Tape Wyrm XII: Recent Recommendations Tape Wyrm XII: Recent Recommendations

Recent Recommendations

Recently, I mapped out the next six months of Tape Wrym. It has been written on parchment with a quill with crimson ink and bound in a giant book with gilded edges. This tome will sit atop a stone bookcase in a large archival labyrinth which runs underneath the Pinpoint offices. I sometimes get lost down there. I’ve heard of other writers never finding their way out of the maze and thus had to eat their own extremities to stay alive. Between the special features and celebratory articles written in that holy book are blank spaces designated for well, nothing in particular. This is one of those spaces. I have nothing to offer you today. Well, nothing of special note besides seven new records. The world of heavy metal is hinged on quiet diligence to the never-ending output of albums. For every high profiled metal release are dozens of mid to low level albums which are just as deserving of attention. Trust in the fact there will be more special features leading up to the big “Best Metal Albums of 2011.” For now, I am giving you a study session. Before you go running out of this classroom with the intent of rolling a joint with this week’s unused notebook paper, use this time to your advantage. Get familiar with current releases. Make friends with new bands and albums capable of peeling paint. I know that you will probably go isolate yourself in your dorm room and smoke your drugs while falling asleep to old episodes of “How Its Made,” but be mindful more attentive times are coming. There will be more tests in the future so enjoy the weekend. I expect all of you back here next week, ready to take notes.

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Wolvhammer – The Obsidian Plains

From the very large family tree which spans the width of Midwestern extreme metal comes Wolvhammer. Sharing lineage with Nachtmystium, Across Tundras, and Bringers Of Disease this Minneapolis based outfit exudes a certain sinister blend of blackened sludge. This style, in five years, could become the Midwestern dialect in extreme metal with other acts such as Coffinworm and Lord Mantis as supporting cast.The Obsidian Plains is the band’s second release and first on Profound Lore Records. Wolvhammer is very commanding with a shrill resonance exuded by vocalist M.L.. The band’s attention to atmosphere makes this blistering chaos The Obsidian Plains memorable and frightening at the same time.

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XIV Dark Centuries – Gizit Dar Faida

Are you ready for some German folk metal…I said…are you ready for XIV Dark Centuries?!?!?! Folk metal can be intimidating, since an interest in said genre usually comes with a pile of Finntroll and Equilibrium albums as well as itchy fur loins. Those stone cudgels are also very cumbersome to carry around all day. XIV Dark Centuries may have not made it on the folk metal map as of yet but their third album, Gizit Dar Faida promises nothing but muddy warfare fought under overcast medieval skies. Perverted Taste Music(?), is a German label which specializes in German based pagan black and folk metal as well as an affinity for Norwegian black metal. XIV Dark Centuries released an album trailer for Gizit Dar Faida with clips of each of the 11 tracks. The reader can think of this as a teaser for the record or highlights of a great battle against the trolls of Asterlag. FOR TRIUMVIRIG!

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Archerontas – Vamachara

When looking at current releases, readers must be aware at the enormity of black metal albums. More so than any other genre, black metal records always seem to be in the process of being recorded and released. I think three have been released since starting this sentence. Additionally, there always seems to be a healthy obsession with the Norwegian second wave. This slot was a toss up between Throne of Katarsis’ Ved Graven and Archerontas’ Vamachara. I chose the later because I enjoy the band as well as Grecian black metal. The lineage of Archerontas spans back to 1997 with the formation of Worship which then led to the creation Stutthof which in turn dissolved and reformed as Archerontas. The band members attest to each formation being a different entity but then again its all mystic black metal … from Greece. It is a small country. Vamachara is the band’s third record under the current moniker and delivers no less than it is capable of. I say this as Archerontas, as well as previous entities, have received less than favorable reviews regarding their Norwegian styled approach to black metal. I see nothing wrong with what I am hearing. It certainly does not make me angry. Greece is a small country.

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Mournful Congregation – The Book of Kings

Funeral doom is a particularly interesting style of metal which is usually at the wrong end of humor. Some people cannot get past the name as it provides augmentative fuel for parties upset at genre distinctions. I still do not know what is so difficult to grasp about a Scandinavian style of doom metal slowed to the tempo of funeral dirges with vocals reduced to low resonating growls. Out of the majority of genre names it is one of the most descriptive. Mournful Congregation is old. While not as old as the style’s innovators (Funeral, Skepticism, Thergothon), Mournful Congregation is a few years south of being originators. They are also from Australia, which still has yet to receive recognition as a metal force despite some wonderful releases. Much like the 2009 June Frost album, Mournful Congregation continues its creation of atmosphere with wailing guitars, choir chants, and a healthy dose of demonic growls. The album’s title track also promises nothing less than 30 minutes of sorrow which is the longest song written by the band. It’s like a Full House episode of blistering funeral doom. It’s like you never thought of doom slowed to the crawl of a funeral dirge. It’s like you never witnessed a funeral dirge before.

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Ptahil – For His Satanic Majesty

Ptahil is an Indiana based blackened doom metal band who started in 2009. The early years for this band were spent making demos, singles and Eps. 2011 finally sees the release of something substantial which embraces … oh sweet Christ look at that album cover. Ptahil’s member lineage exposes a deep network of Fort Wayne Indiana based metal bands. For His Satanic Majesty does not disappoint and embraces a first wave attitude with doom undertones. The album is vigilant in its dedication to … why in the fuck did they go with that color scheme … I literally have to turn down my monitor’s contrast to view it. Hopefully, Ptahil’s record will open a recognition for Indianan heavy metal and connect it to the larger, up and coming Midwestern circuit. I have an idea for a new black/doom record. I’m thinking deep magenta and indigo.

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Toecutter – Toecutter

When looking at this band name, the reader could either dismiss it as trash or give a silent nod to the film reference. Returning to Australia comes Toecutter, a death/thrash band dedicated to irreverence and the apocalyptic themes of Mad Max. I fail to see how this isn’t anything but amazing. While already releasing an independent record this year, the band’s self titled effort comes out on the British label Casket Music. From the video for “Factory” alone, the reader is aware of a frantic style of metal which is hinged on car crashes and general mayhem. Digging into older videos from Toecutter shows a hilarious blend of humor and violence which then in turn gives reason for the band name. When the world runs out of viable energy options, there will be chaos, rving bands of marauders and Australian thrash. It will be glorious.

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Krisiun – The Great Execution

I CAN NOT STOP HEADBANGING. Krisiun is one of death metal’s greatest unsung heroes. They are by no means unheard rather their consistent output throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s has made them premiere players in the great under valued arena of South American heavy metal. There will be a future notes on this. Like any great Krisiun album, there is a delicate mixture of water tight percussion, piercing guitar solos and the unholy vocals Alex Camargo. Throughout Krisiun’s career, the band has retained all original members and steadily increased the production value with no changes in intensity. If one were looking for well publicized death metal that does not shy away from a monstrous presence, Krisiun is a great choice. Now someone find me my icepack.



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