Friday, February 14, 2020

Honorable Mentions from the Abyss #16: Sacrifizer/Vortex of End/Towering

Hey brutalbangers,
if you remember well, the first episode of "Honorable Mentions from the Abyss" (no reviews, no votes, only fast bands' introductions/mentions) was entirely dedicated to two (a lot promising) French bands. Well, since I am very fond of French metal, be it extreme or not, also this new episode is totally focused on bands coming from France, ranging from black/thrash metal to black/death metal.
Now, the only thing you can do is to discover what are the French bands of this article, and be sure that they are perfect to satisfy your hunger for extreme metal!


Sacrifizer (FB page) are a very young band but, despite this, you totally breath the legendary '80s with them, from their look to their logo. This is good, especially when this nostalgia for a period never lived brings to notable results like their "La mort triomphant", originally released in April 2019 by the Dutch label Big Bad Wolf Records. By December 2019, it was re-released by Dying Victim Prod in a full-lenght format because of the addition of 4 tracks, 3 coming from their 2018 "Night of the Razors" demo while the last one, "Morbid Envenomation", is a new song, so this re-release can be considered as a compilation. And now there are some rumours that Sacrifizer are working on their real debut full-lenght album...

In the meantime, we have to enjoy "La mort triomphant", a cursed 10-track (the acoustic intro "Winds of Transylvania" included) opus in which this French quintet show their teeth with an ancient black/thrash metal. Raw, almost unstoppable in its furious speed (there are also some blast-beats here and there but they are few) and made more demoniac by the hysterical vocals of Sexumer: here you are the black/thrash metal played by Sacrifizer. They have also some more classic heavy metal tunes, as listenable in the titletrack, that is more focused on the mid-tempos and is sung in French but, in comparison with the other songs, it contains vocals a bit low in the mix. In addition, the EP features a dusty and dirty production while the other tracks have a cleaner sound. Said all this shit, expect some amazing news from Sacrifizer, whose bassplayer Slaughterwytch seem to be Italian and she play even in Triumph of Death, the Hellhammer's tribute band leaded by none other than Tom Gabriel Warrior.

Many years ago I bought from an Italian distro the debut album of a Paris/Reims/Troyes-based band called Vortex of End (FB page). I was very attracted by a war metal title such as "In Satan and Plutonium We Trust" (and the same thing goes to the look of the band). The problem is that I bought it without before listening anything of it, so I was "a bit" disappointed by this purchase because I found very predictable and too structurally elementary the raw black/death metal with some thrash metal touches spewed forth by these three demons united under the banner of Vortex of End and, in practice, the most interesting thing came from the shocking sex images "embellishing" the album's booklet. Nevertheless, when I received some months ago the promo kit of their new and third album, I downloaded it so to see how much Vortex of End are changed and... and I am still surprised because they are changed sooo much. And in a positive direction, of course!

Released by a historic label like Osmose Productions (French, too), "Ardens Fvror" open the hostilities through a sort of ritualistic intro with tribal percussions strangely entitled "BFTIVV". After that, the very first song "Venomous Triangle" start seriously to destroy the ears' listeners by puking a mix between the US death metal with the religious black metal (Ascension, anyone?). This style range from severe and majestic blasting parts to more melodic and slower passages, offering sometimes ritualistic moments in the vein of the intro, so we're talking about an album characterized by a good variety. Plus, notable are the guitarwork (the lead guitar is really active, even playing some solos) and also the versatile vocal department, consisting, for example, of tortured screams and chants here and there. And so, I discovered a totally different version of Vortex of End... and it's incredibile that they are changed "soooo much" because they are composed of the same three demons (and a new one added just for this album) since their early days!

Fuck, it looks that this new episode of "Honorable Mentions from the Abyss" isn't exactly dedicated to French bands but to the bands coming from its capitol city, Paris! I am saying this because also Towering (FB page), just by coincidence, are a Paris-based act. And also they keep high the banner of the Parisian extreme metal scene with a great album, "Obscuring Manifestation", published under the auspices of Dolorem Records, a French label so unprolific that, if I say correctly, the aforementioned album was its only release throughout the entire 2019. But, judging by the results, Dolorem Rec is the classic case where the quality is over the quantity!

Now, Towering see themselves as a pure death metal band but, for the truth, their music is really contaminated with black metal, so you call it blackened death metal or black/death metal without any problems, the choice is yours. But they have nothing to do with the black/death metal played by Vortex of End. In fact, Towering, considered by the label as perfect for fans of Azarath, Svart Crown and Temple of Baal, are very old-school, fast but also very dynamic (as the notable lenght of their songs can suggest), in a similar way to Ritualization, another band coming from Paris (fuck yeaaah, today I am literally obsessed with Paris... and the absurd thing is that I never visited this city so far!). One of the features I mostly love about Towering is the wild and unchained vocal style of Thom J.S. (also lead guitarplayer), that reminds me of the early death metal bands à la Possessed/Death but even newer acts such as Thulsa Doom. Some claimed that Towering are one of the new best death metal bands out there and I think they're right since this debut album called "Obscuring Manifestation" deserves a fuckin' lot!

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