2014/04/13

Satanic Warmaster - Hymns for the Black Empire (2014) - N/A

So how come I don't rate this album? Not because it's not a real album - as in it wasn't released by the band or any of the associated labels. In other words: this is a bootleg release... my bootleg release. (Why the fuck would I rate my own compilation? I'm not that egoistic.) No profit, no free downloads, only an album cover and the tracklist was put together by me, the rest of the work was made by Werwolf over the years.

Why has this seen the daylight if I don't wanna make profit of it? First, because it'd be illegal and I'm not a thief. I do urge Werwolf to consider turning this into a release, even if remade to an extent. I can't give this for free either because it's not mine to give! So if, there by any law I'd have any rights regarding to this material now I refrain from them completely. This should be considered only the appreciation of a great artist. (Copyright owners should take this paragraph as a disclaimer.)

Werwolf has released some material off his splits on W.A.T.W.T.C.O.T.B.W.O.A.A. and this is where the idea came from... to include every Satanic Warmaster split material somewhere that is not a guest appearance or blending with others, just pure Satanic Warmaster experience. I followed a simple rule upon making this, which comes from my music listening habits: breaking albums in half is strictly prohibited, it kills the cohesion of the songs. Simply put, I took all splits until 2008 (all of them up to the point of compiling this album), sorted descending by year, and ascending by the original album title. Simple, effective, usually giving good results (in my opinion it did this time too).

This album gives a deeper insight in the adventures of Satanic Warmaster which can't be experienced by knowing the full-lengths and the EPs alone. Recording qualities, sound levels untouched, everything as it was released. You can't hear this in the playlist, but upon putting this together on your own you'll hear what I intended with this. The cover can be taken if you want it, not that I could do anything about that.

I made the artwork with GIMP (the best image editor for simple and moderate tasks), using the logo and the image of a burning church (as you can see it), the font is of the classic Old English kind.

What are my favourites? Nameless Sacrifice is catchy as fuck (for black metal anyway), Hold on to Your Dreams is one epicness, Where Eternity Awaits is another one, and let's not forget about The Chant of the Barbarian Wolves either.


you can listen to it right here (message me or comment here in case something gets pulled from YouTube):



tracklist:

1. Majesty Of Wampyric Blood (6:43)
2. Massacre (4:03)
3. Where Eternity Awaits (7:38)
4. The Burning Eyes Of The Werewolf (5:16)
5. Nameless Sacrifice (5:29)
6. Dead Light Of A Lost Star (6:57)
7. The Chant Of The Barbarian Wolves (6:34)
8. A Hymn for the Black Empire (4:04)
9. To The Legions (11:53)
10. March of the Legion Werwolf (3:45)
11. Six Million Tears (2:13)
12. Taistelukenttien Kärsimykset (0:22)
13. Hold On To Your Dreams (5:44)
14. Satan's Race (4:04)

2013/12/31

inb4 dead blog

I don't really have time for this blog. When I did, I posted stuff, it wasn't much.

I even abandoned posting my reviews to MA because their rules limit my artistic creativity (meaning they rejected most of my stuff... fuck them).

I have plenty of ideas hat to review or rant about, I simply lack either the time or the motivation. From now on I'll only post on every 13th of the month, even when I have ideas, I'll put them on queue.

Have a metal new year fuckers!

2013/11/16

Burzum - Det som engang var (1993) - 0.75

In his early years Varg released a handful of albums, all became classics since then. All his albums are the same in their essence, still being different from each other, offering something else for the listener to keep him interested.

This album is his most metal album. Not as sorrowful as Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, not as lo-fi as Filosofem or Aske, not as... you get it. I heard some folks complain about a lot of BM releases as there's too much black and little metal in them. Only the trvest elitists will look on you badly if you bang your head to this goodness!

Amazing lead sections and rhythm guitars dominate the whole release, the bass guitar and the drums play no major role here. His vocals, though, have improved a lot since the s/t and remain unmatched till today. The guitar sound is similar to s/t, still sounding better than there. Although Vikernes is more known for his depressive songs, this album clearly shows his creativity, the album won't get boring even after a thousand listens, variations here and there keep it interesting, even fun to play on guitar (if one can play).

It's not easy to choose highlights for this album as it's consistency can't be denied. Lost Wisdom is an undoubted classic, so is Key to the Gate and En ring til å herske. Just do yourself a favour and listen to the whole release!

A classic, along the other Burzum albums, no doubt. This one shows a different face of Varg while being essentially the same.




There's not much point in inlining all lyrics in the post, is there? Here's a link.

2013/10/12

Horna - Kun Synkkä Ikuisuus Avautuu (2006) - 0.7

So here is another compilation by the almighty Finnish horde, namely Horna. I had a hard time finding this one because it's extremely rare and was released only as a limited tape. Now the question is: was it worth searching?

Before I answer let's go into the details a bit. This is a demo recording from the time Nazgul (of Satanic Warmaster) was still in the band. The recording consist of material off Sudentaival and Ordo Regnum Satanas. If you know these recordings, you know the material, just with a far better sound.

This release is raw, even by the band's standards. In fact, it sounds like some of the rehearsals of Moonblood. Some of the songs are hard to recognize at first because the sound is entirely different from the released versions. You won't find the kickass sound of Sudentaival here! The mix is dominated by the drums and the guitars, the bass guitar is easy to hear as well. Nazgul sounds close to Gaamalzagoth of Moonblood (to his singing style on the rehearsal tapes anyway).

My main reason for searching for this tape was the title track. Even though this is slower than the other two versions I was not disappointed, even with clean vocals still remaining exclusive to the album version. Other highlights here are Skaldiriimu and Hautajaisyö, I'm assuming you're familiar with these already.

This recording is recommended for collectors, for those who just can't live without hearing all available versions of a song or are avid fans of Horna and Moonblood.


(No material of this compilation available online, might upload title track later so you can hear it yourselves, but not now.)

2013/09/07

Horna - The Bad Decision (2005 vs 2009)

In 2004 Horna recorded plenty of material for their new album, namely Envaatnags Eflos Solf Esgantaavne. The material is worth 2 discs, as it was released in 2005 with the title above and as Musta Kaipuu in 2009. The former was released as a full-length and the latter as a "random" compilation. I think it was a huge mistake.

I got to know EESE as a double album which was released by Blut & Eisen Productions so I experienced both as one single entity. An amazing piece of art, all songs in perfect cohesion. No Horna album can get any close to it (except Sudentaival but it's an entirely different story). It'd be worth a review on its own so I won't waste my time now.

Today I was listening to MK in itself and I got a strange feeling: the songs I like from the double LP are mostly from this album. This is when I got the idea to listen to the CD version of EESE. I think you already know how I felt about it: an extreme disappointment. The only highlights I could make are Vihan Tie and Kuoleva Lupaus, some good tracks, a couple of fillers and a bonus track that is perfectly out of place, not fitting at all, sounding like a bad joke.

The biggest outrage on my part is the exclusion of Marraskuussa, the best Horna track ever written. Come on, it was even released on their second live album, Vihan Tiellä! That song was the sole reason I bothered to listen to this concert, taking the mediocrity of Black Metal Warfare into account. It is an amazing performance, it would be even without this song, it just makes the whole experience far superior, especially cause it's actually improved on that recording.



I can recommend only one thing: either legally or illegally (I still won't provide any links, this blog isn't about that), but get the double vinyl version, you'll be part of an experience like never before!

Obvious song choice is obvious:


Syyshämärässä kuljen
Juoksevan veren ääreen
Tumma virta soljuu
Nielee katseeni, mietteeni
Uhmaan aikaa yksin
Synkkää taikaa
Vaikka haistan pakkasen
En tunne sen piiskaa

Jäiset pisarat
Rikkovat seesteisyyden
Luovat renkaitaan
Lisääntyen luvussaan
Kylmyys viiltää otsaani
Lyö tuskan tunteisiin
Linnutkin ovat hiljaa
Ne mitkä eivät muuttaneet

Synkkää taikaa
Luonnon öistä aikaa
Tummaan virtaan pian
Pian itkevät valtimot hiljaa
Yskien, sykähdellen
Juottaen vanhaa huoraa

2013/08/31

Nocturnal Depression - Reflections of a Sad Soul (2008) - 0.9

This band isn't new to the subgenre of DSBM, although I have to admit I have only listened to this album of theirs from the beginning to the end and a couple of their other songs, I do have a special relationship with this album.

You get what you'd expect from a depressive album: it's painful to listen to. Not in a sense that it's so bad it hurts... no, it hurts you on an emotional level, pounding you deeper and deeper in your depression if you have one. Its structure goes as of regular depressive BM album: it sends you deeper and deeper into emotional hell, and the ending is trying to keep you from staying that way.

I have listened to some of their earlier works, this album is a vast improvement in both songwriting (originality) and in production, the latter being unpolished, but still clear sounding to an extent, guitars over distorted as usual, drums high in the mix. I must give praise to the vocal work of Lord Lokhraed, it's extremely raw and bears pure pain, fitting this album perfectly, giving it another edge to hurt. The songs themselves are long as you could expect it from a release like this.

The intro doesn't give any hints how the rest of the album will sound, it's just a filler, it won't even set the proper mood. The next track, however, is slow (compared to regular black metal anyway) and melancholic. The third song (Fading Away in the Fog) is way faster, typical black metal riffing (sorrowful tremolo picking), even blastbeats, very well written too, making it one of the outstanding songs of the album. After a melancholic interlude comes "Her Ghost Haunts These Walls", the definite best song of the album, and according to many, one of the best by the band. Its clean and distorted guitar work, painful vocals, suicidal lyrics and guitar lines are so perfectly composed and executed it can be a real soundtrack for someone who would end their life by their own hands.* By the end of this song you might even lose you will to live, but as I mentioned earlier, the rest of the album will bring you back to normal, even though you will be changed on the inside forever.

It's not my place to encourage or forbid you to listen to this album if you are depressed and/or suicidal, but you have to know it has its risks, one of the few depressive albums that actually does. For anyone else, if you want to travel to the realm of the mentally fucked up, you should sit down and experience this full-length, purists who hate DSBM won't listen to it anyway, but it's purely their loss.



My hands are caressing the stones
Their coldness piercing my skin and creeping to my heart
The obscurity mixing black and gray
My blinded eyes open theirs
Everything there is full of sorrow
Everything there is crying
Forever lost

I take your hands; I follow you to a better place
I take your hands; let me stay by your side
I take your hands; I follow you to a better place
I take your hands; let me stay with you

Among these ruins of our life
I walk slowly, sufferings tearing me
Flashes hurt my mind
I see you everywhere, I can't forget you
The rain is falling out, the wind is whispering
The world's turning dark, the ambient cold
I feel your presence, your arms around me
Your head on my back
I killed myself to join you



* It's not an outsider's opinion. When I came across this album I was in an overly suicidal mood, at the worst of my depression. This isn't either the place or the time to talk about it, I'm tired of talking about it anyway.

2013/08/24

Sarkrista - The Acheronian Worship (2013) - 0.7

I got a request from a member of the band to review this album. The band is a newcomer in the realm of black metal.

I could conclude the album very quickly: a well-made album without much originality. I'm going to be longer than this because while this statement is true it doesn't tell much.

The album is well-produced. It sounds quite amazing (on a 5.1 setup anyway), not overdone or polished, it still sounds clean. You can hear everything clearly, the mix is dominated by the drums and the vocals, neither is too loud to overshadow the guitars, though. The songwriting is like all Finnish black metal (even though the band is from Germany): great songs, one after another. The problem is: if you've listened to later Goatmoon, you'll exactly know what you'll hear.

The album starts with a symphonic (a bit minimalistic, don't be alarmed) intro, reminding the listener to "Opus a Satana" by Emperor. The rest of the album goes similar to the first metal track. At some parts the songs are catchy, well written (despite being something you've already heard) and played with skill. The album maintains its quality to the end, no real highlights or fillers to be found.

If you like Finnish-sounding black metal, you should give this a spin or two, you're going to enjoy it but don't expect any surprises. As a commenter on last.fm once wrote: "Luckily, BM doesn't have to be original to be great."

2013/08/17

Still not fucking dead

It's been a while.

The semester I had was the most exhausting period of my life, no wonder I had no time or motivation to do anything here. If that wasn't enough, I had some crisis in my personal life as well, but I don't wanna talk about it.

I have no idea how the future of this blog is gonna be. Not in the sense I'd delete it, I just don't know if I'll have time for it, because I'll work and keep attending the uni simultaneously. But I'll try to return.

I'll return, even if randomly and for short times. I've got a review request from a German black metal band, and I have a plenty of albums I wanna review myself, including the second full-length of Satanic Warmaster, which will get a really high score (if not full, we'll see). I still wanna do those rants and lists I talked about earlier. And most importantly: if everything goes right I'll get to see Satyricon live! Definitely not going to make videos of it cause the quality is worse than death and filming it takes away the enjoyment.

I have my plans, I usually lack the motivation to do anything (I know the reason for it but it's none of your businesses), so we'll see how this turns out.

Later.

2013/02/16

Ragnarok - Malediction (2012) - 0.666

We have another album by the almighty Norwegians, the second since their long hiatus. While it was a huge letdown for the first few listens, it only needed time to find its place among the band's other releases.

The album starts out with a short symphonic intro as part of Blood of Saints. Don't let this fool you though, they haven't returned to their symphonic sound, nor have they continued the path of Collectors of the King. The addition of Bolverk changed both the overall sound and the songwriting. Both remind the listener to the works of Svarttjern (and to Mortuus-era Marduk to some extent), the fact of both bands sharing the same vocalist just empowers this impression. The only typical about this album is the unique drumming style of Jontho, which hasn't changed much since Diabolical Age where it was first utilized.

The album won't hesitate for long and just kicks your ass with the first song. It's not much like anything the band has ever released but it clearly has its drive. All songs have one or more riffs that the listener is likely to get a taste for, some of them being imported from outside black metal. The most prominent example of the latter is the pre-verse riff of Necromantic Summoning Ritual, which would fit any power metal song. The first highlight of the album is the middle section of the fourth song (Divide et Impera), which goes back to the full-length In Nomine Satanas. The next outside influence can be heard in Dystocratic, the song starts out with a guitar solo with a style not to be expected it this genre; this is also the best song of this release. For its second half the album becomes even stronger with all songs having one or more great riffs.

Should you get this album? Before this was released my reply to this question would have been an automatic yes (we are talking about Ragnarok after all). While the album is quite enjoyable, it was their first release that was disappointing at the first listen. Give it time, your opinion about it might change as mine did and I'm not the type who loves previously hated albums.


 

Let madness hunt my mind
Let violence guide my hand
Embrace this insanity of mine
Release the demons trapped inside
Arson, murder, suffering
Raping, pillaging, butchering
Cravings are haunting me
My soul will feast on your despair

A vengeful state of mind
Evil incarnate in the flesh
Infested mindset plagued with scorn
Will make sure you are laid to rest
Oppressing, usurping, torturing
Extorting, infesting, pestering
Never turn the other cheek
Retaliate with tenfold strength

Desolated
Desecrated
Diabolic
Dystocratic

'A democratic society can never be a Satanic society. A dystocratic society is a Satanic society.'

2013/02/02

Ofermod - Thaumiel (2012) - 0.95

Ritualistic chants, drums and guitars. Welcome to the newest offering of Ofermod, a Swedish black metal band who are known as one of the first of the orthodox black metal movement. But this band has come a long way since then and surpassed such labels.

The term "Orthodox religious death metal", which was used to label the previous effort Tiamtü, seems to fit here much more. Still not without black metal elements, this album ventures deeper into the realm of death metal than its predecessor, taking a huge step forward and distancing itself even more further from the band's demos in all aspects. If you're looking for the old glory days of Mystérion go look somewhere else.

The production is a whole lot different than on the previous releases, well made, more appropiate. Evil, occultish atmosphere fills the room as the listener wanders into the world of Thaumiel. Ever-present drums while never overwhelming, twisted guitar riffs, varied tempos and sick vocals are that make this album what it is. Never mind the absence of Nebiros, the vocal work of JK (Tehom) fits the result much more. Maybe he doesn't have the diversity of Attila Csihar but he certainly delivers. This time Michayah shows how to write a record that won't be buried by time and dust, the songs are much more memorable here than on the previous album. The session musicians who appear in this album don't disappoint the listener either.

Ritualistic chants, drums and guitars. This is how the album starts. The first track is to set the appropiate mood, puts you right into an age of darkness and occultism, even utilizing choirs. The second track increases the tempo and shows the riffing capatibilities of Michayah. The absolute highlight of the album is the third track, amplifying everthing that were just introduced in the previous song. You may feel as the next song is out of place. It's the slowest track of the album and features clean vocals of Kvarforth. You'll eventually get to the re-recording of "Chained to Redemption". If you are to think it has been ruined as the other re-recording, guess again! This version is much more powerful, showing different faces while retaining many qualities of the original version. The album closer is something that would fit the last album of Marduk as well.

Should you listen to this album? This is a silly question, you're bound to be blown away by its freshness, sheer brutality and occult atmosphere. But how good is it? This album is a definite winner if we are to determine which is the best extreme metal record of 2012. Without a second thought.