Aeternus - Beyond the Wandering Moon (Hammerheart Records, CD, 1997)
If you don't know this band, by their name, by the title of the album or by the cover artwork of the album you will certainly think that this is one of the "fancy-keyboards trend" Blackmetal band, but, fortunately you are wrong.
Aeternus is a Norwegian band, that manages to join both Deathmetal and Blackmetal styles in a good way, creating their own sound, and that really surprised me, because most of the bands that try to do this, end up quitting and return to the typical Blackmetal or Deathmetal.
About this album in particular, the songs are very well written, with simple (but effective) guitar riffs, helped by the presence of the keyboard (fortunately  they don't muffle the guitars), sometimes appears an acoustic guitar , that brings a little touch of folk into the songs, the voice is powerful, most of the time guttural.
This album has two instrumental songs, an intro named "Under the Blade of the Dead", that is only a piano playing and fits in the typical instrumentals in a Blackmetal album, and an outro that is a traditional Celtic Harp song. This instrumental songs are very good, recreating great atmospheres.
The lyrical concept sometimes remembers me of Immortal because of the constant references to winter and to storms.
After listening to this album I say that this is not a geniously conceived album, but it is a good work.

1 - Under the Blade of the Dead
2 - Sworn Revenge
3 - White Realm
4 - Sentinels of Darkness
5 - Embraced
6 - Vind
7 - Waiting for the Storm
8 - Winter Tale
9 - To Enter the Realm of Legend
10 - Celtic Harp solo (The Last Feast)



Severe Torture  - ”Misanthropic Carnage”( Hammerheart Records,CD,  2002)
Severe Torture may be considered just one more acceptable band in the brutal Death/Grind scenario; however, it is clear that they have affirmally improved technically, since two years and a half ago, as the Nederlands industry remains untouched.
“Misanthropic Carnage” is the second long lenght of this Dutch band, once more labeled by The Plague, sub- label of the Hammerheart Records Company and produced by
Berthus Westerhuys and Robbie Woning, at Franky's Recording Kitchen.
This album has unmistakeable influences of the goremasters Cannibal Corpse, Deicide and Suffocation in the constituition of the lyrics and riffs...- which makes me wonder if they aren't inspired enough or simply doesn't dare to offer something brighter.
Actually Severe Torture reinforces the Grind/Death Metal scene next to names as Vile, Disgorge, Deeds of Flesh, and other bands from Holland, such as Pyaemia, the extinct Centvrian, Inhume e Malignancy. In this album we can assist to everything that we have expected from S.T. since “Feasting on Blood”. The growling insanity vocalized by Dennis, guitar distortions and effects, (pitches, delays and fasers in small measure, well applied), enthusiast rhythms, direct lyrics and beating drums gathered in a bloodshed technical cult.
In my opinion, Severe Torture is one band that are meant to play live and loud and not so good to hear in the stereo: the constant rhythms aren't so original and it may let us fall into boredom or indifference. This album has a particularity in terms of its production: the bass is really more perceptible comparing to “Feasting on Blood”. The dragged sound does not appear anymore by negligence or by mesmerizing “Mortician style”; it is clear and well composed creating harmony inside disharmony. A fine production and a technical support for the tracks that are brutal and good but too similar as ever. If the first album had this production I think that they would not needed to make this one because the formula is used and ordinary. I hope the band is aware of the path that they will follow create something different on the next work- although we'll be cursed to hear movie samples and banal death metal riffs all the time.

1 - Mutilation of the Flesh
2 - Meant to Suffer
3 - Carnivorous Force
4 - Misanthropic Carnage
5 - Blinded I Slaughter
6 - Impelled to Kill
7 - Castrated
8 - Forever to Burn
9 - Your Blood is Mine



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