“Note for everyone - Thorsten will deliver his part of the Short Sharp Shots soon and he has a different, less-travelling perspective for you!” That’s what Martin wrote in December but I, Thorsten, must admit I failed with coming up with my half of the Short Sharp 666 in December but everyone who knows me, knows that it wasn’t my best time. Those who still want to know are free to ask privately - but beware life can kick you when you’re down sometimes. But why am I writing all of this? Because I basically want to say - I am back, we are back and back are the Short Sharp 666! And this time you will find them split into two segments - first Martin’s and then mine! Enjoy our selection!
Svdestada – Candela Blackened Crust / Neocrust | Long Legs Long Arms Records / Shove Records| 2024-01-05 | Martin
On their third album Candela Madrileños Svdestada further hone their heavy, melodic and emotional crust influenced blackened hardcore sound. Defined by melodic, minor chord lead guitars, d-beat and frantic screamo-esque high vocals, the fervour created speaks directly to your heart. While you feel the struggle presented, the melodic undercurrent and the forward-pushing drive throughout the whole record, will leave you energized, ready to overcome your own demons. Self-empowerment through cathartic relief. The epic 11-minute title track Candela forms the fitting conclusion and climax. Highest recommendation!
FFO Wreathe, Ictus, Svalbard, Ekkaia, Alpinist
Horsewhip – Consume and Burn Chaotic Hardcore / Metallic Crust | Iodine Recordings | 2023-11-10 | Martin
Comprised of members of Reversal of Man, Combatwoundedveteran and Sutek Conspiracy you won´t expect Horsewhip to provide some nice lounge music to chill to. Consume and Burn is uncompromising. With a chaotic groove reminiscent of bands like Botch and an unadulterated fury comparable to His Hero Is Gone and Disfear in their prime. But what makes the record stand out are the crushing Neurosis/Isis-like parts and short moments of melodic respite that are woven into Horsewhip’s sound. A well-paced blast of controlled chaos lasting just under 20 minutes. A force to be reckoned with!
FFO His Hero Is Gone, Tragedy, Neurosis, Botch, Great Falls, Ex Everything
Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze – The Fractal Ouroboros Atmospheric Black Metal | Fiadh Productions / Vita Detestabilis Records | 2023-12-21 | Martin
With their sophomore album The Fractal Ouroboros, US Black Metal band Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze has created a ritualistic mammoth of a hour and fifteen minutes length, masterfully combining ambience, atmosphere, dissonance, psychedelia, and melody into an infectious whole. The record is an idiosyncratic blend of Black Metal, infused with Doom, Post-Rock and Drone elements. Both repetitive and gradually building, pulling listeners deeper into its grasp. With a refined and harder-hitting sound, it showcases a noticeable improvement in production quality, which helps to transport their strong message. Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze stands as an anti-fascist and anti-capitalist collective, challenging hierarchies and power structures that divide and separate humanity. Do not miss this exceptional record!
FFO Panopticon, Victory Over The Sun, Underdark, Trespasser, WITTR
Infant Island – Obsidian Wreath Blackened Screamo / Post-Rock | Secret Voice| 2024-01-12 | Martin
Infant Island’s latest album, Obsidian Wreath, solidifies the band´s place as one of the most exciting acts in the underground music scene. A fusion of blackened Screamo, Emoviolence, Post-Rock and Shoegaze, it is a whirlwind of emotions, blending intense and raw energy with moments of delicate introspection. Their ability to seamlessly transition from chaotic outbursts to ethereal melodies is truly special. Delving into themes of loss, grief, and the human struggle for connection, it has a transformative effect, musically and lyrically, taking listeners on an emotional rollercoaster and thus creating an experience that is both thoughtful and cathartic.
FFO Respire, Massa Nera, Portrayal of Guilt, Ostraca, This Will Destroy You
Claire M Singer– Saor Ambient / Drone | Touch Music |I 2023-11-03 | Martin
Awe, spirituality, power, melancholy, celebration…the sound of a pipe organ can evoke a wide range of feelings due to its rich and powerful nature. And Saor conveys this ability to full effect. Showcasing Claire M Singer’s experimental approach to the pipe organ, it features ever-shifting melodic and rhythmic patterns, rich harmonic textures and complex overtones, creating a sense of movement and exploration. Thus not surprising, that we´re taken on two narratives: Claire’s trekking across the Cairngorm mountains in Aberdeenshire and her exploration of the 1872 Conacher organ in Forgue Kirk, where many of her ancestors lie. The album´s blend of organ, mellotron, harmonium, cello, and electronics, all performed by Claire M Singer herself, beautifully captures the essence of these experiences, evoking visions of the dramatic Scottish landscapes that inspired Claire. Saor creates this reflective, introspective and transcendental atmosphere, allowing for a contemplation of deeper emotions. So immerse yourself into it´s sound and let the pipe organ lead you to a profound experience!
FFO Ellen Arkbro, Kali Malone, Sarah Davachi, Maria W Horn
SHORT SHARP 666 - EISENWALD SPECIAL
Ellevere – Reminiscence Synth-Post-Rock / Dark Electronica | Eisenwald | 2023-03-31 | Thorsten
Some people have once claimed that Munich was the Northest Italian city and when I think about Messa and E-L-R and now connect it with Ellevere this might contain more truth than one thinks. Ellevere is the project of Elisa Giulia Teschner, a young songwriter who fortunately takes some inspiration from pretty different acts - there are some classic Post-Rock acts like Caspian or also ISON, some more Post-Punkish acts like Fvnerals and E-L-R and when her voice soars high above the (sometimes harsh) beat-driven melodies it is somewhere between SubRosa, The Keening and Messa. She has a mighty powerful delivery. Ellevere is an act whose importance for the label one should not underestimate, because Eisenwald opens their roster with this amazing act once more! If they go into a somewhat Post-Punkish, Post-Rocky direction, then they couldn’t have chosen a better project than Ellevere for the start of that journey!
FFO E-L-R, The Keening, Fvnerals, Messa, ISON
Aridus – Serpent Moon Black Metal | Eisenwald | 2023-05-05| Thorsten
A solo project by one of the guys behind Wolves in the Throne Room? Okay, I’m in. Galen Baudhuin joined the Cascadian Black Metallers a few years ago on the bass and now released his first solo endeavor under this moniker. With Aridus he pursues more traditional Black Metal paths and less Atmospheric ones as with WITTR, who thus cannot be taken as primary comparison. That is also because the sounds are less “watery and cold” (aka Cascadian) but oftentimes more heated - compare the small interludes on the title track, where the guitar sounds much more like a classical Western acoustic - Baudhuin has his roots in the high deserts of the American Southwest, New Mexico to be precise. other songs feature some nice classic Heavy Metal tuning and generally one must say that the songs are very well-versed in Black Metal realms, and some might say that Aridus contributes nothing new. Maybe. But sometimes a perfect way of “the same old” is better than a bad new version!
FFO Ernte, Kold, Moortrieder, Street Tombs, Nattverd
Vinsta – Freiweitn Progressive Death Metal / Blackened Neo-Folk | Eisenwald | 2023-07-28 | Thorsten
You might question my sanity when reading the two genres I noted for this release. But NO, I am not joking and mentally sane (well…okay), and if I had to describe the mixture that Christian Höll comes up with on this fourth release by Vinsta (“(Sinisterly) Dark” in English) is nothing short of unbelievable - he is able to combine these four corners Prog, Folk, Death, Black into something grandiosly coherent. You will find violin parts that are singularly symphonic in the sense that they might be the lead on a classical symphony or the support part in the grander schemes of an opera. You will find synth passages that show Höll’s ear for the little details that one will need to round off such a feat - and you can even detect some small yodel-parts that fit. That the whole thing is sung in his Austrian dialect is maybe a little minus if you want to understand the whole thing, but the musicality on this record will easily make up for it!
FFO Anderwelt, Fortið, Sylvaine, Myrkur, Iapetus
Kvelgeyst – Blut, Milch und Tränen Avantgarde Black Metal | Eisenwald | 2023-11-23 | Thorsten
A few years ago, I ventured into the realms of the Helvetic Underground Committee and wrote a detailed special on this Black Metal circle from Switzerland. And I must admit that Kvelgeyst and its very Punk’ish version of Black Metal was always mighty appealing so my ears went full-fledged Spock when I heard about this new release. And MAN!!! It surely does not disappoint because there are still the Old-School Punk parts with short but kick-buttocks solos and with many soundscapes one might not at first expect from a Punk-meets-Black-Metal record as you find Saxophone parts, wonderfully melancholic piano parts and vocal lines that are sometimes distorted. There are many details on this record and the production by Esoteric’s Greg Chandler might be the tipping point between great and gigantic. Everybody with an ear and an open heart for Black Metal that is that little bit more - do not miss out on Kvelgeyst’s newest record!
FFO Dauþuz, Imha Tarikat, Verheerer, Ossaert, Friisk, Yakuza
Ophanim – Tämpelskläng Black Metal / Dungeon Synth | Eisenwald | 2023-11-23 | Thorsten
Ecclesiastical Bläck Metäl - okay, let’s cut the bs on this release because the epic nature of this record deserves much more attention than I’ve seen them get by now. Another HUC release for 2023, released on the same day as the Kvelgeyst record, this one might unfortunately been overshadowed by the former. However, if you like your Black Metal bordering into the Dungeon Synth corners of the genre and sometimes also having the song feel dominated by the keys - then this could be one of those releases you surely should not miss, because the way that Ophanim ride the very thin blade between awesome and too much is fantastic and really made me speechless at times, especially when they add just that tiny bit of noisey-ness to it!
FFO Boréalys, Givre, Nahasheol, Yellow Eyes, Wuodan’s Wunde