Pagan Records

Rosk – remnants Review

Rosk – remnants Review

“Have you ever listened to a band and just known that they have an incredible acoustic album in them? Since the first time I heard Swallow the Sun, I’d been waiting for their acoustic release. Winterfylleth’s The Hallowing of Heirdom was a surprise to me – and also one of my favorite albums of its year and style. When you listen to Miasma, the debut album by Polish post-atmoblack group Rosk, you can just hear the acoustic album waiting to break free. The quiet, intimate passages between songs on Miasma were deeply affecting and begging to be explored further. Only two years later, here it is: Rosk returns with remnants, a fully acoustic, stripped-down, intimate dark folk album with clear atmoblack and doom metal inspiration.” Heartstrings.

Bloodthirst – I Am Part of That Power Which Eternally Wills Evil and Eternally Works Wrong Review

Bloodthirst – I Am Part of That Power Which Eternally Wills Evil and Eternally Works Wrong Review

“Nietzsche and metal. It’s a match made in Hell! A hasty glance at either by the uninitiated (or sometimes even the intimately familiar) will reveal themes of nihilism, misanthropy, power, and hatred of religion. Most people familiar with metal know that while these themes are indeed to be found in our favorite music. There is an entire world of nuance and diversity of thought to be found by those willing to take the time to dive down below the surface. Much the same with Nietzsche, I suppose.” Hidden supermen.

Gorycz – Piach Review

Gorycz – Piach Review

“There are certain things that will always warm a music reviewer’s cold, dead heart. Poland’s Gorycz, for example, made a good impression on me immediately, as I opened the promo to an actual lyric sheet. Granted, that wasn’t much help with reviewing their debut, Piach, as my knowledge of Polish goes only a little further than “kurwa,” but it’s the thought that counts. The band choosing to write in their mother tongue was, in fact, only another point in their favor for a multiculturalism-loving cuck like myself.” First impressions matter.

Mentor – Cults, Crypts and Corpses Review

Mentor – Cults, Crypts and Corpses Review

“This will stand as one of the most random introductions I’ve ever written. But the thought sprung to mind and, now, here we go. I dislike the word ‘mentor.’ But not for reasons you might expect. My dislike for the word has nothing to do with a bad experience as/with a mentor or mentee, or anything else along those lines. I hate the word because of how it rolls off my tongue. I’ve heard it pronounced as ‘mentor’ and as ‘menter.’ Yet, I’m incapable of saying the word as others around me say it. Instead, my enunciation transforms me into someone from The Great British Baking Show.” Mentor, mentee, manatee.

Totenmesse – To Review

Totenmesse – To Review

To was advertised to me as “dark ambient” and it felt mightily appropriate to absorb something subtle and atmospheric considering the (finally) dropping temperatures here in Western Europe. Alas, it was immediately apparent to me that it is, in fact, black metal of the Polish ilk and while it may be dark, it most certainly demanded my attention more directly than ambient. In many ways, it’s typical of the Polish scene to draw on death metal in the formulation of its black metal. But is there more to say beyond this?” Come for the genre mislabeling, stay for the Polish hospitality.

Varmia – W Ciele Nie Review

Varmia – W Ciele Nie Review

“As the old (not so old?) adage says, scratch the car, but don’t total it. If dumping Ungfell‘s TYMHM last year counts as a fender bender, then my whiffing on Varmia‘s TYMHM altogether came damn close to causing a five-lane pile-up. Z Mar Twych crept straight outta Poland, riffing that mean blackness, that the country has become known for, while still having a folken good time. W Ciele Nie arrived little more than a year later, and I’m left wondering what the hell happened in the interim.” Poland happens.

Iperyt – The Patchwork Gehinnom Review

Iperyt – The Patchwork Gehinnom Review

“On paper, Iperyt actually sound pretty fucking good. Industrial blackened death metal from Poland? Featuring the vocalist of possibly the angriest metal band of all time, Infernal War? Now there’s something that’ll get my engine purring. Sadly 2006 debut Totalitarian Love Pulse was sloppier and less than interesting than the industrialized version of War I was expecting, and 2011 follow-up No State of Grace didn’t seem to please many critics either.” Metal on paper is just sheet metal.

Mord’A’Stigmata – Hope Review

Mord’A’Stigmata – Hope Review

“We’ve experienced the highs of weirdness with European stalwarts Dødheimsgard and Thy Catafalque but we’ve also experienced the very real lows with bands like Aborym twisting the weird nozzle just a bit too far. Mord’A’Stigmata, unwilling to release a plain-Jane of an album, have released Hope, a hopeless mixture of sullen atmospheres and ritualistic ominousness with the occasional bluesy lead. It sounds fantastically enticing on paper, but does the conceptual fantasy match up the aural reality?” Black metal hates paper!

Ragehammer – The Hammer Doctrine Review

Ragehammer – The Hammer Doctrine Review

“The brilliant melodies of Iron Maiden and Metallica opened the door to metal for a young Diabolus. But it was the timeless riffs, redline intensity, and searing speed of Reign in Blood that pushed me through it. In the back of my mind, the dragon of Reign in Blood’s speed is always being chased because of this. The viciousness of Slayer‘s finest (half) hour complemented its speed, and even today it sounds an order of magnitude faster than your garden variety blast-happy tech-death typewriter-core band.” I hear typewriter-core is the new post-black.