• Dirk Diggler - Dirk Diggler (2010)


    Hailing from Israel today we have a very perky porno-grind band called “Dirk Diggler”. While we are not huge fans of gridcore in general, we can recognize when a band is pretty good at creating chaos and decadence with their music and Dirk Diggler excels at this.

    Featuring the traditional porn samples, Dirk Diggler blows in your face 14 tracks of crushing gridcore that can be compared to Pig Destroyer, Anal Cunt and similar bands. Track after track the band provides a hefty amount of riffs and bestial vocals to please the most ‘demanding’ fans of the genre.

  • Svartpest – Mjodfest (2010)


    With a story that reads like a soap opera (according to the press kit), today we have Norway’s Svartpest and their latest release “Modfest”. In this album we get 7 tracks of a mixture of Black Metal with some Viking/Folk influences that feels somewhat a bit undercooked, but decent enough to make an ok album.

    Taking 3 songs from their 99 demo (with the same title), the band gives us a total of 7 tracks that dramatically vary in quality, but have a few decent ones to call this album a ‘lukewarm’ success. We have nothing against such releases, but we think is kind of lame to rehash older songs for newer releases (unless you are a band with a long (and recognized) trajectory).

  • Liktjern - Kulde, Pest & Død (2011)


    Hailing from Norway, today we have another Black Metal band popping out of the woods. Liktjern has been around since 1996 but due to tons of line-up changes and everything you can imagine, the band has never released any music until “Kulde, Pest & Død”, a very raw and ‘traditional sounding’ Black Metal MCD.

    As we are reviewing this album during a winter storm, we can surely state that this kind of Black Metal is just right for these moments. All 4 songs are raw and basic, a simplistic but rather traditional approach to the genre, but then again who said Black Metal is supposed to be pretty.

  • Lebowski – Cinematic (2010)


    As one of the most ambitious self-released albums we have received in years, we have Lebowski’s musical opus “Cinematic”. In this release, the band culminates a 5 year writing process in the shape of a sound track to a non-existent movie as they put it. Being the band’s first full-length release, we are sure they will turn some heads along the way with such a professional and rich production.

    The variety of textures created by the moods and instruments is outstanding, all the elements come together magically in such a way that you can visualize the atmospheres created by the band in each of the 10 songs presented in this release.

  • The Shadow Theory – Behind the Black Veil (2010)


    As a prefect example of super-groups that don’t really work, today we have The Shadow Theory and their first full-length release “Behind the Black Veil”. Form by Psychotic Waltz vocalist Devon Graves and featuring Kristoffer Gildenlöw (ex-Pain of Salvation) on bass, Johanne James (Threshold) on drums, The Shadow Theory boosts enough musician fire power to be amazing…well they are half way there.

    Starting the album with “I Open Up My Eyes”, you immediately notice a Jethro Tull rip-off flute using mixed in with the vocals, the bass guitar line is particularly great but it can’t save a mediocre song from crashing and burning with very uninspired repetitive sections. Another thing that kills songs is the stupid lyrics of “Ghostride”, in this track just after 2 minutes you will start wondering what the hell you are doing listening to such dumb lyrics.

  • Ptahil – The Black Fire (2010)


    In preparation for their upcoming full-length CD for Wraith Productions "For His Satanic Majesty's Glory", we get 3 crushing tracks of nihilistic Black/Doom Metal from one of USA’s newest and most diabolical bands. For 13 minutes we are transported to the depts. of hell, thanks to a raw and thick atmosphere that evolves you in full darkness.  

    With two new tracks and a cover of Beherit’s “Gate of Nanna”, this demo CD has enough sauce to keep fans going until their new album gets released. The crushing track “World Ablaze” kicks off this CD and immediately starts with blasting drums, hellish vocals and a very raw nature to the song that makes it highly effective. We are not sure that this will be the final mix and how the CD will sound, but we dig the rawness of this track.

  • Ptahil – Anti-Flesh Existence (2010)


    “Anti-Flesh Existence” marks the band’s debut full-length album, but it only includes 3 tracks and the version we got for review has the two tracks of their “Ortus” EP (which we reviewed here http://www.infernalmasquerade.com/?q=reviews/00743-ptahil-ortus-2010). With such a weird way of presenting your first full-length, we will discuss these three brutal tacks in depth as part of this review.

    “In Ritual to Yam” we get an old school Black Metal track in the vein of Bathory, Venom, Hellhamer, etc. With such a raw and powerful sound it quickly makes and impact on the listener, but we feel that it’s somewhat sub-par compared to their songs in “Ortus”. However, this track does set the tone for the following aural assaults that will shake you out of your seat.

  • Doro – Fear No Evil (2009) – Ultimate Collector’s Edition


    For the super fans of Doro, AFM Record put together a very special ultimate collector’s edition of the metal queen’s “Fear No Evil” release. Here we will talk about the extra goodies presented in this lush collector’s edition boxed set, but if you want the full review of the album you can read it here.

    In the first CD we get the full “Fear No Evil” and two new bonus tracks: “All we are (2007)” and “On My Own” as well as new cover art. The second CD has the “Celebrate” EP that includes 3 different versions of the song, the ‘original’ version, the version with Biff Byford (very good in our opinion) and the full Metal female version which includes some of the best female metal vocalists in the scene. This song it-self is what makes the EP worth having for any female-fronted Metal fan in the world. The remaining two songs are “The Night of the Warlock” and “Rescue Me”.

  • Eloy – The Legacy Box (2010)


    After an 11-year hiatus after the release of “Ocean 2: The Answer” Germany’s progressive rock monsters Eloy returned with “Visionary” in 2009. Taking advantage of the new found momentum this legendary band has gained, Frank Bornemann (the only remaining original member of the band) and company have put out the double-DVD “The Legacy Box”.

    In this new DVD we get a great documentary that takes the band release by release and talks about the things behind the scenes for the band’s iconic releases through the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. We get interviews with past members and their thoughts behind the direction of the albums, the music, and the state of the band through each release. During this 90+ minute “Mighty Echoes – The story of Eloy” documentary, we get great insight into the band’s career and if you didn’t knew anything about them you will almost become an expert on the band.

  • Transcending Bizarre? - The Misanthrope's Fable (2010)


    Being huge fans of bands that push the envelope, we have been greatly surprised by Transcending Bizarre? and their latest masterpiece: “The Misanthrope's Fable”. In this release the band takes us on a magical journey through their demented collective brain and for 46 minutes be prepared to be blown away by such an intricate and dark creation.

    In a time when most bands stick to their styles or play it safe and try to emulate what everybody else is doing, bands like Transcending are clear outliers in a very conformist music scene. Evocating comparisons to the great Arcturus, Solefald, Vulture Industries, Dodheimsgard, etc, Transcending Bizarre? excels at creating truly haunting and creepy songs that have so many layers and textures, making this songs have high replay value. Just by telling you that the album features a full children choir, you can imagine how terrible deranged and beautifully chaotic such a release can be.


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