September 2004 Archives

Cave, Nick & the Bad Seeds: Abattoir Blues / Lyre of OrpheusCD, Mute Records 2004

Track list: Abattoir Blues: Get Ready for Love - Cannibal's Hymn - Hiding All Away - Messiah Ward - There She Goes, My Beautiful World - Nature Boy - Abattoir Blues - Let the Bells Ring - Fable of the Brown Ape - The Lyre of Orpheus: The Lyre of Orpheus - Breathless - Babe, You Turn Me On - Easy Money - Supernaturally - Spell - Carry Me - O Children

Nick Cave has been productive recently: Bad Seeds comes up with a double album and Cave has also written and recorded several songs for the new Marianne Faithfull album. The two sides of this album differ by drummers: there's Jim Sclavunos on one side and Thomas Wydler on the other. Sides aren't radically different from each other, but still have distinct moods. Both are also quite good, though at the moment I think I prefer Abattoir Blues, mostly because it has the two best songs of the album (There She Goes, My Beautiful World and Nature Boy). ****

Axis of Advance: Obey

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Axis of Advance: ObeyCD, Osmose Productions 2004

Track list: Of One to Conflict It - Revolution Decimation - Veiled Cast of Judgement - Wrath Pounding - God-Eye Command - In Wait Lie - Cube of Odium - Masterrorder

Canadian battle metal group Axis of Advance beats down fast, furious and chaotic death metal. The album is full of energy and rarely slows down. The result sounds good, I especially enjoyed the drums (performed by J. Read of Revenge and Conqueror). Fans of heavy and chaotic death metal should enjoy the command. I know I did. ****

Withering Surface: Force the PaceCD, Scarlet Records 2004

Track list: Gears - Exit Sculpture - This View - Force the Pace - Hold the Line - Machinery - Inhale the Hyper Pulse - State of Emergency - Anything Goes - Urban Glasses

Danish Withering Surface plays rather Swedish metal. Well, it isn't such a long way from Göteborg to Denmark. Unfortunately, something has been lost - Force the Pace is unfortunately rather bland and boring music. Fans of the genre might enjoy this one, but others should not bother. There are better albums in the genre to start with. **

Cirith Gorgor: Firestorm ApocalypseCD, Ketzer Records 2004

Track list: The Gates of Hell - Degeneration of Mankind - Arcane Illusion - Prelude to the Final Holocaust - Fields of Eternal Glory - Perishing Nights - Eternal Damnation - Firestorm Apocalypse: The Coming of a Greater Era

Cirith Gorgor is pure primitive black metal. Firestorm Apocalypse packs almost 60 minutes (a lot, but not too much) of intensive and downright evil music. The songs, while long, manage to keep interest and the album sounds fairly good (except somewhat absent bass). In it's genre, Cirith Gorgor does a good job. Of course, the problem is that the genre - rather extreme black metal - isn't too well-liked. I like it, however, and anyone into old school black metal should enjoy Firestorm Apocalypse as well. ****

Arkhon Infaustus: Perdition InsanabilisCD, Osmose Productions 2004

Track list: Genesis of Loss - M33 Constellation - Abortion of the Kathavatthu - Six Seals Salvation - Saturn Motion Theology - Oratio Descendere - Profanis Codex LXVI - Whirlwind Journey - Absurd Omega Revelation

French Arkhon Infaustus mixes black and death metal with some cult success. The use of two vocalists (one with black vocals and another with death vocals) is not used to it's best ability. The songs aren't quite top-notch - lots of energy, indeed, but the result is unfortunately quite boring. For the fans of extreme death metal this will be a better catch, looking from a black metal point of view it's a bit of a disappointment, really. **

Lord Belial: The Seal of BelialCD, Regain Records 2004

Track list: Prolusio: Acies Sigillum - Sons of Belial - Chariot of Fire - Abysmal Hate - Legio Inferi - Mark of the Beast - Armageddon Revelation - Scythe of Death

Swedish Lord Belial performs atmospheric midtempo black metal with few thrills and low uniqueness. I've heard most of this before, but occasional better moments (for example Mark of the Beast) make the album stand out from the most average material. For those who like their black metal slightly slower, The Seal of Belial is worth checking out. ***

Cult of Catharsis / Opus Forgotten: SplitCD, Aftermath Music 2004

Track list: Cult of Catharsis: - In Times of the Oath - Blade of the Prowler - Enter the Mist - Rage & Thunder - Lord of the Gallows - Opus Forgotten: - Unleash the Fury - The Prophecy - Corpse of Divinity - House of the Holy - Bloodfrozen Memories - Wish for Death - Demon of Destruction

This split features two inactive bands. Cult of Catharsis has already called it quits and it's members are currently active in Einherjer, Malice in Wonderland and Taake to name a few. Opus Forgotten is still together, but very quiet, it seems.
Cult of Catharsis side of the split is pretty boring metal, with semi-clean vocals and quite calm mood. It's certainly not black metal. It's nice, but nothing particularly interesting.
Opus Forgotten, in the other hand, combines black metals and violins with an interesting effect. I like it and would be interested to hear more had I a chance. ***

Garwall: Black Beast

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Garwall: Black BeastCD, Holy Records 2004

Track list: Pride - Mass of Worms - The Seventh Seal of Consequences - Abyssus Abyssum Invocat - Garwall - Veni Vidi Vici - Les Ecorchés - Black Beast

This first album of the French black metal act Garwall doesn't quite impress me. Their music is mostly melodic riffs after one another, with little attention given to things like song structures. The end result isn't really interesting. Technically the album is quite well made and the limited edition includes a DVD with live performances, as well. Unfortunately the band is pretty far from being a charming performer, too. **

Turisas: Battle Metal

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Turisas: Battle MetalCD, Century Media 2004

Track list: Victoriae & Triumphi Dominus - As Torches Rise - Battle Metal - The Land of Hope and Glory - The Messenger - One More - Midnight Sunrise - Among Ancestors - Sahti-Waari - Prologue for R.R.R. - Rex Regi Rebellis - Katuman kaiku

I'm a big fan of Moonsorrow and I like the whole genre of folk music -influenced metal a lot. Turisas is very much like Moonsorrow, both in style and quality. Battle Metal is an excellent and diverse album, full of interesting songs and elements. There's folk music, accordions, even modern drum loops and retro Hammonds. Amazing, how it all works so well together. For the fans of rowdy folk metal, this is a must-buy. ****

Theatres des Vampires: Nightbreed of MacabriaCD, Blackend 2004

Track list: Welcome to Macabria - A Macabre Banquet - Lady in Black - Angel of Lust - Luciferia - Incubo #1 - Macabria - The Jesters Shadow - The Golden Sin - Carnival Day - Incubo #2 - The Curse of Headless Christ - Mourning Day - The Undertaker & the Crow - The Beginning of the End - La Danse Macabria du Vampire

I don't quite see Blackend as a goth label. Thus, it's no surprise when Theatres des Vampires turns out to be pretty bad... It's something of a hybrid goth metal, but fails as both. The metal parts are worse than average and the goth parts even worse. The vocalists suck and the album's too long, too. There is, indeed, little good in this album. **

Diabolical Breed: Compendium InfernumCD, WorldChaos Productions 2004

Track list: Dies Irae - Descendants of Satan - In Majorem Sathanas Gloriam - Hominis Nocturn - The Night of Shooting Star - In the Eye of the Storm - Falne Krigere

Diabolical Breed is a new Norwegian black metal group, who happens to have a Japanese label. Interesting. Their music is pretty old-fashioned black metal with a heavy symphonic touch. Even though the production is pretty bad, Compendium Infernum works fairly well. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in black metal with lots of synths, this album is definitely worth checking out. Others might not want to bother, it's not that special. ***

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