Saturday, June 29, 2013

Week 81.5 (June 29th, 2013)


Scibex - Path To Omors (PR SPOTLIGHT 2013) - Scibex is an experimental black metal band from Brazil. These guys are quite talented and this sophomore album shows that they're getting better with each release. They clearly love their Opeth, as you'll hear lots of Opeth-like renditions on the disc, but keep in mind that these guys can definitely play and they do manage to put their own spin on what is not just a bunch of stolen Opeth riffs. Calling it black metal however, is indeed a stretch, sans the vocals which emulate perfect scowls. The music is more suited to progressive death metal with more of a scowl vocal influence and the use of clean vocals, so it has clearly been mislabeled.

Still, this progressive death metal (remember, black is a stretch) band certainly kicks a lot of ass and gives it their all on each of these eight (nine is just a short outro piece) tracks, which offer about an hour's worth of playtime. "Cryptic Comfort Zone 8:30" starts things off strong with harsh progressive riffs that flow along with the first taste of harsh vocal on the disc, which flows into a breezy sort of clean vocal, where light melodic passages soon become highlighted. "Built To Collapse 6:06" does manage to incorporate some actual black metal riffs however and throw in some nice backing melodies along with that. These guys like to throw in short sucker punches of melody and atmosphere into the mix, which might puzzle some of us, while intriguing others. I also sense some Enslaved influence on this one, so maybe calling them black metal isn't that much of a stretch, it just depends on the song.

A little bit of technicality creeps up on "Static 5:49." along with something that clearly resembles black metal. Though not flesh-ripping, it's still black metal in a sense, certainly in the most progressive notion. Genre meanderings aside, synths pop up on this track as do some clean vocals which lead into a short atmosphere. Finally, the guitarists show off their strengths with a captivating solo. "Mermaid Serpent 7:50" is next, continuing the Opeth/Enslaved mix which occasionally brings about an acoustic and a solo. "Being 8:37" offers a light, almost heavenly atmospheric which later erupts into black metal. "Heralds Of Noosphere 6:34" begins with some of the best melodies features on this disc, along with some maracas which add a little bit of culture to the piece. Anyone who doubted that they were black metal will now have to change their mind upon hearing this one. Scibex changed it up a nitch, but iut's still quite grimy, just beautiful and well-calculated at the same time. "Path To Omors 7:42" ends the disc out on piano that is soon accompanied with light synth and reminds me of great JRPG music. But that quickly fades as the band goes back to cranking out their version of Enslaved and they do it with just as much justice on this closer as they have with every song. As for "Vast & Secular 1:44" or the outro to the disc, it's a very light piece that ends the album on a very calming note. Considering the material, it seems sufficient.

Now, what is this material that you speak of? Well, I'll tell you. I took the liberty of reading the included lyrics and found them to be rather enlightening. The disc begins with our refusal to abandon the current system and state of mind, our refusal to leave the comfort zone. Then it goes on to talk about what happens when we do discover our true nature and spiritual existence in terms of metaphysical science. I've heard much about these noospheres, but don't know a whole heck of a lot about them. But according to these guys, they're a good thing. Maybe I should pick their brains about these things with an interview. At any rate, the "Path To Omors" is a path that we all must or should take to find our peace with father universe and mother Gaia. Apparently, we're all neurons in Gaia's hyper cortex. Intriguing, but I'd like to know the means on which they've discovered this information.

Whatever you take from all this, these guys are definitely talented and mix Enslaved and Opeth together with a great sense of purpose. They don't mind throwing in atmospheres from time to time and really know how to inject the venom when it's needed. Scibex is not only heavy, but they're keen on melody and atmosphere; making them worthy of my giving a shit and that's why I've highlighted this album. No, it's not just the bared alien breasts on the front cover. The music here is well worth checking out and I recommend it to damn near everyone.

Scibex is giving their album Path To Omors away at their official site, but if you want to support them you can buy a physical copy of the disc:

I'd love a t-shirt with the cover art if they have any. But, just being able to hear great music and promote it to the masses is really enough. It's music like this that makes the hard work worth it. Please pick up a copy of Scibex's Path Of Omors and let them know what you think. They worked quite hard on it and it's definitely not crap. I don't spotlight crap (of course, some of you still might think that's debatable) and I certainly wouldn't have spotlighted these guys if I knew that they couldn't have cut the mustard. Whatever that means.

Ignore my ramblings and just pick the disc up already!

Highlights: All (9 Tracks, 61:00)



Masterplan - Novum Initium (PR2013) - With a brand new lineup featuring Rick Altzi (At Vance, Herman Frank) on vocals, Jari Kainulainen (ex-Stratovarious, Devil's Train) on bass and Martin Skaroupka (Cradle Of Filth) on drums, Masterplan is back with their brand new album "Novum Initium" which literally means "a new start" and sees the band reenergized in their genre of melodic/power metal.

"The Game 5:30" opens up the disc thrashing, while "Keep Your Dream Alive 3:48" reminds me a great deal of what Kamelot used to be. "Black Night Of Magic" reminds me a hell of a lot of mid-era Firewind, and it's rife with solos thanks to Roland Grapow's terrific guitar skills. "Betrayal 4:44" sees more influence from Martin on drums, even though it's a ballad. Just consider one hell of a ballad. And Rick sings his ass off on this one. "No Escape 4:22" opens with shredding, even though it also seems to be a ballad. But once again, it's a great ballad - think Kamelot. "Pray On My Soul 4:35" is another killer track. This disc just keeps coming with the hits, folks! "Earth Is Going Down 3:46" packs a bit more of a punch, yet still retains a powerful hook. "Return From Avalon 4:28" is another... yes, another great power ballad from these guys. It's like they've kept them in a box for several years and just decided to unleash every single one of them all at the same time. It's in a way, too much awesome for one disc.

But perhaps I spoke too soon, as "Through Your Eyes 5:04" just seems spread a bit too thin for me. Even so, the epic closer "Novum Initium 10:17" feels like a powerful finale and really delivers on all fronts, even with the piano influence. It's got thrash pieces, ballad pieces and pieces where Roland shows you how fucking well he can shred. This final track is a major workout for the entire band and I'm not sure if they'll play it live, as it seems exhaustive - but it's a perfect representation for the current amalgamate of Masterplan, which have proven they can cut the mustard and at sometimes the cheese; but that's why we love em. More like this gentlemen, please!

Highlights: The Game, Keep Your Dream Alive, Black Night Of Magic, Betrayal, No Escape, Pray on My Soul, Earth Is Going Down, Return From Avalon, Novum Initium (11 Tracks, 51:00)



Manegarm - Legions Of The North (PR2013) - Manegarm might look non-threatening in their band photos, but they certainly play a very threatening form of Viking metal that includes the essence of black and death metal entwined within these Odinic hymns.

"Legions Of The North 4:52" blasts the disc open wide as "Eternity Awaits 5:26" adds more folk elements, and for some reason I'm entirely reminded of Ensiferum (early Ensiferum) which is a good thing. I'm not sure if this is their debut or third release, but the influences can be well heard and they're certainly promising. "Helvegr 0:17" warms up "Hordes Of Hel 5:15" which plays with Satyricon grooves and folk instruments while being backed with a windy gravel. It's different and I like it. "Tor Hjalpe 5:24" comes back with a black metal assault, while "Vigverk 0:38" calms things down and rolls into the straight-forward Viking metal approach of "Sons Of War 5:45." A bit of atmosphere and lead licks open up the very traditional metal nature of "Echoes From The Past 6:53" which at this point, sounds like it could be a cover. Definite Amon Amarth influence can be heard here, and the emulation is handled perfectly. It reminds of "Once Sent From The Golden Hall" or perhaps some of Amorphis's earlier works. "Fallen 5:31" sounds more like Amorphis however. Manegarm are the Baskin Robin's of folk metal at this point. "Forged In Fire 6:25" comes around full circle, bringing the band back to it's black/death state; with the closer "Raadh 3:22" ending the disc out by means of traditional Viking folk music, complete with male and female vocals that are backed by acoustics and light tribal drums.

Manegarm prove that they're not just another folk metal act and definitely have their fingers soaked in the blood of black metal, from committing the axe murder associated with death metal... and they'd just call that a Viking raid. Because they step out of their comfort zone, they show that more can be done with Viking metal, then well... just Viking metal. Certainly much better than I had anticipated and well worthy of a seat at Odin's table... and considering all of the fine Viking metal acts that will be joining them, that's got to be a pretty big table.

Highlights: Legions Of The North, Eternity Awaits, Hordes Of Hel, Tor Hjalpe, Echoes From The Past, Forged In Fire (12 Tracks, 52:00)



Fueled By Fire - Trapped In Perdition (PR2013) - These thrashers prove one point with their music, and it's one that becomes absurdly clear after a while... SLAYER! Yes, there's no need to sugarcoat the fact that these guys love some Slayer and particularly Hanneman. Oh my God, yes. If you liked Hell Awaits, Reign In Blood, Seasons In The Abyss and everything else under the classic Slayer moniker, than you're going to love these guys. I'm almost willing to bet that they started out as a Brazilian Slayer tribute band. As a reviewer, I have no idea how to score this; but I'm going to be as truthful as possible here.

If you give these guys an inch, they'll take a mile. I can clearly hear the Slayer in "Catastrophe 4:32" which is their radio single, as well as "Suffering Entities 3:57", "Forsaken Deity 4:22" (albeit it's a bit slower than the others), "Profane Path 4:30", "Defaced Mortality 4:38", "Rotten Creation 4:01", Pharmaceutical Mortality 4:38"... and you can see where I'm going with this. The trouble with Fueled By Fire is that all I'm hearing is Fueled By Slayer. Maybe there's some Destruction in there too, but damned if I can hear nothing but Hanneman. Which begs the question, "Would Hanneman call his lawyers had he heard this?" I mean, it is very much in the vein of a Slayer knock-off act. They're definitely good at what they do, even playing the solos the same way that Slayer would. Some could even say that Fueled On Fire wrote another classic-era Slayer record and that's actually going to make some people happy. If you really want to hear some Slayer that isn't Slayer, these guys definitely have that. They'll get your head banging and your fists pumping and your air-guitars screaming as only air guitars can do. Of course, there is at least one moment of clarity to be had on the disc and that is in it's outro "Abeyant Future 2:19" which invokes choral synths and some apocalyptic riffs that stride underneath heavy bass licks. They also threw on bonus track called "Depiction Of Demise 4:09" and it sounds like it might be a Sepultura cover. They do quite well with it, showing that they've got Slayer down as well as Sepultura.

Don't give these guys the boot just yet, Napalm. They show that they've definitely got some skills, despite that they're playing around their record collections and I suspect that future Fueled By Fire releases will feature far more variation. Once again, these guys definitely offer a well produced and worthy Slayer tribute. It's not a bunch of guys just trying to be Slayer, it's a bunch of guys succeeding in that attempt. I'd keep my eye on these gentlemen, even if this disc only offers what's at base value - a classic Slayer album.

Highlights: Rotten Creation, Abeyant Future (11 Tracks, 44:00)



Lonewolf - The Fourth And Final Horseman (PR2013) - Lonewolf is a power folk metal act who looks like they've been around the block a few times. I'm not sure what release this is in their discography, but here's my observation:

Lonewolf has a very interesting vocalist, I'm suspecting German by the inflection and perhaps Udo has a bit of an influence there. The music sounds quite jolly in all reality, despite the album's content which deals with topics like "The Fourth And Final Horseman 4:57" (which has lyrics that I remember from Iced Earth's "Damien") as well as "The Poison Of Mankind 6:19" and "Throne Of Skulls 4:00" which is the only track here that resonates with me due to it's thrash influence which wakes the band up a bit. To be honest, the record is quite weak despite little kicks like that one and the catchy as hell "Time For War 4:18" which is sure to pump up the morale of any warrior. But despite what these guys manage to do with guitar work, most of the disc just bores me to tears. Again, there's still a little pick-me-up or two in "Hellride 4:02" which has a chorus that reminds me of Blind Guardian ("Night At The Opera" era) even though it's got an interesting set of lyrics "Let's go to hell and never come back!" Yeah, sounds like fun! And then there's "We'll nail your God to his cross, with the hammer... the hammer of THOR!" on "Dragonriders 4:19" so there's plenty of lyrical gold on this one.

The vocals might not work for you, but there's not doubt that these guys are playing their asses off on the record. The drums sound crisp, the guitars scream solos and keep the folky pace; but the whole thing doesn't come out as being all that great. But it's still musically better than a lot of shit that's out there right now and my opinion doesn't speak for everyone, so if your heart beats with the blood of Vikings and you mightily hail the Allfather with a large flagon of mead; then go check these guys out from Napalm records!

Highlights: The Fourth And Final Horseman, Time For War, Throne Of Skulls, Destiny (10 Tracks, 51:00



Destroyers Of All - Into The Fire (PR2013) - Portuguese death/thrashers Destroyers Of All might remain unsigned, but remain volatile nonetheless. Guilherme Busato (ex-Seventh Seal and Tales For The Unspoken) and Alexandre Correia (Strikeback) are on guitar duty, while Filipe Gomes (Existence:Void, Antichthon, ex-Imperivm, ex-Crystalline Darkness) handles the drum duties and Bruno da Silva (Antichthon) plays bass. As for the frontman, it's a friend of these guys by the name of Joao Mateus and he's a relative unknown. Quite literally, this is Joao's first band. But he holds his own quite well with these guys and for the most part, they crush in the most unconventional and unique ways possible making them definite artists to watch.

"Beginning Of The End 1:00"is nothing special, it's just a regular old intro track. But when "Soul Retrieval 6:08" comes in, you know you've got something. Listen to those squeals at the beginning. Priceless. These guys really don't stay in one place for long as the track thickens and welcomes more of a death metal punch. Then there's an opera atmosphere followed by a drum barrage that makes me think of BDM. A shredfest ensues and less dirty vocals welcome a powerful breakdown. The whole fucking thing gets gritty right towards the end as it plays briefly with djent.

You know, I said I'd never do massive song description reviews again; but these guys might just be THAT BAND where you really have no fucking choice in the matter.

"Into The Fire 3:46" comes out thrashing, as then begins to get much, much heavier. Filipe gives the kit a workout while Joao prepares the band for a thrash run. There's even a clean vocal that joins him. It's good, but not all over the place. It's pretty much basic thrash (solo and all) yet contains some orchestral moments and a few shouts. It's the band's most straight-forward and easily accessible number. Me thinks it should be a single. Youtube it, guys!

"M4 6:54" adds some Slayer to the mix (if you can't hear Hanneman in there, you're not paying attention) but then the song proceeds to go the way of technicality and grit. This is a very odd act, I've never really heard a band so out of the box in a sense that they mix these thrash riffs with this sludgy death metal which sometimes meanders into core. Fillipe once again treats the kit like his bitch as Joao proves that he definitely has a place in this band. They couldn't have picked a better frontman for this act. Melodies begin to entangle the track as the band shows what many years of playing in different bands does to one's skill set.

"Astral Projection 5:38" gets a little down and dirty Pantera style but welcomes some core and has a Sepultura vibe. There's an odd set off riffs playing during the breakdown just before the tasteful solo, and that solo erupts into a finale that stops abruptly as it welcomes these creepy melodies and some beach-front rhythms. But not for long, as the band really thumps down on their instruments (and is that chanting I hear in the background?) Damn, it is. Well how about that? Technical drumming and guitar wizardry play around for a bit before the song ends completely returning at the chorus. "Nothing Left 1:34" is this sorrowful little thing you'll probably skip. But just to play the whole thing all over again.

My bottom line is this: Someone please sign these guys! You mean to tell me that a band like this is going unsigned? This could kill if it was given to the right ears. Working in the metal community, I've since snagged a lot of FB friends who from time to time post their interests, and I can honestly say that these guys will appeal to the current scene and they've got that sense of musicianship that comes with age which will appeal to the older crowd. Destroyers Of All certainly have what it takes to make it in this heavily crowded scene, and I sincerely wish them the best of luck in getting some kind of recognition. This is a supremely strong EP that I highly recommend. Get your hands on it too, as it released a few months ago and is already available!

Don't turn down good metal!

Highlights: Soul Retrieval, Into The Fire, M4, Astral Projection (6 Tracks, 25:00)



El Camino - Gold Of The Great Deceiver (PR2013) - Named after a car, these Swedes do not fuck around, so don't take them lightly. What they've crafted at base is a very potent mix of Sabbath with death metal vocals, but I've loved every bit of it. This is their second album, and it's a fucking monster. But demon might be the better word to use there, considering the context...

"Gold Of The Great Deceiver 5:02" packs a punch right from the beginning, making Sabbath sound even more foreboding than they did with "Black Sabbath" riffs that they began with. Yes, I'm talking about the song itself, as you'll notice from the riffs. If you can make that song more menacing, then you're quite fucking good. This is a song about admonishing the devil that actually seems worthy of the content. I bet they really kill this one on stage!

"This Land Of Mine 4:34" comes next, and boy am I floored. Excuse me for a second. I just want to take this one in for a bit... Oh yeah, there it is - catchy melodies, scathing death metal vocals and crunching bass. What the fuck else could you want? "Black Witch Love 6:54" brings more of the seventies' influence into the band and it's definitely welcomed. The death metal vocals aren't used on this one as much, but there is a catchy chorus laden within and some great solo work. Definitely a powerful track, when those death growls hit you'd better believe that they kill all opposition with loud reiterations of "Burn! Burn!"

"Smaland 5:37" lyrically doesn't sound so evil, but it's a pretty fucking catchy track. The song structure is strong, there's a great bridge in the middle right before the second chorus, which is a deep-throated catchy welcoming. Things begin to sound sadistic after awhile and the music just sets the mood for it all quite well. Damn, why haven't I heard about these guys until now? They should be buzzing about the goddamned net at least!

"Torn 5:45" is strong, but doesn't do as much for me as the other tracks. It's still a good song and I can't knock it too much. "The One Of Evil 6:10" is another song about the devil and it actually sounds frightening, complete with sinister laughs and the same "Black Sabbath" riffs. Again, like the song, not the band themselves. There's just something really special about these guys, something that really sets them apart from their ilk and I'm trying to discover what that is. But they've just got it. Not even just a spark, these guys are fucking blooming and it's a flower of fucking unholy evil. I mean hell, you can listen to "The One Of Evil" by itself and get a feel for these guys.

"The Wizard 7:12" comes next and it's not the Black Sabbath cover of the track with the harmonica. As a matter of fact, it's another grimy, doomy thing of complete and utter evil with some really interesting lead melodies unlike they've done in other tracks. Even though this is the longest track on the album and I should like quite a bit of things on it, I think it's just a bit too long. But if you love it, I mean this record's almost a fucking ten. You'd better get it regardless.

The disc ends out with "Utmarsch 5:57" which sounds like swampy doom with fantastically fiendish lyrics. You've got to love this band's frontman, I mean he really sounds like a fucking madman. This one's a keeper and this acting job is magnificent. The guy sounds like he's losing his mind. Maybe he is. Goddamn, I fucking love this. I don't think I've heard acting like this since King Diamond. Sure, people have attempted; but this really seems to work. What a wonderful way to end a wonderful album. Everyone who is listening to music of this type right now that they think it better than this, actually isn't.

El Camino is a weird name for a great band, but at least you'll fucking remember it. I recommend all fans of evil, dark, gloomy, swampy, grimy, filthy, foul, repugnant, malodorous, pungent, acrid, foul and downright dour music should check out this record and I mean now. Few bands are out there like El Camino and I highly recommend that you guys check this album out now.

Where the fuck was I when they came out with their last one?

Highlights: Gold Of The Great Deceiver, This Land Of Mine, Black Witch Love, Smaland, The One Of Evil, Utmarsch (8 Tracks, 47:00)



Edvian - 2012 (PR2013) - Edvian is a progressive metal group that reminds me quite a bit of Andromeda and Pagan's Mind. However, there are just a few hiccups on this record and not everything is quite as clean-cut as it might seem. I will explain:

"Progress Of Death 6:03" comes thundering like a beast released from it's cage, showcasing itself as a very hard-edged track and giving you a misrepresentation of the act from it's very start. The use of electronics and technicality in addition to prog and tasteful solos help to make this song come off quite well in any case. "2012 4:31" certainly sounds like it got influence from Pagan's Mind, particularly in that chorus. There's quite a lot of instrumental play here, but that's a good thing for a band of this nature and they're still testing the water at this point. "This Is War 4:35" has the same vibe with crushing bass lines, light melodies and some use of harsh background vocals to round out the clean... as well as the prog. But that should be self-explanatory. Yes, these guys certainly know their way around prog, so they're not just some young upstarts with no clue. "Cradle Of Life 3:20" is a pretty weak ballad, albeit a powerful solo. "Time 4:29" is still very light, but has a bit more kick to it than the previous track. The chorus is quite strong however, backed by the electronics. "Storm 4:58" is another major highlight on the disc, thrashing about and utilizing those electronics in tune with well-placed vocal lines and some power chorus lines. Very promising, I might get this one stuck in my head. "For The Sake Of Love 5:29" is a welcome ballad, at least it sounds believable. Not to mention the latter part of the track, which is truly brilliant. Maybe it doesn't have the high production that a track of this caliber would normally have, but this is a good show indeed.

And that's where the greatness ends. For you see, these guys did a very bad thing and mixed their guitars in with dubstep, calling the track "Crazy World 5:39." It is a crazy world indeed, when these guys felt the need to ruin such a good track with dubstep. Dubstep and harsh vocals Even the chorus is a moot point do to the dubstep barrage. Note: I don't like dubstep, if you haven't already noticed. I've heard a million varieties of it and none of them do anything more than work with youtube videos and that's just for laughs.

So making a long story short, just stop the disc after "For The Sake Of Love" which sounds like a good place to end it anyway, as Edvian don't even sound like the same band anymore after this. Please don't attempt this stuff again guys, you're better than trends and especially better than dubstep. Regardless of all this, the effort made by Edvian is solid and worth checking out for all fans of progressive metal. These guys have it, even if it is just a spark at the moment.

Highlights: Progress of Death, Storm (8 Tracks, 39:00)



Creeper - Welcome To Room 9 (PR2013) - Creeper is an interesting idea, with sub-par results. The band is composed of four guys, one of them wearing a weird long-nosed masquerade mask and the other guy just wearing some grey mask. The other guys don't have masks. So obviously image isn't their thing, so what about music? Well, the idea was originally to mix the simplicity of ACDC with the heaviness of Slayer and this came about. I will say that Daniel Watkins has some memorable vocals, he can definitely hit the highs when needed and sticks to a vocal tone that reminds me of Testament.

"M For Murder 3:37" is a strong track that will work as a good single, replete with strong solos - but what in the hell is "Now 2:57?" I mean, it could work well live, but gets repetitive on the disc. "Room #9 3:57" has some interesting leads and I see what they're doing there, but it only brightens with the solo comes in. "Powers Of Hell 3:26" really seems to showcase the drums and reminds me a bit of Anthrax. I like the latter portion of the disc and think that Daniel needs to use his growls more. I like them, quite a lot actually and they could be effective on later installments. "No One Will Hear 5:51" reminds me a bit of Nevermore and that's a good sign. "Push It 4:46" doesn't resonate well with me, despite the fact that I like the grooves.

By the way, get used to grooves because these guys love them. But there's nothing wrong with that, as he wanted a band with grooves, hooks and old-school style solos which is what he got. "Push It" is going to be hard sell though. "The Majic 4:06" has a very classic vibe to it, I think this one really hit me on first listen. Usually when a track hits me the first time I hear it, then it's worth giving a shit about. "She Can't Take It No More 3:44" is a groovy thrash track about very rough sex with a woman who aims to please. Definitely something with a marketable edge, this track needs more promotion. "Timmy 4:25" comes in next and it starts pretty fucked up, but it does contain some rough growls and some great vocal acting work. Now this is the shit that's gonna make Creeper stand out.

"War Machine 4:21" sounds like it was recorded earlier in the band's career and the production isn't as great as far as the drumming goes. But that's because this was snagged from the demo. It's good, but I wish they had just re-recorded it. "Screaming Demon 3:35" was also recorded earlier on the demo and I don't think anyone needs to hear it. "Screaming Demon" just does nothing more than make me laugh. I dunno, maybe it should be there for comic relief.

Anyway you spin it, there's something here. I think these four guys from Dallas can be something pretty fucking big if they get marketed right. Tracks like "She Can't Take It No More" (One Of my favorites, can't you tell?) "M For Murder" and "Timmy" showcase nothing but potential. I want to hear these guys a few years later, after they're on a big label and hear some of these songs redone with the professional production job. Honestly, some of this shit is really good. It's simplistic, catchy and old-school at the same time. Definitely marketable.

Highlights: M For Murder, Powers Of Hell, No One Will Hear, The Majic, She Can't Take It No More, Timmy (11 Tracks, 44:00)



Viranesir - Fountain Of Uncertainty (2013 Band Request) - When one sees an album cover with a completely NSFW image of a giant and slightly battered phallus, one knows not what to think. But this is a new project from Yayla mastermind Emir Togrul and it is the fictional main character's project in his Emir's forthcoming film "Drink From The Fountain Of Uncertainty." In essence, it's a film score and that is why it doesn't do so well on it's own; at least without the visual element. Nevertheless, every album is entirely handmade:

As with his work on YAYLA, Emir Toğrul's grand vision, each Fountain Of Uncertainty CD is handmade; Emir sprays the discs, cuts and inserts the prints for the jewel case and jacket, and pretty much makes everything from scratch. All current and upcoming merch is direct from the hand of the creator himself, there is no limit to the number of Fountain of Uncertainty CDs, as long as the man is alive. Toğrul is also co-owner of Merdumgiriz (Records/Distribution).

I posted that, just so you could see that when I say "handmade" I really mean, "handmade." I also think it's interesting that there is no limit to how many discs are made as long as the creator is alive. That's art in it's truest form and whether you like the album or not; you've simply got to respect the effort and ambition behind it.

"Ovulation 4:27" starts the disc off with a fuzzy symphonic nature, complete with what appeal to be howls. There's also a choir chant in sections. "Stark Of Dark 4:58" seems very drone-like in origin, the guitar seems dropped down and thick as the same sorts of synths play throughout. It seems a little depressing from an emotional standpoint. "Ejaculation 12:12" is quite raw, but audible. It begins with an interesting melody note that is uncommonly repeated but may get on the nerves of some. Drums also join in this track, which slowly elevates in more melodic territory and is close to the realms of suicidal black metal, sans vocals. "Sight Of Light 2:58" plays with synths once again, but no guitar influence is featured this time. It reminds me a bit of Summoning or Mortiis's atmospheric work in the melodies. "Fertilization 4:57" is the last track on the album and while difficult to hear, some worthwhile melodies and structures are featured. Emir definitely enjoys the lo-fi sound and some will not like that, but if you can hear all of the little nuances that he puts into the album, you should enjoy it for the atmosphere alone - which is the entire reason that this album exists in the first place. Remember, it is an atmosphere for a film.

The album is out now and available here:

(5 Tracks, 29:00)



Pavillon Rouge - Methaline (2013 Single Band Request) - Pavillon Rouge has released a new single called Methaline for their soon to be forthcoming release. The first time I heard this, I wasn't quite so impressed but it has been a while since then. The song certainly hasn't veered from the electronic nature of the band and the black metal vocals remain intact. A couple of riffs light up the performance and end the track out on some interesting melodies. It's a jaunty track, well versed in trance and would stand just as much in the metal clubs as it would the electronic clubs. But I've unfortunately been to neither and we don't have those kinds of clubs in this stale southern state.

At any rate, check out this single. It's free from the band.



Amon Amarth - Deceiver Of The Gods (Bonus Disc Review 2013) - As I've already reviewed the album itself for NN, there's no fucking use in repeating myself. Instead, I'm going to review this four track little EP that the band did. It's not a series of covers, but rather it's an interpretation of classic bands like Black Sabbath and Judas Priest as performed by the band. Once again, these aren't covers. It's the band playing originals in classic styles. Johan is not always suited to these styles, you should see how he tries to emulate Ozzy on "Satan Rising." I guess it's a good way to get the newer kids in to the older music and these guys ought to be given a pat on the back for it. As you can expect, most of this might remind you of Six Feet Under's cover albums but with Johan's growls instead.

Judas Priest is emulated on "Burning Anvil Of Steel 4:27" and then Black Sabbath is emulated on "Satan Rising 4:20" which sees the band recalling classic Sabbath and Johan sounding a bit nasally while trying to attempt Ozzy's signature vocal tone. The band performs quite well on the track however and shows that they can play just about everything. Which isn't surprising, given the roster. Motorhead is emulated with "Snake Eyes 3:12" and "Stand Up To Go Down" emulates ACDC. Of course, I think it's a much better cover than the Chris Barnes' versions. All of these songs sound just like they would performed by the original artists, recording quality included. The Sabbath track sounds like it would musically be on a Sabbath album for example, with the Priest, Motorhead and ACDC track also sounding like they would be perfect fits. There's no denying that Amon Amarth can play other people's music pretty damn well and this is in all honesty, a good bonus disc that runs about 16 minutes in length. In this I can see that it's inclusion on the end of the album would be a bit of a bad thing, as it's completely different content from the album at hand. Furthermore, I would've rather had a full album of these attempts (What? No Manowar?) then just sixteen minutes of music, a comic book and a bust. Which is what you get when you buy the giant package. They certainly know their capitalism and how to make art into a product.

But this is what you'll get as an exclusive, if you want it.

(4 Tracks, 16:00)


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