Veldes - 'Skyward' EP (2014)


'Skyward' (EP)

Razed Soul Productions


Veldes is a slovenian atmospheric black metal band, founded in 2012 by Tilen Simon (Nephrolith). This project has released only one album so far. It's succesor is called 'Skyward', and it contains four new tracks.
To be honest I hadn't opportunity to listen to band's music. But the first contact with this EP was rather positive - the cover art reminded me Beksinski's works (or maybe it really is his picture?). I simply like such kind of graphics. I like also Drudkh and Wolves In The Throne Room, which defenitely inspired Veldes to compose and record. Unfortunately the music of this slovenian project is not very original. I failed to find here any element that would be surprising. The music is not bad though, especially in the slower parts - even if for most of the time it is a well-known combination: 'hypnotic, black metal riffs + some keyboard samples + typical black metal screaming manner'. Interesting though are moments in the second song 'Woe Eater', when a sound of Veldes turns more into music inspired by Solstafir from 'Svartir Sandar' album. Also ambient intro and outro is quite good - it might be great to hear more of such mixture of psychodelia and electronic stuff in the future. Those are defenitely the best fragments of this release.
From the other hand, the music has also a big flaw - I don't know how other reviewers see this, but in my opinion fast parts are annoying. I mean here especially cymbals and double foot percusion. Maybe it's a fault of bad production, but it seems to me that a drum machine replaces here a 'live' musician. And everyone knows how sound blast-beats made in computer programs - terrible!
The material is short, so I am also writing short review. Generally speaking, the content of this EP is not bad. Fans of aforementioned bands, as well as of atmospheric music in general should like 'Skyward'. I am affraid though that Veldes won't find many supporters outside those narrow circles. My advice for a future is as follows - try to more experiment in slower areas, especially with those psychedelic and ambient things. And defenitely change a sound of drums if you want to continue doing more extreme parts in the future. Now everything sounds OK, but as far as I hear it Tilen is capable to record something much better.

Rating: 6+/10

Listen to band's music here: 

1. Skyward
2. Woe Eater
3. Of Rain And Mose
4. Gone
Total time: 26:35


I just uploaded all the articles bounded with history/old beliefs of Europe unto the separate blog (called as well Heathen Altar). You will find it here.
Also, I'd like to say that you may expect a new review 'till the end of this week. I am also waiting for a response for an interview from greek neofolk band Daemonia Nymphe. So I think that Heathen Altar will work again, despite the fact that I am still extremely busy with many other things.
Thanks for your patience and interest.


News from this week

From russian ARKONA:

We can proudly announce, that the work on our new album "Yav" is finished and master CD was sent to Napalm rec. few minutes ago! Those 70 minutes of music took a lot of nerves, time and power, and now we finally can say: "Yes, we made it!". All musicians, who took part in album recording, showed the highest level of their musical skills. Sometimes we had to go back and learn how to play an instrument again, but now, when the whole work is behind, we can tell, that it is new step in our art and this 3-years long path is finished!

Listen to a teaser of 'Yav' here.


From the true MAYHEM (taken from Metal Hammer website):

Seven long years after they dropped their malevolent and murky masterpiece, Ordo Ad Chao, black metal’s most notorious band and the true originals of Norwegian desecration, Mayhem, are back with a new, as-yet-untitled album due out at the end of May.

Thanks to the hardy folk at Season Of Mist Records, we can exclusively reveal the warning shot that is the band’s new single, Psywar, taken from the forthcoming missive, and comes complete with a bleak but visionary new lyric video courtesy of revered artist Costin Chioreanu (Spiritual Beggars, Oranssi Pazuzu, Vulture Industries and a host of Roadburn posters all showcasing his unique woodcut-on-LSD style) that recasts the notion of ‘industrial wasteland’ in brain-warping new forms.

Less overtly avant garde than Ordo Ad Chao, Psywar is still saturated with the kind of Stygian atmosphere and radioactive filth that Mayhem have made their own. Epic, defiling and utterly affecting it finds Attila Csihar, Necrobutcher, Hellhammer and new member Teloch primed to reopen black metal’s oldest and most putrid wounds and still drag the genre into its unruly slipstream. All hail, and unveil!

Listen to the track here.



Expected in April: NECROMANTIA - "NEKROMANTEION - A collection of arcane hexes" double cd

NEKROMANTEION is the sacred place where the art of NECROMANTIA (necromancy) is performed. A dark haven, hidden from the common eyes where the necromancer practice and evolves his magnum arcanum. Likewise this double cd compilation is a collection of almost all our works which are not included in our official albums, meaning demos, promos, splits, compilations, early works , covers e.t.c. It is the first time that all these rare gems are gathered in a double volume. NECROMANTIA was always a band who followed its own dark path music wise. We created, not followed . We influenced and gave shape to the musical directions of younger bands and musicians. With NEKROMANTEION we offer you a full view of our wanderings through the Abyss since our profane birth in 1989....Be not afraid to look into the Erevos, although you must know that Erevos will look back at you....rejoice"
The Magus 2014

This document will come with extensive booklet and will consist of the full recordings of: -Family of Dog (The Feast of Ghouls) 1990 -De Magia Veterum (The Dawn of Utter Darkness) 1990 -Faceless Gods 1990 -Evil Prayers 1990 -Lycanthropia 1990 -La Mort 1990 -Lord of the Abyss 1991 -The Feast of Ghouls 1991 -Evil Prayers 1991 -Lycanthropia 1991 -Spiritforms of The Psychomancer 1997 - My World, Your Hell 2001 - Death Rider (Omen cover) 2001 - The Number of the Beast (Iron Maiden cover) 2001 - The Demon's Whip (Manowar cover) 2001 - Mordor (Running Wild cover) 2001
NECROMANCY (Pre-Necromantia) - Visons of Lunacy demo 1989 -Thrashifixion - Shattered Bodies -Outbreak of Evil (Sodom cover) - Forbidden Rites -Nocturnal Cry

Listen to band's music here.


Polish folk metal band RADOGOST announce that they were left by a singer Marcin 'Velesar' Wieczorek. Marcin thanks his ex-mates from the band for three intensive years with them, all the fans and bands' that Radogost was touring with.
The band announced also that the upcoming album will be something like 'back to the roots', sung by the old vocalist (and guitarist) Łukasz 'Mussi' again in polish language. More info about it - in nearest future.

Watch clip to 'Watra' from their last album (here). 


Russian pagan folk metal band Руян (Ruyan) from Naberezhnye Chelny is ready to release its second full-length album “Лебедь Белая“. The new album will be released by the Russian label SoundAge Productions, but the exact released date isn’t announced yet. Руян were formed in 2009, presenting a harmonious combination of metal and folk music: gloomy and folksy guitar riffs, clean and growling female vocals by Daria “Rodonitsa” and traditional instruments. The band released its debut full-length album “Наследие – Heritage” in 2010. Their new album title “Лебедь Белая” translates to “White Swan” and the band has already unveiled its great cover artwork and the tracklist.

Listen to band's music here.

The long-awaited debut album by uprising Dutch folk metal band Alvenrad will be released via the German label Trollmusic on April 4th in Europe and April 15th in the US. It is entitled “Habitat” and it contains nine powerful tunes, which combine the archaic charm of wooden folk & black metal with the enthusiasm of classic bands like Uriah Heep, Iron Maiden or Judas Priest. The album has been mastered by Markus Stock (Empyrium / Studio E) and will be published as noble digipak including a booklet with all lyrics, translations & liner notes by the musicians. Alvenrad have unveiled the cover artwork, the album tracklist, as well as their first official video for the song “Woudakoestiek” that you can watch below and get a first taste of their music.

Hailing from the mythic heart of the Veluwe, the Dutch duo Alvenrad offers a fresh blend of folk-influenced heavy metal. The nine lively tunes on its debut album “Habitat” root deeply in various traditions and like branches of a mighty tree they spread towards the sun, encouraging the listeners to follow them on an adventurous voyage on pathways untrodden by most contemporary bands. Alvenrad is a free Dutch translation of a kenning for the sun used in the Edda, approximately wheel of the elves. With the passionate help of brilliant guest musicians, Jasper Strik and Mark Kwint created a debut album reflecting the strong burning love for their “Habitat” – a home which is described through landscapes, literature, paintings, classical music and the wild mixture of them all. “Habitat” is for all music lovers who enjoy enthusiastic & powerful folk metal, especially fans of Vintersorg, Myrkgrav, Skyclad, Jethro Tull, Empyrium, Windir, Forefather and Borknagar should give this band a listen!

Watch an official clip here.

Romanian barbarian folk metallers from Iasi GOD – The Barbarian Horde celebrate 20 years of existence. Given this occasion, the band will soon release an EP entitled “Zal Mox“, which will comprise 5 songs. It will serve as a preview for their upcoming new full-length conceptual album “Forefathers: A Spiritual Heritage“, scheduled for release towards the end of 2014! With the release of the EP, GOD has made plans for 2 tours. The first one is scheduled to run sometimes around April in the eastern and south-eastern cities, while the second is meant to cover some of the cities in the country’s center and western regions. The band has revealed “Zal Mox” cover artwork and tracklist and you can already listen to the song “Greuceanul” in their Bandcamp page below.

Listen to band's music here.


Three last news via Metal Soundscapes


Demonic Slaughter - 'Downfall' (2013)

Demonic Slaughter


Pagan Recs.


Demonic Slaughter is a polish black metal horde from Lublin, Poland. The band was founded in 2006, it has 4 full-lenghs albums on account together with few shorter materials. 'Downfall' is their last release.
The last LP 'Revelations of Death' had some death metal relish (swedish, to be more precise), this time the guys decided to create pure black metal hell. Well, I must say that even it's not very revealing, the music it's very nice (let say, haha). Harsh vocals, fast, depressive yet often catchy riffs (especially great 'Cold and Haunted') and a drummer devastating his implement creates kinda dark atmosphere. Black metal maniacs should feel good with this kind of tunes. The production is very stifling, so that you have to focus on what's you're currently listenning to. For some folks it might be a flaw, but I think that in this case it's a big advantage - forget about listenning to this stuff in a bus or during washing the dishes and absorb the cult (haha)! Too feel the real obscurity of 'Downfall' you have to spare some time to this music.
There are not many slow parts this time. I noticed though that in some moments ('Dark Matter Constelation', or especially 'Martwa Cisza') the music is more similar to the kindred band of one of musicians - Xaosis. So the music slows down a bit, and goes into more rock/melanacholic areas. It is a nice sign of variety, and more of such elements on the future releases will be welcome by me with open arms. Also this release is full of some background noises and wild screams. Nothing new indeed, but defenitely adds some more evil element to this grim atmosphere.
The material at first seems to be very monotonous and boring, but after some replays it defenitely shows a listenner it's 'better' side. This seeming monotony together with stifling production creates very nasty climate and indeed good music. Everyone who loves cold and haunted (hehe) sound should defenitely give a try to 'Downfall'.

Rate: 8/10

1. Ordeal
2. Labyrinth of Lost
3. Dark Matter Constelation
4. Lightbringer - The Architect
5. Martwa Cisza
6. Darkness
7. Planet of Doom 
8. Cold and Haunted
Total time: 37:50


Lord Wind - trailer of the upcoming video

Here you can watch a trailer of the upcoming video for 'Nothing is
Dark During Sunrise' from last Lord Wind's album 'Ales Stenar'. You can
also purchase an album via Wolftyr Prods (CD and LP) or Werewolf
Promotions (cassetes). 
Lord Wind is a neofolk side-project of Rob Darken (Graveland).