Resonance - Telesterion - Anarazel - Idle Ruin - Bulletbelt
Telesterion- Epopteia 9.5/10
Inspired by the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, the enigma that is Telesterion will release Epopteia beginning September 30th (the 15th of Boedromion on the Ancient Greek calendar) and ending on October 8th. The intention is to educate and enlighten and guide the listener through the experience.
Steeped in mythology and a sense of wonder the nine acts that comprise Epopteia mark the evolution and culmination of Telesterion. The journey from Myesis is now complete. All their individual elements combine to create a piece of art that is wonderous, dynamic, and truly epic in its scope. The rhythm section ties it to the earth while the vocal chants and choir soar. It is turbulent, graceful, inherently powerful with excellent compositions given a greater sense of purpose. ’’Pilgrimage’’ defines the journey and sense of wonder, its post metal riffs are massive against the subtleties of the vocals, ‘’festival” is a briefer exploration of the ritual with more doom inspired strength. It is epic yet never ponderous, the darkness that is ‘’The Descent” is foreboding against its predecessor ‘’Revelry “, a track awash in dissonance and epic Mediterranean flavour.
Ending in the glory that is ‘’Ascent’’ Epopteia is beautiful and haunting. It is a celebration and completion of the ritual. As per the Eleusinian it is purifying and cleansing. The mystery that is Telesterion continues to grow as does their reputation for creating huge visual soundscapes that inspire to create a sense of wonder and majesty. Mesmerizing and authentic, it is earthen yet ethereal, true musical accomplishment that defies description and the boundaries of genre. Simply unmissable.
Anarazel – Our Dark Lord & Saviour 9/10
Australia’s exponents of extreme music and salutations to darkness have been defiling the senses of the masses since 1996. the Melbourne outfit continues to mock organized religion with only their second full length in such a long history, the openly vitriolic ‘’Our Dark Lord & Saviour.’’
Following on from 2020’s’’ Iconoclastic Rebirth’ EP, Anarazel’s level of musicianship and intensity is taken to the next level. This is pure extreme black metal that is predatory, openly inflammatory, and completely merciless. From the opening onslaught that is “Heretic Priest’’ through to the title track, this is a steadfast album steeped in the traditions of black metal yet continues to take those ideologies and traditions to its zenith. “” Unclean Spirit “is a deeply unsettling piano-led spoken word tirade that leads into ‘’Anarazel’ the band’s defining moment, a Teutonic display of speed, dynamics and declaration of pure evil.
Openly blasphemous ‘’ Fuck Your God (Satan Is King)’’ and Apocalyptic ‘’ Death Always Wins’’ this is utter nihilism dripping in hellfire and brimstone. The album cover reflects the burning fire within, presented with utter conviction and clarity, the riffs are razor sharp and precise as always, and the percussion dynamic, the duo of Exhumer and Defiler, trade taunts, worship, incantations, and hostilities.
From the purity of ‘’Bloodwitch ‘’ and ‘’ Realm of the Crucifier’, ’Our Dark Lord & Saviour’ is one of the rare albums that delivers on its intentions and is brutally honest and open in its intent and hatred. Anarazel is not for the casual fan or those who dabble in black metal, it is malevolent, violent conveying the surging power of darkness that lies within.
Idle Ruin – The Fell Tyrant Extended Edition 9/10
From their debut self-titled release in 2020, the prolific, productive trio from Brisbane Idle Ruin have been malevolently creating their savagery of death/ thrash metal. Released earlier this year, their Debut Album’’ The Fell Tyrant’’ is now available as a deluxe two-disc edition that includes “Live Bootleg’’.
Upon its release, The Fell Tyrant made jaws drop and necks crack with intensity and ferocity. Utterly committed to its craft, six months later ‘’ Sycophant’’ is still utterly brutal with its magnificent riff whilst ‘’Orbitoclast’’ is the nigh perfect combination of death and thrash metal, subversive, inherently violent yet not without its memorable riffs. Every track is unified by vehemence and vitriol. Even when the speed drops, the title track ‘’The Fell Tyrant’’ stomps over the weak with a vengeance and unhinged solos. Whilst ‘’Cult of Dominion’ is filled with old school mania, unhinged in its fury and high-speed race to self-destruction with deranged bass lines. Album closer ‘’ ‘Ekul 316’ perfectly captures all that came before with some ominous acoustic codas.
The second disc (Live Bootleg) is a must-have for those who haven’t experienced the punishment that is ‘’Whipped to Death’’ live. The high-speed aggression and energy that is Idle Ruin proves that the debut album reflects what this band is capable of. ‘’Valley Inferno” is a high-speed thrash inspired by four minutes of intensity that doesn’t pause for breath. The combination of ‘’Spiritual Contagion” and ‘’ Delta Hexatoxin’’are seamless displays of speed and sweat-inducing aggro that is felt in the chest that leaves the ears ringing. The sound is clear yet raw, perfectly capturing excellent musicianship and the ever-present vitriol that is the throat of Liam Anthony.
As a double disc, The Fell Tyrant is an essential purchase of a fantastic debut album that reeks of class and darkened manifestations. Idle Ruin offers no Mercy with their death thrash fury that leaves a lasting impression and indelible mark upon the listener. Merciless and without respite, the live bootleg is further proof of their musical muscle and that Idle Ruin is an unhinged force of nature to be reckoned with.
Bulletbelt – Burn It Up 8.5/10
New Zealand stalwarts of metal, Wellingtons Bulletbelt, have unleashed their fifth album in fourteen years, the multifaceted Burn it Up. A record that explores new directions yet is still pure Bulletbelt.
The addition of Diego Attinger on vocals has allowed Bulletbelt to expand its sound into new territories. The Death thrash elements are still there as on the excellent ‘’City of One’’ and the uncompromising ‘’ “Arminius” yet it is his ability to go from growl to clean vocals on the Excellent ‘’House Of Death’’ along with a cracking riff and solo that just elevates it to the next level. ‘’Cosmic’’ is a piano led nineties inspired alternative moment that allows the warm textured vocals really room to shine. At times Burn It Up is a pure metal record, as on the title track that captures their live spirit, no triggers or patches required, all energy and power, driving rhythms and excellent riffs. “No Afterlife’’ is a slower mid-paced statement of intent, powerful with more excellent vocals and the superb guitarwork of Josh O’Brien. ‘’Incendium Magnum Romae’’ has some guitar work and a chorus that commands a physical reaction.
A surprisingly nuanced offering able to capture multiple genres without ever sacrificing the Bulletbelt ideology. Burn it up is one of the albums that lingers long after it’s finished. Full of great ideas and excellent musicianship it is a tough pure power metal record that excels in its delivery yet also contains hidden subtleties and healthy metal-induced moments of melody. A celebration of the individual and strong of heart!