Total Pageviews

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Reviews: Winter Deluge & Exordium Mors

I’ve chosen to review the following two releases together, as they both have several similarities. Both Winter Deluge and Exordium Mors are from the town in which I reside i.e. Auckland, New Zealand; they both play extreme up tempo metal of the blacker variety, but the main reason is because both recordings were done over a year ago and, despite their awesomeness now they have been released, I’ve witnessed both band’s live performances improve vastly since.

Winter Deluge - As The Earth Fades Into Obscurity (CD)

Winter Deluge play aggressive but melodic Black Metal, and ‘As The Earth Fades Into Obscurity’ is a sterling debut effort! My main criticism of this release is that riffs and melodies need to be more prominent either in execution, production or both. There are definitely some incredible riffs, melodies and rhythms in the music but you have to really listen to hear them, as they seem to disappear under an atonal wash. Although as mentioned in the Inquisition live review, it would appear that Winter Deluge have already taken this issue into account and their future music should shine above this. There are however exceptions on ‘As the earth fades...’ though, such as on track 2 ‘Demonic Dweller of Winter Plains’ which is a stand-out tune with its dark, dynamic, evil build up and aggressive riffing, as is the album closer ‘Celestial Renewal’ - final track of awesomeness with its building of multi-layers of tension. ‘The Fragments of Mankind’ piano instrumental demonstrates the song-writing ability and musical talent within Winter Deluge. There is better to come from Winter Deluge, but that shouldn’t stop you tracking this down!

Exordium Mors - Sacrifice, Perish & Demise (Promo CD EP)

Unfortunately this isn’t an official release yet, rather a promo version the band are using to shop to labels. This being the case, you can’t actually obtain this at the moment, but you can check some of it out here:
‘Sacrifice, Perish & Demise’ is high energy, well executed Black Death Thrash featuring incredible “Iron Maiden on speed” melodic dual guitar work from Santi and Black Mortum.
Like a number of recent local heavy releases such as Hereisiarch, Beastwars and soon BulletBelt and Razorwyre, this features the awesome cover artwork Nick Keller (see examples in the above sampler and below).
The three original tunes ‘Sign of Judas Liege’, ‘Ancestors Call’ and ‘Exordium Mors (Pagan Ritual and Sacrifice to Roman Gods)’ are all of equally high strength. It also contains an awesomely well-executed thrash cover of Venom’s ‘Black Metal’. But while Exordium Mors interpretation of Venom is awesome it actually inadvertently serves to highlight the true strength of Exordium Mors’ own material on this release and sounds almost unnecessary; but then EPs are for releasing the sorts of tracks you wouldn’t put on an album. The newer material that I’ve witnessed the band play live is even better! Someone release this now so we can hear the forthcoming full-length album!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Inquisition Live in Auckland, New Zealand 6/6/12

I’d only discovered Inquisition late last year and just as I was taking a shine to their music a New Zealand show was announced by Internecion Productions and Chaos NZ. So as only happens once in a blue moon I was genuinely excited about this show. I’d read a lot about how much better live they were and to quote a cliche’ “they delivered”. Let start at the beginning of the evening...

Winter Deluge were on first. I’ve seen these guys play a few times over the last 12 months. each time they improve and this was the best and clearest performance yet. I could really hear what’s going on with the guitars and feel the riffs this time. Something that will benefit them in the future as it is also my one criticism of their past performances and their recent "As The Earth Fades Into Obscurity" CD (review currently being written).
Winter Deluge
Anno Domini Mortus - Second time I’ve seen them live and this time was much better. They seemed much more focused and the support slot set length seemed to suit them. As a friend of mine said to me “They’re awesome as long as the don’t play too long”. Commendation for note was their front man’s amazing presence with his manic pulsating gesticulations and expressions of torment. Good Black Metal! I look forward to tracking down their CDs so I can listen more closely to their music.

Vassafor - This was the first show I had seen with Ollie on Guitar. My initial thoughts were “What fuck is that dero doing on stage? I didn’t know he was in Vassafor” ...apparently he’s been playing second gat for a while and to my surprise he complimented the Vassafor live sound perfectly. Great show as usual with all bone constructed stage props. I prefer Vassafor in their own show where they make the venue theirs, but this one wasn’t far short of that. Highlight of the set for me was the closer “Makutu”, a 2 x bass, no guitar composition that benefited hugely though the massive sound system pumping out massive amounts of sub bass frequencies from realms beyond.

The Vassafor setlist
Vassafor action shot
Finally it was time for the headliners! The Inquisition stage set up is an interesting one. It consists of two Marshall amps, one on each side of the drum kit, no sign of any microphones on speakers, but twin DIs instead. I always thought that using DIs on guitars was a no no. But unless there is something I don’t know about or some form of new technology, it sounded fucking awesome! You could hear every note Dagon played and it was powerful as all fuckery!!!
I understand that some of the band’s merch and gear including their Guitar was lost in transit on the way to NZ, fortunately local replacement BC Rich flying V was provided (Donated by Warren Davies from Forsaken Age) and despite this shortcoming it had no negative impact on the performance at all. The inquisition live performance has been well honed through endless touring. It is enhanced with a Rock n’ Roll stage presence involving Dagon moving to opposite side of stage when not behind the microphone and busting out some mean shapes. 
I spent the first half of the set up front watching inspirational displays of multilayered guitar playing being channeled through a single 6 stringed instrument whilst being pummeled by the drumming of Incubus. The latter filling the sound out to the point where you forget that most metal bands have a bass player in them. Eventually I moved a bit further back where I could hear the legendary “Lord Frog” vocals more clearly. There was a genuine feeling of Passion and honesty from the stage which created the feeling that you were witnessing something special - “I don’t like to talk much between songs because it affects the flow of the ritual but thanks for all coming out to see us”. The reference to the Inquisition live show being a “Ritual” is something they aren’t making up. If you looked around the venue you could see the largely mixed audience, including punters of asian, indian, nz, male and female ethnicity all hypnotically swaying and nodding their heads to the Melodies and Rhythms that are much much more prominent and powerful live than on the band’s recordings. When there was a gap between songs long enough, a particularly loud applause was produced from the audience. “Thank you everyone we hope to maybe come back sometime... no DEFINITELY come back!!!” Come again soon!
Inquisition - Channelling demons from Beyond