Vicious and vitriolic, full of raw anger and burning hatred, the new album by this German Black Metal entity will pulverize your senses mercilessly.
Vicious and vitriolic, full of raw anger and burning hatred, yet at the same time bursting with live and lingering on moments of astonishing beauty, Hearts Unchained – At War with a Passionless World, the third full-length opus by German Black Metal entity Imha Tarikat (Turkish for “extermination sect”), announces its inherent contradictions and struggles already in the title. Recorded and produced by the band’s mastermind Kerem Yilmaz (aka Ruhsuz Cellât), mixed by Michael Zech, mastered by Victor Santura (of Triptykon) at Woodshed Studio, and displaying a sinister cover and illustration by Artem Grigoryev (with sigil and additional illustration by Next Gate Art, and additional illustration by Raul CJ Peña), Hearts Unchained – At War with a Passionless World is essentially a Black Metal album in the crackling dry and humorless German style that renounces all bombast and often folk-ish undertones of its Nordic counterparts, with Kerem Yilmaz creating new layers and expanding the dimensions of his unique compositions, supported by session drummer Melvin Cieslar (of Hexer).
Absolutely atmospheric and sinister, Intro – Deeper Within will drag your soul to the Stygian lair of Imha Tarikat before all hell breaks loose in Radical Righteousness, a song that deals with the detachment from addiction to emotional suffering, with Kerem screaming in anger nonstop accompanied by his own scorching riffs and the demented but very intricate drumming by Melvin. Touch Of Mercy starts in a serene, melodic manner to the beautiful guitar lines by Kerem, blending elements from the most primeval form of Black Metal with Progressive and Experimental Metal, whereas Brute Majesty is another song that exhales chaos, insanity and fury, with Melvin sounding bestial on drums while Kerem’s vocals get more and more rabid as the music evolves. And Flood Of Love (The Beast Trigger) will grab you by your throat and choke the life out of your body, sounding massive, sharp and caustic from start to finish, with Kerem stealing the show with his wicked riffs and vile roars.
The phantasmagorical (and a bit lengthy) Interlude – Birth Of Grandeur breaks the album in two, setting the tone for the second half starting with Dominator Proselytism Tactics, offering our ears a very dynamic, straightforward Black Metal sonority led by Melvin’s wicked beats. Put differently, it’s a truly infernal creation by Imha Tarikat, which can also be said about Streams Of Power – Canavar, presenting an incendiary Punk Rock/Hardcore vibe the likes of Misfits. It’s the less Black Metal of all songs, yet still acid and thrilling, not to mention the rumbling bass by Kerem is a thing of beauty; while Stardust Wisdom (Manifest Of The Deity To The Unkeen) is another strident, heavy-as-hell tune where Kerem’s anguished vocals walk hand in hand with the pounding drums by Melvin. And last but not least, it’s time for another obscure extravaganza entitled Beast Of Sovereignty, showcasing Kerem’s trademark vocals and riffs always supported by Melvin and his demented drums.
Kerem Yilmaz and his alter-ego Imha Tarikat are waiting for you on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates, plans for the future and so on, and if you want to show your full support to such talented musician from Germany you can purchase Hearts Unchained – At War with a Passionless by clicking HERE and by streaming the album in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify. In summary, Hearts Unchained – At War with a Passionless World is not an album for anyone, while at the same time it is for everyone, showing how dynamic and multi-layered the music crafted by Imha Tarikat is, turning Kerem’s anger and hatred into amazing music that will keep the fires of Black Metal burning for centuries to come.
Best moments of the album:Flood Of Love (The Beast Trigger), Dominator Proselytism Tactics and Streams Of Power – Canavar.
Worst moments of the album:Interlude – Birth Of Grandeur.
Released in 2022 Lupus Lounge/Prophecy Productions
Track listing 1. Intro – Deeper Within 1:27
2. Radical Righteousness 5:57
3. Touch Of Mercy 5:04
4. Brute Majesty 5:19
5. Flood Of Love (The Beast Trigger) 5:32
6. Interlude – Birth Of Grandeur 2:31
7. Dominator Proselytism Tactics 5:51
8. Streams Of Power – Canavar 4:50
9. Stardust Wisdom (Manifest Of The Deity To The Unkeen) 6:44
10. Beast Of Sovereignty 5:48
Let’s turn up the heat here at The Headbanging Moose in this month of June and properly kick off the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere with a metal lady that will absolutely stun you with her powerful vocals and onstage presence. A metal singer and vocal coach known for her work with bands the likes of Born In Exile, SerapiS, and Cobra Spell, she has a fantastic vocal range that allows her to sing not only metal but pretty much any music style, which explains why she’s becoming more and more famous, respected and admired in the current music scene. I’m talking about the multi-talented Kristina Vega, also known as Kris Vega, carrying the flag of Catalan metal wherever she goes armed with her fulminating voice. I bet you’re eager to know more about such skillful musician as much as Kris is waiting for you to join her in her quest for heavy music.
Born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, Kris had her first contact with metal music when she was only eight years old, more specifically a Rammstein song which she has tattooed on her arm (which we’ll talk about shortly). When she was 16 she had a band called MOTH (which didn’t last for too long according to Kris herself), she also spent five years with a Japanese music group where she used to write music and do the guttural vocals, then three more years with a Blues band, and another metal group called Lunes 12. However, Kris had to take a break from music for a while, getting back in action in the metal scene after seeing an ad asking for a vocalist for a local band. It didn’t take long for Born In Exile to take its desired shape and form, catapulting our diva to stardom right after the band’s first release. Furthermore, growing up in the golden years of Nu Metal helped her to detect all her registers, to play with different techniques of singing and to find her way as a vocalist, having also thoroughly studied how harsh vocals, textured voice and hyper-compression techniques work in order to reach different types of sound. A formed vocal coach by Rodrigo Llamazares at Vocal Studio (a specialist in vocal coaching for teachers), she actually started studying electric bass at the age of 14, and two years later she recorded her first album as a bass player and a guttural vocalist.
Formed in 2012 in Barcelona by drummer JuanMa Ávila and guitarists Carlos Castillo and Rodrigo Baez (all from the band Corelyn) with the goal of creating a project with progressive influences inside Heavy Metal that would please fans of bands the likes of Symphony X, Opeth, Dream Theater, Rush, Myrath, Leprous and Circus Maximus, among others, the unstoppable Melodic Progressive Metal outfit known as Born In Exile has been on a roll since its inception, all of course multiplied by one thousand after Kris joined the band in August 2015 with her melodic, raspy and soaring vocals, having recorded with the band their debut opus Drizzle of Cosmos, in 2017, which by the way led the band to play at Barcelona Rock Fest in 2018, their sophomore album Transcendence, in 2020, and an EP titled Live at Vampire Fest, in 2021. Kris mentioned in one of her interviews that she recorded a cover version for Queen’s “The Show Must go On” as a reply to the band’s ad where they were searching for a new vocalist, followed by a short meeting with JuanMa and Carlos, and both were absolutely mesmerized by her vocals, which you can enjoy in all its glory in songs such as Fields On Fire, The Lighthouse of the Haunted Keeper, Enchantress, One More Line, Ziggurat, Revenant and Torch.
Apart from her career with Born In Exile, our talented diva can also be seen blasting her unparalleled vocals with the bands Cobra Spell, Uneven Frame and SerapiS, as aforementioned. As a matter of fact, Kris has just started her stint with Cobra Spell, the Dutch Heavy Metal/Hard Rock outfit led by guitarist Sonia Anubis (Burning Witches, Crypta), having replaced the band’s original vocalist Alexx Panza about a month ago, and although she hasn’t recorded anything in the studio yet with the band you can already enjoy her visceral vocals with Cobra Spell on the road, as she’s now touring with the band despite the extremely short time to rehearse with them. It’s not clear if Barcelona-based Nu Metal project Uneven Frame is still active as there are no news from the band since 2020, but it would definitely be interesting to see what Kris can do in a more alternative style (and you can take a listen at their demos on their YouTube channel); and regarding Progressive Metal project SerapiS, recently formed by Kris together with guitarist Joaco Luís (Mollitiam, Born In Exile), you can enjoy the band’s first three singles on Spotify, or go to YouTube to be stunned by Act I: Defiance, Act II: Dissidence, and Act III: Wistfulness, pointing to a very interesting future ahead of them.
Our multi-talented Kris can also be seen as a guest vocalist for the songs Our Demise, from the 2021 album The Harbour in Me, by Spanish Symphonic Power Metal act Embersland, and The Breathless Season Bane, from the 2021 album Portraits, by Spanish Atmospheric Black Metal horde Perennial Isolation; and as a metal vocal coach at the Metal Academy School of Music, the first school completely devoted to Heavy Metal and Hard Rock founded in 2017 in Barcelona, and as a voice actress for The Monster Factory, a Montreal, Canada-based company specialized in the conception of voices for monsters, zombies, aliens and many more creatures in the video game and film industries provided by metal vocalists the likes of our unstoppable diva.
Highly influenced by a wide variety of styles, from bands like Tool, Arch Enemy, Opeth, Leprous, Slipknot and Jinjer to vocalists like Freddie Mercury and Mónica Naranjo, Kris has already performed in over 500 concerts, singing not only Heavy Metal and Hard rock, but also Blues, Soul, Death, Progressive and Experimental Metal, proving not only how skillful she is, but also how experienced she already is in the music industry. As mentioned, having listened to her first metal song at the young age of eight, more specifically the song Klavier, from the album Sehnchust by Rammstein, thanks to the father of one of her neighbours, Kris quickly moved on to other bands and artists such as Linkin Park, Slipknot, Machine Head, System of a Down, Otep and Arch Enemy, being right now a huge fan of Jinjer, In This Moment, Gojira, Opeth, Devin Townsend, Myrath and Twelve Foot Ninja. When asked if she listens to any bands that she considers some sort of “guilty pleasure”, Kris mentioned Nino Bravo, from her childhood years, Azul y Negro, from her teens, and Evanescence, when she was in her 20’s. In addition, when questioned if she prefers Nightwish or Epica, she said she doesn’t really enjoy their voices, being a much bigger fan of stronger vocals the likes of Jinjer and Battle Beast.
An avid reader of everything surrounding the voice anatomy, Kris is also writing a book to help singers who are just starting their careers and trying to find their own voice, focusing on all obstacles a vocalist might find along the way as for example not being told what’s working and what’s not, which by the way happened to her in the beginning of her career. She believes anyone can sing as long as it represents your own voice and delivers the desired message, always working not only her students’ voices but also their fears, their landscapes and so on, trying to transfer as much courage and strength to all of them during her classes.
It was right after the release of Drizzle of Cosmos that Kris and her bandmates from Born In Exile began touring on a more professional level, having played in different countries and festivals, such as Barcelona Rock Fest. She mentioned that when the band received an email informing they were selected to open that festival she almost cried of pure joy, also saying their performance at the festival was one of the most memorable moments of her life so far. She mentioned in one of her interviews how difficult it is to perform onstage for a massive festival crowd, the importance of being mentally prepared, and the energy shared with the crowd. Still talking about touring, Kris said that she loves to play alongside renowned bands as everything feels a lot more professional, and that although organizing tours (especially outside of Spain) is a lot of work, all that effort is definitely worth it.
As a prominent woman in Heavy Metal, Kris commented on how she sees the role of women in the current metal scene and the type of treatment she receives from men. She mentioned that despite a few bad experiences and situations in her career, one of the most beautiful things in her life is the fact she’s extremely well treated by her bandmates, who support her in everything and the whole feminist movement. However, she believes women in metal should stop fighting against each other for different reasons and realize that they’re stronger when united, saying it’s important to stop thinking like a man and avoid at all costs using sexist words and expressions that are stuck inside our minds thanks to the way we’re taught those things by our society. Moreover, Kris also faced some criticism and sexism when she decided to move from her hairdresser job (which she had been doing since she was 15) to pursue her career in music. She used to listen to things such as being a vocalist or working with music doesn’t pay your bills, doesn’t put food on the table, that she should get a “real” job, and so on, but that didn’t stop her from becoming the awesome vocalist she is today.
Regarding the metal scene these days, she said she thinks the musical landscape is unfair, complaining about an empty venue for an excellent band that goes all the way from Australia to Spain, for example, which is frustrating for the musicians involved. In addition, she said she would like to encourage all bands to have more respect and companionship among themselves, and to see more support to local bands by inviting them to open for the foreign headliners, just like what happened to Born In Exile during Barcelona Rock Fest where the band might have played for only 30 minutes, but according to Kris herself it was good enough to show the crowd what they got. And to be honest, even if they had played for only five minutes that would have been more than enough for the metalheads at the festival to witness how amazing the music by Born In Exile is and how powerful Kris’ vocals are, always singing about love, pain, real-life experiences and other related topics, therefore adding an extra personal touch to her thrilling performance.
As aforementioned, Kris is an accomplished vocal coach, offering vocalists not only from Barcelona but from all around the world different options to work with her, including more basic, free courses through the Metal Academy School of Music, or intensive online and in-person courses (which you can get more details by contacting her by email), and she’s waiting for you to begin a very productive and fun partnership in the name of rock and metal music. By the way, you can also click HERE to check all of her official links where you can get to know more about Kris and her career. Lastly, in case you decide to take vocal classes with Kris and it starts to rain, that might be a very good sign, and the reason for that is quite funny. When she was asked about something curious that has already happened with Born In Exile, she said that every time the band is about to do something important, it rains, it doesn’t matter if it’s the recording of a new album, signing with a record label, playing at a famous venue, or anything else. In other words, let’s join the incendiary Kristina Vega in her quest for heavy music, and may the rain fall down on us for many decades to come together with such inspiring musician.
A melancholic trip into the obsessive compulsions that take shape within our lives in the form of first-class Atmospheric and Depressive Black Metal made in Italy.
Developing its atmosphere through lengthy songs with strong dynamics and pacing, keeping the listener lost in a reverie and crafting an immersive experience at once melancholic and infectious, the newborn Italian Atmospheric/Depressive Black Metal project Notturno will take you on a melancholic trip into the obsessive compulsions that take shape within our lives, the psychological torment, and the scourge of madness that takes hold inside the ancient walls of the human psyche with their debut full-length opus entitled Obsessions, peering around the dark corners within all of us. The brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Vittorio Sabelli (Dawn of a Dark Age, Suici.De.Pression), Notturno floats between Atmospheric and Depressive Black Metal, Doom Metal and chamber music, sounding intimate and possessing a strong character highlighted by the unique and singular expressiveness of female vocalist Kjiel (Eyelessight) and organically driven drum work of Sven. Mixed and mastered by Stefan Traunmuller, and displaying a stylish artwork by Dario Ursino (featuring model Michela Suffritti), Obsessions offer the listener 36 minutes of an absolutely stunning Black Metal sound, pointing to a bright future ahead of such promising project.
The sluggish, somber beats by Sven kick off the first of the three tracks of the album, simply titled Fear, being gradually accompanied by the melancholic guitars and low-tuned bass by Vittorio while building a depressive and obscure atmosphere that will darken your heart and soul, all of course embraced by Kjiel’s smooth but anguished vocals. Furthermore, the guitar work by Vittorio is a thing of beauty, elevating the song’s intensity to a whole new level. Then more of the band’s Depressive Black Metal will invade our senses in Darkness, with Vittorio and Sven being in absolute sync with their respective riffage and slow and steady beats while Kjiel sounds even more perturbed and evil on vocals, adding an extra touch of malignancy to the overall result. And the last song of their triumvirate of darkness and depression, entitled Falling, brings forward Kjiel’s most anguished vocalizations accompanied by the minimalist and reverberating guitars by Vittorio in a lesson in Atmospheric Black Metal, with their despair, hatred and obscurity rising as the music progresses while also presenting elements from Progressive, Experimental and Doom Metal before ending in a beyond Stygian way.
If you want to know more about Vittorio Sabelli and his Notturno, you can find the project on Facebook for news and other details, and of course if you’re a true admirer of Atmospheric and Depressive Black Metal with a beyond sinister aura you can purchase your copy of Obsessions as a very special bundle containing a digipack CD, a shirt printed on Gildan softstyle, a logo patch, a signed postcard, a magnet and a logo sticker, as well as a CD or in digital format. Italy has always been an amazing source of first-class Atmospheric Black Metal thanks to bands like Notturno, and may that darkness go on forevermore to the sound of classy and multi-layered albums like Obsessions. In other words, if this is just the first step in the career of Notturno, I can’t imagine what’s next for this newborn entity brought into being by the multi-talented Vittorio Sabelli.
This unrelenting Polish group returns with a new concept album based upon the moral and ethical conflict between socially imposed conditions and primordial nature of man.
Born in 1995, dead in 2002 and evoked in 2009, always focusing on the creative process and concepts behind the music, lyrics and graphics, Andrychów, Poland-based Black/Death Metal studio project +MROME+ is back into the battlefield with a new concept album, entitled Barbaric Values, following up on their 2016 album Noetic Collision on the Roof of Hell and on their 2019 album Leech Ghetto. Displaying a sick artwork by Ataman Tolovy (featuring a trashart sculpture by Krzysztof Kadłubowski), Barbaric Values is based upon the moral and ethical conflict between socially imposed conditions and primordial nature of man, with a distinctive dark and negative vibe being channeled into a new musical direction again by Key V on vocals and guitar, LV’s on bass, and P on drums.
The sinister beats by P ignite the opening tune Heart of Hearts, evolving into an experimental beast by the trio where Key V is on fire with his riffage supported by the metallic bass by LV’s. Put differently, it’s like a heavier version of Mastodon with an European twist, and they keep hammering their sonic weapons mercilessly in Inviting Birds, sounding visceral, raw and electrifying from start to finish with Key V roaring the song’s acid words nonstop, resulting in a solid hybrid of Black, Death and Experimental Metal. Another devilish, somber intro grows in intensity until the gnarls and guitars by Key V penetrate deep inside your psyche in Vexierkasten, with LV’s and P making your head tremble with their infernal kitchen; whereas razor-edged riffs permeate the air in Mama, a galloping tune led by the neck-breaking drums by P exhaling groove, obscurity and obviously metal, inviting us all for a wicked music voyage together with those Polish rockers.
Srebrne szlaki, which features guest vocals by Ataman Tolovy and lyrics taken from Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan (with Polish translation by Anna Warso and Wojciech Góralczyk, Kultura Gniewu 2018), is even more experimental and idiosyncratic than its predecessors, exploding into an evil extravaganza spearheaded by the wicked riffs by Key V, while Penis Fencing carries a weird name for a song that keeps the album at a high level of acidity and dementia, with P dictating the song’s pace together with LV’s and his progressive bass lines. Then futuristic sounds and tones kick off their second to last experiment titled Balance of Power, before the trio comes ripping once again with their Stoner Metal-infused sonority. Moreover, Key V and LV’s are in total and absolute sync until the very last second. Lastly, the trio is ready to surprise us all once again in The Torun Horse, a melancholic instrumental tune that will bring darkness to your damned soul, featuring music based on Béla Tarr’s A torinói ló soundtrack by Mihály Vig.
It’s impressive how +MROME+ are capable of reinventing themselves with each one of their releases without selling out or sounding cheesy at all; quite the contrary, the evolution in their music is a thing of beauty, and Barbaric Values is the perfect depiction of their skills and their passion for heavy music, never afraid of pushing the boundaries and trying new things in their career. Hence, don’t forget to stream all of their creations on Spotify, and to grab your copy of their newest album from BandCamp, from Merch.is or from Apple Music, saying FUCK YOU to messengers of dread and obedience just like the guys from +MROME+ themselves like to do on a daily basis in the name of good and meaningful music.
Best moments of the album: Heart of Hearts, Mama and Srebrne szlaki.
Worst moments of the album:Penis Fencing.
Released in 2022 NRA
Track listing 1. Heart of Hearts 5:04
2. Inviting Birds 5:09
3. Vexierkasten 6:05
4. Mama 5:25
5. Srebrne szlaki 7:23
6. Penis Fencing 5:20
7. Balance of Power 6:12
8. The Torun Horse 6:42
Band members Key V – vocals, guitar
LV’s – bass
P – drums
Guest musician Ataman Tolovy – vocals on “Srebrne szlaki”
An Israel-based one-man army continues to follow an eclectic direction with his new opus, mixing diverse musical genres with Black Metal vocals and Middle-Eastern melodies.
Formed in 2007 by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Denis Tereschenko (known as Herr Entweiherr during the first years of the project) in the northern part of Israel, three years after moving to Haifa from his hometown Vitebsk, in Belarus, Melodic Dark/Black Metal entity Die Entweihung, which is German for “the desecration”, has just unleashed upon us all the project’s impressive tenth full-length opus, entitled Kings & Pawns, continuing the eclectic direction of some of his previous albums by mixing diverse musical genres the likes of Experimental, Doom and Thrash Metal with trademark Black Metal vocals, Middle-Eastern melodies and lyrics that, just like in the previous two albums, deal with “the confrontation of man and his surrounding world”. Not only that, Kings & Pawns also marks Die Entweihung’s first release in nine years to feature a couple of guest musicians, more specifically vocalists Alexander Ivanov (of Jinx) and Alena “Dark Zero” (of Nocturnal Pestilence), and bassist Anton Shirl (of Tales of Darknord), bringing additional layers of obscurity and mystery to the already idiosyncratic music crafted by Denis, all enfolded by a stylish artwork by Yulia “BooShweak” Asher.
A wicked intro quickly evolves into a metallic feast titled Away into the Night, where Denis delivers at the same time slashing riffs and whimsical keys, working as an expanded intro to The Moustached God, a grim fusion of Experimental Black Metal and contemporary Progressive Metal where Denis gnarls like a creature from the underworld while his beats and fills, as well as his Arabian guitar lines and solos, elevate the song’s epicness through the roof. And our talented and relentless lone wolf continues to pave his path of darkness and harmony in As The Hangover Starts, showcasing more of his classic Heavy Metal riffs intertwined with Symphonic Black Metal keys; whereas enhancing his progressiveness and experimentations we’re treated to the melodic instrumental tune Confrontation, once again displaying a fantastic job done by Denis on the guitars while he also crafts a dense kitchen with his drums and bass. Then guest Alexander Ivanov makes a demented vocal duo with Denis in Kings & Pawns, while our one-man army keeps hammering his drums and extracting sheer electricity form his riffage in a great depiction of his Melodic Dark Metal.
Featuring Alena “Dark Zero”, Iron Maiden-inspired guitars ignite the atmospheric The Nonsense Games, where Alena kicks some serious ass with her Doro-like clean vocals and devilish roars from start to finish; while sounding darker and more primeval than before, Denis and his Die Entweihung bring forward elements from an array of styles in the hypnotizing The Only Thing Worthy to Save, keeping the album at a high level of obscurity. Alena returns in full force in the cover song Working Class Hero, originally released by John Lennon under his solo project John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band in their 1970 self-titled album (check the original version HERE), showcasing all her talent and passion for heavy music and, therefore, resulting in a beautiful rendition for such distinct classic; and the albums closes with another cover song, this time Sons of Moon and Fire, from the 1999 demo Revelation by Russian Black Metal horde Der Gerwelt, a beyond amazing tribute by Die Entweihung featuring guest bassist Anton Shirl (of Tales of Darknord), dedicated to the memory of Dmitry Aarbreck Abramov (R.I.P.) from the original Der Gerwelt lineup (and you can take a listen at the original version HERE).
In the end, as you can see it’s quite difficult to label the music crafted by Denis and his Die Entweihung in Kings & Pawns, showcasing all the dexterity, creativity and dynamism by such talented musician. Hence, the best thing to do in order to try to understand all styles and nuances found throughout the album is to stream it in full on YouTube, and of course purchase the album (and show Denis your utmost support) from his own BandCamp page, from Wings of Destruction’s BandCamp page or webstore, or from Discogs. Also, don’t forget to give Denis a shout on Facebook, getting to know more about his career, his music and plans for the future, consequently inspiring him to always move forward armed with his epic music. In a world where each one of us is either a king or a pawn, and with the discrepancy between those two groups growing exponentially year after year, there’s nothing better than some diverse and epic metal music to help us endure our daily lives, and Denis and his Die Entweihung are among us exactly to help us with that.
Best moments of the album: The Moustached God, Kings & Pawns and The Nonsense Games.
Worst moments of the album:Confrontation.
Released in 2021 Wings of Destruction
Track listing 1. Away into the Night 2:47
2. The Moustached God 6:32
3. As The Hangover Starts 8:36
4. Confrontation 4:02
5. Kings & Pawns 4:53
6. The Nonsense Games 7:12
7. The Only Thing Worthy to Save 6:42
8. Working Class Hero (John Lennon cover) 4:02
9. Sons of Moon and Fire (Der Gerwelt cover) 7:02
Band members Denis Tereschenko – vocals, all instruments
Alena “Dark Zero” – harsh and clean vocals & arrangements on “The Nonsense Games” and “Working Class Hero”
Alexander Ivanov – harsh and clean vocals & arrangements on “Kings & Pawns”
Anton Shirl – bass on “Sons of Moon and Fire”
One of UK’s most innovative underground acts returns with a multi-layered and very experimental concept album representing a hugely-modified musical retelling of the Books of Enoch.
One year after the release of the excellent Pythagoras and after unleashing upon humanity a series of non-metal albums in 2020, those being Revelations of the Gnostic Christ, The Philosopher’s Hand and more recently Goatchrist, Leeds, UK’s own vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Guilherme (or J. Guilherme if you prefer) and his Experimental Black Metal alter-ego Goatchrist are back with another imposing opus entitled Apotheosis, a concept album representing a hugely-modified musical retelling of the Books of Enoch, apocryphal magical texts from antiquity. Following the story of Edris, who leaves his hometown due to his perception of its absolute wickedness in order to find a city of divinely-acting inhabitants, Apotheosis showcases once again the undeniable talent of J. Guilherme, this time accompanied by D. Tann and guests A. Billingham and R. Shipley providing several different voices to give life to all characters involved in the story, inviting the listener to join Goatchrist in another detailed and very entertaining musical voyage.
Stygian guitars permeate the air in the cryptic intro Prologue – From a People Lost… while Jacob begins declaiming its cryptic words, warming us up for the absolutely experimental and progressive Chapter 1 – …unto the Wilderness, Seeking the City of Divine Beings (מַלְכוּת), where its lyrics couldn’t have been darker and more poetic than what they already are (“I am born from great evil, / My mind has dwelt in sin. / I have not mind or heart, / As awakened cantors deep within.”), blending Progressive Metal with heavier sounds and non-metal styles and, therefore, turning it into a beyond amazing ride for fans of all types of rock and metal music. And continuing his path of experimentations and metaphysical philosophies, Jacob and his Goatchrist offer another epic composition titled Chapter 2 – Hark! Appeareth (מֶטָטְרוֹן), where all guitars, drums, keys and orchestrations generate a bold ambience for his demonic gnarls, resulting in a progressive and sharp hybrid of Cradle of Filth and Opeth. Then a very theatrical start kicks off the 11-minute aria Chapter 3 – Five Archangels, bringing to our ears classic piano and keys, deep guttural vociferations and sluggish, Doom Metal-inspired beats, also presenting Jazz-y moments, endless breaks and variations and an enfolding atmosphere from start to finish, not to mention the amazing job done by guest R. Shipley as the voices of Gabriel and Michael.
Chapter 4 – I Am That Which Is Called ‘I Am’ (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה) brings forward another round of Goatchrist’s wicked words (“ “No-thing” is that which exists, / And at the start, is that which is. / But from “thing-ness” it is disjoint, / And thus contracts to a single point.”) while the music is once again an explosion of countless rock, metal and other distinguished styles, with Jacob firing classic bass lines, soulful guitar solos and his trademark growling. Put differently, it can’t get any more experimental, multi-layered and dynamic than this. Or maybe it can, as Chapter 5 – Reborn unto Paradise (כֶּתֶר in Microcosm) blends elements from Ambient, Shoegazing and Atmospheric Black Metal to Goatchrist’s core Experimental Metal, resulting in a musical voyage where all voices by Jacob, D. Tann and A. Billingham make the whole experience even more enthralling and detailed. Furthermore, it’s interesting how Jacob meticulously added tons of idiosyncratic sounds in the background while at the same time keeping the whole song very cohesive and smooth, growing in intensity until its visceral and beast-like grand finale.
Needless to say, Jacob and his always electrifying Goatchrist managed to surprise us one more time with the high quality of the music and the exceptional concept found in his new album Apotheosis, and after so many top-notch releases in a row and in such a short period of time one can never know where the project will go from now on, which lands and storylines Jacob will explore, nor what types of music styles will be incorporated into his unique compositions. Hence, don’t forget to follow Goatchrist on Facebook, to listen to more of the project’s music on Spotify, and to purchase a copy of Apotheosis from Goatchrist’s own BandCamp page or from Amazon, keeping in mind the BandCamp download will also include two publications, one called “The Magical Key to Understanding the Album ‘Apotheosis’”, and another one titled “Third Book of Enoch”, just to give you an idea of how focused and detailed-oriented Jacob is whenever his mind begins paving the next step in the career of Goatchrist. Are you curious to know what happens to Edris in Apotheosis? Well, why don’t you let Jacob tell you that through the very distinguished music by Goatchrist? I’m sure you’ll get addicted to all of his sonic experimentations, just like what he has to offer in Apotheosis.
Best moments of the album: Chapter 1 – …unto the Wilderness, Seeking the City of Divine Beings (מַלְכוּת) and Chapter 5 – Reborn unto Paradise (כֶּתֶר in Microcosm).
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2020 Independent
Track listing 1. Prologue – From a People Lost… 2:12
2. Chapter 1 – …unto the Wilderness, Seeking the City of Divine Beings 9:53
3. Chapter 2 – Hark! Appeareth 7:13
4. Chapter 3 – Five Archangels 11:23
5. Chapter 4 – I Am That Which Is Called ‘I Am’ 9:41
6. Chapter 5 – Reborn unto Paradise (כֶּתֶר in Microcosm) 17:11
Band members J. Guilherme – all instruments, narration, voices of יהוה, Uriel, Raphael and Lucifer
D. Tann – voices of Edris, מֶטָטְרוֹן and Lucifer
Guest musicians A. Billingham – voices of Sophia and Lucifer
R. Shipley – voices of Michael and Gabriel
Four distinct musicians from four different countries united in the name of metal, bringing to us all a truly unique sound, unmistakably heavy and angry, yet refreshingly different and unpredictable.
Originally founded by Greek-Kiwi vocalist and lyricist Aliki Katriou in 2016 together with British guitarist James Scott (replaced by French guitarist Paul Allain in 2017), bassist Marcin Orczyk from Poland, and Brazilian drummer Rodrigo Moraes Cruz, London, UK-based Extreme Metal act Eight Lives Down has its roots in Groove and Thrash Metal, but constantly branches out stylistically incorporating influences from Progressive, Death and Black Metal, as well as various other musical genres such as Punk Rock, Blues, and traditional folk music, while vocals range from low growls and high screams to clean and even operatic phrases, creating a truly unique sound, unmistakably heavy and angry, yet refreshingly different and unpredictable. Now in 2020 the quartet is ready to invade our senses with their debut full-length opus, entitled Humans, showcasing all their versatility, dynamism, creativity and rage, all enhanced by the album’s top-notch mixing and mastering done by Dan Baune at Noise Foundry Productions, while embraced by a modern, stylish artwork by Dylan Sutton.
The blazing guitar riffs by Paul kick off the sick and groovy Opening Shots, bringing forward a fusion of Melodic Death Metal with more modern and alternative styles, with Aliki growling like a true she-demon for our total delight, followed by Misguided, where the metallic bass jabs by Marcin will hit you in the face while Aliki blasts her wicked mix of clean vocals and harsh gnarls, leaning towards contemporary Thrash and Groove Metal while Rodrigo dictates the pace with his classy beats. Then the mesmerizing vocalizations by Aliki accompanied by tribalistic sounds and tones ignite the heavy and experimental Angela, with Paul, Marcin and Rodrigo bringing sheer progressiveness to the music with their refined techniques, whereas From The Cradle is a lot more introspective, grim and atmospheric than its predecessors, starting in a semi-acoustic manner while Aliki declaims the song’s dark lyrics, sounding at the same time like a 90’s Groove and Funk Metal tune and a modern-day thrashing tune, something a wicked band like Faith No More would definitely do.
More of their rumbling sounds permeate the air in the also heavy and furious Sacrifice, a lecture in Groove Metal by Eight Lives Down where Aliki’s roars get deeper and more enraged while Rodrigo sounds pulverizing on drums, supported by Marcin’s menacing bass; and in Organize Your Mind the quartet offers us all a hybrid of the rebelliousness of Alternative Metal with the intricacy of Progressive Metal, with Paul being on absolute fire with his demented riffage, while also presenting interesting atmospheric passages and endless heaviness. After that it’s time to break our necks headbanging together with Aliki and the boys in Colder, adding hints of Heavy Rock to their already crushing sonority while Paul and Marcin have a fun duel with their strident riffs and solos and low-tuned bass punches, respectively. Lastly, you better get ready for nine minutes of introspection, groove and heaviness in the form of Why, starting in a serene way with Aliki declaiming the song’s cryptic words, evolving into a thunderous metal feast led by Rodrigo’s visceral beats, not to mention the incendiary solos by Paul as the icing on the cake.
This precious gem of Extreme and Experimental Metal can be enjoyed in its entirety on YouTube, but of course in order to show your support to Aliki and her loyal henchmen you should definitely buy a copy of Humans from their own BandCamp page, from their webstore or from Amazon, as well as follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about such up-and-coming metal band, and subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their idiosyncratic creations. It will certainly be more than just interesting to see what the future holds for Eight Lives Down with their upcoming releases, if they’ll keep experimenting like crazy or if they’ll set a defined shape and style for their music. Until then, while we wait for the creative mind of Aliki to provide us more insanity in the form of music, we can keep banging our heads nonstop to Humans, by far one of the best alternative albums of the year.
Best moments of the album: Opening Shots and Sacrifice.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2020 Cult Of Parthenope
Track listing 1. Opening Shots 3:50
2. Misguided 4:01
3. Angela 3:56
4. From The Cradle 7:40
5. Sacrifice 3:52
6. Organize Your Mind 4:21
7. Colder 4:20
8. Why 9:02
Aliki Katriou – vocals
Paul Allain – guitar
Marcin Orczyk – bass
Rodrigo Moraes Cruz – drums
Saluting the great forces of nature and the void that surrounds us, Finland’s own riff-praising, cosmos-worshiping metal unity returns with another round of their raw northern “döömer”.
Hail Cosmos! We’re all döömed!
Helsinki’s own riff-praising, cosmos-worshiping trio of doom, the infamous and heavy-as-hell unity known as Dö, is ready to stimulate and distort our senses once again with what they like to call “döömer” in their brand new opus entitled Astral Death Cult. And if you have absolutely no idea of what “döömer” means, let’s say it’s simply dark astral energy masterfully compressed by our beloved sonic triumvirate comprised of Deaf Hank on vocals and bass, Big Dog on the guitar and Joe E. Deliverance on drums into a unique northern mix of stoner, doom, sludge and psychedelic elements with hints of Death and Black Metal. Or is this still too complicated for your terrestrial mind?
Astral Death Cult is the second full-length album released by Dö and their fifth release since the band’s inception in 2013 in “Hellsinki”, following the path of reverberating sounds and distortions paved in their previous releases, those being their debut self-tiled EP from 2014, the EP Den from 2015, their first full-length installment Tuho from 2016, and the EP Astral: Death/Birth from 2017. However, while their core essence remained intact through the years, with all albums being recorded live to get the genuine dynamics of the trio on each track, the lyrical themes have evolved from mysticism, misanthropy and anti-religiousness towards saluting the great forces of nature and the void that surrounds us, matching their musical direction flawlessly and, consequently, providing the listener a truly unique experience while listening to the album’s 36 minutes of pure “dööm”.
Joe’s funereal beats kick off the three-minute invitation to emptiness and obscurity titled Intergalacticlude, where the bass by Deaf Hank sounds as dirty and raw as it can be, also bringing to our ears and minds somber vociferations and a menacing aura. After such killer start we have the superb Atmosfear, which kicks off in a truly Stygian, atmospheric way before Deaf Hank begins exhaling evil and fear through his bass and raspy vocals, exploding into ass-kicking Doom and Sludge Metal for our total delight. Just break your damned neck headbanging to this visceral hymn, while Big Dog’s Black Sabbath-inspired demonic riffs add an extra touch of evil to the music. And the pounding drums by Joe together with Deaf Hank’s malevolent bass take the lead in Drifting (In a Methane Ocean), showcasing over nine minutes of sluggish passages, a grey ambience, endless heaviness, and desperate vocalizations amidst embracing, minimalist guitar lines, smashing our heads ruthlessly. Put differently, this is exactly what happens when distortion, harmony and heaviness unite in the name of doom.
Their astral journey goes on in the also pulverizing Cosmic Communion, bringing elements from Experimental and Progressive Metal to their already multi-layered sound. I simply love the rumbling sounds Deaf Hank blasts from his bass while Big Dog keeps shredding his strings beautifully, turning it into the perfect soundtrack to a futuristic slasher flick as they keep jamming like there’s no tomorrow. Planet Eater couldn’t have started in a more menacing way, representing the epitome of old school Doom and Stoner Metal. Big Dog is on fire with his riffs and solos, while Deaf Hank barks and roars nonstop, and let me tell you their synchronicity with their stringed weapons is amazing, complemented by Joe’s slow and potent beats. And lastly, never letting the level of energy, rage and distortions go down they offer us the groovy and dark Beyond the Cosmic Horizon, where its bass and drums will make your brain tremble. Deaf Hank’s anguish gnarls get darker and darker as the music progresses, with the soulful solo by Big Dog being the icing on the cake in this excellent closing tune.
This precious gem of doom, or maybe I should just start writing “dööm” all the time from now on, can be relished in full on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course if you want to show your absolute support to Finland’s meanest and most demented trio you can purchase the album from their official BandCamp, from the Dust & Bones Records webstore, from the Lay Bare Recordings webstore, form Apple Music or from Amazon. Also, don’t forget to give them a shout on Facebook and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their raw and classy music, because as you’re all already aware of, we’re all “döömed” in this rotten and decaying world, and there’s nothing we can do about that apart from banging our heads and raising our horns together with Deaf Hank, Big Dog and Joe E. Deliverance until our inevitable end.
Best moments of the album:Atmosfear and Cosmic Communion.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2019 Lay Bare Recordings/Mercyful Tapes
Track listing 1. Intergalacticlude 3:11
2. Atmosfear 5:50
3. Drifting (In a Methane Ocean) 9:18
4. Cosmic Communion 6:11
5. Planet Eater 5:43
6. Beyond the Cosmic Horizon 5:55
Band members Deaf Hank – vocals, bass
Big Dog – guitar, backing vocals
Joe E. Deliverance – drums, backing vocals
An amalgamation of metal and non-metal styles in the form of a concept album influenced by Greek philosopher Plato and his famous allegory of the cave, all carefully served in a cone.
Have you ever been served a “god in a cone”? If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, let me take you all the way to the charming Greece, where since 2016 vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Nick Marinos (lead singer for Greek Gothic/Industrial Metal act Slitherum) has been crafting a very fresh and unique amalgamation of styles such as Atmospheric Black Metal, Coldwave, Hard Rock, Industrial and Country Rock under the eccentric name of God in a Cone. And this Experimental Metal one-man army from Greece is ready to attack your senses once again with Passing, his seventh album and a concept album influenced by Greek philosopher Plato and his famous allegory of the cave, featuring a stylish artwork by Daniel Goudelis and produced, mixed and mastered by Dimitris Delis at Studio 222.
No one knows if the very atmospheric, ethereal and captivating title-track Passing is an intro to the album or if it’s a regular song, which in the end is the beauty of it, showcasing piercing vocalizations and a curious vibe that blends the strength of Black Metal with the innovative approach of Post-Metal. Then in Ξεψυχαω we’re treated to an eccentric fusion of Electronic and R&B with contemporary Hard Rock, with the raspy vocals by Nick giving an extra kick to the song’s Rap-like lyrics; whereas Νερο, one of the heaviest songs of the album, brings forward gripping guitar riffs, classic beats and a lot of potential for igniting some circle pits, also carrying several elements from the distinct music by metal acts like Pantera and Gojira, ending in a very serene manner. And it’s time for Nick to present his Grunge and Alternative Metal side with the semi-acoustic tune I Have to Pretend, with his Alice In Chains-inspired vocals being potentialized by the song’s Country-ish instrumental, proving God in a Cone truly have no boundaries in music.
Continuing with the same 90’s Seattle-based Grunge vibe, Iodine is a song perfect for being played at a badass Rock N’ Roll pub, with its rhythmic drums, soulful guitar solos and endless energy turning it into one of the best songs of the album. Then back to a more electronic musicality inspired by 80’s Gothic Rock the likes of Depeche Mode, Joy Division and Devo, Mr. Explode offers the listener cleaner vocal lines that match perfectly with all beeps and tones in the background, inspiring you to party together with Nick, while Deep Down sounds slightly darker than its predecessors, but also in the veins of Alice In Chains and Soundgarden in a well-balanced hybrid between Post-Metal and 90’s Grunge, flowing smoothly before Find Soul Brothers brings to our ears the weirdest version of God in a Cone. It’s a decent Country-inspired song, albeit it lacks the more obscure punch from the rest of the album.
Leaning towards a more rockin’ sonority, in special its slashing riffs and inebriate vocal lines, In And Out presents a vibrant rhythm perfect for banging your head nonstop, even displaying hints of progressiveness (which enhances the song’s impact considerably), followed by Will Of Diamonds, a very introspective, pensive tune with Nick’s somber vocal parts working as its core element, but with all background sounds also playing a very important part in keeping the entire song mournful and gloomy. And last but not least, Nick offers his fans a bonus track entitled Escape From the Cone, going back to the 80’s one more time to pay his own tribute to the music by all pop rock icons from that decade, making the investment in the deluxe edition of Passing totally worth it.
After you start following Nick and his God in a Cone on Facebook and after subscribing to the project’s YouTube channel, there’s no way back. You’ll be forever hypnotized by the wicked, idiosyncratic and utterly experimental sounds blasted by this talented Greek musician, with Passing being perhaps his boldest and most diverse album to date. Put differently, Passing is not only a very entertaining album of modern rock and metal music, but a solid statement that Nick will never stop trying new sounds and challenging our senses, serving us his wicked music “in a cone” for many years to come and always demonstrating his utmost passion for all things related to our good old Rock N’ Roll, no matter how weird it can be.
Best moments of the album:Νερο, Iodine and In And Out.
Worst moments of the album:Find Soul Brothers.
Released in 2019 Independent
Track listing 1. Passing 2:20
2. Ξεψυχαω 2:17
3. Νερο 4:21
4. I Have to Pretend 4:21
5. Iodine 3:30
6. Mr. Explode 5:12
7. Deep Down 3:39
8. Find Soul Brothers 3:53
9. In And Out 3:32
10. Will Of Diamonds 3:25
Deluxe Edition bonus track 11. Escape From the Cone 3:34
Nick Marinos – vocals, all insturments, programming
It’s time to rumble with THE HEADBANGING MOOSE SHOW every Thursday @ 20:00 UTC+2 (with a reprise on Saturdays @ 19:00 UTC+2) exclusively at Midnight Madness Metal e-Radio, your Greece-based web radio blasting the best of heavy music nonstop 24/7!
Presented by Gustavo Scuderi, The Headbanging Moose Show will bring to you the cream of underground metal music, giving you a short and sweet background on every band played on the show. No silly jokes, no shenanigans… THIS IS PURE F****N’ METAL!
So remember, EVERY THURSDAY @ 20:00 UTC+2(with a reprise on Saturdays @ 19:00 UTC) tune into Midnight Madness Metal e-Radio to enjoy one hour of kick-ass underground metal from all over the world, courtesy of The Headbanging Moose!
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