BUIO OMEGA - 'Planet Of Tombs'
Kicking off this special edition dedicated to all things Battlegod Productions is Italian Black Metal quartet Buio Omega and their third full length release centered around hatred and darkness and eerily entitled 'Planet Of Tombs'. With a slow introduction aimed solely at building up the right dark and murky atmosphere, the band then step things up with an almost catchy style of grating Black Metal with vocals in particular that could strip the paint of industrial sheets. Actually though after the initial surge of adrenaline and Metal savagery this band turn out to be excessively listenable and 'Planet Of Tombs' whilst not the best produced album you'll ever hear is a damn good release. Buio Omega are one of very many Black Metal bands from Italy whose scene seems to have exploded out of it's boundaries and is now dominating whole black heartedly but this is one band who will stand out from the crowd and with albums like this will continue to make a very good name for themselves in Italy and much further afield. [7.5]
SAXORIOR - 'Volkerschlacht'
Hailing from the historic Saxony region of Germany comes a Melodic Black Metal band with a full and rich fifteen years experience. 'Volkerschlacht' I believe roughly translates as 'The War Of Nation's although please do not quote me, and marks the bands sixth full length release. it is professional first and fore most and smacks of a band who have plied their trade for many years and now know exactly what they are doing and where they and the bands direction should be. dark and forboding, Saxorior and 'Volkerschlacht' cut a formidable figure in the Black Metal scene but with their Death Metal element they transcend both genres and make a much more powerful Metal force to be reckoned with. In the end what it comes down to is this is a quality Extreme Metal release from a quality and multi-talented Extreme Metal band and the diversity that they show whilst playing shines brightly through the darkness that they do so much to create. 'Volkerschlacht' may not be the pinnacle of this cross over genre but it is a damn good album none the less. [7.5]
HARKONIN - 'Ghanima'
From Saint Louis in Missouri, USA comes a four piece Black Metal band who feature three members of 'Fistula' and who are now on their fourth full length release, one of the previous ones being a live album entitled 'Live At The Pit'. The newest chapter in the bands history though is entitled ''Ghanima' and features very cliched but much loved stripped of colour woodland artwork. 'Ghanima' is sixteen tracks of atmospheric Black Metal savagery, played loud and raw but it has a good strong back bone too it and therefore doesn't sound hollow or whiney, traits I often put towards a lot of Black Metal out there. Indeed the beat to this album is very catchy and the overall theme rumbles on dramatically throughout. I like harkonin because they play true Black Metal but not over the top like so many others. All the way through this album the outlook is grim yet there is never a point where you ain't totally feeling their music, every vibe, every smashing crushing riff or harsh vocalled assault is brilliantly executed and overall their album is simply superb, a dark frantic blast of Black Metal brilliance brought forth to dominate and incite! [8.5]
ARHONT - 'Arhont'
Arhont represent a first for me as they are the first band ever from Macedonia that I have had the pleasure to review. Also they represent a genre shift for Battlegod as they play straight up Death Metal and this self titled release marks their debut full length album. Unfortunately shortly after the off this album gets tiresome pretty damn quick as the poor production values and the bands lack of originality soon takes it's toll. It isn't that they can't play because they clearly can, and their dark sounding Death Metal is impressive in itself but it still does little to excite and you can hear music better bands much closer to home, unless you are from Macedonia. in my opinion though I'd leave this band alone and look elsewhere for Death Metal talent because Arhont whilst not a bad band and without releasing what i would call a bad album are just plain boring and seem to be simply going through the motions somewhat, but still it could be worse and with some better production and a long hard look at how they write songs these boys could be a lot better. [4.5]
TEMTRIS - Masquerade'
This five piece female fronted Australian Traditional Heavy Metal band again set somewhat of a style change for Battlegod and have been let loose with their sophomore full length release entitled 'Masquerade'. Powerful is the first thought that springs immediately to mind once this iron lunged hell vixen kicks in with her majestic vocals and whilst the music on offer is simplistic and ordinary in it's approach her tantalising vocal prowess more than makes up for it. Indeed it is actually quite refreshing for such a straight up band to still be on the scene, and whilst they won't be every bodies cup of tea they do still make quality old school music that's great to listen and sing a long with. Temtris may not be the most versatile out there and yes there is a great deal of Iron Maiden hero worship at play here but they do a lot to cover these traits by being so like able. All in all then 'Masquerade' not the most enlightening of releases but not half bad either. 
BLACK REIGN - 'Sovereign'
From Wollongong, Australia comes straight up Thrash Metal from a band who are no stranger to line up turbulence judging by their extensive former members list. Now to fill you in a little I read a review recently on this very release by somebody on the Metal Archives website who described 'Sovereign' as a Metal cliche and then after truly slating the album from pillar to post rated it with a whopping and blunt zero. This I am here to tell you is a rather unfair assessment. yes the artwork does feature a golden armour plated comic book warrior sided by a contrast of angels and demons. Yes they are called Black reign. This however may be very tongue in cheek. Also mentioned in said review was the production quality and the out of tune vocals, and whilst I agree with the part of the out of tune vocals I have to draw the line at the sound quality which is normal to say the least. The point I am making here in this rather strange style of review is that you shouldn't write off a band with a zero so easily, not until you have heard some of the shit that has landed on my desk in the past! back to business though and 'Sovereign' is the bands first full length album in seven years so one could hardly call them prolific and nor could I say that it was worth waiting for. It is for all intent and purposes a piece of Australian Thrash Metal savagery that is simplistic in approach and result and right to the very core this band produce nothing out of the ordinary. I agree to that song titles like 'Viking' and The King Of Demons' are extremely cliched but then whats wrong with that? All in all though this is listenable and that's why I'm bunking them up from a damn unfair zero all the way to a ... [4.5]
THIRTEENTH SIGN - 'Oracles Of Armageddon'
Black and Death Metal from the UK, this five piece have unleashed their new album through Battlegod entitled 'Oracles Of Armageddon'. Thirteenth Sign are the kind of band that don't thrill me if I am to be honest, yet play with an intensity that it is hard not to be impressed by. not the tightest of bands you'll hear, they still produce a full on adrenaline rush of Metal that blisters and burns as it makes it's way on a brutal journey of noise and carnage. 'Oracles Of Armageddon' is a decent attempt but i find the bands sound often hollow and lacking bass and backbone. Still they pack a lot of vocal power both growling and clean and powerful all at the same time and this variety keeps them moderately interesting. After a while though it all blends into one and becomes somewhat tiresome. Still this is a band with some good technical talent and with some time spent on better song writing and a better production level and this one may be a winner. 
MAY RESULT - 'Slava Smrti'
May result are a five piece old school Black Metal band from the unlikely land of Serbia. 'Slava Smrti' is their brand new release through Battlegod. What I liked instantly about May result is their ability to create atmosphere, and in their case i a dense fog of mystique and darkness, tinged with malice and betrayal and topped by sinister hatred. Once the Metal kicks in it blends instantly with the atmospheric part of the music and fuses to amalgamate into one superb sounding Black Metal colossus. As far as I am aware Serbia is not exactly a hot bed for undiscovered Metal talent but May Result should be heading their underground scene. Unique though they are not they do still host an enormous amount of talent and they use their gift to create a style of Black Metal that is delicious to listen too but at the same time would warn off any unsuspecting none Metal by standers caught in its path like a rabbit in the headlights. 'Slava Smrti' is a grim Black Metal slab of vile hatred laid forth for consumption and will intoxicate you within seconds. 
AEVERON - 'Existential Dead End'
Finishing off my Battlegod Production special issue is German Black and Death Metal five piece and their brand new release 'Existential Dead End'. This has to be one of my favourite bands from this label with their catchy style of Power Metal like darkness. Mixed vocals ranging between powerful harmonies and guttural growling slam along side simplistic but very enjoyable riff-age in an almost mainstream but not quite way. Indeed it is a fine balance between mainstream sell out status and catchy right side of the line Heavy Metal goodness but Aeveron pull it off with great and dramatic style as their grand crescendo sound takes full flight. Completed by artwork depicting a horde entering battle this really is an album that is Metal through and through and in particular German through and through. Old school to the core and majestic in its finish, 'Existential Dead End' packs power and flair to produce an end result of spectacular performance and intricate prowess if some of the solos are anything to go by. Aeveron will double kick your ass and you'll beg for more.