Sunday, January 27, 2019

Urarv - "Aurum" [2017]

Artist: Urarv
Title: Aurum
Genre: Progressive Black Metal
Country: Norway
Release date: 2017

Track List:
  1. Forvitringstid
  2. Ancient DNA
  3. The Retortion
  4. Broken Wand
  5. Guru
  6. Valens Tempel
  7. Fancy Daggers
  8. Red Circle
Urarv is an avant-garde black metal project of Aldrahn, who's mostly known as ex-vocalist of Zyklon-B and Dødheimsgard. Although it was founded in 2003, it released the first promo only in 2016 after becoming a full band consisting of three members. Here's their debut full-length album, entitled "Aurum". Judging from its sound, Urarv is not that "avant-garde" compared to some other Norwegian bands of this kind (i.e. I Left The Planet, or late Fleurety), but the balance between the avant-garde elements (i.e. black'n'roll riffs, and the unique vocals by Aldrahn) and the traditional Norwegian black metal of this album is nearly perfect. My personal favourite track is "Broken Wand", and while this album isn't something I'd listen to on daily basis, it certainly should be recommended to anyone who liked the later albums by DHG.

Speaking of other Urarv members, I can't tell much about their bassist Sturt because the names of his previous bands are completely unfamiliar to me (although I've checked out this one because they had a member of Red Harvest and Dunkel:heit for some time on guitar, and I must say that their lyrics are a prime example of what's called "so bad it's good").

Trish Kolsvart, their drummer, has a pretty lengthy list of black metal and punk bands she played in, and she was relatively popular on Myspace around 2010. Not hard to see why - there aren't many girls who play extreme metal (she can play guitar as well as drums), and are good looking in addition to that:

...Yes, the quality of the last photo isn't the best, but I like that she's got both musical talent and beautiful legs :) Check out "Aurum" here:

Friday, January 25, 2019

Dunkel:heit ‎- "Obey" [1995]

Artist: Dunkel:heit
Title: Obey
Genre: Industrial Metal
Country: Norway
Release date: 1995

Track List:
  1. Untitled
  2. Soulscape Fading
  3. Untitled
  4. Finding the Way
  5. Untitled
  6. Separate Ways
  7. LRB9-51
  8. Thrive
  9. Untitled
  10. Conformity Control
  11. Anarchaoz
  12. Untitled
  13. Solitary Survival
  14. On and On
  15. Untitled
  16. True Believers In False Prophets (Origami Replika)
  17. Technol
  18. Untitled
  19. Lozt Love (Origami Replika)
  20. Chorus of Contemplation
  21. Untitled
  22. Munchscape
  23. Untitled
Disregard the stupid cover art, this album is a very interesting historical artifact for anyone who loves Red Harvest and the associated projects. Pretty much all I know about Dunkel:heit can be found in this blog (which is quite fine and highly recommended to check out):
Dunkelheit (aka Dunkel:heit) started out in the summer of '92 as a part-time industrial-style project containing members from the industrial metal band Red Harvest.
After recording some songs, they decided to keep going and started recruiting more members.
Around a year later they recorded a demo on an 8-track recorder.
Instead of pushing their demo heavily around, they band started playing around with the idea of doing a compilation CD.
The CD, entitled "The Reincarnation Of The Sun", was released in February 1994 by Dunkel Prod. and contained (mostly) exclusive material from Red Harvest, Anstalt, Valhall, Dunkelheit, Remyl, Piledriver and Humid.
Shortly after this release, Suggestion Records got in touch with the band and offered a deal for a 7" EP.
"More Than Meets The Third Eye" was recorded with four new songs and released in the summer of '94.
Pleased with the result of this 7" EP, Suggestion offered a deal for a full-length CD.
The material was recorded in March '95, and the CD "Obey" was released in the end of the summer '95.
Since then the project was put on hold.
While this release (a quite lengthy one, by the way; the "Untitled" tracks are  mostly short spoken word interludes) is not exactly a masterpiece, it certainly has very nice moments (i.e. "Soulscape Fading" being one of the best industrial metal songs from the first half of 1990s I've heard so far), and it carries the same inhuman/mechanistic atmosphere that we love Red Harvest albums for. Fans of Fear Factory and other mid-90s industrial death metal shouldn't be dissapointed as well. You can check out "Obey" using the link above, or, alternatively, on Youtube:

Friday, January 11, 2019


Genre: 8bit Metal, Chiptune
Country: Italy
Release date: 2018

Track List: 

  1. V-SIGN
  6. MARS
  7. CRASH
"I am a 486DX-33MHz-64MB processing avant-garde chiptune, synthesized heavy metal & classical symphonic music. 100% Synthesized, 100% Dehumanized"

In all seriousness, Master Boot Record is a project of Victor Love from the well-known industrial glam rock band Dope Stars Inc. The idea of claiming that a computer itself has made all of the music as if it is sentient is not new (and in fact, modern neural networks are entirely capable of writing music), nor is the idea of 8bit metal (we all know of Machinae Supremacy), yet this is a very interesting project based on the cyberpunk themes and the nostalgia for the 90s DOS demoscene.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Northern Haze - "ᓯᕿᓐᓈᕈᑦ (Sinnaktuq)" [1986]

Artist: Northern Haze
Title: Sinnaktuq
Genre: Hard Rock/Metal
Country: Canada
Release date: 1986

Track List: 

  1. Qailaurit (Come Here)
  2. Nutaraq (Poor Child)
  3. Quviasuk (Let's Have a Good Time)
  4. Puigo (Can't Forget)
  5. Sinnaktuq (Dreams)
  6. Anivunga (Set Free)
  7. Trust
  8. Inusivut (Our Life)
  9. Uvaguk (You and I)
This album is believed to be the first rock/metal release with lyrics in an indigenous language of North America. Northern Haze were formed in a small Inuit village in the far north of Canada (Nunavit) in 1984 or 1985, and released only one album during their heyday. They've reformed in 2017 and recorded a new album not long ago, but with a different lineup, as their original bassist died of cancer, and their former guitarist/vocalist was murdered. As for their classic 1986 album, it turned out to be lot less "exotic" than I've expected (pretty simplistic 80s hard rock, but with lyrics in the Inuit language), but nevertheless it would be an interesting discovery for anyone who's interested in the minor indigenous languages and cultures of the Arctic.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Synaxaria - "Close And So Far" [2017]

Artist: Synaxaria
Title: Close And So Far
Genre: Symphonic Metal/Rock
Country: Belarus
Release date: 2017

Track List:
  1. Eternal Game
  2. Keep Your Soul Alive
  3. Light Of My Sorrow
  4. Silence
  5. Sleep Tight
This band, named after some obscure religious term, started in February 2010 initially as an industrial rock band. Their 2010 demo wasn't bad (for a demo, of course) albeit a bit "naive" sounding. They have "flirted" with politial and social topics in their lyrics on their later two EPs (which I couldn't find anywhere, though, but I guess they're similar to the first demo in terms of sound).

This EP, however, is your typical symphonic metal with dual male/female vocals. The quality of production (at least on this remastered 2018 version) is significantly better than on their 2010 demo or the 2015 full-length album (which is similar to this EP in terms of sound, but leaves an impression of an amateur cassette recording made sometime in the 90s). Despite the lack of originality and the rather weak male vocals,  "Close And So Far" is a pleasant listen, especially the 4th track (the only one featuring non-English lyrics). By the way, their vocalist/keyboardist Natalia had a birthday just couple of days ago, so I thought it'd be a good time to check out and review this EP:

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Omnimar - "Poison" [2017]

Artist: Omnimar
Title: Poison
Genre: Synthpop, Gothic Electro
Country: Russia
Release date: 2017

Track List:
  1. Poison
  2. I Go On On My Own
  3. Out Of My Life
  4. I Wanna Know Now
  5. Boom Boom
  6. 40 Steps
  7. Jimmy
  8. Sadizm (english version)
  9. Happy Ending
  10. Hungry
  11. Release Me
The sophomore album of the self-described "alternative pop" project from Moscow which is sometimes described as a female version of Faderhead (look here for the debut one). While their music is indeed more on the "pop" side of things compared to most other darkwave and dark electro projects that have appeared on my blog, I wish all modern pop music was more like this :) They also make pretty good video clips, one of which has gained more than 2M views on Youtube:

It's also a good time to post the new photos of their vocalist, the beautiful Maria Mar. Happy New Year!