Saturday, February 22, 2014

Naburus


Naburus - Wrota Nieskończoności
Hell is Here Production, 2011
Genre: Black Metal

1. Bezkres...
2. W Klepsydrze Prochy Ludzkie
3. Wrota Nieskonczoności













After another year we have another installment from Naburus in EP form. This time they've pressed it on CD and is allegedly limited to 300 copies. There is no limitation stated on the actual release, but a website out there claims this. While I'm please that this was pressed on CD, there isn't much to the booklet. I suppose that's one of the problems with EP's... not much to talk about or show off.

Despite the lack of a full length this really is a strong improvement over "Martwy..." The production quality feels a lot stronger as well and really empowers the music. One of the interesting fact about this release is that it was mixed and mastered by Mgła. So... that might have something to do with the superior sound quality. One the aspects I truly love about M.'s mixing quality is he always pays attention to letting the bass guitar show through. Even though Naburus' bass mostly follows the guitar line, the fact that it shows up in the mix gives this album a much darker feel than their prior material. I do hear some Mgła influence showing through in parts of the material, which probably comes as no surprise. "Bezkres..." has this influence the most and it really does sound glorious. The other two tracks are similar to what we heard on "Martwy..." They are both solid songs, but I'm afraid they don't live up to the majesty of the opening track. "Wrota Nieskonczoności" is a brooding epic at nearly ten minutes in length. It would really work very well as the closer for a Naburus full-length. As the end of an EP, it feels sort of abrupt. Such as "we've suddenly reached the end already?!" Setheroth's vocals are fairly standard for most of the songs, but on this last one he pushes himself a little further. He has a much more dynamic vocal approach and tries to reach some of the higher ranged torturous screams. The good part is he doesn't overdo it and he only puts them in spots where it would be effective, so it never gets annoying.

In the end, this was a pretty good album. I still think it's high time Naburus started to work towards a full length. If they even took more time to work through some of the songs and get everything on the same quality as "Bezkres..." or "Martwy II" they would really create a very good album for sure! Here's hoping that the next time I hear from Naburus is in a full-length capacity.


Evil & Naburus - Decomposition of the Human Soul
Suicide Taste Production/Werewolf Promotion, 2011
Genre: Black Metal

Evil:
1. From the Black Ashes
2. Let the Nightmare Begin
3. The Night of the Forgotten Dead
Naburus:
4. Ogień Nienawiści
5. Spijając Zatrutą Krew...
6. Powrót Antychrysta








Side Evil: ...coming eventually...
Side Naburus:

I'm actually not sure which came first in 2011, this split or the EP. If I had to guess, I would say this split was first. All the tracks were recorded in 2010 and this came out earlier in the year. Furthermore the material on this split sounds more transitional from "Martwy..." as well. This is the second split from Naburus and once again it's got a professional booklet, but the tape seems to be dubbed with stickers on it. This tape is limited to 300 hand-numbered copies and I own #27.

Even though Evil is the longer running band out there, I have rarely enjoyed this music. The only reason I got this tape was for the Naburus material! I actually really enjoy Naburus' material on this split. Every new song has some very catchy sections in the Czech vein and we also are treated to a re-recording of "Powrót Antychrysta" which was the better song from their first demo material. "Ogień Nienawiści" has a strange feel when it slows down, and I think it's one of the only things I don't completely like on any of the songs. For the most part the writing is pretty strong. The rest of the riffs in "Ogień Nienawiści" have a great level of passion behind them and it really shines through in the music. I think some of that feeling was missing in parts of "Martwy...," but it really shows up in these tracks. Even though I think "Spijając Zatrutą Krew..." has a heavy dose of Czech styled Black Metal, there's a particular guitar lead he does at times that distinctly reminds me of something Helheim would do. This really conjured up some fond memories of the "Blod og Ild" album that I listened to years ago.

Naburus is steadily improving and it's really time for them to put effort into a full-length. Aside from a minor point that I didn't find great, the rest of the material is actually very good. It certainly isn't groundbreaking, but they do a good job and none of the writing is actually bad! I really do look forward to what might be coming next from Naburus.


Naburus - Martwy...
Act of Hate Records, 2010
Genre: Black Metal

1. Martwy I
2. Martwy II














After the first Naburus demo, I was pretty eager to hear what they had in store for us next. Unfortunately, they only produced an EP with two songs. Sometimes I wish bands would just hold out for a full length recording, but it seems the songwriting for this project is pretty slow moving, so perhaps getting a couple songs every year may not be so bad. At least we get to hear new material from time to time. This is a cassette only release and it comes on a professional pressed tape and booklet. It's also limited to 66 hand-numbered copies and I own #42.

Since this band started off strong I was looking forward to hearing "Martwy," but in some ways I think I like the prior two songs a little bit more. One of the big changes is they don't have the catchy riffs that the other material had. Instead "Martwy" seems to rely on the more tried and true method of Black Metal form. Sawing riffs, blast beats, and harsh vocals. The riffs have a more melancholic form at times and Setheroth's vocals come across as a bit more tortured, which makes me think of some of the more depressive elements in the French scene for some reason. The vicious intensity that was present in the earlier material is basically non-existent on here. I think it would be interesting if Naburus tried to blend the two styles, because that is rarely ever done and if they could do that successfully, that would make for a very interesting release. "Martwy II" is by far the strongest song on this release, about half-way into that song on my second listen I really did get into the riffing a lot more.

In the end this is an interesting transition for Naburus. I think I can see where they're trying to go, but I think there is some room for improvement. I get the impression that Setheroth is a pretty decent writer, but I think Naburus is still vying for their own sound. I still look forward to see what Naburus comes up with next and I'm interested to see where their sound will finally settle.


Mystes & Naburus & Nuclear Thorn - Hellish Whispers
Hell is Here Production, 2009
Genre: Black Metal

Mystes:
1. Intro
2. Last Winter
3. In Hellfire
4. In the Name of War
5. Land of Satan
6. Outro
Naburus:
7. Powrót Antychrysta
8. Noc Upadku Chrześcijańskich Wartości
Nuclear Thorn:
9. Intro / Horizon of Impaled Christians
10. Hatred Flows My Veins
11. Voice of Eternal War
12. In Honour of Death

Side Mystes: ...coming eventually...
Side Nuclear Thorn: ...coming eventually...
Side Naburus:

The same hear that Naburus did their split with Inferno, they also released this massive three way split on CD. Normally, I would think this was pretty strange, but all three bands have something in common. Setheroth is a musician involved with all the projects. I guess that makes this CD pressing a lot more sensible. It is certainly nice to have all this material pressed on CD, so I think it's definitely worth getting in that regard. However, there is no real point in saying much more about this release, because the music is reviewed below along with a sample. Enjoy!

Inferno & Naburus - Through the Shadow of Deadly Sparks
Hell is Here Production, 2009
Genre: Black Metal

Inferno:
1. Hřbitovní Prach
2. Démonické Požehnání K Smrti
Naburus:
3. Powrót Antychrysta
4. Noc Upadku Chrześcijańskich Wartości









Side Inferno: here
Side Naburus:

Naburus are lucky to put out their debut with such a high profile band. Albeit the Inferno material may not be new, but it still prompted me to find this tape and give it a listen. I am actually fairly pleased with how much great material I've found just by listening to Inferno. Without them I probably would have never listened to Fagyhamu or Tundra as well. For now we have Naburus' debut, a solid Black Metal band out of Poland.

Naburus only submit two songs for us to hear, but they are pretty well written and very well recorded. That's usually the risk for some Polish Black Metal, what side of "raw" are they really going to land on. Naburus, is just raw enough. The music is clean enough for us to enjoy the riffs and hear all the instruments, but it is raw enough to give it that level of grit and sinister feel that I love to hear in Black Metal. One of the interesting things about the Naburus songs is that I think they are a sort of blend between the Czech sound and Polish sound of Black Metal. They do a decent job of playing a form of Black Metal that balances speed and slow sections pretty well. "Powrót Antychrysta" has this riff that really just hooks you in as it builds up to the faster sections. "Noc Upadku Chrześcijańskich Wartości" starts of very slow with a plodding feel before building into an intense and raging song. The song itself really ends around five minutes in and the rest of the track is some haunting ambience.

Naburus really aren't performing anything new, but they really are playing some solid and pretty well written Black Metal. Starting off this strong gives me hope for their future efforts and I'm really interested to see where Naburus go from here. Definitely worth checking out for now.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Grimoire


Grimorie - À La Lumière des Cendres
Morbid Winter Records, 2011
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal

1. Bérisiel I
2. Bérisiel II
3. À l'Ombre du Vieux Chêne
4. Les Flammes de l'Ignorance
5. Ostara
6. Les Cieux de l'Insignifiance
7. Untitled








The drummer sitting behind the kit of the very prolific bands Csejthe and Forteresse, comes from behind his drum set and offers up a very beautiful and somber experience. I'm actually surprised to see there aren't ninety bands with the name Grimoire all over the world and maybe that's one of the reasons I gave this album a skip when I saw it at distros back in 2011. It wasn't until I got acquainted with Csejthe and Forteresse that I went back and picked this up. A lot of care really went into this release. The booklet and layout are simply quite beautiful. They did an excellent job of re-creating the aesthetic of an old grimoire.

If you're familiar with Csejthe and Forteresse then Fiel's solo project will be no stranger to you. You can definitely hear atmospheric elements of both bands. Morne, from Csejthe, even puts forth his vocal talents on this release. Fiel is clearly a very competent musician all around and produces some extremely beautiful melancholic moods. While Fiel does an excellent job of creating these landscapes, I do think Csejthe and Forteresse are a little better. I just feel like the subtlety in their songwriting creates a far more grandiose atmosphere. Grimoire's atmosphere, feels a little more... flat, I want to say. It lacks that epic quality that really draws me into the release in the same way as the other projects. Granted, this is a first outing, and it's an admirable composition in that regard. However, I feel like his ties to those larger projects are making me compare against them a lot more. This may not be a good thing and I am trying to stay objective, but I just hearken back to other atmospheric projects and I hear their elements a lot more dynamically. I think Fiel is off to a very strong start and if he ever returns to writing music for another installment of Grimoire the compositions will certainly be much stronger.

Despite some of those complaints, I did enjoy this album. The piano elements are actually stunningly beautiful. He did a great job blending those into the project. As I said, it is a very strong start, so if you do like that beautiful Québec style Black Metal, Grimoire is probably worth your time to check out. I actually do recommend this release, especially if you just can't get enough of this brand of Atmospheric Black Metal.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Secrets of the Moon


Secrets of the Moon - Unearthed Arcana
Self-Released, 1995
Genre: Black Metal

1. Intro
2. Screams of Anguish
3. Lonesome in Forest at Nightfall
4. Sensual Defloration
5. Sailà
6. Luna Eclipse










Secrets of the Moon has recently seen a huge growth in their following with the release of "Antithesis", but I don't think a lot of the newer fans realize how old this band really is. This first demo came out in 1995 and the only original member of the band to satay with the band into their modern fame was Daevas, however, he has also left the band and now there are no original members left. So, it's interesting to see this original incarnation of Secrets of the Moon. This tape comes with a xeroxed booklet and a dubbed tape. The only thing I can find online is that this tape is limited to approximately 450 hand-numbered copies, of which I own #95.

It's unsurprising to say that the production quality is not spectacular, it is a Black Metal demo from '95 after all. But the production is actually done well enough for us to hear everything. The cymbals seem to get a bit lost in the mix, but overall this sounds pretty good for an early demo. The music is pretty typical for the 90's German scene at the time. The only song that stands out as having a very different feel is "Screams of Anguish" and this is because it has these more technical leads, which aren't typical for a Black Metal band. It even starts off with a roaring bass line, before delving into a very Thrashy guitar line. However, that kind of riffing gives way to the more typical Black Metal, but switches around with more melodic riffing. At points it sort of reminds me of the type of stuff Sorhin would do, but much better. Then we have a beautiful instrument, "Lonesome in Forest at Nightfall", which is just acoustic guitar and wolves howling in the background. We then return to the usual blasting Black Metal with guitars sawing away. Secrets of the Moon is certainly a talented band and I'm sure they'll offer more to the world, but for now they remind me of a blend of some Gorgoroth and Dødheimsgard, but they don't really have the chilling atmosphere of either band.

Even in 1995 there seems to be a plethora of influences for new bands to draw off of, so I think Secrets of the Moon is trying to really solidify their sound. I think this sounds really different compared to other bands out there, but I think they're still working on how to blend songs together better. Some good riffs do shine through, but a lot of the atmosphere feels a little dry to me, compared with the Scandinavian styles at least. Maybe that's just me though. Definitely interesting to see where this band began, before they really hit upon some interesting writing.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

LVTHN


LVThN - Adversarialism
Self-Released, 2014
Genre: Black Metal

1. The Poisonous Serpent
2. Opposed by the Nameless














Here we have a real treat. A new Black Metal band out of Belgium has formed and they are performing some truly great material. This was originally released as a digital version back in November, 2013, but a physical version eventually surfaced on cassette. For those who may not realize, the bands name stands for Leviathan, but it is written in the original Hebrew form with no vowels. The use of Hebrew is fairly common in the language of the occult, but a lot of Hebrew legends are drawn out of more ancient Semitic myths. The comes as a pro-printed booklet and a pro-printed tape limited to 100 hand-numbered copies, of which I own #15.

When I first ran into this project, I was immediately taken by the album cover. If your familiar with the art you'd find in books from the middle ages you'd also find this eye catching to a degree. The rest of the imagery throughout is very reminiscent of the old grimoires printed over the centuries. They really did the printing of this tape justice, the whole thing is white, even the cassette, which makes for a great physical piece to hold and look through. I do wish the booklet had more to it, such as lyrics to read, but this really is just a demo. Perhaps they will do a lot more for a full-length.

The demo opens with "The Poisonous Serpent" which starts with a really haunting guitar line. From the first few seconds you can tell this band has really nailed an excellent Black Metal atmosphere. A little over a minute into the track the hit upon a riff that is just so spectacular it makes me want to listen to the song over and over. LVThN really do generate a sort of ritualistic monotone atmosphere for this release. They are not a vicious Black Metal band that blasts their way through track after track, instead their sound enthralls the listener to get lost in their dense atmosphere. "Opposed by the Nameless" creates a more dissonant tension for the listener, but it is nonetheless of the same atmosphere. LVThN, to me, seems to draw their atmosphere from the more occult Swedish band, such as Ondskapt, Mortuus, etc. However, LVThN is indeed fairly different from those projects, but their atmosphere strikes me as similar. They also seem to draw elements out of the might Polish scene with some reminiscent aspects to Mgla. This really is a spectacular blend.

This is a superb demo. I really hope a full-length is imminent in the near future. I, and many others, will be watching this project. LVThN certainly play a mature and higher minded form of Black Metal. Each song is structured around a spectacular core riff that entices the listener to play the songs more than once. The only real downfall of this demo is that there are only two songs, there truly need to be more. The thing that I'm most worried about is that LVThN has set the bar quite high and my expectations on the full-length will be very critical. If they can meet this level of quality for nine tracks or so, I will be extremely impressed. This is a must hear new project.


Hate


Hate - Lord is Avenger
Novum Vox Mortis, 1998
Genre: Death Metal

1. Share Your Blood with Daemon
2. World has to Die
3. Dead and Mystified
4. Intransigence of Evil
5. Enter the Hell
6. Convocation
7. Lord is Avenger
8. Paradise as Lost
9. Pagan Triumph
10. Vexation of My Spirit
11. Satan's Horde





The curious thing about Polish Death Metal is that even into the later 90's releasing material on cassette was still very much in style. Luckily I was able to get the original edition of this release. Most of this material was later re-released on a CD called "Holy Dead Trinity" and it got distributed all over the world. It was technically a compilation album, but it's missing the last two tracks off this album. Naturally, that makes having an original version fairly sought after. It's sort of a shame because this material is actually very good. Another interesting aspect of this release is that the record label has changed its name from Vox Mortiis Records to Novum Vox Mortis. I'm really not sure why this change occurred, but the same high quality tape editions are being produced, so I guess it doesn't matter that much.

"Lord is Avenger" is a further improvement on Hate's already fairly solid sound. Everything is heavier and the writing is more well-thought out than ever before. They've also started including a decent dose of solos to really solidify that Deicide experience. Another aspect of this that I think is great is Hate is starting to deviate from the being a Deicide clone and is instead started to blend Deicide's sound with some more Death Metal from the Polish region. The end result is one of the most punishing Hate releases to date. I do hear a bit of "Once Upon the Cross" finding it's way into Hate's recording, but it's a lot less than I was expecting for a 1998 release from this band. They do a great job of blending all of that together.

In the end I really like where Hate is heading in this direction. It may not be as intoxicating as some of the Deicide riffs, but it is a solid representation of that style. I like seeing Hate branch out a little more to include some slightly different elements. They might be a little too separated still, because I feel like parts are separated into the "here's the Deicide section" and then "here's our own section". If they can figure out how to blend this all together seamlessly they will likely have much stronger albums in the future.



Hate - Daemon Qui Fecit Terram
Vox Mortiis Records, 1996
Genre: Death Metal

1. Animate the Blood
2. In Satan We Trust
3. Inflict the Pain
4. Almost You are Dead
5. Merry Christless
6. Heaven Like a Hole
7. Lords of Sin
8. An Eye for an Eye
9. Died in Vain
10. Daemon Qui Fecit Terram
11. Cadentia





I believe this is technically considered Hate's debut full-length, however I have no idea how it's that different from "The Unwritten Law". They're both professionally released and have a lot of tracks. Oh well... I'm not going to think about it. This was originally released on cassette, just like the prior albums, unfortunately, this is another one I am missing in my archive. I really would love to get an original pressing of the cassette, but for now I got the material from a compilation CD I own that also had "Lord is Avenger" on it. It seems any pressing of this ancient Hate material is pretty highly sought after.

After hearing "The Unwritten Law" I was expecting some very solid Deicide worship, so I was pretty surprised to hear the album open with "Animate the Blood," which sounded more like the Death Metal being performed around Poland at this time. However, it wasn't long before Hate switched over to playing Deicide styled Death Metal rooted in realms "Deicide" and "Legion". This does make me wonder if Hate will change as Deicide changes over the years... I guess we'll have to wait and see about that. At this time "Once Upon the Cross" has been released. Granted it will take time for Hate to adopt that kind of a change... I just wonder if we'll see it in the future releases. On a retrospective note, I do enjoy listening to this album a lot more now, since the rest of Deicide post '97 really isn't worth listening to. So, if you miss those ancient days of Death Metal, Hate is really what you should be listening to now. Adam has actually done an excellent job at modelling his vocals after Glen's.

As far as debut albums go, "Daemon Qui Fecit Terram" is a very solid release. The higher production values are really wonderful. It gives the guitar tone a much more crushing feel than before. This is definitely an album worth hearing if you can get your hands on the material.


Hate - The Unwritten Law
Vox Mortiis Records, 1995
Genre: Death Metal

1. Performance
2. The Unwritten Law
3. Burn with Hatred
4. Living Sacrifice
5. Decadence of the Human Race
6. Evil Art
7. Demigod
8. Convocation








Unfortunately my collection of original Hate tapes is a little spotty. I was surprised to even find this tape, but I did miss out on the one before this called "Evil Art" from 1994. Luckily between a lot of re-releases I have almost all the new songs on "Evil Art" except "Purificated". A few songs from "Evil Art", I believe, are re-recorded on Side B of this tape. I also believe "Evil Art" is where the Deicide influence really started to hit a lot harder. "The Unwritten Law" really hits this home. This tape is pro-printed with a pro-printed booklet as well. It is no surprised to see Adam wearing a Deicide t-shirt in the band photo!

"The Unwritten Law" is basically a blending of Deicide's self-titled and "Legion". The worship is so bad it almost borders on perjury and has gotten Hate swiftly labeled as "the Polish Deicide" in many reviews and comments. I think this was almost too soon for a Deicide worship band and that's why Hate has spent most of it's time in the realms of unknown territory. I remember when I first heard them I wrote them off because, as I usually say: "I already own those Deicide albums." I say this about Emperor clones now too, but that's usually because they don't play as well. However, I can't say the same for Hate. They really do play just as well as Deicide. I think my review for this in 1995 would have been very different from what I'm about to say now, but I'm really glad this material is so close to original Deicide work. As I delve back in time to listen to all this old material on my shelf, I think I like the fact that there is at least one more album styled like "Legion" out there. Given the type of trash Deicide has been releasing, I'm actually really glad a band like Hate came along in these early years and really harnessed that sound too. This really is perfect, if it weren't for the vocals, I would probably have trouble telling the two bands apart! If you also think about it, even in the early 90's there weren't really any bands trying to mold the Deicide brand of Death Metal, despite their influencing a lot of bands over the years. It was really Hate who did this best. On that note I'm glad I was able to track down a copy of this demo, because they really did preserve a sound of an era.

If you 're an early Deicide fan or Hate fan, I would consider "The Unwritten Law" a must have demo. The real trick is finding this thing... and that's no small feat these days. I got really lucky and maybe someday I will find "Evil Art", for now "The Unwritten Law" is an excellent piece of history to enjoy.


Hate - Abhorrence
Self-Released, 1992
Genre: Death Metal

1. Sweet Death
2. Curse of Dream
3. Abhorrence
4. Psalm of Suffer
5. Interlude
6. Demigod
7. The Prayer









The band Hate from Poland was under everyone's radar for a long time. I think I first heard them back in 2001 with the release of their compilation "Holy Dead Trinity". They were a decent Deicide worship band, so I followed their discography. It wasn't until nearly a decade later their career really started to explode. I'm not sure how many people out there realize that Hate was also around in the very early Polish Death Metal scene with a lot of other really spectacular bands. This tape came on a dubbed cassette with a pro-printed booklet.

Like most of the bands in the early days Hate pretty much sounds like all the other early Death Metal bands. They play a Death Metal style with a heavy dose of Thrash infused in the music. I think we hear some Deicide styled riffs cut through in songs like Abhorrence, so they probably knew of Deicide around this time. There literally isn't much more to say about this demo, because, most likely, if you've heard one early 90's Death Metal band, you will not be surprised by "Abhorrence". There was a lot of growth in the Polish scene during this time, so it must have been exciting to be part of that. It's fairly hard for me to judge how "good" this demo really is because I've heard so much music that sounds like this at this point that I may be dismissing it a bit more than I should. It's interesting that Poland's Death Metal scene would eventually produce some of the more unique styles of Death Metal in later years and I count Hate among that group producing really different music.

This is certainly a classic demo from the early days and I am happy to have this in my collection, because this band would eventually grow into one of the better Death Metal bands out there. On a curious note, I've separated a song out called "Interlude", which is a beautiful instrumental and I remember this having a bit of distance between songs, so I felt it warranted its own track. Anyway, check out this piece of history!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Туман


Туман - The Past is Alive
No Colours Records, 2014
Genre: Black Metal

1. Vándorok
2. Örület
3. Emlékezés
4. Halott Csillagok
5. Határvonal
6. Köd
7. A Múlt El









When I saw that Туман were slotted to put out a new album after nearly eight years of silence, I was instantly excited to get my hands on this. I pre-ordered this immediately and it has finally arrived! After the raw and intense "Loquitur cum Algo Sathanas" Туман take a more thoughtful approach to "The Past is Alive". I'm sure the album title is in reference to the lyrics in Mayhem's song "Pagan Fears", so I'm a little surprised by how this album actually sounds. I thought it would sound like total Mayhem worship, but we actually got something a little more than that. The booklet is merely okay, there isn't a lot of art in it. However, it is multi-paged and features the Hungarian lyrics with English translations.

"The Past is Alive" really lacks the intensity of the prior releases, so if you were expecting that kind of Black Metal expression from Туман, you may find this album a little disappointing. However, I'm going to look at this as seriously mature growth of the bands writing and look at how impressive this album actually is overall. Туман have truly favored a much more atmospheric approach to writing this time around. It seems that Atmospheric Black Metal craze is really influencing a lot of new writing. "The Past is Alive" is not an outright atmospheric album, it really is a Black Metal album, but it has a certain density in the production that just let's the listener immerse themselves. "The Past is Alive" paints an incredibly haunting soundscape for the listener to simply drown in. The overly simplistic "Emlékezés" is made mesmerizing by listening to Dim hauntingly recite vocals in her native language. Maybe it's because my native language is English, but listening to Hungarian cast in this fashion conjures this really immense intensity to the song. The fact that they can do this while barely playing says a lot about their ability to control the atmosphere they're building. It's an album that you really experience as a whole, rather than on an individual track basis. I feel their prior albums worked more individually, but "The Past is Alive" builds a cohesive work. Tracks like "Örület" manage to stand out and give hints of Arckanum influence, but amidst some of the slower tracks the album comes off as quite a journey. The track listing is definitely very well arranged for this experience.

In the end I really did love this album. It's still very early in the year to say how this will match up against the rest of the releases. However, while this is nothing what I expected from Туман, I really did appreciate this album a lot. It is actually a very beautiful album. I'm not sure how many Туман fans will embrace this, sort of, new sound, because it is very different from all their other material. I do recommend trying this album out, just don't expect it to be like their prior catalog.


Туман - Loquitur cum Algo Sathanas
No Colours Records, 2007
Genre: Black Metal

1. Megöltem Istent
2. Sátán Útján
3. Temetõ
4. Oltár
5. Styx
6. Kulcs
7. Sátán








Dim and her horde have returned after a couple years to present us with a fine new effort labeled as True Carpathian Black Metal! I think is sort of a logical progression from the days of "Transylvanian Dreams". The art and album layouts are more elaborate and the music has a degree of maturity that is usual inevitable after years playing Black Metal. Туман are merely following that usual musical trend, some may say for the better and some may not like it as much.

It cannot be denied that "Loquitur cum Algo Sathanas" is a much more polished album when compared to the earlier efforts. I've seen some reviews that lament the loss of "Transylvanian Dreams" and in some ways I do agree. That harsh cold atmosphere that just shined through that album is not present here. The raw essence and chill from the production is gone. In some ways you need to get over that change and embrace the new effort. This is sort of like asking Mayhem to recapture the essence of "De Mysteriis dom Sathanas", when a lot of that presence had to do with production quality as well. Туман find themselves in a similar predicament. Very few bands can maintain a harsh recording quality over the years consistently, especially if they are forced to use different studios. What makes matters worse is that studios will also upgrade their equipment, making it impossible to capture the same sound and essence as before. That may be the situation Туман find themselves in, because both albums are recorded at Track Copy Studio. This isn't like Endstille who recorded in JAK Hell for years and really pulled off the same sound album after album, probably because JAK Hell never upgraded anything, which is unusual for a recording studio.

That being said Туман have truly released a fine album here. They really addressed some of the problems I heard with their earlier works. The guitar line is finely layered and Dim is experimenting with writing two guitar lines. She's actually very good at writing in this fashion and it's really given her a lot of freedom within the realms of writing material. You can hear it through the added complexity and arrangement of her riffs. The riffs on this album actually come across as a little more well written than before. Maybe you can argue they are not as chilling and instead a bit catchier, but that is okay. This is a very different album overall. In the last album I mentioned Gelal's drumming was fairly monotonous, but with this album he adds in a decent amount of fills to keep the music a lot more interesting. This really helps with the more varied arrangements. Unfortunately, Shadow is lost to the background, which seems most typical of bands when they start layering the guitars. However, Shadow is certainly a necessary component because removal of the bass guitar just makes music sound thin. Without him the presence wouldn't be nearly as full and complete as we get on this album.

In the end I actually really enjoyed this album. I actually like the direction Туман are heading in. I think their writing is getting stronger and I really look forward to what they put out in the future. Definitely a wonderful and vicious album.


Туман & Necroplasma Split
Turanian Honour Productions, 2005
Genre: Black Metal

Туман:
1. Storm
Necroplasma:
2. Shallow Voices












Side Necroplasma: ...coming eventually...
Side Туман:

So here's a curious thing to do. When you release your debut album, do a split with a band and release one of those songs from the album. Granted this is a slightly different version. Horna also did this kind of thing with their Tenebrae in Perpetuum split and I've always found this a weird thing for a band to do. Now, I'm not sure which release came out first, usually they don't print the month of release on these types of products. This vinyl 7" is limited to 444 copies and I have #416.

This is really the same song as "Vihar", but I believe this might be a version in English rather than Hungarian. It also seems to be a rehearsal track, because it's much more raw than the studio recordings. In light of this, I'm not sure if the Туман side really makes this worth getting. "Vihar" and "Storm" aren't so drastically different that it makes either one more a must have than the other.

Туман - Transylvanian Dreams
No Colours Records, 2005
Genre: Black Metal

1. Átoklátomás
2. Erdély
3. Vihar
4. Transylvanian Dreams
5. Holdlény
6. Öregmocsár










"Transylvanian Dreams" seems to be quite a favorite among Туман fans and I can certainly understand why. "Transylvnian Dreams" is a harsh and ice cold glorious debut. The sound is heavily rooted in the Scandinavian vein and it really does herald back to a bygone age of Black Metal from the early days.

After listening to the "Funeral Fog" demo, I was expecting more from the band this time around and they certainly delivered! A lot of bands try to emulate the music they love from the early 90's, but the majority just can't even remotely compete. Туман, however, absolutely does. With "Funeral Fog" they've started adding the Mayhem aesthetic their music, but with this one some of the grindier moments of Gorgoroth show up here, as can be heard with "Átoklátomás". I think Туман have managed to find a good balance between minimalism and complexity that works for them. Songs like "Vihar" are tremelo picked the whole way through, but it's a fierce attack on chord structure and there isn't as many "lead" styled sections that show through. I feel like this is the way Inferno approached a lot of their songwriting, until they started to layer the guitars a lot more. Туман is similar, where they will attack the listener with fiercely picked chords, but they will also include some nice scale patterns in sections. The riff three minutes into "Transylvanian Dreams" is simply intoxicating. In some ways I thought the bass would take a more active role without a second guitar, but I Shadow is still driving with Gelal's drum beats. Gelal doesn't vary up the drum material very much, but when he does it's really great. I hope to hear more of that in future releases. The constancy of the drum pattern gives this a feel of albums like Setherial's "Hell Eternal". Despite this, I surprisingly never got bored with Туман and I feel the guitar work makes up for any monotony that could result.

In the end, I managed to find Туман's debut full-length quite enjoyable. I think a lot of listeners out there might complain that "it's nothing original". I think this type of listener is mostly boring, always wanting originality is a waste of time if you want to explore a genre. Find bands that play things well and you'll find a lot more music to listen to. Туман wields their craft very well and I think they are certainly worth checking out. I look forward to what they might do next, they are certainly trending in a better direction.


Туман - Funeral Fog
Self-Released, 2004
Re-released:
No Colours Records, 2006
Genre: Black Metal

1. Funeral Fog (Mayhem Cover)
2. Transylvania
3. Dark Forest of the Evil
4. Died in the Past
5. Transylvanian Dreams
6. Freezing Moon (Mayhem Cover)
7. A Gonosz Sötét Erdeje







After a year Туман finally put together their second demo and things changed drastically. Gone is that very dry sound of the prior album and they've heralded in a much more raw approach, which really enhances the music very well. This was originally self-released on CDr, limited to 100 copies. However, I have the re-edition from No Colours, which is hand-numbered and limited to 666 copies. I own copy #546.

Everything about this demo is better than "Beginning of the End" and I wonder if they've gone through a serious line-up change. I realize that Dim is the same as Tuman from the demo, because she used that name on another release. Given this demo is titled "Funeral Fog" it would be remiss if the band opened with something other than Mayhem's "Funeral Fog". Туман strikes hard with this cover and does a superb job. The raw recording style of this demo really lends to the atmosphere of the song and I love hearing Dim's vocal performance over this. Her vocals are a lot more close to Dead's than to Atilla's, so it adds a really sharp edge to the song. The album actually closes with a Mayhem cover and married between these two is really their second demo. Naturally, Туман's song writing hasn't improved so much that it rivals the mighty Mayhem, but it is certainly a lot stronger than "Beginning of the End". The riffs are much more fierce and have an icy edge to them that was never present before. I think we hear Туман growing out of a sort of Darkthrone worship and adding a certain level of Mayhem's complexity into the mix. There are times when you could argue the riffs get a little boring, and that's true, but there are these sections that just cut through and sound very sinister. I think Туман is really growing in the right direction and I'm not surprised that this landed them a contract with No Colours. I still want to hear Dim and her crew grow even more with their writing.

Despite the production behind the guitars, the change in the drum production is the other massive change that stands out the most. I honestly can't tell if "Beginning of the End" used a drum machine or electronic drums or something like that, they sounded so dry. While Gelal is certainly no Hellhammer, he's added a lot to Туман sound by giving us a far more organic drum tone than the prior demo. This really changes the atmosphere for the band and gives it a more real presence.

This version of the album closes off with the bonus track "A Gonosz Sötét Erdeje", which was clearly recorded at a much later date. The production quality is a lot better and even far more cold. The writing is also a lot more thought out, so this is sort of a taste of things to come for me as I go through this bands discography for the first time. If this is honestly what they threw away for "Transylvanian Dreams" then it must be one monster of an album!

If you're a big fan of Туман like I am, then I highly recommended checking out this second demo. This was the turning point for the band in my opinion. The Mayhem covers alone probably make this worthwhile. I really can't wait to hear what they have in store for us next. I usually don't link covers for a sample... but they did a really stellar job with "Funeral Fog" and is certainly worth hearing.


Туман - Beginning of the End
Self-Released, 2003
Genre: Black Metal

1. I'll Kill You
2. Follow
3. Dапь
4. The Lust of Destruction
5. Bloody Moon











Туман is a band from Hungary and their name means "fog". I originally heard this band from some of their later material, which I thought was quite good. Delving into a bands history can really be hit or miss a lot of the time. "Beginning of the End" is extreme primitive and really has an amateur quality to it. I feel like this is one of those situations with young musicians just starting out... well musicians starting out at any age really. This is their first demo and it was only pressed on CDr.

The opening track is titled "I'll Kill You", which is a sign to me that the band won't have much to say lyrically. However, sometimes the music can be very strong. I will say I thought it was just okay. This is a very mediocre release. The recording quality actually is pretty good for a demo, but the songwriting is extremely basic. It leans heavily on a more primitive Darkthrone style. Maybe drawing some help from the late 90's German scene. I'm specifically looking at bands released on Last Episode. I will say, I those bands were mostly boring, but I didn't mind them much. I feel about the same with "Beginning of the End".  Туман aren't doing anything particularly interesting for me. The riffs plod along and the vocalist screams away, but the material really isn't really evoking that tangible atmosphere I expect in varying degrees of Black Metal. I thought "Dапь" was a decent song. It seems to have around one riff, but it has a good quality about it the other songs don't. "Bloody Moon" is a slow plodding song that I think tries to be thoughtful, but is fairly forgettable instead.

"Beginning of the End" doesn't start Туман on a very high note. I mean, I've certainly heard much worse, but that solidly lands them in the neutral realm. I think this is a case where it takes a band a lot of work to really get going with a sound that works for them. I know Туман don't stick with this approach, so we'll see how long it takes for them to get into their modern sound.