November 8, 2015

Two Way Review - Caecus - Affliction 7" EP & Hellish (Chile) - Theurgists Spell 7" EP

Review by Trevor Proctor.

From Malmo in Sweden Blood Harvest is one of those labels you know to be reliable when it comes to the quality of their releases -  the label brings out, on average, ten to fifteen releases per year, quite a few of which will be 7” Eps and most of which will be seriously good. Already this year they’ve brought us first rate music from Maleficence, Ascended Dead and Void Ceremony, the three of which were reviewed here. Another piece of brilliance from the Blood Harvest camp this year was a 7” EP from Mexico’s Denial, another absolute belter that scored 10 out of 10 in a recent review, also reviewed here. To further improve what’s already been a very prolific and successful year Blood Harvest will bring us another two underground 7” gems at the end of November.

Hellish (Chile) - Theurgist's Spell 7" EP - Blood Harvest.

Chile has always been a bit of a hotbed when it comes to extreme underground metal and also for the savage barbarity most of it is delivered with – no exception to the rule is Hellish from Talagante in Santiago who have been bringing us their satanic, blackened thrash since formation in 2010. Within months of forming they released their “Bloody Tales” demo but it would be 2012 before any further output when they released a live album entitled “Depths of Abyss.” Two further demos, Ancient’s Inheritance and Witch followed during 2013 and 2014 respectively. Hellish is a four piece featuring Francisco Sanhueza and Cristian León on guitar with Oriel on drums and Necromancer on vocals/bass.

The Theurgist's Spell EP was first released on CD in August 2015 by Santiago based Evil Steel records and on cassette by Street Metal Blasphemy before being snapped up for official 7” vinyl release soon after by Blood Harvest. Featuring four tracks over thirteen minutes for a 7” EP there’s a fair amount of music. Opener, Total Darkness is the longest of the four tracks and clocks in at just over four minutes, the vocals are delivered with a raw, blackened rasp you’d usually associate with this type of music and is punctuated with many meticulous solos. The remaining three tracks average well under three minutes each and are typical, yet brilliant, moments of harsh thrash. There’s no need at all to over describe the music of Hellish, it’s satanic thrash delivered with cut-throat rawness that harks back to vintage black thrash with a nod towards the likes of Sarcofago et al. Hellish have played a few live dates in Chile during October and November, the final of which by coincidence is today (8th November) on a bill headlined by Diamond Head – I wish them the very best with this and hope these dates have helped bring their music to a larger audience as it’s well and truly deserved. When I think “Chile” I think brutal, raw and extremely well executed music and this release is more than capable of upholding that reputation. If you like your thrash dark, dirty and nasty this one is definitely for you. 8/10.

Hellish (Chile) - Theurgist's Spell 7" EP - Blood Harvest.


01 – Total Darkness
02 – Silent Night
03 – Arrival of Satan
04 – Assassin Mind.

Caecus - Affliction 7" EP - Blood Harvest.

Caecus is a three piece black/death band set to release their debut EP via Blood Harvest at the end of November. Based in Scotland there’s very little known about its membership which is merely detailed as being made up of G.M., A.C., and T.W. with no details available as to who performs which instrument within its ranks. The cover artwork is the creation of the supremely talented Alexander Brown of BNB Illustration and Design and the EP features three tracks, I, II and III which span just over nine minutes between them.

One of the first things you notice about the music on the EP is how prominent the drumming is in the production mix; with the snare being very audible throughout, whilst this may be a little unusual for this type of music it works perfectly well and succinctly showcases the drummer’s pin-point accuracy. The first two tracks cover over two minutes each but Caecus waste no time with intros etc., instead opting to go straight for the jugular with two short, sharp forays into their music. You can hear elements of both black and death metal throughout with a strong death metal style vocal. Their music is very tight, with tempo changes and heavy as fuck riffs contributing to a strong blackened death metal sound. The closing track (III) is by far the longest on the EP and coming in at almost five minutes gives the band the opportunity to play about a little with slower tempos at the start and also mid-point when they use a brief feedback driven break to lull us into a moment of relative calm. This calm is used to the greatest effect to plunge us back into their riff heavy blackened death metal for a final beating from their meticulously executed music.
With bands like Barshasketh and Caecus bringing us excellent releases this year they’re doing an excellent job of showing us Scotland is doing its bit to contribute to the U.K.’s prolific output of late. This is a cracking EP and hopefully a sign of further music to come from this relatively new band. 9/10

Caecus - Affliction 7" EP - Blood Harvest.


01 – I
02 – II
03 – III.

Both of the featured 7" EP's will be available from Blood Harvest from the 30th of November.

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