Tag Archives: review

REVIEW: Katatonia – ‘City Burials’


KATATONIA - City Burials

REVIEW: Katatonia – City Burials by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Swedish metallers Katatonia have returned from their unexpected hiatus with their highly anticipated eleventh new album ‘City Burials’ which is set for release on 24th April through Peaceville records. They are back with an invigorated and more progressive sound which was certainly worth the wait…

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REVIEW: Watain – Trident Wolf Eclipse


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Review by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Swedish black metal act Watain have unleashed their sixth studio album ‘Trident Wolf Eclipse’ after a five-year gap between albums which marks the return to more traditional aggressive black metal.

The opener ‘Nuclear Alchemy’ gets the dark journey underway with sinister vibes and immediately asserts a more classic black metal style. With its explosive and foreboding unstoppable ending, this is the perfect opener and scene setter…

‘Sacred Damnation’ features some brilliant eerie guitar work throughout and is one of the most melodic, with it’s seeping moody sounds it is a must hear. ‘A Throne Below’ again it features a sense of hope and is very tuneful for black metal making it a dark masterpiece.

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REVIEW: MESMUR – S


REVIEW: MESMUR – S by Jessica Johnson / Dark Art Conspiracy

A singularity is the point in a black hole where density becomes infinite, space-time bends, and the laws of physics as we know them cease to operate.

This is the perfect way to describe Mesmur’s newest album “S,” an infinitely dense soundscape that bends space and time around the listener. A meandering funeral dirge through the chaotic void that is the universe.  A universe that was doomed from the start.

Mesmur is a funeral doom metal collaboration with members hailing from different parts of the globe: the U.S, Australia and Italy. Led by Yixja, the mastermind that brought to life the progressive black metal band Dalla Nebbia, along with vocalist Chris G (Orphans of Dusk), drummer Alkurion (Dalla Nebbia and Funeral Age), and bassist Michele M.

“S” is their second album, after their self-titled success, “Mesmur.” “S” will not disappoint fans of the genre. It does everything that funeral doom metal is supposed to do with a bit extra. Influences range from Evoken to Esoteric, Ea, Mar de Grises, Comatose Vigil, Ahab and Neurosis.

The music is not supposed to be “enjoyed,” but “experienced.” The synthesizer does a great job of creating a melancholic atmosphere that bends and fluxes around guttural vocals and discordant riffs that at times torture the listener with the dissonance of a dentist’s drill. At some points the distortion is very grainy. I’m not sure if that was an intentional choice or a flaw in the production. I also wasn’t a fan of the overdose of sound effects, but I suppose that was part of the experience.

Let’s talk about why the album was named “S.” The final track is called “S = k ln Ω.” This equation refers to entropy. I am not smart enough to give the exact definition justice, but put simply, entropy refers to a lack of order or predictability and the gradual decline into disorder.

I believe the song “S” along with the album encapsulates that theme. Each track is a progression into more chaos and disorder, with the first track being “Singularity” (an infinitely small but dense single point), followed by “Exile” (something going outward), “Distension” (enlarging, dilation, a ballooning effect), and finally “S” (breaking down into chaos). Indeed the first track is more tightly formed and dense than the rest, with harder distortion and more riffage. Each following track becomes more disorderly until you get to the end, which is almost an overkill of sound effects, and at times sounds like someone fell asleep on the synthesizer. But as a thematic representation of the expansion and break down of the universe, it’s fucking brilliant.

I also noticed that the cicada-like sound effects that ended the first song were played in the beginning of the last song. Were the artists trying to make an “S” shape through the album, or was that just a cool coincidence? Who knows? As one reviewer said, “If you look long into the abyss the abyss will look back. ‘S’ is the sound of the abyss looking back.” Perhaps I stared too long into the void with this one. “S” is a delicious descent into entropy. Each time you listen, there are new mysteries to discover.

So check out “S,” the sound of the universe’s demise.

SCORE: 4/5 

Country: USA
Style: Funeral Doom metal
Label: Solitude Production
(https://solitude-prod.com)
Release date: September 15, 2017

Jeremy L (Yixja) – Guitars/Synth
John D (Alkurion) – Drums
Michele M – Bass
Chris G – Vocals
Music and Lyrics by Jeremy L
Recorded/Engineered by Mesmur
Mixed and Mastered by Jeremy L
Cover Art by Cadaversky
Layout by Jeremy L
http://www.facebook.com/mesmurdoom
https://solitude-prod.com

REVIEW: AZARATH – IN EXTREMIS


REVIEW: AZARATH – IN EXTREMIS by Jessica Johnson / Dark Art Conspiracy

Release date: April 7th
Genre: Blackened Death Metal

The newest album of Polish black/death metal tyrants Azarath has the right name. “In Extremis,” meaning “at the point of death” or “under extreme circumstances” in Latin, is a non-stop assault of extreme death metal that takes no prisoners. The anticipated album arrives six long years after its predecessor, “Blasphemers’ Maledictions” (2011).

Azarath was formed almost two decades ago by drummer Inferno (of Behemoth fame), and he is currently accompanied by Bart (Armagedon, Damnation) on guitars, Necrosodom (Anima Damnata, Deus Mortem, ex-Infernal War) on vocals and guitars, as well as Peter (ex-Lost Soul) on bass.

Stylistically, the album is a demonic concoction of death metal influences: Polish extreme death metal with its relentless riffs, ominous melodies and unearthly growls, and old school death with its chaotic, screeching guitar solos the likes of Morbid Angel.

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REVIEW: BRUME – ROOSTER


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REVIEW: BRUME – ROOSTER by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

 

California doom trio Brume have unleashed their anticipated debut album ‘Rooster’ which was produced by Billy Anderson. They have been honing their craft since the release of their 2015 EP ‘Donkey’ and this debut shows how they have sonically evolved and progressed.

The majority of the songs featured on this debut are quite hefty in sound and size, with most of the tracks coming in at nearly ten minutes. The opener ‘Grit and Pearls’ is one of the longest featured, at just over ten minutes and has a dark foreboding presence throughout and Susie’s haunting and beautiful vocals fit the atmosphere and backing perfectly. This is a great introduction and scene setter for the band and album which lulls you into a transcendent state of escapism.

Next song ‘Harold’ has a different feel to it, with a slightly more positive sound to it but with an ever present eeriness before the crushing instruments take hold.

‘Welter’ is very short compared to the other tracks. It is a sombre stripped back acoustic number with vulnerable vocals and soft guitars and helps add more diversity.

Closing song ‘Tradewind’ is the longest track at nearly twelve minutes long. It starts out mellow with beautiful delicate vocals before the massive chugging guitars come in, accompanied by soaring powerful vocals which you come to expect. It also further into the track features some great resonant and varied guitar work. The mood towards the end is perfect for a reflective closing that takes you through the motions.

This is a very sonic and atmospheric album which is well crafted, with its creeping slow doom crushing you from start to finish. Doom metal isn’t for everyone but this is more accessible than most offerings within this genre, making this a must hear.

 

Rooster is available on CD, cassette and digitally since April 20th from Brume drummer Jordan Perkins-Lewis’s fledgling label, Doom Stew Records. The 2xLP will be available in a variety of limited edition variants via DHU in July.

 

SCORE: 4/5


http://www.brumeband.com

https://www.facebook.com/brumeband/

REVIEW: CORPSIA – GENOCIDES IN THE NAME OF GOD


REVIEW: CORPSIA – GENOCIDES IN THE NAME OF GOD by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

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Brazilian thrash trio Corpsia have unleashed their debut album ‘Genocides In The Name Of God’. Following this release they are bringing their fierce sounds to Europe in September to unveil their new songs in the live setting, so 2017 looks to be a big and busy year for them.

The first single and opening track ‘Purgatory Scum’ begins with a dark and eerie acoustic guitar intro which builds in suspense before it all kicks off with pounding drums and fast furious riffs. This is a strong and powerful start to the debut with killer guitar work.

The title track is brilliantly belligerent and charges on throughout with great heavy rhythms and effective drums to accompany that are perfect for headbanging along too. This is simply crushing.

‘Holochrist’ again revisits the sinister vibes of the opener with creepy guitar work before going into full thrash mode, with hard-hitting riffs and strong consistent instrumentation, as seen throughout the album. The stand out ‘Snakes’ features resonant riffs and great tones. It has all the key elements of a top metal track and contains some of the best and memorable guitar work.

Closing song ‘Returns’ is a hefty slab of finely crafted thrash and may be one of their strongest offerings yet, making a powerful end to this debut.

This is a coherent and consistent debut album which has a lot of aggression and force behind it, which should appeal to both old school thrash and modern thrash fans as it embraces both. Corpsia should be proud of this full-length as it’s a strong release and it will be exciting to see what they produce next and how they expand.

 

SCORE: 3.5/5

 

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http://instagram.com/corpsiaband

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