Hail Spirit Noir – ‘Pneuma’


Despite only being March, 2012 has been an impressive year as far as releases from established acts are concerned, with the album of the year title already getting debated. All genres are shining, however then from out of nowhere, unknown Greeks Hail Spirit Noir jump up in your face and scare you shitless. But not in a grim, brutal or speedy manner but more like the most confusing and creepy trip you have ever had.

The duo label themselves psychedelic progressive black metal, which is probably the closest you’re going to get to pinpointing their debut ‘Pneuma’ which swirls and screams from one song to another in a hallucinogenic assemblage. Despite having a more absorbable vocal range and 60’s rock vibe which makes them more accessible than some BM, it is far from rainbows and kitties in terms of themes. Hail Spirit Noir’s bizarre mishmash of sounds and instrumental pieces create a gloomy atmosphere despite its higher pitches at times and with lyrics like “Kill your mother while you’re still in her womb” it will leave you feeling weirdly hypnotized.

One cannot compare Hail Spirit Noir to other bands but if we were to say Serj Tankian, Ghost and Akercocke familiarities wind through the liquidized multicoloured pathway of the occult, you’ll realize what a bizarre yet brilliant release this is.

Reviewed by Lily Randall

Pneuma is out now on Code666

You’ll like this if… you’re willing to let your mind be taken over by something marvellous

Published on Soundshock.com


Decapitated and Aborted @ Sub89, Reading

Death metal coverage in Reading used to be few and far between but these seem to have changed lately, with newish venue SUB89 fulfilling our flesh-hungry needs, this time in the form of Aborted and Decapitated. The venue often shines with sound perfection and tonight is no different despite the floor being filled with eager midweek moshers.

Belgain Berkshire debutees Aborted manage to do more than just warm the crowd up, as pits start to break out almost immediately as they pound into their brutal death metal. Despite latest album ‘Global Flatline’ receiving a cyber ovation, their diseased discography is evenly spread across the set like entrails from a metal graveyard. Despite Aborted unfortunately falling into the more “core” side of the underground fan bases, they prove themselves to be worthy of more tonight with stunning precision and energy.

For many, this will be the first time seeing Decapitated as their reincarnated selves since their well-known tragedy. Over on the merch stall and on vocalist Rafal’s chest, the words “Wake the fuck up Covan” are displayed in honour of the former band member. The dreadlocked frontman also stops to tell the respectful fans that there will be a charity show in London soon and from the response received its fair to say that despite the themes of tonight’s music, it definitely doesn’t reside in their hearts.

The music however is as brutal as ever with last year’s beast ‘Carnival is Forever’ aurally attacking the crowd, who have clearly already taken in every drip of the record. Unfortunately the kill-joy security guards stop any major movement, despite Decapitated causing a rush of aggression, with the band being pushed all the way from the back to the barrier, thanks the Krimh’s impeccable drumming. The rest of the Poles’ records are shown off with typical favourite ‘Spheres of Madness’, which gives the bouncers their biggest challenge of the night. Nonetheless, death metal is not dead and despite everything they have been through neither is the name Decapitated.

Review By Lily Randall

Published on Soundshock.com. Click here for images.

3 Inches of Blood, Goatwhore, Angelus Apatrida, Havok @ Camden Underworld, London

Just from this title alone, one can see the eclecticism in this line up from the word go. But tonight, in the variety works in this packed Camden venue.

Despite being the act to break the silence, Havok are fully backed by the thrash elite of fans that are ready to work off their Sunday roast in the pit. The set is short but sweet and luckily the four-piece are fast enough to fit in all the party classics including favourites ‘Covering Fire’ and ‘D.O.A’. Despite their party hard ethic, these guys work hard too, with each riff as stable as it is sweaty.

Once Havok have literally warmed up the crowd and left the stage, the slightly lesser known Angelus Apatrida stop many in their tracks to the bar with a more old school thrash approach. Large in their native Spanish scene, the underdogs are here to promote latest release ‘The Call’, which goes down as well as the rest of their back catalogue. The raspy vocals and original sequences manage to clasp this band some extra followers tonight with a tight set to be proud of.

Goatwhore are next and they immediately darken the atmosphere with their blackened death destruction. No aesthetics are needed and the stage is left stripped down, as the mood of this band is created by their energy and hybrid of sounds. Ben Falgoust is a prime front man, enticing the crowd with his hearty, aggressive vocals and energetic presence, whilst guitarist Sammy Duet proves that good things come in small packages with some evil solos. Showcasing classics from across their 15-year reign, this year’s ‘Blood for the Master’ also goes down a storm, exhibiting some black ‘n’ roll groove with thrashy outbursts.

To heighten the tone, both atmospherically and vocally, headliners 3 Inches of Blood enter the stage to take you back in time to a world where leather and studs was a sign of NWOBHM, not frostbitten kingdoms. After their previous album causing a slight downer, due to a lack of heaviness for 3IOB fans, latest attack ‘Long Live Heavy Metal’ is as cliché as it sounds and keeps everyone here chuffed. The microphone just about copes with Cam Pipe’s insanely high-pitched, well, pipes, whilst the rest of the band sound as clean as the Underworld can offer tonight for all the bands. Their playful power metal completes a night of metal in all its finest shapes and sizes and everyone leaves dreading the reality of Monday morning. With ‘Long Live Heavy Metal’ receiving a seal of approval from fans and metal authorities alike, I’m sure many shall be exclaiming ‘Long Live 3IOB” instead.

Review by Lily Randall

Published on Soundshock.com Click here to view images.