Album Review – Diabolizer / Khalkedonian Death (2021)

Turkish torchbearers of diabolical abomination return with their first-ever full-length opus, blasting our souls with eight tracks of unrelenting and savage Death Metal raids that will just leave you mouth-watering for more.

4.0rating

diabolizer-khalkedonian-death-2021Turkish torchbearers of diabolical abomination Diabolizer are finally back with their debut album Khalkedonian Death, the follow-up to their critically acclaimed EP’s Shadows Of Impending Decimation (2012) and Apokalypse (2016), offering fans of bands the likes of Sinister, Hate Eternal and Deicide eight tracks of unrelenting and savage Death Metal raids that will just leave you mouth-watering for more. Recorded, mixed, mastered by Ozan Yıldırım (Deadhouse Studio) and displaying a sick, demonic cover painting by Jon Zig, Khalkedonian Death is by far the most pulverizing and complete effort by this Kadıköy, Istanbul-based horde comprised of Abomination on vocals, Mustafa and Can on the guitars, Malik on bass and Aberranton drums, not only positioning the band as one of the driving forces of the extreme music scene in their homeland, but also helping spread the burning fires of Turkish metal to all four corner of the earth.

The opening track Dawn Of Obliteration is absolutely infernal and devastating from the very first second, with Aberrant being merciless behind his drums while Abomination arises from the pits of hell with his trademark roars. Put differently, this is Turkish Death Metal at its finest, which is also the case in Maelstroms Of Abhorrence, where Abomination manically growls the song’s wicked lyrics (“As if trapped in singularity / Countless relics I behold / Seconds are aeons / My mind is drifting”) while Mustafa and Can extract sheer malignancy and hatred from their stringed weapons; and it’s time to bang your fuckin’ heads to the demented Cloaked In An Aura Of Madness, a lesson in Death Metal by the quintet where Malik’s rumbling bass and Aberrant’s classic beats bring the groove to the band’s usual demolition for our total delight. Then more of their demented and Stygian music invades our ears in the steamroller tune Mayhemic Darkness And Possessed Visions, living up to the legacy of old school Death Metal, and with the band’s guitar duo delivering sick Cannibal Corpse-inspired riffs nonstop.

And there’s no sign of slowing down for those ruthless metallers; quite the contrary, Diabolizer continue to crush our senses in Sulphuric Vengeance, another pulverizing lecture in Turkish Death Metal where Abomination’s gruesome growling walks hand in hand with the vicious drumming by Aberrant, whereas the riffage by Mustafa and Can will penetrate deep inside your putrid skin in Bringers Of Khalkedonian Death, a massive, disruptive tune that invites us all to slam into the circle pit like rabid metal maniacs. Spearfuck The Throes Of Treason, their second to last blast of obscurity and rage, will inspire you to break your neck in half headbanging, with Malik hammering his bass nonstop while Mustafa and Can alternate between sheer savagery and somber moments on the guitars. Lastly, ending such intense and hellish album of death it’s time for the quintet to haunt our souls with Perishing In His Oceans Of Blood, showcasing grim riffs, wicked solos, guttural vociferations and pounding drums, or in other words, everything we love in savage Death Metal.

diabolizer-2021If you consider yourself a true metalhead and are ready to carry the torch of Turkish Death Metal together with the guys from Diabolizer, you can start following the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and so on and, of course, above all that, purchase your copy of one of the best Death Metal albums of the year from the band’s own BandCamp page, from the Everlasting Spew Records’ BandCamp page or webstore, from the Me Saco Un Ojo Records’ BandCamp page, from the Desiccated Productions’ BandCamp page, and soon from Apple Music and Amazon. Diabolizer have been solidifying and perfecting their sound with each one of their releases, and their first ever full-length opus perfectly summarizes everything the band stands for. As a matter of fact, the band’s hometown Kadıköy used to be called Khalkedonia (which means “the land of the blind”) by the Byzantines, showing Diabolizer’s masterplan with their newborn spawn has always been to warn the entire world Khalkedonian Death Metal is among us to stay.

Best moments of the album: Dawn Of Obliteration, Cloaked In An Aura Of Madness and Bringers Of Khalkedonian Death.

Worst moments of the album: None, of course.

Released in 2021 Everlasting Spew Records / Me Saco Un Ojo Records / Desiccated Productions

Track listing
1. Dawn Of Obliteration 5:17
2. Maelstroms Of Abhorrence 5:23
3. Cloaked In An Aura Of Madness 5:11
4. Mayhemic Darkness And Possessed Visions 7:22
5. Sulphuric Vengeance 4:46
6. Bringers Of Khalkedonian Death 5:50
7. Spearfuck The Throes Of Treason 5:45
8. Perishing In His Oceans Of Blood 6:45

Band members
Abomination – vocals
Mustafa – guitars
Can – guitars
Malik – bass
Aberrant – drums

Album Review – Booze Serpent / Slices Of Death (2021)

Turkey’s own Death Metal one-man army is ready to strike his venom once again through his first full-length opus, featuring nine original tracks of sick, alcohol-fueled terror.

Hailing from the dark pits of Antalya, a gateway to Turkey’s southern Mediterranean region, Death Metal one-man army Booze Serpent was formed back in 2019 by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Serpent as an ode to 1980’s horror B-movies and H.P. Lovecraft novels, having already released in 2020 the project’s five-track debut EP Drünkard. After less than one year, Serpent returns in full force with his first full-length effort, the sick, alcohol-fueled terror party entitled Slices Of Death, offering us fans a high dosage of old school Death Metal with no shenanigans nor any artificial elements. Mixed and mastered by Polish musician Mikołaj Krzaczek (Thamnos Records), displaying a classic artwork by Death Rattle, and featuring an array of guest musicians such as Cezary Borawski on drums and Burak Ulugüney (of Minus Life) on keys, Slices Of Death was recorded entirely live, with no drum machines nor midi used in the recordings, giving it a more organic, honest and, therefore, violent feel throughout its nine inebriate and visceral tracks of groovy death.

An ominous, atmospheric intro ignites Booze Serpent’s evil brewing machine, morphing into the venomous Dead Fak, where Serpent blends a high dosage of Black, Death and Thrash Metal in his infernal riffs and screams; whereas Turkey’s own one-man horde gets the support of guitarist Gavin Brooks with a sick solo in Man-Eating Plant, while Cezary keeps hammering his drums nonstop, leaning towards contemporary Blackened Death Metal. Then guest drummer Jeremiasz Baum (of The Materia) lends his violence to Booze Serpent in Motel Hell, another short and sweet homage to darkness and drinking where the deep gnarls by Serpent will haunt your soul during your sleep, also presenting the trademark futuristic keys by Burak. And Serpent keeps slashing his guitar and bass in the straight-to-the-point, headbanging tune They Live We Drink!, another heavy and unfriendly creation showcasing the most visceral elements from Black and Death Metal, featuring a guest guitar solo by Gavin Brooks.

Venturing through the realms of Deathslam and Brutal Death Metal, Serpent fires the sick and vile The Beast (Pumpkinhead), blasting sheer rage through his demented riffs and growls, and all spiced up of course by the pounding beats by Cezary. Then uniting the obscurity of Black Metal with the bloodthirsty sounds of Death Metal we’re treated to The Animal, showcasing a bestial guest guitar solo by Croc (of Axxen Conners), resulting in the perfect tune for cracking our necks headbanging to the sound of Serpent’s hellish roars, while guest drummer Charlie Nicholson (of Psychosexual) brings his share of dementia to the short and pulverizing Live Brains!, a tribute to zombie flicks from the 80’s where Serpent sounds even more demonic than before on vocals, not to mention his infernal bass jabs and cutting riffs. The epic and imposing keys by Burak make the final result even more Stygian in Resurrected In Chapman Labs, where the cryptic lyrics barked by Serpent are complemented by his own razor-edged guitars and low-tuned bass, flowing into the atmospheric outro Slices Of Death, where grim piano notes permeate the air in the best Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir-inspired style.

Dedicated to Serpent’s dearest friend Onur Soyulmaz, who sadly passed away in 2018, Slices Of Death is indeed a fantastic display of underground extreme music made in Turkey, bringing to our ears endless amounts of fury, electricity, heaviness and acidity, which obviously translates into awesomeness after all is sad and done. Hence, don’t forget to show your utmost support to such skillful Turkish metaller by following his project on Facebook and on Instagram, and of course by grabbing your sulfurous, alcohol-infused copy of Slices Of Death directly from Booze Serpent’s own BandCamp page, raising your glass high in the sky in the name of horror movies and Death Metal, and getting absolutely drunk to the sound of Serpent’s venomous compositions on a dark and bitterly cold winter night.

Best moments of the album: Man-Eating Plant, The Beast (Pumpkinhead) and Live Brains!

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Plague Demon Records

Track listing
1. Intro/Dead Fak 4:19
2. Man-Eating Plant 3:04
3. Motel Hell 2:58
4. They Live We Drink! 2:50
5. The Beast (Pumpkinhead) 2:16
6. The Animal 3:18
7. Live Brains! 2:14
8. Resurrected In Chapman Labs 3:00
9. Slices Of Death 2:28

Band members
Serpent – vocals, guitar, bass

Guest musicians
Burak Ulugüney – intro, keys
Gavin Brooks – lead guitar on “Man-Eating Plant” and “They Live We Drink!”
Croc – lead guitar on “The Animal”
Cezary Borawski – drums on “Intro/Dead Fak”, “Man-Eating Plant”, “They Live We Drink!”, “The Beast (Pumpkinhead)”, “The Animal” and “Resurrected In Chapman Labs”
Jeremiasz Baum – drums on “Motel Hell”
Charlie Nicholson – drums on “Live Brains!”

Album Review – Zifir / Demoniac Ethics (2020)

An unrelenting Turkish horde continues to pave their path of anti-religiousness and nihilism in their brand new and sulfurous album.

“Zifir is a confession about who we are, and who you are.”

Arising from the pits of Istanbul, Turkey (and also hailing from Brno, Czech Republic) with an infernal explosion of putrid Black Metal spiced up with Doom Metal and Blackened Doom nuances, an unrelenting horde that goes by the name of Zifir, which by the way is the Persian-originated Turkish word for “tar” (finding its use in “zifiri karanlık”, an idiom corresponding to “utter darkness”), returns with another blasphemous album titled Demoniac Ethics, the fourth full-length opus since the band’s inception in 2006 in the Turkish city of İzmir. Formed by Onur Önok on vocals and guitars, Ilgar on bass and Nursuz on drums, Zifir continue to pave their path of anti-religiousness and nihilism in Demoniac Ethics, showing religion through a twisted kaleidoscope, exposing the imprisoning religious dogma and tyranny that have occurred throughout history, and taking you right into the innermost sanctum of their anti-religious agenda while delivering one of the strongest and most forward-thinking Black Metal releases of late. Add to all that the disturbing artwork by Ukrainian artist Vergvoktre and there you have a full-bodied ode to darkness made in Turkey.

And cryptic, somber sounds permeate the air in the intro Sûr before Onur begins his primeval sonic attack in Chants For Execution, growling and slashing his guitar strings manically while his bandmates fire sheer obscurity from their rumbling bass and drums, also presenting background ritualistic elements to make the whole experience even more impactful to the listener. Then in Still Reigning austere lyrics are darkly vociferated by Onur (“We are in despair, now and forever / The only truth is just dystopia / Behold the portrait of hell, in the realm of hysteria”) while Ilgar and Nursuz bring a grim Doom Metal touch to the overall sonority, feeling at times like pure Blackened Doom; followed by Empire of Worms, again venturing through the Stygian lands of crushing doom with Nursuz delivering both old school Black Metal beats and ominous, sluggish sounds, while Onur continues his descent into pitch black darkness with his inhumane vocalizations.

Gökyüzü Karanlık (or “the sky is dark” from Turkish), a pure, unfiltered Blackened Doom extravaganza led by the slow and fierce beats by Nursuz, is not recommended for the lighthearted, while Onur and Ilgar extract minimalist and extremely venomous sounds form their stringed axes, whereas the beyond vile bridge An Eerie Moment prepares our senses for Chaos Clouds, a vile and imposing Black Metal feast where Onur sounds more demonic than ever, sounding very atmospheric from start to finish and bringing forward tribal drums and razor-edge, crushing riffs intertwined with the vicious gnarls by Onur. And strident guitars and endless obscurity are the main ingredients in Spirit of Goats, all boosted by its anti-religious, sulfurous words (“Life they pledge / Death of else / Tons of faith / Drowned beneath lies / All shall rot / Tons of faith / Heresy saves / I am the spirit of goats”). Put differently, it couldn’t have sounded more old school and otherworldly that this.

Never tired of spreading blasphemy, rage and darkness, the trio fires the absolutely gruesome A Bleak Portrait, a hybrid between classic Black Metal and contemporary Blackened Doom spearheaded by Onur with his hellish growls and riffs, while Ephemeral Idols leans towards a more classic version of extreme music infused with Black N’ Roll elements. Moreover, Ilgar and his menacing bass lines are effectively complemented by the headbanging beats by Nursuz, resulting in an amazing performance by the trio and ending in the most Mephistophelian way possible. Lastly, closing the album we have the also somber and cryptic Insects as Messengers, a lesson in Black and Doom Metal led by the vicious roars by Onur and the slow and poisonous drums by Nursuz, with the sound of Onur’s guitars cutting your skin deep without a single drop of mercy.

There are several locations where you can purchase your copy of Demoniac Ethics (which is also available for a full listen on YouTube), including the band’s own BandCamp page, the Duplicate Records’ BandCamp page and webstore (in CD and LP formats), Apple Music and Amazon, and of course don’t forget to support the band by following them on Facebook and on Instagram and by subscribing to their YouTube channel, keeping the fires of underground, anti-religious Black Metal burning bright and spreading the blasphemous and utterly incendiary sounds and words of such demented Turkish horde to the four corners of our decaying, condemned world.

Best moments of the album: Chants For Execution, Spirit of Goats and Ephemeral Idols.

Worst moments of the album: Still Reigning.

Released in 2020 Duplicate Records

Track listing
1. Sûr 1:33
2. Chants For Execution 4:20
3. Still Reigning 5:38
4. Empire of Worms 5:04
5. Gökyüzü Karanlık 2:36
6. An Eerie Moment 2:04
7. Chaos Clouds 4:27
8. Spirit of Goats 3:39
9. A Bleak Portrait 3:55
10. Ephemeral Idols 3:53
11. Insects as Messengers 4:32

Band members
Onur Önok – vocals, guitars
Ilgar – bass
Nursuz – drums

Album Review – Daelkyr / Eternal Decay EP (2020)

An infernal duo hailing from Turkey is ready to take the underworld of heavy music by storm with their debut EP of raw and undisputed Black Metal.

Forged in 2018 in the fires of Antalya, a gateway to Turkey’s southern Mediterranean region known as the Turquoise Coast for its blue waters, an infernal Black Metal duo that goes by the stylish name of Daelkyr is ready to take the underworld of heavy music by storm with their debut EP titled Eternal Decay, blasting our ears with their raw and undisputed Black Metal. By the way, the name of the band was taken from “The World of Eberron”, a number of features for the Eberron campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, meaning the evil embodiments of madness itself because they were Outsiders from Xoriat, the Plane of Madness, just to give you an idea of how dark and vile their music sounds. Featuring a devilish artwork by Turkish artist Reza Putra and a classic logo by Croatian artist Neon Cacti, Eternal Decay will certainly please all fans of the most primeval form of Black Metal, showcasing all the talent of vocalist and bassist Serpent (from Turkish Melodic Groove/Death Metal act Axxen Conners) and guitarist Kaulfel, supported by the unstoppable session drummer Krzysztof Klingbein (from bands like Aggressor, Akral Necrosis and Thunderwar).

The opening track As The Fog Rises exhales pure, unfiltered Black Metal from the very first second, demolishing everything and everyone that crosses Daelkyr’s path, with Krzysztof sounding utterly demented on drums while Kaulfel extracts sheer rage and obscurity form his guitar riffs, generating the perfect ambience for Serpent to vomit his demonic gnarls. And the band continues to smash our senses with their raw sounds in the more melodic and somber title-track Eternal Decay, where Kaulfel does a superb job with his crisp riffs living up to the legacy of classic Norwegian Black Metal, also sounding extremely sulfurous from start to finish; followed by Grey Inferno, another bestial and hellish creation by Daelkyr spearheaded by Serpet’s venomous Black Metal-growls, while Krzysztof puts the pedal to the metal with his blast beats, resulting in a full-bodied aria of underground extreme music. And closing the EP this talented Turkish horde offers the fulminating The Ritual of Existence, bringing to our ears a fusion of classic Black Metal with more harmonious and epic sounds, with the scorching riffs by Kaulfel walking hand in hand with the vicious beats and fills by Krzysztof.

If you want to dive deep into the obscure realm ruled by Daelkyr, you can take a full listen at Eternal Decay on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course in order to show your true support to this ruthless Turkish duo you can purchase the EP directly from their BandCamp page or from the Dark East Productions’ BandCamp page. Also, don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and on Instagram and to subscribe to their YouTube channel, staying updated of all things Daelkyr from now on. The dark and evil clouds of Turkish Black Metal are upon us all once again thanks to Daelkyr, with Eternal Decay being only the first step in their promising (and devilish) career.

Best moments of the album: Grey Inferno.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. As The Fog Rises 4:57
2. Eternal Decay 4:49
3. Grey Inferno 4:16
4. The Ritual of Existence 4:40

Band members
Serpent – vocals, bass
Kaulfel – guitars

Guest musician
Krzysztof Klingbein – drums (session)

Album Review – Hellsodomy / Morbid Cult (2019)

Unleashing their most lethal form of sonic detonation, this Turkish squad is ready to crush with their unrelenting new album of Blackened Deathrash.

Formed in 2011 in Kadıköy, a neighborhood on Istanbul’s Asian shore, in Turkey, the unrelenting Death Metal squad known as Hellsodomy can be considered a study in patience and perseverance, having taken around three years after the band’s inception before the release of their first demo, Masochistic Molestation, in 2014. However, after that demo things started to happen for the band, with the release of the EP Sodomy Is Nigh, in 2015, and their debut full-length opus, titled Chaostorm, in 2016, retaining the rawness of their earlier work with a more finessed expression of such and, therefore, positioning the band as one of the most promising names of the Turkish scene. Now three years later it’s time for the horde comprised of Nekro Kasil on the guitar and vocals, Destroyer D also on the guitar, Necrolepsy on bass and A.D.B on drums to explode our ears once again with their sophomore opus, entitled Morbid Cult, unleashing their most lethal sonic detonation yet in the form of what the band likes to call “Blackened Deathrash”.

An onrush of violent and berserk sounds led by Nekro and Destroyer’s demonic riffs in the instrumental intro Into Perversion warms up our senses for Endless Demise, offering the listener total devastation in the form of Death Metal and bringing a Hardcore feeling that makes it even more aggressive, with the infernal blast beast by A.D.B and the harsh vociferations by Nekro turning it into a must-listen for fans of the genre. Then hitting us hard with their riffage and rhythmic beats, the quartet blasts sheer insanity the likes of Krisiun and Deicide in Pestilence of Black Blood, showcasing a beyond visceral name and the always putrid growls by Nekro, followed by Charged to Kill, where they add elements from our good old Thrash Metal to their core sonority, resulting in a wicked circle pit-generator. Furthermore, while the band’s guitarists slash their strings manically, A.D.B brings groove and devastation at the same time with his unstoppable, visceral drums.

And there’s no time to rest or breathe in From the Seed to the Grave, a classic Death Metal extravaganza that will disturb your peace of mind, with Necrolepsy not only providing great backing vocals, but his bass lines are as metallic and evil as they can be; whereas in Hateclan, perhaps the most devastating of all songs, A.D.B sounds absolutely pulverizing on drums, providing Nekro all he needs to darkly shine with his enraged harsh vocals, being therefore highly recommended for slamming into the pit like a beast. And Divided Souls is another crushing creation by Hellsodomy displaying all elements we love in Death Metal, feeling like Nekro is getting more and more rabid as the album progresses while A.D.B adds endless stamina to the music with his thrashing beats.

Continuing their path of gruesome devastation, Mortem in Comfort presents a well-balanced fusion of sheer aggressiveness with more melodic sounds where Nekro, Destroyer and Necrolepsy can’t stop mutilating their stringed weapons in great fashion, and get ready to headbang like there’s no tomorrow to the frantic hybrid of Death and Thrash Metal by Hellsodomy entitled Dazed Victims, inspired by some of the sickest creations by Death Metal titans Cannibal Corpse. Their second to last breath of ruthless aggression, named Furious Chants, reminds me of the demented sound by Croatian act HerezA, with A.D.B blasting sheer rage through his drums while Nekro keeps growling like a demonic entity and shredding his guitar fiercely. In addition, its ending couldn’t have been more violent and ravenous, building an instant connection with the closing tune Souls Devoured, where all band members generate a thunderous and vile atmosphere with their hellish instruments, smashing our heads and cutting our skin deep until the song’s classic finale, all embraced by a sick guitar solo to make things even more tasteful.

The gates to the underworld have just opened in Turkey thanks to the flammable Morbid Cult, the brand new album of old school Death Metal crafted by the talented musicians from Hellsodomy featuring a Stygian cover art by Turkish artist Zezeah (Big Baboli Print House), and in order to join them in their path of pure devastation and rage go check what they’re up to on Facebook, listen to more of their music from their own BandCamp page, and grab your copy of such sulfurous album from the Saturnal Records’ webstore. Nejro Kasil, Destroyer D, Necrolepsy and A.D.B are eager to welcome you to their blasphemous cult of Death and Thrash Metal, with their new opus perfectly representing all the energy and fire coming from the underworld of their homeland.

Best moments of the album: Endless Demise, Charged to Kill and Hateclan.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2019 Saturnal Records

Track listing
1. Into Perversion 1:26
2. Endless Demise 3:18
3. Pestilence of Black Blood 4:51
4. Charged to Kill 2:58
5. From the Seed to the Grave 3:23
6. Hateclan 3:54
7. Divided Souls 2:57
8. Mortem in Comfort 3:15
9. Dazed Victims 2:49
10. Furious Chants 4:08
11. Souls Devoured 5:41

Band members
Nekro Kasil – guitars, vocals
Destroyer D – guitars
Necrolepsy – bass, backing vocals
A.D.B – drums

Album Review – Thrashfire / Into the Armageddon (2019)

It’s time for total annihilation blasted by three metallers from “the land of four seasons” who are ready to thrash until their very last breath.

It’s not everyday that we’re able to face a band hailing from Turkey, but whenever that happens, and we have some good examples here on The Headbanging Moose with Inhuman Depravity, Diabolizer, Grotesque Ceremonium, Axxen Conners, Sülfür Ensemble and Engulfed, the music is always vibrant, fun and, above all, heavy-as-hell. That can also be said about an unrelenting Ankara-based trio that goes by the name of Thrashfire, unleashing upon humanity pure Speed and Thrash Metal since their inception back in 2006. After the release of their debut self-titled demo in 2007, followed by a promo EP titled World Domination in 2010, their first full-length album Thrash Burned The Hell in 2011 and the EP Vengeance Of Fire in 2015, it’s time for Thrashfire to violently thrash us all with their sophomore opus Into the Armageddon, undoubtedly their best work to date.

Comprised of vocalist and guitarist Burak Tavus, bassist Okan Özden and drummer Gürkan Güvendik, the band has been on an incendiary roll since day one, having already shared the stage with renowned acts like Destruction, Artillery, Rumble Militia and Venom Inc., as well as numerous shows within Turkey and a mini-tour in Germany in 2017, where they will return in November 2019 to play at the infamous True Thrash Fest Hamburg. Featuring a classic, gruesome and absolutely awesome artwork by Ozan Yildirim (Deadhouse Studio), Into the Armageddon is an intense and infernal thrashing extravaganza that will surely be the delight of lovers of bands like Kreator, Dark Angel, Slayer and Sodom, proving why Thrashfire are one of the biggest names in Turkish Thrash Metal, if not the biggest one of all.

The opening tune Pure Devastating Necromancy begins in full force with Burak screaming like a demented beast from the very first second, offering us all pulverizing, high-octane Thrash Metal where Gürkan sounds absolutely brutal on drums, generating a thunderous ambience together with Okan’s vile bass lines. In Katacomb (The Kingdom of Ressurrection), a quick and somber intro morphs into a frantic circle pit-catalyst led by Burak’s classic thrashing riffs and raspy vocals, feeling like a hybrid between old school Slayer with Death Angel and Exodus (which obviously means it’s infernally fantastic); and there’s no time to breathe as the power trio attacks our senses with hatred and electricity in Dybbukim, an enraged display of Thrash Metal where Burak bursts his lungs growling manically while Gürkan alternates between more rhythmic moments and sheer brutality on drums.

The trio keeps hammering and pounding our heads in Wisdom of Sacrilegious, with Burak’s shredding being amplified by Okan and Gürkan’s kitchen of hell, therefore resulting in nonstop action in the form of Turkish Thrash Metal for our avid ears. Then razor-edged riffs and bestial beats turn up the heat in Supreme Command, a classic Bay Area Thrash chant made in Turkey where Burak’s roars get more and more deranged as the music progresses, while Okan’s bass punches add an overdose of metal to the overall result. And if you thought the trio couldn’t sound more violent and visceral you better get ready for Through the Crimson Darkness, bringing forward slashing riffs, unstoppable beats and endless aggressiveness flowing from all instruments.

Then drinking from the same electrifying fountain as thrash masters Slayer and Exodus, the band offers us a breathtaking hymn of evil entitled Slaughtered By Hellgoats, where our beloved Turkish triumvirate is on absolute fire from start to finish; followed by Post Apocalyptic Holy Terror, a beautiful name for a “gentle” composition by Thrashfire. Burka sounds deeply infuriated and possessed with his vocals and riffs, not to mention Gürkan’s stone crushing drums, being highly recommended for anyone who enjoys a good old, violent mosh pit. High Heel in the Hell is a solid, straightforward tune also perfect for slamming into the pit, with Burak and Okan smashing their strings in great fashion, and after the music is over it’s time for the traditional “body count”. And lastly, we’re treated to over six minutes of old school thrash in the title-track Into the Armageddon, where the trio doesn’t stop delivering extreme aggression and fury. Moreover, Gürkan has a fantastic performance on drums, with the music getting more and more obscure and demonic as it approaches its demolishing and grim conclusion.

If you want to get caught in a mosh, you can enjoy Into the Armageddon in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, and purchase your copy of the album from the Xtreem Music’s BandCamp page or webstore, as well as from Apple Music or Amazon. Also, don’t forget to show your support to underground Turkish metal by following the band on Facebook, preparing yourself for total annihilation to the sound of the music crafted by three metallers from “the land of four seasons” who are ready to thrash until their very last breath.

Best moments of the album: Dybbukim, Supreme Command and Slaughtered By Hellgoats.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2019 Xtreem Music

Track listing
1. Pure Devastating Necromancy 2:58
2. Katacomb (The Kingdom of Ressurrection) 5:03
3. Dybbukim 3:33
4. Wisdom of Sacrilegious 3:53
5. Supreme Command 5:49
6. Through the Crimson Darkness 3:17
7. Slaughtered By Hellgoats 3:06
8. Post Apocalyptic Holy Terror 5:11
9. High Heel in the Hell 3:19
10. Into the Armageddon 6:16

Band members
Burak Tavus – vocals, guitar
Okan Özden – bass
Gürkan Güvendik – drums

Album Review – Engulfed / Engulfed In Obscurity (2017)

Get ready for over 45 minutes of pure Turkish Death Metal darkness that will ruthlessly shatter your skull and rip your spine out.

The arts of death worship and devilry have been executed once again in the madness-filled streets of Kadıköy, a large, cosmopolitan district of Istanbul, Turkey. Engulfed, the notorious Death Metal quartet formed in 2010 and known for their putrid smelling 2012 EP entitled Through The Eternal Damnation, are back with their first full-length album, the crushing Engulfed in Obscurity. Featuring members from other honorable Turkish Metal desecrators such as Decaying Purity, Burial Invocation and Diabolizer, this demonic entity will shatter your skull and rip your spine out in over 45 minutes of visceral extreme music, showing you why whenever a band hails from Turkey, you better be ready for a fantastic devastation.

Two of the members of Engulfed, guitarist Mustafa and drummer Aberrant, were our “guests” at The Headbanging Moose last year with their pulverizing album Apokalypse, from their other band Diabolizer, and if you enjoyed that album you’ll certainly keep banging your head nonstop to the music found in Engulfed In Obscurity, as it’s at the same level of destruction, quality and electricity, showcasing all the talent and passion for Death Metal by those two crusaders. In addition, the classy and grim cover art by renowned New Zealand-based artist Nick Keller brings an additional layer of darkness to Engulfed In Obscurity, strengthening the overall malignancy emanating from the entire album even more.

The ominous Escalation of Darkness opens the gates to the disturbing and violent world ruled by Engulfed in The Halls Of Grim Eternity, and be prepared because, when you enter it, there’s no way out as you’ll be mercilessly smashed by the band’s brutal music. Needless to say how demolishing Aberrant sounds on drums, with lead singer and bassist Serkan violently barking his putrid guttural growls throughout the whole song. Darkened sounds kick off another vile creation by Engulfed named Conqueror From Beyond The Outer Gates, a vile hymn made to crush your spinal cord where Mustafa and Kasil sound beyond gory with their cutting guitar riffs in the best old school Death Metal style imaginable.

The title-track Engulfed In Obscurity begins with a gruesome welcome card by Serkan, almost vomiting the lyrics, while Aberrant is unstoppable on drums just like what he does in Diabolizer. Furthermore, all instruments are roaring like demonic entities, keeping the song’s hellish vibe burning from start to finish. Moving on with the band’s sonic havoc, guitars, bass and drums will smash your senses in the putrid chant of vileness titled Invocation Of Death And Misery, where the cavernous growls by Serkan together with the pounding drums by Aberrant become the epitome of old school Death Metal; whereas Demonic Manifest Of Devastation is a gory Death Metal tune perfect for breaking your neck headbanging or slamming into the pit like a wild beast, with highlights to its rhythmic infernal beats and the truly deep gnarls by Serkan.

A faster and more furious version of Engulfed (if that’s humanly possible) comes in the form of Inseminated With Demon Seed, with its guitar lines reeking of sulfur while Aberrant keeps the musicality as heavy and impactful as it can be. In other words, get ready for six minutes of darkness and demonic sounds from the deepest dungeons of Turkey. If you’re a diehard fan of Death Metal you’ll definitely feel your blood burning listening to the classic tune Mayhemic Flames Of Doom, led by devilish riffs by Mustafa and Kasil until its brutal finale, before the outro The Blackened Skies puts an end to the earthquake named Engulfed In Obscurity, giving a sense of a post-apocalyptic landscape as a conclusion to the album.

After listening to over 45 minutes of the barbaric Death Metal blasted by Engulfed, my respect for underground Turkish Metal only grew in intensity, making me wonder what a fertile country like Turkey could offer the world of heavy music with proper support. You can explore the dark catacombs of Engulfed in more detail through their Facebook page and YouTube channel, and grab your copy of Engulfed In Obscurity (which can be streamed in its entirety HERE or HERE) at Engulfed’s BandCamp page, at the Hellthrasher Productions’ BandCamp page or webshop (as a regular CD or as a two CD bundle containing Engulfed In Obscurity and Through The Eternal Damnation), or at Discogs. But you better be prepared before you descend into the underworld of Engulfed, as you’ll be entrapped in the filthy darkness crafted by this amazing band for all eternity.

Best moments of the album: The Halls Of Grim Eternity, Engulfed In Obscurity and Inseminated With Demon Seed.

Worst moments of the album: Demonic Manifest Of Devastation.

Released in 2017 Hellthrasher Productions/Blood Harvest Records

Track listing
1. Escalation of Darkness 2:17
2. The Halls Of Grim Eternity 5:07
3. Conqueror From Beyond The Outer Gates 6:14
4. Engulfed In Obscurity 7:29
5. Invocation Of Death And Misery 5:32
6. Demonic Manifest Of Devastation 5:04
7. Inseminated With Demon Seed 6:29
8. Mayhemic Flames Of Doom 7:16
9. The Blackened Skies 3:04

Band members
Serkan – vocals, bass
Mustafa – guitars
Kasil – guitar
Aberrant – drums

Album Review – Sülfür Ensemble / I (4 Songs About Dystopia, Satan, Ghouls & Marilyn Monroe) EP (2016)

Four veterans of the Turkish scene united in the names of Satan and Marilyn Monroe, blasting their noisy and heavy Sludge Metal upon humanity.

Rating5

coverWhen four veterans from the underworld of the Turkish metal scene get together to make a lot of noise and write music about Satan, ghouls and, believe it or not, Marilyn Monroe, you already know the final result is going to be very interesting to say the least. That’s what you’re going to get in the extravagant EP entitled I (4 Songs About Dystopia, Satan, Ghouls & Marilyn Monroe), recorded live in only two days by Turkish Sludge/Doom Metal act Sülfür Ensemble, a band that’s more than ready to doom all ears and unleash the noisiest and angriest ghouls upon their audience.

Formed in 2015 in the city of Istanbul, Turkey, Sülfür Ensemble bring forth all the heavy and dissonant elements from old school Sludge, Stoner and Doom Metal with their new EP, which translates into a 25-minute feast of distorted noises, anguished screams and a lot of fun. Featuring a simple but effective cover art by the band’s own lead singer Erdem Çapar, I (4 Songs About Dystopia, Satan, Ghouls & Marilyn Monroe) is not only an enjoyable and professional album by this talented Turkish squad, but also a solid statement informing the world of heavy music Sülfür Ensemble are here to stay.

sulfur-ensembleA slow and steady intro led by the distorted guitar lines by Levent Ersoy builds up the ambience for a grumpy and dark display of Doom Metal entitled Daily Hate, with the low-tuned bass by Burak Özgüney reverberating through our ears during the whole song. Moreover, when Erdem begins screaming the song’s angry lines the whole experience of listening to the music by Sülfür Ensemble gets even more impactful. And if you think the atmosphere would get lighter in the following tune, titled Plea, you’re absolutely wrong, because their feast of anguish and distortions goes on, starting with a wicked intro about Satan and flowing into kick-ass Sludge Metal. Drummer Emre Şahin is very rhythmic and adds a lot of groove to the obscurity crafted by the rest of the band, with Levent firing some soulful Blues-inspired solos whereas the bass lines by Burak sound even more menacing than in the previous track.

The old school sludgy chant Karaçor keeps up with the rest of the album, with the main difference that it’s entirely sung in Turkish instead of English, an extra touch of rawness added to their already thrilling music. Erdem provides some low growls and demented screams perfect for the musicality blasted by the band, turning it into a full-bodied composition that will please all fans of the genre, with highlights to the precise work done by both Levent and Burka with their strings. And their last blast of badass and uncompromised music is beautifully entitled Marilyn, another solid creation by this quartet where Emre keeps smashing his drums while Erdem’s growls continue to disquiet our peace. Thus, the main question left by the band to Marilyn (in the form of some demented screams) is “when will I see you again?”

live-in-kargart

Live In Kargart 30092016

The EP has been released in CD format through Morbid Syndicate Records and can be purchased through the label’s BandCamp page or through the band’s own BandCamp page as well. The band is also offering a free download of their first live EP called Live In Kargart 30092016, recorded at Kargart, one of the coolest venues in İstanbul on September 30, 2016, containing all four songs from I (4 Songs About Dystopia, Satan, Ghouls & Marilyn Monroe), one unnamed song and a cover version of Venom’s all-time classic In League With Satan. You can also check the live video of the last 3 songs of the same concert at their YouTube channel. And if you want to know more about those four Turkish guys who worship Satan and Marilyn Monroe (if not both at the same time), go check their Facebook page and SoudCloud, just being careful not to deafen your neighbors with the heavy noises generated by the band.

Best moments of the album: Karaçor.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Morbid Syndicate Records

Track listing
1. Daily Hate 7:18
2. Plea 4:59
3. Karaçor 8:14
4. Marilyn 4:16

Band members
Erdem Çapar – vocals
Levent Ersoy – guitar
Burak Özgüney – bass
Emre Şahin – drums

Album Review – Axxen Conners / Nowhere to Escape Sins EP (2016)

And the calm and turquoise waters of Antalya will never be the same after the turmoil of extreme music generated by this up-and-coming masked duo from hell.

Rating5

album-coverThe Turkish city of Antalya, the country’s biggest international sea resort located on the Turkish Riviera and a gateway to Turkey’s southern Mediterranean region, known as the Turquoise Coast for its blue waters, is about to have its peaceful and breathtaking landscapes intensely disturbed by a wicked turmoil of extreme music crafted by a new dynamic duo known as Axxen Conners. If you’re planning on visiting the city anytime soon to enjoy its beaches and atmosphere, you better watch out because Axxen Conners might be hiding in the shadows just waiting to attack you when you least expect.

Formed in 2015 by the sinful outlaws Bilge Ozce (known as Serpent) and Serdar Evren (known as Croc), Axxen Conners somehow managed to turn all the usual inspiration that comes from a place like Antalya upside down. In other words, instead of playing any type of beach-like smooth music for teenage girls, they decided to join the dark side of music and fire a high-octane fusion of Progressive Black and Death Metal upon humanity. Hence, the result of their rebelliousness and passion for heavy music can be seen in Nowhere to Escape Sins, the technical and very enjoyable debut EP by this unstoppable masked duo of darkness.

And now, ladies and gentleman, get ready to dance with Serpent and Croc in the first of the three tracks of the EP, entitled Behind The Walls Of Primal Existence, where an atmospheric intro by guest keyboardist Brook gradually morphs into a metallic blend of Melodic Death, Black and Power Metal. While Serpent begins spilling his venomous gnarls, Croc focus on his harmonious and aggressive riffs and solos, bringing more balance to the overall result. The special musicality generated by Axxen Conners in this tune is what happens when progressiveness and obscurity meet in metal music, I should say.

_mg_9239Not only Serpent is Axxen Conners’ lead singer, but he’s also the drummer and bassist for the project, and as you’ll notice in the puissant and extremely belligerent Creator Became Absolute he simply loves to smash his drum set and his four-stringed low-tuned weapon. Flirting with contemporary Black Metal (especially its demonic aura and high-pitched demon growls), this devilish hymn showcases all the refined skills of the duo, sounding like an established full-bodied band even being two brand new guys from the independent scene. That alone deserves a lot of respect from us headbangers, no doubt about that.

In the third and last composition, beautifully named Cursed Messiah For Doomed Society, the guitar lines by Croc lean towards pure Melodic Death Metal the likes of Arch Enemy with hints of Amon Amarth, resulting in a musicality absolutely opposed to what we call “mainstream”, which by the way is always a good thing in Extreme Metal. Moreover, the right amount of progressiveness led by Croc’s ominous synths and the beats and fills by Serpent are exactly what Serpent needs to vociferate the song’s lyrics, which as excpeted do not point to a happy ending (“Fuelled by fear / All living things will perish / The lost from the world above / have nowhere to escape sins / Feel the Hellish dreams / Death to those who stray from the path / hear the voice of dark destruction / your body  will rot in pain”).

I personally consider Nowhere to Escape Sins a debut way beyond expectations for Axxen Conners taking into account the limited resources Serpent and Croc have available for generating music in their homeland, and I’m curious to know what those masked metallers could offer the world of heavy music with proper support. Well, I just saw that they became part of the Butcher Records family, which means we now should patiently wait to see what surprises that will bring to us all and the impact that will have on their musicality. In the meantime, don’t forget to like their Facebook page, enjoy their music through their YouTube channel and on Spotify, and if possible purchase Nowhere to Escape Sins through their BandCamp page.

Best moments of the album: Creator Became Absolute.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Independent

Track listing  
1. Behind The Walls Of Primal Existence 4:03
2. Creator Became Absolute 3:24
3. Cursed Messiah For Doomed Society 4:58

Band members
Serpent – vocals, bass, drums
Croc – guitars, synths, backing vocals

Guest musician
Brook – keyboards on “Behind The Walls Of Primal Existence”

Live musicians
Brook – keyboards
Oni – guitars
Todd – drums

Album Review – Grotesque Ceremonium / Demonic Inquisition (2016)

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.

Rating5

153-1Before 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.

gro-bandAgonized 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

Band members
Batu Çetin – vocals, all instruments