- "Suicidal Emotions" (No Colouurs Records, CD, 2000)
Another great band signed with No-Colours-Records! This German label is becoming one of the most important within the Underground Blackmetal scene. But keeping that apart, let’s talk about what really matters in this review, Shane Rout’s Abyssic Hate second album: “Suicidal Emotions”.
This new release, composed by four very long tracks, is quite different from Abyssic Hate previous releases, the songs now are typically much slower and are like very long and desperate cries of hate.
The atmosphere that flows from “Suicidal Emotions” is quite astonishing, being at the level of the Blackmetal classics, like Burzum – “Filosofem”, for instance. The atmosphere is due, mainly to the cold and repetitive guitar work, helped with Shane’s magnificent vocal work.
About the lyrical concept, as the title of the album suggests it has Suicide and Death at its most important topics, and let me tell you that the lyrics are very good and fit perfectly the musical landscape.
Anyway, this is clearly a step forward in the career of Abyssic Hate, and one of the best Blackmetal albums for 2000.
1 - Depression - Part I
2 - Betrayed
3 - Depression - Part II
4 - Despondency
Graveland - "Memory and
Destiny" (MCD, No Colours Records, 2002)
Well well, someone that listened to the first albums of this band, and since then have lost their track, may no longer recognize Graveland's sound, for now the grimm and raw parts have been replaced by atmospheric ones.
If you are not so familiar with this band's sound I can introduce it as some sort of hybrid form between Blackmetal, some pagan influences with a little touch of choirs.
This album is an authentic war anthem with songs that take us right in to the core of ancient battles. The way Darken manage to leads us to this long forgotten past is writing very long tracks (all of them are about 10 minutes long) that are dominated by mid paced moments, that remind me of the rhythmic pace of an army marching towards the battle, and filled with great landscapes produced by the keyboards.
I think that with this new sound Graveland have managed to gain a refreshed sonority and identity that, for being honest, is quite stronger than in the previous works.
1 - Fate Of Warrior
2 - Jewel Of Atlanteans
3 - Memory And Destiny
4 - Legion Of Giants
5 - Runes of Rise
Judas Iscariot - "Dethroned, Conquered and Forgotten"
(No Colours Records, MCD, 2000)
I wonder...how does Akhenaten gets time to sleep? How many albums will he release during his life, a billion?? The first time I heard this guy I though: "Well, he must be Norwegian", because of the clear influence of bands like Darkthrone and Burzum in the sonority. Wrong! He's American and we can label his music as violent, fast and grim Black Metal spitting sheer brutality towards Christianity and everything related with it. The tracks here displayed are cold and raw as Hell, and by this time you've probably deduced that technique and precision aren't - and probably will never be - present in Akhenaten's music. Everything is quite simple and effective, as in all the previous works; fast rythms, a quite sloven drumming, an extremely harsh voice (I consider it as a blending between Abbath in "Pure Holocaust" with Gaahl in "Under The Sign of Hell") and gelid guitar riffing. This MCD has 5 tracks and 2 of them consist mostly on slower parts, that keep up the interest and put eventual boredom aside (respectively "Journey Through Visions of War" and the instrumental "March upon a Mighty Throne"). My preference goes to "Descent to The Abyss", it's a very intense track. Sometimes this album reminds me of Darkthrone's "Transilvanian Hunger", but in a "blitzkrieg" version. Highly recommended if you follow intensively the "true" Blackmetal scene and miss some good releases from that country.
1 - Descent to the Abyss
2 - Benevolent Whore, Dethroned for Eternity
3 - Journey through Visions of War
4 - March upon a Mighty Throne
5 - Spill the Blood of the Lamb (Special Blitzkrieg Version)
Iscariot - "Moonlight Butchery" (No Colours Records, MCD, 2002)
Akhenathen presents here another one of his inumerous releases. This time we are greeted with a MCD released through the German label No Colours Records. This MCD is quite different from the two latest releases of Judas Iscariot. In my opinion the best way to analyse this release is to divide it into two parts, being the first one the two first songs and the second the two last songs.
In the first part we can see an aproximation to what the band has done in the earlier releases, I mean that the sound is dominated by mid-pace rythms and extroardinary painful atmospheres. About the second part it is clearly dominated by high paced rythms and razor-sharp riffs, or in other terms, it is quite similar with the two lates releases.
I don't know how many albums has Judas Iscariot released so far, neither how many more will be released, the only think I know is that we are always presented with good material, so I have to congratulate Akhenaten for that.
1 - Moonlight Butchery / Death's Hammer
2 - Crucified / Conjuring Hell's Fire
3 - Armageddon
4 - Winterheart
Nargaroth - "Blackmetal
Ist Krieg - A Dedication Monument" (No Colours Records, CD, 2001)
After "Herbstleyd" in 1998 and "Amarok" in 2000 Kanwulf (the mentor and only member of this project) is back.
I think that before reading this review you need to know that Blackmetal ist Krieg means Blackmetal is War. And that this album is a war against all those who try to destroy Blackmetal!
But let's talk about the music... First think you notice by listening to this album is the completely different styles of the 11 songs, so you'll see that Blackmetal Ist Krieg is not a concept album, but songs written separately and put together in homage to the glorious time of Blackmetal.
It's not easy to classify the type of sound present in this album because all the songs are very different, but beside being very different there is one aspect in which they are all common: the enormous amount of emotion that transcends from all of them!
From "Erik may you rape the angels" that was written in memory of Grimm, Immortal's drummer who committed suicide, ( this song you can see an approximation to the sound of Immortal's "Pure Holocaust"), to the cover versions of Azhubham Haani, Lord Foul, Root and Moonblood, where each one of the songs has its particular feeling . The songs written by Kanwulf are also very different among each other, starting by the title track of the album which is a real example of what Blackmetal was in the early days, and what it should always be, or the part III of trilogy Amarok that was composed in honor of Kanwulf's familiars that died in WWII and musically is something like a cry of hate, or the song that recreates the most known event in the history of Blackmetal (The Day as Burzum Killed Mayhem) that takes you right in to Burzum eralier albums. As I said before all of them are different, but all of them are just great, showing to everyone that doubted it that the spirit of the early days is still present.
This album is a perfect example that feeling prevails over technique. A must if you miss the remote times of Blackmetal.
1 - Introduction
2 - Blackmetal Ist Krieg
3 - Far Beyond the Stars
4 - Seven Tears are Flowing to the River
5 - I Burn for You
6 - The Day Burzum Killed Mayhem
7 - Pisen Pro Satana
8 - Amarok - Born des Lammes III
9 - Erik, May You Rape the Angels
10 - The Gates of Eternity
11 - Possessed by Black Fucking Metal
Nargaroth - "Herbstleyd" (Autumnsorrow)
(No Colours Records, CD, 1998)
Nowadays pseudo-Blackmetal is without doubt a marketing manoeuvre, but fortunately for me and for the followers of the "true-Blackmetal" scene, Kanwulf, the man behind this project, has decided to create a band that as still the inspiration of the earlier days, but with some new ideas, with this in mind he created Nargaroth and "Herbstleyd" is the title for the debut album.
In this debut album he joined the typical raw sound of the guitar/drums/vocals with samples, creating atmospheres in a very original and very well achieved way, and it's in this joining of samples that relies the originality of Nargaroth. Allying the darker atmospheres with the enormous amount of feeling, Kanwulf has built a remarkable album.
The samples are mainly the sound of animals (ducks and wolves) and of running water (they were very well captured and inserted in the right places), this samples joined with the presence of a female narrator helps creating the atmospheres, seeming that you're reading/listening to a horror story.
About the instrumentalization it is quite simple and direct with a discrete (fortunately) presence of the keyboards that helps transmitting the feeling of the album.
This album is a very good proof that Blackmetal is still alive, a must for those who follow the "true" Blackmetal scene.
1 - Introduction - Herbstleyd (Introduction - Autumnsorrow)
2 - Karmageddon
3 - Nargaroth
4 - Des alten Kriegers Seelenruh (The Old Warrior's Peace Of Mind)
5 - Born des Lammes (Wrath Of The Lamb)
6 - Das Schwarze Gemälde (The Black Painting)
7 - Vom Traum die Menscheit zu töten - Outro (Of The Dream To Kill Mankind - Outro)
Note: Between () is the translation to English, though it's not like this in the booklet, I thinks it's important to those who are reading this review to know the meaning of the title of the album/songs.
"Rasluska Part II" (No Colours Records, MCD, 2002)
"What a strange album name", were the first words I spoke when listening to this record for the first time. And by now I still didn't understand its title.
Anyway, if you follow Nargaroth for a short period of time and are expecting a follow up for "Blackmetal ist Krieg" it's better not spending you're money with this MCD, for in this record Kanwulf returns to its earlier sound. I often label this MCD as a blending between the demo "Orke" (the vocals and the drums are quite akin) and "Herbstleyd" (the atmosphere and the narrator are very similar).
This MCD is a very coherent piece of music, with an outstanding atmosphere that flows like a river stream from the first to the last song. The presence of the keyboards really help transmitting this atmosphere, but they are very well inserted, I mean they are used for atmospheres, the lead is up to the guitar.
All in all, this is clearly a positive effort in the career of Nargaroth.
1 - Introduction - In Stillem Gedenken
2 - ...Und Ich Sah Sonn´ Nimmer Heben
3 - Abschiedsbrief Des Prometheus
4 - ...Vom Freien Willen Eines Schwarzen Einhorns
Weltmacht - "And To Every
Beast Its Prey" (No Colours Records, CD, 2003)
Now that Akhenaten has terminated the existence of Judas Iscariot he can pay more atention to this project that features also members from Krieg.
At the third Weltmacht album there is no significant change within the bands sound, except that, maybe, this release is a little bit slower than the others. If you don't know this band I can label their sound has raw and fast Blackmetal with some atmospheric and slow moments. And, in my opinion, is in these slow parts that relies the true value of this band.
This album is quite related with its predecessors, but one can see a clear natural evolution, that is especially understood within the composition methods, for now the songs are less monotonous.
The keyboards, the instrument that I usually think is overused by most bands has a prepoderant role in this release , but it is applied in the correct way, I mean, the keyboards presence is noticed, but they transmit the atmosphere, they do not interfere with the riffs and with the rythmic part played by the guitar and the bass respectively.
I think this is a great step forward for Weltmacht, and this step forward results in a very coherent album.
1 - Requiem Of The Screaming Raven
2 - Where Fog Milled In Miles Of Winter
3 - Burning Red In The Clouds
4 - Among The Silence Burning Chaos
5 - Chained Beasts Are Strewn
6 - Blessed Eternal Pillars Of Fire
You can find the official No Colours records website at: http://www.no-colours-records.de