Friday, December 28, 2012

The Cold Beyond - Promo '99

So I bought this tape in 2003 or so on the suggestion of my good pal Wayne Sarantopoulos with the intent of ripping it to MP3.  Fast forward to December 2012, and I finally got it ripped!  This is a fun four track rager of deathened black metal of a band from Milwaukee Wisconsin.  I've searched for MP3s of it quite intensly so I'm sure this is its first foray onto the world wide web.  Turns out they have been dormant since 2003 but have a new EP out.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Darvulia - Mysticisme Macabre

I am certain that there is no way I'm going to easily sell you on this album.  My goal here is to tell you why I love this band so much instead.  If you can find some intrigue in my attempt, then I wholly invite you to dive into this mind bending and sometimes hypnotic album.

First lets get a few things out of the way to make this easier for both of us.  This isn't epic, melodic, retro, goat-y, necro, and doesn't sound much like any other black metal band I've ever heard..  Musically, this is quite original and scratches an itch that only Lugubrum, and maaaaaaybe Vediog Svaor have even begun to scratch in the past.  Not to toot my own horn much either but the riffing is also reminiscent of my old band "Satan's Almighty Penis."  Of course there are some familiar tenets of black metal found here: varied but frequently blasting drums, fairly typical but notably well performed vocals and a typical overall production value that does the music justice by being somewhat dry and pallid with a bit of snarl to it.  You should be able to dive right into if you've listened to ten or more black metal albums before.

Ok so now that I have cleared all of that out of the way: THE RIFFS!  The guitar work of Darvulia's Kobal is out of this world.  The riffing is HIGHLY imaginative, often grinding, completely disharmonious and dissonant as all fuck.  If you are looking for riffs that make you think about mountains, trees, lakes, pirates, castles, vikings or pretzels, DON'T ENTRY!!  All I can say is that musically this stuff is very obnoxious and therefore insanely hellish and challenging.  Half of what makes "Mysticisme Macabre" so enjoyable and refreshing for me is that it is what it isn't.  The other half is that there is some highly challenging and obtuse music composition found here, and Darvulia have become highly productive within this style.  The composition is about as untraditional as you can get.  The varied ebb and flow of their 5-7 minute long songs keep me enthralled more than a lot of records of this ilk ever do.  Its disgustingly awkward enough to keep me interested and yet not so unrelenting that it gets boring.  I often find myself listening to it three or four times in row.

I haven't been able to peel myself away from this album for a long enough time to check out the rest of Darvulia's catalog, but I really look forward to seeing where else they can take this band.

Friday, December 14, 2012

My Favorite Metal Albums of 2012
1. Panopticon - Kentucky
2. Germ - Loss
3. Demoncy - Enthroned is the Night
4. the Kill - Make 'em Suffer
5. Nekromantheon - Rise Vulcan Spectre
6. MGLA - With Hearts Towards None
7. Blood of the Black Owl - Light the Fires!
8. Licht Erlischt - ...and Below, the Retrograde Disciples
9. Wodensthrone - Curse
10. Blut Aus Nord - Cosmophy

Honorable Mentions:
Alcest - Les Voyages de l'ame
Antediluvian / Adversarial - Split
Ash Borer - Cold of Ages
Asphyx - Deathhammer
Autolatry - Of the Land
Avenger - Bohemian Dark Metal
Bestial Holocaust - Into the Goat Vulva
Borknagar - Urd
Bound by Entrails - the Stars Bode you Farewell
Brulvahnatu - Descending Divine Worth
Cattle Decapitation - Monolith of Inhumanity
Christian Mistress - Possession
Coffins - March of Despair
Deathspell Omega - Drought
Desecresy- the Doom Skeptron
Drapsnatt - Skelepht
Ebonylake - In Swathes of Brooding Light
Elysian Blaze - Blood Geometry
Evoken - Atra Mors
False / Barghest - Heavy as a Church Tower
Genocide Shrines - Devanation Monumentemples
Hell - III
Katatonia - Dead End Kings
Love Sex Machine - s/t
Lunar Aurora - Hoagascht
Morbus Chron - A Saunter through the Shroud
Master's Hammer - Vracejte konve na místo
Moss of Moonlight - Seed
Muknal - Muknal
Mutilation Rites - Empyrean
My Dying Bride - A Map of All Our Failures
Napalm Death - Utilitarian
Nefarious - The Universal Wrath
Revenge - Scum.Collapse.Eradication
Sanguinary Misanthropia - Loathe Over Will
Sear Bliss - Eternal Recurrence
Weapon - Embers and Revelations
Worship - Terranean Wake
Yakuza - Beyul

Things I still need to listen to:
Aluk Todolo - Occult Rock - Didnt excite me, formulaic and uneventful
Angantyr - Forvist - Very good!
Anglagard - Viljans Oga
Árstíðir Lífsins
- Vápna lækjar eldr

Azaghal - Nemesis
- Pretty fun if you think all black metal sounds the same.

Black Magician - Nature is the Devil's Church - Not bad, kinda trendy and the vocals really get old
Chapel - Satan's Rock n Roll - Weak production and a very tired, worn out style. ZZZzzz
Coffin Texts - the Tomb of Infinite Ritual - Pretty fun, though not much to hold my interest.
Corsair - Corsair
Dammerfarben - Herbstpfad
Dire Omen - Severing Soul from Flesh - Pretty typical br00tle death metal.  pass
Dordeduh - Dar de Duh - More floaty new age post-Negura Bunget metal.  I'm not often in the right mood for this, but its tolerable.
Drawn & Quartered - Feeding Hell's Furnace - Sorta fun but nothing really special here.
Drudkh - Eternal Turn of the Wheel - Yeah more Drudkh, If its not Autumn Aurora or Forgotten Legends, forget about it.
Dysrhythmia - Test of Submission - This band is great, really interesting in a "look what we can do" sort of way which I'm never in the mood for, but I really admire these guys and they are probably the best prog band in the US.
Elffor -
Heriotz Sustraiak
Eternum - Veil of Ancient Darkness - I really like this, its somewhere between Fullmoon and Vargsang
Hellvetron - Death Scroll of Seven Hells and Its Infernal Majesties - REALLY eerie and twisted, this is great, though not up my alley
Ignivomous - Contragenesis - Another brick of evidence that the bar for brutal death metal was raised significantly this year.  This is great, but again, I just don't really care.
Into Oblivion / Cromlech / Shoor - "Under the banner of the Serpent Sun"
Ketzer - Eindzeit Metropolis - This is awesome.  A tad too ecclectic, but at times it reminds me of Aura Noir
Knelt Rote - Trespass - Super fun unrelenting grind madness.  Love these guys
Les Discrets - Ariettes Oubliées
Maveth - Coils of the Black Earth
Manticore - Behold the Ascension of the Execrated - God, this is weird as fuck and I dont like it at all
Naglfar - Teras - Exactly what I was expecting, there is nothing cool about this.
Necrovation - s/t - This was surprisingly fun.  Lots of variety and innovation here.  I might buy this.
Occultation - Three & Seven - RULES!  This is really intriguing stuff!
Profetus - Open the passages in Dusk - This would be far better if it had anything that wasnt completely boring in it.
Rahu - The Quest for the Vajra of Shadows
Svartidaudi - Flesh Cathedral
Testament - Dark Roots of Earth - Killer line-up on this, but this is exactly what I expected.  Fucking party thrash.  Death to the entire bay area and its failure metal.
Urkaos - I
Vemod - Venter pa Stormene - This is really good.  I'll probably be listening to this some more in the future. reminds me of Darkspace / Paysage d'Hiver
Venus Star - ep / full length
Verge / Charnel Winds - Two Serpents
Vomitor - the Escalation
Winterfylleth - the Threnody of Triumph
Vaura - Selenelion - Listening to this album was like holding a great looking sandwich, never being able to figure out which side to take the first bite on, then giving up.

Anticipated in 2013 (somewhat speculative):
Swallowed debut full length
Hunter's Moon full length?!?!?
Nocturnal Graves
Horna (confirmed!)
Inquisition (confirmed !)
Incursus (confirmed !)
Sadomator (This band is currently on hold, but Seventh is working on a debut full length for his other band Odgru Jahad)
Paysage d'Hiver - Das Tor (AMAZING!)
Cultes des Ghoules (RULES!)
Pensees Nocturnes (confirmed!)
Grave Miasma
Front Beast
Manzer "Light of the Wreckers"
Hatespawn "Abyssic conquerors"
Dead Congregation
Gorguts (confirmed!)
Portal (rules!)
Darkthrone (sucks!)
Panopticon / Vestiges split (confirmed!)
Drowned - debut LP (confirmed !)

Big time let downs:
Aura Noir