Candlelight Records USA Review Special 2/14/2009

Blut aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue With The Stars- CD (Candlelight USA)

Black metal over the last 10 yrs or so has really taken a life all its own. Where a Raw Satanic BM force like Graveland and Epic Atmospheric Symphonic Black metal force like Dimmu Borgir are both thought of as just Black metal. Well Blut aus Nord takes this thought pattern and twists and turns it with the mixing of Doom, Prog Metal and Avant rock elements all under a very grim black metal back drop. To this review with " Memoria Vetusta II. They have added elements of Opeth, Mogwai and Radiohead into there blackened doom wall of sound. I really like the odd melodies that are created with the different styles both Clean and veru heavy reverbed guitar add to this a lot. The vocals are so grim then choirs and sung vocals come from no where as well with that more early raw BM drumming style this French Trio all the more interesting. The synths are use so well here as texture and featured elements depending on the mood fitting the track. Some in Blut aus Nord is learing to love Jazz and Prog arrangment very much as well this is not your typical release at all and Blut aus Nord become more of a musical gem with each release I hear from them. This is a 10 out of 10 for me this review around.

IXXI- Elect Darkness-CD (Candlelight USA)

This swedish unit is another of what a call the fragmented Post Black metal scene. There are a lot of Black metal elements in the Vocals, Drums and guitars but then they like to experiment with Electronics, Rock n Roll, Ambience and less metallic avenues. If you love bands like Khold, Manes, Arcturus, Red Harvest, DHG, Virus then you know were I'm coming from with IXXI. This is not just for the bullet belt/ corpse paint crowd at all. They will find an element of this fantastic but for forward thinking metal heads this has ton's to offer as well. Another winning chapter is the evolution of bands the haed Satyricon and Mayhem in the early 21st century and said this makes a lot of sense...

Helvete - Det Iskalde Morket (CD) ~ Throne Of Katarsis Cover Art

Throne of Katarsis - Helvete - Det Iskalde Mørket-CD (Candlelight USA)

Holy shit someone has a total worship for late 90's/ early 2000's Swedish Black metal. I swear this sound like " Those of the unlight" part two. Throne of Katarsis love of Marduk and Dark Funeral is clear in seconds. The lofi static tones the very ritualistic Bm vocals that almost come across as Satantic chants for the end of days. The brittle cold guitar tones while the bass has a warmth to keep the sound from ever sounding to thin. The Drums are more mid tempo but that double kick keeps the evil heads bouncing endlessly. If you don't like your BM fast, raw and full of Corpse paint this is not a band you need to look further too. If you miss the days of old for the Swedish BM sound then this band will be the new KLVT project of our dreams.

Tardy Brothers- Bloodline-CD (Candlelight USA)

This is a bit different then I expected being that this is the vocalist of the legendary death metal force Obituary and his brother on drums. This is way more death in roll in the way that bands like Dismember and Entombed went for a while. There is almost a hard rock feeling with this esp in the solo where there so melodic and sweet. You will in a second know its Mr Tardy's vocals as they sound just like what you've hear in Obit for the last 10 plus years. I think this will take some getting use to for the Death metal fans to get adjusted too. They may like this but there is nothing really groundbreaking here at all. Classic Metal with Death vocals I'm not really sure what to make of it either. Only time will tell on this one...

Leif Edling- Songs of Torment- Songs of Joy-CD (Candlelight USA)

I've never been a fan of Candlemass or there side projects. This is a very classic doom sounding record and not really winning me over at all. Leif Edling didn't need to make this record unless Candlemass is over as this sound like Candlemass with a different vocalist nothing more. Yes there is a bit more of a Doom/Death vibe here esp with all the upfront organ's (In a Skeptcism like manner for the music) but the vocals are just so silly and really take away from the music which has moments. I'm just not understanding why people love this Bassist of Candlemass so much.

Absu-Absu-CD (Candlelight USA)

Eight years and a new label to boot. A lot has changed for Proscriptor and the gang. This Texas based Occult Metalist has awoken with a simply kick ass Black/Death release on this new home Candlelight. I'm not sure why the change in label's maybe Osmose is going into different visions and Ideals but I will say that Absu's self titled release is one of there best ever to my ears. There is a complexity and maturity to the structure and theme to the music and lyrics that I've been waiting for that finally seen the light of day. It may be the in flux of a few new member's to kick start it I don't know. All I will say this is a CD you take you time and dissect with many listens as it becomes more powerful and epic with each listen. I think I'm really starting to like all these once pure black metal forces adding Progressive and Bluesy elements into there music. It makes for a much more interesting listen in the end. Absu I hope it will not be eight years for your next challenging release as you have won me over here and will many others as they get to listen....

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