Welcome, hiatus, blah blah blah..Here's some metal!
...and one miscellaneous band.
Bio: Battle Dagorath are a California based black metal band formed in 2002. The bands dbut album, Eternal Throne, was released in 2009 on Mercenary Musik, and was later given a European re release on Cold Dimensions. The album featured an intro/outro by renowned dark ambient musician Christoph "Vinterriket" Ziegler, known for his work in both his own project Vinterriket and Greek black metallers Nocternity. It was announced in November 2009 that Vinterriket had joined the band as a full-time member. In November 2010 the band announced the next album, entitled Ancient Wraith, will be out late winter/early spring 2011.
Sounds Like: "A Deathmarch through Cosmic Frozen Landscapes. Cold Bleak Atmospheres and Intense Glorification of Darkness. Raw Sweeping Monuments to the Black Towers and the haunting presence of the Ancient Fallen Warspirits. Enter the Realm of Cold Misanthropic Majesty."
Black metal with a really cold atmosphere about it. Think atmospheric black metal that focuses more on the black metal elements than it does the atmosphere. I think it manages to sound quite modern, whilst at the same time giving a nod to the old school, which gives it quite a nice balance. The vocals are great, lots of reverb and depth to them, and very good delivery.
Why Listen? Arguably the best black metal to come from America in my opinion, they seem to have the perfect balance of what makes that type of black metal good. Whilst the addition of Vinterriket to their ranks has undoubtedly introduced the band to a bigger audience, they are still relatively unknown. And for a band this good, I think that's a shame, as their music deserves to be heard.
Bio: Despite forming in the mid-80s, Peru's Mortem only got around to releasing their first full-length, Demon Tales, in 1995. Released on a tiny Peruvian label, Huasipunto/Coyote Records, the album was soon re-released on Merciless records in 1996 (this label released some incredible stuff back then!). Since then, they have released three more LPs - Decomposed By Possession, The Devil Speaks In Tongues, and De Natura Daemonum.
Sounds Like: Death metal in its purest form. Mortem's tracks are absolute overlooked classics of the genre - original, twisting riffs, haunted by wailing whammy bar abuse, topped off with the demonic vocals of Fernando Nebiros. Taking the template of Slayer's 'Hell Awaits' and Morbid Angel's 'Blessed Are The Sick', the sound of Mortem's death metal can best be described as serpentine. Lyrics of ancient demons, hauntings, and possessions only add to the complete dedication to the aesthetic and ideal of death metal. Hearing a band craft tracks like this in the underground spirit is a perfect remedy for anyone looking to change their ways from the 'google, click, become a fan' attitude that infests metal these days.
Why Listen? Basically, Mortem are probably the greatest true death metal band to ever come out of South America. Not having one dull moment across four full-length albums is quite the achievement, and in doing so without ever diluting their sound is complete mastery. If you enjoy real death metal, you deserve to hear Mortem.
Disciples Of Mockery
Bio: After falling out with main man John from Incantation, Craig Pillard and Co set out to create their own death metal project. This is arguably in the same style of Incantation, with a classic funeral doom touch, and a less chromatic based lexicon of ideas. This allowed DOM to take flight down their own unique path. The production of "Prelude to Apocalypse" sets an atmosphere of nuclear decay and desolation, with Craig Pillard sounding entirely inhuman without resorting to pig squeals or other brutal death metal stand by's. This is for fiends of dark death metal, hardly original when looking at the mechanical aspects, but the atmosphere is it's own and this is highly competent music.
Sounds like: Incantation,Thergothen,Immolation
Why Listen? If you're a fan of Dark Death Metal and feel like taking in something new, then this is for you.
Bio: A Finnish doom metal band which relies not on technical riffing or typical metal crutches to make magical music, instead utilizing the wonders of atmosphere to communicate their mysterious and mystical vision.
Sounds like: Plunging into the depths of the endless seas, into the pits of unknowing, into the bowels of utter darkness and whirlwinds of negativity. Soaring, ethereal voices beckon thee to dive and immerse thyself into unknown realms of which there can only be vast emptiness, which, strangely enough, aren't empty at all.
Why listen? This band makes sprawling compositions which, while rooted in heavy metal, project a sonic imprint that is timeless and majestic.
Now, for something special by a newcomer to our forums.
Bio: Aphrodite's child are a progressive rock band formed in Greece, 1967. In their short lived career lasting till 1972 they made three albums. Their first album End of the World was released in 1968. The next year they made It's Five O' Clock. Their third and final album 666 came out in 1972 and is the bands most popular album. It is still to this day considered to be a cult classic. The album also contained their only popular song The Four Horsemen which achieved some airplay. After 666 they disbanded to move on to other projects.
Sounds Like: Their style is on the borderline between progressive and psychedelic rock. You could compare them to the other bands in that style active at that time such as Pink Floyd and King Crimson. They are also an early example of mixing symphonic elements into rock music. As you probably have already assumed Aphrodite's Child are a very trippy band.
Why Listen? Because they are easily the most underrated progressive rock band of all time. I think that sums it up.
If you're interested in our top picks, remember to keep hoping that we don't get lazy/forget to do some of these! Just how she goes boys, just how she goes. See ya next week, hopefully.