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2017-05-29
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Pest Webzine

February 2010

Agael - Hybris
Amduatum - Seas of Emptiness
Asklepia - Lake of Eternity
Asteroid - Asteroid II
Ava Inferi - Blood Of Bacchus
Beatus - Celestial Poison
Bird From The Abyss - I
Bird From The Abyss - II
Blood Of The Tyrant - Blood of the Tyrant
Bring Me The Head Of Orion - Courting Leviathan
Centurions Ghost -  Blessed And Cursed In Equal Measure
Church Of Misery - Live at Roadburn
Coldaemon - Coldemo
Colosseum - Chapter 2 Numquam
Coronatus
- Fabula Magna
Crowned By Fire - Prone To Destroy
Darktrance - Beyond the Gates of Insanity
Deathbeds - No Funeral
Demonic Cremator - Perverted Goatsucker
Desolation - Sur le chemin de notre Terre
Draumar - Hibernation
Drug Honkey - Death Dub


Elysion - Silent Scream
Epidemic Scorn - Psycho Gourmet
Forest Stream - The Crown Of Winter
Genocide Winter - Monastica Holocaust
Ghornumn - Misanthropical Dreams
High On Fire - Snakes for the Divine
Illidiance - Synthetic Breed
Khanate - Clean Hands Go Foul
Kirkkopalovaroitus - Pure Unholy Free Existence
Kongh - Shadows Of The Shapeless
Las Cruces - Dusk
Longing for Dawn - Between Elation and Despair
Lykauges - Under the Veil of Depression
Moredhel - Burn Your Local Church
Neftaraka - Raw Ist Law
Nox Interitus - Fallen Silence
Pest Wolf - ...of Wolves and the Shining Moon
Phased - A Sort Of Spasmic Phlegm Induced by Leaden Fumes of Pleasure
Promethean Horde - Bring Forth the Fires
Purgatory - Cultus Luciferi
Raventale - Mortal Aspirations


Sardonis - Sardonis
Sasquatch - Sasquatch III
Seamount - Light II Truth
Semen Datura - Einsamkeit
Skagganauk Abyss - The Ferocious Infernal Blizzard Enthroned
Skullflower - Strange Keys to Untune Gods Firmament
Soturnus Skullcrusher - Verminoso
Stonehelm - Stonehelm
Streben - Wild Enchanted Gardens
The Morningside - Mopving Crosscurent of Time
The Resurrection Sorrow - Hour Of The Wolf
The Wounded Kings - The Shadow Over Atlantis
Tortured Spirit - Arkham Sanitarium
Tovarish - Da Tovarish
Wiht - Wiht
Various Artists - Abominations, Chaos and Bestial Warfare




Band: AGAEL
Country: Germany
Title: Hybris
Label: Naturmacht Prod.
Year: 2009
Style: Dark Ambient Black Metal

Review:
"Hybris" is Agael's debut album, a 9 tracks effort lasting for a bit more than 70 minutes! As their Myspace URL indicates it, this one-man-project was founded under the Unbathor moniker in 2008 by Agael, but soon after he changed it's name.
"Hybris" starts off with a beautiful majestic Dark Ambient track that instantly gets my hopes high and captures my attention, but unfortunately it looses me after a while and the album gives me the impression of made in a hurry. the second track is a bit boring Dark Ambient combined with slow Black Metal touches, the third is mid-tempo to fast Black Metal with very raw drums so a weak mixing, the fourth is a piano/keys Ambient song, followed by another mid-tempo majestic/melodic instrumental Black Metal track with the same bad drumming sound but with some good ideas on the guitar lines, and the following tracks are continued the same manner, soft, Dark Ambient followed by Black Metal. It gives me the impression he would like to have two projects but chose to do only one to save some time. 
There are some good ideas and some brilliant guitar lines, but the whole is not curdled enough to stand out. As a debut album it is ok, but Agael can do much more than that...
Naturmacht did again a good job with the packaging of this album, if you're into Dark Ambient Black Metal and you want to give this a try be sure you won't be disappointed by how it looks.
Reviewed by Adrian

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Band: AMDUATUM
Country: Norway
Title: Seas of Emptiness
Label: Ziekte-NL
Year: 2009
Style: Black Metal

Review:
Amduatum is a one-man-band from Norway with S.A. as the man behind it. That's about all the info there's on the net on this act... This is its debut album, a 6 tracks (31 minutes) effort into raw Black Metal. Unfortunately the sound is not the best here which is a pity because there are two guitars that are creating some (few indeed) good riffs here and there, but the rest is straight-forward Black Metal, fast, with few variations, recommended only to those of you into underground, '90's school Black Metal. The cold, darkened atmosphere such a release is needed to have it's there, but with a better sound this project could be a lot better. If the guy records in better conditions its next release and finishes the tracks (their endings are too abrupt inhere) I'm curious how the next album will sound. Again, this might work for some of you into obscure underground Black Metal with the right feeling and approach.
Reviewed by Adrian

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Band: ASKLEPIA
Country: Russia
Title: Lake of Eternity
Label: Rigorism Prod. / Bad Mood Man
Year: 2008
Style: Down-tempo Black Metal 
 
Review:
Asklepia any sequence listing the colors of the IS, a very good black metal moon, even hypnotic ... which does not displease...
A very good demo!
Demo is not without certain albums remind me of Burzum, the intricacies of some titles! 
Lake of Eternity offers a tasty blend of riff down-tempo with catchy melodies and a scorched voice, but without being irritating!
If this demo is just only a demo, I look forward for more! Because I think, I’m sure that we will be surprised by Asklepia, we'll have very good surprises for the future!
They have this key pagan that I like, in the dreamlike atmosphere present in this demo!
I think if we could put a word on this group, it would be "subtle", no doubt!
I recommend most strongly that "Lake of Eternity", go ahead without restraint!
Reviewed by Alrinack

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Band: ASTEROID
Country: Sweden
Title: Asteroid II
Label: Fuzzorama Rec.
Year: 2010
Style: Stoner Doom Metal

Review:
This is my last review for a few days as i need some time to sit back and soak in all this great music that has come by way in the last couple of weeks. Its been a hell of a way to kick off 2010 and here is another potential classic, the brand new album from Sweden's Asteroid. The cool thing about the first Asteroid album was it was a album you could groove out to at any time of the day or night regardless of the mood you was in. The music was catchy but with enough fuzz and powerful grooves to rock out to but you can also just kick back and let the music wash over you. The new album simply entitled "II" is even more infectious  and like the first album has been released on the Fuzzorama Records label. All the Asteroid trademarks from the first album are still there, fuzzy guitar sounds, 70's prog meets psyche rock influences and harmonies that have become a major part of the bands sound. "Garden" is a great opener to the album but by the second track "Disappear" you are truly hooked by their use of irresistible vocal parts, this is stoner rock you can actually sing to as the vocal lines automatically get stuck in your head. Asteroid play a relaxing form of fuzz rock and that is ever present in the third track "Karma" that rocks out just as much as it relaxes you into a sense of warm euphoria. Just like the first album the guitar work of Robin Hirse leads the way and is the most dominant in the mix with Johannes Nilsson on bass and Elvis Campbell on drums providing the perfect backbone to Hirse's free flowing jamming style. "Edge" is classic fuzz rock played in a way that has become a signature sound for stoner bands from Sweden and that leads effortlessly into "River" where the music takes on a more moody atmosphere. The album gets a more spaced out vibe from here on in but is also slightly heavier compared to the first half of the album. The band has always been pretty straight forward in terms of arranging songs but the second of "II" they indulge themselves by diving into experimentation of the 70's space rock kind while retaining the irresistible grooves. The next track "Lady" brings the band's 70's influences to the fore with some stunning prog rock vocal and guitar work which joins up with the next track "Towers". The last three songs blend together like a extended musical suite and if you are not paying attention, you would swear you just listen to one long song. The next song "Fire" is one of the strongest songs on the album, a total rocker from start to finish. If there was one track that sums up the sound of Asteroid its "Fire", they did songs like this on the first album and i can imagine them always doing it, its Asteroid at their best and the style they are most at home with. Like all good albums they leave the longest track for last and it is the excellent "Time". This is the most organic sounding jam song on the album, it also has a very spontaneous vibe to it adding to the feeling you are listening to a live jam that hasn't been over-rehearsed one little bit. The album is over in a very quick 44 minutes and it is a very engaging album all the way through, like the first album i think this will be a grower of a album. I just hope people catch onto the album a little quicker than the first time around, i cant find much to dislike about "II", so check it out. 
Reviewed by Ed

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Band: AVA INFERI
Country: Portugal
Title: Blood of Bachus
Label: Season Of Mist
Year: 2009
Style: Gothic Doom Metal

Review:
Hailing from Portugal, it may come as a surprise to know that Ava Inferi features former Mayhem guitarist Blasphemer. Don’t expect "Blood Of Bacchus" to sound anything like Mayhem though because the two are simply a world apart. This is their third album and it is a logical continuation from their previous album "The Silhouette". Nothing really has changed expect the songs are longer this time around, the vocals of Carmen Susana Simoes are much better and the sound is a little less gothic than before. Its still dark and solemn straight metal with a heavy doom atmosphere with operatic vocals that are more darker, colder and emotion-less despite her occasional screams. Even though there is nine songs on the album, it plays out as one long piece of music with all the songs blending into one another  in a well constructed manner. "Blood Of Bacchus" is the band's most complex album to date despite at times the songs can be very barren, there is no big effects, no keyboards, no orchestration and times you will hear a lonely cello or piano making the overall mood seem very intensely cold. Its that mixture between the complex and the simple that gives the album its strength, a lot of thought has gone into the arrangement of the songs. Us reviewers always like to put tags on bands because sometimes that is the only approach to describing some albums. This is album is a bit different, it is closer to "gothic doom" that any other sub-genre of doom metal but at times it strays away from both forms of metal. The gothic side of the album shines on tracks like "Last Sign of Summer" and "Colours of the Dark" but at the same time this is where the band sounds the most typical of bands in this genres. Not surprises here, just two tracks that simply recycle a style that has already been done to death. Elsewhere there is much better songs to feast on like the extensive "Appeler Les Loups" which showcases the thematic angle of the band. It has a haunting atmosphere but suffers badly with a flaw that occurs on most of the tracks on the album and that is there is no climax to the songs even though the tracks are crying out for some sort of climatic ending. The songs tend to fall flat at times. Not that is all bad, from the piano-driven final track "Memoirs" to the title track which verges on the hysterical. Then there is capella duet with Garm of Ulver fame on Black Wings, the ominous bass sound on "Be Damned" and "Tempestade" which uses some type of Portugese guitar and the Portugese language to create a kind of folky vibe. The real star of the band is vocalist Carmen Simoes who puts in a stirring performance pushing her voice from quiet and breathy alto to operatic soprano. "Blood Of Bacchus" has some great moments and has its fair share of pure heaviness and gloomy atmosphere, its also a big step up from previous albums with major improvements in the song-writing. I still think they have a long way to go however but i am sure many will disagree.
Reviewed by Ed

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Band: BEATUS
Country: Slovenia
Title: Celestial Poison
Label: The Black 666 Records
Year: 2009
Style: Black Metal

Review:
Another one-man-project released by The Black 666 Records, Beatus is a Slovenian act formed in 2009 with Bevomictus as the man behind it. We're dealing here with his first effort, a 3 tracks EP lasting for almost 15 minutes, and I must say, a pretty good one, although the drum-machine is a problem here as well, not such a big problem (they are pretty well programmed), but still at some point their synthetic feeling disturbs the wrath-full atmosphere created by Bevomictus. The guitars are fast and furious, they remind me of the Finnish Black Metal type of guitar riffs, extremely aggressive but still growing a melodic feeling. The vocals are good, angry and perfect for this type of metal. If Bevomictus finds a good drummer we'll get a very tight band here with plenty of potential. This EP is released by Korean Black 666 Rec. with a very low price so go ahead and give it a try.
Reviewed by Adrian

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Band: BIRD FROM THE ABYSS
Country: Finland
Title: I
Label: selfreleased
Year: 2009
Style: Folk Drone Ambient

Review:
Bird From The Abyss is a one-man-project from Findand, or a one man anti-band how J.M. Aaltonen, the one behind it, calls this project. This is hist first effort, a 4 tracks demo lasting for a bit more than 13 minutes, too short to understand / get into it. It's like a preview of things to come, like giving a hungry man a half slice of bread. The same goes for the music on it, Aaltonen's immagination, skills and creativity are displayed very well here, but not his ability to finalize, to curdle the tracks into a solid whole. It's definitely a music that creates its own atmosphere and that's important, but the tracks are ending too abrupt, that's the general opinion. We're treated here with a huge combination of influences from oriental to medieval music, from drone to ambient and from acoustic to psychedelic. A promising debut but nowhere near giving you an understanding of what Aaltonen wants to create, I think if he improves on getting things finished and keeps exploiting his great imagination this could become a massive project in the ambient / folk / drone area. Try this demo, it's available for free download from BFTA's website.
Reviewed by Adrian

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Band: BIRD FROM THE ABYSS
Country: Finland
Title: II
Label: Starlight Temple Society
Year: 2009
Style: Ambient Folk Drone

Review:
This is BFTA's debut full-length and its second release to date as its name clearly shows this. The first thing that gets your attention is the original, carefully packaging and presentation of this CD, a strong DIY production carefully planned and executed giving the release a more professional image than the real professional ones have... Trust me on this, the packaging helps a lot in getting into the atmosphere Aaltonen wants to showcase through BFTA, it's like in Negura Bunget's case where the packaging does a lot, too. 
Getting into the music I see Aaltonen worked more on this one and the result is much longer tracks then the "I" demo had, so now you can easily set back and relaxe your jurney through deep, majestic forests and through the ancient oriental world. If you have already listened to "I", this one goes on the same path, but now everything is deeper and more specific. If you haven't, just imagine a mix of drone guitars, percussions, flutes, concert zither, bass, baglama and synth with a few vocal touched here and there. Unique atmosphere, recommended if you want to experience something original!
Reviewed by Adrian

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Band: BLOOD OF THE TYRANT
Country: USA
Title: Blood of the Tyrant
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2008
Style: Thrash Metal

Review:
Chicago's Blood of the Tyrant have released a impressive EP here that will appeal to a wide range of metal heads, stoner rockers and even some indie rock fans might something to get their rocks off to with the 4 songs on display here. The band's sound has a striking similarity to Mastodon but there is also sounds and grooves that have a punk/metal crossover sound like Corrosion Of Conformity but with a more progressive rock edge. Influences aside, they still have their own sound especially when it comes to putting together their songs with interesting arrangements. "Flaw of the Sentient Being" hits you right between the eyes and ears with some heavy duty but melodic guitar riffing while a second guitar provides some strong harmonies. The band don't stick to the obvious however especially when Josh Primack makes his appearance on vocals, he has a sound you don't really expect to hear within the framework of the song. He sounds downright menacing at times, verging on pure evil. When the song gets a boost in tempo towards the end of the track, it is nothing short of a metallic onslaught. "The Gunslinger" slows things a little with a kind of a "Clutch" like groove before once again the guitar duo of Primack and Galaboff take the song to a whole other level. Things change again with the third "Helena", this tune has a more progressive bluesy sound interspersed with grooves sounding a little bit like "Baroness" but without the indie influences that plagues a lot of that band's sound. "Helena" is a showcase for the band's instrumental abilties leaving the vocals to make a appearance only when the song really needs it. Chris Avgerin must also get some kudos for some excellent drum work, his playing is top-notch throughout the entire EP. "Helena" is over 10 minutes long but the expansive arrangement makes it a very easy listen with the right combination of vocal attack and instrumental workouts. The final track is a instrumental piece titled "Meteors (Extinction)" and it is a fitting ending to the EP which plays out more like a full-length album with its 31 minute running time. Its hard to put a tag on a band like this with so many varied musical styles all interwoven into the one band, they cross prog-metal and sludgy doom but do it with the intensity of a balls and all metal band complete with roaring metal vocals. They have some killer riffs but with some real surprises in the arrangement department. A very interesting band that should have a big future in front of them, check them out.
Reviewed by Ed

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Band: BRING ME THE HEAD OF ORION
Country: USA
Title: Courting Leviathan
Label: Black Drone Records
Year: 2010
Style: Drone Metal

Review:
Bring Me The Head Of Orion is a drone doom outfit from Austin, Texas who have already released demo's, been involved in a split album with Syncope and have appeared on some compilation albums so they have already had a productive recording career. This album is called "Courting Leviathan" and is released via Australia's Black Drone label. You may love or hate drone but either way its hear to stay and this one of the better releases in the genre. This has all the usual droning trademarks, extended humming and buzzing tones, a crushing bleak atmosphere and repetitive guitar and bass lines but this album is blacker than most. Obvious comparisons go out to Sunn O))) especially the Black One era and while drone is very limited sound wise, Bring Me The Head Of Orion take it about as far as the style can go given the confined limitations of this genre of music. Two epics "Courting Leviathan" and "For He Was Many" take up the bulk of the disc, both these tracks run over 20 minutes and there is two shorter tracks that begin and end the album. All the tracks follow the same path of droniness, long ringing chords that buzz and hum, no drumming or vocals, just a overwhelming sense of tension and controlled contemplative pensive awareness. Best track or the most easily listening track for the want of a better term would be "For He Was Many" which seems to have the most varied sound textures, not quite as monotonous as the other tracks. There is enough "brown noise" to please the hardcore drone fan but the sustained tones don't seem to have much purpose as there is not much in the way of song building. Very hypnotic for the most part, this album does have a mesmerizing quality about it but its definitive mood music to listen to in a darkened room alone. I feel at the moment, drone is stuck in a rut, the glory days of Sunn 0))) are over even though their recent material has been good, its just the experimentation side of the genre has hit a brick wall with the style just going around in circles. At least this album is very listenable but it is not ground breaking in any way, just solid drone done with a large amount of blackness inserted into it. If you don't like drone then you will hate this, if you want riffs and lots of them then avoid this but if you are a hardened drone listener, then you will enjoy this album by Bring Me The Head Of Orion. Its only been made in limited quantities however so be quick if you want to grab a copy.
Reviewed by Ed

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Band: CENTURIONS GHOST
Country: uk
Title: Blessed And Cursed In Equal Measure
Label: A Church Within Rec.
Year: 2010
Style: Doom Sludge Metal

Review:
First up, i have to give big thanks to Tony for getting this CD to me so quickly for this early review. Do you ever get a CD in your hands and already get that feeling you are going to be blown away by something really special, that is what happened here with the new and third album by Centurions Ghost. One look at the exceptional artwork and you get that immediate doom vibe and within seconds of the opening track "Powerful Sense Of Dread" the scene is set for a barrage of heavy laden monolithic doom metal. A little personal CG listening history from me, the first album "A Sign of Things to Come" in my opinion was a monster of a album, underrated by many but still a favorite among a lot of the doom metal community. The second album "The Great Work" didn't hit quite the same but became a grower of a album and in time became another favorite. That brings us to the third album from the band in 5 years "Blessed &  Cursed In Equal Measure". I have been waiting for what seemed like a eternity for this album to come out but at last its here in all its unadulterated down-tuned glory. 2010 has already seen some real solid releases and this is another one, no filler or moments for your mind to wander, this is a beast from start to finish. Forget about track by track descriptions here, no need for it as every track, in fact every minute of this album is classic doom for the insane. Centurions Ghost do play some elements of traditional doom but its in a twisted form much like bands like Iron Monkey but at the same time they have some mid-tempo sludge riffery like Crowbar. This combination is a brutal one and this time around the band has taken it one step further by adding a slight progressive edge to their songs given them new depth and in a way even more of a bleak sound. There is crushing riffing crashing into more traditional blues runs and its also mixed with a more aggressive tone both musically and vocally. To top that off, the sound overdoses you on the ooze of distortion and punishing bass tones. Its almost impossible to pick favorite tracks but "Wizard Of Edge" knocks you on the floor and holds you there to the last second. The album closer "Temple" is a unforgettable piece of creepy spaced out doom and "Hyena Circle" maybe is one of the greatest stoner doom tracks ever written but every track is a masterpiece of pulsating doom. What stands out is Centurions Ghost technique of avoiding the standard extended doom jamming style that so many bands indulge in. On "Blessed & Cursed In Equal Measure" the band keeps the listener guessing on whats going to happen next and therefore the album goes beyond any pre-conceived expectations. Its true the songs are of a "epic nature" but never are they boring and they have successfully married the sounds of classic dark metal partially from the early 80's with modern day doom excesses. If there is a heavier band from the UK at the moment, i would love to hear them and with older bands like Electric Wizard officially stuck in neutral it is great to know there is albums like this that can still floor you. Essential.
Reviewed by Ed

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Band: CHURCH OF MISERY
Country: Japan
Title: Live at Roadburn
Label: Roadburn Records
Year: 2010
Style: Stoner Doom Metal

Review:
Church Of Misery, those crazed serial murderer obsessed doom sludge maniacs have finally come out with their first live CD and it was recorded live at Roadburn in 2009. This is a essential purchase for all fans of the band as well as doom maniacs everywhere because not only is the sound and production great but the set-list on display here is equally as impressive. Here you get selections from Master of Brutality, The Second Coming, Houses of the Unholy and "Taste The Pain" from the Early Works Compilation. Church of Misery holds the distinction of being one of the first doom metal bands to emerge from Japan. Formed during the late ‘90s and influenced by the usual suspects (Black Sabbath, Kyuss, St. Vitus, etc.), Church of Misery was originally comprised of members Yoshiakki Negishi (vocals), Tomohiro Nishimura (guitar), Tatsu Mikami (bass), and Hideki Shimizu (drums). It was this line-up that issued a pair of independent EP's – 1998's Taste the Pain and 1999's Murder Company – before Negishi was replaced with Nobukazu Chow. The Chow-led line-up debuted on their very first full-length album in 2001, Master of Brutality. Since then they have established themselves as one of the leaders in heavy, no-holds barred dirty sounding sludge metal. Musically while they have remained in the more sludge side of the doom metal spectrum and the lyrics have always been about serial killers, some bands have also been doing this but Church Of Misery have managed to keep this approach fresh while other bands have become tedious. When Tom Sutton joined the band in the later half of the last decade, they took on a even more brutal sound and became tighter and more focused than ever before. This live album is a perfect documentation of the band in action and being recorded so well, it puts you in the front row or at least that is what it feels like when listening to this album. Most of you would know most if not all the songs but if not, they follow the Sabbath blueprint of down-tuned sludged-filled grooves but rather than blindly copying the Iommi / Butler riffs, Church Of Misery take it to the next level of brutality. The bass playing of Tatsu Mikami and drumming of Junji Narita come through the mix loud and thick while Tom Sutton's guitar work cuts over the top of the sound making this a explosive live recording. Highlights include "I, Motherfucker", Shotgun Boogie and Killfornia but the whole album is the band at their ear-shattering best. The show was recorded on multi-track and was mixed and mastered by Marcel van de Vondervoort from Torture Garden Studio. He was also at the helm for the Wolves In The Throne Room live album. After releases by Wolves In The Throne Room (2008) and Year Of No Light (2008), Church of Misery - Live At Roadburn 2009 will be the third installment in the Roadburn live series. If you have never seen the band live then this the next best thing, even better than the live DVD's that are available which don't have in my opinion the sound that this CD has. Those DVD's are good from a visual perspective but the sound isn't as crushing as this live CD album. Highly recommend this one.
Reviewed by Ed

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Band: COLDAEMON
Country: Italy
Title: Coldemo
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2010
Style: Black'n'Roll

Review:
Coldaemon is a two men band from Italy formed last year I think. This one is their debut demo, a 6 tracks effort lasting for a bit more than 17 minutes, presenting us 4 of their own compositions (one of them added at the end as a bonus track recorded at their rehearsal room - I don't see the point of adding it on this release, though) and a Dark Throne cover, "Whisky Funeral". The whole gives an amateurish feeling, but being their very first demo, this is understandable and accepted, of course, all bands have to start somewhere. What irritates me the most is the cymbals sound... man, it's like Christmas is coming... That needs to be changed on their next release if they want to progress. And what I like the most is their old-school approach, honest and enthousiastic. 
4 tracks of old-school Thrash Black Metal that needs to be improved, but they can do it. I like the vocals and bass work a lot, but you can make your own opinion, this demo is available for free download, although there's a physical version available as well.
Reviewed by Adrian

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Band: COLOSSEUM
Country: Finland
Title: Chapter 2: Numquam
Label: Firedoom
Year: 2009
Style: Funeral Doom Metal

Review:
Colosseum are a band from Finland who show some real potential to be one of the new shining lights in doom metal when their debut album "Chapter 1: Delirium" came out in 2007. That is a masterpiece of funeral doom with a bleak and dreary atmosphere that was hard to beat at the time. While the word "progression" is not usually associated with doom metal, usually bands in the genre do change and develop their sound over time and i have been waiting for nearly a year to hear this album to see which way Colosseum go. While i have to say "Chapter 2: Numquam is disappointing because its so much like the first album, you swear at times you are listening to the same songs all over again. Not that its all a bad thing, the first album after all is a classic slab of doom intensity. Were they just trying to write and record part two versions of every song from the first album ? I don't know but the tracks on here are so recycled from the first album tracks that you are blown away by the overwhelming sense of deja vu. Within seconds of the opening track "Numquam" is become obvious that this just a re-write of the opening cut from the first album "The Gate of Adar". The main riff is the exact same slow-chugging riff or very close to it and the vocals are the same guttural death-growl. You don't really expect vocals to change much album to album but here you get the feeling its the same words all over again. Maybe they are just playing it safe and trying to capture the essence of the first album. Now skipping the obvious comparisons, the album does have some subtle differences from the first. The keyboards seem a little louder in the mix this time around and there is more quieter sections added in which give the album a little extra dimension.
The use of orchestral type arrangements are still prominent in the songs, the last part of the second track "Towards The Infinite" being a good example. The other standout track is the last track before the outro called "Prosperity" and this contains all the elements that made the first album such a powerful album. The tracks in-between follow pretty much the same path, the sound on this album is still massive with crushing bottom-end and excellent production. The band’s ability to use the slow build up to a crescendo is still there but there is a increased use of keyboard and guitar melodies that seem tighter overall. The guttural vocals are still there but are mixed perfectly so as to not take away the main focus of the instruments. There is still the melancholy and sadness that the first album had and they still have the soaring lead breaks, i do dig the style but i would have like a little more anger inserted into the songs in parts. Interesting if you judge this album as a whole it is full of great moments like the final crescendo of "Prosperity" but its moments more than complete songs that leave a lasting impression. In conclusion, there is nothing on this album to compare to the brilliance of "Aesthetics of the Grotesque" from the first album but it is still high quality doom but obviously the band doesn't know the meaning of the word "plagiarism" that this album reeks off. If you never heard the band before and love funeral doom, you will dig "Chapter 2: Numquam" but if you bought the first album you may feel like you bought the same album again. I hope for the next album they show some signs of innovation and progressed a bit, a third album the same as this would be overkill but for now this is a crushing funeral doom release you should check out. 
Reviewed by Ed

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Band: CORONATUS
Country: Germany
Title: Fabula Magna
Label: Massacre Records
Year: 2009
Style: Symphonic Gothic Metal

Review:
I'm not a big fan of Gothic Metal, I admit it, but hell I like good albums, they have a place in my player anytime, and here I got an outstanding album from Massacre. Coronatus is a band I've heard of many times, but somehow never got a chance to listen to their music. They were formed back in 2002 and this one is their thirs album released through Massacre Records so I guess they have a pretty solid fan base by now. "Fabula Magna" is a 12 tracks release lasting for a bit more than 50 minutes, an album that captured my attention from start to finish: two delicious female singers, one going on the symphonic / soprano path and the other on the rock side fitting perfectly one with another, occasional male background vox that range from epic choirs to hoarse Grind-type (!!!), metallic, thrashy guitar riffs that slip onto the Modern Black Metal type of shredding from time to time, powerful rhythm section, subtle but impressive keyboard work that gives the album an epic, even folkish feeling and to give the whole even more complexity just add violins, flutes and piano. The tracks are different one from another and keep you tight and interested, so I would say this is a top-notch release for the Gothic Metal scene, a strong, aggressive yet melodic effort from a mature band. 
Reviewed by Adrian

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Band: CROWNED BY FIRE
Country: USA
Title: Prone To Destroy
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2007
Style: Stoner Metal

Review:
Tagged as a southern / stoner metal by some people, doom metal even by others but these dudes from Los Angeles are much more varied than that. They cross over so many different styles on this, their soon to be released full length debut "Prone To Destroy". Formed in early 2006 by vocalist John "The Impaler” Fitterer, guitarist Justin Manning, bass player Jason "Dread" Boccia and drummer JR Crampton Crowned By Fire has slowly built its reputation by doing killer intense live performances. The new album comes charging at you with the opening track "I Spit On Your Curse", a intense blur of a riff is the backbone of the song along with the double kicks coming from the drums. This is traditional metal played loud and dirty and the guitar solo is shredding, it is a infectious piece of anthemic metal right up to the fade out. "Witch In The Window" is a crunching hunk of old school heavy metal that sounds like Metallica blending with Black Label Society playing doom complete with Randy Rhodes styled guitar squeals. The song features another mind-melting guitar solo played at a accelerated pace. The vocal harmony parts hark bark to early Seattle grunge days but its much darker than anything to come out of that flannel shirt scene. The odd track out on the album comes in the form of a cover of Blue Oyster Cult's Burnin For You. A strange choice for a cover giving the content of the rest of the album but they do a version that puts the original to shame. I always have thought Burnin For You was one of B.O.C's most average songs but they bring the song up to a higher level of swaggering groove. "Get Under The Dirt" has a Sabbath meets Ozzy kind of vibe, like most tunes on the album this is a very catchy with one of those riffs that is instantly recognizable while sounding like nothing else, another great guitar solo is included to cap off a fine track. "Black Moon Shine" is a monster of a track from its haunting intro, the building Sabbath inspired riff to the very Alice In Chains sounding vocal harmonies. The song is beautifully constructed and is a big highlight on the album. "I Am The Crime" is one of the faster paced tracks on the album, played at a neck-snapping tempo for most of the song. "Vulture With A Rifle" may have the heaviest riff on the album, its angry and a snarling track with another explosive guitar solo and pummeling drums that beat you into submission. These are just some of the immediate highlights of what is a very complete piece of work. The production is top-shelf quality, the songwriting is in the pure classic vein of heavy metal, the vocals are one of the bands strong points and the lyrics are excellent. All the songs are irresistibly catchy and the blending of everything from old school metal, grunge to sludge and doom is done to perfection. Its hard to find anything not to like about "Prone To Destroy", it maybe on the generic side of metal but because of the quality of the riffing, vocals and classic in your face arrangements it gives the album a timeless quality. The entire band is on fire and i don't know how much this band rehearses but it sounds like they have worked hard to perfect their sound. This is tight, precise and extremely well executed metal that even the masses might pick up on. The band went all the way to Italy to record and master the album and maybe that is why it has such a fresh production sound, i can't explain that one. With a sound that ranges from Sabbath, Kyuss, Down, Alice In Chains, Motorhead to Corrosion Of Conformity, Crowned In Fire have thrown a pretty wide net to create a album that could and should please a lot of metal fans out there. This is also a album that while new has the ability to become a old friend very quickly. Hurry up and release it dudes.
Reviewed by Ed

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Band: DARKTRANCE
Country: Ukraine
Title: Beyond the Gates of Insanity
Label: Solitude Prod./Bad Mood Man
Year: 2009
Style: Dark Ambient Black Metal

Review:
Darktrance is a one-man-band coming from Ukraine and this is its second album, a 7 tracks effort lasting for a bit more than 40 minutes. This is my first encounter with the Darktrance, so I don't know how the first album sounds like, but this one is a bit monotonous for me. Dimitry Gubsky, the man behing this project seems to have tried to incorporate too many genres and influences into a whole and the result is not satisfying. The man knows how to handle the instruments very well, but he somehow missed curdling a unitary product. We're getting slow passages mixed with some mid-tempo rhythms, desperate Black Metal screams as main supported by clean vox and even some growls from time to time, repeating guitar riffs backed by wanna-be-melodic guitar leads, standard drums that go along with the continuous rhythms changes, and key backgrounds that could have been more aggressive, more present into the whole. They label it as depressive, but I can't figure out what's depressive here... Again, the instruments handling is good, there are some neat passages, the sound is crystal-clear, but that's not enough to make this a top-notch release, maybe Dimitry should focus more on what exactly he likes rather than trying to please everybody.
Reviewed by Adrian

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Band: DEATHBEDS
Country: USA
Title: No Funeral
Label: Young Lungs Ltd.
Year: 2009
Style: Sludge Metal

Review:
Deathbeds from Philadelphia have one of the most entertaining bio write-ups on their Myspace site, so extreme it can't possibly be true but i kind of hope it is because that might explain why this band is so off the rails. They have released this 7" on the Young Lungs label but its also available as a free download, make sure and check their site for details. "No Funeral' was recorded in the summer of 2009 at Red Planet Studios and was co-engineered by Joe Smiley and Chris Grigg. The EP contains three tracks, all of which are guaranteed to rip your head off with a sound thicker than your fat aunt's hips. The band play heavy duty sludge/doom rock with a sound that blends the sound of everyone from Iron Monkey, Cathedral, Sourvein to early Entombed. One thing that is clear from the opening track "No Funeral" is the band is beyond heavy but has a incredibly catchy groove. "No Funeral" is a mid-tempo burner that stomps its way through 3 short minutes and is catchy just as much as it is a neck-snapping bone-crunching exercise in dirty sludge metal. The guitar's and bass sound's are thick but clear, drums pound in a energetic but tight style. The vocals are pure beef with a bellowing almost death metal sound and it compliments the riffing perfectly. Deathbeds don't mess around, they keep songs short and to the point, they make their statement and leave you searching for that repeat button. "Eighteen Hundred and Froze To Death" kicks off with a traditional doom riff, slowly grinding with slothful fuzziness. The vocals range from sick, tormented screams to bellowing and groaning. There is a fine balance between out and out brutality and a traditional riffing style making a blend that is undeniably infectious but still will slay you every-time. Stuck in the middle of these two tracks is "Tyranny Of Will" and its another winner,a crunching riff and more filth ridden vocals from Mike Murro. The guitar duo of Stephen Edelson and Eric Sac are top-notch brutal exponents of the monster riff, they are totally locked into the groove at all times and play with some real passion. The rhythm section of Chris Cherasaro (bass) and (i am assuming its his brother) Dave Cherasaro (drums) are totally solid. No Funeral in some ways harks back to the days of sludgy doom and metal in the late 80's and early 90's. There was a certain quality to the sound of the bands back then and Deathbeds also have that sound. The EP is over and done with in around 12 minutes so needless to say this band needs a full-length album out ASAP. If this is anything to go by, it will crush posers everywhere.
Reviewed by Ed

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Band: DEMONIC CREMATOR
Country: Scotland
Title: Perverted Goatsucker
Label: Ziekte-NL
Year: 2009
Style: Raw Black Metal
 
Review: 
With "Perverted Goatsucker", Demonic Cremator serves to us on a tray three securities acting manifesto! A statement of latent war, aggressive...
Sailing, good raw black metal as I like it!!!
Two members, they did a very good job, whether in composition, and/or intent on it!!
An atmosphere between obscenity, battles and schizophrénia emerges from this warhymn opus!
It should already consider the following because it looks very good!
To seem a new work of hate in 2010!
Reviewed by Alrinack
 
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Band: DESOLATION
Country: France
Title: Sur le chemin de notre Terre
Label: Maltkross
Year: 2009
Style: Black Metal

Review: 
Heh, you shouldn't get confused now. This is another project with nearly the same name and now I found luckily some infos. This is a one man project form France and is active since 2008. I never heard anything before about this project, but Désolation (alias also for the man behind) made yet some demos and two splits, the latest one came out 2010. 
What can I say now about this demo. You must definitely take every track alone. You have some good ones with good quality and some nice ideas, but then comes again one, where you just put the volume lower, after you put it up before. Instead of the quality the riffs are quite nice old school ones. All in all it is a quite okay fast black metal demo and I am sure some will have their fun with it. But I would want to have more temp changes and melodic elements to name it a great one.
Reviewed by Robert

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Band: DRAUMAR
Country: Germany
Title: Hibernation
Label: Naturmacht Prod.
Year: 2009
Style: Ambient

Review:
hard to find any info on this one-man-project from Germany on the net... I know only that this is its first effort, a 9 tracks (50 minutes) full-length into dreamy Ambient music made by keyboards, harp, violins, percussions and some piano here and there. A really great atmosphere that transports you to another dimension, a positive view on winter, and like the booklet pictures suggest it, it feels like opening the door to a white and blue dreamy winter landscape. It has its few errors, though, especially on piano and especially on track 6 (I would have taken it out...), but the overall impression is that Draumar is a very good ambient project that has a bright future. Get this release from Naturmacht Prod. until it's not sold out.
Reviewed by Adrian

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Band: DRUG HONKEY
Country: USA
Title: Death Dub
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2008
Style: Psychedelic Sludge Doom Metal

Review:
This is madness in its purest form! This proves it's not necessary to be stoned and depressed to experience high paranoia, fear, perdition or lack of reality, and on the other side I can't immagine anyone having the balls to get stoned and listen to Drug Honkey's third full-length album, such an action would simply kill you in painful agony. I'm not talking bolloks here, this is the most twisted, hysterical, noisy album I had a change to listen to in a long time, maybe ever. But still this is very catchy, the rhythm section takes care of having you hooked to it, while the vocals are hitting you hard with insane, distorted screams and the synths/samples add the sense of threatening noise all over. 8 tracks lasting for a bit more than 40 minutes, enough to destroy your hearing senses, and still after listening to it you'll want more and more, of course if you're into extreme metal in psychedelic shapes. There's also a well recorded live track that makes you want to see these guys live, too, and that's a good addition for this album for sure. Bottom up if you think you can handle extreme dementia in music stay away from Drug Honkey, this is not for you, this is only for the ones into experimental extreme metal stuff.
Reviewed by Adrian

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