This is the final label spotlight of the current run and it's a little different, as all three labels are essentially one and the same. Russian label Satanath Records started in 2012 and has since been releasing all kinds of extreme metal on a very regular basis. Shortly after Satanath opened it's doors, Belarussian sub-label Symbol Of Domination was founded in 2013 on the same premise. A second Belarussian sub-label in the form of GrimmDistribution also forms part of this trio, having originally formed in 2011. For this spotlight, I have chosen one album from easch of the three labels to review. As always, links to their respective bandcamp/webstore pages are included as well.
Nordland - European Paganism (Satanath Records)
1. The Mountain
2. A Burning Of Idols
3. Rites At Dawn
I first came across North-East England's Nordland thanks to local black metal label Glorious North Productions. That was a few years ago now but the one-man black metal band seems like a good starting place for this spotlight. "European Paganism", the band's fourth full length, was released in March of this year by Satanath Records and fellow Russian label More Hate Productions. This new album features three songs and has been released on CD, as well as digitally.
The opening song on “European Paganism” is The Mountain, a sprawling near-thirty minute piece encompassing ambience as well as cold black metal. There are fierce passages filled with angry and expressive riffs, fast percussion and typically blackened shrieks; however, Vorh’s music also contains a great deal of musical maturity. That’s not a surprise given that this is his fourth full-length. The mid-section is a good example of that maturity, with quieter more sensitive instrumentation at time alongside a nice twin-guitar harmony/solo work. There are progressive elements afoot too with changing tempos and nods to doom. Following the lengthy opener is A Burning Of Idols, which contains a condensed version of Nordland’s expansive song-writing. It carries forth the atmosphere from The Mountain and it does so with more urgency. There’s certainly an element of bestial rage on show within the music, but it’s used in a controlled fashion and doesn’t detract from the atmosphere at all. Vorh’s instrumental layers are majestic and way more advanced than you’d expect from the casual solo-black metaller. Album closer Rites At Dawn is the briefest of the three songs on “European Paganism” but that doesn’t detract from the enjoyment you get from it. The way Vorh moves between the more extreme black metal sound to that of a melodic and ambient one is impressive and sums up the quality of this release. It’s not a conventional album by any means but it’s an impressive one. Nordland will continue to grow on the strength of it though and that growth it truly deserved.
You can stream "European Paganism" and buy it digitally/physically via Satanath Records here:-
You can also buy it directly from Nordland here - https://nordland.bandcamp.com/merch
Nordland - https://www.facebook.com/Nordland
Vomit Of Doom - Magnus Cruelty (Symbol Of Domination Prods)
1. Totality. Intro
2. Black Metal Invasion
3. No Divine
4. Eternal Enemy
5. Captor Of Light (Interlude)
6. Shadow Of Tyranny
7. Pest Of Tomorrow
8. Sodoma Conquest
9. Magnus Cruelty. Outro
My next review features Vomit Of Doom, a black/thrash/speed metal band from Argentina. Their latest EP "Magnus Cruelty" was released via Satanath sub-label Symbol Of Domination last October, with help help from Metal Masala (India) and Morbid Skull Records (El Salvador). I think Vomit of Doom are the first Argentinian band I've featured here. They formed in 2009 and to date they have released two demos, three EP's, been part of three split records as well as releasing a comp, a single and a full-length called "Obey The Darkness' via Satanath Records in 2015.
Throughout my years of writing this blog I’ve always heard about how intense South American bands are, yet I haven’t featured very many in comparison to European and North American bands. That’s something I need to change. The first thing that struck about “Magnus Cruelty” was the strikingly evil cover art. Vomit Of Doom begins with Totality. Intro, which is a haunting noise track. Their first song proper is Black Metal Invasion. It’s a primitive and DIY take on the classic black/thrash template put through a South American blender. Taking cues from bands like Nunslaughter and Abigail, Vomit Of Doom offer raw, energetic instrumentation and hellish black metal vocals. The solo they throw in is of a high standard too, which will please any maniac. They use vocal reverb and screeching lead work on No Divine, while the rest of the music sits deeper in the mix, which is a bit of pity as it sounds really good and deserves to be louder. There are definite hints of America’s great thrash bands present on Eternal Enemy and while you’ve probably heard similar sounds a thousand times before, Vomit Of Doom still make a glorious noise. They break up the fury with interlude Captor Of Light and what sounds like demonic possession of a human being. That horror theme carries on into Shadow Of Tyranny. It’s a short song (much like the rest on the EP) but it has more impact because it. They walk a more obvious metal path on Pest Of Tomorrow, with meatier riffs and some death metal influence thrown in for good measure. Penultimate song Sodoma Conquest is pure unadulterated South American thrash metal. It has that characteristic sound that hits the sweet spot and shows that Vomit Of Doom is more than just a DIY extreme metal band. They end with Magnus Cruelty. Outro, another scary noise track. “Magnus Cruelty” is a great EP but it feels as though neither the Intro or Outro are really necessary. That being said, it’s still great listen and one of the better DIY extreme metal recordings I’ve heard this year so far.
You can stream "Magnus Cruelty" and buy it digitally or on CD below:-
Vomit Of Doom - https://www.facebook.com/vomitofdoomarg/
Freiheit - Безумие. Ненависть. Смерть / Madness. Hatred. Death (GrimmDistribution)
1. С.С.С.К. / S.S.S.K.
2. Волк / Wolf
3. Мясорубка / Meat Grinder
4. Корпус Смерти / The Corps Of Death
5. Правила разрушения / Rules Of Destruction
6. Технократия / Technocracy
7. Свобода / Freedom
8. Монумент / Monument
9. Горящая земля / Burning Earth
My last review features the latest album from Russian black/death metal band Freiheit. Their debut album (translated into "Madness. Hatred. Death.") was released via Satanath's second sub-label GrimmDistribution in May. Freiheit started in 2014 and released their debut self-titled EP last year. I've had to use Google Translate to help translate their song titles into English, as I can't speak Russian. If they're incorrect, please let me know so I can change them.
I’m using the English song-title translations in this review, so I hope they’re accurate. S.S.S.K. opens “Madness. Hatred. Death” and the first thing you’ll notice is the tight production. It gives the song plenty of volume as Freiheit fly through a song that’s filled with marching rhythms, powerful guitar and authoritative vox. After the brief intro, Wolf shows more of what Freiheit is about. It leans more towards death than black metal, with precise drumming that sound almost machine-like (though it is delivered by a very capable human being). The progression and Russian lyrics add extra levels of originality too. They slow the pace a little with the mid-tempo Meat Grinder, at least in the first section anyway. They soon break out into full-paced lunacy again later on. Freiheit demonstrates a high level of technicality on The Corps Of Death, with a lot of straight-up metal flourishes thrown in too. For such a seemingly young band, Freiheit definitely shows skill above their years. Rules Of Destruction is really listenable death/thrash/black metal with no room for ponderous filler. They do well to keep their songs short and focused, which is good. The same can be said for Technocracy, which is equally as off-kilter. The lower guitar tones on Freedom hint towards a love of old-school death metal and there’s nothing wrong with that! It definitely got a catchiness too it, despite the obvious extremity. Penultimate song Monument is a real mix of both orchestral-like movements and proficient madness, all shoehorned into two-and-a-half-minutes. It’s left to album closer Burning Earth to deliver the last round of battery and it does it with aplomb. It’s extremely hard for many bands to gain the exposure they need to wider audiences, especially when there are so many more established bands from across Europe and further afield competing for the same thing. Maybe that’s why Freiheit have surprised me so much. They’ve written and released a pretty awesome debut album and certainly go down as one the finds of 2017 so far (in my opinion).
As with the other releases in this feature, you can stream "Madness. Hatred. Death" and buy it digitally and on cd below:-
You can also download it directly from Freiheit's bandcamp page here - https://freiheit.bandcamp.com/.
Freiheit - https://www.facebook.com/freiheitband/
Make sure you also check out the rest of the releases from all three labels via bandcamp and via the Satanath store here - http://satanath.com/shop.html.
Satanath Records - https://www.facebook.com/satanath666/
Symbol Of Domination Prods - https://www.facebook.com/SymbolOfDominationProd/
GrimmDistribution - https://www.facebook.com/grimmdistribution
Also, check out the other labels that helped to co-release both the Nordland and Vomit Of Doom albums here:-
More Hate Productions - http://www.morehate.com/
Metal Masala - https://www.facebook.com/metalmasala/
Morbid Skull Records - https://www.facebook.com/morbidskullrecords/