: This is black metal as cheese product. It fits the form, but absolutely zero is being communicated, making listening to this like studying wallpaper. Why? There is no point to this. Roughly descended from a Graveland-Darkthrone hybrid, it is listenable but pointless.

Shub Niggurath - The Kinglike Celebration: Someone managed to mix black metal and chanting, cadence-heavy speed metal like Pantera. The worst aspects of heavy metal come out on this CD, which is Darkthrone black metal with metalcore breakdowns, speed metal and heavy metal muted strum riffs, and an absolute lack of direction. They are not untalented; several amazing riffs crown this otherwise unremarkable album. The problem is that it goes nowhere. It's a few great melodic riffs in the black metal style surrounded by "write to fill the time" style metal. Stylistically, it's a mix of old Varathron and Morbid Angel, with a dose of Internal Bleeding or perhaps Chimaira, rounded out with Pantera influences. Whatever happened to black metal that changed your outlook on life? Zzz.

Mefisto - The Truth: Is this the long-rumored collaboration between Hellhammer and Kreator? It has the urgent riffs with lots of background fast strumming that made Kreator, and the dark vocals and strange pauses common to Hellhammer. But like much of Eurometal from its decade, it suffers from "riff salad" syndrome because it has no idea what it is. Heavy metal in the Iron Maiden style, speed metal like Exodus, or another Venom clone? Like Europe itself, it suffers because it is competent and yet afraid to take any direction that might lead away from success. Thrashy chorus meets a procession of riffs and some sweet melodic takedowns, but then you diverge into the tedium of archetypal heavy metal or speed metal "bounce around in high-top tennis shoes and jeans" riffs. It's not crap, but neither is it more than a local band mixing styles like beach party cocktails. It gets the solid Generation X++ "whatever."

Antaeus - Blood Libels: Albums that sound like they were written over a weekend are by nature somewhat disposable. The depth, absent, that would promote them to regular listening is replaced by extra-attention to whatever details make them unique. Like most covertly negative reviews, this one will begin by saying the music isn't bad. The problem is that it lacks any relevance to someone thinking about ideas, meaning, giving a damn about life... and you cannot get more fatalistic than early Napalm Death or other anti-music, so those seeking such things are by nature fools. This CD feels like Antaeus wrote down on a corporate whiteboard the elements that made their albums appealing -- the sprinting battery of blast beats, the trudge beats, the long flavorful introductions, offtime vocals ranting dispassionately over fast-changing melodic riffs -- and then sat in front of one of those glass bowls filled with numbered ping-pong balls that lotteries use and picked out the basis of each song. "A seven? OK, seven downbeats and then play a third open, which we follow with... A four! Alright, four syllable chorus with four note melodic riff. The rest of the time, you strum that A-chord and he beats the drums at techno pace. Good to go!" Although it's an easy album to which to listen, it's impossible to imagine anyone with anything of interest in their life doing that. This will be the album that sits around at the back of your collection until you're packing to move and think, "When was the last time I listened to this? ...When was the last time I was _excited_ to listen to this?" Yeah, whatever.

Isvind - Dark Waters Stir: Reminiscent of so much of the later Norwegian output (1993-1996), this album captures the Norse spirit but drops into it melodies which are too symmetrical to suggest anything other than conclusions fulfilling preconceptions. It makes for pleasant listening, mainly because its thinned guitar production creates a miasma of harmonics around simple, pop-like melodies. Like Dimmu Borgir or Troll from this period, it is parts "Transylvanian Hunger" and partially "Number of the Beast," although there is less of the rock element in this release than others. Unlike most of that ilk, this band knows how to develop songs. Unlike black metal to follow, there is still poetry in these songs, albeit a simple-minded and casual one. For most purposes, this should be considered quality noise pop a few shades less articulate than My Bloody Valentine, except made in the black metal style. While it's better than almost anything since, we have to ask: for what (goal|purpose|ideal|meaning) does this exist?

Doom - War Crimes: Many dissidents, having established that they dislike their world, choose to mirror the ugliness they see and radiate it back at the listener like an abandoned child having a tantrum. Representing a boring, ugly world with boring, ugly music attracts only those suffering from self-pity, which is why ideology is essential to this band: without an emotional predisposition to like it, the curtain is drawn aside and the listener sees how tedious this actually is. Like middle period Napalm Death, it is fast hardcore punk riffs played with fewer drum breaks under a gruff, distorted vocal that here sounds like a wino yelling at the law. Single or paired two chord riffs lead to a four or five note chorus breakdown, and the song then ends, having gone nowhere. It lacks the excitement toward the possibilities of life that marks the better punk bands, and wallows in the same pathology of negativity that obsesses the droning Nazi bands. There is no creative impulse to even posit an alternate world, just a droning protest which too thoroughly mimics its antagonists. It could be re-titled "Thoughts of an angry, resentful, bitter, _distracted_ mind." You'll go farther with Discharge.

Infernum - The Curse: The last work we heard from Infernum barely managed to stay within the realm of black metal, borrowing frequently from heavy metal styles as if it wanted to be an alienated work-out record. "The Curse" attempts more categorically black metal attributes, but still leans on some of the older trudging, plodding patterns that cause an audience to tap its feet to the pace and, distracted, think they like it. Like a doom band, Infernum work from a single chord progression interrupted by diversions, expanding chorus and pre-chorus to assimilate verse material. The result approximates the heavy metal ballads of the 1970s which overwhelmed their audience in choruses of overwashing harmonic depth to obscure the paucity of other material. Even their faster material fits this pattern, using the three note melodic melodies that became de rigeur after Darkthrone, but unlike the old Norse bands, failing to take this melodic potential in any direction, favoring cyclic repetition instead. The same lighter-raised, head-nodding, foot-tapping somnolence that accompanies pop concerts in football stadiums afflicts this kvlty underground release, and while it's pleasant enough to hear, one wonders, as always, why bother?

Red Harvest - Nomindsland: Intriguingly similar to Prong and Voivod, this is technically adept metal that specializes in lead rhythm riffing in a style like that of At the Gates or DBC, but fit to a jazzy offtime heavy metal cadence, which combined with its somewhat goofy vocal interjections which pace themselves not too differently from the guys in Run DMC, makes it reminiscent (hideously) of quasi-joke bands like Scatterbrain. These guys construct better vocal lines and use simplified lead playing in structures with another layer of depth to the interrelation between patterns, but the result is annoying because individual aspects are overdone. The vocalist hams up his style, the guitarists throw in too much flair, and where the drums could pull back and force some breathing room on this showboat of prog-metal jamming, they don't. Band practice must have been quite dramatic with this much ego floating around. It would be nice to like this, but its 1980s tendencies and general lack of judgment make it irritating despite the presence of some quality riffing and song construction ideas.

Desensitised - various: It's not nu-metal! We promise -- or, maybe it's a different take on the same idea. Like Meshuggah, they like a hoarse voice ranting over percussive riffs that adapt heavy-metal's gratification-intensive patterns to a shifting tonal center which gives an air of ambiguity and potential depth. Yet then here comes the two-note, slamming chorus, or the melodic hook breakdown, and we're reminded that under the skin this is clueless rock music dressed up with rhythm guitar tricks. Like Meshuggah, it sounds more impressive than it is because it carefully conceals a total lack of intentional -- that is to say, aiming at a final result or a process leading to one -- melodic movement and relies on a single chord and its rhythmic and harmonic properties. Anyone who thinks they like this should be forced to listen to it repeatedly in a bare interrogation room, and they'll be cured and ready to kill for even a scrap of Beethoven after only four hours.

When - The Black Death: Undoubtedly this will be massive popular because it's a sound collage, and therefore although it is thematically repetitive, there's enough going on that it seems rich and full of life. However, let us examine this style: combining layers of sampled medieval music, sounds of a village, dischordant noise and nature sounds; it is like making uniform a diversity of nature to tell a simple story that consists of one emotion. It develops as anything edited into form like this must, but as art it communicates more neurosis and an underlying sense of dread without giving us a way out. Not to praise uplifting art, as most of that is a self-help book recorded in musical form, but we the listeners must seek music that is _aware_, both of what is falling apart and what we might push ourselves into. The real poetry of communication common to all great art here is dumbed-down into a cross between a tour guidebook and a vaudeville play. Reminiscent of the Abruptum tracks that do the same thing, it pales in comparison to others who further develop this concept into coherent journeylike compositions, such as Biosphere or Burzum. Most of you will buy it anyway, and then leave it behind at some convenient social pretense, glad to be done with the onerous burden of listening to this music that far too much resembles the means of its production.

Skyforger - Latvian Riflemen: Melding any kind of rock music and folk is a difficult line to walk, as the two aim at almost opposite ends of the listening experience. Rock is about finding a catchy and hookish pattern and repeating it, then using key changes or other dynamic harmonic motion to convey a change in experience, where folk music is about descending into the details of a pattern until they scatter enough to reveal like a paint-splatter silhouette the whole. The folkish patterns here get adapted to a melding of heavy metal and black metal that ends up being as cheesy and predatory as most rock approaching traditional music; loud drums ruin the atmosphere of contemplation and the need for a single voice in percussion and strings to replace the interplay of a folk band (and by this I mean traditional folk, not the Hollywood equivalent of boring whole tone progressions and pentatonic scales popularized by Bob Dylan) washes out much of its depth. Where Skyforger zoom ahead of the pack is their ability to vary not only texture of guitar patterns but the riffs themselves, using different melodic lines that comment on an overall harmonic pattern in sequential variation, deepening its effect. Still, the result is goofy for black metal and distracted for traditional European pagan folk, letting us appreciate it... but not desire to hear it every day or anywhere close. Composition like most traditional folk is modal and based on the interaction between simple melodies to produce complexity in patterns that mirror the lyrics which are designed to give meaning to sound. Lose the black metal vocals, the constant drumming, and background the guitar so it is one instrument of several -- the pipes, strings, folk chants and other instruments being a highlight of this album -- and this could be great.

Head of David - Dustbowl

A fusion of proto-punk and noise bands of a generation before and the newer electric guitar styles of metal and grindcore, perhaps with a dash of wanting to be Jim Morrison, this CD features early work by Godflesh personnel. It is noisy renditions of deadpan pop songs broken by the kind of minimalistic instrumental interludes and breakdowns that would make Slayer proud, but as a listening experience depends too much on the verse-chorus pop aspects to liberate these songs into coherence. They remain stranded in the world of rock, albeit embellished with some new touches, and while they are not terrible are also not compelling to a more experienced listener. Fans of Sonic Youth and Nine Inch Nails might find more here than those already inspired by Godflesh.

En Garde - En Garde

Equal parts EBM, choral singing, and light pop songs of the type European divas sing without catching on in America, En Garde makes a decent effort at neoclassical aesthetics but by insisting too much on the pop song formula tone it down to the point where it is not compelling as a listen in preference to more adept pop acts. Vocal performances in an attempt to be emotional or epic are overdone, and then where songs could detour into grandly expressive directions, there is only thinly-disguised repetition.

Dark Sanctuary - Royaume Melancholique

This band thoroughly nail the aesthetic of post-rock neoclassical music -- natural sounds, whispy tendrils of keyboard melody, female vocals belted out behind velvet curtains -- but lose sight of content, perhaps as a result. These songs go nowhere and then in an attempt to fix that, recurse onto themselves and repeat a layer-incremented version of what led them to that point. As sound it is comfortable background, like pleasant wallpaper or air freshener, but as an artistic or listening experience it is empty. A songwriter with ideas other than a generalized assertion of "praise the past!" would renovate this band into an act bigger than Dead Can Dance.

Loxiran - Loxiran

This is the sound of a genre decayed: conventions made unique with a flip of the wrist inverting expectation arrayed around what all pop descends to, which is songs led by vocals and held together by drums, embellished like a salad plate with "innovative" riffs and "unexpected" twists, but going nowhere, rapidly recognizable as indistinguishable from the rest of the genre when recalled in context although perhaps seeming "new" at that first listen in the record store or stoned CD-listening party at a friend's. Plenty of creativity went into this, but its direction is bankrupt, even down to the lyrics which follow the pattern "List of things wrong with the world / No one seems to care / I follow my own path and you should too." Musically, it combines Discharge-inspired hardcore mixed with the breakdown frenzy popularized by Fugazi and infuses into it some melodic and rhythmic (low E string lead rhythm) death metal guitaring, but never rises above its own tendencies and thus produces more plastic landfill.

Absurd - Wolfskrieger / Pantheon - Galdur Vikodlaks

Absurd: Enwrapped in the symbolic cloak of black metal, with minor key riffs alternating through graceful melodic runs, this is standard punk music with heavy metal additions not dissimilar to Amebix's "Monolith": put together The Exploited, Discharge and AC/DC and this is what you get, if you then make it trademark NSBM. It's not incompetent but it wanders because there is no clear direction, artistically, all of that apparently having been sacrificed to the ideological thrust of the music. The highlights of this CD are the older Absurd songs which possessed in an inspired demonic spirit that mocked all of modern life while giving us thought of joy and hope in the alternative, and also paired that with music that had not only direction but -- beneath the sloppy musicianship -- a fine sense of melody. These songs have been standardized with more adept instrumentalism and thus come across as more dogmatic and sterile than they once were, but are still preferrable to the pieces of recent authorship on this CD. While this is far better than the rest of the NSBM genre, it's hard to imagine listening to it on a daily basis and not growing restless with the tedium. Europeans, fight for Europe? -- then listen to Beethoven.

Pantheon: Having mastered the basics of putting music into a blackmetal style -- threads of single-note tremolo shifting over a basic beat, diminished melodies, vocals offset against offbeat to the end of each phrase -- Pantheon now place into this fertile ground music of relatively typical pop, heavy metal, and punk composition. Whether one chooses to measure it from harmony (chord progressions) or the overall melodic evolution of each song, this stuff is a half-deviation from absolutely standardized kiddie-feed underground metal. Clearly aesthetically inspired by Graveland, this band have a number of ideas that are clumsily applied because, in the style of music that black metal evolved into, what is most important is the overall shape of change in melody through a song, much like every story has a structure that guides its narrative from simple beginnings to simplified complex conclusions. It is not unpleasant as a listening experience, but is also empty; think of white bread in supermarkets with a skull imprinted in each slice.

Absurd - Wolfenthron

The hardcore punk album as reinterpreted through metal remains a Holy Grail for many bands, since the raw energy of punk coupled with the epic sensations of metal is artistic tritonal. Impaled Nazarene returned to their roots with "Latex Cult," and reintroduced the heritage of black metal from hardcore; the Dirty Rotten Imbeciles way back in 1985 achieved the last master fusion of metal and punk with "Dealing with It." Wolfenthron takes a different approach by staying entirely within expected punk rhythm, less deadpan cadence than Discharge but a shade short of the exuberant bounce of The Exploited, and less neurotically rigidly rapid as Minor Threat tended to be. The verse riffs of this album are entirely classic punk and have zero pretensions about being otherwise, but the transitional riffing is straight out of Black Sabbath -- churning, world-reducing patterns that like the numerology of sigils symbolize epic moments in life. Choruses thunder down with a simplified metal power and an anticipatory dead-falling cadence that counterpoints the punk and erases some of its monochromatic drive. Interludes of bagpipe drone and indie-rock sensible minor key instrumental ballads heighten rather than dilute atmosphere. Although this album is not as devoutly bizarre and symbolic as earlier Absurd it retains much of that power and channels it from a divisive compromise between genres into a fusion that builds consensus through what these genres have in common at their best: a desire to remove themselves from modern society without falling into maudlin duty of resistance or tedious self-pity, channeling the insurgent energy of the original punk hardcore toward a sense of self-sufficiency and potential for change in the context of metal's broader view than the individualistic politics that dragged down hardcore and later black metal. While after this album, Absurd's output fades to a uniform grey and ranting dogmatic obedience, this swansong for their classic era is an undiscovered classic amidst controversy, legal actions, political divisions and other fracas of the dying Western empires.

Capricornus - Alone Against All

Graveland-inspired melody in strangely smooth and comforting punk music, this checkered album has both strong songs and a number of questionable decisions -- keyboard/noise interludes that add little between songs, a moronic cover concept, several attempts to make riot choruses that fall flat -- reflecting an intelligent persona attempting to curry others to his point of view. The music is basically quite good although in the understated backgrounding that happens when simple melodies are strummed at high speed for atmospheric effect; like Darkthrone's "Panzerfaust" or Averse Sefira's "Homecoming's March," the drone builds a sensation of order that grows like the emergence of life in sudden rainy season ponds. Minimal drama mars its course, but it is not linear, almost like a contemplative voice of discovery (completely and bizarrely and utterly in conflict with cover image, title and ostensible politics). Black metal vocals fall spectral over lazy cadences and unambiguously beautiful riffing, designed to enhance a sense of beauty rather than try to create aggression; its wistful mien and soaring progress are balanced by a few budget riffs of the punk/grind variety, but these exist more as punctuation than communication: the essential message is one of beauty rising from simplicity despite a surrounding aura of hopelessness. Its general outlook and methods are reminiscent of the first Ancient album or other early blackmetal that aspired to the world-reducing aesthetic of foundational bands but preferred to retain the simplicity of punk hardcore. It is impossible to dismiss this album, despite its flaws and consequent inaptitude for regular listening, for at its best moments it captures the spirit of blackmetal with grace and sensitivity.

Repugnant - Epitome of Darkness

Nailing the desire of most fans for the better bands like those of fifteen years ago, Repugnant take a modernistic approach: they codify the techniques, formats, and even distortion and vocals of that time and slash out a hybrid of old Entombed and newer Mortician. Booming, full sound bristling with the electric tangents of Swedish "Sunlight Studios" trademark distortion cuts across a battery of drumming straight out of old Destruction albums. Vocals use the open-throated, extended form of death growl which creates a background rhythm based on sustain instead of explicit enunciation. Song names are choruses, verses are short and feature successive iterations of similar concept, and solos blitzkrieg through the result like the bubbling of nitroglycerin from its chemical composite. However, this music has nothing to say. There is no focus on a transcendent atmosphere as even Entombed desired, but a concentration on method. There is not even a hint of protest, or of darkly warlike desire, or even musical conquest. They stop at method and as if underscoring this, the content of each song is a recombination of past death metal lyrics. It is pure nostalgia and it waxes tedious quickly despite fast-rising hopes. Every metalhead with heart and soul will want to like this release but will find that after weeks and months not years its hollowness becomes apparent like every other aspect of a modern time that concentrates machine-like on method and not the poetic violence of spirited metal music.

Sarkoma - Completely Different

An early attempt at a fusion of alternative and metal, Sarkoma play essentially speed metal riffs with the kind of checked ambition in vocal melodies common to bands like Confessor and Nirvana alike. At times the vocalist sounds like a musically competent Jello Biafra, at others like innumerable suave crooners from mainstream bands. Obviously these musicians are educated in their craft, as the harmonic consistency within songs is pleasingly algebraic, but their sense of proportion and taste are diluted to nonexistence. Busy drums, a tendency for the vocalist to drive forward with potent pauses and then sing over the elision of drums to fill, and a tendency to overperform in every aspect, including lead guitars, make this a terrible listen. Plenty of redundant offset strum riffs, sounding like a mix between Pantera and Accept, bounce along but there is no real variation in dynamic or emotion -- this is a rock band. For those who cannot quite accept that metal is different from rock, here's more of the same old disguised as later Nuclear Assault hybridized with Nirvana.

Pan-Thy-Monium - Khaoos and Konfusion III

What distinguishes artists on the surface is technique, but what makes their art stand alone is what it expresses, and technique is a voice for expression. One cannot create in jazz what Beethoven rendered and one cannot create in death metal what Dave Matthews does, and similarly, when hybridizing rock, jazz and metal one will gain and lose some expressions. These musicians deign to enlighten us primitive and stupid metalheads with their obviously educated music, but in doing so they make a masterpiece of distraction that expresses nothing to an experienced listener other than pentatonic solos and tedious death metal barely camouflaged in an endless procession of carnival keyboards, jazzy breaks on the drums, "unexpected" rhythmic twists and melodic detours. For historians, this is the band that most probably inspired arch-excrement Opeth with the idea that if one served up moronic normal music to death metal fans while making it "progressive" to appeal to their egos, the morons would rush out and buy it in massive numbers. Judging by the popularity of this release years later, they were somewhat of a success; judging by the music, these musicians are classic "thin intelligences": can memorize musical rules, can memorize styles, can figure out the mechanics of songwriting but lacking souls or broader discernment, cannot create the poetry of art. Their music is plodding death metal embellished in distractions which then, at the moment when you wonder if the tedium will ever end, ploughs straight into the oldest heavy rock riffs known to humankind. Everything matches up; they're in key, on rhythm, and the songs are well enough put together to keep you distracted from beginning to end, -- but what will you remember? There is no content here. Nor is there any aesthetic idea other than a more violent, jazzier version of Opeth. When alien archaeologists explore the ruins of earth, if they find this CD, they will be justified in thinking that our extinction was fortunate.

Hades - The Dawn of the Dying Sun

This is a solid B-level black metal band. Their songs mate plodding riffs of minimal melodic ambition to an oarsman's beat and then fill the gap with searing vocals and clean strumming; where other bands used this as a technique, it is almost constant with Hades. The result is palatable but to a limited degree as none of these patterns either represent something new or do more than express a general mood. Songs drop into their main verse-chorus riff cycle quickly and then after atmosphere builds with the introduction of multiple layers of guitar, some with the quasi-acoustic sound of electrics sans all distortion, will modulate or reverse pattern back into structure with a clean guitar break or rhythmic change. Vocals are similar to those of Burzum but with less variation from a standard pattern. Of the riffs per song, two or three are of high quality and the rest are disturbingly familiar. It would be hard to write a good review or bad review about this; on one hand, it completely crushes almost all current black metal but on the other, it does not do more than achieve an atmosphere of inspecific direction. For those accustomed to older heavy metal this might be an easy transition into the black metal genre.

Re: Dark Legions Archive News / Hessian News
December 06, 2006, 07:06:56 AM
Damnation - Rebel Souls

Rising from the fusion of later death metal, this band aims to update the old school of anthemic death metal with a touch of speed metal, in a style that is reminiscent of Destruction with slower parts from Immolation and speed blasting sections which are reminiscent of Fallen Christ. Songs congregate around an anthemic main riff and a series of verse riffs with deepening layers of percussion and vocals, then drop into a trudge lag with alternate chord voicings. Its energy is high and percussive impact is intense, but like many of the American bands, Damnation stumble in that they have no idea how to maintain a sense of dynamic or distinction and so "riff salad" syndrome hits like HIV in a combination blood bank/brothel. Riffing is quality but vision is short and so while this band clearly understands the aesthetic they desire, the disorganized content cannot back it up. Five studio hours with an experienced songwriter from Pestilence would turn this into a class-A album.

Daath - Futility

This band appears to be an attempt to integrate industrial beats, Marilyn Manson-style dark hard rock, and black metal vocals and aesthetics. It ends up sounding like a cross between Ministry and Prong with the kind of emphasis on internal rhythm that made middle-period Metallica so much fun to listen to. Vocals emulate the kind of radio propaganda that Rammstein use, but end up sounding like a phone conversation intercepted mid-song. Fans of Girls Under Glass and other techno/metal hybrids (let's be honest about what this is) might appreciate it but the Pantera elements -- gratifyingly symmetric rhythms, rock/jazz lead riffing, uniform complementary melodic slopes for primary riffs -- make this sound like nu-metal to an underground fan.

Seventh Angel - The Torment

Exodus crossed with Morbid Angel: introductory death metal riffing breaks to bouncy, precision-strummed speed metal riffs that exchange leadership of rhythm between a few patterns which ultimate regress to the initial offering. Song breakdowns and overall concept of relationship between tempi is reminiscent of Suffocation, albeit slowed down, but the majority of the songcraft here is rendered in the form of jaunty, ebullient muffled-strum offbeat romps that made Exodus fun back in 1986 or so. Melodically a reasonable comparison would be Iron Maiden, as songs develop melodically from pentatonic to patterns approximating minor scales with majestic leaps that preserve harmonic suspense in bass-centric development, but its relentless speed metal styling forces this music through a compositional channel which simplifies it. In addition, the attribute of the best metal bands, namely the ability to maintain a narrative which finds beauty in the confluence of seemingly disparate parts, is in light supply, rendering this inaccessible to all but diehard 1980s metal fans.

Shape of Despair - Shape of

Imagine Burzum hybridized with epic doom like Skepticism or Sunn)))HIV), with rhythms like feet treading the path to the place of execution overlaid with gentle keyboard sequences over a Norse-style longboat-rowing beat. Probably this music is best for time in prison, or when sick, or locked in the cockpit of a propeller plane crossing oceans, because while it is quite pretty it develops slowly and its atmosphere conveys mostly repetition. Much like Satyricon, these composers are excellent at starting promising-sounding melodies yet have no idea where to take them, so they repeat and then squeak out with an improvised exit strategy as best they can. The result is somewhat "obvious" in that little mystery hides in its direction or the resolution to its patterns. Songwriting ability is high, but strategy is correspondingly low. It might be perfect for a soundtrack to a film about prospecting in the sands of the Sahara for water (on foot) but as a musical experience it is less than compelling.

Thanks to Agnan, soundfiles for Therion, Bathory, Dissection, Sacramentum and Niden Div 187 are online.

If you look toward the top of the forum, you'll see a new search blank. Sad truth of computing is that Google, with a server farm of 3,000 CPUs and vast network resources, beats ass on the ad hoc search this forum implements. Thanks to suggestions for Anarchanus, we've also put in the ability to search megaupload and rapidshare. Try 'em out.

Re: Dark Legions Archive News / Hessian News
January 23, 2007, 08:53:22 PM
Twilit Idols a new writing about selling out and what metal means.

Dark Legions Archive Updates


==| New Reviews |==

The Doors - The Doors

Anton Bruckner - Symphony No. 8/Houston Symphony

Mortem - De Natura Daemonum

==| Observations |==

Metal as Prismatic Motion: Escaping the Karmic Cycle and Mythic Imagination

Twilit Idols: Orthodoxy in Metal

==| Updated |==

From 1987-1993 a powerful subset of the death metal scene flourished in

Sweden, taking the blasting of American death metal bands into a structural

evolution that relied on the fast strumming of chords and heavy digital

distortion to overlap harmonic layers into smooth, columnar sounds.


==| News |==

Averse Sefira live in Austin Jan 27

New book on Swedish death metal

Metalheads take on anti-metal televangelist

==| Of Interest |==

Metalhead political movement

Metal radio

Norwegian Church arsons


January 24, 2007

Re: Dark Legions Archive News / Hessian News
February 10, 2007, 12:09:55 PM
Heidenlarm #8 released.

Re: Dark Legions Archive News / Hessian News
February 13, 2007, 04:02:01 PM
Heavy Metal Influences page launched. Nascent, beware, but it will grow.

Carnage - Dark Recollections (1992)