Mini-Reviews from Around the Bowl: 08/18/2016

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Get your fix of kix and lix. Bite into FalaiseCloak of OrgansUškumgallu, Abominant, Punished, Arthwork, An Abstract Illusion, Pulczesar and Blood Chalice.

falaiseFalaise – As Time Goes By
ATMF | September 2nd, 2016

Despite Falaise being a commune (kind of like a township) in the Normandy area of France, the band Falaise hails from Italy. I could see how that might be confusing. On As Time Goes By, Falaise produce a melancholic form of post black metal that both touches and sears the soul. Moments of atmospheric beauty wash over the listener only to crash like a wave by the pounding of blast beats and tremolo. If there is one draw back to As Time Goes By it is the vocals. They’re not bad, but for most of the album, the vocals are buried beneath the instruments. It is difficult to tell if that is intentional as the vocals tend to have the same tone (and effects) throughout the album. Regardless, As Time Goes By is a solid album for those that enjoy a little blue in their black skies. RIYL: Alcest, Midnight Odyssey, An Autumn for Crippled Children   — 365.


CloakoforgansCloak of Organs – Cloak of Organs
Independent | August 26th, 2016

Boasting members from bands like Wovenhand, Planes Mistaken for Stars, and The Nervous, Denver’s Cloak of Organs avoid the dreaded and overused “supergroup” label and forge a path all their own. Their self-titled EP is a dreamy excursion of post-rock tunes that lock you in place, only allowing your neck and head to move along in agreement. Jennie Mather‘s haunting vocals bring to mind people like Jex Thoth and Witch Charmer‘s Kate McKeown. Although the EP contains just four songs, Cloak of Organs manage to weave their magic, putting the listener into a peaceful trance and leaving us wanting more. RIYL: Sabbath Assembly, Occultation, Mount Salem   — 365.

 


Uškumgallu – Rotten Limbs in Dreams of Blood
VT-X | August 15th, 2016

Raw, grim, and deeply unnerving, Rotten Limbs in Dreams of Blood is Uškumgallu’s third release and first full-length on stark label VT-X, and it capitalizes on all the strengths of the two prior demos while allowing the black metal duo to stretch their legs and cast a horrifyingly despondent vision. The end result of that spell of gloom is a record that sounds akin to other VT-X releases while still managing to show off a few unique tricks. Amid the cacophony of blast beats and cavalcade of tremolo riffs are odd little deviations, like tribal drum patterns, muted leads, and sludgy breakdowns that really amp up the murk. None of these elements detract from the viciousness or aggression, though; instead, the unique pauses or slightly ajar riffs lend what would be an otherwise amorphous mass of virulent meat some hooks and catchiness. It may take a few efforts to grasp what the band is doing, but the effort is well worth it. — W.


Abominant – Napalm Reign
Deathgasm | July 29th, 2016

Abominant have never fharch’d around. 23 years, 10 full-lengths, next to no other releases and only the drummer isn’t an original member. Napalm Reign seeks to change nothing, instead churning out midwestern death metal with a strong, melodic flair – powerful chugs, deep churning riffs, double-tracked vocals and tremolo-picked melodies not entirely dissimilar to Arghoslent, though more thoroughly a death metal act. Though nothing terribly original, or mindblowingly awesome, Napalm Reign will most likely end up one of the years most underrated, and unsung, death metal records. — Karhu.


Punished The Absent
Independent | July 28th, 2016

Ever wondered what Ulcerate would sound like without that suffocating wall of sound aspect in their music? Wonder no longer, because  Punished are here to answer that question. The band features Ulcerate vocalist Ben Read as well as the guitarist from SerocsAntonio Freyre. If that’s not enough for you, the EP also has a few notable guest vocalist appearances including Phil Tougas (Chthe’ilist, First Fragment, Zealotry) and Antti Boman (Demilich). I’ve found myself digging this EP quite a bit lately and am definitely eager to hear more from this band. — Bauer.


arthwork

Arthwork – Indignation
Godz ov War Productions | July 28th, 2016

Poland’s Arthwork (and yes, I’m trying my absolute hardest not to make the obvious joke about their name) is a one-man project by Artur Jankowski. Jankowski plays an amalgamation of progressive metal, groove metal, and death metal. On Indignation, those genres snake in and out of the songs, sometimes to success, sometimes not. The solos are all well crafted and make me want to hear more from the band itself and less of the vocalist. At their very best, the vocals sound like a second-rate Warrel Dane. At worst, they sound overly dramatic and goofy like the cheeseball from Simus. The album does contain heavy backing vocals which only serve as a reminder that Arthwork would be better off as a death metal band. All of this could have been forgiven (or at least overlooked) if it weren’t for the death-by-cringing lyrics (taken directly from their Bandcamp) such as “Jesus and Messiah. Examples of Perfection. What a fuck do you want from me? I am only human. I know I’m not perfect. I can go wrong. But whole Christianity is a fuck’ mess for me.” That’s bad. Arthwork (or more accurately, Artur Jankowski) has the talent, but their are a few pieces missing from the puzzle to make Indignation enjoyable.  RIYL: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯   — 365.


An Abstract Illusion Illuminate the Path
Independent | July 27th, 2016

This is some really good progressive, black, death whatchacallit. I don’t really know how to categorize this band actually since there’s a lot going on here. I’d say they’re a lot like Ne Obliviscaris, but without the violins and with production that is not as clean. Songs are expertly crafted and executed masterfully. It wouldn’t surprise me if these guys have extensive music theory knowledge. If you have any interest at all in progressive music check this out. Trust me when I say that this release is excellent and you would be doing yourself a huge disservice by not listening to it. — Bauer.


Pulczesar Pulczesar
Independent | July 10th, 2016

Seems there are a million stoner doom bands out there these days; by the time I finish writing this, that figure will have increased by at least 6%. They practically come from every corner of our planet, but, I had not heard of one from Poland… until now. Eschewing their nation’s deeply ingrained affinity for the comparitively darker arts of black and death metal, Pulczesar offer a rather heady strain of stoner metal, adorned with some light psych and gritty doom flavours. Imagine a combination of Sasquatch‘s catchy grooves, Earthship‘s clomping hooves, and Abrahma‘s… well, they sound like Abrahma, which is fucking awesome if you ask this lizard. From what I can gather, this is the quartet’s debut album, and it’s free on bandcamp. Not name your price, FREE! They won’t even let you pay for it. Now that’s a free market everyone can agree on. — Lacertilian.


Blood Chalice – Demo 2016
Signal Rex | July 8th, 2016

In the mood for feral, ever-so-slightly blackened metal of death? Finland’s Blood Chalice have got you covered. We’re only talking about a five song demo, but the frantic blasting that sounds like the drummer’s about to drop it, the reverb-washed tremoloing guitars circling hypnotically over the ever-shifting drum patterns appearing more varied than they are, and Pessi Haltsonen‘s (Torture Killer) vocal work, actually stink of pus and rot. Blood Chalice invited them in, but I sure as hell am notgoing to show them the door, not as long as they can keep delivering like this. — Karhu.

  • Blood Chalice is the best demo of the year IMO. It’s seriously everything I want in a Black Witchery album and more. Superb demo and relentlessly barbaric! Can’t wait till Caligari Records gets that cassette. Thanks for sharing that Beargod!

    • Howard Dean

      This has been a good year for demos, EPs, and represses.

      • Joaquin Stick

        and LPs and splits!

      • No fucking shit Howard! It’s out of control. Most all of my top 10 releases are demo’s and EP’s. Enucleator- Demo, Pigs Blood – Demo, Massive Retaliation – Second Strike, Hexenslaught – Demo, Smut – Slop, Goathammer – Demo, and Ritual Death – EP

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          That Hexenslaught and Pigs Blood demo!

          • Dude, so good man. I hope I don’t break those cassettes! Haha! I should start to buy two of each.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Hahaha, not a bad idea. Unfortunately I can’t find a copy of Pigs Blood.

          • Sucks dude. Hopefully they repress that cassette soon. I can’t remember. Is that Ifrinn album an EP or a full-length. I remember it being sort of short.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            That Ifrinn release was technically a demo, right?

          • I think you are right. That was a killer demo. Might spin that tonight actually. This one was great too!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wFBT3Wt8PM

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Fuck, never heard this one. I hate metal.

          • Riffs bro…

        • Howard Dean

          The Prisoner of War – Rot EP is one of the better death metal releases I’ve heard all year. Definite Top 10 for me so far. Old school Morbid Angel riffs all over the place. Paired with the Nuclear Winter EP repress, it’s been a great year for MA-throwback/homage DM.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Fuck, those sound tasty.

          • Howard Dean

            Nuclear Winter was the band that came before Dead Congregation (same guitarist and drummer). They sound like if Dead Congregation went a tad lighter on the Incantation and turned up the Morbid Angel. The repress of their Abominaion Virginborn demo was quietly released a little while ago on CD. Good shit.

          • I forgot about that POW EP! I remember that being good. Some serious Bolt Thrower inspired riffs! Iron Bonehead has been on fire this year. I totally forgot about that Sacrocurse EP too.

          • Howard Dean

            I forgot about the Sacrocurse EP, too. As well as the Archgoat/Satanic Warmaster split (first press vinyl was December 2015, but CD and second press were 2016). Shit, there are so many solid releases that I totally forget about really good ones.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Too much METAL!!

          • Shit! This year has been way better than I thought. That Archgoat side of that split blows that SW side away in my opinion. Thoughts?

          • Howard Dean

            Same. I really liked the Archgoat tracks. Some of my favorite material from them (right up there with the Heavenly Vulva EP). SW stuff was OK, but couldn’t compete with the ‘goat.

          • Totally man! It’s a bit scary how similar our tastes are. I was able to finally pick up most all of the Archgoat releases on wax. Aside from some of the very rare demo shit. Although I did find the Angelcunt (Tales of Desecration) demo. Just recently found this great live footage of them.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaW8ZreJUoU

          • sweetooth0

            I dunno, I love the Satanic Warmaster side (not to detract from Archgoat).

          • I haven’t been a fan of the new SW sound. Fimbulwinter was too polished sounding for me. I love their more primitive sound like on Carelian Satanist Madness.

          • sweetooth0

            I like the old raw stuff for sure, but I’m totally into the new Fimbulwinter style. Just cannot deny those melodies.

          • Elegant Gazing Globe

            pls link me the Prinsoner of war plz?

          • Elegant Gazing Globe

            thank you kindly

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Checking out now! Damn Black Witchery as fuck!

      • That Demo is short and sweet. Just a swift crushing of the dick. Those vocals are some of the most violent vocals I’ve heard in a while too.

        • Howard Dean

          Dickcrushing black/death metal >>>

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          And that double bass is nuts!

          • Haha, yeah! Raw as fuck too which I love. It sounds like an actual human is playing it. No triggers, and no mercy. I can’t even imagine what a full length album of this would be like. Just total death.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Yes, very organic and bestial!

          • The only way!

          • Dave Vincent’s Perm

            That’s probably why the raw black/death does it for me a lot more than the average modern tech album does. It sounds like a human pushing themselves to the limit playing it, rather than a machine just shooting it out.

    • sweetooth0

      It is fucking mighty

  • Joaquin Stick

    I am confused. That Falaise album on bandcamp says it is out now and Name your own price, but I only have access to one track? I want to purchase, but no idea what I am buying. Plz help. Is it just ATFM being weird with promos again?

  • brokensnow

    im digging what im hearing on that AAI. good stuff, no fluff.

  • 365ChaosRiddenDays

    New Blood Chalice rips and there’s a new song by Darkthrone:https://soundcloud.com/heavytassen/01-tundra-leech-premiere

    • Thoughts on the new Darkthrone? I was hoping for more grimness. Not bad, just not what I was hoping for.

      • 365ChaosRiddenDays

        Yes, not bad but not too Black for me but I’m not disappointed, now I’m hearing Pigs Blood, Goathammer and Ritual Death demos, very rad!

        • Right on! Did you hear the new Darvaza track yet?

          https://soundcloud.com/terratvr-possessions/darvaza-the-silver-chalice

          • 365ChaosRiddenDays

            I knew about this band just few weeks ago, there’s a new release planned for 2016?

          • Haha, yeah. They released a full-length not long ago and already they have an EP done. Prolific fuckers they are.

          • 365ChaosRiddenDays

            Indeed, prolific fuckers but I’m glad about this news, the song in Silver Chalice is flawless by the way!

          • Yeah, I like it a lot. A lot of grim feels. I especially like those primitive chanting vocals.

          • 365ChaosRiddenDays

            I agree, the same good voice for Behexen and Dark Sonority, the way in which everyone should sing and scream.

          • Hey I finally got around to listening to all of that new Behexen album. I thought it was great! There are some seriously great black metal riffs that happen in that album. Will be purchasing very soon.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            Stanley made me not want to grab it, maybe i should try it again

          • What the fuck was his grief with it?

          • Abradolf Lincler

            “cant hear the riffs”
            maybe he was joking?

          • Wow, and I thought I was picky with my black metal.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            like i said, maybe he just rickrolled me

          • Oh that Stan.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            oh, there is a used ltd edition Revenge package at the record store im gonna get tomorrow. comes with flag and a patch

          • Heckin’ Sick!

          • 365ChaosRiddenDays

            I think is an “Hot Album” and one of the highlights of the year. It’s delightfully beguiling with a sinister and inspired ritualistic atmosphere in the songwriting. The riffing is brutal and shattering, per example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOIG6zVrJ0w and this is not the only gem of this album, like the opener: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDAJde97N4I in conclusion, their return shows how Black metal could be feral, sinister and fascinating, probably one of the best bands out there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJPyvA8TWtA

      • Elegant Gazing Globe

        seems like the grimness is a little passe now for Fenriz

        • No doubt. I was hopeful though, it’s basically Darkthrones usual oldschool metal worship. Not a bad thing, but I still would prefer that they did more black metal shit. That album cover gave me hope.

          • Elegant Gazing Globe

            dare I say this new album is poised to be their “Black album?”

          • Haha, I mean that’s what I thought they were going for. Kinda failed IMO. At least compared to their early black metal shit.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            i think he meant Metallicas black album

          • DERP!

          • Commodus, Flusher Of Worlds

            Every Darkthrone album past Soulside Journey has been the black album (Spinal Tap’s, not Metallica’s).

          • Abradolf Lincler

            now thats a Hot Take

          • Commodus, Flusher Of Worlds

            I’ve read a couple of the HT articles and still not getting what it means when used that way.

          • sweetooth0

            A little more black metal sounding than the last couple though, but I guess we’ll see when the whole album drops. it’s all Nocturno Culto on vox, so that means it’ll be at least a little bit grimmer.

    • RJA

      yes!! thanks, man. Sounds decent so far.

    • Joaquin Stick

      “It’s a logical progression of the riff before… also called song writing”. Lol, solid explanation there.

    • Commodus, Flusher Of Worlds

      Nothing says kvlt and grim quite like cricket gloves!

  • The Tetrachord of Archytas

    That Falaise has some serious happy vibes in it. I’m getting flashes of like old post hardcore or something

    Coulda used more Judi Dench references

  • I think VT-X is going to be something big. It’s already grown a lot in the past year. Will be curious to see if they keep their brand of nasty and barbaric filth going. So far they have not disappointed in the dick crushing and filth category.

    • Now I know a lot of the bands on that label share members so… I’m not sure if they’ll branch out or not to other bands.

      • Dubbbz

        Have you gotten a chance to jam that album yet?

        • Not yet, it’s on my list of things. It’s near the top though. Don’t worry, you’ll be the first to hear from me after I finish it. I still need to listen to that other thing you sent me via FB messenger too. Arrrgggg.

          • Dubbbz

            Oh yah! I’m not sure how you’ll feel about that one, tbh.

  • Joaquin Stick

    Pulczesar is some pretty decent stoner metal. Can’t beat free either. I’d pay a dollar for that album artwork alone!

  • Waynecro

    Thanks, dudes! Lots of good stuff this week. I’m digging Falaise, Uškumgallu, Abominant, Punished, and An Abstract Illusion.

    • Joaquin Stick

      Listening to Punished now and really liking everything besides the random occasional pig squeal. Vocals are great the other 95% of the time though.

      • Waynecro

        The album artwork is pretty neat too. It’ll look really good on the screen of my Zune.

  • Commodus, Flusher Of Worlds

    I likey this An Abstract Illusion stuff so far! Might consider getting this one next week.

  • Pulczesar is p good Fharc!