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BEST OF 2017 -... - special
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MYSTIFIER - review
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STRYCHNOS
STRYCHNOS
Undead Unsouls Unbound
(self-financed)
18:27min

To make me completely unpopular with the band STRYCHNOS I have to write that the first one and a half minutes of the opening track 'B.A.T.H.O.R.I.' have a similar feeling as the first moments of GOREFEST's 'For The Masses' from their "La Muerte" comeback album. This is no joke and I don't want to joke with the band, it's quite simple and nothing else as an impression I have - this song from GOREFEST's great comeback album (no matter what you say, a great album is a great album) starts with the same atmosphere / mood or vice versa. After those one and a half minutes we get the introduction that we have to deal with "STRYCHNOS ascending from their graves" from Denmark. This makes this tune to a perfect opener for live shows if you ask me. After this introduction the feast begins with Black Metal-esque riffing in the MARDUK tradition. What here sounds like a copycat is not the case as this is an awesome beginning for this release. We have to deal with a Death Metal band with Black Metal elements or the contrary. Next is 'Beastial Desires' (check it out on their myspace-page) with another awesome introduction from the German movie "M" from the year 1931. I'm not sure how it feels for a person who don't understand German and to listen to the words from this actor, me as German gives it shivers down my spine from the first time I saw it in the movie and now when listening to it in this song. Scary to the bone! There are 3 more songs to follow and all of them can convince in music, sound, brutality, atmosphere and whatever you may ask for as a dedicated fan of underground Death and Black Metal music. I didn't expect STRYCHNOS as good as what I heard on this release. The comparisons I took might be a bit strange but those were my feelings I had while listening to those songs. I could name some more weird ones (beginning vocals on 'Undead Unsouls Unbound' reminds me on Alex Wesdijk from Dutch INQUISITOR, for the case that someone can remember that great band) but all in all that are just excerpts. The overall music is great and should appeal to each fan of brutal music, especially the mixture of Death and Black Metal, tight played and well produced. Blame me for this weird and perhaps bad review, but don't blame the band - check them out and support them. They are worth it. Contact through strychnosterror@gmail.com or www.myspace.com/strychnosterror. This release is as far as I know not available for the crowd, which is a pity if you ask me. So get in touch with them and beg for it!

Thomas Ehrmann

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STRYCHNOS
STRYCHNOS
Undead Unsouls Unbound
(F.D.A. Records)
18:27min

Although the aesthetics of this release leans more towards a Black Metal imagery, truth is this is a bit away from it. Yes, there is a bit of old school Black Metal, but mostly is that they are more in the vein of old DISSECTION, NECROPHOBIC et al than anything else with a strong dose of brutal USA Death Metal from both the Floridian and NYC styles mixed in for a good balance. Also this comes with a heavy production and a powerful execution. Still, at the end of the day, what we have here is a competent Dutch band doing what many other have done before. In this very day and era, if you are about to release a MCD or any recording less than a full length, it should be of such caliber or coherence that it was meant to be in that short way, but more than anything, memorable. And this is not. After a few more listening this reminds me more to a lot of second rate Swedish Death / Black Metal bands that never went anywhere like LORD BELIAL, EXCRETION, ABLAZE MY SORROW... if you lived the late 90s you will get my point. Do not get me wrong, those were capable bands, some with a few killer songs, but for many reasons never reached a higher level and just were mere pretenders rather than reigning kings. That seems to be the same situation here. I was also a bit surprised to find two members of USIPIAN here, a band which plays a more brutal form of Death Metal, and to be honest more capable in their style. Still, there is something here that would make me to listen to some newer material afterwards, in contrary to some similar options that would have been my first and last time interested in hearing. www.myspace.com/strychnosterror, www.fda-records.com

Julián "Undead" Núńez

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