PTAHIL deal in some of the most disgustingly filthy black metal there is. It’s gross and weird and dirty and great and their last two releases – For His Satanic Majesty’s Glory and The Almighty Propagator of Doom and Despair – are enough to make you want to vomit everywhere.
We’re very pleased to bring you the premiere of the official PTAHIL video for “Pact With The Devil.”
“Pact With the Devil” is a fairly straightforward tune until the spaced out trip that pushes through the blackness suddenly takes a hold of the entire song and more weird as heck backwards intonations flow into the psychedelic voyage to the heart of darkness. It’s really fucking strange. Cool, but very, weird – which is something that can be said for their output in general. PTAHIL are a band that know how to drag you to hell and back again, kicking and screaming and praying for the end.
Words for this were taken from my own reviews of their last two full lengths which can be found in full here, if you like.
The albums mentioned above, plus many others worth investigating can be found on Wraith Productions.
Czech based Cult Of Fire may not be the most familiar of names just yet, but मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान will surely be the album that introduces them to a wider audience. Already the band are on their second full length in as many years and already they have created the kind of buzz that most groups can only dream of. Is it warranted? Heck yes it is. मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान is a work of extremely intense proportions and the European’s do much to push black metal further from its core and out into the more exotic tones of Eastern influence. Adorned by an incredible rendition of the Hindu Goddes Kali, मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान works a magical tone into its more standard black metal patterns and introduces passages of sitar as well as some truly fantastic chants into a palette of sounds that are as broad as they are divine.
It’s almost preposterous say in the first sentence of a review, but Unru have created perhaps one of my favorite releases of the year and it’s a demo. Unru hail from Germany and, like many bands of the more contemporary blackened crust movement, only reveal themselves through veiled mystique and runes. But image aside, let’s talk about the powerhouse that is DEMO MMXIII.
The demo itself brings with it all of the gritty qualities one would expect to be associated with a demo: low production, cymbals crashing and creating waves of non-sound, guitars that are seemingly lost in the mix, however none of this is a slight against Unru in the least bit and if anything, it really drives the point home. Four interlude tracks I-V serve as moments of atmosphere for the album, giving the listener breaks in-between the absolute onslaught that is DEMO MMXIII. I think what strikes me the most about Unru is the ridiculous vocal sound because I’ve never quite heard anything like it; the vocalist creates something so animalistic and sinister that it’s actually quite exciting to hear from track to track. Similarly, I felt as though the drums throughout most of the tracks held a particular antagonistic relationship with the guitar, much to each instrument’s benefit…Full CVLT Nation Review HERE!
Fell Voices return with Regnum Saturni, three years after their previous full length (untitled). The ambient black metal band, once again, does what they know how to do best, bringing forth three long tracks (shortest one is about seventeen minutes long) filled with chaos and destruction. What is impressive here though is that Fell Voices do not rely on weird synth sounds (although they do have a few) and keyboards, or even many clean parts in order to sound atmospheric. Instead most of the album’s ambiance manages to come forth from the production, which achieves to retain a raw and aggressive sound but on the same time craft an atmosphere that can only be described as dystopian.
From the intro of “Flesh From Bone” with its distressing sonic qualities the band is fooling you into thinking that what will follow might not be as direct and harsh. So soon enough the black metal riffology kicks in obliterating everything in its path. In about six minutes into the song it seems like Fell Voices decide to give you a chance to breathe, slowing down to a more mid tempo moment with the wolf-howling-like black metal vocals still present, there is even a clean (well, a bit cleaner…) guitar part there before the relentless drumming resumes and you are once again lost in their horrific visions…Full CVLT Nation Review HERE!
It took me a fair few listens of this album to get even the slightest understanding of anything that was going on, but now it probably rates as one of the best albums I’ve ever heard. Inaccessible is a gross understatement. Portal play impenetrable, brutal, fucking crazy music that commonly gets referred to as death metal but sounds absolutely nothing like most death metal I’ve ever heard. Waaaay down-tuned guitars spew just unrecognisable streams of noisy murk that is actually impossibly technical (once you start to realise what is actually going on, after about listen six), drums hammer and blast like armies of mammoths using jackhammers and wrecking balls to fight each another, and the vocals sound like the battle cries of some fucking alien beast that lives deep underwater. This whole album sounds like it came from the ocean floor, or a world made entirely of concrete, or two massive spaceships colliding. Clearly I can come up with no shortage of hyperbole when it comes to this album and it all gets nowhere near conveying the indescribably heavy reality of this colossus.
It’s been an incredible year for music and choosing only six releases for any kind of list is a tough event.
The UK has a wide-ranging amount of bands – from doom to sludge, black metal to grind and everything in between – and there’s been a lot to take in this year. Still though, I feel like I haven’t heard anywhere near enough from the homeland this year so this list will be the top 6 UK releases that I’ve been particularly drawn to and actually managed to listen to.
As per personal custom, this list is alphabetical.
Does this really need any explanation? Carcass are Gods within the UK grind scene and they are rightly revered for their ability to constantly push forward their genre. Many thought that after 1996s Swansong the band were done with releasing music and while they played live often they never got around to a new album. Then 2013 came around and holy shit, “Captive Bolt Pistol” found its way online and everything was right with the world.
We’ve talked about this release abundantly here, and it would be superfluous and redundant to keep bragging on about how insanely awesome this release by the young trio from Pisa is. A debut album that represents the crowning achievement in Italian underground metal in 2013, by far, without the barest shadow of a doubt. Buioingola have made an incredible statement in the world of dark and atmospheric metal with this debut album of theirs, and anyone who is in love with the more apocalyptic, gloomy and depressed sides of crust and doom should put Dopo L’Apnea on their year’s end top albums lists. For all fans of Planks, Altar of Plagues, Fall of Efrafa, Year of No Light and the such. Let the shadows spill in.
2013 has been a rather ridiculous year for Irish records, with a slew of releases coming out over the last 12 months that all deserve some place on this list but alas, it’s restricted to the number six. Honourable mentions must go out to debuts, full-length albums that lived up to expectations such as Zhora’s compelling prog-sludge behemoth Almaz; Atheos and Okus delivered the goods respectively, meanwhile releases from Abbotoir and Nomadic Rituals showed us that Ireland’s doom pastures are the healthiest they’ve been in some time. Then there are new arrivals like the angular BM of Krawwl, who released their demo tape and the heaving grunge-inflection riffage of Lurch.
The picture being painted is a positive one, in other words, but the following six releases stood out from the pack for various reasons.
Number Six Malthusian – MMXIII Demo
Malthusian just about squeeze their way into this list, having only released their demo tape at the end of November. The hullabaloo online over this demo has been undeniable. From a distance it may seem perplexing for a debut but when you factor in the band members’ respective other bands – Wreck of the Hesperus, Altar of Plagues, Mourning Beloveth, On Pain of Death – it becomes a little more clear. For the uninitiated, Malthusian is death metal with an allegiance to sounds of yore but still with a markedly modern feel, where the crushing DM of the likes of Dead Congregation has been doused with the occasional flavours of death doom and the cold atmosphere of black metal; and it’s all been executed seamlessly.
So here’s the deal: bored as fuck sitting at home, a few weeks ago I decided to get off my ass to go to a gritty bar in deep West Oakland to check out a young and very talented local black metal called Xenotaph, who ruled by the way. Xenotaph was supporting some really forgettable touring black metal bands from the East Coast that were swinging through town, and who sucked big time, but it had been my intention for a while to see them, so I got off my ass and headed out to check them out and have a few beers with my best friend. Little did I know that opening the night was another local young black metal called Torture Chamber, and this is what my sorry eyes had to see as this insane band performed.
This year saw many good if not outstanding records from all over the world. Germany has been no exception. But although the records to choose from for this year’s German Top 6 are a lot, I found it really easy to pick the “winners”. Some are more obvious than others, but each entry has something special to offer. Here we go.
When you read about DEPRAVATION, the term “Blackened Hardcore” will drop sooner or later. In many ways “Blackened Hardcore” is what “Metalcore” was in the 90ies. At first it described something really exciting and new, but quickly became a totally soulless expression that was exploited and due to this got a really negative connotation (or what’s the latest record you actually liked that was “Metalcore” by self-definition?). Of course it hasn’t come so far with “Blackened Hardcore” until now, but it doesn’t seem too unrealistic that pretty much the same will happen sooner or later. So why am I thinking about this?