Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wishes for 2014

Best wishes for 2014 to everyone who has been supporting Lachryma Christi, such as bands, labels, PRs, fans, readers and friends. And a big thank you!

                (Photo by L.K.H.)

Lachryma Christi

Monday, December 30, 2013

Top Ten Black Metal albums for 2013

As for last year, here is the top ten albums for 2013. You may consider this as the playlist for the week too!

Saille - Ritu - Code666 Records

Galaktik Cancer Squad - Ghost Light - Hypnotic Dirge Records

aNgreNOST - Planet Muscaria - Code666 Records

Endstille - Kapitulation 2013 - Season of Mist

Vreid - Welcome Farewell - Indie Recordings

Ov Hollowness - The World Ends - Code666 Records

Fen - Dustwalker - Code666 Records

Aborym - Dirty - Agonia Records

Australasia - Vertebra - Immortal Frost Productions

Imperium Dekadenz - Meadows of Nostalgia - Season of Mist

Other releases Lachryma Christi really enjoyed:

Wrong - Memories of Sorrow
Rotting Christ - Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού
Necrophobic - Womb of Lilithu
Ewigkeit - Back to Beyond
Obsydian Tongue - A Nest of Ravens in the Throat of Time

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Review: Scorned Deity's latest album "Adventum"

Recently Lachryma Christi was contacted by the vocals of Scorned Deity, a Blackened Death Metal band from USA, Detroit. They released recently their second album called Adventum. After listening to the music, it was actually a very good surprise. The music is in fact amazing. The album has 11 tracks, all of them very melodic and powerful. They are very sober, their sound is very cohesive, they sound really professional. The band formed almost ten years ago, and they have everything to be great, if they keep presenting us with such nice stuff.
Everything sounds very perfect, very complete, the keyboards bring a very strong atmosphere, melodies are just beautiful. Voice couldn't be better nor more suitable than this, sounds really good all together. There are also female voices as in background, along the songs. Very epic.
Besides the melodies you can also find very fast and majestic rhythms, really big, huge stuff. Guitars also sound very tuned and assured especially on the solos.
So yeah, go for it. Give these guys a chance, you won't regret as their music is really good.
An interview will come up in the near future.

Review: BUIO's promo "Buio"

Italian one man band Buio will release their debut album in January 2014 through Firstborn Chaos, limited to 300 copies on CD format. But recently they released a promo (more precisely in September) called Buio. It has two tracks. If you are familiar with Buio's work you know what to expect. Never disappointing, very Burzum influenced, very melodic and melancholic. Voice is just great, really perfect in the genre of music that it is, very dragged and suffered. It is good Black Metal, good hard work of this musician, Count Morgul, that always does things in a very personal and meaningful way.
One of the tracks is shorter and instrumental only. Both of them are very introspective and inspiring.
If you like Burzum's old stuff you will certainly like Buio.
Much respect to musicians like this, who do what they really enjoy doing, and who are so pure and honest in their art.
Hopefully the  album will be as good.

Review: GIG Arcturus + Fen + From The Bogs Of Aughiska @ O2 Islington Academy (London) 13/12/2013

Best way to spend a Friday 13th evening. This gig was just great, excluding the first band...
Well, let's see the details for the three of them.
From The Bogs Of Aughiska were the first live act. From Ireland. A shocking , completely disturbing performance by two men, wearing shirt, tie and balaclava mask. One word to describe their music: noise. One guitarist and one "laptopist" doing as much noise as possible. There was a screen behind them with interesting images, but the music was horrifying. At some point the man in the laptop started yelling at the microphone, and it was the end of it for Lachryma Christi who abandoned the room and went to the merchandising area until they finished, looking for some peace. There were others doing the same, and almost all of them applauded when it finished, clearly relieved, and going back inside to see next bands. LC heard it on some studio release later, and wasn't much better than live.
Fen, British band, were the next. The thing with Fen is, or you like what they play or you don't, there is no middle point. Or you are into what they do, or forget about it. Lachryma Christi heard some bad opinions, yes they had some sound difficulties (as sadly has happened a lot in that venue for some reason, and only with some bands), but their performance was really great. If you like them, that is.
The guitar wasn't very easy to listen at times, the drums were again extraordinary loud, but not as loud as in Satyricon a few weeks ago, where your heart almost jumped through your mouth and your eyes almost went off their sockets. With Fen the sound was not so agressive, and after three or four songs, it actually started sounding alright. Only the guitar kept coming and going, sadly. It was a really powerful and emotional gig, really intense, strong. The three of them make an excellent team, was really good to see them live.
(By the way, you can find an interview with Fen and a review to their last album  here: http://lachrymachristizine.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/interview-with-fen-plus-review-to-fens.html )
And then came Arcturus. So awaited. Vortex is such a nice, fun, bouncy frontman. He really looks people in the eye, he is very interactive, making the public feel special. The whole band was wearing strange outfits, Vortex had some kind of mask with spectacles, something hard to describe. Not sure what sort of mask is that.
So yeah, there was place for old stuff, more recent stuff, there was place for some jokes, for a lot of fun, public was happy, satisfied, sadly the curfew was not late, so it felt like a short gig, but really good. Ok, some more old songs would have been nice to hear too. On the last song Vortex loosened his hair and public lost it and started doing a violent mosh pit on the middle of the place. 
Was really good and hopefully there will be more opportunities to see Arcturus again. Really good atmosphere, good vibes, cheerful band, everything really awesome and inspiring.
Lachryma Christi has no pics for this. If you have some, and if you wish to share them, you can always leave a comment with a link, or if you want to see them posted together with this article (they will be credited of course), you can e-mail lachrymachristizine@gmail.com

Review: GIG Marduk + Grave + Death Wolf + Valkyrja + Critical Solution @ Underworld (London), 5/12/2013

Another gig of Marduk in London. Lachryma Christi had seen the previous one, but hasn't reviewed it.
There were quite a few bands playing on the day.
First band was Critical Solution. Thrash Metal from Norway, something like a copy of Metallica. The voice was almost the same. The sound was nice though. Nice tunes, public was enjoying it, nice stuff. At some point they played a cover of Iron Maiden, which was weird, as in James Hetfield singing Iron Maiden. But was nice, entertaining. Interactive.
Second band, Valkyrja, Swedish band. Was good, very good indeed. Nice guitar riffs, entertaining, clean, Black Metal.
Following band, Death Wolf also from Sweden, sort of varied stuff, ok, entertaining, nothing amazing but did the trick. Morgan from Marduk plays bass with them, just in case you didn't know.
After Death Wolf it was Grave's turn. Death Metal from Sweden. Hard to describe it. Everyone was looking forward, including Lachryma Christi, but it wasn't as great as expected. A bit more of the same, all songs were very similar, nothing very original, nothing very exciting. 
And at last, Marduk. Marduk is one of those bands that are always good live. Always professional, always clean, pure, good. Always very interactive, people always very welcoming, their shows always make people go home happy. Songs selection was a nice choice,  all good. The expected, not more, not less.
In the end though, felt as if Valkyrja and Marduk did the night. The other bands seemed a bit off, a bit nothing to do with the rest. Interesting but odd choices.
Lachryma Christi has no pics for this. If you have some, and if you wish to share them, you can always leave a comment with a link, or if you want to see them posted together with this article (they will be credited of course), you can e-mail lachrymachristizine@gmail.com

Review: GIG Shining + special guests @ Electrowerkz (London), 3/12/2013

On the 3rd of December there was this gig at Electrowerkz in London, Shining were headlining.
Before Shining, we could hear special guest bands.
First band was Vatigal Surrd, band from London. Very good. The music is good, good Black Metal, the sound was OK, easy to understand what the musicians were playing. No stressful situations, Kristian is a nice frontman and a nice vocals. All of them very united, very good atmosphere. Just the red light on the ceiling was too low, which became sort of fun when Kristian's hair got stuck on it.
Following band, Premature Birth also from London. Sadly they played a very confusing and noisy sound. Looks like the two guitars don't work very well there with them, and the two singers even less. They sound not only confusing but confused. Thankfully there were the keyboards to guide us and to let us understand the tones, the tunes, the melodies, otherwise it would have been impossible to understand anything.
Third band, Scutum Crux from London too, with Polish musicians, was very good indeed. Nice music, nice Black Metal. The only problems were really the problems with the sound of the guitar. They managed to sort them out, and to keep going with the show, which only shows that they are ready to play live and ready for any inconvenience that can happen. So even if they had technical problems (which also included hair of the bassist stuck in the guitar), their attitude was good and professional. Still, was easy to understand the music, which is good music, very nice vibes, nice corpsepaint, good stuff.
Next band was Sterbhaus, Swedish Thrash Death metal band. Incredibly boring. Hard to say more than this. The tracks all sounded like the same, as if it was a neverending track.
Crest of Darkness cancelled their appearance. Which was sad, since they were one of the bands Lachryma Christi was really looking forward to see.
And then there comes Shining and Niklas Kvarforth, bringing two bottles in his hands, of which seemed to be Jack Daniel's. People were finally reacting very positively, very happy to see Shining, even though the venue wasn't packed. Niklas started the show caressing one of his musicians' hair, which he did a few more times during the gig. Very entertaining show, very dramatic, very full of expectation and thankfully nothing weird happened. Apparently the red light on the ceiling also had an important role for Niklas, since he spent almost all night holding it, even though it was obviously very hot. This only made the show even more intense, more theatrical and passionate. Sound was nice, songs were what the public wanted to hear, apparently.
And there must be something really weird with that room at Electrowerkz. Rotting Christ a few weeks or a month ago played in the same room and Sakis asked with gestures, for a moshpit, which is very unusual. Kvarforth did exactly the same, which is even more unusual. Public obeyed though.

They didn't play last song until the end, sadly, but anyway, from beginning to end, it was good, musicians are really talented.
It was the first time Lachryma Christi had the chance to see Shining live, and even after reading all the interviews, all reviews and hearing opinions of people about Niklas Kvarforth (which are not usually positive), and even though he was a bit rude to some people in the crowd, it was a very good show, emotional, powerful, and Niklas Kvarforth performed his role with perfection.

Lachryma Christi's playlist for the week

Marduk - Serpent Sermon
Mayhem - Wolf's Lair Abyss
Fen - Dustwalker
Amorphis - Tales From the Thousand Lakes
Arcturus - The Sham Mirrors
Notre Dame - Nightmare Before Christmas
Nekrogoblikon - Goblin Island
Skitliv - Skandinavisk Misantropi
Ghost - Infestissumam
VNV Nation - Automatic

Monday, December 9, 2013

Lachryma Christi's playlist for the week

Apologizing for not posting a playlist last week, here is the playlist for this week!

Finnr's Cane - A Portrait Painted By The Sun
Endstille - Kapitulation 2013
Falkenbach - Asa
Australasia - Vertebra
Emperor - Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
Borknagar - Empiricism
Handful of Hate - To Perdition
Empyrium - Into the Pantheon
Satyricon - Nemesis Divina
Arcturus - The Sham Mirrors

Review: Finnr's Cane's recent album "A Portrait Painted By The Sun"

Finnr's Cane released recently their second album called A Portrait Painted By The Sun, through Prophecy Productions.
For those who don't know, Finnr's Cane are a doom post black metal band from Canada. Well, in fact it is not as much post black metal. Maybe we can say it is a melodic atmospheric black metal.
Well, labels and definitions aside, these guys are good. This album is quite melancholic, but quite emotional and introspective.
In a time when this kind of music is so trendy, it is important to see which bands do it naturally and well, and which bands do it to follow the trend, ending up doing everything wrong and sounding really fake. Finnr's Cane are a good example of the first group and A Portrait Painted By The Sun is here to show us exactly that. So if this is your kind of thing, or if you simply like to listen to different and varied stuff, still with a strong black metal presence, go for this album. It is really good.
You can expect a lot of heaviness, as well as some acoustic parts, some atmospheric sounds, as in winds for example, and a very nice combination of every instrument with the voices. Beautiful details here and there. Really a great work.

Review: Falkenbach's recent album "Asa"

German one man band Falkenbach just released a new album called Asa, the first one to be released through Prophecy Productions.
Asa is the sixth album of the band, all of them have been really good. Asa is one of the best. It is quite melodic, at the same time heavy, never losing any quality in any of their different and varied bits. Yes, because Falkenbach has their own style, their very proper thing, that very special voice, and they have quite a lot of different influences, from viking stuff, too black metal stuff. Asa is just another masterpiece of the band, but maybe more catchy, more melodic, more interesting.
Falkenbach truly seem to be very genuine in everything they do, very honest very transparent. This album just shows their purity once again. Really majestic, strong, emotional, huge, an album to listen to over and over again, and to never get bored of.
Definitely a great musician behind all this.
Go for it!

Review: Endstille's latest album "Kapitulation 2013"

German Black Metal band released recently their new album called Kapitulation 2013 through Season of Mist.
What is good about this album? Everything. Honestly, really hard to find even one thing to point out as bad. Endstille prove once again that they are really great at what they do. Again they present us a very angry and powerful album, full of good stuff, each track stronger and more intense than the other. Full of rhythm as well, full of so much goodness, really hard to describe in words.
Endstille definitely work out much better on studio than live, as their sound is so full of detail, that in a show it is hard to listen to everything so clearly and to notice so many bits that make their music so great.
Once again, if you like Endstille, go for it, you won't regret. It is full of what any fan of Black Metal would like to hear, and surprisingly it is still original, and not just more of the same.
Not much more to say, really. In the meanwhile you can read an interview with Endstille here:

Review: Australasia's first album "Vertebra"

Not a long time ago, arrived at Lachryma Christi's mailbox the first album of Australasia. Australasia are a post instrumental Black Metal band from Italy. Lachryma Christi had the pleasure to listen and review their previous work Sin4tr4 and became a big fan of the band right away. It is with an enormous delight that Vertebra is heard and reviewed as well. It is just great, from the artwork to the music. Released earlier this year through Immortal Frost Productions, the album is as mentioned before, instrumental. There are some female chorus, but don't expect any main singer, because there is none. And don't expect it to be boring either, because it is not. It is absolutely amazing.
Vertebra has 10 tracks, all of them with interesting and short titles, and all the songs manage to match the titles somehow.
It is not just a random post Black Metal album, it has great professionalism, from the compositions to the production. Great musicians, great details and influences along all the album.
It is varied. You can find proper heavy bits with great heavy guitars, you can also find great electronic details, and also acoustic passages.
Vertebra is so entertaining, so easy to get into, so captivating, it is really hard to not like it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

News: Eindhoven Metal Meeting

Eindhoven Metal Meeting is starting on the 12th of December.
Please find below the official flyer and the list of bands:

Brutal Truth
Carpathian Forest
The Church of Pungent Stench 
Death Angel
Deströyer 666
Deus Mortem
Disastrous Murmur
Downfall Of Empires
Elvenking featuring Martin Walkyier’s Skyclad
Fleshgod Apocalypse
Hail Of Bullets
Hooded Menace
Impaled Nazarene
In Solitude
The Monolith Deathcult
Napalm Death
The Rotted
Sound Storm


Read more in:

Review: A Land Beyond the Sea's first release "Weltenwandere"

A while back, Lachryma Christi received an e-mail from a Black Metal band from Finland called A Land Beyond the Sea, with their first release called Weltenwandere. It happens to be an EP, self-released in June.
Weltenwandere has some Death Metal influences, but it is mostly Black Metal music.
The EP has four tracks and it is really great. Really fast, really melodic and obscure.
It is a shame that only now Lachryma Christi had the chance to lay hands on this (hectic times lately!), because it is really nice.
There is nothing extraordinarily different here, buy these guys are good at what they do. Very good in fact.
Give it a go, you won't regret.
The band is quite recent, formed in 2012, but they are already very "together", very cohesive, very strong and the melodies are so deep and majestic.
Hopefully next release will be as good or even better!!

Review: Negura Bunget's recent single "Gînd a-prins"

Romanian band Negura Bunget released recently a single called Gînd a-prins through Prophecy Productions. It has two songs.
Negura Bunget have changed a lot with time. Ten years ago they were completely different. Still, they haven't lost their atmospheric thing.
Gînd a-prins is very calm, quiet, silent in it's musicality, if that makes sense. It is deep, immersed in a great mystical and nature oriented atmosphere.
It was a good surprise, after all the changes they have shown us, after all the Black Metal characteristics that make sure we notice they have left behind. This is a release that works out. It is very pure, very relaxed, very beautiful.
Certainly Negura Bunget still has it in them, and still can share with all of us a great amount of professionalism and quality. All of it works much better like this, on a studio work, and sadly not live anymore. So anyway if you like this kind of thing, give this single a listen, it is good.