Album Review – Ciemra / The Tread of Darkness (2023)

Behold the magnificent debut opus by this Belarusian Black Metal horde, based on the denial of the usual foundations of the world, on the darkest manifestations of human activity, and on energies hidden beyond the Dark Abyss.

Forged in the scorching fires of Minsk, Belarus in 2019, when five essences emerged from the abyss to the veils of night on the eve of the end times in order to reap the living, to satisfy the hunger of darkness and to nourish the wombs of the dark gods, the venomous Melodic Black Metal horde Ciemra (or Цемра, which means “darkness” in Belarusian) delivers fast-paced, cold and pure Black Metal which is looking at both the classic European sound and its more contemporary interpretations, which is exactly what you’ll find in their newborn opus titled The Tread of Darkness. Recorded at Alma Studio, mixed and mastered by Yaroslav Tseluyko at Jaro Sound, and displaying a demonic artwork by Nestor Povarnin, The Tread Of Darkness is based on the denial of the usual foundations of the world, on the darkest manifestations of human activity, and on energies hidden beyond the Dark Abyss, masterfully brought into being by the witch Malvain on vocals, Misery and Zima on the guitars, Kurz on bass, and Sønn on drums.

The acoustic guitars by Misery and Zima will mesmerize your soul accompanied by the slow and steady beast by Sønn in Ciemra, before the Belarusian sorceress Malvain begins gnarling in a dark and beautiful manner, with the music growing in intensity until becoming a sulfurous and grandiose feast of undisputed Black Metal. After such impactful start, the band continues to distill their blend of Melodic Black Metal with old school, raw Black Metal in Four Riders, with the band’s guitar duo cutting our skin deep with their evil riffage, followed by Vomiting Void, very melodious and bestial from the very first second while showcasing devilish lyrics growled by Malvain (“Burning the world / Building the temple / In the end of the night / There’s a Vomiting Void / So far material awake the gun”). And investing in a more cadenced, obscure sonority led by the classic drums by Sønn supported by the low-tuned bass by Kurz, Call of the Ancestors is an evil composition perfect for summoning evil spirits.

Then continuing to pave their path to pitch black darkness it’s time for War, again presenting the trademark roars by Malvain while Misery and Zima add elements from Death and Doom Metal to their riffs; and their piercing, strident guitars keep darkening the skies in A Night for the Death, where their Blackened Doom vein arises like a creature from the netherworld, with Kurz and Sønn once again hammering our heads with their demonic kitchen in a lecture in extreme music. The eerie vociferations by Malvain are the main ingredient in the Black Metal extravaganza Winter, where the caustic sound of their guitars will blacken your mind for all eternity, whereas in Serpent’s we face more of their infernal words (“The shaking Serpent / In the Abyss / The Raw materials / I’m on my knees…”) while the music is just as Stygian and heavy as the rest of the album, exploding into a gargantuan onrush of pure Black Metal at the end. Lastly, closing such somber album we have Where the Eyes Close, offering more of the band’s darkly melodic and grim Black Metal for our total delight, with its ethereal passages creating a stunning paradox with the band’s more visceral and violent side.

The bestial debut album by such promising Belarusian horde can be appreciated in full on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course if you consider yourself a true servant of darkness you can purchase your favorite version of the album from their own BandCamp page, from the Avantgarde Music’s BandCamp page, from Sound Cave as a digipak CD, a black vinyl or a color vinyl, from Season of Mist also as a digipak CD or a color vinyl, from Record Shop X, or from Apple Music. Furthermore, don’t forget to start following Ciemra on Facebook, on Instagram and on VKontakte for news, tour dates and so on, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their wicked music and videos. Nature, in its primordial beauty and originality, also finds a place in The Tread Of Darkness, as there is where Ciemra find themselves at peace, but the exact opposite of that peace is what the quintet will offer you throughout the entire album, relentlessly dragging you toward endless darkness.

Best moments of the album: Ciemra, Vomiting Void, A Night for the Death and Where the Eyes Close.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2023 Avantgarde Music

Track listing
1. Ciemra 7:09
2. Four Riders 4:41
3. Vomiting Void 3:52
4. Call of the Ancestors 4:59
5. War 5:49
6. A Night for the Death 5:43
7. Winter 4:48
8. Serpent’s 4:28
9. Where the Eyes Close 5:00

Band members
Malvain – vocals
Misery – guitar
Zima – guitar
Kurz – bass
Sønn – drums

Album Review – Eteritus / Following the Ancient Path (2016)

Follow the ancient path of old school Death Metal engendered by another promising band from the underground of Polish music.


eteritus_coverOnce again, it’s time to take a direct flight to the beautiful Republic of Poland, more specifically to the city of Toruń, for another blast of high-quality Polish metal music. Located in northern Poland, Toruń is not only one of the oldest cities in the country, but also the birthplace of the renowned astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. This charming and important city, which was was added to the list of Seven Wonders of Poland in 2007, might have the nickname “City of Angels” due to the angel in its coat of arms, but after listening to Following the Ancient Path, the debut full-length opus by Death Metal quartet Eteritus, we should also start calling it as “City of Death Metal”.

The band was founded in February 2013, when guitarist Zimny (also known as Zima) and drummer Nitro met, and after vocalist Liam Tailor joined the band one month later they already started working on new material. One year after the band’s inception, the EP Tales of Death was born and Eteritus’ lineup was completed by bassist Greg. After receiving many positive reviews from fans and critics, the band began working on what would become Following the Ancient Path, a storm of old school Death Metal for fans of sheer aggressiveness in music. Featuring a dark and traditional artwork by Polish artist Bartek Kurzok (who has already worked with other amazing underground bands such as Abigail, Ulcer and Deathstorm), this is one of those albums that despite knowing what you’re going to get, you always feel positively surprised with the level of professionalism and dedication from all band members, which always translates into kick-ass metal music.

A metallic Intro presenting eerie guitar sounds warms up the listener until Biocentric kicks off emanating aggressiveness, with vocalist and guitarist Liam Tailor leading the band’s sonic attack boosted by the sharp sounds and endless electricity flowing from the guitars. Moreover, this tune is tailored for some sick headbanging due to its menacing rhythm, which can also be said about the heavy and barbaric Hellish Imagery, where Liam delivers anger and darkness through his growls while Nitro varies between pure groove and demonic blast beats, living up to the tradition of old school Death Metal. And in the demonic composition The Unliving Thing, Liam becomes the creature exhaling brutality through its horror movie-inspired lyrics (“Dark moon reflects in the eye of the beast / He longs for his brood, calls for his kin / Watching with dead eyes / Searching for blood / Running from daylight / Hiding from sun”), with Nitro and Zima supporting him with his blazing beats and riffs, respectively.

eteritus_bandConsider yourself in the eye of a metal storm while listening to the vicious Eye of the Storm, a pure Death Metal chant where all instruments sound boisterous, especially the bass lines à la Alex Webster by Greg. Due to its awesome rhythm, the song never gets boring or tiresome; quite the contrary, it’s bestial in its entirety, maintaining the fire burning in the fantastic Incinerator, with its flammable lyrics (“Walking on the ashes of a scorched, dead world / Burned to the ground in a fiery storm / Cemetery silence, instilling fear / The light in your eye like a tip of a spear”) and its accelerated rhythm led by Nitro. Blending elements from Thrash Metal to their traditional Death Metal, this is not only one of the top moments of the album, but it will also work perfectly when played live.

The bestiality in Following the Ancient Path goes on with another carnivorous composition titled Somber Mind, with the band generating the perfect dark ambience for Liam to fire some really deep gnarls, including some obscure guitar solos and crushing beats, followed by the also solid End of Line.  The second to last song of the album brings forward sheer darkness, with the cutting bass guitar by Greg igniting a feast of visceral growls and intricate drumming, also showcasing poisonous riffs and endless aggressiveness. And if you love kick-ass high-octane Death Metal with hints of Black and Thrash Metal let me tell you that Mortal Prophecy will certainly satisfy your needs, being vile and thunderous from start to finish, also presenting interesting tempo changes and a fiery guitar solo at the end.

You can follow the ancient path of old school Death Metal engendered by Eteritus by liking their Facebook page, and grab your copy of the album at the Godz ov War Productions’ webshop or BandCamp page, as well as at Discogs. Yet again, we’re facing an up-and-coming band from Poland delivering top-of-the-line extreme music, consequently carving their names in the underground Polish scene, and I believe they will soon conquer other parts of Europe and the rest of the world thanks to their honesty, their talent, their passion for heavy music and their electrified attitude.

Best moments of the album: Eye of the Storm and Incinerator.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Godz ov War Productions

Track listing
1. Intro 1:25
2. Biocentric 4:23
3. Hellish Imagery 4:32
4. The Unliving Thing 4:04
5. Eye of the Storm 3:07
6. Incinerator 3:16
7. Somber Mind 3:41
8. End of Line 3:41
9. Mortal Prophecy 4:16

Band members
Liam Tailor – vocals, guitars
Zima – guitars
Greg – bass
Nitro – drums