Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Imperious/Tales Of Woe The Journey Of Odysseus Part II: From Hades To Ithaca/Massacre Records/2017 CD Review



  This  is  a  review  of  another  recording  from  Germany's  Imperious  which  continues  the  epic  and  atmospheric  style  of  black  metal  and  the  album  was  originally  released  in  2016  and  called  "Tales  Of  Woe  The  Journey  Of  Odysseus  Part  II:  From  Hades  To  Ithaca"  which  will  be  re-issued  in  November  by  Massacre  Records.

  Acoustic  guitar  playing  starts  off  the  album  along  with  all  of  the musical  instruments  sounding  very  powerful  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  and  melodic  musical  direction  while  the  solos  and  leads  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  a  couple  of  the  tacks  being  instrumentals.

  Most  of  the  songs  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  some  songs  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  female  vocals  and  as  the  album  progresses  grim  black  metal  scrams  start  to  make  their  presence  known  and  when  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  it  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  as  well.

  Synths  are  also  mixed  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  while  stringed  instruments  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  most  of  the  music  sticks  mostly  to  either  a  slow  or  mid  tempo direction,  one  track  also  brings  in  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  and  when the  music  finally  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  as  well  as  a  small  amount  of  growls.

  On  this  recording  Imperious  slow  everything  down  a  bit  to  a  more  mid  tempo  style  of  atmospheric  black  metal  while  still  being  very  epic  at  the  same  time,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  continue  the  story  of  Homer's  Odysseus  and  his long  journey  home.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Imperious  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  epic  and  atmospheric  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Sirens"  "The  Isle  Of  The  Solar  God"  and  "Bloodbound  -  The  Bow  Of  Odysseus".  8  out  of  10.

      

Imperious/Tales Of Woe - The Journey Of Odysseus Part I: From Illion To Hades/Massacre Records/2017 CD Re-Issue Review


  Imperious  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  an  epic  and  atmospheric  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Tales  Of  Woe -  The  Journey  Of  Odysseus Part  I: From  Illion  To  Hades"  which  will  be  re-issued  in  November  by  Massacre  Records.

  Epic  sounding  keyboards  start off  the  album  along  with  some  spoken  word  parts  a  few  seconds later  while  female  vocals  are  also  used  briefly  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  musical  direction  that  utilizes  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats.

  Vocals  are  mostly  grim  black  metal  screams  while  the  songs  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  being  done  in  a  melodic  fashion  as  well  as  mixing  the  synths  and  spoken  words  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  and  the  riffs  also  incorporate  a  great  amount  of  melody,

  A  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them   as  well  acoustic  guitars  being  heard  briefly  on  a  few  tracks  and  instrumentals  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction,  some  tracks  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  growling  vocals  and  some  songs  also  add  in  a  brief  use  of  clean  male  and  female  singing.

  Imperious  plays  a  style  of  black  metal t hat  is  very  epic  and  atmospheric  sounding,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  are  a  concept  upon  based  upon  Homer's  The  Odyssey".

  In  my  opinion  Imperious  are  a  very great  sounding  epic  and  atmospheric  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  re-issue.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "To  Abjure  Temptation"  "Insidious  Winds"  and  :Where  Cimmerian  Darkness  Dwells".  8  out  of  10.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Grabak/Bloodline Divine/Massacre Records/2017 CD Review


  Grabak  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  a  very  fast,  atmospheric  and  blasphemous  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Bloodline  Divine"  which  will  be  released  in  November  by  Massacre  Records.

  A  very  dark  sounding  intro  starts  off  the  album  before  going  into  s  very  fast  and  raw  musical  direction  which  also  utilizes  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  the  music  is  also  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  second  wave  style.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  spoken  word  parts  can  be  heard briefly  along  with  the  riffs  also  bringing  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  and  when  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  and  as  the  album  progresses  atmospheric  keyboards  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording,  one  song  also  adds  in  a  brief  use  of  acoustic  guitars  and  spoken  word  parts  and  on  the  closing  song  a  small  amount  of  semi  melodic  vocals  can  also  be  heard.

  Grabak  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  fast,  aggressive  and  traditional  sounding  while  also  having  its  atmospheric  moments,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  chaos  prophets,  darkness  and  anti  Christianity  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Grabak  are  a  very  great  sounding  fast  and  aggressive  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Via  Dolorsa"  "Oblivion"  "Bloodline  Divine"  and  "Apostate".  8  out  of  10. 

Sicarius Interview

1,For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?


Yeah thanks for having us. We're a new black metal band in the United States, we just released our debut full length "Serenade Of Slitting Throats" last week via M-Theory Audio records.


2.So far you have released an ep and a full length, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?


On the Scorch The Earth EP, we were still figuring things out. We used 7 stringed guitars and for a majority of that period myself and bassist/cofounder Carnage were the only two in the band. Everyone else came later so while the EP is very heavy and raw it was missing that organic flow that happened later on. Our drummer recorded the EP and we didn't have the HQ we do now so it was in a garage that we dampened with a ton of moving blankets. Also, while our vocalist was credited on the EP, it was I who did the vocals because he had joined the band like 2 days prior to us recording.

The full length seems to be the next logical step for us. It's more focused, has way more identity to it, it's still Sicarius, and there was still that emphasis on violence and brutality but we focused it differently. I feel the songcraft is way stronger on this album. There was more input from everyone involved compared to the EP. BZ was able to stretch out his wings as a drummer and add different flavors into the brew. It just sounds darker and more evil. While the songs were finished and ready before we went into the studio I do genuinely believe that Mick Kenney had a bit of influence on the atmosphere of the album while we produced it. Some of that fucking ugly Anaal Nathrakh vibe can be felt.


3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?


Conceptually the album focuses around death, death realms and the mythology of different civilizations' interpretation of death gods, but there's also lyrical content about war, murder, assassins, torture, human depravity...the lyrics are really fucked up and myself and K.Karcass take a great deal of pride in our content.


4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Sicarius'?


Sicarius is Latin for "assassin", "contract killer" or literally "Dagger man"
I've just always been fascinated with assassins, clandestine murders, and espionage. It just fit really well in a black metal band.


5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?


Our stage performance is always chaotic, angry and heavy. Our vocalist is unpredictable. You'll never get the same performance from him. It's war music. If we can inspire violent pits and total carnage then it was a good night. High intensity, high pain output.

The standout performances for us were with Uada in San Diego in 2016, Vader in Santa Ana this past summer, and our recent album release show was a great time.


6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

We have one or two tours on the board in a planning phase, other than those we're interested in working with booking agents to start touring. Our first Las Vegas show is in a few weeks (Nov 2) supporting 1349, Goatwhore and Tombs and we couldn't be more excited. It's a one off show so I anticipate a strong draw.


7.The new album was released on M-Theory, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?


Yeah, the M-Theory label is the new effort of Marco Barbieri (who was the president of Century Media) and so far being on this label has been better than we could've hoped for. Everyone is very involved and works hard and it's really awesome because it gives us a stronger sense of accomplishment, the bands on the roster are all very supportive and help each other out, and the label team are very communicative and hard working. Being the only strictly black metal band on the roster is fantastic for us because Marco believes in what are doing and doesn't reign us in. It's good working with a team that allows us to go full fucking force.


8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?


We're still only days since the album released so I'm sure there will be more opinions to come. So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive. We've gotten such great support in the US and the U.K. It seems like the people get it for the most part, that we're trying to create black metal that emphasizes on violence. That we favor the assault over the atmosphere. I'm sure there will be naysayers out there bc we deliberately chose a quality production but whatever, fuck em.


9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?


Time will tell but realistically I see us only going in a darker, uglier and more raw direction in the future.


10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?


My personal influences are black metal bands that paved their own way and said fuck the rules. There are no rules in black metal. There are only identifying elements and a strong connection with dark spiritual elements/the occult/mythology/etc. A band that comes to mind for me is Mayhem during their Blasphemer era. Specifically Grand Declaration Of War and Chimera. To me those records are untouchable and the enormous risks Blasphemer took required balls the size of battle tanks. That is fucking inspiring to me. Such a blatant "fuck you" to the rules. Rotting Christ (my favorite band ever) is another example. They played their idea of black metal and excelled. Absu are also a band I adore and another massive influence personally for me is a criminally underrated black/death band from Australia, The Amenta. You can definitely hear their influence in my riffs, without question. That band is god-tier in every facet.

The band as a whole are influenced by anything black metal. From the first wave heritage of Bathory to the 2nd wave sounds of Gorgoroth, Marduk, etc. Taake, Urghehal, Destroyer 666, 1349. The American bands that paved the way for us, Leviathan, Krieg, Ritual, Draconis, Averse Sefira. We love it all.

As far as what I'm listening to, without question Uada's 2016 Devoid Of Light album. I love those guys and they really set the bar high with that record. Absu's self titled, Judas Priest "Painkiller", Empyrean Throne's "Chaosborne", "Thy Mighty Contract" by Rotting Christ, The Amenta's "Flesh Is Heir" and "As All Light Leaves Her" by Advent Sorrow.



11.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

We greatly appreciate the interview, thank you very much. "Serenade Of Slitting Throats" is available worldwide, and keep the fight going.

Αίμα και Βια!


Monday, October 16, 2017

Christ Dismembered/Self Titled/2017 Full Length Review


  Christ  Dismembered  are  a  band  from  Australia  that  plays  a  fast  and  aggressive  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  and  self  released  2017  album.

  Synths  start  off  the  album  and  bring  in  the  atmosphere  of  a  horror  film  and  spoken  word  parts  are  also  used  briefly  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  melodic  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount of  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal s creams  along  with  a  few  death  metal  growls.

  When  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  it  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  along  with  the  music  also  bringing  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  elements  of  thrash  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  riffing  as  well  as  the  music  also  being  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  mid  90's  Swedish  style. 

  Christ  Dismembered  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  fast  and  aggressive  in  the  mid  90's  tradition,  the  production  sounds  very  powerful  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Anti  Christianity,  Revenge  and  Hatred  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Christ  Dismembered  ate  a  very  great  sounding  fast  and  aggressive  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "A  Slap In  The  Face  Of  God"  "Swarm  OF  The  Black  Mass"  and  "Revel  In  Your  Disgust".  8  out  of  10.

Voltumna Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
Hi OccultBlackMetalZine, the band is finally releasing the new album with the greek label Sleaszy Rider, very excited for our most extreme release. The band is actually working on the promotion of this new work, in particular with the booking of new headlining shows around Europe for next year, a big tour TBA and some great festivals already announced like Stonehenge in Netherlands with legenday bands like Suffocation and Pestilence.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Dodecapoli is absolutely our most extreme experience. During the past years we have increased our experience and finally we knew what to do for a great third full-length; we have worked a lot on the drum fillers, faster and groovy, and introduced some ancient instruments of the Italic tradition in almost all the songs in the collaboration with Tursen, to make everything in our personal style, a pagan mixture of Black and Death metal.

3.Both the band name and sing lyrics come from Etruscan Paganism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
One of the former, Haruspex, is graduated in the university of Rome in archeology and ancient civilization and also the other members of the bands are all from the ancient Etruscan lands, so since the begginning our interest was focused on this misterious and “dark” civilization. Very close to our town there is the biggest Necropoli of Europe, we were fascinated about this culture, also to understand what happened in the history before and after the Roman Empire and Christianity.

4.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The first one was probably our show in Johannesburg, South Africa, just before our godfathers Behemoth. It was one of the greatest emotion to see Nergal watching our show, and also all the crowd knew our songs, we have a lot of fans (Etruscans) there and we want to come back. Our last US and China tours were amazing too and Europe our greatest experiences were in these years Festival of course, in Germany, Austria etc.
Our live performance is full of emotions for us and also for the people, different styles mixed to make a new kind of ritual, something lost in the history after the romans.

5.What are some of your future touring plans?
We have for 2018 a great tour TBA, as said before a lot of Euro metal festival like the Stonehenge and some headlining shows from Berlin to Prague, from Milan to London etc. All to be announced very soon

6.The new album was released on 'Sleaszy Rider Records', are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?
Yes finally we have found a good label to work with, we think that from this collaboration will  happen great things in the near future for sure.

7.A couple of years back you had done a version of Venom's "Black Metal", what was the decision behind doing your own version of this song?
As you know we are not completely a Black metal, in fact we mix Black and Death like most of the polish metal bands do, but Venom was probably the first band we loved in the past years, so for us was a pleasure to do a tribute to them, hope that our Etruscans from all over the world have enjoyed our version of this masterpiece.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
Almost in all the countries very good, we still have to grow up as band but till now we can consider us as one of the new reality of the genre, we are trying to do our best. Music is our life.

9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are apart of?
We are all focused on the Voltumna project for now, this is what we can say.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Our divination rites will explain our way. No plan for now.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Something of the new atmospheric way of Black Metal like the mighty MGLA and still the new efforts of our god fathers: Rotting Christ, Behemoth, Hate, Septcflesh and many others.
We listened a lot of different music so this why we can create a personal style during our composition, or better we try to do this as well.

12.Before we wrap up this nterview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
A great thank you to all our Etruscans worldwide for all the support we receive year by year, we know that our worshipper will be satisfied with new album and new adepts will join the cult of VOLTUMNA.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Atramentum Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?

Atramentum has been my musical project for the past 6 years, it is the culmination of my investment in both Satanism and Black Metal, a vehicle for me to commit ritual into sonic form as well as a musical expression.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

The sound presented on the album is Black Metal, I guess you can call it Orthodox BM, however I think the tag is somewhat pointless Black Metal should be Satanic, not nature worship or angsty songs about struggling with humanity.

3.The musical project has been around since 2011 but you waited until 2017 to release an album, can you tell us a little bit more about the first 6 years?

The music for Aischrolatry was written in full by 2012, however due to personal reasons I wasn't able to record it then. I started writing other music that I feel surpasses the music in Aischrolatry and essentially forgot about the album. Ultimately I decided to release this album as it was a piece of ritual intent that was created, and its important on my journey of spiritual ascent/descent for it to take action upon the world.

4.The lyrics on the album deal with the Qliptoth, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in Satanism and the left hand path?

I have been a practicing Satanist for the past 12 years and it is my life's work and focus; mastery of self within this realm and the dissolution of this reality to create my own within the powers of Ain. My worship is eclectic and focuses on channelling the power of adversarial forces from different religions around the world based within a qliphotic framework. My art is inspired through the experiences from ritual and meditation with these dark gods.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Atramentum'?

Atramentum as a band name dates back a long time, nearly 10years, I just never utilised it properly. It essentially means a dark substance but within the context of the band it describes the ‘black flame’ the adversarial spirit within that seeks to destroy Yaldaboath and return to the limitless.

6.On the albums you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with a full band or do you prefer to work solo?

Atramentum always has and always will be my vision, I have found a drummer for the next album to bring a greater extremity to the next work. Atramentum as a band is a sonic manifestation of my faith, as such the direction in all aspects will forever be my decision, I'm not opposed though to working with others as long as it fits my goals and those musicians are on a similar path as myself.

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?

The feedback thus far has been positive both from fans, press and labels.

8.Are you also involved with any other bands or musical projects?

Atramentum is currently my sole focus, I have been offered to work on other things however it has to be the right project, something equally dark, malevolent and Satanic.

9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

The album has had a lot of interest from a number of labels and I am currently looking for the best offer, it will likely be released towards the end of this year, start of next year in physical format. Ideally supported on both tape and cd and a small run of bespoke hand painted tapes from a small dedicated label within the UK.

10.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?

As mentioned before I have finished writing the music for the second album which I'm in the process of recording. The next effort promises to be darker, heavier and far more twisted than Aischrolatry.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

All music has an influence on me, sometimes in a way of appreciation, sometimes in the way that it cements the idea that I don't want to create music that is in anyway similar. Regarding those that influence my current musical style it would be bands like: Danzig, Samhain, Deathspell Omega, Ofermod, Aosoth , Aluk Todolo and Antaeus.

Bands that I'm currently listening to are the new Arkhon Infaustus, great to see a return after such a long absence. The VI album has been in heavy rotation since it was released, as close to a flawless album that I've heard in a long time. Heavily anticipating the new Aosoth and Shining album.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thanks for the interview.

For those looking for an occult focused piece of black metal, https://Atramentum11.bandcamp.com

Follow us on FB for announcements of when the physical copies will be released.

Ad Majorem Satan Gloriam

F.G.R.X