Tag: 2023

Altar Of Oblivion – In The Cesspit Of Divine Decay

In late 2022, ALTAR OF OBLIVION signed a deal with From the Vaults and released last year’s “Burning Memories”-EP serving as an appetizer for their upcoming fourth full-length. But NOTHING could foresee what was to come. “In The Cesspit Of Divine Decay”, the new album from the Danish epic doomsters, is a concept work based on the diary of guitarist Martin Meyer Sparvath’s maternal great-grandfather Jesper Wilhem Meyer, who reluctantly fought for the German Empire during The Great War (1914-1918). 

Preparations for this aural endeavour began in 2005, when the band tracked a demo version of what years later would morph into the now completed album, which was originally supposed to be the debut full-length of the early duo incarnation of the band. This album contains some of the band’s first ever creations, and in many ways, it can be regarded as some sort of Altar Of Oblivion-prototype, bringing forth and spewing out their darkest and most traditional epic doom-work to date.

During and since the pandemic, Altar Of Oblivion have been in recording mode, finishing both new and old stuff, including two full-lengths, two EPs and an acoustic album, enabling the band to take a well-deserved studio-break in order to focus on live shows from now on. A number of gigs have been confirmed for 2024, and the collective is now looking forward to hitting the stage again, heavier, older and more invigorated than ever. Time will tell if playing live is the right cure for a severe case of discoloured studio tan.

The origins of Altar of Oblivion can be traced back to 2003, when Martin Meyer Sparvath (guitars/vocals) and Allan Larsen (drums) formed a duo called Summoning Sickness. Three years later, this doubtful project was transformed into a four-piece named Altar Of Oblivion, and the entity went from playing simple black/speed/heavy-metal to epic doom metal. The band has so far, apart from a number of demos, EPs and a live album, three full-lengths under its belt.

“In The Cesspit Of Divine Decay” will be released on LP (black vinyl) and digital formats on June 28th, 2024 via From The Vaults. 

Lineup:
Mik Mentor – vocals
Martin Meyer Sparvath – guitars & guitar-synth
Jeppe Campradt – guitars
C. Nørgaard – bass
Danny Woe – drums
Jannick Nielsen – keyboards

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https://bit.ly/aoo-tgt

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Altar Of Oblivion – Burning Memories

Fresh after being signed to From The Vaults, epic doom metallers ALTAR OF OBLIVION announce the release of the EP “Burning Memories”. The five tracks were recorded in 2016 just after the completion of the band’s third full-length. Now, seven years later, the EP is finally ready to see the light of day. On it, the band conjures up classic timeless epic doom metal, whilst at the same time exploring untrodden ground under the gloomy auspices of this Nordic collective. 

The origins of Altar of Oblivion can be traced back to 2003, when Martin Sparvath (guitars/vocals) and Allan Larsen (drums) formed a duo called Summoning Sickness. Around three years later, this doubtful project morphed into Altar of Oblivion and the entity went from playing simple black/speed/ heavy-metal to epic doom metal. To complete the lineup, two new members in the shape of former opera-singer Mik Mentor and bassist/caffeine-addict Christian Nørgaard were recruited, and the band has, so far, several demos, EPs, a live album, and three full-lengths under its belt. Now, a new chapter opens up for Altar Of Oblivion, while the band closes the door on a brilliant past before looking forward to a new album in 2024. 

Epic doom is not a subgenre that many bands even attempt, let alone excel at, still less expand upon, so this Aalborg five-piece deserve mad props for bringing new life to this profound outsider sound. With the frosty melancholy of Candlemass, the mystical drama of Solitude Aeturnus and the barbarian brawn of Solstice, AOO mix in new levels of emotional vulnerability via the Robert Smith-ish vocals of Mik Mentor, and never get lost in sluggish gloom, maintaining trad metal fundamentals with a strong, clear vocal line, a sturdy gallop and a spine-tingling melody” Chris Shantler (Metal Hammer UK) 

“Burning Memories” is out now on MLP (180gr black vinyl, limited to 300) and digital formats via From The Vaults.    

Lineup:
Mik Mentor – vocals
Martin Meyer Sparvath – guitars & guitar-synth
Jeppe Campradt – guitars
C. Nørgaard – bass
Danny Woe – drums
Jannick Nielsen – keyboards 

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https://bit.ly/alt-bur

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Trespass – Wolf At The Door

Five years after “Footprints In The Rock”, NWOBHM unsung heroes TRESPASS are back with a superb new album entitled “Wolf At The Door”. Encompassing issues and subjects close to their hearts – especially environmental themes – the album were written by founding member, guitar player and vocalist Mark Sutcliffe at his home studio, being later recorded at Crooks Hall Studios, all in the wilds of Suffolk. Nigel Palmer (Raging Speedhorn, Satan’s Empire) then polished altogether in Lowland Masters. 

This typical British environment helped Trespass maintain their NWOBHM signature twin-guitar sound, while having a drive and energy in the rhythm section that transports them right back into the 20s. The artwork, by Mark Wilkinson (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest) put the final touch in a release that won’t disappoint the old-school fans, as well as new ones. 

Trespass was formed in 1979 in Sudbury, Suffolk by Mark Sutcliffe (guitar, vocals) and his brother Paul on drums. The band enjoyed success and critical acclaim as part of the New wave of British Heavy Metal in the early 80s, although it has only released a few singles and an EP – the cult “Bright Lights”, from 1981. Songs such as “One Of These Days”, “Stormchild” and “Bright Lights” have made their mark. 

In the 90s, Trespass was back in full action and in 1993 the band finally released their long-awaited debut album “Head”, helping keep the NWOBHM flame alive in a dark decade for traditional metal. The second album, self-titled, surfaced in 2015, and the group didn’t need another decade for a follow-up, with “Footprints In The Rock” being released three years after, with reactions, confirming that Trespass music is still enjoyed by rock and metal fans all over the world. While preparing the next full-length release, Trespass is currently rehearsing a set of classics old and new, for UK and European shows next year. 

“Wolf At The Door” is out now on LP (black vinyl, limited to 500), CD and digital formats.

Lineup:
Mark Sutcliffe – guitar/vocals
Joe Fawcett – guitar
Jason Roberts – drums
Wil Wilmot – bass

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https://bit.ly/tresp-shop

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Exelerate – Exelerate

EXELERATE is a power thrash metal band from Denmark. They play fast and aggressive riffs combined virtuose guitar solos and high-pitched vocals to create a new, yet familiar brand of metal. They quickly found strength in combining their individual music influences to create a mix of thrash, power and prog metal. It set the stage for the aggressive, but still approachable sound and the complexity of the compositions that all of their songs are made of. 

They are inspired by bands like Megadeth, Anthrax, DIO and Dream Theater and make heavy use of both the traditional and the new in metal. They have a great focus on how their music is perceived in a live situation. “It’s in a live environment you get the chance to grab new listeners by the collar and show them how it’s done”, lead singer Jensen comments. “They need to be enticed, inspired and spoiled until they can’t get enough. It is therefore important for us to give them something to latch on to, like a catchy melody, a fantastic solo or just a massive breakdown. It’s all a part of capturing the audience’s attention and keeping it”. 

Exelerate is, now in 2023, in full swing with their debut album under the Danish label From The Vaults. The record consists of new and original material, designed to showcase just how metal should sound in 2023. It’s a concept work where every track tells a story about humankind’s tendencies towards both dominance and submission. The themes go from old religions to contemporary ideology worship and even further into the ultimate submission to our own mortality. 

To date, these are the most ambitious compositions I have ever been a part of writing, and I am incredibly proud of the end result”, Jensen says. “It has taken up many hours, days, weeks, years in the rehearsing studio, and the entire effort is realized in full on the album, I think”. 

“Exelerate” was recorded with the help of, among others, Casper Augustenborg as the drum recording engineer and Io Brix Klarstrup, who pulls double duty as both the band’s bass player and recording engineer. The skilled hands of Marco Angioni (Angioni Studios) have made sure that Exelerate sounds better than ever, with a new massive sound that the listener easily can let their face melt away to. 

The album’s artwork was made by the danish artist Steen Jensen who, with his airbrush and proclivities towards the dark and strange, has made a surreal visual universe inspired by the opening track on the album “Arrival”. 

As a classic old-school heavy metal band, Exelerate will proudly begin touring with its debut album in 2023. 

“Exelerate” is out now on LP (black vinyl, limited to 300), CD and digital formats via From The Vaults.    

Lineup:    
Mads Sørensen: guitars 
Stefan Jensen: vocals, guitars 
Io Klarstrup: bass
Stig Eilsøe-Madsen: drums 

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https://bit.ly/exe-target

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Crom – The Era Of Darkness

There’s no denying… Music has become, even in its more extreme and heavier forms, a “market”. Sales figures are thrown, marketing plans are drawn, social media strategies are put into place. And the “success” outcome is measured by stream counts, quick likes without even listening to the whole album and views countings. Week after week, the machine is grinding more releases and bands, always moving forward, with listeners overwhelmed by the quantity of new music at their disposal. 

CROM’s new album was not written and recorded for this “market”. Mastermind Walter “Crom” Grosse has played that game (and won in, for that matter) with Dark Fortress (he served there as bassist and guitarist between 1997 and 2001), but he retreated to his Bathory-inspired musical influences and stood his ground with his project Crom, which slowly turned into a three-man army. “The Era Of Darkness” is the new battlefield of the trio and, once again, it breathes and lives heavy metal in its most epic forms. From big chorus to gigantic, fist-pumping solos and breathtaking guitar leads, the new Crom album is a collection of varied but cohesive heavy/power metal anthems that will get your blood pumping once again for true metal, if you listen to it properly – paying attention to the lyrics, active listening and giving it enough spins, instead of just turning to the next release stream after a few minutes. 

“The Era Of Darkness” out now on digital, CD and LP (black vinyl, limited to 300 units) via From The Vaults.

Lineup:
Walter “Crom” Grosse: vocals, choirs, lead & acoustic guitars, bass
Steve Peyerl: solo guitar
Thomas Hagl: drums 

Webshop:
https://bit.ly/crom-era-lp
https://bit.ly/crom-era-cd


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