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Reviews Written by
T. Race "Tom Race" (Manchester UK)
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Swarth
Swarth

14 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dimensionless horror encapsulate, 26 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Swarth (Audio CD)
Some things are not of this world. They seethed in from perforations in space-time. Things so unimaginably harrowing and visceral that one would be unable to observe them even in light. Welcome to the portal. The portal to that dark place, where extra-dimensional beings can only tread. Five of their number are amongst us now. Meet The Curator, maniac sayer for the portal's perpetuaters. He speaks in riddles wrapped in algid enigma. Horror ILLogiuM and Aphotic Mote, twin brothers of dissonance and chaos. Their invocations shake the walls of all our houses. Ignis Fatuus, manifestation of temporal rhythms. His slight of hand dictates our paths. Omenous Fugue, purveyor of the sunken frequency. He feels the weight of eternity. Never before has the portal been known to us. We sat, contented in our ignorance, knowing nothing of the horror within. Yet into the air, drifts a sound. The effluent of evil, a distillation of ills that flesh is heir to. It cloggs our fear-stricken arteries with soot and tar, burying itself deeper into our psyche. We are compelled to shut it out, but we are driven to witness its passing. The claws of aeons never birthed tear at your skin. The thrash of mandibles unseen cause you to recoil in terror. How did it come here? Can we ever put it back? No... thus will the portal stay open, and hell shall boil out through the aperture.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 13, 2012 10:25 PM BST


Dialogue With the Stars
Dialogue With the Stars
Price: £18.48

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their Best Work To Date!, 17 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Dialogue With the Stars (Audio CD)
Blut Aus Nord are one of those bands that are impossible to pin down. Resolutely black metal, indeed, but a fluid beast. A turbulent concoction of ideas flows through them with amazing ease. From their earliest work they set themselves out as one of the forefront French black metal outfits, with their head-honco Vindsval as the original solo member. Nowadays they have left behind the chains of "standard" black metal and opened a new chapter on the genre. No one in their right mind could have seen "The Work Which Transforms God" coming along, with its brutal and chaotic approach to songwriting and structure, nor MoRT wich makes some very uneasy-sounding use of fretless guitars. Leave it to them to throw us off the scent again though! I personally can't have been the only one thinking that the second chapter of their "Memoria Vetusta" saga may have been a step backward. In an interview Vindsval claimed that this new album "Contained no Dissonance", leaving us to believe that they had really gone back to their roots. What they have done, in reality, is fuse their older sound with a stark new approach. The new album is structurally similiar to "Odinist", but without the constant disharmony. An epic and beautiful cascade of riffs shower the listener, whilst throwing you in unexpected directions with the melodies becoming unpredictable and dynamic, shifting constantly. "Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars" is an astonishing voyage through lurid landscapes of bleak majesty, a journey that you will want to take time and time again. One of the absolute best releases of this year so far, and without a doubt this bands finest achievement to date. 9.5/10
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The Black Flux
The Black Flux
Price: £10.21

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Album!, 30 Nov. 2008
This review is from: The Black Flux (Audio CD)
Wow, simply wow - you know, this fellow (Carl-Micheal Eide) has quite a reputation and a legendary status among those in the black metal scene. Ved Buens Ende being among the most notable of his projects with their single album "Written In Waters" this guy has achieved a lot to date. This album "The Black Flux" has already gained cricital acclaim and quite rightly so. Wonderfully textured with quite a black metal feel to it. This album is a subtle one indeed, the slight nods to a progressive approach are evident - the tinyest hints of riffs happening just half a beat to late or going in the wrong direction at the right time. Flourishes of other styles taint this album and without wanting to spoil it for anyone or cheapen the experience by giving you my insight into those moments I shall not elude to them here, nevertheless some quirky ideas potentially but they flow seamlessly and wonderfully and never seem forced even for a moment. I love avant-garde metal and this particular release would be among my top recommendations to anyone interested in persuing the genre.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 22, 2013 3:20 PM BST


Assassins: Black Meddle Pt 1
Assassins: Black Meddle Pt 1
Price: £36.10

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Metal Psychedelia !!!, 30 Oct. 2008
This album is one I heard a lot about when it came out. I was mostly swayed by the references to a more psychedelic black metal sound. Also this is by an american black metal band - and those guys have been doing BRILLIANTLY with their black metal recently, so i thought i'd check it out....

This is one of the best records released this year, awesome work. If not just for "Seasick part 1" and the title track "Assassins". The album is really quite rocking also, strangely - as you wouldn't necessarily expect that from a black metal band! It has a very groove laden feel as well as the more trippy flourishes intertwined of course. I was insanely pleased with this album when I got it and it is now a cherished part of my collection. I shall be buying the album that came before this one also very soon, as I have heard very good things about that one also. I would recommend this to anyone interested in a more groovy and soundscape'y psychedelic black metal sound. "Seasick Part 1" is probably my favourite track, an almost sea-shanty type riff that is just GORGEOUS and followed by guitar effects that just totally enhance that sea-feel, they work to stunning effect also. Stunning release.

Get this one guys....


Vertebrae: Limited Edition
Vertebrae: Limited Edition

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Progressive Extreme Metal Masters With Another Masterpiece, 2 Oct. 2008
This is without a doubt one of Enslaved's finest achievements to date. A shining example of modern extreme metal, progressive wizardry and psychedelia of new found depth. The band have gone through many different incarnations with each album they have ever released and that is a fundemental carachteristic of this band. "Vertebrae" is again very new sounding. Vast in its thickness, texture and scope. Every Enslaved fan should own this record.

It is also certainly one that requires more than one listen to fully appreciate. On repeated listenes you find the extra layers not present to you as a first time listener. Little inflections of chords that augment other chords, huge deep groovy passages and drumwork again of a class of its own. I would advise anyone even remotely interested to pick yourselves up a copy as soon as humanly possible...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 26, 2009 8:40 PM GMT


Vertebrae
Vertebrae
Price: £12.13

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Progressive Extreme Metal Masters With Another Masterpiece, 2 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Vertebrae (Audio CD)
This is without a doubt one of Enslaved's finest achievements to date. A shining example of modern extreme metal, progressive wizardry and psychedelia of new found depth. The band have gone through many different incarnations with each album they have ever released and that is a fundemental carachteristic of this band. "Vertebrae" is again very new sounding. Vast in its thickness, texture and scope. Every Enslaved fan should own this record.

It is also certainly one that requires more than one listen to fully appreciate. On repeated listenes you find the extra layers not present to you as a first time listener. Little inflections of chords that augment other chords, huge deep groovy passages and drumwork again of a class of its own. I would advise anyone even remotely interested to pick yourselves up a copy as soon as humanly possible...


Let Us Prey
Let Us Prey
Price: £12.93

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychedelic mastery from the lords of all doom...., 24 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Let Us Prey (Audio CD)
This record threw me the first time I heard it. It really stands apart from their other releases. Electric Wizard have always been in my top list of favourite acts and I had gone a long while before I got hold of "Let Us Prey" - Aptly titled, for this is their most trance-enducing recording ever if you ask me. Psychedelic to the point of being rediculous would be a good way to describe this one too. Thats not a bad thing at all however! Rarely, if ever, are many bands able to keep a 9 minute song with only one riff interesting... not only that you are left wanting MORE of the riff after it is over. A strange feeling to feel methinks.

A fantastic feature of this wonderful band is their ability to really hone an album down to a particular style. This one is VERY sludge oriented - more than their other albums. The riffs they employ here are monsterous beasts that would swallow you whole, true, but these ones also have a nastier edge by using that more dark scale often found in sludge music.

This release is also the bands most psychedelic BY FAR. The music oozes tripped out guitar licks and hidden textures that undulate under the music causing a sense of motion and unease. The production, as always, is taken as paramount - you can tell these dudes are audio junkies and for that I really have the utmost respect.

All things said and done - if you ask me this is Electric Wizards finest moment. If you are an Electric Wizard fan then this MUST be a part of your collection.... you shall not be disappointed.


Below The Lights
Below The Lights
Price: £13.52

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Wonderful Album by the Norwegion Masters of Extreme Metal, 28 April 2008
This review is from: Below The Lights (Audio CD)
This album is yet another outing into enslaved untold soundscape. This band manage to reinvent themselves at every stage, no albums being alike. This particular opus is one of my personal favourites (as is everything from monumension onwards) and has some of the more surprising and interestinng elements to be included in their style to date.

The old school 70's prog intro to "Queen of Night" may be the most striking addition, remeniscent of Jethro Tull or some other quirky hippy-esq outfit, as well as the almost thrashy "The Dead Stare" this album is full of surprises. My personal favourite track is possibly "Queen of Night" with one of my alltime favourite progessive riff's towards the middle and end of the track.

From the onset of the album you are aware that enslaved have turned it up a notch once more and you will be in for another magical journey into ectreme prog land, with the ever so subtle hints of black metal still lingering on the periphery. Fantastic listening!


Monumension
Monumension
Price: £14.24

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 15 April 2008
This review is from: Monumension (Audio CD)
For some reason, I keep on coming back to this album. I am a big fan of enslaved and truly believe them to be one of the finest examples of true artistic metal there is around today and this is my personal favourite album by them.

This was Enslaved's ascension - Monumension.

Lets face it, Enslaves have always been innovators in the black metal scene, from the earliest incarnations of their sound, they still remained strikingly fresh and creative in their approach. They never seemed to stick to the "True Black Metal" Ethos, although their sound was as devistatingly brutal as even the likes of emperor. We'd heard some tantalising hints towards experimentation like this with the likes of "793 (Slaget Om Lindisfarne)" and "Stjernheimen" but this album knocks it out of the park. From the opener "Convoys to Nothingness" we already see that they have a more sophisticated, psycadelic and progressive approach than they have ever achieved before.

This album not only incorporates elements such as old school 70's prog and psycadelia but we also seem to have some touches of stoner in this album, this is more apparrent on this release than any of their others perhapse and it is more than welcome in my eyes.

What makes this my favourite release over such absolute classics as "Ruun", "Isa" and "Below the Lights" is hard to charachterise. I think possibly because this album has a real "feel" to it that, as with every single enslaved release, is completely unique per album. Unfortunatley the band seem to tend not to play much of this album, and if either Grutle or Ivar are reading this I advise them to remedy this!!!

Superb album that I am more than happy to award a 9.75/10 !


Two Hunters
Two Hunters
Price: £14.71

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging Black Metal, 7 April 2008
This review is from: Two Hunters (Audio CD)
This is one of the most surprising Black Metal releases in a long while. From the outset of the album you are thrust into a world of bleak beauty encapsulated in wonder for nature. The first track is an incredible slow procession containing many major chords but with the undeniable fuzz of BM, right from the start you realize this is not going to be a standard BM album. In the classic "Hvis Lyset Tarr Oss" style, the album only contains 4 tracks, one of which being 18 minutes long. One might turn one's nose up at an 18 minute long track however, this is possibly by far the most interesting and gripping 18-minuter that I have personally ever had the privilage to lisen to.

Another notable feature on this album is the presance of a female vocal. Personally, for me, female vocals in metal always lack anything resembling beauty or musical interest. Favouring dull and unimaginative ramblings over something of higher substance. These female vocals do not even come close to the former, they being of such feeling and wonder that you can hardly imagine anything better for this moment of the album. A truly fantastic performance from Jessica Kinney one that will haunt you for days to follow.

All I can say is that this is one of the absolute best albums released in 2007 and anyone who is thinking about getting this, should so, at their earliest convenience.


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