Blitz reviews 54: JASSA, VECTIS, GRAVEWÜRM, OLD LESHY, BARKASTH

54th part of short reviews.

JASSA – Incarnation of the Higher Gnosis
Year of release: 2017 / 2020 (this version)
Released by: Werewolf Promotion
Rating: 7,5 / 10

The third album of an unusual pagan project, where people from SIVYJ JAR and KHASHM play. The band approaches pagan themes from a rather rare perspective for Russia, ignoring the popular bast aesthetics and turning to the dark sides of Slavic mythology. The main musical influence of JASSA is also dark (and absolutely obvious) - HATE FOREST. The Russians did not succeed in achieving the same denseness, ferocity and archaic, their sound is too clean, but many of the shortcomings are compensated by outstanding grotesque fragments that carry almost Lovecraftian madness and curious songwriting. Strong and worthy album.

VECTIS – No Mercy for the Weak
Year of release: 2020
Released by: Helldprod Records
Rating: 5,7 / 10

The Portuguese publisher Helldprod gives a ticket to the world for young compatriots who this year broke out with their debut EP. I will be honest: youth is definitely beneficial for this band, since there is a lot of work ahead. The bold song titles and the cover of “No Mercy for the Weak” promise real speed thrash madness, but in reality the EP sounds somehow shamed, as if VECTIS was embarrassed to turn to its fullest. The speeds are average, the sound is unconvincing, the vocals are constrained. The songs are not bad, but you always want to stick a fuse in their ass and light a match so that the music finally rushes forward. In this style, there is no room for compromise and hand brakes - you have to play the fuck out of it, as if tomorrow will never come.

GRAVEWÜRM – Doomed to Eternity
Year of release: 2015
Released by: Hells Headbangers Records
Rating: 5,8 / 10

Years go by, but as I did not like GRAVEWÜRM, I still do not like. Of all the bands that have repeatedly appeared on the Hells Headbangers, GRAVEWÜRM seems to me one of the dullest. The reasons for cooperation are clear: formally, GRAVEWÜRM plays proper metal of old in the vein of HELLHAMMER, NUNSLAUGHTER, GOATLORD and the like. But it turns out clumsily, and GRAVEWÜRM has so many releases that during the quarantine you can wipe your ass with their booklets all year long. “Doomed to Eternity”, unlike older albums, is more or less listenable, but is it necessary to touch it? There is still no chance that things will turn to good and this band will make something outstanding.

OLD LESHY – Pośród monumentalnych szczytów
Year of release: 2020
Released by: Werewolf Promotion
Rating: 7,7 / 10

The previous Werewolf release of the OLD LESHY project loomed for a long time before my eyes, but I never got to it - either because of a funny name, or because of a lack of time. I decided to take a closer look at the debut album - in the end, the author of the music of this band is the honored Einsatzkommando Salmar from SUNWHEEL. At “Pośród monumentalnych szczytów”, OLD LESHY perform an old-fashioned atmospheric metal with keys, looking back at the classics of the style: early GEHENNA, EMPEROR, DIMMU BORGIR. Or, say, SEVEROTH. The music easily draws the colossal winter images promised on the cover, but, fortunately, it stays beyond the border of "symphonic metal". It is a pity that OLD LESHY are better at creating an atmosphere than at writing really good songs. The ear clings only to individual riffs, as in "Za mgłą". The rest merges into a picturesque, but still porridge.

BARKASTH – Hear my Void
Year of release: 2020
Released by: Ashen Dominion
Rating: 5,9 / 10

Ashen Dominion promo packs, received after the release of YGG, somehow do not please me at all. For example, an album from BARKASTH is an insanely pathetic handicraft that smacks of bad taste. Starting from the logo and the heart-rending name, everything in this release resembles the inglorious mid-2000s, when the CIS scene looked like a bunch of roosters trying to hit the surrounding chickens with the size and flashy colors of their tails and crests. In fact, all these metaloids were just a bunch of dumb peasants and imitators of imitators of fashionable behemoths and dimmuborgirs. BARKASTH are seen as the same imitators, only not peasant and more prudent. “Hear my Void” is a good product that, if successfully promoted, can be loved by readers of commercial metal magazines. All music is built on intense blasting and melodic riffs, very conditionally reminiscent of MGŁA and SARGEIST, but, of course, directed in a completely different way. All sorts of trendy tricks are adjacent to them, such as jumps from “screaming” to “growling” and vice versa, fast pace shifts and almost metalcore breakdowns. Incredibly loud mix is here, too. The band's miss is a length of songs. They are too long, the average consumer of such material will feel tired and go to read comics.

Post Author: F1sher16

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