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Thursday, 26 January 2023

Reviews: Bizarrekult, Molten Gold, Deiquisitor, Tribunal (Reviews By Mark Yong & Matt Bladen)

Bizarrekult - Den Tapte Krigen (Season Of Mist) [Mark Young]

Post black metal goodness from Season Of Mist!!

My experience with black metal hasn’t always been positive and certainly in the early 90s there seemed to be a self-built wall around certain bands and perhaps their ideologies. The harsher and more impenetrable the music the more authentic these bands were. A lot of my metal friends were not into it, openly dismissive of it in the ways that only metal heads can be so when this landed in my in-box, I really didn’t know what to expect.

I didn’t think I’d like it and was under the impression that it would be like the audio equivalent of a black and white film.

Bizarrekult have been in existence since 2006 but have only really started to shift gears recently and with that they have released Den Tapte Krigen, which is as good as anything I’ve heard in a while. The songs are not short by any means, but they don’t drag. They seemed to be perfectly balanced, either with the typical BM vocal style (there’s no getting away from that) or with the softer more melodic parts. Each song is different even though it contains the same component parts, but they never feel forced or shoehorned in for effect.

It isn’t harsh or full of over-the-top tempos. Guitars, drums are all present and correct including your double-bass and blast-beats just in case you were worried. Looking at the band bio it seems to be the brainchild of Roman V who provides vocals and writes/arranges the music with everything stemming from him. It is a real statement of intent and deserves to be heard.

Based on this I really need to pay more attention to this style of music; it passed the car test which is always a good sign!!! 8/10

Molten Gold - Futures Past (Silver Stream Records/Kozmik Artifactz) [Matt Bladen]

Poetic lyricism, burly vocals, plenty of organs, heavy blues and psychedelic machinations throughout? Must be a Jethro Tull record! But actually no, it isn't. Futures Past is the debut full length album from Oslo band Molten Gold, despite Rebirth starting with a syncopated riff to Wolfmother's Joker & The Thief, it changes tact quite quickly leaving the rest of the album to being a delicious psych blues rock treat that will have your beard growing and your cheesecloth out of the wardrobe. 

Leading the charge on all of these songs are the organs of Anders N. Pedersen, his ivory tinkling obligatory to the Molten Gold sound from the huge rock riff fest's such as Sons Of The Morning Star or the funk driven Bleeding Over where Jørn Helge ‘Angel Eyes’ B. Dahl gets to kick out some "wakka wakka" guitar riffs before they both get some time to show off in the solo sections. Because of the sprinkle of prog there's lots of shifting in Socorro where the drums of Matteo Fiore and Tron Ingar Morstad's bass are the focus, as they are on the gospel meets NWOBHM influenced Kneel And Pray

The final piece of this complex collaboration are the vocals of Abraxas which are often bellowed but feature enough soul to make tracks such as Silverback brim with quality. Futures Past took me by surprise and continued to do so even after a few plays, if you like your rock with a lot of psych and blues then you'll want to hear it! 8/10

Deiquisitor – Apotheosis 2023 (Extremely Rotten Productions and Night Shroud Records) [Mark Young]

The problem with being of a certain vintage is that you become a bit jaded or possibly stale to new music being released. It might be that you have heard it before or that you maybe expect a lot from bands because of a high-water mark set previously. Sometimes it is difficult to listen and review because you find fault unnecessarily and this is the predicament I’m in with Apotheosis. Deiquisitor are a three piece from Denmark, and this is their 4th release. I confess that I had never heard of them before but the good thing about reviewing music for fun is that you will get exposed to bands or even genres you have never heard of.

They are death metal to the core, the trademark growls, fizzing guitars, muted production, and propelling blast beats are all on display here. Each of the of 9 tracks presented are of a good standard but there isn’t a stand-out track amongst them. The biggest gripe I have is that I don’t get a sense of urgency from the songs. The blast beats are there and in fact the drummer is for me the star here even in the slower parts, but the guitars don’t sound right with them. You expect the guitar to be this monstrous sound that batters you but it's thin and it’s a shame.

The last two songs Atomic Assassins and Praise The Lord do bring a touch of vitality as they close out proceedings but overall, the album just rolls on by. Its not a new thing that some studio work won’t actually capture what the band sounds live, early Biohazard as an example but on stage they are a force of nature. This could be the case with Deiquisitor and I would love to see them live because you do get that feeling that it would be a great experience. Apotheosis is termed as being the highest point in development of something or the elevation of someone to divine status. Unfortunately, in this case it is neither. 6/10

Tribunal - The Weight Of Remembrance (20 Buck Spin) [Matt Bladen]

The things you find in the underground are often the most impressive. For instance coming off the always eclectic and forward thinking 20 Buck Spin label is the debut from Vancouver, BC, gothic doom act Tribunal. Expect maudlin compositions, plenty of tolling bells, introspective lyrics and fuzz driven riffs, but what you don't expect is that at their core Tribunal are a duo of Etienne Finn who provides the guitar and I believe the growled vocals while Soren Mourne plays the cello, bass and gives the mournful cleans. 

They are the broken, black heart of this band with guest musicians on drums, piano and vocals, they also have a live band featuring a drummer, guitarist and keyboard player so they can perform live shows. Stylistically similar to My Dying Bride, Draconian and Swallow The Sun, this is sweeping, evocative gothic doom where the dual vocal style compliments each other and the songs have impressive run times to build atmosphere and mystery against some spacious guitar riffs. 

The use of cello is inspired, to really crank up the emotion in tracks such as Of Creeping Moss And Crumbled Stone as the heaviness increased for Apathy's Keep and A World Beyond Shadow. Sinister, gothic and apocalyptic, retreat to the chapel of solace, light a candle and welcome the cold embrace of Tribunal's debut album. 7/10

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