2018 has kicked in with full force, however, I’m personally not entirely ready to turn my back on last year. I’m close but not yet! There are still some albums that I have in store, which are so damn good that I cannot resist the urge and share them with you, my dearest folks out there. In today’s CD recommendation, I have prepared for you 2 full-lengths that both come from the expansive roster of Satanath Records / Symbol of Domination Productions. Meet Darkflight and Pure – two distinctively different bands whose latest albums have some common ground; conceptually and musically (to a certain degree). Now, let’s dive into the good stuff, shall we?
Darkflight – The Hereafter | Facebook
Every time I get to write about a band, I feel very flattered and honoured. No exceptions! This time, however, I might also add being proud because Darkflight originates from my country Bulgaria. You see, we don’t have as much extreme metal activity as, say, Germany, France or even Greece; one of our neighbouring countries. Despite that we have a limited palette of choices, bands like Darkflight compensate with an immense quality that deserves much praise, especially speaking of their latest record “The Hereafter“.
Throughout their somewhat lengthy career of approximately 17 years, the duo has amassed a relatively rich discography, including a bunch of demos, full-lengths as well as an EP. What they have in common is the fact that they are grounded in the blackened doom universe, with a twist towards highly emotional and dark themes. “The Hereafter” brings more of that melancholy-infused material with a plethora of infectious moments that will keep you replaying the CD over and over again. Let me give you a good reason why.
Darkflight have mastered song writing that excels with spellbinding melodies that instantly translate melancholic and dark vibes into a must-have outlet to escape the heavy burdens of reality. This band has got that exceptional talent to fuse some of the darkest and most oppressing emotions into an awe-inspiring array of compositions that draw the listener further away into an obscure serenity. The backbone being a beautiful array of catchy melodious interludes, doesn’t just excite but also throw the listener into a deep thoughtful process of reckoning life and its meaning, if you will. A quality that I appreciate much more than how relevant or modern the music is. “The Hereafter” provokes one’s senses and thus, feels more than a jam session, especially if you grab the booklet and take the lyrics to heart. That’s the moment you will live through the entire track list and grasp the beauty of each piece.
“The Hereafter” embodies much darkness and depression but not in a self-destructive manner. It is so damn ravishing and bursting with liveliness contrary to the themes portrayed in each of the 6 tracks. No matter the slow-paced tempo that reeks of death and misery or the harsh vocals; an embodiment of a fading soul speaking words of apathy, there is an odd beauty and admiration that contrasts. Of the chilling, impending demise that always awaits before gates of the Great Beyond.
Technically speaking, the production is more than satisfying and rewarding. Overall, I’m very pleasantly surprised of the album, though I wouldn’t dare say that it is flawless. There is one particular element that could have been mastered better in every possible manner. Generally, I have no remarks against clean singing in extreme metal but if present, I expect to be at least on a par with the music for the sake of balance.
However, that’s not the case, which is why I consider it as a small but still evident drawback that puts off the wild fires and breaks the bond with the rest components. There is a need for power in those clean singing passages so that they could have matched up with the imposing instrumentals and carry through the vibe to the full extend. Yet they almost never have had such and the end result is more like “it’s nice but could have been way better executed”. Apart from that, it appears that in the mixing & mastering stage, the clean vocals have been placed on a secondary level for they go dull, being obstructed by the rest elements building up the tracks.
The idea of having clean singing is great and always welcome to bring some subtlety but to me, that’s the stage that needs to be reworked for a greater impact in this one. Nevertheless, that’s just a small issue against a vast amount of stunning moments that will strike you repeatedly til you fall madly in love with the album. Essentially, “The Hereafter” is more of the band’s trademark to deliver sorrow on an epic scale granting even the most pretentious ear a good enough reason to stay.
Note: Order your copy via the Bandcamp player or visit Satanath Record’s store.
Pure – J’aurais dû | Facebook
It’s the first time I get to have the enormous pleasure of recommending a Pure album. I’ve known this project since its conception due to my profound interest in Ormenos’s black metal endeavours. Names like Borgne and Enoid stand out immediately when reckoning of how I have hooked up with his music and instantly got drawn into a devastating anti-human blood magic. Pure spawned back in the not so distant 2013 having released 4 full-lengths (including the one I am presenting) and a freshly released split with Finland’s Horna. Now, allow me to bestow on you “J’aurais dû” and its magnificence!
May the 13th, 2017; a day that celebrates the raw, unpolished and full of negative spirit music comes in the shape of “J’aurais dû“. Despite the short span of the track list, 37 minutes to be exact, Pure makes up with a compelling record that urges the listener to digest over and over again. In its essence, this is a straightforward black metal album that blends visions of total bleakness through the prism of the early 90’s golden decade of the genre. Easily, one of the best CDs of the latter year in my unpublished list with favourites!
“J’aurais dû” is a statement that proves when a skilled musician could craft a magnificent piece of art through the rawest possible material. Unlike many who hide their lack of potent ideas and knowledge to deliver behind the garage sound, Pure totally blows it up with an utterly staggering quality of performance, song writing and production. Each piece embodies an array of luring riffs that will stick on the back of your head and hardly let go. Regardless of the overall minimalistic approach that defines the way this album has been composed, it still pays off by far! Simply reaffirming that one can never go wrong in the classic black metal vein when done the right way.
Pure excels with the careful notion of layering the instrumental elements. Thus, the raw nature of the production does not cast a shadow onto the individual performance of each instrument; in fact it completes it and adds an extra depth. It also shows off that Ormenos is capable of taking care of each stage of the creative process with little to no hassle and the end result admirable.
Another strong point is the vocal part delivering much fright and distress. An ideal fit for the instrumental, boosting its effectiveness greatly. There is wrath, grief and hopelessness, all being projected in an honest and outright terrifying fashion. Above all, the darkness that reeks of every scream feels closer and closer, thus it’s unavoidable to not resonate in the same negative frequency.
Pure’s “J’aurais dû” is an album that you should not only experience but also recommend to those cry wolves who claim that black metal is dying. Not only is it alive but it is in a far better shape. Moreover, it disregards false statements like that and put to shame some of the popular names for a very simple reason. Pure is honest in his hatred towards the living, and no money & fame will ever console that!
Note: Support the band by collecting your copy via the Bandcamp player below.
Special regards to Satanath Records / Symbol of Domination for the CDs. Make sure to check out the rest of their lengthy roster with albums.
Well, this is it for now. Enjoy these 2 works of fine blackened art while I get my shit together and compose the next CD recommendation. Meanwhile, join me on Twitter and Google+ for small updates and other stuff that I post right off the bat.