Persecutory – Towards the Ultimate Extinction (Black Metal)

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From Turkey we got a full-length debut to review this time! It’s Persecutory, a band which stated out in 2014 and had an EP released last year Perversion Feeds Our Force. I’m not familiar with the band nor it’s sound but from the logo alone I could tell this was going to have black metal elements to it. Being from one of my current underground label favorites Godz ov War Productions I got high hopes on this release being something special.

Do you like Enthroned? What about Acrimonious? Then you’re in luck as Turkish band Persecutory offers an experience quite similar to their work. If you like your black metal with a lot of chaos and destruction in it then Towards the Ultimate Extinction will get your fill. This is very fast paced black metal with some trash metal thrown into the mix and it sounds evil. With that said there is little that makes me stick around for more than a playthrough or two. While some albums grow with time or are instant hits from the get-go I feelt this kinda just went by. Doesn’t by all means mean it’s a bad album it’s just not got those hooks that keeps me wanting to come back for more. No song that sticks out but also no song that I feel the need to skip.

For Enthroned fans I would say this is a really good album to get. It’s an album you can devour and get some satiscation from it but won’t leave you begging for more.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/persecutory666
Label: Godz ov War Productions
For fans of: Acrimonious and Enthroned
Favorite song: Towards the Ultimate Extinction
Score: 2.5/5

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Throne of Heresy – Decameron (Blackened Death Metal)

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Throne of Heresy is a band I’ve always thought it very underrated. Since their formation in 2009 they’ve released killer music with last years Antioch being one of my favorite death metal albums coming out (which I sadly didn’t review) that year. Sure they have their ups and downs, good and bad songs but who doesn’t? When Throne of Heresy are on point I would say they are one of the best blackened death metal bands going at the moment.

Decameron is the bands latest offering and The Shores of Issyk-Kul starts off the album insanely well. Classic death metal riffs with a touch of black metal aggressiveness that makes me think of the mighty Firespawn. With Decameron being a concept album based on the old book with the same name I had a rough idea on what to expect, a dark album with tales of the black death (the plague). 10 tales into 10 songs of death, brutality and utter horror. The essence of this is captured really well in Decameron, as I said before The Shores of Issyk-Kul sets the tone with it’s aggression, atmosphere of doom and death. Which sets the pace for the rest of the album. Every song have a eerie feeling to it and is very dark, from lyrics to the whole overall performance. In that sense Decameron is almost a perfect concept album for what Throne of Heresy want to broadcast, one of the darkest eras of mankind.

Musically this is an album on par with Antioch, even if they are quite hard to put against each other seeing as they are very different. While Decameron offers an even more atmospheric feeling and blackened death metal take, which I can see as a mix of Naglfar, Dissection and Firespawn at times, Antioch was a more head-on death metal approach in my opinion. I think this is Throne of Heresy’s best work yet and they keep evolving with each release, honing that blackened sound. I hope that soon their plague will spread among the metal community to make more people give into their darkness.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/throneofheresy
Label: The Sign Records
For fans of: Firespawn and Dissection
Favorite song: Siege of Caffa
Score: 4/5

Whore of Bethlehem – Extinguish the Light (Brutal Death/Black Metal)

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With a name like Whore of Bethlehem and an album cover like they have you can tell this is going to be some brutal music. Whore of Bethlehem was created in 2009, USA, plays a Brutal Death/Black Metal mix and Extinguish the Light is the bands sophomore release after getting some good reviews from Upon Judas’ Throne I am interested to hear what these guys are all about.

What do you get if you mix Dark Funeral with Belphegor and a smidge of old Suffocation? You get a Whore of Bethlehem! The black and death metal mix hits the right spots and they are brutal enough to get my blood pumping but not losing out on the technical musicanship. From the start to finish this a solid gem of metal. There are a couple tracks that sticks out for me with Invocation, Overtaken by Evil and Rebirth in Fire. That’s almost half the album right there. I am telling you reading this that Whore of Bethlehem is a band that extreme metal lovers will have a jolly good time with!

Solid album, not a single bad song on it but also no song that’s good enough to make me go “hot damn this is insane stuff!”, which is the only downside to the album really. It needed at least one or two stand out tracks for the higher scores. This is definitely a good pickup for any metalhead out there.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wobethlehem
Label: Black Market Metal Label
For fans of: Dark Funeral and Belphegor
Favorite song: Invocation
Score: 3.5/5

Funeralglade – May the Funeral Begin (Melodic Death Metal)

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Hailing from Finland a five-man band named Funeralglade was formed a year ago. Since then they’ve worked to release their debut EP May the Funeral Begin whereas the time has come for me to review it. Funeralglade incorporate a lot of different genres into their music, goove metal, black metal and deathcore just being some of those but they are labelled as melodic death metal. May the Funeral Begin features six tracks and Funeralglade gives the listener an album filled with class riffs, vocals and drumming.

What makes me like the album more the more times I listen to it is the fact that all songs features new elements to them. The opener Shadow of Misery builds up the tempo nicely which gives you that crushing but melodical black metal feel. With Death (Only Way Out) being a more classic melodeath approach with some trash and black touches to it. Hollow then turns it more aggressive with symphonic elements into the mix, making this my favorite track on the album. The intermission Cadence of the Aching Breath adds more symphonic music, giving me the chills. Leading up to A Bedtime Story: Bloodlust which starts off like a powermetal song with the first riff and made me look if I was listening to the same album but that quickly turn into a fast paced death metal track with some added symphonic deathcore to it. Paincauser keep that sound alive and ends the album well. The whole packaging of the album with these six songs giving me different experiences is rather nice. If I could put their music in a box it would be with Carach Angren meeting Anaal Nathrakh and Shadow of Intent.

There are some flaws here and there but overall I had a good time with May the Funeral Begin. A good debut from Funeralglade they can build on.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/funeralglade
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/funeralglade
Label: Inverse Records
For fans of: Shadow of Intent and Carach Angren
Favorite song: Hollow
Score: 3/5

Excommunion – Thronosis (Brutal Death/Black Metal)

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Been waiting to review this EP for quite some time now and lucky I was to receive it in the latest The Metalhead Box so I could listen to it on an actual cd. Excommunion is a band I am not too familiar with but I’ve heard good stuff about them. The band was formed in 1998, Colorado, and are known for playing brutal death metal with atmospheric black metal elements, which is exactly the reason they caught my eye. That and the two band members Christbutcher (bass, vocals) and Kyle Spanswick (guitars, vocals) both being active members of Nightbringer. So there has to be a lot of potential in a band like that.

Oh and was I right! The opener Twilight of Eschaton is freaking brutal! I swear to you this is an EP you do not want to miss. I understand perfectly what they mean with atmospheric black elements joined together with the sheer force of brutal death metal. It’s a sound I haven’t really heard before but hell I love it. You can hear that this is death metal from members you usually associate with the black metal scene with influences from both Nightbringer and Enthroned being heard here and there. Just like Morbid Angel, Incantation and Immolation makes their influences on Excommunion.

Each track stands tall on their own, none being the weak link. I could choose either one of the tracks for my favorite song, not just due to the four songs being being solid with none standing out. Rather I think they all do in their own right.

Ladies and gentlemen be taken in by this whirlwind of darkness like me, you deserve it. Thronosis is my rite into Excommunion and I am ready for them to lead the way. One of the best releases I’ve heard all year.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Excommunion
Label: Dark Descent Records
For fans of: Enthroned and Morbid Angel
Favorite song: Twilight of Eschaton
Score: 4/5

Winter Deluge – Devolution – Decay (Black Metal)

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I rarely review albums released in 2016 as they are simply not new enough but seeing as Winter Deluge’s sophomore album Devolution – Decay came out early November I am making an exception. Formed in 2005 as Desecrate this black metal act from New Zealand have started getting a following in the underground scene so I was interested to hear what they are all about.

The raw sound Winter Deluge oozes out screams second wave black metal with a touch of death. Think Immortal having a bastard with Archgoat and they spawned the great Winter. Devolution – Decay got a great flow to it and the songs transition well into the next. The crushing riffs, harsh growling and pummeling drums is something any black metal lover can appreciate and will be sure to get their fill with this album. How Winter Deluge creates the perfect passages between the tracks is what I love the most with the album, it’s so fluent and makes the whole experience that much better. It also leaves me in a bit of a peril, which song do I like the most? With each listen it changes but that just means Winter Deluge has done a great job with Devolution – Decay as it’s an black metal album I am glad I received although almost a year too late. Definitely one of the better albums I missed from 2016 and now you, as well as I, have a chance to get to know these black hearts from New Zealand.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WINTERDELUGE
Label: Frozen Blood Industries
For fans of: Immortal and Archgoat
Favorite song: Corrupt Prophets
Score: 3/5

Dzö-nga – The Sachem’s Tales (Atmospheric Black Metal)

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We got more mountains to climb people! Found this album on youtube and holy crap! Such beautiful, much wow! Dzö-nga started off as a solo project and draw inspiration from Tibetan myths and legends centered on the Himalayan mountains, where the name also comes from as Dzö-nga is the name of a cryptid or demon that is said to haunt the mountain Kangchenjunga. Since the formation and debut album Five Treasures of Snow (which Kangchenjunga can translate into) in 2016 the one-man band has added female vocalist in Grushenka Ødegård which adds so much to the sound and atmosphere. In all honesty I wasn’t much of a fan of the debut, the lack of drums really put me off and it seemed to lack a lot of elements I enjoy in this kind of music. This has all changed with the sophomore album though!

The music seems closer to nature with the melodies and female vocals, while Cryvas growling and instrumental play sets the tone and almost creates a demon versus elven character kind of setting, just as expected from the album. Adding more instruments since Five Treasures of Snow (like drums) also makes this album feel a lot more complete than the debut ever did. I wouldn’t mind some Tibetan instruments thrown into the mix to add even more connections to the folklore Dzö-nga sings about. Just like with most atmospheric black metal The Sachem’s Tales is meant to be experienced in its entirety without any stops. The build-ups on the songs that leads to different sections is superb and the vocals are a great match, making it stick out from most of the atmospheric black metal I listen to instead of the rather bland debut. It could say this is something along the lines of Myrkur meets Summoning musically. Which you can tell is sweet melodies and an atmospheric tone to it.

I am impressed with how much Dzö-nga has improved in just a year. It’s insane really and hats off to find a direction with the music that works so much better in my opinion. This is beautiful atmospheric black metal with a lot of variation and flow that you will want to experience again and again. Now I want to know Cryvas will be up to with the next release!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dzongalives
Label: Avantgarde Music
For fans of: Summoning and Saor
Favorite song: Against the Northern Wind
Score: 4/5