Grapes of Barbarian Wrath…
Paul Castles catches up with a few releases to have emanated this year from the respected Bavarian underground record label, Barbarian Wrath. All releases are available direct from Witches Brew.
Terror Striker – De Vermis Mysteriis
Saint Petersburg is not the first place you’d turn to on the map if asked to locate a blackened metal hotbed. However, with new release De Vermis Mysteriis, Russian renegades Terror Striker prove that they’re certainly on the ball.
It’s rough enough to tear the calluses from a witch’s claw and the blastbeats come at you like a tidal wave over which vocalist Mortarius maintains a constant deathly growl. With Sodomator throwing down a few grimy grooves such as on ‘Baal Hammon’, Terror Striker sustain interest throughout with lightning armed drum monster Hellslaver keeping the sticks flying at a ferocious rate of knots.
On ‘Altars Of War (Chaos Doctrine)’ Terror Striker are briefly sunk by a sonic meltdown before surfacing, eye back on the ball, with a great riffage escape route. Overall this is so old school as to be in short trousers, which in no way means there’s nothing to like. There’s plenty of hellfire and damnation here for those possessed of an infected eardrum to tune into.
- Where Evil Forever Reigns
- Sign Of the Cursed
- Baal Hammon
- De Vermis Mysteriis I
- De Vermis Mysteriis II
- Altars Of War (Chaos Doctrine)
- Iron Kings & Mystic Thrones
Hellripper – Coagulating Darkness
Coagulating Darkness is best avoided by anyone whose just had any form of liposuction. Hellripper will undo all the good work done by your friendly facial surgeon as the rabid speed metal served up by these Tartan terrors will most likely rip your new face straight off. From the granite city of Aberdeen, Hellripper show their metal menace and intent from the off, careering through opener ‘Bastard of Hades’ with the carefree abandon of a getaway driver on a high after a particularly remunerative heist.
What isn’t automatically apparent until revealed by a cursory glance at the sleeve notes, is that Hellripper is a solo venture by young Scot, James McBain. Although a few pals are roped in during this eight-track release for both vocal and instrumental support, James is the central figure. So well done to you, sir. Tracks such as ‘Demdike (In League with the Devil)’ are ear-bursters good and proper, insane riffage spilling over like a novice barista juggling too many cappuccinos on a particularly trying shift.
With songs such as ‘Black Invocation’ the full power of this Tartan tornado can be felt, raging guitar work and with a great fist-thump of a chorus. The last of the eight songs is the title track which starts with a foreboding rhythmic pattern before spiralling off into another tempestuous axe attack. With plenty of shows on the Scottish underground circuit already chalked up, it’s now time to take Hellripper south of Hadrian’s Wall… and beyond.
- Bastard of Hades
- Demdike (In League with the Devil)
- Within the Everlasting Hellfire
- From Hell
- Black Invocation
- Conduit Closing
- Coagulating Darkness
Arcane Evil/Mysophilia (split)
Finally from Barbarian Wrath, a word for this US-Canadian marriage between Arcane Evil and Mysophilia. The first four thrash tracks are the work of Ontario’s Arcane Evil and is the band’s previously released EP Vengeance of the Wicked. It has a certain undercooked rawness about it which is quite endearing in a psychopathic kind of way. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Kirk Capuano has a distinctive delivery in which his gravelly tomes are also injected with a few high-pitched squeals, guitarist Marc Beaulieu contributing the more sustained solo work.
Mysophilia, who hail from Michigan, USA, supply the other six numbers which are of a much darker content altogether. Again we have an EP uplifted to form the split release, this one called Atomik Hatefukk. First battery charge is ‘Hunt To Fuck’ which is every bit as furious and feral as its title suggests. Don’t even think of asking for any respite on the following ‘Cut Yourself For Satan’ as Mysophilia, with singer Samnu sounding as though he’s just clawed his way up from the crypt. ‘Satanic Pact’ is the poisonous pick of the split, some great barbed wire riffage, full of evil intent and sharp enough to draw blood. As for the drumming, this is biscuit tin rat-a-tat and any biscuits held captive inside the tin will be reduced to inedible dust by the time these demonic fires have gone out.
- Arcane Evil – Vengeance of the Wicked
- Arcane Evil – The Stolen Heirloom
- Arcane Evil – Arcane Evil
- Arcane Evil – Legacy of Evil
- Mysophilia – Hunt to Fuck
- Mysophilia – Cut Yourself For Satan
- Mysophilia – War and Pussy
- Mysophilia – Satanic Pact
- Mysophilia – Faster than the Speed of Hate
- Mysophilia – Torment in Fire