Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Honorable Mentions from the Abyss #19: Anifernyen/Humanart/Ruach Raah

Hey brutalbangers,
I remember that once Portugal seemed to not have so many good bands, and one can say that its only relevant band was Moonspell  and that's it. But, during these last years, its metal scene exploded a lot, exposing very talented bands especially in the black metal (Black Circle, anyone?) and thrash metal genres, and many of them, like Toxik Attack or Black Cilice, are now definitely into my insatiable heart of metalhead always ready to fall in love with fresh music.
So, needless to say, this new episode of "Honorable Mentions from the Abyss" (no reviews, no votes, only "honorable mentions") is entirely focused on some of the 2019 Portuguese black metal albums that I received during these last months. So, you'll have other amazing stuff to listen to in this time of forced quarantine.



This new journey into the Portuguese extreme metal scene starts with Anifernyen, a band that came back in 2019 with its debut full-lenght album "Augur" after even their first (and still only) demo released in the now far 2008. Since this long absence, there weren't many expectations about this quintet, whose moniker stands for "the cold hell" after tooking it from "An Ifer Yen", an ancient Breton text. But what's about "Augur", their first album that was edited by Ethereal Sound Works, a Lisbon-based label that, in practice, release only stuff from Portugal?

Well, "Augur" features 11 tracks (the usual intro included) which show a band playing a melodic black/death metal essentially focused on the mid-tempos and characterized by a good alternation between growling and screaming vocals while the lyrics of the album are about the end times (a really current theme, don't you think?). In this sense, the bonus track "Deadite", that closes also the album, represents an exception because it's an homage to the movie "Evil Dead". The songs aren't exceptional but I must mention, at least, "Graveborn", that has not only more macabre tunes but also a nice guitar solo (the solos are usually absent into the Anifernyen's sound).


Now it's time to talk about Humanart (FB page), an act that ultimately shared many times the stage with the same Anifernyen, accompanying these last one also for their first ever live appearance abroad, that was on 22nd February 2020 in a Spanish festival. Started in 1998, the existence of Humanart has a tormented past not only since, for example, they became, for a short period, a one-man band guided by their founder and lead guitarist JJ, but also because they released their debut album even in 2014. Instead, the second one, "(Further) Into the Depths", was edited 5 years later by Dark Age Works (I have the slight doubt that this label is owned by the same band...). "5 years later"... said in other words, in 2019 hehe!

Ok, Humanart are Portuguese but their sound is so fukken Swedish, and, for sure, the fact that their new album was produced by Tore Stjerna at his infamous Necromorbus Studios has nothing to do with it! In fact, Humanart play a fast and aggressive black metal in the vein of Marduk and Setherial but this trio, becoming a quartet for the live gigs with the addition of the drummer Nijord, is also able to offer some relevant variations like more atmospheric and doomish moments, like in the case of the (almost) 7-minute track "Victorious Path". So, they promise not only a lot of violence and brutality into the 39 minutes of lenght of "(Further Into the Depths)" but also a nice variety!


Long time no see, Ruach Raah (FB page)! I am following these lovely masked terrorists since their 2015 debut album "Hate Fanaticism" and I can say that I reviewed on these pages some releases of them so far, as you can see. Hence, talking about their new EP "Submission in Absolute" (edited, as always for Ruach Raah, by War Arts Productions) was mandatory for me!

Incredibly, after the bestial black/death metal onslaught of their second album "Under the Insignia of Baphomet", "Submission in Absolute" is a (welcome) return to the sound with which Ruach Raah created their own putrid reputation during their early years. So, expect 5 tracks devoted to a raw, hateful and punkish black metal à la Ildjarn, even if with some bestial black/death metal moments (like in "Regressive Crucifixion"), and this is a kind of sound that I like a lot! Love 'em or hate 'em, Ruach Raah play in a regressive way like few others out there!

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