Album Review – Cult of Erinyes / Tiberivs (2017)

Inspired by the Roman Emperor Tiberius, here comes a ruthless Belgian Ritualistic Black Metal horde with their brand new and utterly fantastic concept album.

One of the most talented and prominent bands of the Extreme Metal independent scene in Europe, Belgian Ritualistic Black Metal horde Cult of Erinyes, is back with their unsparing music in the form of a concept album titled Tiberivs, inspired by the Roman Emperor Tiberius, who ruled one of the greatest empires of mankind from 14 AD to 37 AD. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newcomer to the dark world of this Brussels-based band or if you’re already a fan of works such as A Place to Call My Unknown, Blessed Extinction and their latest EP Transcendence, the music found in Tiberivs will leave scathing scars on your skin and poison your blood, leaving you eager for more of the band’s mordant creations.

As commented by the band’s mastermind Corvus, “I always perceived Cult of Erinyes as a portal that allows my mind to connect with different universes. I had, from the very beginning of the creative process, to immerse myself in a definite time period – the Ancient Roman Empire, Tiberius era. Each song, melody, and riff had to refer to a variation of emotions forgotten by time itself. What sounded like a fantastic challenge ended as a nightmare where my subconscious got lost. Desperation, frustration, and madness raised dangerously. This third album is our most progressive effort so far, but also contains radical and intense parts sublimed by Mastema’s urges for ferocity. We both went as far as we could on this album and were lucky to be helped in our task by longtime devoted musicians Algol (bass, additional guitars), Baron (lead guitars, artwork), and Déhà, who handled the drums, some guitars/keys, and the the mix/mastering process. Last but not least, Alex (Kall, Hypothermia, Craft) offered us a five-star bass-line on the intro and Marc DeBacker, my brother in Wolvennest, added some crystal-clear guitar sounds on the end of the album. This album also marked the end of my longtime musical and spiritual journey with Mastema. I can only but respect his decision and salute the energy he shared on Tiberivs. This concept album was his idea, and I’m glad we end our collaboration on this high and digressive note. He will be replaced for future live and recording duties by the most extreme and mentally extreme singer I know, Déhà, who is known for his work with Yhdarl, Maladie, We All Die (Laughing), and shitloads of other good projects. For all those reasons, I will hate and cherish this album. For Centuries To Come.”

In the opening track, titled Archaea, 41 B.C., fires burn amidst some eerie voices and moans, being slowly joined by the band’s atmospheric instrumental and topped off with a narration about how Romans were raised by wolves and that wolves are born to hunt and kill, resulting in a beyond ominous intro to the devastating Nero (Divine Providence), offering the listener the band’s old school Black Metal with their traditional ritualistic twist in the form of a sensational tempest of slashing guitars and blast beats. Moreover, not only Mastema sounds more devilish and brutal than ever, but the song’s frantic sounds are effectively blended with its ambient passages, turning it into a full-bodied blackened experience that’s definitely worth a listen. And in Casvs Belli, which means “an act or situation provoking or justifying war”, we’re treated to an explosion of extreme music with the demonic riffs by Corvus together with Algol and Baron generating a truly belligerent atmosphere, all enhanced by the infernal growls by Mastema and the obscure keys by Corvus.

Bred for War connects instantly and perfectly with the previous song to the point they can even be considered one major composition split in two, with sheer bestiality flowing from the awesome drumming by Déhà. In other words, this is straightforward Black Metal perfect for Corvus and his horde to tell the story proposed in the album; followed by Loner, a song that kicks off like a raging bull, smashing everything through the blast beats by Déhà and the fast and cutting guitars by Corvus, with Algol strengthening the song’s melody with his bass lines. The final result couldn’t sound more amazing, a furious and occult creation by Cult of Erinyes with an excellent job done by Mastema giving life to the song’s dark lyrics. Germanicvs, with its almost 8 minutes of blackened sounds and a demonic aura, keeps up with the foundations of Black Metal, being one of the most obscure and dense of all songs of the album led by the sustained drums by Déhà and spiced up by dark vociferations by Mastema.

An eerie, dark intro ignites another menacing creation by this talented Belgian horde, titled First of Men, a hybrid of Atmospheric and Ritualistic Black Metal with hints of Blackened Doom. Moreover, although it doesn’t show the same fury that emanates from the rest of the album, it’s still essential for the storyline. In Damnatio Memoriae (or “damnation of memory” in English), the music grows in intensity and darkness until after one minute it becomes a feast of Blackened Doom sounds enfolding the demented gnarls by Mastema, remaining rhythmic and dynamic thanks to the excellent job done by Déhà on drums until its thrilling Stygian ending; whereas For Centuries to Come is an 11-minute aria where Corvus showcases all his abilities as a multi-instrumentalist, while Mastema elevates his evil growls and screams to a whole new infernal level. This is by far the most complete and detailed of all songs, with its second half being a work-of-art of extreme music, not to mention its atmospheric elements beautifully complementing the piercing guitar riffs and solos, flowing into a fantastic and climatic conclusion to the album.

In a nutshell, the implacable Cult of Erinyes sounds stronger and more menacing than ever in Tiberivs (which can be enjoyed in its entirety HERE) and, despite being their ultimate album with the demonic Mastema on vocals, I’m sure the band will still provide us a lot of amazing material like this in the future. Furthermore, this brilliant concept album can be purchased at the band’s own BandCamp page, at the Caverna Abismal Records’ BandCamp or webstore, and at the Aural Music Webstore, as well as on iTunes, Amazon and Discogs. The roots to the greatest empire in the history of mankind are deeply connected to the lives of wolves, and there’s nothing better than the austere extreme music by Cult of Erinyes to show you how harsh, ruthless and vicious wolves can be.

Best moments of the album: Nero (Divine Providence), Loner and For Centuries to Come.

Worst moments of the album: First of Men.

Released in 2017 Caverna Abismal Records

Track listing
1. Archaea, 41 B.C. 2:40
2. Nero (Divine Providence) 7:42
3. Casvs Belli 6:24
4. Bred for War 3:52
5. Loner 4:27
6. Germanicvs 7:40
7. First of Men 5:49
8. Damnatio Memoriae 6:04
9. For Centuries to Come 10:59

Band members
Mastema – vocals
Corvus – lead and rhythm guitar, bass, keyboards
Algol – bass, rhythm guitar
Baron – lead guitar
Déhà – drums, additional guitar & keyboards

Guest musicians
Alex – bass on “Archaea, 41 B.C.”
Marc DeBacker – additional guitar on “For Centuries to Come”

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Album Review – Arkaik Excruciation / Cursed Blood of Doom (2016)

Invoking the impure sense of primitivism through their aggressive and ruthless music, here comes a new Spanish Black and Death Metal quartet with their excellent debut full-length album.

Rating5

front_cover_aeIt doesn’t matter if you go to Catalonia, Andalusia, Galicia, Madrid or any other region in Spain, you’ll always find amazing heavy music all over “la piel del toro”. And if the genre in question is extreme music things get even better, with names such as Sartegos, Balmog, Xérion and Suspiral, as well as bands already reviewed by The Headbanging Moose like Tsar Bomb, Mørknatt and EvnaR, proudly carrying the flag of Spanish Extreme Metal and turning the whole country into an oasis of cutting riffs, blast beats and demonic growls. Thus, that distinguished selection of extreme groups has recently been joined by another hellish band named Arkaik Excruciation, who are releasing their debut full-length album entitled Cursed Blood of Doom, a solid tribute to the foundations of Black, Death and Thrash Metal.

Invoking the impure sense of primitivism through their aggressive and ruthless music since their inception in 2014, when they released their first demo tape named Among the Vortex of Chaos, this La Coruña-based horde of darkness adds the most obscure elements from extreme music to their creations, something you can easily notice and truly enjoy while listening to each track from Cursed Blood of Doom, featuring an obscure artwork by artist Alejandro Tedín. There’s no secret ingredient in the music by Arkaik Excruciation, just well-engendered extreme music by four talented musicians, presented as eight powerful and straightforward tracks embellished by classy and somber names. In other words, how not to get thrilled by a song named “Swallow the Black Wings of Agrat bat Mahlat”, right?

Rude and putrid sounds will invade your ears in the bestial Black and Death Metal composition Spiral Scythes of Endless Pain, a darker version of Cannibal Corpse where drummer M. presents his business card through his demonic beats and fills, while lead singer and guitarist M.S. enhances the song’s ferocity with his metallic riffs and cavernous growls. And the song doesn’t actually end, it simply builds a direct link to the brutish Night of Sodom, where the band’s fast and furious carnage goes on with M.S. getting even more aggressive on vocals. In addition, the musicality feels more Death than Black Metal at times, showcasing the bands versatility when switching between extreme styles.

bandStills of Fire and Poison is an eerie interlude comprised of noises that feel they’re coming from the pits of hell, opening the gates for the infernal Swallow the Black Wings of Agrat bat Mahlat, a pulverizing lesson in dementia and heaviness in Extreme Metal and definitely one of the top moments of such obscure album, with highlights to the sick drumming by M. In addition to that, its guitars also keep spreading a constant and deranged sensation of hatred until its funereal ending, paving the way to Anesthesic Ritual of Silence and its initial wicked noises, replaced by the hellish guitars by M.S. and K. Moreover, M. provides some spot-on Doom Metal-inspired beats to this semi-instrumental track, while M.S. just keeps gnarling a little in the background in a dark and satanic way.

Suddenly, all hell breaks loose in the most demented of all tracks, Into the Fields of the Sun-Blood, a kick-ass hybrid of Black Metal with the extreme pugnacity of old school Death Metal where the screams by M.S. are effectively complemented by all other instruments and their nonstop savagery, creating a damned ambience that will devour your soul. The creepy and short Clockwork Devotional Saw works as a bridge to the last song of the album, the demented Sadistic Scourge, where elements from Black, Thrash and Death Metal are united in a high-octane demolishing way. K. and F. are unrelenting with their strings, whereas M. fires his groovy and menacing beats, fading into ominous noises and vociferations that go on for over two minutes until the song is finally over.

In case you want to know more about the demonic realm of Arkaik Excruciation, go check their Facebook page, and if you want to purchase a copy of the maleficent Cursed Blood of Doom (which can be enjoyed in its entirety HERE), you’ll find it for sale at their own BandCamp page, at the Caverna Abismal Records’ BandCamp and Discogs page, or at the Duplicate Records’ BandCamp and webstore. And, from now on, always remember that if you’re searching for good Extreme Metal, the region of Galicia (as well as the rest of spain) is your go-to place.

Best moments of the album: Night of Sodom, Swallow the Black Wings of Agrat bat Mahlat and Into the Fields of the Sun-Blood.

Worst moments of the album: Anesthesic Ritual of Silence.

Released in 2016 Caverna Abismal Records / Duplicate Records

Track listing
1. Spiral Scythes of Endless Pain 5:18
2. Night of Sodom 4:18
3. Stills of Fire and Poison (Interlude) 2:02
4. Swallow the Black Wings of Agrat bat Mahlat 5:50
5. Anesthesic Ritual of Silence 4:15
6. Into the Fields of the Sun-Blood 7:26
7. Clockwork Devotional Saw (Interlude) 0:26
8. Sadistic Scourge 7:15

Band members
M.S. – guitars, vocals
K. – lead guitars
F. – bass
M. – drums

Album Review – Cult of Erinyes / Transcendence EP (2016)

High-quality Ritualistic Black Metal blasted by an up-and-coming cult of infernal goddesses that will definitely devastate your mind.

Rating5

CultOfErinyes-EPIn Greek mythology, the Erinyes (also known as Furies) were female chthonic deities of vengeance, sometimes referred to as “infernal goddesses”. Having said that, try to imagine what would happen if a cult dedicated to those hellish deities of the underworld decided to converge all their strength and energy into extreme music. The result would be the Ritualistic Black Metal bred by the skillful Belgian act Cult of Erinyes, who are just about to release a 19-minute opus in cassette format (limited to 100 copies) entitled Transcendence.

Hailing from the always pleasant city of Brussels, Belgium, Cult of Erinyes have always been crafting music in seek of the trinity, the purest form of the universe, which ends up providing a particular atmosphere of their sonority that explains the label of “Ritualistic Black Metal”. The band has already released an EP and two full-length albums since their inception in 2009, but in case you have never heard of them before I should say their new EP Transcendence is a highly-recommended option to join their cult. Featuring a distinguished artwork by Business for Satan, from the city of Strasbourg, France, this obscure EP doesn’t need more than its duration to devastate your mind and make you addicted to their eldritch metal music.

Cult of Erinyes come blasting their evil music from the very first second in Degree of Solitude, a solid fusion of raw Black Metal with a heavy and demonic ambience, with its second half becoming a bestial onslaught of Extreme Metal where lead singer Mastema growls like an ancient demon. In the title-track, Transcendence, the band’s mastermind and warlock Corvus fires his evil riffs and thunderous bass lines, while Mastema continues his vocal tribute to evil. This song showcases lots of elements from Doom Metal, Blackened Doom, Atmospheric Black Metal and Blackened Death Metal, resulting in a demonic composition that will definitely drag you down to the pits of hell.

CultofErinyes_official1And as a sophisticated bonus to admirers of Extreme Metal all over the world, this talented Belgian band offers us their kick-ass cover version for the classic chant Pagan Fears, originally recorded by Mayhem, known as the trailblazers of Norwegian Black Metal and one of the most controversial bands of all time (if not the most controversial one). This is undoubtedly an amazing tribute with the necessary amounts of darkness, despair and violence requested, and in case you want to compare it to the original song you can do that by simply clicking HERE.

To sum up, although Transcendence has only three songs, the quality of the music found in its 19 minutes of brutality and occultism is indeed beyond average, making us all eager for what this cult of infernal goddesses can offer us next. In order to know more about Cult of Erinyes and their high-end Black Metal, go check their Facebook page. And if you truly want to support the underground of extreme music, go purchase Transcendence at the Caverna Abismal Records’ BandCamp page (remember it’s limited to 100 copies only), and relish it while we all wait for another demonic rite by these talented Belgian metallers.

Best moments of the album: Degree of Solitude.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Caverna Abismal Records

Track listing
1. Degree of Solitude 5:46
2. Transcendence 6:40
3. Pagan Fears (Mayhem cover) 6:32

Band members
Mastema – vocals
Corvus – guitar, bass, keyboards
Baal – drums*

*Former member

Album Review – Tod Huetet Uebel / Malícia (2015)

If you let the infernal and malevolent music by this amazing Portuguese duo reach your heart, there’s no coming back.

Rating4

Cover_CDLet’s end this week on a high note with the flammable Black Metal by the talented Portuguese duo Tod Huetet Uebel, and I must assure you that you won’t be the same after listening to what they have to offer. By the way, the name of the band is the German for “death guards evil”, a more than suitable caption for the disturbing music you’ll find in their debut full-length album, entitled Malícia (the Portuguese word for “malice”). If you had no idea of how demonic music can be in Portugal, you better get ready for the heartless war found in this album.

Created from the very essence of hatred in 2012, Tod Hueted Uebel define their music as “a post-traumatic Black Metal experience” that “will leave mental bruises and scars in those who dare listen to the torments that dwell within”. Well said, guys. That perfectly summarizes Malícia, an album that will please fans of the darkest Black Metal you can imagine. Featuring an amazing 6-panel digipak with artwork by French artist/musician Valnoir (Metastazis), the level of wickedness and laceration in the album is not for the ordinary metal fan, making it a demanding listen for those who are not used to the atrocities of extreme music.

In the opening track, eccentrically named XIII (and get used to that, because all songs have names based on Roman numerals), a sinister intro flows into a diabolical sounding built upon modern Black Metal but without losing its traditional viciousness and speed. Multi-instrumentalist Daniel C. is responsible for crafting the music in all tracks, offering singer Marcos M. the perfect ambience for his anguished growls, and let me tell you this dynamic duo will darken your spirit already on the first track of the album (which is always the main goal in Black Metal, of course). And darkness is here to stay based on the nonstop violence and vileness delivered in I, where Marcos M. keeps disgorging his putrid snarling, unnerving your mind in a disquieting 9-minute first-rate aria of malignancy for lovers of classic Extreme Metal with a desolating and melancholic ending that obviously gets back to a sonic havoc before the song is actually over.

Their anger just grows in XII,  where Daniel C. is simply bestial on drums and guitars, delivering sick riffs and demonic beats and fills perfect for the harsh vocals by Marcos M., with another short break for the listener to take a deep breath before diving back into the musical twilight engendered by Tod Huetet Uebel. Moreover, their lyrics in Portuguese are as evil, poetic and awesome as possible (“Quero morrer, ser inverso ao amanhecer / Quero perecer, na demora da tua obra / Sinto-me leve, disperso ao corroer / Do sentimento que vos mantém / Amantes a ninguém”, which would translate to English as “I want to die, be reverse at dawn / I want to perish, in the lateness of your work / I feel light, scattered as I corrode / From the feeling that keeps you / Lovers to no one”), increasing the impact of their music.

XX VIII XXI is an instrumental tune that feels like a fiendish entity penetrating our flesh, working as an intro to the barbaric IX, where the initial scream by Marcos M. sounds inhuman while the instrumental parts continue their onslaught of darkness. It’s sheer Black Metal that will please all fans of the genre, making it extremely easy and interesting to feel all the pain and grief stemming from their ghoulish vocals. III might be the shortest of all tracks, but it surely delivers everything a good Black Metal chant needs, being precise, berserk, melodic and lugubrious, with Marcos M. with his growls and howls and Daniel C. with his lancinating riffs generating an ode to hopelessness and evil.  Besides, when they sing in English their lyrics are no less complex and beautiful, proving how talented this duo is (“Blood Libels of regal contempt / Dichotomy of essence and paragon of woe / The face of things to come / Burn this flesh oh dying light / In thy untold furnace of quintessence / Aether of malignant perfection”). Lastly, presenting elements from Doom Metal and Blackened Doom, the hindmost opus in Malícia, entitled V, is definitely the most nerve-racking of all. This time, Daniel C. focuses on mesmerizing and grievous notes while Marcos C. sounds like he’s being dragged down to hell, and I dare you to survive its 8 minutes without feeling totally uncomfortable or distressed in the end.

In summary, if you consider yourself a genuine adorer of the most perverse and heinous forms of Black Metal, I highly recommend you go after the music by Tod Huetet Uebel, available at their BandCamp and at the Caverna Abismal Records BandCamp. This sharp and impressive duo from Portugal is brilliantly cementing their dark path in the world of Extreme Metal, and in case you let their infernal music reach your heart, I must warn you that there’s no coming back.

Best moments of the album: I, XII and III.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2015 Caverna Abismal Records

Track listing
1. XIII 5:49
2. I 9:00
3. XII 7:20
4. XX VIII XXI 1:15
5. IX 7:05
6. III 5:30
7. V 8:00

Band members
Marcos M. – vocals
Daniel C. – all instruments

Album Review – Festering / From The Grave (2015)

These undead Portuguese metallers are back from the grave to tear our flesh apart and provide us some high-quality old school Death Metal.

Rating5

Festering-FrontCover_smallJust like any gory and macabre zombie flick, there are times in our lives when people or things that we thought were dead and gone for good make an impactful return to feast on our flesh and haunt our souls. If you’re addicted to sordid old school Death Metal the likes of Dismember, Entombed and Grave, you won’t mind being devoured by the undead Portuguese Death Metal band Festering who, as per the name of their brand new album, are back From The Grave to tear all of us apart.

After releasing a split album back in 1992 and remaining dormant for almost two decades, this talented band from Santo António dos Cavaleiros, Portugal was reformed in 2011, releasing a demo tape entitled From The Grave and an EP named Exhumed, both in 2012. Now in 2015, following the same gruesome path of those releases, their debut full-length album From The Grave, which features cover illustration and artworks by renowned artist César Valladares (Asphyx, Nominon, Graveyard, among many others), will provide the listener a full-bodied portrait of what these cold-blooded Portuguese metallers are capable of.

The quick and sinister intro Festering initiates the sonic cannibalism that becomes extremely barbaric in Exhumed, an old school Death Metal song with absolutely no shenanigans, just straightforward devastation where riffs and growls take the spotlight (as expected), also showcasing drums highly influenced by the blast beats of Black Metal but slightly groovier. Following that promising start, we have the perverse Infected and its hints of Doom Metal, with the bestial vocals by Pedro Gonçalves inspired by old Sepultura and Morbid Angel. It’s a great song for headbanging led by its wicked riffs, where the band accelerates the rhythm, slows it down and goes on with that alternation a few more times, reaching an outstanding result in the end.

The Myth Of Creation can be considered a circle-pit generator chant, with drummer Norberto Arrais kicking ass behind his kit while the guitar lines by João Galego seem as if they’re going to decapitate us so sharp they are, not to mention the aggressiveness of the low-tuned bass lines by Koja Mutilator. And if you think Festering will give you a break you’re damn wrong, because they keep kicking you in the head with their nonstop viciousness in Consuming From Within, a very traditional tune with lots of groove, feeling sometimes like a tribute to Cannibal Corpse and other classic gory bands due to its lyrics (“Open sores all over my body and exuding a foul scent / With an intense suffering, the anguish spend my days / With the excruciating pain that runs through my body / And wanton my flesh like a cold steel blade”); followed by the “infected” musicality and dirty melody found in Submerged In Emptiness, with highlights to the rhythmic beats by Norberto. This tune lives up to the sanguinary tradition of Death Metal, or in other words, it’s fast, heavy and wicked, and we love all that.

Promo-PictureThe next track, Bloodline, has a deranged ambience boosted by the demented deep growls by Pedro, with its hardcore riffs and extreme violence being the icing on the cake of this sensational feast of blood and death that should work marvelously if played live. Moreover, kudos to João for his spot-on guitar solo, adding more electricity to the overall result. In the Blackened Doom Metal tune Proliferation Of Infected Leucocytes their demonic side arises, and if you pay good attention to the music you’ll find hints of Rock N’ Roll and Southern Metal in it, increasing its complexity and harmony but obviously always keeping it carnivorous. Lastly, closing the album we have the slashing Ascent Of The Blessed, where the combination of its direct shredding and high-speed drums turns it into an excellent option for mosh pits, with Pedro once again delivering his amazing sick roars to give life (or death) to the song’s lyrics (“The angels all ascended, / The demons left behind / A new generation was born / From their hatred and cruelty – We”), and the shortest of all tracks, Psychic Convulsions Of Neurasthenia, a beautiful name for a violent composition with highlights to the evil bass lines by Koja.

There are several places where you can find more details about the music by Festering, such as their YouTube channel and especially at their ReverbNation page, and grab your copy of From The Grave at the band’s BandCamp, at the Caverna Abismal Records BandCamp, or at the Caverna Abismal Records webstore. As aforementioned, these talented (and undead) metallers are back from the grave not only to tear our flesh apart but, more important than that, to also provide us all high-quality old school Death Metal. But that’s if you’re not afraid of living dead musicians, of course.

Best moments of the album: Infected, Submerged In Emptiness and Bloodline.

Worst moments of the album: Proliferation Of Infected Leucocytes.

Released in 2015 Caverna Abismal Records/War Productions/Sinais Produções

Track listing
1. Festering (Intro) 0:23
2. Exhumed 3:15
3. Infected 4:36
4. The Myth Of Creation 4:15
5. Consuming From Within 4:21
6. Submerged In Emptiness 4:36
7. Bloodline 4:13
8. Proliferation Of Infected Leucocytes 3:36
9. Ascent Of The Blessed 5:21
10. Psychic Convulsions Of Neurasthenia 2:53

Band members
Pedro Gonçalves – vocals
João Galego – guitars
Koja Mutilator – bass
Norberto Arrais – drums