"Cornered" MCD 2010
Hailing from Moscow FATAL BAND presents us a quite strong & tough sounding debut material. "Cornered" consists of 7 short but rather furious tracks. The basic Death Metal riffs were precisely injected by a technical & fusion-like alloy, which I found very impressive, 'cause each song has something to say with its abstract riff-structures & drum patterns. Even the cover version of SIX FEET UNDER's "Torture Killer" comes in a special, slow & mind-torturing way. The nearly 20 minutes long EP features some really heavy & blasting cuts filled up by complex, progressive yet jazz-like moments, especially in songs like "The Antisymbol" and "Million Names, Thousand Eyes" one can hear those elements to be maximally materialized. On the other hand, we have songs such as "It's All Over", "Reframe" & the title track, which reminded me quite a lot Belgium's ABORTED, not just music-wise, but by the manner of the vocalist as well. In total, we have an honest & pretty massive sounding EP here, so the chance now is yours to discover the fatality of this Russian Death Metal band.
"Weltenkraft" CD 2007
(World Chaos Production / Heavy Horses Records)
Though FINSTERFORST is seemingly a young band formed back in 2004 I have to fix at once this band has a professional musicianship, which after the self-released EP in 2006 reaches its completeness in the following form: Marco Schomas (vocals), Simon Schillinger (guitar), David Schuldis (guitar), Tobias Weinreich (bass), Cornelius "Wombo" Heck (drums), Johannes Joseph (accordion) & Sebastian "Alley Jazz" Scherrer (keyboards). In this line-up the band records "Weltenkraft" in February/March 2007. The album gathers 10 highly-performed hymns of folk-influenced Black Metal. I would admit that the parallel with their colleagues from Finland is quite evident, even if FINNTROLL plays more partying music, but anyway. The production on "Weltenkraft" is just massive, love their sound, every instrument can be clearly heard and picked off the rest. There's a huge atmosphere in their songs too, which mainly due to different folk instruments & sounds involved there. To my surprise the accordion player has got a lot to do during their 77 minutes long album, I would also not fear to say, he's got a leading role there! Fans into folk & epic metal are warmly encouraged to check this band and their releases! Preferred tracks are: "Des Waldes Macht" and "Rauschende Nächte".
Label contact: Heavy Horses Records, c/o Markus Wedig, Zellerstr. 21, 78465 Konstanz, GERMANY
"Killusion" CD 2005
I would suppose it is stoner rock what we are about to experience in FORREST JUMP's eleven-song repertory, even though there's a massive so-called nu-metal influence spiced up with a pretty strange rattle-it-off shouting vocal parts here and there (it is used to be for (c)rap "music" in general). If we look through these annoying vocal themes and the irritating amount of electronics used in a few songs, we got a decent band, which manipulates mostly with the elements of such bands as BLACK SABBATH, TROUBLE or SPIRITUAL BEGGARS for example, but adds the sound of the 21st century plus the atmosphere of nowadays nu-metal movement. The music in general composed very accurately with a definite feeling so I can't complain to the musicians' technique and overall sound production at all. If you like the beforehand mentioned bands you will enjoy this circa 40 minutes long stuff. The songs have been interpreted both in English and Czech languages, the latter adds some unusual or I would say special mood to what FORREST JUMP heading for. In total "Killusion" is a very soft, full of happy melodies rock album. There's no speed, aggression, extremity, brutality or whatever in their music. It's recommended for people who are about to see only the bright side of life. The band consists of Pepa Michálek (vocals), Ivko Vrána (guitar), Mirek Kosa (guitar), Vlasta Kos (bass) and Sára Müllerová (drums).
Label contact: Élysion Records, Mokré 170, 370 01 Ceské Budejovice, CZECH REPUBLIC
"Redemption Ablaze" EP 2012
After the successful debut album "Diabolic Prophecies" (2010) the Czech Death Metal quintet returns with its freshest stuff, a 2-track teaser entitled as "Redemption Ablaze". The obscure IMMOLATION-like riffs of "I am nothing" start the EP and afterwards they turn into some complex guitar madness with storming drum parts & growls from the deepest depths of hell. The IMMOLATION feeling is quite strong throughout the whole track, but who cares if the song itself is killing the right way. The second piece, called "Into the depths of abomination", builds upon the cruel guitar formulas of HATE ETERNAL and fragmentally has some SUFFOCATION touch too. It continues the sonic massacre with its unmerciful blast-beats and double-bass attacks. This tune has rather technical riff-structures, some sick solos and harmonies from beyond. The EP lasts circa 12 minutes. It comes with a superior sound production and cover artwork done by Filip Halama. Fans of obscure Death Metal should put their hands on this stuff right now!!!
"Hellbringer" CD 2011
(Iron Pegasus Records)
The debut album from this young Australian trio (formerly known as FORGERY) travels us to the good old past, when Thrash Metal dominated triumphantly the underground scene. I talk about the golden 80s. If you miss (or even missed) those times pretty much then HELLBRINGER is the right choice to remind you those musical spheres again! The album features an intro + 7 crushing die-hard Speed/Thrash tunes, which have been provided by the sound of the past (and mastered by Harris Johns) respectively. The band combines the magic forces of Luke Bennett (bass & vocals), Tim Sheppard (guitar & backing vocals) and Josh Bennett (drums). Musically we have a strong influence of the German Thrash triumvirate there: SODOM (definitely due to the riffing structures), DESTRUCTION (not just music-wise, but even vocal-wise too, just check songs such as "The Rapture" or "Spawns of the Void") and KREATOR (listen to their "Screams from the Catacombs" song and you will know what I mean), but I would also draw a strong parallel with Swiss bands CORONER & CELTIC FROST, mainly because of Luke's vocalizing manner. There's also a superb cover of ARMOURED ANGEL's "My Fist Your Face" song that supports the fact about the band's roots and dedication to the local scene! All in all, I really enjoyed listening their over 32 minutes long debut and would wholeheartedly recommend it to every die-hard Thrash & Speed Metal maniacs worldwide!!!
Label contact: Iron Pegasus, P.O. Box 1462, 56804 Cochem/Mosel, GERMANY
"Menthell" CD 2012
(Death To Music Productions)
Rather innovative musical creation has been served on IBLIS' debut album. Kind of hard to categorize their musical approach, but epithets such as abstract, avant-garde and sophisticated are fit really well to their type of music. Indeed we have a deal with a very unusual mixture, which mostly focuses on Black Metal style, but has lots of weird elements and solutions at the same time. This quartet is definitely about to explore new dimensions for extreme music in general. They create something really different from those musically "expected" bands. In some ways I would compare IBLIS to ENSLAVED (only recent albums to be compared to), EMPEROR (due to technicality) and MAYHEM (reminded me pretty much Blasphemer's guitar sound and playing technique too), but "Menthell" is an album you should better to listen to, because it is full of unexpectedness and musical virtuosity. Eight songs are about to catch your attention, to leave your mind free and to dive into the world of unexpected. The album comes with a flawless sound production, especially I liked the guitar sound (which is so massive yet still one can hear every single note played) and those funky bass lines, but I would also pick out those impressive vocal parts and storming blast-beats. All is left to say, order this 33 minutes long masterpiece and welcome Post-Modern Black Metal!!!
IN TORMENTATA QUIETE
"In Tormentata Quiete" CD 2005
(Dawn Of Sadness)
ITQ was formed in 1998 and after a promo in 2000 they have finally out their debut album. The info sheet says they are playing neo-folk gothic Black Metal. Indeed, all these elements can be clearly found during their nearly 47 minutes long CD. Moreover, the eight members (!!!) of ITQ have managed to catch the right proportions between the aforementioned genres almost in all their songs. There are 9 compositions in total, which musically reminded me the style of CRADLE OF FILTH. I suppose it's also due to their high-pitched vocalist's close manners to Dani. Fortunately, the band operates quite a lot with acoustic & folk-oriented inclusions, thus keeping the overall CD pretty varied. It was great to notice the Italian lyrics there, which definitely add a special atmosphere to the whole material. I also found the presence of 3 vocalists too much, but if it couldn't be reduced, be it so. The album sounds very good and I am sure this line-up made it with big ease! Hopefully the team of ITQ will reach more originality with their next release! Until then fans into epic & folk Black Metal can try out ITQ's debut!
Label contact: Dawn Of Sadness, CP 317, 07100 Sassari, ITALY
"Life" CD 2004
(Grind Your Soul)
If you search for some fresh yet chaotic Grindcore stuff supported by some really weird and awesomely executed vocal parts, then this is it! Stop searching, because these French freaks, namely Christophe Knecht (vocals), David Loessl (guitar & backing vocals), Frédéric Anton (bass) and Yannick Giess (drums), have placed their musical abnormality to a new level. Continuing as well as expanding further the terrific formula unleashed on "Growth" (2000) the band incorporates the craziness and high-speed riffing manner on a top level here. Their 4th album has been aptly titled "Life" and it is the middle album of the concept, which on the one hand illustrates the maturity of a life and on the other hand the accelerating progression of INHUMATE. It gathers 16 pieces of totally sick and abnormal Grindcore insanity. The well-guessed mixture of speed and dynamism is the key for their creativity. There's really no time to think about any thing during their almost 42 minutes long repertory. "Life" makes your head banging all the way until it becomes definitely paralyzed. To all this you can add a massive sound production, which is pretty clear and brutal at the same time. Oh, and if you need some more INHUMATE madness then you have to check the multimedia part of the CD that features tons of great shots, discography, artworks as well as 3 live videos taken at the Obscene Extreme Festival in 2003. I think such a large amount of audio/video brutality should please every grindcore freak. By the way, front cover artwork by Jon Zig!!! Preferred tracks: "A Trip", "Sickness is the Law", "Life?" (it contains a bunch of live tracks).
Band contact: c/o Fred Anton, 19 rue des paturages, 67310 Zeinheim, FRANCE