Album Review – Tyrannic / Ethereal Sepulchre (2018)

A dark beast of doom in the form of an uncompromising album of true and raw heavy music, courtesy of a trinity whose veins pump with the pulse of Black, Thrash and Doom Metal.

Formed in 2010 under the antipodean sky of Sydney, Australia, the ruthless Thrash/Doom Metal entity known as Tyrannic has been paving their own twisted path with a dark and sinister mindset since their inception, and despite several lineup changes over the years the band’s founding member R has constantly driven the band forward from behind the kit with his signature vocal style and dedication to the “do-it-yourself” principles and aesthetic of the underground. After releasing a couple of demos, a split album and a live tape through the years, it’s time for Tyrannic to unleash their dark beast of doom with their honest and uncompromising debut album titled Ethereal Sepulchre, crafted with a very personal approach to carving its own unique and disgusting mould.

Featuring four long tracks of heinous, horrific and bizarre sounds, the most primitive rumblings straight from the beast’s belly, Ethereal Sepulchre offers the listener unadulterated metal from a trinity whose veins pump with the pulse of Heavy Metal. Furthermore, R describes the album as a release which “projects complete darkness in the most obscure form”, with its lyrical content being an expression of his innermost exploration into abstract thought, madness and insanity, all driven by experiential death worship. In other words, if you’re a fan of the obscure music by iconic bands from distinct genres but with the same appreciation for the dark, like Black Sabbath, Celtic Frost, Emperor and Dark Funeral, among several others, get ready for a visceral and thunderous descent into the pits of hell with Tyrannic.

The first track of the album, a demonic welcome card by the trio entitled Serpent Scythe, brings forward classic, old school Black Metal from the very first second spiced up by hints of the Doom Metal played by Black Sabbath, with R’s growls being a demonic fusion of the vocals by Tom Araya (Slayer) and Mortuus (Marduk), while Morgan and J slash their strings in a hellish manner. And Tyrannic’s evil triumvirate keeps delivering darkness and dementia through their instruments in the sluggish and medieval Possession of Accursed Inheritance, offering over 12 minutes of obscurity in the form of Black Metal infused with Blackened Doom nuances. Moreover, R gets more and more deranged on vocals while his beats exhale madness and aggressiveness, until the band’s sonic onslaught of Stygian sounds ends with the creepy sound of a mysterious organ.

In the following tune, named Tyrannic Deluge, what starts in a somber Doom Metal-inspired manner suddenly explodes into flammable Black Metal from the netherworld, with J firing scorching hot riffs form his guitar. This can be considered the most complete and electrifying of all four tracks, remaining pulverizing throughout its 14 devilish minutes, flowing like an ardent blaze through the forest until its Funeral Doom-inspired grand finale. And R, J and Morgan unite their darkened forces once again for one final blast of hellish Black Metal in the title-track Ethereal Sepulchre, delivering blasphemous vociferations, somber riffs and bass punches, and pounding beats, evolving into a menacing hybrid between old school Black Metal and low-tuned, demonic Doom Metal that remains utterly disturbing and vile for our total delight.

In summary, if you are one of those metalheads who simply love to have your soul darkened by the damned sounds blasted by bands from the underworld of heavy music, then Ethereal Sepulchre should definitely become part of your devilish collection. Hence, in order to put your hands on such sulfurous album, simply go to the Séance Records’ BandCamp or webstore (where you’ll find it in CD or in an old school, primeval tape format), as well as Discogs, to purchase your copy of it. And last but not least, don’t forget to show your support to such demented power trio by following them on Facebook, joining R, J and Morgan in their sonic crusade in the name of raw and aggressive Black, Thrash and Doom Metal.

Best moments of the album: Tyrannic Deluge.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2018 Séance Records

Track listing
1. Serpent Scythe 6:07
2. Possession of Accursed Inheritance 12:13
3. Tyrannic Deluge 14:05
4. Ethereal Sepulchre 7:00

Band members
R – vocals, drums
J – guitars
Morgan – bass

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Album Review – Roadless / Keep Rolling (2015)

Questo è Rock N’ Roll, cazzo!

Rating4

coverBorn in Turin, Italy in the beginning of 2012 from an idea of guitarist Noxy after his musical experience with a band from the city of Genoa called Lethal Poison, what Italian hard rockers Roadless have to offer us in their first full-length album, Keep Rolling, can be clearly summarized as direct and effective Rock N’ Roll. In other words, they’re not aiming at reinventing the wheel nor anything like that, but offering rockers and heavy metallers all over the world straightforward and versatile rock music that will put our bodies in frenzied motion. As simple as that, and it works extremely well.

After releasing their first EP in 2012 entitled Love to Roll, which name by the way was born from the psychedelic attitude of the band, and after sharing the stage with famous bands such as Pompei Nights (Sweden), Dead Vikings (Japan), Dobermann (Italy), and especially with American veterans Faster Pussycat, Roadless look and sound ready to spread their rockin’ wings and conquer new territories with their exciting musicality. In addition to that, the band is truly strengthened by the support from their record label, Carma Musik Records, who, according to their owners, “loves to produce only the music that still manages to excite, remaining one of the few who still believe in the power of emerging music.” That alone says it all.

Enough with the chit-chat, it’s time for Rock N’ Roll, baby! And the opener Scary Face couldn’t be more suitable for that: totally inspired by classic Rock N’ Roll and Hard Rock from the 80’s and 90’s, it’s a great tune where Noxy and frontman Blaze are kicking ass in a display of love for old school rock music. Following that brilliant start, with a similar vibe to Deep Purple’s classic “Perfect Strangers” and with Blaze lowering down his voice a bit for a darker result in a few passages, Back To The Top is pub rock music that could have easily been a song from a renowned Hair Metal band from the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, especially due to its guitar solos and thrilling beats; while we all gotta love the riffs in She’s Gonna Take Me, a song about love, sex and relationships, with a great performance by drummer Cris Crow.

roadlessNot only the lyrics in the fast and furious track Love To Roll are an ode to 90’s rock music, but the song also has a Punk Rock touch that makes it even more exciting. Can you imagine how cool it should be to see them playing it at a sold out pub night? Anyway, Home Sweet Homicide showcases an instrumental full of elements found in the Rock N’ Roll played by Motörhead, with highlights to Cris Crow and bassist Morgan for fueling the music with their outstanding performances, and in order to maintain a high level of energy Roadless deliver Never Say Never, a more rhythmic song where Blaze and Noxy once again make a great sonic duo.

Heavier and slightly more modern, the next song, Voodoo Love, was born to be a radio hit thanks to its amazing riffs, lyrics and the vocal lines by Blaze, followed by Hot Mama, a badass sexist song loaded with the best elements of Stoner Rock, Hard Rock and old school Rock N’ Roll. This is another great composition I consider perfect for a hot and sexy strip-tease, and I can even visualize the strip girl taking off her tiny panty during the guitar solo. Then suddenly the band gets a lot thrashier in the high-speed circle pit-generator You Are Nothing with its lyrics that are definitely not what we can call “polite”, probably a message the band has to a very good friend, before they say goodbye to us all in Believe, where their Stoner Rock side gets even stronger, with its distortion, heavy beats and raspy vocals giving it a rawer taste.

You can take a listen at the full album at Spotify and SoundCloud, connect to the band at their Facebook page and YouTube channel, and buy Keep Rolling at the Carma Musik Records webstore or at Amazon. In English, we would say something like “This is fuckin’ Rock N’ Roll!” to describe the awesomeness in Keep Rolling. However, as we’re talking about an Italian band, I think it sounds a lot more genuine and rousing if we all pay homage to that beautiful country and scream together QUESTO È ROCK N’ ROLL, CAZZO!

Best moments of the album: Scary Face, Love To Roll and Hot Mama.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2015 Carma Musik Records

Track listing
1. Scary Face 3:18
2. Back To The Top 4:40
3. She’s Gonna Take Me 2:35
4. Love To Roll 2:23
5. Home Sweet Homicide 3:44
6. Never Say Never 3:06
7. Voodoo Love 3:07
8. Hot Mama 4:08
9. You Are Nothing 2:09
10. Believe 3:56

Band members
Blaze – The Voice Of Fuckin’ Revolution
Noxy – Reckless Jungle Guitar
Morgan – Thunder Bird
Cris Crow – Drums Killer

Album Review – Marduk / Frontschwein (2015)

The Babylonian gods of Black Metal return with more of their blasphemous and apocalyptic war-themed music.

Rating3

coverWhen Swedish Black Metallers Marduk added interesting topics such as Third Reich history and World War II to their lyrical/conceptual themes, starting with their 1999 album Panzer Division Marduk, I guess many of their diehard fans weren’t really sure what was going to happen to those guys that once stated they wanted to become the most blasphemous band in the world. If you look at their very first demo, the controversial Fuck Me Jesus, which was banned in several countries following its release due to its explicit cover art, and look at their brand new album, Frontschwein, it’s noticeable they’re not as blasphemous as before. But who said that change wasn’t for good?

Following their excellent 2012 release Serpent Sermon, Frontschwein (their thirteenth studio album) is not only a lesson in Black Metal, but also in Military and World War History, and let’s face it: no other music genre can represent the agonies and destruction caused by any war better than Death/Black Metal. Frontschwein is a war-themed concept album with every single song talking about a specific fact related to war, all of course impregnated by Marduk’s obscure musicality. If you love reading and studying about war, and if you’re a metalhead whose blood boils to the sound of nonstop blast beats and harsh growls, this album is perfect for you.

Despite its melodic intro, the opening track Frontschwein (which by the way means “frontline soldier”) quickly turns into badass Black Metal, with the unstoppable drumming by Fredrik Widigs and the truly devilish vocals by Mortuus (especially during the chorus) making sure any candy-asses stay away from this album. On the other hand, I have no idea what the band wanted to do with The Blond Beast: what the hell are those horrible “pop music” drums? I mean, the riffs and vocals are quite decent, but those lame commercial beats ruin the entire song.

bandFortunately, that’s the only mistake the band made in Frontschwein. In the bloodcurdling Afrika, Marduk offer us an extremely dense music carnage, with Morgan and Widigs redefining the word “wicked” with their sick guitar lines and bestial drumming respectively. The slower but completely demonic tune Wartheland, which talks about a Nazi German administrative subdivision formed from Polish territory annexed in 1939, focuses on the desperate screams by Mortuus boosted by a maleficent atmosphere. Following that lesson in vileness,  in Rope of Regret the band returns with their “heavy artillery”, and in spite of all the sonic insanity their music is far from being a mess, as you can perfectly listen to and enjoy each instrument throughout the entire song.

Between the Wolf-Packs couldn’t sound more traditional, displaying all those unique elements that fans enjoy in Black Metal, whereas Nebelwerfer (or “Smoke Mortar”, a World War II German series of weapons) emanates darkness, with an incredible Doom Metal ambience mainly due to its slow-paced grim rhythm. And Falaise: Cauldron of Blood gets back to straightforward Black Metal, with highlights to the interesting addition of some slower breaks amidst the furious blast beats, and to Mortuus sounding even more amazing with his 100% barbaric guttural vocals.

mediabook

Frontschwein Mediabook Limited Edition

The longest track of all, Doomsday Elite, is another “anthem of despair” without a single second of peace, with all band members giving their best and adding a lot of power to the song, while the excellent 503, which I believe talks about German Tiger Tank Battalion 503 in World War II, sounds actually like a tank: it’s slow, extremely heavy and very imposing, with its Doom Metal elements and gruesome bass lines by Devo turning it into an outstanding moment of the album. And finally, the last regular track in Frontschwein, Thousand-Fold Death, makes sure no one survives the band’s brutal assault. It’s a nonstop tune that will put a huge smile on our faces and an even more gigantic pain in our necks, with kudos to Morgan for his awesome guitar riffs.

The mediabook limited edition of Frontschwein comes with a very generic bonus entitled Warschau III: Necropolis (a variation for the city of Warsaw, Poland), an instrumental track with some obscure growls, but nothing that adds any value to that version of the album. Anyway, it doesn’t matter if you’re a huge fan of Black Metal or not, the new album by Marduk is worth a listen. If you don’t know the band that well, you’ll be surprised by how entertaining their apocalyptic dark music can be, and if you’re a longtime fan of the band, I guess I don’t need to say this is a mandatory addition to your evil collection.

Best moments of the album: Frontschwein, Afrika, 503 and Thousand-Fold Death.

Worst moments of the album: The Blond Beast.

Released in 2015 Century Media Records

Track listing
1. Frontschwein 3:12
2. The Blond Beast 4:26
3. Afrika 4:00
4. Wartheland 4:17
5. Rope of Regret 3:52
6. Between the Wolf-Packs 4:28
7. Nebelwerfer 6:17
8. Falaise: Cauldron of Blood 4:58
9. Doomsday Elite 8:11
10. 503 5:12
11. Thousand-Fold Death 3:46

Mediabook Limited Edition Bonus Track
12.Warschau III: Necropolis 2:59

Band members
Daniel “Mortuus” Rostén – vocals
Morgan “Evil” Steinmeyer Håkansson – guitar
Magnus “Devo” Andersson – bass
Fredrik Widigs – drums