Album Review – Biesy / Noc Lekkich Obyczajów (2017)

Enjoy this concept album about how urban life can separate us from reality and how at the same time it gives us freedom to cross its boundaries, all enfolded by first-class blackened music made in Poland.

“Biesy were born out of everyday working, urban and monotonous realities. The project explores how urban concrete life can separate you from reality, but at the same time enables you to cross its borders. This is not the place for faith – there is no time nor will. During the night people go astray and willingly drown among the masses on the streets. In the morning they fall down to create a passage for everything that is wonderfully common and hideously sincere. However, it is not certain if they even left the room.”

Those poetic words work as a classy introduction to the core essence of Black/Death Metal act Biesy, a brand new project formed in 2014 in Cracow, Poland by lead singer Stawrogin, guitarist, bassist, songwriter and lyricist PR, and drummer Maciej Pelczar. Biesy translates to “fiends” or “demons” from Polish, and from that you can imagine how dark their music should sound in their debut full-length release Noc Lekkich Obyczajów, or “night of weak morals” in English, a concept album about how urban life can separate us from reality and how at the same time it gives us freedom to cross its boundaries, as mentioned above, all enfolded by an ominous and depressive form of extreme music not recommended for the lighthearted. Add to that the concrete gray layout designed by PR himself together with Mentalporn, the menacing logo created by Ihasan, and the fact that all songs are entirely sung (or maybe I should say growled or gnarled) in Polish, and there you have a distinct, full-bodied Extreme Metal ode to everything we love and hate in our concrete jungles.

In the opening track, titled Każdego Dnia (which should translate as “every day”), ominous sounds grow in intensity until the music morphs into the most vile form of Blackened Doom you can think of, with Stawrogin sounding truly demonic on vocals while PR does an amazing job with his mesmerizing guitar lines, resulting in a cold and beautiful display of extreme music that darkly flows into a climatic ending. In W Krew (which should mean something like “in blood”), the power trio switches to a more demolishing mode, blasting a Stygian fusion of Black and Death Metal led by Maciej, who showcases all his skills by delivering both rhythmic and sluggish punches as well as infernal blast beats. In the end, it becomes impossible not to have your heart darkened by this superb hymn. And it seems like peace and happiness are definitely two items you won’t find in the music by Biesy, which is exactly the case in Powroty (or “returns” in English), even more doomed than the two previous songs and with the vociferations by Stawrogin being extremely menacing. Put differently, it’s unhappy, melancholic and visceral Blackened Doom tailored for headbanging until you crack your neck in half.

The second batch of somber sounds by Biesy begins with Czerń Nas Prosi (or “blackness calls us”), the shortest of all tracks, feeling like a satanic invocation with Maciej firing some traditional Doom Metal beats while PR sounds hellish on both guitar and bass, not to mention Stawrogin’s evil gnarls; followed by Rzucony W Przestrzeń (which translates as “thrown into space”), the longest and most obscure of all songs, starting with a deep, enraged roar by Stawrogin. Not only this is a lesson in Extreme Metal where PR is insanely dark on guitars, but its heaviness keeps growing and growing until after around four minutes there’s a creepy intermission that goes on for another four minutes until the trio returns with all their fury and malignancy, with the vocal parts getting more deranged and evil, ending in the most obscure way possible. And if you think you’re safe from Biesy after all that darkness, you’re absolutely wrong, as they have one final onslaught of Black, Death and Doom Metal to disturb your mind and soul, the title-track Noc Lekkich Obyczajów, where Maciej takes his already devilish drumming to a whole new level of dementia accompanied by the lancinating riffs by PR. This fantastic album of extreme music couldn’t have ended in a better way than this, I must say.

In summary, it doesn’t matter if you speak fluent Polish or if you don’t know a single word in this distinct language, Noc Lekkich Obyczajów (which is available for a full stream on YouTube) is definitely worth a shot. What Biesy did in the entire album, uniting the aggressive and damned sounds of Death, Black and Doom Metal with the disorders and unpredictability of life in the city in a sharp and bold manner, deserves our total recognition and respect. You can buy your copy of Noc Lekkich Obyczajów on BandCamp, at the Third Eye Temple webshop or at Discogs, and after finally having the album on your hands, you can add the perfect soundtrack to spend your deranged nights in the city.

Best moments of the album: W Krew and Noc Lekkich Obyczajów.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2017 Third Eye Temple

Track listing
1. Każdego Dnia 5:08
2. W Krew 6:38
3. Powroty 7:06
4. Czerń Nas Prosi 3:51
5. Rzucony W Przestrzeń 11:29
6. Noc Lekkich Obyczajów 7:59

Band members
Stawrogin – vocals
PR – guitars, bass
Maciej Pelczar – drums

Album Review – Diabolizer / Apokalypse MCD (2016)

A short and violent soundtrack to apocalypse delivered by a promising Death Metal band forged in the scorching fires of Turkey.

Rating4

diabolizer_apokalypse_coverThe already scorching fires of Kadıköy, a large cosmopolitan district of Istanbul, Turkey, are about to become even more incandescent due to the release of the excellent MCD entitled Apokalypse, forged in the pits of hell by a relentless Death Metal entity known as Diabolizer. Formed in 2012, this apocalyptic horde is comprised of members from Decaying Purity, Engulfed, Deggial and Godslaying Hellblast, among others, all prominent bands from the Turkish underground scene, with a sole purpose of worshiping destruction and punishing any living creature that dares to confront them with their decimating Death Metal.

This thrilling MCD contains five brand new compositions by the Diabolizer crew and two tracks from their very limited 2012 promo Shadows Of Impending Decimation, as a bonus to all true supporters of good old Death Metal. Not only that, in order to give a proper face to their music, Diabolizer recruited Polish illustrator Robert A. von Ritter (Armagh, Ragehammer) for the artwork and Polish artist Piotr Kurek of Mentalporn (Ulcer, Embrional) to take care of the design of the album, and the final result is obviously amazing, representing in images all the fury and melody found in Apokalypse.

Diabolizer come crushing with their loud and infernal Death Metal from the very first second of the opening track, Process the Void, with lead singer Abomination sounding like a raving bulldozer while drummer Aberrant delivers pure hatred through his drums. After listening to this amazing showcase of Extreme Metal made in Turkey, you’ll start wondering if there’s a way they could sound even more furious than this. Well, those Turkish metallers actually answer that question with the superb Death Metal chant Condemned to Burn in Hell, where they masterfully unleash hell with Mustafa and Ewan pounding their strings and Abomination going from the deepest guttural to enraged high-pitched screams in an solid and demonic way.

And there’s absolutely no sign of Diabolizer slowing down in Temple of Demonic Torments, where Aberrant keeps showing off his tremendous skills as a drummer whereas Mustafa and Ewan once again fire their aggressive but melodious riffs and solos, followed by Blood Aesthetics Dictated,  with Abomination commanding this sonic onslaught by bursting his lungs out. This is brutal Death Metal with highlights to its barbaric rhythm and relentless riffage, and get ready to feel your entire body soaring after banging like a wild beast to this demented tune.

diabolizerInspired by the musicality found in most albums by the iconic Cannibal Corpse and blended with elements of contemporary Black Metal, Hammer of Diabolization (such a beautiful name for a song) offers the listener some interesting tempo changes and lots of variations to its intensity, a breathe of “sulfuric” air that ends up providing a humongous extra dosage of electricity to the overall result. In regards to the two bonus songs taken from their 2012 promo, I bet you can imagine they are as demolishing as the new songs if you haven’t heard them yet. Beneath the Skullthrone and Descend into Desolation are both exceptional Death Metal songs, with the latter being more brutal and, therefore, more gripping.

In order to get in touch with Diabolizer, simply go check their Facebook page, and if you want to purchase a digital copy of Apokalypse you can find it for sale at their BandCamp page. In case you’re an old school metal fan and prefer a physical copy of the album, the MCD is available in two versions: a regular jewel case CD with an 8-page booklet and a limited edition (100 copies) of jewel case CD branded with serigraphy print and patch. If Diabolizer were capable of delivering such a high level of violence and hatred in only a few songs like what we can see in Apokalypse, I wonder what will happen when they finally release their first full-length album upon humanity. Maybe we’ll witness the ultimate “soundtrack to apocalypse”, don’t you think?

Best moments of the album: Condemned to Burn in Hell and Hammer of Diabolization.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Third Eye Temple

Track listing
1. Process the Void 4:57
2. Condemned to Burn in Hell 2:58
3. Temple of Demonic Torments 4:34
4. Blood Aesthetics Dictated 4:37
5. Hammer of Diabolization 5:34

Shadows Of Impending Decimation (Promo 2012) bonus tracks
6. Beneath the Skullthrone 4:34
7. Descend into Desolation 4:57

Band members
Abomination – vocals
Mustafa – guitars
Ewan – guitars
Alican – bass
Aberrant – drums

Album Review – Ulcer / Heading Below (2016)

Trenchant riffs, bestial vocals and wicked beats overflowing from the third full-length installment by a band from Poland that has always been loyal to the foundations of Death Metal.

Rating5

ulcer-heading-below-frontThree years after the release of Grant Us Death, the implacable Polish Death Metal squad Ulcer strikes again with their third full-length album, entitled Heading Below, which will certainly drag you down to the underworld with its 50 minutes of devastating old school Death Metal in the vein of Swedish classics. Bursting with trenchant riffs, bestial vocals and wicked beats while dealing with topics like hate, anti-religion and death, this is a highly recommended albums for fans of the genre, and also an album that effectively solidifies Ulcer’s career not only in Poland, but anywhere in the world where Death Metal is respected and admired.

Formed in 2006 in the city of Lublin (around 200km southeast of the capital Warsaw) and featuring members from established bands such as Blaze of Perdition, Abusiveness, Deivos and Dira Mortis, Ulcer can be considered one of the (relatively) new European bands with the strongest loyalty to the roots of Death Metal, keeping their sounding as raw and aggressive as possible, but with the addition of distinct elements from other subgenres of Extreme Metal to keep the music always fresh and exciting. If the name of the band is not enough to prove you how vile and gruesome the music in Heading Below is before you hit play, take a good look at the austere cover art by Polish artist Piotr Kurek of Mentalporn (who was responsible for the artwork for another Polish Death Metal band  recently reviewed by The Headbanging Moose, the also excellent Embrional) and you’ll then realize it’s brutal Death Metal we’re talking about, and nothing else.

How else could a good Death Metal album start than with some eerie noises suddenly exploding into sheer inhumanity? That’s the opening track, named Down Below, a sonic thunder that will crush you mercilessly led by the demolishing riffs by guitarist Lucass and Mścisław, with hints of Black Metal inserted into the musicality to darken the final result even more. In Fiends Forever, melodious but fierce guitar lines open the gates for the bestial vociferations by frontmen D. and Angelfuck and the heavy beats by drummer Vizun, until the song’s Cannibal Corpse-inspired ending; whereas Sights To See presents ruthless Death Metal with hints of Hardcore and Black Metal, which obviously enhances the song’s savageness. D. and Angelfuck are once again a dynamic duo of destruction, spearheading one of the best and most devastating moments of the album for sure.

All In Vain is one of those songs where an epic intro morphs into blasting metal with huge doses of anger, with Vizun being the band’s unstoppable stonecrusher while bassist Szwed provides the low-tuned creepy lines we love in extreme music, all embraced by a somber atmosphere. As aforementioned, Ulcer definitely know how to grab the best elements from other subgenres of heavy music, as for example the Doom Metal-ish vibe that complements the ferocity of their Death Metal in the elegantly fast and furious The Phantom Heart, another brutish hymn perfect for some sick mosh pits. You Called, We Came is a direct Death Metal composition tailored for diehard fans of boisterous extreme music, with absolutely no magic ingredients added to its formula but old school destruction. Moreover, Lucass and Mścisław fire exactly what the music demands through their devilish guitars. On the other hand, despite presenting some good moments (like the guitar solo halfway through it), Miscarriage’s Lullaby is way below the quality found in the rest of the album.

UlcerphotoThe mid tempo Death Metal chant Howl Of The Jackal sounds very old school, obscure and hellish, with both vocalists offering precise guttural howls and harsh screams while the rest of the band smashes their instruments manically. Yet again, an ominous aura boosts the song’s vileness and, consequently, it’s overall quality, elevating it to the status of one of the best composition in Heading Below. Lastly, the bold and demonic 9-minute aria Enshrouded In Nothingness begins by displaying the darkest form of Blackened Doom you can think of, with its disturbing sonority being fairly different from the rest of the album. In addition, the second part of the song becomes a blend of Death and Symphonic Black Metal, always getting back to its original sluggish rhythm until its desolating conclusion, showing how versatile the band can be without affecting their Death Metal core.

Heading Below can be purchased at the Arachnophobia Records’ BandCamp page or webstore, and more details about the reverberating Death Metal by Ulcer can be found at their Facebook page and SoundCloud. As I said in the beginning of this review, Heading Below will help Ulcer cement their path to success without a shadow of a doubt due to its high level of energy, violence and devastation, keeping the demonic fires of Death Metal alive for the total delight of lovers of a type of heavy music that always takes the word “heavy” to a new limit.

Best moments of the album: Sights To See, The Phantom Heart and Howl Of The Jackal.

Worst moments of the album: Miscarriage’s Lullaby.

Released in 2016 Arachnophobia Records

Track listing
1. Down Below 6:04
2. Fiends Forever 5:46
3. Sights To See 4:29
4. All In Vain 6:09
5. The Phantom Heart 6:16
6. You Called, We Came 4:14
7. Miscarriage’s Lullaby 4:47
8. Howl Of The Jackal 5:12
9. Enshrouded In Nothingness 9:06

Band members
D. – vocals
Angelfuck – vocals
Lucass – guitars
Mścisław – guitars
Szwed – bass
Vizun – drums

Album Review – Embrional / The Devil Inside (2015)

These Polish devils will infest your soul with their technical and brutal Death Metal.

Rating4

embrional_800x800People who know me also know how much I love dark and demonic music. And if the band playing that type of music comes from Poland it’s when things get even better, because to be fair, I’ve never seen a low-quality Polish band in my life. If you take a few seconds to think about it, superb bands such as Behemoth, Vader and Darzamat will quickly come to your mind, and we can all include Polish old school Death Metal band Embrional on that list based on the deranging assault of extreme music from their brand new album, The Devil Inside. Well, I guess the name of the album, together with the artwork designed by Mariusz Krajewski and MENTALPORN, can already provide you a sense of how much the word “deranging” matches with their music.

Fans of Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth and all other Death and Black Metal bands who turn their instruments into an infernal pyre of heavy music will feel aflame while listening to the work by this Gliwice-based band. Vociferating topics such as possession, annihilation and death, all impregnated by the acrid smell of sulfur and tar, Embrional are extremely competent in what they do, which translates into high-end Extreme Metal perfect for enjoying with your friends at a live concert or by yourself in your car, at home or anywhere else that some extra doses of stamina and anger are more than required.

And suddenly, after Embrional open the rusty gates to their realm of Death Metal (maybe hell?) in the intro The Devil Inside, it’s time for some excellent blast beats at the “speed of darkness” in Evil’s Mucus, a great tune for slamming into the fuckin’ pit. Not only lead singer and guitarist Marcin Sienkiel has those devilish and disturbing vocals that can only be found in brutal Death Metal, but all musicians sound quite progressive for such a raw old school band, offering the listener lots of interesting breaks and tempo changes. Funeral March, although slightly slower, is truly diabolical and gives a whole new meaning to a funeral march itself, with Marcin and Rychu “Vermin” Sosnowski making sure their guitar lines are in line with all that darkness while drummer Kamil Bracichowicz displays an arsenal of evil beats. And guess what? Bassist Michał “Soulbleed” Połetek also joins that dark side with his deep bass lines.

embrional_bandEmbrional keep firing their wicked sounding in The Abyss, which sounds almost like Progressive Death Metal but still violent and raw as expected, and get ready because after around two minutes it’s time to get into the pit of evil created by the band. Then after a quick instrumental intro entitled Sadness, we have sheer brutality in the form of music in the superb track In Darkness, which makes me wonder if those guys are mad or furious at something so violent it is. What Kamil does behind his drum kit in this song is amazingly bestial and will make you headbang like crazy, while Michał once again gains the spotlight with his awesome job on the bass guitar. And Marcin guides the Embrional horde yet again with another Stygian tune, Behind The Mask Of Sanity, which leans towards Blackened Death Metal or even Black Metal, offering the listener some interesting guitar solos amidst all the savagery and fury presented.

Their violent complexity continues to be outstanding in the following track, curiously named 910, which can be simply described as a fuckin’ massacre. It sounds like if the band decided to “blacken” their music to a greater extent, with riffs and drums faster than before while vocals get even more gruesome. Right after that furious onfall it’s time to reach the deepest nightmares of mankind with Madman’s Curse, with lots of Doom Metal elements added to enhance the desired insanity of the song, followed by Callousness, a short and straightforward Death Metal song where riffs and vocal lines sound really strong, while drums keep a constant heavy rhythm leading to a violent ending. And the duo that closes the album doesn’t disappoint in terms of cruelty: Venom presents us a creepy intro with flies buzzing before turning into another feast of evil, with Kamil once again relentlessly showcasing his drumming skills, and if your head doesn’t hurt after this song you’re not human; and how about a woman crying in despair and sorrow to start the last track, Whores, Drugs and Brain Dead? With hardcore harsh vocals and a Slayer-ish vibe, it’s an awesome way to make even the most cautious person slam into the circle pit.

Go check the band’s YouTube channel where you can listen to The Devil Inside in its entirety, but more important than that, visit the Old Temple Shop or BandCamp to get your copy of the album, or the Third Eye Temple Big Cartel to grab the limited edition CD or the old school tape version of it. And, of course, get ready to have your soul infested with the vicious Death Metal brought into being by these skillful Polish devils.

Best moments of the album: Evil’s Mucus, In Darkness and 910.

Worst moments of the album: Callousness.

Released in 2015 Old Temple/Third Eye Temple

Track listing
1. The Devil Inside 1:07
2. Evil’s Mucus 4:01
3. Funeral March 4:51
4. The Abyss 4:00
5. Sadness 0:32
6. In Darkness 5:58
7. Behind The Mask Of Sanity 3:57
8. 910 4:08
9. Madman’s Curse 3:59
10. Callousness 2:25
11. Venom 5:13
12. Whores, Drugs and Brain Dead 2:54

Band members
Marcin Sienkiel – vocals, guitars
Rychu “Vermin” Sosnowski – guitars
Michał “Soulbleed” Połetek – bass
Kamil Bracichowicz – drums