† And then the Curse swept the Earth

quinta-feira, 27 de dezembro de 2012

BEST OF 2012 - Part I - The Demo Series

After a long hiatus, I'm back. this time to unveil what you probably must have been fed up so far like it's usual on this time of the year... Lists, Lists and more Lists. Some seem to bet on the quantity, others on the quality making their Lists following the same "copy-paste" as the List right next door. Some say it was a bad year for metal, others say the opposite. I personally think that this year we witnessed another good crop.

So this time i thought about it a lot and since i heard a lot of awesome releases this year i decided to not go with the flow. It would be also a little bit boring for you to put here the albums that you all are already familiarized with. May all those bands forgive me but hey... you got like 20 or more specialized metal websites/blogs talking amazing stuff of your latest album just right around the corner.

This year i've decided to invest on releases that i really loved and that are as good as the albums featured on the majority of the Lists seen out there on the web. Call them underrated if you feel so. I have compiled what, for me, are the best releases that are worthy of your attention (and support) that also came out in this wretched year of 2012. So i've decided to begin with many bands also begin with: the demo. There are of course, dozens, hundreds of other demos left to discover, but let's give time to time. 
Until then...

So without further notice, these are my 10 favorite demos of 2012.

# 10 #

As described from Sol Y Nieve: "Tales of astral decay and bliss. The procession of a doomed race. Ouroboral riffs through hazy paths of space and time." Chicago's Oyarsa make their debut with this awesome demo filled with, as described by the band itself, cosmic doom. Expect some really heavy doom metal layered with some really harsh vocals. Can't wait to hear more from this band. Loved it.

# 9 #

Norway's Skygge simply deliver some of the most nefarious black metal around. What else could we expect from a black metal band hailing from Norway? One of the most principal lairs, of the trve grim and frostbitten. That's precisely what you can expect with this demo. Cold, grim, ugly black metal where every riff is fired with shards of ice. Skygge have, in the meantime, released their full-length entitled "Knokkelkraft". If you enjoyed this demo I'm pretty sure you will love the album.

# 8 #

Two words: "Death Metal" and "Australia". In nowadays these two words will immediately hook up any extreme death metal fan. Monomakh are no exception. With this demo, the band present us the most twisted, vile, primitive and chaotic death metal around. Besides the most dark and obscure side of death metal, they also blend some black metal into their sound giving it a more hallucinatory facet. I was extremely glad to know that Monomakh's tape was made possible and released thru Rising Beast Recordings, after i posted them here on Forever Cursed. A big thanks to Roach from RBR!

# 7 #

Some say this is the best material released by Torture Chain to date. And i must agree. This demo is compost by only one track that gives title to the demo itself. Killer riffs, killer voice and killer solos swirl thru the 23 minutes that this track lasts. A very enthusiastic and ambitious voyage lead with success by Torture Chain.

# 6 #


From Ireland arrives another great gem. Featuring members from the Irish underground scene, Sodb is a raw black metal band introducing with their first demo, "Don Seantalamh a Chuid Fein", four tracks of some hypnotic and incisive black metal. It isn't very common to get a raw black metal act as this coming from Ireland, but with this demo, Sodb really made some notable work. 

# 5 #

A very interesting demo this one brought by Québec's mysterious act, Déliquescence.
Three tracks of the best occult and ritualistic black metal coming out from that corner of the world. Déliquescence can really create a dark and mystical atmosphere in which we blindly dive in full darkness. "Antinomisme" is all about the atmosphere. An amazing and very interesting piece.

# 4 #

Laster are a black metal band founded and located in Utrecht, the Netherlands. "Wijsgeer & Narreman" is a conceptual work presenting us three tracks inspired by Goethe's tragic play, "Faust".  The quality of this demo is really, really good. Featuring an outstanding drum work, some cascadian-like sounding guitars and a very haunting voice, Laster unleash three great tracks filled with real raw emotions, no tricks, no gimmicks, just true to themselves and to the listener. A terrific piece of work.

# 3 #

Hallow "Hallow"

Another gem brought to light this year was Oregon's doomsters Hallow with their first demo. Introducing two themes of the most heavy, slow, mournful doom. I'm a sucker for this kind of sound and this demo really fulfills my hunger for this kind of doom. I look forward to hear more from this band in the future, until then... doom on!

# 2 #

Muknal "Muknal"

From the Crepusculo Negro collective, a claustrophobic and haunting piece orchestrated by Muknal. One of the most vile demos i've heard this year. If you look at the demo's artwork while listening to this demo, you'll find that it really fits in Muknal's sound. Surreal death metal coming from the most unknown depths of the Earth. Brilliant.

# 1 #

This is by far, the best thing i heard in the demo field this year. I really lost the count of how many times this demo tape played here at the Haxan's den. Tardigrada's demo "Widrstand" is amazing in all of its details. Amazing atmospheric black metal that craves really deep into the listener. A demo that still will be heard many years from now. Absolutely a must for any fan of this genre.


quinta-feira, 15 de novembro de 2012

Sonance "Like Ghosts"

From time to time, when i think that nowadays nothing can surprise me anymore in terms of heavy music, one of these precious gems surface and as my ears are flooded with such great music i silently whisper a sincere: "Holy shit...".

This happened today when i discovered Sonance, a atmospheric/experimental sludge/doom collective hailing from Bristol while checking my blog roll. Their first release only features two tracks, around 20 minutes each, no titles just "Side A" and "Side B". The fact that these guys came from England really got my attention since there are few acts there that practice this kind of music, and most of them are quite impressive. And after a first audition to this... well, I guess i was right.

"Side A" begins with this hiss coming out of violins giving the motto for this thick cacophony wall of sludge that sounds pretty much like Hell. Massive riffs are hammered repeatedly through our brain as the voices behind it scream and yell. Suddenly the whole music tempo changes and morphs into what it seems a more post-rock/instrumental register, very low, it moves at a very slow pace until it morphs again into a more aggressive beast. There's layers and layers of rich and diverse elements that intertwine harmoniously between each other and work perfectly together, and that voice that speaks "like ghosts.." around at minute 7:45... leaves me speechless. I can see there's a clear Neurosis influence in Sonance's sound but i can also throw in names like Kayo Dot or even Godspeed You! Black Emperor. "Side B" goes to a more drone/atmospheric territories before it unveils these massive layers of sludge metal. This was the factor that hooked me up instantly, the whole atmosphere that lies within Sonance's music.  making this release (and band) the best music i've heard this year.

Sonance's ability and creativity to shape and shift their music into different directions without becoming dull or boring, even in the most still parts, is impressive. It really shows the level of maturity that this band holds. Creating this way, from beginning to end, an atmosphere that binds us as we dissect every note with great pleasure. This way it won't take long until Sonance will become a name present in every lover of this genre's mouth.

After this amazing sample i look forward to hear more from this amazing band. If you dig sludge, doom or drone or any of the subgenres, and if you don't listen to this, you don't know what you're missing. Really. What a brilliant release. Sonance, i bow before you.

Meanwhile head over to their Bandcamp and listen/download (name your price) this excellent release. Like always, donations are appreciated. Absolutely fucking highly recommended. 

quarta-feira, 14 de novembro de 2012

Hell "III"

By now you probably know that i'm a sucker for the next band presented here and all things related to it. And i really could not let this one pass. "III" is the third part of Hell's trilogy, delivering two tracks around 20 minutes each of the most tenebrous and sulfurous doom.

In pair with Thou, Elu Of The Nine and few other acts, Hell are probably one of my favorite bands ever since i discovered them. They simply create this suffocating atmosphere almost as if its coming from the deepest pits of Hell itself. Filthy doom/drone that create this dantesque and archaic scenarios of torture, grief and death. Once again represented through the visual imaginary of Gustave Doré that in my opinion fits perfectly to Hell's sound brought here on "III" and of course in all of their previous releases. The big highlight goes to the track "Decedere" that after the infernal doom/droning experience "Mourn", it sounds like the ascension to the Heavens of all the lost souls trapped in this Hell hole. The angelic voices, something never heard before in Hell's record, suits perfectly in this registration. An amazing sonic experience and a remarkable record by the band. Grab one copy of "III" at Eternal Warfare.

quarta-feira, 31 de outubro de 2012

Haxan's Halloween Mixtape II

Last year i did this and it was fun to do it. So i feel like it's almost becoming a tradition here in Forever Cursed and since there's plenty of death, gore and occult related music here at the Haxan's den, i decided to keep the flame alive. So here you go you maggots.

Download it. Play it loud. Fuck it... Enjoy. Track-list in the comments below.

And at least drop a fucking comment below, you dirty fat ass leeches!!

Grue / Word of Unmaking "Lo, the Curse of the World Cometh" Split

Here is an interesting release between two unknown bands to date. Grue's mystical anti-humanism black metal inspired by Sargeist, Profanatica, H.P. Lovecraft and Word of Unmaking's haunting and frozen funeral doom.

While Grue bring in their luggage four themes (which one counts as an interlude), Word of Unmaking bring us just one theme but a theme about 15 minutes long. I must say that at a first audition Grue's tracks didn't left me very fascinated, but the more i listen to the tracks the more they seemed to grow in me. My attention was absolutely focused on "Ascending the Necrolith" that revealed to be a great and solid track. The turn that this track takes around the mark of 2:50 is absolutely wonderful. Very epic, yet dramatic. It isn't a complex track, full of tricks and artifices. It's simple, effective and filled with an ambitious anger that suddenly turns into sorrow.

After this we get more of that melancholic feeling invading our soul with the interlude "Lament of the Spheres", where we can hear such instruments like a cello that really bring that gloomy atmosphere to this track. "In the House of Nemesis" and the ending track "Across Black Seas of Infinity" are other fine examples of what Grue are capable of. Grue's black metal finally convinced me. It's filled with real and honest emotions, charged with a raw anger that flow naturally to the surface of the skin.

On the other hand we have doom. Gloomy, cold and haunting doom. Word of Unmaking track, "Tombs Our Only Monuments" is full of a energy so negative that during those fifteen minutes that lasts this track, the only thoughts that cross our mind are only death, desolation and loneliness. Like a funeral march, this track takes us through the tortuous paths of doom metal. Slow decaying riffs meander through a sinister and misty voice that whispers among old tombstones. This track has a lot of changes over the last fifteen minutes that it lasts, having enough room for even that same cello lend an air of its grace. In the end it seemed to me that "Tombs Our Only Monuments" still has some loose ends to remedy, perhaps in a future record ... who knows. It started in a good way...

Two very opposite directions, yet nice proposals, in this independent/self release split tape ($5 shipped in the States, and/or downloadable for free from Bandcamp).

terça-feira, 23 de outubro de 2012

Ride At Dawn "Human Altars"

"Human Altars" is the first LP of Toronto's based black punk metal band Ride At Dawn. In this first full-length, Ride At Dawn presents us, i must say, a very well produced album. Distilling 10 songs of some dirty blackened punk in just 20 minutes, "Human Altars" appeared as a big surprise. I must confess it's one of the best albums in the genre i had the pleasure to hear this year. The catchy riffs of punk/hardcore layered with some dirty, raw and vicious black metal fit perfectly in this record. Great stuff. "Human Altars" cassette is available on Vomiting Leaves, version limited to 50. Buy it here. You won't regret it. Stream or download the LP below. Highly Recommended.

Ilmestys "Demo I"

Ilmestys are a raw black metal band featuring Andy Stammers and Eric King from Column Of Heaven, ex Slaughter Strike, etc. This Demo introduces some really gnarly, raw-as-fuck black metal similar to Arts, Bone Awl, Grinning Death's Head. If you're into this faction of black metal, don't sleep on this one. Great Demo. Nevermind the quality of the files below (given by the band) just think it sounds more kvlt this way. Grab a copy here.

domingo, 21 de outubro de 2012



To all of you that have sent me emails to post/review your band, don't worry. I've been "cleaning" out my mailbox, so I'm checking the whole requests one by one. As you can probably imagine, some will please me, other won't. All of this to say that your request didn't fell into oblivion. I'll get there. Don't worry. Better late than never right?

Besides all of this, don't forget that Forever Cursed is a music sharing blog. My aim when i created the blog was/is to share music, so if you want a featured "review" on it but will not share your music (unless it's very cheap on Bandcamp for example), then I'm sorry but there are 1000 more blogs just around the corner where you can send your request to. At least specify this point when sending in the request.

Thanks for your understanding.

quarta-feira, 17 de outubro de 2012

Encoffination "Elegant Funerals For The Unknown Dead"

Behold! The open grave, the bells toll for you in the distance and the larvae whisper your name...

"The rotting stench of human decay prevails as deathly duo ENCOFFINATION returns with "Elegant Funerals For The Unknown Dead" - a brand new five-track EP that follows the trail of death travelled on 2011 full-length "O' Hell, Shine In Thy Whited Sepulchres". A suffocating, abysmal journey further downwards into the bottomless abyss, this guttural, lo-fi EP is certainly not for those fixated with crystalline productions and / or catchy hooks; to the contrary, it is crafted solely for those obsessed by death. Slow, tortured, decrepit extreme death / doom infused with sickness, this vinyl-only release crawls from the coffin with brooding, ominous intent. As funeral bells chime for the dearly departed, no living thing can withstand the relentless onslaught of death, the onset of decay, the insatiable call of the crypt. Death is an expression of human frailty in its purest form andENCOFFINATION personifies this lore of death - never more so than on "Elegant Funerals For The Unknown Dead"."

Masters of funeral death return with a new EP, "Elegant Funerals For The Unknown Dead". Already available on Debemur Morti Productions. Let death enter...

terça-feira, 16 de outubro de 2012

Bands You Should Be Hearing Pt.I

..or at least, Heard Of.

Ok, after the avalanche of requests i got from a few months back, i filtered some (sorry to the others and please don't send me psych/stoner/grunge stuff, seriously) and decided to create this mega post with some of the coolest bands, or at least i think they're worthy of attention, that crashed into my mailbox.

As described by themselves on their Facebook page, Wolves Carry My Name are a five-piece Sludge band from Siegen/Germany. Born in late 2011, this profane cult intends to set the world's decline to music by arranging furious, heart bending and manifold sound-scapes somewhere amongbrokenness, abomination and anger. The headstrong sound combines heavy Sludge/Stoner riffing with Ambient/Post-Rock elements, a slight Psychedelic/Blues touch and both desperate and hate driven vocals. Now, at a first glance, don't let the cover of this EP fool you, there's nothing about crusty and blackened hardcore here. 

The first impression i got, and truth be said, these guys aren't reinventing the wheel here. With this release, we get a heavy dose of massive post metal with some stoner and post rock influences that will certainly please fans of bands as Tephra, Trenches, Isis or even Iron Monkey, for example. The "southern/stoner/rock/whatever" parts really bother me a bit since this formula has been more than used by bands of the genre along the years, but hey.. this is just me (please stop sending me stoner/psychedelic/fuzz/southern rock!). I'm more into the atmospheric stuff. Music for me must create atmosphere, create images in my mind either they maybe real or surreal. In overall, the production of "Amongst Ruins And Ashes" is excellent, the tracks are really solid, all factors for you to hear this release. Preview it/grab it below.


One good surprise and a name to keep in mind are Sun Of Nothing, an experimental metal band from Athens, Greece. This band grabs influences from several styles from sludge, doom, post-punk, post-rock to black metal. All entangled in a experimental and psychedelic web of sound called "The Guilt Of Feeling Alive". There are some good quality bands coming out of Greece lately, besides the reputation for quality black metal, other bands have been emerging from there, right now i can think of Dephosphorus and Mass Culture for example. The most interesting point here is that, with all of their influences, Sun Of Nothing, have managed to create a unique sound of their own, making this release one of the most interesting ones that has ever dropped into my mailbox. Serious.

As "The Guilt Of Feeling Alive" begins, we are immediately mesmerized with the opening track "Sink", whose notes wander through repetitive rhythms, always creating that feeling of expectation that something is really before us but at the same time seems to constantly escape. In the following tracks, our ears are assaulted by anguished cries that constantly haunts the tracks. "Catharsis", "Drowned Out", "Unreached Soul" and the abysmal closing "Hearthealer" are constant jumps into the unknown where we never know what to expect next. With five tracks only, "The Guilt Of Feeling Alive" lasts over 42 minutes and i guarantee you that every single minute, or second, is really worth it. Try it for yourself.
Preview it on the band's Bandcamp, just follow the link below. Follow their steps here.

Here is a split release many of you may know by now, but i really could not pass this one by too. A split between Dallas progressive post black metallers Cara Neir and New Hampshire's blackened stenchcore Ramlord. Beginning with Ramlord, to be honest, i'm still not into this band. I got to know them through their demo "Stench of Fallacy" and their sound really didn't hit me, maybe because due to the quality of the recording sound, i don't know. To me it's just another average band playing this hybrid style of crust/black metal. Nothing new here. Sorry Ramlord. Now Cara Neir i got to know them since the very interesting "Stagnant Perceptions" from last year. I know these guys got to pull some really cool reviews and good critics about this debut album. In this split you can expect the same kind of tracks as heard on "Stagnant Perceptions" although the sound production here is a lot better. Introducing a more cohesive and accurate sound. Cara Neir continues their legacy of this post black metal layered with some post rock/screamo influences as heard on "Family Dirge", but there's also room for some more, i dare say, death metal influences (as heard on "Wilted Blue"). Cara Neir absorbs a lot of influences making impossible for us to almost catalog them (in what fucking playlist on my iTunes, am i going to put these guys in???).

For those who love to collect tapes, i believe the split tape is still available on Broken Limbs Recordings, besides this one, they got a hand full of great releases there, check them out. Meanwhile check the Split on the link below. Download link courtesy of the band.


Still on Cara Neir...


Is this the same Cara Neir i've just talked about?

Yes they are. Now this was quite a surprise.

Taking a turn of 360º, from black metal to pure powerviolenced grindcore, here is the latest Cara Neir's EP: "Sublimation Therapy" EP. A blazing storm of 17 short bursts of the most ravenous grindcore i've heard in a few months, in a total of 22 and a half minutes. Interesting twist here. As expected, in terms of sound production, Cara Neir have done it again, thanks to Mr. Garry Brents. At first i was feeling a little distrustful about this but the more i hear it, the more i actually enjoy it. Clean and razor sharp riffs are fired shattering blast beats destroy everything around. Fans of bands like Graf Orlock, Defeatist or even Dephosphorus, please... put your ears and hands on this one. A must for contemporary grind fans. 

Sabrewulf are a hardcore band from El Paso, Texas, they have a new EP out, basically made out of songs that originally were supposed to be on the demo released in November. Sabrewulf presents us a very muscled hardcore stuffed with some sludge or even some dark hardcore influences but always staying true to their hardcore roots. Following the same line of the demo "Prophecy", in "The Condemned" they present us three tracks that begin with some dark and haunting environmental intro setting the tone for the what's next, a furious discharge of some serious hate-fueled hardcore. Taking a look at the EP's artwork, and as i hear this "The Condemned" EP, it reminds me of some wicked character coming out of the twisted universe of Silent Hill. This band really bets on fabricating heavy and dense atmospheres making them really work along the tracks. So if you are into the heaviest and darker faction of hardcore i totally recommend this one to you. Download link below, generously given by the band.


Taste The Void, a fresh progressive/post-metal/post-hardcore band hailing from Nantes, France. As many bands coming from this country, right now i can think of a big part of the Throatruiner catalog (Calvaiire, Cowards, Comity, etc) or even Swarm of Nails (Arms of Ra, Nesseria, AsWeDraw, etc), Taste The Void easily fit in the same family tree of these bands. Produced by Amaury Sauvé (As We Draw, Birds In Row, Comity) the band presents us four tracks in "Sun's heat", opening with the ambitious "Monolith" where the band immediately throws the listener to the ground with this mechanism designed for them, consisting of slow but powerful riffs and drum beats. Music-wise it does not escape much from what we know coming from those countries, but in certain way it reminds me also that Nordic sound of bands like the legendary Breach or even Cult Of Luna due to the more atmospheric sections drawn here by the band. A very decent record that leaves the listener craving more. Buy it now for merely €0.40 ($0.52) or feel free to contribute with some more. If you want the album for free you can just use Google, which is something you do rather well right?

Another promising new act, this time from the UK. Trudger are a fairly new progressive sludge metal band presenting, through their Bandcamp, three tracks of some serious heavyweight progressive sludge. Sound-wise, Trudger's sound fits in the same bag as bands like Collider, Old Man Gloom, Monolith or Moloken. Distilling large chunks of sludge that turns out to be well cut by the post-metal machine. Nevertheless although the amount here is small, we should not fail to watch this recording with extreme caution, because something great is coming on the horizon for this band. Pay attention to this. Stream or download the tracks, just follow the link below... you know the drill.

quarta-feira, 10 de outubro de 2012

Pestkreuz "Perdition Discipline" EP

"Perdition Discipline", the  debut EP from Canada’s black metal horde Pestkreuz. Introducing four tracks, around 20 minutes in total, where they summon the ancient and demonic spirits of black metal. The ancient northern European influences are there, as well as some contemporary influences in Pestkreuz's sound. Chunks of buzzing and cutting riffs are continuously fired along "Perdition Discipline" filled with frenzy blast-beats. But there's also room for the most (un)orthodox punk faction of black metal on this release, making it one of the most interesting, solid and well achieved black metal EP's i had the pleasure to discover for this almost closing year. Satanism, Plague, Holy Death... we just can't get enough of it, right? Support the word of Horned One by achieving this EP here.

Redrighthand "They Sang And Chanted For Hours, Then The Locked-in Hundreds Set Themselves Ablaze"

Damn.. this album title almost looks like a Red Sparowes song name. But no, nothing related at all. But i'm just gonna shoot into the dark and at least say that the band's name was taken from a Nick Cave & Bad Seeds famous track. "They Sang And Chanted For Hours, Then The Locked-in Hundreds Set Themselves Ablaze" is a damn fine album and Redrighthand, the sick maestro behind all of this pain and filth. Feeling almost as a bastard child of a relationship between Khanate and Monarch.

According to some sources, and to my regret, this band no longer exists. Members were in/went on to bands as Hard To Swallow, Narcosis, They Are Cowards, Charger, Ocksen, Like A Kind Of Matador and Gruel.

Although the lifetime of this beast was short, they left at least one brutal discharge of the most filthy and sick doom sludge coming out of old Britannia. Redrighthand's sound is dragged slow producing an atmosphere so thick, we can almost cut it with a knife. And the vocals are simply some of the most distressing i've heard into this genre, very Toadliquor style, very deep as if he is shouting from the deepest of catacombs, way behind the rest of the band. Although it was recorded in 2004, this is one of the best of what UK sludge/doom has to offer. A perfect distillation of fear and despair. Sick people, as me, into this sort of stuff... grab it here. Highly intense record. Recommended!

Abyss "The Reins Of Horror"

Here is another release i've been into a lot lately, canadian death metal band Abyss with their second demo entitled "The Reins Of Horror". One of the highlights of this band for me, is the fact it features among its ranks David, ex-vocals from Slaughter Strike. Slaughter Strike kicked ass and i was really bummed when they were over. So i guess Abyss comes to fill that hole. Abyss introduces some high quality death metal with a very crust punk stench all wrapped up in a very DIY ethic. "The Reins Of Horror" features nine tracks of raw, pummeling and vicious death metal. Bellow you can check out the two of Abyss demos. Don't be a douche and support these dudes. Buy the tape here.

terça-feira, 9 de outubro de 2012

Ironhorse "Dragged Down A Dead End Path"

And how about for a kick in your fucking teeth? That's right. Colorado's Ironhorse will kick the shit out of you with "Dragged Down A Dead End Path" an album that is all about one thing: Anger. As i started to play this album, i felt like i am immedeatly slapped in my face, but the deeper i get into it, something evil (even more) starts growing inside of me, making me just want destroy stuff around me.

Delivering a brutal mix of hardcore, sludge, crust, powerviolence or even grind, Ironhorse's formula is as powerful as a keg full of gunpowder about to blow. These boys are here to make a stand with this album, ten explosive tracks in 25 minutes... they mean serious business. Don't get in their way or they will slay you. Coming straight out of nowhere, "Dragged Down A Dead End Path" is a killer album. Play it loud and destroy! Listen in the link bellow and don't miss the chance to check them out live.

Yellow Eyes​/​Monvment "Split"

I was really caught by surprise when i saw the announcement of this split tape between my beloved Yellow Eyes, who last year released a masterpiece of what we might call a modern-avant-gard-new-wave of usbm, a really impressive debut. And on the other hand we have the mysterious Monvment, a very low-fi and raw black metal act that i know only from their Demo "I". This time both bands go a little bit further with their sound in this split tape. Monvment isn't as raw and low-li as in their demo and I also feel some small changes on Yellow Eyes sound, the voice isn't as strident as heard in "Silence Threads The Evening's Cloth", but the song structure follows the album's lineage. Nonetheless, a split release that is really worthy of your attention. Tape available for purchase here. Follow the link below to hear/buy/download/whatever you want to do with it.

segunda-feira, 24 de setembro de 2012

Forks of Ivory "The Isolator" EP

Forks of Ivory are a two-piece band from Johnson City, Tennessee drawing influence from all types of music, from sludge to black metal passing through post metal and doom. I've heard this band since their self titled from last year and i really remember enjoying what i heard back then. I felt that this band was really on to something. With "The Isolator" EP my expectations were indeed overcome. I enjoyed this so much that the only negative aspect i can point towards it is the short amount of tracks. Damn you Forks Of Ivory, if you could've only worked on a few more, it would probably hit my Best Of 2012 List. 

To begin with, the sound production on "The Isolator" is awesome. Very clean and sharp. The sound is heavy almost sucking every bit of air in every room where it's played. Featuring three tracks, the instrumental intro "Captured", which seduces us with its very dreamy atmosphere right before this mountain of riff known as "Sentenced" crumbles upon us. Thunderous riffs open way as the drum hits like a sledgehammer right in our eardrums. From there on, this 11 minute tracks dwells into sludge, black metal lined with atmospheric contours before closing in into a whirl of deafening wall of noise. "Condemned", simply takes no prisoners nor have pity and drag us to the scaffold without pity or the slight hint of mercy. This track is charged with an inherent evil which we can feel in the vocal work presented here. Almost as if they were possessed by any and all existing evil on this planet. 

With "The Isolator", Forks of Ivory, have really hit the nail and i just finished listening to this begging for more! A remarkable and heavy as hell release for this year. I just pray that these guys maintain this line up and carry on like this, if so, i'm pretty sure they will go far in the blackened sludge scene. So please Forks Of Ivory, bring on a full-length soon! The band is giving this great EP for free on their Bandcamp, so follow the link below so, play it loud and bang your fucking head to this!!

sexta-feira, 21 de setembro de 2012

Loss Of Self "Demo"

Loss Of Self is a band based in Melbourne, Australia. Formed by Rohan and Jacob, Loss Of Self can be described as an avant-garde black metal act with some post punk influences although they claim, and it's pretty obvious, the influence from contemporary bands as well. Recorded on the 23rd of July of this year, the Demo features three tracks in a total of almost nine minutes. The three tracks on this demo sway between a more scathing black metal with some melancholic sections and some post punk hints without becoming too sappy, that end up by sounding something quite interesting. The sound recording is pretty good, we can distinguish all the instruments perfectly, although the result isn't astonishing, it's quite polished keeping the heaviness in its core and very well executed leaving in me the desire to hear more. That's the only negative aspect i find on L.O.S demo, the short amount of tracks, but in time i'm sure the band will have more outbursts of creativity, which is something that they don't lack of. 

Besides what's inside there was also an extra care with the aesthetics, result of Jacob work as a painter/illustrator, whose work i must confess is excellent, check for yourself on his website. Released in 49 copies, the first 9 demos have a unique physical package that were completely hand-made with gold ink screen-printed finishing on black card. Numbered and also includes a track list along with credits inside. The remaining 40 are hand-finished a little differently but nonetheless they're still a very interesting piece to own. Preview the demo on the band's Bandcamp and follow their moves on Facebook. The download link was given by the band which i really appreciate.

Altarnihil "Terminal" Demo

Altarnihil are a two-piece depressive black metal band from Iowa presenting their first demo entitled "Terminal" which features four tracks of some of the most raw, low-fi, ugly and cold black metal made. The recording presented here in this demo is very, very raw. Almost if it was recorded live in some deep dark basement and recorded by some old tape recorder that only gives Altarnihil's sound an even more despicable character. The tracks on "Terminal" demo are very minimalist, stripped down of any kind of ambition. The track "Eternal Suspension" is clearly my favorite, it's crosses the borders of raw black metal and steps into a more drone/doom territory making this track one of the most haunting tracks presented here. If you're into the kind of black metal that is totally devoid of any type of emotion, then I would suggest you this band. You can grab it for free on the band's Bandcamp, check out the link below.

quarta-feira, 19 de setembro de 2012

Esoterica "Knell" EP

I was caught by surprise with this new EP from Esoterica who've I talked about some time ago here on Forever Cursed and how I was blown away with their fantastic debut EP "Idololatriae". This time they bring "Knell", an EP featuring three tracks only, if it's short in quantity sure is not in quality. "Knell" is a little different from "Idololatriae", it's more focused on the atmosphere itself than simply turn us into ashes through a devastating barrage of tremolo picking and blast-beats.

But don't get me wrong, Esoterica didn't turn out into some depressive or mellow dramatic black metal act. The aggression is still there, in its cold and evil core. It starts with "Elixir and Aer", a track that starts by wrapping us slowly with soft melancholic and atmospheric tones that are suddenly corrupted by the somber voice of Esoterica. This track really has that mourning tone that crawls and gets deep into our skin causing us to lose all the conviction we may have in life. It just draws our defenses as we are swept away by this black tide. But before we realize what is going on emotionally inside us, a stinking sulphur stench invades our nostrils with the title track "Knell" and the amazing "IV/Ayahuasca", a twisted behemoth track with 18 minutes long.

Preview it here or download it below through the link given by the band. Enjoy one of the most awesome BM acts coming out of the North American scene today. Fans of the sickest BM factions like B.A.N and Deathspell Omega come closer...

sexta-feira, 7 de setembro de 2012

Serpentine Path "Serpentine Path"

Just a quick post before i head off to burn my last days of vacations for the year. Heading off to Rome, to see some ancient catacombs & shit... Don't know if they will let me in the Vatican though... well, nevermind.

Finally, another of the albums for 2012 i was very eager to hear has finally crashed. The debut full-length of Serpentine Path (I've talked about these guys earlier here) a "supergroup" featuring Jay Newman - bass (ex-Unearthly Trance, ex-Villains, ex-Thralldom), Darren Verni – drums (ex-Unearthly Trance), Tim Bagshaw – guitars (Ramesses, ex-Electric Wizard) and Ryan Lipynsky – vocals (The Howling Wind, ex-Thralldom, ex-Unearthly Trance, ex-Villains). What can you expect of this super line-up? How about the most vicious doom metal you will ever put your ears on? Together they have unleashed another solid pillar of doom that strengthens the compendium of doom releases for the year. These guys had already released a 7'' in February of this year, that left me drooling for more, and finally here it is.

This monster self titled features the best death/doom filled with suffering and misery over 42 minutes of skull crushing doom. Just imagine if Bolt Thrower had slowed down and decided to play some gnarly doom tunes, the result would be something very close to what you will find here. Total fucking evil. "Serpentine Path" is already available on the Relapse webstore. Buy it in that wonderful snot green vinyl!! Absolutely recommended.

quinta-feira, 6 de setembro de 2012

Monomakh "MMXII"

One of my latest finds is this band, Monomakh. There isn't much info about them floating around and all i know is that these dudes come from Australia and they play this down-tuned, sick, obscure and suffocating death metal. For you to get an idea, while listening to their Demo "MMXII" names like Portal, Antediluvian, Akem Manah ran across my mind. It's twisted, vile, primitive and chaotic. All adjectives we appreciate when it comes to death metal. Besides the most dark and obscure side of death metal, they also blend some black metal into their sound giving it a more hallucinatory side. Enough talking, just head over their Bandcamp and listen for yourself. Judging by this three-track sample i can tell that another beast is emerging from the land down under.

Edit: Since bandcamp only allows 200 downloads per month and it has been lately exceeded. The band kindly sent me an alternative link, has the same files from the bandcamp in 320kps. Grab it here.

quarta-feira, 5 de setembro de 2012

Antediluvian & Temple Nightside "Split"

Here is your dose of blackened bestiality for today. Introducing exclusive tracks by both bands, Antediluvian's darkened death metal bestiality vs Temple Nightside's ritualistic death/black. No matter the side you chose, the result is you being plunged into a black, thick, stinky pit full of bile. This release comes with a two-sided mini poster and it's limited to 500 copies. Get it here.

domingo, 2 de setembro de 2012

Samothrace "Reverence to Stone"

And now i present you another contender for the best albums of the year: New Samothrace. 

With "Reverence to Stone", Samothrace bring the slow, thunderous, crushing riffage, with emphasis on crushing. This 35-minute LP is heavier, louder, and more intense than "Life's Trade" and retains the infectious melodies and solos that made the debut so impossible to deny. The tones here are majestic and melancholic, as all doom should be, but these guys really, really do it well. The slow-motion riffs and agonized vocals seem to come in waves, and threaten to overtake you if you're not especially careful. 
But you're probably best-served to let you guard down and really let the record was over you with it's resplendent, graceful tides of misery. Because the emotion and power of this record is really the key. It's heartbreaking and tragic, yet in the end sacrifices none of the despondent beauty that characterizes the band's sound. 

source: HSS

Just go listen to one of the best releases for the year. It's fucking beautiful. Buy this!

sexta-feira, 31 de agosto de 2012

Impia "Our Failures Become Us

Impia are a 3 piece Drone/Doom band based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. After over a year since their first release, they have just put out a second EP entitled "Our Failures Become Us", over 30 minutes of devastatingly crushing doom metal.

This album was forged in fires of ever-burning regret and cooled in waters of deep seated anquish. Feelings of overwhelming disgust for self and species fuels this lethargic, ongoing movement towards extinction. Reflecting the carnage that rages inside and out of everything breathing and that will eventually consume us all.

As a DIY release "Our Failures Become Us" presents some quality above the average. Impia's sound is murky and dreary drawing us images of desolation, emptiness and negativity. The opening track "Broken and Disgraced" speaks for itself, just read again the title. A journey of approximately thirteen minutes through a field filled with riffs that almost graze the edge of drone while the drum sets the pace through this desolate field of negative doom. "Abysmal Swell of Self Degredation" continues to follow the same trail left by the previous track. Extended riffs obscured by some noise in the background, whose job is to create a denser atmosphere, continue to punish us along another thirteen minutes. But from there on, right on the middle of the track, it develops and gives space to some more dynamic riffs in the vein of bands like Bongripper or even Pelican. The third and last track "Consumed Pt. 1" unveils an environment laden with grief and so thick that you could almost cut it with a knife. Once again we are struck with merciless riffs that corrupt and consume our soul. The fact of Impia not having vocals makes us focus more on the music itself. Every note, every riff, every beat is thoroughly dissected by our ears, making this unholy message of doom grow in us in a much more objective way.

Overall, Impia brings us a fine sample of a well-executed sludge/drone/doom piece. Their sound shows some character and power but i strongly believe that they can do much more than this. I would like to hear more of this young band, but for now I'll have to content myself with this record. As DIY artists I'm not gonna put a download link this time (sorry). It's merely 5$. Feel free to contact them here if you would like a physical release.

Check these guys out and support them the best way you can. Recommended for fans of Bongripper, Monno and other brutal instrumental doom acts.

quinta-feira, 30 de agosto de 2012

Cowards "Shooting Blanks And Pills"

Cowards are another breath of fresh air coming out of Throatruiner Records. Featuring current and ex-members of bands like Sickbag, Death Mercedes, Hangman's Chair, Eibon, Glorior Belli, Dacast, Colossus of Destiny. Coming from such diverse and dark bands like those the result could one be one: brutal. Brutal as a kick in your teeth. Spewing a vicious blend of hardcore, sludge with some hints of black metal, "Shooting Blanks And Pills", their debut release is all about brutal, dirty and infectious music. Generated in a span of six months, this monster release brings to my mind a crossbreed between the sickness of Kickback and the muscled heaviness of bands like Will Haven, all very well blended here with that special touch that only the french can do.

We are automatically thrown to the ground with the opening track  "Hoarse From The Get Go", that with those mighty riffs and harsh voice, pierces our brain leaving our whole body trembling under this unexpected assault on our ears. Along this release there is a great influence of the most visceral hardcore but at some points there are also some filthy sludge riffs thrown into the air. Cowards combine, in a perfect way, the best of these two worlds. Each stroke of the drum, seems to weight a ton, it's like you're inside a building that is about to colapse, if you don't get out of there soon... you will be crushed.

Lyrically, each word spits poison and anger towards us, as Cowards crushing killing machine continues to shred everything and everyone on the background. Tracks like the relentless "Last Card" and "Vices & Hate", the sludgy drunken paced "Scarce" or "Grand Failure" and just some fine examples of what to expect. No matter the card you pull out of this deck, your fate will be the same. Your brain will be crushed until blood comes out of your ears. This album is meant to be played really loud, I'm sure your neighbors will love it.

With "Shooting Blanks And Pills" french band Cowards shows us that there's no cowardice on what they do. Just pure fucking, mean and filthy hardcore/sludge in your face. If you're looking for something fresh within' the hardcore scene i totally recommend you this. Don't be a coward yourself and support this awesome label and band by getting this album (& more other goodies) here.

domingo, 26 de agosto de 2012

Scythling "Smokefall"

Blooming heavy atmospheric doom sludge improvisations from Aidan Baker (Nadja, Whisper Room, Infinite Light) and Josh Rothenberger (Bloody Panda), recorded live in Brookly 2008, and later augmented with several guest musicians. The resultant "Smokefall" revolves around three lengthy pieces sweeping between ultra-slow doom crushers to plangent ambient and darkly psychedelic folk and black metal atmospheres. An impressive album, one to really get lost in. For fans of Black Boned Angel, Æthenor, Nadja. Buy it here. Or here.

Krallice "Years Past Matter"

"Years Past Matter" marks the return of N.Y avant-garde black metal masters, Krallice. It's their fourth album of originals five years since the awesome self titled "Krallice", "Dimensional Bleedthrough" was also good (but not as good as their first child) and "Diotima"... i don't want to talk about it. So, i was really anxious to hear "Years Past Matter" to see to what paths they had gone this time. I really wanted to be surprised by the band this time as they did on "Krallice". I didn't want to lose my hope on Krallice right after that release from last year.

So as the first notes started to emerge i felt in my guts that something very good was coming this time.

As the guitars echo in the distance, furious blast beats are unleashed and paused while Marston and Barr do their best, releasing into the air geometrically complex and spontaneous riffs creating this daedal web of black metal that only Krallice manages to weave. The core, that make up this unrestrained spiral of experimental black metal, is mostly compost of unforeseen segments that arise constantly riff after riff, beat after beat. We never know what will be next. And this is one of the main factors that takes me to listen to this album over and over and over, discovering new treasures in every track, or just checking if i didn't missed something really special.

There are no track names in this wonderful piece. The six tracks on "Years Past Matter" simply share the same gene that starts with "IIIIIII". The voices of Nicholas McMaster and Mick Barr lose, at some points, part of role in this album, letting the music speak for itself, never downgrading. Always pushing forward, jumping over and over into experimental territories creating creative spaces that sound always under control. A total delirium for the ears that lasts exactly one hour. With this, Krallice, make their point why they are one of the best names in the actual USBM scene, "Years Past Matter" is an amazingly creative album. This band keeps on pushing the boundaries of black metal as we know it, making certainly this release one of those timeless albums people will still talk about years from now.

If you, like me, feel attracted to all that is strangely captivating sonically, I invite you to explore this amazing album. Certainly one of the better releases of band and certainly an album that will be part of many year-end lists. Buy it here.

sábado, 25 de agosto de 2012

Extinction "Down Below the Fog"

It's precisely 4 a.m right now. I'm still up doing some freelance work because it isn't this stupid blog that it's going to put food on the table you know?

And what better tunes to play while i'm doing cute stuff? How about some grim, nasty, creepy and haunting black of the blackest metal?

Extinction is pure evil, the black essence, your darkest thoughts, it's fear impersonated. "Down Below the Fog" brings eight tracks of unrestrained, discordant, obscure black metal. A thick, raw production creates a disturbing atmosphere that clings to every facet, drawing it down. Guitars whip up violent hypnotic vortexes of noise that expand endlessly, and Vuel’s distinctive bestial vocals complete a truly occult experience. Meanwhile a mysterious figure sits next to me as he sharpens his scythe...

sexta-feira, 24 de agosto de 2012

Galaxicon "Old Gods"

It's time for me to put some requests to date...

Galaxicon are a progressive post-metal sludge band from Memphis that consists of three guys, a wall of amps, and a desire to be something more than just "heavy." In their musical influences they quote well known names like Neurosis, YOB, Woe and Cursed. "Old Gods" is their debut album, i've stumbled across this band on one of my incursions through Bandcamp and to be honest, i really enjoyed what i heard. So when i got this email from one of the members of the band i really couldn't say "No". 

Blending a variety of styles into "Old Gods" (please notice the lovecraftian devotion there) is the formula for the success of this album. The main ingredient is definitely that sludgy post metal presented here on a very polished and pleasant record. But throw into that cauldron some hints of black metal, doom, punk and the result is something fresh here. Not another generic post-metal album for your ears.. they really appreciate that.

"Serpent Savior", the opening track, is the main appetizer for what we're about to witness. The sound here is very clear and polished like i said, due to the careful production of this record. Each instrument is quite noticeable and they really function very well as a whole, never outshining one another. Another thing i really enjoy on this record is the constant duality of voices, very much à la Battlefields. The voice can be guttural and brutal as it can be harsh and dry, pretty much the black metal way. "Rapture of the Deep" introduces itself as being a more mellow, dramatically heavy track while "Pyramid of the Sea" (to me it's one of the best tracks here) unleashes all of its fury into a more punk/hardcore vibe filled with really heavy sections and then you get tracks like "Snake Oil", "The Key, the Gate, the Light" and the closing "Innkeeper" that continue that legacy left from the other previous tracks.

With "Old Gods" Galaxicon presents us a very solid, well written, powerful album which is impossible to remain indifferent. An album that sounds better and better in every audition we take from it. Check out "Old Gods"  featured on the band's Bandcamp and take your own conclusions.

quinta-feira, 23 de agosto de 2012

Hallow "Hallow"

So far it's being a great year for doom. We are blessed to witness great releases from Pallbearer, Profetus, Evoken, Bereft, Aldebaran, Anhedonist, and still there are more to add to this list, like the full-length from Serpentine Path and Indesinence for example. 

Somehow i stumbled across this awesome act, Hallow (not to be mistaken with the raw black metal act) introducing, with this self titled release, some of the best crestfallen crushing funeral doom i've heard in a while. Hallow are a recent band created apparently from members coming from the most diverse active and extinct bands from the US underground scene. 

Featuring two extensive tracks, this self titled is all about monolithic funeral doom. It moves at only speed only: slow. I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff, and it really made my day, the day i bumped into this ode of gloom. Sorrowful and slow guitars move between mournful, dying pace set by the drum generating this beautiful yet crushing and dense atmosphere. I instantly became fan of this band. Amazing debut. The Demo comes also with a mini poster, making this superb demo a must-have piece to add to your doom collection. Just email the band ( if you're really interested. Preview one of the tracks hereRecommended for fans of Ocean, Asunder, Aldebaran, Loss. Highly Recommended. 

quarta-feira, 22 de agosto de 2012

Elysian Blaze "Blood Geometry"

Another album that i've been into a lot lately is the latest child, hell spawned, of Australia's Elysian Blaze entitled "Blood Geometry". As i read on the web, this album has quite the history behind it.

"Blood Geometry" was completely all the way back in 2007 and was slated for release in 2008, but that was pushed back to 2009. Then 2010. Then 2011. The band's only member, Mutatiis, is a fussy perfectionist. Just as the album was about to be released, he would see something wrong with it and go change it. He eventually stopped being so fussy and released it in 2012.

Was it worth the wait?
You bet your soul it did.

I can't think of proper words in order to describe what this album is... i'm still numb drunk from all of the glory and epic proportions around "Blood Geometry". Few albums can achieve what Elysian Blaze has made here. An absolutely outstanding album. A must-have. It's the "5th Symphony" of blackened doom. A masterpiece in all of its proportions, and when i say it, i mean it. "Blood Geometry" in it's whole lasts over two hours. It comes in double CD or for wax lovers, in three (!!!) slices of vinyl.

Disc one opens with "A Choir for Venus", an intro/instrumental track that unveils in the dark mist, a beautiful piano track with an epic and dramatic outline around it. The motto is set. Right after that, a massive hailstorm of riffs flood our ears and drags us down into this catastrophic scenario with "The Temple Is Falling". You see the cover artwork? That's precisely what this track represents. Dark skies circle over a maya (or aztec) pyramid while it starts to crumble in the middle of this storm. Somehow it makes some sense why this album took so long to be released. According to the Mayan calendar, the end of the World is set to this year, 2012. Maybe Mutatiis had a vision or some kind of premonition and released "Blood Geometry" so that it could be the perfect soundtrack to this very end. I'm a little sceptic about this but one thing i know, this is really the perfect soundtrack to events of this proportion. The following tracks, the amazing "Sigils That Beckon Death" (that lasts almost half an hour) and "Blood Geometry" (another great instrumental track/outro) follow the tone set by its predecessors. At the end, I'm totally blown' away. Disc two shares the same concept as the first one, four tracks, begins with an intro/instrumental track, two massive tracks and another outro/instrumental/ambient track. Outstanding.

To be honest, in this kind of records, I'm always afraid that an album as ambitious as this one ends up by becoming boring. But the more i listen to this, the more I'm hooked and it proves me that my first guess was absolutely wrong. From the beginning to the end, "Blood Geometry", reveals to be a very controlled album where each detail was studied to exhaustion. From the beginning to the end, the atmosphere is amazing, i mean, Elysian Blaze knows his thing. Better than anyone he knows how to create a very thick and dark atmosphere. Forget about what you heard on "Cold Walls and Apparitions" and "Levitating the Carnal", "Blood Geometry" is way ahead and it's way more massive.

Dwelling between funeral doom and black metal territories, there is also space on the tracks for some long sections where lie some very interesting atmospheric parts that give the music a very peaceful,  solemn, quiet character. Their purpose is to build anticipation until the those ghostly rasps and howls, filled with hate start all over again. There are piano, organs, and other symphonic elements that enhance even more the atmosphere created by Elysian Blaze.

"Blood Geometry" maybe two hours long, but every second is worth it. No doubt that "Blood Geometry" will make it on my Best of the Year list. Absolutely recommended. Buy it here or here.