Himelvaruwe – CCIII [Netherlands, Raw Black / Ambient] (2017)

Standard

Self Released | 5-25-17

Yes. this is the weird shit I come to the internet for. From the very fitting grainy cover to the fact that since its release back in May, I have heard very little of this project proves that this is a great find. to be honest, I started this review months ago and let it go to draft only to find it sitting waiting for me. What I realized is this sound is still pleasing and still exciting even after these many months.

The ambient side of this project is important as the swirling atmosphere is completed by the distant and fading memory of black metal. Similar to things like Paysage D’hiver, these types of releases rely on the support of people who want to hear music that is closest to white noise as possible. When discussing fidelity and choices in sound production, Himelvaruwe succeeds at brining the sound perhaps to the edge of music/noise while still retaining its emotional components. I am glad I found this after so many months.

there are a lot of releases in 2017, and sometimes releases just sit on shelves without he attention it deserves. This band has not done anything outside of this demo but still has some updates regarding physical copies of this demo. I am going to strive to make it a point to follow this act and make sure I listen and report the same month as their next release. No promises though.

Holokauston – Yersinia Pestis [India, Black] (2017)

Standard

Self Released | 11-23-17

“Yersinia pestis (formerly Pasteurella pestis) is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped coccobacillus, non mobile with no spores. It is a facultative anaerobic organism that can infect humans via the oriental rat flea. It causes the disease plague, which takes three main forms: pneumonic, septicemic, and bubonic plagues. All three forms were responsible for a number of high-mortality epidemics throughout human history, including: the 6th century’s Plague of Justinian, the Black Death, which accounted for the death of at least one-third of the European population between 1347 and 1353, and the Third Pandemic, sometimes referred to as the Modern Plague, which began in the late 19th century in China and spread by rats on steamboats claiming close to 10 million lives.”

Aside from the name of this project and some of the original covers with the frontman looking gloomy, this project is pretty alright. I say this know that breaking into nihilistic black metal with a soft spot for bleak history as your theme can be tough given the flooded market. It is true that this project is from India and could possibly make itself distinct given the location. With that said, I feel the strengths of the Yersinia Pestis demo rests in the bands ability to make nihilistic black metal interesting and not stale.

One of the largest strengths for this demo is the mixing as the one man metal template sounds full given the harsh yet manageable DIY production. the vocals from 17 year old Arjun Somvanshimakes this whole project sort of exciting given the young age of its creator as well as the level of quality in its finished project. If one wanted to sttle in for the night with plague ridden black metal, this is a fantastic addition to your night. The extra sound effects and “oriental” flair of songs like “Harvest Of The Departed” makes this a demo that swims in waters with plague rats and laughs while doing it.

Vorus – Chamber of Laments [Romania, Death] (2017)

Standard

Self Released | 09-15-17

I do not think I have reviewed many releases from Romania. This does not mean the Country does not have an active metal community and even if it isn’t as flourishing as let’s say the UK or US, I am still open for rotten things to come out of a country known for its vampires. What I wasn’t expecting however is a demo which steps right in line with some of the better death metal of the year. Fantastic job.

Continue reading

Ashen Chalice – Ritual Under The Blackened Moon [Croatia, Dark Ambient / Noise / Black] (2017)

Standard

Self Released | 3-10-17

Ashen Chalice is more like a journey than a destination. Finding a Croatian black noise project that isn’t even listed on the Metal Archives is sometimes as exciting as listening to whatever was put to proverbial tape. The aesthetic of Ritual Under The Blackened Moon toes the line between dead serious and tongue in cheek humor. The tape design is there as well as the black metal tropes. If it was not for the effectiveness of the three songs, I would have moved on by now.

Continue reading

Time Lurker – Time Lurker [France, Atmospheric Black] (2017)

Standard

Les acteurs de l’ombre production | 06-02-17

This review takes some projection as this whole album will not be out until June but all of its material is already available as of late 2016. I have some sympathy for bands who put out material late in the year when the years are turning. I am pretty neutral on rereleases on wider distribution. I also have less sympathy for atmospheric black metal bands. Time Lurker pulls at many emotions for me and if it wasn’t for this French band being so enthralling, I probably would have moved on by now. The fact I am still here must mean something.

Continue reading

Mort aux Gueux – Beuverie, Musique du Diable et Misère Crasse [Canada, Black] (2017)

Standard

Self Released | 2-3-17

I feel I am going to have a good handle on some of the darker works in various languages. From what I can surmise, Mort aux Gueux means “Death to the Beggers (?)” and the album title starts out with “Music of the Devil” and then gets really patchy from there. It could have something to do with misery or mother Earth. Whether or not I would actually do well in France or the French Canadian territories is one thing, the tone and theme of Mort aux Gueux is quite another.

Continue reading

Myotis Occultus – Of Weeping Spells & Wounded Shrines [US, Raw Black] (2017)

Standard

Self Released | 1-27-17

In the world of underground and lesser known heavy metal, newness is a relative term. To some the Arizona based one man act Myotis Occultus could be new with the weight of raw black metal making its first introductions. To others, the songs on the Of Weeping Spells & Wounded Shrines demo are just a recollection of past works that have been spread out on singles and demos released in 2016. If it sounds like I am complaining, I am not as Myotis Occultus was a mystery to me until today. Perhaps every once in awhile one needs new introductions as there will be more people coming in at various times.

Continue reading

Noctis – Gamaliel [US. Black / Noise] (2017)

Standard

Self Released | 01-26-17

One song releases are difficult to assess in terms of potential. For the most part single and 1 track demos are made by the dozen but hardly ever covered due to their insubstantial nature. there just isn’t that much one can do with 1 track that is even less than 5 minutes. what one can do is look at past works and compare the single track to surmise where the music could potentially travel. If one was doing that for Noctis, the answer would be the depths of chaos.

Continue reading

Burial Ground – End of the World [Russia, Black / Speed] (2016)

Standard
Self Released | 11-13-15

Self Released | 11-13-15

So even though this particular demo only runs three tracks, I would like to talk about Burial Ground’s body of work as we start to wind down in 2016. Burial Ground is interesting for the sheer volume of work that is put out. Looking at all of the demos which are available for 2016, an entire full length of black / speed could be available for people. Right now it is just spread out across multiple releases each with their own grim artwork.

Continue reading