Note: In this section when it is referred only demo it means it is a CD demo, when it's referred demo-tape, it means the demo is in tape version.
Exul - "The Unveil of the
Darkest Arts" (Demo-tape, Profanum Records, 2003)
This is the first release from this band rising from Porto. This demo presents a quite varied and original Blackmetal. Namely some acoustic parts that are very well composed and really give another touch to the songs and some samples of painful screams and something like that. In my point of view the different characteristics this band shows only make their sound better and more interesting, because I'm a litle bit tired of listening to hundreds of bands copying each other and all sounding the same.
All the different instruments are played coherently without any major flaws, except for the drums which I think the drum pedal is misused sometimes, but it's not this detail that ruins their songs.
I have also to point the presence of the lyrics in this demo, it is not very common, but for me is very important. The lyrics are very "dark" and sometimes feature some painful topics, but, the most important, are well written.
As for flaws, the main I can point is the production, for the sound is very distant, seeming that they recorded far away from the microphones. I'm not saying I don't like bad productions, what I mean is this band as a lot to gain if in their next work they manage to find the proper sound to record.
As for conclusion, this is a great debut release from this band and a very good proof that Portugal is begginning to have a very strong Blackmetal movement.
1 - The Unveil of the Darkest Arts
2 - In the Lewd Prisons of the Eternal Sorrow
3 - Astenic Efferfescent Hate
4 - Liber IV
5 - Scarlet Whore
Fear Thy Name - "I - The
Awakening" (Demo, 2002)
This is the debut demo of Fear thy Name, a new project coming up from Porto. With this demo, they managed to unite very different influences creating a very characteristic sound, which I can label as a blending between Blackmetal and Darkmetal with strong Thrash influences, especially in the guitar lines. I must also congratulate the band for the production of this release, because it’s not common to see a so very well produced demo in Portugal!
”I - The Wakening” is composed by five songs, being the first one and the last intro and outro respectively, that recreate some kind of epic atmosphere. These instrumentals are well achieved, but nothing transcendental though. The real songs are mainly dominated by the strong presence of the guitars, which play very consistent and somewhat technical riffs. The guitars’ work is sometimes helped by the synth, which is not misused, fortunately, so it doesn’t muffle the guitars. About the vocals, I think they are well inserted in the songs.
Concluding, Fear Thy Name showed, with this demo, that they’re a band that we must have in count in the future of the Portuguese Metal scene. Good work guys.
1 - Abesse Propius a Morte
2 - Embrace the Dark
3 - Mist of Avalon
4 - Circle of Hell
5 - Mysterium
Nocturnum - "Slay and Burn" (Demo, 1999)
"What a brutality!" were the first words I spoke after listening to this demo-tape. By this reaction you can clearly see the impact that this Finnish band created in me! This demo is clearly the best that I've had the joy listen in a long time.
First thing you notice is that the drums' speed is absolutely astonishing, but what I enjoyed the most in this demo is the constantly changes between guttural and screaming parts, this changes are really well done and bring their songs another step forward towards my consideration.
The production is quite good specially if you have in count that this is a demo, not a studio album! This good production allows us to perceive the work of the different instruments, and, as I said before, the drummer is the one which extols the most, but the other instruments are very well played, nothing transcendently technical thou, but clearly very well achieved.
Watch out for this guys, because I predict a great future for them, and judging by this demo they will certainly make their mark in the Underground!
1 - Damnation Of Inri
2 - United by Darkness
3 - Seitsemäs Portti
4 - Slay And Burn
Gwydion - "Augmentation"
A melodic Blackmetal band coming from Portugal, that's how I describe Gwydion with their 6 songs and a video clip demo. I must confess you that I'm not a great follower of melodic Blackmetal, but this band somehow managed to capture me with this release.
This demo is filled with keyboards, but they do not muffle the guitars which play very good (nothing complex, though, but quite effective) riffs.
What really pleased me in this demo was the high degree of coordination that these guys already have and that they know how to compose songs, the only fault I can point in this is some lack of consistency in the songs, but they are young and have more than time to correct this.
So for me, this is clearly a positive work, keep it going guys!
1 - Augmentation
2 - Forbidden Path
3 - Untamed Wrath
4 - Tones of Anticipation
5 - The Great Dome
6 - Time Vortex
+ videoclip of Untamed Wrath
“Ódio Infernal” Promo-Tape (Purodium Rekords, 2002)
Before this release reach my hands I heard an mp3 instrumental track from this guys, and I was really impressed, because I never though we walk backward to the 80’s Black Metal, darkness, rawness and terror. This is the debut release from this Portuguese band from Beira Baixa and they present us two Raw and Cold Black Metal tracks. This band should have more credit for the balls this guys have to write the lyrics in Portuguese, not a matter of pride but the bands should write more lyrics in Portuguese, just an opinion.
This demo sounds raw the way it should be as we can define the bass, the guitar, the drums and the vocals. This isn’t well played music, this is Black Metal or in other words, it hase more feeling than properly technique. This band has a great feeling at my point of view; they have the essential for it. The guitar riffs are very demoniac, specially the first ones of the song “Sacrifício Maligno” and those riffs on the middle of “Cristo em Chamas” on the slow part, it is repetitive in a good way, because the songs aren’t very long. In what concerns the vocalizations, it seems an alcoholic screaming, but he does it with a great feeling… the drums are well played, Impur handle it well, he performs mostly fast beat but not the way I can say he’s a cyborg. The bass, well I don’t know who performed it on this record, probably a guest-member, but it has a bass line, simple but it is present here. The production is fine, the instruments sounds raw but we can’t hear any unwanted noises on this release. For the end, I think this band sound cavernous and rudimentary; they perform a simple Black Metal but with a lot of feeling and no great techniques… loyal to the 80’s Black Metal.
1 - Sacrifício Maligno
2 - Cristo em Chamas
InThyFlesh - "Ode Nacional"
(Demo-tape, Profanum Records, 2002)
This is one of the two demos release almost simultaneosly by this young band comming from the north of Portugal. "Ode Nacional" is a very good piece of cold and raw Blackmetal as it was done back in the old days. For such a young band they show already a great amount of coordenation and experience in writing the songs, so I have to congratulate them for that.
All the instruments are well played and have a strong role in the songs, for instance, the bass appears sometimes as lead (in the beginning of "Salvé Portugal!", for instance), but normally it is used as a rythmic base for the leads played by the guitar. The drum work is also well achieved with fast and slower paces with the right tempos.
Another thing that I've got to congratulate them is that they had the guts to write all the songs in Portuguese, which is not very common, but in my opinion should be.
InThyFlesh with the release of this demo strengthened the Underground Blackmetal scene in Portugal, that in the last few years has had a very good evolution, so if you follow intensively Blackmetal support this band (and all the Portuguese Blackmetal Underground), because they are a very good band and I think that in a few years they'll become one of the most important bands within the international Blackmetal scene.
1 - Terra Pagã
2 - Sangue Luso
3 - Salvé Portugal!
Lugubre “Bloodshedding War Hymns” (Hell War
Productions, Demo-tape, 2003)
In spite of not being their first release, before listening to this demo I didn’t knew these guys very well. They’re from the Netherlands and they perform a fast and good Anti-human Black Metal. “Bloodshedding War Hymns” consists of five tracks: the intro, which is very apocalyptic and hypnotic, then, we have a new track “Decreasing Of Human Population” which is composed by simple riffs, melancholic but brutal at the same time, the drums are fast paced, but it doesn’t decrease the feeling from the guitars. The vocals aren’t bad but I think it should be sickest, anyway, it is irrelevant… just an opinion, the vocalist handles it well. This track reminds me of Darkthrone, maybe because with simple riffs these guys are able to create a melancholic yet violent track… the third and the fourth track are covers, “Inferno” from Striid and and “Down there…” from Beherit. The cover from Beherit is very well achieved, the vocals are growled and the drums very good, seeming to me that the typical Beherit chaotic atmosphere was well captured. Finally, the last track is a live one, named “Blitzkrieg”, a very brutal track, well; just the name “Blitzkrieg” says everything. This demo tape doesn’t have a awesome production but you can listen what this guys are playing, and believe me… they’re good but they have potential to be better, because what we can hear here isn’t nothing new, but is, nonetheless, a good release.
1 - Intro
2 - Decreasing Of Human Population
3 - Inferno (Striid Cover)
4 - Down There... (Beherit cover)
5 - Blitzkrieg (live)
Lux Ferre - "Unholy Ascendance
of Satan" (War Productions, Demo-tape, 2003)
"Unholy Ascendance of Satan" is the follower for last year's "Wicked Riffs of War". They follow the same approach for their second demo, but the evolution is quite evident. Now the songs are much more consistent and varied, and the great flaw of their previous demo was very well corrected, for now the drums are very well inserted and fit really well the music.
About the other instruments, the guitars play very catchy riffs and the bass has a very discrete presence, but who cares? The vocalization is very good and most of the times follows the guitar lines which in my opinion only favours their sound.
The lyrics are supplied with the demo, which is not very common nowadays, so I have to congratulate the band for this. The lyrical aspect is not the best I've read in my life, but it is effective, featuring the usual Blackmetal themes.
Besides two original songs this demo features three covers as a tribute part to the bands that influenced them the most. This covers are very well achieved, especially Venom's "Blackmetal".
As for a conclusion, I said in the review to "Wicked Riffs of War" that we'd better watch out for these guys, and if they continue evolving at this speed they will soon become the talk of the town in Portugal.
|Side A||Side B|
|1 - ...Frrom the Ancient Shores of Lucefecit||3 - Blackmetal (Venom)|
|2 - Baal Sabbath (Hircus Noctuenus - Five Pointed Soul)||4 - Zum Kotzen (Impaled Nazarene)|
|5 - Sleep of Death (Samael)|
Lux Ferre - "Wicked Riffs of
War" (Demo, 2002)
Another portuguese Blackmetal band! The style is growing bigger in Portugal in the last years, at a speed I would never guess, but let's talk about what really matters, the demo. This demo really pleased me, specially because I wasn't expecting such amount of dedication from a new-born band.
About the instrumentalization, as the title of the demo sugests, the riffs were well achieved - very simple and cold as they should, but in counter-hand the drum's machine sound is very annoying, and I think that they could, and should for the following releases, concern more with the drum's and even try to get a "real" drummer.
It's good for me to know that the Blackmetal scene in Portugal it's not stagnated and that there are some people who are trying, as I am, to transform Blackmetal back into the spirit of the early days. Anyhow, watch out for this guys.
1 - Lux Fiere
2 - Realm of Fire
3 - Like Swords Ripping the Sky
4 - New Age Dominion
5 - The Return of the Darkness and Evil (Bathory cover)
6 - Stick thy Faith in god's Anal Cavity
7 - Exhumed Liver of Christ
Sirius - "...The
Eclipse (The Summons Of The Warriors Of Armageddon)"(Demo-tape, 1999)
At last, after several delays, the demo tape from Sirius is out. I was pleased a great deal with this recording, mostly due to the fact of their professionalism. Beneath the pro-printed cover, lies one of the most skilled and effective material that has emerged in recent times. Consisted of 4 tracks, it presents us an awfully grand and superior Black Metal structure, close to the likes of Limbonic Art (especially in the synthesizer slot). “Fiery Strife At The Cosmic Gates Of Armageddon” was the first song they ever recorded as a promo, but have placed it next to their new pieces, and it fits perfectly (no one that is alien to the band at this point will notice the difference, since it was re-recorded). On “Out Of The Serpent Line”, the vocals and the guitars are tangled incredibly, with the synthesizers on the background reinforcing the melodic structure, up to an upper surface of sonic tapestry, and the drum-machine throbbing like a mallet in the outer space blankness, hence attaining the pureness of the line. Next we have “The Quest for Dreamlore Essence”, an instrumental section provided by maestro Vukodlack, that could possibly fit beside Bal-Sagoth (on their “Starfire...” era); it’s like a star-stride heading to face the authoritative dragon in the ensuing track, entitled “Unveil The Path Of Algol, The Riddles Beyond The Stars”. As the music unfolds, one perceives a resemblance to what Emperor treasured in “In The Nightside Eclipse” (the strings are evidently akin), nevertheless, the guitar work is beyond belief, and in unison with the percussion, creates a hell of an atmosphere! Lord Gornoth’s screeches thrill me a lot, as this fiend delivers a hoarse eruption of shattering twinge along the “journey”, occasionally reciting on one or another poetic branch, which are rather undermined compared to his yelling. The production is quite uneven, since the guitars get drowned in the maelstrom of disharmony quite easily, and the bass is roughly useless. Nonetheless, this is clearly an advanced demo tape, which I haven’t had the joy to listen in a very long time. A Must!
1 - Fiery Strife at the Gates of Armageddon
2 - Out of the Serpent Line
3 - The Quest for Dreamlore Essence
4 - Unveiled the Path of Algol, the Riddles Beyond the Stars
Courtesy of Baron Webb @ The Lodge
Storm Legion - "...Statement" (Demo-tape, Drakkar Productions, 2002)
This is a new project featuring some well known musicians of the Portuguese Blackmetal scene, namely Nocturnus Horrendus, Ainvar and Vulturius. What I can say about this demo tape is that it is a very grimm piece of Blackmetal limited to 333 hand numbered copies.
Besides having some Corpus Christii's influences, they managed to make a different sound with this demo. But don't expect nothing very original though, for this is Blackmetal at its most primitive state and with its most primitive feelings.
This lack of originality as, for me, two points of view, one is that Blackmetal is more than overfilled with bands sounding like the same, but the other point of view, the most important for me, is that today some of the spirit and attitude of the early nineties has been lost, and its in bands like this that we can see the resurrection of the long lost spirit. So fuck off with the originality and all hail Blackmetal as it should always be - grimm and evil.
1 - Statement...
2 - The Wolven Path
Tormentvm - "Misanthropic Propaganda"(Demo, 2003)
Seems like the Portuguese Underground is spitting some good acts lately. This new band composed by Morbius (bass) and Raven Black (vocals), along with the session members Tóxico (drums) and P.H (guitars) features here their debut demo entitled "Misanthropic Propaganda". It resumes to three tracks of high-speed black metal with slighty downtuned guitars and hate-filled raspy vokills. I usually don't like computerized drummings. but the guy who programmed these knows what he's doing, showing a clearly advanced sense of rhythm on each blast beat and break; some of them, despite of very well performed, were excessively used though (in the end of "In Tormentvm", for example). All the tracks have rather simple but effective structures and are tightly played, with a special reference to a couple of mid-paced passages where Raven Black's vocals feature additional echo, wich add more interest to this demo. Concerning Morbius' performance, it is quite discreet and reveals a small lack of timing on the middle of "Hate", but that's not minimally relevant. As for the production, the guitars could be slightly more tuned up with the other elements, in my opinion the overall sonority would gain more with that change; but maybe the band's intention was to keep the 6-strings slightly backgrounded. To end this review, a final note to the decent artwork/promo packaging, accompained with a small biography of the band, everything done with the possible profissionalism (btw, the band's logo was created by the well-known Cristophe Szpajdel). A very positive effort from these newcomers, from wich I expect to hear something more in a near future.
1 - Hate
2 - In Tormentvm
2 - Call for Retaliation
War Blasphemy – "For the
Glory of the Unpure" (Hell War Productions, Demo-Tape,
Here we have another good band emerging from the Portuguese underground. This is a one-man-band from Abraxis, but in this demo he had the collaboration of a session member named Thormentor. Abraxis performed all the strings work and the vocals while Thormentor take care of the drums. “For the Glory of the Unpure” really surprised me… it isn’t common to see Trash/Black Metal like this in Portugal, you can see the quality of this recording specially in the ambience, they managed to create a very militarist and destructive ambient. This environment is created with the predominance of faster moments, which are some times helped with the presence of shot mid-paced moments.
The guitars and the bass line are well done, but I get the feeling that something is lacking, because the guitars sometimes get a little bit boring, but that’s nothing that can’t be solved. The drums are fast, but the snare could be better heard, the production is quite raw, so it doesn’t help this detail anyway, but probably this is the way the band like and I respect that. About the vocals, I think this is the strongest part of this demo singing with rage and hatred, spiting Blasphemy and War chants.
A note for the cover artwork that is very well achieved and it fits very well on the title of the demo, as war and destruction aren’t pure feelings on the human being. This is a very promissory Portuguese band and I’ll wait for next works from them.
1 - Darkness and Pride
2 - Lusitânia Sons
3 - For the Glory of the Unpure
4 - Holy Raping