Ufo Gestapos third opus 'Grandemissair' is out and it is again their own outer space and hypnotic brew of Sludge and hardcorish outbursts, just driven to a higher level.
A numb and unbearable dwelling within the milkstreet, but then again there is such vehemence, an intoxication of moods is inevitable. As well the vocals have improved to a greater style: here comes some cleaner tone of despair. The screw of weirdness has been driven even deeper, beware the keyboards! Leave this trip cleansed but feeling uncomfortable.
This is a split between two black metal bands that I hold in very high esteem; Paramnesia from France, and Ultha from Germany.
Paramnesia are the first band, offering up a 20-minute track named VI.
Like their previous work, such as their split with Unru, the band deliver epic black metal, forged around a core of frozen might, and expanded with progressive, atmospheric, and melodic components.
Paramnesia’s blistering delivery is ramped up in intensity by the needle-thin screams of their singer. Around these slices of venom, entire architectures of emotive blackness spring up and die down at the whim of their creators.
Sometimes the band will craft these structures from blasting extremity, while at others the pace slows and time is taken to explore different atmospheric avenues. Introspective, lonesome post-metal-esque sections appear too, showing that the band are adept at shaded, reflective delivery as well, before inevitably unleashing Hellfire once more.
Whatever they’re actually doing on this song though, it’s effective and extremely enjoyable.
Ultha’s debut album Converging Sins was so hideously impressive that it rather quickly achieved a prominent position in my end of year best of 2016 list. Now that I have had the time to process it even more, it would have placed even higher.
The band’s contribution to this split – The Seventh Sorrow, 18 minutes in length – shows Ultha have lost none of their talent for highly-engaging music. The Seventh Sorrow is atmospheric and fiery, with gripping melodies and dark mood both present in abundance. With equally abundant bleak melancholy and in-depth emotive content, as well as crazily infectious guitar parts, this song demonstrates firmly that the quality of the material on Converging Sins wasn’t a one off.
Ultha remain one of my favourite atmospheric black metal bands. On this split they, and Paramnesia, have created something extremely satisfying and worthy. This is a 38 minute, high-quality, high-value split, one which you must seek out at your earliest convenience. (wonderboxmetal)
WE HAVE THE BLACK VINYL (other version: bone white)
ULTHA's second full-length album 'CONVERGING SINS' is a 63 minute rumination on the subject matter of how past events and wrong decisions will echo throughout the rest of our mortal existance.
Over years experiences of failure and the conscious ability to willingly commit mistakes, to hurt, to reject,
to alternate truths etc. lead to a path where silence in and around you is the ultimate repercussion. The
record is a testimony to everyday melancholia, inner solitude and the human struggle to lead the wrong life in the right, the struggle against your animalistic nature.
On their second album ULTHA further their trademark sound of fast, hypnotic, reverberant Black Metal in a more US traditon played by acts such as Ash Borer, Weakling, Leviathan and Wolves In The Throne
Room. It is combined with crushing Doom heaviness close to acts such as Lycus, Asunder and Forn while also blending in an overall hopeless and gloomy atmosphere mostly connected to Dark Wave bands such
as The Sisters Of Mercy and (early) The Cure. The 2016 EP 'DISMAL RUINS' already showed the path ULTHA follow, adding multiple layers of electronics and slower passages in focus on overall diversive, captivating songstructures in mix with their juggernaut sound.
The five songs reach lengths up to almost 20minutes while still balancing repetition and settle nuances in riffs to manifest melodies like echoes in the listeners head. And this is a thing ULTHA were good at right from the start: Writing real songs with tons of melody without lacking heaviness and urging intensity. The focus is always on the overall flow and feel of the record. Therefore the music, the metaphorical, cryptic lyrics by main songwriter R.Schmidt as well as the artwork (envisioned by Kevin Gan Yuen of Sutekh Hexen fame) need to be treated as a whole entity.
The songs we're once again recorded and mixed in the bands rehearsal space called 'The Oil Pit' by the
bands own Andy Rosczyk in Cologne (Germany). Mastering duties this time were taken by Jack Shirley at his Atomic Garden studio (California), where he already formed the massive sound of bands such as Lycus, Oathbreaker and Deafheaven. On track No.2 'Mirrors In A Black Room' the band could win British native currently residing in Berlin (Germany), Rachel Davies of the acclaimed post-punk/wave band Esben And The Witch for guest vocals. But she not only sang but also co-wrote the lyrics to the song.
Brooklyn trio Unearthly Trance is like the Melvins-meet-Venom hopped up on Maker's Mark. An epic, impassioned piece of work, Electrocution oozes with mysticism and a palpable sense of purpose behind an imposing wall of gut-level riffing, canyons of low-end and pounding drums.
New York doom metal juggernaut UNEARTHLY TRANCE offer up a side long onslaught of d-beat and doom before plummeting deep into the noise depths while Toronto's THE ENDLESS BLOCKADE combine power-violence and power-electronics to brutal effect including a Slogun cover. Limited to 1000 copies.
It finally happened after having been in the works for ages! After four songs on a seven inch some time ago Unhaim have only one guitar player left but also a new singer, and here we go for the first album of the band. Crustpunk as it has to be: Slightly (only slightly!) metallic, not too polished and a healthy dose of punkrock! No neo-crust here, but also not monotonic ENTlike noise. Lyrics are mostly in Swiss German, and there’s a sample here and there as well…the music’s on three sides of this records, go figure! And you even have the titles on the vinyl… Maximum Rock’n’Roll: A really great debut 12’’ by this Swiss crust band is their second release since their formation in 2003 by members of Pack, Lost and Brutal Massacre. While not really sounding like Born Dead Icons, the eleven tracks here inhabits the same grimy corners of low-end down-tuning played at low-to-mid tempo, backed by a pounding solid drum beat and gravel vocals. Centering on dark mood as much as overdrive of straight ahead attack, it’s a powerful record in it’s a balance of dark, haunting riffs with simplistic brutal pounding and a unique that fulfills the conventions of genre but doesn’t fit easily packaged within them that it demands repeat listens. The actual “packaging” however itself is a gimmick record to end all gimmick records: A 12’’ with a screen printed jacket with printing on the inside, a triple sided (with an alternatively playing grooved third “side”) mastering job, one side given wide bands like the original Initial State LP, with inscriptions between tracks and other unnecessary bells and whistle silliness that make it an interesting artifact…but leave me kind of unsure if any of these things really add to the overall experience, or just there to do something unique for its own sake. None distract from the music – luckily all the mastering tricks still leave you with a pretty loud record – lyrics are mostly in German except for the three “side C” tracks.
Unholy Grave from Japan, masters of raw as hell grindcore and one of the most active DIY grind band in the world when it somes to releasing records and splits with young bands from all over the world, well next to Agathocles:)). All the time in the underground, recording new blasting songs in their rehersal room using 4-track recorder! On this split they serve raw rehersal from 2007!!! For all maniac ears willing to hear more raw tunes from UG!!! On the flip side great young band from Indonesia with their best stuff ever that defines their style in 100%. Guys re-recorded some songs from previous releases (like the split tape with Inquiry Last Scenery and the Land Of The Dead EP), added two new songs, recorded everything perfectly with great metalic/heavy sound & the result is 9 most brutal grindcore songs I've heard since Phobia's "All That remains". Seriously this stuff kill, powerfull sound, great drums and the sound of old school grind ... for all fans of Phobia early stuff and Insect Warfare!
DOOM/METAL/ROCK. After last year's self-titled debut, UNION OF SLEEP deliver their 2nd release "death in the place of rebirth".
Yet again they dish out uncomplicated, riff-based songs and solos which are obviously rooted in rock, but they come with a doom-metal, sludge and even a hardcore edge. Ruder and more decisive, this
record punches like a steam hammer! Besides the essential sludgy, heavy riffs and fucked up atmosphere, you will discover a lot of subliminal grooves, too. Be aware of eight beastly fuckers, raw and
crude, from the lowest instincts of mankind. Comprehensive yet refined, the union of extreme influences, instinctual prowess and rugged beauty on "death in the place of rebirth" is nothing less than
impressive. If you have any sort of neck, "death in the place of rebirth" will force movement out of your head - in an up and down motion. Tech-metal freaks and hipsters alike will pretend to hate
it, but they'll be missing out one of the year's best albums. Imagine THE MELVINS committing fornication with NEUROSIS and you'll get a slight idea of what it's about. LP comes with 350gr thick
inside-out cover, and inlay.
DOOM/SLUDGE-METAL/PROGRESSIVE-METAL. First of all - this is not a record for speed fanatics - both bands like it slowl. UNION OF SLEEP from Hagen/Berlin should be known for their previous full-length releases. If you dig really groovy, down-tuned sludgy doom-metal, then look no further. If the likes of BUZZOVEN, FUDGE TUNNEL or 16 make you excited, then UNION OF SLEEP won't disappoint. Their 4 tracks have the right amount of rocking catchiness, heavy southern boogie, blues riffs and gruff booze drenched vocals. They're mainly mid tempo-ish but contain plenty of left hand turns to keep your interest - a hard-hitting riff festival over all. Denver, Colorado's quartett BLACK SLEEP OF KALI are by no means a retro band. They deliver 4 pulverising, uncompromising songs, with aggressive groovy riffs, post-metal aesthetics and influence minus the monotony within this genre. Their hybrid of post- and progressive-metal constantly balances a tightrope between mid '90s apocalyptic NEUROSIS' "times of grace" era and modern progressive-metal on a par with MASTODON, BARONESS, or HIGH ON FIRE. Each of the songs are a carefully woven collection of massive riffs that flow - BLACK SLEEP OF KALI know what they’re doing. Both bands have done an impressive job of adopting several aforementioned genres. There’s really no filler to be found here. All of the tracks are knockouts. LP comes with eyecatching artwork, thick inside-out cover, black innersleeve, lyricsheet and includes a digital download card
Four winters has passed since the release of “Sulphurblooded”, UNLIGHT` s previous record that saw the light of day in 2010. As all their releases, this as well received critical acclaim and great feedback from fans all over the world. For almost four years, they have been writing their latest epos. Finally, they return with their 6th full-length effort “The Katalyst Of The Katharsis”. UNLIGHT still sounds as fierce, cold and intense as before, but with even more massive/melodic guitars, aggressive bass-lines, fast forward drumming and harsh vocals. UNLIGHT is aiming for the top with the release of their new masterpiece. They have no doubt grown a lot throughout their career and have finally managed to develop their sound into perfection. This is great Black Metal…
Black Wax incl. Poster
CRUST-METAL/HARDCORE. This time crust/grind worshiper UNREST from Munster, Germany have evolved greatly in terms of songwriting - even if only within their own previously set parameters. There's no left field experimentation here, just a better version of what they gave us 3 years ago on the "lake of misery" full-length. The 6 tracks are very tight balanced and the punching sound feels like a whole bag of slaps coming your way. UNREST still poach in the footsteps of classic Scandinavian bands like SKITSYSTEM and MARTYRDÖD as well as British grind pioneers EXTREME NOISE TERROR, but playing in a league of their own –unstoppable, unmistakable and relentless. BLACK CODE is a dark and heavy crust-metal outfit from Besancon, France. The secret behind BLACK CODE’s incredibly mauling sonic assault is the influence these guys bring in from various other forms of extreme music outside of hardcore-punk. If the foundation of their sound is surely rooted in Scandinavian crust, especially in the tank-like structures of bands like MARTYRDÖD and DISFEAR, these French certainly do not stop there. These 5 tracks takes one step deeper into the dark realm that BLACK CODE has created with heavy metallic, crunchy dual guitars, harshly growled vocals and pounding drums. Both bands destroy all your comforts and deliver one of the most powerful, dirtiest yet heaviest split records in a while. No filler, just riff after memorable heavy riff of indefatigable kegger crust-whatever. Colored vinyl comes with lyricsheet, black innersleeve and is traditionally packed in a crust-friendly black/white cover with awesome artwork. [PK #072]