With this article, I finally opened the "mini-reviews" section!
Every article into this section will be about 2 or more releases by publishing reviews shorter than the usual. This because I want to allow to the readers to know about 2 or more releases that I consider worthy of attention in a single occasion. But also because for a question of comfort and convenience since I receive every month so many interesting promo releases that I prefer to summarize some of them in this way. In addition, these mini-reviews will be about bands that are connected in a way or another, that can be their genre of reference and/or their label and/or their country etc... For instance, this article is about 2 black metal bands that belongs to Aldebaran Circle, a Portuguese sect formed by Ordem Satanica (already reviewed some months ago), Trono Além Morte, Voëmmr and Occelensbrigg. In particular, today I'll review Trono Além Morte and Voëmmr, whose debut albums were released firstly on tape by Harvest of Death and secondly on vinyl by its parent label Signal Rex. Prepare to discover two totally insane entities from Portugal, a country that now is becoming a true kvlt for every maniac of the sickest forms black metal.
Title: O Olhar Atento da Escuridão
Genre: Raw Black Metal
Year: December 2017 (Harvest of Death)
21st December 2017 (Signal Rex)
Time: 44 min
As many bands from Portugal of the same genre (and of the same circle), not only the true identities of Trono Além Morte are completely unveiled but they plays a really raw black metal worthy of the LLN with a totally lo-fi production, minimalistic guitars with no solos, ultra-sick screams and an aura of frightful mystery and damnation like few others.
Among the 6 songs that characterizes their debut album "O Olhar Atento da Escuridão", I have to mention the slower ones because they are very particular and also my favorite. I am talking about the opening track "O Inverno da Alma e a Sublime Libertação", a real mantra of 10 fukken minutes, obsessive and focused mainly on the unpredictable variations of the drums; "Pesadelos Quebrantes", a kind of ballad forged by Satan in person where the vocals, supported also by great basslines, are so undefined to almost give to the song a psychedelic vibe of terrifying proportions; and the final episode "Ao Abraçar a Ingrata Morte", 9 minutes in which you listen to an agonizing march of the dead that becomes, in its final moments, a pure hellnoise thanks to a completely disturbed and broken guitarwork. Instead, the other 3 songs are faster and mostly focused on the blast-beats (especially "Infame Calamidade") but I believe that they are less effective than the slower ones.
In conclusion, if you are into stuff like Black Cilice, Mons Veneris or Wóddréa Mylenstede (and if you like to love to hear some painful guitar feedback!), then the debut album of Trono Além Morte is a very good choice for you, also if it is really dangerous for your mortal souls! Otherwise...otherwise you can continue to read this article but beware because the next band is...
Title: Nox Maledictus
Genre: Raw Black Metal
Year: 1st November 2017 (Harvest of Death)
2nd December 2017 (Signal Rex)
Time: 37 min
...is Voëmmr, a band that sounds even in a more unhuman way than Trono Além Morte through their debut album "Nox Maledictus"! The short intro of this album reflects perfectly very dangerous nature of this album: a door is closed violently, so you can hear 22 slow and menacing steps that maybe go towards a dimension that no human being should cross, and, after 30 seconds circa, the music finally attacks to make you enter that dimension made of madness, possession and total darkness. Basically, Voëmmr sounds very raw, primitive and lo-fi as Trono Além Morte but, at the end, the result is enough different.
First of all, the vocals are so loud to be really fuckin' terrorizing also because you've got the impression, listening to them, that someone is torturing the singer, so this last one suffers and shrieks (à la Black Cilice, of course!) and whispers and coughs (yes, the singer even coughs, precisely in "Nox II") for the glory of Satan, and sometimes there is someone else that spew forth demented vocals along with the main singer so to create an abominable chaos of torture and sickness. The guitars are totally strange not only because they sounds very weak but also because they play noisy fragments of riffs in a quasi-post-punk style, not usual black metal riffs, remaining often in the background. This means that the "melodic" role goes to minimalistic and funereal keyboards, that are present all the time. Instead, the drums are well balanced between fast tempos (included blast-beats) and the slower ones, notably increasing the aura of sickness of this album by playing strange variations but also chaotic patterns on the tom-tom drums. And don't forget that, especially in songs like "Nox III" and "Nox IV", there are "calm" moments in which, for example, the singer violently screams alone without the other instruments!
But, for the moment, I described only the kind of approach containing in the first 4 songs (called "Nox") of the album because, in the last 4 ones (titled "Maledictus"), the band sounds very differently. In fact, the production, in the second side, is incredibly in a more lo-fi way while the songs are shorter and more blasting. The problem is that the "Maledictus" songs lacks of imagination and are almost unlistenable due to the production, so I largely prefer the "Nox" tracks that, in exchange, are truly amazing.
My idea is that Voëmmr sounds as the infamous LLN but playing with a strong personality and a very particular sick atmosphere, so I think that "Nox Maledictus" is one of those black metal albums to feel and not simply to listen to. But shame on the second side of the album. I would like to understand the reasons to making it so different from the first one also because, in this way, "Nox Maledictus" seem to be a compilation, not a real full-lenght album. Anyway, 3 bands of Aldebaran Circle released their own debut album in 2017, so only Occelensbrigg still have to realize it. Well, when will it see the (black) light?
Harvest of Death's SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/hrvstfdth
Signal Rex: http://www.signalrex.com/