The Link-Up Spell: Spells recommendations from the month of September
In the month of August, we received magic scrolls from Overoth, In Twilight’s Embrace and Buried Realm. The musical magical flow never rests, and we greet today three new spells from three insanely good melodic bards. Extremity, orchestras and technicality face today in unison to remind us those great albums which are always unveiled to those who open their senses to what is hidden in plain sight.
I also recommend to you to check these great reviews from my brothers on the Toilet ov Hell from different genres, too!: Squalus, Oraculum, Sacred Son and Cradle of Filth (I trust in Dr. K., do not blame me).
Let’s begin! I am more than enthusiastic today to share these rightful magic spells with you all! Prepare your catalysts and enlist your spellbooks, we are ready to go.
Spell book: Overoth – The Forgotten Tome.
Type of spell: Warlock codex toxic fumes.
Ireland is very prolific in many types of music, and metal is one those genres being greatly performed in those vast lands, according to our friend DethLawnmower. One of those bands kicking it out on the filthiest temples of extremity these days is Overoth, a death metal piece from Belfast.
Following their debut of 2010, Kingdom of Shadows, the band entered into a deep meditative state of writing to codex the conjurations of The Forgotten Tome, a harsh exploration of eschatological truths.
Overoth makes an exquisite blend of traditional death and black metal magic craft, but their new output is greatly improved with the soaring wings of correctly written orchestrations. After the symphonic “Opus Obscura” introduction, the opener “Sigil of the Empty Throne” signs the band’s name with thick black ink on the books of shadows. The thundering drum does not give rest in the blasting sections, but drummer J. Rogers is skillful enough to command the rhythmic assault and rein things in to give the composition a dynamic flavor in which bass, guitars, keyboards and vocals are all part of the descriptive morbidity of black magic instructions. Every part of the mechanism is incredibly assembled and, along with the professional sounding mix, it makes the opening of the record a blast.
Another of the key aspects of The Forgotten Tome is the humid ambience. The whole record reeks of malevolence. Gnarly guttural vocals, courtesy of A. Ennis, are entwined with the fat bass tone, which wraps the razor sharp guitars in the verses and the nasty soloing, influenced by the old-school European extremity. Groove is also applied in smart doses to this cathartic mélange; songs like “The Keeper” or “Mar the Gates” vary the tempos and rhythms for a while, enforced by the orchestration, to maul once again the neck-breaking mid-tempo style which made famous the legendary Bolt Thrower. On the other side, blast beat festival “God of Delusion” managse to turn up the BPM with a more black metal edge, and the never ending machine gun drumming a la Dark Funeral is delightful on this 3 minute killing spree.
Furthermore, Overoth did a great job to not alienate death metal fans with the orchestration side of their music. Always subtle, D. Dempster supplied both guitars and orchestra duties supporting the already great music without drowning the metal segments with tons of useless layers or changing their path towards other divergent styles.
Perhaps the biggest flaw for many listeners can be the monolithic nature of this album. Even with some tempo changes and the introduction of the orchestra, the verses sound similar from time to time. However, that was not a distracting element for me in my constant listening of The Forgotten Tome last month, so you have to believe me with this: Overoth is another name you should put in your notebook if you are already channeling your magic energies in this incredible year for death metal.
Acquire this Spell book on Hostile Media. Follow the trails of these magicians on the Book ov Skulls.
Spell book: In Twilight’s Embrace – Vanitas.
Type of spell: Chaotic entanglements.
We discussed In Twilight’s Embrace a while ago, and we agreed in this Magic Council that they are one of us. Their fiery mix of melodic death metal with the uncompromised black metal attitude carved their names in our scrolls when they released the EP Trembling, and their debut The Grim Muse captivated many of us with their honest songwriting.
If the extroverted fury of their previous catalog blew you away, Vanitas, their new spell, is going to turn your arcane meditations upside down with high quality scorching metal.
Not content with the high praises of their initial era, the band converted all their experience on the road and their personal life turnabouts to spit some venom and darkness into their already caustic style. With Vanitas, In Twilight’s Embrace gets deeper and deeper into their own catacombs and unholy soil in order to reveal the fragility of our lives. And, this emotive pilgrimage is a journey worthy to be accompanied by this eight-track set list.
Kicking it off with “The Hell of Mediocrity”, this Polish band now ascended from acolytes to grand masters of the melodic arts. With incredible precision in every instrument and segment, the songwriting is unparalleled, always pointing to the same conceptual framework but never giving up with the twists. This is a record from a band that is so concise that every second of it is never wasted misfiring their casting circles.
From this relentless opening, In Twilight’s Embrace shows their skill and genuine emotion in their rich dark sonata through every corner of the album. All the tracks have a riff, a hook, a drum fill or a guitar melody that will definitely catch the perceptive ear in matter of seconds. The furious blasting sections, comparable to their infamous comrades of Mgla or the maniac hordes from Iceland, clash constantly in every song along their poisonous template of the melodic death metal, granting every track a dynamic aura behind it.
“Trembling” and “Flesh Falls, No Ghost Lifts” are a great example of this contrasting approach to the album’s crafting process, building up from a tenebrous choking vocalization to the driving melodeath gorgeous expressiveness. Closer “The Great Leveller” sets a new paragon for their upcoming catalog, reuniting all the impressive elements of this magic recollection in a strong finishing spell.
I really need to investigate how this extreme metal Polish scene produces this particular style drenched in black and pestilent death. But, so far, I am so allured by Vanitas, because they made the melancholy spirit reachable enough to be touched, thanks to their honest song-crafting. Hands down, this is their best album, setting In Twilight’s Embrace as my favorite band of their area and becoming one of the best records I have heard this year.
Acquire this Spell book on Arachnophobia Records. Follow the trails of these magicians on the Book ov Skulls.
Spell book: Buried Realm – The Ichor Carcinoma.
Type of spell: Otherworldly conjurations.
Many of our fellow readers followed our premiere of Buried Realm very closely, marveling at the insane technical prowess of a one-man project. Unlike the previous spells of this month, the Josh Dummer banner follows a brighter path, but I was so eager to share it with you all to conclude our first approximation with The Ichor Carcinoma
After we are welcomed by the opening of “Portal”, the title track begins at full speed of light without tripping into an abyss. While the first impression is that Dummer’s style is rooted in disparate influences, the song begins and ends in a streamed line of intergalactic bursts. Bob Katsionis (Firewind, Serious Black) and Peter Wichers (ex-Soilwork) duel with their six-strings coloring the super novas on the solo sections.
From this point on, the three bands that came first to my mind in the whole listening of The Ichor Carcinoma were early Scar Symmetry, Disarmonia Mundi and mid-era Soilwork. Nevertheless, the Swedish progressive death metal combo is perhaps the most accurate influence of this project, but that does not demerit the great job of Dummer in putting every piece together to form this monstrous sci-fi sounding project.
Plenty of hooks and explosive guitar work is the magical conductor of the Buried Realm life stream. All the guitar players inject their particular styles into the mix, but Josh Dummer assembles every melodic personality without impacting the real goal of the album, which are his songs.
Even with some nearly unnoticeable vocal missteps and the skippable interlude “Hidden Chapter”, the cleans and harsh vocals are good enough to collide constantly in order to highly contrast the lyrical reciting. At the same time, the riffing is passionate and real, leaving spaces open to make the track list very memorable in every inch, commanded by a superb rhythmic section which masterfully travels space in every velocity possible. On par, headbangable moments are always juxtaposed wiuth thoughtful guitars and fascinating leads, making this a must for those adventurers who enjoy tmusical prowess and intense song-writing, with tasteful progressive hits in the hideous form of “Unscrupulous” (One of the best cuts of the record, with the impressive appearance of Dean Paul Arnold, from Primal Frost and Vital Remains), “Apeiron II – Global Dreamer” and “On Serpent Soil” (Once again displaying the burning strings of Katsionis).
Also, to those keen to incorporate the “catchy” aspect of the extroverted side of the melodeath driven experience on their playlists, songs like “Through Darkened Halls”, “Asphyxiation Lullaby” and the epic closer (and aptly titled) “SuperSpell”, which have delightful soloing from the master Christopher Amott (Armageddon and ex-Arch Enemy), owning the dark space with Brandon Ellis (Arsis and The Black Dahlia Murder) alongside Marios Iliopoulos (Nightrage), after 8 impressive minutes of face-melting riffage.
Buried Realm’s debut, The Ichor Carcinoma, is such a refreshing experienceion this stale year for the modern melodic death coding. Impressive song-writing with the bonus of a nice roster of guest performances does not happen every day, so the Stars were really synchronized fo this pleasant experience. Get on board with this if you are in tune with this genre!
Acquire this Spell book on Bandcamp. Follow the trails of this magician on the Book ov Skulls.
Did you like these spells? Which were your favorite scrolls crafted in September? Scribe thy comments and remember to stay here at Toilet ov Hell for more inspired contents and new recommendations.
The Link-Up Spell is a weekly Toilet ov Hell column about music, movies, books, retro video games and guaranteed Elfic nonsense. If you want tocontact the author to send your material, mail us at toiletovhell [at] gmail.com with the subject “The Link-Up Spell” or message him on social media.
Photo cover: VÍA