Wednesday, 18 May 2022

V/A - Eight Feet Under Vol.1


Labels: Don't Live Like Me Records/IFB Records/Shove Records/Through Love Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 01 Jun 2017


Tracklist:


1. Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Myket - Du

2. Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Myket - Kaktergalen Och Rosen

3. Via Fondo - Hurts Just A Little Bit

4. Via Fondo - Out Of Silence...A Sough

5. Nous Etions - Le Jour Ou La Chevalerie Est Morte

6. Nous Etions - La Dernière Voltige

7. Nous Etions - Heretique

8. The World That Summer - The Standard Gravity Of Impending Doom

9. The World That Summer - Interlude

10. The World That Summer - No Hugs For Lucas

11. Sleeper Wave - Endless Elegies

12. Sleeper Wave - Glacial

13. Sleeper Wave - Counter-Friction

14. Sleeper Wave - Welcome To My Life, This Is Me

15. Youth Novel - VII

16. Youth Novel - VIII

17. Youth Novel - IX

18. Youth Novel - X

19. Lamantide - In Absentia I

20. Lamantide - In Absentia II

21. Pastel - Woodpecker

22. Pastel - Tucano


I'm a little bit out of sync but I knew this review was gonna be a big one so I'm not too worried. As compilations go Eight Feet Under Vol.1 is pretty special, not just as a moment in time but also due to the sheer amount of work that went into it. Twenty two new/unreleased songs from eight bands, from four countries across two LPs; Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket and Via Fondo (Sweden), Nous Etions and The World That Summer (Canada), Sleeper Wave and Youth Novel (USA), Lamantide and Pastel (Italy). Five labels collaborated to release it on five hundred copies of double black vinyl back in 2017. To me this is a snapshot in time of where ZBR was and where it was heading as a label (yes this is a ZBR roster review).


I think the writing of this review is going to be spread across a few nights. I’m not used to writing about this many songs in one sitting, but lets see how it goes. By now, all of these bands should be familiar to you if you’ve been keeping track of my Zegema Beach Record roster review series or indeed of ZBR’s releases in general. 


Starting with an old faithful in the form of Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket and their duo of ‘Du’ and ‘Naktergalen Och Rosen’. ‘Du’ is as dramatic as screamo gets. The instrumentation is at first slightly deeper in the mix with the vocals on top. After the midway-point, the roles reverse and the instumentation takes the lead with the vocals relinquishing their position, as Vi Som’s majesty is opened up. ‘Naktergalen Och Rosen’ is a loverly off-kilter/semi-experimental piece of raw and emotive screamo, coupled with lovely melody. It’s a style that Sweden does really well and Vi Som are probably the main proponents of it.


Next up are two songs from fellow Swedes Via Fondo. Their sound is a lot heavier and ‘Out Of Silence…A Sough’ contains a great deal more urgency. The percussion and guitars initially create a huge soundscape before settling down and allowing the semi-spoken/shouted vocals to take their place. Definitely more emo-centred yet still retaining a sense of anxiousness and aggression. Their second song ‘Hurts Just A Little Bit’ is equally as intense, heralding a more blackened sound in places, while being more succinct. I’m blown away so far.


Because this is a double LP release, some bands contribute more songs than others due to their playing time. Canadians Nous Etions have three and true to form, they’re a bit more to the point. ‘Le Jour Ou La Chevalerie Est Morte’ isn’t the emoviolence blast you might have expected. Instead it’s much more introspective and cinematic. ‘Le Derniere Voltige’ follows on in a slightly more violent form, due to its shorter playing time. Still, Nous Etions do well to keep it musical as opposed to just chaotic. Their final song ‘Heretique’ is probably their most beautiful piece on Eight Feet Under. Don’t think anything else needs to be said about it.


The second Canadian band on this comp is The World That Summer. Given the band’s affiliation with ZBR, they’re an obvious choice. They contribute three songs to it starting with ‘The Standard Gravity Of Impeding Doom’, which begins in almost reserved fashion before exploding into something much more visceral. Heavy screamo with elements of emoviolence and multi-vocals for good measure. ‘Interlude’ is kind of exactly that. Spoken word samples sitting on top of a lowly single guitar melody. It’s quite unnerving actually. Their final song ‘No Hugs For Lucas’ is a gorgeously played melodic/post-hardcore number. As with all of the songs on this comp, it’s a snapshot in time but goddamn it’s a good one.


II I haven’t already mentioned it; this is gonna be a long one! It’s now time for some American screamo in the form of Sleeper Wave and Youth Novel, who between them fit the most songs onto their portion of the split. Sleeper Wave’s up first with ‘Endless Elegies’ and it’s wonderfully arty take on the genre. I only call it arty because of those twinkly, off-kilter riffs. The rest ain’t bad either. The feedback that ends ‘Endless Elegies’ leads you into ‘Glacial’, which is slightly more straightforward song (maybe?). ‘Counter-Friction’  is fantastic in it’s delivery. Abrasive yet melodic and wholesome stuff for sure. It leads into their closing song ‘Welcome To My Life, This Is Me’, which is also their shortest. I’m still completely in love with Sleeper Wave’s guitar work and this is a fine way for them to end their contribution.


Things get a bit crazy when Youth Novel take over, but did you expect anything less? Their four songs are the most emoviolent here. ‘VII’ starts off gently but after a pause it changes into a fast and chaotic best, with an added layer of intensity spread across both the vocals and the music itself. ‘VIII’ is their fastest song but aside from that pace, it’s also got plenty of post-hardcore tendencies including some really heartfelt singing. A real standout for me. There’s a level of complexity to Youth Novel’s music and not in a technical sense, but in an emotional one (if that makes sense) on ‘IX’. Maybe it’s just the feeling I get but it’s feels different somehow. Their closer ‘X’ is a much lengthier player. It leans more towards the instrumental end of the spectrum and with the added rock n roll flair injected by the lead guitar work, it’s a bit of a surprise. 


It’s back to Europe again for the comp’s final quarter. Italy’s Lamantide and Pastel get the honour of closing it out. Lamantide’s two song are adjacent in title with ‘In Absentia I’ being very broody and slow to start, building to a thicker post-metal/hardcore sound that’s pretty dark. The riffs are the main focal point and the sound is more blackened, leaning much more towards metal to these ears. ‘In Absentia II’ has the same grim ambience as it’s predecessor did at the beginning and it follows on in the same vein throughout. Lamantide’s sound is very infectious yet authoritative. 


Fellow Italians Pastel are known for their instrumental and experimental music, and they show it off to great lengths on ‘Woodpecker’. It’s not all instrumental though as they do add some gang-like vocals into it, but the band’s skill is clear for all to hear. Comp closer ‘Tucano’ is the perfect finisher. Relaxing compared to what came before Pastel, but that’s not taking anything away from the others at all. It just whisks you off to a dreamier place for a little while, at least.


To summarise this release should be simple, but it’s not. Hats off to all of the labels involved in it though, it must have been a hell of a task to put it all together. All eight bands brought their own spark and sound to it and that’s what makes it special.


For Fans of: Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket, Via Fondo, Nous Etions, The World That Summer, Sleeper Wave, Youth Novel, Lamantide and Pastel


You can stream and purchase it digitally here:-



Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket - https://www.facebook.com/visomalskade

Vio Fondo - https://www.facebook.com/viafondo

Nouse Etions - https://www.facebook.com/nousetions

The World That Summer - https://www.facebook.com/theworldthatsummerband

Sleeper Wave - https://www.facebook.com/sleeperwave

Youth Novel - https://youthnovel.bandcamp.com/album/youth-novel

Lamantide - https://www.facebook.com/lamantidehc

Pastel - https://www.facebook.com/pastelbanda


Physical copies of the comp can still be purchased from the below links:-


Shove Records - https://shoverec.bandcamp.com/album/8-feet-under-vol-1

Through Love Records - https://shop.throughloverec.com/collections/releases/products/va-eight-feet-under-12-dlp

Zegema Beach Records - CAN/INTL - http://www.zegemabeachrecords.com/zegema-beach-releases/


Don't Live Like Me Records - https://www.facebook.com/dontlivelikeme

IFB Records - http://www.ifbrecords.com

Shove Records - https://www.facebook.com/SHOVE-records

Through Love Records - https://www.facebook.com/ThroughLoveRec

Zegema Beach Records - https://www.facebook.com/zegemabeachrecords


Sunday, 15 May 2022

10 Questions With Plague Patrol


In November of last year I reviewed the debut demo from Czechian death metal band Plague Patrol. After much slackness on my part, I managed to put some interview questions together to send to the band. Guitarist Radek was kind enough to answer my questions and provide an insight into the band, and the scene in Czechia.


1. Who is in the band and where are you from?


Hi James, thanks a lot for you interest in our small miserable band. We are Plague Patrol from Prague Czech Republic and we play old school death metal. We wanted to steal riffs from Incantation as well as Tomb Mold, but we suck at it. I am Radek and I play the guitar, also bass in studio. There is Slavek, a singer, and Zubar on the drums. We are just a trio.


2. What is the history of Plague Patrol? When and how did you form?


Plague is a product of covid era started in October 2020. I wanted to write some proper death metal songs for such a long time and one day I asked Zubar to try something together. Thanks to all those lockdowns we have spent most of our evenings in a rehearsal room working on songs. That’s how the demo was done. During the recording session Slavek joined us. This is it!


3. Have any of you played in previous bands and are you in any other bands currently?


Well, we have tons of different bands haha. I play also in Decultivate (chaotic hc/crust), Skiplife (powerviolence), Controlled Existence (grindcore) and some other projects. Zubar is a member of Sick Destroyer (grindcore), Controlled Existence (grindcore), Rato Triste (sludge) and some other projects as well. Slavek also sings in Morkhimmel (metallic crust). The list of bands we played in is looooong. Obviously, we are bit old for a cult of youth.


4. You released your first demo last year. Are you pleased with the way it turned out and the what was the reception to it like from fans?


Yeah, we are totally overwhelmed by positive reactions. Actually, I didn’t expect much. I just wanted to release some proper death metal music done with a proper sound. Because it was on my wishlist for so many bloody years. The reception is cool for a band with no single gig played. Especially US death metal geeks are into our music. Endless gratitude to all people around the world supporting us! You all fucking rule!


5. What are your thoughts on the extreme metal scene in Czechia at the moment? Is the community strong there?


I guess so, we have bunch great bands and people doing things helping underground to stay alive. Hard to explain within few sentences, but I got a really great feeling about the scene right now, so many inspiring people doing inspiring things. Just one band: check a new album by Lycanthrophy. Their sound became unique. 


6. Are there any bands that have influenced you?


Definitely Incantation and some other classical stuff like old Deicide, Demigod or van Drunen stuff. And among those hyped new OSDM bands I totally adore Tomb Mold because their riffs are bit different but still slimy enough and with kinda punk attitude. Great band. I also love Mortiferum, but mostly their first demo, great riffing… These are the biggest influences for my guitar work, but you cant hear it in our music, because we can play only what we play, we suck at ripping off other bands haha.


7. What are your favourite albums/EPs at the moment?


Pharmacist – Flourishing Extremities.. because their music evolution is sick as fuck

Bandit – new album not released yet, crazy chaotic grindcore from the US

Kreator – Endorama …because they released it again on vinyl recently, not a typical Kreator album, Sisters of Mercy vibe with Mille’s vox basically haha


8. Do you intend to play live with Plague Patrol?


Yeah, there might be something in 2023, not earlier. If we play live, it will be a special occasion for sure. Cant say anything else right now.


9. It is early days I know, but how do you see the band evolving?


There is no other plan than creating some good death metal music. When a song is done, the world makes more sense. It's all about this, no popularity bullshit.


10. Finally, what are your thoughts on the music industry as a whole and where do you see it’s future?


It will be the same crazy rollercoaster powered by nostalgia. For example current death metal hype is nothing but a cry for times we have never experienced. So many shitty bands are on big labels, meh… But I can live with that haha. Thanks for your support!


You can stream and purchase Plague Patrol's Demo 2021 digitally via bandcamp below:-



Tape copies are sold out from them but you can still purchase physical copies from the labels below:-


Psychocontrol Records - https://psychocontrolrecords.bandcamp.com/album/demo-2021


Psychocontrol Records - https://www.facebook.com/PSYCHOCONTROL-records

Dry Cough Records - https://www.facebook.com/DryCoughRecords

Gutless Productions - https://www.facebook.com/gutlessasia

Headsplit Records - https://www.facebook.com/headsplitrecords

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Terzij De Horde - In One Of These, I Am Your Enemy


Labels: Consouling Sounds/Tartarus Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 08 Apr 2022


Tracklist:


1. Cheiron

2. In One Of These, I Am Your Enemy

3. Precipice


This review comes a bit out of the blue. Dutch extreme metal/post-hardcore band Terzij De Horde were one of the first bands I covered on this blog (back in 2011 I think), when it was called Stay Ahead. I remember that it was a time when I was really digging down into different scenes and countries, and for some reason at the time The Netherlands really stood out. I picked up their first LP A Rage Of Rapture Against The Dying Of The Light shortly after discovering them and then they kind of fell off my radar. When their latest album dropped into my inbox, I immediately took notice. 


I’m a tad embarrassed that Terzij De Horde has been off my radar for so long and that after eleven years, I’m writing about them again. I should have been more on the ball. Their newest album’s opener ‘Cheiron’ is a blistering college of post and black metal, with both the instruments and vocals in top gear. Compared to the other two songs on In One Of These, I Am Your Enemy it’s short but it contains more impact that way, especially thanks to it’s mix of melody and extremity.


The album’s title track ‘In One Of These, I Am Your Enemy’ is unsurprisingly cut from the same cloth as ‘Cheiron’ but it’s filled with more post-metal textures. Eminently catchy early on, it bursts into a rabid black metal song around two minutes in. There are some great off-kilter flourishes with a more straightforward metal approach poking through at times too. It still beats me how five people can craft such a soundstage. The recording, mixing and mastering gives the whole thing a glowing sheen, which accentuates the atmosphere that Terzij De Horde put into the song, especially when they go in a more screamo/post-hardcore direction at it’s mid-point. There are slight Scandi elements to their sound here but I can’t pinpoint any comparisons.


Album closer ‘Precipice’ is an absolute masterpiece of post-metal/screamo early on. It’s mid-tempo opening minutes give way to more blackened madness, yet Terzij De Horde control it very well indeed. It’s that control that sets them apart for me and begs the question; after all this time, why aren’t they on a roster like that of Pelagic Records or Relapse Records even? They certainly wouldn’t be out of place in my opinion. There are so many twists and turns here, from the full-on black metal, to the atmospheric noise passages and the massive instrumental metal that follows it through to the song’s second half and overall conclusion. It’s mere presence is overpowering (in a good way). 


I don’t know what more I can say about this record, apart from that I’m absolutely floored by it. I’m gonna stick my neck out though and say that I definitely appreciate the two longer songs ‘In One Of These, I Am Your Enemy’ and ‘Precipice’ best, purely for how engrossing they are. The whole record though is fantastic.


FFO: Ash Borer, Underdark, A Storm Of Light, Wolves In The Throne Room & Wiegedood


You can stream the record and purchase it digitally or on CD (while stocks last), directly from Terzij De Horde below:-



Terzij De Horde - https://www.facebook.com/terzijdehorde


You can also buy physical copies from the labels below:-


Consouling Sounds - https://store.consouling.be/

Tartarus Records - https://shop.tartarusrecords.com/


Consouling Sounds - https://www.facebook.com/ConsoulingSounds

Tartarus Records - https://www.facebook.com/TartarusRecords

Monday, 9 May 2022

Song Premiere: Trophy Hunt - Pink Noise


The unstoppable release train keeps rolling on over at Zegema Beach Records and this evening, I'm once again super proud to be helping them out by premiering a brand new song from a soon-to-be-released album. The Branches On Either Side is the newest release from New York's own ecstatic grindcore (their words) band Trophy Hunt. Trophy Hunt released their debut album Silent Intercom in February 2020 and then followed it up with the three song EP Katabasis in March 2021. All three of those songs have been re-recorded specially for this new album. I can today bring you an advance stream of the album's tenth and final song 'Pink Noise' below:-



Here's what Trophy Hunt had to say about 'Pink Noise' -


“LOST SCAVENGERS, FRENZIED CONSUMPTION, NIGHT-TIDE FLOODS THE SENSES. LET IT BREAK UPON THE GROUND, OH WHAT A CALMING SOUND.” Pink Noise is the album closer, big boohoo USBM about attachment and the psychic pain people inflict on themselves, esp men who sleep with trans women. It’s a landscape of fear, hurt, and confusion that’s hard not to feel lost in.


In terms of the physical form of The Branches On Either Side, there will be 154 copies on 3 different tape variants, split across Zegema Beach Records, Middle-Man Records and the band (there's also the rumour of a vinyl pressing coming from a European label later this year). You can peep one of the variants below:-



As if that wasn't enough, you can also hear another album track in the form of 'Beach' on the new Sordid States v.4 comp from Middle-Man Records below:-



Keep your eyes fixed on the below socials for more news regarding the release and when it drops:-


Trophy Hunt - https://www.facebook.com/trophyhuntnyc

Middle-Man Records - https://www.facebook.com/middlemanrecords

Zegema Beach Records - https://www.facebook.com/zegemabeachrecords

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Visions From Beyond - Eternally Bound, Whipped By Time


Labels: Dry Cough Records/Sodden Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 28 Jan 2021


Tracklist:


1. Sodden Species

2. Psychotic Possession

3. Ancient Dreams

4. Slave To The Reptant Cannibals


If you've been following the blog recently, you'll have seen my reviews of tape releases featuring Engraved, Sewer Fiend and Plague Patrol that were all released via Dry Cough Records last year. Well, there's plenty more where they came from as Dry Cough has been on (and indeed still is on) a pretty stellar run of death/doom releases, which I've been steadily ordering and enjoying over recent months. Bristol based death/doom band Visions From Beyond had it's debut EP Eternally Bound, Whipped By Time released by the label back in June 2021, having already been available digitally via both the band and Sodden Records since January 2021. It proved to be a very popular release with two extra tape runs coming after the initial run (only four copies from the third run are available to pick up directly from Visions From Beyond).


Visions From Beyond is a solo project of mammoth death/funeral doom proportions, which has links to Fetus Christ too. EP opener ‘Sodden Species’ is mired in old-school death metal that contains a heap of murkiness. The instrumentation here is really striking. The drums sound very analog/unfussy, while the bass guitar is very intricate. The melodic lead guitar is haunting and uneasy at times, while the deep growls drag the atmosphere down to funeral doom depths.


I can understand why this release has proven so popular. The uncluttered recording and production allow each instrument clear space to be heard. ‘Psychotic Possession’ is slightly more minimalist to my ears, with some very subtle similarities to Slimelord’s Moss Contamination in parts, if you’ve listened to that release.


How these songs fit together on the EP has cleary been well thought through, as is demonstrated on ‘Ancient Dreams’. The vocals sit slightly deeper in the mix here and are delivered as semi-whispered growls, letting the low-end driven music to come to the fore. The use of nicely placed atmospheric melody adds an extra element too, lifting the mood.


EP closer ‘Slave To The Reptant Cannibals’ draws on all of the instrumental prowess delivered by Visions From Beyond, wrapping it up in a package that even Cynic would be proud of. The guitar work leads the way one last time and all to quickly it’s over. I’d go as far to say that this debut could go down as a timeless classic within UK death/doom. I can’t wait to write about the band’s second release Drawing Down The Darkness at a later date.


FFO: Cynic, Mortuary Spawn, Slimelord, Solothus & Warning


You can stream and purchase Eternally Bound, Whipped By Time digitally and on tape (but be quick!) below:-



Dry Cough Records have sold out of tape copies.


Visions From Beyond - https://www.facebook.com/visionsfrombeyond.official

Dry Cough Records - https://www.facebook.com/DryCoughRecords

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Forsvinn Harifran!/Swollen Head - Split


Labels: Puukotus-Levyt/sStarving Light Collective

Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 24 Nov 2021


Tracklist:


1. Forsvinn Harifran! - Hela Söderort Hatar Polisen

2. Forsvinn Harifran! - Tillåt Pyroteknik På Läktaren

3. Forsvinn Harifran! - Dö Rasister Dö

4. Forsvinn Harifran! - Statens Institut För Rasbiologi

5. Forsvinn Harifran! - Djurgårdsjävlar

6. Forsvinn Harifran! - Kniven Mot Ansiktet

7. Forsvinn Harifran! - Tills Jag Är Död

8. Forsvinn Harifran! - IQ Som En Frukostflinga

9. Forsvinn Harifran! - Sparka På Bollen

10. Forsvinn Harifran! - Åh Vi Hatar AIK

11. Forsvinn Harifran! - Pizza, Öl, Krig

12. Forsvinn Harifran! - Varför Förstör Polisen Stämningen?

13. Swollen Head - Slavery

14. Swollen Head - Last Meal

15. Swollen Head - Coins

16. Swollen Head - Execution

17. Swollen Head - Meat Head

18. Swollen Head - Sanitary Towels

19. Swollen Head - Fifteen Squares

20. Swollen Head - Election

21. Swollen Head - Zebra Crossing

22. Swollen Head - No Sense Of Humour

23. Swollen Head - Heavy Speed

24. Swollen Head - Swollen Head


I can't remember the last time I reviewed a release this long. This split features twenty four tracks of Swedish and Finnish noisecore/powerviolence from solo projects Forsvinn Harifran! and Swollen Head, respectively. It was released late last year on lathes by Puukotus-Levyt and on tapes by Starving Light Collective. I know that there's a link to Finnish hardcore band Sick Urge via Swollen Head,  but that's all I know. If you know more and you read this review. please don't hesitate to drop your knowledge in the comments!


Before I start this review proper, I want to point out that the order in which I’m reviewing these songs may not be correct. The release is available for streaming via Swollen Head’s bandcamp and as such the band’s songs are listed first in the running order (which makes complete sense) but elsewhere I’ve seen the tracks by Forsvinn Harifran! listed first, so I’m doing them in that order. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things but hey ho.


Starting with Forsvinn Harifran!, you’re presented with uber noisy fastcore that’s semi-improvised. You’ll be lucky if songs here pass the fifteen second mark, but when songs like ‘Tills Jag Är Död’ and ‘IQ Som En Frukostflinga’ do they provide slightly sludgier tones. Songs including the opener ‘Hela Söderort Hatar Polisen’, ‘Sparka På Bollen’ and just about all the rest from FH! are made out of pure chaos. This is all the work of one person and that’s mind-blowing to me. I’m reminded of some of the Mind Ripper Collective (short-lived but rad UK fastcore/pv label) bands like Endless Swarm and Godhole while listening. 


Swollen Head’s side of the split is no less intense. In fact you’d be hard pressed to tell the band apart from Forsvinn Harifran! if I’m being honest. That’s no bad thing though as they share a similar bond. There’s a gritty/screechy approach here, with the likes of ‘Execution’ and ‘Meat Head’ being especially striking to me. As with FH!, the fact that Swollen Head’s music is written,  composed and recorded by one man is pretty nuts. On ‘Election’ and indeed throughout I do get hints of The Body showing through, but that one might be an obvious name to draw out of the had. Like FH!, Swollen Head is still pretty unique sounding.


If you’re a returning reader you’ll notice that I haven’t over-analysed this release like I usually do. Twenty four songs is stretching it for me in terms of descriptive originality (not something I profess to be great at anyway!). This split is great though, especially if you like it fast and loud. There are plenty of reasons to enjoy both Forsvinn Harifran! and Swollen Head, not least because they’re from Scandinavia, which is synonymous with stupidly productive musicians. 


FFO: Endless Swarm, Godhole, The Body, Sick Urge, Nak’ay


Stream and purchase the whole split digitally below:-



You won't find either band on social media (at least I didn't anyway!)


You can purchase tapes via Starving Light Collective here (though I don't know if it is their main site) - https://www.localgymsandfitness.com/Starving-Light-Collective


I can't find any store/site/social media pages for Puukotus-Levyt but here's the FB page for Starving Light Collective - https://www.facebook.com/starvinglight/

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Katavasia - Invoking The Spirit Of Doom 7"


Labels: Iron Bonehead Productions

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 01 Oct 2021


Tracklist:


1. Descending To Acheron

2. Premonition Of Doom


Black metal has been a staple of the Greek extreme metal community for time immemorial (it seems), From the Hellenic tomes of Rotting Christ and Varathron to the modern day approaches of Caedes Cruenta, Dodsferd and Ithaqua, the sub-genre has very much found a home on the warm Aegean/Ionian shores. Katavasia formed in 2014 and they've been very productive since then. Between 2015 and the end of 2020, they released two full-lengths and an EP. Their work ethic remained in tact during the pandemic and last year they released their latest EP 'Invoking The Spirit Of Doom' via Iron Bonehead Productions. Limited to 500 copies on two different variants, it contains two songs stretching to nearly ten minutes in length.


I still think the 7” format is under appreciated. Yes it may be more expensing to press songs onto it than onto a 12” record nowadays, but there’s a lot of nostalgia attached to it. That’s why it’s nice to see that both Katavasia and Iron Bonehead Productions committed to it for the Invoking The Spirit Of Doom EP. Starting with ‘Descending To Acheron’, the EP is a raw beast that has icy black metal at it’s heart. It’s instrumentation hits hard with a war metal-like approach of driving percussion and thrashing guitars, though there are some subtle orchestral synths buried in the mix too. The vocals are full of character and they help to bring the release to life. 


Second song 'Premonition Of Doom' is very rhythmic as well as being pacier. I’m not sure whether that’s a trick of the ear but Katavasia seem more dialled in here. The bass is more audible and it adds a lot of depth to their music, while there are elements of death metal and heavy metal woven in too. I know that this EP is brief and it does end abruptly just when you’re getting into it’s groove, but that’s kind of the point. You don’t get burnt out listening to it, in fact it leaves you wanting more. Katavasia’s black metal is entertaining from start to finish. This EP is perfect if you’re discovering them for the first time. 


FFO: Rotting Christ, Varathron, Caedes Cruenta, Ithaqua, Havukruunu


You can stream Invoking The Spirit Of Doom and purchase it digitally/on vinyl directly from Katavasia below:-



You can also buy physical vinyl copies from Iron Bonehead Productions below:-

https://shop.ironbonehead.de/


Katavasia - https://www.facebook.com/katavasiaofficial

Iron Bonehead Productions - https://www.facebook.com/IronBoneheadProductions