Archive for the ‘Teitanblood’ Category


Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Teitanblood are from Madrid, and they play what the phenomenon of splitting hairs has come to call “blackened death metal”. It’s interesting what distinctions arise when a band chooses to tune down and give their sound a fair bit of back or thrown in the odd lead break, as it is a reasonable argument that the attitude and content of Teitanblood’s work places them smack bang in the middle of pure fucking black metal. In contrast to the shiny polish that many extreme metal releases are given these days, Teitanblood’s production values are comprehensively confrontational. The band shows no interest in anything other than assaulting and alienating the listener with an unrelenting storm of misanthropic noise. Want to know more about NSK and J, the creatures responsible for the explosive cacophony coming from those speakers? A quick visit to the band’s website should give you as good an idea as you’ll be able to find on how interested they are in providing any connection to the human race. You and I listening to their music is just a coincidental event taking place alongside their utterly hateful expression.

A few months ago Teitanblood turned loose their second full-length album, Death, through Norma Evangelium Diaboli and The Ajna Offensive. There is no slow and dramatic build-up through theatrical introduction on Death, with ‘Anteinferno’ explosively tearing the ears off from the very first second of the record. Death does not hold back one iota from this moment. It is concentrated sonic violence, devoid of anything melodic or relieving from its menace.

Unfettered by the chaos, the skillful musicianship of the duo is obvious throughout. The drumming is an astonishing blur of speed, the riffs absolutely superb in the eyes of any honest metal fan and played with precision. ‘Plagues of Forgiveness’ and ‘Burning In Damnation Fires’ are particularly great examples of Teitanblood’s world class hand at writing great metal. This is not alienation through being sloppy and over-the-top beyond the band’s means. Nor is the music without its nuances, just keeping them within the realm of assault. The confrontational nature of the album stems from its deranged intensity, refusal to turn the guitar sound into something pristine and accessible, and a resulting ferocity of volume. In a clear distinction from so many other bands that try their hand at this, Death does not let you off the hook by keeping things brief. There are four tracks out of seven at near ten minutes or more, with the savagery taking over an hour to get through. This is extreme metal sadism, laying down a vicious gauntlet to those dabbling with it over recent years.

The death metal reference is not entirely without cause. There are definitely plenty of reminders of early Sadistik Exekution, and songs like ‘Cadaver Synod’ and the aforementioned ‘Plagues of Forgiveness’ even sound like they could have come from Reek of Putrefaction and Symphonies of Sickness (if Bill Steer was more infantivore than vegan). NSK’s vocal style does drift between the two genres, once again quite reminiscent of the stylistic change-ups Rok spewed out on those 90s classics coming out of New South Wales. From the website, the band does state that their music does come from “the point where death metal and black metal were not differenced [sic].” But if you believe that black metal is about attitude first and foremost (which there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it is), then it is pretty clear where Death comes from. Death metal albums ever approaching this level of sonic hostility, without pulling back at least in one aspect or another, are a struggle to find.

Why is it even important? In a genre where there has been such a ridiculous proliferation of bands over the last twenty years, all trying the same increasingly tired tricks, it has become near impossible to stand out when the music is kept stripped down, minimal, and low-fidelity, all qualities antithetical to death metal. And that is where Death is a triumph. It most certainly does stand out, by virtue of its intensity, sincerity, and all out songwriting brilliance. It has deservedly made its way on to quite a few esteemed best of lists this year, not that the band would care. For fans of both death and black metal, this is that rare contradictory thrill of being a refreshing throwback, proof that one can still write music like this and make it a must-have album for your collection. As an old man said a million times before, it’s definitely not for everyone. But that’s exactly the fucking point!