Album Review – Akhenaten / Golden Serpent God (2018)

Steeped in the mythology and mysticism of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia while exploring forgotten paths of history, here comes an infernal duo armed with their brand new opus of crushing Blackened Death Metal.

Forged in 2012 in the fires of Manitou Springs, a resort city in Colorado, in the United States by the “Houseman Brothers” Wyatt Houseman on vocals and Jerred Houseman on all other instruments, here comes a unique and vibrant Black/Death Metal studio project infused with Middle Eastern Folk Influences (even called “Blackened Mesopotamian Folk/Death Metal”) known as Akhenaten with their brand new album Golden Serpent God, steeped in the mythology and mysticism of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia while exploring forgotten paths of history, extracting unknown lore and threads of truth. For instance, Akhenaten, known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV, was a pharaoh of Egypt especially noted for abandoning traditional Egyptian polytheism and introducing worship centered on the Aten, giving you a very good idea of how distinct and aggressive the music by the duo sounds.

With parallel themes to what’s found in the brother’s Symphonic Black Metal band Helleborus, and featuring an imposing cover artwork by Tony Koehl of Sketch The Soul and a title page artwork by Dennis Lee Hughes of Cythraul Art, Golden Serpent God will appeal to fans of the music by bands such as Al-Namrood, Narjahanam, Melechesh and Kartikeya just like what happened in their previous release Incantations Through the Gates of Irkalla, from 2015, whispering to the most remote regions of primal memory to the sound of their Blackened Death Metal, filled with exotic instruments and rhythmic structures of the ancient Near and Middle East. “The album is a mural of epics from Egypt and Mesopotamia. It tells stories of belief, warfare, men and Gods,” said Jerred about their newborn opus, inviting the listener to an idiosyncratic and extreme music journey together with the duo.

In the excellent opening track, titled Amulets of Smoke and Fire, ominous sounds take us to the Mesopotamian world of Akhenaten, with Jerred generating a dark and embracing atmosphere with his scorching riffs, whimsical keyboards and demonic beats, while Wyatt growls like an Egyptian beast; followed by the also imposing and devastating Dragon of the Primordial Sea, where the guitar and bass lines create a beautiful paradox with the epicness flowing from keyboards, while Wyatt declaims the song’s lyrics with his deep, visceral growls, enhancing the song’s taste and impact even more, creating an instant link with the crushing chant Throne of Shamash, where the drums by Jerred get more and more demolishing as the music progresses in an excellent display of classic Blackened Death Metal, feeling like a battle hymn due to its thunderous vibe.

Then Middle-Eastern and folk elements permeate the air in the captivating instrumental bridge Through the Stargate, setting the stage for Akhenaten to smash our senses in Erishkigal: Kingdom of Death, a full-bodied, metallic feast of darkened sounds and nuances where the Houseman Bothers are absolutely on fire and in total sync, with highlights to the rumbling sounds extracted from guitars and bass. And things get even more thrilling as the strident and piercing sound of keyboards take the lead in the melodic aria titled Pazuzu: Harbinger of Darkness, the perfect union of history, myths and metal music, with the vociferations by Wyatt matching the musicality flawlessly, whereas in Akashic Field: Enter Arcana Catacombs get ready for over seven minutes of tribal beats and Middle-Eastern tones and nuances in another fresh instrumental extravaganza by this talented band, with Jerred blasting hypnotizing beats while the atmosphere remains as cryptic as it can be.

Featuring Brian Palmer (Circaic) on the guitar, God of Creation is the most devastating and modern composition by Akhenaten, with Wyatt growling like a demonic entity while Jerred makes sure the ambience remains as violent as possible in a multi-layered, intricate feast of Black and Death Metal for our avid ears. After such furious explosion of extreme music we have another interesting display of Middle-Eastern music infused with Extreme Metal and even futuristic elements entitled Sweat of the Sun, sounding a bit too weird at times (not to mention it could have been slightly shorter and more metallic), while in Apophis: The Serpent of Rebirth the duo gets back to their more incendiary mode, blasting a potent fusion of Progressive and Blackened Death Metal, being therefore tailored for fans of bands like Behemoth. Furthermore, the intricacy flowing from guitars and bass are the exact background Wyatt needs to thrive with his gnarls, flowing like a firestorm until the music fades into the atmospheric and vibrant outro Golden Serpent God, with all its hypnotizing sounds generating an enfolding and obscure finale for such heavy and captivating album.

In case you want to explore in more detail the vast and eccentric realm of Akhenaten, simply pay them a visit on Facebook for news and other nice-to-know details, and grab your copy of Golden Serpent God (available for a full listen on YouTube, on Spotify and on SoundCloud) from their BandCamp page, from the Satanath Records’ BandCamp page, from the Cimmerian Shade Recordings’ webstore, from iTunes, from Amazon or from Discogs. Akhenaten offer you a one-way ticket into the blackened and mysterious lands of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in Golden Serpent God, and I’m sure such distinguished experience will deeply encourage you to stay there and not come back of your own free will.

Best moments of the album: Dragon of the Primordial Sea, Pazuzu: Harbinger of Darkness and God of Creation.

Worst moments of the album: Sweat of the Sun.

Released in 2018 Satanath Records/Cimmerian Shade Recordings/Murdher Records

Track listing
1. Amulets of Smoke and Fire 3:42
2. Dragon of the Primordial Sea 3:22
3. Throne of Shamash 2:50
4. Through the Stargate 2:35
5. Erishkigal: Kingdom of Death 4:03
6. Pazuzu: Harbinger of Darkness 4:09
7. Akashic Field: Enter Arcana Catacombs 7:05
8. God of Creation (feat. Brian Palmer) 3:22
9. Sweat of the Sun 5:59
10. Apophis: The Serpent of Rebirth 5:49
11. Golden Serpent God 2:44

Band members
Wyatt Houseman – vocals
Jerred Houseman – all instruments

Guest musicians
Brian Palmer – guitars on “God of Creation”
Rose White – female vocals

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Interview – Artyom (Amentia)

If you’re curious to know how the metal scene is in Belarus, here is Artyom, guitarist and one of the founders of Minsk-based Technical Death Metal four-piece beast Amentia, to talk about not only that, but also about his biggest influences in music and a lot of nice-to-know details about the band’s latest album, the pulverizing Scourge.

Artyom (Amentia)

The Headbanging Moose: Can you please introduce Amentia to the readers of The Headbanging Moose, telling a little about your origins, your goals and your music? What are the main differences between Amentia in the early days to what the band is now?

Artyom: Amentia was formed in 2003 in Minsk, Belarus. Initially it was created as a studio project and it remained like that until 2006 when the band performed live for the first time. But the live period didn’t take too long and since 2009 Amentia returned to the status of a studio project due to the numerous line-up changes and the lack of suitable musicians who could play the material live. Though there were some attempts to find the proper members and actually we still don’t give up on performing live and maybe someday we will complete the lineup and present our material on stage. If we speak about the differences between Amentia in the early days and now I can say that this band was playing technical brutal death metal from the very beginning but with each album the music was becoming more and more mature and emphatic. The structures of the songs became more complex, melodies – more interesting, more and more elements of different genres were embedded in the main style of the band’s music, like avant-garde, math, progressive and sometimes even jazzy tunes.

THM: Last year you released an amazing album of old school Death Metal titled Scourge, which has been getting lots of positive reviews worldwide. What can you tell us about the recording process of the album, what worked well and what were your biggest issues? In addition, Scourge is the first release of the band after six years of absolute silence. Why did it take so long for Amentia to record a new album?

Artyom: The recording process itself went pretty smooth but the most difficult part was mixing and mastering. This is the first album which Alex decided to mix himself and it was a big challenge for him. He was studying this process really thoroughly, by trials and errors, and it took a lot of time until he was satisfied with the result. But the main reason why Amentia was silent for 6 years is because each of us has (or had) other bands and we had to dedicate our time also to them. At that time Alex was playing in POSTHUMOUS BLASPHEMER and couple of other projects in different non-metal genres. I performed and am still performing in DEATHBRINGER, DISLOYAL, WOE UNTO ME, THY DISEASE, and also in some bands as a session guitarist. By the way DEATHBRINGER is one more band where we are playing together with Alex.

THM: Scourge also features two new members, Valery “Vile” Toothgrinder and Zubov, both on vocals. Can you tell us a bit about them? How were they chosen to be part of the band, and what do they bring to the band’s music that wasn’t there before?

Artyom: Well, Zubov was a vocalist in POSTHUMOUS BLASPHEMER so Alex and him know each other for quite a long time and played together, so when it came to recording vocals he was the easiest candidate, without any hesitation we decided that his guttural growls would fit perfectly. But we also wanted to diversify the vocals just a little bit by adding some screams and our good friend Vile was eager to try and it appeared that his screams were exactly what we’ve been looking for. The combination of their voices added some density and fat to the music.

THM: Two of my favorite songs of the album are the devastating Anorexia and Sentence Executioner. What’s the story behind those two songs, and what message are you sending to the listener through their lyrics?

Album Review – Amentia / Scourge (2017)

Artyom: I think the names speak for themselves. Anorexia is a song about a person with a very popular nowadays mental disorder, who is obsessed with losing weight and starvation so much that gradually deprives him/herself of vital energy and kills him/herself. Sentence Executioner is a song about a person who works as an executioner in prisons and killing people becomes his everyday routine, the line between life and death erases and he dissolves in the world of torture, mutilation and killing, forgetting about the normal life. In general we do not have any special message which we’d like to send to the listener, we are just showing the brutality of the real world, all the diseases, cruelty and injustice that surround us.

THM: Another nice detail in Scourge is its dark and sinister cover art, designed by Mayhem Project Art. How was the process together with that company until you reached this final design, and what does the album art mean to the overall concept of the album?

Artyom: Our label has offered us to work with Mayhem Project Art. We looked through his works and we were very satisfied with his style. We just gave him the lyrics, explained the main lyrical themes and he came up with an idea to depict a weak and sick character covered with sores and wounds, suffering from the combination of different diseases; a piece of old dirty cloth covers his head, he is abandoned and rejected by everyone. And this collective image covers all the main lyrical themes of this album, so we really liked the idea.

THM: As an old school Death Metal band I’m pretty sure your strongest influences in music come from traditional Death Metal bands like Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse and Death, am I right? Who else has had a significant influence on your music from the Death Metal scene, from other types of heavy music, and even from non-metal styles?

Artyom: Definitely bands like MORBID ANGEL, DEATH, SUFFOCATION and CANNIBAL CORPSE have influenced most of the bands that play death metal. We are listening to all kinds of music and it is reflected to some extent in our works. If we are speaking about extreme music then I can name BLOTTED SCIENCE, DECREPIT BIRTH, MISERY INDEX, GORGASM, GORGUTS, NECROPHAGIST, MESHUGGAH, GOJIRA and many more. What concerns other genres in my case it would be worth mentioning ULVER, PINK FLOYD, WARDRUNA, DEVIN TOWNSEND, TOOL, HAMFERÐ, IHSAHN, LEPROUS, PAIN OF SALVATION, MASTODON, OPETH, BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE, etc. Alex listens also to a lot of funk music, jazz, rhythm and blues, like MARCUS MILLER, VIKTOR WOOTEN, AMY WINEHOUSE, JAMIROQUAI, Ukrainian rock band OKEAN ELZY.

THM: I had the pleasure to review a few bands from Belarus in the past few years, those being Irreversible Mechanism, Dzhatinga and more recently Ljosazabojstwa, all extremely talented but unfortunately with very little support from the media. With that said, how do you see the current metal scene in Belarus? Can we say it’s growing in importance, or is it still way too underground to be considered a true movement in the country? And what other Belarusian metal bands do you recommend to our readers?

Artyom: Nothing has changed in Belarus. Metal is still total underground in our country and looking at the number of people attending metal shows and buying CDs I would say that it’s slowly getting worse unfortunately. But it doesn’t affect so much the amount of metal bands. We have a lot of talented musicians in different genres but not all of them can withstand this situation in underground metal, this poor infrastructure and all kinds of obstacles created by our society, government and general cultural development of the masses. If you haven’t heard about the following bands from Belarus yet, then I’d recommend to check out: SERDCE, DEATHBRINGER, IRREVERSIBLE MECHANISM, RELICS OF HUMANITY, POSTHUMOUS BLASPHEMER, NEBULAE COME SWEET, WOE UNTO ME, and VICTIM PATH.

Amentia

THM: How have been the concerts to support the release of Scourge? Any memorable moments Amentia have had as a headliner or supporting any major acts in your homeland or in other countries that you would like to share with us?

Artyom: As I’ve mentioned before Amentia is still just a studio project and we don’t play live at all. But I really hope that it will change in the future and we will have some great touring and concert stories to share with you in our next interview.

THM: Now that Scourge has been out for a while, what can you tell us about the future of the band? What are your plans regarding the recording of new material and, consequently, new tour dates?

Artyom: We’ve already started working on new material. Slowly, in the intervals between activities in other bands but the new Amentia album arises.

THM: Thank you very much for your time, we really appreciate that! Please feel free to send your final words to our readers, and anything else you would like to say as your final considerations.

Artyom: Thank you so much for this interview and your interest in Amentia music. Huge thanks to all the readers who will check out this interview. Keep supporting underground metal, attend shows, buy CDs and stay brutal. Only thanks to you metal music is still alive.

Links
Amentia Facebook | VKontakte | BandCamp
Satanath Records Official Website | Facebook | VKontakte | YouTube | BandCamp

Album Review – Amentia / Scourge (2017)

After six years of silence, this Belarusian Death Metal squad is finally back in action to dismantle our bodies and souls with 33 minutes of extreme dexterity and utter rage.

Initially created as a studio project in 2003 by Alex Goron, bass player for Belarusian band Posthumous Blasphemer, Minsk-based Technical Death Metal four-piece beast Amentia is finally awake from hibernation after six years of silence to dismantle our bodies and souls with their third full-length installment, the brutal Scourge. Comprised of seven relentless original compositions tailored for killing our brain cells with each second of their sound by bringing forward fast and furious riffs, machine gun bursts of drum fills and blast beats and demonic soul-destroying vocals, Scourge lives up to the band’s name, leaving you with a severe mental impairment after banging your head nonstop like a maniac to its 33 minutes of extreme dexterity and utter rage.

Featuring members of Posthumous Blasphemer, Deathbringer, Disloyal and Thy Disease, and being strongly recommended for fans of bands like Suffocation, The Faceless and Meshuggah, Amentia already released in their underground career the split EP Mind Degradation in 2006, and the full-length albums Burn to Hate, in 2007, and Incurable Disease, in 2011, but it’s now in 2017 with newcomers Valery “Vile” Toothgrinder and Zubov on vocals that the group has reached a whole new level of brutality with their music. Displaying an ominous cover artwork by Mayhem Project Art, Scourge is not only the epitome of modern and technical Death Metal, but a solid statement by Amentia telling the world the band is back in action and they’re thirstier for blood than ever.

In the opening track, an amazing display of Technical Death Metal perfect for breaking our spine in half headbanging titled Kill Me, the quartet begins firing sheer brutality through their razor-edged instruments, in special Alex with his demented beats and Artyom with his lancinating guitar solos, whereas in I Don’t Believe their violent and rhythmic sounds keep invading our ears mercilessly, with the level of intricacy found in this sea of savagery in the form of music being astounding. In addition, the deep growling by Vile sounds beyond cavernous, which together with the also menacing guitar and bass turn this song into a must-listen for fans of the genre. And then we have the infernal tune Anorexia, with its first part being an instrumental feast of contemporary Death Metal led by Alex and his amazing drums, supported by the always cutting guitars by Artyom, before Vile returns with his bestial roars in another lesson in violence by Amentia.

Vile and Zubov sound like two enraged monsters in the visceral chant named Slow Decay, with its frantic beats and riffs being in total sync with their devilish gnarls (not to mention Alex’s pounding bass punches), followed by Noble Death, a song that brings more up-to-date elements of extreme music and tons of progressiveness where the sound of guitars strenuously slashes our senses so heavy and metallic it sounds, while Vile keeps barking and growling like a rabid gorilla for the delight of us fans of old school Death Metal. And if you think their slaughterhouse of Death Metal is over you’re absolutely wrong, as you’ll have to face Amentia once again in the high-octane ode to bestiality titled Sentence Executioner, ignited by the cutting riffs by Artyom and a furious growl by Vile, feeling like a hellish version of Dream Theater with a demon on vocals, with highlights to the fantastic job done once again by Alex on both bass and drums. And without a single second of peace, this Belorusian squad delivers another explosion of Technical Death Metal named Paranoia, showcasing crisp guitar solos and nonstop savagery, as well as a duel of gargantuan harsh growls by Vile and Zubov.  The band keeps punching us in the head throughout the entire song with their blackened sounding, resulting in the perfect conclusion for such ruthless album of extreme music.

If you have the guts to confront this boisterous joint of Belarusian metallers and their demolishing Death Metal, you can take a full listen at Scourge on YouTube, follow them on Facebook and on VKontakte, and buy your copy of the album at Amentia’s BandCamp page, at the Satanath Records’ BandCamp page, or at Discogs. I just hope Amentia do not take another six years to release a new album, and that they keep blasting our ears with their action-packed Death Metal over and over again for many years yet to come.

Best moments of the album: I Don’t Believe, Anorexia and Sentence Executioner.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2017 Satanath Records/Amputated Vein Records

Track listing
1. Kill Me 4:50
2. I Don’t Believe 4:28
3. Anorexia 4:35
4. Slow Decay 4:27
5. Noble Death 4:05
6. Sentence Executioner 5:09
7. Paranoia 5:48

Band members
Vile – scream
Zubov – esophagus
Artyom – guitars
Alex – bass, drums

Album Review –NordWitch / Mørk Profeti (2016)

Behold the rise of a brand new Blackened Death Metal horde hailing from Ukraine, taking the entire world by storm with their high-voltage fusion of epicness and blasphemy.

Rating4

nordwitch-coverWatching the rise of Ukrainian Metal is a thing of beauty. Despite not having any major names yet in the world of heavy music, Ukraine has been growing in importance for all types of metalheads, with names such as Apostate, Sad Alice Said, Majesty Of Revival, Morkesagn and Gasoline Guns, among many others, blasting their powerful music to the four corners of the earth. Having said that, we might be witnessing the birth of a Ukrainian act that has all it takes to take the entire world by storm with their high-voltage fusion of epicness and blasphemy. That band is Blackened Death Metal horde NordWitch, who have just released their extremely heavy debut album entitled Mørk Profeti (or “dark prophecy” from Norwegian).

Formed in February 2015 in the capital city of Kiev, NordWitch are highly inspired by interesting (and usually controversial) topics like Satanism, Occultism and Norse mythology, all embraced by their mighty riffs, their intricate and crisp drumming, and the deep guttural by their stunning frontwoman Masha. The only difference from the band’s inception until today is Ukrainian drummer Eugene Hrulev, who has recently replaced the amazing Hungarian stone crusher Donets Stepan, but apart from that the band has been a solid institution ready to conquer the world with their scathing fusion of Black and Death Metal and a strong passion for extreme music.

As a great example of how powerful and melodious the music by NordWitch is, let me start by saying that they managed to make the three-minute instrumental intro Mørk Profeti truly interesting and exciting even without the vocals by Masha, with Donets smashing his drums flawlessly while Max and Leo kick some serious ass with their guitar lines a la Arch Enemy. As a matter of fact, if you love Arch Enemy you’ll find a lot of them in each song by NordWitch, obviously considerably darker and more blasphemous. Then we have Dominion, a fuckin’ devastating, robust tune (it can’t get any better than this!) tailored for lovers of modern Blackened Death Metal, where Masha and Donets are true beasts on vocals and drums, respectively; followed by Walker From The Shade,  with Masha growling deeper and deeper while Max and Leo continue their guitar onslaught, supported by the metallic lines by bassist Max Senchilo. Furthermore, the “evil Arch Enemy” offer us more of their melodious riffs and solos, not to mention the epic and menacing vibe crafted by all instruments.

nordwitchIn the top-tier chant Lady Evil, the fast and cataclysmic beats by Donets, together with the song’s great riffage and another infernal performance by Masha on vocals, turn it into one the most flammable moments of the album. Moreover, Max delivers an awesome guitar solo at the end just to make the song even more thrilling than what it already is. The Call To An Ancient Evil brings forward a brutal beginning to another sensational creation by NordWitch, where Masha seems to declaim the words in a guttural way instead of screaming them, whereas the musicality sounds very technical and progressive at times mainly thanks to the high level of intricacy found in the song’s guitars and drums. And highly influenced by Scandinavian Extreme Metal, the most epic composition by NordWitch and also one of the best of the album, the rip-roaring To Nord Gods, contains all elements we love in this type of music, including a Viking Metal acoustic intro perfect for the theme proposed by the band, a beautiful pace led by the guitar lines and solos by Max and Leo, and Masha telling a compelling story through her powerful guttural vocals.

In the last two songs of Mørk Profeti, the band’s Blackened Death Metal arises like the burning fires of the underworld similar to what the iconic Behemoth usually do, starting with No Regret, with elements of Thrash and Death Metal added to its already explosive formula, always making sure there’s a huge amount of harmony and cohesiveness amidst the sonic chaos generated by the entire band. And lastly, more Nordic sounds penetrate our ears and minds in the furious chant Messiah Of Death, where Donets is impressive with his precision and rage on drums while Masha gnarls like a female demon, closing such potent opus magnificently.

In my humble opinion, we should all follow the ascension of NordWitch through their Facebook page and VKontakte, and of course blast our ears with their demonic music through their YouTube channel and ReverbNation, because this band is definitely going places and if you love metal like I do you’ll also be very curious to know how high they can go. Mørk Profeti, which can be purchased at the Satanath Records’ BandCamp or webstore, is not only the first stone in their rising castle of darkness, but an album that will put you to bang your head and raise your horns nonstop, which is pretty much everything we want in good heavy music.

Best moments of the album: Dominion, Lady Evil and To Nord Gods.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Satanath Records/Darzamadicus Records

Track listing
1. Mørk Profeti (Intro) 2:53
2. Dominion 5:27
3. Walker From The Shade 4:33
4. Lady Evil 4:44
5. The Call To An Ancient Evil 5:22
6. To Nord Gods 4:53
7. No Regret 5:15
8. Messiah Of Death 5:08

Band members
Masha – vocals
Max – lead guitar
Leo – rhythm guitar
Max Senchilo – bass
Donets Stepan – drums

Album Review – Grotesque Ceremonium / Demonic Inquisition (2016)

Call it Torturing Metal, Inquisitor Metal or simply old school Death Metal, the destructive music by this one man-army from Turkey will inflict some good pain on your body and soul.

Rating5

153-1Before starting reading this review, go down to the very end of it and take a good listen at the brutal devastation called “Burned At The Stake” by Turkish Death Metal one-man army Grotesque Ceremonium. Are you done listening to it? Good, because that will make it a lot easier for you to understand what an “unholy old school Death Metal band influenced by early 90’s dark, putrid evil” is, also setting the tone for every single song in Demonic Inquisition, the debut full-length album by this promising project led by the multitalented musician Batu Çetin.

Formed in 2014 in Ankara, Turkey, and having released a debut EP entitled Blasphemous Goat Observance that same year, Grotesque Ceremonium return in Demonic Inquisition with a concept album about the Dark Ages and the Medieval Inquisition, where all punishments and inquisition methods were performed by demons and Baphomet’s evil army against all believers of God. Singing about witches, witchcraft, demonic punishments and tortures in the depths of hell (the satanic temple of Baphomet), Mr. Batu Çetin will take you on a tormenting journey accompanied by the sound of his old school extreme music, leaving your agonizing soul completely disoriented and desolated. What else do you need in good Death Metal music, right?

Putrid growls and snarls permeate the air in Defiled Spirits Of Unholy Torments, where Batu displays a very good control of all instruments, in special his obscure riffs and drums like what we see in bands such as Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel, therefore sounding as Death Metal as possible. The title-track Demonic Inquisition builds a direct link with the opening track, enhanced by its profane vociferations and a hellish ambience. By growling deeper and deeper, Batu takes us to the hideous pits of Medieval Inquisition in a little over six minutes or torturing passages and pure Death Metal, exactly the way it’s supposed to sound.

In Burned At The Stake, which is obviously about one of the most heartless forms of torture, Batu translates the unbearable pain caused by fire into brutality with his guitar lines and rhythmic drumming, whereas in Malefizhaus & Hexengefangnis, the witch prisons built during the Bamberg Witch Trials with a capacity of 30 to 40 prisoners each, our one-man army once again provides his vision of such disgusting event through his old school musicality, with highlights to his satanic riffs and nefarious growling. If you feel your head burning after all the darkness spilled by Grotesque Ceremonium so far, get ready for more aggressiveness in Barbaric Apostasy, where despite adding hints of Blackened Doom to his beats, Batu never deviates from the foundations of Death Metal. Put differently, simply bang your fuckin’ heads to this amazing feast of extreme music until your brain detaches from your skull.

gro-bandAgonized Screams Of The Damned might be faster than the previous songs, but it’s still sluggish and extremely heavy, which obviously turns it into one of the most devastating songs of the album (if not the most). Moreover, Batu keeps roaring his fiendish gnarls and delivering his very traditional guitar lines, and pay attention to how vocals and riffs follow the exact same pattern during the entire song, showing how methodical this musician is. Following a similar sonority, we are embraced by total fuckin’ darkness in a disquieting composition entitled In The Cauldrons Of Hell, which blends the heaviness of old school Death Metal with the funereal beats from Doom Metal and Blackened Doom.

The last original track in Demonic Inquisition, named Crushing Morbid Death, is sheer Death Metal with no extra ingredients or any type of shenanigans: it’s simply Batu blasting his wicked growls, riffs and drumming in three minutes of Stygian music. And lastly, the cover version for Profanation, by old school American Death Metal band Incantation, lives up to the original version from 1992, an amazing tribute to one of our death metaller’s main influences with highlights to its “lovable” lyrics (“Pentagram is hailed in hell / Star of death brings infinite life / Enter the circle and desecrate / Devours the soul, embalminate the body…”). Not only that, keep in mind Batu is not a full-bodied band like Incantation, but just one single person, yet again showcasing his refined abilities as a musician.

This impactful display of putrescent Death Metal, available as a jewel box CD limited to 500 copies (including an 8-page booklet) or as a digital download, can be purchased at the band’s BandCamp page, at the Satanath Records’ BandCamp page and webstore, or at Discogs. Perhaps we should say Grotesque Ceremonium, the disfigured child created by the mind of Mr. Batu Çetin, is a forbidding form of Death Metal called “Torturing Metal” or maybe even “Inquisitor Metal” due to its vile nature. A good epitome of what Batu is capable of generating in music, and an excellent alternative for any fas avid for the heaviest form of Death Metal you can think of.

Best moments of the album: Malefizhaus & Hexengefangnis and Agonized Screams Of The Damned.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Satanath Records/More Hate Productions

Track listing
1. Defiled Spirits Of Unholy Torments 4:52
2. Demonic Inquisition 6:28
3. Burned At The Stake 3:08
4. Malefizhaus & Hexengefangnis 5:24
5. Barbaric Apostasy 5:49
6. Agonized Screams Of The Damned 3:53
7. In The Cauldrons Of Hell 4:47
8. Crushing Morbid Death 2:53
9. Profanation (Incantation cover) 5:04

Band members
Batu Çetin – vocals, all instruments

Album Review – Malamorte / Devilish Illusions (2016)

May the dark clouds of Black and Heavy Metal by this promising Italian project cast an ominous shadow over mankind.

Rating5

4_PanelIf we put together the Italian words “mala” and “morte” and translate them to English, the final result would be the simple but macabre expression “bad death”. Based in the historic city of Rome, Italy, Black/Heavy Metal project Malamorte returns from its ominous crypt to ensure our death is as bad as possible, haunting our souls with more of its creepy and theatrical music inspired by the iconic King Diamond and his Mercyful Fate with a Black Metal twist, this time enfolded as a brand new opus entitled Devilish Illusions.

Although this side project by Alessandro “Alex” Nunziati, best known as Lord Vampyr and the mastermind behind several metal acts like Lord Vampyr, Cain, Nailed God, Shadowsreign, Sepolcrum, VII Arcano and Theatres des Vampires, was founded back in 2009, it was only in 2014 that the debut EP The Fall of Babylon was released. However, after the great feedback received from fans and critics, Lord Vampyr (or in the case of Malamorte, only L.V.) decided it was time to provide the world another blast of his dark compositions in 2016, supported by Italian musician SK on guitars, bass and programming.

Heavily inspired by cult horror movies and the freakish atmosphere by Mercyful Fate, the intro Maleficium I will give you the chills before the title-track Devilish Illusions explodes into extreme and obscure music. L.V. sounds like an inhuman entity on vocals, with his guitar riffs blending traditional Heavy Metal with Black Metal (and even Thrash Metal elements can be noticed in this metallic devastation). After that promising start, dissonant guitar lines kick off the hellish composition named Pactum, slower but still vile and dense. It seems like L.V. is eager to drag us to a dark den and use us for a black magic ritual, with the wolves howling (or maybe tortured souls) in the background being truly disorienting, exactly what L.V. wants us to feel inside our minds.

In the powerful Dark Clouds On Golgotha, which by the way has a beautiful name for a song, its guitars and rhythm lean towards old school Heavy Metal from the 80’s, with its keyboards and drums adding a lot of flavor to it. I’m sure L.V. and his electrified performance on vocals, sounding even more demonic than usual, will put you to bang your head nostop, before the short bridge Maleficium II and its creepy piano notes introduce you to the following track, named Possession.  This high-end Extreme Metal tune displays a similar sonority to “Dark Clouds On Golgotha”, which seems to be where this project truly thrives. In addition to that, not only guest musician SK is an excellent multi-instrumentalist who significantly enhances the level of energy in the music, but the raw sounding presented in this case effectively keeps the musicality on the dark side for our total delight.

mal-bandThe title-track Malamorte keeps up with the vileness found in the rest of the album, starting with a wicked intro with some interesting piano notes and background voices that after a while turns into modern extreme music, blending elements of Black, industrial and Symphonic Metal. There are even some distorted piano notes, which together with some boisterous riffs guide this ode to dementia. Now imagine if Motörhead went Black Metal with hints of Thrash Metal? This is the interesting mixture you’ll get in the amazing high-speed tune Devoted To Self-Destruction, a nonstop sonic demolition perfect for live performances exhibiting guitar riffs and solos inspired by icons such as Slayer and Megadeth, but with a Rock N’ Roll vibe.

And there’s still time for another devilish duo of compositions by Malamorte, entitled Lucifer’s Rebellion and Maleficium III. The first takes the musicality back to the band’s more traditional approach, with its blast beats and deranged growls transpiring obscurity, not to mention its straightforward main message (Hail Lucifer!) and its abrupt and demonic ending; while the closing track is an outro where the initial gathering of background noises return one final time to haunt our sinful souls.

The world of Malamorte can be further explored on Facebook and ReverbNation, and Devilish Illusions is available for sale at the Murdher Records’ webstore and at the Satanath Records’ webstore or BandCamp. May the dark clouds of Black and Heavy Metal by Malamorte cast a shadow over all of us, and may we all sense their ominous energy penetrating our souls and disfiguring our minds.

Best moments of the album: Dark Clouds On Golgotha, Possession and Devoted To Self-Destruction.

Worst moments of the album: Pactum.

Released in 2016 Satanath Records

Track listing
1. Maleficium I 2:09
2. Devilish Illusions 3:21
3. Pactum 4:28
4. Dark Clouds On Golgotha 4:36
5. Maleficium II 0:16
6. Possession 5:02
7. Malamorte 6:30
8. Devoted To Self-Destruction 2:58
9. Lucifer’s Rebellion 3:24
10. Maleficium III 5:06

Band members
L.V. – vocals, guitars, keyboards

Guest musician
SK – guitars, bass, programming

Album Review – Humanitas Error Est / Human Pathomorphism (2016)

Mankind is nothing but a failed experiment in this sick world we live in, and this demented Black Metal horde from Germany is here to show you why.

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141-1Human Pathomorphism, a perverted or abnormal morphology (or study of the human form), is not only the debut full-length opus by German Black Metal horde Humanitas Error Est, but a cutting statement that mankind is nothing but a failed experiment in this sick world we live in. Furthermore, the name of the band translated from Latin already means “humanity is a mistake”, a pivotal detail that shows you the band is not fooling around, sending their sad but true message to everyone that somehow still believes our society has a promising future ahead even after all the shit we’ve been witnessing lately.

And this deranged army from the city of Leipzig, also known as the “boomtown of eastern Germany”, vehemently spills their venom against any type of religion throughout the entire album, which according to the band can be considered the first chapter of their pandemic hatred against mankind. Evidently, there couldn’t be a better sub-genre of heavy music to perfectly represent all their negative feelings and thoughts than our good old Black Metal, and due to the highly developed skills by each band member what we have is an extremely well-crafted sonic assault that achieves its main goal hands down.

The intro Destroyer Of Worlds gives you about a minute to get ready to be destroyed by the band, which is what will happen to you when you face their heavy artillery in Quod Homo Appellatur Morbus Est (or something like “that man called disease”, translated from Latin). What a fantastic massacre generated by those six musicians, sounding like a rawer version of Dimmu Borgir with a merciless approach. Their bursting Black Metal keeps crushing our minds in Pain Feeder, where Ahephaïm is a lunatic fringe on drums while the band’s own succubus S Caedes and the barbarian demon Ghoul provide us their most nightmarish growls, and despite the second half of the song slowing down a bit it ends up getting even more demonic than usual.

HEE-Band2-printOne interesting fact in Human Pathomorphism is that there isn’t a single second of silence between songs, and the insane fury emanating from the guitars by Tsar and Void114 in Jagdzeit (or “hunting season” in German) from the very first second of the song only corroborates that, leading to an important question: how can a band sound more violent than this? It’s a gargantuan level of devastation without a shadow of a doubt. Then we have some eerie sounds kicking off another boisterous chant entitled My Sexual Benediction, an ancient Black Metal tune with a disturbing musicality tailored for fans of the genre, followed by Raping Religions, a Black Metal hymn with hints of brutal Death Metal where S Caedes and Ghoul keep spewing their dark words upon humanity. Well, I guess the name of the song says it all.

In One Piece Human the listener will probably face the most disturbing rhythm of all, never getting too fast but always being deeply dark. In addition, all vocal lines are as hellish as possible (including some sick howling), with some blast beating moments adding more complexity to the overall result. Humanitas Error Est are back to their “wrecking mode” in Die Macht Deines Glaubens (“the power of your faith”, from German), with Tsar, Void114 and Ahephaïm becoming unstoppable music machines firing endless amounts of darkness through their instruments; whereas in Skinning Alive, a thrilling Blackened Death Metal tune, the guitar lines sound more metallic than ever. It’s four minutes of sheer savagery led by S Caedes (what a voice this woman has!) and Ghoul, or in other words, a spot-on ode to human violence. And why not closing the album with more inhumanity in the form of music, starting with a track fondly named Bestial Penetration? Albeit being a decent song, it lacks its own identity to differentiate it from the previous tracks. Nothing that damages the high quality of the album, though. And lastly we have the title-track Human Pathomorphism, which might not be exactly a full-bodied song, but it is definitely one of the most disquieting outros you’ll ever listen to.

Now that you have finally become aware of the soundtrack to human extinction crafted by Humanitas Error Est, go pay a visit to the band’s Facebook page and listen to their blatant music at their YouTube channel, SoundCloud and ReverbNation. And in order to truly show your support for this amazing band, you can buy your copy of Human Pathomorphism at their BandCamp page, at the Satanath Records’ BandCamp page or official webstore, or also at Discogs.com where you can find the regular version of the album as well as the digipak version including the official video for “Raping Religions”. Do you still believe humanity is not a mistake after listening to the music by Humanitas Error Est?

Best moments of the album: Quod Homo Appellatur Morbus Est, My Sexual Benediction and Die Macht Deines Glaubens.

Worst moments of the album: Bestial Penetration.

Released in 2016 Satanath Records

Track listing
1. Destroyer Of Worlds 0:55
2. Quod Homo Appellatur Morbus Est 3:26
3. Pain Feeder 3:42
4. Jagdzeit 3:06
5. My Sexual Benediction 5:09
6. Raping Religions 3:12
7. One Piece Human 6:23
8. Die Macht Deines Glaubens 1:58
9. Skinning Alive 4:14
10. Bestial Penetration 5:20
11. Human Pathomorphism 2:02

Band members
S Caedes – vocals
Ghoul – vocals
Tsar – guitar
Void114 – guitar
Rogan – bass
Ahephaïm – drums