Iron Bonehead Productions Roundup: Ithaqua, Autokrator, Nocternity, Spite, & Shroud of the Heretic

2184
122
Share:

We at the Toilet Ov Hell Offices™ are no strangers to the reliable Iron Bonehead Productions. The label’s promos have been covered on this site more than once, and its releases have also been featured extensively in our ongoing Mini-Reviews series. A quick glance at their Bandcamp reveals fifteen (15!) 2015 releases so far, including: the beloved but quickly forgotten Death Karma’s The History of Death and Burial Rituals part 1 (remember how much you loved Death Karma in February?) , Vassafor and Temple Nightside’s monstrous Call of the Maelstrom, and Hic Iacet’s twisting and underrated The Cosmic Trance Into The Void. Let’s uncover several Iron Bonehead releases that haven’t received coverage on the site yet, and one due out at the end of July. 

ithaquainitiationtoobscauremysteriesIthaqua | Initiation To Obscure Mysteries
Bandcamp | March 3rd, 2015

Being pretty familiar with Iron Bonehead’s output, I was a bit surprised by Ithaqua’s Initiation To Obscure Mysteries. I pushed play and expected the usual Iron Bonehead fuckfest. After a windswept intro with ritual chanting (which would be right at home on any black metal record), Obscure Mysteries has as much in common with an older tradition of heavy metal as any of its extreme relatives. This is the kind of heavy metal Toilet Ov Hell writer JAG would just call “heavy metal.” Right off the bat it reminded me of Dawnbringer’s excellent Night of the Hammer (with harsh singing). The album continues forward and mixes classic metal and black metal; returning time and time again to big hooks, big riffs, and catchy melodies, before picking up steam and embracing its darker qualities. Ithaqua is Lovecraftian in origin, but this record is much more straighforward than their namesake would imply. This is a solid debut effort. Iron Bonehead is running it on sale, head over to Bandcamp to stream it or buy it.

___________

autokratorsameAutokrator | Same
Bandcamp | March 27th, 2015

In Greek, an autokratōr is one “who exercises absolute power, unrestrained by superiors”. It’s fitting given how strange a release this on the Iron Bonehead roster. Elements of music are cornered by industrial tremors throughout. Think black metal played by early Nine Inch Nails, Godflesh, or Aeon Flux’s Trevor Goodchild. This record marches through its first two tracks with a nigh unstoppable mechanical rumble. These songs are heavy, thick, and oppressive. Lyrics alternate between screams and grotesque shouts, akin to a military official shouting down the chain of command. Pause is given briefly to interject harsh noise at the end of the second track “Exsuperator”. “Autokrator” opens with a prolonged sampled dialog. The last two tracks break the pattern and slow down, “Optimus Princeps” ends on the same note as the beginning of “Autokrator”. This album has two definite drawbacks. First, it suffers from being highly repetitive (a common complaint across the board in extreme music). Second, the album ends of a low note, given the intensity of the first six songs. If you are looking for a change of pace, you could do much worse than Autokrator’s debut.

___________

nocternityharpsoftheancienttemplesNocternity | Harps Of The Ancient Temples
Bandcamp | April 18th, 2015

The Masterlord told me Harps Of The Ancient Temples was his favorite black metal release of 2015. Granted that was weeks ago, and things change quickly when you plumb the subterranean depths. This album was allegedly over a decade in the making, Nocternity’s first full length album since 2003’s Onyx. It was also allegedly recorded two times with two different bands; the second recording (in analog) made the cut. This record is black metal pared down to the essential elements. This is largely no frills, no gaze, no dissonance, guitars drums and harsh vocal black metal. Harps Of The Ancient Temples summons black metal’s icy progenitors; mid-paced tracks also remind me of Akitsa and Silencer (with vastly different vocals on the latter!). Much of the album moves at a slower clip than what would expect from black metal; the drums sound quite rich in spots and blast beats are almost nonexistent. This is the kind of album that pulls you in, pulls you down, and gets you lost. Catchy riffs sneak in at various points (like the opening of “B.O.D.D.”). On “Blood Rite Tree” the album breaks from its mold and takes a turn for the weird; which also features a standout guitar solo to close it. Harps Of The Ancient Temples is a deeply satisfying record. It hasn’t yanked Scar Sighted out of my top black metal spot for 2015 yet, but it’s a worthy contender.

___________

spitetrappedinthepentagramSpite | Trapped In The Pentagram
Bandcamp | May 8th, 2015

Another Iron Bonehead debut in today’s round up comes from USBM act Spite. This band hails from Brooklyn, New York, but you would be foolish to associate them with well known Brooklynites like Liturgy or Krallice. This debut comes in the form of a two song 7″ (that’s according to the label). These songs are fast, gritty, and fun. Campy clean singing alternates with high shrieks and belched vocals. The band plays tremolo riffs and chord changes with abandon. Spite owe as much to the hay day of heavy metal theatrics as they do any of the classic second wave bands. With only two songs in existence, I’d be interested to hear what this band does with a proper release. At only five minutes and forty odd seconds worth of music, just check it out for yourself.

___________

Shroud of the Heretic

 

shroudofthehereticunorthodoxequilibriumShroud of the Heretic | Unorthodox Equilibrium
Iron Bonehead Productions | July 31st, 2015

Unorthodox Equilibrium is grand in its scope and execution; sprawling, cavernous death metal reminiscent of personal favorite Grave Miasma, mixed with plodding doom not unlike Japanese favorites Coffins. The shortest song (of four) on this record is over eight minutes long; the longest is over thirteen minutes. Those lengths allow the songs to breathe and grow and move in their own time. Huge, hollow drums maintain forward momentum; riffs slither in subtle yet surprising ways. This is a monolithic, byzantine structure. If you are a fan of the “sepulchral” death movement of the last few years, you do not want to miss Unorthodox Equilibrium. If you do, expect to be reminded of that fact at the end of the year – by everyone.

___________

All photos via Iron Bonehead Productions.

  • Tyree

    There is a whole lot of awesome in this article. Fuck yes Ed!

    I just saw today that Iron Bonehead just released the vinyl packaging for the new Nocternity album (Which by the way is a fucking fantastic black metal album). The packaging is beautiful too, I may pick that shit up.

    That new Shroud of the Heretic is going to decimate! They are one of the heaviest sounding death metal bands out there right now. Really looking froward to that album. That is possibly going to make my best of list this year, we’ll see though.

    Surprisingly I like that Autokrator album. Yes, it’s weird and some what industrial but goddamn is it menacing as fuck. Definitly check it out, it’s definitely out there, but if you like the heavy you’ll probably dig it.

    That Hic Iacet album is incredible, that’s another favorite of mine this year. Also that Vassafor / Temple Nightside split is one of my favorite splits of this year. Both bands crush it hard on that split.

    Iron Bonehead do it right. Great label, great bands. great article.

    Well fucking done sir.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Thanks Tyree!

      The Shroud of the Heretic album is really solid. It’s a bummer it’s the only album of the post that doesn’t have music attached to it, but I imagine they’ll put some songs out in the near future, cause that’s how they do nowadays.

      I got into that Hic Iacet because of the Masterlord. I should have gone into a little bit more detail about calling it underrated (something I pulled from the post and then put back) – being that I haven’t seen anyone write anything about it and of our crew not many people have mentioned it.

      • Dagon

        It has Fenriz’ seal of approval, it doesn’t need much else in my book. And you’re right, few people in the blogosphere seem to have given it any coverage.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          There are a few dudes out there, that if it has their seal of approval I make it a point to check it out.

          • Dagon

            Like Ed’s!

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            I dunno, I probably have some pretty sketchy taste by this point.

          • Dagon

            It’s as sketchy as mine, but it sprouts different branches, so I can always dig up new, sketchy stuff.

      • “being that I haven’t seen anyone write anything about it”
        I reviewed it on here!

    • The W.

      Tyree, have you jammed Autokrator on bandcamp? Am I crazy, or are the last two tracks the exact same song?

      • Tyree

        I just noticed this. If you look at the duration of song 7 on Metal archives it is different from what is on bandcamp. I think they done goofed when uploading.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          Interesting. The album could end on a high note!

          • Tyree

            The last song is correct. The 7th song is not. I just emailed them now.

          • The W.

            Ah. Sometimes when I’m working more extreme metal songs tend to blend together a bit, but I was certain those songs were the same.

  • The W.

    Dubya still remembers Death Karma.

    • Tyree

      Oh yeah. That album rules too. Fucking Iron Bonehead records man.

      • The W.

        It’s cemented into my year-end list. Also dug Swarth. I plan on listening to Auokrater next.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          Cemented? My “notes” are stressing me out already, haha

          • The W.

            Well, I don’t expect anything to have quite the flair it does.

        • Tyree

          Swarth was decent. I wish it was a bit longer though.

          • The W.

            Same.

      • The W.

        Oh, did you ever check out the new release from Absconditus?

        • Tyree

          I heard a song and was turned off by the overly triggered drums. I’ll check it out again though.

          • The W.

            Ah, I remember that conversation now. I think this will be more your speed.

            https://abjvration.bandcamp.com/

          • Tyree

            Ooooo, I can dig this.

          • The W.

            Boom.

          • Tyree

            @disqus_SuTZzQbXC5:disqus, check this band out.

    • KJU’s Dancing Testicle Teethys

      Pepperidge Farm remembers.

  • A certain mustachio’d bear and I have been circle-jerking around those two Spite songs for a few weeks straight. The flesh is spongy and bruised.

    • The W.

      I just wish you wouldn’t do it while I’m in the middle.

    • Tyree

      That’s the only shit I have not heard yet from Iron Bonehead this year. I’ll get on that here.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      TRAPPED IN THE PENTAGRAM

      TRAPPED IN THE PENTAGRAM

      • ¡ATRAPADO EN EL PENTAGRAMA!

        ¡ATRAPADO EN EL PENTAGRAMA!

    • Lacertilian

      I could only remember the Pentagram part but had forgotten their name completely from when you shows us this a few weeks back.
      Need a whole album of this, or at least a longer EP.

  • Howard Dean
    • Tyree

      Well, Adam Sandler didn’t play a rich guy in this movie.

      • Howard Dean

        True! I actually forgot all about this movie when I was listing his films earlier.

        • Tyree

          Big Daddy too! Which I did enjoy.

        • KJU’s Dancing Testicle Teethys

          The modern day Akira Kurosawa.

    • Tyree

      Hahaha! How did you get a downvote for this.

      • Howard Dean

        Hah! I dunno. Looks like I actually have 2 down votes for it. Hahahaha.

        HD has made a lot of enemies, apparently. And they are showing off their angst by downvoting my comments.

        • Tyree

          It’s good to be the “Enemy of Man”.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_UjCR7xUQA

          • The W.

            I still want this album. Almost pulled the trigger on an import from discogs the other day.

          • Tyree

            Yeah! I found it at MDF, I was holding on to it for dear life.

          • Howard Dean

            Does No Solace still have it in stock? I ordered the Mgla Presence EP from them a little while ago, and got it for a pretty reasonable price. Shipping from Poland was insanely fast, too, which was surprising. I think I remember seeing this album on their web store.

          • The W.

            Oh dang, I had been looking at the Dark Descent distro and other places but hadn’t checked there. Thanks, HD. Byah!

  • “Pulls you in, pulls you down, and gets you lost.” Nice.

    • KJU’s Dancing Testicle Teethys

      Toilet Ov Hell: “Pulls you in, pulls down your pants, and gets all up in your guts”

  • Tyree

    Dear Ironbonehead Productions. Make Bölzer release an album this year.

    • A full-length, please.

      • Tyree

        Yes. We can’t emphasize this enough.

        Thank you.

      • Howard Dean

        Heck, I’d even take another EP at this point, as long as it’s of their standard quality.

        That’s actually a fear of mine: that after a few great EPs, they won’t be able to live up to expectations and deliver a full length that is as impressive.

        • A dark thought… A dark thought indeed.

        • Malted Hate

          New song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-4RWOscSjI
          Not great sound quality. And I don’t have either a good or bad opinion about the song yet. Best wait for the studio version.

          I’m turning into a huge bolzer nerd. I’ve never been so hyped about a record in my life… for some reason they are one of my favorite bands now.

          • Howard Dean

            Yeah, I saw this video awhile back. I agree. Will wait until I can hear it clearly before making too many judgments. Sounds decent, though.

            The metal world at large is ultra-primed for a Bolzer full length. They’ve gone from a band that created a strong buzz in the underground in 2012 to an outright extreme metal beast with worldwide recognition in 2015. They will likely headline large tours before we know it.

    • Howard Dean

      Backed 100% with all the HD voodoo power I can muster. But, I’m starting to think it won’t happen in 2015.

      I really hope I’m wrong, but I’m starting to think the album won’t see the light of day until early 2016. After KzR mentioned it briefly in an interview last year–he said they were working on the Bolzer full length and a U.S. tour for ’15; the tour has already been announced (West Coast only! Fuck!), but nothing further on the album front. Not good.

      They travel and tour and play so many shows across Europe, I don’t even know when they would have time to record the album. I do, however, think they will finally reissue the Roman Acupuncture demo this year. Invictus Productions has been talking about a CD issue (maybe vinyl, too?) of the demo for some time, and I think it might happen. Might be a good ploy to keep the rabid fans a little bit sated–especially if the album gets pushed off to next year.

      • Tyree

        West Coast only! FUCK, indeed!

        Eh. I guess I can wait a bit longer, I don’t want to though. All well, I’ll definitely pick up that demo for sure when it is released.

        • Howard Dean

          Yep. West Coast only. I was super disappointed when I saw it announced.

          Here’s a screenshot from their Facebook of the upcoming shows. You can see the handful of U.S. shows dropped in the middle.

          • Tyree

            They would play some of the biggest hipster cities in the U.S.

          • The Bölzer hype is real, but for once it’s well deserved.

          • The W.

            Even I’m excited, and I HATE real metal.

          • Tyree

            You hate real metal. HUH!?!

          • The W.

            Yah! Metal suuuucks!

          • Howard Dean

            Maybe they are big fans of vegan cuisine, fair trade goods, and issues of social justice?

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Dude did do that interview where he went on about growth and enlightenment a little bit, lol

          • KJU’s Dancing Testicle Teethys
          • Tyree

            Aubrey Plaza, oh my do I love that woman.

      • RJA

        I know Roman Acupuncture is being released on vinyl finally. Secured a copy from dark descent. Talk about first song on band’s first demo – my god.

        • Howard Dean

          That’s right, the vinyl has been pressed already. CD was said to be in store soon. We’ll see.

          And yes, what a way to start a career. Wow.

      • now don’t you flushing laugh at me, HD; but i’m hearing that Roman Acupuncture demo for the first time right now. and it’s wonderful! question: why is it a demo?

        • Howard Dean

          I think because it’s only 14 minutes long, was the first thing they released, and was originally released only on cassette and very limited CDr (50 copies). But I know what you mean. It doesn’t seem like a demo. It’s more polished quality than most bands are capable of on their 1st release. Could easily just be considered an EP.

      • CT-12

        Thanks for the tour dates tipoff dude, I just check them out and they’re coming to Seattle! Woohoo!

      • Kevin Nash & Friends

        You think that’s exciting? Superjoint is coming to my area with King Parrot.

      • Malted Hate

        Sorry to copy and paste my own comment but: I know from a good source that they are planning to enter the studio in December, so I know what will be the album of the year in 2016.

        • Howard Dean

          Thanks for the insider info! Much appreciated.

          Though I had hoped it would land sometime in ’15, I had my suspicions it wouldn’t drop until ’16 after there had been no news through the first half of the year. Oh well. As long as it’s a ripper, I can wait.

          • Malted Hate

            Yeah I had my hopes for it to be released this year too (although Okoi has said many times that they write slow) but I think we can expect it early/mid 2016 if no delays occur. There only other piece of info I have is that Manuel Tinnemans is doing the artwork.

          • Tyree

            Awesome, thanks for the info.

          • Malted Hate

            My pleasure! By the way I don’t want to sound like I’m familiar with them in any way. All I did was ask them via facebook 🙂

          • Howard Dean

            Awesome! I love the work Manuel has done for Deathspell Omega with both the Drought and Diabolus Absconditus EP artworks.

    • Dagon

      Nothing sounds like Bolzer to me. But then again, I am definitely not very knowledgeable when it comes to black and death.

      Do you know any similar bands?

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        Fish God did you get a chance to check out that new new Genocide Shrines? Really frickin’ good.

        • Dagon

          Haven’t listened to it all, but I might tonight before heading out. It’s a holiday tomorrow.

      • Howard Dean

        No one else has that same “Bolzer” sound. They are indeed awesome and unique.

        A few bands that are close include Necroa Christos, Grave Miasma, and Malthusian (side note/insider tip: Malthusian’s EP that was just released, Below the Hengiform, is one of HD’s favorite things released this year… I love that beast). Though these bands are similar, they aren’t quite the same animal.

        • Dagon

          With the exception of Necros Christos I’ve jammed all of these and while I do think that they are similar in feel or maybe intention the execution is fairly different. Like you said, different animals.

          Bolzer is the Acid Bath of death metal, lol. Except they have huge hype and AB had none when they were active.

          • Howard Dean

            That’s a pretty great analogy. Acid Bath always got lumped in with the sludge crowd, but they were so much more. Doom, death, hints of black, even a little alternative thrown in. But they were essentially peerless. No one sounded like them. Bolzer is the same , though they are definitely.black/death. I think it’s just their riffing style (and that 10-string guitar) that sets them apart.

          • Dagon

            There’s a compositional factor to my ears, but I’m not the most qualified person to assess that considering I have no musical theory knowledge whatsoever.

            It’s definitely the 10-string, though.

      • Tyree

        Did you check out Death Karma yet?

    • Malted Hate

      I know from a good source that they are planning to enter the studio in December, so I know what will be the album of the year in 2016.

  • Ed!

    This Nocternity sounds interesting to me. I really appreciate the inclusion of some walking bass lines behind the raspy guitars.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Link, definitely.

      • I listened three Nocternity songs. Very good stuff.

        I’m now with Spite, this one is very fun and it have this bouncy bass too.

  • Dagon

    The chorus for Trapped In The Pentagram is still embedded in my brain. Thanks for putting me onto that one, @masterlordsteeldragon:disqus

  • That’s a paddlin’

    Heard good things about Autokrator. Need to check the rest.
    Wasn’t moved by that Nocternity.

  • Guacamole Jim

    Autokrator is pretty sweet. Good roundup, Ed!

  • Scrimm

    Trying to save money sucks with you dudes around.

    • trying to be a negative nancy is difficult with you around

      • Scrimm
      • Mother Shabubu III 12 BRICKS

        Nonsense, Poopypants! Being a Negative Nancy or Debby Downer is easy! Just think! There’s 7 million something idiots shitting, pissing, and consuming away natural resources at an unbridled pace that cannot be sustained for much longer! Soon your fields will be barren, your oceans poisoned, and your wife’s loins sterilized, as we as a species plummet in numbers towards extinction!

        This has been another “The Future Looks Blight” segment brought to you by Captain Bringdown and the Buzzkillers!

    • KJU’s Dancing Testicle Teethys
  • IronLawnmower

    I enjoy all of these fine things.

  • old_man_doom

    Holy shit. Autokrator makes me want to conquer and enslave.

  • Howard Dean

    Those Spite tracks are this close [holds thumb and index finger close together] to making me either a vinyl collector or digital album purchaser. Goddamn! If that Spite and Ithaqua were on CD they would be on the way to my house right now! Byah!

    In all seriousness, I’m getting close to buying my first digital album. Kind of scary, cause that might open the floodgates. Once I upgrade my home computer to something newer (i.e. made in the last decade), I probably will buy some digital albums. Feels a bit like hell is freezing over.

    • Tyree

      I just download the tracks and store them in my iTunes then consolidate by library to an external hard drive so I have them backed up. Everything is on my iPod too.

      EDIT: Burn the shit to a CD too if you are that scared.

      • Howard Dean

        I think I will do that. But I seriously need to be update my home PC. Thing is ancient. I literally don’t use it for anything but ripping CDs. Time to join the modern era.

    • The W.

      HD, digital storage has become stupidly cheap and efficient. Plus, there are other great software packages available besides iTunes. Just do some research if you’re looking to upgrade. I still purchase CDs when I can, but being able to just buy a cheap digital album and burn to CD-R can be great too.

      • Lacertilian

        I still burn CDs to show my lazy-arsed friends new shit once in a while, I’ll compile a bunch of stuff I think they might like across like 3 months and just do a big data disc with 5-10 albums on it.
        If they get into 3 or more of them, it was worth my time.
        We’re all over 30 now so if that survey clickbait thing Frosty posted on the FB group is to be believed, we won’t be listening to new music in 3 years.

  • KJM
    • Tyree

      Movie rules! How did you like it?

      • KJM

        I love it, seen it a bunch of times already.

  • KJU’s Dancing Testicle Teethys

    Death Karma was fucking awesome! Sadly, as you mentioned, it seemed to really go under the radar though.

  • Óðhinn
  • Lacertilian

    Good stuff Ed, I had forgotten the name of Spite from when MSD posted them on the FB page. Still gotta pull my finger out and buy that Nocternity too, I might just buy the first two tracks because I’m a peasant.

  • Malted Hate

    Iron Bonehead is the best label.