Exploring a variety of extreme metal traits and breaking up the intensities with elements inspired by soundtracks and world music, this 2018 release from Akhenaten is very interesting. It certainly isn’t your run of the mill death metal release. But then, you should expect nothing less than a sense of adventure and a progressive attitude from an album that “explores the forgotten paths of history” and is “steeped in the mythology of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia”.
On this EP, Israel’s Nihilistic Legion shows how much noise a one-man band can make. Playing absolutely everything, the mysteriously named Tohu fuses classic death metal sounds with a touches of grindcore and other extremities to create something incredibly forceful. The five songs – four originals and one cover – shows off an artist whom has utter conviction in his art, but production wise, these tracks aren’t necessarily shown at their best. In fact, the chosen mix is so claustrophobic and abrasive in places, it can be rather hard to pick out the finer points of the sound. It doesn’t make for especially easy listening…but maybe that’s deliberate.
Formed in 2010, it was less than a year before Russian metallers Ram-Page found themselves in the studio with enough money and support to record their debut album. The resultant LP, ‘The Keeper of Time’ gained enough attention for the band to actually shoot a couple of promotional videos before heading back into the studio to record a second album, eventually released in April 2012. With a similar whirlwind approach, a third release appeared the following year. In metal terms, it seemed these guys were following a similar breakneck approach to working as their 80s thrash and NWOBHM heroes.
From it’s birth in the coldest extremes of Scandinavia, black metal slowly spread across Europe like a harsh plague, invading territories with a barrage of riffs, twig shaped logos, minimalist artwork and sounds often characterised by especially harsh, thin vocals. Over the years, the style has become more refined, mixing the purer elements with death metal depths and complexities. In allowing itself to be more inclusive of a few other extreme metal styles, it seemed to become even more influential – a huge surprise for a metal subgenre born within such extremities. In short, it’s all come a very long way from it’s roots; it’s no longer about painting your face white and considering burning a church during your spare time.
Scandinavia has never been short of extreme metal bands, but there’s always room for more! Funeralglade is a new melodic death metal/deathcore band from Finland, trading in huge riffs and a fearsome bottom end. With the members all still in their teens, their debut release ‘May The Funeral Begin’ (released via Inverse Records on August 18th) very much marks the beginning of a musical journey for these musicians, but the presence and weight of their riffs is well beyond their years.