Album Review – Super Satan / Menetekel (2020)

An incendiary album of German Black Metal overflowing blast beats, pushing sounds and aggressive riffs that will let us all slide down the abyss piece by piece.

With a variety of beautiful, dreamy tracks and silence shattering sounds split into ten hypnotic tracks with a total playing time of over 57 minutes, Menetekel, the debut full-length opus by an infernal Kaufbeuren, Germany-based Black Metal duo comprised of vocalist Stefan Bauer (Disgusting Perversion) and guitarist Julian Gruber (Disgusting Perversion, Pestilent Reign, Running Death, Taste of Desolation) that goes by the curious name of Super Satan, brings to our ears a fast, hard-riffing and overall unconventional style of Black Metal, being highly recommended for fans of bands like Der Weg einer Freiheit and Der Rote Milan. Supported by the heavy kitchen of Nikita Kamprad (Der Weg einer Freiheit, Illusion of Strength) on bass, who also produced the album, and Sebastian Unić (Crimson Death, Pestilent Reign, Kâhld, Hysterie) on drums, Super Satan take no prisoners in Menetekel, with their driving blast beats, pushing sounds and aggressive riffs letting the audience slide down the abyss piece by piece and leading them through the end of all days, all of course sung in their mother tongue German.

Get ready to be dragged down to the scorching pits of the underworld in the phantasmagorical intro Menetekel, or “warning sign” in English, setting the stage for Super Satan to crush our souls in Zwiespalt (“conflict”), with Julian extracting sheer obscurity from his wicked guitar while guest Sebastian delivers traditional blast beats, resulting in a feast of classic and modern Black Metal spearheaded by the demonic roars by Stefan. Then we have another brutal round of Black Metal the likes of Marduk and Immortal in Einklang (“unison”), sounding absolutely demonic and pulverizing from start to finish, with Sebastian going berserk once again on drums while Nikita hammers his bass furiously, whereas the strident, piercing riffs by Julian are the main ingredient in the infernal Mondglanz (“moonlight”), bringing some Hardcore and Grindcore nuances to their already vicious sonority and, therefore, being perfect for slamming into the pit while also presenting groovier and heavier moments.

Dämmerung (“dusk”) is an Atmospheric Black Metal extravaganza led by the electrifying guitar lines by Julian while Stefan gnarls in a dark and anguished manner, remaining sluggish, bleak and melancholic throughout its five minutes of sheer obscurity, and following such venomous tune we’re treated to Wolkenbruch (“downpour”) and its almost 10 minutes of a fantastic hybrid between old school Black Metal with contemporary Melodic Black Metal. Furthermore, Sebastian sounds even more boisterous on drums while very rhythmic at the same time, with Stefan’s deep roars bringing endless hatred and fear to the overall result. Then cryptic sounds and tones permeate the air in Auferstehung (“resurrection”), morphing into a furious explosion of Black Metal infused with Symphonic Black Metal nuances with Sebastian once again adding his share of dementia to the music, while Stefan keeps barking and screaming manically.

Hammering their flammable instruments nonstop, the band pierces our ears and minds with the scorching Weltenbrand (“world fire”), also sounding and feeling atmospheric and epic. In addition to that, you can sense some resemblance to the most vicious creations from Neue Deutsche Härte, while Julian sounds truly infernal with his dark riffing. After such high level of obscurity, it’s time for a hurricane of modern-day Black Metal blasted by Super Satan in Ritual, showcasing razor-edged guitars, fulminating drums and the always visceral gnarls by Stefan, while Nikita and Sebastian bring thunder to the sonority with their sonic weapons. Lastly, blending the imposing sounds by bands like Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir and Emperor, the band fills our ears with hatred and evil in the closing tune Ur, where those German metallers display all their dexterity and passion for the underworld for over eight minutes.

The creativity and darkness flowing from German Black Metal always amazes me, and with Super Satan it couldn’t have been any different than that. Those two talented musicians and their henchmen simply nailed it already with their debut release, which is by the way available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, bringing forth a very cohesive, austere and incendiary fusion of the most diverse styles of Black Metal. Hence, don’t forget to give them a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, and to purchase your copy of such excellent album from their own BandCamp page or from the Thanatoskult’s BandCamp page, as well as from Apple Music or from Amazon. As already mentioned, Menetekel is the perfect soundtrack to the end of everything, proving once again why Black Metal made in Germany is and will always be one of the most interesting and breathtaking subgenres of extreme music.

Best moments of the album: Einklang, Wolkenbruch and Ritual.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Thanatoskult

Track listing
1. Menetekel 1:15
2. Zwiespalt 6:02
3. Einklang 3:49
4. Mondglanz 3:00
5. Dämmerung 5:00
6. Wolkenbruch 9:38
7. Auferstehung 5:45
8. Weltenbrand 7:17
9. Ritual 6:57
10. Ur 8:32

Band members
Stefan Bauer – vocals
Julian Gruber – guitars

Guest musicians
Nikita Kamprad – bass (session)
Sebastian Unić – drums (session)

Album Review – Nocturnal Escape / Uncharted Pathways (2020)

This talented German horde returns with a brand new concept album marking a stylistic change from their original sound to a soundtrack-like Black Metal offering.

Brought into being in 2014 as a recording project by  Leo and Klaus Bergmann after their previous band Bleak disbanded, Augsburg, Germany-based Epic/Atmospheric Black Metal band Nocturnal Escape is back in action now in 2020 with their sophomore installment, entitled Uncharted Pathways, a concept album consisting of five songs with a combined running time of nearly 58 minutes, marking a stylistic change from the riff-laden Melodic Death Metal found in their 2015 self-titled debut album to a soundtrack-like Black Metal offering. Featuring a grim and exquisite artwork by artist Daniela Teichmann, the album also presents to the listener a new growler, Paul Perlberg (replacing Thomas Zimmermann), and a new session drummer, James Knoerl, instead of the programmed drums from their first album, providing the overall sound a more organic and, therefore, more intense vibe.

The serene keys by Leo kick off the 10-minute aria entitled Exodus, evolving into a fusion of classic Black and Doom Metal where Paul roars and gnarls in a true devilish manner, filling every single space in the air with its background choir-like sounds, ritualistic drums and scorching hot guitar riffs, ending in a climatic and melancholic manner and building an instant bridge to Forlorn, once again presenting whimsical sounds blended with the band’s most vicious and extreme side, with Leo and Klaus slashing their strings in great fashion and, consequently, providing Paul all he needs to vociferate like a demon while James dictates the song’s charming rhythm with his sluggish beats. In addition, it becomes crystal clear in this dense and distinguished tune how the band decided to distance themselves from Progressive Death and Black Metal, being now fully invested in a hybrid of Black, Folk and Epic Metal.

Then featuring guest Rüdiger Bergmann on trombone, the trio’s acoustic guitars and low-tuned, rumbling bass lines ignite the also multi-layered and vibrant Tranquillity, morphing into an obscure and crisp Black Metal extravaganza led by Leo and his venomous riffage while Paul adds an extra touch of evil to it with his deep, enraged growls, also bringing forward a few eerie, symphonic breaks to enhance the intricacy and drama of the overall result, sounding and feeling as epic and detailed as it can be. And the band keeps stimulating our senses with their classy extreme music in Insight, where all background elements generate a Stygian atmosphere that will darken your heart and soul. Furthermore, the Black Metal blast beats by James make an interesting paradox with the clean vocals by Leo, resulting in a lesson in Atmospheric Black Metal with Leo’s crisp riffs and solos being the icing on the cake. And accelerating their pace and enhancing their electricity they offer us all the closing tune Departure, featuring guest vocals by Stefan Bauer, with James hammering his drums mercilessly until gentle piano notes permeate the air intertwined with heavy riffs and dense bass lines, flowing into a very symphonic, epic and enfolding finale.

In case you think you have what it takes to face almost one hour of the atmospheric and obscure passages by Nocturnal Escape, you can take a full listen at Uncharted Pathways on YouTube and on Spotify, and of course purchase the album from Apple Music, from Amazon or from the band’s own BandCamp page, where not only you’ll be able to compare their current sound with their debut effort, but you’ll also receive an exclusive remastered instrumental version of the entire album (which means almost 58 extra minutes of instrumental and atmospheric extreme music for your avid ears). Also, don’t forget to check what Leo, Klaus and Paul are up to on Facebook, subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their music, and let the atmospheric and very detailed Black Metal made in Germany found in Uncharted Pathways penetrate deep inside your mind.

Best moments of the album: Tranquillity and Departure.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Exodus 10:20
2. Forlorn 8:35
3. Tranquillity 12:34
4. Insight 12:21
5. Departure 13:54

BandCamp Exclusive Remastered Instrumental bonus tracks
6. Exodus (Instrumental) 10:20
7. Forlorn (Instrumental) 8:35
8. Tranquillity (Instrumental) 12:34
9. Insight (Instrumental) 12:21
10. Departure (Instrumental) 13:54

Band members
Leo Bergmann – guitars, keyboards, clean vocals
Klaus Bergmann – bass
Paul Perlberg – harsh vocals

Guest musicians
James Knoerl – drums (session)
Rüdiger Bergmann – trombone on “Tranquillity”
Stefan Bauer – vocals on “Departure”

Album Review – Disgusting Perversion / Morbid Obsessions EP (2015)

Let the bloodbath begin and spread all over Bavaria and the rest of the world with the debut album by this up-and-coming old school Death Metal band.

Rating5

Disgusting Perversion - Morbid ObsessionsIf there’s a word that can be used to describe the music found in Morbid Obsessions, the debut EP by German Death Metal band Disgusting Perversion, that would definitely be “stampede”. However, instead of a wild rush of ordinary animals, what we have here is a frantic onslaught by a horde of Teutonic death metallers that will crush your body and soul with their raw old school vibration. What else can you ask for in a Death Metal album, right? Well, I guess the old school album art in Morbid Obsessions can already provide you a trustworthy preview of what you’ll find when you start your listen at the album.

Hailing from the city of Kaufbeuren (about 90km from Munich), in the Free State of Bavaria, Germany, this brand new four-piece group will surely please fans of the combination of brutality and melody made famous by names like Death, Obituary, Cannibal Corpse and so on. Not even the fact that the drums are programmed, instead of having a drummer of flesh and blood with them, makes the the album sound less organic or visceral, which in my humble opinion is the most important attribute we should expect from any type of extreme music. In other words, you have to feel the blood dripping from authentic Death Metal, and Disgusting Perversion unquestionably provide the listener that morbid but awesome perception.

War Annihilation, as its own name indicates, kicks off the album sending a clear message from the band: they play brutal Death Metal, spreading nothing but gore and violence through their path of ruination. Moreover, the riffs by guitarists Claus Schubert and Tobias Ruf are tailored for fans of renowned musicians like Chuck Schuldiner and James Murphy, and as both Claus and Tobias simply love Death, I’m pretty sure this was exactly how they wanted their guitars to sound like. In the raging Bloodbath, lead singer Stefan Bauer vociferates the lyrics as if he was possessed by an evil entity, inspired by the demonic voices of bands such as Obituary and Morbid Angel, while bassist Klaus Bergmann and his low-tuned weapon provide the listener some bestial notes. It’s that type of slow but extremely heavy sounding perfect for headbanging, enhanced by the addition of some excerpts of the fastest savagery you can find in music.

Disgusting PerversionSounding as another tribute to old school Extreme Metal, the good Flying Nightmare shows what happens when Disgusting Perversion accelerate the rhythm, turning their music into a true “nightmare” for the faint-hearted. Besides, its traditional guitar solo helps improve the balance between sheer massacre and its strong melodic lines. Then we have the most melodic of all tunes, entitled House Of The Butcher, which is not as barbaric as the previous songs and has a huge focus on the guitar lines by Claus and Tobias. The vocals by Stefan exhale pure evil as expected, and with a name like that you can have a good idea of how gruesome its lyrics are.

The title-track, Morbid Obsessions, is a great display of straightforward Death Metal, fuckin’ heavy and merciless as hell, with highlights to the dark and low growls by Stefan and the crisp guitar solos by Claus and Tobias; followed by Disgusting Perversion, the song that takes the band’s name, and let me tell you that there couldn’t be a more suitable song to carry their flag. The music is disgusting, atrocious and barbaric, reminding me of old school Sepultura with wicked vocals, leaving the listener avid for more of the band’s cruelty.

To sum up, Morbid Obsessions is a very cohesive and full-bodied work for what is “just” an EP by those promising Bavarian death metallers, who are craving for your blood at their Facebook page. And don’t forget to visit the Winterwolf Records page on eBay, where you can purchase the album. Let the bloodbath begin and spread all over Bavaria and the rest of the world with Morbid Obsessions, the debut album by a band that, if they keep working hard and remain loyal to their foundations, has a bright future ahead of them.

Best moments of the album: Bloodbath and Disgusting Perversion.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2015 Winterwolf Records

Track listing
1. War Annihilation 4:05
2. Bloodbath 6:10
3. Flying Nightmare 4:22
4. House Of The Butcher 5:32
5. Morbid Obsessions 5:35
6. Disgusting Perversion 5:45

Band members
Stefan Bauer – vocals
Claus Schubert – guitars
Tobias Ruf – guitars, drums programming
Klaus Bergmann – bass