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Tuesday 31 January 2023

Reviews: Imperium Dekadenz, Dudes, Druids Of Eld, Cold Comfort (Reviews By Matt Bladen)

Imperium Dekadenz - Into Sorrow Evermore (Napalm Records)

German black metallers once again from the Black Forest with some more visceral, volatile black metal that conjures foreboding atmospheres which build through tracks such as the dissonant November Monument. Inspired by the Norwegian bands from the early scene, they like their music to be a furious as possible, building a sense of dread and fear (but without the use of white supremacy), they focus more on the fall of Empires and history as their lyrical inspiration and this seventh album continues their fixation on fallen empires and downcast outlooks, the rampaging tremolo picking and blast beats as Horaz and Vespasian guide you through their tormented world. 

The long form style of many of the songs allowing the wider array of sounds to be fleshed out with desolate synths, on the title track, or the solitary piano at the beginning of Aurora before it shifts into a slow lamentation carved into an frostbitten tundra. Imperium Dekadenz try not to stick too rigidly to black metal stereotypes but they do pay homage to them a lot, thankfully there’s enough happening to stop things being to ridged and one dimensional. If you’ve liked their previous 6 releases chances are you’ll like this one, cold, discontent black metal from darkest Germany. 7/10

Dudes - Eternal Is The Fruit (Dudes Music)

Fuzzing, punchy riffs, shout choruses and lots of sneer, Eternal Is The Fruit is a heck of record for fans of bands such as The Hives, Turbonegro, Turbowolf and Foxy Shazam. Hip shaking garage rock riffs are the basis but the album ends up straddling multiple genres, from the frothing hardcore of Crimson Nectar, Horns Out is driven by some brass/synth, chuggy pop punk choruses on No Trouble with a hint of The Offspring, while Waterpark is a storming thrasher that features Gildas le Pape's (ex Satyricon/Hot Club de Norvège). 

Mind Control, their previous album, established them on the Scandi rock scene, Eternal Is The Fruit is a sweary, sweaty follow up that deals with mental health issues, a fight with seagulls, the ambrosia that is red wine and the majesty of waterslides. A multitude of lyrical inspirations wrapped up in a heart pumping listen that will bring a smile to your face. I’m not the biggest groover in the world, but I found myself bouncing in my seat when I played this record…not just once or twice… but Every. Single. Time.

I can only imagine how ferocious they are live if it’s anything like this record, they’ll be performing in the middle of the crowd while all hell breaks loose around them. If you need a little lift this week, slap on Eternal Is The Fruit, grab a (plastic) glass of wine and rock the hell out. 8/10

Druids Of Eld – A Day Of Sorrow (Self Released)

A solo project from Aussie (Melbourne) musician Matt Dodds, Druids Of Eld has been conceived as a way for him to write songs outside of the other bands he is part of (Arbrynth, live member of Be’lakor and Okera). Here it’s a more ethereal style of extreme metal, based in the blackened death/doom metal scene but drawn from folk traditions to. Ethereal chants, acoustics and low spoken vocals are as much a part of this album as the guttural growls and tremolo picking. 

Bringing to mind the works of Winterfylleth, Saor and Fen, but also a band such as Wolves In The Throne Room who Druids Of Eld reminded me a lot of. The melding of the traditional music with a more modern style means that opening track Born For The Wolves, slowly weaves its way into your head, almost feeling as if it’s an elongated intro ready to build on top of, the solitary chords that open Awakened add to it with a more traditional black metal sound, the vocals staying with death metal roars as a sense of impending doom is present. Mainly as no matter how fast the shredding or the drumming is the songs themselves are atmospheric and set at a pace that is considered and dynamic. 

With ritualistic chanting on Druids Of Eld (the song) the final two pieces are the impressive Sacrifice the most concise track here before this record ends with the title track another shorter track but one that is the most melodic. A Day Of Sorrow is a great album from this Australian one man affair with metal and folk unifying to great effect. 8/10

Cold Comfort - All Power No Sour (Self Released)

Self described as throwing psych, punk, goth, synth-pop and indie-rock into one big melting pot, All Power No Sour is the debut album from North West artist Ben Forrester aka Cold Comfort. I'll say first that this is a bloody weird record. Ben calls it noise rock and it's very noisy with twitching electronics, fuzzy guitar riffs and sneering vocals on the finale of All Change. Ben says that many of these songs come from older ideas and files, cutting and editing with samples to create this album. It's a disconcerting journey through 10 tracks that are jarring on the ears but speaks to experimental nature of this album, but there does seem to be cohesive link between all of them. 

The album sort of evolved as you listen, harsh and abrasive at the beginning, it matures and almost moves into punk/indie realms on Cheery Little Guy, then shifts into Lo-fi beats and even a spoken word piece about a paranormal experience. Fans of drone/noise general, experimental music will garner a lot from All Power No Sour, almost like it was recorded at the end of a recording session when everyone has left, this is music that has no fear and that's laudable. 6/10

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