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Sunday, 11 June 2017

Reviews: Nargaroth, Wode, The Infinite Trip, Tainted Lady (Reviews By Paul)

Nargaroth: Era Of Thredony (Inter Arma Productions)

This is the seventh full release from the one man German black metal outfit that is Nargaroth. Fronted by Ash, who also delivers virtually all the instruments as well as the brutal vocals, Era Of Thredony maintains the consistency of previously releases. It’s as heavy as the proverbial sack of anvils, yet throughout it a melody pulses with the influences of other musical styles evident. Opener Dawn Of Epiphany for example, has a Greek bouzouki sound running through it. Don’t worry about the evil intent through, for all the brutality which you’d expect with such a legendary black metal outfit remains.

The Agony Of A Dying Phoenix is blisteringly fast and crushingly heavy, with some astonishingly intricate guitar work before a classical, almost flamenco break down. Love Is A Dog From Hell, which appears to be a throwaway track of under three minutes in comparison with the other lengthier songs on the album, turns out to be based on the 1970s work by US poet Charles Bukowski. Technically superb throughout, Era Of Thredony is epic black metal that demonstrates again that the genre, often dismissed due to the corpse paint and theatrical stage shows often contains some of the most talented musicians in metal. For those who witnessed the band live on their recent short visit to the UK, you will know that the band can deliver the same high quality in the live arena. 9/10

Wode: Servants Of The Countercosmos (Avantgarde Music)

Mancunians Wode’s follow up to last year’s self-titled debut album is stunning. Full of classic UK black metal, it is six tracks and 31 minutes of jaw dropping music. From the opening track Crypt Of Creation to the short haunting acoustic Undoing, there is everything you need here. Ethereal haunting vocals, spine-crushingly heavy riffs and explosive drumming, underpinned by some superbly technical musicianship.

The songs segue neatly into each other, leaving the listener with little time to recover between songs. The switch from Celestial Dagger to Temple Of Internment had me gasping for air, such was the ferocity and power. Wode powerfully convey the evil rage that their name is taken from, although at times there is an almost cosmic feel to their music, with the occasional acoustic break down providing welcome contrast. The nine minute plus Chaos Spell demonstrates this perfectly. Superb stuff. 9/10

The Infinite Trip: Unearthly Pleasures (Self Released)

Unearthly Pleasures is album number 7 from the unashamedly psychedelic duo The Infinite Trip. Full of deep, sonic resonance, you’ll either love this or hate it. I must say, being partial to a bit of space rock, that I think it’s a fantastic release. The steady, recurring beat, the swirling synths, crashing drums and haunting ethereal vocals make for a heady mix which real takes you on a journey through space. 

Yes, it’s trippy as balls in places, but that just makes it even more enjoyable. No rush to get where you are going, just enjoy the ride. The Lorelei Serum shades it as my favourite track, with a bit more pace and a real 70s space rock feel about it but there is not a bad track on this release. My mission, when I get back down to earth is to source the heady mix of the back catalogue. 8/10

Tainted Lady: How The Mighty Have Fallen (Mighty Music)

A bit of classic rock crashing through your speakers in the form of the debut from Denmark’s Tainted Lady. Fronted by British singer Michael Catton, this is a strange release that is interrupted on too many occasions. A raucous opening in Set Us Free stomps in the style of The Strokes before slowing to allow a rather self-important rant, regardless of the sentiment which calls for the rock world to strip it back to the ‘true’ meaning. The Best Days is a decent power ballad. Much of the rest is solid, but often fails to really get going. On The Loose has the opportunity to really let rip but ends up stuttering along. Decent but nothing to grab you by the balls. 6/10

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