Thursday, July 21, 2011

Horrorment - Homemade Horror Promo

Every year, I get a free demo at Maryland Deathfest, that I find about as hard to put down as a cold bottle of my favorite beer. The first year I went I discovered the Bolt Thrower inspired machinations of the appropriately named Texas death metal fabrication known as War Master. Last year I'm pretty sure I came home with Nordor's His Ficticious Grandeur. I can't seem to remember where else I would have gotten it. And this year's demo of choice, plucked fresh from the steamy streets of Baltimore... Horrorment's Homemade Horror promo, appropriately dubbed "Dirty Rotten Old School Death Metal." I find it hard to turn away from such a proclamation, as meaningless, generic and vague as it may be.

So simply put, the CDr has two songs with all the instrumentation done by Daniel Karlsson and the hymns by Mike Chatman. Lead off track, Multiple Forms, starts out with a sinister brooding and doomy intro, slow but persevering, stomping it's way through the nether. It speeds up in feel after a few turns through the verse with some slight snare variation before once again slowing to a creepy metallic crawl. Haunting melodies of no particular sort meander across the landscape at times, and such leads begin the opening of second track "From Beneath," which shares the general format Horrorment have displayed in From Beneath's predecessor. On this demo, the atmosphere isn't ultimately too suffocating, letting subtly exist due to songwriting prowess and not by production faults. You know those albums which at first listen are full of tiny details that would almost be missed because of the production or mix, and thus are deemed subtle recordings... this isn't that.

Horrorment have something going on. I wish my copy had the awesome artwork on it but I'm just happy to be turned onto the band. I expect something awesome from them soon. The real tape release of this demo is available out there through Plague Tapes and contains and intro and outro as well. I've got no idea what they sound like but I sure hope that I get my tape copy soon. Look for an update to this review when I get the tape.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bobby Lucas Interview Uploaded

After an awesome night last Wednesday with some great anecdotes and tales, Bobby Lucas' interview is available now. You can get it by clicking Here or you can select it from the Audio Archive Here.

Here was the playlist:

01. Morbid Sin - Twisted Souls In Hell
02. Black Sabbath - Disturbing The Priest
03. Razor - Going Under (Request - Tony)
04. Overlorde - When He Comes
05. Destruction - Beyond Eternity
06. Destruction - Release From Agony
07. Morbid Sin - Injector
08. Fates Warning - Silent Cries
09. Accept - Demon's Night
10. Iron Maiden - Killers
11. Morbid Sin - Endangered Species
12. Exciter - Evil Sinner
13. Black Sabbath - Back Street Kids
14. Judas Priest - Solar Angels
15. Overlorde - Snow Giant
16. Metal Inquisitor - Run For Your Life
17. Morbid Sin - Beyond Wickedness
18. Whiplash - Spit On Your Grave
19. Malice - Godz Of Thunder
20. Overkill - Hammerhead
21. Seven Witches - Dying Embers
22. Black Sabbath - Die Young
23. Witchfinder General - Witchfinder General
24. Morbid Sin - 13th Child
25. Morbid Sin - Devil In The Flesh
26. Morbid Sin - The Cathedral (Of The Black Monk)

Once again, thanks to Bobby for coming on The Vault and for a great time! Be sure to check out Morbid Sin, Overlorde and Seven Witches and those in the NJ/NY area should be sure to get out to one of his shows with his Black Sabbath cover band - Covered In Black.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Orbis - Forest Illuminations / The War Trilogy

I expect Orbis will become the next ultra productive black/ambient project, releasing product not measured in copies but in shear tonnage. That's just my prediction. Until it comes to pass Orbis, a UK export, have successfully released two demos: Forest Illuminations - a sixteen minute track meant to create the feel of being in a fores - and the more recent, The War Trilogy, covering the subject of World War Two.

The Forest Illuminations tape, released through Darkness Shade Records, is a minimalists romp through a rainy night in the darkest forest in your town. A steady rain and occasional blasts of thunder, which sound more like that EMP Pulse weapon from Command And Conquer Tiberian Sun, are eternal companions throughout the duration of the demo. Also present is a synthesizer playing the same notes over and over with little variation. For ambient, it's a bit excessive in it's nothingness but I know that there are some out there who will like it. I find it just a bit too meandering and unfocused. Even walking aimlessly through a forest, you have to end up somewhere...All things set aside, Forest Illuminations is a pretty lovely tape with it's own personality, like both of Orbis' works. Unfortunately Google Translator is a pain to use to translate the Latin phrase inside the insert but it roughly translates to something about "faith and science and the rain in the darkness of the forest making it difficult to hear the oceanlike migration of souls." If anyone knows Latin, please send me a translation. I've enjoyed listening to this four or five times sitting in the dark while going to sleep. It's a great tape to fall asleep to, not because it's boring but because it is pretty soothing.

The War Trilogy is a different beast. More narrative than the Forest Illuminations tape, the concept spans three songs, thirty nine minutes, which includes some similarities to the first demo, but also some harsh raw black metal blasting moments such as in the beginning of opening track "Blitz" and the beginning of second track "D-Day Is Upon Us." Black metal wise, it's a cross between demo-era Besatt, Taake and noise. The arrangements on this demo are more complex and offer more replay value than the Forest Illuminations tape. Still, long synthesizer passages exist for those fond of the first tape's near vacant metallic stylings. You can find these passages on each track though the last half of The Trilogy's final piece, "Remember Those Lost In Combat..." and also the second half of that eighteen minute drone. Also present are samples of famous speeches such as Churchill's We Shall Fight On The Beaches speech and also a sample of a radio broadcast announcing Hitler's death. They deliver a welcomed textural contrast and are well placed, adding to the narrative of the tape and also to the release's overall atmosphere.

Where Forest Illuminations is adequate background music for a drugged out lonely night, and I assume that The War Trilogy could be also, Forest Illuminations is simply not as gripping as The War Trilogy, which is an exercise in how to produce ambient that offers the listener a chance to find their own meaning amidst the various sections and arrangements. You could follow the track's peaks and valleys to find yourself escaping the gunfire of the Polish invasion, or walking amongst the countless dead after witnessing the slaughter. You could feel the madness and hopelessness of a seemingly endless war outside your window only to stroll amongst the rows of crosses and buried, all the while hearing the explosions and gunshots forever ringing in your ears. This tape offers something unique and special and, for the price, is worth it for seekers of raw black ambient.

(I got only a promo of the War Trilogy so, this is what the promo looked like. The actual tape will, definitely not look like a disc. I promise. Don't try putting the disc in your cassette player.)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Contaminated Tones #1 Review: Bloodstained Vision

Thanks to Iskar for the review and for supporting the tradition of underground fanzines! Be sure to check out his blog Bloodstained Vision.

The original posting is here.

"I got to know about this zine after Neftaraka posted info about the review of their release in Metal Terus forum. After checking the blog, I contacted the editor, paypal the money and soon after that, I got this zine mailed from USA. Printing & xerox quality wise, I would say its excellent. The text are clear, the graphics are sharp eventough the editor is using background email/color for all pages in the zine. Only 5 interviews for this issue but the questions are long so there plenty to read there. So what else do this issue offer? Some reviews and some more reviews but made in "article" form like "Forgotten Existence" (reviews of bands and their releases. Not really 'old bands' as I thought the name would suggest though), "Apolion" (4 pages of review of this band discography, incl. pictures) and also article on the band called Blackspell (from Syria). The zine's pages are not numbered but table of content is provided at the editorial page (so you have to count to find page 23, to continue reading Nyctophobia). Not much to complain, well usually I will, if you ask about the font size. The font size which is a bit large than usual but I think its fit with the layout (Large picture is used so I think it fit). I enjoy reading this issue especially the review/article. My copy is hand-numbered 73/200. Just one thing that keep me wondering, my copy have a newspaper clip stapled on the last page. The clip is news about death of Traci Thompson (mortgage underwriter). What do that have to do with the zine or the editor? I do not know and not interested to ask either. If you read the info on the blog, it says this issue is pro-print but looks more like a laser xerox. Anyway this zine deserve your support."