Friday, April 28, 2017

Chiral/Glazing Light Eternity/Folkvanger Records/2017 Cassette Review


  Italy's  solo  project  Chiral  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  that  remains  true  to t he  atmospheric  style  of  post  black  metal  from  previous  releases  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2016  album  "Glazing  Light  Eternity"  which  will  be  re-issued  in  June  on  cassette  by  Folkvangr  Records.

  Distorted  drones  and  atmospheric  synths  start  off  the  album  and  after  awhile  the  music  goes  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  melodic  musical  direction  along  with  some  grim  yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  when  the music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  at e utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  the  songs  also b ring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  tremolo  picking  also  gives  the  songs  a  more  raw  feeling  and  when  acoustic  guitars  are  utilized  they  give  the  songs  more  of  a  folk  and  progressive  music  edge.

  Synths  are  also  mixed  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  tracks  along  with  a  great  portion  of  them  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  spoken  word  samples  are  also  used  briefly  along  with  one  track  utilizing  melodic  chants  and  there  is  also  an  instrumental  which  also  adds  in  ambient  touches  and  grim  spoken  vocals  are  added  on  the  closing  track.

  Chiral  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true to  the  atmospheric  style  of  post  black  metal  while  also  adding  in  more  folk  elements,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  have  a  concept  to  them  and  cover  introspection,  solitude,  pain,  death  and  love  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Chiral  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  atmospheric  post  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  cassette.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Haze"  and  "The  Hourglass'.  8  out  of  10. 

Wreche/Desert/Fragile Branch/2017 Full Length Review


  Wreche  are  a  duo  form  Los  Angeles.  California  that  plays  a mixture  of  black  metal,  experimental  and  classical  and  this  is  a  review of  their  2017  album  "Desert"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Fragile  Bunch.

  Avant  garde  style  pianos  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  touches  of  classical  while  natural  noises  are  also  used  at  times  and  after  the  intro  the  music  gets  more  aggressive  along  with  some  blast  beats  and  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  along  with  no  guitars  and  bass.

  Pianos  get  very  aggressive  and  take  over  the  place  of  traditional  metal  instruments  while  the  vocals  also  mix  in  a  depressive  tone  at  times  and  the  songs  also  bring  in a   great mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  spoken  word  parts  are  also  used  at  times  and  most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  spoken  word  samples  are  also used  briefly.

  Wreche  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  a  very  dark  and  aggressive  form  of  black  metal  and  replaces  the  traditional  instruments  with  pianos  while  also  adding  in  experimental,  avant  garde  and  classical  elements  to  create  something  very  original,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Wreche  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  depressive  black  metal,  avant  garde  classical  and  experimental  music  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Angel  City"  and  "Vessel".  8  out  of  10. 
 

Muka/Sveta Stoka/2017 EP Review


  Muka  are  a  band f rom  Croatia  that  plays a   mixture  of  dissonant  black  metal,  doom  and  sludge  and  this  is  a  review of  their  self  released  2017  ep  "Sveta  Stoka".

  Atmospheric  synths  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  heavy,  dark  and  melodic  riffing  a  few  seconds  alter  while the  music  also  mixes  the  heavy  and  atmospheric  parts  together  and  clean  guitars  are  also  added  into certain  sections  of the  recording  along  with  all of  the  instruments  sounding  very  powerful.

  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  along  with  a  few  depressive  touches  and  when  the  music  speeds  up a   great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  songs  a  raw  feeling  and  a  couple  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  being  very  heavily  influenced  by  sludge  and  doom  metal  while  elements  of  death  metal  can  also  be  heard  in  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  along  with  a  few  growls. 

  Muka  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  a  dissonant  form  of  black  metal  and  mixes  it  with  doom  and  sludge  to  create  a  sound  of t heir  own,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  heavy  while  the  lyrics a re  written  in  Croatian  and  cover  dark  and  depressive  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Muka  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  dissonant  black  metal,  doom  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  styles,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Sutra?!"  and  "One  Koge  Nema".  8  out  of  10.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Lucifer's Dungeon/The Dark Army Raises/Grim Distribution/2017 CD Review


  Lucifer's  Dungeon  are  a  band  from  Russia  that  plays  a  mixture  of  black  metal  and  dark  ambient  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "The  Dark  Army  Raises"  which  will  be  released  in  May  by  Grimm  Distribution.

  Ambient  style  synths  start  off  the  album  and   they  also  add  in  a  touch  of  dungeon  synth  and  after  the  first  track  they  go  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  melodic  direction  where  you  can  also hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard.

  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  yet  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  bring  in  a  more  raw  side  of  the  genre  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  and  the  music  also  brings  in  a  great  amount  of  90's  second  wave  influences.

   Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  some  tracks  return  back  to  an  instrumental  dark  ambient  direction  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  clean  guitars  and  spoken  word  parts  can  be  heard  and  they  also  bring  in  a  heavier  instrumental  towards  the  end.

  Lucifer's  Dungeon  brings  out  2  different  styles  with  one  being  a  raw  and  traditional  style  of  black  metal  while  the  other  side  displays  a  more  dark  ambient  style,  the  production  sounds  very  raw  and  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  Anti  Dogma,  Satanism  and  Nihilism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Lucifer's  Dungeon  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  black  metal  and  ambient  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Unconscious  Faith"  Burn  Your  Dogma"  "War"  and  "The  Forest".  8  out  of  10.

   

 

 

Bitter Lake/Distortions In Sombre/2017 Full Length Review


  Bitter  Lake  are  a  solo  project  from  Scotland  that  plays  a  very  atmospheric form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  his  self  released  2017  album  "Distortions  In  Sombre".

  Atmospheric  synths  start  off  the  album  and  they  also  mix  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  while  also  adding  in  elements  of  ambient  and  after  awhile  drum  beats  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  when  the  music  speeds  up a   decent  amount  of  blast  beats  and  tremolo  picking  can  be  heard.

  During  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  the  music  has  more  of  a  raw  feeling  while  spoken  word  samples  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  a  couple  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  most  of  the  music  is  instrumental  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  acoustic  guitars  are  also  used  briefly.

  Bitter  Lake  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  atmospheric  and  mostly  instrumental  while  also  mixing  in  experimental  and  ambient  elements  to  create  a  sound  of  his  own  and  the  production  sounds  very  dark and  raw.

  In  my  opinion  Bitter  Lake  are  a  very  great  sounding  atmospheric  black  metal  solo  project  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Distortions  In  Sombre"  and  "Class  War".  8  out  of  10. 



 

NNGNN Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
T: We're a two-piece black-metal band from Scotland; we used to play more traditional black-thrash, but nowadays I'd say what we play is black-metal with loads of different styles under the surface; there's still thrash amongst it, but also old-school heavy metal.
R: We've been on the go since 2013. Along the way we've changed quite a bit, that includes line-up changes, and an evolving of our style and a honing of our process for writing and performing, particularly with the two-piece dynamic in mind.

2.So far you have released 2 ep's, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?
T: Our first EP was quite conventional in some respects. This time around, I think we're letting ourselves be more inventive – we both love old-school metal, but we're developing a style of our own, too.
R: Yeah we are developing a strong identity as we go, it's very much our own mix of styles. As Tam said the first EP was more black thrash, but even then there was a lot more going on than that. The sound on both EPs was raw, the second EP is our first two-piece recording and much more accurately represents how we sound today.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
R: As our EP title suggests, I have looked a lot at blasphemy. That obviously refers to religion but more importantly it refers to much that is considered sacred or unassailable. I write about opposition, smashing head-on into delusional schools of thought, and about the conscious, willful destruction of certain social customs that many people bow down to. To quote the EP's title track, Tear Down All Such Idols.
These very real themes are central to the lyrics but more recently I have combined them with some more fantastical, dark scenarios, using physical elements like chasms, fume, spirits etc. It's a way to expand the lyrical landscape but to still keep certain messages coming out.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'NNGNN'?
R: NNGNN are the initials of our original name, which literally came to me in a dream around 2007 or so. It's pronounced as the initials. So the only real meaning there is that it came from my own subconscious. The gist of the dream was that the name (Nolti Nan Gana Nan Nolta) was a title awarded to a demonic spirit that vanquished an enemy.
The dream aside though, it's five letters that we go by. It's not a classic or conventional name for any genre we may represent with our music, but the name fits us, it refers to us and only us.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
R: For me what stands out was the tour we did in April 2016 with Inconcessus Lux Lucis. It was our d├ębut run as a two piece and something of an epiphany for us. And I think the Manchester show of that was the peak of that run. More recently, supporting Possession in London was a great experience.
T: Opening for Inquisition us one of my early favourites. In our current incarnation, playing Manchester with Ninkharsag was a really enjoyable one, as was playing with Possession in London recently. I think our performance is always improving, or I hope so – that's always my goal; trying to better myself as a musician – we're getting more and more accustomed to the two-piece line-up now, too; we're more comfortable on stage than ever.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
R: We have a small tour arranged for August with Live Burial and Blasphemer, and we have a fantastic tour line-up in the works for 2018 with a UK band and a European band. Other than that we are looking at festival appearances, and getting over to Europe ourselves.

7.The new EP was released on 'Eldritch Lunar Miasma' are you happy with the support they have given you so far?
T: It's a small label, granted, but I'm glad it's been there to help us cover the costs of pressing our CDs and Tapes, it's been a real boost in a time where we barely had any money left after paying for recording and artwork for the new EP.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and thrash metal?
R: We've had a decent response on the whole, in our time. Neither of our records have been released with much fanfare but we've had positive response from various areas worldwide.
T: It always impresses me that people are taking the time to listen to music I've helped to create – if they enjoy it, which people seem to – I'm even more pleased. Sending out merch-orders to all sorts of places around the world is almost surreal.

9.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
T: We're planning to make a full-length relatively soon. We're writing new material already after releasing the EP. Stylistically, I don't keep to close a track on what our music is doing; we write material by instinct, and then think about it later on. We're working on a new track just now that we're both very pleased with – it carries on in our accustomed style, but it has an identity of its own, too, and that's how I like to do it.
R: Exactly, each song starts off from a different place, but our own sound runs through all the material. I don't really know how to accurately describe our sound but that's all good.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
R: I listen to all sorts of stuff, by no means is it limited to metal. If we're talking metal though, there are many bands and styles of raw metal that shape my ideas and inspire me to create.
T: I don't really keep track; I listen to loads of stuff and what I end up playing, on the drums, is an amalgamation of the things I like. I can't really think of any one band to which I go “yes, I want to sound like that” - and maybe it's better not to. Listening-wise, I enjoy metal, hip-hop, 80s pop – all kinds of stuff really.

11.How would you describe your views on Satanism and Occultism?
T: I enjoy those themes as part of the mystique and showmanship of metal; they're dark and interesting subjects, that suit the music in question, when they're done right. Much like war, death, fantasy, philosophy, paganism, theology – the sort of topics that metal is so known for. It helps to create exciting music which can imbue the listener with a sense of liminality and awe.
R: I think Satanism means different things to different individuals. In some places a lot of the more common ideals of Satanism will touch on my own views, it influences what we are doing. In other places I'd just as sooner not be associated with any particular ideology. I can't say I've studied it extensively.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
R: I'll say thanks for the interview and for your support!

Thy Worshiper/Popiol (Introibo ad Altere Dei)/Arachnophobia Records/2017 CD Re-Issue Review


  Thy  Worshiper  are  a  band  from  Poland  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  on  a  few  occasions  and  this  time  brings  us  an  earlier  album  from  them  which  displays  a  more  raw  style  of  pagan/black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  1996  album  "Popiol  (Introibo  ad Altere  Dei)"  which  was  re-issued  by  Arachnophobia  Records.

  Nature  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  atmospheric  synths  a  few  seconds  later  as  well  as  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  and  female  vocals  along  with  some  programmed  beats  and  after  the  intro  the  music  gets  a  lot  more  heavier  along  with  some  melodic  guitar  leads  making  their  presence  known.

  Vocals  are mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  while t he  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  use  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats  and  they  also  mix  the  synths  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  along  with  all  of t he  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to   them  and  when  classical  guitars  are  utilized  they  add  in  a  touch  of  folk.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  female  vocals  are  also  used  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  and  the  tremolo  picking  gives  the  songs  a  more  raw  black  metal  feeling  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  small  amount  of  folk  instruments  can  be  heard  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  instrumental  as  well  as  some  songs  being  long  and  epic  in  length.

  On  this  recording  Thy  Worshiper  had  a  more  raw  style  of  pagan/black  metal  while  still  also  being  very  atmospheric  and  mixing  in  elements  of  folk  music,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  are  written  in  Polish  and  cover  Slavic Paganism,  War,  Nature  and  Death  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  was  another  great  sounding  from  Thy  Worshiper  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  folk, pagan,  and  black  metal,  you  should c heck  out  this  re-issue.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Sny  Ojca  Wiekow"  "Gdzie  noce  sa  dluzsze  od  dni"  and "Wsrod  Cieni  I  Mgiel".  8/5  out  of  10.