Al- Namrood - Worship the Degenerate 8.5/10
‘’Worship the Degenerate’’ centres of on the central them of the needs of the superior and inferior. Hailing from Saudi Arabia this trio of prolific non-believers release their follow up to ‘’Wala'at’’
New Vocalist "Artiya'il" is perfectly suited to the Al-Namrood ethos, the vocalist rages between the traditional Arabic and English. “Guerillas’’ is an excellent example of the vitriol contained within, the raw black metal that is intense and unforgiving. Al-Namrood excel in taking the classical homeland music and mutating it into something truly unholy and when it remains traditional as on ‘’Free Will’’ it has a lurking undercurrent of darkness within the traditional Asian sounds.
‘’Protector Of The Herd’’ and ‘’Worship The Degenerate’’ rail against the conventions, the music as unforgiving as the subject matter. It is brief uncompromising and brutally dark, there is a sense of urgent rebelliousness and true malevolence. Their lack of light is perfectly suited to their extreme music where at times it deftly touches on the ambient within the rawness. The percussion is harsh and cold, relentless in its onslaught. This is Black Metal burnt by the sun a call to arms against the weakness that threatens to engulf them.
Having scant regard for the very real corporal punishment that awaits them if their music and identities are discovered in their homeland. Worship the Degenerate is an album that shines brightly but briefly. A relentless antagonistic piece of pure Black metal
Icare – Charogne 9/10
Unleashing a juggernaut on the senses. Swiss outfit Icare have eschewed their early grindcore roots and revealed the monolith that is Charogne. A 43-minute piece of art that Is a barrage on the senses and a literary reflection inspired by the writings of French poet Charles Baudelaire.
One songs albums can be tiresome, indulgent, and repetitive, yet Icare are remarkable in creating a truly immersive experience that is a one-way journey to completion. It is savage yet romantic, brutal, and yet sophisticated. Musically it is an intense journey that avoids refrains and or repetition to continue its journey. Taking cues from Post Metal and black metal there are some riffs and rhythm patterns on Charogne that haven’t been explored since the early days of Cult of Luna, yet it from its beginnings Charogne is also intensely fast with one of the longest blast beat sections in recent memory highlighting the excellent percussive talents of Axel Vuille.
Reflecting the carrion of its subject matter Icare represent the brutality of the real and the immediacy and power of Black metal with none of its cliches. The character within is full of turmoil, restless yet almost contemplative. An exemplary mature work that stirs the senses and then the soul. The more Charogne is pursued, the more it is revealed. A release that asks many question’s and yet delivers all the answers in musical form. Highly recommended
I Am The Night – While The Gods Are Sleeping 9/10
Deeply rooted in the traditions of nineties Black Metal, I Am The Night is the long realization in the pursuit of Finnish extreme darkness. It is a combination of titans Markus Vanhala (Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum), Janne Markkanen (ex-Omnium Gatherum), Okko Solanterä (Horizon Ignited) and Waltteri Väyrynen (Paradise Lost, Bodom After Midnight). While The Gods Are Sleeping is their debut, a rallying cry against the light and the power that lurks in the shadows.
Containing eight odes of corruption that flail against the heavens and the casting out of angels. I Am The Night also explore the power of personal freedom. The music is bleak devoid of the extravagant trappings that plague the modern genre and revel in the second wave of Black metal. Creating a sonic wall of terror that will haunt and plague the nightmares of more gentle souls. It is cold raw, and its power lies in its delivery of total and utter commitment.
‘’ Ode To The Nightsky’’, ‘’ Hear Me O’ Unmaker’’ and ‘’ Holocaust Of The Angels’’ a mere examples of their raw intensity, seething in vitriol and the vocals of Solaterä, the music is dark and hypnotic with its tremolo drone inducing effect, the musicianship as you’d expect is superb but also far removed from previous works.
I Am The Night is the realization of a lifelong passion for the power and the brutality of what is considered real Black Metal. For those who consider the Nordic lands its spiritual home one listen to “the Owl’’ will convince you of their authenticity, uncompromising sensibilities and utter devotion to the ethos that is Back Metal. Highly recommended.
DEEP SUN – Dreamland - Behind The Shades 8.5/10
Behind The shades is another excellent representation of Switzerland’s Deep Sun, On this their third album of symphonic metal where everything is bigger more epic, and an ode to dreams in all it forms from the allegorical to the literal.
Debora Lavagnolo vocals give these dreams form and it is a voice from the heavens! Able to soar high and along with the music adding depth, character and able to add texture and shades to such highlights ‘’ Dreammaster’’,’’ Mitternachtstanz’’ and the rousing choruses of ‘’ Hands In Anger’’. It is truly beautiful one listen to ‘’In Silence’’ is proof that her vocals are a true standout in a genre that is already brimming with talent.
Musically the band have progressed to create the type of symphonic metal that is rousing, dynamic and covers all the bases of the original romantic style. The huge power metal choruses to the lighter folk inspired moments. Although at times it sounds familiar Behind The Shades is so damn good it doesn’t really matter, the musicianship is excellent and energetic. Deep Sun take their metal very seriously and their evolution in metal makes them a formidable outfit. “Euphoria” and ‘’Living the Dream’’ pulsate with energy and vibrancy.
Passionate, evocative and optimistic, Deep Sun have delivered a beautifully crafted album that for fans of metal and Symphonic metal, will enjoy. Not only its immediacy but the subtle nuances an incredible voice and some rousing metal!!