Vulturium Memoriae – Nato per ragioni ignote


Dark shadows and melancholic immersions can be quite meditative, certainly in the hands of Vulturium Memoriae. This is exactly what the one man project of Italian musician/composer Mirg reveals with new album Nato per ragioni ignote, which translates as “born for unknown reasons”. Consisting of six simultaneously mesmeric and oppressive landscapes converging into one epic soundscape of emotively intense instrumental exploration, the album is a fascinating and at times breath-taking encounter. Creating a haunting and proposition for ears and thoughts, not forgetting emotions, cast in a weave of sound seeded in dark wave /post black metal ambiences, the release is as intimidating as it is seductive and perpetually a compelling flight for thoughts to ruminate and get lost in.

Each track upon Nato per ragioni ignote is fuelled by repetition and tides of melancholia, yet at no point from opener Dissolvenza della ragione onwards does it become a doom clad drone or lack a light kissed tempering to the brooding darkness explored. The first track looms with an urgency which is never quite repeated throughout the song and release again. It is a hectic sonic and almost bedlamic start which provides the springboard for a slowly turning sonic and emotional contemplation with a just as swiftly emerging nag of heavy restrained beats and smouldering shards of acidic guitar expression that engulfs senses and imagination with equally strong persuasion. Already though there are numerous levels and textures to the piece, a great bass prowl tempering the sharp touch of the guitars but enhancing the heavy intimidating air of the track.

Its sink into cavernous darkness cultured emotions is given a new shade of colour and angst by the similarly languid yet stirring embrace of Onde psichiche di coscienza. For almost twelve minutes the track permeates every thought and emotion with its psyche challenging sonic and rhythmic iteration and for the same time it enthrals and lures the listener into their own cornered off shadows. Sonically lighter in tone but no less a potently simmering trespass, the track bewitches and intrudes before Miraggio attraverso i ricordi steps up with its arguably calmer emotional distress. As in all pieces of music, you feel yourself floating across or falling into the jaws and clutches of places you maybe wish to avoid with rewards which only invigorate and fascinate. Carrying a greater noir clad danger and threat than its predecessors, the track is wonderfully cinematic and gloriously epic in its breath, Mirg creating smog of absorbing invention and emotional provocation over a surprisingly understanding drum machine spawned bait of rhythms.

The album’s title track seduces next, its brief presence, in comparison to other songs, a radiant soar across more gentle and eerily romantic terrains before drifting away into the following and scintillating Grigiore a cielo aperto and its heavier, darker, more unearthly scenery of blackened musings. The most suffocating track on the album, it is equally the most invigorating physically and emotionally, its every imposing twitch and scorching tendril a transfixing narrative to explore and interpret.

The release closes with the morose drift of Lungo l’orizzonte dell’addio, a piece which seemingly floats across the senses but leaves barbed hooks and startling abrasions to linger in ears and thoughts long after its departure. It is an immense end to a ravishing sonic incitement, a release which leaves scars as it ignites every aspect of the listener.

In some ways the album is easier to listen to as individual tracks or in stages but this does lose the towering impact and effect of the encounter, so be brave and let Nato per ragioni ignote take you to places inside even angels fear to tread.

Nato per ragioni ignote is available now via Avantgarde Music digitally and on CD @

RingMaster 27/01/2015

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Refusals and raptures against the arms of destruction: an interview with LXIV of Woland


by Liisa Ketonen

by Liisa Ketonen

Consisting of intensive and rich evocative explorations, Hyperion the debut album from Finnish post black metallers Woland has emerged as one of the most thickly captivating and provocatively enthralling releases in recent months. It is a release which has to be heard and felt to understand its potency, not one easily explained by mere words and descriptions. Grateful for the opportunity to learn more about one of the best albums so far this year and its creators, we loaded up the questions for guitarist LXIV who talked with us about the history of the band, the journey in making Hyperion, the relevance of Nietzscheism to Woland’s lyrical premises and much more…

Hi LXIV and welcome to The Ringmaster Review and thanks for sparing time to talk with us.

Before we talk about your recently released debut album Hyperion, could you give us some background to the band and its members?

The band was formed in late 2009 while W’s other project, Cavus, was touring with Mayhem. W was having a bit of a ‘fallout’ with the extremely crude and disgusting side of black metal that is Cavus. I was their sound tech on the tour, and after few pints of wine it was agreed that together we’d do something completely different.

The road to this point was extremely long, not only considering the album but also the line-up…Good, reliable and skilled musicians with a flexible calendar are hard to come by. Especially when you have to be able to sit with them in extremely confined areas for extremely long times without wanting shove your thumbs trough their eyes.

Fortunately it seems now, that we’ve managed to gather a group that fills at least the most of these needs.

Was there a deliberate intent with the band at the start in regard to sound and direction then?

From the start it was clear that we were going to make something unheard, unseen and provocative. Through music, it crystalized in the making of the Conquer all & Live Forever promo. That was the foundation on which we started to build the album.

There is seemingly a core black metal heart to your sound but equally there is an expanse and diversity to it which potently takes Woland in other imaginative areas. How do you see your sound from the inside?

The diversity of the sound isn’t really a thought out process per se. Our musical ambitions and tastes are unconfined. It’s only natural that our music comes out that way also. Our core lies in black metal. From there we can expand, abridge and disturb as we see fit. I haven’t really wasted my time thinking what do we sound like. We do what we do; we sound what we sound like. It’s more about emitting emotion, I really couldn’t care less about genre specifications and are we ‘this’, ‘that’ or ‘that behind the that’.

Some of this rich diversity must be deliberately crafted though but how much is it the organic evolution of your ideas?

The parts, ideas, lyrics, artwork etc. really came through by themselves. We weren’t really going through the process of writing looking to stir some shit up…that’s just a good bonus. But sure, we didn’t just whip something up. This album cost both me and W a few nervous break downs. The diversity and the maturity of the music is not there because we just happen to be talented. There is very little on the album that wasn’t thought out, pondered and reasoned back and forth for many times.

I’m not an artist, I’m a craftsman.

Out of curiosity what inspired the band name? 

by Liisa Ketonen

by Liisa Ketonen

The name originates from the Soviet satire ‘Master and Margarita’.  When we were pondering a name for the band, we found that the somewhat surreal and cheerful depiction of Satan and his mishaps represented extremely well what we were trying to accomplish through our music.

Plus our original drummer has a very peculiar resemblance to the cat Behemoth.

In the literature accompanying Hyperion, it states that Woland ‘gazes to the future with a Nietzschean vision and welcome it with opened arms.’ Could you expand on that for us?

The term ‘Nietzschean’ may be somewhat disconcerting. His thoughts merely resembled somewhat what we we’re trying to accomplish with our music. Personally I’d prefer a term like ‘promethean’ or ‘luciferian’.

I feel people have grasped the whole ‘nietzschean’ thing way too sternly. It’s not a ‘thing’ of Woland, it’s not a gimmick; it’s not what separates us from the herd. It’s simply a good phrase to describe our stance in music, lyrics and the whole scene surrounding them.

Black metal is known for misanthropy, destruction, hate, darkness, coldness etc. You know the basic stuff every mentally 15 year old finds fascinating. We wanted to flip the coin around. Freedom, empowerment, apotheosis…I’d rather create something meaningful than waste my time destroying something meaningless.

Is there something in particular which predominantly inspires your lyrical themes and premises?

In these types of questions, I’ve mentioned the aforementioned apotheosis. I believe the main themes of the album rely on fulfilment, whether they be spiritual, erotic or philosophical by their nature.

The influence of some of the modern world’s most prominent philosophers and writers as stated in the promo piece is open to see in the lyrics but how would you say that stimulus impacts on the actual music?

Speaking strictly about music, I haven’t considered it when writing. But naturally the themes we carry in our lyrics and the passion towards aforementioned writers and mythology, echoes in our music.

I believe it can be sensed in a grand scheme of things through the album. We strive for greatness, bigness, impact and awe. There is lots of well thought mechanics, arches, lines and themes, whether they be musical or lyrical.

To answer your question, the way I see it, we treasure the same type on refinement of creation, as do and did the great minds we build our band’s foundation on.

As we said earlier you have just released Hyperion, your debut album. I believe it was planned to appear near the end of last year, what brought about the delay?

Actually, it was supposed to be finished much earlier. There were tons of delays, problems and inconveniences that plagued the making process. Not to mention that we were getting pretty obsessive about the whole project…And at same time we were ready to pull the plug numerous times. It was an extremely difficult project from start to finish.

cover wolandAs you mentioned you released the double single, Conquer All /Live Forever in 2011, both now appearing on the album. Did you rework them for Hyperion and how would you say even in the relatively short time has your sound and style progressed from those first songs?

The songs were re-recorded and some parts were getting a bit of a make-over. It took three years from Conquer All & Live Forever to get to the release of Hyperion. I wouldn’t necessarily call that a short time, especially considering a difference between a promo and a debut album.

But you can clearly see that it all was there already in CA&LF what Hyperion is about. It was only a matter of making it bigger and better in all fronts.

Listening to Hyperion, you can sense that the band deliberates and works on every aspect to intensive levels, working it all to flow and combine seamlessly. That draws the imagination to wonder, was the album a long journey in its actual creation?

As I mentioned earlier, yes, it was an extremely long and tedious journey. During halts we grew impatient and anxious to finish the album. Getting back to work, we realized that some parts would have to be reworked…Ad infinitum. You see how this could get quite difficult especially when you have two extremely pedant people without limitations considering time?

Sometimes we felt that we had made some major breakthrough that would finally cut all the knots open for the rest of the album…the next day I’d call W and inform him that it’s all crap and I’m going to delete it all from the face of the earth.

Yes, it was a long journey.

Was this primarily more down to getting things perfect or were external obstacles as much a part of its lengthy birth?

Both. All of us were going through some major changes during the making of this album and we’ve had our share of difficulties with securing a strong line-up for Woland.

But I’d be lying if I said that it was all because of external problems…I recorded the guitars twice, spent an eternity working on the arrangements, trying different aspects, W spent over a year working on the lyrics and vocal lines. I mixed the album almost thrice, if I recall correctly…

It was a sum of many things but in the end, I think it was just that we were insanely fixated on the album. Fortunately, when the labels started to show some serious interest towards us, we were forced to finish the album. Otherwise we might still be in the studio working on it.

Have some songs dramatically changed from their first guises over the time it took to complete?

Art of Ascensions started as considerably slower and pale…W’s notion that it sounded like “coked up AC/DC” made me work a little more on the arrangement.

Elevated Existence was originally a 16-minute mammoth. After W made me see, that it truly was shit for the most part and I was only stroking my artistic cock, I scraped the whole thing and started fresh. The ending is the only thing that survived to the album as it is.

It is fair to say that every song upon Hyperion captured our imagination but None especially lit a fire in the passions, a track we by Liisa Ketonen 3called a true artistic predator. Can you tell us about the song, background, its emergence, and recording etc.?

To this far, it’s been the most controversial track on the whole album. People seem to hate it or love it…Which naturally pleases me.

The track was written under an extreme aftershock of and absinthe filled evening. So maybe that’s where the magic lives. I believe W was also having a bit of a meltdown during working on the song and he was stuck for weeks with the lyrics and vocal arrangements.

Considering recording, there really isn’t anything extremely different about the album…But during the writing and mixing process, I was, contrary to many songs on the album, striving for disturbing soundscapes so that might be a part of the difference.

Lesson learned; Drink more absinthe and try to fuck people up more often.

Is there a particular track or moment on the album which for you brings an extra tingle of pride or satisfaction?

I find that the title line of the aforementioned None came out rather well. The ending of the album also deserves a notion.

How does the writing process work within the band?

For the most part I take care of the music while W handles the vocals, lyrics and artwork…but naturally we give ideas to one another and beat the shit out of each other considering criticism.

Tell us about the ‘breather’ on the album Honey in the Lion and Risto Tiihonen, who performed it,  and in a thoroughly intensive and dramatic album from start to finish, why was it placed exactly where it was on the album, between Extacy and Rapture and Live Forever?

That melody is actually over a decade old and hence the oldest song on the album.

Earlier in the making of the album, we had discarded a song or two from the final selection. We just didn’t feel that they had the necessary quality to them. Unfortunately for us, they were also faster paced songs, which kinda tied our hands considering the song structure of the album. When we didn’t want to introduce weaker songs to the album just for the sake of variety nor did we want to rework songs which were already on their way to be finished, the idea of a ‘breather’ rose.

I didn’t want to take the easy road and make just make a bunch of ambient noise, which seems to be the trend in metal. Nor did I want to place the breather in the middle of the album as a divider for it is not that. It doesn’t divide the album into two sections it simply is a little islet in between the two vast oceans, that doesn’t mean that it bears no meaning nor significance. To me, it’s one of the most germane tracks on the whole album.

As for Risto, we go way back and he is a close personal friend of mine. He’d already performed the piano solo on Live Forever, so the choice was easy when I knew what type of a song Honey in the Lion was to be.

You also have some guest vocalists on the album; Geir Bratland (Dimmu Borgir), Mathias ‘Vreth’ Lillmåns (Finntroll), and Janica Lönn (Black Sun Aeon). How did their contributions come about and was it always the idea to invite additional vocalists?

We didn’t plan the guest appearances from the start but from the very beginning we were open to the concept of using guest talents. But the striving force was always a need for something specific. We’d run into a situation where we noticed the need or want for something different. Then it was merely a matter of finding the right person for the job. Fortunately for us, we are very blessed with talented acquaintances.

 Woland by Storm Photography / Janica Lönn

Woland by Storm Photography / Janica Lönn

For us Hyperion is a uniquely outstanding encounter, a release which sets a high benchmark for you to follow…Are you nervous yet?

Not at all. The binding force of Woland’s music is our freedom from constraints and the will to strive forward. Our next album will come when it’s ready and it will sound as it’s intended to sound like.

Hyperion sounds as it sounds because we have no interest in mimicking the ways of others. I have even less interest in mimicking my own works.

What comes next from Woland and can you give us an idea what you have in store for 2014 as a whole?

We have some festivals on the table as well as some potential shows with some major acts but nothing I can comment on the moment. Our performance at Blastfest, Bergen last week opened us some options from which you’ll be hearing shortly.

All in all, at the moment it looks like it’s gonna be a great year.

Once again big thanks for talking with us.

Have you any last thoughts you would like to leave us pondering?

Thank you for having us.

“Wer nicht liebt Wein, Weib, Gesang, der bleibt ein Narr sein Leben lang”

Read the review of Hyperion @

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 09/03/2014

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Woland – Hyperion


    There is a depth and presence to Hyperion, the debut album from Finnish post black metallers Woland which just cannot be conveyed through words and description, a mental and physical magnetism which simply enthrals and immerses the imagination in a creative and thought provoking journey. Consisting of eight progressively intensive and thickly evocative explorations with more warmth and sun lit imagination than any other recent black metal proposition, post or not, the album is a captivation which steals every aspect of the listener in its maze of sound.

      The quartet from Helsinki state in their bio that their ‘music and lyrics are not tied to any specific events or follow any single dogma, they are heavily influenced by some of the modern world’s most prominent philosophers and writers as well as inspired by mythology with its gods and heroes.’ It is an intent or heart which expands compellingly into the diversity of their invention, no boundaries set and no limitations entertained within its strikingly varied flavouring and bold, highly successful fusions of textures and sounds. Formed in 2010 the band drew strong attention with their double single made up of the tracks Conquer All and Live Forever in the following year. The eagerly consumed songs bred high anticipation in a great many for the band’s first full-length and without doubt the Indie Recordings released Hyperion feeds and goes beyond expectations and hopes lying in wait for it.

    Conquer All brings the album into view, a sonic breath soaking pores and senses initially as hungry rhythms, caustic riffs, and Woland_Hyperion_Covera melodic entwining of sonic temptation close in on the imagination. Heavy dark rasping vocals unveil the lyrical narrative to appealing effect, their appearance first skirted by an impressive and virulently alluring groove before being immersed in a drama wrapped shadow of keys and guitar. The continual switching of the two is a magnetic incitement but only half the picture as band and track rigorously twist into further imagination fuelled ventures to leave the listener and their thoughts bewitched by unpredictable fluid invention. The song merges dark climates and warmth soaked adventures emotionally as strikingly as its duelling sounds, the track a scintillating entrance into the creative landscape of Woland.

    The following Art of Ascension is equally as riveting in sound and ingenuity, the blackened prose of the sonic beckoning ripe with heated radiance and contagious temptation. As its predecessor, the track never settles in gait or tone, its wonderful almost agitated blaze of contrast littered design a mouthwatering and close to being bewildering, but persistently successful inspiration to thoughts and emotions. Equally like the first, the song is a provocative ‘dance’ which intimidates and seduces to extremes, something its successor Living Water replicates though seemingly favouring the darkest climes. A stalking provoking of the senses with a swagger and addiction feeding groove to enlist instant submission into its heavy coaxing, the song soon fully commands attention. Once in that position the rug of assumption is ripped from under the feet, an elegant expanse of melody sculpted calm with an emotive flamenco colouring leading to a powerful sonic narration for the imagination. The original intensive endeavour seems even more imposing and voracious with its return to conclude the track, a proposition which without challenging the previous song and one to follow provides strong bait for its recipient.

    None comes in next to take best track honours and confirm the album as a real challenger for classic status. A true artistic predator from the opening notes, the song preys upon and pushes the senses to their fearful limits but all the time is weaving grooves and sonic laces of infectious invention around the intrusive provocation to entice and unerringly tempt the imagination. It is a glorious and ingenious mesh of flavours and startling brilliance which defies any real labelling, something sure to frustrate those who need to do such thing. Technically and emotively the track is aural alchemy, a tsunami of original and fertile ingeniousness as good as matched by Extacy and Rapture, the next song unveiling greater antagonism in its metal bred sinews and potency in its sonic lassos of virulence. As the last song, it provides variations in sound, texture, and structure to invite the strongest appetite from any heavy and groove metal to black and progressive metal enthusiast, Woland breeding their own unique soundscape once again.

    The brief instrumental Honey in The Lion, a piece with a piano solo performed by guest Risto Tiihonen, gives a breather to the listener, a calm before the storm of Live Forever which is another ravenous and extensive foraging of thoughts and emotions not forgetting senses. Like the closing Elevated Existence, the track does not inflame the passions as powerfully as the earlier tracks, something indefinable missing but both still seduce thoughts and imagination with unreserved success. The pair provides exhaustive landscapes of unrelenting and inflammatory invention, neither allowing time to settle and digest any moment before thrusting the listener into another impacting and evocative twist, both protagonists impressing more and more with every lengthy declaration.

    Hyperion is an outstanding and unique encounter from a band which is destined to become a major force. To be honest though the album, complete with additional guest appearances from artists like Geir Bratland (Dimmu Borgir), Mathias Lillmåns (Finntroll), and Janica Lönn (Black Sun Aeon), suggests that Woland is already there.

Upcoming Woland Tour dates:

22.02.14 NOR Bergen @ Blasfest

10.04.14 FIN Helsinki @ On The Rocks

06.-08.06.14 HRV (Croatia) Zadar @ Underwall Festival


RingMaster 16/02/2014

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Depths of Tides: an interview with Sannhet

photos courtesy of Fred Pessaro

photos courtesy of Fred Pessaro

Released by Brooklyn metallers Sannhet, the album Known Flood is one of the most extensive and challenging journeys this year, an impacting and imagination inspiring flight through desolate landscapes, pervading shadows, and far reaching sonic climates. It is a wholly impressive and aggressively provocative encounter which leaves senses and thoughts enthralled and enslaved in nine captivating instrumental fusions of styles and ambiences. To find out more about the band and their startling album we had the pleasure of talking with bassist AJ Annunziata.

Hello and thank you for letting us discover more about Sannhet and your powerful music.

You have just released your excellent debut album Known Flood, but before touching on it can we find out about the origins of Sannhet and how you all came to meet and link up creatively?

Sannhet’s early incarnation was as a two-piece, and a bit different than what you’ve heard on Known Flood, more of an experimental noise/ambient project. The two recorded a full album of beautiful music that will remain in the shadows, as the project wasn’t quite where they wanted it to be. Live shows and a new EP followed, but it was only then that they considered adding low-end for the additional impact at live shows.  I met John and expressed interest in Sannhet and the line-up was complete.

Yet after playing with the band for a few months, I realized there was something missing and it wasn’t a singer. Shortly thereafter, we introduced our visual element, one that we consider crucial to our overall vision of Sannhet, and moved into a single line formation on stage.  This completed our overall thoughts on what Sannhet is, a multi-sensory experience that incorporates our concept with immersion in audio and visual elements.

What was the inspiration behind not only the band but the music you are exploring?

Our inspiration is bringing the concept of Sannhet to life, nothing more.  This is a very arduous process that involves much trial and error in both the visual/musical arenas.  It’s a concept that has a clear direction, yet is a work in progress when it comes to execution and approach.  This means we examine our output thoroughly and go back to the drawing board frequently.  We are highly analytical of what every piece of the puzzle means in the whole (visual and song-wise) and everything is intentional.  Unfortunately, this may mean that we will write a song that we truly love and play it a few times live, before ultimately deciding it doesn’t fit our entire schema.

As your debut Known Flood majestically shows, your music is a blend and experiment of sound and imagination which is wonderfully sannhetimpossible to pin down with a label. How do you as its creators answer questions of what does it sounds like?

We get the “post-rock”, “post-black metal” and “post-hardcore” tags thrown at us quite a bit, but ultimately we feel like Sannhet has its own sound and vision.  Call us what you want, we are Sannhet.

The album is also rich in multi-flavoured sounds and deep in diverse textures borne of numerous styles suggesting your personal tastes reap a wide field. What are the more prominent inspirations to your ideas?

The concept of post-humanism is omnipresent in Sannhet, the idea that at some point automation will render the humans useless.

Listening to Known Flood you get the sense that its tracks have had a long creative fermentation time and been bred over an intensive period. What is the reality and how long did the album take to create?

Many of these songs, at least in theory have been being written for almost as long as we’ve been playing instruments. Often as a creative, your process is to have a concept and let it blossom over until just the right moment strikes, then you assemble everything all at once.

Obviously there is open passion in your music and release but how truly personal are the pieces of music?

Anyone who doesn’t put passion into their music is faking it.  Our music is very personal.

The album finds its home in the darkest aspects of the world and being it seems, is that a reflection of you as people or just where the music took itself organically?

Each song has a separate personality, much like the facets of our own being.   The results can be grim, optimistic, filled with cascading beauty, or under the cloak of darkness. Yet even from the darkest moments comes true catharsis.

One of the most enthralling aspects of the album is the descriptive ambiences which alone inspire and paint thoughts and emotion draped imagery in the mind. How difficult was it to create these evocative aural hues without the more intensive and hungry aspects spoiling their impact?

Those sounds live inside of Chris’s head, extracted and manipulated from seemingly benign sounds. He records them and then manipulates them until he can extract what he hears. These field recordings come from everyday life.

sannhet2The mixing and production of the album is so important to realise all the nuances and facets of your sound, who handled that part of the recording and what made him the right choice to realise your ideas?

Colin Marston engineered the album, but John had a clear idea of exactly what he wanted from the recording. If you hear the album on vinyl or in flac, you’ll understand all of the nuances that are hidden in the mp3 format. For instance the drums where recorded to tape and sound massive in full format. There are several different types of amps used on the dubs to get specific sounds that very few people would decipher or appreciate. John is the architect of that hidden temple.

In our review we suggested the album also shows that you are only starting out on your journey of discovery with much more depth to investigate. Is that a fair comment and what during creating Known Flood sparked new thoughts and experiments to look at in your next writing?

We are constantly writing and the sound has definitely evolved since we recorded Known Flood. If you dig enough, there’s quite a few videos of us playing new material live. The new songs are clearly a result of growth as a band. We are constantly aiming to evolve the sound and confident in our evolution to become the best representation of Sannhet.

Known Flood is released on Sacrament Music, the embodiment of an independent. Can you fill us in on the label and am I right in thinking it was primarily started to release your album?

Sacrement is the child of Brooklyn institution Saint Vitus, a metal bar that is the center of the metal movement in our city, possibly the CBGB of its time.  The label was an extension of that, and we feel honored to be chosen as the first band considering the large amount of bands to pass through the doors over the years.  We may have been the first band to be released on the label, but it was formed on its own.

What comes next for Sannhet and what is the gig situation for the rest of 2013, will Europe see you sometime soon?

We are currently writing our next album, Europe will probably get us next year. Lots of US shows to announce soon.

Read the review of Known Flood @

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 26/09/2013

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Euclidean: Self Titled EP


Swiss Post-Black Metal band Euclidean has ended the year by stepping forward with the release of their debut recording and making through it a loud suggestion that it is a band to watch very closely. Their self-titled EP is a two track demo which offers an expansive progressive soundscape soaked in black metal atmospheres and shadows. It is a provocative release which makes you think and assess the dark wrapping around the senses not only in its company but long after its blackened sonic fingers have released the ear  and conclude something special maybe be brewing. The EP does suggests that the band has yet to reach its inventive destination to take the band away from other like fuelled entities, but equally it declares Euclidean as an emerging force one will make high expectations of in the future, and a band which on the showing of the two songs here will match with accomplished ease.

Formed in 2010, the Neuchâtel trio of vocalist/guitarist Naser, guitarist Joachim, and bassist/drummer Valentin has worked long and deliberately on their sound, that work apparent on both tracks. The songs were recorded between 2011 and 2012 at Artefact Sound and mastered by Bornyhake (Borgne). The bio to the release states that the ‘demo’s aesthetics refers to the duality between being and non-being in the 5th century BC context.’ Something beyond our mere simple minds but all that matters really is how it all lies upon thoughts and satisfaction, and there are no negatives in that aspect, the release a compelling invasion which pleases throughout. Arguably it does not light major fires within but incites enough brightly burning flames to place the band in the centre of our radar.

First track Word of Democritus opens with an ominous air, its weighty breath and charged riffs a contrasting and enjoyable mix within a predominately prowling presence. The drums provide an energetic stroll within the thickening atmosphere of the song whilst the dark vocals squalls graze the senses with venomous rasps. It is a slowly corroding encounter with death and doom traits to its blackened metal body and a track which is successfully adventurous and teasingly intriguing without being firmly ground breaking.

Sphere of Elea is a ten minute epic doubling the length of its companion and one which is bred of the same intent though with an openly different guise. Vocally the track is a more insidious intruder and musically a coarser sonic scarring around a near mesmeric tight melodic weave. The air of the track is a fiery wind, the flames of sonic enterprise and thought carefully placed and layered to bring bruising and darkly seductive textures side by side. The journey of the song is evolving without removing itself from an essential sound but manages to fill its whole length with enterprise and intelligent turns to ensure it does not outstay its welcome.

The guitars are impressive throughout both songs ably and equally matched by the drums and to a slightly lesser extent the bass. The vocals like the intensity brewed make the release a testing pleasure which lights plenty of anticipation and hope for what comes next from the band. Listening to Euclidean you cannot help but think it could be something very notable and thrilling.

RingMaster 13/12/2012

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Gorath: The Chronicles of Khiliasmos


All good things have to come to an end, the course of even the greatest glories finding finality and so it is with Belgian post black metallers Gorath as they depart leaving in place their sixth and final album The Chronicles of Khiliasmos. The band over the years has made a major impressive and acclaimed mark on the genre with their progressive blackened experimental explorations and the new release is no different. It arguably is not the final massive adventure one might have expected for a farewell, an explosive and dramatic statement, but as a fully enveloping funereal outpouring the album impacts firmly on thought and imagination to be ultimately rewarding.

Formed as a one man project back in the nineties by Filip Dupont, the band found a real presence with their released demos in 2003 which led to the release of debut album Elite in 2005 with Black Owl Records. The following year saw The Fourth Era appear through Descent Productions, the cosmological themed release finding strong acclaim for its Mayan based concept. It was at that point that the band became a quartet and ventured out live to over the subsequent years, share stages with the likes of Foscor, Watain, Graven, Darkspace,  Mayhem, Dark Funeral, Shining, Dark Fortress, Nazxul, Gallhammer, Primordial to name a few. Misotheism came next in 2008 to again impressive responses which grew stronger still when MXCII was released two years later. The Chronicles Of Khiliasmos follows last year’s Apokálypsis – Unveiling The Age That is not to Come and finds Dupont alongside guitarist Bart Put, bassist Raf Meukens, and drummer Bart Vanderheyden, bringing band and overall concept to a conclusion timed with the prophesised end…

The ConSouling Sounds released album is made up of three chapters, a trio of doom soaked tracks which complete a legacy which wykrojnik  (3)will impact black metal for time to come. Khiliasmos I begins with a dawning stir of guitar and seemingly random sonic pulses, the track taking its time to extend to its full height. It is a teasing presence at first toying with expectations that are waiting for the track to unleash something, Soon the scowling growls of Dupont enter to rile up the air though still the track resists offering mere fluctuations of energy within its prowling doom lit engagement, the song remaining relatively subdued and content to provoke and evoke reactions through intelligently inciting craft and imagination. It is the little incursions which invite the imagination to play within the track, the distant vocal sirenesque harmonies and insidious tones of Dupont within the exhausting repetition of riffs and intensity, distracting whilst igniting further responses to fine effect. The track possibly out stays its welcome before its ten minutes finishes with the senses, though the last couple do evolve into an acidic melodic stance which fires up the intrigue.

Khiliasmos II is a hungrier and more aggressive encounter, vocals and sounds bringing a surer thicker intensity and malice to their gait. The emerging groove brings an infectious lure to the song which within its first moments already has a stronger grip than its predecessor. The barbs of the track in hooks, grooves, and vocal additions, ensures a welcome compliance to its demands with the drums of Vanderheyden and guitar invention of Dupont and Put a magnetic pleasure. The track is easily the best on the album making a thrilling bridge between the opening and closing blankets of doom driven atmosphere. It at times makes for an uncomfortable listen as one immerses within with relish, but at the same time contrasts the vast and in comparison underwhelming pieces surrounding it perfectly.

Closing the album, Khiliasmos III is a massive soundscape of sonic clouds and vocal storms again brought with a labouring but compelling presence. At twenty minutes long, the track like the first maybe pushes its limits but does make every second of its encounter an impacting yet magnetic weight on the ear. There are small offerings of melodic respite for some alleviation from the incessant and oppressive blackened heart of the release but like the opener has its own emotive and imaginative aspects which makes it never less than provocative and like the album as a whole ultimately rewarding.

The Chronicles of Khiliasmos is a strong and satisfying release though it falls short of certainly the previous two albums from the band. It is still a worthy farewell from a band which has pushed black metal to strong levels over the years and will ensure whatever the members do next there will be an eager audience waiting.

RingMaster 30/11/2012

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