Dimmu Borgir & The Norwegian Radio Orchestra & Choir / Forces Of The Northern Night

Forces of the Northern Night

Dimmu Borgir (/ˌdɪm ˈbɔːrɡɪər/ or Norwegian: [dɪmmʏ bɔɾgiɾ] or Norwegian pronunciation: [dɪmmʏ bɔʁgiʁ]) is a Norwegian symphonic black metal band from Oslo, Norway, formed in 1993. The name is derived from Dimmuborgir, a volcanic formation in Iceland, the name of which means “dark cities” or “dark castles/fortresses” in Icelandic, Faroese and Old Norse. The band has been through numerous lineup changes over the years; guitarist Silenoz and vocalist Shagrath are the only original members who still remain with guitarist Galder being a longstanding member.

The Analysis—-

Xibir [Orchestra Only]—-If you are a fan of Dimmu, or even slightly acquainted, this recording seems only natural in the grand scheme of things. What an experience it must be as an Orchestra member to play with such a dark and epic band. This track is lush and full of orchestrated moods and energy. Combining the choir of voices with the overblown music comes together to create something damn magical.

Born Treacherous—-The opening strains of the band are greeted by a huge swell of excitement. The music played by the band is bolstered and made so much larger by the Orchestra. Shagrath and his growl seems to wrap itself around the magnificent strings. This only makes the band seem even larger. I love this recording. When the choir joins in on the chorus it is an incredible journey in itself.

Gateways—-With a huge swell full of strings and those magnificent drums and bass line. this song becomes literally huge. Like an epic journey through guttural vocals accompanied by a beautifully landscaped Orchestra, the dichotomy is incredible. Shaw makes an appearance here….I never cared for her very much.  She nor a full choir can even come close to the incredible vocal style from ICS Vortex…..a huge mistake for the band to lose him.

Dimmu Borgir  [Orchestra Only]—-Serving as almost an introduction to the proper song, the choir soars with a huge anthem style delivery that just sounds beautiful. The swells of voices, strings and movements are like a huge movie come to life. Magnificent.

Dimmu Borgir—-Perhaps one of my favorite tracks from the band as of late, this is delivered with a huge and intense grandiosity. As Shagrath takes his proper place at the microphone and urges the crowd toward mania, the Orchestra and choir keep pace with the venom remarkably well. This is even better than the original version of the song. I am enthralled and in love. The swells and huge string delivery with the backing choir all come together to create a perfect magnificent storm.

Chess With The Abyss—-This seems a bit more straight forward in delivery…the orchestration is there…but not overly pronounced. The vocal here is the powerful force….along with the lead guitar that is blistering fast. The choir does an incredible job with the backing vocal, but Shagrath is the star here…sounding driven and demonic.

Ritualist—-With sound effects and an almost gentle acoustic intro, the sound falls away to invite the mayhem to the center stage. The vocal from Shagrath just seems so comfortable with all the members of the choir and orchestra. This is an amazing endeavor and recording.

A Jewel Traced Through Coal—-Delivering an incredibly huge sound, the energy of the recording threatens my ears and speakers. The strings swell to an almost bursting apex. The vocal from Shagrath always front and center and never drowned by the band or all the other musicians on stage. The choir adds a back swell that makes the song so huge. Just incredible.

Eradication Instincts Defined [Orchestra Only]—-Jaunty and overblown, this is delivered with a lot of flourish and grand choir overtones. I like it….but I can take or leave this…it all has a same like quality to it.

Vredesbyrd—-Stepping out of the depths of hell with a vocal that that belies and grandiosity, this track is pure and simple classic Dimmu. You almost miss the overblown backdrop of the orchestra simply because the vocal is so aggressive. This is fantastic….the crowd seems literally out of their minds…and the participation in fantastic. A stand out track…I have not heard this song in a long time.

Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse—-Perhaps the most well known track from the band, I love the backdrop of the swells of music, but the choir can not even come close to replacing the soaring vocal of former member Vortex. This is a bit of a disappointment for me…..I just miss that classic clean vocal line.

The Serpentine Offering—-Perhaps my favorite track from In Sorte Diaboli, the orchestration here makes the sound and the energy seem even larger than could be imagined. The orchestration was always here on this song from the original…but here it becomes even larger. What surprises me is how Shagrath never loses the power of his vocal despite all that is going on. Just remarkable.

Fear And Wonder [Orchestra Only]—-Overblown and moody, this serves as a slight transition I suppose….but to me….it would be a lot to sit through…..

Kings Of The Carnival Creation—-Jetting into the back catalog for another fan favorite track, Shagrath sounds just as evil as he ever did….despite the delivery of the song. The buildup is maddening before the band truly kicks in….and for me, the song loses some of its venom in his setting. I like it….but I will take the original any day…..

Puritania—-Huge and incredible drums introduce this track…the distortion on the vocal adds to the credibility of the band. The sharp and quick bursts of music takes me back to the days when the Black Metal sound of Dimmu was more pure if you will. This is delivered with a nice energy…it is easy to remember the old days.

Mourning Place—-True in sound and delivered with just the right attitude and tone of venom this is just magnificent. I love the snarl that Shagrath delivers….backed by the higher tones of the choir…..it all comes together to create an incredible sound and energy.

Perfection Or Vanity [Orchestra Only]—-Ending what must have been a very long evening, this is delivered with the same beauty and intricacy as the opening track. This is certainly a journey all of it’s own. Now….it’s time for Dimmu to return to what they do best…….recording….please?

**** out of 5

 

Loudwire.com 2014 Metal Album Of The Year—-Behemoth / The Satanist

The Satanist

Behemoth is a Polish blackened death metal band from Gdańsk, formed in 1991. They are considered to have played an important role in establishing the Polish extreme metal underground.

Until the late 1990s, the band played a traditional black metal style with heathen lyrical content, but soon changed to that of occult and thelemic themes written by their lead vocalist Nergal and Krzysztof Azarewicz. With the 1999 release of Satanica, the band demonstrated their presence in the death metal scene, while retaining their own signature style characterized by the drum work of Inferno, multi-layered vocals and Middle-Eastern influences. Despite Behemoth having been labeled as death metal or thrash metal-influenced, Nergal has mentioned that he does not like the band to be labeled.

The Satanist is the tenth album by Polish extreme metal band Behemoth. The album was announced on 31 May 2013 and released on February 3, 2014 through Nuclear Blast and on February 4 in Poland via Metal Blade Records and Mystic Production, respectively. Release was preceded by digital download single “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” and 12″ EP under the same title released on December 4, 2013.

The Analysis—-

Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel—-A favorite band of mine for a very long time, there is little in my eyes these guys go ever do wrong. Nergal came back from his leukemia battle sounding huge and more possessed than ever. The music is dark, dense and layered with sounds….the voice comes at you from the dark with natural…not forced…evil overtones. This is a huge epic release…..the intro song just sets you up for the incredible journey to follow.

Furor Divinus—-Right from the onset, the sound of this track is a bit muddier and dark. The drums are incredible….the rest of the instruments all seem to play to there own song which makes this sound layered, textured and almost like pure mayhem. Meanwhile the vocal slides over the top of everything with dark and evil overtones that make you feel as if you are going mad. Stellar in every way.

Messe Noire—-With loud and raucous odes to Satan, the vocal smacks you in the face from the very first note. After the first bar or so, the song takes off at a pace that literally leaves you breathless and shaking your head in amazement. This is so dark…it’s light and intense. I love this band. Nergal has never sounded more driven or possessed by his message.

Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer—-With an actual build up to the vocal, I find myself waiting with baited breath for the mayhem to commence. Once the drums kick in at hyper drive, the vocal is right there to tell you about the glories and redeeming powers of Lucifer. Driven through this dark tunnel your mind almost begs for light….but instead you drive deeper into the tunnel….just incredible.

Amen—-Incredibly fast drums and a bass line from hell smack yo in the face from the very first notes….with a slight downshift in the music, the vocal enters and then everything kicks back p again leaving you in a trail of black dust. The puked vocal is so intense I fear I could lose my mind….but the loss would be so magnificent at the hands of this band.

The Satanist—-A bleak and dark tone introduces this track…leaving you a bit confused by the calm nature of the whole thing….although the sound is huge and epic. The plodding feel of the music is offset by incredible drums and a static lead guitar line that still leaves the mind breathless. The vocal enters and sounds less driven than anything else on this release thus far…but the sound is monstrous anyways. The ‘chorus’ of the song has a brilliant melody line that runs through it…..I am always surprised by the brilliance.

Ben Sahar—-Incredibly dark in tone and layered with a bass line melody that makes you want to sway back and forth, the kick drum hits you right in the fuckin forehead. Nergal delivers his patented vocal that magically rides over all of the noise of the instruments and tells his tale of being Satan’s ally. Monstrous and incredible.

In The Absence Ov Light—-BAM!!!!! smacked right in the forehead at the first note, the melody line that is present in this song is incredible…you can pick it up despite everything that is going on around you from the different instruments and the sewer filled vocal of Nergal. The song has downshifts….a gentle almost acoustic guitar line allows for a spoken word verse in Polish that sounds even more evil than it would in English. This is freak in fantastic.

O Father O Satan O Sun!—-Loaded with a remarkable almost accessible melody line right from the first note, this is perhaps my favorite track on this release. The song has everything that made this entire release incredible….darkness…melody…evil…..drums…..a fantastic vocal….a great higher lead guitar line. this is an epic end to a fantastic release.

***** out of 5

 

 

Loudwire.com 1997 Metal Album Of The Year—-Emperor / Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk

Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk

Emperor is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1991, regarded as highly influential by critics and emerging black metal bands.The group split up in 2001, but reunited from 2005 to 2007 for a few festival dates and brief US tours, and again reunited in 2013 to 2014. The group was founded by Ihsahn (guitar/vocals) and Samoth (then, drums).

Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk is the second studio album by Norwegian black metal band Emperor. It was released on 8 July 1997 through Candlelight Records and Century Black.

The Analysis—-

Alsvartr [The Oath]—-Beginning with a nice melodic acoustic style guitar, the listener may very well be taken aback by the sound. It is not long before the song begins to take form with an eerie vocal incantation as the atmosphere builds and builds until you are literally breathless with anticipation. In all reality, you are being prepared for……

Ye Entrancemperium—-And now….we are off and running to pound loudly on the doors of hell. the drums are so fast and delivered at such a pace it seems to be the maddening pound of evil. The slight orchestrated feel of the song provides the melody and backbone of the song. The voice…seems under produced and pushed to the back…but sounds way better than the vocal did on Nightside . This is incredible…fast….dark and delivered with the right level of  evil.At times when the clean vocal emerges…you can almost hear a resemblance to Serj Tankian.

Thus Spake The Night Spirit—-Epic right from the first note, you can hear the quasi-orchestration from the keyboards. The death scream that serves as the introductory vocal is only eclipsed by the incredible drums that smack your head back and forth on your neck. The vocal…when it fully emerges is hard to understand….but the intent is clear…this is dark and driven by a force. I love the energy and the forbidden sound of it all.

Ensorcelled By Khaos—-No time to catch your breath, as this track kicks you in the face from the first note. The guitars sound really powerful on this….a literal huge wall of sound that creates their own landscape. The vocal seems unformulated and all over the place…but you can’t escape the majesty and mastery of the music…there are huge breaks and ebbs in the music…..and then you are lifted right back up again. Incredible.

The Loss And Curse Of Reverence—-Seeming to roll directly from the previous track, there is no room for variance or experimentation on this release….what you ordered is what you get…pure brutal Black Metal that gives your entire brain a workout. This track just seems to wrap around and attack me from every angle. The brutality is incredible…but underneath of it all is that keyboard melody line that provides the glue that gives the noises structure. This is fantastic….a favorite track from this release.

The Acclamation Of Bonds—-Very accessible at the onset, there are huge swells of keyboards to introduce the song before the drums and the vocal lead us down a dark path. The keyboards are always there though….providing the need structure to formulate the song. These are well trained musicians….never think for a moment this is just bashed out noise and screams and thus a record is made. The thought, the structure, the writing is top notch. This is a landmark recording.

With Strength I Burn—-Although thee is little new to offer in critique of this track, I can only mention that which really impresses me…..an incredible drum track….that helped set the standard for many of the bands in this genre today, a blistering vocal that impresses, and a melody line that appears…disappears….but always seems present. I love the clean vocal element of this song….it gives some variance and breaks up the monotonous feel of the record at this point. Just exquisite.

The Wanderer—-Ending the release with a slight somber and calm note, this track is full of swirling atmosphere and a certain sadness that pervades it through the entirety. Huge in grandiosity and tone…it is a fantastic closer to an incredible effort.

**** out of 5

 

 

 

Satyricon / Satryicon

Satyricon

Satyricon is a Norwegian black metal band, formed in 1991 in Oslo. Satyr and Frost have been the band’s core members since 1993. The band’s first three albums typify the Norwegian black metal style. Since its fourth album in 1999, the band has strayed from this style and included elements of traditional heavy metal in their sound. Satyricon was the first Norwegian black metal band to join a multi-national record label (EMI).

Satyricon is the eighth studio album by Norwegian black metal band Satyricon. It is their first topping VG-lista, the official Norwegian Albums Chart. It was released throughout Europe on 9 September 2013, and released on 17 September 2013 in USA and Canada.

The Analysis—-

Voice Of Shadows—-I was a late comer to this band…but have now collected every release thus far. this sounds, at the onset a little subdued and less produced than the last two release. I find myself thinking the band has started to sound a bit more Industrial in sound on this release. The music is dark….but the melody on this track is almost catchy and pure. I long for the days of Now, Diabolical.

Tro Og Kraft—-Again, the rhythm section drives the feel of this track….Satyr enters with his evil sounding vocal and gives the song a bit more credibility. The record to me…has a hollow sound to it…like production could have been much better. The big sound of the last few releases in missing.

Our World, It Rumbles Tonight—-This just seems to be a mish mash of different sounds all mashed together in one song. You have the sometimes heavy feel from Satyricon, intermediate Orchestration here and there….combined with keyboards and some phenomenal drums…which I love. The form of the band seems to be struggling and a bit lost though.

Nocturnal Flare—-Beginning with a nice epic aggression, the song ebbs away into a more funeral feel as it tries to take shape. The one constant are the drums…but the effects seem to even stifle them a bit. This is such a long intro I almost lose enthusiasm. Satyr enters with his vocal…not a growl and not clean…but enough of a difference to catch my attention. Sometimes he sounds a bit pissed off…which I really like….but the shifting musical sounds are unorganized and without passion.

Phoenix—-A huge blast of aggression and rhythm greets me as this track begins….leading me back down the path of Black Metal i so love. the drums are awesome…the guest vocal from Sivert Hoyem is a surprise and an almost shock as the clear and concise vocal greets you. I love the rhythm of the song…but the purity of Black Metal is compromised in my opinion.

Walker Upon The Wind—-Beginning huge and epic in sound, the aggression is remarkable and makes me smile. This is what i wanted from the beginning. The music is fast…maniacal and the vocal comes at you in a pissed off manner that makes you draw your breath inward. This is fantastic…one of the best tracks on this release!

Nekrohaven—-Again, the aggression seems to be back to a point. The rhythm section leads the entire pace of the song, while the vocal appears to be run through a filter that makes me think of Ministry or some band in the Industrial music field. I like this……but the direction of the band seems to be faltering…so….I hear they are not recording any longer together…perhaps this loss of direction is why. This track is pretty awesome though….full of dark imagery.

Ageless Northern Spirit—-This again, has a muted feel to the music and the vocal that speaks to me of lack of production value. This track should have…and could have been epic if properly mixed and produced. I hate to see a band dissolve into mediocrity like this.

The Infinity Of Time And Space—- Moody and sounding a bit mainstream at the onset, Satyr delivers a vocal that breaks the spell a bit. The deep growling delivery is broken by a melodic guitar that crashes me enthusiasm for the track…making me wonder….what the fuck happened to this band? I’m sorry to see them go….but the creativity seems to have come to an end.

Natt—-I hate to say it, but I welcome the end to this rather lackluster release. I remain disappointed and know for a fact i will not grab this record to listen to on even a casual basis. all the integrity of the middle period of the band has dissolved and gone by the wayside. I guess for everyone there must be a new chapter…this band is ready for one….book closed!

** out of 5

 

In darkness
Underneath
The above
Swordbearer
Son of a tornado
He lies in the slumber of (dark) clouds

Born by a thought
He flies through the thunder of wars
Swirling
Ripping

Ultimate destroyer
Unspeakable avenger
Walker upon the wind
Hunting, piercing
(The) ultimate, roaring
Walker upon the wind

Son of a tornado
He lies in the slumber of (dark) clouds
Mourned, feared, adored
Accursed one, torn one, marked one

Ultimate destroyer
Unspeakable avenger
Walker upon the wind
Hunting, piercing
(The) ultimate, roaring
Walker upon the wind

 

 

Emperor / Promethus-The Discipline Of Fire & Demise

Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise

Emperor is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1991, regarded as highly influential by critics and emerging black metal bands. The group split up in 2001, but reunited from 2005 to 2007 for a few festival dates and brief US tours, and again reunited in 2013 to 2014. The group was founded by Ihsahn (guitar/vocals) and Samoth (then, drums).

Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise is the fourth and final studio album by Norwegian black metal band Emperor. It was released on 21 October 2001, through Candlelight Records. Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise differs from Emperor’s previous recordings with a focus on a more progressive style.

The album was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy Award for Best Metal album in 2001.

The Analysis—-

The Eruption—-If you are a fan of Emperor, have followed their career or even listened on a casual basis, the first thing you notice is how far the sound quality of this band has come. Gone are the muddled guitars…the mass wall of noise and the vocals that were almost unheard. Still intact though is the intensity and the aggressive lauds to all things mysterious and scary. The vocals are crisp and clear…the guitar squeals are fantastic….the drums as always are huge. The symphonic element is incredible…the vocal incantation sometimes reminding me of King Diamond when he sings in his ‘regular; voice. This is pretty fantastic.

Depraved—-Melding from the previous track, the darkness that the music has is just incredible. The atmosphere puts you in a dark fog filled forest with dripping rain all around you as you struggle to escape sheer madness. The drums on this track are smack in your face….while the crisp lead guitars give the song a direction to travel in. When the rhythm section truly kicks in, the track takes on a remarkable melody. The vocal is as we would expect…powerful and dripping with danger. The music is the incredible thing for me….so much going on….yet a distinguishing melody underneath it all.

Empty—-There is no break between tracks on this release…the entire thing playing like a well read book. This track is just pure mayhem….there is so much going on….your ears are assaulted from all sides right from the onset. The slight lull in the music allows you to catch your breath and for the vocal to move to the front of the mix. This is extreme in it’s finest form. There is nothing to frown about with this release.

The Prophet—-With a split second of silence, this track kicks in with a bit more of an orchestrated large sound. The drumming is just incredible…the double kick bass delivered at a maddening speed. The vocal sounds double tracked….layered with different tones that make it sound even more evil then previous tracks. The guitars are crisp…the squeals incredible…but the bass line underneath of it all lending to the melody of the song. This is huge in sound….and almost catchy….I love this.

The Tongue Of Fire—-Never allowing you a moment of respite, this comes right at you with an overpowering wall of noise and sound. Everything comes at you in multiple directions….literally making your head swim with the intensity. The guitars are crisp and clean….maddening at times with the same notes repeating and repeating. Perhaps…for me, one of the most aggressive tracks on this release…..this is pure noise with a lot of pleasure thrown in. The vocal is eerie…delivered with a scary sing song melody that reminds you this is evil….lol

In The Wordless Chamber—-Coming out of a musical fog to smack you right upside the head, the vocal is almost immediate and sounds more possessed than ever. The drums are huge…almost drowning out everything. The usual crisp guitars are almost absent…..taking you back to the muddled and maniacal days of early Emperor. The death screams that are emitted are shockingly surprising. The slight orchestra moments adding to the huge feel of the song. Then comes the marching rhythm to the song….giving it form and substance. This is though out Metal……I love this song!!!

Grey—-Drums and soaring squealing guitars begin this track….taking you on another dark and heavy journey. The vocal enters….sounding pissed off and driven by unseen forces. This is extreme….I love how the crisp guitar is showcased…giving the track a nice clarity and substance. The deep bass sounds are here, but the lead guitars make the track a bit more accessible to the listener. This is fantastic! This really reminds me of King Diamond!!!!

He Who Sought the Fire—-No rest for the wicked….let’s go!!!! The guitars continue on the tirade of the previous track. The drums…..MY GOD……how is it possible to play like this. They take up the entire song….huge…..fast and powerful. The vocal is as you would expect….the surprise for me are the intermittent guitar stops and breaks…then they soar…then they disappear….this is talent…not just studio pummeling. Extreme!!!

Thorns On My Grave—-Rounding out the release with yet another epic track, there is still little time to catch your breath as we meld right into the final brutal drum driven track that reminds you what hell must sound like. Indeed…perhaps it is not such a bad place after all eh? The soaring guitars never drown out the double kick drum that leads you on a frenetic journey to hell. The vocal enters….and I’m shocked by some of the higher notes that are emitted. This is just incredible…leaving me thirsty and almost bleeding for more. If this is indeed the end for this band…you could never ask for a better swan song.

**** out of 5

Dimmu Borgir / In Sorte Diaboli

In Sorte Diaboli

Dimmu Borgir (/ˌdɪm ˈbɔːrɡɪr/ or Norwegian: [dɪmmʏ bɔɾgiɾ] or Norwegian pronunciation: [dɪmmʏ bɔʁgiʁ]) is a Norwegian symphonic black metal band from Oslo, Norway, formed in 1993. The name is derived from Dimmuborgir, a volcanic formation in Iceland, the name of which means “dark cities” or “dark castles/fortresses” in Icelandic, Faroese and Old Norse. The band has been through numerous lineup changes over the years; guitarist Silenoz and vocalist Shagrath are the only original members who still remain with guitarist Galder being a longstanding member.

In Sorte Diaboli (Latin for “In league with the devil”) is the eighth studio album by Norwegian symphonic black metal band Dimmu Borgir, released in 2007.

This would be the last album by Dimmu Borgir to feature ICS Vortex, Hellhammer and Mustis.

The Analysis—-

The Serpentine Offering—-This is, without saying, is my favorite offering from this band to date. Although a long-time fan, I prefer the direction the band has taken with its much heavier orchestrated compositions and huge anthem songs.Edging up slowly with heavy orchestration, the atmosphere is intense and the build-up almost mind blowing. When Hellhammer hits with the drums…the song becomes even larger. Shagrath enters with his puked lyrics…..still acceptable….but evil enough to get the point across. This is just amazing. When ICS enters with his remarkable clean vocal, the track takes on a huge melodic form. To me, this was the band in peak form.

The Chosen Legacy—-Again, the first thing you notice is the phenomenal and almost inhuman drumming set forth from Hellhammer. Shagrath continues much in the vein we are accustomed to…with his deep guttural vocal. This is not maddening Black Metal…..this is delivered with finesse….melody and an almost catchy tone. This is remarkable.

The Conspiracy Unfolds—-Never really one to follow along with the ‘concept’ of a musical offering, I tend to accept each track at face value. This release is no exception. It can be played out of sequence and still maintains its legitimacy without fail. The band is in such fine form….it is a shame internal conflicts broke up such a well oiled machine. This plays so well…even all these years on. The orchestration has fallen away and the drums and maddening bass lines are in full effect. This track is noisier and more chaotic…..but it remains….fantastic.

The Sacrilegious Scorn—-Returning with a nice cross of orchestration and head bashing metal, you could not ask for a better combination. The way the music works with the strings is phenomenal…..the clean vocals break up the monotony of the past few tracks…giving the track an almost ethereal feel at times. This is incredible.The understated keyboards are so incredible and necessary….I miss Mortis.

The Ancestral Fever —-A slow buildup leads you on a slight journey before slamming you at the door of further mayhem and incredible musicianship. There are lots of vocal manipulations on this release…I prefer to have Shagrath in his huge towering form…..this is not a favorite track….but trust me…it hold up to anything offered on Abrahadabra.

The Fallen Arises—-Eerie and laden with effects that can almost be visual, this instrumental is perfect placement on the release. You are allowed a slight respite…a cool down if you will…..before the journey continues. You can hear the strings swell….the atmosphere of the track is foggy and mystical. This is brilliant.

The Sinister Awakening—-With a quick and blazing return to full on mayhem, the guitar work on this track is just phenomenal. There are even some remarkable guitar squeals….Shagrath returns in full voice and you notice how much faster this track seems to travel. The keyboards are incredible…the chord changes give the song a great feel…..the drums are immaculate….could you ever ask for more?

The Fundamental Alienation—-Slow and plodding at the onset, the song has a monk styled intro that makes it even more sinister in sound. Soon Hellhammer breaks the mood with his insane drums and Shag is not far behind to further remove you from that comfort zone. The breaks and the chord changes are phenomenal. I never get tired of this release……it always has a place in my player.

The Invaluable Darkness—-Continuing in consistent sound and style, this track does offer a nice jaunt to the guitar delivery that is a bit hard to explain…but it is brilliant none the less. Shagrath manages to rise above all of the musical mayhem and deliver such strong lyrics and vocals…it is amazing he never gets drowned out. This is brilliant.Again, ICS breaks things up nicely with a clean vocal….just immaculate.

The Foreshadowing Furnace—-Sounds seem to come at you from every direction as this track commences. The irritating metallic sound quickly falls away and allows for the proper vocal. There are sounds in the backdrop that almost sound like a crowd rebelling…..so well put together and delivered.

The Heretic Hammer—-Ending this release with as much power as it began, this track is a bit noisy and drum driven…..the huge enclave of atmosphere that plays in the background thanks to the keyboards from Mortis makes this song even larger. THERE WILL BE NO FUCKING REST!!!!!

****3/4 out of 5

 

 

Gorgoroth / Instinctus Bestialis

Instinctus Bestialis

Gorgoroth is a Norwegian black metal band based in Bergen. It was formed in 1992 by guitarist Infernus, who is also the only original member remaining, and the band have since released nine studio albums. Gorgoroth are a Satanic band and have drawn controversy due to some of their concerts, which have featured impaled sheep heads and mock crucifixions. The band is named after the dead plateau of darkness in the land of Mordor from J. R. R. Tolkien‘s fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings.

Instinctus Bestialis is the ninth full-length studio album by Norwegian black metal act Gorgoroth. It was released on June 8, 2015 by Soulseller Records. It was also released digitally, as well as on digipak CD in a limited first pressing, limited black vinyl LP and limited picture vinyl LP. It is the first album to feature vocalist Atterigner and was the last to feature bassist Bøddel, who died from cancer four months after the album’s release.

The Analysis—-

Radix Malorum—-No fancy introductions will be found on a Gorgoroth record…ever. Right out of the gate, prepare yourself to be pummeled and taken to the dark side of life. There is always a surprising melody that runs underneath all of the noise….but the songs are usually propelled by a hell fire super fast drum and a deep bass that darkens the sound. The vocal tears at your ear drums…but the melody still remains bright and propulsive. This is intense….dark and fuckin’ fantastic!

Dionysian Rite—-The vocal on this track is much more upfront in the mix of the music and seems a bit clearer and driven. The guitar squeals are incredible and the drums as always are stellar. There are chord changes and downshifts in the song that keep it interesting and prevent it from being an all out noise fest. This is remarkable musicianship. A really great song. The song becomes almost funeral at times…huge and dark like a wall of doom….just stellar.

Ad Omnipotens Aeterne Diabolus—-Coming out of the split second of silence, this song emerges as a huge atmospheric affair at the onset. The drums, although very present are even slowed a bit. And then….the track kicks in and the mayhem returns. The putrid vocals assault all of your senses…inspiring a self-power that is indescribable. The guitars provide a classic metal harmony that even includes some brighter tones and soaring riffs. The vocal rises above it all….proclaiming Satan….remarkable. I don’t take content of this music very seriously…I do love the brutality of it all though.

Come Night—-Huge drums right at the onset…followed by a fantastic soaring guitar lead that ushers in a menacing yell. The marching style of the music is a nice break from the all out wall of sound and gives the song more of a backbone. Probably one of my favorites on this release, it is accessible and a bit more mainstream for Black Metal. The drums as always, are the star of this show….matched only by the intense dark vocal that assaults. This is stellar!

Burn In His Light—-Again, the opening riffs of this track are a huge surprise…almost reminding me of early Rammstein….sounding a bit Industrial. The vocal is even reminiscent of this sound. This is probably the most accessible I have ever heard this band…there are nice musical shifts…down tempos and a re-crank of the guitars that keeps everything interesting. I really like this.The lead guitar gives a mid song solo that sounds like King Diamond….this is a pleasant surprise.

Rage—-Coming out of the silence once again with a higher tone from the guitars, this really does at times sound like a different band then we are accustomed to. The vocal is sick though…propelling the darkness at you right through the headphones. I prefer Gaal and his vocal best…but this is pretty stellar. I can almost see the bass guitar swaying back and forth to the undeniable rhythm that is on this track. Dark yet remarkably accessible.

Kala Brahman—-Darker and sounding a bit more muted than the previous few tracks, this is bass heavy and intense. The drums are just incredible….the vocal seemingly moved to the back of the music a bit. The lead guitars steer the song with a nice underlying melody that keeps everything cohesive. This is a bit different…but still dark and menacing.

Awakening—-This track surprised me….really accessible and almost mainstream in sound outside of the vocal that is laden with evil and darkness. There are nice breaks in the song and a chorus of sorts that calls to Satan…wow. The music remains dark, but there is that swaying rhythm section that keeps the song very listenable. Great end to a way too short release.

**** out of 5