Review by Jason Guest
Specialising in vinyl-only releases (and the occasional cassette too) – in very limited editions on black vinyl only – a quick look over the roster of this German label (changing its name from Obscure Arts Productions to Iron Bonehead Productions in 1996) and you’ll see that they specialise in nothing but death, black, and thrash in all their grim glory. And it is nothing but the dirtiest, angriest, and the most malevolent death, black, and thrash that the underground spews from its filthy depths. Fancy a listen? Well, cherubs, your luck is in because you can cast an evil ear over their wares on their Soundcloud page, here. And if you like (or loathe, for that matter) what you hear, you can splash your cash over at their website and then give ‘em a like on that dreaded abomination known as Facebook.
Released into the world only a little while ago (2 September to be precise) were three gnarled nuggets of naughty nastiness, namely: the eponymous debut from Greece’s Heretic Cult Redeemer; the first full-length, Všehorovnost Je Porážkou Převyšujících, from Triumph, Genus of Czech Republic; and a split 7” between USA’s Nazarene Whore and Argentina’s Nocturnal Evil entitled Invocations Of Necro-Sodomy/Dark Realm Mysticism. So let’s tiptoe through the twilight and see what these each of these gruesome guardians of grimness have to say for themselves shall we?
Heretic Cult Redeemer – S/T
Four years since their inception and Greece’s Heretic Cult Redeemer’s debut album is now out there, somewhere, savaging the sanity of those who dare approach, nay, even look in the general direction of the dismal cavern from whence their enmity doth spew. With the likes of Greece’s Acrimonious (of whom vocalist/lyricist/composer Funus was a founding member), Acherontas, and Thy Darkened Shade taking black metal into more ritualistic and atmospheric territories – and very successfully, it must be said – Heretic Cult Redeemer are keen to carve out their own chasm within this ever-broadening portal of despair and devastation.
And so they do. With atonality, dissonance, and an unhealthy dose of aggression underpinning their sound, the band’s riffs may tend to draw from what could be considered stock for black metal but it’s how they utilise them that gives this album its merit. With contorted riffs and prominent bass melodies gouging away at the dense atmospherics and carving bleak and twisted shapes into the mire, the band’s skills at juxtaposing subtle dissonances with the demonic and calm are remarkable. The indolent pace and unnerving tranquil vocal of the nine-minute ‘The Oldest Of Times’ brings to the album a sinister and haunting depth that ‘Concatenation’ counters with a subtle turbulence in the track’s black aesthetic. Yet it is closing track ‘7’ – “the number of the universe, of the macrocosm, the number reflecting completeness and totality” – taking in all that has preceded it, where Heretic Cult Redeemer’s esoteric ideology is made flesh, shining its black light above all. Though not without flaw (albeit minor), this is a début worth giving your time to.
If you want it on vinyl, it’s limited to 500 copies. Oh, and you get an A2 poster with it. Woo.
7.5 out of 10
- Crawling Hope
- Bleeding Of The Giant Sun
- The Oldest Of Times
- Destiny Of Death
- Unknown Salvation
Triumph, Genus – Všehorovnost Je Porážkou Převyšujících
Czech black metallers Triumph, Genus’ band name alone is worth the asking price. Like the figure gracing the album cover, it reeks of arrogance, defiance, and self-assured superiority, these fuckers do not care one iota what you think of them. But while not wholly original, in terms of quality, this is damned good, to say the least. Bearing a distinct Norway-of-the-90s influence – don’t they all? – their occult-infused black metal – yep, another occult band – is savage throughout, every strike of Svar’s many instruments and every salivating salvo spat from Jaroslav’s putrid maw is an eruption, an expulsion, an ejaculation of orgiastic esoteric filth.
Opening track ‘Stručně zahrnout stahující přítěž’ blasts out of the gates, scorching the landscape with the traditional black metal fire and ice. The pace high, ‘Uveden v život myšlenkami’ continues to savage the land with its trem-picked riffs, blast beats, and jarring slower passages breaking up what would otherwise have been a largely ineffectual monotonous rampage. But monotony prevails as track three, ‘Obklopen snází v představě’, maintains rather than augments the already bleak aesthetic. Too predictable to considered innovative, while ‘Všehorovnost…’ feels more like an attempt to re-assert their black metal credentials, it is with ‘Což ke mně vše promlouvá jinak?’ that Triumph, Genus nails it and rescues the album from eternity in Beelzebub’s bargain bin. The mid-paced intro has a dark allure about it that is undeniable and irresistible. And when the tempo picks up, we are cast away on a wave of dark delight where we remain for the rest of this track and well into closer ‘Změnit život ve skutečnost vyššího řádu’. Though the album sags in the middle – tracks three and four are good, just not great – the four tracks that bookend this work are sufficient to make this a worthy listen. Half an hour of fucking disgusting black metal; what more could one desire?
If you want this on vinyl, it’s strictly limited to 300 copies. The CD version will be released by W.T.C. Productions on 15 October 2013.
7 out of 10
- Stručně zahrnout stahující přítěž
- Uveden v život myšlenkami
- Obklopen snází v představě
- Všehorovnost je porážkou převyšujících
- Což ke mně vše promlouvá jinak?
- Změnit život ve skutečnost vyššího řádu
Nazarene Whore/Nocturnal Evil – Invocations Of Necro-Sodomy/Dark Realm Mysticism (Split 7″)
Time for a quickie? Tough shit. This one requires dedication. Yep, you guessed it, this is trve kvlt black metal right down to the shitty lo-fi production anti-values that defined black metal all those church-burning moons ago and makes listening a test of one’s (black) mettle. Strictly limited to 300 copies, you’d better get it while you can.
Michigan-based one-man band Nazarene Whore’s three tracks that make up the Invocations Of Necro-Sodomy half of this release are raw, primitive savagery at its most ferocious. The drums are pulses that are felt more than heard, the vocals spew forth from some cavern, its walls smeared with the blood and shit of its inhabitant’s victims, and the riffs are plucked from some rusty, chainsaw-toothed implement from which mainman Ray Rivera may have got a nasty cut or two. Short blasts of rancorous hostility, this is unholy black filth rendered flesh that will tear your soul asunder (assuming you have one of course). Anyway, Nazarene Whore must be evil because they’re on Facebook.
6 out of 10
Argentina’s Nocturnal Evil, the wrath child of mainman, erm, Nocturnal, is no less toxic. Sole track ‘Dark Realms Of Mysticism’ opens with an organ, its tumescence bringing a serenity soon blasted apart by the tinny barbarity of satanic riffage spat out in rapid blasts of hate and destruction from somewhere very far way. It may be buried beneath the contaminated veneer of the requisite shit sound that’s supposed to deter BM tourists, but it isn’t as great as the black masking would suggest. The riffs are nothing special, the composition is thrown together rather than crafted, and it sounds fucking awful. But, rest assured, it’s utterly savage and will tear your face off. If its black metal to its core emanating from the very depths of the muck and mire of everything that ever was or will be considered primitive that you want, then go on, treat yourself. The tourists can go elsewhere…
6 out of 10
- Priest Impaler
- Thy Putrescent Christ
- Dead Messiah
- Dark Realms Of Mysticism