Mini-Review Roundup: Impure Ziggurat, Oldd Wrvms, Mentor, and more

Sept. 13, 2016


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1 Serenades of Astral Malevolence See Details for Serenades of Astral Malevolence

Impure Ziggurat is a french Black/Death Metal band created in 2012 including members from other acts such as SvartCrown and Necroblood.  The band released their first demo last year, and now they are back this month with a brand new EP.  While brief, Serenades of Astral Malevolence is chock full of maniacal atmospheric death vocals a la Portal or Adversarial.  These growls spew forth unintelligibly from from the very abyss.  The guitars lean heavily on black metal roots with shrill tremolo melodies surely found in a book of spells that was never meant to be opened.  As a package, this is a new act wtih plenty of promise, but they have plenty of competetion.  To the death, I say.

2 Guts, Graves and Blasphemy See Details for Guts, Graves and Blasphemy

Due out this friday from Arachnophobia Records, Guts, Graves and Blasphemy is a fusion of bluesy groove and thrash metal meant for an evening of brews and bruises.  Poland's Mentor sound like a more extreme version of Clutch with little care for what is most popular in their country's current scene.  Three of the 4 members are from another known group, Thaw.  They describe this album as “a sonic porn for those who like it fast and heavy.”  Check out my favorite song on the album below.

3 Ignobilis See Details for Ignobilis

In Latin, Ignobolis simply means "people."  I'm not exactly sure what Belgian doomers Oldd Wvrms intention is with this title, but it doesn't seem to have anything positive to reflect on our population.  We have reviewed some of the band's previous works, and I have enjoyed watching their maturation over the past year or so.  Their sound seems to have evolved much more towards straight doom metal and away from some of the more black metal influences.  All four of these tracks are heavily based in a thick, oppressive groove that is both catchy and ominous at the same time.  And despite my general distaste for long, repetetive songs; Oldd Wvrms manage to hold my attention for the duration as if by some malicious form of hypnosis.  Check it out below.

4 vAv See Details for vAv

Continuing with the doom theme, this next band is more of the groovy extreme.  vAv's focus is tryannosaurus power chords complemented by thick, rumbly bass.  This Tel Aviv trio gets its name from the 6th letter in the Hebrew alphabet.  I think the band puts it best in saying they have " made a pact to engrave minimalism on their own world of meticulous bleak-filled doom, drawing their inspiration from the chaotic and bloody day to day reality of the Middle East."  Though only a year old, this crew shows a lot of promise in this four song demo.  The production is fitting of the style, and though I am not a huge doomer to begin with, I appreciate the heaviness they achieve and think you should check them out.  vAv is available for the price of your choosing below.

5 Afrodisiacum der Vroomheid See Details for Afrodisiacum der Vroomheid

This is the brilliant debut recording from Dutch group, Orewoet. The band has been recommended to fans of Baptism, Horna, Behexen and Satanic Warmaster.  Turning to a more recent comparison, my first thought was that this would be another solid crew of melodic black metallers to play alongside UADA.  The Afrodisiacum der Vroomheid (roughly "Aphrodisiac of Piety") is 5 glorious tracks of dark atmosphere, lush melody, and harsh slashes of razorblade aggression.  Each track is equally strong (especially the first 3), but I think the opener "Prodigious Fascination of Enshrouded Darkness" (now that's a mouthful) remains my favorite with its folky riffs and cosmic black metal shrieks.  Corpse-painted headbanging for days.

6 NihilReich See Details for NihilReich

Finally we close out today with Australia's The Loom of Eternity.  I really can't beat the quote they sold me with, which was: " improbable ménage a trois between Immortal, Mastodon and Cathedral."  Blackened death and doom with your usual howls of agony, but also some weird, hypnotic cleans.  "The Ashes of Your Fall" really kicks things off strong with a nice groove and some killer heavy metal guitar harmonies.  These guys definitely have a sound that is unique to them, even if some of the singing is a little rough around the edges in my opinion.  Even so, I am interested to see where the band is headed with their particular brand of metal storytelling.  The album is a steal at just about $3 American.  Listen below to join them in  "an exploration of morality and meaning in the face of nihilism."