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Golgotha “Melancholy”

Viernes, julio 26th, 1996

Repulse Records 8/10

Golgotha provienen de una de las paradisiacas islas del Mediterraneo, Mallorca. Sin embargo, parece que esto no ayuda a la banda a tener una mirada más optimista a la vida. De hecho, durante todo el álbum puedes apreciar la angustia que brota en el interior de sus almas. Las oscuras, tristes y melancólicas melodias que componen este album nos muestran que incluso en un lugar tan claro, luminoso y limpio como Mallorca la fiebre del Doom consigue adeptos.La música de estos chicos me recuerda bastantlos dioses griegos Septic Flesh (aunque sin tanta variación y birguerías como estos últimos), pero a veces las influencias de bandas como My Dying Bride también florecen. Su magnífica música es muy melódica aunque poderosa, con diferentes partes (como el piano de “Lake Of Memories”, las voces femeninas de “Lonely” o “Virtualis Demens”), que demuestran su talento y sus habilidades técnicas a la hora de tocar un instrumento, como el solo de guitarra de “Raceflections” o las dos instrumentales “Lost” y “Caves Of Mind”.

Además, otro de los winning-points del grupo es el cantante Amon, que literalmente se seja la voz en el micro, aparte de ser capaz de poner diferentes registros, desde los guturales hasta los “normales” (como en “Stillness”). El único fallo que puedo apreciar en este CD es el horrible artwork del CD y las letras, un poco cutres y en un Inglés un poco de ir por casa. Pero si pasas estas dos cosas por altom, entonces estarás de acuerdo conmigo que este álbum es muy, muy bueno.

 

Ancient “The Cainian Chronicles” (ESP)

Viernes, julio 26th, 1996

“Not by His grace but my own,
I choose to live with pride
Your “merciful” God disgusts me,
His kingdom infested with lies”

(“No por su gracia sinó por la mía,
elijo vivir con orgullo,
vuestro “piadoso” Dios me repugna,
su reino infestado de mentiras”)
Ancient es una banda noruega que durante algún tiempo se consideraba “falso Black Metal” (Supongo que porque Aphazel aún no ha quemado ninguna iglesia ni ha estado entre barras). Ahora sacan su nuevo álbum a través de la major Metal Blade (wow!), un álbum realmente grandioso llamado “The Cainian Chronicles”, mitad álbum conceptual mitad no, cuya historia principal narra el mito de Caín, desterrado del cielo por matar a su hermano Abel y condenado así a vivir eternamente en la oscuridad.

El álbum empieza con “Ponderous Moonlightning”, una instro que cede el paso al acabar a la ciclónica “Part I: The Curse”. Esta canción es bastante representativa de todo el álbum ya que en ella aparecen todos los elementos que caracterizan este CD: Diferentes vocalismos (representando los diferentes personajes de la historia: Dios, Cain, Lilith, los arcángeles Gabriel y Miguel…), cíclicas y repetitivas melodías basadas en la guitarra, una batería muy rápida y lineal… El álbum también tiene bastantes partes acústicas que ayudan a dar más ambiente a la desgraciada historia de la caída de Cain y de su transformación en un vampiro condenado a temer la luz celestial.

El álbum está dividido en dos partes, la primera consiste de las primeras 4 canciones cuyas letras cuentan la susodicha historia mientras que la segunda parte es sencillamente canciones “normales” e independientes por sí mismas y que tratan de los típicos temas del Black Metal: la oscuridad, los bosques, el paganismo (“Homage To Pan”, “The Pagan Cycle”…). me gustaría resaltar la superba calidad de las letras de las canciones (escritas por Lord Kaiophas), que están muy trabajadas, tienen mucho significado y que demuestran cómo LK domina estos temas “ocultos”.

Thou Art Lord “Eosforos” (Español)

Viernes, julio 26th, 1996

Unisound Records

7/10

Thou Art Lord son la all-star band de la escena Black Metal griega, ya que en esta banda se han reunido algunas de las figuras más famosas de la conocida escena helénica; los miembros proceden de reconocidas bandas como Rotting Christ, Necromantia y Varathron, así que no podemos más que esperar un gran álbum. Y lo es. Su calidad ya la apuntaron en su anterior split que salió por la discográfica Molon Lave y que compartían con las leyendas del undeground belga Ancient Rites. De hecho, el líder de esta banda, Gunther theys, colabora en el álbum, como también lo hace Mika Lutinen, la desgarradora garganta de los enfermos finlandeses Impaled Nazarene. Pero, queremos hablar ya de la música? Bueno, pues para que os hagáis una idea, los TAL tocan un black metal rápido y directo al grano, sin contemplaciones, con el típico sonido griego y con la buena destreza de las bandas que proceden de ese pequeño país. Aquí no encontraras empalagosos arreglos, violines ni teclados, sinó sólo puro black helénico. Aparte de algunos efectos sonoros y alguna orquestración, el 99% del álbum se basa en los rápidos y dierctos riffs de guitarra y en la aplasatante batería, característica que alcanza su summum en “Warhammer”. Otras canciones destacadas son “The Era Of Satan Rising” (ya incluída en su anterior split 7”) y la bizarra “KKK- Kaos Keravnos Kibernetos”. Un gran álbum de black griego con todas las de la ley.

Thou Art Lord “Eosforos”

Viernes, julio 26th, 1996

Unisound Records

7/10

Thou Art Lord is the Greek Black Metal scece all-star band, for its members play in some of the most famous bands of the Hellenic scene such as Rotting Christ, Necromantia or Varathron, so we can expect but a great album. And it is. We already had seen the band’s quality by their first work, a split-EP with Belgian underground legends Ancient Rites. By the way, this latter band’s leader Günther Theys acts as guest-musician in this album, along with another well-known individual, Mika Luttinen from Finnish sicks Impaled Nazarene. Ok, enough, let’s speak about the music! Well, as an orientation, I better tell you that TAL play right-to-the-bone greek-styled Black Metal, fast and technically skilled, as Greek blackmetal bands use to. Here you’ll find no vilins, cheesy arrangements or keyboards, just pure Hellenic black metal, so wimps find your life-album somewhere else. Apart from some orchestric and weird arrangements, 99% of the album is based upon the guitar riffing and the grinding drumming, as in “Warhammer”. Other remarkable songs are killing “The Era Of Satan Rising” (included in their previous EP) and bizarre “KKK-Kaos Keravnos Kibernetos”. Globally, a great Greek Black Metal album.

Golgotha “Melancholy”

Viernes, julio 26th, 1996

Repulse Records

8/10

Golgotha hails from one of the Mediterranean paradisiac islands, probably one of the most famous ones: Majorca. Although this seems not to help the band to have an optimistic look at life. In fact, throughtout  this album you can find the anguish that sprouts within their souls. The gloomy, sad, melancholic and dark melodies that compose this album shows that even in such a nice, clear and sunny place as Majorca the disease of Doom Metal gets followers. These talentful and technically highly-skilled guys’ music reminds me of Greek gods Septic Flesh (but without so many instruments and parts in each song) but in some places influences of My Dying Bride flourish as well. Their magnificient music is very melodyc yet powerful, with several different passages with pianos (as in “Lake Of Melodies”), female vocals (as in “Lonely” and “Virtualis Demens”), very inspired solos (as the one that appears on “Raceflections”) apart from other appealing arrangements such as synths, keyboards and two instrumental songs, “Lost” and closing “Caves Of Mind”. Besides, other winning-points of the band is singer Amon, who literally leaves his throat in the mic, apart of being able to perform different kinds of vocals, from gutural growllings to “normal” voices (as in “Stillness”). The only failure on this CD is the awful artwork and the low level concerning the lyrics (written in a crap English), but if you pay no attention to these “additional” details, this album is really, really good.

Ancient “The Cainian Chronicles”

Viernes, julio 26th, 1996

Metal Blade

9/10

“Not by His grace but my own,
I choose to live with pride
Your “merciful” God disgusts me,
His kingdom infested with lies”

Ancient is a Norwegian band that for some time was considered to be “false” Black Metal (I guess because Aphazel hasn’t burnt down any church yet nor has been behind bars neither).Now they release their new album through American major Metal Blade (wow!), a real grandiose opus named “The Cainian Chronicles”, half a concept album whose main story is referred to the myth of Cain who is vanished from heaven for having killed his brother Abel and thus doomed to live in darkness.

The album begins with “Ponderous Moonlightning”, an instro that brings afterwards place to the cyclonic “Part I: The Curse”. This song is quite representative for all the the album’s tracks since it has many elements that do also appear in the other songs: Different vocalisms (so done to represent the different characters that appear on the story: God, Cain, Lilith, archangels Michael and Gabriel…), cyclic repetitive guitar based melodies, ultra-fast drumming, etc… The album also has several acoustic parts that bring more feeling to the story of Cain’s fall and his transformation into a vampyr doomed to fear the “heavenly” light. The album is divided into two parts, one binding the 4 parts that refer to Cain’s story and the other one is just a few independent songs whose lyrics are based upon typical Black Metal topics such as darkness, the forests (“Homage To Pan”), paganism (“The Pagan Cycle”) and so on. I want to remark the absolutely superb quality of the lyrics (written by Lord Kaiophas), that are meaningful and show LK’s mastering of the occult subjects.

Enslaved “Frost”

Viernes, julio 26th, 1996

Osmose Productions

Rating: 8/10

The freezing Norwegian weather seems to influence importantly in the bands that hail from that country, especially Enslaved. The three vikings bring us to a time and place where there was no mercy, and neither has their music. “Frost” reveals these guys’ pride towards their land and ancestors, a pride that can only be compared with the one the Greeks feel towards the same.

Dressed in a half-medieval half-sado/maso (see backcover for details) way, Grutle Kjellson, Ivar Bjornson and Trym Torson offer us a piece of the so-called “viking Metal”.

Intro “Frost” heralds the merciless assault of the following songs: “Loke”, “Fenris”, “Svarte Vidder” (my favourite one), etc… follow devastating your ears except at “Yggdrasil” and “Isoders Dronning”, where the speed is lowered and the melodies become more “human”.

All songs are in Norwegian, but the booklet provides the English translation by which I can understand that all lyrics speak on Norse Mythology.

“Frost” is by far better than Enslaved’s previous works. I just hope that the next CD will be even better… Blessed be the enslaved ones! Hail Wotan!!!

Nightfall “Athenian Echoes”

Viernes, julio 26th, 1996

Holy Records

Rating: 9,5/10

Holy Records is French label known for being home of some of the best melodyc Doom/Death bands, and Nightfall is definetely its insigning flag. After two CDs (“Parade Into Centuries” and “Macabre Sunsets”) and an Ep (“Eons Aura”) that gave this band a public recognition in the underground, now this Greek outfit attacks again with a true masterpiece: “Athenian Echoes”.

No words can describe the magnificence of this work. Since the beginning with cyclonic “Aye Azure” till the end with “Monuments…”, Nightfall provides a large range of melodies, ideas and sonorities that show their godly talent. “Armada” brings a killer Heavy-Metaloid riff, “The VIneyard” is a devastating cycling melody under a hammering drumming, and the rest are a summum of greatness and majesty. I cannot count all different instruments that appear at this CD: Along with usual guitar, bass and drums, there are pianos, violins, organs, synths, middle-Eastern instruments, keyboards, etc… that correspond with a respective variety of feelings: Brutality, solitude, anger, pride, grief, sadness, hate… All feelings are brought to you in the 50 mins of this excellent work. Nightfall don’t get a 10 coz perfection is unreachable, but if it was… Superb, one of the 10 best CDs ever released in the extreme Metal scene.

Satyricon “The Shadowthrone”

Viernes, julio 26th, 1996

Moonfog

Rating: 9/10

Satyricon’s “The Shadowthrone” is ine of the best LPs ever emerged from the norse fjords. Combining the coldness of the typical Norwegian sound with very aggressive yet beautiful melodies, Satyr and co. musicalize the pride of the viking past. Ultrafast passages combine with melodyc tunes, killink drumming breaks and acoustic parts under the cryptic vocals from mainman Satyr. Lyrics are both in English and Norwegian, but they all deal with the typical BM topics such as the past, Christendom, desolate nature, pagan traditions, darkness, death, cold, snow and, of course, as we are in Norway, the viking mythology and pride, something that appears claerly at “Vikingland”, a song with norse warriors’ chantings. Songs are a bit long (6-7 minutes) but never boring as they have different feelings reflected in each of them. Sound, despite being from Norway, is quite good and much, much better than the one of previous CD “Dark Medieval Times”. Oh! I nearly forget mentioning drummer’s absolutely fantastic work on the taburette. In a few words, a masterpiece of Norwegian Black Metal.

Satyricon “Nemesis Divina”

Viernes, julio 26th, 1996

Rating: 6,5/10

“Nemesis Divina” is Satyricon’s latest effort to grasp the Norwegian Black Metal thone’s cetre. Satyr’s first words “This is Armaggedon” announce this band’s war against Christianity and anything that has light. As Satyricon has always been one of my favourite bands, and I really loved their first ”Dark Medieval Times” and “The Shadowthrone”, I expected a lot from this third assault, but honestly the feeling is a bit upsetting. “Nemesis Divina” is definetely not the best CD Satyricon has released. This CD’s first song “The Dawn Of A New Age” is somehow a summary of all the listener will find in this CD: Outrageous melodies, freezing atmospheres, speed and angry growlings. It may be the best song of the LP along with its real jewel “Mother North”, a true and proud hymn to the Nordic lands. Unfortunately, though songs like “Forhekset” or “Du Som Hater Gud” aren’t bad at all, there are songs like “Nemesis Divina” that are, in my opinion, real rip-off tracks. This CD lasts about 43 minutes and ends with an instrumental song called “Trascendental Requiem of Slaves” which is ok. In a few words, “Nemesis Divina” has two really, really good songs “Dawn of A New Age” and ”Mother North”, and for having these two songs the purchase of this CD would be worth, but the rest is by far not so good. So, from my point of view, “Nemesis Divina” is a good album, but somewhat a failure if its intention was advancing bands like Enslaved or Emperor at the Norwegian BM’s race.