Saturday, June 20, 2020



I did not go wrong this time and purchased the recent, still hot issue with the number eight immediately after hitting the bowels of the underground. As for size, layout and such stuff I could copy and paste my previous VGL reviews. It's been released in the same form, it does not really develop anymore and... I do not need any changes. The front cover greets with a dark, obscure picture and on the start I have another three bands that screwed up and didn't answer. Really strange as all are on Polish Fallen Temple roster. Pawel cares for wood resources and there's no single place left empty, just take a look on page number 4, as he put one review under Martwa Aura chat. Ok, let's go the content: the eight consists of eight interviews, but let me describe the weakest ones for starters. Hyperdontia, despite having quite huge impact here and there, completely failed. Pawel explained the case in words of introduction preparing pretty much interesting questions, but in the end I got terrible answers and two of them without any words of explanations. What's more, there are many editor's necessary footnotes which isn't a standard thing for VGL. The contest on the biggest lame of the issue is finally settled. In turn, Sathanas gave a shedload of laconic answers shorter than questions making this intie average and totally forgettable. All right, I guess all my whinings are over, because the rest is pretty decent, good (Martwa Aura that opens, Vacant Body – the shortest with only ten questions yet definitely concise, Gravewards, very interesting with ten questions as well, unfortunately it ends too abruptly) or just very good. Polish Morbid Winds, new blackish beast, proudly opens the remaining trinity, giving fully informative friendly chat made in last April. There is no surprise here as Diabolizer (in alliance with Cryptic Lust), the band's drummer and Worship Him zine editor knows the subject perfectly. In similar way Elixir of Distress shines through pages, however I found it as a great complement to the interview from R'lyeh 15. And the third one lastly: Burial in the Woods led by modest Gerileme again with very interesting chat, definitely to check it out. The answer on question two has got a funny (or not, it depends...) typo though.

As compared to 7, the font has been changed into smaller size, however still being readable and not causing an eye pain. The old sin with midsentence capitalized 'and' conjuction didn't disappear, there are some spelling mistakes as well. Due to reduced amount of pages, the review section offers 20 zines (in the case of this zine, I even would write only 20...) and 135 musical different formats written with using the same rules as always. Flabbergastingly, this time the Chilean ungerdround isn't the leading force. The live reports are present too (7 described visits). Then, the page 2 features nice science and history section – good move, clever and interesting treat, especially when it comes to the person of Herodot. So, allow me to capsule this issue: VGL doesn't disappoint providing a few hours of pure hellish underground reading once again. I expected solid stuff from experienced editor, and I got such. And for sure, questions on non-musical topics (for instance, ecology, Earth's overpopulation, historical facts, burials) are an added value. Fully recommended, no two ways about it.


(written in June, 2020)

Thursday, June 18, 2020



Despite quite positive review of the previous issue 6 from 2014, somehow I missed number 7. And you know what? Nothing rather has been changed: still I deal with old-school layout and cut'n'paste method of execution. The reading itself goes definitely smoothly, the font is my friend, not an eye-burner. I wrote 'rather', because it has got slighlty better cover art and the interviews are preceded by some short intro: one or two sentences and the subject is clear. Pawel, the editor, admits once again that the process of zine creating isn't an easy ride. It's very hard to argue with that, and I'm fully excited another title hit my modest collection. Ok, as the bands are concerned, there're nine crews in the menu, what's interesting, only two of them come from Poland. Ragehammer opens the thing up and this is killer, to put it briefly. Friendly, with easy flow talk, but Tymek's attitude is not an exemption in any form. Then, the Finnish Galvanizer gives me an interesting meeting supported by surprising sense of humor. It's a shame, but this is still unknown for me during the review, but for sure this VGL issue made me to act. The third one on the list is Living Altar coming from Lithuania and... we have got the winner. Dainius, the drummer, is an astrophysicist and Pawel knowing that fact, led the interview in a really splendid and absolutely interesting way. Very good questions, very good answers (and one pretty shocking for black metal die-hards on Archgoat lyrics). Two next nice causeries with Demonic Rage and Totten Korps, the representatives of Chilean hell, give some exotic and nonexpendable aura to the whole. What do I need more? But at the other end of the spectrum I'd place Oppenheimer which is a typical black metal yarn that brings nothing new to the matter. In turn, Revenge wishing for humanity to be annihilated in nuclear holocaust (believe me, the Earth itself will be faster), turns into load of nonsense with its acme in the fourteen answer...

To sum the issue up, I didn't notice any signs of professional burnout or loss of form. Some nice additions from daily press, culinary guidance how to prepare human flesh to eat and the crossword brighten the serious reading time. No needless questions, no commercial sections, but still with this strange typo using 'and' as capitalized conjunction. As for the review part, it's enormous and overwhelming. This time I got 48 zine (rather more complex) and 141 musical opinions with names I have never heard about, for South-East Asia hunters one comes from Brunei. Served precisely and to the core, it's easy to detect editor's taste, yet I have an impression that this part of VGL has been patronized by Chilean government as many of them praise the stuff from this country. But truth be told, I cannot remind now any weak Chilean recording or review. Then, Pawel didn't forget about live visits and gave six reports written in simple but truly enjoyable way. So, on a final note, the pages assure an underground atmosphere all the time created by experienced zinewriter and a complete metal freak, so there's only one thing to do: support his doings.


(written in June, 2020)

Sunday, June 7, 2020

KANDARIVAS - Grind Surgical Shrine (2019)

Grind Taiko Shrine Shines!

A big surprise coming straight from the land of Japan. The Ep is fourteen minute of... experimental grindcore as the band comes with some help on their sites. And to put briefly, it's almost impossible to dispute with such a fact. Led by Tomoki armed with guitar and different kinds of vo-kills, they use two drums, the standard drum set demolished by Onobone and taiko (or wadaiko) played by Kaiki. And this third instrument I consider to be experimental for sure, as I have never heard anything like that in such a genre. The main question occurring to me is: do they fit to the whole?

But from the start, these minutes runs extremely fast, the tracks differ in length, from „G.S.A.” song lasting fifteen seconds only (and the only one that falls under one minute) to broken a bit and more complex, if I can say so, „Fuminijire” which is almost three-minute monster. Of course, as mentioned above, it is kept simple and directly to the (grind)core, yet for the Japaneses the light velocity pace isn't the main guideline. What's more, I have an impression that slower parts dominate, just listen to this absolutely crude roadroller-like „Hakikudashi”. Even in the shortest one there is a small room for breather. The production-wise has got a clear underground flavour, guitars are sharp and rough, however taiko sometimes lose its place in the final mix. And those traditional taiko are present all the time, giving its first breath on the very beginning, and for sure being just good and very interesting addition. By using it, the stuff gets archeological (yep, it sounds strange, but the first usage in Japan has been dated on the sixth century C.E.) and tribal touch definitely, and even mysterious, as the origin of taiko is still unclear. Anyway, including Kaiki to the line-up is really bold and great idea that works without any hindrance.

The music itself is pretty varied. Some parts are just a highlight for headbanging, other do a complete sonic havoc where there's no place for escape. All balanced and despite some chaotic layers, well-thought-out and executed with precision. Musically speaking, I would be prone to place them somewhere in Takafumi Matsubara dimensions with the best example in „Fuminijire” (really good to be a track for „Longhena” album) or „Dissemination”, being a proper thing for his last solo title. Of course, I cannot forget about the vocals, they are delivered by each of them, throat grunts, agonizing screams, yells, shrieks, and some kind of chanting („Dissemination”, „Kobudo”), so I tell you, all the vocal bands madness included. Concluding, there is a vision, there is an idea. This is sick and organsmashing. This is different as well, not only in musical terms, just look at them.


(written in June, 2020)

Monday, May 4, 2020

BLOOD INCANTATION - Starspawn (2016)

I Am the Portal, I Am the Stargate

Everything Is Cosmic.

As I promised myself some months ago during „Interdimensional Extinction” space journey, the review of the debut „Starspawn” is now taking a shape. What's interesting I guess, I have already bought their second album which awaits its first listen, however I just do not want to be infected in any form by a new release while reviewing it. The debut, released on August, 18th, 2016, has been bought by me one year or so after the date and it wasn't an easy task. The Denver madmen became quite popular in the underground, giving the spectacular shows here in Poland. Unfortunately I wasn't able to join them in their cosmic presentation in PoznaƄ with Cruciamentum, on March, 2017. Eventually I saw them during 2018 edition of Brutal Assault. Yes, I saw them and got crushed despite small sound problems with guitar leads. Anyway, someone's opinion on the band is one thing to make you spending money, in my case, the most important was the interview with Paul Riedl in „7 Gates” magazine (41st issue), which is one of the most exciting stuff I have ever read to date...

Blood Gets Vitrificated.

…and according to Paul's words, the only purpose for Blood Incantation's existence was creating sick death metal with bizarre and twisted riffs completed by dark metaphysical and spiritual lyrics where one may find the alien hybrids, zen quantum theory, transcendalism, nihilism, mysticism and esotericism. And you know what? Paul didn't lie. The band opens the star gate with „Vitrification of Blood (Part 1) track, a real deadly beast lasting almost fourteen minutes! And during those countless listens it became something more than 'just the opening song'. Without any needless introduction, quite slowly like a road roller to finish the song like a supernova consuming everything on its way. So, what can be found there? From phenomenal guitars layers (both riffs and leads) to merciless onslaught of rhythm section, from massive slow almost doomish parts with overwhelming atmospheric vibe that no one can miss to furious ones ripping the air, from broken complex moments to more simple methods of execution. Yes, this song is a cosmic feast. This song is a complete death song. And I tell you, I couldn't pave the sound realization over. This time, unlike their previous Ep, it got only analogue life and it sounds simply superb, vivid, organic, carnal. But what about the rest? Only four tracks and somebody may complain it's not too much. In terms of numbers probably it would be right, yet it's enough to praise the title for good as the „Starspawn” hasn't been filled by any accidental sound or moment. And as the influences are on the table, I met in different reviews such bands like Morbid Angel, Gorguts, Timeghoul, Demilich. For me, if some touches of Finnish „Nespithe” are perceptible in riff construction from time to time, I should add Mexican The Chasm in this place when the general atmosphere is concerned. But if the Corchado crew explore more down-to-earth dimensions, Blood Incantation takes me into something unknown far beyond any understanding... into something more ominous...

God Equals Space.

This space driven madness is short yet truly intense and completely sense exhausting journey. As compared to the previous title, the progress is absolutely dominant. Even if it is released in 2016, I wouldn't be surprised to find it somewhere in the eighties / the nineties and with first single spin it became just a classic death record. But wait, is there anything that doesn't fit? Well, not really, however I still can't warm to Don Dixon's cover art. Ep's artwork was spectacular, „Starspawn” picture, beside great logo is preserved, is one of many unfortunately. But it is easy to swallow, as the music counts. So, trying to sum the thing up: these 35 minutes are definitely spawning of another star in death genre firmament. Metal, Skills, Vision. I listen to it only when I have free time to do that. The whole. No piecemeal. By all me. Devotedly. Just paying tribute to the Space itself. death as known, only doorways...


(written in 2020)

Sunday, March 29, 2020

BLAKE'S VENGEANCE - 7747-7744 (2014)

Milan Green Blade

The debut of Milan based Blake's Vengeance has a similiar story to many titles in my collection. You know, in many cases, there is only one master: a lucky fortune. Knowing nothing about the band, first I saw it on Selfmadegod Records site last year, in new arrivals section. The front cover, bathed in green (remember, Overkill was absolutely first!), wasn't anything encouraging, yet I decided to give it a chance: one fast listen to the opening song and here is my cd version. Originally released as a digital demo in 2014 with different logo and cover art, then one year later on cd with changed logo, cover art and titled as „7747-7744” and the green reviewed copy, the last edition so far from 2016, this time under the wings of Polish Defense Records. And to put it briefly, the label should be awarded for such a neat and surprising move.

Surprising? No! The combination of two different numbers couldn't be omitted. This demo brings almost twenty minutes of music deeply rooted in thrash and heavy metal with definitely clear technical touch. Another recognizable element of this puzzle is clever using of melody, both in riffs and spectacular leads. But the very first thing that got my attention was the vocal lines of Davide and his manner reminding me Eric A.K from the eighties period. So, is it possible the famous singer has got younger brother somewhere in Lombardy? Of course no, it's not like that. Anyway, Davide's voice sounds great and really fresh for me.

Giving Flotsam and Jetsam vocalist's name as an example above doesn't refer only to it and has its own reflection in musical layer and some influences from Phoenix legend are audible. What's interesting, it seems the Italians know perfectly two first classic albums „Doomsday for the Deceiver” and „No Place for Disgrace”, yet I found references even to „High” from 1997, however demo hasn't got such fast paces, rather being maintained in moderate speed. Yes, there are short faster moments in the second half of the opener or in „Blind to the World”, but it isn't the key here. And as for heavy genre in general and pervasive catchiness, I would indicate the Iron Maiden shades. And such a bag of ideas is something really compelling. Lightness, facility, openness, with use of great skills where technique isn't a mindless display, make the stuff pretty accessible. And absolutely fantastic!

The production side is an added value as the whole sounds exquisitely. Hard to believe it's just a demo. And hard to choose the leading song. For sure, „Ronin” has a chorus that cannot leave my head and I often catch myself on singing it during my work. The longest one here, with splendid guitar leads lasting over one minute, there's even a room for drum solo. In turn, „Blind to the World” is like a semi-ballad due to its mysterious, eerie guitar parts, in some definitely strange way I could compare this track to the beloved „Escape from Within”. These twenty minutes run very smoothly, with not a single boring second, and I've got a real pleasure to listen to it, as I face the metal thing it should be played in such a way in this genre. Despite of mentioned bigger names, the demo sounds very fresh, vivid and quite... original. On the other hand I am a bit concerned as the band hasn't recorded anything since 2014. Yes, as opposed to the opening song title, they are still alive according to their social media and I do hope to hear something new in our current very hard times. All right, on the end, this music is yet another great evidence that using sounds once intended and played, there is always possibility to create very good music supported by own talent, skills and visions, not being locked down in the snares of soulless imitation. Believe me, Blake's Vengeance has got it all.


(written in March, 2020)

Saturday, March 21, 2020

HYPNOSIA - Violent Intensity (1999)

No Dormancy Detected

Being on my must-have thrashing list since the ages, the title joined my musical treasury last year eventually, and ya know, I bought it on tape just like my first own records thirty years ago. It was released by Iron Fist Productions in 2018 which is in fact the same label responsible for 1999 cd edition. And to put it briefly, the title doesn't lie and nobody can be wrong, as it brings violent intensity only. This seventeen minute Ep has something like a short guitar introduction called „Funeral Cross”, turning smoothly into „Hauting Death”. Almost four minutes and all is clear: the band delivers furious piece of thrashing whipping, where apparent traces of Sadus debut and „Pleasure to Kill” combine, even Mikael vocals are a fusion of Darren and Mille. With skill, the Swedes move between two different thrash stylistics, in turn, „Undead” and „The Storms” have got a distinct touch of „Schizophrenia” when the pace is slow down a bit.

These five equal shots don't let me sit snugly in my lounge chair, however I cannot tell they boogie down indiscriminately. No, there are slowdowns used to be rather a small breath before another merciless attack, as well as well-though-out guitar leads, short, rampant, and longer, more complex with the best example in mentioned „The Storms” that ends the whole. For sure, the production side really helps the thing to be absolutely hot, especially when it comes to the work of rhythm section. It slays and always great to hear a thrash band putting the bass lines in such a way. I wrote the songs are kept at the same level, yet I lean towards „Perpetual Dormancy” to be a leader in the herd, with its perfect beginning and catchy riffs all the time. And believe me, this misleading title is a complete contradiction to the sounds coming from this ripping song.

I wasn't a lucky freak to get „Violent Intensity” when it came out back in 1999. The Ep seemed to be just a typical way of progress I guess, after two demo tapes. Then the debut appeared in 2000 and after two years, Hypnosia went asleep forever. All right, let's summon the 1999 year once again and take a look on Hypnosia main influence: at the time Kreator records „Endorama” album considered to be the worst in their discography, and having nothing common with the thrash roots; Sadus, after releasing „Elements of Anger” (which I really like!), the most experimental and... with no (almost) thrash shades, goes to inactivity / hiatus era. So, what is the point? This reviewed Ep was like a medicine for the times when thrash music was in hiding and even now, it's a musical cure, as there are not so many bands unleashing such kind of thrash. And such kind of straight insanity.

- Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in March, 2020, dedicated to Mike)