Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Undergang - Døden Læger Alle Sår

"No One Hears Your Screams"


The kings of the Danish death metal scene, Undergang, has returned from the sewers with a new studio album for the first time since 2012's Til Døden Os Skiller. It marks the end to the "Døden"-trilogy, so in the future the Kill-Town threepiece will dive into other territories on future records, promising it won't get less macabre.

Undergang always managed to phase their albums really good, and this time around it is no different. You're not thrown into a random selection of tracks, but a record that's well structured which definitely is a plus and adds to the experience. It starts off with the title-track and is the shortest burst the band has recorded so far. What struck me on this particular track is the 8 seconds where you get an intro-piece. Thank fuck. There's too many bands these days who shoves an 2-3 minute long instrumental track in your face, which sounds just like hundreds of others. Instead of that you get a swift kick in the face.
The title-track, meaning Death Heals All Wounds, is about escaping life through drugs, alcohol and suicide. It's written in a special period of frontman D. Torturdøds life, where he was in a dark state of mind. This shines through in the music throughout the whole album, as this is the most sinister album the trio has put forth. And that is part of what makes this record fucking great.

"Døden Læger Alle Sår" is the best sounding Undergang record to date. The production is simply spot on and precedes previous efforts thanks to the mastering from Dan Lowndes. Gone is the unfortunate production from "Til Døden Os Skiller" where the band, after some unlucky circumstances were left with only the rough mix. This time we're presented a sound, a production that equally fits the quality of the songs. Undergang is grittier and more extremely rotten than ever, and don't worry, there's still plenty of feedback to go around. If you close your eyes, you could probably imagine being present at their rehearsal, being blown away while listening to this record. It's not overproduced, it's not sterile, it is just old school. And it is without a doubt the heaviest sounding outing so far, with all instruments and the vocals sounding just right for this kind of rotten death metal. Nothing outshines the other.

The album develops with great variation just like on the first album, but there's been added more delicious stuff to the recipe this time around. Doom elements find their way more often into this album, just take a short sniff to "Lemlæstelsens Kunst" and try not moving your head. And then you got a track like "Gravrust" that incorporates slow guitar work with some offbeat drumming which gets me every single time. As mentioned, the production and the songwriting simply make each other shine as they're pulled through the roof. The album knows when to pull you around the room and beat you up, when to let you catch your breath and then continue pulverizing you.
This album marks the very first time you'll hear a guitar solo on a Undergang record. Instead of filling each track to the brim with solos you'll forget anyway, beforehand you would be run over by the riff train. On the closing track, "Det Gør Kun Ondt Til Du Dør", that changes. The man himself, Eric Cutler from the legendary Autopsy puts this record to rest with a well played, and well produced solo, making it the best album closer Undergang has used so far. The intro guitar from the opening track is weaved well into this track as well, as it is used to built up tension.

You won't experience any modern death metal, when listening to any Undergang album and you never will. Depending on your current mood for music, the record might need a spin or two to get a grip on you, but once it does. It will not let go. Overall not all songs are not quite on-par with the ones from "Indhentet af Døden" which outweighs this album in the song department, but the production, there's no contest on that one.
I hope they will try to incorporate new influences in the future and not end up outing the exact same material, album after album. More doom perhaps? Maybe a Left Hand Path approach with haunting synthesizers? More guest solos wouldn't be a bad idea either, because they nailed it perfectly this time. "Døden Læger Alle Sår" definitely surpasses the previous album "Til Døden Os Skiller". I'm quite confident saying that this album is one of the best death metal albums you will hear this year. Despite being the longest album by the band so far, it does not outstay its welcome in any way. If you're new to this trio, you can't go wrong with this record and if you already know them, then I can't see why you should not pick this up.

Rating

8.8


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Paimonia - Disease Named Humanity

"Black, Bleak & Blistering"


I like my black metal the way I like my coffee: unblended, dense, and preferably with no sugary additives.

And dark as pitch, of course. Pitch-fucking-dark.

“Disease Named Humanity” is the debut full-length release of the Serbian duo Paimonia, who have since issued a split vinyl and a live recording on VHS, effectively staying busy and active. In a time and day when black metal is a teeming, worldwide phenomenon (and where having suckled mountain trolls at the icy-cold bottom of a faraway fjord someplace where Norway becomes Niflheim is no longer a mandatory credential for delivering properly grim and frostbitten svartmetal), it takes much more than just a few croaks atop the regular potpourri of buzz ‘n’ fuzz guitars, zero bass, and minimalist tick-tock drumming to raise eyebrows.

Paimonia deliver a lot more than that, fortunately.

Although slightly unremarkable and forgettable in places, “Disease Named Humanity” is a vigorous, ably executed slab of dynamic modern-day black metal – and, considering it’s a debut full-length release, very promising indeed. Intelligent, stimulating riffwork is prevalent throughout all 41 minutes of album length, and the duo of Bojan (vocals, guitars, bass) and Nikola (drums) keep things interesting with a few tricks & turns in the songwriting formula, notably by contrasting animated blastbeat-driven passages with slower, occasionally acoustic, interludes. What they basically lack in outstanding character, Paimonia make up for with quality riffs, topnotch musicianship, clever variation and sheer intensity.

“Disease Named Humanity” consists of just seven tracks, fittingly ending on a high note with the standout atmosphere-laden dirge “Funeral of Decaying World” and its instrumental addendum “Opus VII”, together spanning almost 13 minutes. Other highlights include album opener “As Plague Scourge This World Apart” (please don’t mind the English!) with its zany, dissonant riffing – not unlike a cleaner, less grimy version of Watain – as well as the epic, rather polymorphous “Depth Within Nothingness Called Life”, which features Gothenburg-esque melodic riffing and an eerie, haunting midsection that would make for a killer recurring theme in a classic horror movie.

All in all, Paimonia is an outfit worth a mental bookmark for black metal fans with a particularly tender spot for the atmospheric and melodic, yet still hard-hitting and savage. First-tier bands like the aforementioned Watain and 1349 are not many hyperborean leagues away from the core of “Disease Named Humanity”, but there is plenty of individuality on display here to make for a praiseworthy stand-alone offering, as well as one which sets the tone for a decidedly gobsmacking follow-up.

Rating

7.0


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Annual Round-Up 2014: Alexander's list


The year 2014 was a pretty slow one for me, when it came to checking out releases. What did that result in? I had to scout and listen to as many records I could fathom in December and holy fuck, is that the last time I'll ever do that... It's been real hard for me to fill out the spots on this list because there was so many mediocre albums in 2014 and it became really frustrating when the year was coming to an end and I had five out of ten spots filled. But I managed! Here at The Legacy Reviews we are three dudes but sadly I'm the only one to bring you a list this year as Oliver didn't have the time and a bug/glitch on blogger deleted Jacobs' list with more than twenty albums, descriptions and whatnot. But don't worry, 2015 will bring you lists from all of us for a more diverse picking!
My list is compiled of 10 albums - NOT ranked. They're the albums I enjoyed the most and are the ones I think stands above the rest. The reason that they're not ranked is that they are wide spanned in genre and it just won't make sense to rank them. At least not to me. At last I also featured a small section of "honorable mentions" with a couple of EP's and albums that did not make the cut.

Battery - Armed with Rage


Many thrash bands these days claim to be old school. Whether it's their production or song structure. Battery just claim to be fierce, but their production is a fucking treat for your ears because IT IS actually old school. This album adds some great songs to their existing catalog with songs like Vermin of Fukushima, Narcotic Mirage, Armed with Rage and the crusher in the link below! If you need some fresh thrash to your collection, please walk this way.
For an in-depth view on the album, check out my review.

Without further ado, here's Genocidal Gatlin Gunners. Yes, it says 2013, but the album was delayed to 2014.



Triumphant - Herald the Unsung


These guys... holy shit. Describing them in a few lines will be hard. Triumphant is phenomenal and tricky to pin point. You can't put them in a genre box because there's so many different stuff in here. They named it "evil metal" and that might not appeal to everybody, but me say what it consists of: 80's heavy metal, old school production, thrash metal and black metal. That sounds like a crazy mash up and that's why it should be listened to.
If you need something to be elaborated, I wrote a review of the album.

So to help you out on that front, here's a little link to two tracks off the record.



Legion of the Damned - Ravenous Plague


A band that might get repetitive for many and I can relate to that. But there's been a change in the Legion of the Damned camp. Founding guitarist Richard Ebisch who also was the axeman under the Occult name, has left. So there's a brand new guitarist in and what did that result in? Their best album since the debut. I might even like this one a little more...

With that being said, here's a little something from the album in the likes of Doom Priest.



Body Count - Manslaughter


Problem? I fucking love Ice-T, he's a real metalhead and you can't deny that. If you're hating because of his rap history, then that's your problem. Because Body Count just released their best album since their provoking self titled debut in 1992. Manslaughter is an insane album where Ice takes a load of jabs at society better than most metal bands (especially thrash bands) these days. Body Count is over the top, Body Count is motherfucking back!

Check out songs like Institutionalized 2014 (yeah, it's a Suicidal cover), Black Voodoo Sex and this little link to Talk Shit, Get Shot.



Obituary - Inked in Blood


Finally the wait was over and Obituary pleased us with a new album. It has been receiving mixed reviews and a lot of people seem to fall out when it comes to the production and the vocals. However, that does not go for me! On the contrary I think this is the best album Obituary released since they've reunited. Probably even since The End Complete!

I'm going to give you a slab of this album with my favorite track, Visions In My Head!



Triptykon - Melana Chasmata


I love the early Celtic Frost. But Monotheist and the Triptykon debut album never really got to me. That story eventually changed in 2014 when I heard Melana Chasmata and was completely blown away. Before you call The Satanist a masterpiece again, you might wanna listen to this. Whilst not a masterpiece it's more than just an album, it's an experience, and I would like to underline experience. The songs, the productions, the atmosphere. Out of all the albums I heard this year, this one blew me away the most!

Here's Aurorae, a little taste of the album. But I implore you to listen to it from start till finish.



Iron Reagan - The Tyranny of Will


I can't stand punk. I'm not that crazy about Municipal Waste either except for a couple of tracks, but hell! Iron Reagan is great and really fun. This album contains a lot of funny stuff and definitely also something catchy, which eventually was what got me hooked. For example tracks like Miserable Failure and Four More Years. A really good crossover album, which is better than the debut as well.

Take a listen to it at the boys' Bandcamp site. I'm putting you through to my favourite track off the album!



At the Gates - At War with Reality


Who says reunion albums has to suck? One thing's for sure this is one of the better comebacks as they usually are rubbish and doesn't live up the the legacy of the band. At War with Reality experiments with a few ideas but stays true to the core of At the Gates. A fantastic concept album.
Jacob did a review of the album, although I probably like the record a bit more, check out the review if you'd like.

As a concept album, I'd recommend going through the whole thing. But here's Death and the Labyrinth.



Domains - Sinister Ceremonies


Do you know when some of the old bands still claim to sound old school, and then they don't? Domains don't really claim anything but their debut album, Sinister Ceremonies sounds like it was released at least 20 years ago. I say that with the best intention possible, because this album is pure old school death metal. Just wait until you listen to these vocals...

You can listen to the entire record on their Bandcamp, and here's the title track.



Solbrud - Jærtegn


The only black metal album on my list. Jærtegn is the second full-length from the Danish band with atmospheric elements and it's just a real listening experience. You're not stuck with a black metal cliche band, or release, but a well crafted 4 song, 46 minutes long album!

I'd like to give a 15 minute long atmospheric appetizer with the track, Klippemennesket.



Honourable Mentions
A list of releases that didn't make it to the list, one reason could be it's an EP or the album itself just missed it by an inch.

Monuments - The December Sessions


Monuments from Netherlands. A band I found out of sheer luck and boy was that to my benefit. Their debut EP, The December Sessions is absolutely magnificent black/doom metal with an atmosphere that will give you some serious chills.
For a look beyond the surface of the EP, I did a review of it. 

The EP consists of two tracks and lasts for just about 18 minutes, and you can listen to it at Monuments' Bandcamp.



Lich King - Do-Over


Of course Lich King is on the list. The promotion alone for this EP, and its cover should be enough for it to be on my list. It contains a couple of re-recordings (do-overs) and a new track, which is a cover of Van Halen's Hot for Teacher. It's their best cover track to date and it is simply flawless. A fantastic little outing from Lich King!
I also did a review of the EP, which you can check out right here.

Check out the full EP at their Bandcamp, and you've gotta the video for Black Metal Sucks!



Skull Fist - Chasing the Dream


I love Skull Fist and I wish I could've included them on the real list but the songs are just not near the quality of the debut. The vocals are not near the quality of the debut either... But it still sounds really old school and that's ultimately what really wins me over. Definitely worth a listen if you like getting fisted.

Regarding the songs, I still think You're Gonna Pay is an absolute smasher. I love it!



Austrian Death Machine - Triple Brutal


I was sad to see Mr. Lambesis jailed, as I love Austrian Death Machine and Pyrithion. Triple Brutal that sadly did not feature 3 discs is a really solid record and it's by a few inches it misses my list. If you like the previous albums and the king, then you should get this album without a single doubt. Even though it's not as strong as Double Brutal. And remember, the best activities for your health are pumping and humping!

A song, yes? Here's I'll Be Back and I sure as hell Tim Lambesis will be back!



That's what I have to offer from my highlights of 2014! Hopefully there was a record or two that you missed that you'll check out and like! I'll be back with a list in 2015 and I'll make sure the other guys here at TLR are as well! Until then, have a great 2015 and take care \m/