Written by: Bane Ov Silence
Unbowed is one of the best kept secrets in the music world today. For the uninitiated, Unbowed is a melodic death metal band from Ontario, Canada. The group incorporates elements of folk and black metal--it all comes together into an experience that every fan of extreme music should take the time to listen to. While I’m not usually a huge fan of melodic death metal, Unbowed's last album, Through Endless Tides, was my runner up for album of the decade. When I saw that Alex Snape, the guitarist and a founding member, was planning on releasing a solo EP under the guise of Ritual in Ruin, I jumped at the chance to review it.
In short, Ritual in Ruin is the darker black metal version of Unbowed. All the songs still carry the triumphant and cinematic feel of Through Endless Tides, but the guitar tone and vocals give the songs a much darker atmosphere. It seems contradictory to make an album that is simultaneously triumphant yet also dark and sinister, yet here, it works very well.
In the primordial days of this here Sleeping Village, we reviewed a track from Perversión, the third EP from Chile's own Corspehammer. At heart, Corpsehammer plays fairly basic (if notably speedy) brand of black/death/thrash, but that doesn’t change the simple fact that this EP squirms its way into rotation at an alarming rate of frequency. They also have a debut full length out, which I shall be enjoying in short order. But: first things first.
“Reino – Sangre del Diablo” is a ominous and crashing affair, while follow-ups “Rito & Magia” and standout track "Sexo y Muerto" shift and grind their way into higher gear. I enjoy a deliberate build from standard fare into the wild and unhinged, and here, Corpsehammer deliver handily. The outro, like so many, feels largely unnecessary, but so it goes.
Despite all the insult-flinging in our direction, we Villagers just had to have Captain Graves (of Advent Varic) back for another review in typically pugilistic fashion. Today: Tartarus Horde's self-titled debut. Enjoy! - Ed.
I've been summoned to The Village once again. This time for some music out of my realm of normal listening. You know The Captain prefers a more depressive style. They sent me a weird device called a "tape," I've never seen anything like it. I searched far and wide at the stores to find a mundane object here on your planet to find a way for it to play. On Saturn 9, I usually just take whatever files I feel, maybe this was a smart move, or a way to prevent me from stealing their music. I bet this was this was the work of the Necrosexual, that Weak bastard.
Written by: Vattghern
Time is money. More notably, time is limited. In this modern day and age, for the majority, everything needs to happen fast. I need my news fast, I don't have time to cook, and I especially don't spend time on anything I don't really need to. It's sad, really, but why this pretentiously philosophical monologue to start the review of Zohamah's Spread My Ashes?
Because Zohamah approached their record in similar fashion--which in this case, works in favour of the music. The record is roughly half an hour long and given the type of music that is presented, a more stretched out approach would undoubtedly have taken away much of its charm.
Kicking off things with thunder and stormy rain is new World, and it captures the soundscape of what is to come accordingly. A bit of dissonant black metal, a bit of doomy atmosphere, and some death metal chugging. Genre traits are not bound to exact attributes though, since variety is subtle but noticeable. While Black Cloud is very fast paced, with hints of death metal, the intense vocal performance and tremolo picked melodies across the album scream "black metal."
Given the underlying diversity of influences and styles, some transitions don't work out as they should. At points an abrupt change or not-so-smooth transition occurs, but luckily for the listener, this is more of a rare occurrence.
With a production that gives spotlight to every instrument and a blend of genres that provides the listener with something fresh yet oddly familiar, Spread my Ashes succeeds in most parts. Especially the decision to cut corners where needed, which ultimately forms this into a short but sweet record.
Zohamah -Spread My Ashes will be released Feb. 1st from Redefining Darkness Records
Here at the Sleeping Village’s dilapidated mead hall, our blood-stained butcher/chef/warden of the promo pit will, on occasion, serve something a little out of the ordinary. Artistic license is generally a good thing...but when finding crunchy bits in the soup d’jour becomes an everyday occurrence, it’s probably might be time to tighten those creative reins. Let’s face it: sometimes we nascent tastemakers are looking for meat ‘n’ potatoes, plain and simple. To this end, Wisconsin’s own Necrokvlt are on the menu.
Delivering an unpretentious slab of black metal colored by the outward aggression of proto-death, there isn’t much on their latest 2-track that feels overly sophisticated. In moving beyond the enthusiastic Venom worship we witnessed in their prior works, Necrokvlt are effectively bridging the 1st and 2nd waves of black metal--and, in doing so, they play to their strengths very, very well. Opening track 7th Sound of Chaos is filled with riffage aplenty, complemented by a solid bass tone and pleasantly present cymbals. The true star here, however, is Golgotha on vox. The era of demo cassette black metal is punctuated, in my mind, by jubilantly throat-wrenching vocals. This guy delivers the goods. Pained, strained, yet simultaneously gleeful--this is the energy Golgotha brings to the table.
His obvious talent feels somewhat squandered, however, as the title (and final) track, A Spirit’s Suicide, is purely instrumental. From the instrumental perspective, this track is a headbanger regardless; the hookiest of surf rock progression with the moodiness of makes for a catchy track indeed. That said, it doesn’t hold enough weight to quite merit the exclusion of vocals. An odd choice, but the overall strength of this release dictates a significant number of replays in those short pockets of time that need filling. Necrokvlt are clearly proficient in their no-nonsense brand, and I’m excited to see where their next release projects them.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!