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 THE EVIL INQUISITION - STRONGHOLD RECORDS SPECIAL

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The Inquisitor
Adolescant Doomster
Adolescant Doomster


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Join date : 2008-12-28

PostSubject: THE EVIL INQUISITION - STRONGHOLD RECORDS SPECIAL   Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:05 am

STRONGHOLD RECORDS
BASED IN THE UNITED STATES AND SPECIALIZING IN BLACK METAL
Here are my reviews on their releases so far, be sure to check the labels website below...
http://www.strongholdrecords.net

ANGELRUST
‘The Nightmare Unfolds’
http://www.myspace.com/heartturnedcold



Angelrust are a five piece Death & Thrash Metal band from Ohio. Starting with a graceful and peaceful acoustic folk like introduction, one might almost be lulled into a false sense of security by Angelrust and their new release ‘The Nightmare Unfolds’. Especially as after a couple of minutes a slow painful death descends upon proceedings, an almost Death Doom like style of sludgy heavy riffs, crushing vocals and an omnipresent sense of foreboding and angst. The odd spell of clean vocals thrown in for variety cannot quell the rampant furious vibes which this band gives off almost constantly. Musically they are quite adept musicians and their obvious talent goes a long when creating songs of this nature, but what makes Angelrust stand apart when compared to the usual bump and grind of standard Death Metal is the melodies that the band incorporate to separate the ferocity, to blend into the malice and to funnel the anger and vitriol that they collectively produce at will. ‘The Nightmare Unfolds’ is a molten slab of proficient Death Doom with melodic undertones, brilliant to listen too and very easy to enjoy. [7.5]

‘Angelrust – The Earlier Releases’

Angelrust’s self titled release marks the first stage of a look back at the bands history over four releases. You’ve already read about their most recent instalment but this release focuses on the bands past. Again you’ll notice the melodic twinges and interludes that the band like to work into their style but again this is dominated almost into submission by the bands cruel aggressive streak. I feel that the modern day sound of Angelrust is Doom orientated but here the band stick to a pretty rigid Melodic Death formula except for very brief patches of slowed doom riff-age. What I like about this release is some of the individual guitar play that give this band its quirkiness and whilst this is not as strong a release as their current one it is still good beginnings for one of Stronghold’s most prolific bands. [6.5]

Part three of the Angelrust quartet is their four track demo ‘Pale Portrait’. Not much changes on this release although there is a lot of softer almost acoustic guitar play interspersed between cruel riff-age and harsh gravel like vocals. I found that this release seemed to focus a lot more on the softer side of the band, the more intricate displays and the melodies that they are quite capable of producing. I would rate it as on a par with the release that came before it but definitely showing the bands versatile nature. [6.5]

Finally here is the release that the band named their Myspace page after, that being ‘Heart Turned Cold’ and the last release before the very impressive ‘The Nightmare Unfolds’. Here is where the band starting working on the more Death Doom like style that they now use to great effect. Raw vocals have been adopted for this release that give the band a real underground feeling but what is most impressive is the bands ability to make their music sound like a rampant wall of dominating furious Metal, something they do with ease and at will. Angelrust have demonstrated over their last four releases that they are a band of extreme talent, and only time will tell if they can take that even further. [7]

BALOR
‘Fraternity Of The Goat’
http://www.myspace.com/balorstronghold



Black and Doom Metal straight from the grim realms of Ohio and from the very outset you know this band is truly Satan worshipping black Metal demonic goodness. All of this information gleaned just from the introduction track. Satan shows no mercy; blaspheme upon us, enemy of god, and slayer of Christ. I’m sure that you get the message. In fact so long is this black propaganda rhetoric that you may start to wonder when the hyperbole ends and the music will begin. In fact fourteen minutes will pass before this spiel ends and frankly this is far too arduous and wearisome, so much so that you’ll be willing to summon Satan himself to end the tirade and start something worth listening too. When if finally and blessedly ends the result is a raw mesh of impenetrable Black Metal fury played slow to a Burzum like stupor only a let more venomous. Balor are not pretty, indeed they spit out pure scorn with every twist and turn and almost immediately you will forgive them for the most tedious intro. To sum up Balor and ‘The Fraternity Of The Goat’ is for pure kvlt Satanist Black Metallers to thoroughly enjoy, and I reckon you will. [7]

HARVIST
‘A Gleam In The Night’
http://www.myspace.com/harvist



A one man band currently despite many previous members, that’s West Virginian outfit Harvist. This is actually the first in a three part look at this US Black Metal act and the first part comes in the guise of ‘A Gleam In The Night’. It has to be stated that production values are not high on this release but we all know how costly such things are these days, and to compensate Harvist reign down a deluge of fierce some Black Metal riffs, stripped down melodies and gruelling raw vocals. It has some very funky undertones that lend the release balance as well a versatile streak and that goes a long way as this does have a tendency to be somewhat samey and a little clichéd. Having said all that though this is still impressive and again one for all true Black Metallers. Some will say they have heard it all before but then you can never have too much of a good thing can you? [6]

‘Live In Appalachia’



Up next from West Virginian Black Metal band Harvist is a live set recorded at a show in Appalachia and let me tell you it sounds damn furious. As far as live sets go this one must have been something to behold and the quality of the recording is also something to be very impressed with. The vocals are sometimes lost but then when its all being screeched out at volatile speeds then these things will happen. One thing of true awesomeness is the finale, a Black Metal cover of Iron Maidens ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ and by the sound of it this really had the crowd in a spin, brilliantly executed and a fantastic way to end a pretty successful live show. [7]

‘Wolfskin Clad’



To finish of this Harvist festival of Black Metal brutality is their release ‘Wolfskin Clad’. I have to be honest with you on this one it is all a little too fast and frantic to make everything out and due to slightly less than acceptable production levels a lot of the effect is lost, although some of the more melodic parts do come through in fine style. What I can say about it is that Harvist clearly rip up trees in their quest for the ultimo ate in dominating Black Metal but on this release there is too much interference to truly enjoy. That said though over the last three releases Harvist have proven they are a band of talent and true Black Metal values. [5]

WOE
‘A Spell For The Death Of Man’
http://www.myspace.com/woeunholy



The final part of my Stronghold Records issue comes in the form of Pennsylvanian Black Metal band Woe whose album is deliciously entitled ‘A Spell For The Death Of Man’. What can I tell you? It’s raw, stripped down and bleak, three must haves on any good Black Metal album. Woe play with a depth of fury that some can only dream of and their frantic fast paced style is blisteringly cold and volatile. Luckily Woe do have the production standards to match the music they wish to play and for me this goes a long way. Some might find what Woe do a little samey and clichéd and to be honest there is not a lot of variety in their approach or execution. Yet for those of you who are pumped up by bleak, darkened furious Black Metal that is made simply to slay those in it’s path then this will appeal immediately. Woe play with great talent, great ability and with a mind set of total and utter contempt for the world and a longing to bring destruction and carnage. [7]


And finally look out for a little known band called PTAHIL. I have only heard a thirty second demo track sample of this Black/Doom Metal band but what I heard is promising. They will have a web-page very soon so keep your eyes on the Stronghold Records website.
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