Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Honorable Mentions from the Abyss #4: Atrament/Ayyur/Vessel of Iniquity

Hey brutalbangers,
this new appointment with "Honorable Mentions from the Abyss" is completely dedicated to the releases of Sentient Ruin Laboratories, a small US label that's used to produce very extreme but also bizarre stuff. But don't waste time and let's start already to discover some of its (relatively) old and newer releases!
From the sunny Oakland, California, comes these nihilistic demons called Atrament (FB page), that are also a bit Italians because of their singer Mattia Alagna. Well, last year they released a second full-lenght album titled "Scum Sect", that saw the light of (black) day through different formats due to three labels very respected in the underground extreme metal scene: Blood Harvest (vinyl/CD), Sentient Ruin Laboratories (vinyl/tape) and Caligari Records (tape). If all this wasn't enough, you have to think that this album was recorded by Greg Wilkinson and mastered by Brad Boatright. Fuck, a great underground alliance, don't you think?

Dark and apocalyptic without any fukken hesitations, "Scum Sect" crush the listeners through a crusty death metal with some black metal tunes and hammering d-beat drums with few blast-beats and still fewer slow tempos from time to time. Maybe, the album is a little bit repetitive but it's incredibile how much hate Atrament have towards the soon-to-be-exterminated humanity, as strongly exemplified in "Spit on Mankind"! Pure misanthropic hate for fans of Extinction of Mankind, Darkthrone and Discharge!

I don't know why on Metal-Archives is written that Ayyur (FB page)  aren't NSBM, but a statement of this kind is strange since they comes from Tunisia (Tunisia! Yeah, you read veeery well!). And I don't know why they managed even 9 years to create a follow-up to their last demo "Agurzil Screams". But I know for sure that Ayyur is a very interesting band whose new EP "The Lunatic Creature" was produced in a collaboration between Sentient Ruin Laboratories and the German label Vendetta Rec.

Consisting of 8 tracks, "The Lunatic Creature" offers to the listeners a mid-tempo black metal that's truly atmospheric, melancholic and mystic with some depressive black metal tunes. You know, I like the black metal in its faster and more brutal forms but I've to say that I find very fascinating this first African band to be featured on this 'zine. And this not only for the music but also for the lyrics, that are focused to discover the darkest secrets of the Ayyur's land, and you can breath this even through some particular melodies (like in "Outcast"). Last but not least, the quality of this EP is surely granted also by the drumming of Shaxul, the first singer of nothing else than Deathspell Omega!

I remember that the homonymous debut EP of this terrifying English one-man band called Vessel of Iniquity (FB page) was so hyped by Xenoglossy Productions (one of the labels that produced it along with Sentient Ruin Labs) because it was the very first professional release by this Italian label. And I remember that it was reviewed two years ago by my mate L.L., shocking him with a totally sick and indecipherable (anti)-music. Well, S.P. White created recently an outstanding follow-up to that EP with the debut album of his abominable creature, in another coproduction between the aforementioned labels. And believe me that he's continuing to rape the ears of the listeners in a very sadistic way like few others!

Maybe, you can say that "Void of Infinite Horror" is too short because of its only 24 minutes but, seriously, this lenght is perfect since this album sounds so fukken extreme! In fact, the songs are basically focused on  a cruel, raw and ultra-noisy black/death metal with some ambient tunes, reminding me a breathless combination between Tetragrammacide, Sutekh Hexen and Abruptum. Specifically, we're talking about something very disorienting, also because the tracklist alternates "songs" full of hyper-blast-beats with some short ambient tracks ("Invocation of the Heart Girt with a Serpent") and other ones that are slow and more "atmospheric" ("Once More Into the Abyss"). In brief, it's like entering a dimension of pure unnamable and indestructible horror where you can't hide. I think that the album is a little bit structurally predictable (at least, in the faster numbers) but this sonic experience is very interesting and unconventional...even though it's a torturing shock in every fuckin' second!

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