Mini-Reviews From Around The Bowl: 06/23/2016

The smallest breakfast continues. Just, you know, without the food. This week on the menu: While Sun Ends, Nuke, Gjendød, Countless Skies, Void OmniaCauchemarDark FuneralCandlemass and Dream of Scipio.


While Sun Ends – Terminus
WOOAAARGH | August 26th, 2016

I don’t really understand the whole “post” terminology when describing a band’s sound. Post-rock, post-punk, post-metal? What does it all mean? Is post just a catch-all term for bands that don’t fit neatly into a genre? Is it used for the so-called “City Bloggers” who cluck their tongues, stroke their beards, and talk about “What’s to be done with this metal band?” Italy’s While Sun Ends has been given the label of “post-death” which I guess means that they’re zombies. Cool with me! Name notwithstanding (it’s missing a word or two), the band adeptly blends melodic death metal with moments of progressive metal beauty. The heavier moments are enjoyable, but it is the quieter moments where Terminus excels, wrapping the listener in a peaceful calm. A good listen for those that want to drift between grooving and feeling. RIYL: Amorphis, Between the Buried and Me, East of the Wall — 365

Hell’s Headbangers Records | July 22nd, 2016

Metal can be, at times, a bit too self serious. Men will take the stage draped in hoods or soaked in blood and want you to buy into their nihilism or their off-the-rack satanism with straight faces, unappreciative of how silly it all can seem. Fortunately we have Nuke here to tell these fuckers to lighten up and go rage. Nuke essentially writes party ready bangers without any of the overt party themes. Album opener “Nuke Me Baby” rips out of the gate like a horse on PCP looking to take on all comers (I don’t know who would fight a horse, just go with it). The pace drops a moment at the start of the next track, “Metal Inferno,” but it’s really just a trick as the song quickly jumps into the most cock rock’d version of Iron Maiden you’ve ever heard (“Dead Space” also seemingly owes a debt to Maiden). Maiden moments aside, this is just pure punk’d up speed metal. Nuke thrashes from front to tail giving you minimal lulls, all just long enough to go fetch another beer. Nuke are silly, they know it, and they’re better for it. Grab some beers and party up. — Leif Bearikson

gjendod1Gjendød – Demo 2016
Hellthrasher | June 25th, 2016

I’m not sure classic Norwegian black metal is in need of a reboot just yet. Gjendød disagrees. Although is it really a reboot if certain stalwarts of the genre have been myopically adhering to it all along? Whatever the case, Gjendød is a brand new Norwegian black metal band that sounds like a very old Norwegian black metal band. They worship that sound so fervently that it is as if they fear straying from the Path and invoking the wrath of the Old Ones. Fortunately for them, and us, they do it very well. — Richter.

Countless Skies New Dawn Artwork Carl EllisCountless SkiesNew Dawn
Kolony Records | June 24th, 2016

Melodeath isn’t exactly the most inventive genre these days. I had a hunch a band named after a Be’lakor song was probably not out there to change that, and I was right. Though I admit mild surprise as Countless Skies is far more reminiscent of a certain Finnish group than the aforementioned, to the point where you have to question who actually wrote these songs. I even found myself hoping these Britons would’ve managed to copy the idiosyncratic, depressive but soothing melodies down to the last. From the opening notes of “Aubade,” to the fading of “Return” every chord progression, every single lead screams a second-rate Insomnium, but the melodies, in all their simplicity, don’t carry enough weight. Clean vocals make an appearance on a few songs, but I’d rather they didn’t. “Ethereal’s’ chorus is the only place they aren’t more disturbing than fitting, whereas its preceding songs, “Solace” and “Daybreak,” best emulate the aforementioned’s melodic-style making New Dawn something of a rarity – a record strongest in the middle. The band shows promise, and I very much like the fact the ten-minute finale “Return” is one of the album’s better songs, but Countless Skies seems to be writing bigger checks than it can afford to cash. — Karhu.

Void Omnia – Dying Light
Independent | June 20th, 2016

Earlier this year, black metal überfan Stanley told us how much orthodox blasters Void Omnia rip in the live setting. Thankfully, that rippage translates perfectly well to record, as new album Dying Light showcases five pure, unadulterated tracks of absolute rippingness. On his concert review, Stan noted that drummer Cody Stein always tilts his head just slightly before ripping into an unyielding cascade of blast beats. If that’s true, Stein’s head must have translated a full 360 degrees during the course of the first three tremolo-laden, non-stop blasting songs on this album. Things get really interesting on “Of Time,” though, as the band slows down the pace and injects some scrotum-squeezing doom riffs that grab you by the hojos and drag you upon an interstellar voyage that’s equal parts crushing (on account of the dong-vise grip) and glorious. Truly there’s some powerful sorcery afoot on Void Omnia’s second album. — W.

Chapelle ArdenteCauchemar – Chapelle Ardente
Nuclear War Now! Productions | June 5th, 2016

Cauchemar is a new acquaintance for me, and I never get excited when I see the words “female-fronted doom” etched into a promo letter. Purely because retro doom is one of the worst trends of the last few years (I love doom, but I don’t like poorly rehashed Led Zep-meets-Pentagram songs slowed down to a semi-crawl). Which means Chapelle Ardente is a welcome breath of fresh air, fresh being a relative term in this context – decades of doom echo throughout the record, and not every riff came from the band’s own pen. Riffing wise Cauchemar moves somewhere between the aforementioned Pentagram and Candlemass without directly sounding like either, and issuitably less memorable, mostly in tempo dashing for doom. There’s no wall of sound here, the guitars sounding fragile, which compliments the atmosphere of the album rather well. The all-French vocals might prove a bridge too far for some, but I like the dash of unique they add to the album, especially when there’s nothing to write home about the songs. Every single song, from “Nécromancie” through “Étoile d’argent” to La nuit des ámes” is rocking doom like you’ve heard it before, without any distinct pros or cons. But, like I said – the vocals keep it on the plus-side of things. — Karhu.

Dark Funeral Where Shadows Forever Reign
Century Media Records | June 3rd, 2016

As a no-time Dark Funeral fan (mainly due to lack of exposure), I went in to Where Shadows Forever Reign expecting pretty much what every album that’s set to a blue/black ultra-grim cover contains: sing-along flower metal no-frills black metal. And I was correct: the record is chock full of high-pitched screams, unrelenting blast beats and dismal tremolo picking that sets up the proper atmosphere for… a funeral? Sure. Of particularly fantastic note here is dummer Dominator, who weaves effortlessly from perpetual, high speed acrobatics into locked-in, hi-hat riding grooves. I highly enjoyed this slab of nothern darkness, but for all I know it could be the absolute worst thing Dark Funeral has ever put to tape, so I’ll leave that up to you to decide while I go discog diving. Check it out— Moshito.

Candlemass Death Thy Lover
Napalm Records | June 3rd, 2016

Get out your aromatic candless and draw the shades: The ‘Mass is back with four new tracks of depressiveness… only not so much this time around. Maybe it’s because I’ve listened to “Solitude” and the many other saaaaad songs it’s inspired so much, but these four tracks almost seem kind of happy to me. At any rate, Mats Levén kills it on the vocals and is the best singer Candlemass could have at this point, so that’s a good thing even if these tracks aren’t nearly as memorable as some from Levén’s previous project with bassist/head honcho Leif Edling, Krux. This will probably please diehard fans, but as a casual this is kinda… eh. Listen here— Moshito.

dream of scipio Dream of Scipio  The Face of Fear
Independent | May 14th, 2016

Do you ever wish Vale of Pnath had more breakdowns? Yeah, me neither, but that’s exactly what you’re going to get with Dream of Scipio. However, as far as deathcore-tinged tech death goes, it’s pretty damn good. The majority of the riffing is superb, dancing elegantly across the fretboard from its highest reaches to its lowest depths. I’m a fan of the vocalist, too, who spits his lines with a shriek similar to Trevor Strnad and a beefy low growl. Even the breakdowns progress and push the music forward naturally instead of halting the action, even setting the backdrop for some awesome leads. At it’s worst, it can be pretty grating (“Together Unbreakable” is particularly cheesy), but at its best, it’s tons of headbanging fun. — Spear.


  • Nuke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I should be getting my Nuke wax very soon. Looking forward to it.

    New Dark Funeral doesn’t sound bad, but the vocal mix is way too high. Also, the weakest component. Dat album artwork though!

  • Stanley

    Wow Ws, that was quick!

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Listened to a bit if that Void Omnia and it RIPPED!!!

    Dark Funeral is one of their better albums, hindered by possibly Heljamardar’s weakest performance to date. Super generic, like all of their stuff though, I think Lathspell and VO will scratch this itch much better.

    Been meaning to look into that Candelmass, and making a note to check out Gjendod as well.

  • Blast Beats you say Dubz, aye?

  • JWEG

    Mother Crone makes me wish I could drive, or at least had a group of friends with a vehicle and a shared musical taste (it’s either one or the other). It seems like perfect Vancouver Island Highway Road Trip tune-age. Riffs everywhere. Heavy riffs.

    RIYL: Other examples of Alternative and Stoner-Doom from the Pacific Northwest (supply your own names here).

    • Joaquin Stick

      This is my flavor of stoner doom. Much appreciated.

  • Joaquin Stick

    Fairly interested in While Sun Ends… too bad not even one track is available yet.

    • Hans Müller

      Same with that Deceptionist from earlier. I don’t get that. Even if a digital release isn’t planned, letting people hear the music is probably not a bad idea.

  • Dominator truly is incredible. Dude is one of the fastest and most precise blasters out there.

    • Abradolf Lincler

      i am usually pro-dark funeral, i havent given it a spin yet. whats the up or down vote?

      • Musical content ain’t bad. Also production ain’t bad… But those vocals are very MEH.

        • Abradolf Lincler

          clicky bass drum?

          • NO!… Surprisingly. Which is one of the reasons I like this one. Drums sound natural.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            Right on

          • They definitely were aiming to sound more like “Secrets” this time around. Succeeded in some areas and failed in others.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            also, you and Stan have convinced me. im fully on board with the Hostium train.

          • QUALITY SHIT!

          • Wow, in that video that MoshHoff posted that guy punch hard those drums.

          • Indeed Link… Very much indeed. So glad I got to see him perform live… Even though the sound sucked.

          • I am checking out the Nail them to the Cross song, I am digging the drumming, it have some sudden breaks that supports heavily the blasting sections.

            I am a DF newbie, so I think I will give this a shot to this.

        • Dave Vincent’s Perm

          Lack of Themgoroth is the problem

    • Owlswald

      He’s awesome. This is also awesome due to how proper he looks while blasting his face off.

  • Waynecro

    Damn, that new Void Omnia is killer. Dream of Scipio has some really good moments. If they were less core, I’d probably dig them a lot more.

  • I dig new Candlemass, great singing in it, very melodic! Interested in Countless Sky, Void Omnia (very nostalgia sounding), While Sun Ends and Dark Funeral (thanks to Tyree).

    Thanks for this round, guys. A lot whole bunch of new music to search and destroy enjoy!!!

    • Ulcerate – The Enjoyers of All 🙂

      • Hans Müller

        My Amazon download of Everything is Fire said “Everything is Fine” in the tags.

        • Abradolf Lincler

          pro-tip: its not

    • Grandpa’s Magic Fleshlight

      BTW, another new Revocation video just got released today.

  • Dave Vincent’s Perm

    At least the new Black Fried Chicken album is incredible.

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    Off topic but I’m seeing Lynch Mob tonight. I hope they’re good

  • Dubs, I’m gonna have to ask you to tone down the ballsack-grabbing. Giving me those “just kicked in the testes” stomach pains.

  • 365ChaosRiddenDays

    Nuke me baby!

  • Abradolf Lincler

    holy shit, i cant believe britain left the EU.

    stay sovereign, fellas

  • Megan Alexandra

    late to the party but this new dark funeral is doing a great job of drowning out my kid’s shows