A Melodic Death and Doom Metal one-man band from Armenia is ready to conquer all to the sound of his newborn beast, dealing with insanity, nightmares, powerlessness, corruption and loss.
Formed in 2016 in Yerevan, the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, by vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Artak Karapetyan, the thrilling Melodic Doom/Death Metal one-man act Eternally Scarred has been combining slower tempos with faster, melodic guitars and a raw, dirty production since their 2017 debut effort …of Wisdom, and that’s also the case with Artak’s newborn beast, titled Echoes From Beneath. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Artak himself, and displaying a sinister artwork by Vladimir Prokofiev from Paint-It-Black Design, Echoes From Beneath depicts an amalgamation of subjects such as insanity, nightmares, powerlessness, corruption, loss, coping with all aforementioned topics, or being overcome by them, all embraced by the multi-layered, bold music brought into being by this lone wolf from Armenia.
The opening tune Deviance begins in a very atmospheric and pensive manner, with the minimalist sounds by Artak growing in intensity until his riffs enfold us all in a Doom and Death Metal musicality, with his vociferations bringing even more obscurity to the song. Then leaning towards the music played by bands the likes of Insomnium, Artak slashes his guitar and pounds his drums in great fashion in Divinations, a lot heavier and more dynamic than its predecessor with the extra rage coming from its Death Metal nuances being fantastic; and Artak keeps blasting his drums in the name of doom in Brothers In Arms, bringing tons of groove and heaviness through his bass and piercing riffs. After that, Artak’s visceral guitar lines will decimate your senses in Parasomnia, with his deep, enraged guttural growls growing in intensity as the music progresses in a lecture in Melodic Death and Doom Metal.
Adding elements from Stoner and Sludge Metal to his already acid riffs, it’s time for Stone Cold Blood, where its experimental passages might not be bad but they end up taking part of the song’s punch; whereas back to a more doomed, gloomier sound our Armenian metaller offers us all The Absence, showcasing beautiful guitars, slow and steady drums, and his trademark devilish vocalizations. Then prepare your mind for an eight-minute journey through the realms of Atmospheric Doom Metal entitled If The Walls Could Talk, where Artak beautifully alternates between gentle, somber passages and sheer heaviness, followed by Voices Underneath, investing in a grandiose and melodic sound while bringing the same vibe as the music by several Scandinavian Melodic Death Metal icons such as Soilwork and In Flames, resulting in a multi-layered creation that will cut your skin deep majestically. Finally, ending such inspiring and deep album we have Eternally Scarred (Part II), where Artak once again blends melancholy and anger through his riffs, bass and drums, again vociferating rabidly until the very last second.
Such precious gem of the Armenian metal scene can be appreciated in full on YouTube and on Spotify, and obviously purchased from the project’s own BandCamp page, from the Satanath Records’ BandCamp page, or from Discogs, if you want to show all your support and admiration for the music by Artak. You can also find him and his Eternally Scarred on Facebook, on Instagram and on VKontakte for news, tour dates and so on, letting him know that although he’s a one-man metal band, he’s definitely not alone. We’ll always carry the scars we get in our lives, even after our deaths, but that’s not a problem at all if that happens to the sound of the excellent Melodic Death and Doom Metal crafted by Eternally Scarred.
Best moments of the album:Divinations, If The Walls Could Talk and Voices Underneath.
Worst moments of the album:Stone Cold Blood.
Released in 2022 Satanath Records
Track listing 1. Deviance 6:40
2. Divinations 7:01
3. Brothers In Arms 4:30
4. Parasomnia 5:09
5. Stone Cold Blood 7:46
6. The Absence 8:00
7. If The Walls Could Talk 8:19
8. Voices Underneath 4:28
9. Eternally Scarred (Part II) 6:54
Band members Artak Karapetyan – vocals, all instruments
A first-class side-project by Bane’s mastermind to explore the slower, deeper and more emotional side of music, invoking the spirit of late 90’s and early 00’s doom.
Founded in 2020 by Serbian vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Branislav Panić, known best for his work with Blackened Death Metal band Bane, Tishina (Тишина), which means “silence” from Serbian, is a new Melodic Doom/Death Metal entity initially born as a side-project to explore the slower, deeper and more emotional side of music, highly influenced by giants such as Saturnus, October Tide, Mourning Beloveth, and Doom:vs, among others, who’s unleashing upon humanity its debut effort titled Uvod… (Увод…), which means “introduction” in English. Mixed and mastered at HellSound Studio by Honza Kapak, who also played drums in the album, and displaying a stylish artwork by Aleksandra Panić, Uvod… came mainly from the book of poems Nad Vodama Aheronta, written by Serbian author Predrag Rava, combining an exquisite blend of mid-paced melodic riffs, blackened sections, and various shifts in atmosphere and tone throughout its playtime while invoking the spirit of late 90’s and early 00’s doom.
Iz Mrtvog Ugla (Из Мртвог Угла), or “from a dead angle”, is a beautiful start to the album, reminding me of some of the classic creations by Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride with Branislav exhaling heaviness through his riffs and bass punches, supported by the sluggish beats by Honza; and continuing their path of obscurity and melancholy we have Dve Crne Ruze (Две Црне Руже), or “two black roses”, another Doom Metal extravaganza led by Branislav’s deep roars while Honza keeps pounding his drums in the name of darkness. Then after the short and sweet instrumental interlude Uteha (Утеха), or “consolation”, Branislav returns with his visceral riffage in Jutro Poslednjeg Dana (Јутро Последњег Дана), or “the morning of the last day”, darkening the skies even more in the name of Melodic Doom and Death Metal. Furthermore, it’s breathtaking to see how the duo is capable of sounding so heavy and serene at the same time, resulting in a multi-layered composition perfect for that type of slow and steady headbanging that’s characteristic of Doom Metal. Lastly, closing such somber album it’s time for Zauvek (Заувек), or “forever”, starting in a mesmerizing, enfolding manner before exploding into more of the project’s doomed sounds, with Branislav and Honza being in absolute sync from start to finish while Branislav’s anguished growls reach a whole new level of obscurity.
In case you would like to add the darkness and beauty of the music found in Uvod… to your personal collection, you can grab a copy of the album from Tishina’s own BandCamp page, from the Hypnotic Dirge Records’ BandCamp page or webstore, or from the Satanath Records’ BandCamp page, bringing an endless dosage of pure doom to your avid ears. I always find it impressive when a musician like Branislav can generate distinct, top-notch music such as with his two projects Bane and now Tishina, not only proving how talented and creative he is, but also providing us with double the awesomeness in the world of heavy music. And may Uvod…, just like the name of the album already says, be just the introduction to the amazing world of doom ruled by Branislav and his Tishina.
Best moments of the album: Iz Mrtvog Ugla [Из Мртвог Угла] and Jutro Poslednjeg Dana [Јутро Последњег Дана].
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2022 Hypnotic Dirge Records/Satanath Records/The End of Times Records
Track listing 1. Iz Mrtvog Ugla [Из Мртвог Угла] 8:01
2. Dve Crne Ruze [Две Црне Руже] 5:55
3. Uteha [Утеха] 0:48
4. Jutro Poslednjeg Dana [Јутро Последњег Дана] 6:13
5. Zauvek [Заувек] 8:49
Band members Branislav Panić – vocals, guitars, bass
Honza Kapak – drums
An earthquake of different influences blended together through proficient musicianship by an up-and-coming Pakistani Death Metal horde.
Formed in 2016 in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, out of love for both old school and modern Death Metal, the up-and-coming five-piece horde known as Azaab (which is pronounced “aa-zaab” and translates roughly as “calamity”) is proudly unleashing upon humanity their excellent debut effort, entitled Summoning the Cataclysm, highly recommended for admirers of the music by Morbid Angel, Decapitated, Nile and Abysmal Dawn, among many more. Recorded, mixed and mastered by the band’s own guitarist Shahab Khan at Fractal Flow Studios, and displaying a demonic artwork by Ardha Lepa, Summoning the Cataclysm is an earthquake of different influences blended together through proficient musicianship by the aforementioned Shahab Khan on the guitars together with Saad Latif on vocals, Afraz Mamoon also on the guitars, Waqar Ghayas on bass and Adhytia Perkasa on drums, as well as a handful of guest musicians including former and current members from Death, Chthe’ilist, First Fragment and Worm, with the album’s lyrical themes spanning topics such as horror, politics, human nature, the end of days, war and even sci-fi.
The somber, acoustic guitars by Shahab and Afraz in the intro Pandemonium Twilight set the stage for Azaab to smash our senses in Carbon Plague, featuring additional vocals by guests Nick Mkhl (Brutal Sphere) and Aissam El Hassani (Vile Utopia), with Adhytia hammering his drums in the name of Death Metal while Saad roars deeply like an inhumane creature. More of their Technical and Progressive Death Metal is offered to us all in A Hollow Pact, where once again the band’s guitar duo extracts sheer electricity from their axes supported by the unstoppable bass jabs by Waqar, whereas Preachers of Hate is absolutely heavy and menacing from the very first second, with the guttural roars by Saad penetrating deep inside your mind mercilessly in a first-class fusion of modern-day Technical Death Metal with the band’s own Pakistani twist.
Featuring a sick guitar solo by guest Bobby Koelble (Death), it’s time for more savagery, gore and hatred by Azaab in When Worlds Collide, where Adhytia sounds infuriated behind his drum accompanied by the always metallic bass by Waqar; and Shahab and Afraz deliver incendiary, crushing riffs in The Infernal Citadel, with a guitar solo by guest Phil Tougas (Chthe’ilist, First Fragment, Worm) this time, inviting us all to slam into the pit to their pulverizing Death Metal. Then a serene, acoustic intro explodes into sheer brutality in Trophies of Flesh, where all band members add tons of progressiveness to their core sonority, therefore turning it into the most intricate of all songs of the album. Azaab still have a lot of fuel to burn offering us all their venomous rendition for Decapitated’s The Empty Throne (check the original version HERE), showcasing an amazing job done by Saad on vocals, followed by B.L.O.O.D.B.O.R.N, a hellish, demolishing creation by the quintet with Adhytia sounding like a stone crusher on drums while Shahab and Afraz keep slashing our ears with their ass-kicking riffage and solos.
This unrelenting, vile horde hailing from Pakistan is waiting for you on Facebook and on Instagram to crush your senses with their top-of-the-line Death Metal, and of course if you want to show your total support to the underground you can purchase Summoning the Cataclysm from the band’s BandCamp page or from the Satanath Records’ BandCamp page (or click HERE for different locations where you can buy or stream the album). After all is said and done, Azaab were not joking when they said they had something for all types of Death Metal fans with their debut opus, as Summoning the Cataclysm indeed brings an amalgamation of elements from the past, present and future of Death Metal, all of course sounding very cohesive and as brutal as it can be for our total delight, positioning Azaab as one of the most interesting name of the Pakistani scene and, consequently, paving a fantastic road ahead of those death metallers.
Best moments of the album: Carbon Plague, Preachers of Hate and B.L.O.O.D.B.O.R.N.
Worst moments of the album:A Hollow Pact.
Released in 2022 Maxima Music Pro/Satanath Records
1. Pandemonium Twilight 2:04
2. Carbon Plague 4:11
3. A Hollow Pact 4:39
4. Preachers of Hate 3:58
5. When Worlds Collide 4:49
6. The Infernal Citadel 5:02
7. Trophies of Flesh 4:11
8. The Empty Throne (Decapitated cover) 4:34
9. B.L.O.O.D.B.O.R.N 4:40
Guest musicians Bobby Koelble – guitar solo on “When Worlds Collide”
Phil Tougas – guitar solo on “The Infernal Citadel”
Nick Mkhl – vocals on “Carbon Plague”
Aissam El Hassani – vocals on “Carbon Plague”
An infernal invocation to darkness by a ruthless Colombia-based horde, positioning the band as one of the driving forces of the South American extreme music scene.
Funebria, the name of a rare manuscript “Carmina Funebria in Obitum Clarissimi” of influences in opus “Cantiones Profanae” and a fascination for funeral processions, is also the name of Venezuelan Black Metal horde Funebria, founded in 2004 in Maracaibo, a city in northwestern Venezuela and the capital of Zulia state (but currently based in Bogota, Colombia), having started following the path of pure old school Black Metal with their debut demo Manifiesto Al Esclavo, released in 2005. Currently comprised of Daemonae on vocals and guitars, Blackmiroz also on the guitars, Perverssturm on bass and backing vocals, and Naberius on drums, the band is unleashing upon humanity their third full-length album, entitled Death of the Last Sun, highly recommended for admirers of the music by Behemoth, Hate, Decapitated and Svart Crown, among others. Recorded mixed and mastered at DAE Home Studio by Ranndy Garcia (aka Daemonae), known for his work with Black Metal act Theurgia, Death of the Last Sun is an invocation to darkness in the most tight and raw way imaginable, positioning the band as one of the driving forces of the South American extreme music scene.
The tolling of the bells darkens our minds and hearts in the intro AIN, before all hell breaks loose in Ominous Armaggeddon, a visceral, straightforward Black Metal feast spearheaded by the infernal beats by Naberius while Daemonae roars and barks like a true demonic entity, also presenting progressive and groovy elements to spice the whole song up considerably. After such intense start to the album, more of their venomous fusion of Black and Death Metal is offered to our avid ears in the obscure tune Upheaval & Decadence, with hints of Doom Metal added to its already somber vibe, not to mention how ruthless Daemonae and Blackmiroz are with their riffage; and there’s no time to breathe as those South American beasts keep smashing our skulls mercilessly in Bleeding Sacrament, another brutal display of Black Metal infused with Daemonae’s trademark Death Metal growls that will put a grim smile on the faces of fans of extreme music.
Ethereal Form Of Saints sounds and feels as doomed as its predecessors, with Perverssturm firing low-tuned, bestial bass punches straight to our faces, therefore supporting the headbanging riffs by his bandmates, resulting in a massive tune where every single space in the air is filled with sulfur and hate. Dawn Of Black Inericon might be the shortest song of the album, but that doesn’t mean it’s not as dense, bold and Mephistophelian as all other songs, with Daemonae once again taking the lead with his deep roars supported by Naberius’ massive drums, whereas closing the album there’s more evil and hatred in the form of Black Waters Caesar, a lecture in old school and modern-day Black Metal full of breaks and variations, scorching riffs, bass jabs and the always demented beats by Naberius. Put differently, what a pulverizing conclusion to Death of the Last Sun, leaving us all eager for more of Funebria’s infernal creations in a not-so-distant future.
If you want to have a much better taste of all the darkness and wrath flowing from Funebria’s music, you can enjoy their new album in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course you should definitely purchase the album from Dark Terror Temple’s BandCamp page, from the Satanath Records’ BandCamp page, from Apple Music or from Amazon to show your utmost support to such distinguished South American horde. In addition, don’t forget to follow the band on Facebook for news, tour dates, plans for the future and so on, proving you’re indeed a servant of the underworld as you like to brag about. Funebria are one of those bands whose sound is always evolving in the best way possible without abandoning their roots, and Death of the Last Sun is indeed a fantastic representation of their talent, their passion for Black Metal and their loyalty to this always brutal and captivating style.
Best moments of the album: Ominous Armaggeddon and Black Waters Caesar.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2021 Dark Terror Temple/Satanath Records
Track listing 1. AIN 0:52
2. Ominous Armaggeddon 6:35
3. Upheaval & Decadence 4:43
4. Bleeding Sacrament 4:13
5. Ethereal Form Of Saints 5:35
6. Dawn Of Black Inericon 3:52
7. Black Waters Caesar 5:17
Band members Daemonae – guitars, vocals
Blackmiroz – guitars
Perverssturm – bass, backing vocals
Naberius – drums
A beastly album of Symphonic Death and Black Metal from Australia that proves death can be comforting when enfolded by first-class extreme music.
What started in 2013 in Melbourne, Australia as a solo project by guitarist Andrew Shiells with the help from Chris Meyer (from Australian Black Metal act Aberration Nexus), who recorded some drums and synths for the project’s first demo tracks, has evolved to a much bolder and multi-layered beast in recent years, blasting a crushing hybrid of Symphonic Death and Black Metal with other extreme styles such as Melodic Death Metal and old school Black Metal. I’m talking about Mazikeen (based on the Hebrew word “mazzikim”, meaning “harmful spirits”), an infernal horde comprised of the aforementioned Andrew Shiells and his henchmen James Edmeades (Claret Ash) on vocals, Kris Marchant on the guitars, Aretstikapha (Plasmodium, Klavierkrieger) on piano and synths, and Marco Pitrruzzella (Six Feet Under, Sleep Terror) on drums, who are unleashing upon us their first full-length opus titled The Solace of Death, featuring eight original songs and four insane cover tracks throughout impressive 67 minutes of music, all embraced by the stylish and sinister artwork by Australian artist Jamie Ludbrooke.
An eerie, phantasmagorical intro evolves into a feast of symphonic and dark sounds in the opening track The Solace Of Death, where Marco is absolutely infernal with his blast beats while James delivers his Dani Filth/Shagrath-inspired roars and gnarls, supported by the imposing synths by Andrew and Aretstikapha, whereas in Apostate it’s time for ten minutes of Symphonic Black Metal infused with Doom and Melodic Death Metal nuances where the guitars by Kris and Andrew sound sharp and very harmonious just the way we like it in extreme music. Brutal and enthralling form start to finish, this great composition lives up to the legacy of bands like Emperor, Dimmu Borgir and Carpathian Forest, which can also be said about Vexation Through The Golden Sun, even more obscure, violent and epic than its predecessors, spearheaded by the insane drums by Marco while his bandmates make sure every empty space in the air is filled with darkness and evil, resulting in a lecture in modern-day Symphonic Black Metal full of breaks and variations, Stygian passages and even some serene, acoustic moments for our total delight. And featuring guest vocals by Josh Young (Astral Winter, Atra Vetosus), Mazikeen go full Scandinavian Black Metal in Fractricide, inspired by the trailblazers of the genre such as Mayhem and Emperor, blasting a demolishing sonority that will make your head tremble nonstop.
Josh returns with his wicked gnarls in the melancholic and somber Psychotic Reign, starting in a Gothic Metal-ish vibe while also presenting elements from Atmospheric Black Metal in its core essence. Moreover, I personally love the paradox created between Marco’s stone crushing beats and all background keys and symphonic elements, giving the whole song and extra touch of eccentricity, flowing into the cryptic and atmospheric instrumental bridge Harrowing Cessation, which also develops into a romantic instrumental ballad entitled MORS VINCIT OMNIA, or “death conquers all” from Latin, where the strength and depth of the piano notes take the lead and guide the music until its inevitable and grim ending. And in the last original song from the album, Cerulean Last Night, Mazikeen get back to a more ferocious and visceral mode, uniting the most piercing elements from old school Black Metal and contemporary Symphonic Black Metal spiced up by the visceral guest vocals by Ian McLean (The Maledict).
The last batch of songs in The Solace of Death is the band’s own tribute to their biggest idols and influences, starting with Mayhem’s Freezing Moon, originally released in the 1994 cult album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (check the original version HERE), with Mazikeen’s version featuring the vicious vocals by guest Ashahalasin (Inhuman Remnants, Somnium Nox) infernally complemented by the pulverizing drums by Marco, followed by Disection’s Night’s Blood, from the 1995 album Storm of the Light’s Bane, as bestial as the original song with Kris and Andrew delivering sheer electricity and rage through their scorching riffs. Then we have a cover for Dimmu Borgir’s Mourning Palace, from the 1997 album Enthrone Darkness Triumphant (you can listen to the original one HERE), where James does a fantastic job on vocals accompanied by the whimsical keys and synths by Andrew and Aretstikapha. And finally, Ashahalasin returns for their cover song for Darkthrone’s Transilvanian Hunger, from the 1994 album Transilvanian Hunger, as raw and malevolent as the original tune, with Marco once again taking the lead firing endless dementia and wrath from his blast beats.
You can enjoy this precious gem of Australian Black Metal in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, and also grab your copy of the album from the Satanath Records’ BandCamp page, from the Iron, Blood & Death Corporation’s BandCamp page, from Apple Music, or click HERE for all options where you can buy or stream the album. Mazikeen can also be found on Facebook, where you can know more about the band, their tour dates, their music and plans for the future, proudly carrying the flag of Black Metal wherever they go. In a nutshell, Andrew and his horde from Mazikeen nailed it in The Solace of Death, showing us all that death can be indeed comforting, especially if enfolded by a good amount of first-class Black Metal like the sonic devastation blasted by such distinct band hailing from the always inspiring Australia.
Best moments of the album: Vexation Through The Golden Sun, Fractricide and Night’s Blood.
Worst moments of the album:Harrowing Cessation.
Released in 2020 Satanath Records/Iron, Blood & Death Corporation
Track listing 1. The Solace Of Death 6:57
2. Apostate 10:05
3. Vexation Through The Golden Sun 10:46
4. Fractricide 4:54
5. Psychotic Reign 7:00
6. Harrowing Cessation 2:30
7. MORS VINCIT OMNIA 2:59
8. Cerulean Last Night 7:34
9. Freezing Moon (Mayhem cover) 6:36
10. Night’s Blood (Dissection cover) 7:10
11. Mourning Palace (Dimmu Borgir cover) 5:36
12. Transilvanian Hunger (Darkthrone cover) 5:36
Band members James Edmeades – vocals
Kris Marchant – guitars
Andrew Shiells – guitars, synths
Aretstikapha – piano, synths
Marco Pitrruzzella – drums
Guest musicians Josh Young – vocals on “Fractricide” and “Psychotic Reign”
Ian McLean – vocals on “Cerulean Last Night”
Ashahalasin – vocals on “Freezing Moon” and “Transilvanian Hunger”
Steeped in the mythology and mysticism of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia while exploring forgotten paths of history, here comes an infernal duo armed with their brand new opus of crushing Blackened Death Metal.
Forged in 2012 in the fires of Manitou Springs, a resort city in Colorado, in the United States by the “Houseman Brothers” Wyatt Houseman on vocals and Jerred Houseman on all other instruments, here comes a unique and vibrant Black/Death Metal studio project infused with Middle Eastern Folk Influences (even called “Blackened Mesopotamian Folk/Death Metal”) known as Akhenaten with their brand new album Golden Serpent God, steeped in the mythology and mysticism of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia while exploring forgotten paths of history, extracting unknown lore and threads of truth. For instance, Akhenaten, known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV, was a pharaoh of Egypt especially noted for abandoning traditional Egyptian polytheism and introducing worship centered on the Aten, giving you a very good idea of how distinct and aggressive the music by the duo sounds.
With parallel themes to what’s found in the brother’s Symphonic Black Metal band Helleborus, and featuring an imposing cover artwork by Tony Koehl of Sketch The Soul and a title page artwork by Dennis Lee Hughes of Cythraul Art, Golden Serpent God will appeal to fans of the music by bands such as Al-Namrood, Narjahanam, Melechesh and Kartikeya just like what happened in their previous release Incantations Through the Gates of Irkalla, from 2015, whispering to the most remote regions of primal memory to the sound of their Blackened Death Metal, filled with exotic instruments and rhythmic structures of the ancient Near and Middle East. “The album is a mural of epics from Egypt and Mesopotamia. It tells stories of belief, warfare, men and Gods,” said Jerred about their newborn opus, inviting the listener to an idiosyncratic and extreme music journey together with the duo.
In the excellent opening track, titled Amulets of Smoke and Fire, ominous sounds take us to the Mesopotamian world of Akhenaten, with Jerred generating a dark and embracing atmosphere with his scorching riffs, whimsical keyboards and demonic beats, while Wyatt growls like an Egyptian beast; followed by the also imposing and devastating Dragon of the Primordial Sea, where the guitar and bass lines create a beautiful paradox with the epicness flowing from keyboards, while Wyatt declaims the song’s lyrics with his deep, visceral growls, enhancing the song’s taste and impact even more, creating an instant link with the crushing chant Throne of Shamash, where the drums by Jerred get more and more demolishing as the music progresses in an excellent display of classic Blackened Death Metal, feeling like a battle hymn due to its thunderous vibe.
Then Middle-Eastern and folk elements permeate the air in the captivating instrumental bridge Through the Stargate, setting the stage for Akhenaten to smash our senses in Erishkigal: Kingdom of Death, a full-bodied, metallic feast of darkened sounds and nuances where the Houseman Bothers are absolutely on fire and in total sync, with highlights to the rumbling sounds extracted from guitars and bass. And things get even more thrilling as the strident and piercing sound of keyboards take the lead in the melodic aria titled Pazuzu: Harbinger of Darkness, the perfect union of history, myths and metal music, with the vociferations by Wyatt matching the musicality flawlessly, whereas in Akashic Field: Enter Arcana Catacombs get ready for over seven minutes of tribal beats and Middle-Eastern tones and nuances in another fresh instrumental extravaganza by this talented band, with Jerred blasting hypnotizing beats while the atmosphere remains as cryptic as it can be.
Featuring Brian Palmer (Circaic) on the guitar, God of Creation is the most devastating and modern composition by Akhenaten, with Wyatt growling like a demonic entity while Jerred makes sure the ambience remains as violent as possible in a multi-layered, intricate feast of Black and Death Metal for our avid ears. After such furious explosion of extreme music we have another interesting display of Middle-Eastern music infused with Extreme Metal and even futuristic elements entitled Sweat of the Sun, sounding a bit too weird at times (not to mention it could have been slightly shorter and more metallic), while in Apophis: The Serpent of Rebirth the duo gets back to their more incendiary mode, blasting a potent fusion of Progressive and Blackened Death Metal, being therefore tailored for fans of bands like Behemoth. Furthermore, the intricacy flowing from guitars and bass are the exact background Wyatt needs to thrive with his gnarls, flowing like a firestorm until the music fades into the atmospheric and vibrant outro Golden Serpent God, with all its hypnotizing sounds generating an enfolding and obscure finale for such heavy and captivating album.
Best moments of the album: Dragon of the Primordial Sea, Pazuzu: Harbinger of Darkness and God of Creation.
Worst moments of the album:Sweat of the Sun.
Released in 2018 Satanath Records/Cimmerian Shade Recordings/Murdher Records
Track listing 1. Amulets of Smoke and Fire 3:42
2. Dragon of the Primordial Sea 3:22
3. Throne of Shamash 2:50
4. Through the Stargate 2:35
5. Erishkigal: Kingdom of Death 4:03
6. Pazuzu: Harbinger of Darkness 4:09
7. Akashic Field: Enter Arcana Catacombs 7:05
8. God of Creation (feat. Brian Palmer) 3:22
9. Sweat of the Sun 5:59
10. Apophis: The Serpent of Rebirth 5:49
11. Golden Serpent God 2:44
Band members Wyatt Houseman – vocals
Jerred Houseman – all instruments
Guest musicians Brian Palmer – guitars on “God of Creation”
Rose White – female vocals
If you’re curious to know how the metal scene is in Belarus, here is Artyom, guitarist and one of the founders of Minsk-based Technical Death Metal four-piece beast Amentia, to talk about not only that, but also about his biggest influences in music and a lot of nice-to-know details about the band’s latest album, the pulverizing Scourge.
The Headbanging Moose: Can you please introduce Amentia to the readers of The Headbanging Moose, telling a little about your origins, your goals and your music? What are the main differences between Amentia in the early days to what the band is now?
Artyom: Amentia was formed in 2003 in Minsk, Belarus. Initially it was created as a studio project and it remained like that until 2006 when the band performed live for the first time. But the live period didn’t take too long and since 2009 Amentia returned to the status of a studio project due to the numerous line-up changes and the lack of suitable musicians who could play the material live. Though there were some attempts to find the proper members and actually we still don’t give up on performing live and maybe someday we will complete the lineup and present our material on stage. If we speak about the differences between Amentia in the early days and now I can say that this band was playing technical brutal death metal from the very beginning but with each album the music was becoming more and more mature and emphatic. The structures of the songs became more complex, melodies – more interesting, more and more elements of different genres were embedded in the main style of the band’s music, like avant-garde, math, progressive and sometimes even jazzy tunes.
THM: Last year you released an amazing album of old school Death Metal titled Scourge, which has been getting lots of positive reviews worldwide. What can you tell us about the recording process of the album, what worked well and what were your biggest issues? In addition, Scourge is the first release of the band after six years of absolute silence. Why did it take so long for Amentia to record a new album?
Artyom: The recording process itself went pretty smooth but the most difficult part was mixing and mastering. This is the first album which Alex decided to mix himself and it was a big challenge for him. He was studying this process really thoroughly, by trials and errors, and it took a lot of time until he was satisfied with the result. But the main reason why Amentia was silent for 6 years is because each of us has (or had) other bands and we had to dedicate our time also to them. At that time Alex was playing in POSTHUMOUS BLASPHEMER and couple of other projects in different non-metal genres. I performed and am still performing in DEATHBRINGER, DISLOYAL, WOE UNTO ME, THY DISEASE, and also in some bands as a session guitarist. By the way DEATHBRINGER is one more band where we are playing together with Alex.
THM: Scourge also features two new members, Valery “Vile” Toothgrinder and Zubov, both on vocals. Can you tell us a bit about them? How were they chosen to be part of the band, and what do they bring to the band’s music that wasn’t there before?
Artyom: Well, Zubov was a vocalist in POSTHUMOUS BLASPHEMER so Alex and him know each other for quite a long time and played together, so when it came to recording vocals he was the easiest candidate, without any hesitation we decided that his guttural growls would fit perfectly. But we also wanted to diversify the vocals just a little bit by adding some screams and our good friend Vile was eager to try and it appeared that his screams were exactly what we’ve been looking for. The combination of their voices added some density and fat to the music.
THM: Two of my favorite songs of the album are the devastating Anorexia and Sentence Executioner. What’s the story behind those two songs, and what message are you sending to the listener through their lyrics?
Album Review – Amentia / Scourge (2017)
Artyom: I think the names speak for themselves. Anorexia is a song about a person with a very popular nowadays mental disorder, who is obsessed with losing weight and starvation so much that gradually deprives him/herself of vital energy and kills him/herself. Sentence Executioner is a song about a person who works as an executioner in prisons and killing people becomes his everyday routine, the line between life and death erases and he dissolves in the world of torture, mutilation and killing, forgetting about the normal life. In general we do not have any special message which we’d like to send to the listener, we are just showing the brutality of the real world, all the diseases, cruelty and injustice that surround us.
THM: Another nice detail in Scourge is its dark and sinister cover art, designed by Mayhem Project Art. How was the process together with that company until you reached this final design, and what does the album art mean to the overall concept of the album?
Artyom: Our label has offered us to work with Mayhem Project Art. We looked through his works and we were very satisfied with his style. We just gave him the lyrics, explained the main lyrical themes and he came up with an idea to depict a weak and sick character covered with sores and wounds, suffering from the combination of different diseases; a piece of old dirty cloth covers his head, he is abandoned and rejected by everyone. And this collective image covers all the main lyrical themes of this album, so we really liked the idea.
THM: As an old school Death Metal band I’m pretty sure your strongest influences in music come from traditional Death Metal bands like Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse and Death, am I right? Who else has had a significant influence on your music from the Death Metal scene, from other types of heavy music, and even from non-metal styles?
Artyom: Definitely bands like MORBID ANGEL, DEATH, SUFFOCATION and CANNIBAL CORPSE have influenced most of the bands that play death metal. We are listening to all kinds of music and it is reflected to some extent in our works. If we are speaking about extreme music then I can name BLOTTED SCIENCE, DECREPIT BIRTH, MISERY INDEX, GORGASM, GORGUTS, NECROPHAGIST, MESHUGGAH, GOJIRA and many more. What concerns other genres in my case it would be worth mentioning ULVER, PINK FLOYD, WARDRUNA, DEVIN TOWNSEND, TOOL, HAMFERÐ, IHSAHN, LEPROUS, PAIN OF SALVATION, MASTODON, OPETH, BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE, etc. Alex listens also to a lot of funk music, jazz, rhythm and blues, like MARCUS MILLER, VIKTOR WOOTEN, AMY WINEHOUSE, JAMIROQUAI, Ukrainian rock band OKEAN ELZY.
THM: I had the pleasure to review a few bands from Belarus in the past few years, those being Irreversible Mechanism, Dzhatinga and more recently Ljosazabojstwa, all extremely talented but unfortunately with very little support from the media. With that said, how do you see the current metal scene in Belarus? Can we say it’s growing in importance, or is it still way too underground to be considered a true movement in the country? And what other Belarusian metal bands do you recommend to our readers?
Artyom: Nothing has changed in Belarus. Metal is still total underground in our country and looking at the number of people attending metal shows and buying CDs I would say that it’s slowly getting worse unfortunately. But it doesn’t affect so much the amount of metal bands. We have a lot of talented musicians in different genres but not all of them can withstand this situation in underground metal, this poor infrastructure and all kinds of obstacles created by our society, government and general cultural development of the masses. If you haven’t heard about the following bands from Belarus yet, then I’d recommend to check out: SERDCE, DEATHBRINGER, IRREVERSIBLE MECHANISM, RELICS OF HUMANITY, POSTHUMOUS BLASPHEMER, NEBULAE COME SWEET, WOE UNTO ME, and VICTIM PATH.
THM: How have been the concerts to support the release of Scourge? Any memorable moments Amentia have had as a headliner or supporting any major acts in your homeland or in other countries that you would like to share with us?
Artyom: As I’ve mentioned before Amentia is still just a studio project and we don’t play live at all. But I really hope that it will change in the future and we will have some great touring and concert stories to share with you in our next interview.
THM: Now that Scourge has been out for a while, what can you tell us about the future of the band? What are your plans regarding the recording of new material and, consequently, new tour dates?
Artyom: We’ve already started working on new material. Slowly, in the intervals between activities in other bands but the new Amentia album arises.
THM: Thank you very much for your time, we really appreciate that! Please feel free to send your final words to our readers, and anything else you would like to say as your final considerations.
Artyom: Thank you so much for this interview and your interest in Amentia music. Huge thanks to all the readers who will check out this interview. Keep supporting underground metal, attend shows, buy CDs and stay brutal. Only thanks to you metal music is still alive.
After six years of silence, this Belarusian Death Metal squad is finally back in action to dismantle our bodies and souls with 33 minutes of extreme dexterity and utter rage.
Initially created as a studio project in 2003 by Alex Goron, bass player for Belarusian band Posthumous Blasphemer, Minsk-based Technical Death Metal four-piece beast Amentia is finally awake from hibernation after six years of silence to dismantle our bodies and souls with their third full-length installment, the brutal Scourge. Comprised of seven relentless original compositions tailored for killing our brain cells with each second of their sound by bringing forward fast and furious riffs, machine gun bursts of drum fills and blast beats and demonic soul-destroying vocals, Scourge lives up to the band’s name, leaving you with a severe mental impairment after banging your head nonstop like a maniac to its 33 minutes of extreme dexterity and utter rage.
Featuring members of Posthumous Blasphemer, Deathbringer, Disloyal and Thy Disease, and being strongly recommended for fans of bands like Suffocation, The Faceless and Meshuggah, Amentia already released in their underground career the split EP Mind Degradation in 2006, and the full-length albums Burn to Hate, in 2007, and Incurable Disease, in 2011, but it’s now in 2017 with newcomers Valery “Vile” Toothgrinder and Zubov on vocals that the group has reached a whole new level of brutality with their music. Displaying an ominous cover artwork by Mayhem Project Art, Scourge is not only the epitome of modern and technical Death Metal, but a solid statement by Amentia telling the world the band is back in action and they’re thirstier for blood than ever.
In the opening track, an amazing display of Technical Death Metal perfect for breaking our spine in half headbanging titled Kill Me, the quartet begins firing sheer brutality through their razor-edged instruments, in special Alex with his demented beats and Artyom with his lancinating guitar solos, whereas in I Don’t Believe their violent and rhythmic sounds keep invading our ears mercilessly, with the level of intricacy found in this sea of savagery in the form of music being astounding. In addition, the deep growling by Vile sounds beyond cavernous, which together with the also menacing guitar and bass turn this song into a must-listen for fans of the genre. And then we have the infernal tune Anorexia, with its first part being an instrumental feast of contemporary Death Metal led by Alex and his amazing drums, supported by the always cutting guitars by Artyom, before Vile returns with his bestial roars in another lesson in violence by Amentia.
Vile and Zubov sound like two enraged monsters in the visceral chant named Slow Decay, with its frantic beats and riffs being in total sync with their devilish gnarls (not to mention Alex’s pounding bass punches), followed by Noble Death, a song that brings more up-to-date elements of extreme music and tons of progressiveness where the sound of guitars strenuously slashes our senses so heavy and metallic it sounds, while Vile keeps barking and growling like a rabid gorilla for the delight of us fans of old school Death Metal. And if you think their slaughterhouse of Death Metal is over you’re absolutely wrong, as you’ll have to face Amentia once again in the high-octane ode to bestiality titled Sentence Executioner, ignited by the cutting riffs by Artyom and a furious growl by Vile, feeling like a hellish version of Dream Theater with a demon on vocals, with highlights to the fantastic job done once again by Alex on both bass and drums. And without a single second of peace, this Belorusian squad delivers another explosion of Technical Death Metal named Paranoia, showcasing crisp guitar solos and nonstop savagery, as well as a duel of gargantuan harsh growls by Vile and Zubov. The band keeps punching us in the head throughout the entire song with their blackened sounding, resulting in the perfect conclusion for such ruthless album of extreme music.
If you have the guts to confront this boisterous joint of Belarusian metallers and their demolishing Death Metal, you can take a full listen at Scourge on YouTube, follow them on Facebook and on VKontakte, and buy your copy of the album at Amentia’s BandCamp page, at the Satanath Records’ BandCamp page, or at Discogs. I just hope Amentia do not take another six years to release a new album, and that they keep blasting our ears with their action-packed Death Metal over and over again for many years yet to come.
Best moments of the album: I Don’t Believe, Anorexia and Sentence Executioner.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2017 Satanath Records/Amputated Vein Records
Track listing 1. Kill Me 4:50
2. I Don’t Believe 4:28
3. Anorexia 4:35
4. Slow Decay 4:27
5. Noble Death 4:05
6. Sentence Executioner 5:09
7. Paranoia 5:48
Band members Vile – scream
Zubov – esophagus
Artyom – guitars
Alex – bass, drums
Behold the rise of a brand new Blackened Death Metal horde hailing from Ukraine, taking the entire world by storm with their high-voltage fusion of epicness and blasphemy.
Watching the rise of Ukrainian Metal is a thing of beauty. Despite not having any major names yet in the world of heavy music, Ukraine has been growing in importance for all types of metalheads, with names such as Apostate, Sad Alice Said, Majesty Of Revival, Morkesagn and Gasoline Guns, among many others, blasting their powerful music to the four corners of the earth. Having said that, we might be witnessing the birth of a Ukrainian act that has all it takes to take the entire world by storm with their high-voltage fusion of epicness and blasphemy. That band is Blackened Death Metal horde NordWitch, who have just released their extremely heavy debut album entitled Mørk Profeti (or “dark prophecy” from Norwegian).
Formed in February 2015 in the capital city of Kiev, NordWitch are highly inspired by interesting (and usually controversial) topics like Satanism, Occultism and Norse mythology, all embraced by their mighty riffs, their intricate and crisp drumming, and the deep guttural by their stunning frontwoman Masha. The only difference from the band’s inception until today is Ukrainian drummer Eugene Hrulev, who has recently replaced the amazing Hungarian stone crusher Donets Stepan, but apart from that the band has been a solid institution ready to conquer the world with their scathing fusion of Black and Death Metal and a strong passion for extreme music.
As a great example of how powerful and melodious the music by NordWitch is, let me start by saying that they managed to make the three-minute instrumental intro Mørk Profeti truly interesting and exciting even without the vocals by Masha, with Donets smashing his drums flawlessly while Max and Leo kick some serious ass with their guitar lines a la Arch Enemy. As a matter of fact, if you love Arch Enemy you’ll find a lot of them in each song by NordWitch, obviously considerably darker and more blasphemous. Then we have Dominion, a fuckin’ devastating, robust tune (it can’t get any better than this!) tailored for lovers of modern Blackened Death Metal, where Masha and Donets are true beasts on vocals and drums, respectively; followed by Walker From The Shade, with Masha growling deeper and deeper while Max and Leo continue their guitar onslaught, supported by the metallic lines by bassist Max Senchilo. Furthermore, the “evil Arch Enemy” offer us more of their melodious riffs and solos, not to mention the epic and menacing vibe crafted by all instruments.
In the top-tier chant Lady Evil, the fast and cataclysmic beats by Donets, together with the song’s great riffage and another infernal performance by Masha on vocals, turn it into one the most flammable moments of the album. Moreover, Max delivers an awesome guitar solo at the end just to make the song even more thrilling than what it already is. The Call To An Ancient Evil brings forward a brutal beginning to another sensational creation by NordWitch, where Masha seems to declaim the words in a guttural way instead of screaming them, whereas the musicality sounds very technical and progressive at times mainly thanks to the high level of intricacy found in the song’s guitars and drums. And highly influenced by Scandinavian Extreme Metal, the most epic composition by NordWitch and also one of the best of the album, the rip-roaring To Nord Gods, contains all elements we love in this type of music, including a Viking Metal acoustic intro perfect for the theme proposed by the band, a beautiful pace led by the guitar lines and solos by Max and Leo, and Masha telling a compelling story through her powerful guttural vocals.
In the last two songs of Mørk Profeti, the band’s Blackened Death Metal arises like the burning fires of the underworld similar to what the iconic Behemoth usually do, starting with No Regret, with elements of Thrash and Death Metal added to its already explosive formula, always making sure there’s a huge amount of harmony and cohesiveness amidst the sonic chaos generated by the entire band. And lastly, more Nordic sounds penetrate our ears and minds in the furious chant Messiah Of Death, where Donets is impressive with his precision and rage on drums while Masha gnarls like a female demon, closing such potent opus magnificently.
In my humble opinion, we should all follow the ascension of NordWitch through their Facebook page and VKontakte, and of course blast our ears with their demonic music through their YouTube channel and ReverbNation, because this band is definitely going places and if you love metal like I do you’ll also be very curious to know how high they can go. Mørk Profeti, which can be purchased at the Satanath Records’ BandCamp or webstore, is not only the first stone in their rising castle of darkness, but an album that will put you to bang your head and raise your horns nonstop, which is pretty much everything we want in good heavy music.
Best moments of the album: Dominion, Lady Evil and To Nord Gods.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2016 Satanath Records/Darzamadicus Records
Track listing 1. Mørk Profeti (Intro) 2:53
2. Dominion 5:27
3. Walker From The Shade 4:33
4. Lady Evil 4:44
5. The Call To An Ancient Evil 5:22
6. To Nord Gods 4:53
7. No Regret 5:15
8. Messiah Of Death 5:08
Band members Masha – vocals
Max – lead guitar
Leo – rhythm guitar
Max Senchilo – bass
Donets Stepan – drums
Call it Torturing Metal, Inquisitor Metal or simply old school Death Metal, the destructive music by this one man-army from Turkey will inflict some good pain on your body and soul.
Before starting reading this review, go down to the very end of it and take a good listen at the brutal devastation called “Burned At The Stake” by Turkish Death Metal one-man army Grotesque Ceremonium. Are you done listening to it? Good, because that will make it a lot easier for you to understand what an “unholy old school Death Metal band influenced by early 90’s dark, putrid evil” is, also setting the tone for every single song in Demonic Inquisition, the debut full-length album by this promising project led by the multitalented musician Batu Çetin.
Formed in 2014 in Ankara, Turkey, and having released a debut EP entitled Blasphemous Goat Observance that same year, Grotesque Ceremonium return in Demonic Inquisition with a concept album about the Dark Ages and the Medieval Inquisition, where all punishments and inquisition methods were performed by demons and Baphomet’s evil army against all believers of God. Singing about witches, witchcraft, demonic punishments and tortures in the depths of hell (the satanic temple of Baphomet), Mr. Batu Çetin will take you on a tormenting journey accompanied by the sound of his old school extreme music, leaving your agonizing soul completely disoriented and desolated. What else do you need in good Death Metal music, right?
Putrid growls and snarls permeate the air in Defiled Spirits Of Unholy Torments, where Batu displays a very good control of all instruments, in special his obscure riffs and drums like what we see in bands such as Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel, therefore sounding as Death Metal as possible. The title-track Demonic Inquisition builds a direct link with the opening track, enhanced by its profane vociferations and a hellish ambience. By growling deeper and deeper, Batu takes us to the hideous pits of Medieval Inquisition in a little over six minutes or torturing passages and pure Death Metal, exactly the way it’s supposed to sound.
In Burned At The Stake, which is obviously about one of the most heartless forms of torture, Batu translates the unbearable pain caused by fire into brutality with his guitar lines and rhythmic drumming, whereas in Malefizhaus & Hexengefangnis, the witch prisons built during the Bamberg Witch Trials with a capacity of 30 to 40 prisoners each, our one-man army once again provides his vision of such disgusting event through his old school musicality, with highlights to his satanic riffs and nefarious growling. If you feel your head burning after all the darkness spilled by Grotesque Ceremonium so far, get ready for more aggressiveness in Barbaric Apostasy, where despite adding hints of Blackened Doom to his beats, Batu never deviates from the foundations of Death Metal. Put differently, simply bang your fuckin’ heads to this amazing feast of extreme music until your brain detaches from your skull.
Agonized Screams Of The Damned might be faster than the previous songs, but it’s still sluggish and extremely heavy, which obviously turns it into one of the most devastating songs of the album (if not the most). Moreover, Batu keeps roaring his fiendish gnarls and delivering his very traditional guitar lines, and pay attention to how vocals and riffs follow the exact same pattern during the entire song, showing how methodical this musician is. Following a similar sonority, we are embraced by total fuckin’ darkness in a disquieting composition entitled In The Cauldrons Of Hell, which blends the heaviness of old school Death Metal with the funereal beats from Doom Metal and Blackened Doom.
The last original track in Demonic Inquisition, named Crushing Morbid Death, is sheer Death Metal with no extra ingredients or any type of shenanigans: it’s simply Batu blasting his wicked growls, riffs and drumming in three minutes of Stygian music. And lastly, the cover version for Profanation, by old school American Death Metal band Incantation, lives up to the original version from 1992, an amazing tribute to one of our death metaller’s main influences with highlights to its “lovable” lyrics (“Pentagram is hailed in hell / Star of death brings infinite life / Enter the circle and desecrate / Devours the soul, embalminate the body…”). Not only that, keep in mind Batu is not a full-bodied band like Incantation, but just one single person, yet again showcasing his refined abilities as a musician.
This impactful display of putrescent Death Metal, available as a jewel box CD limited to 500 copies (including an 8-page booklet) or as a digital download, can be purchased at the band’s BandCamp page, at the Satanath Records’ BandCamp page and webstore, or at Discogs. Perhaps we should say Grotesque Ceremonium, the disfigured child created by the mind of Mr. Batu Çetin, is a forbidding form of Death Metal called “Torturing Metal” or maybe even “Inquisitor Metal” due to its vile nature. A good epitome of what Batu is capable of generating in music, and an excellent alternative for any fas avid for the heaviest form of Death Metal you can think of.
Best moments of the album: Malefizhaus & Hexengefangnis and Agonized Screams Of The Damned.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2016 Satanath Records/More Hate Productions
Track listing 1. Defiled Spirits Of Unholy Torments 4:52
2. Demonic Inquisition 6:28
3. Burned At The Stake 3:08
4. Malefizhaus & Hexengefangnis 5:24
5. Barbaric Apostasy 5:49
6. Agonized Screams Of The Damned 3:53
7. In The Cauldrons Of Hell 4:47
8. Crushing Morbid Death 2:53
9. Profanation (Incantation cover) 5:04