_________________________________________

Skon
_________________________________________

...At the End of a Journey...
[Hexencave Productions 2010]

      I sometimes forget how good the old bands were after listening to lots of very average new stuff. This band immediately took me back to those magical days of the past. Days when bands created music full of life and emotion. The first track on this four song release masterfully created a bleak and depressive tapestry of sound. The melodic guitars are superb, very reminiscent of some of the greats of the early 1990's. The tortured voice of the vocalist is also top notch. Unfortunately, track three has 'clean' sung vocals which I didn't like. Hopefully this experimentation ends and the band sticks to the masterful work of the first two songs. The last track, 'Cold Ways', is a cover from Katatonia. I know virtually nothing else about this band. This promo was sent to me from their label, Hexencave, out of Slovakia.

[Above: back]


_________________________________________

Veneror
_________________________________________

Percussimus Foedus cum Morte
[Hexencave Productions]

      I really liked the art presentation on this one and thought it was unique and cool. Veneror are from Italy and are of the black metal variety. I'm sure a lot of people could appreciate this, but after hearing 1000's of black metal bands over the years I need something unique, and there's nothing really here that stands out. The guitars all kind of bleed together and it gets boring pretty quickly. Then comes the last track (track eight) when I had given up any hope... A slow melodic start leads into a burst of black metal sound, later slowing down to more melody. Everything worked very well. It was strange the band saved my favorite track for the end. If only the whole album could have been more unique like this. Maybe it is a direction the band is experimenting with? Either way, a tempting glimpse into future potential.

[Above: inner sleeve]

[Above: back]


_________________________________________

Evil
_________________________________________

Legenda Neskrotnych Zivlov
[Hexencave Productions]

      Much like the legendary American death metal band who cut all the bullshit and choose the moniker 'Death', this Slovakian band call themselves 'Evil'. So how's the music? First I must say the label Hexencave out of Slovakia has recently exposed me to some great Slovakian bands, and Evil is one of them. Truly some quality black metal here. From fast paced to a grinding melodic slow, everything seems to work here. Six very impressive songs. I dare say anyone who enjoys black metal will love this. I sure did. I liked everything about this band.

[Above: inner sleeve]

[Above: flyer]


_________________________________________

Algor
_________________________________________

Hierofania
[Hexencave Productions]

      The label Hexencave has great taste in bands. Algor is a band I had never heard of--but enjoyed a lot. Fast, but melodic, with angry sounding vocals that worked very well. Sometimes the keyboards seemed to be chaotic and unnecessary, but other times they worked very well. Track 5, "World in the Mirrors", had some spectacular instrumentals. On the down side, sometimes the music would get so fast it would sound chaotic. There seems to be a lot of experimentation of styles here, like the band is searching for their way. I guess time will tell if they find it.

[Above: back]


_________________________________________

Shadows Ground
_________________________________________

Mysteria Mystica Calvus Mons
[Hexencave Productions]

      This is a CD-R of a limited edition cassette of a band I'm not familiar with. The first track is your standard synths and evil sounding atmosphere. Track two begins with some very catchy black metal, I was impressed. About half way it changes to a strange obscure echoing singing. Strange but not in a bad way. Track three I really began to like this band. Very old school dark and obscure black metal. Powerful. Melodic and with a presence. You can pick out a lot of influences here. Burzum. Mayhem. Dark Throne. etc.. Track six impressed me again. The dark melody mixed with the very proficient vocalists screams are very effective. The following tracks continued to impress me. I am actually quite surprised about how good this is, I had given up on any good new music coming out these days, but this band certainly proves that black metal is still alive. As they say on the cassette: 'When Black Metal is more than just music'.

[Above: inside. You gotta love the guy's picture on the far right, or lack of a picture!]

[Above: CD]

[Above: flyer]


_________________________________________

Satanchist
_________________________________________

Drtici kacirskych pohlavi
[Hexencave Productions]

      Satanchist is a band that dates back to 1989, but the material found here was recorded in 1992. This is a CD-R of an LP release limited to 300 copies. The music is raw, simple, but very catchy. The vocalist is right in your face, gruff and violent. They simply don't make music like this anymore. It has that old sound all of us love. I wish I had heard this back in the day. This is my first time hearing this band. I can see why this is labeled 'cult', it truly is something unique. It has a fantastic raw energy. It's been re-mastered from the original, which I've never heard, but this sounds really good. Every song has its own style. Each has a hook and a kick-ass sound. Something every metal-head should hear.

[Above: inside.]

[Above: CD-R]

[Above: flyer front]

[Above: flyer back]


_________________________________________

Slovak Metal Compilation
_________________________________________

Slovak Metal Compilation
[Tryzna Production]

      This is a compilation CD containing 15 German bands... just kidding, they are Slovakian. This is really cool to be introduced to a scene I knew nothing about, but seems to be thriving. This comp contains tracks by bands from over a period of 20 years. The first few tracks are your standard death metal, not bad, but not much stood out for me. Track three is a band called 'Dehydrated' (circa 1997), a death metal band with a cool sound (and a very strange name!). Not typical and very good musically. Great stuff. Track five, a band called 'Ravenarium' (circa 2002) are a sort of brutal speed metal mix. It was interesting, and I'd like to hear more. Track six, 'Dementor' (circa 1994), with a track called 'Rotting God' is an extremely brutal death metal band. Great stuff also. Track seven, a band called 'Apoplexy' (circa 1995), another technical brutal death metal band. The last track, a band called 'Depresy' (circa 1998), was another very good technical death metal band. This is a very impressive compilation CD. Who would have thought Slovakia had such great bands!

[Above: CD back.]


-|-
Back to page twenty four -|- Back to Review List-|- On to page twenty six -|-