BLACK ALTAR "Black Altar"
Global Domination | Score: 9,5/10
While Scandinavian black metal is slowly on the decline, the rest of Europe seems to spit out more and more interesting bands. Some of them are good, some not. Fortunately, Black Altar belongs to the first group and they have proved it since the release of their first demo circa 1996. The band is definitely a pure black metal group that is undoubtedly entitled to call themselves that. Strong satanic ideology supported by marked corpse-paintings cannot frighten anyone now, but if it's connected with sincerity that comes straight from the heart, it can be a good weapon against the weakness called Christianity. The album portrays a violent atmosphere of destruction and devastation. Grim, fast guitars burrow a hole in your fucken head, and gutwrenching drums show how brutal metal can be. They take you on a rampaging journey through the world of darkness and evil. These 11 tracks deserve to be named "Elite Holocaust Horror Black Metal". My all-time favorites tracks are "In Blood We Trust" (Shadow said that this track was a bit melodic, but I don't give a damn) and "Unholy Spell of Death". The production on "Black Altar" is solid, reminds me of the sound that was on "Rebel Extravaganza". Well, comparisons to Satyricon are not aimless, as Black Altar is strongly influenced by aforementioned band (it is evident in the complex riffing interlaced with uncompromising blastbeats). "Black Altar" is only a debut album (3rd effort in the whole discography; earlier releases being one demo "Na Uroczysku..." and EP "Wrath ov the Gods"), but if they hit so hard with this first full-length release, I'm truly curious what they will show on their next release. Everything is more than 'all right' but there is a little minus I must mention - it's the cover art. Sorry guys, but I grew out of masturbating over black metal covers a while back, and now the only reaction I get while looking at shit like this one is laughter. However, the cover doesn't affect the final note I gave. The music that floats from speakers speaks for itself. By the way, I would like to thank Shadow and everyone at Odium Rec. for the most professional package I have ever received. 2 original Cds, one poster, a shitload of flyers and small-size calendars - all of which made my day. Eternal "Hail" for that.
Temple Of Metal
Poland is well known for bands like Vader and Behemoth. Now it is time to meet one more very good band from this country, "Black Altar". Back in 1996 when they formed and after one demo Cd, on split Cd and one 7" it was time for their debut album. Black Altar is a band that you can easily understand what they play. From the first open of their parcel, I knew what I will hear from them. Maybe I didn't knew what exactly they play but I had a picture in my mind. "Elite Holocaust Horror Black Metal" this is the label that Black Altar put for their music. For sure this is the best describe for the music of Black Altar, from my point i just write black metal with of course some horror aesthetic. For sure when you hear the music from them, you can imagine all these that they want to imagine. All this hate, war, holocaust and death. I don't know for how long the fans of them, waiting for this album, but for sure Black Altar deserve this waiting, because this album comes with a sixteen pages booklet, full of lyrics and photos with a great artwork and a very professional video clip of the "Fire ov immortal self" song. Even if you can take them as an underground black metal band, for sure their package isn't underground. They could stand in the same high with the releases from the "big" metal labels.
Holocaustic black metal. Satanic, nihilistic and barbaric are some words you put behind their name. Fast orientated songs with tempo breaks, minimum on melody, hellish vocals and powerful bass drumming. Guitars are making the melody in not so fast riffing. But where are some atmospheric or furious leads? The album listens away without outspoken pro or negs and its a nice piece of black metal. It comes with a nice videoclip and some band pics.
Rockezine | Autor: Lars
It was a typically winter's day in Holland: the sun was shining and there were almost no clouds up in the sky. I set foot to my front door to pick up the mail and found a nice little envelope on my door step. I went into the living room and opened my cd-player, because I knew it was a new cd to review. When I saw the disc, I spontaneously began to laugh. "Black Altar? What the fuck", those were the first couple of words I uttered. It's such a hilarious name, I couldn't believe it. I felt sorry already for the three Guardians Ov Black Altar, because with such a name the music must suck too. Well, how wrong was I?! The "Elite Holocaust Horror Black Metal" that Shadow, Lord von Skaven and Antichrist make is BRUTAL! It's aggressive, it's loud and it's fast; just like black metal is supposed to be. But unlike most of the black metal bands, Black Altar has a very good vocalist (I don't dare to call him a singer). His "demon voices" are so deep and intense, it's almost frightening. After a demo and an EP this is a very promising debut album. Although the artwork is kind of pathetic (a lot of black, skulls, candles and corpse paint), the album is really great. And as a bonus there is a multimedia part on the disc which contains video clip.
Sky Net | Autor: Patricia
The debut full-length of this polish band really blew me away. Not that their brand of hateful black metal is nor original nor innovative but the overall patterns are profound and controlled with a great ability to combine violent and destructive black metal hymns with catchy surroundings (mainly encountered in the guitar departments). Black Altar members have an uncanny ability to bring Satyricon (above all), Dark Funeral or even Mayhem to mind without actually sounding like either one. As witnessed by the superb "In Blood We Trust", Black Altar deliver a fine mix of intense hostility / bestiality and melodic 'guitar axed' background which brightly gives the listener time to appreciate and savour the music. This mix of diverse structures and atmospheres is warmly welcomed in the nowadays scene. Black Altar use the same keys elements the legendary above mentioned acts include in their music, yet they succeed in creating something quite personal and enjoyable. There really isn't a bad thing (despite the lack of originality) I can say about this cd. A top quality black metal album.
Black Altar is a Polish black metal band that lives up all the standards that goes within the scene. Complete with corpse paint, weaponry, pseudonyms and blasphemed artwork. When looking at this all it easily could've been from the early to mid-nineties. Looking to the artwork and looking at the pictures on their site it is quite obvious that one sees the link to the things that Last Episode were doing back in the days (where are they anyway?). But it also pretty clear to see that the chosen artwork was picked out on purpose in order to bring back the old days of black metal. The music that Black Altar brings forth is pretty much standard black metal the old school raw way. With that having said I could simply end this review for that covers quite much the whole thing here. But I'm won't, though I can't really compare it with their earlier works for I simply haven't heard any Black Circle material before. Though the band isn't really new in the Polish scene, even the famous Doc (mostly known as the drummer of Vader) has been playing with them in an early stadium. Black Altar presents us black metal in a way that seems to get more rare each year (though there are plenty of real underground forces that keeps the things alive and kicking, class!) which is really blunt and primitive black metal. Not the really gloomy things we hear most often today, nor is it very fast or up-tempo. See this as a more primitive Darkthrone with a slight touch of later Gorgoroth. But, I wouldn't label this as Norwegian at all, it sounds like German black metal from the mid nineties (like I said before, pretty similar to the Last Episode things). I mentioned it before but I'd like to end this review with the same words: Black Altar is for me a band that lives up (nearly) forgotten times in black metal terms. And it may be standard but it is definitely still effective as it was about ten years ago (time flies!). Though I would only recommend this band to the real die-hards in the genre, and I know that there are still a hell lot of them!