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Various Artists : In Search of Weird Truth

This Japanese compilation tape, gives many European labels a good lesson in how one can obtain a varied and quality mix by choosing the right songs of promising underground bands. 'In Search of Weird Truth' shows the whole range of today's underground metal scene, from primitive grind (Bloody Gore) and brutal death metal (Serenade and Voracious Gangrene), to avantgarde dark metal (Gnome), brutal doom death (Mourning Shadow), gothic metal (7th Moon) and funeral doom (Worship)!

I must admit that I wasn't very enthousiastic about the way this tape kicks off. Primitive grind tracks with irritating screamy vox and the unavoidable B-movie sample (Bloody Gore) are not really my thing and my ears started to beg for something different. That came with the excellent thrashy doomcore of Apocalyptic Raids, a band which revives the spirit of good old Hellhammer influenced, hateful metal. Gnome is an unique entity -and the living proof that Japanese metal can sound quite weird to European ears sometimes. Imagine an atmospheric mix of oriental keyboards, heavy guitar riffs and a vocalist which sounds like the son of an unholy marriage between Dani Filth and Marge Simpson. At first sight quite weird, but fortunately the combination works quite well once you get used to those vocals. Definitely something to check out!

After the old-school brutal death metal assault of Serenade, we are treated to one of the highlights of this album. Mourning Shadow is a project of Makoto (main man behind Weird Truth Productions) which immerses itself in the dark realms of slow, nihilistic doom. A chanting introduction flows into painstakingly slow, heavy riffs with the recognizable clean guitar in the background in the tradition of the mighty d'. A deep, relentless grunt implements the whole. I'm looking forward to hear more material of this band!

Side B kicks in dynamic with two brutal death metal assaults (Voracious Gangrene and Beast Petrify). To my big surprise, the following band (7th Moon) plays modern metal with a gothic touch. Both female and male vocals, staccato guitars and a quite 'mainstream' general sound, makes this band stand out in the compilation. Not bad at all, I may add. Nyarlathotep (be careful, this is a Japanese band and another project of Makoto, this is not the US avantgarde ultradoom band with the same name) steals the show with its avantgardish death metal. Imagine the faster parts of diSEMBOWELMENT with jazzy drums and maybe you'll get the picture. Excellent stuff.

Just like in every good compilation, the best has been saved for last. And what a last track this is! Worship takes us to a longer than ten minute journey in the company of some of the most suicidal and mournful music ever created. Their emotional funeral doom has a certain quality, a 'charisma' which attacks the attention of the listener through each second of it. The dry, expressive grunt of Fucked Up Mad Max is unequalled in its ability to capture the essence of madness and misery. After his tragic death, I can only add that he shall be missed.

If you are into extreme underground metal, don't hesitate to visit the site of Weird Truth Productions at http://weirdtruth.jp/ where you can order this compilation. However, don't hesitate to take a look at the other releases of this excellent underground label as well, because they are really worth the attention of a demanding doomster!

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
Bloody Gore:
1. 'Provoking Horror'
2. 'Fields of the Dead Bodies'
Apocalyptic Raids:
3. 'Tyrant/Emperor'
4. 'Oriental Flower'
5. 'Plague of Time'
Mourning Shadow:
6. 'Mourning Shadow'
Voracious Gangrene:
7. 'Kill to Possess'
Beast Petrify:
8. 'Petriferous Betrayal'
7th Moon:
9. 'I'm the King Again'
10. 'Lost Effigy (remixed)'
11. 'Solicide and the Dawning of the Moonkult'

Duration : Approx. 58 minutes

Visit the Various Artists bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kostas Panagiotou
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