My album of the week: Ulver – ‘Blood Inside’ [2005]

 

Despite the fact I have access to new releases and will review these on command, there is always one particular album that my iPod stumbles upon and a joyful reunion is had. After a morning of drunken repercussions and general illness, I desperately needed something to remove me from reality in a calm manner, without zoning me out completely and that’s when I was reacquainted with Ulver’s ‘Blood Inside’.

Ulver – ‘Blood Inside’

Ulver may have been around in the same times as church burnings and corpse paint, but were never dragged into the controversy or the clichéd sound coined in the second wave of Norwegian black metal. Instead, the Oslo-based outlet used their large discography to twist and turn through several sounds and styles without losing their fans along the way. The earlier work consisting of environmentally friendly folk and black metal quickly changed along with the line up to film soundtracks and their more recent releases show experiments into avant-garde and electronica.

‘Blood Inside’ was released in 2005 and not the first time original member and leader of the band Garm had blended electronic influences into his often industrial sounds, however it is a prime example of keeping a creepy and sinister atmosphere. Opener ‘Dressed in Black’ throws you into the abyss straight away with bizarre chanting vocals, and the official video confirms the artistic beauty of this album. ‘Christmas’ aptly uses bells however cries out more for Halloween than holidays, whilst the latter of the record continues to confuse with trip hop, jazz and black metal sculpted into a truly ethereal atmosphere.

Normally when a band creates such a hybrid of sounds, one may complain they did not know what it was they were trying to create but that is why ‘Blood Inside’ is so wonderful. Each crazy part of the creativity is purposely planned out and structured to create a layered album, which is about a million times more enjoyable than other layered objects, such as an onion.

Upcoming gigs for the rest of 2012

So, after looking through Last.FM, my emails and general social media, I have suddenly discovered the wonderful array of gigs I am attending or plan to attend up until Christmas. Its been a great year for tours and festivals but it doesn’t appear that its going to die down any time soon. Here’s my personal calendar:

Bloodstock Festival – Derby, UK 9-12th August

Gorguts @ The Underworld 13th August (if I am still alive!)

Dying Fetus & Revocation @ Sub 89, Reading, 19th September

Nasum/Black Breath @ The Underworld 25th September

Marduk/Immolation/De Profundis @ The Underworld, 29th September

Decapitated/Xerath @ The Garage, London, 16th October

Devin Townsend’s Retinal Circus @ The Roundhouse, 27th October

Sodom @ Underworld, 18th November

Marilyn Manson/Rob Zombie @ O2 Arena, 26th November

Katatonia/Alcest @ Islington Academy, 10th December.

 

-Hopefully I can find a way up to Damnation Festival as well!

 

 

Morgoth – ‘Cursed to Live’ [6]

After being inactive for fifteen years, it’s clear German death metallers Morgoth couldn’t resist getting back into the game. Their reformation in 2010 was supposed to consist of a single live performance but led to a string of appearances around Europe, one of which was recorded for their first live album ‘Cursed To Live’. The quintet’s old school Swe-death style is kept that way despite the modern recording but is still rich enough to get you in a festival spirit.

‘Cursed To Live’, which was conveniently released on the 20th anniversary of their debut ‘Cursed’, showcases a set largely based on this album, while their more commercial sounds later on in Morgoth’s career are avoided. A few rarities from old EPs and a selection from ‘Odium’ create an ideal collection of strengths and increase the audience’s excitement, which is subtly caught on record, giving a true sense of atmosphere.

If you’ve never heard Morgoth before this, it’s fair to say this live album will still give you a pretty good idea of what you’re in store for. The whole affair is overflowing with swampy riffs and although the drums are a little quiet, you still get the idea of their blasting speeds. There seems to be a resurrection of old school death metal of late and we can only hope Morgoth are back for good to join this movement.

Reviewed by Lily Randall.
Cursed To Live is out now on Century Media.

You’ll like this if… you still kill the old way and need an album to keep festival blues at bay.

Published on Soundshock.com

Master – ‘The New Elite’

Master – ‘The New Elite’ [3 out 5]

Pulverised Records

When a band has been around as long as Master and is yet to disappoint through their bulging discography, it’s definitely a case of respecting your elders. The ten-strong predecessors of ‘The New Elite’ have always been consistent when it comes to their old school death metal sound and despite some production enhancement, the raw riffs are still reminiscent of fellow Americans Death or Massacre. Despite several line-up changes, vocalist Paul Speckmann has been the core of the underrated band and his gurgling throat creates for a unique and sheer change from the usual low growls, suiting their political aggression perfectly. ‘Remove the Knife’ alone is enough evidence to charge Master of being guilty for doing what you know best.

Published in Terrorizer #226

Fastkill – ‘Bestial Thrashing Bulldozer’

Fastkill – ‘Bestial Thrashing Bulldozer’ [2 out of 5]

Pulverised Records

Many people would argue that thrash isn’t the most original genre of metal; however there are many bands that have managed to reinvent the eighties, or develop it further. Unfortunately for Japanese thrashers Fastkill, their worship of bands like Slayer have left them looking like copycats with the whole album having similar compositions, beats and riffs. Furthermore, Toshio Komori’s vocals are slightly too shrill for some – imagine the tone-deaf Nuclear Assault’s canine equivalent. It’s not that Fastkill are bad at what they do in any way, as they play at supersonic speeds and are likely to go down well at a party, but with a song titled ‘In Thrash We Trust, you can confirm these fanboys have gone too far.

Published in Terrorizer #226

Warbringer, Elm Street, Necroriser & Desolator @ Barfly, Camden

Thrash is about fun, beer-fuelled fury so in an ideal world the crowd needs to be as mental as a band to get the full potential. It’s a Tuesday night and despite the Barfly being small as it is, the floor still seems too visible for a band such as Warbringer.

With this in mind Southampton openers Desolator have a challenge on their hands as their old school worship is usually met with a lot of movement and madness however this doesn’t dampen their spirits, as the only thing damp is beer-soaked shirts. Between the three of them they manage to make a racket reminiscent of bands like Sadus and even if they haven’t warmed up the crowd that much, they’ve definitely started their night of with a bang.

Local favourites Necroriser manage to receive slightly a better acknowledgement with their more brutal take on thrash getting heads banging. Yet another trio who manage to let rip guitar solos without the support of a rhythm guitar and with the crowd already yelling for favourite ‘Suicide’ to be played, its apparent these guys are going to mean serious business in the future.

Main support act Elm Street seem rather unknown tonight despite their debut ‘Barbed Wire Metal’ receiving some great feedback last year. The Aussie outlet are the underdogs of the neo-thrash movement as of late with a sound equally as good as the likes of Havok or Warbringer, however their vocalist Ben Batres gives a twist of the old school with Mustaine influences in his tone.

When Warbringer first enter the stage, the crowd seems almost scared to stand forward and enjoy the energetic onslaught they’re about to witness but after a song of speedy seduction, the pitting begins. The US four-piece embrace their space more than a lot of thrash bands these days with frontman John Kevill constantly fist pumping, jumping around and getting us riled up. With a trio fo albums, the set is consistent with favourites and the themes of war, despite the fun atmosphere it creates. Opener ‘Living Weapon’ is chanted back and a cover as a closer may be a bit of an easy choice but at the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with Motorhead. For a genre that is so linked to alcohol, it’s fair to say the hangover on a school night is going to attack tomorrow.

Review by Lily Randall

Published on Soundshock.com Click here to view images