Get Prep’d: Mediterranean Madness

Upcoming releases from some sinister Hellenic black metal bands and a debut album from Turkey’s future death metal kings.


Acrimonious

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First up today is the unique Greecian band Acrimonious. Not too long ago the Athenian group announced that the follow-up to 2014’s Sunyata will be titled Eleven Dragons, unveiled some fucking awesome cover art along with the track-listing (found below), and beset a powerful pre-release track on us.

Incineration Initiator
The Northern Portal
Damnation’s Bells
Satariel’s Grail
Elder of the Nashiym
Kaivalya
Qayin Rex Mortis
Ominous Visions of Nod
Stirring the Ancient Waters
Litany of Moloch’s Feast
Thaumitan Crown

I was introduced to the band through their aforementioned second album Sunyata. Checking it out based on the cover alone proved to be quite an interesting surprise as the vibrant colour scheme and quasi-psychedelic style led me to expect the music to follow suit. The sombre sound that carries the intro along did nothing to change this preconception, then the stirring fury of the second track “Lykania Hekate” kicks in and shatters the peace into a thousand splintered uhh… pieces; from this moment on, Sunyata takes you into much darker territory.

The band’s strength certainly lies in their song-writing style. Rather than having individual players fighting for the listener’s attention, the parts interweave quite amicably, which is not typically the case for many of the bands holding sway these days. The overarching melodic motifs possess an almost anthemic quality, not in a jubilant victorious sense of the word, but rather like a series of cabalistic musical mantras used in clandestine rituals. While the guitarists rarely ever venture into what you would typically dub a solo, the fragments that do emerge hint at the serpentine leads most would associate with the nascent Icelandic scene. Traces of dissonance pervade the upper register, coiling around the central themes and threatening to strike, with glimmering beads of venom dripping from exposed fangs.

Similar to those of their countrymen Acherontas, the vocals utilise a welcomed amount of variation for the genre. Among the customary black metal growls are a plethora of pained pangs and choral chants often used to espouse support for their dark deities. The ceremonial sounds have quite an alluring effect, which (as with many of the Hellenic bands) really help to give the songs a thoroughly engrossing mood. Throughout the album it becomes quite evident that the spiritual aspect of the band’s music is not simply a façade, or even a mere source of inspiration; the compositions exude a devotional quality that most contemporaries lack. I’m not going to claim to know the inner details behind the belief system they adhere to, if that makes me a “fucking poser” or whatever, so be it, I just really enjoy their music and will continue to be excited to hear what Eleven Dragons has to offer regardless.


Engulfed

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Next up we’re heading over to Turkey to tackle some demonic death. Engulfed are a ripping four-piece band from Istanbul who are about to drop their debut album. Having only an EP from way back in 2012 to their name prior to this upcoming release, you might assume these dudes don’t get much done, and you’d be wrong. The band’s drummer and guitarist are members of Diabolizer (whose EP I covered earlier this year), Decaying Purity, and Burial Invocation, just to name a few of their efforts; but it’s Engulfed that I think hold the most sheer destructive potential. If the intensity found on the Through the Eternal Damnation EP is any indication (see/hear below), Engulfed In Obscurity promises complete annihilation.

Hear that intro riff? It’s undeniably killer. Well, I say undeniable, but I’m pretty sure I used it for a Riff ov the Week here once, and you fucks managed to find a way to deny it victory. Someone probably submitted that same Ghost Barf riff for the seventeenth time, or just lazily plonked in whatever Bolt Thrower song they had on that day and snatched the popular vote. Normally, this would have bothered me, but then I remembered that Trump also won and you all suck at voting. Whatever the case, now you have to give Engulfed the time they deserve; you won’t be disappointed. The riffs shred with unhinged malevolence, the vocals are coarser than a bag of gravel undergoing dermabrasion therapy, and the drumming is akin to a relentless onslaught of kicks to the teeth. If you enjoy Dead Congregation and/or Cruciamentum (if you answered “no” to that, you’re late for work, jabroni) then Engulfed will fit nicely between Graves of the Archangels and Charnel Passages on your “EVERYTHING DIES NOW” playlist. So far the band have announced that the album will be released on CD in February through Hellthrasher Productions, with a vinyl release to follow in April through the perennially dominant Blood Harvest Records. Engulfed In Obscurity will feature 9 tracks and cover art by New Zealand’s amazing artist Nick Keller, whose work you might recall from the simultaneously epic and sludgy Beastwars album I reviewed earlier in the year. Looks like this cover features a big-arse bird too, which is apt as this album is likely to shit on everything from a great height.

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Thy Darkened Shade

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We’re heading back across the Aegean Sea to Greece again now to check out the cryptic black metal duo Thy Darkened Shade. The band is self-described as Acausal Necrosophic Black Metal. Semjaza, the sole guitarist/bassist from this band is also a member of Acrimonious (who you might remember from 6 minutes ago), and as you might expect, some similarities between the two bands can found. However, where Acrimonious play a more orthodox form of black metal, Thy Darkened Shade have a certain technicality that very few BM bands exhibit. The riffs change direction with such frequency and unpredictability that they make a writhing pile of ADHD-afflicted snakes suffering from tapeworms seem tame.

The above track is the only new material they’ve released so far, and considering the band have mentioned that not only are they working on their third album (Liber Lvcifer II) but also a split with Chaos Invocation, and a 4-way split with Abigor, Mortuus, and Nightbringer, they’ve got a lot on their plate. They also recorded a 2-track cover tribute to King Diamond and Devil’s Blood during this time. And to think here I am trying to find time to play a single fucking riff. As with Acrimonious, the devotional aspect of their music is clearly paramount. The production is of a high quality, allowing each of the rapid fire notes to pierce your skin and mark out their esoteric insignia like a vicious join-the-dots puzzle. If you like what you hear above, I sincerely recommend giving their 2014 album Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet a shot. The 78-minute run-time might seem excessive but once you step into the mysterious realm you’ll find time becomes irrelevant. Keep your eyes on the W.T.C Productions page for more info.


You can check out the previous 7 editions of Get Prep’d here.

(Image via)

  • Óðinn

    Thanks, Lacertilian. Hope you’re having a great day.

  • SupremeKrieg

    Fvckin glimmering beads of venom dripping from exposed fangs is unfalse.

  • SupremeKrieg

    The riffs shred with unhinged malevolence, the vocals are coarser than a bag of gravel undergoing dermabrasion therapy, and the drumming is akin to a relentless onslaught of kicks to the teeth. Fvckin true.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Coarser than Tom Waits’ voice transposed to sandpaper

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        Got dang! That’s coarse!

  • SupremeKrieg

    Fvckin King Diamond covers fvckin slay.

  • Howard Dean

    This is content about which I will say, “this is good content and not bad.”

    Also: Acrimonious >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Also: GREEEEEEEEEEEECE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CE1SpHEqiI

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0FWs74UQzA

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    A most excellent expose! I’m going to have to check these out, maybe do a little prepping myself.

  • Dumpster Lung

    Not an important point at all, but it’s cool that each band’s logo game is on-point. Love when a good band has a suitably good logo.

    EDIT: Acromonious in particular

  • nbm02ss

    Nice write up. Going to eventually check all these out, but so far that Engulfed track rips.

  • When lizard told me about that Thy Darkened Shade several months ago, it was an insta-purchase. I’ve probably listened to it 25 times or more since then. A++ (sorry, that last plus is Drambuie)

  • KyleJMcBride
  • Eliza

    Acrimonious is good. And Thy Darkened Shade is really good. And Engulfed is seriously good. Everything is good.

    • Joaquin Stick

      Good!

      • Eliza

        Gud.

  • Joaquin Stick

    Especially liking Thy Darkened Shade! And yeah, we do suck at voting.

    • (psst, check out track 5 if you wanna know what really gets me “in the mood”)

      • Joaquin Stick

        Mahshavah? More like MyShlonga. Checking out now 🙂

  • GL

    I can say without a doubt that I have been PREP’D.

    GL

    • GL

      Those riffs on Thy Darkened Shade are making me primal af.

      GL

  • W.

    Thy Darkened Shade is radical.

  • YES, LIZARD! This Acrimonious is incredible, chaotic magic is doing the good with that rhythmic section.

    I covered Thy Darkened Shade once (http://www.toiletovhell.com/news-roundup-black-sabbath-entombed-a-d-destruction-cobalt-and-more/), but it is nice to see it’s getting more recognition, since they didn’t released the material!

  • Rob M

    There..I get articles about fucking #Pizzagate

    Here…I find out about cool shit, like the new Engulfed album

    What the hell am I doing with my life?

    • Wtf is #Pizzagate!?

    • GL

      Glad to see you around!

      At least you recognize that you are wasting your time at … er.. other places 🙂

      GL

      • Rob M

        Honestly…just cant help myself sometimes. Its like watching a car accident in slow motion

        • GL

          Eh, you should def stick to doing better things with your time. <3

          • Rob M

            I honestly would have a hard time disagreeing with that assessment

    • That Engulfed cover is amazing!

      • Rob M

        Agreed…kinda reminds me of the cover on the new Howls of Ebb album

    • KyleJMcBride

      Staying away from “There” and spending more time “Here”, at least that’s what you should be doing. ^_^

  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    love the morbid angel influence coming from that Engulfed.

  • Waynecro

    Thanks for the killer jams! I’ve been into Thy Darkened Shade since I heard about the band here, so I’m pumped to hear more new material.

  • Engulfed . . . um . . .
    uh . . .
    . . .
    shit . . .
    . . . engulfed me?

  • The Unicorn

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/717b9528aee23577e489a8531e38cb9ed11227f3c463b4b0afed0227e9be5242.png mmmmn…shit gets me all hot and bothered, Thy Darkened Shade…mmmmmnnn mnnnn….