Burial Hordes – Incendium

burial hordes cover art

    Spiritually dark and sonically ravishing, Incendium the new album from Greek black metallers Burial Hordes is a captivating tempest of threatening imagination and corruptive craft which leaves the deepest satisfaction in its venomous wake. A release which at times makes you work for your rewards but perpetually intrigues and excites with unpredictability and incendiary adventure, the album easily fulfils and satisfies the anticipation which brewed for its arrival. There are moments which slightly labour alongside other towering and scintillating offerings on the album but from its first toxic note to the very riveting last, Incendium is a recommended immersive treat.

     Since forming in 2001, Burial Hordes has earned a respected potent place within European underground metal. Two well-received and acclaimed albums in the voracious shapes of debut War Revenge and Total Annihilation in 2005, which received a re-release via Pulverised Records three years later, and its successor Devotion to Unholy Creed also in 2008 and again through Pulverised, pushed the band’s presence along with demos, subsequent splits, and further releases into greater awareness. Now the new Devo Andersson (Marduk) produced album is primed to take things to another level with a shift in sound and maturity which only puts the band under a spotlight.

    The first rapacious violation on the Hellthrasher Productions released album comes through Unleash Havoc, thumping beats and galloping riffs bringing the opener immediately into compelling view before a melodically honed sonic weave of imagination and skill paints an evocative and enticing invitation. Once secure in its mission the track explodes into a ferocious scourge of suffocating intensity and ravaging riffery driven by the malevolent guttural squalls of vocalist Cthonos. It is a predatory seduction which enthrals without making grand hook gifted gestures thanks to the persistent, almost nagging, and inventive guitar and bass craft of N.e.c.r.o and Psychaos.

    The strong start is soon cemented by Horns of Consecration, its entrance also a scourge of pestilential energy and vocal spite but with an even stronger expectations avoiding exploration to its intrusive design. Like its predecessor the song is not setting down raging flames in its corrosive tracks but again provides a tumultuous engagement of invention and enterprise which seduces and grips the fullest attention whilst raising a real appetite from thoughts and imagination. That hunger is impressively taken care of with scintillating endeavour from here on in, starting with Nailed Curse. From its first breath a groove is dangling irresistible bait from its lure whilst a rhythmic barracking only weakens and absorbs any possible resistance. A stomping provocation with the strength of a battalion and ingenuity of an alchemist, the track casts a maze of twists and detours within a riveting expanse of fierce atmospheres within an annihilistic evocation.

   Both Path of Bloodshed and Abomination keep the album foraging senses and thoughts on this new lofty plateau. The first combines melancholic and cantankerous emotiveness into a slowly pervading and consuming temptation which seduces and menaces simultaneously whilst unveiling an ever increasing and infectious weave of barbed melodies and caustic grooves. Insatiably addictive the emotional entrapment is soon exceeded by its outstanding successor, again bold adventure and virulent grooves adding potent temptation and thrilling enterprise to the niggling black hearted incessant call of the song. The best slice of deleterious mastery on the album, it sparks greater rabidity in the appetite for the song and the release itself which the emotionally intensive Scorned (Aokigahara) reaps. Near on eight minutes of scholastic teasing, injurious sonic adventure, and mouthwatering ruinous majesty the track is a gloriously evolving and investigative aural examination of theirs and our imaginations. It is epidemically contagious at times and ominously malignant in others to match the previous imperious peak on Incendium.

    Black Shrouds of Depravity and the album’s title track almost come as an anti-climax having to follow the stunning quartet of tracks before them. Both are impressive and uncompromising slabs of blackened pestiferous excellence but more straightforward and direct without the spark of adventure which elevates the previous treats. Nevertheless they complete an impressive and commandingly satisfying provocation with a centre which sparks up moments of rapture in return for their brilliance. Burial Hordes has turned into one of the new essential investigations within modern black metal and Incendium the undeniable reason why.



RingMaster 22/01/2014

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Heretic Cult Redeemer – Self Titled

Heretic Cult Redeemer photo

    Released on vinyl in the September of last year and now receiving its CD unleashing through Hellthrasher Productions, the self-titled debut from Greek black metallers Heretic Cult Redeemer is a deviously compelling slab of extreme niggling provocation definitely deserving wider attention. Maybe not quite a pestilence to create new realms within the genre, the blackened insidiousness masking as an album impressively accosts and lights the imagination with a tortuous intent and compelling craft to only invite keen admiration.

     Formed in 2009 and consisting of members rich in experience from playing in the likes of Acrimonious, Necrovorous, and Embrace of Thorns, the Athens quartet has created a deep and rich expanse of cavernous atmospheres and uncompromising exploration in their sound which in turn makes their first release an equally invasive and cosmically questioning experience. Consisting of seven tracks which show predictability a cold shoulder and leaves the senses stretched and basking in an intrusive sonic weave of old school seeded black metal invention cast with a death metal vitriol, the release is a thought provoking physical confrontation which leaves an impressive and lasting impact.

    Opener Crawling Hope is as you imagine a relatively slow moving stalking beast of an incitement forged on careering rhythms HCR_Artwork_finaland acidic and erosive sonic consumption. Overwhelming yet addictively persuasive, the track once joined by rasping toxic vocals lurches over and suffocates the senses whilst all the time placing tempting grooves and incendiary twists of ideas before their gaze to deflect from the malevolence washing their hopes. It is a magnetic mix in a song which from gnawing and poisoning the atmosphere can swing its vicious hips in a groove sculpted dance of temptation with assured ease.

    The following Bleeding of the Giant Sun is bred from the same creative seed, its gait and intent akin to its predecessor and forged in a web of lure of dark virulent grooves and destructive intrusive intensity. Rhythmically the track is less aggressive but still uncages charges of rapacious testing to create seize the ears for the pestilential vocal delivery and lyrical spite to work its charm over. Like the first it is an absorbing and incredibly addictive proposition if also uncomfortable at times in its rabid causticity, a trait used to great extensive effect by The Oldest of Times. Over nine minutes of insatiable noxious imagination and sonic abrasiveness draped in a melodic poison, the track is a wonderfully meandering and spellbinding exploit which is unrelenting in its sonic irritancy and smothering resourcefulness. Possibly overlong going by the urge to check out what came next about seven minutes or so in, which is always a sign, the track is an enthralling evocation of thoughts and emotions with textures and depths which offer something new with each encounter.

    The strong and serpentine envenomed if underwhelming Concatenation comes next, though it may be its less potent presence just comes from being sandwiched between the epic previous pestilential embrace and the following triumphant assault of Destiny of Death. A galloping fury of acerbic riffing and rhythmic combativeness, the second of the two is a virulent contagion of hunger fuelled grooves and thumping beats which aligned to equally addictive and maliciously honed melodies romps and harangues the passions with a carnivorous and masterful persuasion. The tallest peak on the album the track is soon challenged for top honours by Unknown Salvation. A Middle Eastern chant accompanies a similarly acclimatised melodic coaxing within a formidable and oppressive dark intensity as the bass and guitars create their startling and intimidating design to the song. The challenge feverishly menaces and beguiles, its body spewing a pathogenic sonic cancer and ambience over the senses. It is a hard task master without the bait and hooks of its predecessor but just as lingeringly effective.

    Επτά brings the release to a close with another quite scintillating and infectious tempest of baneful imagination and explosively infectious invention. It completes a demanding but mesmeric, dangerous and most welcome sonic scourge which suggests that Heretic Cult Redeemer is a band with the potential to help shape the course of extreme metal ahead. Not a classic but well on the way, this is the time to check out a very promising and exciting pestilence.




RingMaster 22/01/2014

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Hell United: Aura Damage


    Formed in 1997, Polish blackened death metallers Hell United has emerged as one of the best bands within their country and region. They have not matched the heights of Behemoth, Vader, or Decapitated yet, bands who they in sound have much in common with, but have certainly earned the reputation as one of the more impressive aural creators of blasphemy and violence. Their latest album Aura Damage will not change the position of the but with its demanding sounds and violating invention concretes their place as to the fore of Polish underground extreme metal.

Initially called Eclypse, the Tarnów quartet recorded an unreleased album The Human Abstract in 1999, though two tracks emerged re-recorded in their first demo Omen the following year. 2004 saw their debut album Applause: JHVH Elohim Met released leading to an intensive schedule of live shows and line-up problems. From this the re-named Hell United emerged with the line-up of vocalist/guitarist Void, bassist Bartollo, guitarist Rzulty, and drummer Dügy, and in 2007 the demo Extra-Strength Of The Obscure followed a year later by the album HornoKracy. The next two years saw the band  playing the United Death Armageddon tour, in 2008 and 2009, alongside the likes of MasseMord, Blaze Of Perdition, and Mord’A’Stigmata. A two version mini album came out in 2011, as The Third Sigil of Destruction in cassette form and as Abhorrence Majesty on vinyl whilst last year held the recording of Aura Damage after the band played shows with Ulcerate, Furia, and Intestinal. Now released via Hellthrasher Productions the album maintains the band as one which it is impossible not to spend time with.

It has to be said that the album does not ignite a furnace of passions for its undoubtedly accomplished and inventive sounds due to a398956_385472591504310_1090755155_n lack of anything startlingly new or different to other imaginative bands and releases, yet whilst in its venomous company Aura Damage leaves no room for distractions or a yearning to go elsewhere. Hell United is a skilled and provocative band in sound and invention, and one to which destructive violence and insidious violation is second nature. From the opener Red Limitations, a track which leaves the listener cowering under its towering riffs and rhythmic violence, the band piles on the oppressive intensity and corrosive malevolence. It is savage and unrelenting with a mission to snap wills and consume senses, something it does with little resistance.

The excellent Apostle Of Plague takes over the assault next, the torrential raining down of ravenous rhythms and twisted intrusive sonics alongside the grasping scowling vocals, riveting within its tempest. Throughout the bass prowls and snarls with a predatory hunger which is sensational and one of the most thrilling aspects of the whole release.

Deathlike Cold with its creeping malignancy which wraps itself around the ear with a serpentine relish offers an immediate diversity though the track soon explodes into another carnally driven ravishment of ear and beyond, whilst tracks like Let Sleeping Dogs Lie and the title track engage no thought of no restraint and savage the listener from first note to last whilst offering an evolving expanse of sonic grooves and blood spilling aural hate. Arguably the album is most adventurous and intriguing within its later tracks such as the doom gaited Hinterland and more specifically the furnace of intensity that is In Odore Sanctitatis and the closer Totality Of I, the first of the pair a rabid leap into the abyss of energy and intent lit by masterful sonic flames and the second another heavy mass of slowly ravishing doom soaked consumption.

Aura Damage is technically outstanding but one which just lacks a spark to ignite strong passion for the admittedly impressively crafted sounds and songs. Hell United is a band nevertheless which ensures its company is well worth the violence on offer.




RingMaster 15/02/2013

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