INTERVIEW – DAEMON WORSHIP PRODUCTIONS

•March 23, 2014 • Comments Off

If blackmetal is to be more than a metal subgenre, then it needs to be channeled through the suitable vessels. Labels that care for sales and income are not welcome here. What we need is individuals or small groups of people who embrace a certain ideology and seek to spread it to the right ears and, above all, to the eligible minds. Daemon Worship Productions is a fine example of the few labels that truly seek to walk this path and now talks to Anti-Flesh Nimbus about its philosophy…

DWP

:: Spawned from the womb of Death to spread the Word of His glory ::

I) What led to the foundation of the label? Is there a certain goal to fulfill through its releases?

The label was named & initiated by another person. I was there from the very beginning, but I wasn’t the one who created it. I didn’t take active role in the label until 1,5 years into the label’s creation and only about 2 years after the label was founded I took the label’s course in my hands. What led to it is a very complex question. We wanted to release esoterically-charged Occult and Devil-worshipping music, which was our life for years by then. We had contacts, we had ideas, we had plans. Alas, it both went according to the original idea and in my opinion also overgrew it.

A certain goal – well, yes. I have a vision in my head according to which the label is developing now. I have no desire to run a standard “underground” label, nor I know how to do that – therefore I do everything my way.

II) What is the usual process –if any– that leads to cooperating with a band? Are you open in accepting demos/promos or do you prefer to discover them by yourselves.

There is no usual process. Things just happen. I am open to accepting demos / promos & more often I discover things myself. Some people think they know what it takes to fit our roster, but they don’t.

The one thing I wish the “promo submitters” would understand is that I get sometimes 5 promo submissions per day – it is physically impossible to go through all of them without sacrificing time that could be used for other, usually more important things. Moreover, I wouldn’t have time to enjoy the music I like then!

Right now it appears like I won’t be signing anything extra for a while due to time and finances being obviously limited.

III) Where does 2014 find DAEMON WORSHIP PRODUCTIONS? Any plans ready to be shared with those that follow your cult?

Oh, 2014 finds us very busy. Along with a few vinyl pressings of our recent CD releases you are also to expect new SVARTIDAUDI, NEFANDUS and SERPENT NOIR recordings. NIGHTBRINGER will manifest a new album this year as well. A recently announced ISRATHOUM & CHALICE OF BLOOD split release is planned to be unleashed this spring. There are also quite a few things I am not yet ready to reveal, but all will be made public with time.

Nightbringer/DodsengelIV) What level of importance do you give to a band’s ideology/philosophy in order to decide whether or not it fits into the DAEMON WORSHIP legions? During the last few years it seems like a huge explosion of occult/religious currents has occurred among blackmetal and other extreme subgenres.

The ideology is important. The unity of the ideology / philosophy & music is what determines what we release. Black Metal / Death Metal IS NOT JUST MUSIC. It is a message; it’s an a(nti)political rebellion against the status-quo; it’s a vision beyond the walls of the limited and decaying world; it is a vehicle of the Kali Yuga and the Death of the Aeon; it is inner Death and Rebirth into the new Existence. It’s not for white people’s hypothetical survival, but it’s not for interracial friendship either. People who think otherwise can go do whatever, it doesn’t concern me. As far as I am concerned, DWP is a channel of the Adversarial energies. What we release must fit into the concept of our Brotherhood. No exceptions. Sounds vague? Well, I don’t care.

Yes, the scene is indeed full of pretentious pseudointellectual pseudospiritual beings, that think they know something and live their pathetic illusions of grandeur and belonging to something greater than their miserable prison of limited perception and failing logic. Unfortunately some people think that knowing a few obscure words & being able to play a few copy-cat riffs makes you a “Black Metal musician”. I say they can revel in their ignorance as much as they want.

That rant doesn’t concern genuinely dedicated bands obviously, and there are many of them as well, in Greece too! All hails to the brotherhoods of ACRIMONIOUS, EMBRACE OF THORNS, THY DARKENED SHADE and SERPENT NOIR!

In other words:

1. We don’t care if you use drugs or not;
2. We don’t care what political affiliation you have;
3. We don’t care if you want to kill yourself;
4. We don’t care what race or nationality you are;
5. We don’t care what you choose to do in your bed.

Whatever leads you to your own enlightenment is fine. Whichever path you choose is fine, as long as it leads you to your own Revelation. The Lord has many faces and forms and he reveals different things to those who behold his visions. As per Crowley’s words: “Do What Thou Wilt”. You may follow a different current or don’t follow any current at all, choosing to pave your own way (or arrange your own demise) instead – the statement is still valid.

V) Speaking of blackmetal, why does the label focus on this specific form of art? What do you believe is so special about it that has kept the attention of a small yet consistent part of the fans for about 25 years since it emerged?

Black Metal is something I’ve been listening to for years & DWP releases things that I enjoy. Just my personal preferences I guess? I listen to a lot of music of different genres though, so here the point is that it should fit the vision, the concept of the label. By this I also mean that there is some stuff that I wouldn’t release, even though I enjoy it. It’s a bit hard to explain, it’s more of an intuitive process, than a logical. A certain vibe must be present before I consider releasing something.

VI) On the other hand, even blackmetal becomes a trend during certain periods, when people, who during normal circumstances would never even have cared for it, boast on how “good” and “refreshing” the new DEAFHEAVEN or ALTAR OF PLAGUES album is. Where do you stand on that, would you consider it a plague or we should pay no attention and simply let them pass by?

Black Metal as it is looked at from the pan-Metal perspective IS a trend – and I am not interested in THAT Black Metal. I never heard either of the mentioned bands, nor read about them, so I have no idea what they are about. I do however crack a laugh now and then when I hear how another innovative band reinvents the wheel and gets promoted as a new DEATHSPELL OMEGA or WATAIN. You don’t have to be “innovative” to be “honest”. Honesty and transcendence are the two defining characteristics of Black Metal (not mythical “trueness” (bleh), which people tend to hide their inability to create art behind). It is above trends and beyond the classification / rationalization attempts.

STDVII) Back to DAEMON WORSHIP, is there any release (or releases) that you personally hold as special and feel more connected to it? Also which is your favorite DWP album cover (mine has to be SERPENT NOIR’s full length, a Timo Ketola masterpiece)?

I can’t answer to either of these questions. Some are more popular than others, some people are easier to deal with than others, but that’s it. As for the covers – we collaborated and continue to collaborate with several extremely talented artists, such as T. Ketola, M. Tinnemans, A. Held, Sekt Metastazis, Antithesis / Cold Poison, Babalon Graphics…. It’s an honour for us and I believe each of them has his own special style that contributes to the multi-faceted image of DWP.

VIII) How come you focus on CD releases? It looks as if the vinyl gets all the attention these days. Also you do not seem to care much for limited editions and all that stuff. What is wrong with you, where has the TRVE CVLT gone (joking of course)?

Unlike some people, I like CDs. I like LPs. I like tapes. Different releases might demand different formats. Vinyl is the today’s trend. I can’t say anything positive or negative about that. Most limited “die hard” editions belong to the traditional forum discipline of dick-measuring for the “fans” and are a way to make some additional money on 333 different versions for money-motivated labels. I am not interested in that. So what the “TRVE CVLT” is is still a matter of discussion.

IX) Would you consider expanding your interests as a label beyond black/death metal borders? It seems nowadays like an invisible thread is connecting these forms of music with doom/occult rock, dark ambient and neofolk. Is any of that among your immediate or mid-term plans?

We already did. We released SNAKESKIN ANGELS (occult Swedish hard-rock) and SEKTARISM (torturous and ritualistic French doom). I am not tied with genre limits. Let me tell you this. DWP is not an anti-christian label. DWP is not a Black Metal label. It’s not even a music label for me. Yes, it’s a label & it’s connected with music, but such a description is far from complete. The Devil has many faces and describing one doesn’t give you a full picture. Yet it’s His many faces that inspire us.

X) Last year’s split releases between NIGHTBRINGER/DODSENGEL and ANDRAMELECH/SERPENT NOIR were amazing, containing an aura of true collaboration and common goals between the bands in each case. Is there any more similar projects coming from DWP in the near future?

In short, yes. The ISRATHOUM & CHALICE OF BLOOD split release is coming out in the upcoming months – you might have already seen the magnificently malign cover art, which A. Held rendered for it. There is more in plans still, but you have to wait and see what exactly it will be! I’d say the idea behind DWP involves creating a union of sorts. A lot of the bands we work with share similar opinions on things, while on other details they might differ – and that’s alright! The LHP tolerates different opinions, individuality and creativity, but it also involves being open to art from the outside, so naturally a lot of things are interconnected here.

Ghost GodXI) Which non-DWP album(-s) would you feel should have been released by the label? If I was asked the same question I’d say definitely “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”, it is absolutely on the same wavelength with the vibes I get from DWP!

“Should have been” is an interesting phrase. The phrase implies in this case that the album in question, “DMDS”, should’ve been released via DWP. Which is very humbling to hear, mind you! Yet, without “DMDS” being released 2 decades ago there perhaps wouldn’t have been DWP (and many bands that we are aligned with) in the first place. So in a way it would definitely fit my concept, haha. Needless to say, I hold “DMDS” very highly and consider it one of the most important albums in both Black Metal and Death Metal. But can you imagine it not being released by Deathlike Silence? DODHEIMSGARD not being released via Malicious Records? And DEATHSPELL OMEGA, FUNERAL MIST & WATAIN not being released by NoEvDia? Things are very interlinked and the “should’ve” and “could’ve” scenarios can play many ways. Yet for whatever reason they did happen the way they did. We can change the future, but not the past – we can expand on it or learn from it. I can say that there are quite a few “old” bands that influenced me, with some of them I already cooperate – NEFANDUS and OFERMOD for once. But if I am to choose one whose releases, actions & ethic inspired me the most over all these years it would definitely be ABIGOR.

XII) Since my first encounter with DAEMON WORSHIP was “Sanguis XI” EP from SERPENT NOIR, I think the eleventh question/topic was the perfect closing of this interview. So, all that’s left now is to lay down your final words and prepare us for the holocaust to come!

Things are only going to get worse with time.

http://daemonworship.bandcamp.com/album/ascetic-temples-sacrament-of-death
http://daemonworship.bandcamp.com/album/reality-cleaver
http://daemonworship.bandcamp.com/album/emanation
http://daemonworship.bandcamp.com/album/the-synthesis-of-whore-and-beast


 

HERETIC CULT REDEEMER – Interview with Funus

•March 8, 2014 • Comments Off

The Giant Sun is bleeding and the drops are carving paths to an unknown salvation. HERETIC CULT REDEEMER, since the dawn of the previous year, have embarked upon revealing some of these paths to us and from there it’s up to each individual to make his decision. Funus, already known from his exquisite contribution to early ACRIMONIOUS releases, explains a bit further…

HCR Logo

I) …and suddenly it became HERETIC CULT REDEEMER! What “forces” were in tune in order to form this new entity? How was the specific name chosen?

Good evening Anti-Flesh Nimbus. The birth of HCR was meant to be. Personally I do not believe in luck but in the fact that we magnetize things and situations around us. As for the name, we wanted it to give an idea as to what one will hear in the record and read in the lyrics.

II) You started to make things happen in the beginning of the previous year by distributing a digital promo. What was the reception?

Yes, this is true, and you were one of the recipients. Our goal was to disseminate the band to some respected sites and labels in order to make our existence known. The reception we got was truly very positive towards our material.

HCR - Album CoverIII) How did cooperation with Iron Bonehead occur for the release of your debut full-length EP? Will there also be editions in other formats?

The cooperation occurred in the traditional way: We sent the promo – the label was interested – the LP was released. I.Bh. is a well-respected label as far as we are concerned so had no second thoughts about it. As for other formats, it has just been released on CD by the rising Hellthrasher Productions. So far, we have not been in contact with anyone for a possible tape edition.

IV) The tracks of the full-length are “painted” from the bold presence of the lead guitar, which makes several “disharmonic” maneuvers. Am I right if I say that this element intensifies in a way the narrative aspect of your music?

This is just how it is! The music simply flows from our inner selves. I cannot imagine any other way to describe this narrative aspect as you say it.

V) Although appearing straight-forward at first, the songs unravel various folds during each listening. I believe you have achieved something rare; that is to draw the listener’s attention and slowly initiate them in your universe.

This is exactly what we aimed at through our music. We tried not to write a one-dimensional record. Our goal was for each hearing to be a new experience for the listener.

HCR @ Occult Black/Death RitualVI) Your vocals -I would say- are defined from an otherworldly aura and are in no way the typical screams/growls that one can find in tons along today’s blackmetal. Do you have to transcend to some specific spiritual state in order to perform like that?

For a start, thank you very much. I believe what you mention is obligatory. Spiritual concentration is, for me, the means to connect your material essence with the Divine.

VII) I have to confess that I enjoy in particular the slow parts of your music. In the future will there be more passages like those of the tormenting and ultra-heavy “Oldest Of Times” and “Unknown Salvation”

Slow parts are one of the many realities of HERETIC CULT REDEEMER. For sure there will be similar parts in future releases.

VIII) Let’s switch, for a while, to the lyrical aspect, which I imagive you hold almost as high as the music. What philosophical/occult currents will one encounter in the texts of HERETIC CULT REDEEMER?

The lyrics are mainly influenced from the so-called destructive philosophers, as well as theosophy and the two forms of kabbalism.

IX) As a continuation of the above, please allow me to make a special reference here: “Ochra spirocheti infects the pantheon of heroes / a slap in the face of the poimnion”. Would you like to elaborate some more?

The specific track is called “Concatenation”. It speaks about the marriage of man with the serpent. Ochra spirochete is the cause for syphilis. The sexual act is the mystery through which we infect of awaken our consciousness-soul-self.

X) Equally impressive is the artwork of the LP and of course I am referring to the provocative image of Jesus, in a position that unifies yoga and the “as above so below” sign of the hands, while he is surrounded by two serpents. Is this concept about a perception regarding unification of different paths to higher spiritual states?

Yes, I believe that things around us hold both facets. Each person is forced to find his/her own path be it the left or right one (or both of them), to achieve awakening of the spirit. The fact that we have been born and raised in the western world probably makes western types of such arts more fitting for our perception but this does not forbid any other approach.

HCR @ Occult Black/Death RitualXI) Moving towards the end of this conversation, a few months ago you made your concert debut as a part of the Occult Black/Death Metal Ritual organized under the aegis of ACHERONTAS. What experiences did you gain as a band from that show? I am aware of the sound problems on stage but for us watching from below your performance was great, to the point that it would impossible for someone (not knowing it a priori) to guess that it was the first live appearance of the band.

First of all, we want to thank the coven of ACHERONTAS for putting faith in us. Our experiences were mostly educative. We managed to overcome all this setbacks you mentioned and I want to believe we produced the atmosphere, the power and the energy in the way we intended it to be.

XII) Thank you for the time dedicated to this conversation with Anti-Flesh Nimbus. The final words are yours…

I thank you for the stage you provided us. “I do not follow anyone and I do not want anyone to follow me, what I want if each one to follow their own selves”. The oldest of times shall rise!

Contact & info:
heretic.cult.redeemer@gmail.com

http://hereticcultredeemer.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heretic-Cult-Redeemer/108482089276374
http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Heretic_Cult_Redeemer
http://www.youtube.com/user/HereticCultRedeemer

CULT OF FIRE “मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान (Ascetic Meditation Of Death)”

•February 26, 2014 • Comments Off

Release Date: December, 2013

Label: Iron Bonehead

390747If the majestic element of blackmetal died sometime during the early 00s as a result of the utterly pathetic records of DIMMU BORGIR and their even worse followers, now it may be the time to be reborn from its ashes in the heart of Europe, the land now called Czech Republic. And the fact that this is the homeland of giants MASTER’S HAMMER, has its own meaning for whatever musical differences may exist, the aura is always present. CULT OF FIRE entered our lives about three years ago with the “20:11” debut EP and since then they won’t stop disturbing us; and how could that happen when just after a year they release an amazing “Triumvirat” full-length only to give us glimpses of the shock that would follow last December, a shock mysteriously named मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान.

In “Ascetic Meditation Of Death” one cannot decide where to focus first! To its Sanskrit titles and the astonishing artwork that accompanies the vinyl edition? To the storming guitar riffs of the opening track that bear down on us like the waters of a rushing torrent? To the sitar that makes its presence particularly notable yet not at all unsuitable? Or maybe to the completely unexpected parts like that dreamy काली मां (Kali Ma)” with its almost progressive keyboards that closes the first side of the record?

Well the answer is that it is in the other side where the real essence and the hidden folds (of the record but also of the listener who will tune in appropriately) are unveiled. Where the spiral leads of the guitar push us to make the inner trip, a trip full of obstacles which we couldn’t ever imagine, narrated in a nightmarish manner by Devilish. It comes the point somewhere around the seventh, penultimate track “Khanda Manda Yoga”, where its mid-tempo melody intensifies the feeling of expectation (as well as fear too) before the final step towards Death (whatever this Death is) and the New Beginning that will follow. Now we are ready for the hypnotic “Burned By The Flame Of The Divine Love”. The start of the eternal reward…

2013 may have been a sterile year in terms of new releases for those who embrace the black offspring of metal but do not settle for the safety of recycling old-school ideas, but at least it closed in an emphatic, persuasive and above all aristocratic manner. Like it descends straight from the House Of Habsburgs in a way…

RAVENCULT, NOCTURNAL VOMIT, NECROVOROUS, NECROHELL

•January 5, 2014 • Comments Off

RAVENCULT, NOCTURNAL VOMIT, NECROVOROUS, NECROHELL

Date: December 22nd, 2013

Location: Kyttaro Club, Athens

There are some (not many) times when hope is actually existent after all. It might prove to be an illusion in the end, but at least for a few hours during that Sunday night this is how I felt. For it is not a small deal for a domestic live event on a “weird” date (December 22nd is a date when many citizens of Athens have left for their home towns) to draw such a large attendance.

NecrohellIt was already halfway of NECROHELL’s show, when I arrived at Kyttaro and the club was significantly full and a good part of it was synched with the Norwegian worshipping blackmetal of Ungod’s (SLAUGHTERED PRIEST, SAD) unholy gathering. Faithful to bathorian heritage, corpsepaint, spikes and the monolithic riffs of DARKTHRONE and GORGOROTH, the Athenians presented themselves on stage in much more convincing way than the unsuspecting audience would expect. My only objection would be the second guitar’s role, as it mostly created noise higher than the required level.

NecrovorousThe familiarity between me and NECROVOROUS on the other hand was already grown, as we have “met” in various events before. Yet, the stone that crushed us this time was something I could never predict. Solid as band that has scoured the whole world’s clubs, proprietors of a concrete view on the archetypal death metal sound of AUTOPSY and MASTER (among others), rotten but in no way loose and with Archfiend Devilpig vomiting his words in a different –more direct- manner than those of EMBRACE OF THORNS and SERPENT NOIR, the Necrovores brought the audience to a state of feverish headbanging and confirmed their position upon on of the thrones of recent European death metal.

Nocturnal VomitA few moments later it was time for a proper power-trio. For the honorary guests of the evening, NOCTURNAL VOMIT from Thessaloniki, it would be no exaggeration for one to say that they reaped some souls during their performance that evening. I have already glorified “Cursed Relics” and its CELTIC FROST-like straightforward attack, yet after their after their support performance under SADISTIC INTENT, I believed (I was certain to be more precise) that they could interpret their aggressive music much better on stage; and now I think I was justified. Such an extreme sonic delirium from a death metal trio I had only encountered while ORDER FROM CHAOS were playing NWN’s 2010 festival; it may be big talk, but that’s how feel now that I’m writing these words. A special mention is owed to the emphatic bass playing which colored their songs with some extra touches of darkened paint.

RavencultThe amazing thing with RAVENCULT is that on a night that could already be characterized a complete and full with the performances of the first three bands, they simply and beautifully ripped the place to shreds, giving new meanings to already known words. For instance, from now on, if anyone asks what the meaning of the word “rage” is then those of us present there, the answer would very naturally be “but the manifestation of RAVENCULT in Kyttaro of course!”. Within a sonic paroxysm, the Norwegian riffs were deconstructed and reconstructed again by Stefanos between a thrash hammer and a black anvil, Linos was spitting his guts out, mixed with blasphemous words but the point where would one stare with his jaws dropped open was the inconceivable combination of speed, precision and violence of Maelstrom’s drum beatings.

Since too much blabbing is unnecessary and what has been written above is almost too much, let me summarize it:

  • Four bands, one better than the other
  • Amazing sound quality during the whole of the show
  • Audience in frenzy, especially during RAVENCULT when there was good amount of panic
  • An almost sold-out Kyttaro club

As I was saying in the prologue, there may be some hope after all. At least for a little while…

OCCULT BLACK/DEATH METAL RITUAL Vol. 5 (ACHERONTAS / SERPENT NOIR / HERETIC CULT REDEEMER)

•December 10, 2013 • Comments Off

Date: November 30, 2013

Location: Second Skin Club, Athens

I’ll start with the negative aspect of this event. All three bands taking part in the ceremony, suffered from an awful monitor sound on stage. I’m not going to blame anyone (the artists themselves have made their own statements) but it is a total shame in the year 2013 on a night when a special atmosphere has evolved and powerful sounds are about to be played, all this being destroyed by technical problems. However, I have to say that from where I was standing, I could listen decently and relatively clearly. Let’s go straight to the musical happenings though.

Heretic Cult Redeemer @ Occult Black/Death Ritual vol. 5 HERETIC CULT REDEEMER are a new addition to the domestic occult/orthodox blackmetal circle, yet some of their members are all but juniors since vocalist Funus has attributed to older ACRIMONIOUS releases while drummer V. torments the drum kits of EMBRACE OF THORNS, RESURGENCY and NECROVOROUS among many others. Plus, HCR entered our lives emphatically with their self-titled record crushing some bones, as it follows traditional as well as more contemporary teachings of the Scandinavian (mainly Swedish I would say) blackmetal orthodoxy. What was not expected though, was the live interpretation of their material as they seemed nothing like an inexperienced band on stage. Tight consistency on guitars, amazing vocal renderings (including an indefinably extra-terrestrial aura) from the white clad monk Funus and hammering drums led to an exquisite, devout atmosphere and filled Second Skin with the first appropriate vibes.

Serpent Noir @ Occult Black/Death Ritual vol. 5The next part came with the appearance of SERPENT NOIR, their third on stage after the ones in KAWIR’s anniversary show and Incubate festival on Tilburg, Netherlands. This time, having Cain Latifer from mighty ACRIMONIOUS on second guitar, the live versions of their songs were fittingly broadened and minute-by-minute the magick in the club’s air became more and more perceivable. The opening track “Allies From The Black Sun Universe” was the ideal vehicle to penetrate into the parallel universe of the Drakon, where, among others, the melodies of “Black Sphere”, “Voids Of Samael” and “Sorath Invocation” ruled supreme. We also had the honour to listen to new song “Dreaming Iblis” from the upcoming release (somewhere in 2014 –one of the most anticipated ones), while they perfectly “owned” THERION’s “Melez”. I, from my perspective, after confessing that I needed about ten or more minutes after their set’s end to come to my earthly senses and be able to mutter a word, I ought to “complain” (with humor of course) to dear Yannis that once again I didn’t get the chance to listen to their grandiose side from the “Gateways To The Nightside” split.

Acherontas @ Occult Black/Death Ritual vol. 5A little time has passed and the familiar scenery that accompanies the rituals of ACHERONTAS with the skulls, the candles and the censers is being set up as the band is ready to close triumphantly a year during which they released the brilliant “Amenti” and appeared in numerous European sites taking part in important blackmetal events like the Death Kult festival, the Prague Death Mass, Black Flames Of Blasphemy in Finland and many more. Unfortunately, it was not meant for them to say farewell to their native supporters because of the problems mentioned in the prologue, which by that time has become almost insurmountable leading initially to a brief interruption and ultimately to the premature ending of their set. Even so, pieces like “Blood Current Illumination” and “Wanpyric Metamorphosis” shook appropriately the audience and so did the always delightful “Legacy Of Tiamat”.

We thank them for their persistence and the same applies for the other two bands as all of them surpassed the setbacks in order to repay support from the small but devoted amount of people that attended the show. As HERETIC CULT REDEEMER very aptly wrote about the situation:

“As for the difficulties, we have to say that last night was a proof that only the strong survive and moving forward as the light of their soul flickering like the stars to eternity! There’s nothing to be afraid…”

EIKONS OF THE UNDERWORLD (NECROS CHRISTOS / NECROMASS / EMBRACE OF THORNS / AKROTHEISM)

•November 17, 2013 • Comments Off

Date: September 14, 2013

Location: Kyttaro Club, Athens

However crucial was the basketball game of the Greek National Team that night, the synthesis of the names which would conquer Kyttaro Club practically demanded our presence in Ipeirou Street, instead of being in front of some TV screen. Under the caretaking of Metal Defiance, the second visit of NECROS CHRISTOS to our soil combined with the very first one of cult Italian blackmetallers NECROMASS as well as with the chance to observe where are EMBRACE OF THORNS headed to after the changes in their line-up, attracted the attention of a small yet devoted audience, namely those that know and respect bands other than CANNIBAL CORPSE or NILE for example.

Akrotheism   As an appetizer, we had AKROTHEISM, a new entrance to the native occult/religious blackmetal current. Aside from having a split release with ORDER OF THE EBON HAND, I had no other information about them, although, if I’m not terribly mistaken, they share the same vocalist with ASTRAL AEON. On stage they showed us aspects of their vision, with deep and solid blackmetal riffing, high speeds and some embedding of death metal elements, while their last track had a small surprise for us where they covered “To Swarm Deserted Away” (from VED BUENS ENDE) with the use of theremin, a choice not often encountered. We’ll talk more for them when, given the passing of time, they settle to the sound and goals they wish to achieve.

Embrace Of ThornsMy last “meeting” with EMBRACE OF THORNS was in Goatlust Supremacy festival a few months ago, when serious problems with the on stage sound monitors led to the premature ending of their set. In Kyttaro’s better equipped space though, nothing could stop them. In the best of their six live appearances I’ve attended (and with the other five being no less that very good), they unfolded the whole spectrum of their otherworldly atmospheres contained in their discography, from the black demos and “For I See…” to the merciless death metal of top-class “Praying For Absolution”. With solid bonds between members, although this was the second performance with Fallen Angel Of Fornication (IMPURE WORSHIP) in guitars and only the first one of Apostle Of The Blackest Light (also in MALLEDICTION) in bass, they unleashed vibes in the rhythm of a machine gun and those with the courage to tune their minds with them, probably acquired a few neck problems in the end of the show. For those wishing to get a glimpse of what was described above, the full set of that night can be seen HERE.

NecromassAfter such devastating experience, a few moments of relaxation with beer and a bit of fresh air were more than needed. Not for long though, as the set of legendary NECROMASS, a band sharing some bonds with the old Hellenic underground since their debut full-length was released by Unisound records, soon would begin. I must confess that apart from MORTUARY DRAPE, my relationship with Italian blackmetal has never been a deep one. Here, the combination of bad sound (practically, the excessive volume distorted the final outcome from the speakers in a non-desired way) and imagery that wasn’t exactly compatible with my visual aesthetics, caused me a certain negative predisposition. However, I cannot deny the fact that the Italians played with great power and gave their souls to what they were doing, in a performance more metallic than black, causing enthusiasm to the largest part of the audience, especially with the prolonged version of “Mysteria Mystica Zothyriana 666” that closed their act.

Necros ChristosAnd so we had finally reached the main attraction of the evening, as NECROS CHRISTOS, the vessel of Mors Dalos Ra in his quest exploring doom/death realms through eastern mystical passages, took their places on stage. In lots of ways, the Germans currently seem to feel more as doomsters than death metallers, playing their songs in a heavy rock mood, although the deep, growl-like vocals of Mors still remain almost unmatched. I believe a bit clearer sound would fit better to the direction they wish to follow but in any case Doom Of Kali-Ma” (crushing!), “Curse Of The Necromantical Sabbath”, “Va Koram Do Rex Satan” (in a heavy rock anthem version), “Black Mass Desecration” etc, still were a delight to listen to as well as a confirmation of the reasons for which they rightfully claim one of the thrones of contemporary extreme metal underground in Europe. However, I believe that, give the atmosphere surrounding the place during their set, two or three more songs could easily be added.

Even so, in the end of the gig the general picture was that of yet another very intense night with a successful line-up and strong vibes of extreme metallic sounds on the stage of Kyttaro, which proves to be an ideal space for such kind of gatherings (of course this does not mean I love AN Club any less than that). Until next time, behold the forces of the EIKONS OF THE UNDERWORLD!

CLANDESTINE BLAZE “Harmony of Struggle”

•October 21, 2013 • Comments Off

Release Date: May, 2013

Label: Northern Heritage

Harmony Of StruggleWhat else can one say about mr. Mikko Aspa? The Voice of the last decade’s most praised blackmetal name, once again takes its distance from Hasjarl’s coven and reforms as the CLANDESTINE BLAZE entity, through which he concentrates on reminding us in the most emphatic way what this special subgenre was, is and will be about.

So, “Harmony Of Struggle” starts from where the previous release (“Falling Monuments”) of the maniac Finnish left us, with its threatening intro just foretelling the attack that will follow and conquer all, at least for the first half part of the record. “White Corpse” has a Darkthrone-like title and a relevant, aggressive and monolithic structure; it sets its claws upon the listener from the very first second and never lets him until its end. On the other side, the abyssic “Myth Turned Alive” causes everything to sink into its darkness with its obsessively low tempo as well as the ominous, acoustic mid-part.

However, it is when we reach somewhere around mid-point (from “Messiah Of The Dying World” and onwards) where mighty Mikko plays his heaviest cards. And this of course is his amazing perception of a conceptual musical current that makes each track to flow into the next one, creating a sense of continuity for the listener, who feels completeness equal to that of a good film. The sequence of [”Messiah For The Dying World" – closing with "ut quid, Domine, recessisti longe?" psalm – Wings Οf Τhe Archangel" with the devastating riffs and the drums pounding straight against your chest - "Memento Mori II" whispers – elegy of "Autumn Of Blood And Steel" (candidate for best CLANDESTINE BLAZE track ever)] is nothing less than the quintessence of black metal, translated into notes. The fact that this is happening in 2013 without sounding ridiculously retro or horribly modern, is one of the unexplainable riddles of our times.

There would be much more to write about an individual who, instead of playing the role of the scene leader (which he could justifiably do unlike some other “satyrs” of today), remains faithful to the principles of uncompromising underground, releasing his works on his own (through Northern Heritage), without unnecessary words or multiple presses in different colors with limitiations and the rest of that bullshit. However, just one word (yet such a strong one!) I think is enough for our case:

- RESPECT -

World howls in anguished state

Trembling under mind-crumbling Ideas

As the leaves turn dead and fall

So shall fall the world of worms…

MONUMENTS CRUMBLE BUT NEVER FALL!

 
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