From the Plutonian planet of the Yuggoth comes Tchornobog’s self-titled album.

Can we get one thing out of the way first? The album artwork.

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That. Fucking. Eye.

It just downright creeps the ever-living blue fuck out of me. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get right into the music of this bad-boy. A one man band created by Ukranian Markov Soroka, Tchornobog isn’t exactly a band that is going to be re-inventing the rules of Black Metal. But what he does with this debut album is a hellish combination of Deathspell Omega and Napalm Death. That’s about as close as I can come to describing this outer worldly monstrosity.

The self-titled album only delivers 4 tracks. The first is fucking 20 minutes long. I have heard some people say “Spare me the long intro”, but for me I’m a patient kinda dude when it comes to music like this. Especially if I’m listening to this at 12:30 AM in the middle of the night whenever my fiancee is asleep and all the animals are curled up. It gives me the chance to fully take something like this in. Even the song titles alone; “I: The Vomiting Tchornobog (Slithering Gods of Cognitive Dissonance)” and “IIII: Here, At The Disposition of Time (Inverting A Solar Giant)” take a good amount of concentration to let your imagination get its gears turning properly. At least for me that seems to be the case.

The music contained in the album itself has many peaks and valleys much like what is shown visually on the album artwork. For such a huge album it’s a lot to take in. Tchornobog has the ability to appeal progressive/outside-of-the-box thinking metal nerds. I don’t say that as an insult seeing how I’m a sucker for albums such as “Operation: Mindcrime,” “Nothingface,” “Human,” etc, but this one is a bit more challenging. Tchornobog‘s self-titled album is a constant-changing riff terrain that demands your full attention. Mind you this is one of those albums that does automatically hits you right off the bat, but it’s still an album that I know will take many repeated listens just to get the mapped-out feel of the almost alien-like landscape. It’s a fucking maze of riffs ( and torment too!). One second you get the blastbeats, the next you get a really doomy breakdown, etc. But the way Mr. Tchornobog goes about arranging all of the riffs and compositions is actually a good contrast to say Germany’s own The Ruins Of Beverast. Where TROB are more doomier, Tchornobog adds in the extra little bit of Death Metal elements here and there. Not a lot, but enough to make the music more beefier and dissonant in some parts.

For all intents and purposes, this is mood music. I don’t see this album inspiring an ever-growing legion of fans who are going to be praising Mr. Soroka to ad nauseum any time soon. More like this is an album for the individual to sit back, and unlock doors in the mind that leads them to wherever. As space-y and nerdy as that sounds, that’s all I can really used to describe it. All and all, it’s a creepy fucking album, complete with crawling eyes and maze-like riffs.

Tchornobog‘s self-titled album is now available on Fallen Empire Records for digital release. I-Voivdhanger Records will be doing a limited edition CD pressing. Other than that, you can follow the one man band at his official Facebook page or his official Bandcamp page.

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The Mortal Awakening Of Father Befouled on “Desolate Gods.”

A lot of people in 2017 scream “Too much Incantation-worship!“, and to that I say “Phooey!“. Truth be told, I don’t know what they are listening to, nor do I care. Like any self-respecting Death Metal fan, I can’t get enough of not just Incantation but their influence. Ever since I first heard “Mortal Throne of Nazarene” and “The Forsaken Morning Of Angelic Anguish” as a teen in the 90’s, I’ve wanted more. The feeling and desire of something like Incantation to completely blow me away and shatter my concept of Death Metal is always there. That’s not to say other Death Metal bands haven’t blown me away since, that would a lie. But I’m always yearning for that nice sweet spot that Incantation’s influence can always bring and brighten up my day if ever I am having a bad one.

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Enter Father Befouled‘s “Desolate Gods” on Dark Descent Records. Right off the bat, can we discuss the artwork? I love the whole ‘ancient cave drawing out of a horror movie’ feel to it- like some primitive form of mankind worshiping creepy crawling things of the unknown world they live in. Artwork aside, the album itself just might be Father Befouled‘s best, as they mature while staying true and honest to their Incantation-inspired Death Metal roots. I have just described them with both “worship” and “influence”, but it’s apparent that on “Desolate Gods” Father Befouled have gone from “worship” TO “influence”, coming into their own while becoming more comfortable in their skin. That’s not saying anything negative about the band. Detractors be damned, because “Desolate Gods” is, for the lack of better terms, fucking sweet!

My personal favorite track on “Desolate Ones” is “Ungodly Rest.” The doomy-as-fuck deathly stomper is a form of sound that I personally love. It’s also a change of pace from the rest of the album and really shows the band’s writing chops -not relying on the same ol’/same ol’ that I’ve heard from a shitload of other more uninspired bands. Yes, I am going to throw the Lovecraft reference in here as well, but the slow, plodding, funeral dirge of the song just fits the concept of dark ancient entities and possible readings from books bound in human flesh and inked in blood. “Mortal Awakening” has a subtle tinge of blackened riffs before the headbanging breakdown kicks in.  Other songs such as “Exalted Offal” and “Desolate Gods” have twists and turns as well, but at the end of the day it remains true to the Incantation style of Death Metal which is never a bad thing.

I’ll say one last thing concerning the new Father Befouled (and I know I am not the only one who more or less felt this way) . In comparison to their last album, “Desolate Gods” is far superior. Superior artwork, superior productions, superior song-writing, and hands down the best the band has created. This is Death Metal for worshiping old ones while working around the house trying to beat the summer heat. Enjoy!

Father Befouled‘s “Desolate Gods” is out now on Dark Descent Records. You can follow the band on their official FB page and order their album at Dark Descent Record’s official Bandcamp page.

Where next to conquer? A remembrance of the almighty Bolt Thrower.

I don’t have to go into detail or really have to introduce the almighty Bolt Thrower at this point. It’s down-right silly but to those that never listened to them or missed out on hailing them when they were still active; simply put, you done goofed. I won’t go into a huge history of them, it speaks for itself and you can read all about it on the internets. But I will give you a peek into the time I first listened to them and how they just soaked me into their realm of chaos and how I became a fellow slave to darkness.

I was about 18/19 years old and my young ADHD mind was still learning and everything was still fresh to it at that point in contrast to the dank haze that is starting to affect it now as I hurtle towards 34 next March. By that point I was already frothing at the mouth for anything extreme(I still am even now) so I decided to do more research in the death metal genre seeing how the previous 4-5 years I was totally engrossed with black metal. For a while I took a break from not paying any attention to death metal even though I listened to it, but I didn’t actively search out past the big names such as Suffocation, Incantation, Obituary, Morbid Angel, At the Gates, Carcass, etc. Anyway, I remember my good friend and cult mentor at the time, Jon Jasmid of Full Moon Productions, always telling me to listen to them. So I figured “Fuck it. The dude has never steered me wrong.” My first album I ordered was “Realm of Chaos” which he was telling me to start with. He raved at how it was the most extreme death metal release at the time it was shot out of it’s proverbial war cannon. So grabbing it, and just by looking at the cover…..Warhammer 40,000 artwork? Ok that was waaaaaaaaaaaay different. Looking at the song titles such as “World Eater“, “All that Remains“, and “Eternal War“….it didn’t come off as typical death metal fodder in terms of language or anything. So my curiosity was immediately piqued. Upon popping it into my Sony Discman I was thrown head-first into their universe of constant battle and military tactics.

FUCK.

That was my immediate thought with the first song “Eternal War.” It WAS fucking extreme. The downright dirtiness and sound production wasn’t typical death metal. If anything at that particular time, it reminded me a LOT of then up-coming band Black Witchery (gotta remember this was late 90’s/early 00’s) in terms of rawness. It reminded me of all those crappy black metal demos and albums that I listened to up until that point. And in terms of what the other death metal bands were sounding like…..Bolt Thrower was an all-together different fucking beast. Originally I thought “Yeah it’s Grindcore….but where the fuck are the PC/Gore topics?” So that right there off the bat, completely took me off guard. Where as most death metal bands brought on visions and nightmares of gore-soaked obsession and the conjuration of dark entities and the complete breaking-down and failing human body…….Bolt Thrower just reminded me of that scene in “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” where the Exoskeleton’s foot stomps down and crushes the nuclear-charred human skull in post-nuclear apocalyptic Los Angeles. No words spoken, just total and absolute fucking intolerance.

Since then, I’ve always looked for and found excuses to nerd out to them. With friends, family, co-workers. In terms of death metal, Bolt Thrower will always be in my Top 10 next to the likes of Dismember, Immolation, Master/Death Strike, Repulsion, The Crown, Portal, Obituary and a few others.One of the things that HAS always irked me about Bolt Thrower is that certain people couldn’t get or accept the Dave Ingram-era of the band which fucking blows my mind because right behind their genre-defining 90’s albums, “Honor – Valour – Pride” is an ace fucking album. I mean just listen to the first track alone and tell me that doesn’t make you want to nerd the fuck out and give them hails.

And really the hits don’t stop there. They are all-over their dischography. Want something more primitive and cursty? Listen to “In Battle There Is No Law.” Want something epic? Listen to “The IVth Crusade.” So in the future if anyone asks what Bolt Thrower means in this thing we call extreme music. Just blast them this song and if they are a false, they won’t entry. RIP Bolt Thrower. Eternal hails.