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Weekly Magazine III Era
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Band: Convocation
Title:  Scars Across
Year: 2018
Country:   Finland
Label: Everlasting Spew Records
Contacts:

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TRACKLIST
  1. Disposed
  2. Ruins Of Ourselves
  3. Allied POWs
  4. Scars Across
RUNNING TIME: 50:16
 

As far as I'm concerned, "Scars Across" was already one of the most interesting records of this 2018 even before 2018 began. In fact, when Convocation's debut teaser went online last year, I was so convinced of the goodness of the music to pre-order the record. Now that I have had a few months to assimilate it, I am going to tell you about it, convinced in my opinion that I am telling you about a very interesting release.

Convocation is a duo from Finland, composed of LL and MN, two mysterious characters turning their backs to the camera in the promotional photos, but whose experiences in other bands are already quite well known: the former in Desolate Shrine; Dark Buddha Rising and Katakombi for the latter, just to show you some.

The music contained in the fifty minutes of "Scars Across" is an abyss moving between death and doom metal which emanates metaphysical darkness from its center to subject the unfortunates to pure despair. The boundary with an otherworldly funeral doom is often crossed, but slowness is not an obligation for Convocation, who are often not afraid to throw themselves headlong into violent passages that add dynamics to the compositions. There is also a melodic side in this work: the use of keyboards is not overblown, yet of absolute effect, as in the first track "Disposed", where the notes of this instrument emphasize the mysterious aura. The band's mastery of this kind of music is out of question, this is also proved by the tempo changes in all the songs, in particular I report what happens in the second half of the final "Scars Across", which accompanies us with its poetic anguish until the album is closed.

Convocation prove to be able to create metal capable of striking bonecrushingly heavy on the listeners, without being therefore indigestible or monothematic. There is also some praise for the production, which is well studied and enhances the supernatural soul of the release. The author is fascinated by the existential threat that hangs over us while listening to it, and invites the curious to get closer, aware of the fact that once trapped in its coils it will be too late.

 


 
Band: Electric Wizard
Title: Wizard Bloody Wizard
Year: 2017
Country: United Kingdom
Label: Spinefarm Records
Contacts:

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Translation: Giup
 
TRACKLIST
  1. See You In Hell
  2. Necromania
  3. Hear The Sirens Scream
  4. The Reaper
  5. Wicked Caresses
  6. Mourning Of The Magicians
RUNNING TIME: 42:48
 

A blurry figure of a satyr, smoking weed. "Dopethrone”", in other words a gigantic monument to alienation, one of the most morbid albums ever conceived; and even though sempiternal monoliths like "Funeralopolis" and "We Hate You" haven't aged a single day, already seventeen years have passed since then, and a lot of things have changed. Five albums, ranging from great ("Let Us Pray") to astonishing ("Witchcult Today", "Black Masses"), and a newfound awareness that listening to a new Electric Wizard album is always a hallucinated trip between the bends of a mephitic darkness, in which we feel at home by now. Everything sounded beautiful and reassuring, at least until present day.

"Wizard Bloody Wizard" is the title of the British quartet's latest effort: something that didn't take too much effort anyway or, at least, this is the feeling that we get by listening to pieces like "Necromania" and "Hear The Sirens Scream". Unbelievably, Jus Oborn and friends took a long shower and washed away that coat made of decomposition and cannabinoids that covered them during the last twenty years, something good for them, sure, but a bit less good for us listeners, because the kiss-ass, ordinary Seventies rock that is presented to us is too much linear and clear, lacking any sort of shake and anything but convincing.

One listening session after the other, it sounds like that our chaps unfortunately stopped killing themselves with joints and acids, switching those substances with good amounts of sleeping pills: the result is the total loss of that priceless stench of spiritual putrefaction that enclosed their previous works, and where blasphemous invocation of the past opened portals and let torrents of inebriating, pestilential sewage flow out, now there are just kids with lit candles playing and scaring themselves with horror stories.

This album almost seems like a bad joke and embarrassing moments like "Wicked Caresses" reiterate the parody-like feeling that hovers above the whole opus, as Electric Wizard try, without any luck, to emulate themselves, in the same manner as a bunch of kids try to cover their favourite band's songs. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they lack technical skills, it's just not biting, the sound is way too clean and deprived of all those distortions, as greasy and dense as a poisonous lava flow.

The general impression is that the Englishmen don't take inspiration anymore from a world made of unholy necromantic rituals, of nuclear warheads ready to turn humanity into a horde of zombies, of demonical trips, ancient infernal horrors and occult intercourse, but that they process those same topics with carelessness, to maintain a status rather than following a proper creative impulse.

To be fair, we must admit that "The Reaper" represents an exciting moment, when the rarefied and slightly exotic atmosphere brings back to mind some obscure spurts from glorious times in the last decade, but just a bit more than three minutes aren't really enough to save a colourless and flat album, to say the least. Of course, no one could say this is a badly played album: psychedelia is there, the Seventies are there, as well as the vintage attitude and lysergic style, but the real problem is that all these things fit Electric Wizard to a certain degree. Or, better, they would fit perfectly if they would have been expressed according to their classic trademark, but in this form they just sound bland, weak and out of date.

This time, the ritual didn't end well and instead of the usual platoon of undead, heinous abominations, only an old and dusty skeleton was awakened, one that is not even able to harm a fly. Could it be that the Wizard found himself victim of his own sorcery? The only certainty is that the enormous power he showed before is now lost, and if he hopes to gather once again his followers he must try with a greater spell, because as of now all he can hope is to frighten some far-from-puberty, little altar boys.



 
Band: Pryapisme
Title: Epic Loon OST
Year: 2018
Country: France
Label: Apathia Records
Contacts:

Sito web  Facebook  Youtube  Bandcamp  Spotify

Translation: Crupt Of Fear
 
TRACKLIST
  1. Epic Loon Theme
  2. In Space, No One Can Hear You Make Yourself A Sandwich
  3. Nostromo Cryo System: Fresh Ice Cream Guaranteed!
  4. An S.O.S From LV426 Takes 6M Years To Reach Belgium
  5. Acheron, The Calpamos Moon, Is Also The Name Of Our Cat
  6. Xenomorphs Are Just Big Chickens After All
  7. For The Smile Of A Child With A Dolphin T-Shirt
  8. Evil Nutshells With Hay Fever Vs All People Named Renée
  9. Did Prehistoric Giraffes Wear Long Ties?
  10. It's Way Too Hot To Drink Rustproof Engine Oil
  11. The Best Vacuum Cleaners Were Produced During The Cenozoic Era
  12. Tyrannosaure+Châlet7=Taupiniere-(N/Saumon)²
  13. Damned Raptors!
  14. Programming Naughty Pictograms In Python
  15. Epic Boss Theme
  16. Un Quadrilobe À Palmette Fleurdelysé, Ça A Du Chien
  17. Even In The Carpathians, Taking A Train Is Still Faster Than Riding A Ghoul
  18. What Would Chester Copperpot Have To Say About This?
  19. A Quantum Mirror May Generate Self-Petrified Gorgons
  20. Tidal Energy Through A Rat's Perspective
  21. Cette Année, On Anticipe Les Mites Avec Un Inhibiteur De La Pompe À Proton
  22. Fishermen's Villages Usually Hide Ninjas
  23. Luckily, Reptiles Use Condoms. Phew! No Chlamydia This Time...
  24. Bubbles Will Be Crapped In Glue Over Tokyo's Harbour
  25. Muzzle, Snout, Fire, Muzzle
  26. Death By Uranium Hexafluoride
  27. Mullet Haircut Grand Finale
  28. Score Theme Extended [traccia bonus]
  29. Epi The Clown [traccia bonus]
RUNNING TIME: 1:18:32
 

Third time we see Pryapisme here on Aristocrazia, this time with a rather particular release: a soundtrack entirely curated by the French band for an independent video game entitled "Epic Loon".

The work is divided into two CDs and four ... videotapes which I imagine represent the stages of the game, surrounded by an intro per disc and two bonus tracks, for a total of twenty-nine short on an average tracks, with few exceptions running over four minutes. Those who know Pryapisme's music know that even if you are prepared for anything you will not be able to not be astonished: take a look at the titles to get an idea. However, let me higlight that in the section of the booklet dedicated to the guests they mention the Virtual Cats Plugin Orchestra in which — besides an endless series of traditional instruments — appear ... weird things, including tennis racket, anvil, electronic cigarette, dildo, thumbs up and even handjobs. Not to mention people who simply brought sandwiches, repaired every broken door or «do not know what they were doing there». A very special orchestra, indeed.

From this album it's clear that Pryapisme are perfectly at home in the videogame field. It would be interesting to see how this surreal soundtrack will find its visual counterpart in the game; however, it is already possible from the music to get an idea: the four videocassettes, in fact, have more or less imaginary movie titles represented by tracks in a fanciful way. We find ourselves, therefore, in the midst of spatial, extraterrestrial and futuristic sounds in "Alien: The Hitchicker"; we will go back to prehistoric times with the tribal percussions of "Jurassik Land"; we move on to the darkest, almost gothic-symphonic atmospheres with "Nosferacula" ; and we end up in the Far East — for my happiness — with "Grojira". However, while these details are useful to understand the setting and tend to reappear over the course of each section, on the other hand these are not at all brakes for Pryapisme's unstoppable madness.

If there is anything that could exceed in quantity the list of instruments mentioned before, it is certainly the number of genres crossed througout the album. I do not even know where to start listing them and, even if I knew it, I would not know when I could finish it; if an end actually exists. Phases in which they remain in the same style for more than fifteen seconds are rare, continuously passing from one side to the other of the entire musical spectrum with a naturalness that very few can boast. Probably Avantgarde-Progressive Metal is still the best way to describe the sound of the group for a simple matter of style prevalence, but it is still a narrow definition: the electronic factor is widely present, while the other genres — although playing a minor role, individually — on the whole they create a mess outside any human conception (but not from the feline, apparently).

It goes without saying that I will not even pretend to analyze the tracks in more detail: it would be pure masochism. Know, however, that you will have to face — among the other things — Classical, Ethnic, Folk (of who knows how many different geographic areas), Prog Rock, Jazz and Ambient, without forgetting a bit of good old EDM (for example, Dubstep and Techno) and something similar to Dimmu Borgir. Everything is constantly immersed in Eighties and Nineties videogame vibes, with some 8-bit sounds that appear here and there to make the album even more fun and enjoyable, as you can see from the official video that contains two tracks.

It seems that Pryaspisme, with this release, have brought out the best of themselves, further refining their sound and making it available to the needs of the videogame. In order to play "Epic Loon" we will have to wait a few more weeks, in the meantime I recommend you to enjoy this soundtrack available in streaming on the band's (that you can find on the left) and Apathia Records channels.



Soul Dissolution - Stardust
 
Band: Soul Dissolution
Title: Stardust
Year: 2018
Country: Belgium
Label: Black Lion Records
Contacts:

Facebook  Bandcamp

 
TRACKLIST
  1. Vision
  2. Circle Of Torment
  3. Stardust
  4. Mountain Path
  5. The Last Farewell
  6. Far Above The Boiling Sea Of Life
RUNNING TIME: 38:30
 

Just like two years ago, when the notable "Pale Distant Light" came out, Soul Dissolution served as the occasion for my return to writing about music after a short break. I went through several pretty busy weeks, during which "Stardust" accompanied me quite frequently, allowing me to discover both its brightest and darkest spots, but let's start from the beginning.

As you probably know, Soul Dissolution is a Belgian duo (Acharon on vocals and Jabawock on everything else) dedicated to that strand of post-black metal which has become so popular over the last decade or so. Also thanks to its spectacular cover art — created by Jabawock himself — "Stardust" took the project to an astral dimension, coherently with what has been happening all around (post-)black metal.

An ethereal instrumental track gives us a first glimpse of the cosmic infinity we are about to face, thus commencing our journey through the depths of cosmos and man. Enter heavy guitars in "Circle Of Torment", together with Acharon's scream, accompanied by the insisting guitar melodies created by Jabawock. These are the main musical features which make up most of "Stardust" (including the fast-paced title track), for four total songs clocking between eight and ten minutes each, plus two short instrumental ones (I have particularly appreciated "Mountain Path").

The album offers a wide range of opportunities to try and reach the farthest reaches of the galaxy and of our own deepest selves. The immensity of the universe (as was also the case for "Toward Akina" by Seventh Genocide) here reflects that of our human potential, as the guitar treads on very agallochesque riffing and lifts us way above the boiling sea of life.

If you like the aforementioned characteristics and you are a big fan of this branch of post-black metal, "Stardust" is a very well-made record and easily is a must-have in this field for the current year. The Belgian duo reached a notable stage in terms of consistency compared to their debut, and at this point is completely at ease with the subject matter, without straying too far from their core ideas.



 
Band: Pavillon Rouge
Title: Dynasteïa Klub
Year: 2018
Country: France
Label: Dooweet Agency
Contacts:

Sito web  Facebook  Soundcloud  Youtube  Reverbnation  

 
TRACKLIST
  1. L'Harmonie Et La Force
  2. Ô Légions, Ô Triomphes
  3. Dynasteïa Klub
  4. Le Rayonnement Du Temple Nouveau
  5. In Aenigmate
  6. Bodhisattva
  7. Notre Foi Brûle Encore
  8. Dans L'Ailleurs Absolu
  9. Ad Augusta
RUNNING TIME: 45:56
 

«People of Aristocrazia, are you ready to get crazy on the dancefloor? Tonight DJ Vlako will delight you with some good Electro-Black Metal with the help of Pavillon Rouge... Everybody put your hands up in the air!»

So listening many times to "Dynasteïa Klub" turned me into a two-bit disco vocalist; in my defense, I can assure you that the music of these French guys is perfect to pick up some girls on saturday nights while keeping the Black Flame in your soul burning. The band itself shoes us how to be cool and at the same time evil in the surreal titletrack video.

It reminded me of that time when Semargl turned into some sort of Dance-Pop-Metal act, with the difference that Pavillon Rouge are fully aware of what they do. With the release of their third album, the four electro-blacksters perfectly mixed the powerful rhythms of the harder side of EDM, the diabolical sound of Black Metal and the ethereal feelings of the New Wave without appearing like a parody, rather sounding incredibly captivating.

Each element is at the right place and each musician is able to get their own moments of glory. The rhythmic section is especially interesting: the bass is on the upbeat during the more danceable sections and constantly provides engaging lines, while the electronic drums centered on a Hardcore-style powerful kick go through solid 4/4 tempos, more excited or otherwise relaxed parts and even blast beats and Speedcore bursts, enriching their performance with some great tom fills.

The melodic aspect is entrusted to guitars and synths: the first are the Blackest element of Pavillon Rouge's music, providing melodic and catchy tremolo riffs which undoubtedly scream Black Metal. The six strings often dive into some kind of cosmic epicness further emphasized by (synthetic and real) choirs in the background, but there are also parts where they bow to the requirements of the Eletronic side of the songs, supporting EDM-New Wave melodies.

The voice is charismatic and expressive with a style that goes through various shades of extremism, usually keeping a link to the Black Metal standards; some cleaner passages appear here and there — especially during the epic-celestial parts — and there are many vocal samples to further enrich the songs. The lyrics are written in the band's mother tongue and their meaning is unfortunately obscure to me, but I think I glimpsed cosmic contemplations and philosophical thoughts, liek the great artwork seems to suggest.

"Dynasteïa Klub" has a good number of guests coming from the French scene, among which I'd like to mention Saint Vincent of their genre colleagues Blacklodge and Rose Hreidmarr, Anorexia Nervosa's former vocalist now member of Baise Ma Hache and The CNK.

Personal and captivating , coinvolgente from start to finish and after repeated listenings as well: I have nothing to complain about Pavillon Rouge's work; songs like "In Aenigmate" and "Ad Augusta" are real gems, without belittling the other tracks. Chapeau.