Upon first listen I did not know that Deathsiege is a three piece outfit. This much blasting ferocity coming from just 3 humans boggles the mind, it’s inhuman. Brought to blasphemous life in 2019 by a dude simply going by A.M. and joined quickly by another dude only known as J.S. The two demon spawn dropped a demo titled Cannibalistic Patricide which was followed quickly by a second blistering demo titled Unworthy Adversary. This demo caught the attention of Everlasting Spew Records and the duo then added third member T.D. for additional guitars and got to work on their first full length, Throne Of Heresy.
There is no mercy on this album. From the seconds of the initial attack to the final fading guitar peels you are hammered on for Satan with short ripping songs that rage like a torrent from a broken dam. Seriously if you’ve never seen footage of a massive flood as it happens, that is what listening to this album feels like. Track 1, All Roads Spiral Downwards kicks your door open and smacks you right in the face, repeatedly for 3:34. Relentless drumming like a team of machine guns elevated with slashing almost dissonant guitar work. A proper opening for an album of this kind. Dehumanized In Darkness follows right in after the smacking with equal urgent sonic rage aimed at your ears. Boom…boom…boom… ripping, just like that. No mercy whatsoever, no waiting either as you are immediately slammed into Harbingers Of Finality like a one-two punch from a boxer much meaner than you are. These songs blaze with demanding speed and visceral blasphemy, just the way I like it.
This raging trilogy of rippers brings us to the album title track, Throne Of Heresy. Opening with a proper build up before proceeding with the expected attack and it works. This song is full speed ahead and relentless and the guitar work is top tier, peeling off a few times throughout the track for extra infernal atmosphere. It's solid and one of my favourites of the album and bleeds cleaning into the only pause in the assault, kind of. Satanic Tyranny is a short instrumental piece that feels and sounds like an army on the march, complete with clash metal sound effects. I dig it but I’m not sure of its placement, it feels like a closing track.
To be fair, on my first listen I thought that was it, they broke the flow. And, track 6: At The Ruins Of Legacy did not, on first listen, re-establish my hopes for the rest of Throne Of Heresy. I was mistaken however and surprised to find the last six tracks, Revelations Of Wretched Men, Smear Campaign Triumph Eternal, Drowned By Murderous Force, Poisonous Worlds, Unworthy Adversary and Death Siege all come in under three minutes! Track 8, Smear Campaign is the longest here at 2:27 with the shortest being Poisonous worlds at 1:30. In short, what I thought was going to be a slow spiral down for this album turned into a face ripping death race to the finish line and I got happily dragged along the whole way, twice. This second half resurgence, especially tracks 10 and 11, breathed fire right into my brain. This is where Deathsiege excels, short, blasting, hook riffing full throttle rage!
Aside from the oddly placed instrumental and the lazy cover art, this album slays pretty hard. Hoping for more memorable lyrics and more short ragers on the next one, for now Throne Of Heresy lands at 7/10
Sabaton - Weapons Of The Modern Age EP (Nuclear Blast) [Matt Bladen]
Not to sound like an errant schoolboy but this review got stuck in the annals of my hard drive and never saw the light of day at the time. So here it is:
Everyone's favourite arena size metal history buffs return with the first of three EP's entitled Echoes Of The Great War following from the themes of their previous releases The Great War (2019) and The War To End All Wars (2022). Probably the most fertile and harrowing parts of European history it's a timeframe that has been used as influence for many bands, movies, films, plays, poems and much more.
Voak - Verdrängung (I, Voidhanger Records) [Paul Scoble]
Voak formed in 2020, the Athens based double act recorded and released an EP; Verschiebung, in their first year of existence. Verschiebung was about exploring themes about Imprisonment, Verdrängung is about privilege, in particular about suppressing your own privilege. The duo, made up of K playing the instruments and V on vocals, have a clear political standpoint as Anti-Fascists, Pro-Feminist and Pro-LGBTQ+ and this is reflected in their lyrics. The album was mixed by Ayloss of the band Spectral Lore, and sounds great.
On Voak’s Bandcamp page they describe their music as “Something like Black Metal”, which is a pretty accurate description. Most of the songs have a clear black metal base; blasting drums, tremolo picked riffs, harsh vocals and a certain amount of coldness, but in many places there are other influences that are put into the musical mixing pot.
The track Für Jede Wunde Ein Pfeil is uptempo, choppy black metal with a little bit of a pagan metal feel to it, in some ways I thought it was reminiscent of German band Horn. The second half of the song is a little slower and features hand claps, which was a surprising choice, mainly because of how well it works, there is also some chanting which helped give the song a nice ritualistic feel. Atemzüge Der Wölfe is another mainly black metal song, featuring blasting fast tremolo picked riffs in a fairly orthodox style, the song slows down in the later parts and has driving an aggressive stomp that works really well.
One of the places where Voak leave the standard black metal template is on the track Die Verwandlung which has a much looser, punky sense to it, in some ways it has a bit of a black and roll feel that is really good. The punk feel this track has fits in beautifully well with the bands stated lyrical subjects, and just feels right. Another departure is the first half of the track Affektintoleranz which has clean guitar and vocals, a thundering bassline and very expansive drumming in a very New Wave or even Gothic way. This adds another tonal quality to the album that works very well, the second half of the song is fast and flowing black metal and the two parts of the song merge together in a very pleasing way.
Verdrängung also features a cover of the song Sabbat by hardcore band Catharsis from their genre perfecting album Passion (1999). The Voak version has a black metal feel to it by playing some of the riffs in a tremolo picked way, but at the same time the song is instantly recognisable, so they’ve put their own mark on the song, whilst at the same time haven’t changed it so much it has no connection with the original, which is pretty much what I want from a cover version.
Verdrängung is a great album. The songs are short, punchy and very memorable, the band has taken black metal, put their own spin on it, and have made something that is original and very enjoyable. I have been genuinely surprised at how good this albums is, considering that the band have only been going since 2020, and this is their first album, it feels like a piece of work made by a much more experienced band. Highly enjoyable, Highly recommended. 8/10
The artwork for Ash Blind will give even the most vigilant of megalophobes a run for their money. You might even have to squint to make out the shadowy figure in the foreground, dwarfed by what seems like two mountainous forms split down the middle by lava seeping from the sky. If nothing else, Devenial Verdict sure know how to get a non-verbal message across.
However, there is in fact Hope. The opener sees Sebastian Frigren peppering the track with dirgy guitars that make for ominous overtones. Overall, the song is layered and picks up nicely towards the end. Ash Blind is catchy with a recurring riff, and the melody drones and toils (for better or worse).