Compact Disk Review

Mini Album

antaeus_logo.jpg (13386 bytes)ANTAEUS (France) 
Rekordin 2000-1
Spikekult Records / End All Life Produktion, 1999
Limited to 500 copies in CD-single package. 12 minutes including dark intro and outro. This is first time I heard black metal from France that really kills ! Really grim brutal insane black metal with great sound production, the sound perfectly match for black metal. Not too raw or over polished. Actually in my audio screen there are only 2 tracks in this CD but in the CD inlay it mentioned 4 tracks including intro and outro. Nothing much I can say about this release except it is worth your USD 9 if you like PROFANATICA and BLASPHEMY. The lyrics must be 'scary' satanic in-your-face kind of lyrics judging from a phrase here (no lyric included) Cut Your Flesh and Worship Satan (read this while listening to the outro and you will feel the 'haunting' feeling). This MCD must be sold out by now. Just look for their debut full-length on NECROPOLIS RECORDS.

ASTRAY (Finland)
Until I'm Cold Enough
Self-Released, 1999

The front cover looks like a gothic or pop release but the music isn't. If judging from the CD title, if you're guessing they are playing doom, so you are also wrong. Image-wise, they do not looks like Dimmu Borgir but the music does. From "From Sorrow To Sorrow", till the last track, "Until I Am Cold Enough", it have a strong DB feeling, especially with the keys and solos. What I like with new DB is their great melodic solos but the keys normally sucks. The same thing happen here. Because of the neat CD-single package and unusual front cover, I will keep this CD. Musically, nothing interesting. It is different is this is another copy of Dark Throne or Beherit since the 'evilness' present in their music but not in DB. Buy this one for the picture of Katja Piirainen.
c/o Markku Paarkonen, Puolukkatie 32, 88900 Kuhmo, Finland.

album-celestia-a_cave_full_of_bats.jpgCELESTIA (France) 
A Cave Full Of Bats
Drakkar Productions, 1999
French black metal scene has many bands has yet being discovered by us SEAsian. As far as I remember, I only heard an album from 'nazi' black metallist OSCULUM INFAME someyears ago and GORGON "The Lady Rides..." album. If you ask me more info about CELESTIA, I couldn't answer that question since I'm new to this band. What I know is one of the member is also the editor of a zine called Nocturnal Conspiracy. I only got this MCD copied on tape with only tracks title. It will be great if I know what CELESTIA preached and their songs are about. With such title A Cave Full Of Bats,'The Forest Was A Neverending Place, Prisoner Of A Morbid Cradle and A Silent Night In A Silent Castle, I could'nt exactly guess what they might be talking about (wait until your heard the new tracks). The 3 tracks are much into scandinavian type of black metal and the guitars/drums are almost identical in all of the songs. I couldn't exactly differentiate the songs since its almost sound the same. Except for Prisoner Of A Morbid Cradle an instrumental dark ambient track is the highlight here.

FALL OF MAN (Finland)
Aeonian Hymns

4 tracks MCD, black metal, clocking for about 21 minutes. Musically, they are just like Astray (see review elsewhere) Some good solos here and there and keyboards which are all linked to world's most black metal band nowadays, Dimmu Borgir. No further info available about this release. The 4 page booklet is too simple, only contain info on recording session and line-up pictures.

album-fields_of_asphodel-deathflowers.jpg (52242 bytes)FIELDS OF ASPHODEL (Italy) 

Northern Darkness, 1999
Shah of RANDOM zine sending this MCD for trade. At first I don't know what to expect because I never heard of them before or know any of their previous releases. Deathflower is just a fine release. This new Italian band is very attracted with the "gothenburg metal" and here you will find 5 tracks of melodic death metal like old DARK TRANQUILITY and Swedish bands alike. The music is aggressive and yet melodic, not like D.T. new album, Projector. Even the cover artwork is drawn by Niklas Sundin of D.T. himself. The band consist of members from couple of bands from different style and this gathering is just aiming for one thing, to try to achieve through their different tastes and experiences a more brutal yet melodic sound as the "Gothenburg-style" lesson well taught (I copy this line form their bio). The fascination also lead them to 'meditate' in Sweden for a while before the recording of this MCD and some are still going there once a while. What is so special about this swedish style of death metal ? Well, it often has cool, enjoyable and bangable riffs which you can resist to hear more. Not really a descriptive description, eh ? Only the booklet is a simple 4 page. If not because of this, I will say "buy or die !".

Eve Of The Conqueror
Damnation, 2000

I begin to like them more and more after each listening. Great black/thrash metal. I don't have to write again this review. Check out their review in the vinyl section. Now I got the CD version with an extra track. Musically, the extra track has nothing much different compare with the rest of the songs. You have to decide which version should you get. The CD eases your listening but the package of the vinyl is a lot more interesting. You can see clear all the pictures of the band on the lyric sheet but on the CD booklet, these picture are as the background for the lyrics. 

Self-Released, 1998

An above average 5 tracks CD from this Finnish band. I first encounter this band with a track in Oskorei Mag. compilation CD and since then looking for anything that they might have produced. So I got an old release but still enjable to be heard. All the songs are in finnish and quite wierd to pronounce them. I should not eloborate more on 'melodic black metal' that they play. MKL plays melodic black metal where the guitar are brilliantly used in creating the 'melodic' thing. There are a parallel between them and some others finnish band that being reviewed here. The last track here is a bit 'raw', recorded live maybe. There's a newspaper clipping on the tray card written in finnish mentiong about Mustan Kuun Lapset. Not sure whether it talks about them or about Mustan Kuun Lapset (whatever that is). This CD have been re-release by a label with one extra tracks and perhaps with a better package. So I guess you better get the re-edition version before it run out of sale again.
Mustan Kuun Lapset, Koroistentie 7a3, 00280 Hiki, Finland.

album-my_fujico.jpg (13166 bytes)MY FUJICO (Italy) 
Good Stuff Distribution, 1998

I got this CD from an Italian distro. So I guess I have to mention something about the stuff that being sent to me. MY FUJICO. What is a fujico ? I prefer not to call this CD metal because it is not. 7 tracks of slow goth-rock music with depressive male vocal that I don't like to hear, drum programming and some female vocals. There are piano played on track 3. You can call Vision as dark-mind-floating music. As the conclusion, this CD sucks. I try to listen for couple more times but it still sucks, musically and especially the male  vocal.
Good Stuff Distribution

MYRING (Finland)
Engage The Enemy
Northern Sound

4 tracks digipak MCD. I like keeping digipak in my collection just for the sake of its nice look, although the design of this release is not magnificient enough. Just like the design, the music itself doesn't bring anything great. Only the last song, "Junnret..." which sound a bit like Einherjer is a bit interesting than the rest. Others, "Fall" have a bit of thrash, "Engage.." is a fast black metal song, "Frostknieves" is a boring slow, doomy song with awful keys. You can hear fast black metal attack in all the songs, except for the last track. Just an ordinary release. Get more info about this band from their website.
Myring, Marttanperantie 58 B, 33450 Siivikkala, Finland.

album-shadows_of_sunset-reflection_from_afar.jpg (8212 bytes)SHADOWS OF SUNSET (Finland) 
Reflection From Afar
Fadeless Records, 1997

Finland also produced many melodic death/black metal bands just like Sweden and many have been aware of this. SHADOWS OF SUNSET is one of them and on first listening you think that there are from Sweden. The sweet melodies are combined together with fast pace death/black metal. The track Reflection From Afar is best track here and being the first track here. Actually the songs are arranged according to their 'greatness' I guess because the first track here is the great one in this CD and slowly they 'degrading' by track. There are only 4 melodic death/black metal songs (almost 20 minutes) here and I enjoy the first 3. The fast part in the songs sounds like black metal and the first track do sound a bit like new IMPIETY. This MCD is a bit old I guess and they maybe have something new to offer right now but for fans of melodic metal might want to have this in their collection.

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