Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Honorable Mentions from the Abyss #35: Jesus Wept/Netherblade/Sacrocurse/Satanize/Sickle of Dust/Sviatibor/Throneum

Hey brutal bangers,
today you have to read another appointment with "Honorable Mentions from the Abyss", the column in which I am used to talk shortly about albums without writing real reviews.
This new appointment is more metal than the previous one, so expect to read about bands that range from bestial black/death metal to atmospheric black metal, and not forgetting a little of thrash metal to bang your fuckin' heads!
Enjoy this article and discover all the following acts!

Detroit, Michigan has a renowned rock tradition since fundamental bands like The Stooges and MC5 and it still today continues to spew forth notable acts. One of them is Jesus Wept, a quintet that released in 2020 "Apartheid Redux" (Redefining Darkness Records), a compilation featuring all the songs of their debut EP "Crushing Apartheid" (apart for the Smashing Pumpkin's "Disarm" cover), the single "Comfortably Dumb" and 2 new tracks, including a bombastic version of "Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)" by W.A.S.P., surely a surprising cover for a band of this kind. But what's about the music? Well, Jesus Wept play, in these 7 songs, a great death'n'roll focused on groovy mid-tempos with some very intense hardcore punk influences ("Drowning in Holy Water") and a screaming singer spitting out a palpable hate. This sound is really peculiar and not so common out there, so it promises a lot of good things for the future.

What a surprise these Netherblade! They are an Italian quintet from Milan that last year unleashed a very good debut album promoted with 3 videoclips. "Reborn" (Dark Hammer Legion) contains 10 songs in which there is an old-school thrash metal played with intensity and imagination, so to include in the musical discourse, for example, blast-beats, a singer ranging from melodic lines to hateful screams, and some technical touches. I wonder if I'll have the chance to see live Netherblade, before or later... fuckin' Covid permitting!

I knew this Mexican horde called Sacrocurse in occasion of its debut album "Unholier Master" (Hells Headbangers Records, 2014), that was featured by Fenriz in his 2014 year-end top 20. After a second album edited in 2017, Sacrocurse come back just this year for an EP scheduled to be released on 20th January 2021. It is titled "Supreme Terror" (Shadow Records) and burns down everything and everyone on its unholy path with 4 tracks showing a sound closer this time to a brutal black metal in the South American way, while, before, the style was more into a classic bestial black/death metal, even though the approach is always merciless and blasting. Recorded by the sole ZK, now it seems that Sacrocurse is a three-piece, that is surely preparing some new tunes for us!

Simply the kings of the bestial black/death metal made in Portugal, Satanize will unleash their 6th album on 16th January 2021. Entitled "Baphomet Altar Worship" (Helter Skelter/Regain Records) and strong of a magnificent cover artwork made by Sickness666 (Zygoatsis), this album is totally devoted to the cult of the bestial black/death metal à la Black Witchery and Blasphemy, so it is the typical stuff that I like without any doubts (more or less...).

Differently from the style of Satanize, this Russian one-man band Sickle of Dust is used to play a black metal that I don't like so much, also because for the presence of a drum-machine that makes a bit flat the entire music. Anyway, "To the Shores of Sunrise", the third album of this project leaded by Ash since 2016, shows 4 long songs where there is an atmospheric black metal full of melancholic melodies, phlegmy rattles with some clean vocals here and there, and orchestral synths that have an important role into this sound. In brief, not my usual stuff but there is need to say that this album was released by an Italian label like Flowing Downward, that is run by the brother of the owner of Star Music, my favorite records store in my city, Rome.

Another release for Flowing Downward, "Secrets of the Land" is the 7th album of a prolific French duo existing since 2013. The style is not so different from the one of Sickle of Dust but Sviatibor sound is a little more violent and here the drums are real, very dynamic and effective. In addition, the vocals are guttural and, throughout the 6 tracks of the effort, it's possible to hear some curious instruments for a metal album like a flute and a mouth harp. Really recommended!

Once upon a time there was a Polish band named Throneum that played a raw and hateful black/death metal but, at a certain point of their career, they completely gone mad because they started to play in a little more refined way. "Little more refined", I repeat, since, with their 11th album with a kilometric title "Oh Death...", they spew forth a black/death metal that is always raw but also ritualistic and somehow proggy. In fact, the 6 songs of "Oh Death...", recorded between December 2018 and January 2020 and released by Godz ov War Productions, can last also the beauty of 15 minutes and 3 of them are crazy and short instrumentals like the spacey "Beta: AGLA-on-Tetragrammaton". Ha, every track have very strange titles, so I confirm completely that Throneum are so mad like never before!







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