Angel Corpse - "The Inexorable" (Osmose Productions, CD, 1999)   
These guys broke up last year ( due to the depart of Helmkamp, who has more important things to do..he's gonna get married or something like that) and I'm still not conformed. For sure I'm one of those people that wake up everyday and say: "Why Angel Corpse?? Why not The Sins of Thy Beloved or Goat Thrower?". (yes, there's a ridiculous band whose name is Goat Thrower). Anyway, this was Angel Corpse's third (and last) release. Once again, the great cover artwork was executed by Joe Petagno (this guy really knows what he's doing). About the music, it is a hurricane of brutality; just the beginning of the first track ("Stormgods Unbound") will make you say: "Wow!". The fast, powerful and schizophrenic riffs (and solo shredding) of Gene, along with the ultra-intense drumming of Tony Laureano (currently he's replacing Nile's drummer, Pete Hammoura, who got injured) and the constantly screamed voice of Helmkamp is what you can find within these 8 tracks released through the French label Osmose (by the way, my favourite track is the powerful "Wolflust"). Concerning the originality this album isn't a masterpiece, but it's soooo fucking aggressive! Killer!!

Tracklist:
1 - Stormgods Unbound
2 - Smoldering in Exile
3 - Reaver
4 - Wolflust
5 - As Predator to Prey
6 - Solar Wills
7 - Begotten (Through Blood and Flame)
8 - The Fall of the Idols of Flesh

19/20

Damned

Anorexia Nervosa - "Drudenhaus" (Osmose Productions, CD, 2000)
I still haven't heard this band's MCD entitled "Sodomizing the Archangel" (wow, this is very original...), but according to some people, they've improved a lot since then (yeah right). Anyway, this can be defined as symphonic Black Metal, with excessively used keyboards (their melodies remind me of violins) that muffle EXCESSIVELY the guitars' sound. The vocalist (that looks like Marilyn "Gay" Manson) makes three extremely distinct voices: he screams, he screams and he also screams...and despite of my taste for screamed and angered vocals, these REALLY tend to annoy after the first couple of listenings. The drummer is the best performer of the band, using quite well the double bass and making some good breaks (nothing transcendental though). The lyrics are mainly in English, but some of them are written in German and French (i.e - "The Drudenhaus" Anthem and "God Bless The Hustler"). Well guys, next time give the keyboards a more discreet appearance and get someone else to scream, the Humanity will appreciate that and you'll certainly get better results. I didn't managed to chose a favourite track, it was impossible to listen any of them till the last second. As for the vocalist, (whoever he is), please will someone tell him to get rid of that ridiculous gay look?

Tracklist:
1 - A Doleful Night In Thelema
2 - The Drudenhaus Anthem
3 - God Bless The Hustler
4 - Enter The Church Of Fornication
5 - Tragedia Dekadencia
6 - Divine White Light Of A Cumming Decadence
7 - Dirge & Requiem For My Sister Whore
8 - Das Ist Zum Erschiessen Schön
9 - The Red Archromance

11,5/20

Damned

Antaeus - "De Principii Evangelikum" (Osmose Productions, CD, 2002)
One the finest French Blackmetal bands is back. The expectations were high for this second full length album, especially due to the superb reaction to "Cut Your Flesh and Worship Satan". I don't think that anyone that enjoyed their first album will be disappointed with this new one, for this is yet another album of pure fury and rage!
As you probably understood by now, their new album is in the same vein of its predecessor, the main difference I can point is the guitar's sound. The guitar's are more down-tuned now and have a more preponderant role in the music.
Antaeus are one of the most extreme nowadays Blackmetal bands, but they don't confine to do repetitive riffs, their attitude on stage and their capability of spreading disease and violence through their sound is remarkable, so if you're a Blackmetal maniac what are you expecting? Get this album as soon as possible!

Tracklist:
1 - Intro: Intravenal Call
2 - De Principii Evangelikum
3 - Seen Through Skarz
4 - Wormz On Dan Vi
5 - Nave X Kathedral
6 - Illegal Angelz
7 - Xristik Throne
8 - Sanctus
9 - Blood War III
10 - Hidden Track

17,5/20

Shemahmforash

Immortal - "Battles in the North" (Osmose Productions, CD, 1995)
Cold, raw, epic, light-speed winter metal. This is as accurate as I can classify the Norwegian masters Immortal's latest work. 
It is damn fast, is the first thing you notice. There are few slow moments in this album, for Abbath (both the band's vocalist, bass, drummer and synth (almost inexistent) player) have decided to totally blast out the skins for this demonic release. Unfortunately, i guess the guys in the studio weren't with great patience for the recording, so you can notice some nasty mistakes, and the drums sometimes sound a little bit repetitive.
The guitar work, provided by Demonaz, is constituted mainly of cold, winter riffs, not very technical but highly effective, sometimes intercalated with very cool leads or, in the case of the last song, "blashyrkh (mighty ravendark)", fantastic epic acoustic parts. The bass follows the guitar in most occasions, but sometimes also gives an air of its grace (the beginning of "cursed realms of the winterdemons", for example). Only a slight defect - many songs begin with the same chord and similar rhythm (so don't listen only to the intros, or you'll think this release has a utter lack of originality!).
The vocals are done in a very cold, epic, imponent style, with Abbath screaming out majestic words of power (the lyrics go around ravens, ice mountains, northern realms...very epic stuff, no pseudo-evil "satan is my boss" bullshit here!); there are small English errors, though, but most people won't even notice (although Immortal could do an effort to avoid them in future releases).
The production work has it's flaws, such as the drum recording mentioned above, and the not 100% crystalline sound, but is is reasonable nonetheless, much like most extreme metal recordings of that time (grieghallen, should I say more?...).
Simple, effective, this is Immortal's latest release. Musically similar to black metal, but should not be considered to belong to such a style (the band prefer to call it "holocaust metal"), for it is something quite unique. I agree.

Tracklist:
1- Battles In The North
2- Grim And Frostbitten Kingdoms
3- Descent Into Eminent Silence
4 - Throned by Blackstorms
5- Moonrise Fields of Sorrow
6- Cursed Realms of the Winterdemons
7- At The Stormy Gates of Mist
8- Through The Halls of Eternity
9- Circling Above In Time Before Time
10- Blashyrkh - mighty Ravendark

17,5/20

Zoid

Immortal - "At the Heart of Winter" (Osmose Productions, CD, 1999)
Although Immortal might be considered, in terms of sound, Blackmetal, their lyrics never integrated the standard "fuck christ" stuff. At their fifth album, the same happens. This was the first thing I noted when I bought "at the heart of winter", even before hearing it - the lyrics continue to be about grimness, winter, always in the style immortal have habituated us to, now more epic than ever.
Now the music... Immortal has a new line-up, as Demonaz, due to arm problems, left the band, leaving the composition work to Abbath. I must confess I was kind of scared of hearing this album, because I thought that maybe Abbath couldn't handle all the composition work (except for the drums, which are very well taken care of by Horgh). I was completely wrong!
Immortal managed to reinvent themselves, when they released this masterpiece of extreme metal. The music has suffered a big evolution, now the songs are way more complex, featuring an incredibly inspirated and direct guitar work (and I thought that Abbath could only handle the bass...), now more melodic and powerful than ever. 
The songs are also much more majestic, recovering a bit of the atmospheric feeling that "diabolical fullmoon mysticism" had; to that thing contributes the length of each track: a medium running time of about 7 minutes; Abbath's voice continues to be dark, grim, raw and imponent, completely fitting the great lyrics (work of Demonaz, who has written all of them for this album).
There will be of course fans, more fond of the more direct immortal sound, featured for example in "battles in the north" who will disapprove the direction of the band, but I believe that, by doing this record (which runs for the title of best album of the year, in my opinion...) immortal have managed to gain a new strength, and of course, lots of new fans.

Tracklist:
1 - Withstand the Fall of Time
2 - SolarFall
3 - Tragedies Blow at Horizon
4 - Where Dark and Light don´t Differ
5 - At the Heart of Winter
6 - Years of Silent Sorrow

18,5/20

Zoid

Immortal - "Damned in Black" (Osmose Productions, CD, 2000)
A year and so after the release of the mighty "at the heart of winter", the great masters of nebula frost (duh...) are back with a new release, "damned in black". 
The band now has included a permanent bass-player, iscariah, who, despite having not contributed in terms of composition to this album (because when he arrived at the band the making was almost done), will contribute to the next one.
Don't expect a return to the very raw style featured in the older albums, but know that this album is way more direct and brutal than the last one, incorporating several 80's influences. 
The songs are no more 7 minute epics, but 3-4 minute war cries. The lyrics, work of Demonaz again, continue in the same vein, now slightly more direct to adjust the musical landscape. The instrumentation is also in the same vein, with the guitars being more in-your-face and the drums being really awesome, aggressive and groovy (great work Horgh!).
But this isn't the masterpiece "at the heart of winter" was. I mean, there are great tracks in the album, like for example "triumph" or "wrath from above", but, when you listen to the album, you sometimes get the idea that it could be better, maybe Immortal could wait some 3 months more to get the album better or something...but don't think this is a bad release, 9 out of 10 Immortal fans will love it, and many who disliked the band's more epic approach will join the legion once again!

Tracklist:
1 - Triumph
2 - Wrath from above
3 - Against the Tide
4 - My Dimension
5 - The Darkness that Embrace Me
6 - In our Mystic Visions Blest
7 - Damned in Black

16/20

Zoid

Impiety - "Kaos Kommand 696" (Osmose Productions, CD,2002)
If by any chance you thought that Impiety's previous album "Skullfucking Armageddon" was good, then you should really get this one ASAP. These 3 maniacs from Singapore really know what they're doing, and the proof comes within this extreme and violent album. Concisely, here we have 8 war anthems of pure desecration and astonishing aggressiveness showed through killer riffs leading the angerly spitted vocals by Shaityain, both supported by Fauzzt's frenetic drumming filled with constant blast beats.
Concerning the album's production, everyone can notice that it's clearly less muffled than the one featured on its predecessor, which turned out to be a necessary and quite relevant improvement in order to enhance the band's intensity; the vocals were also reviewed and therefore they sound more aligned with the other elements. Anyway, if you want to have a cleaner idea of Impiety try to imagine the natural evolution of Angelcorpse's sonority if they were still active: a devastating hurricane punching your face mercilessly!
As for favourite tracks, I must say that despite the homogenity here featured my choice goes to "ChristfuckingChrist" and "Wardaemonic Overkill", both already repeated by my stereo speakers 'till exaustion.
"Kaos Kommand 696" can be considered a real breath of fresh air within the scene, as we impotently assist to its invasion by useless fags [normally from an abhorrent town called Gothenburg] who proudly deliver "nice-and-harmonic-shit" appropriate for 12 year-old kids who desperately crave for completely dull stuff.
If you're into bands like Krisiun, Belphegor and so on, erase them from your memory immediately because when compared to Impiety, they're nothing but pretty-looking innocent girls playing romantic ballads. This is definitely one of my favourite releases for 2002, it really struck me with the strength of something like a jackhammer.

Tracklist:
1 - christfuckingchrist
2 - Apokalyptic Nuclear BattleBeasts
3 - Wardaemonic Overkill
4 - Atomic Wrath of Azzazzel
5 - Bestial Genocidal Goatvomit
6 - Bloodred Angelshred
7 - Abominate Fornicate Desecrate
8 - Kaos Kommand 696

19/20

Damned

Marduk - "Panzer Division Marduk" (Osmose Productions, CD, 1999)
Marduk said that this album would be their most brutal one, and let me tell you, they were completely right!
From the moment you put the cd into the drive you are completely devastated by the infernal music coming out from the speakers: from the unholy guitar to the completely blasphemous lyrics (with song titles like "fistfucking god's planet" and "baptism by fire" what were you expecting?...) and the absurdly fast drums, everything is brutal, extreme, just fucking christtrapping black metal!
There is not a single moment of peace in this album. The only time you will not hear light speed black metal will be at the change of tracks, or when the intros (this album goes a bit around the concept of war, and to help that there are songs which start with some kind of sounds of war) are playing.
The production is great, Peter Tagtgren made again an excellent job with his Abyss studios, contributing to the release of one of the most violent albums ever. If you want quick, violent, brutal black metal then search no more; however, if you are a cradle of filth/dimmu borgir synth fan, beware, for this album is only for harsh black metal legion.

Tracklist:
1 - Panzer Division Marduk
2 - Baptism by Fire
3 - Christraping Blackmetal
4 - Scorched Earth
5 - Beast of Prey
6 - Blooddawn
7 - 502
8 - Fistfucking god's Planet

17,5/20

Zoid

Melechesh - "Sphynx" (Osmose Productions, CD, 2003)
This band was spawned precisely in the heart of the "holy-land" - in Jerusalem, and they play a very unique sound within the Blackmetal movement.
At their 3rd album, a much more mature band is shown and the sonority achieved is great. This guys have always focused on mythological aspects of the middle-east region, but previously these aspects were only shown musically through intros or interruptions in the songs, but now we have a clear "arabic" influence present in the structure of the songs, mainly on the guitar lines which play very dissonant chords that take you right into the "arabic" mood that the lyrics transmit.
Lyrically, as I stated above, they focus mainly on ancient gods and tales of that region of the world, but let me tell you that these lyrics are very well written and create a kind of epic and dark atmosphere.
If you are tired of listening to hundreds of bands sounding just the same and are looking for something original, look no further, check out this album, because this is very good material.

Tracklist:
1 - Of Mercury And Mercury
2 - Secrets Of The Ancient Sphynxology
3 - Annunaki's Golden Throne
4 - Apkallu Counsel
5 - Tablets Of Fate
6 - Triangular Tattvic Fire
7 - The Arrival Ritual
8 - Incendium Between Mirage And Time
9 - Purifier Of The Stars
10 - Caravans To Ur

18,5/20

Shemahmforash


You can find the official Osmose Productions site at www.osmoseproductions.com

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