Etwas - Enochian Keys - Chvpter I. 9/10
What a transition from their debut EP Behind The veil! French Quartet Etwas have literally exploded out of the blocks with Enochian Keys - Chvpter I .
All the trademark elements of their sound are there but it is more immediate, visceral and heavier. Bursting forth with a dark energy that drives the music and the stellar musicianship, tracks like “A Forked Tail and Horns” and ‘’In a Dreary Coffin” bristle with energy and heaviness, the riffs short sharp and perfectly matched to the percussion. Victoria Hove’s classical intoned vocals are superb and yet also carry more depth, the spoken word passages intone dread. One listen to “the Purgatory” sets an ominous tone whilst “You Nephilim” is full of cracking riffs and soaring vocals delivered with passion and fire.
“The Mark of the Goat” is a true highlight and is the perfect representation of a gothic symphonic style merged with the power and force of Black Metal, its rhythms pulse with predatory energy the perfect platform for the conceptual tales within.
Enochian Keys - Chvpter I. is an immediate record filled with hidden treasures and subtleties, its power on fist listen immediate yet tracks ‘’The Baphomet Cult” is full of hidden passages that command further attention. Etwas have delivered a record that will surprise everyone who hears it! Highly recommended.
Arche – Transitions 9/10
Seven long years after their debut EP “Undercurrents’ The Finnish Duo of E. Kuismin (Electric and acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals) and V. Raittila – (Drums, backing vocals) return with “Transitions” a doom metal masterclass in sadness.
From the opening moments of ‘’ Reverential Silence”’ and its haunting multi-layered riffs you know you are hearing something truly special and heavy. Downright heavy. It is brutally honest, tangible in its darkness and haunting at times its ability to be ethereal without sacrificing any of its passion.
At only three tracks ‘’ Transitions’’ is an unhurried journey through emotions that are sincere and seamless. The shortish title track is literally the bridge between the elements of despair and loss. It is as beautiful as ‘’ In A Solace Light” which is heavy, labelled funeral doom for its unrelenting power this is genuine music delivered as uncompromising as it gets. Transitions become something else, an experience, a glimpse into the window of tortured souls, tinged with regret and loss. Every musical moment is profound in its delivery, the riffs range from the transportive to the depths of despair and the vocals whilst guttural are pure expressions of authentic sorrow and shadows. The mid-section of ‘’In a Solace light’’ is simply brilliant with the choir-Esque rhythms that fracture the senses and leave you lost in its passages. Their power cannot be understated, or their beauty.
Spellbinding and yet so gloriously heavy this a modern masterpiece of epic proportions that needs to experience. It is heartfelt, passionate, daunting and visceral, Arche has delivered an unmatchable work of art that gives new expressions to the doom genre.
Veilburner – VLBRNR 8/10
The ever-prolific Veilburner have returned after only fifteen months with album number six. The Pennsylvanian duo of Mephisto Deleterio (All instruments) and Chrisom Infernium (Vocals) present an album of manic fury that drips in death metal, experimentalism, and sacrilege.
From the swirling “Burning the Veil” to the questioning nature of the inevitable evil of man ‘’VI (Vulgar Incantations)’’ Chrisom Infernium guttural vocals are inciteful and rage-filled ‘Envexomous Hex’ delivers full bore intensity with its snare attack, yet the bizarre that is Unorthodoxagon merges brutality with an eccentricity that keeps the listener on their literal toes.
From the electronic-tinged madness that is the epic ’’Ruin “to the respite that is the distorted and malevolent ‘’ Exhibitionism in Limbo,’’ Veilburner take normal musical conventions and warps them into a hideous new reality that is pure, unfiltered, heavy, and filled with tangible disgust and loathing. ‘’ None so Hideous’’ is the perfect expression of this, a death metal maelstrom of energy that takes the electronic chaos and merges it with … something else.
Nothing could be timelier, the Old Testament references are the mirror to the barbarity that modern society still accepts and encourages today, VLBRNR delivers their mockery of this, Their accusations inflammatory, their music incendiary. ‘’Repulsed by the Light” is simply more frantic unhinged extreme metal that carries an excellent solo and some melodic passages that offer little respite from their indictments.
From the at-times ambient expressionism to the savage and then back to an almost cosmic trip that drips in blasphemy and some eighties-inspired rhythms VLBRNR is a demanding listen that mocks preconceived notions, musical conventions, and the definition of what is extreme art.
NOCTURNIS – Unsegen 8/10
From their debut EP “Aporia”, released in 2020 German Black Metal act Nocturnis are not afraid to pursue the more unexplored areas of extreme music. Their debut album Unsegen weaves melancholy with the barbaric into a cohesive concept.
Unsegen tells the story of a young soldier in the First World War, who is driven by his conscience into a no less harrowing inner struggle due to the atrocities he has experienced, which he ultimately loses. What Nocturnis are able to do across the six tracks is tell this story with a sense of inevitability that is coherent and intense.
At times pure black metal the tremolo and the savage warlike march that is Unsegen II is only tempered by the dissonant chaos that is its predecessor Unsegen I, yet is it the introspection of ‘’Niedergang’’ (Decline) that the melancholy enters the fray to its fullest, the textures layered and purposeful and yet its decline into tremolo filled madness matches that of the character, inexorable, agonising and unpreventable
Unsegen is appropriately tormented and filled with mayhem yet is it also infused with pain and conscience. ‘’Zerrissenheit’’ and its inner turmoil is the fitting coda, its slower rhythms matched with the band’s signature blistering pace. The genuine subject matter is more horrific than any demon, it represents the struggles of man’s actions and his failure to move past or reconcile them. The Black Metal on offer is pure, unfiltered, and relentless in its assault, the perfect metaphor for the torments for the inner subconsciousness where the respite is brief and the horror a constant companion.