Overoth: Kingdom Of Shadows

Overoth Promo

Originally self-released in 2010, Northern Ireland band Overoth has unleashed their debut album Kingdom Of Shadows a second time through Hostile Media, and for those like us who missed it the first time it is a definite blessing. The album is a beast of a release, a carnal seducer of the senses and passions driven by a death metal as eager to groove as it is hungry to corrupt and savagely devour. With a brand new album in the works, the re-release of Kingdom Of Shadows is the perfect time to introduce yourselves to an impressive emerging aural predator.

Hailing form Belfast, Overoth was formed in 2005 by a quartet of friends with ‘a raw passion for no frills death metal’. An early demo release and their impressive live performances brought plenty of attention upon the band which was easily exceeded by the release of the Death Personified EP in 2007. Recorded in the spring of that year, the band was soon approached by Rundown Records, who eventually released the EP in the November. Its appearance was supported by a tour of Ireland and the UK, which included a gig supporting Massacre & Extreme Noise Terror. The next couple of years saw the band relentlessly gigging, with the sharing of stages with the likes of Obituary, Cerebral Bore, Origin, and Onslaught, tours around Ireland and Europe alongside bands such as Shadows Far, Godhate, and Volturyon, as well as festival appearance like Day of Darkness alongside bands alike Unleashed and Watain, the Irelands Low End Festival with artists such as Napalm Death and Primordial, and the Cork Winterfest sharing the bill with Grand Magus, Mael Morda, Hail Of Bullets and more. It was a hectic and fruitful time with the band in 2009 also recording Kingdom Of Shadows with its release coming early the following year. Since its first release, the band has continued to impress with shows and appearances alongside more bands such as Suffocation, Cattle Decapitation, Bolt Thrower, Sinister, Fleshrot, Rotting Christ, Sodom, Rex Shachath and many more. The band has built a formidable reputation with their sound and intensity, a force which now can be felt and greedily consumed by the re-appearance of their excellent album.

Tolling bells and a brewing distressed ambience opens up the title track to start things off, the impending voice of the song soon Overoth - Kingdom Of Shadowsthrust aside by ravaging riffs, sadistic rhythms, and a deceptively addictive groove to vein the heavy intensity. The vocals exhaust the air with their caustic breath and intrusive tones bringing a full malevolence to the already overpowering and contagious sounds. Having already secured a strong persuasion with its destructive presence the track hands over to the equally vindictive I Am One, I Am All. With riffs gnawing the ear with potent malice from the off, the song prowls and seduces with bulging rhythms from the drums and a resonating snarl from bass whilst further riffing chews with a presence which is as primal as it is addictive. Continuing the immense start the song, like the release, is arguably not stretching barriers but undoubtedly it casts a creative presence which impacts with accomplished craft and invention alongside an imaginative violence posing as temptation.

The consistent quality and lure of the release is continued with ease through the uncompromising Summon The Cursed where not for the first time the bass steals the passions with its dramatically bestial voice, and further elevated further with the outstanding The Serpent Of Old. The song stalks the ear with antagonistic rhythms and riffs which are equally attitude driven, whilst the vocals combine a malicious intent and an infectious swagger which compliments devilishly the ebbing and flowing intensity of the music. With a furnace of a climax which climbs all over the senses like a ravenous plague to pull apart and captivate its victim, the track is a pinnacle of the release.

It has to be said there is a surface similarity across many tracks which defuses their potency as individuals without deliberate focus into their hearts but not enough for the release to lose its impact at any point. It to be fair, points to the fact that the band is still emerging its distinct presence and that makes their forth coming second album a very exciting prospect. The likes of Led To The Slaughter and the Pathway To Demise with its insatiable repetitive groove and niggling sonic persistence enflame the senses further whilst Obsidian Blade stands like a leviathan of venom with overbearing energy and matching intensity for a fire of death driven metal. With Upon The Altar also leaving strong passion for its great melodic keys which enchant as potently as the sirenesque whispers within Obsidian Blade, Kingdom Of Shadows is an excellent release dripping immense potential whilst leaving rich pleasure in its wake. Roll on album two.

https://www.facebook.com/overothband

8/10

RingMaster 29/03/2013

 

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Celtachor: Nine Waves From The Shore

celtachor

    Celtachor is a band whose name we had come across plenty of times without making a concentrated effort to seriously check out their sounds. The release of their debut album Nine Waves From The Shore has given us the opportunity to amend that slackness and with ease the Irish blackened folk metallers impress. Their album is a refreshing and potent blend of Celtic folk and black metal with a passion and heart for its inspiration and a sound which shares those same intensive traits; an aggressive and melodic enchantment which leaves one smitten.

From an established idea in 2007 to a realised and working band in 2010, Dubliners Celtachor have announced themselves as the ‘the narrators of Irish Mythology’ with the purpose of bringing to life their vision of the stories which live vibrantly within that history. Since forming the band has earned a strong reputation through their live shows which has found them alongside bands such as Skyforger, Primordial, Heidevolk, Suidakra, Cruachan, Wolfchant, Alestorm, Darkest Era, and many more, and their previous self recorded demo In The Halls Of Our Ancient Fathers of 2010. The newly self-released Nine Waves From The Shore was recorded across 2011 and 2012; the time and intense attention spent on its craft and realisation obvious in presence within the release and its perfect blend of two arguably opposing yet conducive genres. The seamless and instinctive merger of the venomous and uncompromising essences of black metal and the contagious and epic glory of folk metal is an impressively accomplished and sculpted weave, a balance which could be difficult and precarious for most achieved with skilled imagination here. Probably the release does not have the swagger of the best folk/pagan metal albums but the seriousness which comes from their obvious attention to detail and the potent shadows which line the vision inspiring tales, makes the release just as compelling.

As the building waves of intensity in opener The Landing: Amergin’s Conquest envelop the ear to make way for the fiery Celtachor-–-Nine-Waves-From-The-Shoreguitars and smouldering atmosphere thereafter there is an immediate immersion into the powerful presence of the song. The vocals of Stephen Roche are a rasping squall which storm from within the blanket of tempest sourced sounds whilst the glorious persuasions of the whistle and passion directing rhythms hold a firm and hypnotic grip. Epic, aggressive, and challenging in sound and within its tale, the track is a towering fortress of incendiary forces and primal instinct.

The following track, The Battle of Tailtin takes over from the ten minute colossus with a similarly driven assault, though only after igniting the senses with an excellent rhythmic intro which calls the body to arms ready for the bruising encounter. Again as the vocals spill their expressive spite the guitars of David Quinn and Fionn Staffort ignite the expanses of melodic enterprise and unrelenting brutality whilst the bass of Emile Quigley (who has since left the band to be replaced by Oliver Deegan) adds an irresistible darkness to the track which is as inviting as it is intimidating. Mid-way the riotous sounds recede to open up the vision of the battlefield framed by the continually impressive beats of Anaïs Chareyre and the fiery impassioned incitement of the whistle. Overall it is another full on expansive storm in intensity and length, the song a companion to its predecessor in more ways and one and leaves by its departing consumption of ravenous metal, an exhausted listener behind.

The acoustic beckoning of The Kingship Of Bodb Dearg with again stunning melodic caresses from the whistles instantly has one smouldering in pleasure and when the heavier yet enthused bassline and energising drums enter there is  an immediate submission before its majesty. Soon though the song unveils its sinews and stomps across the ear with an energetic muscular infectious whilst again the vocals of Roche skilfully removes the protective layers between his caustic delivery and the senses. The track is a varied and adventurous episode in the theme of the album with again a superbly crafted meld of dark and light in all aspects whilst the following Sorrow Of The Dagda again teases and kisses the ear with a delicious acoustic entrance before crushing the air and ear with a tremendous onslaught of rhythms and intense hostility. The track is a rampaging furnace of invention and passion which travels the lengths of sonic extremes with real craft. As impressive though it is it does find itself overshadowed by its successor the gorgeous instrumental Tar éis an Sidhe. A heated breeze of golden warm melodic shards and enrapturing beauty the song is a sublime and emotive glory.

The album closes by returning to the ferocity of before with the tribal mayhem of the excellent Conn Of The Hundred Battles and the equally combative Anann: Ermne’s Daughter. Both are heart pounding encounters which ignite the passions and with the moment of reflective peace before ensures that the album ends on its greatest plateau. Nine Waves From The Shore is a fully absorbing and thrilling release though not without a niggle, the vocals needing more clarity within the rich expanse of sound and possible a little diversity too, but it only inspires one to feel the band is destined for greatness. Do not wait until then though Celtachor deserves your recognition now.

http://www.celtachor.com/

RingMaster 29/01/2013

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Gorath: The Chronicles of Khiliasmos

Gorath

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.

https://www.facebook.com/gorathblackmetal

RingMaster 30/11/2012

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