By Steven Leslie. ounded in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1996 by Andy Newton a.k.a. Lord Typhus of US black metal crew Typhus, Dark Horizon Records specializes primarily in underground black and death metal. A fantastic split from two bands that need no introduction to fans of underground barbarity. Both bands showcase their specific brand of war metal on this splitBy Steven Leslie.
Founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1996 by Andy Newton a.k.a. Lord Typhus of US black metal crew Typhus, Dark Horizon Records specializes primarily in underground black and death metal.
A fantastic split from two bands that need no introduction to fans of underground barbarity. Both bands showcase their specific brand of war metal on this split, originally released in 1999. Black Witchery kick things off with a wall of churning guitar riffs, relentless blasting, crashing cymbals and pissed of screams. One of the best things about any Black Witchery release, this one included, is the vocal performance put in by Impurath. His vocal phrasing and the cadence of his delivery adding an additional rhythmical element to the music, making each track that much more impactful. He never fails to find that sweet spot between guttural death metal grunts and harsh black metal shrieks. Black Witchery offers up four tracks and fittingly cap off their end of the split with cover of Blasphemy's "Demoniac". Underground war metal legends Conqueror continue the relentless audio savagery with four more tracks of ruthless desecration. J Read’s unstoppable blast beats providing the backbone for Conqueror’s inexorable attack. Read is a legend for good reason as it is a rare thing to hear so much variety in drumming this fast. Brimming with vitriol, Conqueror unleashes a barrage of lo-fi sonic violence that few can match. Tornado like riffs swirl around laying waste to everything in their path as Read’s hate-filled screams eviscerate any living thing left standing. There is nothing subtle about either band here; this is war metal after all. Considering how difficult it is to get ahold of Conqueror releases, this is a must have for anyone who considers themselves a fan of bestial metal of any variety.
Another classic war metal band here also featuring the talented Mr. Read. Revenge somehow manages to push the audio violence to levels even beyond that conjured by Black Witchery or Conqueror. Never straying from grind-like levels of intensity, you will be happy that this is only about 17 minutes long. Not because it isn’t absolutely killer, but because you will finally be able to catch your breath. Read's vocals are genuinely psychotic. You can feel the hatred dripping from every single syllable. It sounds like the speakers are going to blow out at any given moment. Bands like Revenge are generally pretty hard to review because there really isn't a single part of the music that stands out. Everything from the guitars to the drums and vocals are designed to crush every bone in your body. And that is exactly what this EP will do. When you absolutely want to destroy every motherfucker in the room, accept no substitute.
Hailing from the Netherlands, Sauron have released three superb full lengths of fairly traditional black metal. Originally released in 2003, Universe of Filth is their first and arguably best album. Storming out of the gate with wonderfully catchy guitar lines and relentless blast beats, "Sauron.Death.Squad" sets the tone for the next 33 minutes. While later albums focus more on satanic themes, this beast of an album is dedicated to war. And a fitting soundtrack it is. While the pace rarely changes, Sauron does a great job of writing riffs that are actually memorable despite rarely changing pace. Eclipse’s vocals deserve mention as well. While he follows the traditional black metal template, he injects enough venom into his deliver to make him stand out above the masses of second wave copycats. Those of you who are fans of Panzer-Division era Marduk will find a lot to enjoy about this monster.
Taking a slightly more experimental approach to their black metal, Hordes of the Lunar Eclipse unleashed this, their first full length in 2003. This band sadly flew under most people’s radars when this album was originally released and haven’t gotten the recognition they rightfully deserve. Unlike a lot of the drivel that was being passed off as black metal in the early noughties, Hordes crafted memorable songs and managed to inject enough originality into their music to stand apart from their peers. Constantly shifting and warping from one minute to the next, this album will keep you enthralled from start to finish. Dancing is overflowing with ice-cold tremolo riffs and disturbing grunts all wrapped in a remarkably sinister, occult atmosphere. This again is one of the few bands of this time that was writing memorable riffs, where you could actually distinguish one song from the next. While the production quality does leave something to be desired, there is quite a bit of quality to be found here. Anyone who missed out on this gem first time around would be advised not to sleep on hidden gem.