Akashah - Eagna na Marbh
Awake The Sun - The Barren Sleep
Dalla Nebbia - Felix Culpa
Gang - Live is All
Hellwaffe - Worship of Anxiety
Idis Orlog - The Spiral Tide of Seasons
Pagan Flame - Symbole de Vie et de Lumiere
Pedophile Priests - Dark Transgression of the Soul
Phobos Preacher - Asfixia
Plutonium - Born Again Misanthrope
Real Chaos - Consumo interiore
Tankrust - The Fast of Solace

Band: AKASHAH
Country: USA
Title: Eagna na Marbh
Label: Wolftyr / Darker Than Black
Year: 2014
Style: Pagan Black Metal

Review:
Third studio album from this Washington based one man band started in 2001, Eagna na Marbh features 8 tracks but lasts for almost an hour of playing time. The material on this album reminds me of the beginning of the 2000's when Pagan Black Metal was beginning to take its peak form, when it wasn't yet over-polished and commercial, it was still raw and aggressive, but at the same time the epic, majestic atmospheres sounded genuine and honest. This album sounds like forged in those years, it's abrasive, still very influenced by traditional Black Metal yet it has plenty of Pagan elements to reconcile fans of both genres and even more by adding plenty of Heavy Metal touches all over. The vocals are not the finest around, but they have their own charm anyway, especially the clean vocals that reminded me of the beginnings of Lake of Tears. Another excellent idea thrown inhere are the repetitive, memorable choruses; underground nowadays seems to deliberately avoid memorable choruses in fear of becoming commercial, but that's absurd in my opinion, take Akashah for example, their choruses are memorable yet still manly, raw and have nothing to do with commercial attitude. I love this album, although for Today's standards and according to where Black Metal is moving towards nowadays Akashah is far off the charts. Your call.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8/10

Contact:
facebook.com/akashahblackmetal
wolftyr.com
darker-than-black.com

Band: AWAKE THE SUN
Country: Italy
Title: The Barren Sleep
Label: Sliptrick Records
Year: 2015
Style: Dark Metal

Review:
Formed in 2010 on the ashed of Avantgarde Gothic Metallers Ensoph, Awake the Sun are not very far away from that path maintaining that bold, courageous attitude to incorporate as many influences as possible and melt them into something as progressive as possible. This debut EP, that comes after quite a long waiting if you ask me, proves the band's thirst in discovering new sonorities, and at first audition I have to admit I found it quite weird sounding, quite al over the place, but it grew on me slowly along the way. I'm not sure how come this is labeled as EP since it features no less than 8 tracks and clocks 45 minutes of playing time, in my books this is a proper full-length album, no doubt, but who cares for these catalogs nowadays. Awake the Sun are melting together Dark Metal, Doom Metal, Melodic Moder Metal, Atmospgeric and Electo influences and a few Groove Metal touches, too, into a solid, emotional and powerful final material. In its peak points (read tracks) the band sounds amazing, really up to hit the higest tops in Atmospheric Metal, but there are also some tracks and parts that are fairly good but not interesting, not groundbreaking, so I guess the final outcome is what matters and that's definitely positive, even more since it's a debut. Powerful, heavy guitar riffs supported by emotional leads, complex bass lines, inventive drumming, and a constant layer of atmospheric keyboards seconded at times by electro synths, topped by a capable vocalist that reminded me of the beginnings of The Gathering. Impressive debut, let's not wait another 5 years for the followup.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8/10

Contact:
awakethesun.bandcamp.com
sliptrickrecords.com

Band: DALLA NEBBIA
Country: USA
Title: Felix Culpa
Label: Razed Soul Productions
Year: 2015
Style: Progressive Black Metal

Review:
Wow, this is an excellent material that from the dull cover artwork I honestly wasn't expecting, especially since this is the first time I'm meeting this band and it's music. Dalla Nebbia, contrary of what you'd expect (me included), is not an Italian band, but actually comes from South Carolina, and sounds like the 90's Peaceville relocated and started to sign US bands. To me it sounds like My Dying Bride, Anathema, Paradise Lost and similar bands all mixed up with the current Post Black Metal and Atmospheric Black Metal genres, with also a healthy dose of Progressive Metal here and there, a melancholic, almost romantic type of current Extreme Metal spiced with violins, but unfortunately with such a raw, "trv" sound quality that will discourage many of their potential listeners. The compositions are really, really interesting, each of them with its own personal charm, each building up a tremendous final result but again I would have enjoyed it much better with a more polished, more professional sound; I can appreciate the fact that drums are live recorded, and verything sounds organic and honest, but contrary to my usual belief, this time I would have liked something different, less "aggressive". The same raw sound makes some parts of this excellent album sound too crowded, way too chaotic, they should sound simpler although the band's music is not simple at all. The vocals, as the sound, are keeping it as aggressive and oppressive as possible, and the few times where clean vocals are present to calm things down a bit, the whole sounds chaotic. I think this band has tremendous potential, but at least this second full-length album of theirs is only a frustrating audition for me, it could have been presented way better than this; nonetheless a band that needs to be at least given a chance!
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8/10

Contact:
dallanebbia.bandcamp.com
razedsoul.com

Band: GANG
Country: France
Title: Live is All
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2015
Style: Heavy Thrash Metal

Review:
French veterans GANG (founded back in 1990) have been quite active since their 2010 album, their fifth, releasing new stuff every year, and 2015 made no exception with the release of their second live album to date, an 11 tracks effort clocking almost 35 minutes playing time. The curious thing is that the band decided to work again on their own, like for the first live album, without the backing of a label, which might be a usual choice for a young band nowadays, but not for one that tops 25 years of existence... The tracks here were recorded during their set at the SOS Festival in Manchester; the intro and outro features something like an announcement read by a lady who fits perfectly with the cover, it seems like the lady is the grandma from the cover artwork. The music sounds more like Hard'n'Heavy most of the time than Heavy Thrash, it constantly gave me the impression it should have been more powerful, more aggressive, but maybe that's only me. On the other hand the set is very entertaining, it's already the fifth time I play the CD and I'm still not bored. The sound quality is as you'd expect, faultless. The vocalist might give you the impression he's about to loose the control of his voice, but he seems to be very aware of what he can and what he can't do, there are only a few high-pitched parts that could have been done better or not tried at all since he's not that gifted to say the truth, but he manages to keep thing interesting even without sounding impressive. The compositions are also more complex and offer much more that I would have expected so here's another reason to give this a try. 
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7/10

Contact:
facebook.com/Gang-175479759161678

Band: HELLWAFFE
Country: USA
Title: Worship of Anxiety
Label: Hell Is Here Production
Year: 2015
Style: Black Metal

Review:
Recently founded (2013) trio from Chicago, IL, that seems to have strong ties with the Polish underground if not Polish themselves, Hellwaffe present us their debut full-length CD made of 5 new tracks plus 2 as bonus taken from their previous demo, Waffen Infernum, totaling 28 minutes of devastating, relentless, highly demonic and anti-christian Black Metal, traditional in composition and with no intent of creating anything innovative. The band uses its music to deliver their statement, and that's as blunt, as brutal and uncompromising as possible; sickening traditional guitar riffs (with my complaint of way too few guitar solos, actually I think there's only one, very good solos, Death Metal influenced), organic and complex rhythm section, hellish vocals and an excellent underground sound quality, that's what you'll get here. Fans of brutal Black Metal will definitely enjoy this album, but if you're looking for something innovative or melodic be sure to check elsewhere. Released on CD with 4 pages booklet featuring lyrics.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7.5/10

Contact:
hellwaffe.com
hellishereprod.republika.pl

Band: IDIS ORLOG
Country: Norway
Title: The Spiral Tide of Seasons
Label: WolfTyr
Year: 2013
Style: Pagan Folk Music

Review:
I have recently reviewed this project's latest album released in 2015, I have no idea how come I didn't actually start with this one, released in 2013, but here I am listening to its debut album. As on the most recent work lady Siv Idis has some guests on fiddle, flute and drums, on a couple of tracks, but the rest is her alone, on guitars, flute, violin and of course vocals. I have to say I enjoyed this debut album much better than its followup although I still had some moments of boredom caused by the simplicity and repetitive nature of some parts of Idis Orlog's compositions. The organic recordings really give you a peaceful state of mind and manage to successfully paint a pagan atmosphere; some of the tracks are better than others, which is quite normal, of course, but in conclusion I think I prefer the ones with guest musicians to others like the awfuly childish Wintersun for example. If you're into Pagan Folk music I guess you can find more interesting things in lady Idis' recordings, but to be honest I find nothing to make me return, especially the parts where her lyrics miss the song's pace and she has to say the remaining words quicker than normal in order to catch up with the song (not sure if I make myself clear here)...
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: -/10

Contact:
facebook.com/idisorlog
wolftyr.com

Band: PAGAN FLAME
Country: Canada
Title: Symbole de Vie et de Lumiere
Label: Wolftyr Productions
Year: 2011
Style: Pagan Black Metal

Review:
probably because of their language and birth place, but also a bit because of their music, these Canadian Pagan Black Metallers remind me of the amazing also Quebec based, Frozen Shadows, a band I used to like a lot (and most probably i still do but haven't listened to in a while). There's the same freezing cold yet epic atmosphere in Pagan Flame's music, too, and I think French language has a particular way to blend with Black Metal, the icy music contrasting with the poetic, somehow melancholic and royal sound of this language makes this blend quite exotic, undoubtedly interesting. Pagan Flames mixes traditional mid-tempo to fast paced Black Metal parts with epic melodic acoustic guitar parts spiced with an old-fashioned ('90's era) keyboard and nature sounds; the music is entertaining and not boring at all, but sometimes I find the vocals really annoying, both the Viking-like vocals and the Black Metal shrieks, and that's maybe the only area where Pagan Flame failed to be on my taste. This is already an old release, but from what they say it seems the band is gearing up for a followup; I guess you can still order this CD from Wolftyr since I have received it for a review 5 years after it was released.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7/10

Contact:
facebook.com/PaganFlame
wolftyr.com

Band: PEDOPHILE PRIESTS
Country: Ireland
Title: Dark Transgression of the Soul
Label: Metal Scrap Records
Year: 2015
Style: Death Metal

Review:
One should never judge a band's music before listening to it based solely on its provenience, but somehow when you hear Poland and Death Metal in the same sentence you immediately think of well-done music mostly because of Vader, Hate and the likes. This duo bearing a highly offensive band name was founded in 2014 and here we have already their debut full-length album made of 9 tracks that will definitely impress everyone especially since the band appears out of nowhere, and this confirms the "good Death Metal out of Poland rule" (even if they moved to Ireland in the meantime). This debut album displays a fantastic intensity mostly because of the highly energetic and complex drumming of Krystian Mistarz, a drummer I'm sure we'll hear more about in the future. The rest of the instruments, plus the vocals and I include here the compositions too, are the work of the other part of the band, Piotr Niemczewski, a very gifted musician and vocalist at the same time. The guitar part is progressive, technical and sophisticated, traditional and avantgarde at the same time, and supported by an incisive bass line and a subtle but menacing keyboard background here and there manages to create a devastating atmosphere a la Vader / Morbid Angel, yet without being a copycat. The vocals are hateful and disgusted perfectly topping up one of the best Death Metal releases I've heard lately. The band has recruited a third member in the meantime and started playing live gigs; if they are close to what we can hear on this recording I'm sure this band will reach impressive heights in this genre.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 9.5/10

Contact:
facebook.com/pedopriests
metalscraprecords.com

Band: PHOBOS PREACHER
Country: Spain
Title: Asfixia
Label: Art Gates Records
Year: 2015
Style: Thrash Death Metal

Review:
Two years after the release of their debut album, Phobos Preacher follows up with a second attack, a 14 tracks work clocking 44 minutes of Thrash Death Metal. If overall the impression is that Phobos Preacher tends to emphasize on the Death Metal part, there are some tracks that can actually be labelled as Thrash more than Death, but on the other hand there are some elements of Brutal Death Metal and some Progressive, too, so it's a pretty varied album that seems to test all territories before eventually settling somewhere, but I'm not sure if the band has decided where exactly to settle yet. The lyrics are in Spanish, so Latin countries will definitely appreciate the release more than others, the prodction is actually very good, offering an impressive clarity in sound plus an overall organic atmosphere. The compositions are pretty technical, but not impressive, not offering something of their own, something to remember the band after the audition, so here's a n area that requires more work for the future. I don't like the vocals either, the growls are lacking volume giving you the impression they are recorded in some room in fear of disturbing the neighbors' peace and tranquility, it's either that or the vocalist is not for this type of vocals; the rare screams are, on the other hand, much more ferocious, much more aggressive. As a last element I'd like to notice the excellent solos and leads, probably my favorite part on this album. All in all not impressed, sorry.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 6/10

Contact:
facebook.com/phobospreacher
artgatesrecords.com

Band: PLUTONIUM
Country: Sweden
Title: Born Again Misanthrope
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2016
Style: Industrial Black Metal

Review:
I still remember almost 5 years ago how much I liked this band's second album, Devilmentertainment Non-Stop, how avantgarde and experimental I found it at the time, so receiving its newest, third studio album Born Again Misanthrope, was of course a very nice surprise, especially since in the meantime this type of Black Metal grew on me quite a lot. The new album is made of 9 tracks, I found it less experimental than the previous, but definitely more mature, better thought and better flowing, yet at the same time still keeping intact that raw, inhuman, mechanical feeling Industrial gives to music. The drum program I found very strange and quite annoying at first, but I managed to understand it after a few tracks and in the end I found it perfectly fit for this music. I'd say now Plutonium is a mix of Mysticum (especially), Blacklodge, maybe even Thorns and Aborym, but resembling none in particular; Plutonium deserves its own spot between these established names and only the lack of a big label (right, why isn't this band signed yet???) might make this album fail to reach this new year's Black Metal top charts. Atmospheric, mystical, technical, interesting, varied, cruel, synthetic yet raw, traditional in its core but avantgarde in its result - that's how I could characterize this album I find magnificent. Not to miss if you enjoy this mix between Industrial and Black Metal!
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 10/10

Contact:
facebook.com/thetrueplutonium

Band: REAL CHAOS
Country: Italy
Title: Consumo interiore
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2015
Style: Death Metal

Review:
Foggia based trio Real Chaos was founded back in 2010 and this is already their second full-length album, again self-released like the debut one, and continuing their quest for rediscovering the old way of Death Metal, offering the traditional way of Death Metal to their fellow countrymen, or at least mostly to them since their lyrics are in italian language exclussively and at least this second album doesn't come with the lyrics listed in the CD booklet. Even is you know Italian and are not a native speaker you'll only understand part of what Enzo sings about (mostly social topics, that, from what I understand, are not that challenging, so you're not missing much), although his vocal tone is not really that growling, that incomprehensive. Speaking about the instrumental part of it, this album has teh benefit of a very good, crystal clear sound quality that will allow the listeners to absorb and digest every little effect on it; mid-tempo to fast paced rhythms, destructive bass lines (probably the best element in Real Chaos' music) and angry vocals, that's how one could sum up the music on these 16 (!) tracks that last for less than 35 minutes in total; for some reason they remind me especially of Paul Speckman's Master. The word that comes to mind after spinning this disc for a couple of times is: correct; correct because everything inhere seems to be composed and executed correctly for a Traditional Death Metal with subtle Thrash and Grind influences. The album brings nothing new and at times it sounds quite generic, but it's entertaining and because of the mother tongue lyrics I think Italian fans of '90's Death Metal will particularly enjoy it. A bass solo, or a semi-acoustic track or something like that would have given this release more power although it sounds improbable.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7.5/10

Contact:
realchaos.bandcamp.com

Band: TANKRUST
Country: France
Title: The Fast of Solace
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2015
Style: Thrash Hardcore Death Metal

Review:
Followup to their 2013 EP, this debut album from Tankrust features 10 tracks spread over 35 minutes of Thrash, Hardcore, Death Metal and a bit of Deathcore too, a cool and refreshing mix for an old-schooler like me. The album opens with the excellent DMZ track, that also benefits of a professional videoclip, a track that absolutely deserves to be the first single off of this album, and judging by how the rest of the tracks are following, I'd say it shouldn't be the only one either, at least 2 or 3 other tracks would deserve a video and be promoted like hell for the simple fact that they are catchy; these talented musicians have found a good middle way to mix melody, groove, aggression and keep things interesting at the same time. The guitar work is absolutely killer here offering some of the best riffs I've heard in a while, the drummer does a good job as well, and the bass, although subtle, keeps things heavy; the vocal parts are excellently thought, but I think a bit more compherension in tone wouldn't hurt at all, kids would have something more than just catchy rythms and attitude, words are equally important, but they need to be understood even if you're a Death Metal band (well, not talking about the brutal bands here, of course). The production is clear and professional but not as powerful as this material would deserve, yet that's not a problem in enjoying the record. As their EP, this debut album is also self-released, in digipak format with an 8 pages booklet featuring all lyrics, and an intriguing cover artwork most probably made with real blood. A band to keep an eye on for the future, but in the meantime I recommend this album, give it a chance at least for a free audition on the net.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8/10

Contact:
tankrust.com

Email: contact@pestwebzine.com