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Nero Or The Fall Of Rome/Beneath The Swaying Fronds Of Elysian Fields/Naturmacht Productions/2020 CD Review

mercredi 1 avril 2020 à 09:06

  Nero  Or  The  Fall  Of  Rome  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  plays  an  epic  mixture  of  black  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Beneath  The  Swaying  Fronds  Of  Elysian  Fields"which  will  be released  in  April  by  Naturmacht  Productions.

  Tribal  style  drumming  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  powerful  sounding  bass  guitars  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  takes  the  music  into  a  heavier  direction,  Grim  black  metal  screams  can  also  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  the  vocals  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  clean  singing.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  while  elements  of  doom  metal  can  also  be  heard  in  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs.  When  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  it  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  very  dark  yet  melodic  style.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow.  mid  paced  and  fast  parts   along  with  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length.  Clean  playing  and  acoustic  guitars  can  also  be  heard  on  a  great  portion  of  the  songs,  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  on  a  couple  of  songs.

 The  music  also  takes  80's and  90's  influences  and  also  gives  them  a  more  modern  touch.  As  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  stringed  instruments  can  also  be  heard  as  well  as  one  of  of  tracks  being  an  instrumentals  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Roman  History  themes. 

  In  my  opinion  Nero  Or  The  Fall  Of  Rome  are  a  very  great  sounding  epic  mixture  of  black  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Cross  Of  Nero"  "Beneath  The  Swaying  Fronds  Of  Elysian  Fields" and  "Our  Epitaph  Shall  Be  Covered  In  Stone".  8  out  of  10.

Facebook (band): https://www.facebook.com/neroorthefallofrome/
Youtube (band): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3A-u3GxdcW3YKt7-d9NZMw    

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2020/04/nero-or-fall-of-romebeneath-swaying.html


Sarcofago/Hate/Greyhaze Records/2020 Album Re-Issue Review

mardi 31 mars 2020 à 21:20

  This  is  a  review  of  another  recording  from  Brazil's  Sarcofago  which  shows  the  music  going  into  more  of  a  blackened  death  metal  direction  and  the  album  was  originally  released  in  1994  by  Greyhaze  Records  and  the  re-issue  will  be  released  in  May  by  Greyhaze  Records.

  A  noise  orientated  intro  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  while  all  of  the  drum  beats  are  all  programmed.  Vocals  are  mostly  blackened  metal  screams  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling.

  Elements  of  thrash  metal  can  also  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  the  music  also  has  a  lot  of  roots  in  death  metal. Growls  can  also  be  heard  at  times  along  with  the  riffing  also  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them,.

 When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  chaotic  style  along  with  one  track  also  introducing  synths  onto  the  recording  which  also  gives  the  music  more  the  atmosphere  of  a  horror movie  soundtrack  as  well  as  some  war  metal  elements  being  added  into  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  and  at  times  the  vocals  also  go  for  more  of  an  angry  shouting  approach.  The  production  sounds  very  raw  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Anti  Christianity,  Death  and  Lust  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  was  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Sarcofago  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  early  90's  blackened  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  re-issue.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Pact  Of  Cum"  "Satanic  Terrorism"  and  "The  Phantom".  8  out  of  10.

https://youtu.be/unq_cxMhcz4 

 

  

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2020/03/sarcofagohategreyhaze-records2020-album.html


Argesk Interview

mardi 31 mars 2020 à 10:25
1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?



Matt: We are four individuals united by a common love of black and dark metal; a melting pot of influences from our extreme metal forbears to the acolytes of darkness that dominate the scene today. We aim to join their ranks.



Leth: First and foremost, we play metal. We all share a solid respect for some of the black metal artists who came before us upon whose shoulders we stand but we're not going to choose to limit ourselves by pre-explored tropes. The variety of our musical backgrounds in punk, thrash, industrial and electronic music all lend themselves to a sound with more than just raw ferocity, but depth.



2.You have your first album coming out in April, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?



Matt: The album's musical style channels the influences of all four members, bringing diverse and interesting elements to the seven litanies presented. The title track is a triumphant gallop influenced by Emperor and Dissection, while 'In Their Image' includes gothic keyboards and riffs inspired by Mutiilation. The album's climax, 'Drowned in Freezing Waters' includes sections influenced by depressive black metal such as Woods of Desolation, and 'Adversary' includes first-wave inspired riffing and harmonised clean vocals. Our sound is a marriage of the old with the new, the grotesque with the grandiose, the triumphant with the despondent.



Leth: We came together out of our love for black metal and beyond a doubt that drove the sound. You can call it a black metal album if you'd like.





3.Some of your lyrics touch on Satanism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the dark arts?



Matt: Very interesting question... my interest in the occult began when I was very young. I was raised Christian and as such, the veil between the spiritual and the material was very thin growing up. Concepts like the afterlife, angels, demons and spirits were a big part of my formative years. I began to question Christian doctrine much more as I got older, particularly when reading the Old Testament, and I concluded that even if this so-called 'God' is real, he does not deserve anyone's adoration. If we are sinners, is it not only because he makes us so?



Satanism appealed to me when reading the works of Anton LaVey and Aleister Crowley. It's a very personal philosophy – it doesn't proselytise, and it has very realistic expectations of human nature, as opposed to Christianity's 'seven deadly sins'... there is also no omnipotent deity to worship. I don't believe in a 'devil', but I believe that there is something beyond the realms of our limited human perception, which can sometimes slip through the cracks and show us a glimpse behind the veil...





4.What are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored with the music?



Matt: Many of our lyrics are influenced by gothic literature, and 'Drowned in Freezing Waters' draws heavily on Bram Stoker's Dracula. This song describes the suicide of Elisabeta, Prince Vlad's betrothed, upon falsely hearing that he had been killed in battle... 'Realm of Eternal Night' is an ode to the nocturnal splendour of Northern winters, combined with imagery of fantastical battles such as those portrayed by JRR Tolkien. 'Adversary' is an inversion of the Christian Confirmation vows that I took as a child, renouncing the ways of Christ and his doctrine. 'In Their Image' foretells the rising of artificial consciousness and its eventual subjugation of humankind, upon its realisation of its own superiority...



Leth: For me, the music of Argesk plays out the frustrations of life. We're four independent men whose personal lives greatly differ but one aspect we all share is the hardship of daily living, the trials of health and wealth, love and loss. Argesk is for me an attempt to channel those deeply personal trials into joy. There is a profound joy that comes from the composition and performance of music with others throughout these hardships.





5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Argesk'?



Leth; The Argeș river runs through southern Romania into the Danube towards the Black Sea. One possible meaning of the name of the river is "Higher Ground" and this is what I personally choose to hold of our name.



Matt: This river is the one in which Elisabeta drowned herself in Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation of Dracula. Given the grandiose, gothic flavour of much of our music, it seemed fitting.



6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the album cover?



Matt: The artwork is by Russian artist Artem Demura, who I came across when listening to Malist's 'In the Catacombs of Time'. The aesthetics of their artwork fits our music perfectly, and we were able to purchase the piece used for the album cover, entitled 'Lost City'. The cover fits the tone of the album perfectly, conveying the necessary dark grandeur and mystery, and drawing the listener in...





7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?



Our stage performance seeks to channel the powers of fury, despair and sardonic triumph into a manifestation to empower the listener and confound our opponents. Some of our favourite shows so far have been with our friends in Thy Dying Light and Andracca at the Yorkshire House, Lancaster, which is an old haunt of both myself and Leth when we attended Lancaster University and its Rock, Metal and Punk Society. We also enjoyed supporting Akercocke – luminaries of British extreme metal and old friends of Bob's. Playing Darkness Over Cumbria at Fell Foot Wood was a rare honour, and the crowd response was nothing short of rapturous. More recently, we played a show in memory of our fallen friend Marta, and paid tribute to her through the music she loved.



Leth: The music in my ear invokes the eerie, the fearful, the tense, the hostile and the elated. As I perform, I try to interact with the audience to convey these emotions. Some of this involves grandiose displays of aggression towards the crowd and my bandmates but the quiet, purposeful interactions with individual spectators often provide a more lasting impression. Some of my favourite shows are ones where the room is small. This allows me to really hone in and create an interpersonal connection with someone I have never seen before and may never see again, but with whom I'm sharing that very moment and that very emotion.



8.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?



Leth: At the time of writing, it is projected by those academics who model such things that hundreds of thousands of people in Europe will lose their lives to the covid pandemic. These dark days are early, but they will play out throughout our album release. Health is precious if and where it can be had. I would never choose to risk it for ourselves or those who enjoy our music. I would only be willing to pursue a tour when these harder times are over.



9.The album is coming out on 'Clobber Records', how did you get in contact with this label?



Matt: I've been in contact with Rebecca from Clobber for a while now, and the label has been on my radar for the last couple of years, so they were a natural choice. Clobber's roster includes the superb Abduction, And Now the Owls are Smiling and Shadowflag, among many others, and we and the label felt that Argesk would sit well amongst these. Clobber have been a joy to work with so far and I look forward to working with them to promote the album!



Leth: British black metal has a warm and welcoming community and Clobber have firmly installed themselves as an uplifting influence on our shared musical arena. I personally met them at the Darkness Over Cumbria festival last year where they offered some really useful constructive advice for our album once it had been recorded. Based on that advice alone, I felt it was worth including them in those labels we reached out to. I'm grateful that they also enjoy our music and wish to share it far and wide.



10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?



Leth: There have been a wide range of reactions to us from the heartwarming to the downright bizzare. It's always uplifting to hear from people who enjoy our work and wish to support us. The British black metal scene is particularly tight-knit - frequently I've discovered that I've become genuine friends with someone by accident simply because of the music scene we share. That's obviously harder to feel further afield but even across Europe people have reached out to me to express how much they enjoy my work. There's no greater feeling as an artist. One of the strangest reactions was from shortly after we released our first demo, when an American guy posted a video of himself prancing around outside with a pair of drumsticks and a headtorch over the top of a massively distorted, chopped up copy of our song. That said, the guy had a massive grin on his face throughout - who the hell am I to tell someone how they should or should not enjoy our work. He's clearly having a good time and when I saw that I was just glad someone was enjoying our music.



Matt: I would say the reaction to our music has been overwhelmingly positive. Many have remarked that the music takes them back to the 90s, and appreciate the different elements brought to the table. We have also pleasantly surprised many people who aren't usually into black metal, as well as sating the thirst of aficionados of all things blackened.



11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?



Leth: All four of the band members are trying to pull Argesk in wildly different musical directions. This, I believe, is one of our strengths. When all is said and done, the whole band contributes to each and every song. I am now choosing to pull in either an electronic or ambient direction. None of us know the destination.



Matt: We have already begun work on songs for the follow-up release to the album, and have been playing a new song, 'Tempest' live. This is a very ambient piece, much of which is inspired by Summoning, but the second half is more reminiscent of 'Enthrone Darkness Triumphant' era Dimmu Borgir. Dillon is also working on a thrashier, punkier song with the working title 'Hail Satan', and I have many, many riff and vocal ideas in store. This is just the beginning for Argesk!



12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?



Matt: When writing much of this album, I drew on Dissection, Gorgoroth, Sargeist, early Cradle of Filth, Hecate Enthroned, Woods of Desolation, Mutiilation and Alcest. For my guitar playing, I play melodic riffs that can often stick in your head... I've heard us described as catchy before! For my vocals, 90s Dani Filth and Jon Kennedy are big influences, as well as Neige from Alcest's harsh vocals and Tim Yatras of Austere/Germ etc. Corpsegrinder is also an inspiration for the low growls.



Lately I've had 'Vittra' by Naglfar on loop, and have been really into the new Ninkharsag single, 'Discipline Through Black Sorcery', as well as a lot of Sargeist, Thy Antichrist, Graveworm, Dark Tranquillity... I love the new Ulfarr album too.



Leth: I greatly enjoy black metal, but I draw my musical energy from elsewhere. There are four albums that have near-enough been on loop for me throughout the multiple-year process of writing this album. None of them are really black metal, but I feel that they have all shaped my melodic and atmospheric contribution to this album. BLUE by iamamiwhoami is a gripping electropop soundscape whose breadth of emotion I can only ever hope to invoke through my own art. The Victorian Wallflowers by Ashbury Heights drags the user though the sensation of crushing melancholy and neatly packages it up as a series of catchy synthpop ditties. Gravity The Seducer by Ladytron seems to have captured an endless sound of greater and greater complexity the more you listen to it. When my contribution to a song felt peripheral and unnecessary, I tried only to deliver a similar background complexity. I also spend a large amount of time with the music of King of Dungeon Synth himself, Mortiis. In particular, my keyboards in this album has been greatly influenced by Ånden som Gjorde Opprør along with its reinvention as Spirits of Rebellion.







12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?



Matt: Thank you for the interview and for supporting Argesk... We look forward to unleashing the album upon you.



Leth: This album to me is a triumph of joy over the pain of living in human flesh. I only hope you get joy from it too.


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Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2020/03/argesk-interview.html


Bezeha/Smyrna/2020 Full Length Review

mardi 31 mars 2020 à 10:01

  Greece's  Bezeha  have returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  the  old  school  style  of  black  metal  from  their  previous  releases  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2020  album  "Smyrna".

  Classical  guitars  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  whispers  a  few  seconds  later  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction.  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  sounding  black  metal  screams  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  raw  feeling.

  Most  of  the  album  is  also  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  second  wave  era  while  the  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  dark  yet  melodic  style  along  with  the  riffs  also  adding  in  a  small  amount  of  melody  at  times.

 Spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  as  well  as  some  whispers  also making  a  return  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  and  as  the  recording  progresses  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  demonic  growls.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Anti  Christianity,  Social  and  Mythistorical  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Bezeha  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  old  school  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "A  Light  Over  Athens"  "Bloodline"  and  "Finit  Hic  Deo".  8  out  of  10.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IwyWEy0aqw

  

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2020/03/bezehasmyrna2020-full-length-review.html


Firmament/Self Titled/Kammer Records/2020 Full Length Review

lundi 30 mars 2020 à 21:20

  Firmament  are  a  solo  project  from  Germany  that  plays  an  atmospheric  and  ambient  form  of  post  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2020  album  which  will  be  released  in  April  by  Kammer  Records.

  Dark  soundscapes  start  off  the  album  along  with  a  sci-fi  orientated  atmosphere  a  few  seconds  later.  Ambient  style  synths  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while  all  3  of  the  tracks  are  also  very long  and  epic  in  length  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  When  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  it  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.  When  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  the  the  tracks  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  At  times  the  music  gets  very  atmospheric  sounding  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  Clean  playing  and  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  as  well  as  some  post  rock  and  metal  elements  also  being  utilized  at  times,  ambient  style  synths  also  mix  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  in  some  parts  of  the  album  and  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  a  mixture  of  German  and  English  and  cover  dark  and  scientific  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Firmament  are  a  very  great  sounding  ambient  and  atmospheric  post  black  metal  solo  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Sonne//Aus  dem  Nichts".  8  out  of  10.

https://kammerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/firmament

Source : http://occultblackmetalzine.blogspot.com/2020/03/firnamentself-titledkammer-records2020.html