Album Review – Gorebringer / Terrified Beyond Measure (2022)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Worst moments of the album: A Blackened Circle.

Released in 2022 Great Dane Records

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

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

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

Album Review – Persecutory / Summoning the Lawless Legions (2022)

An album of sheer darkness masterfully brought into being by a Black and Death Metal horde hailing from Turkey in honor of the seven deadly sins.

Forged in 2014 in the scorching fires of Kadıköy, an older settlement than most of those on the Anatolian side of the city of İstanbul, Turkey, the demonic Black/Death Metal horde known as Persecutory will darken your minds and souls with their sophomore full-length opus, entitled Summoning the Lawless Legions, the Stygian follow-up to their 2016 EP Perversion Feeds Our Force and their 2017 album Towards the Ultimate Extinction. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Can Gelgeç at Studio Sirri, and displaying a devilish artwork by Alex Shadrin of Nether Temple Design, Summoning the Lawless Legions is an album of sheer darkness masterfully brought into being by Tyrannic Profanator on vocals, Infectious Torment and Vulgargoat on the guitars, Deathbed on bass, and Kyle on drums, living up to the legacy of the most obscure and infernal form of extreme music.

The piercing riffs by the band’s guitar duo will penetrate deep inside your psyche in As The Serpents Ascend while Tyrannic Profanator vociferates the song’s wicked words like a creature form the underworld (“Beneath the blackened seas which elder ones take breath / Their primal strength summons, the lords of Shammash / Resided in the fixed stars, infernal serpent’s pride / Burnt embers of the fire, splendor of the unholy light”), therefore offering our ears a modern but at the same time primeval form of Black Metal; and Kyle shows no mercy for his drums in Thou Abyssic Fire In Rebellion, a vicious, hammering aria by the quartet where the gnarling by Tyrannic Profanator gets even more satanic and visceral. Put differently, it’s old school Black Metal with a Turkish Death Metal twist, and the music remains acid and vile until the very last second with Infectious Torment and Vulgargoat embellishing the airwaves with their dark and very melodic guitar riffs and solos.

Another explosion of brutality, obscurity and rage comes in the form of Adorned In Primeval Seas, where the blast beast by Kyle are accompanied by the massive, thunderous bass lines by Deathbed, generating an imposing wall of sounds perfect for Tyrannic Profanator to growl like a beast. Then Deathbed makes the earth tremble with his beastly bass in Circle Of The Spirit Devourers, a darker tune with hints of Doom Metal added to its core sonority with the wicked roars by Tyrannic Profanator walking hand in hand with the inhumane beats by Kyle, whereas lastly we face more of the demented lyrics growled with tons of anger by Tyrannic Profanator (“Forlorn mistress of the circle embraced spheric daughters / Forlorn queens of suffering screamed at their presence / Forlorn servants are chained below the seas of cavities / Forlorn goddess of grief dances on seven storeyed mountains”) in The Blazing Spheres, while the music remains as hellish, heavy and disturbing as possible until the very last second.

Summoning the Lawless Legions, which is available for a full and detailed listen on YouTube, is indeed a lecture in contemporary Blackened Death Metal by Persecutory while remaining loyal to the foundations of the genre, proving those Turkish metallers are not only extremely talented, but also true servants of the darkest side of music. Hence, in order to show them your support and to join them in their quest for extreme music, go check what they’re up to on Facebook and on Instagram, and purchase a copy of their newborn beast from their own BandCamp page, as well as from the Godz ov War Productions’ BandCamp page or webstore as a CD, a blue cassette or a red cassette. Let’s all toast in honor of Summoning the Lawless Legions and of the seven deadly sins, and rest assured that while Persecutory are among us the fires of evil will keep burning our damned souls to the sound of their infernal music.

Best moments of the album: Thou Abyssic Fire In Rebellion and Adorned In Primeval Seas.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2022 Godz ov War Productions

Track listing
1. As The Serpents Ascend 7:15
2. Thou Abyssic Fire In Rebellion 7:27
3. Adorned In Primeval Seas 7:06
4. Circle Of The Spirit Devourers 8:23
5. The Blazing Spheres 7:40

Band members
Tyrannic Profanator – vocals
Infectious Torment – guitars
Vulgargoat – guitars, backing vocals
Deathbed – bass
Kyle – drums

Metal Chick of the Month – Başak Ylva

Between love and hate… I’m waiting for you daydreamer…

There’s nothing better than celebrating any type of anniversary with some classy metal music, and here at The Headbanging Moose it couldn’t be any different than that as we celebrate eight years of existence supporting the underground by paying a humble tribute to our beyond amazing metal chick of the month of October. Owner of a stunningly operatic voice, she’s the singer, songwriter and founder of a fantastic Symphonic Metal act that goes by the poetic name of Dream Ocean, as well as a professional Opera singer. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the multi-talented Başak Ylva, also known as Başak C., a woman that will surely put you in a trance with her powerful vocals and stylish music. Are you ready to join Basak and The Headbanging Moose on a very pleasant symphonic journey?

Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, but currently residing in Cologne, the largest city in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Başak began her singing career at the age of seven encouraged by her parents (although they were hoping she would sing traditional Turkish music) in the children’s choir of the TRT (Turkish Radio and Television) and continued it in 2003 as a soprano in the youth classical choir of the TRT. During her high school years, she initially pursued a scientific focus, which she followed in 2004 with a degree in business administration at the University of Istanbul, which she completed in 2008 as a bachelor’s degree. On the advice of her professors, she decided in 2008 to make music her profession and at the age of 23 she started her first bachelor’s degree for her operatic career with Prof. Ayşe Sezerman in Opera singing at the Music Conservatory of Istanbul University as a mezzosoprano. During her studies, she sang as a choir singer in various Opera projects such as Die Opernprobe and Dido and Aeneas, while in 2012 she sang for the first time in Europe at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival under the direction of Rolf Beck, later making her solo debut in 2013 as Susanna in La Nozze di Figaro.

After completing her bachelor’s degree in 2014 in the role of Giovanna Seymour from Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, she began her master’s degree at the University of Music and Dance in Cologne with Professor Mechthild Georg in 2015, where she sang in many different Opera projects such as the literary Opera of the HfMT Cologne, AscheMOND or The Fairy Queen (choir, Opera Wuppertal), Hansel and Gretel (witch, Opera studio of the HfMT Cologne), Dido and Aeneas (Sorceress, Festival of Early Music Knechtsteden) and The Clever Little Fox (Forester and Owl at the Theater Aachen). In addition to her operatic activities, she also performs musicals and film and crossover music with event orchestras. Furthermore, as a choir and solo singer, she was able to gain further experience with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Helmuth Rilling, Tan Dun and E. Oronzo Estrada in countries such as Brazil, China, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Poland and South Korea.

An accomplished mezzosoprano and vocal coach, an admirer of makeup, interior design, fashion, movies and video games, and a huge supporter of female freedom and empowerment, Başak started her metal music career with Dream Ocean in Turkey in 2009, having “moved” the band to Germany in 2015 to pursue her career as an Opera singer. As she’s the creative mind, lyricist and composer behind the band, it was becoming really hard for her to fly all the time back to Turkey due to the fact she had been working in Germany for three years already. Currently comprised of our beloved diva together with Oz Khan and Borna Matosic on the guitars, Sebastian Heuckmann on bass, Nils Kessen on drums and Sebastian Plück on the keyboards, the band has been on a roll for the past ten years, having already released the EP Daydreamer, in 2012, and the full-length albums Lost Love Symphony, in 2018, and The Missing Stone, now in 2021. Before that, the band was “just a name” according to Başak herself, as they were just entertaining themselves without investing into anything more serious at first. In other words, Dream Ocean was a hobby band where they tried some covers with friends every now and then in the studio, and then she started to write her own songs and got encouraged to take things a lot more serious due to all the positive feedback received. As they were all working in different jobs or studying, and due to their their limited financial situation, they couldn’t record and album and the band was put on hold from 2011 to 2016. In between that they still did concerts and wrote songs, until they were finally able to record their debut album. If you want to have a very good taste of the music by Dream Ocean, you can enjoy several of their official videos on YouTube including Eterna Espera, Uyan, Daydreamer, The Great Silence, Somewhere Untouched, Everstorm, Forever and Beyond The Greed, or you can also stream all of their creations on Spotify.

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As aforementioned, Başak is also a professional Opera singer, using even a different name for her metal career (Başak Ylva, instead of Başak C.) due to the prejudice that still exists in classical music. “I actually try to hide it. Because in the past, I was told that I am dressing too much femme fatale-like, very extravagant. Or that my hair was too red for singing in a church. Or I should not make my hair blond because I am Turkish. Or that I should not wear red lipstick because this was not a job to wear red lipstick. Therefore the classical music branch, especially in Germany, not so much in Sweden or Norway, but in Germany, it is terribly backwards and conservative. And several times, I got severely bullied because of that,” commented our diva. Still regarding her career as an Opera singer, she described the dark moments experienced during the COVID-19 lockdown in Germany. “We performed a couple of performances around September and October. But then the next lockdown came, and the theatre decided to not extend the contracts. And when I thought I was just starting my job and was thinking, I landed in a good opera house, and I could slowly build up my career. And now I was jobless! Like from top to zero. Of course, for me, this is another thing. When I don’t have a job, I am at risk to lose my visa. And I am also helping my brother in Turkey. So everything went down. And I got a big depression. I could not go out for 6 months. I did not sing for 6 months. And I just started to have therapy. Because everything was falling apart in my life. I mean, in everybody’s life, in Sebastian’s too. But for me, my visa and everything is depending on my job. I thought something like, my career has ended. I’m done. They will throw me out of the country.”

Although she doesn’t have any side projects aside from Dream Ocean, Başak mentioned in one of her interviews that she would love to do her own solo crossover project with folk and Celtic touches. However, due to her very busy agenda with Dream Ocean and her career as an Opera singer, she said it will be really tough to actually pursue that. Let’s say that she already does A LOT with both Dream Ocean and her classical career (as you can see in her beautiful repertoire), and that we’re all more than fine with “just” those two projects. And lastly, regarding her influences and idols in music and what inspires her the most to compose her stunning creations, Başak said her introduction to Symphonic Metal happened with Nightwish, plus a local Turkish band called Almôra (which unfortunately split up in 2009). She said she used to listen to those bands and sing along with them, and the final result was so good that later on Almôra found her recordings online and invited her to sing with them in front of a real audience. Moreover, she also expressed her passion for Opera as well, saying that in the end her distinct influences end up complementing each other. “I love Opera because it has another challenging side and gives another satisfaction such as learning very hard, complicated music and then singing it with perfect technique. One is for technicality and the other is for my creativity.” Having said all that, how about we stop right here and go listen to the amazing creations by our metal diva and her Dream Ocean, and also enjoy her awesome performances as an Opera singer? I’m sure you’ll love every single second of her music and get addicted to her distinguished voice.

Başak Ylva’s Official Facebook page
Başak Ylva’s Official Instagram
Başak Ylva’s Official YouTube channel
Dream Ocean’s Official Facebook page
Dream Ocean’s Official Instagram
Dream Ocean’s Official Twitter
Dream Ocean’s Official YouTube channel

“I just want people to know that musicians and the audience – we complete a whole and we’re the same. Having the same struggles and happiness, the same problems and same solutions – one may find the way easier while the other needs to take a second look. But in the end, we meet at the same place, which is the concert hall. There we want to reach them, get to know them, and for them to get to know us. To see that we mean what we play and sing with our words, and while we do this we want to be speaking their words. Things maybe they could never say out loud. We just want people to know that we desire to tell stories and meet with people who ARE the heroes of those stories. We hope we can do this.” – Başak Ylva

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