AmenRa is one of the most important Belgian / international acts within the Post / Sludge-scene, active for more than a decade and influential both within the Belgian scene as outside. During the early 2000’s, AmenRa released four albums under the Mass-moniker (self-released or available via Hypertension), followed by some newly written stuff, released as self-produced studio material or in split / EP-edition.
This 7”EP-split consists of two songs, both of them the first official outlet from the guys behind these projects as solo-act.
One of Holland’s most active personalities when it comes to the darkest shades of noisy noises is Maurice ‘Mories’, the guy behind Gnaw Their Tongues. The grimmest souls amongst us might know this sweet guy from acts like Aderlating, Cauteror / Soulwound, Seirom, De Magia Veterum, Astral, Cloak Of Altering and many more.
I do follow this Belgian act as from the very beginning and I do appreciate the permanent positive evolution they made. In the early years, Gorath played decent yet somewhat faceless (Black) Metal, but by each recording they went stronger and more convincing. The continuously perfecting totality made both last Gorath-albums, MXCII and Apokalypsis (both reviews still available within the archives-section), make the top of my end year’s lists in respectively 2010 and 2011, and now it’s time to praise the Horned One once again.
Denver-based band Royal Talons debut with a self-called album that presents five tracks that last for forty six minutes. And honestly, this might be one of the most impressing debuts I’ve heard this year.
Royal Talons bring a firm, heavy, rather obscure and oppressive mixture of Sludge, Post-Punk, Stoner and Doom Metal with an own face. The whole sounds somewhat psychedelic, hypnotic and gloomy, with an experimental base to reveal tradition and creativity at once.
Auto-didactic musician / multi-instrumentalist / composer Mathieu Vandekerckhove might be known from his activities in acts like AmenRa, Caan, Sembler Deah or Kingdom, but since almost ten years, he acts as a solo-artist under the moniker of Syndrome as well. Last year, for example, he and ConSouling Sounds did release the surprising full length Floating Veins (on CD and LP).
ConSouling Sounds are a pretty young Post / Doom / Drone label from Belgium with more than just a handful of great releases in the past.
They are not that ‘big’, so one cannot expect a new release each week (unfortunately); but I do prefer a limited but well-thought emission of material, so you won’t hear me bitching; either about the (i-pooled) package we did receive recently, even though much of this stuff was released (or meant to be released) several months ago.
One of my favourite scenes, at least when it comes to Pagan / Viking / Epic-oriented Black Metal, is the East-European one, with countries like Romania and Hungary more specifically. When it comes to the first one, Romania, well, I guess I did pronounce my appreciation more than once in recent reviews for acts like Satanochio, Negura Bunget, Avatar or Syn Ze Sase Tri (check out the archives-section).
Pythia is the name of a priestess from Delphi at the Temple of Apollo, also known as the Oracle of Delphi. She was known for her hallucinations, translated into revelations or prophecies, spoken in a weird tongue, said as it came from the Gods directly. Some historici think it was because of the use of certain drugs, others think she acted under the influence of certain gasses (Greece is a rather seismic region, as you know), or it might have been some sort of self-hypnotic or mental state of whatever.
Norway’s Ragnarok do exist for quite a long time and I’ve always liked their sweet lullabies (the interested or curious ones might check out the review of early 2010’s Collectors Of The King, posted on March 27th 2010). Since their former label, Regain Records, was put on hold, Jontho and his crew needed to find another intelligent entity to release upcoming stuff, and of course Agonia were a worthy, and winning candidate. All together: hurray!