Agonia Records

  • Necrovation – Necrovation (2012)


    Delivering one of the darkest and most evil sounding releases of 2012, today we have Necrovation and their self-titled sophomore release. With nine tracks and around 45 minutes of crushing brutality, each of the tracks in this release features a very dark and cavernous atmosphere that is rarely matched by anything we have heard this year and reminds us of the crazy atmospheres created by bands like Shinning (Sweden) and Bethlehem.

    Delivering the first blast full of hate with “Necrovorous Insurrection”, this release opens with a bang. Featuring an old-school raw Death Metal vibe, the Swedish influences are extremely clear in this epic track. The quality riffing makes this song even more enjoyable, and the crystal clear production makes brings the full experience to your speakers. The intoxicating rhythms of “Dark Lead Dead” make this very weird song extremely intoxicating indeed.

  • Ephel Duath – On Death and Cosmos (2012)


    Genre-bending Ephel Duath finally makes a comeback since their acclaimed “Through My Dog's Eyes” released back in 2009. With their latest EP “On Death and Cosmos” the band mixes musical maturity with their typical experimentation in such a way that very few bands can pull off without sounding overly pretentious, or like total shit. Featuring three tracks, Ephel Duath is band with their crazy Jazzy mood layered with aggressive BM elements.

    Opening with the intricate “Black Prism”, the band delivers a hefty dosage of aggressive riffs accompanied by a very moody bass guitar line, perfectly blending the aggressive aspect of the band’s music with a rhythmic jazzy vibe. The drumming is quite well timed to fit the excellent tempo changes. Without abusing, you can hear some progressive hints here and there, nicely blended into the aggressive atmosphere.

  • Vorkreist - Sigil Whore Christ (2012)


    Exploiting a sick and twisted approach to Black Metal, today we have France’s Vorkreist and their latest opus “Sigil Whore Christ”. In this release the band delivers over 45 minutes of deranged Black Metal in the vein of fellow countrymen Peste Noire minus the extreme use Avant-garde elements.

    The album opens with the punishing riffing of “De Imitatione Christi” a piece that sounds very similar to a track on the latest Peste Noire release. With such a commanding guitar work and demonic vocals, the release quickly follows with the massive “Maledicte” and its brutal combination of shrieks and growls and deranged mourns, something that Shinning or similar BM bands would do.

  • Svartsyn – The True Legend (2012)


    Originally released back in 1998, today we have the re-release (and partial re-recording) of Svartsyn’s cult debut full-length “The True Legend”. Constantly criticized back in 98 because of the ‘bad’ production, this release now sounds like any other well-crafted crushing Black Metal release. Standing the test of time (only 13 or so years), “The True Legend” is a very powerful release that could pass for something a band would crank out these days.

    Deliver the first blow, “Tearing Your Soul” has that typical BM guitar distortion that older BM releases used, but the melodic aspect of the music makes it very appealing. The drums are very clean and brutal, giving this song a very powerful sound. The tremolo-picking is not overly exploited, making the song both brutal and crushing without being extremely cliché. “The True Legend” follows a similar approach, but a bit more hectic and fast. This allows the album to start building momentum since the first few tracks and we love it.

  • Enthroned – Obsidium (2012)


    With a feeling of 100 bricks to the face, today we have Enthroned’s latest release “Obsidium”. For the purists that feel that soul-crushing Black Metal can only come from Scandinavian countries, they are so wrong and Enthroned clearly demonstrates it on their latest release. Clocking around 40 minutes, and spawning through 9 tracks this release in one hell of a BM album that you don’t want to miss.

    The first waves of powerful guitar riffing and aggressive vocals make their wave in the opener “Sepulchered within Opaque Slumber”. In this track, the band opens strong with a relentless Black Metal that does not need ridiculous amounts of tremolo-picking or overly dramatic shrieks. The music is well crafted and direct; the overall feeling is very powerful due to the hellish vocals and masterful slowdowns.

  • Opera IX – Strix - Maledictae in Aeternum (2012)


    Eight years have passed since the band’s last release “Anphisbena”, and with “Strix - Maledictae in Aeternum” Opera XI intends of regaining their momentum and status in the Metal scene that they acquired with excellent releases before the year 2000. “Strix - Maledictae in Aeternum” delivers a heavy dosage of Black Metal tracks infused with Dark Metal elements but fails to fully capture the listener’s attention and quickly gets old.

    After opening with a very typical atmospheric prologue, the band fully jumps into action with “1313”. In this track the atmosphere is very dense and chaotic (perfectly crafted) but the singing and the guitars feel a bit outdated. The crazy guitar leads are nice, but we’ve heard them many years ago in other Black Metal acts, the vocals are deranged and very powerful but they are also something that band’s have already done in the past (circa early 2000).

  • Mr. Death – Descending Through Ashes (2011)


    One year after the release of their highly entertaining EP “Death Suits You”, old-school Death Metal is back with another Mr. Death release. With a very traditional Swedish old-school DM sound, this group of Swedes deliver 10 songs of nostalgic sounding music that should appeal to all fans of older Entombed, Grave, Dismember, and similar bands.

    With a dirty and gritty sound, Mr. Death rolls through the songs in this release featuring a hefty amount of catchy riffs and headbanging moments. Since the opener “To Armageddon”, we can hear the raw distorted guitars nicely fit with the organic-sounding drumming. Most songs of this release are pretty straightforward and effortlessly re-capture the guitar/vocal sound of old-school bands with a twist of modern production values.

  • Svarttjern - Towards the Ultimate (2011)


    Hailing from Norway, today we have Svarttjern and their crushing second full-length release “Towards the Ultimate”. With nine tracks of hectic Black Metal with some Death Metal influences, Svarttjern delivers very powerful blows in each song and has no problems mixing melody into their aural assaults.

    Featuring HansFyrste of Raganarok fame on vocals, Svarttjern will take you for a journey into the bowels of hell with very well crafted songs that do not get too repetitive as the album progresses. In the opener “Breathing Soil”, the band does not waste any time and delivers powerful guitar riffs, hyper-fast drums and hellish vocals. This song reminds us of the good years of Satyricon, and it will leave a great impression on you too.

  • The Konsortium – The Konsortium (2011)


    With all the craptastic Black Metal releases coming from Norway (and around the world) these days, it is very hard to find quality albums such as The Konsortium’s self-titled debut release. In this album, the band relies on catchy Thrash-infused Black Metal riffing overlaid with different styles of vocals in order to create a very effective almost Avant-garde Black Metal sound.

    Only knowing the identity of one of the band’s mysterious members, we can be assured that the riffing quality is top notch since Teloch handles the guitar duties. The opening number “Gasmask Prince” has a very hectic pace and multi-layered guitars that quickly set this band apart from the rest. The ‘Black Metal vocals’ are pretty standard for the genre, but the combination of whispers and clean sections make them very effective and diverse enough to keep the listener engaged.

  • Forgotten Tomb – Under Saturn Retrograde (2011)


    After gives us four very bleak and depressive first full-length releases, Forgotten Tomb returns with an equally melancholic release but with a different sonic effect under the name of “Under Saturn Retrograde”. In this album the band moves forward to lands charted by Agalloch, Fen, etc. and creates a very rich listening experience while maintaining some of the dark emotions from the past.

    The opener track “Reject Existence” is both brutal (great harsh vocals) and very melodic due to the majestic guitars and overall pace of the song. The band is not slowing down, and you can hear their earlier influences but they are now polishing their sound in a very interesting way. “Shutter” starts off very aggressive but near the middle of the track the experimentation begins and there are some excellent Doom Metal inspired sections.


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