Polish death metal band Kingdom released their third full length ‘Sepulchral Psalms from the Abyss of Torment’ last October via Godz ov War Productions and it was one of those albums that caught my attention from the first song. Like many of you, Kingdom had flown under my radar previously despite the fact that they had been cranking out destructive and dark death metal since 2003. Coming in at a quick thirty four and a half minutes, this is one of those albums that is blistering from start to finish and leaves behind scorched earth in its wake.
Poland continues to be a hotbed for some of the strongest death and black metal out there, and with labels like Pagan and Arachnophobia releasing material on a regular basis it can be hard to keep up. One release that caught my attention right towards the end of 2016 was the debut EP from UR, the six-song ‘Hail Death’. Coming in at a little under twenty minutes, UR keeps their songs on the shorter side but accomplishes a lot with each one. Rather than simply laying down fierce, unrelenting black metal like some of their country mates, this band delivers equal amounts of harsh black metal and somber melodic passages that have a doom and gothic tinge to them. It’s a strong first showing that hints at even greater things still to come, and is another example of a Polish act that already feels like they’re pushing outside of the usual genre boundaries from the very beginning.
I’ve been able to bring you a lot of great material, and thanks to a handful of labels a lot of it has been from Poland. The Polish metal scene has always had a diverse roster of bands, and in 2016 it seems to be getting more exposure worldwide. Another group from the country you should be paying attention to is Youdash, who released their debut full length ‘Astrophobia’ independently back in October before getting picked up by Deformeathing Production for an expanded CD release on December 16th. Youdash’s origins go back to a band called Metalmorphosis who were around as early as 1998, so they’ve had plenty of time to perfect their particular take on experimental metal and two EP’s have preceded ‘Astrophobia’. With ideas that pull in everything from death metal, Dillinger Escape Plan and Car Bomb like time changes, and Mr. Bungle type weirdness Youdash remains unpredictable, and today we’re excited to give you a sample of that with a premiere for the song Celestial Phenomena.
Let’s get this out of the way: there have been a ton of bands over the years that have used or are using the name Sauron and taken influence from J.R.R. Tolkien’s works. Metal Archives tells me there are three from Poland alone, though the subject of this article was the first in the country to use the name. This particular Sauron formed in 1991 and released two demos between 1993 and 1995, and it would take almost a decade before they resurfaced. Since that time the black metal band has been more active than ever, releasing ‘The Land of the Dead Sun’ earlier this year and ‘Wara!’ just recently. The former contains remastered material from the band’s past, while ‘Wara!’ is a mix of old and new alongside a killer Bathory cover.
Poland’s Throneum has been a regular contributor to the country’s death metal output, having formed as Throne in 1996 before changing their name in 2000. Since that time the band’s been releasing material at a frantic pace, with EP’s and splits regularly filling the gaps between full lengths. Since 2011’s ‘Death Throne Entities’ they’ve put out eight shorter releases, and now it’s finally time for another long player with ‘Morbid Death Tales’. Due out October 14th via Hells Headbangers, who previously did a vinyl reissue of 2007’s ‘Deathmass of the Gravedancer’, this is thirty two and a half minute onslaught of blasting death metal and slower, mysterious riffing. Today we’re bringing you an exclusive premiere of the song Cacus, which is one of the slower, lengthier pieces the album has to offer. It’s a style that Throneum has experimented with before, but here it seems more fully realized and foreboding.
One of the things that this group has always excelled at is their ability to utilize a raw, analog recording without it sounding like complete garbage. It probably helps that Throneum has been around since this type of sound was common for death metal, and they’ve retained that feeling throughout the course of ‘Morbid Death Tales’. When they’re not blasting away with a blitzkrieg style attack, the drums have this warmer feel to them that serves as a base for the rest of the instrumentals to expand over. Cacus is a perfect example, as the drums plod along slowly while the guitars weave ominous sounding patterns together that sound like fog drawing you into a mysterious crypt. There are equal parts black and death metal to this track, and the way that the atmosphere expands and the guitar leads send chills down your spine are quite enticing. The band brought in Mark of the Devil from Cultes des Ghoules on this track and the album’s closer, letting the raspier screams from The Great Executor give way to chanted passages that have a ritualistic feel. It’s a bit of a reprieve from the fast paced attack that Throneum offers on the majority of ‘Morbid Death Tales’ but it’s just as foreboding and capable of getting under your skin.
Throneum may be known for their blasting attack and raw production values, but their ability to slow things down and capture that truly occult, ominous feel gives their material some versatility. Turn the lights off and let Cacus suck you into a foggy crypt as you step closer to death. ‘Morbid Death Tales’ is out October 14th on Hells Headbangers.
Critically acclaimed Polish death metal band BANISHER have revealed a lyric video for “The Iconoclast” a new track from their forthcoming album Oniric Delusions. The track is a four and a half minute rager of old-school death metal.
Listen to The Iconoclast” here:
Oniric Delusions will be released by Deformeathing Productions on September 3 2016.
permanent bassist at the very start of 2016. Since their previous release (‘Scarcity’), the band has seen a significantly marked growth both in style and production and especially the dexterity of guitarist Więcek. It should be noted that Więcek has the honor of being endorsed by Ibanez Guitars since 2014 as well.
The band has already extensively toured the greater part of Europe and appeared at several festivals such as Inferno Metal Festival, Eastern Deathfest, Flesh Party Open Air, Cieszanów Rock Festival, and Metal Head’s Mission among others; they have also headlined Metal Blast in Cairo, Egypt. No doubt they will be looking to unleash their new material to all on tour soon well into 2016.
Coming in at just over 30 mins. ‘Oneiric Delusions’ was recorded, mixed and mastered at Invent-Sound Studio in Bydgoszcz, Poland by Szymon Grodzki. The album will be released on CD complemented with a comprehensive 16 page booklet, and a lacquered sticker of the album cover artwork of the album supplied by Pete “Astmol” Zając.
Whoa! We have a third compilation of grindcore albums already? I guess the staff here at Transcending Obscurity take their grindcore really seriously. Or maybe the fact that grindcore albums are easier to consume compared to other styles, makes it easier to identify worthy grindcore albums at a faster rate. Whatever the case is, the way I see it, one can never have enough grindcore in one’s life. So we present to you, part 3 of the grindcore highlights list featuring albums that you should be streaming / buying right now if you’re a fan of this extreme style. ~ Shrivatsan R (Deputy Editor)
It has been some time since F.A.M. (Furor Arma Ministrat) last released a full length. After a promising EP and full length in 2006 and 2007, the Polish death/grind band fell silent for a number of years. A three way split with Nuclear Vomit and Grindbashers gave a small glimpse of new material, and now the band has finally returned with their sophomore full length ‘Human Cargo’ which will release September 3rd on Deformeathing Production. There have been some lineup changes between 2007’s ‘Bullet(in)’ and ‘Human Cargo’, but they’ve been able to return with a truly monstrous record that captures every element one could want from death/grind. Today we’re premiering the song Lets share a cigarette which is a two minute burst that’s sure to appeal to fans of bands like Napalm Death, Nasum, and Carcass.
Arachnophobia Records has built up a roster showcasing a considerable amount of talent from Poland, with quite a few of their bands blurring the lines between various metal genres. One of their recent additions was Vidian, who have been around since 2008 and managed to transform their sound from one record to the next. Following their ‘Transgressing the Horizon’ full length last year, they released a new EP titled ‘A Piece of the End’ back in May. This four song release found them channeling elements of death metal, groove metal, and progressive metal with a perfect balance of aggressive tonality and calming melodies.
For many people ‘A Piece of the End’ is likely to be their first exposure to Vidian, so I had the chance to reach out to the band and ask some questions to find out more about their newest EP and the work that went into it.