Diabolique is famous CD art-work-ist Kris Wahlin’s band. Unfortunately I have to say that he’s better at designing than at composing music.
I never had heard of this band before but neither do I wish now to have. Their music is quite slow and heavy. Vocals follow this trend too because they’re very sluggish and grave. In no parts of this CD you can feel speed. If you like music to be slow and full of repetitive guitar riffs under a solemn vox then it’s ok you’d like “Wedding The Grotesque”, but to me it is quite boring. Useless to say that most of the songs sound the same, or to say the least, quite similar. Therefore if you like a song you’ll surely love the full CD, but if you do not (like me) then you can get tremendously bored. I guess the band’s intention at making this CD was to do something gothic, dark, slow, deep, gloomy. And, fuck me, they have achieved it! But maybe over an hour (the CD lasts 63’) of these feelings is more than needed! Definetely too gloomy, this CD should more properly titled “Wedding The Boredom”.
In the middle of the winter finnish band Catamenia release their debut CD “Halls of frozen North”. Their previous demo “Winds” led them to sign with Massacre Records, label that provided a well-known producer, Gerhard magin (Crematory, Theatre of Tragedy…) for the suomen. But in no way they play doom (as you may have guessed by the producer’s background); they play a fast and agile Black Metal, cold at the sound but warm at the melodies, that is like Cradle of Filth-meets-Immortal. Singer Mika Tönning’s vocals are mostly blacky but in ome places growls (helped by technology, I dare to guess) while the guitar riffing and Heidi’s keyboards bring the melodyc lines backwards. Lyrics are extremely original for a nordic Black Metal band as titles show: “Dreams of Winterland”, “Freezing Winds of North”, “Enchanting Woods”, “Halls of frozen North”, “Forest enthroned” and so on. I have nothing against the musician’s freedom at choosing the inspiration, but I still cannot understand how such (so much) limited topics can mean such an important source of inspiration for so many bands. Taliking about Northern weather, the darkness and the forests is ok, but… …do we really need 1438 bands to talk about that? Come on guys, there are thousands of things which are also worth in life talking about and yet unexplored!
Esta vieja banda australiana que antes se llamaban Acheron sacó a principios de 1996 este álbum a través de Thrust Records, pero dada la pequeñez de su sello este disco fué casi imposible de conseguir fuera de su tierra natal Australia. Ahora la discográfica española Repulse se encarga de su distribución a través de su amplia red de contactos por todo el mundo. Desgraciadamente debo decir que este álbum no se merece tantos esfuerzos. De hecho no es más que otro mediocre álbum de Brutal Death. Personalmente he oído cientos de bandas que tocan los mismo que tocan los Abramelin. A pesar de algunos buenos riffs, algunos buenos solos (como el de “Grave Ideals (Nekromaniak)”) y la brillante batería de Evan Herriot, para la banda es difícil distinguirse del resto de bandas que tocan este estilo por todo el mundo. Algunas partes son buenas (sobretodo, las más rápidas, que me recuerdan a los Vader), pero otras no valen demasiado la pena (por no decir que son cutres). Me atrevo a recomendar a la banda que se pasen sus buenas horas con la oreja pegada al baffle cuando pongan los discos de auténticas bandas como los dioses Immolation o Incantation, conseguirían un mejpr álbum que “Abramelin”. Incluso diría que la mejor canción del álbum es la última, la versión que hacen del “Cantara” de los Dead Can Dance! Una nota mediocre para un álbum mediocre.
Pest – “Hail The Black Imperial Hornsign”Keep Of Kalessin – “Skygger Av Sorg”Utumno – “Syn Av Ei Ukjend Tid”Daimonion Productions Laborious Greek underground label Daimonion Productions sent me a promo-tape containing three demos the label has in its rooster. First of all we have satanic Finnish band Pest, whose demo is plenty of grandiloquent titles, but his demo reaches not such a grandiloquent musical talent. They play a Darkthrone-inspired black metal with dirty guitar riffs and drums, which makes them sound quite Norwegian despite being from Finland. Unfortunately, the band lacks the quality Darkthrone has, and so the result is a bit poor. Only the last song “The Opening Of The Eye Of Satan” deserves some attention. Then we have Norwegian band Keep Of Kalessin, a better known outfit. They bring forth their demo “Skygger Av Sorg”, in which we find something better. Guitars provide slow yet dynamic melodies drown in a sorrounding wall of sound under the rhythmic drumming, bedeckened with a raw and sinister voice that speaks of the feelings one can attain by the contemplation of the desolate Norwegian landscapes: solitude, darkness, sadness, sobriety, forsakeness. High quality in the three songs of this demo. Finally we’ve got another band hailing from Norway, Utumno. A frightening intro drowns us into the fantasy world of this band, plenty of castles and knights. Their music is cold and fast, with some tempo and speed changes that help the music being more attractive. Some other keyboard tracks under the main melody also confirms this band’s quality. Third song “Syn Av Ei Ukjend Tid” should be remarked, for it is totally synth-based. Another great band from one of the fatherlands of black metal. Remember this name: Utumno, you’ll surely hear about them in the near future. To order any of the three demos reviewed above, send 1000 dpx or US $ 5 to: Daimonion Productionsc/o Alex AntoniouAgiou Ioannou 685104 KremastiRhodes – Hellas Ratings:
4/10 (Pest)7/10 (Keep Of Kalessin)9/10 (Utumno)
Xytras? What the fuck is Xytras – I thought when I got the CD in my hands. I played it on the CD player and I realized what I was having: Samael’s last album “Passage” played with classical instruments! I couldn’t believe it, but in the end I had to accept the unskippable: swiss Metal band’s brainman Xy has arranged the successful last CD “Passage” and plays it with pianos, cellos and violins! The arrangement is done quite professionally, what proves Xy’s musical talent (apart of having been the producer of some other masterpieces like Rotting Christ’s last CD “A Dead Poem”, which surely has helped him to learn more on arrangements and production). The best song is probably “Ein Mensch im Kopf”, but the entire album (recorded in the Mountain Studios in Montreaux, Switzerland, and produced and mixed by famous guy Dave Richards, who has also worked with David Bowie and Queen) is absolutely worth listening and, for those who are into both Samael and classical music, a real must.
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.
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.
“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.