Review/Orm/Self-titled

Back in 2015 the Danish deathmetal band By the Patient released the highly acclaimed “Gehenna”, and shortly after announced the surprising descission to split-up..

About half a year later some demo material aired online and on the Danish radioshow Sort Søndag. Speculation on the menbers identities followed as the only information the public had gotten, was that it featured members of other Well-established Danish bands.

In my case I decided to do some serious stalking, and the picture below, posted on Facebook, confirmed my suspiscion. The Patient did in fact survive being put into the ground, later resurfacing as a fourpiece, as vocalist Tan had split from the rest of the band, leaving Simon Sonne Andersen with the vocal-duties, and a new blackened output; Orm was born.

 I had very high expectations for this release, as the demos released beforehand all were pretty good. As it later was announced that the coverart was to be done by italian artist Paolo Girardi, it only added further to the expectations.

The cover, by the way, depicts Midgaardsormen of the shore of the bands home-island Bornholm, with the old castle Hammershus burning on top of the hill. A beautiful piece of work. A typical “Girardi”, you might say..

As first single “Apotheosis” was released a couple of months ago, I immediately knew that they weren’t going to dissapoint me; powerful and grand blackmetal with a strong sence of melody, perfectly crafted by a band that knows how to handle their instruments.

Despite the album consisting of only five songs it still adds up to a total playtime of fourtytwo minutes; the chosen five all being complex and varied pieces – with my favourite “Ancient echoes” being the shortest one, at almost seven minutes.

Throughout the album Orm makes use of beautiful choir pieces. They are certainly not the first band in the history of metal to include choirworks in their music, but instead of comming across as a cheap gimmick,  it adds to building up a haunting atmosphere, equally part despair and beauty, on top of the wall of razor-sharp guitars and thundering rhythm-section.

Orm join the ranks of danish quality blackmetal bands such as Solbrud, Slægt and Denial of God – the first two mentioned both got albums to be released as well this spring – and will definitly have something to live up to, as Orm makes and instant impact and joins the topshelf of Scandinavian metal.

The album is out now on vinyl and “name your price” download via Bandcamp or Indisciplinarian.

Phil Anselmo/Black/Jam

It’s no secret that Phil Anselmo, of Pantera fame, is a huge black metal fan; citing Venom, Hellhammer, Darkthrone and Mayhem as an early inspiration

Lately Phil has been attracting most attention for, what could be best described as, serious lack of judgement; acting as an total idiot, making certain hand gestures, yelling “White power” on stage – and later apoligizing the whole thing.

Most people have an opinion on Phil, myself included, but let us put it all to rest for now, and focus on the music instead, because Phil has got a brand new jam..

Scour is an exciting new supergroup, featuring members of well known metal bands: Jesse Schobel (Strong Intention) on drums, John Jarvis (Pig Destroyer) on bass, Derek Engemann (Cattle Decapitation) and Chase Fraser (Animosity) handles the guitars. Last, but definitely not least, Mr. Anselmo outlives his dream of fronting a black metal band, once again, by taking care of the vocal duties.

Their self titled EP will be released July 16th, 2016 on Anselmo’s own Housecore label. Until then, you should enjoy the first song released to the public; “Dispatched” is a neo-classical take on true black metal, just as our Scandinavian mothers taught us how to do it..

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Review/Jarun/Pod niebem utkanym z popiołu

Few countries, if any,  have caught more attention than Iceland and Poland over the last year, when it comes to making headlines on the metal scene. With that in mind, it wasn’t without a glimpse of optimism that I dowloaded the promotion file I received a couple of weeks ago, from the polish band Jarun.

Besides a few bandphotos and a short bio, it contained their 2015 release “Pod niebem utkanym z popiołu.” (Under the sky woven from the ash) Despite the fact that it’s the bands second release, this is the first time I’ve personally heard of them. Shame on me.

In their bio, the band themselves, tells the story of what began as a solo project of guitarist Zagreus, and his wish to combine traditional folk music with black metal. The transition from one-man-band to a full fledged band setup took place in 2010 – resulting in the release of the debut album “Wziemiozstąpienie,” a couple of years later, in the early autumn of 2012.

The material on “Pod niebem utkanym z popiołu” is much more of a band effort – contrary to the first release that relied mostly on Zagreus solo writings.

From the first to the second album they have have undergone some stylistic change; the folk elements have been tuned down, leaving room for a more progressive inspired style of black metal. The influence of  traditional slavic folk music can be heard in the more quit passages – mostly in terms of the extensive use of acoustic guitars. The beauty of the heavy strung acoustic riffs mixes frequently with catchy melodic lines on top.

The “progressive” label comes to justice in the structures of the songs – leaving enough space for harmonies, great melodies and especially the excellent musicianship itself to flourish. There is even such black metal oddities as guitar solos, to be found on this record. A great example of how they manage to mix, all of the above mentioned elements, is to be found in the song “Zawołaj mnie, a przyjdę.”

 

Since the release last year the line-up has only undergone the minor change, that Dawid Wierzbicki has taken over the bass-duties from Damian “Radogost” Szpiłyk, who features on this record. Dawid share the history with two other current members, vocalist Meph and drummer Pazuzu – who all used to be part of Formosus together.

One of the privileges of running your own blog is choosing what’s on it – and as I write on the “About” page, my reviews are to be seen as recommendations. I just don’t feel the need, nor do I have the time, to write about shit that doesn’t interest me or that I don’t like. With that in mind, it may come to no surprise that this album gets my honest recommendation.

According to Zagreus they are currently in the process of writing the follow up – hopefully to be recorded and released later this year. Until then, check out their bandcamp or facebook page, if you’re not afraid of diversity on the black metal scene. If you don’t  – You might miss out on something truly great – just like I did..

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Video/Tourmaline Films/British Black Metal

Tourmaline Films digs deep into the dark british black metal scene in this great crowdfunded documentary..

“It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that we finally release ‘British Black Metal: The Extreme Underground!’ It was a great experience to meet so many dedicated bands in the black metal community that were very down to earth and respectful.
We hope you all enjoy the result of the hard work that was put into making this film and the support from everyone who backed the crowdfunding campaign. Having had the privilege of being the first to capture the diversity of British black metal we feel very proud and grateful.
Help us get the documentary seen by as many people as possible by sharing it with your friends. With the film covering topics such as WW2, the Victorian era, English heritage and spirituality they may be surprised by how diverse the movement is becoming.”

Featured bands: Winterfylleth, A Forest of Stars, Old Corpse Road, Fen, Eastern Front, Ethereal and many more.

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Video/Satan/Rides

In regards of church burnings and how to defend yourself with the ease of 23 knife stabs, most people might have learned a thing or two back in the early nineties. Another thing we’ve might have learned, was how powerful the media really is.

Torstein Grude’s documentary, “Satan Rides the Media,” tells you the story of the medias role, in portraying Varg Vikernes and the black metal community in Norway.

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Underground/Files/Left Alone…

The main reason for me to do this blog, came out of a wish to promote some of the minor bands, I discover from time to time. With that in mind, I’ve decided to introduce this new series on some of the unsigned gold hiding in the underground

As a young teenage boy, I dreamt of being a musician myself. Bought a guitar, turned the amp to eleven, wore the ripped jeans and the washed out Ride the lightning t-shirt. All set!

As time went by , I came to the sad conclussion that I did not only lack the talent – but also the dedication, to rehearse and become better. Thats my story on how NOT to become a rockstar.

If I can’t write my own music, then at least I can share some of my findings, for others to enjoy.. One such find, I stumbled upon only weeks ago, when someone posted a bandcamp link, in one of the many groups I follow on facebook. I did a quick play-through of the link,. It sounded interesting, and yet another bookmark was added to the collection.

Later that night, the headphones came on. Gave it a second listen, to see if it was still as interesting as I thought earlier that day. It was.

The next day I started digging into this project, trying to find out who was behind this project. It didn’t take me that long to figure out, that it was in fact the young darkhaired guy, who posted the link in the first place, Damián Antón Ojeda.

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What I quickly came to learn, was that Anton was an eighteen year old self taught multi-instrumentalist from Connecticut. Second, I came to learn that his profile on Metal-archives.com featured an extensive list of releases with his name on it. Now, that’s impressive, and should catch most peoples attention – it caught mine for sure.

He composes and records his music at home, under various aliases such as A Nightlit Poesy, Aevilian, Born An Abomination, Evocative Atmosphere and Sadness. I’ve decided to focus on the project that initially caught my attention, Left Alone… 

Depressive and cold, yet soulful post-blackened metal is what make your eardrums move, when you hit the play-button on the latest demo release, “Empty moment.” Distorted guitars blends seamlessly with the occasional piano, the clean singing, the screams and the cries.. This is music you can feel – trust me.

When asked to describe the sound of Left Alone.. himself, he gave me an unexpected answer.

“I would describe Left Alone… as raw and desolate. One of my all time favorite bands and albums is AFI’s “Sing the sorrow.” I’m sure you can hear the inspiration from that band’s era in a lot of my work. I think that’s the only artist, to which I can really see a direct parallel.”

Of cause, that answer meant, that I had to listen to AFI – a band that I knew only by name. Without being able to draw a direct comparison, I can definitely recognize some AFI elements in some of the Left Alone’s more quiet moments.

When asked about where he finds his inspiration, the answer is simple and straightforward. “Inspiration for me is pretty much ever present. I always have something to say.”

So how much does an eighteen year old really have to say? Take a listen to his music, and I guess you will come to the same conclusion as I: Quite a lot.

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