Album Review – Bane / Esoteric Formulae (2018)

Conjuring visions of darkness, pain and frost, this Montreal-based Blackened Death Metal horde has poured their charred hearts into spawning their third and most complete opus to date.

Originally founded in 2006 in Novi Sad, a city in northern Serbia on the banks of the Danube River, but currently based out of Montreal, in the province of Quebec, Canada, Blackened Death Metal horde Bane has poured their charred hearts into this third full-length release, entitled Esoteric Formulae, a masterwork that leads many influences to an evil culmination, with each track being atmosphere-evoking, filling the soundscape with nocturnal melodies and conjuring visions of darkness, pain and frost. With several tours under their belts as well as countless concerts and festival performances in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria and Poland, among several other countries, Bane continue to push the limits of their unique blend of Blackened Death Metal to the world of the underground, and Esoteric Formulae is the perfect depiction of where the band is headed to.

Featuring a classy artwork by Indonesian graphic artist and illustrator Bahrull Marta (Abomination Imagery), Esoteric Formulae not only showcases a sharp and malevolent duo comprised of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Branislav and drummer Honza Kapak (Master’s Hammer), but also the additional (and very welcome) devilish touches by guest musicians Giulio Moschini (Hour Of Penance), Amduscias (Temple Of Baal) and Canadian composer Ophélie Gingras, enhancing the album’s taste and impact considerably. Put differently, if you’re a fan of the dark, blasphemous and very melodic music by iconic acts like Dissection, Behemoth and Rotting Christ, Esoteric Formulae will bring you a lot of (evil) joy without a shadow of a doubt, placing Bane as one of your top picks from the underground and independent Extreme Metal scene.

Invocation Of The Nameless One is a beautiful, ominous intro embraced by the epic orchestrations by Ophélie Gingras, setting the stage for Branislav and Honza to deliver sheer darkness in The Calling Of The Eleven Angles, a brutal Blackened Death Metal extravaganza where Branislav’s roars get deeper and more demonic while Honza provides a huge dosage of heaviness with his beats and fills; followed by Beneath The Black Earth, and such powerful name could only be accompanied by a crushing sonority, of course, with Branislav doing a fantastic job with his pulverizing riffs and rumbling bass lines, resulting in a vibrant, modern and obscure display of extreme music for admirers of the genre.

Then drinking form the same fountain of iconic bands like Behemoth and Dragonlord, Bane offer our avid ears Bringer Of Pandimensional Disorder, where Black Metal blast beats are intertwined with very melodic and strident guitar lines, all embraced by the cryptic, hellish words vociferated by Branislav (“I call upon the currents – of Wrathful Chaos / Let the oceans of formlessness – into this world / Awaken by the esoteric formulae / Open the gates to the Astral plane of the dark Water / Bringer of Pandimensional Disorder!”). Wretched Feast keeps the album at a sulfurous level, presenting gripping guitars and nonstop beats, and with guest Giulio Moschini adding his own personal twist to the music with his fiery guitar solo, whereas in Into Oblivion, featuring Amduscias as a guest vocalist, Bane summon all evil through their violent Blackened Death Metal, also bringing elements form Symphonic Black Metal the likes of Dimmu Borgir to their already dense musicality.

And they keep scorching our hearts and minds with their visceral Black Metal in Burning The Remains, a mid-tempo, infernal tune where the guitar lines alternate between sheer malignancy and hypnotizing lines, while Honza adds tons of intricacy and strength to the overall result with his bestial drumming. Putting the pedal to the metal, Bane deliver a violent and thrilling tune titled Reign In Chaos, presenting hints of Melodic Death Metal and of the music by Cradle of Filth, which obviously boosts the song’s impact and taste considerably and, therefore, turns it into one of the top moments of the album. Lastly, like a bulldozer smashing our heads, Honza ignites the also vile and metallic Acosmic Forces Of The Nightside, where the duo makes their devilish waves fill every single empty space in a feast of instrumental darkness, before the atmospheric outro Wrathful Reflections brings back a massive wall of orchestrations, finally fading into absolute darkness and void.

In a nutshell, the excellent Esoteric Formulae, available from Bane’s own BandCamp page as well as from the Black Market Metal Label’s Big Cartel, is definitely a must-have album for fans of contemporary and sulfurous Blackened Death Metal, consequently setting the bar really high for the band’s future releases. After purchasing such excellent album, you can also show your utmost support to Branislav and his horde by following Bane on Facebook and by subscribing to their YouTube channel, letting all the aforementioned darkness, pain and frost flowing from the music found in Esoteric Formulae guide you on a one-way journey to the depths of the netherworld.

Best moments of the album: Beneath The Black Earth, Into Oblivion and Reign In Chaos.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2018 Black Market Metal Label

Track listing
1. Invocation Of The Nameless One 1:15
2. The Calling Of The Eleven Angles 3:46
3. Beneath The Black Earth 3:35
4. Bringer Of Pandimensional Disorder 3:49
5. Wretched Feast (feat. Giulio Moschini) 3:46
6. Into Oblivion (feat. Amduscias) 4:34
7. Burning The Remains 4:01
8. Reign In Chaos 3:30
9. Acosmic Forces Of The Nightside 5:27
10. Wrathful Reflections 1:59

Band members
Branislav – vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards
Honza Kapak – drums

Guest musicians
Giulio Moschini – guitar solo on “Wretched Feast”
Amduscias – vocals on “Into Oblivion”
Ophélie Gingras – orchestrations on “Invocation Of The Nameless One” and “Wrathful Reflections”

Current/live lineup
Branislav – vocals, guitars, keyboards
Max Allard – guitars, backing vocals
Stéphane Deschênes – bass
Nicholas Wells – drums

Album Review – Et Moriemur / Epigrammata (2018)

Transcending the perceptions of the death and doom styles and bringing back forgotten elements from the past, the new opus by this talented Czech band perfectly depicts our attempt to cope with the death of those we loved.

Founded in 2008 in Prague, in the Czech Republic, Atmospheric Black/Death/Doom Metal supergroup Et Moriemur, featuring members of legendary bands like Dissolving of Prodigy, Self-Hatred and Silent Stream of Godless Elegy, has been spreading what they like to call “Existential Doom” all over the world ever since. The name of the band, which is Latin for “and we will die”, already says a lot about how obscure and damned their music sounds, with their brand new album Epigrammata, the third in their already solid career, transcending the perceptions of the death and doom styles and bringing back forgotten elements from Gregorian chanting, delving into the rich European history and using Latin and ancient Greek to convey their message. Featuring an array of amazing guest musicians, Epigrammata has all of its song names in Latin taken from the Requiem Mass, notable for the large number of musical compositions that it has inspired, including settings by Mozart, Verdi, Bruckner, Dvořák, Fauré and Duruflé. Originally, such compositions were meant to be performed in liturgical service, with monophonic chant.

The band, comprised of Zdeněk Nevělík on vocals, piano and keyboards, Aleš Vilingr and Pavel Janouškovec on the guitars, Karel Kovářík on bass and Michal “Datel” Rak on drums, had a few interesting words to say about their new album. “Epigrammata represents our attempt to cope with the dying or death of those we loved. To create a solemn and classical atmosphere we used lyrics in ancient Greek (the title itself means epigrams) and in Latin, more precisely from the Mass for the dead – the album follows the typical Requiem structure, i.e. Introitus, Requiem Aeternum, Dies Irae etc. – and of course the traditional, unisono male Gregorian chant. In any case we tried not to do a uni-dimensional record. So apart from the inevitable grief there is gratitude as well for having had the chance to share our life with them and hope that they are well – wherever they are.”

Whimsical waves invade our senses in Introitus (or “prelude”), with guest Kostas Panagiotou bringing epicness to the intro with his enigmatic words before a massive wall of sounds crushes us all in Requiem Aeternam (“eternal rest”), with the doomed, sluggish beats by Datel and the imposing background choir generating a truly Stygian ambience. Furthermore, Zdeněk sounds as demonic as he can be, not to mention the potency of the music coming from the violin and cello. Then the piano by Zdeněk kicks off a Blackened Doom extravaganza titled Agnus Dei (“lamb of god”), a song that reeks of sheer darkness where cavernous growls get deeper and deeper in a delicate paradox with the smother background elements. In addition, Guest musicians Labrini Karousou and Vangelis Mertzanis provide another anguished and eccentric narration, feeling more doomed than atmospheric, and absolutely haunting and dense from start to finish. And their somber mass of Doom and Black Metal goes on with another fantastic hymn titled Dies Irae (“day of wrath”), with the band’s stringed trio Aleš, Pavel and Karel being extremely precise with their scorching, damned riffs and punches, and with the keyboards by Zdeněk sounding beautifully eccentric and wicked.

In Offertorium (“offering”) we’re treated to a Phantom of the Opera-like vibe blended with the band’s otherworldly sounds and tones, with Datel simply smashing his drums slowly and flawlessly while the choir keeps mesmerizing our minds, remaining dark and vibrant until its grand finale; whereas in the slightly faster and more piercing Communio (“communion”), Et Moriemur continue to fire their low-tuned, demonic tones intertwined with the church-like choir and a huge dosage of melancholy, maintaining the album at a vibrant and perturbing level. And in Libera Me (“rescue me”) an eerie organ together with the cavernous growls by Zdeněk generate a truly enfolding atmosphere, evolving into a lecture in Blackened Doom infused with church music elements. Furthermore, the entire band is utterly focused and energized, extracting the most damned but at the same time melodious sounds you can think of from their instruments, with every single second of this aria being beyond captivating (especially the final recitation by Zdeněk).

Then the piano by Zdeněk dictate the rhythm in Absolve Domine (“release lord”), complemented by his pensive words and cinematic-epic-imposing background sounds, with the music growing beautifully until darkness is upon us once again in the Blackened Doom aria Sanctus (“spirit”), a headbanging mass led by the crawling, gloomy beats by Datel. Hence, this amazing composition will elevate your senses with its potent sonority, not to mention how the entire band is capable of sounding so devilish and gentle at the same time. Lastly we have In Paradisum (“in paradise”), a 10-minute voyage through the realms of Existential Doom where its first part is pure old school Doom Metal, until anguished lamentations permeate the air in one of the most obscure and hypnotizing metal masses I’ve ever listened to in my life. In addition, the song’s sluggish drums, serene guitars and epic keys will penetrate deep inside your soul, with an ethereal feminine voice ending this top-notch album of Atmospheric Doom Metal majestically.

Et Moriemur are one of those bands you won’t listen to anywhere but only during your moments of introspection and melancholy, with Epigrammata representing everything the band stands for in terms of music and lyrical themes. And in order to show your support to such distinguished band, go follow them on Facebook and grab your copy of Epigrammata directly from their BandCamp page or from the Transcending Obscurity Records webstore in a Digipak CD + sticker bundle, as well as from iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and Discogs. However, if you prefer an exclusive and more stylish version of the album, I highly recommend you go after the Epigrammata Gold-embossed and UV-laminated Box Set, containing the digipak CD with booklet, an A3 size poster having a special artwork, a fridge magnet having the album artwork, two stickers of the album artwork + emblem artwork, and an individual hand-numbered certificate of ownership for your copy. It can’t get any better, more doomed and more obscure than this, and I’m sure you’re going to love it.

Best moments of the album: Agnus Dei, Libera Me and Sanctus.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2018 Transcending Obscurity Records

Track listing
1. Introitus 1:41
2. Requiem Aeternam 5:15
3. Agnus Dei 5:14
4. Dies Irae 4:12
5. Offertorium 5:44
6. Communio 6:14
7. Libera Me 5:18
8. Absolve Domine 2:47
9. Sanctus 6:05
10. In Paradisum 10:41

Band members
Zdeněk Nevělík – vocals, piano, keyboards
Aleš Vilingr – guitar
Pavel Janouškovec – guitar
Karel Kovářík – bass
Michal “Datel” Rak – drums

Guest musicians
Kostas Panagiotou – vocals on “Introitus”
Nikos Vlachakis – vocals on “Agnus Dei”
Labrini Karousou & Vangelis Mertzanis – recitation on “Agnus Dei”
Jaroslav Klvaňa, Karel Russ & Lukáš Pavlovský – choir
Andrea Michálková – cello
Zuzana Králová – violin
Jindřich Bešťák – trombone
Honza Kapák – acoustic guitar

Album Review – Dys Inbunden / One With Morbidity, The Opus Misanthropy (2015)

Come worship the Other Side to the sound of the new demonic opus by this extremely talented and sinful Swedish cult.

Rating3

One-with-morbidity-the-opus-misanthrop_OmslagCall it “Deaosophic Metal”, Progressive Black Metal or simply Black Metal. The music disseminated by Dys Inbunden, one of the most nihilistic death obsessed bands in the world, in their masterfully chaotic new album One With Morbidity, The Opus Misanthropy, is going to hit you with an avalanche of depression, suicide, darkness and death beyond dispute. Even if you’re not a huge fan of extreme music, I strongly recommend you take a shot at this amazing album so intense it is.

Forged in the fires of Stockholm, Sweden in 2012 and after releasing their debut album (or their “first opus”, as the band refers to it) entitled Pandemonium Unchained in 2013, Dys Inbunden spent a dark period in 2014 recording their new opus with Honza Kapák at Hellsound Studio, in the Czech Republic. The result, as aforementioned, is awesomely professional and instigating, carving the band’s trademark on the global map of Extreme Metal. And now, after reading this quick intro about the hostile Dys Inbunden and their blasphemous creation One With Morbidity, The Opus Misanthropy, I dare you to hit play if you have the guts.

Well, if you were tough enough to do it, you’ll already face One With Morbidity, one half of the album title, which starts as the intro to some sort of occult ceremony that goes on for a while before a sonic apocalypse begins. What an outstanding production, where you can clearly listen to each instrument while at the same time it’s fuckin’ dark and heavy as hell. Not only that, Mr. Gefandi Ör Andlät knows how to desecrate our minds with his blustering screams. The second half of the album title, Opus Misanthropy, presents hints of Symphonic Black Metal in a poignant atmosphere, where even the clean cultic vocals sound intimidating, not to mention the spot-on orchestrations by Magister Nocturnal, which are not too portentous but adequate to the band’s purpose.

If you’re still alive and sane, the symphonic and devilish track Odious Worship Of Annihilation will mercilessly invade your soul, with Gefandi Ör Andlät sharpening his vocals to an even deeper satanic level while the instrumental keeps dense and extremely well-crafted. There’s not a single second of hope for over seven minutes of music in this tune, one of my favorites of the entire album hands down. Mischievous Paths Of Nocturnal Lust, the longest track of the album, doesn’t disappoint, with the duo of darkness offering us another Black Metal raid with extra layers of insanity, rhythmic variations and progressive passages. Its vocals and riffs are of course fiendish, and I’m sure you’ll feel your brain detaching from your skull to the sound of this evil feast. Then we have Through Demise and Decay, with its powerful riffs and harsh screams being its main ingredients, as well as those sick blast beats the way we love in Black Metal and a “chorus” that seems to incite a demonic worship; and The Illuminating Gaze Of Lucifer, where its Doom Metal vibe blended with the battering ram from Black Metal generate an interesting outcome. Moreover, as the name of the song contains the word “Lucifer”, it’s quite obvious the prince of darkness must be honored to be the inspiration for it.

dys inbundenDraconigena, a word that means “dragon-born” or “someone or something born of a dragon”, showcases Dys Inbunden spitting fire through their music. This is a very progressive and extreme tune, with highlights to the superb guitar lines by Gefandi Ör Andlät and its venomous ambience, sounding like three or four different songs in a combination of complexity and bestiality, and I guess I don’t need to say how solid the final result is. And continuing with the innovative names, Larva Pazuzu is the union of the words “larvae”, which in Roman mythology means a malevolent spirit of the dead or “a terrifying mask”, and “Pazuzu”, which in Assyrian and Babylonian mythology was the king of the demons of the wind and son of the god Hanbi, also representing the southwestern wind, the bearer of storms and drought. The music itself couldn’t be more direct, an awesome massacre where both Gefandi Ör Andlät and Magister Nocturnal sound deeply infuriated (and whoever is playing the drums is a beast).

Just when you think they’re going to take a break amidst so many wicked tunes, they continue their path of destruction with Nihilist Pariah, a raw old school Black Metal tune tailored for diehard black metallers, boosted by the deluxe production of the album, followed by Crown Of Carcosa, another masterful display of extreme music where the nuances of darkness brought forth by its symphonic elements sound really interesting. And what starts as a song by Opeth or Dream Theather evolves to a deranged but very melodic carnage in He Who Worships Death, with highlights to its high-end drumming and the uproar caused by the demonic voice of Gefandi Ör Andlät. Lastly, we have the frenetic Dimension Of Nihility, as vile as it can be, with the flawless support provided by Magister Nocturnal allowing Gefandi Ör Andlät to add more experimentations and a stronger taste to the music, and nothing is more suitable to end this Black Metal rite than a melancholic piano outro, named Without Life And Movement.

To be fair, it’s extremely difficult to summarize this Stygian masterpiece in just a few lines, so I deeply recommend you go like their Facebook page and check their music on YouTube, as well as buy One With Morbidity, The Opus Misanthropy at their official webstore, at the Liflätinn Productions webstore, on Amazon or at many other locations to really feel their music in your flesh. In other words, it’s time for us all to worship the Other Side to the sound of the new amazing opus by this talented and sinful Swedish cult.

Best moments of the album: Odious Worship Of Annihilation, Through Demise and Decay, Draconigena and Larva Pazuzu.

Worst moments of the album: Opus Misanthropy.

Released in 2015 Liflätinn Productions

Track listing
1. One With Morbidity 6:47
2. Opus Misanthropy 6:56
3. Odious Worship Of Annihilation 7:47
4. Mischievous Paths Of Nocturnal Lust 9:04
5. Through Demise and Decay 8:07
6. The Illuminating Gaze Of Lucifer 8:59
7. Draconigena 6:25
8. Larva Pazuzu 3:38
9. Nihilist Pariah 7:54
10. Crown Of Carcosa 5:35
11. He Who Worships Death 6:49
12. Dimension Of Nihility 6:07
13. Without Life And Movement 2:31

Band members
Gefandi Ör Andlät – vocals, lead guitar
Magister Nocturnal – bass, piano, orchestrations