During May Iron Bonehead Productions is set to bring us two highly anticipated 7” releases. On the first Australia’s Ill Omen join forces with Chile’s Slaughtbbath to release an exclusive and new track each and the second 7” is a re-issue of an extremely rare and sought after gem from our underground’s past – Seventh Xul’s Qliphothic Rites of Death 7” EP – both are set for release at the end of the month.
Review by Trevor Proctor.
Ill Omen / Slaughtbbath - Pestilential Hierophanies 7” Split EP.
Pestilential Hierophanies will showcase two exclusive tracks from two veterans of black metal’s underground. Side A features Ill Omen’s track, “Whited, Pestilent Sepulchre..." and side B will feature Slaughtbbath’s “Inverted Hierophany.” The incredible fold out artwork for the EP, pictured below, is the creation of Nekronikon whose extensive portfolio includes artwork for the likes of Cruciamentum, Diocletian and Qrixkuor to name just a few. “Whited, Pestilent Sepulchre..." is an eight minute track and sees Ill Omen get things off to a slow but intense start but with duration such as this they can afford to take their time in establishing both atmosphere and pace. Slow and mournful guitar, occasional spoken word, growled vocals and dirge-like drumming maintain an almost lethargic pace for just over four minutes yet for those four minutes your attention is well and truly captured. “Whited, Pestilent Sepulchre..." is a real slow burner that gradually builds towards its frenzied and majestic black metal conclusion – well worked atmospherics and a truly explosive finish.
Slaughtbbath adopt a completely different approach to that of Ill Omen with their track "Inverted Hierophany" which launches straight into one of the catchiest openings I’ve ever heard, like Ill Omen’s track it grabs your attention from the start but in a totally different way which is part of what makes this split so ingenious. “Inverted Hierophany” was perfectly summed up by the press release which stated “Slaughtbbath deliver one of their most epic and dynamic tracks yet with "Inverted Hierophany," rolling forward with a tense 'n' dense stomp before likewise exploding into bestial savagery.” This is six minutes of the catchiest yet most destructive music you’ll ever hear, if this doesn’t get the head moving and the spirit roused there’s no hope for you.
This EP makes for a great addition to the catalogue of music from both bands and a sublime taster of what may be yet to come from them. Just this March Ill Omen released their third album “Æ.Thy.Rift,” and based on what I’ve heard here that’s an album I’ll be tracking down.
Two great bands, two great tracks. 9 out of 10.
Side A - Ill Omen - Whited, Pestilent Sepulchre...
Side B - Slaughtbbath - Inverted Hierophany.
Seventh Xul - Qliphothic Rites of Death 7” EP.
Iron Bonehead Productions is forever the source of obscure yet sublime music from all corners of our underground and they are set to continue this trend when they re-issue Seventh Xul’s “Qliphothic Rites of Death” 7” EP. Qliphothic Rites of Death was Seventh Xul’s only release and originally came out in extremely limited quantities during 2010 with further mystery surrounding the EP due to the fact the band split shortly after its release. Seventh Xul comprises two veterans of the Greek underground who have experience with bands such as Acherontas, Burial Hordes, Nocternity, Acrimonious, and Enshadowed among others. In 2010 they decided to create something completely different to their previous expression and so the duo of Acherontas V.Priest and N.E.C.R.O, along with the assistance of session guest Fotis Bernado created what they described as "a manifestation of a Qliphotic work through death/black metal vibrations." The resulting music was perfectly summed up by the press releases which stated, “Qliphothic Rites of Death is an intensely addictive hybrid that showcases the very best of trend free, sepulchral and intense death metal fueled and conveyed by an otherworldly atmosphere of the strongest black metal.”
In a similar fashion to what they done with Eucharist (Australia) Iron bonehead Productions has resurrected gold from the undergrounds past, deservedly bringing it to a much wider audience. When they re-issued Eucharist’s demos in the form of the fantastic “Demise Rites” EP it led to new music from the band in the form of their Endarkenment EP, and despite the fact Seventh Xul are officially disbanded I truly hope the re-issue of Qliphothic Rites of Death will lead to more new music from them as their is just too good to leave dormant.
A very strong and authentic death metal release. 9 out of 10.
Side A – Sitra Ahra
Side B – Serpent’s Divinity.
Ill Omen / Slaughtbbath's Pestilential Hierophanies 7” Split EP and Seventh Xul's Qliphothic Rites of Death 7” EP will both be available from Iron Bonehead Productions from the end of May 2016.