Week 2 of Five For Friday and this week, it’s a feature on the Russian label, Satanath Records and its sub-label, Symbol Of Domination
Here’s 5 releases from the labels to sink your teeth into
Dark Phantom – Nation Of Dogs
I thought I’d start with Dark Phantom as they are a band that deserve the utmost respect from Metalheads all over the world. Many bands have a variety of hurdles to overcome, but playing Metal in worn torn Iraq, specifically in Kirkuk, with the threat of reprisals from terror groups, man, that takes a lot of balls.
The band lost a couple of members through fears for their own safety, but they persevered and here we have Nation Of Dogs. A debut album they can be very proud of.
The mainstay of the album is a Death / Thrash hybrid. And you wouldn’t really know of the bands origins most of the time as they fit in very nicely with their Western counterparts. But every now and then, they show their roots and the Middle Eastern flavours elevate this album to new heights.
I understand the band wanting to just be a Metal band, but the home-grown flavours they can incorporate are almost unique in Metal, and I’d love to hear more of this style in the future.
Even without the hardships the band have endured, this is a really good album. But once you hear the backstory of what they went through to create such a fine body of work, then it’s nothing short of a masterpiece.
Evilforces – Pest Plagues & Storms
My favourite album of the current crop of releases is by Mexico’s Evilforces. It’s a one man Black Metal band, but with a subject matter dealing with Assyrian gods and demons and the book, The Maskim Hul. You throw ancient chants and the mysticism of that era into the mix, and it’s a real potent combination of Black Metal and cultural overtones.
The Black Metal side is mainly in your face and brings together influences old and new, so you get the best of the old school bands, as well as a modern edge. The ancient chanting parts merge seamlessly with the aggressive Black Metal, and while this style seems to be all the rage at the moment (I’m hearing it more and more), this is definitely one of the better examples.
And just to throw you off guard a bit, Addiz, has a Pagan feel to it… which is something I really wasn’t expecting.
Ending the album is the humongous, Forever in Possession State (Persecuted), which clocks in at just under 20 minutes. It’s a really ambitious piece with various samples, spoken word passages etc.. It’s not as heavy as the rest of the album, but the distressed woman who can be heard crying out throughout the song, really gives this some weight. At times, it’s not easy listening, but you have to admire the intensity and the massive amount of effort that Pazuzuh has put into the songs creation.
Aegri Somnia – Ad Augusta Per Angusta
The thing with Satanath and Symbol of Domination, such is the variety of music on offer from both labels, you never know what to expect… so here’s an album based on old Iberian popular folk songs from the late 19th and the early 20th century. Yeah, that took me by surprise as well.
Translating it into what you are really going to hear, is ethnic based Metal. Mysterious female vocals lead the way and the twisting rhythms, despite me already knowing their origin, have a distinct Middle Eastern flavour… ok, Iberian flavour.
Whether it’s the Mongolian Folk Metal of Nine Treasures, or the Jewish and Arabic flavours of Orphaned Land, I love the culturally diverse variations Metal can produce. And this album is no different.
The Metal content isn’t as high as the two bands I’ve just mentioned, but it’s certainly worthy of being mentioned in the same conversation. I’d say it has more in common with some of the more ethereal moments from Liv Kristine’s illustrious career, than your average Metal band.
Would it be offensive to describe this as Gothic Metal meets Rock and Metal infused belly dancing? Because that’s what my brain thinks it is.
Whatever you want to call it, it’s a nice distraction from the normal (louder) promos that come my way.
Plasmodium – Entheognosis
This is certainly the most fucked up release I’ve heard on the label so far. Hailing from Melbourne, Plasmodium are like nothing I’ve heard before. it’s like freeform Black/Death Metal that fires off on a tangent whenever it seems fit.
And opening with a 21 minute plus number that defies any blueprint ever created, certainly fucked with my head.
How do I really describe this? Chaos is the only word that’ll do this justice.
The drumming is amazing. It’s like being run over by a juggernaut, which then comes back to make sure you’re finished off… and the rest of the tuneage? It’s little bit like my favourite Cornish nutters, Wisdom Without Worship. Except that this is even more extreme, and infinitely more off the wall.
It’s as mad as it gets… but I like it. Don’t ask me why. I’m just sitting here thinking that these guys must of taken a shitload of drugs before making this… and did they make it up as they went along, or did they actually sit down and write this maelstrom of ungodly delights?
Suffer Yourself – Ectoplasm
From one album full of epics, we head straight to another… but this time, the Funeral Doom of Suffer Yourself is a much easier proposition to deal with.
Having originally started in Poland, before venturing off to Ukraine, and then finally settling in Sweden, Suffer Yourself has made the transition from one man band to full band, this time with some new blood in mainman Stanislav Govorukha’s newly adopted country.
Usually, I have to be in the mood for Funeral Doom, but I took an instant like to this album and the Deathly vocals are much easier to absorb than some of the more torturous you can find in this genre. In fact, everything is pretty much an easy listen. Sure, it’s reasonably miserable, but that’s a good thing for a moody fucker like myself. According to my mother, I hate the world… and she was slightly off the mark, I just hate most humans.
If you normally shy away from Funeral Doom, this album could be the one to convert you.