Various Artists – BC35 Volume Two

 

Odd, noisy, relaxing, introspective, and uneven are some of the words that can be used to describe BC35 Volume Two and that’s just with regards to the first four songs. For those out of the loop BC35 Volume Two is the second and final piece of the BC Studio anniversary puzzle. In short, producer and cultural antagonist Martin Bisi – known for his recording work with the likes of Helmet, Unsane, Dresden Dolls and more – has assembled a group of musicians and let them kick out the jams. Continue reading

Antre – Void

Whilst the UK hasn’t always been recognised as a hotbed for Black Metal bar the occasional, exceptional case; recent times suggest the burgeoning of a rich scene in the underground; from the likes of A Forest Of Stars getting wide plaudits to the new breed which includes Wode, Underdark and Dawn Ray’d flying the flag. Also throwing their hat into the ring, Nottingham up-and-comers Antre offer a somewhat esoteric and widely influenced strain of the genre with a full-length debut that not only personifies the depth the genre has to offer but also puts them as a prime force in the UK’s scene. Continue reading

Bloodbath – The Arrow Of Satan Is Drawn

Despite being established as Death Metal stalwarts, and already perhaps even close to attaining legendary status, the road for Bloodbath has often been seemingly a little bit bumpy. Admittedly a band that wasn’t always the main priority for its various members, over their time Bloodbath has had to lurk in the shadows waiting for busy schedules of to align. With alumni from the likes of Katatonia and Opeth, and more recently Paradise Lost, it has meant live shows are a rarity and album release schedules somewhat inconsistent. However, with Katatonia now on hiatus, it feels like Bloodbath can become a more prominent concern, which certainly seems evident with the fact that The Arrow Of Satan Is Drawn (Peaceville) is quite possibly their most vibrant and strongest effort to date. Continue reading

Life Of Agony’s “River Runs Red” Turns 25

Life Of Agony hit the music scene hard with their debut album River Runs Red on October 12th, 1993 via Roadrunner Records. They left a lasting impact that continues to reverberate today in the music world. Although they came from humble beggings in Brooklyn in the New York Hardcore scene, their release was a sensation that captured fans’ ears from all over the world. As one of the breakout bands from the crop of hugely influential Roadrunner releases that year that included Type O Negative, Sepultura, Fear Factory among others, they grew into an internationally known and loved band. Continue reading

Hekseri – Hekseri

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Editor’s note: In Ghost Cult’s epic quest to bring you the best in heavy music journalism, we have left no stone unturned when it comes to underground artists to uncover, or just getting some new and unique writers in the fold. This time we did both! After a long time of begging, hounding and cajoling, we are proud to welcome Wren Leader into our ranks as an occasional contributor. In addition to running his long-time highly influence music blog, Bob Loves Music, and a series of DIY metal festivals (Bobfest) where he routinely bring out some of the best talent in the world, in many cases back from the dead. Wren is a purveyor of all things brutal, and a citizen of the metal world.

 

 

A few years ago I was offered a tremendous opportunity, the chance to write for a major newspaper. A local but heavily distributed and popular periodical was looking for a few metalheads to write about local and underground metal. Being a connoisseur of fine and exquisite heavy metal noise, I jumped at the chance to see my love of extreme music published. The first and only thing I wrote was a review of an album by one of my favorite local bands, the mighty black metal band Hekseri. While it wasn’t a Pulitzer Prize winning article, I thought it conveyed the beautiful brutality of this incredible band. You can imagine my excitement when I looked down at a newspaper that is read by thousands of people and see my name printed. Unfortunately, that excitement turned to disappointment. Somehow the review had been edited from what I had submitted. There were a few changed lines here and there (which bugged me a little), but the glaring errors included highlighting ex-members of the band that hadn’t been involved with the band for years nor were on the recording as well as misspelling current band members names. I was a bit embarrassed. Even though the general population probably wouldn’t notice, I didn’t like that my name was associated with misinformation and it wasn’t fair to the two masterminds of Hekseri who created this labor of unholy love. Now I understand the need for editing, the newspaper editor had been extremely helpful in fine tuning the piece with me into something that I was quite proud of. But then to see it edited even more with information I knew not to be correct. I probably should have messaged the editor and asked what had happened, but I kinda sucked it up and said “hey something I wrote was in the newspaper, that’s pretty darn cool!” Now Ghost Cult has offered me the chance for the original review to be published! I hope you enjoy it!

 

Since their beginning in 2004, Hekseri has been one of Boston’s loudest and most volatile black metal bands. After releasing several demos and a split, and performing at such local hotspots as Allston’s O’Briens Pub and the long deceased Skybar of Somerville, this staple of the Boston metal scene has finally released onto the world their full-length self-titled debut. Taking their name from the Danish and Norwegian word for “witchcraft,” Hekseri are indeed a cold and dark conception. Founded by two occult women, this is an explosion of atrocious aggression, blasphemous bile and ear-piercing music that is sure to freeze the blood of all who listen. The guitarist known as Iron Meggido creates thin powerful distortion-filled riffs that are razor sharp and able to rip flesh from the bone. Thuringwethil supports the guitars with a merciless bass rumbling that permeates the record. The drums by pound the ground into submission. On top of this unforgiving sound, both sinister prophets spurt unholy lyrics of anti-religion, war, wrath and dark paganism, provided in shrill inhumanly harsh screams and growls that strike fear in all hearts. While there are no compromises in the brutality of Hekseri’s sound, there is still present a strangely melodic nature. Much like the album art which features gray deathly bodies surrounding a serene mountainous landscape, each devil song has its own memorable flavor; ‘Gods Of Rotting Death’ is a crushing dirge-like hymn whose simple but effective riff can engrave itself into anyone’s soul, ‘Bladefucker’ is relentless in its thrashing onslaught. ‘The Atrocity’ starts off with a haunting clean guitar before diving into a dissonant chaotic anthem, which showcase their breadth alongside the unapologetic blasts of blackness of ‘Invoking The War Goddess’ and the title track. It’s an exhausting listen, but there’s beauty to it. A masterful tribute to the dark arts, this treacherous debut Hekseri record rewards those hardened enough to listen with a gorgeous and grim experience.

 

9.0/10

 

Hekseri on Facebook

 

Wren Leader