Ad Hominem – Antitheist

Ad Hominem – Antitheist

Ad Hominem
Antitheist

Osmose Productions
Street: 06.26
Ad Hominem = Discharge + The Ascendant x Sektemtum

One must use caution when reviewing—let alone enjoying the shit out of—an album whose first proper full song is titled “Go Ebola!” If this album came out 13 years ago and my mom found it in my room, I’d still be grounded to this day. Now that that’s out of the way: Fuck me, this rocks. The songs weave punk and black metal riffs with militant samples, chant-along choruses and breakneck speed into a blasphemous tapestry that would make the most seasoned of metalheads cry tears of joy as if they had just listened to Slayer for the first time in their lives. Each song stands out memorably, but “Before You Turn Blue” is an unexpected treat of slow, rock-influenced, doom-laden darkness. With Antitheist, Ad Hominem have “reached the essence of [their] existence” with this perfect abomination. Just make sure your mom/employer doesn’t find this laying around. –Nuko Kapao

Basil Poledouris – Robocop Original Sound Track

Basil Poledouris – Robocop Original Sound Track

Basil Poledouris
Robocop Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Vinyl Re-issue)

Milan Records
Street: 07.17
Basil Poledouris = John Williams + Danny Elfman x Vangelis

Ever seen Robocop? No, not that soft-served fecal matter, completely bullshit PG-13 “remake” that came out last year. This is the original score to Paul Verhoeven’s masterpiece, and a must-have for all you “vinyl-has-that-sound-that-nothing-else-can-capture” turds who somehow also happen to like the best movies in cinematic history (don’t worry … I’ll forgive you for being idiotic hipsters because it’s the FUCKING ROBOCOP SOUNDTRACK). Basil Poledouris did one hell of a job composing this—at once capturing the themes of the movie musically (shit getting thoroughly blasted, sharp, witty social commentary and more shit getting thoroughly blasted) while also keeping the fast approaching ’90s sound the fuck out. The titles of the tracks are accurate, awesome and prompt you to know where you are in the movie if you’re a dumbass (“Gas Station Blow-Up,” “Clarence frags Bob,” “Big Is Better”). One of the best soundtracks of all time to one of the best movies of all time. –Nuko Kapao

Aeons In Sodom

Urgehal
Aeons In Sodom

Season Of Mist
Street: 02.12
Urgehal = Impaled Nazarene + Carpathian Forest x Darkthrone

Urgehal are too often overlooked by dumbasses and hipsters (I know I’m being redundant) when discussing the “second wave” of black metal from Norway. The reasoning behind this is confusing to say the least—Urgehal should be held with religious veneration alongside the rest of the greats. These guys have arguably been at it much longer than their peers, or at least just as long, and deserve all that unearned respect you shitstains keep showering on Liturgy, whose manifesto on black metal should be illegal to own. I think one of you is going to need to take me to the hospital to get my rage hemorrhoid drained just from thinking about it (I’ll do a Cliffnotes version of the “manifesto”: shitty-scarf-wearing douche tries to emo-bukkake the coolest genre of metal with pretentious, rambling bullshit).

Now that that’s out of the way, it should be noted that Aeons in Sodom is somewhat unconventional in the way it was crafted. There isn’t a consistent vocalist throughout the tracks, which I wasn’t even aware of before I read the liner notes, despite my familiarity with the band. If you’ll allow me to describe the album in words Gordon Ramsay would use, it’s kind of like an updated, fresh and rustic approach to the band’s sound. Obviously it’s going to be different than past releases in some ways, but it still retains the essence of the band and much of what makes them unique (the almost Finnish Satanic anger, diabolical urgency and genuinely misanthropic feel of the sound). Perhaps most importantly, Aeons is a departure in some of the riffing, vocals and sound, with very good (albeit sorrowful) reason. The album is dedicated to the memory of Urgehal’s founding member Trondr Nefas (may he rest in peace). To pay their respects, many well-known O.G.s in black metal community make vocal appearances and guest guitar solos (side effects of which may include sexual arousal/melted facial features) on the album. I’ll name-drop a few of the more noteworthy guests: Nocturno Culto (Darkthrone), Niklas Kvarforth (Shining, Skitliv), Nattefrost (Carpathian Forest) and even a keyboard contribution courtesy of Lars Fredrik Frøislie (Tusmørke).

Instrumentally and aurally, this is a Norwegian black metal album made by a Norwegian black metal band. It showcases a breadth of skill by the full-time members and the contributors. Fast/holy-shit-that’s-fast, slow and mid-paced drumming, tremolo-thrashing guitars, and vocals that are consistent but not monotonous (despite the number individual performances) abound throughout, and the songs stand out on their own. “Forgettable” is a word I wouldn’t use except to illustrate inversely that the songs are memorable as shit. Aeons in Sodom opens with a disconcerting intro called “Dødsrite”: whispers are progressively drizzled with guitar feedback, and I did laugh a little when somebody in a thick Scandinavian accent starts yelling over all this to introduce the band and album—“WE ARE URGEHAL, AND WE ARE HERE TO FUCKING DESTROY YOU!” Even though I was already well aware to whom I was listening, I did appreciate the memo about their mission statement.

I was initially going to give this a raving review … and still am, a stark-raving review at that, because the cover of Autopsy’s “Twisted Mass of Burnt Decay” makes this even more of a masterpiece. Pack your bags—I guess we’re going to Sodom for an indefinite amount of time.

Dark Funeral: Where Shadows Forever Reign

Dark Funeral
Where Shadows Forever Reign

Century Media
Street: 6.03
Dark Funeral = Marduk + Setherial X Dissection

More like Dark Birth. But I’m serious, you guys: This is one of my favorite bands. Although key members have since left during the recording of Where Shadows Forever Reign (and I sure miss the hell out of former vocalist Emperor Magus Caligula), this is some solid-assed shit — like, after a day of eating nothing but concrete dust and water type solid shit — and even heavier.

This album is a ball flying out of my left field (I purposefully walk about with my fly undone for aeration), and it hits you with as much, if not more, infernal melody and crushing majesty seen in the earliest days of the band. Instead of having to take that deep breath you usually need when you play other Dark Funeral albums due to the sheer speed, Shadows is undoubtedly (or maddeningly coincidentally) a nod to their first full-length, The Secrets of the Black Arts, both in sound and aesthetics. Both album covers were done by the legendary Necrolord, who returns to add an extension to the visual storyline of the first album cover. The first track, “Unchain My Soul,” is almost an extension of “The Dawn No More Rises” from the first album. It has that plucked, chilly melodic guitar lead by Lord Ahriman and a bit of breathing space between the assaults of blast beats. And whether it’s intentional or not, Heljmadr, the new vocalist, sounds fucking phenomenal. I haven’t been this impressed with a replacement vocalist since Atteringer (TriumFall, live Propast) in Gorgoroth. “Temple of Ahriman” is a little more of the type of output that we’re used to with the fast-evil onslaught, but it’s still a bit doomier and melodically sinister. This is Dark Funeral, but I’m having an existential crisis over how original yet familiar this all is. I almost thought it was a completely different band, as “As I Ascend” played into what is perhaps the band’s slowest and most crushing moment of their album. This is easily the coolest thing to come out since my last review. Even with my ten-second memory span, I’m confident enough to say that this rules harder than shit.

Where Shadows is Dark Funeral born anew, crawling out of some inter-dimensional, gaping, oozing, primordial womb, and it probably isn’t a pretty sight. Don’t even wank about: Their discog is my phone’s entirety of music, despite the extra unused memory space. On top of giving me my top Dark Pick of 2016, the band also did me the favor of putting the birthing visuals in audio format, which kicks ass. I once watched a video of a woman giving actual birth in high school and got college credit for it (I should have received an honorary degree), I made an oath to myself, right then and there, that no human should ever be created again. With a new album from an old favorite, I’m almost moved enough to believe that humanity shouldn’t be wiped out in a cosmic whirlwind of searing radiation. I have this while I wait for that to happen, however, and I am retracting my statement that Dark Funeral could never make an awesome album without Caligula. Furthermore, Dark Funeral have again proved that they are arguably fiercer, harder and more inspired than the erection their music gives me. –Nuko Kapao