Genre: Black/Death metal
Year: 2016 (reissue)
Time: 30 min
Everyone who follows the rawer underground extreme metal knows who is Pete Helmkamp. For the ignorant people, he is into the scene even since 1987 when he founded, along with other two guys (now in the mighty Ares Kingdom), the legendary Order from Chaos becoming after a stalwart of the Angelcorpse. Nowadays Pete is unstoppable like never before now since he is busy with 3 bands: Abhomine (his solo-project debuting this year with an excellent album released under Osmose Productions), the same Angelcorpse and Kerasphorus, both reunited recently. In particular, Kerasphorus were founded in 2009 like a superband formed not only by Pete but also by the drummer James Read, the incorruptible man behind the Canadian war-machine Revenge with a past with the similar Conqueror. The line-up was completed by a certain Benjamin Wolaniuk, also ex-Horn of Dagoth. Well, but why are we telling about Kerasphorus? Simple: because the Hells Headbangers Records has reissued on CD on 2nd September 2016 both the EPs of Kerasphorus, originally released by Nuclear War Now! Productions between 2010 and 2011, year of the split of the band before their reunion in 2015 with two great Angelcorpse/Perdition Temple’s members: Gene Palubicki and Ronnie Parmer. And I must already that HHR has did very well to reissue the old Kerasphorus’ material!
Oddly, the reissue starts with the two songs of the second EP “Necronaut” to ends it with the 4 tracks of the first one “Cloven Hooves at the Holocaust Dawn”. But there aren’t real differences between them, considering that the style is the same and the production too, so it’s like listening a kind of homogenous full-length album.In these 6 songs you’ll be crushed by a merciless black/death metal characterized by the typical croaking screams of Pete without effects (he looks singing in this style in every his project…) while he spew forth philosophical and occult lyrics, by the cavernous guitars of Wolaniuk mixing apocalyptic black metal and old-school death metal riffs with dissonant intuitions and a touch of thrash metal but without the shadow of a solo (almost…), and by the nervous drumming of James Read inflicting to the listeners an oppressive aura of very tremendous violence. But Kerasphorus isn’t only barbaric ultra-violence: in fact, their songs are both very well played and structured containing a bunch of tempo changes while there are here and there some refinements that makes more profound and inventive the assault of this trio.
In this sense, consider a song like the apocalyptic “Through the Spiral Void”, one of the more complex tracks of Kerasphorus since its ultra-funeral doom and atmospheric intro with freezing arpeggios and an hypnotic bass work. Or like “The Abyssal Sanhedrin”, that has even a slow part more “melodic” than the usual. Or, again, a song like “Disturb the Furthest Stars” with its thrash metal moments in mid-tempo and its ultra-cryptic and hidden guitar solo, the one throughout the Kerasphorus’ songs. But, also if the aforementioned songs are my favourite ones, I must cite the conclusive “Swarm Intelligentsia”, strong of groove and raw mid-tempos passages.
So, the two EPs of Kerasphorus (that played live on 4th September 2016 in occasion of the third edition of the Hells Headbash Fest, the festival of Hells Headbangers celebrating the 15th anniversary of this label) are a very good example of barbaric black/death metal played with hysterical creativity. Anyway, said sincerely, I prefer the first Ep (rating: 78) since the second one (rating: 70) starts with “Locust Nexus”, a song that I likes not very much considering its length (almost 7 minutes) and its some uselessly long instrumental moments without presenting interesting elements, the only real flaw of the Kerasphorus’ production. But who cares and now prepare for the new assaults of this reborn trio!
Tracklist:1 – Locust Nexus
2 – Through the Spiral Void
3 – The Abyssal Sanhedrin
4 – Aosoth Paradigm
5 – Disturb the Furthest Stars
6 – Swarm Intelligentsia
Line-up:Pete Helmkamp – vocals/bass
Benjamin Wolaniuk – guitars
James Read – drums
Hells Headbangers Records: http://shop-hellsheadbangers.com/