† And then the Curse swept the Earth

sexta-feira, 30 de outubro de 2015

Infernal Slave "Oppressed By Inferior"

Another band that I haven't been able to let go since the day I found out about them, are Infernal Slave (formerly know as the underground raw black metal act Abnutivum) with their amazing 2013's debut "Oppressed By Inferior". Infernal Slave's demented raw black metal is just something that surpasses me. i mean... I'm a sucker for this raw and filthy type of recording. It's absolutely mental. That drum sound that quite doesn't sound like a drum at all, instead it sounds like some demented freak hitting on some plastic buckets. The harsh vocals that exhales the rotten stench of violent death on every word seems to fit like a glove on this recording. This is the absolute soundtrack for any serial filthy hooker slasher type of killer out there. This will drive you insane. I must warn you that isn't quite suitable for the most "mainstream" black metal listener. If you're into polished and standard kind black metal featured on those most common webzine$ out there, please get the fuck out. The filthier, the better.

 Many thanks for Terminal Escape blog for this underground gem.

Lost Hours "II"

Lost Hours are one of my most recent discoveries, I can't exactly recall how I found them and at this point it really doesn't matter. What I can recall is that when I see both "doom" and "drone" tags together, my inner alarm goes off and my attention is suddenly directed only to that particular release.

This EP features two tracks only that together, offers us a splendid, very well spent half hour. The title of the first song really caught my eye, "He Whose Limbs Shatter Mountains, Whose Back Scrapes the Sky". Just the name itself, sets the motto for something big... epic. It begins slowly with some shy notes opening way to what soon transforms into a fucking nightmare. It's like as if the floor cracks open below our feet and we fall endlessly, deep down into the abyss. The vocals are quite punishing, creating in the listener the feeling of impotence as the black cloud of despair forms right above our heads. Thick and twisted riffs are roughly hewn along the 18 minutes. 

The second half of this, "S. A. A." is basically an almost 14 minute, drone, atmospheric track whose sound seems quite concealed in a very cinematic type of record. This is a very interesting release and I just look forward to hear more of Lost Hours. 

If you're into heavy, punishing misanthropic doom, then jump right in. Tape version unfortunately sold out at this point. Highly recommended. 

quinta-feira, 29 de outubro de 2015

Scáth Na nDéithe "The Horrors Of Old"

Here is another surprisingly good act coming out of Ireland, Scáth Na nDéithe, with their debut EP "The Horrors Of Old" that features four tracks in total, although two of them are basically an intro and a interlude. Still, we have more than 20 minutes of ravaging and pummeling mid-paced black metal that, to me, sounded quite good to be honest. Nothing groundbreaking, I mean, these guys aren't adding nothing new to the show, but I believe it's still a record worth of your time. Ireland has been pulling out great acts lately and this band is no exception. Great gloomy and obscure atmosphere on this one.

sexta-feira, 23 de outubro de 2015

Haxan's Halloween Mixtape V


Here's another mixtape for you guys. This time I've decided to unleash it earlier so that you can already catch up the spirit. 

Happy Halloween.

segunda-feira, 19 de outubro de 2015

Failure Ritual "Secret Hoard"; "Total Weakness"; "Ineptitude".

If you're an avid follower of my blog, you'll probably remember when I posted about Failure Ritual back in 2012. Well, he's back. And it seems he has been busy, I mean... very busy, since he delivers not one, nor two but... three new whole releases, three! And what can you expect? More of that impenetrable noisy, entrancing blackened doom? Blackened drone? It's hard to classify Failure Ritual's sound. Whatever that may be, it just grabs you and sucks you down to the bottomless pits of Hell. Check it out.

domingo, 4 de outubro de 2015

Bands You Should Be Hearing Pt.VII - Welcoming Oktober.

More news from the underground. Here is what I've been digging.

Cepheide from France delivering that cascadian style of black metal approach with their new release "Respire". Featuring two long tracks with rather alternating rhythm, you can expect some really raw and untamed black metal layered with some serious cold and distressed howls. Fans of good atmospheric black metal acts like Fell Voices, Ash Borer or even WITTR, take notice. Support the band, buy their tape.

Patibulum are a death metal band from Seattle, Washington and introduces us their Demo "Ninurta's Call Heeded" filled with three putrid hymns of some really sick death metal. Their sound really captures that good old school vibe and it's almost impossible not to headbang to it. There isn't much info about these guys out there neither on how to purchase a physical release of this Demo. So all you can do for now is to stream it or download it on Bandcamp. If you're a fan bands like Miasmal or Grave Miasma then you'll love this.

Next is one of, probably one of my favorite Demos of the year. Nyght's self titled Demo released in cassette by Swedish label Ljudkassett holds that black metal I love so much. Raw production, great tunes that stick in your head for hours and that are impeccably played. Nyght is evil, grim and menacing and yet very catchy. The opening track "Begynnelse" reminds me a blend of early Throne of Katarsis but way more raw and those chants that are thrown there in the middle, are absolutely very Urfaust. From the start to the end, this Demo is just fucking addictive. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the cassette seems to be already sold out. And I'm glad that I'm part responsible for it. Ha...

Another band I don't know much about is Shibboleth, from Victoria. Seems like this band has two members only and I must begin by saying that they did a good work here with "Language of the Night". It really captures the essence of that norwegian-second-wave-of-black-metal but splattered here with some punk and maybe some doom, since there's also some very slow, mid-paced sections here. Nothing groundbreaking here, still a very good and recognized effort.

Filthy and rotten death metal from Germany is always good right? And that's exactly what these fine gents brings us. Kriegszittern, from Mülheim, Germany delivering their "Frostbite Demo". No polished production, no big production, nothing. Just filthy, primitive and apocalyptic death metal for your ears.

Keeping the track here on death metal, another great contender for best death metal demo is Altarage from fellow neighbor Spain. Altarage play this fucking visceral and diabolical death metal I mean, these guys have been listening a lot to records of bands like Portal, Mitochondrion, Antediluvian and Blasphemy for sure. If this didn't make you thirsty already, what the Hell are you waiting for? This is fucking destroying everything else out there. Limited edition cassette through Sentient Ruin Laboratories and the always amazing Sol Y Nieve Records.

Another interesting band that caught my attention in this whole new death metal underground spectrum, are Loputon Suo from Finland. Their sound can clearly be described as death metal but they stretch it even more to other territories like black metal. The result is quite pleasing to our ears and so worth of our attention.

And for last I've chosen Witcher from the U.S. Now this Demo is a fucking killer and it got me straight out of nowhere. The drum is just amazing, so fucking relentless and as furious as a war machine... I mean.. this whole band sounds like that. The evil vocal work, the continuous storm of riffs are just fucking incredible and epic. No need to enhance that is one of the best Demos I heard so far in this year as well. Luckily for you you can download the Demo here or even better, you can get a physical copy through Runelore Productions (if interested, email them at Highly recommended.

That's all for now. Have a great day.

quarta-feira, 19 de agosto de 2015


Today I'm sharing something that isn't music although it's related to it. 

If you're in Tucson (AZ) or even near it, don't miss this event. My friend and most talented artist, Luca Devinu (Blessend) is having his first exhibition tour with Christophe "Lord Of Logos" Szpajdel for the upcoming months. Lots of good work and good music there as well. If you seek an original and fucking amazing logo for your band, seek no more. Check the dates below:

4th September 
The Rock 136 N Park Ave with Sacrificial Slaugther and Nuclear Age live show

23rd October
The Rock 136 N Park Ave with Vehemence and Chronovorus live show

Powered by @outsiderindustries (USA) and @asabovesobelowrecords (Italy)

Be sure to follow Luca's work on Instagram: @blssnd

quinta-feira, 16 de julho de 2015

Erraunt "The Portent"

Just a quick heads up to you guys and gals out there who religiously follow my blog.

Finally, I mean FINALLY, one of the best Demos you'll hear this year (at least for me it's some of the most awesome and fresh black metal I've heard in quite some time) is available in cassette. Just follow the link below and grab one before it's too late. Don't sleep on this one if you're into some mesmerizing and esoteric black metal. Ugh.

Highly recommended.

terça-feira, 14 de julho de 2015

Moonknight "Valinor"

"Valinor", the new album by LA's depressive black metal entity Moonknight, whose cloak hides the creative mind behind the project, Horus aka Lord Foul who is also (as many of you out there already know) in the barbarian blackened trio, Harassor. 

"Valinor" is the third and probably most intimate album in Moonknight's discography, he's been releasing some splits and EP's as well, and after a first listen, I immediately realized that this new release sounds a bit different from the previous albums "Toplov" and "Ligeia". Yet it's true that many moons separate this new material from the oldest, so evolution came naturally. The first thing I noticed is that the tracks in "Valinor" don't sound as raw and menacing, no. But soundwise speaking, there's still a link between them, that fuzzy and murky sound is still Mooknight's trademark although it now seems to weep instead of waving his sword and going out on a killing spree throughout the night. And still he lurks in the shadows but instead of that sword he now holds his cold, dying grey heart. 

"Valinor" embraces sorrow allowing it to drag slowly through mourning and grief territories. Opening track "An Initiation" starts out with some kind of a droning buzz where soon those seesaw guitar riffs spread out and give way as the perfect greeting card opening way further into the album. The vocal is still harsh and follows the same style as heard in Moonknight's previous works, a screaming mixture of anger, distress and pain. While tracks "With Bright Knives" and "Aconitum" drags us deep into the somber pit of sorrow, "Helplessness" is a bit more cold-blooded and brings to the surface a bit more of that anger that flows in the veins of Mooknight. But don't keep your hope, soon we're pulled down again with "Pleasure Funeral" and the beautiful "Broken Blade" that to me is just one of the best tracks featured here, the environment created by this track is absolutely dreamy and so, so cold. It really can pull our mind into the most haunting and desolate of Winter landscapes. Very in the likes of bands like Thou Shell of Death if you seek some comparisons. Beautiful atmosphere. "Western Shores" is served as a cold instrumental and is the perfect motto for another great and best track here, a track that gives name to this album. I can sense that "Valinor" is very personal, not just by it's lyrics but soundwise and how the whole track is constructed. All about personal feelings that surface from time to time. Personal and intimate experiences that are locked down inside our cold hearts. The notes of "Valinor" sway and takes us gently inside the cold heart of Moonknight, there we can almost see a little glimmer of light, a light that keeps on burning and keeps Moonknight alive in order to deliver us the best depressive bleak tunes. I swear to God that I got goosebumps the first time I heard this track. The melodic notes in the middle of the track are simply beautiful. 

"Valinor" is another great milestone into the discography of Moonknight and also very worthy of your attention. It's just how depressive metal should be, cold, bleak yet served sharp barbs. No life, no joy, no fun.

"Valinor" will be out soon through Rising Beast. Keep an eye out for both digital and physical editions. 

terça-feira, 9 de junho de 2015

Bands You Should Be Hearing Pt.VI - Bleak June

Greetings! Been digging through the underground and this is what I've found.

First we get Erraunt, a mysterious one man act created by Oneiric. I really enjoy everything here. From the image of the artwork to the sound itself. There isn't much distortion here, no inverted crosses, no thunderstorms of goat blood. No. Just this ethereal, mysterious, magical and original kind of black metal atmosphere that Oneiric successfully creates with "The Portent". The tracks are really amazing. From the opener "Emerald Vision" which leaves me completely mesmerized as I stare into that artwork, passing through the instrumental "At the Docks" (that transports us to some distant, dreamy landscapes) to "The Portent" this is really one of a kind. Judging by the quality here, I truly believe we will see Erraunt added to some very well known label soon. Look forward for a physical format to be released. Will grab this one for sure.

Eigenlicht are a black metal band from Olympia, Washington, that introduces us their first Demo entitled "Sacral Regicide" compost by two track only, in a total of almost 23 minutes. Eigenlicht's sound is quite interesting. They blend black metal with death metal but, to me, what really stands out (besides the quality of the music here) is the use of keyboard. It's hard not to bring some comparisons to the band False.. you know: female vocals, the keyboard and all the song structure, really kinda reminds me of them. But... This Demo is really, really good. The only negative aspect here is really the lack of more tracks. Keep an eye on this band. With a handful of good tracks and with the right studio sound production.. bliss.

Cicuta, a very unknown act related to the Norwegian underground label Obscure Propaganda. There isn't much info about this band out there, so the best thing is for you to hear "Apiaceae & Algae" and reach your own conclusions. Cicuta's sound is all about long, almost droney, hypnotizing kind of riffs that extend and swirl into this toxic haze of atmospheric black metal. The vocals are barely noticeable unless you have well trained ears. A very different yet interesting approach here for those who are in love with the void.

Also from Obscure Propaganda, comes another interesting release from the band Ys. Delivering only two tracks, that together reach around half an hour, "Vast" introduces us some good mid-paced black metal with some really harsh and haunting vocals. Nothing mind-blowing or innovative here but still very, very dark... and I think that's what matters.

Next is Nahtrunar, from Austria. Nahtrunar brings us that classical approach to a more Northern European black metal as we know it. Very good atmosphere, great recording and great fucking tracks with riffs that will haunt you for days. Cold, grim and evil. The way it should be. A conceptual album that serves several interludes between songs, dedicated to the nights at the turn of the year, known as “Rauhnächte” in old European customs and traditions. A CD is planned to be released very soon by Altare Productions from Portugal. Good stuff.

Sekte from the Netherlands, introducing us "Six rites in the praise of the beauty of Death" as described by the band on their Bandcamp. Well.. from those six, there's only five there, so... I guess one of them was probably absorbed by "Rite I" that has 26 minutes length while the other tracks last around from 7 to 8 minutes. Dark, raw, ritualistic black metal filled with the stench of death all over. Only true fans of the genre and devotees to black magic will truly appreciate this offering. I need to get this.

Now this next one is probably one of my favorites for this year, since it has been playing non-stop almost every week. "Chapter II: The Ritualist" by Shaidar Logoth, a black metal band, for those who don't know, is formped by S.H. (ex-Iron Thrones) and A.C. (Wolvhammer and also ex-Iron Thrones). Now these guys have been around from 2010, but only know my attention was caught by this EP. It basically just took one listen to that first track "Drink Thine Wretched Wine" for me to be totally surrendered to the whole thing. Entrancing and powerful are the words that come immediately to my mind when I seek words to describe this EP. It's like plunging into revolving dark waters and not knowing what menaces lies underneath. You really have to listen to this. Really. I would hate to throw comparisons to some well known bands out there. Get into this. Now. A tape is about to be released by Sol Y Nieve if I'm not mistaken..

This one is still hot... Vindkast is probably just an unknown name for you. For now. But I see a bright future for this German band. In the last years we've seen very good acts coming out of Germany like Unru, Sun Worship and most recent case, Antlers. So this might be another case study for what is happening up there. Fans of the bands I mentioned, MUST check this band out. Great epic atmospheric black metal forged in total Darkness. Check them out.

And I saved some of the best for last. Another great album that has been playing in a almost daily basis is the debut album from Antlers (doooooon't mistake them for that indie band or whatsoever who goes under the same name). Antlers are a band from Germany as well, Leipzig, whose members also play in some known acts like Sangre De Muerdago and Ekkaia. At first I thought this was going to be another post black metal act from Germany, bla bla bla... and after a first listen, boy... I was sooo wrong. Right after the intro "Reverence" I got my chest literally ripped apart by "Carnival Of Freedom And Betrayal" that is one of the best tracks featured here. The balance of the aggressiveness with some melodic riffs is fucking epic. Another huge favorite is "Hundreds", i just love the epic rhythm that this song goes by and the lyrics just fucking slay me... Antlers created a fine black metal opus with "A Gaze Into The Abyss". A modern black metal album that pledges allegiance to Gaia with deeper roots in the most classical Northern Black metal influence. An album that easily could've been made in grim Norway or even Finland. Amazing. A must-buy for this year. Highly Recommended.

terça-feira, 2 de junho de 2015

Forever Cursed Interviews: Mizmor

"Mizmor (מִזְמוֹר): a psalm, a melody."

For the first time here on Forever Cursed, I'm introducing an interview with one of my current favorite band from across the Ocean. I'm talking about Mizmor and the man behind the project: A.L.N. who's also behind other well known projects such as heavyweight doomsters Hell and vicious black metal band Urzeit. Since day one, right after the release of the self-titled album and "Untitled Winter EP", a very dedicated cult quickly grew around Mizmor, and release after release, all Mizmor material quickly sold out in days. So, what's the secret for his success? Where and why did this band came from? I've traded some questions with A.L.N. for you to discover more about the band itself, the Dying God hoax, the new edition of "Untitled Winter EP" on vinyl and pleasant good news about what's in the works. Check it out.

Haxan: Hi A.L.N. How and why the need to create Mizmor?

A.L.N. : I’m glad you phrased it this way, for Mizmor truly is music created out of need. I started playing instruments around age 8, writing songs with friends in bands only a year or two later. I have written and recorded my own music as a one-person entity since I was 12 years old. In younger years it was more for fun, whereas in later years it was because of grief. But it’s not like 12 year old me was releasing music to the greater public. Most of those songs, no one will ever hear. But I made them anyways. I have always felt the need to be creative and to get my emotion out. It is the sorrow in my heart and the musings in my mind that compel me to create Mizmor, the music I am making now.

Haxan: The name Mizmor intrigues me. Is there any story behind why you chose that name?

A.L.N. : Yes, there is definitely a story that probably helps better answer your first question as well. The music of Mizmor was necessitated from a religious time in my life. I spent a serious amount of time seeking answers to the primal questions of life and ultimately depending on a god I came to believe in. This time came to an end… a bitter end, and I turned my back on the beliefs I had cultivated. The sorrow, disillusionment, confusion, bitterness, and disappointment were so intense that I honestly felt I could die. The rug had been torn from beneath my feet, revealing a different and truer world I had failed to see before. The best friend I l came to love dearly turned to ash in my arms. I began to write songs in the black metal style to express this terror and save my sanity. After making a few songs I realized I should name this thing. I decided upon a name that was close to the heart of the experience I was having. 

Mizmor means psalm (as in song, poem, prayer), which is exactly what I was writing. Some may not realize this, but the Psalms of the Bible are hardly solely joyful. Many are filled with sorrow, questions, and rage. It seemed the perfect name for these upward-directed cries I was writing. Also, if you look at the Hebrew characters closely (מזמור), it eerily resembles my name (Liam), a detail I later noticed that gave me chills and confirmed it as the project title. I know a lot of people cannot relate to the theistic element of this story, but I’ve come to find over the years that this resonates with many more than I thought (yes, even in the metal community). Nowadays, Mizmor is far from writing songs that specifically address god, as if on the stand with me as the prosecutor. But the sorrow I feel everyday over the conundrum of my own existence produces the same contemplative, questioning psalms.

photo by M.Garcia

Haxan: Ok, so keeping in mind what you've just said behind the concept of the name "Mizmor", do you agree that it functions as an antithesis to the music we listen to, i.e. a balance between the sacred and the profane. Taking the present and based on your past experiences, does religion continues to serve as your main inspiration?

A.L.N. : By “the music we listen to” I assume you mean most metal. So, Mizmor: the antithesis to most metal? I would say hardly. I think the antithesis to metal would be… I dunno… Christian worship music, haha. Although religion served as an inspiration for my early work, Mizmor is the documentation of my journey AWAY from god (or at least my confusion over the matter), and in that sense there is a certain irony to the name. And though religion can be credited for inspiration, it was never the point of the music. It is the sorrow and woe that drove me to score these lamentations; the feeling of having your heartbroken and mind ripped to shreds, of which my beliefs at the time were the cause. Nowadays, I don’t write as much about the idea of god. I contemplate that still… am even haunted by it still. But my own existence, depression, the human condition, and the perplexing law of survival have inspired me most in my latest writing. I do feel Mizmor has differences to some metal that’s out there, however. 

My music, and most heavy music that I like, is cathartic… something made out of necessity, an audible grieving process. There is much release involved. It could even be seen as healthy in a way. Sure, it brings you down when you listen to it, but only to show the listener what I am feeling, which is often something they can relate to. There is another type of music that has the goal of destroying you. People who maybe started out making metal for release, but now just exploit the feeling of personal sorrow, seeking to bring others into a place of disgust for no purpose other than that - music that is unnecessarily negative because it’s funny, cool, or the norm. Sorrow and depression make good music, there’s not doubt about that, but they aren’t things to be desired or sought after. It’s not a place to wallow. I mean… I’m plenty dark and depressed as it is, for heaven’s sake! I don’t need someone else breeding in me negativity. Maybe it’s to get a rise out of the listener; maybe they just want people to suffer with them. I’ve witnessed those who self-sustain their own depression and that filth, whether intentional or not, is contagious, and that’s not the type of music that resonates with me. Don’t get me wrong, as far as musical terms in the metal world go, I like my music to sound “filthy” and “crushing,” etc. And I don’t think metal needs to be redemptive or have a message. Fuck that. Urzeit is completely irreverent music. 

But I’m sprinting in the other direction of religion for a reason that’s from experience, not because upside-down crosses and pentagrams look cool/intense and are traditional in metal. It’s a hard distinction, and I don’t have some definitive guide. I even like plenty of seemingly offensive, gross bands. There’s a bad feeling I’ve gotten from certain individuals/bands though. I guess it’s more to do with motive and integrity. To use the words from your question, I see mourning as having a certain “sacred” place in an individual’s life (we who like heavy music can all commune over it in a certain way) and I don’t much appreciate that being turned into something “profane” because someone is too shallow a human to have their own real grief. I can’t explain it much better than that.

Haxan: Initially, I felt, as a listener, that in the two first releases, soundwise speaking, Mizmor's sound was almost a clone of Hell although splattered with some hints of black metal. And now listening to your latest, I feel that there is clearly an evolution that separates Mizmor from that initial shadow of Hell. Looking back, do you also feel that?

A.L.N: This is something I have come across before in the years of Mizmor. I will not say that there is no comparison to HELL, for that would be false. But I will say that if that is all you hear, or where your listening stops, you are gravely mistaken and missing the point. I created Mizmor entirely independent of HELL (which MSW created). I had moved to Germany to pursue my religion and wasn’t paying my old friends much mind. It was shortly after I returned that my heart changed and I began making Mizmor. This was all just in my bedroom in Portland, where most of my friends lived and made music in Salem (an hour south). It’s true that I provided some vocals on the first HELL album (prior to Germany), but we hardly knew what we were doing. MSW has made his own one-person music for the majority of his whole life as well, and one day he just invited me over to do vocals on a new song he had made. Pesanta Urfolk Records wasn’t part of the picture, the name HELL wasn’t even present. It was just buddies working on a song. A long time later, MSW gave me a HELL “I” record, reminding me of the songs I did and showing me how it had become something. I, being religious at the time, was actually quite appalled by it. It hardly spurred me to action in making my own, similar music. 

But, MUCH has changed since then. I am happy to admit that MSW’s music (for as long as I’ve known him, not just with HELL) is some of the best music I’ve ever heard, and he has influenced my own music in many ways. After the religious veil was torn from my eyes and I sat down again with all three HELL albums. I was blown away. HELL became my favorite band. The best doom metal I’d ever heard. MSW and I have played in bands together since being 14 and 15 years old. We started getting into heavy music simultaneously, and our bands got heavier. I am not surprised that his fingerprints are on my music. I’m even proud of them. But Mizmor came from my own experiences and mind, just like HELL came from MSW’s, and they sound quite different to me. The first Mizmor album, the self-titled full-length, is played almost entirely in the black metal style. There are moments of doom and drone, but to me it’s a black metal album. I began writing in this style because it expressed so much sorrow and yet yearning and a certain kind of beauty. Also, it is a largely anti-Christian genre and, even though my music is much more agnostic in philosophy than anything Satanic or overtly atheistic, it is a lashing out against God nonetheless and it seemed to fit quite nicely. 

The first HELL album, on the other hand, sounds like a Black Sabbath record on the wrong speed of your turntable. It’s a stoney, plodding, doom album. HELL rarely dips into black metal. There are a couple blast beats in the entire discography. I don’t think my early work as Mizmor shares much at all with HELL, other than the doomy-droney parts. MSW’s influence can be most clearly heard on Mizmor songs VI and VII, for he helped record VI with much of his own equipment, and entirely recorded VII, even providing vocals on it. These songs sound most like HELL to me. It’s funny to me that you compare the earlier Mizmor works to HELL when, if anything, I hear the comparison most in the middle of the project. 

My main point is that Mizmor and HELL have no necessary innate comparison, being created by two different individuals for different reasons at different times virtually unbeknownst to one another. But there is overlap due to a long friendship of music making and respect. I’m tired of reading reviews of my music that are quick to compare it to HELL and stop short of saying much else, especially when there are other groups of musicians out there who incestuously play in each other’s horde of bands, and are praised for their similar but barely different esthetic and work.

photo by Josh Martines

Haxan: Where do you feel Mizmor stands in the actual metal scene in the USA?

A.L.N. : That’s a good question… what, again, are the stands one can have in the metal scene? Haha. If you mean popularity/fame/renown, I think Mizmor will always be limited and slightly under the radar due to my utter lack of live performance and touring. I think that I have gained a name for myself, however small it may be, over the years of creating the music of Mizmor, and I’m very happy about that. My intention was never to climb a ladder and reach a certain place, but rather to simply create out of necessity, like I’ve always done. The fact that I now have vinyl out and a label to release my music from blows my mind. I see the project gain more momentum each year that goes by, but if it goes nowhere else, I’m still totally satisfied. To have your dark journal of sorts… a thing you were going to make anyways, be used for a purpose, inspiring others and coming back to you with more reason to keep going… I think that’s so cool. What more could you want? I don’t know if I answered your question, haha. Where does Mizmor stand in the metal scene? I guess it’s more for others to decide.

Haxan: How was the initial feedback from the people in the beginning?

A.L.N. : The feedback from people in the beginning was encouraging. I made the self-titled full-length with no intention for it. Literally none. I was going to pocket it like all the other one-man recordings I had done over the years. A buddy of mine told me this was stupid. “You aren’t even going to put it online?” He asked. I remember showing MSW the first couple songs and being really excited. “Yep, that’s heavy man. I can tell you were really feeling something, you know, going through some shit. I feel it.” He encouraged me to use my initials, ALN, because he had credited me that way on HELL “I” and thought people may have fun finding it and connecting the dots. So I put the four original Mizmor songs online, still with nothing further planned. After a while someone contacted me from Greece inquiring about the album. He claimed he literally MUST have a physical copy of this album. I told him digital would have to do, that there was no physical copy. He replied in similar fashion to his first message, saying he was a collector and MUST have a hard copy. I thought, “Fuck it, why not?” I found some art in a couple old books I had, and went about crafting him a CD. I decided I would make 10, so I (and a couple friends) could have one too. Over the next couple months, I received similar requests for CDs. I would hand make them, one by one, as the orders came in. Originally, there was no “edition of” or release information. I just made a CD if someone wanted one. Eventually I joined HELL’s live band to do drums/vocals, and we started touring. I decided to give the CD a little more justice by making up 50 of them to take on our first weeklong tour with the new lineup. In total, there were 73 CDs made and because of this experience, I was inspired to make more music for the project. That’s been the formula for Mizmor. It’s very much fan necessitated. I put something out there, and ever since I am filling this apparent need that certain people have for more of my music, while myself filling my own need to make it. I’m very thankful for everyone who likes my music, for if they didn’t exist, there wouldn’t have been another Mizmor release for the public to hear.

Haxan: Tell me a bit about what occurred with the Dying God Records episode? How do you feel about someone using your work as a magnet to draw people and then rip them off?

A.L.N. : Fuck. I feel rage, man. I feel so awful about being taken advantage of, having my fans be taken advantage of, and having it all be associated with my name. I met Joseph Martinez (he would like you to believe his last name is Merrick, but it ain’t) at a HELL show in Atlanta, GA. Prior to meeting him, he had purchased a chunk of tapes from me to sell on his label’s site, “Dying God.” I was excited to put a face to the name I had communicated with, and the dude drove 8 or 9 hours up from Miami to see the show. He bought tons of HELL and Mizmor merchandise, and it was genuinely nice to meet him. He told me this, “Let me know when you guys are ready. You know, for vinyl. I’d love to put it out.” I explained to him how HELL is Pesanta Urfolk exclusive, but that Mizmor has yet to receive an LP pressing. I pursued him when we returned home and we decided upon my 2013 tape, “Untitled Winter EP,” to be the album he would press. I had no reason to be suspicious of him. He had now done more than one successful business transaction with both HELL and Mizmor, and his website looked legit and seemed to be doing well. Eventually, he started a preorder for the record (it ran for a whole year). His updates got less frequent and customers began to talk on the Internet. Still, every once and a while he would get back to me with an update, and I’d have no choice but to defend him and keep waiting. 

Finally, I started seeing comments pop up about him having behaved suspiciously in the past with a label, Tycho Magnetic Anomalies. Someone had tracked him, pieced it together, and was ready to accuse him of being a con artist. This is when his communication with me grinded to a halt. I was very conflicted. It was easy to pass off his reasons for delays as excuses and lies, but he had also mailed me test pressings of the record, so I knew not EVERYTHING was total bullshit. Maybe he was a con artist, maybe just a flaky guy who was genuinely trying but lacked the constitution to follow through when life’s storms hit. I began to feel less entitled about my record, and more sad for the person he was. I tried to find him: multiple email addresses, Facebook, telephone, even letters to his PO box and relative’s house where he once told me he was staying. I contacted his band from Florida who reported that Joseph receded from them as well, and they all felt very weirdly about it. He could be in jail or dead for all I knew. The message I was trying to get him was an ultimatum stating that if he did not give me an update and provide me with proof of the record by a certain date, I would consider it a total abandonment of the project and start my own production, officially ending Dying God records. Well, as you know, that’s what happened. I started group emails with Pirate’s Press and Joseph. 

They confirmed the project, saying that Joseph had even approved the test pressings, but then went out of contact months ago. I worked with them to fix art issues and get the record set for final production, but the fact still remained that we needed Joseph’s approval on it because he paid the deposit. Finally he replied, from a new email, saying he had been “away for personal reasons,” and would pay extra for this and that, how he was writing a lengthy email of explanation to me and the fans, etc…. That never happened and Pirate’s Press got to witness his lies first hand. They agreed to switch the project entirely over to me (though I had to start over financially), enabling me to finish the record and disabling Joseph from ever finishing it. I have sent Joseph a final statement, forbidding him to ever use my music in any way, shape, or form again. I have not heard from him.

Haxan: Are you going to bring that guy to justice? Considering the damage he has made to all the people who bought from him?

A.L.N. : The way in which I am bringing justice to this situation is by pressing my own record that ripped-off fans can receive for free. I am happy to report that after over a year of this bullshit, “Untitled Winter EP” will be available to the public June 1st, 2015 on my website – Anyone who can provide me with a receipt of their purchase from Dying God is entitled to a free record from me. I have already received many of these, but if you are reading this now and this is news to you, please email me and I will get you one! Both Pirate’s Press and Bandcamp were notified of his theft, Pirate’s Press transferring the project to me, and Bandcamp taking my record down from Dying God’s page. I wish it were easier to bring legal action against Joseph. My partner studies the law and explained to me that it can be difficult to bring charges against someone across state lines, especially when he is nowhere to be found, and successfully avoided PayPal claims through exceeding the time applicable frame due to the preorder nature of his shenanigan. 

I wish I could say that bad things don’t happen to good people, and good things don’t happen to bad people, but that is simply not the case. I would encourage any band that has been wronged by Joseph to take similar actions against him like I have. Dying God certainly will not proceed, but may we all be on our guard for his next name change and heist. I may not be able to bring him down, but I can right the situation with my fans, which is what I am doing with this new record. I want my fans to trust my name and feel safe being my customer. I regret working with, even meeting, this guy, and promise this will NEVER happen again. 

I vow to only work with trusted labels run by my personal friends, or release things independently in the future. I’m sorry it turned out this way, but excited for the new record and all who get to receive one, whether for free because they were wronged, or for purchase as part of the general public. Joseph: You’re a piece of shit.

Haxan: What are your future plans for Mizmor?

A.L.N: Up next, Pesanta Urfolk will be releasing the self-titled full-length from 2012 on cassette tape. There will also be vinyl pressings of both the Mania/Mizmor and Mizmor/Dross splits later this year. I think the answer you are more digging for is this: I am currently finishing the recording process of Mizmor full-length number 2, and that’s all I will say about that for now. There is another yet unheard/unannounced Mizmor release coming soon too, but I cannot say more.

photo by M.Garcia

Haxan: Would you consider doing another completely different project? Like something non-metal related for example?

A.L.N. : Yes I would consider doing a completely different project, though at this point in my life, the music I’m making simply isn’t non-metal (perhaps non-metal will come again someday). Though I have HELL, Mizmor, and Urzeit taking up my energy and creativity, as HELL’s activity slows down, the opportunity for more music creation opens up a little more. There’s nothing set in stone right now, but another project is quite possibly in the cards, having already been discussed between me and another individual.

Haxan: What have you been listening to lately?

A.L.N. : I just got the new Bell Witch album and it’s phenomenally written and recorded. Also, Spectral Voice’s “Necrotic Doom” is a recent favorite. Those are probably the most current pieces of music I’m taken with right now. Other than that I listen to a lot of Black Sabbath.

Haxan: And now for the latest and most cliché question in these sorts of interviews. Any special message you would like to put out there to the people who are reading this?

A.L.N. : Haha, well as cheesy as it may seem, I want to thank everyone who supports and likes Mizmor. You are appreciated. And thanks Artur for the opportunity to speak.

Haxan: No, I thank you so much for making this interview possible, especially to clear things about that bad luck incident with that scumbag from Dying God Hoax. Wish you all the best for the future.

- "Untitled Winter EP" 12'' LP OUT NOW - 
Edition of 500: 400 black, 100 grey w/ black splatter, both 180 grams. Comes in standard slip LP jacket with double-sided 6"x12" insert. Includes digital download. 


The "Untitled Winter EP" Limited Edition 12" Vinyl is already out, do yourself a favor and grab a copy right here on Mizmor page before it runs out (it will.. trust me). If you're too slow.. well you can always end up listening to all Mizmor releases on the band's Bandcamp. But don't despair! Keep an eye open for it's future releases. Support the artists who create all this great music. 

quarta-feira, 22 de abril de 2015

Bands You Should Be Hearing Pt.V - Essential Doom for 2015

Holy fuck... 2015 seems that it's aiming for the year of Doom. You want to know why?

One of this years releases that has been playing non-stop here on my den is this killer split release between two of Ireland's finest doom heavyweights: Nomadic Rituals and Tome. Featuring one track for each band, it's more than enough to let this thick, blurred, cosmic, black ooze flow into your ears for the next coming months. I'm totally addicted into this split and love equally both tracks from each band. It's slow, it's fucking.. I mean FUCKING SLOW AND HEAVY. What else do you need? It's so fucking good. Please check both bands and buy this vinyl record. A mandatory release for fans of the genre.

Next is Church from Sacramento, California with their "Unanswered Hymns" Demo. Church deliver these thick slabs of slow, heavy as fuck, riffs that drags us into the depths of the pits of Doom. It's almost impossible to hear this without in some unconscious way, you start banging your head s-l-o-w-l-y... I totally love the way the two vocal styles combine, bringing the most occult, witchy(!) side of doom metal with it's most vile and ugly facet. Another great doom release to keep in mind. Crushing. Demo available through Transylvanian Tapes.

Another fucking crushing Demo that landed on my ears was this one by Weltesser, a young band from Saint Petersburg, Florida. Now this exactly the type of sound I'm into. Filthy, brutal, vile sludge doom metal. No fucking bullshit here, just hatred in its most pure essence. Weltesser's sound has got to be one of the meanest you'll hear this year coming from an underground band. I can see a bright future for these boys. Check them out. No salvation. Only perdition.

And finally, another band that I'm super stoked upon are Spectral Voice from Denver, Colorado. Sick, putrid and misanthropic death doom is what you'll get here. Delivering thick, heavy and decaying riffs very à la Corrupted meets Disma meets Anhedonist kind of sound. The stench of death is everywhere on this Demo. And I fucking love it. So much that I instantly ordered the tape immediately. The tracks are amazing here, I love them all, they're very well played. These guys are truly on the right track.

Do yourself a favor and support all the bands above. These are fucking mandatory Doom releases for this year. Support the underground!

quinta-feira, 19 de fevereiro de 2015

Monocube "Blue Dusk/Red Dawn"

Most of you know that I'm all about the atmosphere in music and the one that music can also create by taking us to the most surreal and dreamy landscapes within our mind and in our subconscious. This next release that I'm about to talk about is the perfect vehicle to transport me into another dimension, another world. Monocube "Blue Dusk/Red Dawn" does that perfectly. 

The title immediately suggests that the perfect time of the day for you to experience this is at dusk or dawn, although to me, the perfect scenario sets at night. I find myself working in front of my screen with just a dim light on and this album echoing on my headphones. The first track "Blue Dusk" gently invades my ears with these ethereal, hauntingly waves of sound that takes me into such scenarios as the deepest woods, filled with thick fog where thin ray lights pierce like swords throughout the mist. A fantastic and mysterious haze lies within "The Sun That Never Was" which follows the same path left by its predecessor. Ghostly notes wave around us in fragile layers of sound, that seem to circle between themselves and all around us. Soundwise speaking, there's no major evolution, just an eerie, calm and ethereal atmosphere that numbs our senses. 

We reach the other half of the record with "Red Dawn" that introduces another vibrant energy, more instruments are thrown into the mix, more layers of noise and samples as some what it seems guitar notes, tingling from very far. In the midst of it, suddenly it evolves to some kind of martial rhythm until before falling back into the same lingering and sinister atmosphere, very much à la Raison d'Étre kind of record. The album closes with "Sea Salt", the dark ambient takes over again wrapping us with its repetitive rhytms and carries us along its twelve minutes of length throughout layers of sound as if each note has a light, a glow of it's own. And i think this is the best way to describe Monocube's music. 

Imagine it as if every sound is a ghostly entity, that glows in a very dim light in the Dark. This is just the perfect soundtrack for those who seek a piece of solitude into their lives. Listen to this, you won't regret. There's a lot of drone, dark ambient acts out there, but one thing I can guarantee you: very few are as memorable as Monocube, the prodigal child of Andrzej Gladuszewski. "Blue Dusk/Red Dawn" comes in a very amazing special edition with some remarkable photos, that you can preview on the links below.

Buy it here. And follow the artist here.

domingo, 15 de fevereiro de 2015

Mizmor/Dross "Split"

I was stoked to hear that Mizmor had another split on the works, this time with Arizona's blackened doom band Dross. For Mizmor, this is the final split in a trilogy of splits while this is Dross' first split release. I've been tracking Mizmor since day one, besides being a huge Hell fan too, I absolutely every single thing A.L.N. puts his hands on.

Mizmor's side features "IX - Crestfallen Usurper", a fifteen minute track that marks it's beginning with a blood chilling inhuman scream, as the environment thickens creating the perfect atmosphere for the ritual we're about to face in the next minutes. It doesn't take long until we're throw into the middle of this black metal vortex summoned by Mizmor. Raging blastbeats open way thru this nefarious wall of distortion totally controlled by the harsh and haunting screams of A.L.N. that once in a while, through the track, pulls off these insane squeals that are simply out of this physical world. Right in the middle of the song, the harsh and brutal rhythms open way to a more paused, and crushing doom-laden atmosphere. That kind of atmosphere that only Mizmor know how to do and got us used to in all of its previous releases. Although I feel there's a clear evolution on Mizmor sound, that grew naturally since the self-titled or "The untitled Winter EP", the black metal spectrum is getting stronger and it's becoming more present on every new release although it walks always hand in hand with the doom spectrum.

Nevertheless, the percentage of black or doom being used on this formula here, you can always hear it and clearly identify it as Mizmor's unique sound. And the sound recording on this track is just amazing. It presents us a more, let's say, expansive or kind of wider sound for the instruments, giving us a full audio experience with "IX - Crestfallen Usurper" that fills completely our eardrums and reaches every dark corner of our brain. This is the outstanding result of a collaboration with A.L.N. itself with Sonny DiPerri, a long time Hell and Mizmor fan, who mixed this track for this split.

On the other side, we have Dross with "Verdant" a thirteen and half minute track of the most bleak black doom. To me, I think that this band/track fits perfectly here along with Mizmor, since both tracks belong in this pallet of depressive doom that is constantly splattered with hints of black metal. "Verdant" has  this kind of live recording sound, almost as if it was recorded in a very bleak and cold environment, that's what exactly this track passes to me. From the rhythm it moves on, really slow paced to the sound of the instruments itself. And I must say that the vocals, oh the vocals... always creeping out from the background almost as if the instruments are playing right in front of us and the vocalist is one or two rooms below, so he has to shout his lungs out in order to those phantasmagorical screams be heard. The main thing on "Verdant" is the atmosphere. The stifling and claustrophobic atmosphere, that the band successfully manages to make it reach into our inner-selves.

This is a split release between Mizmor's A.L.N. and Cloister Recordings. 150 copies (already sold out!! Urrgghhh..) with locally printed art on metallic card-stock, featuring the artwork done by one of my favorite artists, Bryan Proteau (Cloven Hoof, Natvres Mortes), all hand-numbered. Each tape comes wrapped in parchment with a very good looking wax seal, half sealed with ALN logo, half sealed with Cloister Records logo. So good to see artists concerning also with the aesthetics of their releases, making these tapes a very unique item in our collection. Both tracks can be streamed below.

Old Witch "Come Mourning Come" Special Edition

Old Witch. I've talked about this band some years ago, some of you might remember that. I ended up by making a full review of the amazing "Come Mourning Come" for Cvlt Nation after, here:

Bleak, depressing, anguished, tormented. All of these are adjectives that I could use to describe this next album I’m about to introduce. A blistering mix of black, drone and doom layered with some beautiful atmospheric parts, all blended perfectly that will leave you under the spell of Old Witch.

“Funeral Rain”, the track that opens the album, appears charged with an immense negative energy, like a dark cloud on the horizon approaching increasingly stuffed with drone noises that completely transform the landscape, darkening it and giving rise to a bleak and desolate scenario now dyed in tones of gray, dominated under a powerful doom that crawls at a snails pace. The rough voice fits perfectly in, this record, and judging by the band’s name I almost imagine it coming from the mouth of a an old mystical and sinisterly contorted figure, forgotten by time, wandering painfully through this forest made of anguish. From here, and during the next half hour we are about to lose ourselves in the dark old forest that is “Come Come Mourning“.

Tracks like “This Land Has Been Cursed” that lead us to the territories of a painful drone sounds and that thick and buzzing doom that drag us through scenes of desolation and sorrow, always bearing a very negative energy within, not showing any light of hope or joy. “God Ov Wolves” which is inarguably one of the best tracks of this album, and personally speaking, one of the best doom tracks I had the pleasure of hearing this year, begins immersed in darkness as the voice whispers almost an ancient prayer to the Old Spirits of this Earth:


Although Old Witch’s music may sound dreary and negative, it carries great and powerful emotions, and the band passes that successfully throughout the whole album. And this track is a perfect example of that, an extremely beautiful composition that pulls great similarities to the work of bands like Salem’s Hell or even Thou in their slowest tracks. An authentic catharsis of emotions wrapped in mystic and black outlines. Just the beginning of it, gives me goose-bumps.

In the middle of the album we are gifted with the instrumental “Leaves Fall in Autumn“, a beautiful track, filled with instrumental details that remind me a little bit of “Tomhet” by Burzum, unveiling a slumber atmosphere that appeal to solitude. Another highlight of this album is the brilliant track that closes the album “Olde Spirits Haunt The Thickets“, in which the notes slowly emerge throughout this fog that dwells in Old Witch’s dark and old forest. A track that moves sinuously through rather slow and atmospheric rhythms carrying a huge burden of an almost mournful, melancholy feeling, that makes me stare at the picture of the album cover and for a few seconds it’s like your mind is actually there. Brilliant.

The way that Old Witch fuses all of these drone, doom and atmospheric black metal influences in their cauldron is extremely well executed; adding to that formula a very good sound production, this album is undoubtedly one of the most interesting must-listen drone/doom albums that all avid fans of the bands that I’ve mentioned above (and of course, of this gender) must hear. Old Witch’s “Come Mourning Come” is a dark, mystical and beautiful journey into the vast and unknown territories of heavy music.


The reason I decided to unbury this again is due because of this fantastic tape edition developed and crafted by Octobers Ritvals. Besides featuring the whole album, on side B there's an extra. The B Side features a contemporary take on the HP Lovecraft classic, "The Picture In the House", as read by Glen Hallstrom and scored by the mind that created Old Witch and is exclusive to this version only.

I was super stoked because someone FINALLY had put that magical album in a format and with all the extras it really deserved. It's so fucking great to see people like Chad (Yhe mind behind Octobers Ritval), that are truly devoted into this art. Giving all their sweat, money and time to create these unique pieces, these artifacts in order to give us not just only an audio experience but a whole full sensorial experience as well. This amazing tape edition comes in this screen printed velvet pouch that holds many secrets inside. Basically it contains the tape (of course) inside a painstakingly handmade screen printed and multi-layered "O" card with a die cut and a very awesome wax seal with the logo of OR. It also includes two spiral transparent art pieces which, when placed over accompanying tea candles and nag champa incense cone, will be set into spinning motion, casting shadows and eldritch symbols onto your ceiling and walls, creating an overall experience. Below is a photo taken by me preparing the ritual.

This pack is just beautiful. I mean, it has got to be one of the best I have right now on my tape collection. It's amazing to see that are still persons like Chato from Octobers Ritvals putting all their effort in creating these amazing pieces for our pleasure. Amazing work here.

But there's more.

It seems that some copies of this release will be buried in the Chicagoland and Southern Wisconsin areas and later on posts with pics and directions in riddles will be shared on the Facebook page for you to try to find them. Really awesome idea, right?

For more info on this, please head to Octobers Ritvals Facebook page, and check the Bandcamp as well.

NOTE: In case anyone is still looking for one of our now SOLD OUT First Ritval Old Witch Cassettes, Medusa Crush Recordings has got a few available.

sábado, 14 de fevereiro de 2015

Godhole " Self Titled Double EP"

Holy fucking shit. Think of Mind Eraser. Think of His Hero Is Gone. Think of Full of Hell. Think of Man Is the Bastard. You're getting there? Good. Godhole play fucking brutal powerviolence with some hints of black metal and crust from Edinburgh, Scotland. Perfect soundtrack to those days where everything seems to just fail... or not.

Sareth Den " Arcadian Wanderer Demo"

Sareth Den is a enigmatic act from Dahlonega, Georgia whose sound can be described as dark ambient drone as we can hear in the opening track "Wanderer Through Static Fields", an obscure track that leads us into the most abstract and hazy corners of our mind. But he doesn't simply closes its circle there and also branches to some black metal like in "Sunlight Burns My Eyes", where we are feasted with this thick harsh wall of black metal noise sound until we are thrown back to another complete different record in "Riverside Evening Suite", a more dreamy and atmospheric fifteen minute track that lifts up our soul by letting some rays of light into this dark colored pallet. One of the members plays in the ambient/drone band Outer Gods, whom I've talked about too here on Forever Cursed. Please check both bands out.

Wreaths "Demo"

Wreaths from San Antonio, Texas are a black metal band that with this Demo, introduces us to four themes of some really great and quite interesting style of black metal that can be really rabid and straightforward, as heard in the track "Nightmare Perpetual" to the most shoegaze/90's-style-emocore like we can hear with "From All Light". The band plays definitely black metal but also injects into it some really solid shoegaze influences. I'm pretty sure this won't matter to the most fundamentalist/close-minded fan of black metal but fuck.. I really liked this Demo from Wreaths. Quite refreshing and interesting. Check them out below.

quarta-feira, 11 de fevereiro de 2015

Sonance "Blackflower"

I must begin by saying that the hardest part for me here was thinking on how could I begin this review. I could start in so many ways... but I guess I'll just open my chest out for you and try to explain in some words the impact this new album, "Blackflower", from UK's atmospheric sludge band Sonance had (ands still has) on me.

I clearly remember the day when Ben (Sonance) messaged me saying they had a new album out. I was stoked. Mostly because their debut album "Like Ghosts" left some deep scars on me. "Like Ghosts" was a beautiful beast, an amazing chimera that left me in complete awe and my expectations on a sequel to their work, clearly left me very anxious. Mostly because I didn't know what to expect from them. What really overwhelms me is the perfect timing how, no matter how low or high you might be, how that specific album or music can really touch so deep into you that leaves goosebumps all over your body. This was my case. At this point, due to several aspects in my life being happening at the same time, I was struggling inside, trying not to breakdown. Until "Blackflower" showed up. 

The first thing I noticed was the number of songs, five. Unlike "Like Ghosts" where we had only two colossal tracks. This raised even more the bar for my curiosity. The songs I got from Ben were in no particular order, so I started by listening to "Belgium". Outside my window, the day was cold and gray, and rain poured endlessly and as the first notes started to pour down into my soul that was already with slits it almost shattered into one thousand pieces.

I was absolutely carried away by the gentle power and melody embodied in the guitar notes that embraced by the warmness and caressing string arrangement, completely hit down inside of me and mirrored exactly what I was feeling at that point. So it was hard to keep my posture. The atmosphere in "Belgium" is smooth and beautiful. It feels almost like, for those who have the sensitivity to it, as looking into this beautiful painting. It sparkles these thin, warm rays of light, soft and melancholic notes that create this cozy and warm feeling inside. At the same time I immediately realized and thought to myself: "These blokes did it again." 

But this album is not all about melancholy, sadness and other related and inherent feelings. No. 

What I really enjoy about Sonance, besides their brilliant knack in creating and performing music like this, is their ability to balance the heaviness of genres like sludge and doom, that is basically the core here, with the melody pulled out from the most post-rock, atmospheric side of metal. What I'm trying to say is that aren't many bands making this type of formula nowadays. I can remember bands like Mouth of The Architect or even Rosetta for example. But Sonance are absolute brilliant in taking all of these influences and shaping them into the music we can find in "Blackflower". 

The main track of the album is "Belgium/Blackflower", a 15 minute maelstrom that just like a misty morning, begins by slowly unveiling the light within. It features the same notes as the instrumental "Belgium" but here it acquires another shape, more complex, more structured. We're just simply carried by it along its slow, gentle notes that oscillate building up into this crescendo where layers of instruments are added almost every single minute, the guitar, the drum, the bass, the strings until they're all in line and everything collapses into this fierce curtain of decibels, pulling us from that warm and cozy initial landscape where we started from, to this crushing, dark storm. Within the realm of sludge, where we are now, I dare say that the main influence here, soundwise, are Neurosis. It's inevitable not thinking of them, if you have well trained ears, when you hear the whole set of guitars, drum and bass all perfectly aligned together marching and crushing, pointing at the same direction. The vocals are relentless as they spew all that despair and rage as expected in this kind of record, on top of that wall of decibels creating this thick mass of sludge metal. 

Another of my favorites is "Attachment". Once again Sonance, pulls off those amazing feelings of sadness, solitude and melancholy. This time all wrapped up into layers of drone guitar. No drum or any kind of beat marks its presence here. There's just no need. It all evolves into this crescendo of strings, where anguished screams can be heard from very far away, culminating into this climax that give way to "Conical". The pummeling and almost industrial beat marks the rhythm, crushing our eardrums with these slabs of thick and ugly sludgy riffs. It feels like we're inside of some kind of bestial mechanism that moves at a very sluggish pace, crushing everything and everyone in its path. 

And the best way to close the way is nothing more than with "Tearce". A more introspective and atmospheric track. No vocals, no drums, no rage. Just a haunting wall of atmosphere. A side of Sonance that they seem quite to appreciate, as we heard it too on the Side B of "Like Ghosts". This band truly nurtures a feeling for experimentation as they're not afraid to try new things. And the thing is that works really well into their sound. This track is quite drone almost making me think of some The Angelic Process or Nadja track. 

Once again the band outdid themselves with "Blackflower". An amazing album that joins the best of two worlds, the melody and heaviness. This formula isn't new, it's true. But the real secret lies on how you blend them and how is the final result. The gentle and the beast. Smiles and tears. The Yin and Yang. The tracks are simply beautiful, they fit all perfectly in this record and I love them all as an only son. I must also underline that this album was all produced by Sonance themselves. So to them I take my hat off. Stellar job lads. 

I truly hope this gets a physical format soon, I know it will. To seek more information about Sonance, just head over to their Facebook page. Sonance will perform also on Temples Festival later this year, so it's another reason for you to not miss them live. In the meantime, stream or download this amazing album on the link below and support the band by giving any donation, buy merch. They truly deserve it.