Saturday, November 28, 2009

WinterAxe - demo (2008)


Year: 2008
Genre: Blackened Crust / Atmospheric Black Metal
Country: USA
Label: self-prod.

Track List:
  1. Introit
  2. Unholy Vamin
  3. Whispers Within The Dying Woods
  4. Interlude I
  5. Hollow Spirit Of Desolation
  6. Amongst The Stone Garden
  7. Interlude II
  8. Poets Of The Black Sun
  9. Sanctuary Of One's Reflection

7inchcrust pointed me to this band, which is said to be formed in mid-2006 by some members of Los Angeles crust punk scene. It's good enough for a first full-length demo, and I haven't expected such depressive and "wintry" atmosphere from a Californian band.

Their sound seems to be highly influenced by the old school crust/stenchcore like Amebix, Hellbastard, Axegrinder, etc. However, they can't be compared with such american RABM acts  as Panopticon or WITTR. But it's only their first demo, and I hope their sound will improve in the future. If you find Winteraxe boring, but love that kind of music in general - try Filth of Mankind instead, you wouldn't be disappointed. As for me, I liked the ambient-ish tracks (#1, #4, #7), the rest of the demo also has enough of good melodies and riffs.

By the way, I'm really curious about the lyrics of #8 track. It seems to be about Black Sun, a prominent symbol in Armanenschaft, which is frequently used in Nazi mysticism (and by NSBM bands in particular). It's very interesting, what views the "no gods no masters"-band like Winteraxe has on that symbol.

Well, it's enough for today. And as you could notice, my English really sucks, especially @ the middle of the night - it's already 4:00 a.m. here, so I need to go to sleep... Stay tuned!

XDeclarationX - demos 2008-2009

xDECLARATIONx "demos 2008-2009"

Year: 2008/2009
Genre: Blackened Metalcore
Country: Ukraine
Label: self-prod.

Track List:
  1. Disobedience
  2. To Withstand The Iron Heel
  3. Feel The Death
  4. Black-Green Dawn
  5. Minute
  6. Losing The Soul
(in Russian):
  1. Неповиновение
  2. Противостоять Железной Пяте
  3. Почувствуй Смерть
  4. Черно-Зеленый Рассвет
  5. Минута
  6. Потеряв Свою Душу

XDeclarationX were a six-piece anarchist straight edge metalcore band from southern Ukraine, formed in november 2007 and disbanded in march 2009. They're surprisingly well known in  Russian/Ukrainian sXe hardcore scene. Their music is very well produced for an ex-USSR underground band, and the black metal influence on their sound is very noticeable. Most of the vocal parts are sung in a black metal way, and some of the blastbeat parts strongly remind me of Iskra. Of course it's not Timebomb, but it's good anyway ;)

The weaker part of these demos is the lyrical content. The lyrics of XDeclarationX strongly remind me those of Earth Crisis, and they're all written in Russian language. I'm pro-environmentalist, and I think I can define myself as a straight edger (though I don't need to), but some of their lyrics are too hardline even for me. (Same shit with the lyrics of another Ukrainian act, Life Is Hell). It should be mentioned that only two of XDeclarationX members were hardline, and overall they weren't a hardline/pro-life band. They also seem to be inspired by the writings of Jack London ("The Iron Heel", in particular), John Zerzan, and Noam Chomsky.

Check out their interview for xMargin of Braveryx zine (in Russian).

Hotbild - "I Skuggan Av Livet" (demo, 2005)

HOTBILD "I Skuggan Av Livet"

Year: 2005
Genre: Blackened Crust
Country: Sweden
Label: self-prod.

Track List:
  1. Hungrig, Trött och Tärd
  2. I Skuggan av Livet
  3. Medan Världen Gick åt Helvete
  4. Förblindad av Hat
  5. Låt Mig Aldrig Vakna Mer

A 5-song demo from one of the best Swedish blackened crust bands in the mid-2000s (along with Martyrdöd and Radioskugga). I like it much better than, for example, Order of the Vulture's debut album. They have at least five other demos, but I have only one of them, called "Vemod".

Order of the Vulture - "Death Disciple" (2008)


Year: 2008
Genre: Blackened Crust
Country: USA
Label: Aborted Society Records

Track List:
  1. The Butcher
  2. Infested
  3. Dogs of War
  4. Archangel
  5. Shadows of Winter
  6. Death Disciple

It's the lastest release by Order of the Vulture. They're still playing crust punk with black metal aesthetics, and they're doing it good enough. At least I liked this album more than the first LP, but my favourite song by them is "Squalor" anyway.

Order Of The Vulture - "Order Of The Vulture" (2006)

ORDER OF THE VULTURE "Order Of The Vulture"

Year: 2006
Genre: Blackened Crust
Country: USA
Label: Aborted Society Records

Track List:
  1. Cryptesthesia
  2. Abhorrence
  3. Chaotic Evil
  4. Murder System
  5. Harvest of Darkness
  6. Dead Eyes
  7. Iconoclast

LP released by Aborted Society Records. Gatefold Cover. Initial pressing of 1,000; the first 500 copies are on red and black splattered vinyl, 500 on black. Guest vocals on the LP by Jason Vorhees of Fall of the Bastards and Meriel.

As for me, I was slightly disappointed with this release. Despite being very atmospheric (due to extensive use of samples and acoustic parts), it's nowhere near being comparable with the best examples of Swedish blackened crust. But at least some lyrics are good.

"We lay on blood soaked trenches
Gas mask on your face
Your mission Kill or be Killed
So no truth can escape your lips

Your dead head, in dead hands
Murder System - We die again
Murder System - Mountains of dead"

Order Of The Vulture - "Christ Killer" (2005)


Year: 2005
Genre: Blackened Crust
Country: USA
Label: New Audio Terror

Track List:
  1. Christ Killer
  2. Incantation
  3. Relentless Drone
  4. Der Krieg

It's the first EP from that Portland-based blackened crust act. I don't know much about their political views, but at least they've did a split with Dažd (who are 100% anarchist), and they're playing good anti-christian blackened crust. Two members of Order Of The Vulture also play in a Cascadian black metal band L'Acephale.

Dažd & Nakot - split (2008)


Year: 2008
Genre: Blackened Crust
Country: Serbia
Label: Doomed to Extinction

Track List:

  1. The Army of Darkness + Down Below (Live)
  1. Dead Lives / Weapons Industry + The End

There are 5 tracks on this split, but in the mp3 rip they're combined into 2 tracks. Personally I like the Nakot's side of the split, they're playing awesome crust punk (though not much influenced by black metal). Sadly I have only a very little knowledge of Balkan punk scene, but it's said that many good bands come from ex-Yugoslavia (especially in the recent years).

"We were sick and tired living in country like this which pass trough few wars, economical crises, nato bombing, international isolation in recent history...and just seeing local punk bands singing about their crew, their neighborhood, or some stupid joke songs...Our lyrics are mostly dark and apocalyptic… But the reason is not because that’s how they should be in crust/punk genre, but because the reality of civilization, we belong by birth to, is exactly like that. Also, the war as a subject in some of our songs is not a punk fetishism, but because the wars have been reality in this region for the last 15 years, and many of us have lived in the realities described in the lyrics of many crust bands" - Nakot

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Skagos - "Litha MMIX" (2009)


Year: 2009
Genre: Cascadian Black Metal
Country: Canada
Label: Things Behind the Moon

Track List:
  1. Blossoms Will Sprout From the Carcass
  2. ...Of This Empty Land
  3. A Night That Ends, As All Nights End, When the Sun Rises

Finally, I obtained this release! It's definitely great, at least I like it more than "Ast" and "Himmelszelt". "Litha MMIX" consists of two tracks previously released on "Ast", and an interpretation of the song "Vastness and Sorrow" by Wolves in the Throne Room. That interpretation is intentionally raw and noisy, but still very melodic and atmospheric. A very good EP, can't wait for the "An-Archic" LP!

Dažd & Order Of The Vulture - split (2008)


Year: 2008
Genre: Blackened Crust
Country: USA /Serbia

Track List:

  1. Krvnici krvi jos nisu siti 
Order of the Vulture
  1. Squalor

This split 7'' presents the best tracks from both bands up to date. Need I say more? This is actually very good, I think both Dazd and Order of the Vulture should be proud of this release.

Dažd (Дажд) - early demos (2005-2007)

DAZD "early demos (2005-2007)"

Year: 2005-2007
Genre: Blackened Crust / Sludge-Doom
Country: Serbia
Label: self-prod.

Track List:
  1. Krvnici
  2. Tamo Dole
  3. Armija Mraka
  4. Nuklearni Vetar
  5. Imperativ Poslednjeg Doba
  6. Instrumental
  7. Armija Mraka (2007)
  8. Duboko Duboko Pod Zemljom
  9. Buducnost Tamom Sja

"Anarchy & Magic"

Dažd (cyrillic: Дажд) are a Serbian pagan crust band formed in 2005. They're playing raw blackened crust with sludgecore and doom metal overtones. The band members define their music as "Balkan black (anarcho) occult crust post-punk". Sounds interesting enough?

They had never released an album (LP or even EP), but here's a compilation of their early recordings, downloaded from the Pagans Against Fascism site. Please keep in mind that it's only demo tracks, so the sound is very raw and the musicianship is far from perfect. But the atmosphere is great - dark and gloomy, that's how occult/pagan crust metal should sound.

P.S. Sorry for my long absense, I have a lot of stuff for you! Stay tuned!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ravensdöm - demo IV (200?)


Year: uncertain (according to Encyclopaedia Metallum, it's from 2009)
Genre: Raw Black Metal
Country: France
Label: self-prod.

Track List:
  1. Prisons
  2. Mise a Mort
  3. Precipices
  4. Interlude
  5. Restes Humains
  6. Defense
  7. Masque a Gaz

The 4th demo by Ravensdöm features much more "true" black metal-ish sound than the 2nd demo. Overall it's simular to The Dead Musician and most of the other French raw black metal bands. I wonder if anyone has the 1st and the 3rd demo...

Ravensdöm - demo II (200?)


Year: uncertain (according to Encyclopaedia Metallum, it's from 2008)
Genre: Raw Black Metal/Rock
Country: France
Label: self-prod.

Track List:
  1. Il Existe un Chemin
  2. Faiblesse et Traitrise
  3. Chirurgie Humanicide
  4. Seul
  5. Désespérément Serviles
  6. Outro

This demo was posted in some french punk blog in wav format, and i've converted it to mp3 with maximum possible quality. Almost nothing is known about Ravensdöm, except that's an anarchist black metal solo project from France. As for this demo, I doubt if it can be called metal at all. Well, it's noisy, but surprisingly VERY melodic, and I'd rather call it "black rock". The melodies are simplistic (as well as the lyrics) and repetitive, yet catchy. The weaker point of this demo are the vocals: I even can't call this "vocals", it's just whispers. But... it's just a raw demo, and the band is very promising anyway.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Life Is Hell - 1st demo (2009)

LIFE IS HELL "1st demo"

Year: 2009
Genre: Blackened Crust
Country: Ukraine
Label: self-prod.

Track List:
  1. Война зверя
  2. Человек - не животное
  3. Все вместе
  4. Ничего не делай

Here's another demo from the blackened crust duo Life Is Hell (eastern Ukraine, Rubezhnoe / Kharkiv). Unlike the 2nd demo, it has all lyrics in Russian. Many people say that the lyrical content is the weakest point of this release: the lyrics are just too simplistic and naive, while presumed to be misanthropic and pro-environmentalist. But honestly it isn't worse than the lyrics by the vast majority of underground black metal bands.

Musically, this demo is less heavy and more noisy than the 2nd one. Very strong black metal influence is also present, especially on the last two tracks. It's sad that the band was too short-lived (apparently because almost nobody in their local area could appreciate such kind of music).

Iskra - "The Terrorist Act" (EP, 2005)

ISKRA "The Terrorist Act"

Year: 2005
Genre: Blackened Crust
Country: Canada
Label: Unrest Records

Track List:
  1. A Pig in Every Home
  2. Deep Integration

This release, brought to me by 7inchcrust, is more influenced by thrash metal than BM, just like "Bring The War Home". At least the opening riffs of "A Pig in Every Home" strongly remind me of Slayer. Overall it's a great piece of political blackened crust metal, and I think this one better than the self-titled EP. Now I have all releases by Iskra, except for the split w/ Self Rule (if the various compilations do not count).

Against Empire & Iskra - "Bring The War Home" (split, 2006)


Year: 2006
Genre: Blackened Crust
Country: Canada
Label: Rodent Popsicle / Deep Six

Track List:

Against Empire
  1. Intro
  2. Choose To Fight
  3. Nazgul Cometh
  4. Imperial Domination
  5. The Sword, The Whip And The Gun
  1. Irons
  2. Oka
  3. Sweating Walls
  4. My Country 'Tis Of Thy People You're Dying
bandcamp (only Iskra's side)

Split with the Los Angeles, CA Crustcore band Against Empire.
CD: Rodent Popsicle (2006-11-14)
12" LP: Threat To Existence (2007-05-10)
Black Vinyl: 1,000 Pressed
Ltd. Edition: 150 W/ Green Vinyl & Screen Printed Covers
16 page booklet

This album is considered by crust punk fans to be the best release by Iskra up to date. No wonder, because the black metal influence on "Bring The War Home" isn't as big as on "Bureval" or on the self-titled album. And speaking of Against Empire, they're playing crustcore with thrash metal (not BM) overtones. So if you like crust more than black metal, this release is for you; if not, then you'd probably like "Bureval" much more.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cold Blank Stare - "Humanity Will Come Undone" (demo, 2008)

COLD BLANK STARE "Humanity Will Come Undone"

Year: 2008
Genre: Black Metal
Country: USA
Label: self-prod.

Track List:
  1. Mechanized Destruction Of Humanity
  2. Forms Of Worship
  3. Against The Tide
  4. Humanity Will Come Undone
  5. Freezing Moon (Mayhem cover)

It's my most recent discovery - an one-man BM project from New Jersey holding left-wing political views (so I think it's safe to post Cold Blank Stare's releases under an "anarchist black metal" tag). This self-released EP includes an intro, 3 original songs and a cover version of a black metal classic "Freezing Moon". In the words of a project's leader:

"With this project I play black metal that is musically traditional to the Norwegian second wave with some touches of influence from the modern Swedish, US, and French scenes. Lyrically is where I take an individualist stance by promoting Atheism as a primary ideal (in opposition to Satanism), as well as speaking out against NSBM through politically leftist ideals"

For a first demo, it's definitely not bad, and I don't understand why it's rated so low on Metal Archives. Well, it's far from perfect, and I didn't like the #4 song too, but at least tracks #2 & #3 feature very decent traditional black metal. The "Freezing Moon" cover is well done too, though nothing outstanding. At least it shows how similar the styles of the bands are. As for the intro, it's not black metal at all - it's a short electro-industrial piece, though it's good for an intro. The lyrics are good, though rather simplistic; it has misanthropic, anti-religious ("Forms Of Worship") and anti-nazi ("Against The Tide") themes.