VOTA REVIEW: Death Rune EP, Sons of Fenris

Sweden based label and dark Germanic Heathenism collective Scythe Of Death Productions has graced the underground with some fantastic music in recent years, with some of Black Metal's finest bands rallying under the SDP banner and unleashing Abgrundjaskalkaz inspired rituals on those whose ears are ready to tread the path of the primordial void and return to Ginnungagap (I may write an article on dark Germanic Heathenism in the future so watch this space). One such band is French duo Sons of Fenris. With us making our annual pilgrimage across the channel to Hellfest I always end up listening to a bit of French Black Metal this time of year (Vlad Tepes fuck yeah!), so I thought it would be a good time to review the Death Rune EP as it's been on and off my record deck a lot recently.

The track opens with an eerie synth intro and a single drum being hit in succession as bizarre vocals begin to chant a dark ritual above it. This goes on, weaving its dark spell and setting the mood before the first hammering drums kick into action and the first of a succession of brilliant riffs hit. This opening barrage is short lived and the song breaks down to a single guitar feedback tone before exploding into the main riff (the type of riff that makes you get your invisible oranges out) as the track then switches back and forth between the two with the drumming going from mid-tempo to blast beats as the riffs dance between each other. The vocals are distant yet harsh and full of purpose, delivered flawlessly and complimenting the music perfectly. The ritual ends leaving you craving more with the main riff of the piece stuck firmly in your mind.

The second ritual opens with strange, distorted guitar sounds conjuring up images of a sea of nothingness. These sounds of the eternal void continue for some time until out of the distortion and feedback quietly a beautiful melody begins, growing more as it becomes more dominant, like a beacon in the darkness. Next the track erupts with frantic drumming and another killer riff whilst Isengard style vocals chant for a short time before the true vocals begin over the top and the track takes a more low-tempo approach. Plodding along with another tight series of chords leading the percussion, the track then flips back and forth like this for a while until it reaches the final low-tempo section where choir like vocals accompany the riff giving it a powerful and uplifting sound before the whole ritual crescendos in a sea of blast beats and screaming.

I gotta say I love a good 7" EP almost as much as I love cassettes and this one certainly does not disappoint. The artwork is really nice too in that SDP no nonsense black and white style with fantastic cover illustration that really captures the atmosphere of the music contained within. It's well worth trying to get yourself a copy, though it was limited to 500 copies and the price of the SDP items on the second hand market is getting silly at the moment. Let's hope we see a full length from Sons of Fenris soon, especially with Scythe of Death beginning to trade again and the labels new website opening soon. This really is a fantastic little record and the music really is something else. Each track is like a journey and both are well executed and full of purpose. I cannot recommend it enough, a must for fans of Ormgard and Nawaharjan.



Artist - Jesters of Destiny
Title - The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown
Label - Ektro

Thirty years after Jesters of Destiny arrived, dropped Fun at the Funeral and disappeared back into the night, they’re finally back with a second full length release courtesy of Ektro Records, and whilst it could never live up to first album, the eccentricity of the band shines through once more and it’s a crazy ride from start to finish. Pick it up on April 4th!


Artist - Hammerfest IX
Date - 23rd- 26th March
Venue - Pwllheli, Wales  

One of our main highlights of the year, this month we’re off to Wales for Hammerfest, HRH’s Heavy Metal flagship. With the return of two Power Metal titans alongside a host of others, this year looks to be one of their best ever. We’ll be covering the whole festival