Thursday, February 27, 2014

Daidalos - "Through The Shadows Of Time" [2014]

Artist: Daidalos
Title: Through The Shadows Of Time
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Country: Venezuela
Year: 2014

Track List:
  1. Deep Ocean
  2. Running Away
  3. Through The Shadows Of Time
Symphonic metal from Caracas, "Through The Shadows Of Time" is their first demo EP. The music is quite good for a debut, but the vocals put me off, unfortunately. Yes, I admit their vocalist has a powerful voice, but her attempts of doing "operatic" vocals are just over the top. So be warned; but otherwise it's an EP worth listening to (and the cover art is nice as well).

Subliminal Code - "Soldier Of Hell" [2012]

Artist: Subliminal Code
Title: Soldier Of Hell
Genre: Dark Electro, Harsh EBM
Country: Venezuela
Year: 2012

Track List:
  1. Open The Door From Hell
  2. Soldier Of Hell
  3. Sin Of Pleasure
  4. Lost In The Loneliness
  5. Electro Suicide
  6. Muerto En Vida (Kill Version)
  7. Lost In The Loneliness (Remix By Traumatize)
  8. Soldier Of Hell (Filthy Drop Mix – Sonik Foundry)
  9. Sin Of Pleasure (Andro-Dioxin Remix)
  10. Electro Suicide (Coexpro Remix)
Dark electro from Venezuela, nothing particularly outstanding or innovative, but a quality work and a good example of the genre. By the way, the band members look rather like rappers on this photo:

Nightmare 34 & King Virus One - "Roter Oktober" [2010]

Artist: Nightmare 34 & King Virus One
Title: Roter Oktober
Genre: Hardcore Rap, Horrorcore
Country: Germany
Year: 2010

Track List:
  1. Intro
  2. Wenn die Blätter fallen
  3. Roter Oktober
  4. Kürbisfratzen
  5. Gänsehaut (feat. Blokkmonsta & Uzi)
  6. Nebel des Grauens
  7. Süssigkeitenräuber
  8. Ritual
  9. Das Böse (feat. Adden)
  10. Angst (feat. Lord Gaus)
  11. Im Wald 2 (feat. 2Face)
  12. Freitag der 13te (pt. 4)
  13. Schrei
  14. Blutiger Besuch Remake (feat. Kunstfehler)
  15. Notruf
  16. 2 Frauen
  17. Letzte Stunde
  18. Outro
This album was tagged "industrial rap" (or something like that) on youtube - so I expected to hear something like Dälek, but with German lyrics. However, it turned out to be just hardcore rap, apparently influenced by lowbrow horror movies, and not similar to Dälek at all. Some tracks on there are very good, though, such as "Kürbisfratzen" and "Im Wald 2" (by the way, the latter track has some lyrics in Russian, close to its end). Germany produces probably the biggest amount of hip-hop in Europe (and one of the biggest in the whole world), but I don't listen to it that much (even though I love the language), with some exceptions like this album. I'd be wary of posting a download link, but you can watch this clip:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Project Silence - "424" [2012]

Artist: Project Silence
Title: 424
Genre: Industrial Metal, Dark Electro
Country: Finland
Year: 2012

Track List:
  1. 424
  2. Pressure__Revolution
  3. My Reality
  4. Stardancer (Raven's Whore)
  5. Keeper
  6. Sky, Space and Twilight Zone
  7. Alone (Crushed by Your Lies)
  8. Beast
  9. Cage of Hate
  10. Everything
  11. Promise
 I discovered this band while searching for The Sin:Decay's only EP, and they turned out to be better than The Sin:Decay. Nowadays there's a wave of mediocre projects trying to mix dark electro with various kinds of metal (mostly black), but this particular project isn't bad at all. Maybe not on the level of The Kovenant (whom they're often compared to), but still quite good.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Legend / Sólstafir - "Fjara / Runaway Train (Split)" [2014]

Artist: Legend / Sólstafir
Title: Fjara / Runaway Train
Country: Iceland
Release date: 2014

Track list:
  1. Legend - Fjara (Sólstafir cover)
  2. Sólstafir - Runaway Train (Legend cover)
This split is going to be released tomorrow, and most sites describe its sound by vague terms like "post-metal". In fact, there's very little metal in there. Legend are a synthpop band, and their track on this split is what happens if a band like A-Ha decides to make a cover version of a metal song. It's actually a very good track, quite beautiful and melancholic, definitely for the likes of everyone who likes depressive Scandinavian pop/new-wave. Sólstafir's side is less interesting, despite being more heavier and "metallic". They're considered one of the best metal bands from Iceland, but I didn't like their earlier stuff when I listened to it in mid-2000's. They've changed their sound drastically since then, towards progressive/post-metal, but I haven't listened to any of their later releases yet (beside this split, of course).

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Vhernen - "Syberia" [2006]

Artist: Vhernen
Title: .S.Y.B.E.R.I.A.
Genre: Funeral Doom/Black Metal
Country: Denmark (Faroe Islands)
Year: 2006

Track List:
  1. Syberia
  2. Tundrha
  3. Numb
  4. Funeral Aurora
When there's a talk about metal from the Faroe Islands, most people can name only one band - Týr. However, this small island community has produced a few other good bands, one of which is Vhernen - an one-man project started in 2005 in Tórshavn. Surely this demo EP sounds raw, but I liked it better than the follow up full-length album. This release is one of few ones that absolutely deserve to be labelled as "depressive", and it's also woth noting that it was recorded using electric cello and orchestral harp (as well as the standard guitars). Very impressive for a debut.

Thergothon - "Stream From The Heavens" [1994]

Artist: Thergothon
Title: Stream From The Heavens
Genre: Funeral Doom/Death Metal
Country: Finland
Year: 1994

Track List:
  1. Everlasting
  2. Yet the Watchers Guard
  3. Unknown Kadath in the Cold Waste
  4. Elemental
  5. Who Rides the Astral Wings
  6. Crying Blood & Crimson Snow
"The band is considered to be one of the pioneers of funeral doom metal, along with Skepticism". Well, I'm not a big fan of this particular genre, but there was a period when I listened to a lot of death/doom metal, so I can understand why this album, along with the earlier demo "Fhtagn-nagh Yog-Sothoth", became one of very high-valued releases of early 90's Finnish metal scene. Thergothon were one of the few H.P.Lovecraft-inspired metal bands that really have that otherworldly cosmic horror atmosphere in their music; maybe that's how their countrymen Demilich would sound if only they decided to play doom metal.

Like Demilich, Thergothon were a very underrated band during the time of their existence. Their members later played in a band called This Empty Flow (no idea what they sounded like, but according to the reviews, their style gradually transformed from gothic/doom metal to ambient/darkwave). Their vocalist/keyboardist Niko Skorpio also participated in a lot of projects which names sound promising, but the further info and recordings are nowhere to be found.

Nord'N'Commander - "Heavenly Barrow" [2002]

Artist: Nord'N'Commander
Title: Heavenly Barrow
Genre: Lo-Fi Gothic Electro
Country: Russia
Year: 2002

Track List:
  1. Sonnenmensch
  2. Shout of Birds
  3. Listen to the Evening
  4. Blood of the Virgin Girl
  5. Heavenly Barrow
  6. Sunny Son
  7. Cave of My Heart
  8. Teeth of the Hanged
  9. Contention
Here comes another cult release from the 90's-early 2000's Russian underground scene. Despite sounding "like a couple of teenage Satan-worshippers that managed to lay their hands on a cheap guitar and synth" (as they were described on some blog), Nord'N'Commander were among the most unique and innovative bands to come from the ex-USSR. In this regard, they're like early Voivod or Bathory - they were just playing whatever they want and could, not worrying much if their efforts would look ridiculous or not.

Nord'N'Commander were initially formed as an "esoteric synthpop/darkwave" project called "Vantit" in 2000. Maxim Belyaev (he was the author of all Vantit's music, and also the majority of the best tracks which later were re-recorded by N'N'C, even though the members of N'N'C themselves don't like being reminded about this fact) left the project after a conflict in 2001, and two remaining members (Alexander Ishutin and Vadim Proskuryakov) decided to change name to Nord'N'Commander - which was an obvious pun on "Norton Commander", and a hint that their music shouldn't be taken very seriously. They always had a somewhat scandalous reputation, what what else to expect from a band like them?..

Despite the horrible quality of production, the songwriting on "Heavenly Barrow" is actually quite good, which alone makes this album standing out of many better-recorded, but generic albums of the same genre. The lyrics may be poorly translated to English, but I decidedly uploaded the English version of the album and not the original Russian one, because the poor English on there adds even more charm to its sound. It's up for you to decide if this album is a total joke or a masterpiece, but one can be said for sure - Nord'NCommander always were one of the most original bands I know of. They've split up in 2009, their vocalist now is an university teacher in Moscow.

I can upload the rest of their discography, if anyone is interested (not right now, though), but keep in mind that their albums are very different from each other. Their debut "Sacred Spear Aftersounds" (2001) is very raw "blackened metal", while "Maps of Shadow Travelling" (2003) is a compilation of unreleased tracks sounding similar to "Heavenly Barrow". "Hermeneutics" (2004) is a return to their "blackened metal" roots, and "Vele" (2006) is a completely weird "accordion black metal" album. There's also a fake "album" called "Introjektion" (2007) consisting of 9 or 10 tracks, of with only 4 are actually by N'N'C (taking from their EP "Technolady"). They also recorded a number of covers, of which "Paris" and "Starfall" (both originally performed by a 90's Russian pop band "Кар-Мэн") are some of the best tracks ever recorded by N'N'C (at leat in my opinion).

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Currents Of Death - "Cretodoh" [1993]

Artist: Currents Of Death
Title: Cretodoh
Genre: Power Electronics, Noise
Country: Russia
Year: 1993

Track List:
  1. Fucking Electricity
  2. Urnsfet
  3. New Holy Office
  4. The Big Chair
  5. Strome Des Todes
Power electronics project from Russia which made their first recordings in 1991-92? Yes, you're reading everything right! Currents of Death, coming from Novokuznetsk (in southwestern Siberia), were the second Russian project of such kind (the first was Linija Mass, started by Alexander Lebedev-Frontov in mid-1980s), and their music was on par with the best Western PE projects of that time. They never released anything officially until late 2012 ("Cretodoh" was recorded during summer of 1993 at the Novokuznetsk-based "Level A" studio, but wasn't released back then; in 2003 it was released as a bootleg by St.Petersburg-based label Fight Muzik under a different name; and finally, a Moscow-based label Provoloka released it officially in 2012).


Brandkommando - "Achtung! Achtung! Der Kommunismus Kommt!" [2005]

Artist: Brandkommando
Title: Achtung! Achtung! Der Kommunismus Kommt!
Genre: Power Electronics, Noise
Country: Poland
Year: 2005

Track List:
  1. PPR
  2. Banda Bieruta
  3. O Co Walczymy?
  4. 3x TAK!
  5. Stalin. Antyhymn
  6. Stalin. Wg. Piora A. Wazyka
Debut album of the Polish noise project which I mentioned in my previous entry. The track names suggest that it deals mainly with the early history of Polish People's Republic, namely the period of Boleslav Bierut's Stalinist government in late 40's - early 50's. This period is relatively poorly researched by historians, at least non-Polish ones - even the articles on B.Bierut in Engish and Russian wikipedias aren't very informative and hardly even mention his mysterious death in 1956. Brandkommando himself doesn't support any political ideology, and also doesn't try to glorify any of the regimes he write music about (unlike many other martial industrial and PE artists).

CC describes Brandkommando's manner of speech as "very laconic" (at least he left such an impression when they talked online about making a split). It's also worth noting that Brandkommando has nothing to do with far-right scene, even though one of his tracks has appeared on some stupid "white power electronics" compilation. Actually, it was included in there without his consent, and Brandkommando's own opinion on this like this is best reflected with his track "NS Idiots". Musically, this album is pure noise, even though the cover art would be more suitable for a martial industrial release.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Kriegshund - "Arbeiterklasse" [2013]

Artist: Kriegshund
Title: Arbeiterklasse
Genre: Industrial
Country: Serbia
Year: 2013

Track List:
  1. Russland
  2. KPD (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands)
  3. Machina
  4. Stalingrad (The Rise of Soviets)
Kriegshund is an apolitical one man-project from Serbia started in 2011, whose music can be vaguely described as "electro-industrial". For some reason, it reminds me of Brandkommando, but it's much less noisy. Aesthetically, it's martial industrial, but musically... not quite. Labelling it "EBM" or "aggrotech" (as it was done on last.fm) would be wrong too, so let's just take Kriegshund's self-definition. There's not much futher info about the project, except that it's supposed to be "a musical retrospective of the human society in general and its self-destructive tendencies" (c).

Monday, February 17, 2014

Unknown Kadath - "Æþðŋ" [2011]

Artist: Unknown Kadath
Title: Æþðŋ
Genre: Dark Ambient, Noise
Country: Armenia
Year: 2011

Track List:
  1. Outer Space
  2. Galaxies And Stars
  3. Deep In The Well
  4. Horror Of The Catacombs
  5. The Demon Speaks
  6. The Endless Ocean
  7. পছন্দ চিরতরে
"...And vast infinities away, past the Gate of Deeper Slumber and the enchanted wood and the garden lands and the Cerenarian Sea and the twilight reaches of Inquanok, the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep strode brooding into the onyx castle atop unknown Kadath in the cold waste, and taunted insolently the mild gods of earth whom he had snatched abruptly from their scented revels in the marvellous sunset city"

I don't know anything about this project, except it's from Armenia and released one demo album in 2011. Some of the track names looked promising at first sight, but the beginning of the album seriously disappointed me, as it's mostly just noise thrown together. The 2nd half of "Æþðŋ" is more interesting, though. "The Demon Speaks" is probably the best track on the whole album, reminding me (and not only me) of Melek-Tha. Overall this debut wasn't very impressive, but there's still some potential visible. Don't know, though, if there will be any more releases or not.


P.S. I wonder if there are any Armenian martial industrial projects in existence? It'd be particularly interesting to hear an "industrial" interpretation of any of these songs...

Sadael - "Ov Sirun Sirun" [2010]

Artist: Sadael
Title: Ov Sirun Sirun
Genre: Folk Metal, Doom Metal
Country: Armenia
Year: 2010

I think this single also counts as "Armenian folk metal", even though Sadael started as an one-man band playing instrumental black metal/ambient in the beginning, and gradually became a funeral doom project. The song itself is a well-known Armenian folk tune, performed by a lot of different artists. Here's one of its many interpretations, with dual (male and female) vocals:


And Sadael's version is instrumental doom metal:

Dogma - "Ethnic-Methnic" [2009]

Artist: Dogma
Title: Ethnic-Methnic
Genre: Folk Metal/Rock/Cabaret
Country: Armenia
Year: 2009

Track List:
  1. Khaghers
  2. Hars
  3. Renaissance
  4. Aneres
  5. Artnacum
  6. Heqiat
  7. Tsov Tsirani
  8. Khoskap
  9. Aystegh Kmnam
  10. Limbo (bonus track)
  11. Qez Ognir (bonus track)
And here's some really folk-influenced Armenian metal... well, I admit it's hardly metal. There are some metal elements for sure, but for the most part it's just progressive/ethno-rock with female vocals. They have released one more album in 2013, but I didn't find it to be as interesing as their debut one.


The musicianship on "Ethnic-Methnic" is very good, but the music itself is quite unusual, so I'd recommend to get some knowledge of more mainstream Armenian music before listening to Dogma. I personally like this (for example):

Ayas - "Yerkink u Yerkir" [1988]

Artist: Ayas
Title: Yerkink u Yerkir
Genre: Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal
Country: Armenian SSR
Year: 1988

Track List:
  1. Ayas
  2. XX. dar
  3. Dareri sahmanagitz
  4. Gerspanuzyun
  5. Aryunot gazan
  6. Yerkink u Yerkir
  7. Ches karogh erbek
...No, Beerdigungs Lauten weren't the first Armenian metal band. They might be the first Armenian death metal band, but the first metal band from Armenia that acually released something was probably Asparez (formed in 1982). However, their 1985 rehearsal demos were never released to the public, so the 1988 album by Ayas is probably the very first proper release from an Armenian metal band.

Ayas are often referred to as a folk metal band, but honetly I can't hear much folk influences on "Yerkink u Yerkir". That said, the music is very rich and interesting, with a lot of keyboards and guitar solos, even though the quality of production is quite poor (but then again, what else to expect from an underground USSR metal band?) Their lead vocalist and keyboardist has studied in two conservatories (in Yerevan and Moscow), which of course contributed a lot to the quality of songwriting. There isn't much vocals on this album, all the lyrics are in Armenian. It somehow reminds me of a few Hungarian rock/metal bands of the same era (heavy use of keyboards, singing in an exotic-sounding language). The band is still active today (although not recording anything new), after a long period of inactivity (1995-2008). They had a member of Sworn in their 2008 lineup, but i don't think he's still playing with them.

As for the name: "They took their name from Armenian marine club in Yerevan which was created in 1985... Ayas now is a small port town in Turkey that was previously named Aegea - an ancient town in Cilicia; it became an important harbor city of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia in the second half of the 13th century; also it was the name for the first Armenian ship"

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Basarabian Hills - "In The Stillness Of The Codrii" [2013]

Artist: Basarabian Hills
Title: In The Stillness Of The Codrii
Genre: Dark Ambient (mostly)
Country: Moldova
Year: 2013

Track List:
  1. Wanderer Through The Melancholy Of The Woods (Part 1)
  2. Wanderer Through The Melancholy Of The Woods (Part 2)
  3. In The Stillness Of The Codrii
  4. Decline Of An Old Tree
Basarabian Hills is an one-man atmospheric black metal/ambient project from a small Moldovan town called Făleşti. BH's music is clearly nature-inspired, and always was more ambient than metal. However, two first albums ("Spirit of the Native Land" and "Breath of a Wide Valley") featured more black metal elements than this one. "In The Stillness Of The Codrii" consists of 4 tracks, all of them exactly 10 minutes long. The Lustre-influenced black metal/shoegaze of the earlier albums is almost completely gone, it's ambient for the most part. Surely this album has some flaws, but it's definitely better than the first two ones; actually it's quite good considering it comes from provincial Moldova, an area where underground music of any kind is nearly nonexistent. I also shouls notice that BH has one of the best logos ever ;)

Anthelion (幻日) - 沐血再臨 (Bloodshed Rebefallen) [2007]

Artist: Anthelion
Title: Bloodshed Rebefallen
Genre: Sympho-Black Metal
Country: Taiwan
Year: 2007

Track List:
  1. Snake Corpse
  2. 零 / Sin of Aeon
  3. 無懼 再臨 / Without Trepidation
  4. 墓海 / Grave Ocean
  5. 血嫁 / Bloody Matrimony
  6. 蟄伏 冰封幻蛻 / Hibernation Glaciation Exuviation
  7. 夜殲炙獄炎 / Bloodshed in the Dark of Burning Hell
  8. 破魂錄 / The Tome of Broken Souls
  9. 神敵 / The Evil Adversary
Like Nathrzeim, Anthelion are playing a "Western" kind of symphonic black metal, even though they're from Taiwan. The lyrics, however, are in Chinese for the most part. There aren't many metal bands in Taiwan (definitely much less than in Singapore, for example), but there seems to be a small but thriving melodic black metal scene. It probably started with Chthonic, whom I'm not a fan of - but there are other bands that worth attention, including Anthelion. "Bloodshed Rebefallen" is quite good for a debut LP.

Vielikan - "A Trapped Way for Wisdom" [2010]

Artist: Vielikan
Title: A Trapped Way for Wisdom
Genre: Technical Death/Doom Metal
Country: Tunisia
Year: 2010

Track List:
  1. The Beginning of all Remorse
  2. A Shelter of Flesh in the Void
  3. Zero Affection
  4. Black Marsh
  5. A Vertiginous Fall
  6. A Trapped Way for Wisdom
  7. Celestial Autumn
"Brought together around 2002 first as Death Awakening, Ethereal Travel afterwards, the first draft of this project did never really stand firmly due to the changes of line-up, ceaselessly provoked by Fedor.
After an encounter with three other ambitious musicians (Khalil, Mehdi and Tarek) the band concretely took shape in November 2008, choosing Vielikan for name. It then started making these songs obviously quickened by a Death Metal spirit yet somewhat tempered by small chunks of a Russian folklore..."

While I don't hear much influence of Russian folk music on this album, the name of the band is indeed in Russian (but written in a Polish manner for some reason). And the name of their vocalist, Fedor... well it doesn't sound very Arabic to me. Musically, it's quite good progressive death metal (as far as I know, they reject the label "technical reath metal") with apparent doom metal influence. They've been compared to Nocturnus and Augury (a relatively well-known death metal band from Jordan which I haven't listened to yet). The cover art for "A Trapped Way for Wisdom" is a bit unusual in technique, and well reflects the overall atmosphere of the album.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Anatta - "Eternal Truth Is Anatta" [2011]

Artist: Anatta
Title: Eternal Truth Is Anatta
Genre: Symphonic Heavy/Power Metal
Country: Thailand
Year: 2011

Track List:
  1. Eternal Truth
  2. Anatta
  3. I Am I
  4. Racing With the Time
  5. Angels
  6. Wings oF Forever Dream
  7. World Unity
  8. Glory Land
  9. New Dimension
  10. Melody & Symphony
Another Bangkok-based band which is similar to Orient Ende in terms of sound, named after a Buddhist concept which I don't fully understand. They call their style "hybrid metal" - perhaps referring to the electronic elements in their music - but to be honest, it's just heavy/power metal with keyboards. What I've said about Orient Ende can be said about Anatta too: for a debut self-released album it's fine, but the vocal work could be better. The album is streamable @ their bandcamp page, but to download it you have to pay 9$ (which is quite expensive, even though I understand that they're from a not very rich country, and they have released this album on their own expense...)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Orient Ende - "The End of Oriental" [2009]

Artist: Orient Ende
Title: The End of Oriental
Genre: Symphonic Metal/Rock
Country: Thailand
Year: 2009

Track List:
  1. You Have to Back Where You're Came From
  2. Tragedy of Adore
  3. The End of Oriental
  4. Letter from the World
Female-fronted symphonic rock/metal from Bangkok. For a debut demo EP it's fine, even though the music isn't very original, and I don't like the vocalist's voice at times (however, I think she did a good job on the title track). Would like to hear a full-length album from them, if they ever will release one.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Nervecell - "Psychogenocide" [2011]

Artist: Nervecell
Title: Psychogenocide
Genre:Death Metal
Country: United Arab Emirates
Year: 2011

Track List:
  1. Anemic Assurgency
  2. Upon an Epidemic Scheme
  3. All Eyes on Them
  4. Amok Doctrine
  5. Psychogenocide
  6. Imprint
  7. شنق - Shunq (To the Despaired...King of Darkness)
  8. The Taste of Betrayal
  9. Driven by Nescience
  10. Nation's Plague
This band is actually quite well known and praised as the best death metal band in their whole region, and since I already have posted a lot of Asian metal bands, I think they deserve to be on here too. Nervecell were formed in 1999 (according to other sources, in early 2000) in Dubai, but the band members are originally from Lebanon, Jordan and India - which isn't surprising since Dubai is a city of immigrants for the most part; most other metal bands in the UAE (which are very few) have a lot of non-Emirati members as well. Their music is standard death metal, nothing really outstanding or groundbreaking in there, but nevertheless it's quite good by any standards. As for the download links - it wouldn't be hard to find them in google, I think.

Zaraza - "Slavic Blasphemy" [1997]

Artist: Zaraza
Title: Slavic Blasphemy
Genre: Industrial Death/Doom Metal
Country: Poland/Canada
Year: 1997

Track List:
  1. Zakazany
  2. Every Day is a Funeral
  3. Necessary
  4. Cell of Skin
  5. Zaraza
Like in case with Demilich, this Polish/Canadian band has managed to record one of the most interesting yet underrated experimental releases of the 90s. Zaraza was started in 1993 in Montreal by Jacek "Doomhammer", a newly arrived Polish immigrant, and Grzegorz "Haus ov Doom", a local industrial artist which has Polish roots too. They've released 2 CDs before disbanding in 2005; now all their music is officially available for free and highly valued among the collectors of early industrial metal. The band's name means "plague" in Polish (to a Russian-speaker this word sounds rather funny than scary, though).

The band members describe their style as "born out somewhere in the void between SWANS, old Laibach, Winter, Unholy, Skin Chamber, Napalm Death, Godflesh, etc." I'd say "Slavic Blasphemy" reminded me of "The Machine" by Dead World - albeit not quite as dark and misanthropic, but less repetitive and with higher level of songwriting. According to the legend, after the release of "Slavic Blasphemy" the members of Zaraza were unable to eat due to spending all their available money on recording. No idea if it's true or not, but the album is well-produced by the standards of its time, and certainly worth listening to.

Phobonoid - "Orbita" [2013]

Artist: Phobonoid
Title: Orbita
Genre: Industrial Black/Doom Metal
Country: Italy
Year: 2013

Track List:
  1. Phobos
  2. Ex
  3. Vuoto
  4. Lo spettro di Deimos
  5. Omega
  6. Magnete
  7. Deimos
Excellent new one-man project from Italy, which released only one short EP so far. Here's a detailed review of it, which is probably better than anything I'd write about it by myself:

""Orbita", the remarkable debut of Phobonoid, a one man band coming from Italy. "Orbita" is a conceptual and cinematic journey about the end of the civilization on Mars, witnessed there by Phobos where he also meets his brother Deimos, on the already destroyed surface of Mars...

Soundwise, "Orbita" sounds like if black space metal band Darkspace and industrial doomsters P.H.O.B.O.S (curiously this band has nothing to do with Phobonoid) were melted into one. The beats are clearly industrial as they are performed by a digital drum and the sound of the guitar brings the best of two worlds: black and doom metal. The voice whispers and hisses in the background, enhancing this dreary and menacing atmosphere..."

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cruentus (IT) - "In Myself" [1996]

Artist: Cruentus
Title: In Myself
Genre: Technical Death Metal, Progressive Metal
Country: Italy
Year: 1996

Track List:
  1. Trip into the Absolut Vacuum
  2. Reborn from the Infernal Ashes
  3. Genocide
  4. Seeking the Truth
  5. Save Your Tears
  6. Under the Same Sky
  7. Contitioned Mind
  8. ...in an Endless Spiral
  9. In Myself
  10. Paths in Memory
The 3rd and the last Cruentus I've listened to, and definitely the best out of all 3 bands under this name. "In Myself" is a ~65 minutes-long concept album, which is better to be listened "in one shot". They've released only this album and several demos during 1992-1999, which all didn't get much publicity. It's a pity, because they're a very good band, deserving to be on the same level with bands like Nocturnus.

Cruentus (PL) - "Event Horizon" [2003]

Artist: Cruentus
Title: Event Horizon
Genre: Industrial Black Metal
Country: Poland
Year: 2003

Track List:
  1. Industrial Beat Machinery
  2. Absolute Dominium
  3. In The Name Of Lust
  4. Universal Dementia
  5. Pale Textures Of Reality
  6. Silicon Dreams
  7. Paranomia
  8. Digital Glow
  9. Synthetic Voices Of Wonder
  10. Juxtaposing The Patchworks
  11. Dread Rock (Archetype Energii)
There are at least 4 bands under the name Cruentus, and this one is from Poland. Aesthetically, they got everything right, but musically... well, it isn't bad, but there certainly is a lot of better industrial black metal releases. However, the band obviously had a lot of potential - too bad their second release ("Terminal Code") turned out to be exactly the kind of "modern metal" I dislike. The quality of production on "Terminal Code" is much better than on this album, but that's all. However, if you like Mnemic, Sybreed, and later albums of Fear Factory, you might find "Terminal Code" interesting too.

Cruentus (NP) - "Asantusta Aatma" [2005]

Artist: Cruentus
Title: Asantusta Aatma
Genre: Black Metal
Country: Nepal
Year: 2005

Track List:
  1. Asantusta Aatma
  2. Beneath the Bleeding Moon
  3. Circle of Fear
  4. Shadow of Darkness
  5. Massacre of the Holy Ones
  6. Bless Me with Thy Pain
  7. Unknown Warrior
This album has received quite low ratings from most reviewers, and I wonder why. Surely it's just standard black metal, nothing particularly innovative or "exotic" in there (except for the use of Nepali languae in the title track), but it isn't bad at all - especially for a country, which has hardly a dozen active metal bands. Unfortunately, there's not much info about the band - looks like they've recorded only one album and then disappeared...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Burn The Water - "Eschatological" [2012]

Artist: Burn The Water
Title: Eschatological
Genre: Industrial Metal, Experimental
Country: India
Year: 2012

Track List:
  1. __________
  2. The End pt.1 (The Warmonger)
  3. The End pt.2 (Yes, today is DOOMSDAY v2)
  4. The Scene
  5. The Escape
  6. __________
  7. The World (outside) ft.The Siren's Allure
Apocalyptic electronic/metal from India, first release of this kind from South Asia I could find. Actually, it isn't bad at all, considering it was recorded at home using only quite primitive equipment:

"Formed in early 2011 as a solo Metal project by Debojyoti under the moniker of BURN the Water, it started out with creating experimental tunes influenced by musical genius Devin Townsend and the like...
This EP was recorded using a 10$ mic, 120$ guitar, a cheap ZOOM processor onto a (really old) Celeron pc. So all donations to this EP directly goes to the artist for funding his upcoming projects/albums" (bandcamp)

Nathrzeim - "Sickness of inner divinity" [2011]

Artist: Nathrzeim
Title: Sickness of Inner Divinity
Genre: Melodic Black Metal
Country: Jordan
Year: 2011

Track List:
  1. Muerte Silenciosa (Overture) 
  2. The 73 Cults 
  3. Virtue and Vice
  4. Possessed by Salvation
  5. The Magnitude of Treason
  6. Sickness of Inner Divinity
Nathrzeim are among the very few Jordan-based metal bands that are known outside their home country. I even have found a Russian translation of their interview, which is quite short, yet informative. They're playing standard European sympho-black metal without any folk elements. According to them, it's neary impossible to play concerts (at least not completely underground ones) or buy metal merchandise in Jordan, and they had no other options than to record this album at home and release it independently (they were searching for labels, but couldn't find any). Their name means "Dread Lords" in Arabic (by the way, I knew that there's a race in the Warcraft universe called "Nathrezim", which means "dread lords", but I thought it was in some fictional language).

Weapon - "Drakonian Paradigm" [2009]

Artist: Weapon
Title: Drakonian Paradigm
Genre: Death/Black Metal
Country: Bangladesh
Year: 2009

Track List:
  1. Weapon
  2. Cacophony! Black Sun Dragon's Tongue!
  3. Serpentine Ayat
  4. Mortem Pyre (In Darkness and Blood)
  5. Archana
  6. Drakonian Paradigm: The Flame of All
  7. Remnants of a Burnt Mosque
Some people wonder if there's any Indian (or other South Asian) black metal with lyrical references to the cult of Kali. Well, read the lyrics for the track#3 on this album - I guess that's what they're looking for. Otherwise, it's just typical death/black metal (more death than black), good but nothing outstanding. Vetis, the leader of the band, iis originally from Bangladesh but now resides in Canada with the rest of the band. However, all Weapon's early stuff was recorded in Dakka (Bangladesh). They also have forced two other metal bands called weapon to change their names due to copyright issues, so I don't think they'd be OK with their music being posted here. The whole album is available for listening on youtube, though.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Vallendusk - "Black Clouds Gathering" [2013]

Artist: Vallendusk
Title: Black Clouds Gathering
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Country: Indonesia
Year: 2013

Track List:
  1. Fragments Of Light 
  2. To Wander And Beyond 
  3. Shades Of Grey 
  4. Into The Mist 
  5. Among The Giants 
  6. Realms Of The Elder 
  7. Land Of The Lurking Twilight
This band was recommended to me by a friend on last.fm, and it indeed turned out to be very good. Top notch atmospheric (post-)black metal, on the level of best American and Western European counterparts. Looks like not only death metal/grindcore scene of Indonesia has lots of potential...

Friday, February 7, 2014

Burzukh - "Time & Space" [2013]

Artist: Burzukh
Title: Time & Space
Genre: Avant-garde Metal/Rock
Country: Pakistan
Year: 2013

Track List:
  1. Despair And Fall
  2. Death Toll
  3. Demonize
  4. Subjugation
  5. Spiral Down
  6. Critical Thinking
  7. City
  8. Mortuary
  9. Space I - Sector 5
  10. Space II - Void
Before you laugh at the name of this project, read this. I'm fairly sure that "burzukh" is another spelling of "barzakh", and not a corruption of "Burzum" (as some think). Musically, it's stange stuff that hardly can be called "black metal" (or even metal at all), something in the vein of Norwegian avant-garde metal-rock projects like Fleurety or I Left The Planet. Unlike most Pakistani metal bands, which typically released a demo or two and then split up, Burzukh is a relatively long-running project (started in 2001), which has released several demos in early 2000's and 5 LPs during 2007-2013. Its leader says that he has played in a number of industrial, grindcore and metal project, but his solo project he wanted to try something different.

"Time and Space" definitely isn't an easy album to get into, but it's interesting to see such release coming from Pakistan, where only very few active metal bands exist. Moreover, Burzukh seems to be a really unique project; at least everything else I heard from the underground Pakistani music scene is poorly recorded grindcore/death metal/punk. There's also a band called Black Warrant whose genre is listed as "industial thrash metal", but judging from what I could find on archive.org, it's just regular heavy/thrash metal with political lyrics.

KSK - "Drakonia Sektoria" [2013]

Artist: KSK
Title: Drakonia Sektoria
Genre: Industrial Black Metal
Country: Singapore
Year: 2013

Track List:
  1. Nekrologue
  2. In Quadrant Ab:7U
  3. Code B:H:B!
  4. Infernal Israfel Invasion
  5. Inhale
  6. Living Emptiness Within Me
  7. Khaos Function Storm
  8. The Alchemy Man
  9. Drakonia Sektoria
  10. Deathikon
  11. Finis
KSK is one of the oldest Singaporean black metal project, started in 1994 as a 4-piece band named Kibosh Sybil Kismet. Back then they've played raw old school black metal that's typical for Malaysia and Singapore. Since the mid-2000s, the band name was abbreviated to KSK, and the sound became more futuristic and electronic-based, akin to such bands as Aborym, Anaal Nathrakh, and Ayat. The first full-length from KSK, called "Drakonia Sektoria", may be not as impressive as the best albums of the aforementioned bands, but nevertheless it shows that Z:c4 (the only member of KSK, as of now) has a right inderstanding of ggod industrial black metal sound and aesthetics. The best track on "Drakonia Sektoria" is "Living Emptiness Within Me", I think.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

From Beyond - "Galaxium" [2011]

Artist: From Beyond
Title: Galaxium
Genre: Dark Ambient
Country: Malaysia
Year: 2011

Track List:
  1. Galaxium
  2. Phobos & Deimos
It was interesting for me to find out about this Malaysian cosmic ambient project - because the underground music scene of Malaysia, albeit relatively big by Asian standards, is mostly dominated by early 90's-style metal (thrash metal, old school death metal & grindcore, "bestial" black metal etc.). Unfortunately I couldn't find much info about From Beyond (not least because the project name isn't very searchable).

Cracked Core - ".-.-." [2013]

Artist: Cracked Core
Title: .-.-.
Genre: Ambient, Noise
Country: Russia
Year: 2013

Track List:
  1. Адреналиновая тоска / Adrenaline Anguish
  2. Пограничное расстройство личности / BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)
  3. Бессонница / Insomnia
  4. Летние воспоминания / Summer Memories (feat. Yrrow)
  5. Метро / Metro (feat. Yrrow)
 ".-.-." (a/k/a "dotdashdotdashdot", or just "Morse code") is the final release from Cracked Core. It was recorded in summer 2013, shortly before the decision to close the project. As of now, all the works of CC are in public domain. The most recent releases are also available on bandcamp, and if you're looking for his full discography - see this blog. It also contains some tracks by First Sleg, a short lived trance/synthpop collaboration project of Kazdalevsky and Cracked Core, which CC considers to be one of his best works.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cracked Core - "2009-2012 Highlights" [2013]

Artist: Cracked Core
Title: 2009-2012 Highlights
Genre: Ambient, Noise, IDM
Country: Russia
Year: 2013

Track List:
  1. Breakpoint [Remix by (Project) Ritual Noise]
  2. Radio:martial [tribal mix]
  3. Spice Trip
  4. Restored Signatures
  5. Blue warm water [cut edit] (feat. Sergrunt)
  6. Split Effect
  7. Memory Error [Hardcore Remix by Terror Panicus]
  8. Birds from empty north (feat. Sergrunt) 
  9. Blackdays / Dogdays [clean version]
  10. Ma$$ Media (feat. Brandkommando) 
  11. Stand Alone
  12. SoAT [End Credits rmx by Kazdalevsky]
Unfortunately, the "Cracked Core" project is closed by now, and there will be no new releases anymore (at least under this moniker) - mostly because its creator is dissatisfied with the quality of his songwriting, plus he's more interested in producing stuff like breakcore and hip-hop right now. However, there's some previously unreleased material left, which I'm going to post soon to.

This release is a compilation of remixes and remastered tracks from six Cracked Core's albums released during 2009-2012. It was intended to be a summary of all CC's creative output, but after completing the process of mastering he was left disappointed with the result. Personally I think it's his perfectionism speaking, but this compilation indeed could be better - mostly because he had lost the sources for some of his best tracks, thus being unable to remaster them.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Peoples' Republic Of Europe - "Nicolae Carpathia Died For Your Sins" [2009]

Artist: The Peoples' Republic Of Europe
Title: Nicolae Carpathia Died For Your Sins
Genre: Rhythmic Noise
Country: Netherlands
Year: 2009

Track List:
  1. Nicolae Carpathia died for your sins
  2. The true face of Evil
  3. Female Domination (Necrotek remix)
  4. Zion must fall
  5. Work it
  6. The third
A lot of people who are into extreme electronic music associate the Dutch scene mostly with hardcore techno/gabber, but tPRoE make a slightly different kind of sound - namely, power noise. For me they're one of the best rhythmic noise projects I know, in terms of both sound and aesthetics. Like many noise projects, they deal primarity with topics of radical politics and extreme sexuality, but of course, tPRoE also explore a lot of ther themes that are usual for industrial/noise music - technology, post-humanism, post-apocalpse, etc.

"Nicolae Carpathia died for your sins" is a free promo EP that's available off the project's bandcamp page. If you liked it and want to hear more tPRoE stuff, I'd recommend to start from "Monopoly of Violence" (or, maybe, "Juche").