South Korea isn't exactly the first place you think of when it comes to black metal, but the country is a fertile breeding ground for bands of all sorts and happens to have some of the weirdest black metal ever to poison these ears. The incestuous Seoul black metal scene is a wealth of fucked-up, noise-laden nekro-kult demos that, sadly, will go largely ignored outside of Asia. Nerbilous Records releases great xeroxed-cover cdrs of Korean black metal bands.The label is run by scene figureheads Barbarous and Karmrath, who also play in many of the bands. The fantastic slogan "Fuck off to all the shit trendy bands who pretend to doing underground music" graces the back of most Nerbilous releases. Korea ain't fucking around. Here's six Korean black metal bands on Nerbilous I found to be worthy of a mention and a listen.
First off we have the mysterious musician Ares J Wittenvelt performing simply as "Ares." Ares is clearly influenced by Gorgoroth and even has a song titled "Order the Advance (tribute to Gorgoroth)." The music is self-proclaimed "Warlike Raw Black Metal," but Ares' songs are more melodic and structured than other Korean bm bands. Inside the booklet Ares declares "I much Hate 'Sorrow', 'Tears' & 'Han' metal!!!" Nice.
Ares demo, the wonderfully titled "Achieve Brilliant Results In Unholy War" here:
"We are warriors of the Great Throne. The Throne's Finger indicate our fate. In a Great War's Beginning, we will slaught them...." announces the mighty Warpeal. Warpeal are the now defunct trio of Barbarous, Rudan and Ruck. Their demo "Skirmish" is a fuzzed out dissonant hell.
Get it here:
"Open the Black Dimension. Order From the Mighty King. Destruction of Black Death. Power From Hell. Evil Knight"
Wolven Howl, made up of Barbarous and Karmrath of Gormantatinus and Zerzyan Loathe, is perhaps the most noisy and absolutely fucked up of the Nerbilous horde.
This unorthodox scraping ritual can be downloaded here:
"Vanish! All the Shit Religious Crank!! Kill!!!! All the Shit Racism! Be Ash! All the Shit Symphonic Black Metaller! Always! Pure Black Metal tell us the TRUTH!"
Fucking hell. An anti-racist, anti-religious Korean black metal band? Sign me up. Kvell is the duo of Nachtarcz and Ivansnagk. Perhaps the most western sounding of the Korean bands, Kvell still retains a lot of the characteristics common in Korean black metal, the distant production and the trebley buzz of the guitars. Kvell has many long out-of-print demos but it is "Damned Journey for the Unholy War" that I know best. It was released in 2003 and was limited to only 90 copies. Get it here:
"TO: Melodic gothic black metallers!!!! You are not blackmetallers!! Never!! Don't think you are underground musicians!!! I will cut your heads off!!! TO: Political black metallers!!!! Don't think black metal is political!!! Black Metal must be spiritual music!!! If you want to play political music then play another kind of music!!!!" -Helnakstav
It would seem the Korean bands of Nerbilous have a sort of unified agenda and message, and an overwhelming need to express it. Infinite Hatred is no different. Helnakstav is the sole member of Infinite Hatred and another musical entity he calls Qrujhuk. Infinite Hatred's black metal isn't as chaotic as Wolven Howl or Warpeal, or as Musical as Ares or Kvell, it sort of straddles the median between both styles. Not the most engaging of the Korean hordes but still evil and hellish!
If Ares is the Korean Gorgoroth then Gormmantatinus is the Korean Abruptum. "Sersavina Decan, Anden Plaust" is my favorite of all the Korean demos because it just so out there. Tortured-droning-improv-ritual-filth. It all feels very personal and arcane. Gormantatinus is the aural essence of Korean evil. This is the second of three equally unnerving demos and it was limited to a mere 70 copies on cdr. Karmrath Astomaridu also releases demos as Zerzyan Loathe and plays in Wolven Howl. Bow down before Karmrath Astomaridu and Gormantatinus. Bow down before Korean black metal. Here: