You've heard it all before but here it goes anyway: We, at Dead Void Dreams, are thankful to all those nice bands and labels submitting us their promos for review. And we're also honoured by that, it means we're doing things right and people are paying attention in our doings. Cheers!
In an ideal, utopian, world everything sent our way will receive a proper and prompt review. And this is not an ideal world. We're all trying our best getting the zine thing up-to-date, yet at times it simply becomes too much. We're understaffed (get in touch if writing for a webzine sounds like your cup of blood!) and we all have to deal with that demanding little thing called "real life" - inevitably reviews would get delayed / fall between the cracks. Welcome to Underground Niche Zine 101.
The following reviews should be considered Void's version of housecleaning, if you will. This might become a sort of semi-regular feature, too. Under the given circumstances this is certainly the best way for us staying true to our main intention - writing about music and spreading the word of all those bands / releases, as well as making sure catching up with the new stuff submitted to us on daily basis.
- Vladimir Petrov -
THY HASTUR - 'The Ancients' (VittiV Records)
Recorded in band's home studio in 2005 and released five years later, 'The Ancients' pretty much sums up the relationship most of the old timers used to have with the once blossoming symphonic black metal genre. Not a relationship per se but more like having a crush on this nice girl for one term when in sixth grade. For the style Thy Hastur have chosen this is fairly heavy and somehow darker than the norm, yet while there's no major gripes with the material, there's also nothing worth of extensive praising. Let's face it, this was dated by the time it was recorded, much less nowadays. Having a wee crush can be sweet. Penetration rules hard. [6,5]
CRIMSON VALLEY - 'Crossing The Sky' (VittiV Records)
A surprisingly good and refreshing trip shall be had by all in this particular Crimson Valley. No-nonsense heavy metal is the name of the game for this Polish band and they do really mean it. Seriously flawless production, highly energetic songs (and the occasional ballad), awesome playing skills, a vocalist who means business - this band can go places, given the right push! They've studied their Iron Maiden with pride and prove it by these dual guitars and freakin' bass lines, add a certain nod to the glory old days of German heavy metal, thus making 'Crossing The Sky' an album well worth owing by metalheads young and old. 
MOONLESS - 'Calling All Demons' (Doomentia Records)
With Samhain just behind the corner, time couldn't have been more appropriate for reviewing this album. Moonless in no small part owe their sound to Glenn and Danzig, opener "Mark Of The Dead" could easily fool you being a long lost gem by the Evil Elvis and his crew of misfits - suitably twisted guitars, blues-on-steroids rhythm and that deep voice that sounds like you-know-who's. 'Calling All Demons' is an album that grows on you with each new spin and it's hard rejecting its infectiously catchy qualities and near hypnotic effect. Not that you'd want to - this is a groovy monster that you'd swore you have been familiar with since times immemorial, as there's hardly mind-blowing originality here, but these are well-crafted slow pacers that make chain-smoking and alcohol abuse nicer than what they really are. The bastard in me likes this. 
EARTHRIDE - 'Something Wicked' (Doomentia Records)
Fuck, this was released in 2010? My theory is that the disc had crawled in a dark abyss located somewhere in the room's corners a year or so ago and just reappeared currently on my editorial desk, demanding review. Thank Odin this is of the doom variety and as we all know doom, when done right, denies the laws of time - and that's what we've here. Wicked this is, with more than enough Sabbath influence, mean bluesy rock licks and kicks and gritty vocals. One of those albums to be played on a lazy Saturday morning, especially if you've a "go" for the bluesier type of doom and the sweet leaf. Kinda runs out of steam for me from the middle part of the album onwards but does it matter - I'm but a zine editor on the web. And I quit smoking pot over 10 years ago, boo! 
WOLFHEAD - 'Wolfhead' (Doomentia Records)
A project band of Graveyard and BetweenThe Frost members, this one. Kinda weird, but not totally unexpected - hey, we're all seasoned cats here in the Void (Except Andrew but he hasn't contributed in months, sigh) and have seen stranger things happen. Listened to stranger music, too, even though Wolfhead is a contender - their suggested range of influences run the gamut from Bathory, old Darkthrone and old Enslaved to Trouble, Alice In Chains and The Sabs. Plus Motorhead, of course but who's not a Motorheadbanger? Don't answer me, I don't feel the need to be aware of the possible existence of such dumb folks anyway. Throw a (rather decent) cover of "Wish You Were Here" in the mix and you'll know for certain Wolfhead have a proverbial Everest to climb over to proclaim victorious. Not the easiest task, no matter how skilled they are, agreed? There are parts on this (usually the more experimental / stoner / flat out rocking ones rather that the metal stuff) that are nearly brilliant and the production is top notch, but - to continue the Mount Everest theme, I feel the band is still in Camp III and "it's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n' roll". 
CUNTSCRAPE - 'Papsmear Campaign' (Prime Cu(n)ts Music)
The golden shower, err, years, that's it - years of porno grind may be over, but the fact does mean little to those suffering the disease. Cuntscrape are lowbrow, supershit to the max and proud of that, with little ditties named "Hellatio", "Analrexic", "Cum Fart Tart", "I Wanna Do It With A Midget"etc. etc. - d'ya reckon they'd stood a chance in the charts? The genre has always been part gruesome parody, part blood-soaked, cum-infested dirty laundry - and great part fun, if done right. This is nearly up there with the best of them, kinda like fellow Oz intellectuals Blood Duster crossbred with a more moronic Macabre and Gut on the brothel's cheapest crack. The filthy stench of that particular mutant reeks through the speakers, plain lovely, isn't it? 
V/A Split My Bitch Up (Prime Cunts Music)
My mate Kristoffer over at the sorely missed My Last Chapter has gone great lengths giving this 4-way split a proper review, so check it out on his site. Cuntscrape  are, well...Cuntscrape: slimey and unhealthy fun (of sorts). 5 tracks here, "Giving Head To Mister Ed" winning the "best title" award, with "Teddy Got Fingered" a close second runner. Malaysia's Goresluts  follow suit, "Karma Pussy" and all but this is sooo "blast-into-the-one-ear-out-of-the-other" styled to warrant a compliment as far as I'm concerned. Still, significantly better than Indonesia's Rezume  - if this is death metal then it deserves to be ended soon. Rubbish. Trite, dire, low IQ rubbish. Japan's own Morbid Vision  close things off with 4 demo style death songs I could generally stomach, only just.
Disappointing and useless, overall. Split Your Bands Up would be the more appropriate title.