Yesterday, Nuclear War Now! Productions reissued four albums, the majority of them combining demos, EPs and/or early LPs to create compilations or discographies of sorts. (The exception is Blasphemy‘s Fallen Angel of Doom…, which is just a straight-up reissue.) It’s not often that reissues and compilations get any attention here at Nine Circles, but these four bad boys in particular definitely deserve a look and a listen.
Blasphemy originally released Fallen Angel of Doom… in 1990 on Wild Rags. These blasphemous Canadians set the scene for a movement towards Satanism and the occult. As many bands headed toward a more melodic, marketable style of metal, Blasphemy remained true to the underground. Maybe as a result, they’ve been largely silent since 1993—the lone exception being a live release in 2001. Now, thanks to Nuclear War Now! and Ross Bay Cult, Fallen Angel of Doom… is available once again on all formats.
Blasphemy are exactly as their name suggests. They stick primarily to lyrical themes of war, cruelty, satanism and the occult, and have to be considered genre pioneers, having influenced such contemporaries as Archgoat, Beherit and Sarcófago, as well as lain the groundwork for future bands like Diocletian and Teitanblood. Fallen Angels of Doom… is about as dark as black metal can get. Blast beats prevail as smothered guitars hurl audio filth at the listener. The vocals are exceptionally high in the mix, allowing vocalist and bassist “Nocturnal Grave Desecrator and Black Winds” (no, really) to spew vomitous evil directly into the ears of any who cross his path. Fallen Angel of Doom… is what so many love about raw blackened death metal: it is completely genuine in its theatrical and over-the-top approach. Fans of all modern metal would do well to listen to this roots album.
Fallen Angel of Doom… is available now on Nuclear War Now! Productions. For more information on Blasphemy, visit the band’s Facebook Page.
Ysengrin hail from Normandy, France, where an abundance of war, destruction and delicious wines have come and gone throughout the millenia. They were formed in 2005, at a time when metal was opening up to experimentation again. Liber Hermetis combines both Ysengrin’s 2011 debut LP, Tragedies – Liber Hermetis, and their 2010 demo, Alchimete, both originally released on De Profundis Éditions.
Liber Hermetis, especially the work from the 2011 LP, is exceptional. The band pushes the boundaries of doom, incorporating black and death metal influences along with some heavily experimental sounds. The lyrics, despite being in French, convey a raw, ancient sense of emotion. It’s an album that includes what could only be described as kvlt metal, an underground walloping of rarely-listened-to French doom. The experimentation gives Ysengrin a timeless feeling, weaving both the ancient history of their hometown and the modern influences of many musical genres. This is the gem of the bunch and will hopefully help Ysengrin reach a much wider audience (much to the benefit of that audience).
Liber Hermetis is available now on Nuclear War Now! Productions. For more information on Ysengrin, visit the band’s official website.
Whether or not Insulter ever changed their name to Sexthrash will always be up for debate. What isn’t up for debate is that these Brazilian thrashers absolutely bring it. Thrash has even made a huge comeback as of late, as bands like Inculter, Deathhammer, Power Trip and Obliteration have absolutely exploded. Shockingly, the members of those bands are, in some cases, quite young—as in, born after the recordings compiled to make this Insulter compilation first dropped.
Blood Spits, Violence and Insults is raw. The album compiles the band’s first three demos (and some rehearsal recordings) into a single LP. The first two demos (The Insult and Black Church) were recorded back to back in 1986 and 1987. The third demo, Ignoring the Falsity, followed in 1989. The recording quality varies dramatically; some songs sound like rehearsals recorded in the jungle using oil drums for microphones, while others are more accommodating. All in all, Insulter are a foundational thrash band for anyone excited about the more evil, occultish branches of the genre.
Blood Spits, Violence and Insults is available now on Nuclear War Now! Productions. For more information on Insulter, visit the band’s Facebook page.
Finally, we come to Finland’s Black Feast, who existed only for three brief years between 2009 and 2012. During that time they amassed a collection of demos, rehearsal tapes and compilations without ever putting out an official LP or even EP. Thankfully, since they existed in such a modern age where access to quality recording equipment is quite easy to come by, their demos are quite easy on the ears. Larenuf Jubileum compiles Black Feast’s Worship of Darkness cassette demo from 2010, select tracks from their 2011 split cassette, Abominations of Darkness, and five previously-unreleased tracks from three separate promo/advance tapes from 2010 and 2011. The result is an exceptionally compact and pleasing work of blasphemy.
Since all the tracks included in this compilation span a few short years, there is enough consistency for this compilation to feel like more of an album than a compilation. Black Feast is clearly influenced by bands like fellow Finns Beherit and it shows. (They’re not rip-off artists, but do establish a clear link between them.) Black Feast craft their own version of blackened death metal with an homage to the roots of their country’s rich tradition of excessively great metal. It’s a real testament to the commitment of Nuclear War Now! that they have dug out this fantastic metal and put the effort behind it.
Larenuf Jubileum is available now on Nuclear War Now! Productions. For more information on Black Feast, visit the band’s Metal-Archives page.