† And then the Curse swept the Earth

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.

sexta-feira, 17 de agosto de 2012

Of Spire & Throne "Vagary"

"Vagary" is the new EP from Scotland's doomsters Of Spire & Throne. Straight out of the deepest and filthiest sewers of Edinburgh, Of Spire & Throne are actually one of the most interesting bands coming straight out of the small sludge/doom scene of Edinburgh. "Vagary" is their third release, and consists on one monstrous track of 21 minutes. The thing i dig about this band the most is their sound. It's heavy, crushing and raw. No digital mambo-jambo here. No polished production or whatsoever. Just a pure set of guitars-bass-drum, played very intensely in order to crush us and to that add the growling cavernous voice of Ali Lauder that will make you shiver on every word vomited by his throat. The way doom should sound.

The track begins as we feared, slowly... i mean, very slowly. But yeah.. it's doom right? But these guys know exactly what they're pulling you into. At a very slow pace, all the instruments sound as if they're dragging us into this dark, cold and wet dungeon well hidden in the depths of Edinburgh Castle. The deep we're dragged into this pit, the more heavy the air gets. Clogged with decaying riffs the motto is set and Ali's voice crashes upon us like a thunder. This mournful pace remains like so until about half of the track where this beast evolves into a very, very depressed rhytm, always layered with this thick, massive riffs that consumes us. Suddenly the track lurks into another dynamic section of the track, and judging by the tone of it, it makes us guess that the end is very near. And as we predicted, just as it slowly emerged, all this massive weight is slowly fading away... hiding itself in the shadow until the next time. If i could just describe this track into one word i guess it would be: Epic.

In overall, "Vagary" is one track that represents perfectly what this music genre is all about. With this release, Of Spire & Throne have gained another crushing milestone in their emerging career. If you like your doom, slow, mournful and crushing heavy, then this one is for you. I can't listen to it without banging my head very slow, following every riff, every massive beat of the drums.

Support the band by buying this awesome EP thru their Bandcamp it's super-cheap and really worth it, also buy merch, go to shows. And please... will someone sign these guys? They need a full-length now!

A huge thanks to Ali and the rest of OS&T crew for sending me this. Follow their steps here.

quarta-feira, 15 de agosto de 2012

Ash Borer "Cold Of Ages"

Almost no introduction needed for this one.

Emerging as one of the most revered new bands within the ever polarizing movement of this present day American black metal scene, Ash Borer are a band that will be known as of the pillars within the genre. Through violent waves of harsh virulent sonic ambiance, the time-expanding songs that Ash Borer manifest hold true to a certain aspect of the essence of black metal; on a sonic level Ash Borer’s brand of unearthly trance-inducing ambient black metal holds its own ground by upholding the genre’s aesthetic, while on a lyrical and thematic level, Ash Borer do touch upon subjects that deal with spiritual themes and religious initiation, all while harboring that slight aura of mystique and mysticism they also present.

Nonetheless, “Cold Of Ages” (which also features a guest appearance by Jessica Way of Worm Ouroboros on the tracks ‘Convict All Flesh’ and ‘Removed Forms’) is a surging and hypnotizing sonic pillage that stands as one of the defining moments of America’s present-day black metal scene. One of the albums of the year? You tell me. Get it here.

segunda-feira, 13 de agosto de 2012

Outer Gods "The Mountains Den" Demo

The duo Outer Gods, formed by The Flail and The Wrathe,  come from Atlanta and "The Mountains Den" is their first Demo, introducing two tracks of atmospheric drone noise. When it comes to this genre you either accept it, embracing it while diving into this abyss of never ending riff, or you simply just deny. There's no middle ground in this genre. People usually avoid this because they thing it's boring, repetitive, etc... What's so good about a 10 minute track that consists in only one never ending scabrous riff? It exists merely for one reason: to separate the "wheat from the chaff".

And while i listened to this Demo i kinda felt that. I mean, i know many bands/acts that sound like this and the first impression i got automatically as i heard "The Mountains Den" was precisely that: "Ok, here we go. Another Sunn O))) clone..." But the more i  drowned in those repetitive waves of noise, the more i felt that this project had a soul of it's own. It's true and an undeniable fact that drone tracks like this don't owe much to rhythm and evolution. But instead they lead us into this state of psychedelic trance, never knowing what might be next.

The track "The Mountains Den" takes us into this deep sense of numbness as it grows more and more near the end and then it vanishes without a trace. It feels almost as a sentiment. It could be Anger, Fear, whatever... something that grows suddenly within you for at least 10 minutes. The second track "Tir na Bas" dwells into more atmospheric environment, beginning with screams of pain.. or pleasure. It seems taken out from a dark horror movie where the characters are performing some kind of occult ritual. That's the power of this genre. It allows us to create these cinematic scenarios in our mind. You feel like giving a try, head straight to the Outer Gods Bandcamp and grab this one, and while you're at, check also The Wrathe's ambient sideproject, Sareth Den. Not recommended for those weak at head.

quarta-feira, 8 de agosto de 2012

The Ash Eaters "Ibn Ghazi" & "Ruining You"

The Ash Eaters, the twisted black metal act orchestrated by ex-Brown Jenkins member Umesh Amtey are back this time with two releases in a very short time. As i read U's email announcing new material i immediately knew that something very wicked was coming  this way. "Ibn Ghazi" EP features two tracks, "He Who Engenders An Evil Deed" and "These Are The Inhabitants Of The Fire". For those familiar to this band, you can expect more of that deranged, bitterly dissonant, experimental black metal. Legacy left by the ashes of the deceased Brown Jenkins. As usual, there aren't any vocals on the tracks, and no need to because that sinister cacophony is enough to drive you insane. 

On the brand new "Ruining You" LP the ambition is greater. The Ash Eaters basically grab your sweet, happy and pinky dreams and shatters them into ashes. Judging by the cover artwork and as i hear the opening track "Lightning Strike" my imagination immediately begins to travel through these deep and dark underground tunnels that lead to some kind of a grotesque and surreal Alice in Wonderland scenario, where creepy, sharp riffs lurk on every corner, every hole. The effect of the music of Ash Eaters works in us as ether anesthetizing us from this physical world we live in, leaving us traveling thru this this sonic nightmare maze for almost 40 minutes. Pass by thru their Bandcamp to find out more. Ash to ash...

Tukaaria "Raw to the Rapine"

I've been into this a lot lately, and the more i hear it, the more it grows on me. For the first time ever on CD format, the vicious mind-bending black metal psychosis from mysterious California enigma Tukaaria is finally available. With material only available on limited cassette format, realized by the Rhinocervs horde, this CD version of “Raw To The Rapine” (re-mastered by Colin Marston, giving the Tukaaria material the best sound quality this demented form of black metal has ever seen) is presented in a lavishly designed DVD-sized digipack that comes with a 4-panel insert and is limited to barely 500 units.

Filled with hypnotic riffs and a ghostly voice, Tukaaria presents us with some serious disturbed, psychotic and haunting visions, charged with some thick blackness that penetrates deep into our bones. It's the rawness that lie on the core of Tukaaria's music that makes this album a real gem in the USBM scene.

Beside the tracks found on  “Raw To The Rapine” tape, it also features the Tukaaria material found on the awesome split with Odz Manouk and the material found on the split with Black Twilight Circle horde Volahn. This is some of the most intriguing and fascinating black metal of our time and a superb piece of the best USBM ever made so be sure to grab it here. Recommended!

terça-feira, 7 de agosto de 2012

Sorrows/Graad "Split"

Today I bring you a split release between U.S atmospheric black metal band Sorrows and Italy's Graad. Basically each band presents us with a unique theme that make up this beautiful split. Sorrows track "Bruja",  starts with some notes throbbing slowly until, without any warning, darkness falls upon us involving ourselves completely with a voice that lacerates through a very raw and aggressive record, interlaced by some melodic instrumental sections. In the end it turns out to be a pretty good track that will delight any fan of the cascadian or any other atmospheric genre.

"Mephestora", the track of the unknown Graad, shows us a brilliant instrumental track. The riffs, clearly belonging to the black metal circle, draws us contours to a atmospheric spiral that unfolds through dramatic doom riffs with a very atmospheric appendix attached to it. A track that I especially enjoyed, due to the epic and dramatic shapes around it. Each track serves as a excellent welcome-card for those who are not familiar with both bands featured on this split release.

I must say that the choice for that artwork was very good as well, almost if it was taken from a Méliès erotic dream. Amazing.

A very good split tape you can buy here. Thanks to both bands for this amazing offer.

sexta-feira, 3 de agosto de 2012


Have you missed me? Judging by the quantity of comments left here... i'm pretty sure you haven't. Well, my vacations are almost over, for now... and they sure felt good. Recharged my batteries and i'm ready for some new stuff that i've already been checking out. Gotta catch up with the rest of my blogger mates or else...

So expect more heavy stuff soon. Stay tuned.