Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cellgraft - Deception Schematic (2010)

EP, Self-released / Independent
July, 2010

Genre: Grindcore
Region: USA

Any grind band taking their name from an Insect Warfare track better rip at their level. It would seem Cellgraft does just that, picking up the torch where it had been laid down as the influence of the aforementioned group strikes you like a freight train immediately, and does not let up once.

Like an engine being red-lined into a smoldering mass of steel and oil this shit is a loud, frantic and angry machine — 8 minutes of face-stomping, filthy, intense and tremendously satisfying grindcore. Unrelenting, raw dystopian chaos roars within this EP. No hesitation or meandering, packed with harsh noise and sick, sharp blasting riffs that will knock you on your ass.

Highly recommended for fans of Insect Warfare, GridLink, etc. Pick up the 7" over at No Reprieve. Follow them here.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lycus - Demo MMXI (2011)

Demo, Graceless Recordings
May 18th, 2011

Genre: Doom Metal
Region: USA

Three "L" posts in a row.

Fucking awesome doom metal right here. I was tipped off to Lycus many months back but really didn't check them out until fairly recently, I regret not doing so sooner.

This demo is heavy, heavy shit. Monstrous doom that does not drone and wear on the listener, it has purpose and moves elegantly in huge, satisfying swaths of riffs. There are three tracks that hang around the 7-9 minute area, all three do not linger on one riff too long, and while they may be treading familiar ground they manage to add their own strong melodic mark on the genre.

It does not drift aimlessly. This demo has purpose and is tightly directed — a perfect expression of solemn, melancholic, beautiful and cavernous doom carefully paced and well executed. A deep vocal presence bolsters the despondent atmosphere with growls, roars and drawls while a steady down-tempo beat supports the buzzing, boulder splitting melodic guitars. The whole thing has an epic air around it, barely escaping funeral doom territory and remaining interesting. A slumbering giant that has awakened, graceful and doleful, trampling slowly through barren fields on an overcast day.

Much like other engrossing newer doom acts like Anhedonist and older monsters like Asunder this is one I wouldn't pass up. You can download/pay-what-you-want and listen to it on bandcamp, also The Flenser will be releasing it on vinyl soon. I suggest picking it up when they press it since the tape is sold out. A welcome addition to any doom fans collection. Follow them over here too.

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Leucosis - Pulling Down The Sky (2011)

Full Length, Unsigned/Independent
April 2nd, 2011

Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Region: USA

This has already been posted quite a few places, such as The Living Doorway (where I originally found it) and Forever Cursed who have done justice to this far better than I can, but it deserves a post here too.

The story behind the album cover (quite uncharacteristic of most atmospheric black metal acts I've run into) is bound to one incredibly unlucky cosmonaut, a haunting and ugly tale. It can be read on the blogs I mentioned above but if you want here's some regurgitation from one of the members of Leucosis as read on TLD:

"The Soviets basically sent this guy into space in a half-finished spacecraft, and he burned up on reentry. The radio noises on Track 2 are his screams as he came crashing down to earth. The crazy part about this guy's story is that pretty much everybody knew the spacecraft was gonna fail, but nobody wanted to take responsibility (they'd get killed, thrown in the gulags, etc). Basically a really fucked situation. The picture on the cover is of the superior officers gazing upon the horrors they were responsible for, perhaps seeing that black mess on the table as something within themselves."

That alone should spark some interest. Leucosis lay down some wicked atmospheric black metal on Pulling Down The Sky, spacey and alien-esque despite the cascadian influences. It's clear they come from that school of black metal but they manage to pull off something quite different. Containing a droney, buzzing intro (and outro) with some eerie chanting setting the mood well, an 8 minute track with howling wolves and an acoustic guitar, and as one tumbles further through the rest of the record the cold, raw, darkly hypnotic passages that build to a oppressive and desolate soundscapes — there is no question that Leucosis have invoked something special while writing this.

Pulling Down The Sky runs through some very depressing territory without becoming played-out and stale, cutting its own path through bleak and tragic sounds in a captivating way. The sounds of hopelessness and uncaring, the desperate moaning of someone who has been running in fear for days, struggling to survive in the isolated corners of a cold and unfamiliar land. A feeling of darkest despair as you gradually run out of oxygen in the freezing capsule of a space station, trapped in the unknown reaches of space as you realize your fate.

Highly recommended for fans of the genre. You can buy it directly from the band here or via email.

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Logn - Í fráhvarfi ljóss, myrkrið lifnar við (2011)

Full Length, Unknown / Independent
November 24th, 2011

Genre: Grindcore
Region: Iceland

"In Icelandic, the word logn is used in reference to a calm weather – peace - lull. The calm veiled a looming threat. A storm is about to ensue."


An ironic definition I would think from the sound of this record. The name of this album in English is "In The Absence Of Light, Darkness Comes To Life", and what we have here is some dark Icelandic grind. I can't say I've heard much metal come out of Iceland but that could just be due to my complete lack of inquiry and exploration regarding the country.

This is a pretty sick album I must say and I would hope Logn gives a good representation of what the scene looks like up there in Iceland — a pleasant surprise in the often neglected request folder. Thirteen tracks flipping back and forth between 50 second rapid fire dirty grindcore and an occasional flurry of slow, crusty hardcore in the form of 5 to 7 minute melodic frolics. Both aspects are pulled of very well, dark and pissed with the slow moments giving off a feeling of brooding sadness (as can be heard in Salt í sárin and Í fráhvarfi ljóss). 

A storm of clever, sometimes chaotic and groovy riffs, speedy drumming, pummeling basslines and ear-shredding vocals all throughout. Not revolutionary but I would say it has a definite unique tone in the crowded grind arena, and is an excellent and earth-scorching effort for this young grind act. 

A strong and tight performance, well paced and heartfelt. Certainly if you're a fan of Gadget and sweet grind like that I encourage you to check this out as it won't disappoint. Download and listen to it on their bandcamp page, buy it here, and follow them on facebook.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sanakan's Top 20 Albums of 2011

Yep, this year I decided to post my picks for 2011. I usually keep my lists confined to my page and haven’t posted them here in the past but fuck it.

I went with a main top 20 list plus a separate demos + EPs and splits list with less detail — despite the fact that a few EPs show up in my main list. Usually everything from the top 5 stays solidified at their spots the others may go up and down the list occasionally.

2011 was another great year for music, there was so much great shit released by hard working groups and labels that again it was a tough year to make a list. I always feel as though I should wait like a month or two after the new year to make a list like this since I do usually miss an amazing record and regret not putting it on the list. On that note: if I miss something it’s cool if you post a suggestion in the comments, but please try to hold off on the “You forgot _______, not good enough for ya?!” type of comments — you guys have your own lists to do justice to those albums you feel I’ve missed.

Do post suggestions though. I have added a huge Honorable Mentions and More Good Shit list for recommended albums that aren’t in the top 20 but are great. Anything not on that list I didn’t feel like mentioning, haven't heard it or I just missed it.

Enjoy and GFYS.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A pirate blog trying to fight SOPA. Go figure. (Stop Online Piracy Act)

Hello everyone, I want to get something out of the way. I have not been posting, and probably won't for awhile because I'm getting a cap on my bandwidth. So AT&T is charging me more because I'm either downloading or uploading too much.

To the topic at hand.

I may be just a stupid idealist, and I'm not the best writer but I need to tell you something. SOPA is a threat to us and the rest of the internet, and I mean the whole internet. Not just the US, but all over the world. The new bill gives any company the right to shut any website if that corporation finds any copyright material on said site. In short, let's say a large record company like say Nuclear Blast see's our blog, they can potentially shut down not just our blog, but all of Even blogs here that have nothing to do with pirating or anything copyright will be blocked. Even a video on youtube with a copyrighted song will cause the entire site of youtube to be blocked. That's basically what this bill does.

But let's say, only pirate sites get shot down. Like our blogspot, band's that link us their albums or ask us for promotion will have a harder time trying to get their music out there.

That's not cool.

If you don't believe me, here is the bill. And don't say that it won't pass, Obama is going to veto it, yet bills like NDAA have passed which that bill violates an American's 4th and 5th amendment rights.

Things you can do even if you aren't american and info:

American Censorship
Save the Internet!
Totalhailbut <--- He explains this a lot better than me.
Write to Congress

You guys, and our friend's over in other blogs can help spread the word. Even if you are aware of it, shove it down people's throats because people still have an apathetic attitude. I'm sorry my country is trying to destroy the world, I really am.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Amnis Nihili - Christological Escalation (2011)

EP, Avantgarde Music
September 23rd, 2011

Genre: Black Metal
Region: Greece

It's funny. I was actually going to post this soon and then I got a request from someone to get it up here.

Christological Escalation is wicked. A 4 track EP of anti-judeochristian themed black metal injected with a tiny bit of hardcore/crust and a droney atmosphere that creeps in, making it a sharp and unique release.

Like Dephosphorus there's a spacey and bleak element enveloping each track. A few spoken samples are strewn throughout some tracks, and Panos (of Dephosphorus) fucking destroys on vocals with a commanding abrasive feral screaming — much praise to him. The members are clearly proficient writers, never lingering too long on one sound or riff before transitioning into something new while keeping it cohesive. Guitars swing from grim and fierce churning oldcshool-ish black metal tremolo riffs, to more thick and drawn-out pulsing drones and sustained chords; and there's a miniscule offering of chaotic hardcore styling.

Highly recommended. A wonderful gem I'm glad I heard before compiling my 2011 list. Harsh and malefic but with an ethereal, other-worldly coating. You can pick this nasty EP up on 10" vinyl and cd over to Avantgarde Music, Sound Cave, or their main site.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Indian - Guiltless (2011)

Genre: Doom Metal / Sludge Metal
Region: USA

Latest album from Indian. Check it out here.

Icon Of Phobos - Icon Of Phobos (2011)

Full Length, Baneful Genesis Records
November 18th, 2011

Genre: Black Metal
Region: USA

Here we have the first release of a new band entering the circle of black metal, Icon Of Phobos. What a wicked cover.

Icon Of Phobos embrace orthodox and atmospheric black metal elements — if I had to say it would seem there's influence from the likes of Inquisition with a helping of atmospheric black metal. Not enough to be completely on that end of the genre but there is no doubt that the influence is there, and it certainly leans more to that side than anything.

A very ruinous and depressive atmosphere is invoked throughout this release. Seven tracks in all including an intro and instrumental outro which have some noise and sampling to bookend the album. The core tracks are composed of a fair amount of sustained notes and drawn out wavy/bendy semi-dissonant riffs which are quite satisfying and fall into atmospheric black metal territory before hitting more traditional gallops and powerchords. Quite heavy on the tremolo riffs as well when dissonant sustains are not being used but usually at a slower pace than more traditional acts, and there are occasional solos that hit on the more traditional side of the genre.

Also a very palpable bass presence and a massive injection of skillful drumming blankets this release (tons of blasts and kickers). Vocals are rife with despair and contempt, lots of echo/reverb and do not every hit the high end of things, staying low and growly/raspy but keeping the lyrics audible.

Overall this is a very solid first effort with some room for growth/experimentation in my opinion; they could do a lot more with what they have. It's hard to place but this feels familiar in some sense — not necessarily a bad thing of course. That said it's no slouch and certainly an enjoyable release. Fans of black metal with a progressive edge like Ascension and the latest Leviathan release or Mutilation Rites and Castevet will want to take a look at this one. You can pick it up on cd here.

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Pallbearer - 2010 Demo (2010)

Demo, Profound Lore Records/Shadow Kingdom Records
July 11st, 2010

Genre: Sludge/Doom Metal
Region: USA

Pallbearer is a band I knew nothing about going into the Rites of Darkness III festival but boy was I surprised by their performance. This is some epic doom metal.

Comprised of 3 tracks that hit between 5 and 9 minutes long and emanating a classic stoner doom vibe (ala Black Sabbath), it's a great taste of what this promising band has to offer. Massive riffs with some melodic elements mixed in with brilliant clean singing that has a droney, mournful and dreamy feeling to them. The tracks trudge along with a great gloomy atmosphere, staying interesting especially with the vocalists strong presence over top of it all. The solos are wonderful as well and are placed expertly.

Sludge and doom fans should give this demo a listen. I can certainly say that as good as this demo is they're even better live. You can download the demo and listen to it on their bandcamp page.

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Sabrewulf - Prophecy (2011)

EP, Independent
November 25th, 2011

Genre: Hardcore/Sludge
Region: USA

A young hardcore/sludge band from Texas sent this in and I quite enjoy it, I'm always up for some low and slow dark hardcore.

Sabrewulf is some really doomy shit kind of reminiscent of Minus the Herd-era Ion Dissonance in some ways (low tuned and chunky) but slower and without the emphasis on technicality/breakdowns, adding some crusty-sludge elements. It's simple, slow, and menacing.

Prophecy starts of with a quiet clean riff on Life in the Echo that leads into feedback and chunky opens with heavy, slow pounds of the drums. The next song is where we get a true feel for the tenebrous, depressive nature of the EP. 

Down-tuned, beefy, dark riffs creep and stumble all over the remainder of the album, only breaking the slow pace to hit a brief moment of mid-paced hardcore sections (as in "The Nameless Dead") then falling back into the dissonant slabs. Tracks like "Black House" and "Marked for Death" have the deliberate bendy slides and tasty moments of discordant open strings that I really fucking like. Some gruff and ugly vocals accompany the heavy guitars and slow percussion. The EP ends on the self-titled track with then same clean riff it opened with neatly sealing the it in an ominous fashion.

Recommended for dark hardcore enthusiasts. You can listen to and download the EP on their bandcamp page and follow them here.

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Rites of Darkness III Festival



Early Monday morning on December 12th, a mere 4 hours after the final band left the stage at Backstage Live in San Antonio, Texas I was on a flight back to Toronto; sleep deprived, sore and totally destroyed from 5 days of head-crushing metal.

There wasn't much activity on Equivoke during the past week and that's because I was busy having a shit ton of fun down in Texas at the Rites of Darkness III festival. Despite the bitching an whining in the weeks and days leading up to it (some of it justified) the show was definitely one I would've regretted missing even if Evoken/Funebrarum/Disma/Dead Congregation/Pagan Altar/etc. didn't make it in the end — there was ample amounts of brilliant bands that made the trip absolutely worth it. It may have been too much for a 3 day fest if the 11+ bands that dropped off had been able to show up since even without them shows went pretty late (10 hour days man, I barely got any sleep).

So yes this post is going to be a lazy review of the fest and a shameless plug of my youtube shit. Skip it if you don't care, I won't make a habit out of these kinds of posts I assure you and I'll get back to posting albums soon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cruciamentum - Engulfed In Desolation (2011)

EP, Nuclear Winter Records
November 25, 2011

Genre: Death Metal
Region: UK

Latest release from the killer group of English maniacs Cruciamentum.

Four tracks of excellent death metal that will rip a hole in your face continuing from the split with Vasaeleth and their insane demo "Convocation of Crawling Chaos". These guys are really tight live too, blew me away at Rites of Darkness III a few days ago and played the last two tracks from this beauty (I'll have video of their whole set up pretty soon). Mounds of delicious, evil riffs to be consumed right here.

Don't know when this will go up for sale outside of live shows but I'll post a link when I find out. Enjoy.

EDIT: For now you can get it at Nuclear Winter Records if you're in Europe.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Grave Upheaval / Encoffination - Split (2011)

Split, Psychedelic Lotus Order
November 11th, 2011

Genre: Death/Doom Metal
Region: Australia / USA

A fucking oppressive, crushingly dark release. Would you expect anything less from these bestial, gloom-ridden acts?

This is the second release for Grave Upheaval (who I'll be seeing at Rites of Darkness III in a few days) and the first split for Encoffination, released just before their recent somber, crawling and terrifying second full length "O' Hell, Shine In Thy Whited Sepulchres".

I think you all know what lies within this split: unbearable darkness and suffering in sonic form. Encoffination open with "Inurnment of Fleshless Disembodied Remains", their classic use of chiming cathedral bells emanating throughout the track followed by a slow build of feedback and a quick sample dragging you into a down-tuned apocalypse. If you love their recent release this will be greatly satisfying. Grave Upheaval's untitled track follows with a muffled and turbulent hatefilled atmosphere. The riffs are pitch black and unbearably heavy, with grievously haunting rasps permeating the spiraling ferocity. This track has a huge low end as well — it will shake your place without question.

A truly perfect pairing of bands on this release. It couldn't be more appropriate. Highly recommended, do not pass this up. It's limited to 250 copies on vinyl from various places (I got mine from Dark Descent Records but it looks like they're out). This is a vinyl rip, any problems let me know.

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Begrime Exemious / Nuclearhammer - Heretical Serpent Cult (2011)

Split, Dark Descent Records
November 15th, 2011

Genre: Black Metal/Death Metal
Region: Canada

Here we have the latest outings recently released on Dark Descent Records of two excellent Canadian metal bands, one black metal, one death metal and both wicked. Six tracks from each band, with three covers on Nuclearhammer's side (Razor, Slaughter, Discharge) and one from Begrime Exemious (Black Sabbath).

If you've heard either of these bands you know what to expect:  Nuclearhammer is chaotic and dark coming at you in quick, ugly bursts pausing only once in the first track for a slow and heavy descent before picking back up into frenzied, tumultuous riffs. Begrimes Exemious is ruthless, dirty death metal blasting your face with tangled, semi-angular riffs and varied snarled and shrieked vocals. Both offerings continue to push traditional styles of their respective genres building well on their past outputs (especially Begrime Exemious) with their own abrasive twist, fast paced with no compromises.

Good shit from both groups. You can hear the Begrime Exemeious side on their bandcamp page.

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mutilation Rites - Demo (2011)

Demo, Independent
January 1st, 2011

Genre: Black Metal
Region: USA

Another band I slept on this year. Been hearing word from Gilead Media that they're pressing their upcoming record "I Am Legion" and the band just signed to Prosthetic Records not long ago. I almost missed this one and would've regretted it. Mutilation Rites walk the fine line between atmospheric black metal and the more raw Barghest black metal with a few hints of death in there. In this short three track demo they harmonize it all very well.

Filled with a ton of blackened riffs that dip into melodic and dissonant territory with an ugly vocal presence over top of it all. The album starts with the 7 minute "White Death" which starts off slowly with a thick bass line behind a heavy sustained melody, eventually plummeting into furious powerchords and hammering drum kicks ending on a slightly slower note. "Pariah" is 30 seconds shorter but quickly follows with fervid tremolo riffs that only let up for a gallop here and there or a brief section of feedback, crashing drums and bouncy bass lines. Around the 4 minute mark it becomes a little melodious before slowing down into death metal territory with noisy feedback underneath.

The final track "Negative Space" is the shortest and easily my favorite, beginning with catchy death riffs and then into more mid-paced tremolo goodness. From about the 1:00-2:20 minute mark the leads are even more wickedly lively. The best section starts at 3:20ish after a short pause for a percussive build up: evil, cacophonous chords build up the atmosphere adeptly with echoing rasps and screams below the mounting disarray. It's a fucking brilliant way to end an already impressive demo.

Excellent blackened madness sure to quench your thirst for all sides the genre has to offer. This will leave you wanting more guaranteed. Recommended especially for fans of Barghest, False, Taake, and Thantifaxath. Listen to this at their bandcamp page.

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Batillus - Furnace (2011)

Full Length, Seventh Rule
April 19, 2011

Genre: Sludge/Doom Metal
Region: USA

Seventh Rule Recordings are the guys who put out Atriach's massive "Forever the End", so they seem to know a little something about good and lumbering metal. Last week they had a promotional free download of all the releases on their bandcamp page, and I was perusing some of them until I came to Batillus. The cover caught my attention first (reminds me of something Godflesh would use) and when I gave the album a listen I was not disappointed.

The title "Furnace" is appropriate as this will smoulder with intensity in your ears until your brain turns to ashes. I wouldn't say its has never been done before but that's no reason to pass over this record. Furnace opens with a brief noise-backed clean section before rumbling into feedback and an avalanche of murky sludge riffs that will hypnotize without question from that point on. In rare instances it will pick up above a crawl or go silent and clean but it inevitably slides back into a dim and ugly mist. It's a solid, atmospheric and monolithic doom release with a few blackened tendencies which will please any fan of slow and pounding riffs. Truly heavy and austere — thick and fuzzed out guitars/bass writhe over a 45 minute journey with reverb covered, spectral rasps and howls from the vocalist. There are some synths and cycling ambient noise carefully placed throughout complimenting the gloomy atmosphere perfectly.

Despite the length and pace it's over before it has a chance to wear you down. Absolutely recommended; doom and sludge fans will certainly enjoy this record immensely especially if you like crushing shit like Thou and Atriarch. You can listen to it on their bandcamp page where you can also pick it up on vinyl and cd (or through Seventh Rule directly).

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Necros Christos - Doom of the Occult (2011)

Full Length, Sepulchral Voice Records
March 11th, 2011

Genre: Death Metal
Region: Germany

What a record. Necros Christos can be counted as masters of death without question. This is their second full release and before their 2007 album "Triune Impurity Rites" they were pumping out splits and demos at a breakneck pace, refining their sound and pushing themselves to this point.

Doom of the Occult is a 22 track behemoth of doom smothered death with a slight middle eastern flare sprinkled throughout, both in terms of riffing and solos as well as instrumental, ambient and folky interludes (labeled as Gates or Temples). I was concerned these instrumentals would break up the punishing death metal too much but to their credit add a lot too the record overall.

Interludes are composed of a range of elements. Some are short ominous organ-like keyboard sections, others are dark choirs, and my favorites are flute, tar, acoustic guitar, and setar melodies that produce an antiquated and medieval atmosphere — all of which flow well into the delicious main course. These tracks are expertly crafted slabs of rolling death metal that follow a simple formula: sick mid-paced tremolo riffs punctuated by pinched harmonics, crunchy powerchords and plodding drums, followed a truly wicked solo; while not groundbreaking it's truly satisfying. The vocals are deep and monstrous while still decipherable with lyrical themes that range from the wrath of ancient gods and kings, the afterlife, disease, necromancy, towering temples and bleak abyssal mysteries; all that apocalyptic shit (in various languages). It all amalgamates to form an imposing ediface of archaic death you don't want to pass up.

Surely high on any death metal fan's list this year. You can pick it up the cd at Hells Headbangers or the vinyl at 20 Buck Spin (which has been given great treatment). Highly recommended for fans of Diocletian, Cruciamentum, Sonne Adam and Sanguis Imperem.

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Forgotten Spell - Desecrated, Decayed and Still Holy (2010)

Demo, Parasyte Curse Records
June, 2010

Genre: Black Metal
Region: Germany

Forgotten Spell truly have a unique sound. Very unorthodox while still retaining an exceedingly raw black metal feeling. And oh fuck is it raw — the production might put some people off but once you look past or embrace it (and you really should) there is hugely complex/creative song-writing and skillful musicianship buried underneath. One might be inclined to describe it as technical or even progressive but if so it's certainly not in a flashy, wanky sense. "Desecrated, Decayed and Still Holy" is still well within the realm of traditional occult black metal but their song structures, atmosphere and guitar tone are far different then most black metal acts out there.

The guitar tone at times resembles horns of some kind, warped and wailing over chaotic and furious drum blasts and the caustic, frantic growls, moans and howls of the vocalist ("Into Sulphuric Vortex of Abyssic Cult" is a perfect example). Blazing tremolo riffs screeching through the thick, filthy production with moments of darkly groovy powerchords; the bass is there though barely poking through the rest of the madness. Sparing use of piano and acoustic guitar work very well for quick breathers from the distraught whirlwind of chaos that your ears are saturated with all the way through. This is their second demo and it hits the 1 hour and 29 minute mark with 9 tracks which is enormous and ballsy — the material here is very strong and compelling but a demo of such length will no doubt wear down many people.

Forgotten Spell have conjured a magnificent storm of strange and foul black metal with this demo. They succeed in straddling the realms of "true" black metal while pushing technical and atmospheric boundaries without falling into common trappings of either side. I'd really like to here the demo they put out this year. This particular release is limited to 333 copies on tape and only available from the label as far as I know.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Haapoja - Hallitsematonta Voimaa (2011)

Demo, Unknown
September 16, 2011

Genre: Hardcore/Blackened Hardcore
Region: Finland

I first saw this up on The Living Doorway in early-November and since those guys clearly know their shit (definitely when it comes to tasty hardcore) I checked out, quite enjoying what I heard. Not long after that I found the band requested us to put it up as well and I've been meaning to do so. Some very nice blackened hardcore to be heard here.

"Haapoja was formed in Oulu, Finland in 2007.Originally the plan was
to play death metal. Since then the style has evolved and influences
have been taken from various styles of heavy music, like Converge-style
hardcore and black metal. There have also been some line-up changes
and some pretty long breaks mostly due to the mandatory military
service in Finland. In summer 2011 Haapoja recorded their first proper
demo, called Hallitsematonta Voimaa.

It's a little difficult to place their style: somewhere between hardcore like Narrows in their faster moments (or maybe even a little KEN Mode) and Deathspell Omega-ish twisted black metal, moving across both very seamlessly but ultimately ending up on the dark hardcore end of things. Despite this sub-genre having grown saturated in the past few years Haapoja have managed to carve out a uniquel sound with a technical style while remaining catchy as all hell. Instead of relying on a cold sludgy/crusty atmosphere this is often fast and shifts pace at various points, never resting too long before breaking into another discordant run. Vicious vocals and truly bouncy, dissonant blackened riffs. It's short and sweet running slightly over 20 minutes.

A very promising young Finish act and I'd certainly recommend giving them a listen if you like dark and angular hardcore. Check out Hallitsematonta Voimaa on their bandcamp page or facebook.