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Thursday 13 June 2019

Reviews: Darchon, Le Menhir, Concrete Funeral, Parasitic Twins/Carnival Rejects (Paul H & Paul S)

Darchon: Oionos (Mercenary Music) [Paul S]

Darchon are a very mysterious one man band based in Greece. Darchon has been making music since 2009 and has produced one album before this one in 2015’s The Stygian Black Beyond. Oionos is made up of 4 tracks, 3 very long songs and a shorter instrumental. The main style fairly basic, very lo-fi, early Darkthrone Black Metal that just drips early nineties. The lo-fi style Black Metal is joined by a keyboard playing atmospheric riffs. The overall sound is like tempered second wave Black Metal nastiness. There is also a lot of repetition that gives the album a hypnotic, trace inducing feel. First track Nyx Melena is 16 minutes of blast beats with savage tremolo picked riffs, and atmospheric keyboards. Everything slows down for the last 3 minutes of slow doomy riffs, with the keyboards a little higher in the mix. Moros starts where Nyx Melena left off with slow and discordant riffs. After a couple of minutes it goes back to hypnotic blasting, which gets even faster after about 9 minutes.

The last 2 minutes is slow and discordant again. Astron Uranion Ieron Selas is slow and heavy, and gets more and more intense as the track goes on. We go back to blasting after about 6 minutes, and then goes back to slow for the last couple of minutes. Ionos is a shorter instrumental that is all about the keyboards. It’s a pleasingly melodic and atmospheric ending to the album. Oionos is a simple album, it isn’t meant to be complex. The sound is basic, and lo-fi, the tracks are purposely simple and repetitive, but that makes it trance inducing and hypnotic. It doesn’t do that much, but what it does, it does very well. If you love the early second wave of Black Metal then you should definitely check this out. 7/10

Le Menhir: Ombre (Self Released) [Paul H]

This is the second EP from Le Menhir, following 2018’s Aube, and centres around the themes of creation and destruction. A one-man outfit, Le Menhir is Paul Sparshott from Sheffield who delivers all the music and vocals. Three dark melancholic songs fill this 12-minute EP. The three tracks are Nocturne, which explores the formation of life against vast odds from nothingness; Fossile which delves into the juxtaposition of death enabling new life to be born and Silice which provides a brief instrumental interlude between the two tracks. I’m not a big fan of the staccato style vocals which Sparshott uses. It feels forced. Of the three songs, Fossile is the strongest, with a jangling guitar repeating chords over a haunting backdrop. It’s a brave artist who puts themselves out into the solo spotlight. Le Menhir’s tendrils have the potential to create something much bigger. It’s just not quite there yet. 6/10

Concrete Funeral: Ultimum Judicium (Black Page Records) [Paul H]

Canadian death thrashers Concrete Funeral have been thunderously plying their trade since 2015 but we now have their debut release, Ultimum Judicium and it’s a juicy beast of a package. At just over 30 minutes there is little ceremony here, with the band getting down to no-nonsense thrash with a death metal tinge on opening track Speak Of The Devil (technically second song after intro which is also the title track). Searing pace, screaming guttural vocals and shredding guitars are the main characteristics throughout this album. Its ferocity is at times unconstrained. Perfect to listen to if you’ve just had a fight with the boss; nothing spectacular or breath-taking but old school forms and shapes often don’t need to be innovative; Concrete Funeral have a feel which should impress thrash fans both young and old. 6/10

Parasitic Twins/The Carnival Rejects: The Parasitic Rejects EP (Man Demolish Records) [Paul S]

This EP is split between Nasty, angry sludge from Parasitic Twins, and Crust Punk from The Carnival Rejects. The Carnival Rejects go first. We get 3 tracks, the first 2 are incredibly bouncy, uptempo crust punk. There is a bit of pop punk feel to the tempo, this is really fun stuff that will have you jumping. The vocals are good, again, lots of energy and life. The rhythm of the vocals reminded me of early Offspring, not the sound, just the rhythm. The third track from The Carnival Rejects is more strait crust punk, slower with a bit of an Oi, Oi, Oi feel to it. Really great fun, liked these 3 tracks. The first 2 tracks from Parasitic Twins are what I would expect from them, viscous, nasty, angry sludge. Short, blunt and aggressive, with a relentless quality that is really enjoyable. The third track is a cover of Babylon AD’s song Spaceman. It’s more relaxed than the other tracks on this EP, and is a nice, if surprising, way to end a really enjoyable EP. Right! Thats a successful split EP, time to record a couple of albums, I’d love to hear more from both of these bands, definitely signals great things in their futures. 7/10

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