How do you like your metal? Black… Panphage Drengskapr & Terra Mors Secunda

Panphage - Drengskapr album cover Or so goes the old joke, but here we have two differing artists conjoined by underlying similarities.

Panphage is the work of one Swede, and on this release, he is telling the folk tale of Grette Asmundsson and alongside the atmospheric mood setting sounds of the sea we have relentless harsh black metal.

At times, it is operatic with its rise and fall on tracks like “Landrensningen” and the vocal delivery is in the punctual statement style of many a black metal release, harking back to the early days.

It is a very competent album, and doesn’t have that ‘solo project‘ feel that some one man bands do. And it delivers well in a familiar way, I can anticipate the breaks, the falls and the rampant burn outs.

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Warcrab and Warfist

War Crab album coverWhen two tribes go to war, one is all that you can score.

Two bands, two sounds, one war in common. Warcrab are seeing their debut album Scars of Aeons coming out on Black Bow Records, which is a fantastic starting block for them. I was lucky to enjoy them play live at one of the (now legendary) Summer Sizzlers in Brixton, and I remember the length of their beards! And there were comparisons to Bolt Thrower and Slayer, chatting to the singer on their merch stand he did a good job of selling their sound to me.

So this new album sees their sound slower than I remember with a powerhouse of six members creating a sludge fest, seeping forth through my speakers. It starts slow and deep and hard, then the head nodding starts and I can still understand the comparisons with Bolt Thrower, especially with their titles such as “Conquest” and “Destroyer of Worlds.” With a large contingent of players they do ooze an immense rumbling racket. Kind of at the junction where hardcore sludge meets heavy doom whilst playing a classic Metallica at the slowest speed on the turn table.

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Sail Slumbersong

Sail - Slumbersong coverOne of my favourite cultural centre cafes has changed its name from Departure to Husk, and now the band Husk have changed their name to Sail. Its only early January and I am confused already!

So, Sail are described as doom/sludge, but I disagree as they are far too musical in the higher end of the scales. It focuses far more on a singing vocal and musical melody than the cathartic expressions of sludge.

And they have now finished Slumbersong ready for release on Hibernacula Records on March 10th 2017, and this clean sound seems a departure for Hibernacula as I always associate them with the dirtier sounds of Terra, Pensevor and Negative Thought Process. But it’s always good to balance I guess.

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Transcending Obscurity Label Sampler 2016

Transcending Obscurity - Label Sampler 2016This appeared in the dying embers of 2016, and oh wow did it light up the festivities! 55, yes FIFTY FIVE tracks to stream and download for FREE covering doomy death, grindcore, touches of crust and stoner vibes. And what really excited me about this was the breadth of countries that are represented here.

If you haven’t done so, go and download it, and play it backwards, not for any nefarious Satanic reason, (…sunioj…) but to hear the lesser represented countries in the world of metal, or even western popular culture; India, Singapore, Bangladesh, Pakistan. The label itself is based in India so I this is a terrific gateway in to the south-east Asian metal scene. And what wealth they have there, whether it is the gurgling disgusting grindcore of Gutslit from India or full on Old School Death Metal of Warhound from Bangladesh, or the quite eclectic Grossty from India with their tribal drumming that breaks in to frenetic hardcore.

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Best of 2016 Arash Khosronejad’s Favorites

Arash Khosronejad coverWell, another year is gone.

Beside its fine, pleasing moments, which were few, it was awful and most parts of it sucked. There were countless sad moments, unfortunate events, and more important than the others many great artists, many legends left us, gone forever but their memories remain, with us, eternally.

However, at the same time, many tremendous albums came alive, pleased us, left huge traces of joy and eternal pleasures carved in our souls, kept us all alive, gave us power to face difficulties, through all the ass-kicking rough times.

I’m cutting it short. I just want to mention the words of Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption: “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

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rabitrup SWVMPS

rabitrup - SWVMPS album coverYou may be reading reviews of 2016, flicking through pictures of important episodes or famous people who have died, while you are sitting comfortable in your favourite fireside chair; well, rabitrup seem to have condensed the whole horrific twelve months into a three-track explosive self release.

It was Rich of Blackened Death Recordings who directed me to this, and Christ it isn’t easy listening. Chaotic electronic industrial pounding with screaming and heaving vocals thrown over the top along with spoken word samples that make me feel very uncomfortable, a lot like 2016 made me feel. I couldn’t believe what was happening but wanted to know more, illustrating that horrendous rubbernecking human trait so well.

SWVMPS has more variance and repetition than harsh noise, more along the lines of that bombastic dub step that Mick Harris has been touting this last decade. And a lot in common with the more organic guitar and bass of sludge metal, but of an electronica nature.

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Furia Księżyc milczy luty

Furia - Ksiezyc milczy luty album coverThis surprised me, really got me on the back foot.

Furia come from Poland, and along with the cover, the name, the Polish pedigree I really expected something horrifically black metal, cold, barren wastelands of sound played out. Instead, this is very technically layered piece.

Kicking off with some relaxed jazz style drumming and little hints at guitar before developing a kosmiche rock full on barrage all within a 6 minute “Za ćmą, w dym” opener.

This us their fifth full length, yes fifth, and I have to admit living under a rock whilst their first four albums came out! Furia term their work as ‘Nekrofolk’ and I would love to see these guys play at the Black Tor Gathering in the high hills of northern England. I feel they would complement the surroundings well.

The music continues with this easy going deep spoken word vocal accompanied by thoughtful mood inspiring drums and guitars. Maybe it continues like this too long, and just as I think that we get an electric, or should that be eclectic shock of POWERRRR to wake me up and keep my attention.

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Allfather Inherit the Dust

Allfather - Inherit the Dust (single) coverYou may have heard this already, you may be listening to it right now. You can listen to it, enjoying this terrible noise because we live in peace. You can choose to listen (or not) because we have freedoms to do so, freedoms of expression.

Allfather have chosen to release this song with proceeds going towards helping refugees. Refugees may not have the freedoms of expression in their home country. They may not have the peace we enjoy due to wars.

Allfather come from Kent, the region of the UK where refugees are crossing the Channel from mainland Europe to reach this promised land, and its a credit to Allfather to standing up against the tirade of vitriol in the media towards ‘immigrants’ and the right wing politics of parties such as UKIP fighting hard in Margate and the localities. There is a fantastic community within the world of metal, Twitter and #metalbandcampgiftclub are evidence of this. And tiny actions can make a big difference!

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