Dirge – Lost Empyrean

Lost Empyrean Cover

Dirge – Lost Empyrean
Debemur Morti Productions
Release Date: 14/12/2018
Running Time: 55:38
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
10/10

Good evening, dear brothers and sisters of the one true faith. That being metal, not one of the false prophets and their excuses for religions. Only metal is real. There is no Zuul, only metal. If you’re an Eighties kid you’ll get that reference. If not, I’d like to say sorry for confusing you but I’m really not, so I won’t. Well, that’s started this review off with a faintly negative and nihilistic tone. Again, sorry not sorry! Anyway, shall we see whether Dirge can turn these frowns upside down and whether they are worth discharging mucho dinero on? Walk with me, dear friends of Baphomet, into my playroom. That’s where my kickass stereo is. Ignore the surgical instruments – they are just for decoration, after all. No, that’s not blood, its patina. What? No, I didn’t lock the door behind you, Karen. The deadlocks automatically activate. Please, have a seat. Thank you.

Now we will begin…

A bunch of most estimable Parisians, Dirge took the extraordinary step of announcing that they were splitting up after 25 years two months after they released the record I am listening to, “Lost Empyrean”. This has caused me great upset and consternation because this record is a spectacularly brutal affair and Dirge hadn’t come across my Satanic radar before. Lost Empyrean is absolutely huge. It’s colossal. It’s mountainous, monolithic riffs of splendour and magnificence. And I’m fucking pissed off with the bastards for splitting up on me, especially considering Paris is within easy reach of the village I am slowly purging of all its inhabitants. They remind me of a less polished Crowbar, with elements of Swans, Red Harvest (circa ) and Paradise Lost. This is a splendid set of influences to have in my not actually very humble at all opinion, because PL, RH and Swans are fucking awesome, dude. The production job on this record is that rarest of things – perfect for the music that is recorded. Every instrument is rendered with precision. I can hear every drumbeat with perfect clarity and there is a meaty resonance about them that is normally lacking in metal recordings. Normally, metal bass drums sound like someone smacking some taut polythene with a wet and rather perturbed and upset rat. The guitars are razorwire flails, operating at neck height and are chunky as fuck, man. It is not a subtle guitar sound. It is the sound of electric guitar used properly, as a weapon, not a musical instrument; and the bass. Oh, holy fuck, the bass. If there were emojis on Word documents there would be love hearts all over the fucking page just because of the bass guitar. The rumbling, earthquake inducing, lo fi splendiferousness of the bass sound cannot be overstated.

Fuck me crossways. This is apocalypse music. This is the sound of the slow, drawn out, tortured end of the world. It’s shrieking and grinding tectonic plates being forced apart and the heat and power of released magma flows. This is the sound of a multitude of unstoppable armoured vehicles, covered in demonic sigils and crushing human lives down to chunky salsa beneath their spiked tracks. It is the sound of screaming diesel engines belching foul smoke from blackened exhausts and the roar of high powered high explosive shells demolishing fortifications, before matt black battlewagons crush all resistance under their tracks and plough relentlessly on, on to where you are cowering, hidden away in the ruins. It’s the sound of the end of your world, when the muzzle of a robotically controlled machine gun points to your place of concealment and saws the wall you’re hiding behind in half with a burst of half inch calibre leaden slugs. This record is slower and heavier than your mum in a pair of plutonium knickers with a lead brassiere…, while she is wearing a pair of depleted uranium shoes. It is THAT heavy, if you like droney, shoegaze stuff that is. If you revere Dragonforce, you’ll hate it with a vengeance unparalleled in human history. Lost Empyrean is the slow moving means of your death. It doesn’t rely on speed. It relies on superior quality songwriting and the fact Dirge play slow enough to let the music expand. Like the blastwave of a nuclear detonation. This music is utterly, UTTERLY uncompromising. It will not stop until you have been reduced to your component parts and it is grinning through bloodied teeth at you… There’s no point telling you what the best tracks are. This is an album that REQUIRES your attention from start to finish. It honestly is more than the sum of its parts and is a superior experience when listened to as a single body of work, through headphones, where you can subject your cranium to the type of crushing forces normally experienced by a jet fighter pilot pulling 9g. Or your dad, when your mum rides him like a cowgirl.

I never thought I would say this, but this record is the equal of P.H.O.B.O.S’s Phlogiston Catharsis, a record I judged to be the album of the year last year. They too are French. French metal is fucking astonishingly good. I haven’t yet heard a French heavy metal record I haven’t liked. Dirge (until they broke my fucking heart by splitting up, the absolute SHOWER!) are well worth elevating to the Dark Juan Pantheon Of Wonderful Excellence, where they sit with such luminaries as the aforementioned P.H.O.B.O.S. and Rivers Of Nihil and Gunship and others.

Ejaculate vast wads (of cash, you fucking filthy pervert) and buy everything Dirge have ever done so they will reform and I can go and have my brain turned to soup at a Dirge gig. You need Dirge in your life. Everyone needs Dirge in their life.

Simply staggering. I am literally sat in a dark room on my own with Dirge ringing in my head, wondering how the fuck does metal top this. I’m not sure it can. One thing is for certain, I’m not writing anything else tonight because anything else I listen to is just going to sound like appalling shite. I’m going for a lie down. My brain hurts.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Das Patentierte Dunkle Juan-Blut-Splat-Bewertungssystem, just because I like the way it sounds in German) has ruined every pair of trousers it has with many, many Dirge induced sex wees, has levelled its own house by playing Dirge too loudly and is currently sat shell-shocked among the wreckage wondering what to do with itself. This means Dirge are awarded 10/10. Full fucking marks, brothers and sisters of the true faith. FULL FUCKING MARKS.

TRACKLISTING:
01 Wingless Multitudes
02 Hosea 8 7
03 Algid Troy
04 The Burden Of Almost
05 Lost Empyrean
06 A Sea Of Light
07 Sarracenia

DIRGE ARE: (were, as it transpires…. this is devastating news)
Marc T.
Alain B.
Stéphane L.
Luz
They did not deign to tell me what instruments they played and I am too drunk to care… you have the internet, you find out!

LINKS:
http://www.dirge.fr
https://www.facebook.com/pg/DIRGE.fr/

 

Session Dirge - Paris, decembre 2017

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

 

Nightrage – Wolf To Man

Nightrage - Wolf To Man Cover

Nightrage – Wolf To Man
Despotz Records
Release Date 29/03/2019
Running Time: 43:55
Review by Lotty Whittingham
9/10

It’s no secret that the mighty wolf is often associated with the metal community. Bands like Powerwolf, Sonata Arctica and Wolf have turned this to their advantage, whether it’s writing songs about the wolf or naming their band after it. Nightrage have also done this successfully with their latest album “Wolf To Man”. It takes you on a brutal, fist banging and melodic journey about the demise of mankind.

The album goes straight in for the kill with opening track ‘Starless Night’. This gives you a great first glimpse of their high-quality sound, it’s one that balances sheer brutality and melodic tunes perfectly. Another thing that you notice is the brilliant guitar work, particularly in the solos and chorus. These melodic and brutal arrangements work flawlessly together to create some fantastic tunes.

Across the album, you can hear this remarkable balance between the two perfectly. One minute you could be rapidly headbanging along to the beats, the next minute you are practicing air guitar along to the tuneful solos. No track is the same either, each one showcases a different story. The track can either make you want to start a revolution or go on a murderous rampage. It’s hard to pick the best tracks off the album so here are a few of the songs that demonstrate the impeccable talent of Nightrage.

‘Embrace The Nightrage’ could easily cause a rampaging riot with its fast pace and ruthlessness in the verses. The victorious sounding chorus can encourage you to carry on or it can mark the end of a successful rampage. Especially when the band screams “embrace the nightrage”, there’s a great sense of empowerment and strength behind this phrase.

The transition from sweeping melodic arrangements to thrash metal arrangements in the song ‘By Darkness Drawn’ are flawless. This fist pumping, headbanging tune will make you want to start your own mosh pit wherever you happen to be. This is a dominant track and definitely one of many highlights on the album.

The chilled introduction to ‘Disconnecting The Dots’ gives a different vibe to the rest of the album. The title alone is open to interpretation and the introduction to this song is a great way to illustrate this phrase. The acoustic guitars in the bridge also portray a more relaxed vibe that can represent the title. The rest of the song continues to showcase the band’s brilliant balance between melodic beauty and sheer brutality.

It ends on a strong note with the tracks ‘Escape Route Insertion’ and instrumental ‘Lytrosis. Escape Route Insertion’ provides one more brutal blast screaming at us to escape reality, something that we can all relate to.

The instrumental Lytrosis provides a calming atmosphere with the stripped-down tones and mellow guitar riffs. It’s a wonderful way to help the listener relax after experiencing a sheer force of brutal metal.

“Wolf To Man” is a melodic death metal treasure for old and new listeners alike. Nightrage are not ones to mess with and the mighty strength from them is concrete evidence of this.

Warning: Not for the fainthearted or easily offended.
TRACKLISTING:
01. Starless Night
02. Wolf to Man
03. Embrace The Nightrage
04. Desensitized
05. God Forbid
06. By Darkness Drawn
07. The Damned
08. Arm Aim Kill
09. Gemini
10. Disconnecting the Dots
11. Lytrosis

SOCIAL MEDIA:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/nightrage

Home



https://www.instagram.com/nightrageofficial/

https://www.youtube.com/user/NightrageTV

 

Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Bearfist – Smile You Son Of A Bitch EP

smile you son of a bitch ep cover

Bearfist – Smile You Son Of A Bitch EP
Independent Release
Release Date: 18/01/2019
Running Time: 20:54
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
7/10

As I was also preparing an interview for Essex based band, Bearfist, I had already done a bit of research before listening to the EP, something which I never do! But even then, I wasn’t prepared for the sonic onslaught that my ears were about to suffer, and I do not mean that in a bad way!

Screaming vocals have never really been my bag, but one thing that reviewing has taught me is to never judge a band or their music based on one aspect of them alone!

Bearfist are a four-piece band hailing from Chelmsford, Essex (so essentially a local band for me!) and were formed in late 2014. The band’s heavy groove laden songs and intense live shows earnt them a reputation that saw them grace the stage at some of the UK’s favourite festivals. To note, they have played at Bloodstock in 2016, after winning the London region of Metal to the Masses, HRH Metal in 2017 and Hammerfest in 2018.

The band, itself, was an idea that started off as a chat over a few beers between mates (let’s face it, we have all been there after a few alcoholic beverages, just most of us never actually bring it to fruition) and ended up as the “groove laden wall of noise that you hear today.”

Says the band, “we originally just jumped in a rehearsal room with a bucket load of riff ideas to see what sort of animal we had on our hands.”

They didn’t just produce an animal, they produced a monster and they have press quotes to back that up!

Says Metal Hammer, “combining weighty riffs with throat-shredding vocals, Bearfist are just metal AF.” “One of the most complete acts to play the New Blood Stage,” said Virtual Festivals, regarding Bloodstock, 2016 and Overdrive also stated of the Bloodstock performance, “Bearfist just destroy it. If we were to gauge the future of metal on today’s performance from Bearfist, it is safe to say we have nothing to worry about.”

So, what is it about the band that has produced this level of praise?

“Smile You Son Of A Bitch EP” is the third EP from the beast that is Bearfist, after the releases of “The Fifteenth Day” in 2015 and “Foundations” in 2016, and was produced, mixed and mastered by Justin Hill (ex-Sikth vocalist). The cover photographs were taken by Loki Films and the final layout of the cd had been designed and edited by band member Jon Holland.

The one thing that stands out to me about this four track EP is the sheer amount of energy that emits from it. Even with it playing through the earphones on my laptop (and the earphones not actually being in my ears!) the power is there to be heard.

The guitars are heavy, with riffs that hit you right in the stomach, and in my mind, there is nothing better than heavy guitars. The drumming is tight and frantic, with double kicks popping up all over the place and in a live setting this guy must work up a real sweat! Musically, these guys are top notch and even the vocals, which as I said are not my cup of tea, are first class, performed with a raw intensity that you just cannot but admire.

This is a raw and brutal EP that will have you banging your head from start to finish and I would love to the see the mosh pit at a Bearfist gig as I think it would be mental (I wouldn’t, however, want to be IN it though!!)

If you like your metal fierce and right there in your face, then this is an EP for you. And even if you don’t, give it a try. It will blow away some cobwebs and you might just find yourself moshing along with the rest of us!

TRACK LISTING:
01 Death’s Emissary
02 Destroy The Magnet
03 I’m Your God
04 Bleed The Wrong Way

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/bearfistuk/

https://www.instagram.com/bearfistband/
https://bearfistuk.bandcamp.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChDY68CgeuE6zCOzC1AY78Q

 

promo pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.