Teitanblood: Death

Posted: 18th April 2014 by Tommi Ilmanen in Other, Reviews
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Norma Evangelium Diaboli, 2014


For those who aren’t acquainted with this Spanish group, they play putrid and uncompromising old-school death metal at its finest with hints of other extreme forms of metal. Their music is heavily based on brutal, low-key riffs with even lower tuning, accompanied by manic and primitive drumming. On rare occasions, this sepulchral pummeling is interrupted by rather unmusical guitar solos that fancy insane shredding, arpeggios and whammy-bar abusing (Slayer, anyone!?). The vocals are mainly grunting and growling as if delivered from beyond the living world, and with no clear rhythmic patterns or arrangements, as they are presented more like frenzied bursts of phrases or haunting devilish praise. Add to these factors that the songs themselves are erratic and illogically built harvesters of Chaos without any regular structures, and you’re really starting to feel like you’re embarking on a seriously dangerous trip when experiencing Death. Read the rest of this entry »

Toxic Holocaust & Exhumed – Nosturi, Helsinki – March 19, 2014

Exhumed’s sadistic string section: Bud, Matt & Rob

This cold and (at least weather-wise) miserable Wednesday evening marked the only log bomb that Toxic Holocaust and Exhumed’s over a month-long European Invasion dropped on Finnish soil.  Having already caught both bands a few times during their previous visits, there was no long built-up tension in the air for me, but as 2013 had seen a fresh full-length from the Portland predators as well as the San Jose slaughterers, I welcomed this clash of West Coast wackos with relative excitement. Read the rest of this entry »

Valkyrja: The Antagonist’s Fire

Posted: 21st March 2014 by Tommi Ilmanen in Other, Reviews
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The Antagonist’s Fire
W.T.C. Productions, 2013

This time it was Swedish group Valkyrja’s destiny to get beheaded under my guillotine of criticism. The Antagonist’s Fire is their third and latest musical offering on the bloodied altars of religious black metal. As the name of this horde has been haunting me for a while, and even succeeding to trigger some feelings of interest, it was time to see if Valkyrja belongs in the drowning pool of urine among so many other wimpy artists of this sub-genre. Read the rest of this entry »

Mantar: Death by Burning

Posted: 26th February 2014 by Tommi Ilmanen in Other, Reviews
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Death by Burning
Svart Records, 2014


If you’re to believe the promotional statements, this one-year-old twosome should be heavier and more menacing on their debut album than many other bands with five musicians and a full arsenal of instruments. Despite the lack of a bass guitar, this is given as a fact based on the superior talent and musicianship of these Germans (well, the drummer guy is originally from Turkey, but anyways). I must admit that when reading these pompous promises, I couldn’t help thinking whether these guys are actually serious. Or are they just trying to hide inferior music under layers of snootiness and arrogance? Well, without knowing really why, there was something that made me eagerly want to find out answers to my questions. Read the rest of this entry »

Innsmouth: Consumed by Elder Sign

Posted: 2nd February 2014 by Tommi Ilmanen in Other, Reviews
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Consumed by Elder Sign
Abysmal Sounds, 2014

Can anybody guess what’s the worst nightmare of a music reviewer, or a reviewer of any kind? No, it’s not a product that makes the critic rip out their hair because it’s so unforgivably bad or makes them think “what was the reason I ever decided to waste my time and energy on this reeking pile of horse feces that’s somehow called art by some people”. The most atrocious and frustrating thing is to give birth to an article based on a screw-up so tedious and tasteless that every single word and phrase in the text requires immeasurable effort, leaving you feeling totally consumed once it’s finally done. When you’ve been sitting on your computer for several hours, there’s not a single word that could give a good start for the review, and you’re feeling like the dullness is going to mummify you. When you’re thinking that maybe a staring contest with a potato would be much more rewarding. Yeah, that’s a reviewer’s worst nightmare. Read the rest of this entry »

Undergang – Hymns of Death

Posted: 25th January 2014 by Kari in Interviews, Other
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New death metal bands seem to be popping up like mushrooms all around the globe, while long-slumbered elders keep on bursting out of their coffins. In the midst of this overabundance, Undergang from Denmark somehow managed to catch my attention. Despite singing in their native tongue, which I couldn’t understand a word of, their message was still very clear to me; this was a band that’s all about the slimy and filthy way of death metal! Combining all the elements I love in the genre and spewing out some of the most wicked and crushing sonic savagery, Undergang is a name you need to remember if you are into death metal (or into heavy metal, for that matter) at all. And so I approached their vocalist/guitarist David Torturdød with a bunch of inquiries, and despite being a busy beaver with his various activities in the scene, he managed to spare some time for us. Read the rest of this entry »

Dissecting 2013

Posted: 22nd January 2014 by Enslain Magazine in Editorials, Other, Reviews
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2013 was quite the year for Enslain Magazine, taking us on a plethora of awesome adventures from the frosty mountains of Dovre to the dingy alleys of Bucharest and the sunny shores of Zadar.  Most importantly, it saw the release of a new print issue, bearing the number 11.  A lot of thought was put into making the magazine thematic yet varied, colorful yet coherent – summing up our most significant experiences and passions from the last couple of years in all things metal.  We’d like to think it turned out pretty nice.

While Ossi took a more prominent role than before in the forging of the new issue, ascending to a position one might call “co-editor,” we had the honor and delight to take in some new blood as well.  With the launch of the Enslain blog, Kari joined the fold, mainly providing interrogations with groups he deems best in cruelties of death and doom, and more recently, Tommi stepped in as a record review contributor.  Welcome to Hell, dudes, let’s make 2014 the best one so far.  Anyway, as clichés dictate, here’s our wrap-up of last year, with each of us listing the five top dogs in releases, as well as the most decimating live experience endured [except Tommi, who thought that pretty much all gigs he saw last year sucked balls]. Read the rest of this entry »

Magenta Harvest: Volatile Waters

Posted: 21st January 2014 by Tommi Ilmanen in Other, Reviews
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Magenta Harvest
Volatile Waters
Inverse Records, 2014


For starters, let’s make one thing clear here: …and Oceans has always been – and still is – the most important band for me considering metal music. Consequentially, the debut album of Magenta Harvest appealed to me more than enough, as the band originally started as a duo consisting of two ex-members of this personal all-time-favorite group of mine. And should the claims on their bio be true, the music on Volatile Waters could be just mind-exploding, as its basis is said to lie on the same musical fields that …and Oceans roamed around in ’95. Read the rest of this entry »

Glorior Belli: Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls

Posted: 20th January 2014 by Tommi Ilmanen in Other, Reviews
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Glorior Belli
Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls
Agonia Records, 2013


I’d like to see myself as a rather open-minded person considering music.  When I’m searching for and listening to some new bands and artists, I prefer to give my attention to those who have something fresh and original in their music.  For example, even though the debut album of Impaled Nazarene is a masterpiece, there is no point in making a replica of it.  Why reinvent the wheel when you can craft something of your own?

That being said, everything has its limits.  Some borders are not meant to be crossed, and some musical genres are not meant to be mixed together.

The name Glorior Belli was somewhat familiar to me before listening to Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls, so I really didn’t know for sure what to expect.  But upon hearing that their newer material should be a mixture of black metal, stoner and southern rock – all of which I highly enjoy – a shadow of skepticism started creeping up my back; can this ever work properly throughout a full-length release?  So, for the sake of open-mindedness, I decided to give this album a fair chance to prove my preconception wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

November to DismemberFusion Arena, Bucharest, Romania – November 29–30, 2013

‘Twas thirteen Novembers ago the last time I’d attended an event by the cognomination of November to Dismember, and I remember it well.  Back then, the name represented two of the many festival failures orchestrated by the notoriously distrusted hands of Jack Koshick – taking place in San Antonio in ‘99 and the following year just outside of L.A. and offering a spattering of European first-timers who ultimately ended up not getting paid.

Although entirely unrelated, the name has now been resurrected by an upstart underground fest in Bucharest which to some – us included – may have presented a similar air of dubiousness to contend with.  The organizers’ relative greenness in arranging a fest, the line-up boasting bigshots like Hail of Bullets and Impaled Nazarene along with a host of unfamiliar names from around the globe, and the iffy location (if you trust hearsay about Romania) weren’t exactly signposts for reliability.

It took a bit longer than usual to get this wrap-up written… I actually had the whole report drafted before ever even stepping foot off the plane at Henri Coandǎ International Airport, exposing how clusterfucked this first-time happening was, and how unoriginal and uninspired the line-up was.  It then expressed my apologies for not having any photos to show for it, thanks to the theft of my camera when we got mugged by a slipshod gang of local thugs after being extorted for cash in one of the city’s many dark taxis, and driven to an innercity circle of dilapidation awaiting our capitulation.

But then, none of that actually happened. [Hah, yeah, ace journalism, Lady Enslain; proliferating age-old stereotypes instead of doing your job…] Instead, the trip had been among the best we’d attended all year, forcing me to crumple up the unsubstantiated writings that I never actually wrote, and begin anew – and attempt to do justice to this exemplary festival achievement and fantastic weekend.

~ Story: Lady Enslain.  Live reviews: Ossi. Read the rest of this entry »