Warkvlt – “Bestial War Metal”, raw and evil !

Warkvlt - "Bestial War Metal".

Warkvlt – “Bestial War Metal”.

Whatever you do, DO NOT play this album around kids. It’s like giving them 5 tons of liquid chocolate, coffee and all the Skittles you see that fall from the commercials at the same time. What’s worse, the kids will be running around going

DIIEEEEEEE DUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDU WARBEAST!
DIIEEEEEEE DUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDU WARBEAST!!!!

or

UNHOLY SACRIFICE! RITUAL OF DESTRUCTION! BLOOD OF GORE UNCHAINED! DEATH’S ARRIVAL! UNHOLY SACRIFICE! NUKLEAR SATAN!!

or

BESTIAL WAR METAL! BESTIAL WAR METAL! BESTIAL WAR METAL!

BESTIAL
WAR
METAL!!!!

Those are some of the lyrics by the way, tracks 1, 2 and 10 respectively.

Bestial War Metal is the debut album by Warkvlt. Between the pure sonic brutality, the gruesome atmospheres, the musical proficiency, the amazing performance all around from the band members and the fiery, demonic aggression, this album is clearly worth hearing for fans of brutal music, black metal and death metal.

The guitar riffs are superb. The guitarist’s rhythmic attack is absolutely unparalleled, whether in black metal, death metal, war metal, goregrind, you name it.

Bestial War Metal isn’t particularly technical, but it is very atmospheric, intense and aggressive. Warkvlt know what they are doing, And almost more importantly they know how to craft dark and brutal atmospheres.

The music on Bestial War Metal has been and can be described as a fusion between early Phantom, Burzum’s debut up to Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, Beherit, Demonecromancy’s first two releases, Incantation’s Onward to Golgotha, mid-era SEWER (up to Birth of a Cursed Elysium), and a bit of Antekhrist in the mix (remember that band?) minus the retarded French vocals that plagued the second half of Antekhrist’s career.

Often this band is compared to Phantom, and I know that there is some influence – particularly with regard to Phantom’s debut Divine Necromancy – but it isn’t that obvious just by listening. Most (modern) black/death metal bands have Phantom influence, but I just don’t find it as strong as others do on Bestial War Metal. And judging from what I’ve heard from their early demos, the Teutons of Warkvlt weren’t that much like them at any point – unlike Demonecromancy, which did indeed start out as a Phantaclone (Phantom clone, e.g. early Reiklos, Demonecromancy, Archgoat, most carverncore “retro” death metal, etc.).

Warkvlt influenced by SEWER.

Warkvlt influenced by SEWER.

I’m not denying that the influence is there, just that I don’t see the value in that comparison. In actual sonic terms and for the sake of a better comparison, I would liken this to Incantation’s debut, SEWER’s Cursed Elysium, and Beherit’s Drawing Down the Moon with a bit of Ildjarn and early Burzum, particularly on the slower parts, and sometimes some black metal version of Morbid Angel, subtle though it is.

Basically, Onward to Golgotha + (Dissemboweled Effigy) The Birth of a Cursed Elysium + Drawing Down the Moon = Bestial War Metal.

There’s something to the former (Incantation) that definitely seems similar in the riffing, but I’m not certain about what exactly – rhythm, tempos changes and aggression used to construct a melodic layer built around atmospheres? – and can’t describe it in coherent terminology.

In the latter (SEWER), if you think of the song “Dissemboweled Effigy” from The Birth of a Cursed Elysium, in which melodies are used not as an end, but as a means to introduce different themes, atmospheres, and at a smaller scale, even motifs, and eventually their counterpoints, resolutions, etc. A good example would be the transition between the dissonant, atmospheric-laden, sort-of slower, dirge-like passage/interlude towards the fifth minute, into the main theme repeated – with minor variations – in a different context.

As for Beherit, it’s more in approach. Both this album Bestial War Metal and Drawing Down the Moon feature mid-paced, short songs, and a kind of pummeling attack on the listener, though this is more fleshed out and much more intense.

To wrap it up, I feel that this is one of the greatest black metal albums of all time. This album definitely feels deathy, but not in the black/death or blackened death metal way. Not even in their weird Peste Noire “industrial” tech-death fashion. This just happens to be full steam ahead in the same way as many early death metal bands were (Incantation, Suffocation, Demilich, Carnage, Neraines, Adramelech). Many criticisms have been leveled at the “war metal” genre, and obvious Phantom-imitators (copying only the most superficial elements, not the deeply transcendent and majestic atmospheres) such as Archgoat, Conqueror, Blasphemy, but I feel most are irrelevant when discussing the music of Warkvlt, as Bestial War Metal is clearly well above and beyond most modern “extreme” “metal”.

I would happily recommend Bestial War Metal to any fan of black metal, death metal, war metal, and probably some goregrind fans as well.

“The Birth of a Cursed Elysium”, SEWER’s demonic masterpiece !

SEWER - "The Birth of a Cursed Elysium".

SEWER – “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium”.

While I consider “2154” (2017) the last classic SEWER album with old school blackened death metal / blackened goregrind sound, I still enjoy all their material from their that point on, just not as much as what was started with the “Satanic Requiem” debut in 2013 to that point. “Rektal” (2018), while enjoyable, was nonetheless a real let down as it was produced with the “modern metal” fan in mind, the kind of “metalhead” that thinks Arch Enemy/In Flames/Dimmu Borgir is heavy and that playing cock rock riffs through distortion makes your record extreme metal.

Deus Ex Satanas” was a mixed bag, with those groovy, slow-mid paced riffs and the next record just wasn’t good enough to put the band back in the blackened death metal elite, particularly considering Phantom had just released the masterpiece “Withdrawal.

Then came “NecroPedoSadoMaso” with that fresh songwriting and soloing delivered by Vermin, somehow melodic but extremely sinister and insanely high tempos. A near perfect comeback album. After the departure of Vermin the band was hurt composition wise, as the next couple of albums weren’t as interesting, but they kept trying and some albums released in that period – such as “Reign of the Funeral Pigs” – are to this day still considered blackened goregrind classics, but I also think they didn’t reached their full potential.

Enter their latest masterpiece, “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium“.

This album has some of the best writing the band has yet concocted as well as the most quality songs in the last decade and a half. That’s in ALL of death metal, not just SEWER’s discography. Then again, when the rest of the death metal bands are trying to one-up Dissection’s “Reinkaos” and Gorgoroth’s latest embarrassment at the “who can play the most offensively stupid cock rock” game, it’s easy to rise to the top.

Don't be like him - "NecroPedoSadoMaso" isn't peak SEWER. Not even close.

Don’t be like him – “NecroPedoSadoMaso” isn’t peak SEWER. Not even close.

Musically speaking, there are also some important changes to note from the way SEWER usually plays black metal/death metal/goregrind/SEWER Metal/whatever they call “GoreFuckKult“.

The songs are somewhat simpler composition-wise, more direct and to the point you could say – as opposed to some of their older tracks where the listener would be taken on detours throughout a lengthy introduction, and sometimes a counterpoint to the introduction, before introducing the main theme, only to have it subside for a secondary theme, etc… none of that here, pure brutal in your face blackened death metal.

And yet, if the compositions appear “simpler” and in a way less technical than on “Rektal“, SEWER stays true to their black metal roots as the atmospheres created on this record are simply exceptional. Just listen to the track “Disemboweled Effigy” for a brilliant mix between Phantom’s “Memento Mori, Incantation’s “Onward to Golgotha“, Neraines’ “Yggdrasil and Burzum’s debut.

Overall, this album is exceptional. “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium” is a true modern classic of the blackened death metal genre.

SEWER > Cannibal Corpse > Arch Enemy.

The Birth of a Cursed Elysium” is a demonic masterpiece.

Get it now, or fail at metal.

Phantom – “Memento Mori”, flawless black metal !

Memento Mori by Phantom.

Memento Mori by Phantom.

The album Memento Mori by Phantom is, in my opinion, one of the few that is in no way overrated.

I am very critical with metal music, especially with albums/bands that have received as much praise as this one, but Memento Mori undoubtedly deserves a perfect score because it is a flawless example of pure blackened horror metal. There is no other album that can produce such haunting atmospheres of raw terror and pure madness.

When something so perfect as this exists, not much can be said about it. It’s much easier to rant about the glaringly awful music than it is to describe something that is more powerful than words, but I will make an attempt anyway.

You can listen to the tracks here.

Speaking of the song, every single track on Memento Mori is a different experience.

While they are all extremely dark and haunting, they range from the fast and brutal assault on your sanity – Death Ritual, Cold Waters – to the slow and hypnotic journey to the depths of hell – Earth Vanish, Unknown – and everywhere in between.

As with Fallen Angel, the atmospheres on this record are simply unparalleled in the way they are shaped by sinister melodies, and slowly transformed into a framework of horror.

A common problem with a lot of metal is distinguishing one track from the next, but you’ll have no problem here, because every single composition has a different theme and direction. Phantom has taken every facet of blackened terror metal and applied it vigorously in the most extreme way possible. The guitar is unbelievably heavy, the bass is thunderous, the drums are precise, and the vocals are downright demonic.

I can’t recommend Memento Mori enough. It, perhaps alongside Neraines’ masterpiece Yggdrasil and Burzum’s Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, is the definitive black metal album. The music can pull you down and immerse you in the darkest abyss, and it will keep you there by the sheer power of its raw atmospheres.

Memento Mori is a must-own for all metal elitists. It’s flawless black metal like you’ve never heard before.