Barathrum-Legions of Perkele

Legions of Perkele
[Spinefarm Records]

      Demonos of Barathrum has long proved his ability to make some of the darkest and most errie music in the scene today. Extremely catchy and rythmic, Barathrum gives us one quality release after another. Very powerful and vicious as it is unique, it absolutely stands alone in its style. If you haven't heard this band yet, we highly recommend it! This CD is top notch!

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Arcana-Cantar De Procella

Cantar De Procella
[Cold Meat Industry]

      Some attempt to copy, but try as they might, there is only one Arcana. I first heard this CMI duo a few years ago, on the comp. cd 'And even the Wolves...', and I immediately set out to obtain their first cd. Which was a ground breaking, killer debut. Well, two releases later, and they continue to give us their timeless medieval orchestrations, clean male and female vocals, carrying a powerful, sorrowful feeling all the while. This is music that our ancestors could have enjoyed hundreds of years ago. There is a whole lot of talent here, an incredible band, a sparkling jewel of Cold Meat Industry.

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Messe Noir

Messe Noir-Mandal-Gate of the Calling

Mandal-Gate of the Calling
[Natas Productions]

      Fast, violent and chaotic from start to finish, Messe Noir hails from CT, USA. Described as 'War Metal,' and while it really doesn't leave any impressions of battle to the listener, the vocals are probably most close to black metal. But not typical at all. A very straight-forward, no-frills sound. Keyboards? Female backing-vocals? Samples? You will find no such things here, but what you will find is a very violent audio experience. I guess the downside of this release would be the songs all sort of bleed together. But for fans of this style of music, Messe Noir will give you the aggression you seek.

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Manes-Under Ein Blodraud Maane

Under Ein Blodraud Maane
[Hammerheart Records]

      Manes, of Norway, is a band that's been getting a bit more attention lately since the re-release of their demos by Hammerheart Records. And it is very well deserved. The latest release under Hammerheart Records 'Under Ein Blodraud Maane' consists of re-recordings of select tracks taken from their three demos. It's rather strange that often the relatively unknown and underrated bands are often some of the greatest, defining artists of our scene. Such, I believe, is the case of Manes. The music is very solemn and dark, enriched in keyboards, with many layers and sounds accompanying its altogether grim sound. When listening to Manes, you will come to the conclusion that this is indeed the way Black Metal was meant to be. And sadly, you will realize how far modern 'black metal' bands have strayed from their roots. This review is best concluded with a quote from the inlay of the CD... 'We do not care if the production and sound is not what you expect, and strongly hope (and think) that this album will appeal to none of the 'black metal' people of today.'

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Banshee-Growing into the Rotten Garden

Growing into the Rotten Garden

     Here is a rather obscure Italian band which probably most of you reading this have never heard. Let me start by saying that this is definitely a band to investigate further. This is one of the best demos we've received in some time. It is rather solid black metal, unlike many of the recent bands the scene is crowded with today. The vocals of this band are extremely torturous and inhuman sounding... This demo begins with a slow, sorrowful track, entitled "Shouts of Deformity," composed of acoustic guitar and keyboards, which is narrated by an excellent sounding depressive voice. It then fades into a much faster, violent sounding piece of black metal. This is also our favorite from this demo, in itself worth attention, proving this young bands skill at conveying moods through music. A very recommended release for those tired of the many black metal clones poisoning the international music scene.

  • "Growing into the Rotted Garden " can be obtained by writing the guitarist at:

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    Svartsyn-promo 1999

    Promo-January 1999

         Svartsyn can be remembered from their "The True Legend" CD a few years back on Folter Records, which gained them attention in the underground community. After a long wait, they are preparing to release their second CD, entitled "Bloodline." Currently they are also working on material for their third release. This promo contains two songs, "I am Cleopatra's Killer' and "Dungeons." Svartsyn has always had a talent for playing very straight forward black metal, true to the ideal, I'd say they have even improved upon this since their last CD. The music itself has more of an older sound, with a no frills approach. It is dark, unrelenting, fast, and fairly melodic. Once again they prove that they are a force to be reckoned with, and also show the new wave of BM what the art is all about. Recommended.

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