Posts Tagged ‘black metal’

Vanhelga - Fredagsmys

Swedish black metallers Vanhelga released their fifth and most rounded record this June, ‘Fredagsmys’, through Osmose Productions, and it really is a culmination of everything they have built upon since their formation. Vanhelga translates as ‘profane’, and this record explores the darker side of human nature.

Opener ‘Sömnparalys’ is bleak and cold, but is also rife with the kind of Swedish black metal riffs that made Dissection so beloved. There is no shortage of ferocity and black metal tremolo waves, but there is plenty of epic melodies galloping throughout as well. The melancholic ‘Psykotisk Självinsikt’ is a wonderfully evocative piece, oozing with an almost gothic feel. The emotive ‘Ensam Mot Alla’ is a mere drop in a pool of melancholic grandeur, where black metal interplays sadly with gloomy atmospheres. The howling loneliness of ‘Keep the Window Closed’ accentuates the almost My Dying Bride level of misery.

‘Fredagsmys’ is a record that exudes fragility through its ferocity. Fearsome and strong, yet tremblingly weak in places, Vanhelga blends weeping gloom with bleak black metal fury to create a masterpiece. ‘Fredagsmys’ may not be the most ‘pure black metal’ record you’ll here this year, but it could be the most ‘pure’ black metal record. Nothing touches the bleak emotions felt here.

https://music.vanhelga.com/

https://www.facebook.com/officialvanhelga

http://osmoseproductions-label.com/bands/vanhelga/

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Austrian black metallers Sanguinary Trance have just recently released ‘Wine, Song and Sacrifice’, a three track EP that has been about four years in the making. A journey back to the depths of the 90s is on the cards here, a heyday that the genre has struggled to compete with even to this day.

The droning, buzzing title track builds slowly, bringing to mind early Burzum with the incessant hum. It then explodes into relentless blasting, with a mesmerising atmosphere beset by shrieking fury. There is an epic scale of course, but the really interesting parts come within the labyrinthine melodies that play out within the frozen blizzarding riffing. There is a lot of early Darkthrone stuff in there too, and it feels like a lost second wave record come to light. ‘Carvings’ has a more measured, denser tone to it that brings a little Deathspell Omega to the table, while the closing ‘The Dionysis Whip’ has lots of weird atonal melody lines screaming through it. Almost psychedelic in nature, waves of these melodies overwhelm your senses.

‘Wine, Song and Sacrifice’ is a bloodstained love letter to the most iconic of black metal times, but with an unmistakably unique viewpoint on it. With some unforgettable moments that set your teeth on edge and make your hair stand on end, Sanguinary Trance are indeed trance invoking and the feelings it conjures are black magickal.

https://sanguinarytrance.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/winesongsacrifice/

Another new release from La Caverna Records in Colombia is a pair of demos from Colombian black metallers Siete Lagunas, collected together on CD. ‘I&II’ is also available now.

Squalling feedback leads us into the raw ‘Llegando a la primera laguna/Carco’, a track soaked in primitive and raw black metal dread. This pervasive rawness infects every song on this release, from the terrifying ‘Madremonte’ with its maddening shrieks to ‘La reina de la moscas’, an ugly, manic and yet melancholic burst of raw, bleak emotion. Siete Lagunas aren’t for those of us who enjoy density or nuance in our black metal; they are for those who seek only primal, insanity inducing carnage. Distorted noise weaves in amongst the black metal riffs, increasing the tension and uncomfortableness.

Almost disappointingly short, you’ll be reaching for that replay button as soon as the final, necro notes of ‘Oscurece en la segunda laguna’ bring us to a close. Siete Lagunas could be the future of raw black metal, steeped in dark and terrible things. ‘I&II’ is only the beginning.

https://sietelagunas.bandcamp.com/

https://lacavernarecs.bandcamp.com/album/i-ii

https://www.facebook.com/La-Caverna-Records-1576145459327889/

 

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The sixth full length album from stalwarts of the Portuguese black metal scene Black Howling, ‘Return of Primordial Stillness’ takes the core elements of the band’s depressive suicidal black metal and plays around with it a little, creating a 40 minute epic of only four tracks. It is out at the end of July on the excellent Signal Rex Records.

The shimmering instrumental opener, ‘Iberia’, has a delicious, single-minded driving urge to it; dense sludgey riffs crawl beneath a thick darkness, before ‘Celestial Syntropy’ takes us on a winding, serpentine odyssey of twisting black metal that ripples with electricity. Helpless shrieks echo around the cavernous sections, while the space created here is vast and bleak. Crushing hopelessness seeps through this black curtain of night, waiting for an end. The sweeping notes raising ‘Celestial Entropy’ from the mist into the sky is something different; soaring majestically with an predatory eye, awaiting the savagery of the kill.

As ‘Cosmic Oblivion’ fades away into the stillness of the night, Black Howling transcend into becoming more than just another black metal release this year. Their evocative, roiling black metal is both bleak and yet fragile in places. ‘Return to Primordial Stillness’ is glorious, mesmerising darkness.

https://www.facebook.com/BlackHowlingOfficial/

https://blackhowlingofficial.bandcamp.com/album/return-of-primordial-stillness

https://signalrex.bandcamp.com/

https://signalrex.com/store/

The onslaught of barbaric black metal that prolific Japanese band Abigail brings is probably best summed up by the title of their new EP, ‘Far East Black Metal Onslaught’. This latest burst of blasphemy is due out in August through Helldprod Records, and looks to do nothing more than reassert themselves as the kings of underground Satanic panic.

Opening with ‘Unholy Bestial Fire’, cacophonous madness sprays from the speakers like the aural equivalent of barbed wire. Blackened thrash riffs fight against ragged shrieks and growls for position, with neither losing. The rabid majesty of ‘Nuclear Hammer’ is, frankly, intense as fuck. Abigail are not here to let anyone in easily; no their modus operandi is to destroy everything in site using the nastiest, fastest riffing they can slam together.

Reading from the codex necro, Abigail’s material is about as raw and fast as you can go, and yet it never feels purely one dimensional. Their music always has little doses of melody, even if all it is a thrashing solo ripping through like Kerry King on speed. ‘Far East Black Metal Onsalught’ is self explanatory, but it is also fucking awesome.

https://helldprod.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ABIGAILBARBATOS-208365735859610/

altar of perversion - intra naos cover.jpg

This mammoth release of Italian black metallers Altar of Perversion is a collaboration between The Ajna Offensve and Norma Evangelium Diaboli, and is the second full length record after their iconic debut, 2001’s ‘From Dead Temples’. ‘Intra Naos’ is two CDs, 114 minutes of serpentine, scathing black metal vastness, and it is out now!

The opener ‘Adgnosco Veteris Vestigia Flammae’ is a twenty minute leviathan, crossing spaces between battering blasphemy, crawling menace and even soaring melody. Altar of Perversion may be raw in spirit, but their music has plenty of layers to it. The eerie acoustics that open ‘She Weaves Abyssal Riddles and Eorthean Gates’ are creepy and definitely work as part of the more atonal nature of this track. It is a truly impressive feat to create a black metal record that is so long and so faithful to the origins of the genre without becoming mindnumbingly boring. There’s dashes of Blut Aus Nord style tonality, sweeping atmospheric black metal sections and enough blastbeats to destroy any conceptions that this is ‘progressive nonsense’.

Be it through the swelling evil of ‘Cosmic Thule, Inner Temple’ or the labyrinthine twists of ‘Through Flickering Stars, They Seep’. Altar of Perversion have created a masterclass in black metal here. Almost two hours and not a moment is wasted, ‘Intra Naos’ is exactly how black metal should sound; different, raging and absorbing.

https://www.theajnaoffensive.com/

http://www.noevdia.com/

 

Evil Nerfal - Bellum Est Pater Omnium

Columbian black metallers Evil Nerfal’s second record ‘Bellum Est Pater Omnium’ is another Satanath release from early this year, and it is a torrent of raging, Satanic black metal that revels in its raging, magnificent evil. It is available right now, and is for fans of Darkthrone, Behemoth and Marduk.

The grand, classical intro builds the drama for the subtly titled ‘Fuck Off Jesus Christ’, which pours like magma from the speakers in scorching throes. Unlike a lot of South American black metal, Evil Nerfal doesn’t go for the ultra-necro, lo-fi approach. Instead, the likes of ‘In Endless Torment’ and the mesmerising fury of ‘En Las Fauces del Demonio’ paint with a denser, thicker palette. Much more in common with the likes of Behemoth than Beherit, ‘Bellum Est Pater Omnium’ is a mature, multi faceted record of black metal at its most majestic and its most severe. In fact, the track you’d expect to be the most straightforward, necrotic monster ‘Satanic Madness Black Metal Unleashed’ is in fact probably the most flamboyant in character, with wonderful melodies flowing from blackened frets and an enticing atmosphere.

Unholy melodies and unhuman growls dance upon a roiling sea of vicious black metal, miasmic and darkly imperial. Evil Nerfal’s music is a beautiful symphony of fire and fury, and ‘Bellum Est Pater Omnium’ is an arcane conjuring of the grandest of the necro spirits. Totally essential listening.

https://www.facebook.com/EvilNerfal/

https://grimmdistribution.bandcamp.com/album/021gd-evil-nerfal-bellum-est-pater-omnium-2018