Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Bulgarian Metal Scene
Eastern Europe is a hotbed for extreme metal. Behemoth and Vader opened venues and studio doors to growls and screams, and invited a whole new generation of cult bands into their realm of the world. Today, we are going to focus on three of those bands. MU has reported on one of these bands in the past, Enthrallment, but we will be introducing two more--Dimholt and Dark Incognito.
Bulgaria did not always allow extreme metal within its borders. Since the mid-40s, Bulgaria was under Soviet rule. As soon as the Eastern Bloc collapsed, heavy bands began to form. Murder Sound studio owner and Enthrallment drummer, Ivo Ivanov states that many bands began to form in the period of 1989-1993 in his hometown of Pleven. Artists such as Mortal Remains, Corpse and Necrophilia ushered in the first wave of extreme metal. Ivanov's band, Enthrallment emerged during the the period of 1993-1998, an era he dubs the "zenith of the death metal industry."
Starting with their 1999 demo "The Scarlet Difference" and ending with their latest full-length "People From The Lands of Vit," Enthrallment has created death metal appeasing to their European neighbors and long-distance listeners in America. The group has played Serbia's Hellhammer Festival and Obscene Extreme Fest. They toured with Malevolent Creation, Rotting Christ and Rotten Sound in 2011, and supported major acts such as Destruction, Obituary, Deicide and Napalm Death.
In a couple of weeks, at the beginning of 2014, Enthrallment will release its newest incarnation of audio filth, "The Voice of Human Perversity." Ivanov recorded and mixed the album in his Murder Sound Studio, while the group sent the recording to Safehouse Production in Florida to be mastered by James Murphy. Check out a preview of the album below, as well as the video for "Fruits of Pain and Blue Sky."
Woundheir (vocals) and Asen (guitars) started Dimholt in 2003. The Burgas-based two-piece black metal group expanded into a full ensemble in 2006 with the addition of Rumen (guitar), Yavor (bass) and Stanmir (drums) and released the "Aegri Somnia" demo in 2007. The group's lineup has remained consistent and the said demo is now out of print. In 2010, the group released the "Live Somnia" EP of two old songs and live versions of two new tracks. The band's Facebook page says the group was scheduled to record their debut album "Liberation Funeral" sometime between November 2012 and February 2013, but I can't find any proof of the album's completion.
Stylistically, Dimholt creates cold black metal songs around such lyrical topics as misanthropy and history. Some tracks were written in the band's native language, while others are scribed in English. The group's approach recalls Norwegian heavy weights such as Mayhem, Dark Throne and Satyricon. Melodies, clean vocals and cold tones animated through mostly mid-to-slow paces characterize some of the sounds this band produces. Don't take my word for it, listen to a couple of their tracks embedded below.
Hailing from Ivanov's hometown of Pleven, Dark Incognito not only lacks information in their Web sources, most of their info was written in their native language. Also staying consistent with the band's name is the their death-doom metal style. Formed around 2007-08, Dark Incognito released the full-length "Back to Nothingness" in 2011 (at least that's the date the songs were uploaded to You-Tube). Tracks such as "Burn" (embedded below) display a good mix of speed and lumbering doom. Early Peaceville recordings by My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost seem to influence the band, while they tap into enough of their own artistic well to create something both familiar and new.
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