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In Hindsight - Kreator, The Eighties Albums (no EPs allowed)

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In comparison to most I am relatively late to the Kreator party.  One of the first digital albums I ever bought when settling back into metal after a brief hiatus some 12 years ago was "Pleasure To Kill" and I have spent many a neck snapping evening in its company since, but only over the past 18 months or so have I developed my exploration of the discography further than the excellent 1986 sophomore release.  Furthermore, I now own the complete eighties albums so though it an excellent opportunity for a blog post.

1985 - Endless Pain - NOISE Records 
Recorded in ten days (a whole four days ahead of schedule), you could quite easily think that the record was done in one take end to end.  There's nothing polished here, no frills, no bullshit just straight up rabid as fuck thrash metal delivered with a wild simplicity.  At this stage the band are roughly 18/19 years of age and it fucking sounds like an album made by teenagers, full of energy and loose almost reckless playin…

Obituary - s/t

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The first vinyl record I ever bought was Obituary's "Slowly We Rot" debut back in 1990 (yes roughly a year after it was released).  It blew my fucking mind!  The artwork with a rotting corpse in a shithole alley somewhere lay under that fucking mental logo!  I was 13/14 and recall being perhaps the most excited I have ever been at a release in my entire near 30 years of listening to metal.  The sounds that came out of the speakers when I got that back to my grandparents's place where I was staying at the time were just as fascinating, intoxicating and fucked up as that artwork on the sleeve!  I recall using my granddad's rather well set up stereo system to play it and he swore it was broken when he heard the first track with me, took me few minutes to convince him that it was supposed to sound like that.

Anyway, trip down memory lane aside the purpose of today's post is to review Obituary's latest release.  The rationale behind my masturbation of my teen…

Excommunion "Thronosis"

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Fifteen years ago I was twenty six, out of the metal scene and therefore ignorant to Colorado death metallers Excommunion and their debut album "Superion".  According to the internet this release was reasonably good and now, a mere decade and a half later on the band have finally gotten round a sophomore full length release.

I suppose that given such a period of time it would be forgivable for them to have a sophomore slump really, however I am pleasantly surprised by "Thronosis".  Now don't get me wrong, the wheel doesn't get reinvented here, not at all.  But then that's not the point to the record I suspect.  "Thronosis" means "initiation ritual" and although it could be argued the music world has changed significantly since they last ventured with a release there's no real requirement for any initiation back into the world of death metal for Excommunion.  These boys can play, they can do death metal very well and they deliver…

The Ruins Of Beverast "Exuvia"

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Where did the first four and a half months of 2017 go?  I sat down this afternoon after much toil in the garden all morning to attempt a catch up on the year so far given my infrequent and sporadic postings of late.  I fully had the intention of writing some "2017 So Far" round up piece but then immediately got distracted by the release of a new The Ruins Of Beverast release.

One look at the album artwork for "Exuvia" and you will immediately have a perfect visual representation of the music to come.  The shamanic, ceremonial and spiritual theme to the cover is exactly what unfolds in the sounds from the off when you spin "Exuvia", which starts superbly with the title track.  A blend of synth stabs, tribal drumming, ethereal vocals and rumbling darkness.  It clocks in at fifteen minutes plus but never once gets dull or boring.

If you succumb to the meditative trance of track one you will be jolted back into this realm by the grandiose entrance of "Su…

Dodecahedron "Kwintessen"

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We are here again.  Once more unto the breach as yet another jarring and atonal soundscape unfolds in front of our already familiar ears.  Granted this time we are dealing with a predominantly Black Metal (or blackened metal) band, however just how much more of this dissonant wizardry can possibly be released is cause for wonder.

Anyway, Dodecahedron released their debut four years ago to much applause from the internet and associated critics (however, I never got round to that particular release).  There's cause for some applause again this time around as what we have here is largely intelligently written and well structured.

It is cleverly paced to.  Check out the unexpected pace of "Interlude" which although at first seems to take things down a gear or two actually sets up the rest of the release perfectly and does very little to alter course but you actually feel like you are slowing down even though there is still an almost tribal feel to the proceedings.

I start t…

Ingurgitating_Oblivion "Vision Wallows In Symphonies Of Light"

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Occasionally your Bandcamp Feed explodes with activity all centred on one release in particular. Sure there's still snippets of kvlt BM demo's and rarefied DM floating about as per usual but there are those moments when roughly 60% of your "followed" fans have all bought the same thing.

Ingurgitating_Oblivion are the artist of the moment for this scenario.  Over the past weeks their second full length appears to have been shifting like hot cakes.  Not a day has gone by this past week whereby I haven't seen somebody else buy this record with the deceptively painted shiny female figure that looks at first glance to be a photograph but is in fact a really well done piece of art.

The surprises don't stop with the cover art.  "Vision Wallows In Symphonies Of Light" has a very grandiose title and a quick read of the track listing reveals more of the same with amazing titles such as "A Devourer Of Fitting Shades Who Dwells In Rays Of Lights" to …

Corpus Diavolis "Atra Lumen"

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I am reliably informed by more than one source that this is "post-millennial, Luciferian orthodox black metal".  I have no idea what that means as I never really take too much time to reflect on what sub-genre of an already existing sub-genre the current opus I am listening to falls under.  For the purposes of this review this is simply a black metal record.

That isn't to say that this is all that there is to "Atra Lumen".  There's also some decidedly death metal moments floating around on here along with some doom laden riffs to boot.  For all it's atonal chords, "Atra Lumen" has some real bite to it also.  Yes, there's tremolo galore on here (and superbly done too) but this plays like a ritual all in itself, just as one incantation seems to be taking the centre stage something else seeps in out of the ether to take the ceremony off in an even darker direction.

Listen closely and you'll hear stabs of symphony and choral moments also …