GMA - Vol110 - Rage Invest, Deathmarched, Painless Death / Lost In The Delusion Called split, ChaosWolf / Astarot split, Holy Mary's Blowjob / Satanic Forest split, Graven Aspect, Опричь / Чур / Piarevaracien split,
'Where The Sacred Ends'
With an album cover that somehow is reminiscent of the great fire of London in 1666, except that Rage Invest are in fact Swedish. The music in question is an onslaught of Melodic Death Metal (no surprise here) and the seemingly low spread of Thrash Metal in the national scene, so when bringing the two sounds together to produce their successful debut album 'Where The Sacred Ends', what can be said is that the band has potential, the vocals are a little sketchy here and there no real guttural feeling more like the Hardcore style vocals, but there again the correlation with the band name suits the preconceived idea of the vocals as befitting. Fuelled by hate as the core topic, Rage Invest are ready to flip the middle finger and assault Europe, be careful the new kids on the block are set to make waves.
 RHYS STEVENSON
Finally Finnish old school Death Metal has made an appearance, about time the classics got revived, so when hearing the premier demo by Seinäjoki quartet Deathmarched, there is definitely Hail Of Bullets and Napalm Death influences coming in, the latter really applying to the music and the first influence clear as day when looking at the demo title - 'Open Fire!' This is the sort of band that may get attention from Finnish record labels; it's authentic, original and utmost classic. 'Open Fire!' acts as a well-deserved breather from all of the modern metal that seems to flush out the roots of the genre and so with Deathmarched firmly set on reviving the original style of Death Metal, nothing will stand in their way.
[8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
PAINLESS DEATH / LOST IN THE DELUSION CALLED 'LIFE'
'Longest Path To The End'
Mexican and Australian Black Metal join forces in this international split release, not only that but both are solo projects from both genders. Kicking off this collaboration called 'Longest Path To The End' is Australia's Lost In The Delusion Called "Life" which is the fourth release, first split and only (so-far) release of 2012. Much cannot be said for this project only that it is disturbing, ambient and very, very dark. Taking the ambient settings of the venomous tarantula and transforming it into audio poison to leave the listener self-murdered in their own frantic escape, it is that bizarre. Moving onto the second half of the split, the last project to move into focus is Mexico's Painless Death, which is the third split released and second release of 2012. Delivering a sorrowful and soul-destroying ambient sound of murderous depressive Black Metal to savour the emo kid from being butchered by self-vanity, in other words this is not for the weak. Darkness intrudes the realm of the listener and warps them into a place full of cold bitterness, even as this is written I'm feeling queasy. Playing in the style of Be Persecuted, this is Mexico's darkest hour and perhaps the listener's final hour.
 +  RHYS STEVENSON
CHAOSWOLF / ASTAROT
'Verwerfung / In the Abyss...'
Bringing together two Mexican projects on this split is a unique form of cultural expression, intriguingly both actually perform Black metal and this is significant, some splits don't have a continual genre-theme going on, but with the 'Verwerfung / In the Abyss...' split coming out of the darkness and performed in the stated order, this is a true masterpiece of Mexican Black Metal, the most grim variant of the spicy enchilada, one bite and your immediately hooked onto it's delicious sounds and aromatic atmosphere, if only the pepper was just as raw. Chaoswolf and Astarot together will definitely appeal to those who love their Black metal in the old school style, not just because there is no fancy blastbeats as such (well only for Chaoswolf, but for Astarot it's simply basic, just how it should be), but more so because of the atmosphere and level of raw influence drafted into what can be dubbed as possibly Mexican Metal release of the year.
 + [7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
HOLY MARY'S BLOWJOB / SATANIC FOREST
'Lacerandam Pauper Nazarenum'
You may as well call the 'Lacerandam Pauper Nazarenum' split between Brazil's Satanic Forest and Mexico's Holy Mary's Blowjob simply 'Satanic Latin American Black Metal', because thats what it is. Forged in the darkness of two highly religious countries, 'Lacerandam Pauper Nazarenum' starts off with a Raw Black Metal track that can be summed as saying 'mercy cannot be used here', truly punishing music in it's most evil form, yet when Holy Mary's Blowjob move into the driving seat it totally blacks out the senses, litrally. Anti-christianity and Satanism pursue on this cleverly done release and as such leaves the listener totally speechless as to what and why a Roman Catholic Brazilian suddenly switches allegiance and allies with the devil, 'Lacerandam Pauper Nazarenum' is one hell of a disturbing release.
 +  RHYS STEVENSON
A little disappointing is Graven Aspect's debut EP 'Eksyneiden Unia', besides the great feeling of hearing the Finnish language, which actually is not disappointing but rather pleasing, the only disappointment is the lack of songs, you know the Melodic Black Metal however suits the band well because overall the EP is a credible release, fully of melancholic melodies and brutal drumming - if anyone has any knowledge of Finnish singing bands, the best to compare this to is nearly Verjnuarmu, but for Graven Aspect this is the start of something unique, their own style and is sure to captivate many Black Metal fans alike.
 RHYS STEVENSON
Опричь / Чур / Piarevaracien
CASUS BELLI MUSICA
Possibly the greatest international Folk Metal split album collaboration ever made, featuring two bands from Russia and one from Belarus, 'Триединство' is the ultimate Pagan Metal party soundtrack. Starting off with Russian Pagan Metal sextet Опричь (Oprich) and the festivities soon come into full swing, full of Russian lyrics to add the originality to the music whilst the music itself delves into the delightful sounds of traditional Russian music, unearthing the flute to add that true Pagan feel and setting up for the next band to follow suit, for Опричь this is their boldest selection of music to date and is sure to steer them onto greater achievements.
Moving onto the second band and what we have here is what seems to be a one-man project, or so it would seem but information lacks so there cannot be an informed decision, none the less the overall production that this artist releases is something of the extraordinary kind, they sing in their own native language of Belarusian and play a unique style of Black Pagan Metal, but the strange thing is that there is hardly anything to suggest it has Black Metal influence or something similar, in fact it may as well be a toned down Arkona minus the Russian ethnicity and the obvious Black Metal sounds, even so it cannot be denied that Piarevaracien's contribution is a rewarding one.
Finally finishing off with the Russian Pagan Metal band Чур (Chur), the split is finally looking to be a truly momentous time in the Eastern European Metal scenes, perhaps there should be a compilation of metal bands from the CIS countries, but going back to the split release, Чур deliver a more upbeat version of Pagan Metal than Опричь delivered in the first stage of the release, sure the band sing in Russian but they have a more valiant sound, the sound that battles would be linked with, folklore imagined and the entire release spellbound by 3 talented acts. Чур wraps up the release in fantastic style and prove once again why they should be recognised as one of Russia's greats.
 +  +  RHYS STEVENSON