Find us on Facebook!

To keep updated like our page at:

Or on Twitter:

Or E-mail us at:

Thursday 25 April 2024

Reviews: Folterkammer, Replicant, Verikalpa, Post Death Soundtrack (Reviews By Gavin Brown, Charlie Rogers, Zak Skane & James Jackson)

Folterkammer - Weibermacht (Century Media) [Gavin Brown]

Folterkammer are an interesting prospect indeed, a colossal melding of black metal and operatic/classical music that uses the grandeur of both these varying styles delivered in a way that is both elegant and devastating and with their second album Weibermacht, they do so in style.

With the bands lineup containing guitar maestro Zachary Ezrin of Imperial Triumphant, you can appreciate the decadent nature of the music of Folterkammer, but when you add in the stunning vocals of Andromeda Anarchia, you will be blown away by what the band do on this album.

Weibermacht contains eight tracks, and over them Folterkammer explore many different musical avenues, from the sublime to the brutal but the one thing that ties them all together is a desire to showcase the bands unique nature, and it does so in spades.

Folterkammer means Torture Chamber in German, and this is especially apt on the bands cover of Venus In Furs by The Velvet Underground that finishes the record off, but the whole album contains that vibe of BDSM elegance set to music especially on songs like Algonagnia and Die Unterwerfung.

One things is for sure, you won’t hear another album that sounds like this all year such is its unique approach to extreme music, and that innate uniqueness is something that should be roundly celebrated.

Weibermacht is a triumphant album and one that revels in its devotion to both classical music and black metal delivered with an air of dominance, which these differing sounds coming together and raising the bar for one another in a triumphant fashion. 8/10

Replicant - Infinite Mortality (Transcending Obscurity) [Charlie Rogers]

New Jersey death dealers Replicant are back with their third album Infinite Mortality - an angular, abrasive soundscape, that feels like the audio version of one of those colourful vibrating spiky balls you used to get as an infant. And by that I mean you turn it on, it shakes about in seemingly limitless anger, you can’t really tell if it’s the right way up (or even if there is a right way up in the first place), and it doesn’t really fit in with any of the other toys. It demands centre stage. You’re going to play with me now. Don’t ask how. Pay attention. Dissonant death metal seems to be having a renaissance at the moment, and Replicant are definitely doing their best to throw a bag of live grenades into the mix to keep things interesting.

Straight off the bat, opening track Acid Mirror jarringly crashes into the ear with discordant, obtuse riffing, tortured screaming, and a blitz of different drum attacks. There’s a good sense of groove between riffs, mixing the chaos in with moments to bob your head to. Captivating harmonic content alongside a vortex of unpredictable fret abuse. The song clumps together and comes apart like someone manipulating a piece of gum, or possibly like the fleshy mass depicted on the album artwork. 

Sticky, writhing, globular. It slides seamlessly into the next track, Shrine Of The Incomprehensible, which continues the same vibe. In fact, the whole album follows a similar pattern - that is, a pattern of pulsating, complex movements, sharing blistering blast sections with open noodling and sinewy, chewy riffs. There’s a brief atmospheric interlude for track 5, SCN9, which acts as the only real reprieve and respite, but at 61 seconds long it basically acts as an intro to 6, Pain Enduring, anyway. Like I eluded to in paragraph 1, this album insists on your attention, and refuses to compromise on that.

I’m so far not familiar with Replicant’s previous work, but given the strength of this record, it’s caustic yet oozing melodies, and it’s similarity to bands I adore (Demilich, Diskord, Chthe’ilist) - I better get listening to their other records. If you also enjoy chaotic death metal, you’ll dig this record. If you don’t, it might feel like someone trying to shove a star shape into a circular hole. 9/10

Verikalpa - Tuomio (Scarlet Records) [Zak Skane]

Hailing form Northne City of Oulu in Finland, the Troll/Beer metal band Verikalpla have made a name from forging groovy riffs and rhythms whilst infusing twisting styled folk melodies to accompany the Finnish lyrics that are sung in an Oulu accent. The band have continued their journey with their fouth 12 track instalment Tuomio.

Through out this album the band have proven that can they can still hold up with the greats such as Turisas, Sabaton and Finntrol. The battle metal sprit energy on this album comes in strong with its reckless double kick and blast beats especially on tracks like Noijan Sauna and Hakkaa Hakkaa

The guitars on this album deliver this type of Yin and Yang approach through track to track, from providing us neo classical styled licks filled riffs in the open track Arvon Tuomari, full thrashastic wrist snapping riffs on songs such as Noijan Sauna and Sammalsynti, then go full death and black metal inspired riffage with harmonised tremolo picking locked in with reckless blast beats. 

The orchestration of accordion and violins really makes a perfect marriage between the guitars keeping up with some of the neo classical flavoured licks especially in songs like Laulava Vinaja, the accordions can also provide polka influenced melodies in songs like Sammalsynti and can provide additional melodies non linear to the guitar riffs to in songs like Tulimerten Taa. Finally the snarling vocals throughout this album provide this classic Scandinavian snarl that is so prevalent from singers like Alexi Laiho (Children Of Bodom), Tomos Lindberg (At The Gates) and Mathias Lillmåns (Finntroll).

From the triplet-grooved tracks on Arvon Tuomari, the thrash and death grinding assaults on Sammalsynti and Hakkaa Hakkaa to the festival ready hits like Laulava Vainaja and Tulimerten Taa. This band keeps true to the modern battle formula but will still please the masses. 7/10

Post Death Soundtrack - Veil Lifter (Self Released) [James Jackson]

The info that comes with this one is a bit sparse, however the genre tag of Doom Grunge seems to offer an interesting, if not slightly odd, combination. In fact, the more you listen to the album from the Vancouver based duo, that tag seems quite restrictive, there’s actually so much more going on, that to define it, you’d find it easier to list genres they’ve not covered.

Whilst researching the band I’ve found references to Grunge, Alt Rock, Doom, Industrial and something called Doomtronica (note to self: look that up). After a purely instrumental and experimental intro, The Die Is Cast kicks off and the initial feeling is that of the kind of Stoner style Doom that has been often inspired by Black Sabbath, it’s dark but with a groove to it.

Killer Of The Doubt, the second track upon the album is pure Grunge, most evident within the chorus. And such is the template for the album, genres and styles thrown together to pretty much great effect; I wouldn’t class this as Doom by a long shot but the influence is certainly there, as is Electronica, the aforementioned Grunge and Classic Rock/Metal; compartmentalising this album, or pigeon holing if you will, is as easy as catching smoke.

There’s such a lot happening to good effect, the riffs are catchy, the vocals poignant and importantly, it’s cohesive, I’ve heard plenty of albums which attempt to mix genres, some to great effect whilst others fail at the first hurdle, this however is very much a good example of how taking different styles can work when done properly. 8/10

No comments:

Post a Comment