Top 10 albums of 2013

1. Carcass – ‘Surgical Steel’
2. Coffins – ‘The Fleshland’
3. Rotting Christ – ‘Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού’
4. NAILS – ‘Abandon All Life’
5. Autopsy – ‘The Headless Ritual’
6. CROWN – ‘Psychurgy’
7. Portal – ‘Vexovoid’
8. Svart Crown – ‘Profane’
9. Altar of Plagues – ‘Teethed Glory and Injury’
10. Ulcerate – ‘Vermis’

Others worth a mention: Watain, Vreid, Incantation, Exhumed, Necrowretch, Altars, Crypt Lurker, Pestilence


Satyricon – ‘ Satyricon’


Likely to divide fans, this self-centred and self-titled release from Satyricon was certainly not written to please. Instead, it’s obvious that the duo’s art has undergone some serious experimentation, with flickers of their grim past and mannerisms that we haven’t seen from the Norwegians before. There is a large chunk of their irritatingly infectious black’n’roll apparent with simplistic drumming from an ever-militant Frost and the usual mid-tempo, fist pumping, stompy riffs. ‘Nekrohaven’ is likely to be as anthemic as ‘KING’ when in front of an audience, while ‘Pheonix’ offers an epic ballad akin to what ‘They Rode On’ is on the latest Watain. The album from here on in gets more interesting with some blackened doom in the form of ‘Nocturnal Flare’ and a complete change in tempo from frenzied ‘Ageless Northern Spirit. It’s this almost schizophrenic, primitive approach that stops listeners assuming this is just another ‘Now, Diabolical’ and whether or not it is for the better, Satyricon have evolved once again.

Small review published in Iron Fist

Sonne Adam @ Boston Arms, London

Tonight’s one off show at The Boston Arms sees a swelling audience from the doors opening due to a couple of exclusives in this evening’s proceedings. With an ever evolving underground sound thriving in the capital, what better way to start than with homage to OSDM, courtesy of Decrepid. The band fills the stage with Swedish rawness and a slight tinge of crusty grind, with frontman Cris Bassan stomping the stage into the ground like a bald Barney Greenway.

Craven Idol need no introduction for most who reside within London, with a consistent showcase of their blackened thrash on stage in recent years. As always they dominate clad in studs and leather, with buzzsaw riffs and echoing gnarls of hatred consistently pummelling the venue. With such a tight set and influence from legends such as Destroyer 666 or Bathory, we can only hope a full length will soon haunt us with its existence.

The fact that this is Grave Miasma’s only UK show this year is likely to have been a pulling point for many tonight and it soon becomes apparent why. Whilst much of the atmosphere on their EPs is created by an old school production, the murky depths of their blackened death seem to intensify in a live environment. The gloom-riddled guitars and rasps of the occult on the likes of ‘This Tomb Is My Altar’ become almost hypnotic as the set encases you in total darkness.

Sonne Adam’s previous journey to our shores supporting Grave was a show to be reckoned with but their first headline show in London is destined to push into another dimension. As soon as the intensely low riffs of ‘We who Worship The Black’ commence, the crowd are under the Israelis’ spell, with every ounce of evil seeming effortlessly brilliant. Nothing is forced here, with every track from incredible debut ‘Transformation’ sounding as crushing, if not more, than on record. Despite Dahan’s departure last year, the current four piece are meticulously bound with Davidov’s vocals harrowing every ear tunnel within venue. Tonight is a perfect example as to why Sonne Adam’s entrance into the spotlight was such a breath of fresh air for doom death.

Review by Lily Randall

Published in Iron Fist

Introducing – Black Skies Burn

Unlike the country bumpkin style county they reside in, Oxfordshire’s Black Skies Burn are full of ferociousness and ready to darken your day. The five-piece’s fusion of death and grind has been described by locals as “a band that could destroy a tank” and quite rightly so, with a lively stage presence that has secured them support slots with the likes of Chimaira, Flayed Disciple and most recently, thrashers Evile.  “This show came at the end of an insanely sick run of shows, supporting General Surgery in Camden, Cemetery Rapist in Bristol and playing three shows with our buds from Bristol, Merciless Precision”, reminisces guitarist Chris Marks. “We were already buzzing prior to this show and personally I think this was the best we have performed so far, watching a circle pit during our set from the stage of Oxford’s O2 academy is still one of my favourite moments on this brutal journey, Evile were all sound lads as well. It was definitely a highlight in our career so far.”

Since starting in 2006, Black Skies Burn have been managed to “Cause unrelenting chaos with full intent” at an array of shows, thanks to their eclectic influences throughout their music from early Slayer and Sepultura, to the more brutal likes of Dying Fetus and Pig Destroyer. Since a change in line up this year the band seem stronger than ever with Chris joined by Gavin on guitar, Simon on vocals, Will on bass and Steve on drums. They’ve come a long way since their first gig at The Fighting Cocks in Kingston and Chris tries not to cringe when he looks back at the show. “It was exciting at the time and great to finally get out there but I’ve seen some rare footage recently and it’s not good, it’s very slow in comparison to nowadays but we all start somewhere. I’m sure the footage is online somewhere if anybody wants a laugh!”

Not to be confused with Wes Borland’s latest awful side project Black Lights Burn, Black Skies Burn have plenty to look forward to in the new year. “Funnily enough we’ve had this trouble [with names] in the past from a US band called Skies Burn Black who we had never heard of, who gave us some abuse back in the day and they’ve now split up without making a dent on their scene2, Chris explains. “With any luck Wes and his Black Lights Burn will follow suit. I can only hope his fans (if there are any) buy our stuff by mistake and get blown apart!”

With their debut album ‘To Punish and Enslave’ near completion and expected to start destroying in the next few months, the boys are keen to continue evolving. “We recorded at Silver Street Studios (Reading) with Umair Chaudhry, who is a chilled out musical wizard! We also got lucky with the artwork as our mate Phil Tolfree from Flayed Disciple has designed the cover and has done a sick job!” Looking into the future, does Chris expect the skies to continue burning?

“I hope we can continue blasting venues up and down the country the same as we are today, it’s already been an insane journey . It’s a dream to play a festival so hopefully we can fulfil that and to tour mainland Europe; if there are any promoters reading this from Amsterdam get in touch, haha! We just want to thank everybody that has supported us so far and everybody that has made it down to a show to give us abuse, it’s been awesome so far!”

By Lily Randall




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Ironic as it is, black metallers 1349 bring the sunshine this afternoon with a relatively tight set. Despite Alan losing his voice only fifteen minutes in, primordial’s loyal elite chant back epically to save the remains of the show. Although they have been simmering under the surfaces, heavy metal Brits Hell are newbies to the festival, however their theatrics gather quite an audience. Lead singer Dave (?) Seems stoked; “we weren’t expecting it at all to be honest” he beams. “It must’ve been the lucky pants”, he explains as he gives us a cheeky flash of some Spongebob boxers. After being blown away by the grinding brutality of veterans Napalm Death, we found a much calmer Barney, after his traditional fits on stage. “We were pretty worried about playing here as the line up’s pretty heavy metal, but we seemed to go down well. There were nonplussed faces at some points though but we just do ehat Napalm Death do best”. Indeed you do Barney, indeed you do.