Thursday, January 15, 2015

New Pickups

1) Leviathan / Crebain - Split (tUMULt)

This is some of Wrest's strongest material to date in my opinion, as far as the Leviathan material is concerned. No idea why it took me until now to acquire this considering it's been available since 2004. The Crebain material smokes, as well, and contrasts complimentarily to the Leviathan tracks. Where Wrest is atmospheric and deranged, Ancalagon the Black plays razor sharp almost thrashy black metal.

2) Haemoth - In Nomine Odium (Debemur Morti Productions)

Another release I needed for the sake of completion. Haemoth's "Kontagion" is one of my favorite black metal releases of all time (I have #58/2000) and while this beast from 2011 is more unhinged, it's not quite the same sort of listening experience. Still supreme, and new for 85 cents through a 3rd party seller on Amazon that happens to be local to Seattle, I had to grab it. Expect demented French blasphemy in the tradition of mid era Blut Aus Nord or Antaeus.

3) Incantation - Mortal Throne of Nazarene (Hell's Headbangers 12" reissue)

The only one of the first four Incantation albums I didn't already own, I picked this up while at the show Incantation headlined last Friday at Studio 7. This is actually the first Incantation I ever heard, back in '96 when it first came out, and I fell in love with it. It's a little more accessible than "Onward to Golgotha", which really shouldn't indicate that it's accessible at all. Downtuned guttural aural desecration of the highest order and a mandatory release for anyone interested in black/death metal metal.

4) Aeternus - And So the Night Became (Hammerheart Records)

Hearing this back in '98 was mind blowing. Made up of members of both Gorgoroth and Obtained Enslavement, Aeternus ratchet up the the theatricality and heaviness of both. I used to refer to this and "Beyond the Wandering Moon" as depressive viking metal, along the same lines as Norway's Hades. Just a bludgeoning black atmosphere that doesn't relent for the album's duration, it's something I lost many years ago when I had a habit of making poor decisions pretty consistently, I'm so pleased to have this back in my collection.

5) Heresi - Psalm II: Infusco Ignis (Total Holocaust Records)

I became curious about Heresi when I saw the album cover, immediately recognizing the artwork of Leviathan's Wrest (Jef Whitehead). On top of his music, I'm also a huge admirer of his paintings and tattoo work. I listened to a few samples of this, and was hooked. Heresi is the side project of Skamfer of Sweden's Ondskapt, and is a one man project to a T. However, this shouldn't be mistaken for typical depressive bedroom black metal. It rages along the lines of a thrash album, with lethal guitar attacks and galloping rhythms. It's short, but super worthwhile, and it was super cheap at the 2nd hand music shop I frequent all too much!

6) Khthoniik Cerviiks - Heptaëdrone (Iron Bonehead)

That cover art, tho'! Holy smoke I love this cassette. Basically what I imagine Voivod would have sounded like a black/death band in the vein of Teitanblood. Kind of technical, really lo-fi, guttural and thrashy. If I'd copped this before 2015 when it came out last year, it would have been a sure thing for my best of list no doubt about it.

7) Amorphis - Privilege of Evil (Relapse Records cassette)

I was gifted this original cassette from a buddy of mine that lacks a tape player, after he grabbed the "Karelian Isthmus / Privilege of Evil" CD reissue on Hammerheart Records. If all you have heard of Amorphis is their later, post "Tales of 1,000 Lakes" prog output and you hate it, you need to check this out. Primal death metal that does not at all sound like what they would morph into at the height of their career.

8) Bolt Thrower - The IVth Crusade (Earache Records cassette)

"The IVth Crusade" isn't just Bolt Thrower at their doomy, ploddingly best... it's also my favorite Bolt Thrower album ever. Yes, I laud this album more than "Realm of Chaos" and "War Master" combined. It is completely visceral, and decimates everything else they've recorded like a Panzer tank in slow motion. This was gifted to me by the same friend as the above, and it's not a reprint as Earache has been schilling recently new versions of cassettes to jump on the lo-fi bandwagon, but the real thing from way back. Can hardly believe this thing plays anymore, honestly!

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