Ereb Altor – Ulfven (Viking/Black Metal)

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Free is the Ulfven! The start of Ulfven is a lecture in tales and mythology from the viking ages which lay down the grounds for what is to come. Eventually it blasts off with En Synd Svart Som Sot, the single some of you have probably heard prior to this albums release, which is an epic piece of work that takes Ereb Altor’s Bathory connection closer than ever. If you don’t know who Ereb Altor are then you should know their music is as close as Bathory that you can get in this day and age. Being formed in 2003 from the core of Forlorn and Isole Ereb Altor have been a band every Bathory fan just has to love, me included. Their whole discography is an homage and filled with Bathory like music we all have come to love and respect. With six full-length and one EP prior Ulfven that’s been nothing but top notch viking/black metal music it’s interesting to hear if they can keep it up.

Ulfven is everything Ereb Altor is all about, epic fucking music. With me having Blot – Ilt – Taut as one of my favorite albums last year you know I am a big fan of this type of thing. Ulfven is just as good, if not better initially as the first songs makes me wonder if this is Ereb Altor’s best work yet. However the last songs, which are bonus songs mind you and not on the standard version, lacks and leaves me a bit disapointed after that start of an album. Either way those are just bonus songs and should be seen as such so I am not laying too much value on them.

All you need to know is Ulfven is Ereb Altor on form, showing their teeth and devouring the world bringing ragnarok to us with their music. This is an album any fan of the band or Bathory should get. You know what the best thing about the album is? It is out today from Hammerheart Records!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ErebAltorOfficial
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ErebAofficial
Label: Hammerheart Records
For fans of: Bathory and Primordial
Favorite song: En Synd Svart Som Sot
Score: 4.5/5

Desultory – Through Aching Aeons (Death Metal)

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Here we go, another old school Swedish death metal act is releasing an album! These past years have definitely been good to us swedeath lovers as a new wave of filthy death is taking over. Desultory might not be a name many are familiar with, I wasn’t for example. A brief look into the bands history though and I find out the band was actually formed almost 30 years ago, 1989 to be exact. After some successful demo and full-length releases in the early 90’s the band took a huge hit when Stefan Pöge left the band in 95, thus changing the style drastically on the bands third full-length release Swallow the Snake. An album that has to be seen as a dark spot in Desultory’s discography and ultimately the band disbanded in 96. Reborn in 2009 the comeback Counting Our Scars put the band on the right track once again and now eight years later Desultory are saying goodbye with their last album Through Aching Aeons.

Having not heard Desultory’s past work before I obviously had to listen to it after reading this background story. Safe to say there was some varied quality but also some really really great death metal. So now I knew what I could expect. Or rather to expect that these 43 minutes and nine tracks could be anywhere between heaven or hell. Will it be a Swallow the Snake fiasco or Into Eternity death metal masterpiece. Answer is this is the later. Through Aching Aeons consist of some of the best death metal I’ve heard this year. The guitars, oh the guitars, chainsaw their way through the competition together with Klas Morberg on vocals leaving me stunned on how the hell I can have missed these guys when growing up. It’s a mistake I will atone by listening to this album, over and over again until I know every word, every beat and every riff.

Through Aching Aeons isn’t perfect but death metal isn’t suppose to be. A vile riff feast that’s an homage to everything swedeath stands for is exactly what I wanted and Desultory were kind enough to deliver. I hope this isn’t the last I hear from Desultory, I want more.

Through Aching Aeons is out now through Pulverised Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Desultory-50447918404
Label: Pulverised Records
For fans of: Entombed and Dismember
Favorite song: Beneath the Bleeding Sky
Score: 4/5

Dead Asylum – Death Always Wins (Melodic Death/Trash Metal)

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Like the Gothenburg sound? Old Arch Enemy, At the Gates and the likes? What about trash metal? Dead Asylum does a great job combining these genres, the aggression from trash with the melodies of melodic death metal in a twisted symbiosis. Almost going to the Children of Bodom type of sound. The Canadian band have taken their sound a step further since their 2013 debut General Carnage and it shows. The stongwriting is better, the band have gained some more experience behind them and grown tighter as a unit.

While I am a fan of the Gothenburg sound there is a lot of music within that genre that is really average, or even crap. Dead Asylum’s debut was close to fall into that category for me as it didn’t really peak my interest. With Death Always Wins everything has gone in the right direction though, making this a much better listen for me. More trash elements than before has done Dead Asylum good. The band still lack that song that knocks me out of my chair and after a really good opener in Defiance some of the songs on the album doesn’t really keep the heat going in my opinion. Other than Defiance I enjoyed Forgotten Sacrifice with it’s sweet guitar solos that reminds me of Children of Bodom, Welcome which has that The Sorrow feel to it and Inmate 666 with it’s sheer aggression a la Bodom. Great start and great finish, it’s the road there that was a bit bumpy.

To conclude Death Always Wins is better than General Carnage, while still needing some consistency and that heavy hitter song. When it’s good it’s awesome, when it isn’t though I am almost on the verge of pressing skip song. Metalheads will find this a release that gives you a mixed bag of treats where you are sure to find some songs to add to your favorite metal playlist.

Death Always Wins is out now as an independent release.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/deadasylum
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DeadAsylummetal
Label: Independent
For fans of: Arch Enemy and Children of Bodom
Favorite song: Defiance
Score: 2.5/5

Theotoxin – Atramentvm (Black/Death Metal)

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Are you a fan of Belphegor, Behemoth and Dark Funeral? Good then this is something for you! From Austria a band has started brewing a vile toxic plague that will eradicate religion that’s poisoning our minds. Featuring members from Zombie Inc., Hollenthon, Raising the Veil and Molokh these guys plays aggressive black/death metal that is sure to get you pumped up. As a fanatic listener to Belphegor and the like I was of course pleased to hear an album that’s very close to their style. A bit too close perhaps as it lacks originality but to be honest I don’t really care. I am happy to listen to a new band with a debut album that crushes hard like the more known acts within the scene.

All this anger and hate coming out through this music fuels me. It’s raw evil power that both scares and amuse me at the same time. Devoured by Sin opens up Atramentvm really good like a tank on full speed, and it doesn’t intend to stop… 28 minutes of full-throttle black/death metal madness against religion is what Theotoxin offers. Nothing more, nothing less and sometimes less is more. This is the type of music you turn on when your mad or simply wants to let some steam out, hit the gym or what not. Great debut and I hope Theotoxin continues down this path, refine their sound and makes an even better sophomore album. As of now I am happy to have found this hidden gem that is sure to please many metalheads out there.

Atramentvm is out now as an independent release.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheotoxinOfficial
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Theotoxin666
Label: Independent
For fans of: Dark Funeral and Belphegor
Favorite song: Devoured by Sin
Score: 3.5/5

Solbrud – Vemod (Atmospheric Black Metal)

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Solbrud is to me one of the best bands from Denmark. I’d never heard of them until two years ago when they played at Copenhell and a friend of mine said that was one of the bands he wanted to see live. I didn’t go and see them but after my friend said they were fucking beasting it live I was like “man I need to listen to these dudes when I get home”. So I did, I listened through their selftitled debut and sophomore album Jærtegn and since then I’ve been hooked. Even today I wish I went to see Solbrud live on their home turf….

Vemod is the bands third full-length release and the music stays the same, in a good way. This is just as dark melancholic yet beautiful as I remember their past work. Four songs clocking at 50 minutes filled with death and harmony. Black metal goodness for the blackest of souls.

Every note, songwriting, atmosphere and production is well made and it’s close to call this their best work yet. As of right now I am thorn between this and Jærtegn but I do give Jærtegn the edge because I think Sortedøden is the best song Solbrud have done so far. Also I think Besat af Mørke was a bit weaker than the other three songs on this album. Safe to say Solbrud have already created a discography they can be proud of with three fantastic full-length albums. I am sure I will see Vemod on many black metal fans lists when they look back at this years top releases.

Vemod is out now through Indisciplinarian.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Solbrud
Label: Indisciplinarian
For fans of: Mörker and Skogen
Favorite song: Det Sidste Lys
Score: 4/5

Plague Throat – The Human Paradox (Technical Death Metal)

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From India we have one of the biggest death metal surprises of the year so far in Plague Throat and their album The Human Paradox. The band plays a heavy and technical death metal style that reminds me a lot of Nile, Origin, Suffocation and Hour of Penance. That’s some big names and hard market to break into but Plague Throat makes a really good try at it and this is in all honesty the best music I’ve heard coming from India, not that I’ve heard a big deal of bands from the area though but still. So how does Plague Throat fare against those heavy hitters?

Fact is they can stand tall against them, The Human Paradox shows a lot of promise and songs like Fallible Transgression and Hour of Darkness are just as technical and good death metal like the bigger names out there. They might not have the vast experience and originality some of those bands have (or used to have at least) but The Human Paradox is an album they can build on. I totally get how Plague Throat can go on to win Wacken Metal Battle India and be seen as one of the upcoming exports that can hit it big from India as they sure got a lot of the boxes checked in for doing so.

In all honesty I had just as good of a time listening to The Human Paradox as I had with Origin’s latest album Unparalleled Universe. Only thing is it misses that stand out song like Unequivocal for example but in return I find this a more tight album all around. One thing is certain, Plague Throat is definitely the band to look out for from India as they are bound to spread their plague upon the world eventually.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/plaguethroat3
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PlagueThroat3
Label: Transcending Obscurity India
For fans of: Hour of Penance and Origin
Favorite song: Hour of Darkness
Score: 3.5/5