When I heard that this year el Camino will release their third full length after a four years absence I was very hyped because I really love this Swedish group and their cursed doom they’re playing. I liked a lot The Satanik Magick debut LP ( Hail the Horns is a real anthem), Smaland was a nice interlude EP with a very interesting Venom cover (this Swedish version of In League With Satan sounds even better than the original) and Gold of the Great Deceiver was very enjoyable.
So you can imagine my surprise when I read in the press release I received that el Camino plays some sort of malicious black metal with a Dissection-esque touch and “it’s most reminiscent of the Greek black metal scene”. I immediately asked myself what the fuck is happening here, have they changed their style and jumped onto the black metal bandwagon, or the guy who wrote the description smoked something toxic and was talking about another band and its new album?
Since I was devoured by excitement and curiosity, I anxiously pressed the “play” button and I was instantly relieved: el Camino did not change their style at all, instead they added that extra something (maturity and experience, let’s call it) that will turn Cursed Congregation into their best work so far.
Pagan Megalith is a not a new band, but if we think that in 13 years of activity (with 6 years of hiatus) they have released only 2 albums, we might consider them a young band. But what makes this group really special are the skills and the musicianship of its members. On one hand we have Ga’eheln, (best known for his involvement in multiple Hungarian bands, like Svoid etc) on guitars and vocals, and on the other there’s AE on drums. The union of these 2 fine musicians has resulted in “Ólomharangok“, their debut album, which was spawned between 2008-2009 and released on tape 1 year later. The same year, just before recording their second full length, the band decided to put an end to its short existence and withdrew into the dark which it came from.
What we deal here with is pure Gorgoroth worship but done in the best way possible. Not only this album is not a mere copycat or a tribute band, but Pagan Megalith has put its own soul into this music, adding some really interesting passages like acoustic intros or slow, atmospheric parts. But don’t get me wrong, there are no lullabies on this album so expect plenty of double bass drums, insane blast beats and great cold, icy guitar riffs (just listen to the track “Sziklavér“) and you’ll feel like having taken a ride back to 1993.
The energy which emanates from these tracks is contagious and you just want to headbang like a maniac while the music is infecting your ears. It’s a very addictive listen and I strongly recommend it to those who are still very nostalgic about those great times when black metal was really evil, simple and to the point.
The production is flawless allowing the songs to flow in a very organic way, from start to finish. Pagan Megalith have created with “Ólomharangok” a magnificent tribute album to the golden, romantic period of black metal but they have given it a personal and quite modern touch.
The drums are excellent, imposing the rhythm all along the album, shifting from a black’n roll, groovy sound to raw black metal. Ga’eheln‘s voice is perfect for this album, his raw, scrappy vocals perfectly connecting the dots.
Overall this album is a must for every nostalgic of the great 1990’s times and a very good quintessence of the first 3 Gorgoroth albums, but with a personal feeling.
The lyrics are in Hungarian but that’s not a problem since this melodic language can be quite interesting when it comes to black metal.
The digital limited edition which can be found here features a Behemoth cover from the band’s “And the Forests Dream Eternally” EP. This groovy, Bathory inspired track is the perfect way to conclude an album which pays so much respect to the glorious dark past.
AaaaaRrrrrrggggghhhh!!! Pure Evil and Hate!!!!!
Pagan Megalith – “Ólomharangok” track list:
1. Őszi áradatba pusztul
2. Révület jövel
3. Torzult Nap
6. Az idő vasfoga
8. A gyilokjáróból
9. Nincs út közöttünk
10. Alkonyatba tűnök
11. Pure Evil and Hate (Behemoth cover – Bonus track available only on the deluxe digital version).
Hellripper is a one man band that comes from Aberdeen, Scotland to rock your world apart, in the good old ways. Formed by the young James McBain in 2014, Hellripper pays an honorable tribute to the gods of speed/thrash/black metal from a time when music was done from the heart and with passion.
The same passion and dedication that James showed when writing all these blackened anthems of destruction. I am really amazed that a young band like Hellripper has managed to release such an impressive record in 2016. Continue reading Hellripper – Complete and Total Fucking Mayhem Album Review – 2016 AB→
“Open the gates, Lord
Far too long in the shadows we’ve dealt”
This how “Necro Speed Megalomania“, the first track from “Under the Unholy Command” opens. A message as sharp as a blade wielded by the Serbian Terrorhammer.
Formed initially by Warbeast Holocausto (vocals) and Pentagramator The Helltyrant (guitars) in 2010, the band released a demo (Promo 2012 AB) and an EP (Vintage Black Mass) in 2012. When everything seemed to fall perfectly into place, in 2013 Warbeast decided to leave Terrorhammer and become Atterigner, the vocalist of the cult Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth, leaving Pentagramator the sole member of this promising band.
After another small line up change, 2015 finds the band a duo again, with B.B.K. Necro Doctor handling the bass duties and Pentagramator taking care of the guitars and vocals. The same year, the unholy duo inked a deal with Spain’s Deathrune Records and released their first full length, “Under the Unholy Command“.
A collection of 8 songs, plus an intro, this album is a modern day manifesto that old school metal can be done the right way even in the 21st century, should you have the proper tools of the trade. In a scene already drowned by so many, countless, old school bands and genres, Terrorhammer obviously didn’t invent the wheel, but managed to stand out from other releases through music and musicianship.
For 35 minutes, we have the pleasure to hear catchy riffs, pounding drums and raspy, barked vocals singing about Satan, graveyards, rituals and metal. This is not about originality, but about music made from the heart. Terrorhammer knows exactly how to do it and their speed/blackened thrash metal wraps you in a frenzied mood, possessing your body and soul. “Obey her ways of darkness/You will bleed for the countess”, screams Pentagramator on “Blood for the Countess“, the 4th track, which is a 100% speed metal hymn. Continue reading Terrorhammer – “Under the Unholy Command” review – Deathrune Records 2015 AB→