Concert Review – Arch Enemy & Behemoth (Rebel, Toronto, ON, 04/25/2022)

A night of rain, insanity, blasphemy and, above all that, first-class Heavy Metal for the delight of thousands of metalheads in Toronto.

OPENING ACTS: Unto Others and Napalm Death

Despite the heavy rain that decided to hit Toronto only a couple of hours before the fantastic tour named The North American Siege 2022 took the city by storm, the venue chosen for such metal attack, the spacious Rebel, was almost packed already when the first band of the night hit the stage exactly at 6:30pm, American Heavy Metal/Gothic Rock act UNTO OTHERS, and let me tell you I feel a little ashamed for not knowing those guys before last night. Promoting their 2021 opus Strength, vocalist and guitarist Gabriel Franco and his henchmen put on a sensational show, with songs such as Give Me to the Night, Summer Lightning and When Will God’s Work Be Done inspiring all fans to dance, slam into the pit, or simply raise their horns in the name of Rock N’ Roll. It was a short and sweet performance by such talented band, and I hope to see them again in Toronto (or anywhere else in the world) in a not-so-distant future.

Setlist
Subdivisions (Rush song)
Heroin
Give Me to the Night
No Children Laughing Now
Can You Hear the Rain
Nightfall
Summer Lightning
When Will God’s Work Be Done

Band members
Gabriel Franco – vocals, guitars, keyboards
Sebastian Silva – guitars
Brandon Hill – bass
Colin Vranizan – drums

Right after a bathroom/beer break (not necessarily in this order), it was time for the iconic Barney Greenway and his Grindcore/Death Metal institution NAPALM DEATH to show Toronto what noise is all about for the delight of admirers of the heaviest and most demented side of music who attended the concert. Having released earlier this year the album Resentment Is Always Seismic – A Final Throw of Throes, the band was on absolute fire from start to finish, with Shane Embury and John Cooke hammering their respective bass and guitar mercilessly throughout their entire set. Amidst a hurricane of infernal tunes the likes of Fuck the Factoid, Contagion, Scum and the one-second masterpiece You Suffer, Barney had time to distill his opinion about controversial topics such as illegal immigration, being always of course on the side of the less fortunate. Closing their boisterous setlist, the band smashed our faces with their rendition of Dead Kennedys’ all-time classic Nazi Punks Fuck Off, sending a message of love and peace, and warning us it won’t take long for those four British noisemakers to return to our beloved city.

Setlist
Unchallenged Hate
Fuck the Factoid
Backlash Just Because
Hung
Contagion
Continuing War on Stupidity
Everyday Pox
Invigorating Clutch
Suffer the Children
Breed to Breathe
Scum
Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism
You Suffer
Smash a Single Digit
Deceiver
Dead
Nazi Punks Fuck Off (Dead Kennedys cover)

Band members
Mark “Barney” Greenway – vocals
John Cooke – guitars
Shane Embury – bass, backing vocals, noises, effects
Danny Herrera – drums

ARCH ENEMY

Precisely at 8:35pm Sweden’s own Melodic Death Metal army ARCH ENEMY (although we can say the band is now 60% Swedish, 20% American and 20% Canadian) hit the stage and delivered exactly what the crowd wanted, which was a fusion of some of their best classics with the new songs Deceiver, Deceiver, House of Mirrors and Handshake With Hell, from their upcoming album Deceivers (to be released in July), spearheaded by the unstoppable Alissa White-Gluz and, of course, by one of the best guitarists of the Scandinavian metal scene, Mr. Michael Amott. It was clear in their faces how much they missed playing in front of an audience during the pandemic, in special Alissa who always gets very emotional when playing for her Canadian “family”, which translated into sheer adrenaline for our vulgar delectation. As a longtime fan of the band I was obviously more inspired to bang my head to songs such as Ravenous, Dead Bury Their Dead and Nemesis, but I must say their entire performance was awesome. How long will we have to wait to see Alissa and the boys again in Toronto? Massive circle pits like the ones we witnessed yesterday are not created out of silence, you know. We need Arch Enemy!

Setlist
Set Flame to the Night
Deceiver, Deceiver
The World Is Yours
Ravenous
War Eternal
My Apocalypse
House of Mirrors
The Eagle Flies Alone
As the Pages Burn
Handshake With Hell
Dead Bury Their Dead
Nemesis
Fields of Desolation (Outro)
Enter the Machine

Band members
Alissa White-Gluz – vocals
Michael Amott – lead guitars, backing vocals
Jeff Loomis – lead guitars, backing vocals
Sharlee D’Angelo – bass
Daniel Erlandsson – drums

BEHEMOTH

And at 10:05pm the gates of hell opened once again and the almighty Blackened Death Metal horde BEHEMOTH emerged from the underworld with another flawless and very theatrical performance, darkening the skies of Toronto and putting a huge, devilish smile on the faces of everyone at Rebel (at least on the faces of the ones not wearing masks). Kicking off their demonic concert with one of my favorite Behemoth songs of all time, the incendiary Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer, the multi-talented Nergal, Seth, Orion and Inferno did not disappoint their fans, sounding utterly heavy, dark and blasphemous until the very last second. Their brand new song, entitled Ov My Herculean Exile, from their upcoming (and still untitled) new album, sounded amazing live, but of course there’s nothing like raising our horns in the name of evil to masterpieces such as Ov Fire and the Void, Christians to the Lions, Chant for Eschaton 2000, and the hymn to Satan himself, O Father O Satan O Sun!, proving why Behemoth are one of the best and most obscure bands of the current metal scene. And when the night was over and those Polish blasphemers left the stage, it was time for us Torontonians to keep some of that darkness inside our hearts, face the cold and rainy weather outside again, and return to our lairs waiting for the next time Behemoth come back to crush the infidels in Toronto with their undisputed music.

Setlist
Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
Wolves ov Siberia
Ov Fire and the Void
Evoe
Christians to the Lions
Bartzabel
Conquer All
Ov My Herculean Exile
Decade of Therion
Slaves Shall Serve
Chant for Eschaton 2000
O Father O Satan O Sun!

Band members
Adam “Nergal” Darski – lead vocals, guitars
Patryk Dominik “Seth” Sztyber – guitars
Tomasz “Orion” Wróblewski – bass guitar
Zbigniew Robert “Inferno” Promiński – drums and percussion

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Album Review – Gorebringer / Terrified Beyond Measure (2022)

Behold the sophomore opus by an international entity that’s back from the underworld, offering us more of their blackened yet technical Melodic Death Metal with gory themes.

Almost three years after the release of their debut effort A Craving For Flesh, the infernal, multi-national outfit known as Gorebringer is back with more of their Melodic Death Metal with gory themes in the form of their sophomore album, entitled Terrified Beyond Measure. Produced by the band itself, mixed and mastered at Tide Studio in London, England, and displaying an old school cover art by Delic Saike, Terrified Beyond Measure represents a step forward in the band’s career, currently comprised of Serpent on vocals, Kaz “Stench” B on guitars and bass, and guests Krzysztof Klingbein on drums and Burak Ulugüney on keyboards and synths, showcasing an “evilution” in their slightly blackened and somewhat technical sound, but melodic and yet dirty at the same time, being therefore recommended for fans of At The Gates, Death and Dissection, among several others.

Arising from the underworld, the quartet begins blasting their instruments with sheer violence and hatred in The Bottomless Pit, where Serpent sounds beyond bestial on vocals supported by the pulverizing drums by Krzysztof, or in other words, a perfect and devilish way to kick things off; whereas keeping the level of adrenaline extremely high it’s time for Man To Beast, another high-octane, pulverizing feast where Stench is on fire armed with his sharp riffage and rumbling bass lines, while Burak keeps the atmosphere as grim as possible with his spot-on keys and synths. Then we have the title-track Terrified Beyond Measure, bringing to our ears a full-bodied sonority alternating between galloping drums and bass and pure dementia with Serpent roaring manically nonstop, and like a stone crusher from hell Krzysztof will demolish our senses in The Evil Ones, providing Stench all he needs to slash our ears off with his beyond strident guitar lines in a lecture in contemporary Melodic Death Metal with a visceral Black Metal twist.

The instrumental interlude Moon Circle sets the stage for the band to demolish our senses once again with A Blackened Circle, an Arch Enemy/In Flames/Soilwork-inspired extravaganza showcasing piercing riffs, pounding drums and the always venomous gnarls by Serpent. It’s indeed a solid and entertaining tune albeit losing some of its punch after a while, though, whereas Necro Mess is a thrilling instrumental creation by Gorebringer where Stench delivers an amazing performance on the guitar supported by the blast beats by Krzysztof, resulting in a sonic hurricane that will please all fans of the genre and generate intense mosh pits if played live one day. Finally, closing such infernal album of Melodic Death Metal we have Flesh Feast, sounding fast and furious just the way we like it with Serpent’s growls making a brutal paradox with the crisp, melodic guitars by Stench, leaving us eager for more of their music in a not-so-distant future.

As aforementioned, the pulverizing Terrified Beyond Measure, which is by the way available in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, represents a huge improvement in the sound by Gorebringer, and you can put your dirty hands on that album by purchasing it from the Great Dane Records’ BandCamp page or from Apple Music. Don’t forget to also follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram, keeping in mind that gore is their business (and business is good), which means unless you have what it takes to face their evil Melodic Death Metal, you’ll become an easy prey to them.

Best moments of the album: The Bottomless Pit, The Evil Ones and Necro Mess.

Worst moments of the album: A Blackened Circle.

Released in 2022 Great Dane Records

Track listing
1. The Bottomless Pit 4:06
2. Man To Beast 4:49
3. Terrified Beyond Measure 5:49
4. The Evil Ones 4:25
5. Moon Circle 0:59
6. A Blackened Circle 4:47
7. Necro Mess 3:38
8. Flesh Feast 5:45

Band members
Serpent – vocals
Kaz “Stench” B – guitars, bass

Guest musicians
Krzysztof Klingbein – drums
Burak Ulugüney – keyboards, synths

Album Review – +MROME+ / Barbaric Values (2022)

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”

Album Review – Immaterium / The Primal Evil EP (2021)

This newborn project from Poland is ready to stun us all with its debut EP, offering us all a journey through the realms of Symphonic and Progressive Metal.

Inspired by the aggressive guitars of Tesseract and Gojira, the epic orchestrations of Wintersun and the powerful vocals of Wind Rose and Rhapsody of Fire, Polish self-taught songwriter and composer Ma’ar Gareth is ready to unleash upon humanity The Primal Evil, the debut EP by her Symphonic/Progressive Metal project Immaterium. Featuring guest vocalists Filip Robertsson from Sweden, Craig Cairns (Midnight Prophecy, Cosmic Void) from the UK and Lucas Rodrigues (FerReus, Hell Gun) from Brazil, as well as multi-instrumentalists Zebyl from Romania and Barthelemy from France, The Primal Evil is a stunnig debut effort by Ma’ar Gareth, who’s responsible not only for all keyboards, synths and orchestrations in the album, but also for all lyrics, which are by the way based on Sci-Fi and fantasy series, resulting in a journey through the realms of Symphonic and Progressive Metal that shall please all fans of those subgenres of heavy music.

Like the soundtrack to a fantasy movie, Ma’ar brings forth epic orchestrations and eerie piano notes accompanied by the operatic vocals by Lucas in The Phoenix Falls, while Barthelemy takes takes care of the more metallic part of the music with his classic riffs and beats. Then investing in a more Progressive Metal sonority it’s time for Vargöld, When All Is Dust, where Zebyl plays all guitars, bass and drums while Filip fires his Dream Theater-inspired vocal lines, all of course embraced by Ma’ar’s epic sounds; and continuing to explore mystical lands it’s time for the Symphonic Metal tune Hymn Of The Warmaster, this time with Craig on the vocal duties, while the music exhales groove and heaviness. Lastly, Ma’ar and her henchmen Filip and Zebyl offer our ears a fusion of Symphonic, Progressive and Groove Metal entitled The Curse Of Enlightenment, presenting strong elements from the music by Gojira, Fear Factory and Therion, sounding futuristic and somber at the same time.

You can stream The Primal Evil in its entirety on YouTube (and most probably also on Spotify) starting December 14, and also show your support to Ma’ar Gareth by following Immaterium on Facebook and on Instagram, by subscribing to the project’s YouTube channel, by streaming its music on Spotify, and above all that, by purchasing the EP from its own BandCamp page or from Apple Music. The Primal Evil showcases not only a very promising start to Immaterium, but also all the passion for heavy music and epic tales by the project’s mastermind Ma’ar Gareth, leaving us eager for more of her captivating music in a not-so-distant future, and who knows, perhaps that will come in the form of a full-length concept album for our total delight.

Best moments of the album: Vargöld, When All Is Dust and The Curse Of Enlightenment.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. The Phoenix Falls 4:13
2. Vargöld, When All Is Dust 6:32
3. Hymn Of The Warmaster 5:32
4. The Curse Of Enlightenment 4:55

Band members
Ma’ar Gareth – keyboards, synths, orchestrations

Guest musicians
Filip Robertsson – vocals on “Vargöld, When All Is Dust” and “The Curse Of Enlightenment”
Zebyl – guitars, bass and drums on “Vargöld, When All Is Dust”, “Hymn Of The Warmaster” and “The Curse Of Enlightenment”
Craig Cairns – vocals on “Hymn Of The Warmaster”
Barthelemy – guitars, bass and drums on “The Phoenix Falls”
Lucas Rodrigues – vocals on “The Phoenix Falls”

Album Review – Sarmat / RS-28 (2021)

Behold the debut album by this Polish brigade, offering us all a mixture of Death and Black Metal split into eight visceral tracks about destruction, military industry and human fears and obsessions.

3.5rating

sarmat-rs-28-2021Having their name taken from “The Weapon of Ultimate Destruction”, the Russian super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) RS-28 SARMAT (also known as SATAN 2), Poland’s own Black/Death Metal brigade Sarmat has just unleashed upon humanity their debut full-length opus, titled RS-28, a lesson in violence by Łukasz Kobusiński on vocals, Daniel Szymanowicz on guitars, bass, keyboards and VST instruments, and Krzysztof “Kopyś” Kopczeński also on the guitars, supported by session drummer Krzysztof Klingbein. Engineered, mixed and mastered at Santa Studio by Arkadiusz “Malta” Malczewski and displaying a sinister artwork by Lord K., RS-28 offers a mixture of Death and Black Metal split into eight visceral tracks about destruction, military industry and human fears and obsessions, being highly recommended for admirers of the savagery blasted by renowned bands like Sarmat’s countrymen Behemoth.

A Black Metal onrush will smash you like an insect from the very first second in Coldgrinder, with Daniel and Kopyś, accompanied by Krzysztof, hammer their sonic weapons mercilessly, all spiced up by Łukasz’s demonic, deep guttural roars. Then a beyond sulfurous intro morphs into sheer adrenaline and violence in Evilution, inviting us all to bang our heads in the name of evil, with Krzysztof once again showcasing his heavy artillery behind his drums while Łukasz keeps vociferating the song’s wicked words like a true beast (“Confronting with the evil-ution / Controlling the creature’s instinct / Ceremonial madness in psychotic eyes / The sentence for all cold life”); and the band explodes our senses with the infernal The Shining of Oneiros, a bestial display of Blackened Death Metal spearheaded by the inhumane growling by Łukasz. Then we have the title-track RS-28, darker and more doomed than its predecessors, with Daniel and Kopyś being on absolute fire with their axes delivering a malevolent riffage that lives up to the legacy of classic Death Metal.

Another grim, melancholic start quickly explodes into pulverizing Black and Death Metal in Seeds of Uncertainty, where Krzysztof proves once again why he was chosen as the session drummer for the album while Łukasz keeps growling to the wicked riffs by the band’s guitar duo; whereas the warlike lyrics darkly roared by Łukasz (“Revolt / You don’t live in my war / Pain makes me stronger everyday / Life is war, not illusion”) set the tone in the Doom Metal-infused tune You Don’t Live in My War, where the bass lines by Daniel sound utterly thunderous from start to finish. Following such demented tune we have Blackout (Scenario for Tomorrow) part I, just as pulverizing as the rest of the album, bringing to our ears first-class Polish Blackened Death Metal where the sound of the guitars will pierce your minds without a single drop of mercy, flowing into the hellish and obscure Blackout (Scenario for Tomorrow) part II, ending the album on a Stygian note to the devilish growls by Łukasz, always supported by the band’s unstoppable riffs and blast beats.

sarmat-2021Sarmat’s insane display of Blackened Death Metal can be better appreciated in full on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course in order to join their metallic brigade you should definitely purchase a copy of RS-28 from their own BandCamp page, from allegrolokalnie.pl, from Selfmadegodrecords, from Apple Music, from Amazon or from Discogs, and don’t forget to also follow such promising band on Facebook and on Instagram and to subscribe to their YouTube channel. Sarmat have certainly crafted their own “weapon of ultimate destruction” with RS-28, a kick-ass album that proves once again that the fusion of extreme music and war will always bring a positive outcome to us metalheads from all over the world.

Best moments of the album: Evilution, The Shining of Oneiros and Blackout (Scenario for Tomorrow) part I.

Worst moments of the album: You Don’t Live in My War.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing 
1. Coldgrinder 3:19
2. Evilution 5:45
3. The Shining of Oneiros 4:11
4. RS-28 3:51
5. Seeds of Uncertainty 3:36
6. You Don’t Live in My War 5:38
7. Blackout (Scenario for Tomorrow) part I 3:32
8. Blackout (Scenario for Tomorrow) part II 3:41

Band members
Łukasz Kobusiński – vocals
Daniel Szymanowicz – guitars, bass, keyboards, VST instruments
Krzysztof “Kopyś” Kopczeński – guitars

Guest musician
Krzysztof Klingbein – drums (session)

Album Review – Chainsword / Blightmarch (2021)

These vicious Polish troopers are ready to spread the flames of war and conflict in a death and doom inferno armed with their brutal debut opus.

Founded in 2016 in Warsaw, Poland with the sole purpose of waging war, a five-men Death Metal squad known as Chainsword is ready to spread the flames of conflict in a death and doom inferno armed with their debut opus, entitled Blightmarch, living up to the legacy of renowned acts the likes of Unleashed, Bolt Thrower and Benediction, among several other Death Metal giants. Mixed, mastered and reamped by Haldor Grunberg at Satanic Audio, and displaying an old school, warlike artwork by Argentinian draftsman and painter Wilson Germán Arrieta, Blightmarch will invite you to head into the battlefield alongside vocalist Herr Brummbär, guitarists Sarin Spreizer and Herr Hornad, bassist Wutender Ente and drummer Herr Feldgrau, turning into ten first-class Death Metal tunes all the darkness, hatred and violence of war.

And those troopers are ready to pulverize us all with their heavy artillery in the opening tune Ost Front 1943 – Stalingrad, where Herr Brummbär vociferates like a demonic entity while Herr Feldgrau blasts his drums in great Death Metal fashion, kicking off the album on an infernal note; whereas in Spinehammer the band’s guitarists Sarin Spreizer and Herr Hornad fire unrelenting Thrash and Death Metal riffs for our total delight, resulting in a fulminating tune perfect for slamming into the pit (not to mention Herr Brummbär sounds even more demented on vocals), followed by Horus, the Chosen Son, where we’re treated to austere words barked by Herr Brummbär (“The foundation of terror / The shadow of torment / When hate consumes / the souls of man / It now is my mission / My final conquest / The right hand of chaos / That I become”) accompanied by the thunderous kitchen by Wutender Ente and Herr Feldgrau. More of the sick riffage by Sarin Spreizer and Herr Hornad permeates the air in the obscure Death Metal hymn Ost Front 1942: Moskau, with the rhythmic beats by Herr Feldgrau inviting us all to crack our necks headbanging like maniacs, and another Stygian wall of sounds smashes our senses in the vile Dead Hand Call, where Chainsword’s guitar duo not only keeps delivering sheer violence through their riffs, but also through their sick solos.

Bringing elements from Thrash and Groove Metal to their core malevolence, Chainsword will destroy anyone who crosses their path in Exterminatus, a lesson in Death Metal showcasing a brutal drumming by Herr Feldgrau amidst tons of groove and harmony blasted by the band’s stringed trio, and there’s no time to breathe as they continue their ode to violence and war in Daemonculaba, a true headbanger where Herr Brummbär roars and growls manically, always supported by the visceral riffs and bass jabs by his bandmates. Then featuring guest guitarist Cheesy Dude (aka Piotr Sadza of Belzebong and Weedpecker) and guest vocalist Nun (aka Lech Kowal of Sun No More), the title-track Blightmarch is as vile and demonic as its predecessors, keeping the album at a high level of animosity, whereas their war-like Death Metal keeps crushing our skulls in Dreadquake Mortar, sounding heavier-than-hell and demented from start to finish, with Herr Brummbär stealing the spotlight with his grim guttural lines. Lastly, we face 06.08 9:15, with the name of the song representing the date and time when the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, August 6, 1945 at 9:15am. Musically speaking, it’s another old school, vicious Death Metal onrush to end the album in the heaviest and darkest way possible.

In case you’re curious to know how Chainsword’s hybrid of Death Metal and war sounds in Blightmarch, you can stream the album in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course if you consider yourself a true Death Metal soldier you should definitely purchase the album from Chainsword’s BandCamp page, from the Godz ov War Productions’ BandCamp page or webstore, or from Apple Music. Also, in order to properly enlist in their army of extreme music, simply follow them on Facebook and on Instagram for more of their music, news, tour dates and everything else surrounding Chainsword in the battlefield. Having said that, what are you waiting for to put your dirty hands on such pulverizing album of Death Metal made in Poland? Let’s all join the attack!

Best moments of the album: Spinehammer, Exterminatus and Daemonculaba.

Worst moments of the album: Horus, the Chosen Son.

Released in 2021 Godz ov War Productions

Track listing
1. Ost Front 1943 – Stalingrad 4:03
2. Spinehammer 3:30
3. Horus, the Chosen Son 4:24
4. Ost Front 1942: Moskau 4:19
5. Dead Hand Call 3:37
6. Exterminatus 4:56
7. Daemonculaba 4:31
8. Blightmarch 3:42
9. Dreadquake Mortar 3:51
10. 06.08 9:15 5:15

Band members
Herr Brummbär – vocals
Sarin Spreizer – guitar
Herr Hornad – guitar
Wutender Ente – bass
Herr Feldgrau – drums, vocals

Guest musicians
Cheesy Dude – guitars on “Blightmarch”
Nun – additional vocals on “Blightmarch”

Album Review – Terrordome / Straight Outta Smogtown (2021)

The new album by this unrelenting Polish squad will hit you hard right in the head with their fusion of Thrash Metal, Hardcore and Crossover Thrash with beyond acid lyrics.

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Tomasz “ZED” Zalewski at Zed Studio and featuring an old school artwork by Marcin “Biały” Białkowski, Straight Outta Smogtown is the third full-length installment by a Thrash Metal squad formed in 2005 in the city of Kraków, Poland that goes by the in-your-face name of Terrordome, following up on the violence and adrenaline of their 2015 album Machete Justice. Highly recommended for fans of the sickness blasted by renowned acts the likes of Nuclear Assault, Slayer and Cryptic Slaughter, the new album by vocalist and guitarist Uappa Terror and guitarist Paua Siffredi, together with session musicians Simon on bass and Friggi Mad Beats (Chaos Synopsis, Attomica) on drums, will hit you hard right in the head with their fusion of classic Thrash Metal, Hardcore and Crossover Thrash, with an array of guests including Frank Blackfire (Sodom, Assassin) and Manu Joker (Uganga, Sarcofago) bringing even more electricity to the album’s metal thrashing madness.

Featuring an atmospheric guitar solo by guest Konrad “Destroyer” Ramotowski (Untervoid, Hate), the intro Terrorizing the Nation as the Best Way to Thwart Shameful Schemes warms up our bodies and minds for the Exodus and Nuclear Assault-inspired tune Possessed By Blyat, where Friggi Mad Beats crushes his drums mercilessly, being therefore perfect for slamming into the pit right away, whereas Worried Again sounds even heavier and more menacing, with Uappa’s visceral roars adding an extra touch of animosity to the music while Uappa himself and Paua extract pure Thrash Metal from their sick riffage. And their sonic attack has no time to stop, as they keep delivering hatred and madness in Steel on the Road, with their thrashing riffs and blast beats elevating the song’s insanity through the roof, not to mention how demented Uappa sounds on vocals.

The rumbling bass by Simon kicks off the Thrash and Groove Metal feast Plastic Death, where Uappa invests into Tom Araya-like vocals while his bandmates exhale heaviness through their sonic weapons, and it’s impressive how they managed to sound even faster and heavier than before in Your Personal Comfort Versus the Global Disaster, a brutal Thrash Metal assault showcasing razor-edged riffs by Uappa and Paua and the always wicked beats by Friggi Mad Beats. Then featuring guest vocals by Manu Joker and Jairo Vaz (Chaos Synopsis), get ready to be smashed by Terrordome in Desordem e Regresso, a sick display of extreme music and a “tribute” to the political nightmare that haunts Brazil these days; and Friggi Mad Beats hammers his drums in great fashion in the berserk Into the Void, a pulverizing Crossover Thrash extravaganza led by the vicious riffs and solos by the band’s relentless guitar duo. After such demented tune, their thrashing party goes on in the also electrifying Ego-Boost Downfall, drinking from the fountain of Bay Area Thrash and, therefore, offering our ears piercing riffs and thunderous bass jabs nonstop.

Money Kills carries a great title for another solid, straightforward Thrash Metal tune where all band members are on fire from start to finish, with Uappa stealing the spotlight by rabidly roaring the song’s acid words, while Demolition, featuring a slashing guitar solo by guest Frank Blackfire, offers more of their European thrash spearheaded by the machine gun-like beats by Friggi Mad Beats. Put differently, it will work perfectly when played live to an avid moshing crowd, and firing some Gary Holt-like riffs and infernal beats the quartet brings forward another humongous dosage of animosity and rebelliousness in I Don’t Care, where Uappa is once again demented on vocals. Then an atmospheric intro evolves into a headbanging tune titled Conspiracy, where Uappa and Paua invite us all to dance like a monkey into the circle pit, albeit not as intense as its predecessors; whereas an intro taken from the 1968 cult movie Night of the Living Dead, directed by the iconic George A. Romero (R.I.P.), explodes into what’s in my opinion the best song of the album, The Day They Left Their Graves, a lecture in Thrash Metal with Friggi Mad Beats sounding utterly infernal on drums, presenting the perfect combination of old school thrash with tales of the living dead.

You can get caught in the frantic mosh crafted by Terrordome in Straight Outta Smogtown by listening to the full album on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course if you consider yourself a true thrashing trooper you should definitely purchase the album from the band’s own BandCamp page and webstore, from the Selfmadegod Records’ BandCamp page and webstore, from Apple Music or from Discogs. In addition, don’t forget to follow those sick thrashers on Facebook and on Instagram, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their awesome creations. After all is said and done, Terrordome proved us all with Straight Outta Smogtown that Thrash Metal is more than alive, especially in the underground, solidifying their name in the local and international scene and, of course, proudly carrying the flag of Polish extreme music wherever they go.

Best moments of the album: Worried Again, Steel on the Road, Desordem e Regresso and The Day They Left Their Graves.

Worst moments of the album: Conspiracy.

Released in 2021 Selfmadegod Records

Track listing
1. Terrorizing the Nation as the Best Way to Thwart Shameful Schemes 0:48
2. Possessed By Blyat 2:41
3. Worried Again 3:24
4. Steel on the Road 2:38
5. Plastic Death 3:32
6. Your Personal Comfort Versus the Global Disaster 2:50
7. Desordem e Regresso 2:45
8. Into the Void 2:25
9. Ego-Boost Downfall 2:57
10. Money Kills 3:49
11. Demolition 2:43
12. I Don’t Care 2:49
13. Conspiracy 3:41
14. The Day They Left Their Graves 3:09

Band members
Uappa Terror – vocals, guitars
Paua Siffredi – guitars
Virious – bass*
Rob Sixkiller – drums*

Guest musicians
Simon – bass (session)
Friggi Mad Beats – drums (session)
Konrad “Destroyer” Ramotowski – guitar solo on “Terrorizing the Nation as the Best Way to Thwart Shameful Schemes”
Słoma – additional vocals on “Worried Again”
Kosa – additional vocals on “Worried Again”
Syru – additional vocals on “Worried Again”
Frank Blackfire – guitar solo on “Demolition”
Manu Joker – additional vocals on “Desordem e Regresso”
Jairo Vaz – additional vocals on “Desordem e Regresso”

*Bass and drums recorded respectively by Simon and Friggi Mad Beats

Album Review – Hell-Born / Natas Liah (2021)

After 12 years, one of Poland’s most devilish Black and Death Metal hordes returns with a brand new opus that darkly represents everything they have always been and more.

When some bands return from long years of silence, they unfortunately bring disappointment and a tarnishing of their reputation with them, while others bring a glorious shattering of the silence, a fulfilling of hopes and surpassing of expectations in mighty and imperious fashion, which is exactly the case with Sopot, Poland’s own Black/Death Metal veterans Hell-Born. Disciples of their devil’s work can rejoice, as these Polish masters of Black, Death and Thrash Metal have never sounded more accomplished and powerful than in their newborn opus Natas Liah, a towering edifice of darkness and extreme music brought into being by vocalist and bassist Baal Ravenlock (Behemoth’s co-founder), guitarist Les (also a former musician of Behemoth) and drummer Diabolizer over 12 years after the release of their previous effort Darkness. Recorded at Creme de la Creme Studio and mixed and mastered by Haldor Grunberg (known for his collaboration with Behemoth and Blaze Of Perdition) at Satanic Audio, Natas Liah is everything that Hell-Born have always been and more, being therefore highly recommended for fans of the devilish music blasted by Venom, Vader, Behemoth and Sodom, among many others.

A brief spoken intro explodes into a bestial feast of Black and Death Metal in When You Are God, where its solid instrumental pieces are spiced up by Baal’s deep guttural vocals. Put differently, it couldn’t have sounded rawer nor more devilish than what it already is, kicking off the album ruthlessly. Then even more infernal than the opening tune, Axis of Decay brings to our ears classic Black Metal infused with Death Metal elements, with Diabolizer sounding truly menacing with his blast beats accompanied by Les’ evil riffage, resulting in a song perfect for darkening our thoughts and souls for all eternity, followed by Ye Olde Woods Devil, presenting a mid-tempo, headbanging sonority masterfully crafted by the trio where the drums by Diabolizer and the bass punches by Baal will undoubtedly make your head tremble, sounding and feeling very rhythmic and at the same time primeval from start to finish. And featuring a guitar solo by guest Jacek Langowski (from Holy Smoke), Uroboros is another vicious devastation by Hell-Born showcasing Diabolizer’s spot-on drums and the always venomous riffs by Les, living up to the legacy of Polish extreme music.

After such bestial attack, guest Jacek “Jeff” Kubiak (from Damnation) provides a strident guitar solo in The Butcher, offering us all more of their incendiary fusion of Black, Death and Thrash Metal, with Baal sounding even more infuriated than before with his gruesome gnarls. Baal’s rumbling bass and Diabolizer’s pounding drums keep hammering our heads in Son of Earth, with Les bringing a humongous dosage of darkness to the music with his fiery guitar, and there’s no sign of slowing down for those Polish metallers as they keep darkening the skies with their furious music in In God’s Death, where the classic riffs by Les are boosted by the melodic but at the same time violent drumming by Diabolizer. Putting the pedal to the metal, the band explodes our senses with the Stygian and straightforward Soulrape, showcasing their usual dementia and obscurity led by the always demonic growling by Baal, before all hell breaks loose in the infernal closing tune Blakk Metal, featuring guest vocals by Behemoth’s one and only mastermind Adam “Nergal” Darski. Not only the background keys bring an additional touch of evil to the overall result, but Nergal’s trademark roars make it even more thrilling, turning it into what’s by far my favorite of all songs, or in other words, a lesson in modern-day Blackened Death Metal.

As already mentioned, Natas Liah might be Hell-Born’s most demolishing and obscure album in their solid career since the band’s inception in the distant year of 1996, proving some bands definitely know how to make an impactful and meaningful comeback form the pits of the underworld. Hence, don’t forget to follow those veterans from hell on Facebook, and to support them in their quest for extreme music by purchasing their sulfurous new album from their own BandCamp page or from the Odium Records’ webstore as a 6-panel digipack CD with a 16-page booklet or as a deluxe wooden box edition limited to 40 copies containing a vinyl version of the album, the 6-panel digipack CD with a 16-page booklet, a t-shirt, a patch, a button and a sticker. Having said all that, what are you waiting for to grab your copy of such insane album? Go for it, raise your horns and… HAIL SATAN!

Best moments of the album: Axis of Decay, The Butcher and Blakk Metal.

Worst moments of the album: Son of Earth.

Released in 2021 Odium Records

Track listing
1. When You Are God 4:59
2. Axis of Decay 4:50
3. Ye Olde Woods Devil 5:31
4. Uroboros 6:01
5. The Butcher 5:39
6. Son of Earth 4:52
7. In God’s Death 5:31
8. Soulrape 3:05
9. Blakk Metal 4:46

Band members
Baal Ravenlock – vocals, bass
Les – guitars
Diabolizer – drums

Guest musicians
Nergal – vocals on “Blakk Metal”
Jacek Langowski – lead guitars on “Uroboros”
Jeff – lead guitars on “The Butcher”

Album Review – Darzamat / A Philosopher at the End of the Universe (2020)

Let one of the best Polish metal bands of all time take you on a one-way journey to the end of the universe with their highly anticipated fifth full-length opus, showcasing their unique fusion of heavy music, philosophy and witchcraft.

It might have taken excruciating 11 years for Katowice, Poland-based Symphonic Black/Gothic Metal outfit Darzamat to stun us all once again with their fusion of heavy music, philosophy and witchcraft, but fortunately the wait is finally over with the release of the beautifully titled A Philosopher at the End of the Universe, the fifth full-length album in the career of such distinguished band that has been worshiped by fans from all over the world since their inception in the distant year of 1995. Produced, mixed and mastered at Gorycki & Sznyterman Studio in Krakow, Poland by Jarosław “Jaro” Baran, one of the most successful Polish music producers of all time, together with Grzegorz Sznyterman, A Philosopher at the End of the Universe is a concept album picking up the story right where its predecessor Solfernus’ Path, released in 2009, left off, including a fragment of a story straight from a classic Gothic novel written by the band’s vocalist and mastermind Rafał “Flauros” Góral together with his poet friend, prose writer and linguist Jesion Kowal, all of course spiced up by the darkly enthralling vocals by frontwoman Agnieszka “Nera” Górecka, the guitars by Chris, the bass by Markus and the drums by session musicians Icanraz and Kamil Bagiński.

An atmospheric, cryptic intro title Reminiscence opens our minds to the dark and visceral music blasted by Darzamat in the title-track A Philosopher at the End of the Universe, where the mesmerizing vocals by Nera make a beautiful paradox with the harsh gnarls by Flauros while Chris embellishes the airwaves with his melodious riffs and solos. Then we have Running in the Dark, spearheaded by the thunderous bass by Markus and blending Gothic Rock and Metal with modern-day Rock N’ Roll while acid poetry flows from Flauros’ demonic roars (“I take upon my shoulders the weight of the world / Blood and ugliness, bitterness and pain / Death, mourning, sadness and deep shadow / Still the world is hard to accept”), followed by Thoughts to Weigh on Farewell Day, starting in a truly menacing way thanks to the Stygian guitar lines by Chris and the infernal growling by Flauros and evolving into a Symphonic and Progressive Gothic Metal feast for admirers of the genre. And Nera once again captivates our senses with her unique voice in The Tearful Game, while the music remains as ethereal and enfolding as possible, or in other words, a metal version of a witchcraft ritual, also showcasing intricate and fierce beats from start to finish.

Investing in a more aggressive but still very atmospheric sonority, the band fires a lesson in contemporary Gothic Metal entitled The Sleeping Prophet, where the lyrics are once again stunningly declaimed by Nera (“The icon of Man on the monument of the world I am / Mors rules the land on the other side of darkness / The serpent is arisen in my breast / I curse and feel when God deserts me”), whereas in Clouds Clouds Darkening All the band sounds like a hypnotizing hybrid of Moonspell and Type O Negative, with all scorching riffs and fast-paced beats providing Flauros and Nera all they need to shine with their “darkness and light” vocal duet. Their second to last ode to obscurity, The Great Blaze, begins in a sexy and heavy manner with Nera distilling her Medusa-inspired vocals while Chris slashes his guitar in great fashion, alternating between somber moments and sheer melancholy, before Darzamat puts a climatic ending to the album with The Kaleidoscope of Retreat, highly inspired by the Gothic movement from the 80’s and 90’s, and with a huge focus on Nera’s enfolding vocal lines, therefore leaving us eager for more of the music by this new era of one of the best Polish metal bands of all time.

I truly hope Darzamat do not take another decade to release a new album, but as we never know what musicians like Flauros and Nera have in mind and what direction they want to take in their careers, let’s enjoy the moment and appreciate the first-class fusion of Symphonic Black and Gothic Metal from A Philosopher at the End of the Universe by streaming the album in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, and of course by purchasing it from Daramat’s own BandCamp page, from Apple Music or from Amazon. Those Polish metallers are also waiting for you on Facebook, on Instagram and on YouTube, ready to invite you to their coven and to take you on a melodic and Gothic journey to the end of the universe with their breathtaking new album, consequently (and hopefully) pointing to a busy and prolific period for the band in the coming years.

Best moments of the album: A Philosopher at the End of the Universe, The Sleeping Prophet and Clouds Clouds Darkening All.

Worst moments of the album: Thoughts to Weigh on Farewell Day.

Released in 2020 TuneCore/Szataniec

Track listing
1. Reminiscence 1:41
2. A Philosopher at the End of the Universe 4:28
3. Running in the Dark 4:30
4. Thoughts to Weigh on Farewell Day 4:17
5. The Tearful Game 5:26
6. The Sleeping Prophet 3:54
7. Clouds Clouds Darkening All 4:39
8. The Great Blaze 4:15
9. The Kaleidoscope of Retreat 5:43

Band members
Nera – vocals
Flauros – vocals
Chris – guitars
Markus – bass
Jacek Gut – drums (live)

Guest musicians
Icanraz – drums (session)
Kamil Bagiński – drums (session)