One of my favourite films of all time is The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. And that’s an apt comparison for these 3 releases from I,Voidhanger Records
Mare Cognitum – An Extraconscious Lucidity (USA, 2012)
When I was offered these 3 releases for review, this is the album Teo told me would be good…. He made no mention of the other 2 (very clever move Teo).
Mare Cognitum are most definitely the best of the bunch here with this re-issue from 2012. And as their music has a cosmic edge to it, it would be safe to say they’re light years ahead of their label mates.
The opener, Collapse Into Essence, is an epic, at times mellow, foray into the black arts, while, Pyre Of Ascendance, is a full on Black Metal assault. And that’s what you get with this album, a nice balance of the more serene elements of the genre, mixed in with the more vicious.
This is a wonderful journey. At times the music seems to soar and soar, with no end in sight, before suddenly tailing off. And at other times, it’s a tempered pace with a familiar feels to the music. Whatever style is employed, it works.
Bloodway – Mapping The Moment With The Logic Of Dreams (Romania, 2015)
Calling The Bloodway bad is perhaps a little unfair. This Romanian outfit are simply not my cup of tea.
They fire out an off-kilter form of Metal, kind of like a spazzed out VoiVod having a jam with the crazier side of Frank Zappa. It’s certainly original, but that also makes it an acquired taste… like Marmite.
Production and playing wise, absolutely superb… I just can’t get my head around the crazy rhythms and the tortured vocals
Todesstoss – Hirngemeer (Germany, 2015)
Todesstoss….. what have I done to deserve you?
Lead by German musician, poet and painter Martin Lang, this is an exercise in theatrical, performance music. It’s a mishmash of styles, some Metal, some just fucking weird. And none of it gels, not in the slightest. To these ears, it’s just a pretentious noise.
The opening track is 28 minutes, the next 34 minutes, with a mini 12 minute finale for track 3. It’s heavy going from the off and I have no words to describe how utterly horrible this is. It’s like modern art set to music. Most of us will think it’s a fucking mess, while a small percentage of mankind will think it’s wonderful.
Arguably the worst record I’ve ever heard in the near 49 years of my existence…