If I’m not mistaken – and since I’m a smart guy the chance is almost nihil – ‘Arkona’ is the name of a cape on the Rügen island, nowadays in Germany (Baltic Sea, close to Poland), where the Slavic fortress Jaromarsburg was built. Like many castles, it has been a source of inspiration for many Metal bands. Behemoth’s first recordings, for example (at the time that they did still play ‘real’ Black Metal), referred to that era / area, but there are quite some bands named after that specific historical place too.
Despite almost two decades of existence, Expenzer finally release their debut full length via Czar Of Bullets. This Swiss quintet had the material recorded, mixed and mastered at the Little Creek Studio by Gurd’s V.O. Pulver, who did some studio stuff for bands like Darkmoon, Zatokrev, Megora, Excruciation, Destruction a.o. before.
I’ll keep this introduction very short. Manes hail from Norway and released quite differing / different stuff in the past. I was truly obsessed / possessed by the debut Under Ein Blodraud Maane (1998), but the other recordings showed another side of etc… You know, or you do not, but there’s the .net to help you out.
The American band Solace Of Requiem aren’t a traditional band, nor easily comparable to one or another sub-genre whatsoever. In 2004 they released their self-called debut album, which brought very dense and old schooled Doom-Death Metal. The second one, Utopia Reborn (2006), was quite different, for adding somewhat classic Death Metal with lots of progressive elements. Then the band underwent some internal struggles, so it took quite some time before they were able to return with another album.
It has been quite a while, but I am glad I Hate did send our headquarters some new stuff at last. I cannot explain why, but their releases almost always please me a lot.
Sweden’s Karnivore were initially formed in 2002 as Karneywar, and they recorded three interesting demos until the name-change a couple of years ago, as well as a first album, The Triumphant Khaoz. This album, however, wasn’t released until 2012 (under their new moniker), despite being finished in 2009. This delay had to do with the (sad) decease of long-time guitar player Patrik (f*cking cancer destroyed another life) and bad support (read: no decent label to take the opportunity to etc…).
Californian band Gravehill was formed in 2001, but they had a short-lived history with one EP only (which was called Practitioners Of Fell Sorcery). The band split up shortly after, but in 2007 they reformed, with the EP Metal Of Death somewhat later that very same year, and 2009’s Rites Of The Pentagram as proof of their glorious comeback.
Netherbird were formed in 2004 by Nephente, Grim (who left in mean time) and Bizmark. Despite almost a decade of existence, the band didn’t really record that much material. With The Ferocious Tides Of Fate, Netherbird release their third full length album, which was recorded at the Scarecrow Studios, which are, just like the label the band is currently on, gathered within the Scarecrow Music Group.
Two years after the acceptable debut full length The Third Aeon (review posted in Summer 2011), which was also released through I Hate, Italian (Milan-based, actually) trio Black Oath return with Ov Qliphoth And Darkness, going on in the very same vein of that debut (and the few mini-releases done in mean time).
It took quite a while before Wisconsin-based band Jex Thoth recorded some stuff again. The last thing this band did, was the EP Witness in 2010 (review: Concreteweb’s Archives section, posted on 29/09/2010). However, in mean time Jex Thoth toured the globe, performing on festivals such as Hammer Open Air, Tuska, Doom Shall Rise, Roadburn or Rock Hard. Finally the band found the time to write, and record new material.