Carpathian Forest - "We're Going to Hell for This" (Avantgarde, CD, 2002)
The purpose of this release is to comemorate the 10th anniversary of this band. Instead of doing a best of or something like that, Carpathian Forest have chosen to do a release that features some cover versions, some new songs and a full live concert.
The new songs are in the same vein of the two previous albums, but in a most direct way. So we can expect that Carpathian Forest will follow the same approach for their following album "Defending the Throne of Satan" (that will be released very soon).
About the covers, I really enjoyed them, especially the Dark Throne cover, they really managed to capture the spirit of the original songs.
The live show features mostly songs from the two latest albums, but their first releases were not forgotten with the inclusion of "Return of the Freeezing Winds" and "Carpathian Forest". The sound quality is quite good, prooving that besides creating great albums this guys know how to play live.
All in all, this album presents a band with 10 years of existence that has had a very good evolution since the earlier days and managed to create their own sound and gained the respect of the apreciators of this kind of extreme music.

Tracklist:
1 - The Angel and the Sodomizer
2 - I am Possessed
3 - Bloody Fucking Necro Hell
4 - Bloodlust and Perversion
5 - Possibilities of Life's Destruction (Discharge cover)
6 - In the Shadows of the Horns (Dark Throne cover)
7 - In League with Satan (Venom cover)
8 - The Good old Enema treatment part II
9 - Morbid Fascination of Death (live)
10 - Sadomasochistic (live)
11 - Mask of the Slave (live)
12 - Knokkelmann (live)
13 - Bloodcleansing (live)
14 - Return of the Freezing Winds (live)
15 - Doomed to Walk the Earth as Slaves of the Livind Dead (live)
16 - He's Turning Blue (live)
17 - Carpathian Forest(live)
18 - Death Triumphant (demo version 96)

17/20

Shemahmforash

Carpathian Forest - "Morbid Fascination of Death" (Avantgarde, CD, 2001)
After releasing "Strange Old Brew", Carpathian Forest became on of the most respected bands within the nowadays Blackmetal scene (at least for me). With that respect in mind I was expecting an excellent album coming up, but after listening to "Morbid Fascination of Death" I was a little bit disappointed. This happened because I think that they've restricted to the formulas that resulted in "Strange Old Brew". I liked their previous album a lot, but they should have improved, not followed the same sound.
Besides this resemblance referenced above, this is still a very good piece of music, so if you haven't listened to their previous work, run to the nearest shop and by this piece of music immediately!

Tracklist:
1 - Fever, Flames And Hell
2 - Doomed To Walk The Earth As Slaves of the Living Dead
3 - Morbid Fascination Of Death
4 - Through Self-Mutilation
5 - Knokkelmann
6 - Warlord Of Misanthropy
7 - A World Of Bones
8 - Carpathian Forest
9 - Cold Comfort
10 - Speechless
11 - Ghoul (Mayhem cover)
12 - Nostalgia (Demo Track)

16/20

Shemahmforash

Carpathian Forest - "Strange Old Brew" (Avantgarde, CD, 2000)
Carpathian Forest are back with another pack of their original "black metal rock". 
They continue, with this work, faithful to their roots, as this album is yet another mix of atmospheric and raw black metal songs, covered with strange rock riffs and very strong rhythms (listen to "mask of the slave", one of the strongest tracks), providing an extremely original musical landscape. The vocals remain in the same vein, being very well sang raw "black metal" ones, and the lyrics focus not on anti-christian topics, but instead in strange, sadomasoquism-filled situations mostly.
Not all the songs fit in the category mentioned above - check out for example "the house of the whipcord", a slow, morbid track, with spoken vocals and a dragged and depressive sax, or one of the other two instrumental tracks, one just some kind of strange sample and other a piano melody that fits in the common "black metal CD instrumental song".
A curious fact - these are all old songs, written in the middle of the nineties, and that only now have been released (why did they wait so long??).
A fantastic release, extremely original, full of excellent and direct instrumentation, with a very nice production; a complete fist in the face on those who are making Blackmetal the clich that it is becoming.

Traclklist:
1 - Intro - Damnation Chant
2 - Bloodcleansing
3 - Mask Of The Slave
4 - Martyr / Sacrificulum
5 - Thanatology
6 - The Suicide Song
7 - House Of The Whipcord
8 - Cloak Of Midnight
9 - Return Of The Freezing Winds
10 - Theme From Nekromantikk
11 - The Good Old Enema Treatment
12 - He's Turning Blue

18/20

Zoid

Carpathian Forest - "Black Shining Leather" (AvantGarde, MCD, 1998)
Alright, I admit that I'm not the biggest follower of CF, but my knowledge about this band and its discography enables me to say that before this album they've released 2 good demos ("Demo 93" and "BloodLust and Perversion") and a MCD entitled "Through Chasm, Caves and Titan Woods" (if I'm wrong please correct me). This band was pioneer in the Black Metal scene..the absence of screeching vocals and fast riffs played by razor cold guitars typical from their Norse compatriots was brilliantly replaced by something equally or even more interesting..an old-school-influenced blending between Celtic Frost's riffing and (old) Bathory's utter darkness and evilness. About the already mentioned riffing, these guys aren't Death or something more "recent" like Children of Bodom so don't expect an outstanding guitar work and transcendental solo shredding, instead prepare yourself to be freezed by some simple and dark mid-tempo played tracks that surely will interest to everyone who's minimally inside Black Metal. The ninth ("Third Attempt") and tenth ("The Northern Hemisphere") tracks of this album reveal CF's epic side, with some accoustic guitar work well combined with keyboards (nothing excessive though). As for surprises, the last track really caught me unprepared... very futuristic for my taste. 

Tracklist:
1 - Black shining leather
2 - The swordsman
3 - Death triumphant
4 - Sadomasochistic
5 - Lulus
6 - Pierced genitalia
7 - In silence i observe
8 - Lunar nights
9 - Third attempt
10 - The northern hemisphere
11 - A forest

17,5/20

Tormentor

Behemoth - "Satanica" (Avantgarde, CD, 1999)
The polish Blackmetal legends are back again, this time with a completely different approach.
First thing you notice when listening to this record is the big Deathmetal influence and the production, which is much better than in the previous records. Besides the big Deathmetal influence the characteristic Blackmetal topics are still present, but this time just differently.
This album, along with Myrkskog's "Deathmachine" where the first albums of the "extreme metal wave" that seems to dominate the extreme sounds nowadays.
About the album itself, technically it's much better than the previous records and the typical Blackmetal albums - the guitar's work is excellent, very varied and well executed technically, the drum work, by Inferno, really surprised me, he is getting better in each release; the voice it's simply brutal, joining both Death and Blackmetal styles.
Concluding, this is a great work, specially if you like extreme metal, but if you are one of those "old school" Blackmetal fans, I don't think you'll find this release interesting, don't know what you are loosing though...

Tracklist:
1 - Decade of qepion
2 - LAM
3 - Ceremony of Shiva
4 - Of Sephirotic Transformation and carnality
5 - The Sermon of the Hypocrites
6 - StarSpawn
7 - The Alchemist's Dream
8 - Chant for Echaton

18/20

Shemahmforash

Behemoth - "Thelema.6" (Avantgarde, CD, 2000)
Behemoth have been around for 9 years. At the present time (with 6 albums and 2 MCD's released) noone doubts that, along Vader, they're the best that Poland can offer. So, after "Satanica" and the good critics it received, they strike once again, this time with their most intense, techincal, fast and direct material. Ok, this album is excellent, really well conceived and all that, but it didn't had the same impact that 99's masterpiece "Satanica", at least for me. As usual, changes occurred within the line-up; L. Kaos was replaced by Havoc (guitar) and Novy (member of the Polish death metal band Devilyn) was the responsible for the bass only during the recording sessions. Novy is also vocalist of Dies Irae, the project envolving a machine gun called Doc and Mauser from Vader. Anyway, about "Thelema.6", and in addition to what I've said before, it's a very coherent piece of music, heavier and faster than hell, with lots of great riffs and an overwhelming atmosphere partially due to some non-excessive and well inserted industrial parts. Concerning the lyrics, these are mainly about Nergal's life, his opinions about what surrounds him, the feelings inside of him...a very mature song-writing, where each track comes along with a brief description of it's content. The best tracks are "Antichristian Fenomenon", "The Act of Rebellion" and "Christians to the Lions". Devastating. 

Tracklist:
1 - Antichristian Phenomenon
2 - The Act of Rebellion
3 - Inflamed with Rage
4 - AN ATYPO
5 - Natural Born Philosopher
6 - Christians to the Lions
7 - Inauguration of Scorpio Dome
8 - In The Garden of Dispersion
9 - The Universe Illumination (Say "hello" to my Demons)
10 - VINVM SABATTI
11 - 23 (Youth Manifesto)

Note: The title of the tracks 4 and 10 is written in Polish, so I replaced the Polish letters by the closest English ones.

17/20

Tormentor

Mayhem - "Mediolanum Capta Est" (Avantgarde, CD, 1999)
When I heard about this album I thought it was going to be just another live one, but since the moment it entered my stereo it all became different: it is the best live recording I've heard until now!
It all starts with a percussion introduction, named Silvester Anfang and with no interruption, the "real songs" start. They combined old songs with new material, with an excellent result. From the classics "Necrolust" and "Carnage" to the new songs "Fall of Seraphs" and "I am Thy Labyrinth" it's all there, except one thing, they could have played some more songs from "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" because they only played two songs from this album "Freezing Moon" (originally its not from this album) and "From the Dark Past".
There was going to be another surprise for me, in the song "From the Dark Past" Attila (the studio vocalist on "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas") appears as guest vocals, and I must say that the duet between Attila and Maniac worked wonderfully, with both of them screaming violently. The show ends with a very old song "Pure Fucking Armageddon" and the best adjectives to describe this song are short, fast and brutal!
About the drum part, I think the name Hellhammer is enough to describe its extreme quality! For me Hellhammer is one of the best (if not the best) drummer in the metal scene and he showed that in this record. Besides his skills showed before in other albums and live appearances, maintained and improved in this album, one thing that I really enjoyed was the drum's sound, it's completely aggressive with the snare drum sounding like a machine gun.
Maniac in almost every song makes a small introduction such as: "The next song I dedicate hereby to the pope - Chainsaw Gutsfuck" (hehehehe), which proves that Mayhem didn't confine only to play the songs, they interact with the audience, and for me that's one of the most important things in concerts.
But when I listen to this record I feel that something is missing, and that something that is missing is one very important thing that is irreplaceable - Dead. (R.I.P.)

Tracklist:
1 - Silvester Anfang
2 - Deathcrush
3 - Fall of Seraphs
4 - Carnage
5 - Necrolust
6 - Ancient Skin
7 - Freezing Moon
8 - Symbols of Bloodswords
9 - From the Dark Past
10 - Chainsaw Gutsfuck
11 - I am Thy Labyrinth
12 - Pure Fucking Armageddon

19/20

Shemahmforash


You can find the official Avantgarde Music website at www.avantgardemusic.com

1