Tuesday, September 16, 2014


April 2009, 40/A5 pages, xeroxed, English, interviews: INFERNAL CONJURATION, EVIL DAMN, PATHOGEN, LANTERN, RECRUCIFY, NECROFUCKER.

Pretty old stuff here, as this Peruvian zine has been unleashed into the metal area five years ago. This meeting is my first contact with a piece of underground press coming directly from the land of the Incas, but general impression is simply good. Maybe LoT isn’t something unique, for sure it isn’t a shit too. And the only person responsible for these words of metal is Juan (also in the Death Invoker band) bringing inties with unknown South American bands, from the deepest gulfs of the underground, on the other hand, I can admire six page Iron Maiden report. Yes, these Gods of heavy metal were playing in Lima for the first time on 2009, 26th March, and everything has been listed by Juan himself. And believe me, it is a real pleasure in reading such words full of passion, devotion, variation and childish joy sometimes. In addition, Juan interviewed Valentina, the member of Peruvian Iron Maiden fan club, and the first person who entered the gig. Anyway, I consider Juan a brave man. Including such commercial (!) item and the band always can be a bone of contention among the metallers and the ‘trve’ ones. But I don’t give a shit about them!

Ok, let’s back to the rest. My main complaints refer to so-so English. It’s not a difficult task to find language mistakes or just common typos, but I know the next issues of Juan’s work and I can assure that this beast will improve it definitely. The interviews are good, I mean, I just like the questions he asks, strictly to the bone and with no ass-licking. And the best one is the first intie with Mexican Infernal Conjuration due to long and full informative answers. Juan delivers 22 musical reviews and 15 pieces of press, not too much indeed, all rather short although the author has always interesting and frank point of view, bringing a proper insight what is all about.

As the debut, it’s a decent thing. Juan took the main influences directly from the old times: cut’n’paste method, some biographies (Goat Tyrant, Incisor, Bastardator), flyers. Fortunately he didn’t give up and released another two issues, both improved a lot, in A4 format, and more controversial due to bands answers. Great to hear that the four is scheduled, I hope to read it soon!

Juan Carlos Alarcon Ruiz
Av. Aviacion 2459 - San Borja
Lima 41 - Peru


(written on September, 2014)  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

MORBUS CHRON - Sleepers in the Rift (2011)

The Coffinshakers: Addicted to the Filth
Name: Morbus Chron. Subject of interest: “Sleepers in the Rift”. Country: Sweden. Genre: ancient death metal. Status: debutants. Releasing date: 2011. Thus, is everything clear in this case? Well, it took me three bloody years to get it, but finally (on August, 2014) sleepers knocked at my door. Incipiently, maybe during first or second listen, I treated them as unwelcome guests, just the album was nothing special to me. Definitely it wasn’t a love at the first sight however I didn’t put the album on the shelf and forgot about it. I couldn’t. Hard to define, but the album was emanating with some kind of sick captivating energy and my senses started to succumb. In one word, sleepers cast a spell on me. And it seems to be an undying love…

Starting off with the music, there is one thing that doesn’t let me focus on the inside of the sleepers. Yes, the front cover. The splendid work of Raul Gonzales. Definitely it reminds me of all these memorable pictures from the past. With no band’s logo (for the debut crew, quite curious move I guess…), it is very interesting invitation into the depths of the album. Well, musically the debut doesn’t offer the long meeting as the entirety clocks in thirty-five minutes only. The final product has been exchanged into the sound by the band itself and Nicke Andersson. This famous character is also responsible for recording and mixing as well. The effect is just perfect because the album sounds both juicily and… putridly. Interesting fact is that sleepers have been recorded in our present times, on the other hand the sounds didn’t miss a primitive grossness, vulgarity and bestial cruelty… Yes, the album is just cruel, and in this mixture of sounds it is quite easy to say where the influences are taken from. On the start I wrote ancient death, so let me say: the times of Nihilist or two first Entombed albums plus early Death and Autopsy. Well, the picture is complete right now, additionally woven by Morbus Chron’s own visions.

Luckily no one-dimensional track is served here, as the songwriting is supported by their talent and skills. Generally there is no weak song or any needful fragment, compositions are just well-thought-out. The patterns were given, although the Swedes aren’t copycats and bring in some sick melodic layers in the structures. For the most part they offer just catchy guitar riffs, sometimes it becomes a semi-lead demonstrations (“The Hallucinating Dead”, “Lidless Coffin”) being a base of the song. They can perfectly dose both slow and fast parts and it can be easily heard in every track. It makes that all the running time passes without any sign of fatigue. And even the influences may suggest rather not complicated and to the bone music, more technical aspect of the music is audible as well, just take a listen to “Hymns to a Stiff” or “Ways of Torture” especially in the second part. Musicians also took care about some additional flavor things, as sounds of thunder, bells and heartbeats have been put into compositions. The overall effect is strengthened: the atmosphere of awe and filth crawling out from every album’s corner. Speaking of the vocals, two persons are responsible for that, both guitarists Edde and Robba as the booklet says, bringing another element to this dismaying puzzle. Definitely in the vein of their kinsman L-G Petrov and the killing US duo in the persons of Chuck Schuldiner and Chris Reifert, they carry a verbal annihilation. These vocal terrors creating the overwhelming agony and the undead pestilence is a lethal weapon in the fight with serenity especially during the best moments in “Creepy Creeping Creeps”. It makes the album complete, a real crusher of everything, giving a deformation of the whole matter. Right now, it’s a good moment to drown in the last rotten piece of the sleepers, called “Deformation of the Dark Matter”, the song that is rather a contradiction to the rest of the track length. 6:12 looks like a giant here, it swarms with tempo changing (but with thrifty vocals), these bloody Swedes don’t forgive offering the final abominable temptation for my senses. And one more important thing: it proves the musicians are able to compose not only three-minute shots.

All right, summing up and to make all the things perfectly clear: Morbus Chron came out with a really enjoyable slab, it’s a very successful start to their career, mind you, they are signed to Century Media now. On the base of the things which are invented many years ago, they have the face to show their putrefied musical visions. They have talent, maturity and furiousness. They know how to use the songwriting to create very good bloody pieces of metal: they didn’t fail to build a foot-bridge from the ancient days to our times what is the most important matter in this genre. Their second journey made this year is still missing in my collection, so, I know the title which will arrive to me pretty soon.

… and I can’t get off this lying in wait eye from front cover…  go to hell, there is no escape…

(written on September, 2014)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

GRAVEYARD - The Sea Grave (2013)

The Sea, It Devours Me...
Their previous debut album called „One with the Dead” was a real indelible impression. What is more, I often return to this splendid slab, still worshipping its musical devastation. Four long years have passed, fortunately the Spaniards are pretty active and hard-working fellas and delivered some splits releases into the bowels of the underground. On the beginning of 2013 they unleashed the killing split with Ulcer bringing really good “Ye Incantation” song. It looked like a kind of savory, but the future, I mean the second album, brought, let’s say, different feelings. Finally the black vinyl version reached my address and I could submerge into the sea grave at last. But first of all, I have to write about the front cover art painted by Putrid which is in fact a first signal to what is all about. Yes, maintained in two colours only, once again in white and black just like as the great predecessor, the picture ends Graveyard’s fascination of the general horror classic literature and films and starts the Lovecraft themes. The awakened Cthulhu says it all… although such a subject isn’t anything new in metal concepts and lyrics. The second thing is the recording place. This time the band itself decided to produce the next offer and entered Moontower abyss. Not a surprise definitely, Javi Felez is the owner. And to put it shortly, he did a great job. The Spaniards sound amazing, it is not a ‘full’ underground release, but I can’t call it a modern artificial stuff. It is organic and this adjective describes it in a really good way. Just it lives…   

But damn, front cover, lyrics and powerful production cannot force me to build an altar for any album. So, what about the music? The album starts off with one of the three miniatures named R’lyeh, and to put it simply the musicians inject the air with some feelings of anxiety and fear. Lasting somewhat less than one minute, this track is a good introduction to “The Visitations of the Great Old Ones”. To the Lovecraft world I mean. Fast tempo, almost thrashing riffs, characteristic Graveyardish slowing downs and this appalling Julkarn vocals, very deep guttural and even more devastating as compared to the first album. The track is maintained in various speeds, that’s absolutely good, but nothing is haphazard here. And even this song isn’t the best one from the tracklist, I can say everything about the music. Their first album was deeply rooted in old Swedish sauce, here the Spaniards added the rest components from Finnish (debut albums of Sentenced or Amorphis especially), Dutch or UK scene. Generally they offer a hundred-percent metal of death.

They didn’t discover any new land in metal dimension. But they use the best patterns in a proper way only. And I think, after many listens to it, that the real force of “The Sea Grave” is this tempo changing. Not a one-dimensional track, but the perfect balance between slow and fast parts. So, the pattern is clear, the musicians tend to keep all the things simple but effective. And nothing is thrown in without a reason or well-thought idea. It makes each song has its own life, and no filler can be found on the tracklist. For sure the band still searches for a new path to execute this metal in more lethal form, in many statements they assured about conscious classic heavy and doom influences. And they gave two names: King Diamond and Candlemass. As I compare it to the previous work, the guitar leads have definitely more heavy touch, maybe they’re not as memorable as from mentioned big names, but the change is evident. The doomish structures are present either, but this is not a new thing, as the sound from “The Skull” song is such a killing piece of doom played death metal way. Here, on this album, “Of He Who Sleeps” is the best example. Almost six minutes are crowded with heavy monumental doom riffs and simple yet very memorable melody. This hypnotizing power has a real big impact on me, as well as it makes the album complete in devastating metal intensity. Choosing the best moments in this heavy sea, I need to mention two coherent tracks: “In Deep Slumber” and “The Nurturing of the Cadaver”, lasting over six minutes, they bring absolutely astonishing pieces of death metal. The first one is instrumental, not as fast as “Abandoned Churches” from the debut, but also with catchy guitar works. Smoothly it becomes the aforementioned killer, just take a listen to these splendid old Swedish melodies...   

Wondering about the final mark, there’s a need to call the Graveyard’s debut up. Tunes from “One with the Dead” completely maltreated my senses, probably it was the first album in a new movement (or trend?) on the metal scene. Moreover, this album was equal to the Swedish nineties classic items. And here the most important question comes to my mind: did “The Grave Sea” meet the requirements? If yes, did it beat the mighty predecessor? Well, with full consciousness, I have to declare that the second full length Spanish offer is… better! Of course, it is not a big difference as I gave the debut ninety-seven points, I would say that I am able to give the reviewed album one more point. It proves the band didn’t stagnate and still searches the ways to define their visions under the banner of the destructive death metal. I said ‘destructive’? Exactly, just listen to the “Faces of the Faceless” track and imagine this ravage under the stage while playing it live. Although the fast tempos are rather in minority, the whole atmosphere of the sounds makes the album a lethal weapon. Now the Spaniards stand before the recording of the third album (knowing them, also many splits are planned to be released as well) and after recording two such splendid slabs, my expectations are enormous. For sure they are able to unleash another deathly sounds blessed by Lovecraft’s pantheon of gods, for sure the recording period of the third album will be a good moment to focus on creating band’s magnum opus.

…but now I’m again ready for a journey into the ominous sea gulf, to see R’lyeh dominion and feel the infinite power of the Old Ones. Believe me, it’s possible with this music…      


(written on August / September, 2014)