All posts by Soukpen

Ripper – Sensory Stagnation (2019)

Ripper
Release date: September 30th, 2019
Label: Unspeakable Axe Records

A few months late, but I finally could get my hands on a copy of Ripper’s new EP, Sensory Stagnation. It has been 3 years since the release of their highly acclaimed second album Experiment of Existence, so the expectations for this new material were big.

After the brief intro Dissociation, The Unreal starts, and after the initial riff, the song begins dwelling into a more Death/Thrash territory that we were used to. This is specially noticeable during the slower guitar parts, which really give you a Death Metal vibe (think of early Atheist or Pestilence).

Sensory Stagnation is a bit more fast paced than the previous song, but keeps the proto Death Metal atmosphere with a lot of variety on the bass, and aggressive riffs. Best song of the EP in my opinion.

Like a Sacrilege is a cover by an old forgotten band from Santiago called Aberration. To the best of my knowledge they only released one demo in the early 90’s before fading into obscurity. Ripper‘s homage to the original song is very good, taking a faster approach in comparison to the more Death Metal rooted original, but very well executed. Also, on their first demo, Ripper made a cover of a different song by Aberration.

For closing they decided to go with a re-recording of Terror Streets, an old song that goes back to their demo days. Aside from the fact that it’s not a new composition, there’s not really much to complain about it, since it’s a fast and aggressive piece, just pure Thrash Metal mayhem.

The only downside that I see here, is that essentialy there’s only two new tracks if we exclude the intro, the Aberration cover and the re-recorded song. Now, the quality of those two songs is as high as we could have hoped for after Experiment of Existence, so take my complain with a grain of salt. The album was recorded at DM6 Studio, with Pablo Clares at the helm, so you know what to expect soundwise. The artwork was done by Bastián Velásquez, frontman of Deathsvn.

Now, what actually is important is the fact that after this album, both bass player Pablo Cortés and guitar player Daniel Poblete left the band (they play in Suppression now). Since Pablo’s remarkable and unique style has always been one of Ripper‘s distinctive elements, one can only wonder what will his departure mean to the band. Plus, he was in charge of most of the musical composition of this EP, so it’s not going to be an easy task to replace him.

Ripper definitely kept the pace with Sensory Stagnation, and also pushed the bar a little further in terms of variety and execution, venturing with a few hints of Death Metal into their music. Now, with a new lineup it will be very interesting to hear what they can come up with next, but in the meantime, this album is perfect if you are looking for a good dose of Thrash Metal.

LvxCaelis – Maher Shalal Hash Baz (2019)

LvxCaelis
Release date: October 31st, 2019
Label: Lamech Records

The name of LvxCaelis should not be unknown at this point to anyone who has been paying attention to the chilean scene for the last decade. Maher Shalal Hash Baz is their third album, and it comes four years after their magnificent previous record The Watchers. I’ve been listening to this Black Metal piece regularly for the past month since I received my copy of the CD, and I must say that my expectations were vastly exceeded by the quality of the songs.

The sound of the recording is very similar to what can be heard in the previous album, with the main difference being the overall atmosphere of the songs. While The Watchers had a more ominous and ritualistic feeling, Maher Shalal Hash Baz is more intense, more direct, maybe more “Metal” should I say. The drumming is frantic and relentless, but also has a lot of variety, the razor sharp guitars blend aggressive riffs with dark melodies, the bass rumbles in the background adding that extra layer of thickness and heavyness to the songs, and the ominous solemnity of the vocals fit perfectly with the music.

Every song has something interesting to offer, from the catchiness of Beyond the Falling Stars, to the insane intensity of Fading into Golgotha, to the hypnotic opening riff in Throne of Doom (plus the overall slower but powerful pace of the song), or the masterful rithm changes in The Beginning was the End, or that awesome and classic cold riff after the first verses in Kiss the Skull.

Raising above the Demiurge caught me completely by surprise with the almost Heavy Metal-esque guitar leads in the final part of the song, and the tasteful mixture of rawness and melancholy in Awakening the Final Chaos gives the album a perfect closure (those bass lines are pure brilliance).

The lyrics, as usual, deal with topics regarding luciferian gnosis and the neverending quest for illumination to free one self from the boundaries and limitations of the earthly existence.

The album was recorded at Lamech Studios in Sweden by Deacon D (Hetroertzen) who also contributes with some vocals in the last song, Awakening the Final Chaos, plus the intro, outro and some interludes. The artwork was done by Åskväder (also from Hetroertzen). As you would expect from Lamech Records, the overall production and design of the album are top notch.

To sum things up, Maher Shalal Hash Baz is a more than worthy successor of The Watchers. It might be even better, but I’m still undecided about that, need to listen to it more. There’s a lot to be discovered in the 37 minutes of music contained here, but I highly recommend this to anyone who’s looking for quality music.

Official Band Facebook Page

Official Label Website

Motosierra – Sobredosis de Heavy Metal (2018)

Motosierra
Release date: May 7th, 2018
Label: Iron Goat Commando (CD), Street Metal Blasphemy (Cassette)

When it comes to Heavy Metal, most bands usually go with the most well known influences, either German Heavy Metal, US Heavy Metal, N.W.O.B.H.M. or the classic Spanish Heavy Metal. Well, Motosierra decided to go the other way, most precisely, the dirty, fast and aggressive South American way.

Inspired by cult bands like V8 or Retrosatan, Motosierra’s take on Heavy Metal is pretty unique among other chilean bands. Not because of it’s originality (which is not a trait of their music), but for their ability to create one catchy riff after another, and turn those riffs into great songs.

And yes, this albums comes with a big “dejavu effect” and makes you think that you have heard this before, and yes, the production is a little bit thin sometimes, an yes, they could have a better vocalist, and yes, that introduction sounds like a blatant rip-off/homage to Diamond Head, but none of that matters once you get caught in this ridiculously catchy album. I mean, just listen to the marvelous instrumental start on Sobredosis de Heavy Metal (they could have skipped the intro with this), or the awesome opening riff on La Muerte, or the chorus on Gloria a Satán, or the solos from Acero Forjado, you name it, this album is full of awesome little moments that will make you bang your head, do air guitars or sing with your fists in the air. Also, good lyrics, simple and straight to the point.

I don’t know what else to say, this album is just too good to ignore it. If you like simple, fast and catchy Heavy Metal that reeks conviction and attitude, then you should really go get this.

Official Band Facebook Page

Buried – Buried Alive! (2018)

Buried
Release date: November 11th, 2018
Label: Street Metal Blasphemy

After a few months i’ve finally got my cassette player repaired, so now i’m catching up with a bunch of stuff that I had laying around collecting dust. So, let’s start with this awesome live tape from Buried. This band comes from La Serena, and they play some really killer Death Metal influenced by Autopsy, Repulsion, Dream Death, Impetigo and Nihilist (to name just a few). Their lyrics are mostly inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, horror movies, gore, zombies, death and stuff like that.

This is a live recording from the band’s presentation at Devastación Metálica XIII, on the 7th of october of 2017. The setlist is composed of the tracks from both demos, The Expelling of the Nameless Horrors (I & II), minus the title track, and also including the track Morbid Mass Abomination, taken from the upcoming 7″ It Won’t Stay Dead. Great performance, with the trio sounding very tight. I was pleasently surprised with the versions of Voodoo Cannibal Horror Experience, The Re-Animator and The Horror from Beyond.

The cassette is really well done, transparent shell with yellow engraving, and a 5 panel jcard with live photos from the band. Very good job by Street Metal Blasphemy. I’m not sure if the cassettes were professionaly duplicated, or homemade, but the sound quality is excellent.

I’m not really fond of live recordings, because more often than not they sound like crap, but this is a nice exception. Get this if you can, you won’t regret it.

Official Facebook Page

Invocation Spells – Spread Cruelty in the Abyss (2018)

Invocation Spells
Release date: April 17th, 2018
Label: Hell’s Headbangers Records

Invocation Spells must be easily one of the most prolific bands in the chilean underground in recent years. This is their fourth full length in merely five years, which is pretty remarkable considering that a lot of bands release a demo and then disappear for 5 years. Anyway, what matters to us is the music, and in this case it’s a good thing that quantity does not mean lack of quality.

What you will find here is some savage Black/Thrash Metal the way it’s supposed to be played, but Invocation Spells give their personal touch to the classic sound of the genre, with a lot of pace changes, and some nice little details, like the clean vocals in Spread Cruelty or the violin intro in Obscure and Evil. Coincidentally, those two are some of my favourite tracks on this album, alongside with Victims of Doom.

Sound-wise there is not much to complain about. The production is clean, but not plastic. The drums’ sound is powerful enough without drowning the rest of the instruments, the guitars have the right mixture of sharpness and rawness, the bass serves as almost a second guitar, but with it’s own personality, the vocals have the right dose of reverb. The only thing that I believe that the band should pay some more attention to are the lyrics. Some of them seem as a mix of verses with no real connection between each other, and of course, there’s the “broken-english” thing, but that doesn’t bother me that much (it’s basically a trademark in Metal since the beginning).

This album fits perfectly in the style of some other killer chilean bands like Miserycore, Infernal Slaughter, Perversor, Necromantic Forces, Attacker Bloody Axe, Invincible Force or Blasfemia (to name just a few). A must buy if you are into this style of savagery.

Official Facebook Page

Fuerzas Ocultas – Fuerzas Ocultas (2018)

Fuerzas Ocultas
Release date: August 1st, 2018
Label: Independent

Fuerzas Ocultas is a new band from Punta Arenas, in the far south of Chile. Even tho it’s a new band, the four members of Fuerzas Ocultas are quite experienced musicians. All of them have been playing for years in other local bands with different styles of music. Guitar player Adrian and drummer Gabriel both play in Krull, bassist Rodrigo plays in Camino de Tierra and vocalist Jaime plays in Bullying, so they are hardly newcomers. And that experience shows in their music.

This demo contains five songs of dark and heavy Doom/Death Metal. To my ears, this is influenced by the big names of the early 90’s european scene (Katatonia, My Dying Bride, Anathema, Paradise Lost, you get the idea). But it also reminds me of Adrian’s other band, Krull, maybe because he has a particular style of playing, or because I listened to Krull‘s EP too much a couple of years ago. Anyhow, this is intense, powerful, dark and crushing Doom with some Death Metal elements thrown into the mix. It might also remind you a little bit of The Black Harvest (which we alredy reviewed here).

This demo was a pleasant surprise, since it wasn’t announced until it was ready. It was released as a printed CD-R in a cardboard sleeve (100 copies). Quite simple but good enough for a demo. You can also buy the digital version through Bandcamp for a couple of dollars to support the band. A solid first demo, so I hope that we get to hear something more from Fuerzas Ocultas in the future.

Unaussprechlichen Kulten – Sign the Book of Death (2018)

Unaussprechlichen Kulten
Release date: October 10th, 2018
Label: Apocalyptic Prods.

At this point I suppose I don’t have to explain who Unaussprechlichen Kulten are, but in case you have been living under a rock for the past 20 years, or do not know anything about the chilean underground scene, Unaussprechlichen Kulten is one of the most important Death Metal acts, due to the high quality and consistency of their releases since they started playing almost 20 years ago.

Sign the Book of Death is a compilation released a few weeks ago by Apocalyptic Prods. It contains 10 studio recordings taken from their last 2 full lenghts, Keziah Lilith Medea and Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath, from the 7″ Lucifer Poseidon Cthulhu, and from the split with After Death (The Madness from the Sea).

The other 10 tracks are live recordings taken from 5 different presentations between the years 2013 and 2018, including shows where they supported legendary bands like Mortem, Pentacle or Pentagram. The sound of this recordings is very raw and natural, and if you have never seen this band playing live, these tracks will give you a pretty good idea of how they sound on a live setting, as they capture very well the dark atmosphere and sheer ferocity that the nameless cult creates on stage.

If you are a long time fan of this band, probably you won’t find anything really new here, tho it is nice to have the tracks from the 7″ on a CD. Now, in case you are not familiar with the band’s work, this is a good place to start. My only complaint about this is that the label choose the digisleeve format instead of a classic jewel case, but aside from that, it’s a very good release.

Official Facebook

Official Label Facebook

Anuuruk – Unspeakable Uncreation (2018)

Anuuruk
Release date: January 19th, 2018
Labael: Apocalyptic Prods.

Apocalyptic Prods. has built a reputation for signing unknown bands with great potential. So, everytime they announce a new release I tend to keep my eyes and ears open, because there’s a pretty good chance that it’s going to be something good. One of their latest interesting finds was Anuuruk, a four-headed Death Metal monster from Quilpué, and what we have here is their first full lenght entitled Unspeakable Uncreation.

Anuuruk plays a very straightforward type of Death Metal in the vein of Grave, Unleashed, Carnage or Autopsy to name a few of the bands that comes to mind when listening to Unspeakable Uncreation. Razor sharp guitars, machinegun-like drumming and the deep growls that sounds like emanations from the deepest abyss are the key elements that blend together to give birth to the ten blasphemous songs presented on this album.

As the title suggest, the lyrical themes of the songs are based on the concept of uncreation, forgotten gods from archaic cultures, the destruction of everything that is deemed as “sacred” and more. Nothing groundbreaking really, but what else could you want from a Death Metal record?

Do not expect any melodic passages, or atmospheric interludes or stuff like that, just some relentless and bludgeoning fast paced Death Metal. Anuuruk might not be the most original band of the bunch, but they do know what they are doing. Another good band to keep an eye on.

Official Facebook Page

Label Facebook Page

Devotion – Far Beyond All Light (2018)

Devotion
Release date: January 14th, 2018
Label: Old Rites Records / Mouth Of Madness Prds. (Tape)

I was stil listening regularly to Devotion‘s debut album (reviewed here) when all of the sudden and without any warning the band published their newest material, entitled Far Beyond All Light on their Bandcamp page. Needless to say that I went to check it out and I must say that the band didn’t dissapoint.

The first thing that you will probably notice after listening to this (or the previous album) is the notorious Dissection influence, and maybe even a little bit of Necrophobic (Darkside era) as well. But fortunately, Devotion does not fall into the “Dissection clone” category, mostly because they add a lot of the classic southamerican filthness and savagery to their compositions.

Something that really caught my attention on the previous album, and that is also present here, is the riffing. Devotion seems to have quite a unique talent to produce simple, powerful and catchy riffs that get immediately stuck in your head. Sometimes with a really cold Black Metal vibe (Below the Fiery Coven for example) and sometimes with an approach closer to the most savage Thrash Metal (Wolves of Nowhere). Also, they make a great use of clean guitars to create very some melodic yet eerie atmospheres. The drumming is fast, chaotic and relentless, the bass is not spectacular but adds that necessary dose of heavyness that every good Black Metal album needs, and the vocals resonate with murkiness spitting abhorrence to the light.

The album is composed of only 7 songs and 32 minutes of music. A little bit short for my taste, but like they say, it’s all killer, no filler. The standouts for me are Below the Fiery Coven, Deep Winter’s Suffering and the title track. At the moment the album is available on both tape and digital format, pending for the CD release, so if you are looking for some filthy southamerican Black Metal then go get a copy of this.

Official Facebook Page

Official Bancamp Page

Far Beyond All Light by Devotion

Wrathprayer / Force of Darkness – The Wrath of Darkness (2017)

Wrathprayer / Force of Darkness
Release date: October 16th, 2017
Label: Nuclear War Now!

Usually, a split work as a cheap way for a label to promote 2 new bands that only have a few songs at the moment. But in this case with two bands that have been established as important underground acts for a long time, the approach is different. The Wrath of Darkness is not a regular split, but a colaborative effort between two entities who joined forces to unleash their wrath and spread darkness.

Wrathprayer‘s contribution to this record are the intro and two songs of dense, chaotic and unbridled savagery. Both Tria Serpentis and De Profundis… showcase the band’s approach to bestial Black/Death Metal at it’s finest. To my ears, De Profundis… is the stand out song of the whole album because of it’s intensity, variety and excellent vocals.

On the other hand, Force of Darkness have been hailing darkness since almost the dawn of the new millenium, and their relentless mixture of Black and Speed Metal is well known among underground maniacs around the globe. The 3 songs + outro featured in this album show the work of a mature band, with a very defined sound that will inmediatelly remind you of their previous works, more precisally, the self titled debut from ’06 and a few winks to the material from the ReHELLsal tapes.

Nuclear War Now! did a great job (as usual) with both the CD and LP editions of this album. I really like the minimalistic approach on the booklet of the CD version, with a clear tipography and individual illustrations for each song (I really hate those booklets full of stupid gothic type fonts that you can barely read).

To sum things up, this is a very solid release, the music may not be especially original, but both bands know very well what they are doing, and their execution is top notch.

Wrath of Darkness by Wrathprayer / Force of Darkness