First Impressions Vol 10: Tyranno, Pharoah, Morte, Witch Mountain, Sepulcher & Ostura

Ten… Already?
Without further ado here are more opinions (mine alone) on a slew of audio that’s I’ve either stumbled across or has somehow been tossed in my path…
Tyranno – Skulls, Horns and Lust
Release – June/15/2018 re-release (CD) 
Originally August/2017 through Hell Music; Crionics and Veneno Sonoro.
PRC Music
Artwork – 7
Diabolical and wickedness abounds, is this lady about to have relations with a daemonic entity? Oh, my!
First Track – 7.5
100% Celtic Frost, and slightly ledd Bathory and Venom worship with a South American spin some thirty-five years on, sounds corny and oversaturated right. But I’m sold!
Initial Listen – 7.5
Dripping with strongly discernable influences and a style that spans many a genre but most notably the roots of death, speed and black metal this album sports what many ‘old school” fans have been craving but may well have found difficulties locating. A raw production certainly helps but the straight forward riff approach and recognizable vocal style and inflection make this a package that most will find a definite struggle resisting.
Homage, of that there’s no doubt but there’s also an undefinable something else here which makes this an album fans of the origins of the genre will devour without complaint.
Pharoah – After the Fire
Release – August/24/2018 (Vinyl Reissue)
Originally released in 2003 as the first album on the roster of…
Cruz Del Sur Music
Artwork – 7
The album really doesn’t give much away, and I’m going into this blind, so there’s that!
First Track – 9.5
It’s not often I dip my toes into power metal waters, for this is what this is. However, this is a time I’m glad I did. From the very first note this track smacks you around hard enough to want to change your ideas on the genre. Seriously though with a style such as this displayed, riffs aplenty, lack of cliches and a vocal style thankfully sans falsetto, one is catapulted gladly back to a tine when NWOBHM was celebrated, when Iron Maiden, Saxon and Blitzkrieg were worshipped. This is damn good, I’m only one track in but my limbs are twitching as if possessed. The tracks over and I’m left frantically searching for other titles by the same artist.
Initial Listen – 9.5
Its hard not to appreciate this album when it channels riffs by way of Maiden, Dio fronted Rainbow and Black Sabbath with excellent vocals reminiscent of Dio himself. Even the lyrical content is genius again with shades of Dio (if you don’t know who he is you can fuck the hell right off!). All this and never a sense that the band are merely copying their idols, they inject a modern infusion into the mix. Each track is strong with rhythm and infectious riffology the likes of which reside in the finest of what the power, speed and heavy metal arenas offer. Call this what you will but it’s damn impressive. Which only begs the question how is it that Pharoah have managed to stay under the radar for so long when they exude such excellence. Fug it, I’m spinning this again!
Morte – Miasma
Release – June/11/2018
Disembodied Records
Artwork – 7.5
Dead bodies piles atop each other and pools of crimson shrouded in a scene drenched in desolation. Shit, there’s even a nun…I am intrigued!
First Track – 8.5
Only a minute in and I know this is going to be a classic, better yet it only gets better. Old school values with a Gothenburg/Grindcore/Doom feel. I’m thinking Vomitory meets Napalm Death complete with vocals that sound sinister and that much mire archaic on account of the bands native tongue utilized.
These guys know their stuff and it shows.
Initial Listen – 9
There’s not much this album doesn’t offer and even less to complain about. There’s groove, brutality and a style which is more than succesfull in dragging the listener back to the glory days of the mid-paced death scene ala Grave, Entombed and more recently Vomitory and Ash Cloud.
Keep an eye out for these guys this is a release that will carve a huge grin on any decerning fans chops and a slab of metal deserved of searching out!
Witch Mountain – s/t
Release – May/25/2018
Svart Records 
Artwork – 7.5
Quite an enigmatic image this but it does spark the synapses firing as to what it all might mean. I’m intrigued.
First Track – 8.5
Haunting, emotion and powerful with at times an unexpected menacing feral edge and this merely touches the tip of describing the beauty of thr vocals alone. The combination of percussion and vocals is stunning. This is meticulously crafted doom that seems like its plucked from another era but with an added modern touch and definite appeal. Great audio and a fantastic start.
Initial Listen – 9
Captivating and epic throughout. In essence this album captures then offers all a traditional doom fan could really ask for and then some without resorting to any of the cliches one might imagine. I only wonder why it is that I haven’t discovered Witch Mountain before now, especially since all I’ve heard are (warranted) great things.
Without a doubt a best of year contender and an album that has the true potential for huge appeal even outside of the boundaries of what one might consider the metal spectrum.
Sepulcher – Panoptic Horror
Release – September/14/2018
Edged Circle Productions
images (12)
Artwork – 7.5
A Classical image with ominous and sinister tones. There’s a storm, or something on the horizon break out the lotion and deck chairs.
First Track – 8.5
So much influence on display here in a combination that boasts groove and unmistakable familiarity but is somehiw remarkablY different. Old school death and black values colliding with crust and crossover sensabilities with vocals that don’t at first seem to fit but after a short while appear not in the slightest out of place. A track that has managed to glue me to my earbuds.
Initial Listen – 9.5
What an experience!
I can detect a myriad of influence with the overall concoction here bearing the power to whip it’s audience around like ragdolls. Punk, thrash and death who would’ve thought they’d play so well together. Sepulcher have managed to corral the best of many a genre, bursts of speed, riffs with attitude and groove, only then to add something to cement the mixture into something wholly unforgettable.
You’ll be missing out if this album doesn’t somehow cross your path. An amazing introduction to an act who are set to take the extreme music world by storm!!
Ostura – The Room
Release – February/23/2018
Universal Music
download (6)
Artwork – 8
A fantastical scene that makes me think of Narnia and tales of the like. I only wonder how the music plays out.
First Track – 9
Epic soundscapes, huge sound and progressive themes complete with classical mastery by way of violin and cello with hints of Lacuna Coil anD unmistakable larger influences that bring to mind Evanescence, HIM and The Devon Townsend Project. A fantastic start to an album within a genre I don’t frequent nearly as often as I should.
Initial Listen – 9.5
Ever happen upon an album that just tears you from your ‘norm’? This could well be that release. If I were to use a word to describe it…bewitching would come close. It raises goosebumps one moment then stuns the listener the next. The production is applause worthy and showcases stunning guitar solos, diverse vocal exchanges and classical passages (there’s even synth and techno elements tossed in to complete the influence tapestry) to make for an experience which is so far from the daily listen in its entirety and svope that it’s near jaw dropping. Sure, there’s passages which could well be classed as guilty pleasure moments but on the whole theres little, if anything to truly complain about.If Apocalyptica, Evanescence, HIM and The Devon Townsend Project pooled their talents this could well be the result. 
A must listen for anyone willing to discover audio outside of their comfort zone. Need I mention this will feature prominently in my year end list…?
Probly not. But, I went there!
Yea, I might have left you scratching your heads this week. Less than the typical dozen or so entries and…Why all the high marks? To which I’d reply – it’s been an amazing week for my Inbox, my ears and metal. Time to open those wallets and support the scene.
Your slave to audio diverse, extreme and plucked from locales one might not normally associate with the scene.

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