The band Torches of Nero caught my attention with the release of their first demo “Fallen Angel of Arcturo” in 2021 which brought a sound highly inspired by Greek Black Metal, in bands like the old Rotting Christ and Necromantia mixed with touches of Slayer and even something from old Vulcano all this in a pure and simple production very much like the Brazilian underground bands of the 90s. In the same year the band released the excellent “The Semon of the Impure – Prophecy and Disgrace – Live Ritual” which, like name already tells us, it was a live presentation shown in the middle of the pandemic and that later the label “Old Evil Spirit Productions” released as a live album in extremely limited cassette format. And now at the beginning of 2023 the label Hammer Of Damnation releases the band’s new MCD called “Mokk” and that unlike their first demo, which paid tribute to Greek Black Metal, is, or should be, supposedly a tribute to the Australian band Sadistik Exekution and its iconic vocalist, the infamous and legendary Rok, but which ends up being much more than that and proves to be a true tribute to that entire first generation of 80’s Black Metal. I talk about names like Hellhammer, Bathory, Vulcano, Bulldozer and especially Venom in addition to the aforementioned Sadistik Exekution (Band that was created in 1985). hordes that brought a sound based more on feeling than on technique, entities that exuded rebelliousness and that had the greatest ability to pass all their contempt and aversion for moral and especially religious conventions through compositions that, most of the time even being musically minimalist , exhaled the odor of sulfur and attitude in every note, in every chord, in every blasphemy uttered. The most interesting thing is that Torches of Nero, when trying to honor these great names of the past, managed to somehow get out of the “standard model” that most Black Metal bands tend to follow nowadays and do something full of personality. . “Mokk” starts with the title track and shows us in the first few seconds what the band’s proposal is, A primitive sound with cutting guitar riffs, angry drum lines, pulsating bass and a hateful vocal very inspired by Cronos and A C Wild (at the time of the classic “The Day of Wrath”) and which brings as its main feature that formula almost forgotten by current bands and which was widely used in the 80’s when the vocalist overloaded the drive, used a little of his natural voice and created with that a brand and an individual identity. The second track “Sadistik Raids” starts slower, dense, dark and atmospheric, bringing something of Hellhammer to my mind, in the middle of the track there is a riff with clear influences from Celtic Frost that alone would be worth the purchase of this MCD; “Feeling of Death” comes next and despite starting with a brief slower tempo it soon goes into an insanely chaotic frenzy. This track ends quite unexpectedly with the band inserting a part of Frederic Chopin’s funeral march into their music, something that turned out to be very interesting. We continue with “The Ashes of The Burnt Offerings” which is a Dark Atmospheric interlude and was created by guest musician Blackpest (Void\Feto) and is a reinterpretation based on the track “Burnt Offerings” by the band Sadistik Exekution. I particularly thought the idea of this track and its title was brilliant. The desperate Black\Thrash “Krist Kross Kurse” is next and it’s that kind of track where you’ll bang your head from start to finish. “Mokk” ends with the song that is the best composition for me “We are All Dead” that begins with a very taciturn and funereal passage in which vocalist Baal Seth Penitent pays his respects to several fallen necrounderground warriors invoking their names among screams of “We are All Dead”. This slower beginning gives way to the most epic track of this MCD with extremely fast passages interrupted by more cadenced moments. This song still has a hidden surprise that it’s up to you to discover… The cover art made by artist Michel @viva_la_verve Martins is sensational bringing a lot of symbology in elements with deeper meanings, in addition to being strongly inspired by the work of the aforementioned Rok ( who for those who don’t know is a fantastic graphic artist with a vast and creative oeuvre) The layout done by Blackpest also helps to keep this aesthetic reverent to the old days. The sound production is raw and without makeup and it couldn’t be different. “Mokk” is that kind of release made by headbanger to headbanger with the soul and the heart in a true and authentic way. Totally mandatory…
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