Into the Coven

Into the Coven: Agatus – The Eternalist Review

Reverse engineering is the deconstruction of an object to reveal the components, patterns, or essence of it. It is the process of analyzing an aircraft piece when there is no documentation available to make out the chemical and physical structure of it, or tracing back to the source code of a software when it was lost using the bits of the machine code sent to the processor, or breaking down Hellenic black metal to extract the pure epic heavy metal essence of it.

Into the Coven

Into the Coven: Mortuary Drape – Secret Sudaria Review

The occult themes, heavy use of the purple, and tendency to get weird have always been prevalent in the heavy metal history of a specific country: Italy, the birthplace of “violet doom metal”. In the same era of Italian traditional doom metal, some other local bands, like Bulldozer or Necrodeath, were pushing the limits of the sound towards extremity, making a dent in the first wave black metal history. However, none of these bands had that “Italian weird occult” touch in their sound until a group of young people who were obsessed by necromancy set out to play music.

Into the Coven

Into the Coven: Mystifier – The World Is So Good That Who Made It Doesn’t Live Here Review

Evil comes in different shapes. In South America, the shape it assumed was mostly primitive, raw, and dirty until The World Is So Good That Who Made It Doesn’t Live Here was released. Finding an early interest in extreme metal in 80s, many South American bands experimented with filthy sounds that had not been quite discovered before their time. A record store that was already active before this particular kind of extreme metal rose, Cogumelo Records, became the meeting spot for a lot of early Brazilian first wave black, death, and thrash metal bands. The best example of the thrashy, primitive, aggressive sound of the region from that era would be the cult album, I.N.R.I., by Sarcófago.

Into the Coven

Into the Coven: Malokarpatan – Nordkarpatenland Review

Eastern Europe, where some reserved folks live and mostly keep to themselves. Amongst those folks, Slovakians witnessed a lot of political volatility in the recent past which resulted in the separation of Czech Republic and Slovakia in early 90s. This civil unrest resulted in the rise of a small circle of black metal artists in the more recent past which formed the foundation of Malokarpatan along with other projects like Krolok, Temnohor, and Algor.

Into the Coven

Into the Coven: Varathron – Patriarchs of Evil Review

The Greeks who would become the prominent members of what we call the Hellenic black metal scene experimented with different sounds before reaching their final shape. Some of them started their journey playing raw, aggressive grindcore and spent years chasing a contract for their debut. Others tried out the early death metal sound before taking part in one of the cornerstone splits of the country. Through experimentation and desire to find their unique approach to “evil metal”, Greeks cultivated their own sound, which resulted in what could be considered the most important wave of Hellenic black metal releases around 1992.

Into the Coven

Into the Coven: Master’s Hammer – Ritual Review

The story usually begins in late 80s or early 90s and in one of the many corners of the world. In this particular case it is 1987 and the Czech Republic (or Czechoslovakia, as it was back then). Master’s Hammer was founded on the brink of the Velvet Revolution, which would come in two years later, in 1989, and would end the communist era of the country. With the heavy metal tapes of 80s like Motörhead, Venom, Slayer, Mercyful Fate, etc. and fanzines finding their way into the country; Czechoslovakian youth founded more and more amateur, underground bands to play their own music as loud as possible, and as the sound got more and more extreme all around the world, as hideous as possible.