The Link-Up Spell: Spells recommendations from the month of August
Let’s review August, in which we received magic scrolls from Eluveitie, Vinsta and The Lurking Fear.
Greetings, fellow adventurers. After the warm welcoming of our Spells Recommendations from July, we approach three new scrolls! August was a great month for music, so I really recommend to remember to check out Accept, Paradise Lost and Botanist, aside from the killing shots you receive every week by our dear writing team.
So, are we ready? Remember to prepare your catalyst and spellbooks!
Spell book: Eluveitie – Evocation II – Pantheon.
Type of spell: Druidic manifestations.
This folkloric outfit has been around the metal world since a couple of years but I have never stopped to pay attention to them from a myriad of reasons. Pushing aside my perspective, I entered into Evocation II – Pantheon trying to forget the bad times I spent with their previous records Helvetios and Origins, a two-times slab of melodeath infused folk metal.
Perhaps it was the low expectations or my overall inexperience with the band that formed me a different impression of this new offering to the Elder Gods by the Switzerland combo, but I really enjoyed this one!
This is the second part of a more folkloric and organic edge of their general sound, after they release the first chapter of this concept through the 2009 release, Evocation I – The Arcane Dominion.
Compared with the previous segment, Pantheon is a more relaxed effort. Whereas the other record was developed with a more somber and mystique atmosphere, this new tribute to Gallic traditions and deities is more vibrant. Once again sung entirely in old Celtic, the album moods swings back and forth thanks to the wonderful vocals of the new priestess on the pack, Fabienne Erni, maybe the best aspect of this new incarnation of the band.
The music is stripped down and with certain charm, since the percussion movements are definitely rooted in the metal traditions and melodies are way more festive and chanting than ever. At the same time, the acoustic arrangements also lead the path to some cinematic moments to vary a little bit more the neofolk approach to their style, like it happens in pieces as “Cavtrix” or “Tarvos II (Sequel)”, which sometimes extend the running time too much.
Perhaps the long album duration is the weak spot on this album, but, unlike many of their recent peers, Eluveitie sounds even more convincing and authentic than with their regular melodeath endeavors.
Acquire this Spell book on Nuclear Blast Records. Follow the trails of these magicians on Book ov Skulls.
Spell book: Vinsta – Vinsta Wiads.
Type of spell: Wild icy magic.
To continue the natural thematic, I found great surprises from Vinsta debut, Vinsta Wiads, a piece incredibly crafted with honour and influenced by the wild and majestic Salzburg Alps.
Sometimes, solo projects borders on amateur productions or sloppy performances, but the work of the Austrian musician Christian Höll under this progressive death metal style is commendable. The long compositions does not bore, since they are constantly endowed by pulsating dark melodies and evocative vocal effects.
The closest comparison to this album is, for sure, Opeth. The double bass powered verses, the bubbling progressive riffing, infectious and solid bass work, the acoustic interludes and the delicate bridges sections are reminiscent of the highly regarded Mikael Åkerfeldt project. The new touches here, besides the Höll’s more compact style in the songwriting, are the novel usage of regional dialects and folkloric instruments, along with a more “nature-worship” concept on the style.
You can expect some nice headbanging melodic death metal attacks, like in the superb “Gedonknschwa”, that just morph into a wild and surreal journey, making this debut a timely dynamic effort. This one-man project is also imprint with earthly roars, icy shrieks and folkloric chant choruses, which adds extra layers to the interesting brew.
Overall, a fantastic record for those interested in channel from time to time that specific progressive and melodic European style. Put this in a playlist with Opeth, In Mourning or Be’lakor to start to float above the mountains at night!
Acquire this Spell book on Trollmusic. Follow the trails of these magicians on Book ov Skulls.
Spell book: The Lurking Fear – Out of the Voiceless Grave.
Type of spell: Demonic summoning from the Otherworlds.
Formed by members of the seminalAt The Gates and Swedish crust masters Disfear, The Lurking Fear is a new team that got drowned in Lovecraftian swamps and emerged like a viscous putrid slow crawling beast to the dismay of humankind.
Talking on a less horrorific scenery, this is a retro death metal outfit played by true retro warriors from the old days. Lead by the charismatic (and a Link’s favorite) Tomas “Tompa” Lindberg, everything they have done under this title is a sincere tribute to their old days, when death metal was young and rabid, with that delicious raw and naïve approach to the recording.
Here is the deal, Out of the Voiceless Grave is a high quality old-school sounding death metal barrage that feels like a welcoming experience to both novice and elder demographics. Harsh dry vocals, caustic thrashy tremolos riffing and break necking D-beat drumming are all there, coming back with a vengeance, along with a constant feeling of darkness, fueled by the nightmarish renditions of the rotten literary universe of H.P. Lovecraft.
Traces of Possessed, Death, Master and Slayer are obvious, but the songs are sometimes interlaced with some very subtle sludge or doom, a la Autopsy segments to compensate the full-throttle nature of their death metal assault.
Criticism aside from the palpable “throwback” approach on the songwriting, The Lurking Fear is still a competent project and, meanwhile too many people think the imitative formulaic nature of the album takes some points of the whole listening experience, I still recommend to spin it for the fun sincerity behind it.
Acquire this Spell book on Century Media Records. Follow the trails of these magicians on Book ov Skulls.
Did you like these spells? Which were your favorite scrolls crafted on August? Scribe thy comments and remember to stay here at Toilet ov Hell for more inspired contents and new recommendations.
The Link-Up Spell is a weekly Toilet ov Hell column about music, movies, books, retro video games and guaranteed Elfic nonsense. If you want to contact the author to send your material, mail us at toiletovhell [at] gmail.com with the subject “The Link-Up Spell” or message him on social media.