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Weekly Magazine III Era
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Band: Tchornobog
Title: Tchornobog
Year: 2017
Country: U.S.A.
Label: I, Voidhanger Records

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Translation: Crypt Of Fear
  1. I: The Vomiting Tchornobog (Slithering Gods Of Cognitive Dissonance)
  2. II: Hallucinatory Black Breath Of Possession (Mountain-Eye Amalgamation)
  3. III: Non-Existence's Warmth (Infinite Natality Psychosis)
  4. IIII: Here, At The Disposition Of Time (Inverting A Solar Giant)

Here we meet Markov Soroka's work: after revitalizing his funeral doom side with his band Slow and having published a couple of works last year with his (presumably) main project Aureole, Markov stirred things up once again with Tchornobog.

First things first, "Tchornobog" is a pretentious album. Starting from the way in which it is presented, with that colorful packaging and an illustration (beautiful, by Adam Burke, in art Nightjar Illustrations) that continues inside the digipak, it gives the impression of being a record that wants to show off. Continuing to tinker with the item, the second peculiarity immediately strikes the eye: each pocket of the card contains a different booklet, one for the lyrics («The lyrics journal») and one for the author's considerations («The dream journal»). Inside, the thoughts of Soroka flow freely, saying that he had been working on the creation of "Tchornobog" since 2009 and that he had completed the recording and production in 2015.

Before this, and here's where Soroka ends up being pretentious, four pages filled with stuff from which we understand that Tchornobog is an ancient Slavic deity and little else. As for the rest, the four pages are a set of thoughts such as «Each maw and muscle larger than those before it, yet simultaneously insurmountable by future installations of such a design» or «Tchornobog's chemical interactions and biological creations that take place in infinite nerves due to superimposing will is currently incomprehensible». I don't know if Soroka has any issues with English, but the things that are incomprehensible here are quite different. From what little I could understand - and take it with a grain of salt, because to say that I understand is really an exaggeration - this new project would be the transposition into music of a dreamy journey undertaken by the Ukrainian musician, a journey through which he's apparently got in touch with Tchornobog himself.

Result: four songs for over an hour of music and a concentration of malaise and complexity worthy of the likes of Mitochondrion and Portal, but with an enviable background consistency. Because in the end it does not matter that Soroka might have 'moped balls a little with all those mystical and flashy stuff: "Tchornobog" is a huge record. Of course, you must like chaos, the sound that recalls the old school fashion a lot in the last ten years and, precisely, those ambitions of spiritual catharsis that you could do without big regrets, but the hour of music put together by this guy is a bomb.

There's Incantation school death metal, there is the early '00 Deathspell Omega black metal style, there are the inhuman screams reminding me of Antediluvian, there are at times visionary dissonances coming from never fully understood projects as Skáphe, there is even an entire passage at the edge of the dark ambient with a saxophone in the foreground in "III" that seems to refer to the famous Lithuanian '90s avantgardes; for the sax use, certainly not for the dark ambient, but we understood each other. And there is also, it is useless to hide it, a very strong lovecraftian influence to act as glue because, even if there are no tentacles and abysses on the cover, it is clear that the ancient entity Tchornobog is grafted by Soroka on a structure made of hallucinations, dreams and evil powers that call out the work of the Providence teacher.

Incredible to say: everything works, despite the amount of ideas and ideas put together by Soroka is summarized in four really long tracks. The truth is that the chapters of "Tchornobog" flow with an unexpected simplicity; no change of atmosphere and time is ever manneristic or artifact, but all the different souls of the project alternate in a very natural way.

I doubt Soroka really dreamed of Tchornobog or somehow came into contact with the deity on the astral plane as some kind of Doctor Strange, and yet a similar potpourri, where flowers and essential oils are screams, huge riffs, blast beat and spleen, must have originated from somewhere. And I'm not sure that this origin is entirely human. For all death-black metal fans and for all those who like the names and influences mentioned earlier, "Tchornobog" is a record to be consumed.

Onyric Joy - Tales From The First Light
Band: Onyric Joy
Title: Tales From The First Light
Year: 2017
Country: Spain
Label: MMM Music

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  1. Ephemeral Memories From A Foggy Dream
  2. Seeking For A Longed Womb
  3. Dunes Under A Decease Sun
  4. A Journey Beyond The Abyssal Trench
  5. Oblivion

Quite surprisingly, for the second week in a row I am reviewing a rock album coming from Spain. This time around, differently from the Valencian band Alienfood, we are dealing with a psychedelic prog rock trio based in Barcelona: Onyric Joy.

"Tales From The First Light" is a very ambitious debut album, coming out after several months of work and released through the Spanish label MMM Music (they work on lots of incredibly different genres). Onyric Joy take us on a dreamlike journey back in time, up to our childhood memories. The visuals — designed by Jalón de Aquiles (also seen at work on Exxasens' "Back To Earth") — are top-notch, with an eye to classic psychedelia for the logo, and one to a more modern approach for the cover.

Despite the decision to add a Y to the word oniric (well, the world of rock music is full of this sort of names anyway), and perhaps a couple of minor English mistakes ("Dunes Under A Decease Sun"), Onyric Joy's work is musically very solid. After having listened to it many times, I can say this record really is enthralling, also frequently flirting with atmospheric post-rock in the instrumental sections ("A Journey Beyond The Abyssal Trench").

The album features five long chapters on this journey back in time towards the oblivion preceding our birth. We move lightly in a dimension of semi-consciousness, as Víctor's voice sporadically emerges between the notes, leading the way we have to follow on this complicated and uncertain path.

"Tales From The First Light" surely is recommended to fans of Porcupine Tree, Riverside, and to whoever likes modern prog rock in general, not forgetting several psychedelic elements. It is great for us to see the rise of a new name in this scene, especially in an area historically not that prolific in this specific genre.

Band: Mother Misery
Title: Megalodon
Year: 2018
Country: Sweden
Label: Transubstans Records

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Translation: Crypt Of Fear
  1. The Challenger
  2. Ashes Of Your Crown
  3. Megalodon
  4. Stained
  5. Eyes Of The Innocent
  6. Into These Lies
  7. 100 Eyes
  8. Stonecold Killer
  9. Down In The Dirt
  10. If You Fall

Mother Misery are back with their third album "Megalodon" and the band composed of John Hermansen (guitar and vocals), Thomas Piehl (guitar), Jimmy Lindbergh (drums) and Stiff Hell (bass) did not fail to meet our expectations.

The quartet gives us a performance with a really catchy mix between hard rock and alternative metal, within which it is possible to find a pleasant guitarwork, supported by a rhythmic section as robust and dynamic as necessary, giving to the bass the space it deserves ("Down In The Dirt"). Even the performance by Hermansen at the microphone is effective, as it was in the previous works.

The weapons with which the Swedes fight their battles are simple and clearly identifiable: no need to waste any time describing them, since as soon as "Megalodon" starts, you'll identify them one after the other, demonstrating the skills of the band. The line-up has a captivating look both in the most entertaining and decisive tracks ("The Challenger", "Ashes Of Your Crown", "Stained", "Into These Lies" and "Stonecold Killer") and in the atmospheric ones ("100 Eyes" "and" If You Fall ").

If we wanted to find a difference compared to the past, we could safely say that "Megalodon" receives a greater push from the metal part of the sound, but not invalidating the ability of the band to give life to tracks that are good for the radio and even able to catch the attention of more listeners. In short, the new Mother Misery album will guarantee us some more good moments.

Humanity Zero - Withered in Isolation
Band: Humanity Zero
Title: Withered In Isolation
Year: 2017
Country: Greece
Label: Satanath Records

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  1. Withered In Scars
  2. Away From The Light
  3. Reveries Of A Stained Mind
  4. Fading In A Cryptic Obscurity
  5. Solitary Confinement
  6. Horrendous Growls
  7. Blood Redemption
  8. The Dungeon
  9. Premonition

If for some reason you already know Humanity Zero — founded in Athens back in 2003 by the multi-instrumentalist known as Dimon's Night — you might remember them as a band (perhaps a bit too much) fond of death metal, which had started inserting a few sparse doom metal elements in their latest work "Execution Ground" (2014, the first one with current vocalist Giannis Grim)

Their new effort "Withered In Isolation", released in 2017 via the omnipresent Satanath Records, marks a very clea... oops, dark change of direction, beginning with the logo and cover artwork. Off with the bloody writings of the previous records, off with the flames of hell: this time we delve deep into the utter darkness of death-doom metal. Another addition in the lineup is the violin player Stelios, that contributed to bringing the album closer to the classic sound inspired by My Dying Bride, in his first work with the band.

Here are more than fifty minutes of putrefaction put together by the Greek quartet, the fans of this specific genre will recognize pretty much all the main features of the stuff we like so much: from growled suffering to the guitar and violin melodies intertwined with keyboards, from the death metal accelerations to the lyrics focused on solitude and darkness (I believe the best two songs are "Solitary Confinement" and "Blood Redemption").

Speaking as a death-doom metal listener, I can definitely say that "Withered In Isolation" gave me something more than Humanity Zero's previous works, which were too tied to a style of death metal that I believe doesn't have that much to say anymore. However, it will be quite tough for this record to have a big impact apart from seducing some death metal listeners towards the abyss of doom, and of course attracting some interest from those who really can't live without throwing themselves into despair with another death-doom metal band.

I wasn't particularly impressed by the sounds of the drums and by several choices (such as the ending of the aforementioned "Solitary Confinement"), while things went much better in terms of guitars and vocals. In conclusion, with "Withered In Isolation" we can gladly welcome Humanity Zero to the world of darkness, wishing them to find a consistent formula that can help the band emerge in a pretty crowded scene.

Band: Alienfood
Title: Todogluten
Year: 2018
Country: Spain
Label: Art Gates Records

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  1. Tocado Y Hundido
  2. Fiebre Lenta
  3. Hoy Me Siento Mal
  4. Oscuro Pasado
  5. Mentira
  6. Irreversible

It's been a long time since my last encounter with an alternative rock band from Spain, back then it was the Basque quintet Quaoar with their style linked to modern progressive rock. Well, with the Valencian band Alienfood we will move towards different territories, beginning with the very Futurama-ish cover arwork of "Todogluten" with the four musicians' heads kept in the famous glass cilinders created by Matt Groening.

The first peculiarity of this band founded in 2013 is the choice to use Spanish language lyrics, maintaining what they did with their previous work "Irreversible". Let's get ready to six songs of clear Nineties inspiration, but also featuring some sort of Mediterranean spirit (for example in "Hoy Me Siento Mal"). There is some good old stoner in "Mentira", definitely the car ride song of this album, while we can see the four musicians in all their splendour in the official video of  "Tocado Y Hundido" with its strong grunge flavor. I appreciated the decision to keep the running time low, although maybe one more song could have shown some more facets of the band's style.

"Todogluten" is the first Alienfood's record to be released via Art Gates Records, a Spanish label that's been expanding its scope over the last few years, also including bands not strictly related to metal. Don't expect anything particularly revolutionary from the latest work by this Valencian quartet: but if you were really looking for an alternative rock band with Spanish lyrics (not that common), give them a chance, especially if you are "Futurama" fans.