Another slow month in the blog kingdom… Well, that just means that the realm of printed ones has been in action, and therefore the next issue of Kaleidoscope – ominous number thirteen – will be out for grabs soon… Before you get manna for your eyes, spoil your ears with these three releases. Black, death and beyond!
CAVERNE: Des Tréfonds du Haut Bois (Résilience 2012)
National Socialism has been a very visible theme in black metal for a long time but then we have bands who praise their own culture and heritage through more subtle and more poetic ways. It’s hard to describe the line between these two, but I think it’s more about the feeling and the description. Anyhow, Caverne is more national romantic than national socialistic, and you hear it from these wailing riffs and acoustic interludes – no hate but more distant gazes over a fatherland. This French band reminds me of another French gem, Sombre Chemin, although Caverne is a bit more dynamic. The songs tend to be long but the riffs keep their intensity through simplicity – there is a good doze of Absurd and Burzum in the cauldron I think. This demo tape doesn’t battle with originality; it takes its enemies down with intense atmosphere and good songs which make Des Tréfonds… a good, solid release.
TRIBULATION: The Formulas of Death (Invictus 2013)
Holy death! I knew that Tribulation’s debut The Horror was a good death/thrash album in a Swedish way but this second full-length (and now we really can talk about a full-length – this is over an hour of music!) kicks everything to the next level. Yes, there are shades of Swedish death metal traditions lying somewhere but otherwise The Formulas of Death is the master of its own. Heavy metal riffs, rocking solos, ghastly atmosphere and a few black metal moments go hand in hand through the gate of horror, and although the songs are long and full of details, somehow Tribulation keeps everything in order and going. Now when I think of it, this is purely Swedish – the talent, the sounds and the attitude – but no copycats, no way. I’m ready to lift Tribulation to the same group with Enforcer, Repugnant and Portrait, so goddamn catchy and simply brilliant this album is. I could go every song in detail, but it would take too much time. Just believe me, this is an album you want to hear. Miracles must happen if The Formulas of Death isn’t one of those albums in my “top five of 2013” list.
SINK: The Holy Testament 2 (Svart 2013)
Sink ripped big holes to my safety net with the first part of The Holy Testament in 2011: this beast of black metal, drone, doom, ambient and what-else was preaching with such an intensity and a wall of sound, that I had to abandon old gods and take Sink into my heart. And with this second part, it seems that my faith is just getting stronger.
The Holy Testament 2 is partly clearer and partly more obscure than its predecessor: Joy of Life is an ultimate hit song for nihilistic parties with its Swans-like stomp and repetitive vocal lines, but when you flip the vinyl over, you find dark drone tunnels (a lengthy song called Dominion mainly) that crush your skull with their oppressive feeling. Songs are flowing from one to another and the whole album becomes a great tower of hypnotic pulses and otherworldly/unearthly sounds. Sink purifies through filth and drags you down to reach the heavens, and as I mentioned in my review of The Holy Testament 1, it’s very hard to describe all this process.
The Holy Testament 2 isn’t for everyone, but who get this, will become true believers.
Joy of Life video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GX9vAOp0Kw0