Album Review – The Spirit / Cosmic Terror (2020)

The soundtrack to the fear of vast nothingness in the form of melodic and progressive Black and Death Metal made in Germany, beautifully dragging the listener into a musical catharsis.

As far-reaching as the literary, philosophical and psychological meanings behind the term Cosmic Terror might be, for German Black/Death Metal trio The Spirit naming their sophomore full-length album with this title opens up a world of its own. They do not want to explain anything nor to analyze their lyrics, characterized by misanthropy and social criticism, having only one simple goal in mind, which is to let their music speak for itself. The result is a bold and breathtaking album containing seven raging tracks that blend and bend Black and Death Metal, extensive instrumental passages and some of the most face-ripping riffs you’ll hear, which apparently even attracted nearby snakes to the studio’s terrace during the recording according to the band members themselves.

Formed in 2015 in Saarbrücken, the capital and largest city of the state of Saarland in the always beautiful and vibrant Germany, The Spirit are currently comprised of MT on vocals and guitars, AT on bass and MS on drums, a talented and unrelenting trio of fairly anonymous musicians who have been making a name for themselves in the underground scene since the release of their debut opus entitled Sounds from the Vortex, in 2017, being highly recommended for fans of bands like Dissection, Satyricon and Naglfar, among others. Finalized with a unique cover artwork by French artist Valnoir (Metastazis), Cosmic Terror tears the listener into a musical catharsis, with the band once again crafting their own soundtrack to the fear of vast nothingness.

The trio wastes no time and begin blasting their crisp and incendiary Black Metal in Serpent As Time Reveals, offering over six minutes of classy and vicious extreme music for our avid ears where MS is a true beast on drums, while MT growls the song’s beautiful lyrics in great fashion (“The ability to spread agony / A sick craft you truly master / The enduring thirst for power and dominion / Poison, obsessional voracity / Dangerous strength to the perverted insane / Unleash hell to enhance pathetic egotism”); and they continue their obscure and melodic attack in Strive For Salvation, with MT’s heavier-than-hell riffs and AT’s fulminating bass lines generating the perfect ambience for the enraged gnarls by MT while MS keeps pounding and smashing his drums manically. Then drinking form the same infernal fountain as renowned acts like Marduk, Immortal and Mayhem, the trio explodes our senses with the fantastic Repugnant Human Scum, a lesson in Black Metal infused with Death Metal and Melodic Black Metal nuances.

A melancholic and somber intro morphs into a mid-tempo headbanging feast titled The Path Of Solitude, where all band members are in absolute sync and with MT sounding diabolical with both his roars and riffs, resulting in an ode to darkness and solitude in the form of ass-kicking Black Metal. After such dense tune, it’s time for more disruptive and Stygian sounds by The Spirit in Pillars Of Doom, where MT sounds possessed with his demonic riffage while AT and MS make the earth tremble with their respective weapons of mass destruction. In The Wide Emptiness the band doesn’t stop hammering their instruments and consequently our heads, showcasing classic Black Metal with more contemporary nuances, not to mention how impressive it is that only three guys can generate such bold and hellish sound, with MT’s soulful solo serving as the icing on the cake. Lastly, the title-track Cosmic Terror comes as an arrow piercing our ears and minds, concluding the obscure Black Metal journey by the trio that started “long time ago” with the opening track. However, despite being an amazing display of extreme music, the fact that it’s only an instrumental song takes away a little of its rawness and energy, but that’s just my opinion as I truly enjoy MT’s harsh vocals.

In a nutshell, the excellent Cosmic Terror, which is available from the AOP Records’ BandCamp page, from the EMP webstore, from IndieMerchstore.com in CD or 12” vinyl format, as well as from several other locations which you can check by clicking HERE, not only points to a bright future for The Spirit, positioning the band as one of the most promising names of the German extreme music scene, but it’s also a mandatory listen for fans of the more contemporary wave of Black and Death Metal bands with a huge focus on progressiveness, melodies and atmospheric passages. Hence, don’t forget to give The Spirit a shout via their official Facebook page, and let the cosmic terror flowing form their wicked creations penetrate deep inside your damned soul.

Best moments of the album: Repugnant Human Scum, The Path Of Solitude and The Wide Emptiness.

Worst moments of the album: Cosmic Terror.

Released in 2020 AOP Records

Track listing
1. Serpent As Time Reveals 6:38
2. Strive For Salvation 4:34
3. Repugnant Human Scum 5:18
4. The Path Of Solitude 8:07
5. Pillars Of Doom 5:51
6. The Wide Emptiness 6:13
7. Cosmic Terror 6:32

Band members
MT – vocals, guitars
AT – bass
MS – drums

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