Voidcleaning - reviews part 4

A day off work has become more of a rarity for me than stumbling upon a mint first press Yellow Goat vinyl that's sold for a dime. Today is one of those rare days and 'cause I'm not Nocturno Culto (obviously!) I wouldn't be going outside on a ski trip through the woods - I'd rather be watching the snowfall from the safety of my bedroom, while abusing millions cups of black coffee and millions packs of the beloved Viceroy cigarettes. That's right - it's review 'o clock here...

HIC IACET - 'Prophecy Of Doom' 7" (Hells Headbangers)

The label seems to dig these Spaniards, this 7" being the follow up to the HHR (vinyl) reissue of the band's debut demo, 'Hedonist Of The Death'. After listening to these two songs the pairing makes perfect sense - Hic Iacet certainly worship the old, non-technical and brutally raw ways of black and death metal - production and music-wise. This could be a two-edged sword for Hic Iacet though: metallers who like it slick and polished most likely will stay clear of this band, while many of the old timers might be able to pick up more familiar riffs and patterns than what good is, thus ending up kinda indifferent to the whole affair. Agreeably, here's promise on there and it's evident the band is trying to project a grimly unhealthy aura with its music, but this is just not memorable enough to make one jetting to the player and flipping the wax over and over until the vinyl is shred to bits. Blame it on my age, if you wish, or on the existence of bands like Necros Christos, who are doing something similar in style - just better!, but Hic Iacet ain't yet the band to give me goosebumps all over. [7] 

SATHANAS / SPAWN OF SATAN - Split 7" (Hells Headbangers)

Alright, more old school death / thrash here. Spawn Of Satan's "Ritual Murder" bears a slight resemblance to the current works of NunSlaughter, hardly a surprise as it's Jim Sadist playing in both those bands. Not as nasty sounding as most of the NunSlaughter tunes, in fairness, but there's just enough Slaughter influence mixed in along the driving sorta-thrash riffs and deathly growls to make you aware of the similarities. [7]

Sathanas has always been a "difficult" band to me - I like the style they are going for and I respect them for staying true to themselves over the years, yet their tunes have never really floored me to the point of me uttering something similar to "Fuuuuck, this is awesome!". "Unholy Eternal" doesn't change the scenario in the slightest, no matter how many chances I've given to it to sunk in. Oh well, some bands are bound to remain just like this, I guess. [6,5] 

BLACK JESUS - 'Black Jesus Saves' (Hells Headbangers)

This 12" vinyl release rightfully completes the circle for the debut demo of these Melbourne based Repulsion worshippers; 'Black Jesus Saves' had made it now on tape, compact disc and wax. In case you're an undying fan of the Flint, MI, foursome these 8 songs of depravity would easily turn out to be your best new friend - one you would go on and swear you've always been familiar with somehow. One you can sit down with, telling one another random tales of radiation sickness and acts of the unspeakable, bathing in the acid rain until you realize you're both supposed to rot wearing those faded 'Horrified' shirts. Kinda cool, kinda depressing, isn't it? I'm betting my balls this band really excels live, though. [7]

ANCIENT ASCENDANT - 'Into The Dark' (Self-released)

Even though one can hardly shake off the feeling that this English band might be drawing from way too vast array of different styles and influences, the quality displayed on this 5 song MCD is hard to be shot down and buried. Modern day sounding death / thrash hybrid that doesn't make me like throwing my phone across the room? Score one for Ancient Ascendant! Not only the guitarists shred as if there's no tomorrow, but this is also filled with quirky riffs and nuances that make you pay close attention. Rest assured the vocals are just as interesting, diverse sounding and dominating in the mix, with the rhythm section holding up well its end with meticulous precision - no matter if I'd enjoy it better somehow less sterile and more "forceful" sounding. The aim here is writing songs that are both technically challenging and intense, I believe. If that's what the band originally had in mind, then there's no denying that 'Into The Dark' has been a success. If you enjoy stuff like 'Heartwork' era Carcass, Dissection's 'Reinkaos' or even Dark Tranquillity and Gojira (crossbred with Dream Theater, ha!) you might want to invest some time and dosh into these Reading based new-age ancients. Reading, you say? Thanks for selling Kevin Doyle to Wolves in 2009, the guy is class. [7,5]


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