Total Pageviews

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Triple Cassette Review: Heresiarch, Vassafor and Sinistrous Diabolus

I’ve had these for a couple of months now. Unfortunately, I managed to destroy the belt in my tape deck right when I received them.  Now after a $96 repair bill (it’s a good tape deck and was worth it), I can now listen to and present you with reviews for the following cassette releases:

HERESIARCH - Obsecrating the Global Holocaust
Note: In order to stay with the theme of the band’s obscure titles, it is advisable to have open in an extra tab to make sense of this review.
This debut pro released demo tape features three tracks. The first two being originals, including the title track and “Man is Carnivore”.  The third song, on side two, is a cover of my all time favourite Bathory song “Equimanthorn”. The cover and originals alike vary on their canvases between defined heavy as war head riffs to intense pounding walls of Chaos.
The packaging is incommensurable to anything I’ve seen before,  kind of a mini DVD case to create larger cover art with a cassette compartment on the inside. See photo.  The prodigious cover art work is by Bad News Brown.
Recorded by VK at the Killing Rooms, a local Auckland band rehearsal space, “Obsecrating the Global Holocaust” is “A” tuned, barbarous and absonant as fuck. The catastrophe that is Heresiarch is a  meritorious conscript to New Zealand Metal.  “Obsecrating the Global Holocaust” is a preeminent primogenial recording and a taster for things to come.   I look forward to the "Hammer of Intransigence” EP, which judging from the below sample track, will be an enhancement on this again. 
Go here to find out how to obtain “Obsecrating the Global Holocaust”
This has already had a fair bit of coverage here.  MMX is also is a pro-released (by Serpents Head Reprisal) version of the promo cassette that was used to promote, to labels, the material that is to become the double vinyl “Obsidian Codex”.
MMX features two songs “Sunya” and “Rites of Ascension”. They are both long epic dark Metal tunes in unique Vassaforian style. Both of which would seem to be a natural progression following on from the self titled mini album.  I, along with many others, am looking forward to the album version of these songs.  I will keep this review brief in the meantime.

This is a classic recording that, after nearly 20 years is finally starting to receive the recognition it deserves.  I’ve got the original of this somewhere.  It has a colour photocopied paper cover which was hand cut out...slightly crooked.  This version, released by Dark Descent Records, has black and white artwork, but is pro printed on gloss card, with additional liner notes by Diocletian’s Atrociter. The track order is different, opening with  “Sleep of the damned” first, then “Wipe out Christianity” followed by “Aeon Ended”.  This works, but feels slightly odd to me as “Wipeout” was and is the natural opener with it’s epic intro and anthemic chorus.
If you’re unfamiliar with the music on “Opus One”, all of what I’ve just written will mean very little to you.  So I will go deeper into the music.  In it’s time (and even now) there was something that lifted “Sinistrous Diabolus - Opus One” above the music of other underground extreme metal. It had focus, thought, the hearts of it’s creators pumped into it.  They actively sought influences from external genres to create unique memorable heavy dark music. Often experimenting with bizarre chords, rhythms and tunings. I remember at their first ever gig (Satanfest 1992 in Christchurch) where they tuned two “E octave” i.e. an entire octave lower than standard tuning.  The results were messy and full of feedback. By the second show, a few months later they had refined their sound (and tuned higher to a low “A”). That show left an impression that (obviously) has stayed with me to this day. Although not quite as powerful (as that live experience), “Opus One” captured the spirit of that show.
Aside from the legendary satanic anthem “Wipe out Christianity”, “Sleep of the Damned” is the next highlight, a slow atmospheric grinding dirge with one of the most heavy memorable riffs never previously discovered. It progresses from the sounds of a desolate howling wind through to death metal intensity over it’s epic almost 10 minute length.  “Aeon Ended” is a more standard 3 minute death metal composition which nicely wraps up “Opus One”.  
These were the only 3 songs Sinistrous  Diabolus recorded during this era, but below is a reworking of an unrecorded, untitled song from that time.  Check it out and get a taste of what’s to come with the forth coming and long over due “Opus Two”.

No comments:

Post a Comment