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Album Reviews Reviews Short Sharp Shock

Short Sharp Shock #30: A Blackened Parade

Welcome to the latest edition of Short Sharp Shock, where we take a look at some of the shorter metal releases that are out there.

30th edition, eh? Where’s the goddamn parade? Well? So, we have a somewhat black metal-heavy 30th edition for you. But that’s okay, as who doesn’t like a bit of evil black metal now and again?

Black Anvil - MilesBand(s): Black Anvil

Title: Miles

Style(s): Black Metal

Duration: 20 minutes

Release date: March 4, 2019

Miles contains two original tracks and two covers, (Merciful Fate and The Devil’s Blood – apparently the entire EP is a tribute to the late Selim Lemouchi from the latter band). Of the new songs ‘Iron Sharpens Iron’ is an appropriately short sharp shock of blackened thrash mixed with emotive atmosphere, something Black Anvil have increasingly been developing in their music. ‘Miles’ is next, directly written in memory of the band’s friend Selim, and is the strongest and most emotive of the tracks here. ‘Everlasting Saturnalia’ is a The Devil’s Blood cover, (and is quite beautiful), and then the EP ends with Mercyful Fate’s ‘A Corpse Without Soul’, which features Black Anvil’s drummer on vocals.

Overall, a diverse and high-quality release.

Undergrav - Demo IBand(s): Undergrav 

Title: Demo I

Style(s): Death Metal

Duration: 9 minutes

Release date: March 20, 2018

I seem to have an endless hunger for Swedish-styled death metal, so I now give you this foul chunk of old-school blasphemy and death from Italy. After a five-second intro, it’s into the meat of the matter. Yep, this is Swedish-influenced death metal, ancient in pedigree and honest in delivery. Mixing speed and groove with the occasional macabre melody and throat-destroying growls, Undergrav’s first release is an enjoyable slab of ugly underground death metal. Play this at full volume and soak up the unholy brutality.

Úir - Óenach TailtenBand(s): Úir

Title: Óenach Tailten

Style(s): Atmospheric Black Metal

Duration: 22 minutes

Release date: February 18, 2019

Úir are a UK band that play atmospheric black metal, and they do so rather well. This is music that’s rich and textured, delivering expressive, highly emotive music in layers of raw blackness and reflective atmospherics. These three tracks offer up well-constructed black metal, mixing frosted aggression with intricate depth. The band craft impressively broad vistas of blackened soundscapes, drawing the listener in and keeping them there for the full playing time. At the end of the 22-minute duration of this EP, you are definitely left wanting more. I can’t wait to find out what the band can do with a full-length release in the future.

Vorga - Radiant GloomBand(s): Vorga

Title: Radiant Gloom

Style(s): Black Metal

Duration: 22 minutes

Release date: February 20, 2019

This is the debut EP from this black metal horde, boasting 22 minutes of blackened aggression. The songs have sharp vocals and even sharper melodies, although neither are overused. A core of seething, raging darkness can be felt in the delivery of these tracks, augmented by the melodic enhancements that bulldozer out of the speakers like electrified feral aggressors. Dark, misanthropic, and relentlessly intense, (but not in a blast beat saturated way), this is a strong starting point for the band to build on for their future endeavours.

Ultio - FeraBand(s): Ultio

Title: Fera

Style(s): Black Metal

Duration: 21 minutes

Release date: March 17, 2019

Originally seeing the light of day in April last year, Fera has now been remastered and is being released once more in March by Brucia Records. Well, I must say that this has really hit the spot for me. Feral and ferocious, but not lacking in a melodic bite to go along with its harsh barks, Fera is a nasty, horrible piece of work in the best of ways. Darkly melodic, bleakly hateful, and searingly intense, these songs are underground exemplars of how to vomit forth infectious, lethal black metal into the world. Raw and snarling, Fera feasts on the corpse of the 90s second wave, and regurgitates it with such venom that it’s churlish to do anything other than bask in its foul glory.

Loved it. More, please.

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