Posts Tagged ‘black metal’

What is it about Australia and black metal? It seems so strange that a place that seems the polar opposite of the traditional, northern icy home of the genre has become such a hotbed. But then, Australian black metal tends to be more aggressive and fiery so perhaps conditions in the dangerous and suffocating heat of the outback are perfect. Nocturnes Mist have been around for almost 20 years, yet ‘Diabolical Baptism’ marks only their third full length. It’s out on September 15th through Seance Records.

A raw, deeply traditional ode to the majesty of Satan himself, and inspired by the soundtrack to The Omen, ‘Diabolical Baptism’ is brutal in its simplicity. Opener ‘Hammers of Hatred’ is an unstoppable force of Marduk inspired bludgeoning, that invokes occult hails to the Dark Lord. Nocturnes Mist plough a pure, second wave worshipping furrow on this record, and while it may seem like just another black metal album, ‘Diabolical Baptism’ draws you in deeper with their orthodoxy and their execution. ‘Barbs of Sadism’ is a fire breather, while the more midpaced ‘Pale Face Cold Heart’ ramps up the atmosphere and even adds dashes of keyboard.

Like the esoteric Witches Sabbath drawings that grace the cover of ‘Diabolical Baptism’, this record is an embodiment of arcane ritual and Satanic fervour. Savage, relentless and dripping with menace, Nocturnes Mist are traditionalist but still stunningly relevant.

https://www.facebook.com/nocturnesmistAU/

http://www.seancerecords.com/

https://seancerecords.bandcamp.com/

The beautiful stark red of this cassette cover is instantly striking, and Atra Mors do the same with their music. A part of the blackened hordes of Cumbria, in Northern England, ‘Cloaked in Shadow’ marks their debut full length, and the cassette I have got from Carvetii Productions is simply awesome. I cannot say it enough times, this is a tape label that never fails to impress.

Opener ‘Fog of Ruin’ pulses with a dark energy, writhing in tremelo riffing and harsh screams. ‘Cloaked in Shadow’ is just that; layered with a shadowy atmosphere that enhances the gloomy chords within. The haunting ‘Spirits of the Darkwood’ and the menacing ‘Undead Lust’ conjure the spirits of Mayhem and Xasthur, while the shrieking ‘Vomit Black Blood’ is enough to run shivers though your body. Black metal feels alive and kicking when in the hands of this band. There’s hints of Satanic Warmaster lurking in here too, particularly in the ghostly ‘Snow Falls Upon a Wretched Tomb’, with the moody synths lurking in the background.

I sit listening to this album while rain beats against my window. This feels like a record enshrouded by miserable, cold rain that incessantly grasps you in its cold embrace. Personified by the bleak cold hatred of ‘Amidst Rotting Wood I Reach My End’, Atra Mors weave savage black magic throughout ‘Cloaked in Shadow’, drawing much inspiration from raw black metal legends but becoming something more. Something visceral, thrilling and inherently black.

https://www.facebook.com/legionsovdarkness/

https://legionsovdarkness.bandcamp.com/album/cloaked-in-shadow

http://carvetiiproductions.bigcartel.com/

https://carvetiiproductions.bandcamp.com/album/cloaked-in-shadow

UK black metallers Pale Mist have come from out of nowhere for me, but their new release on cassette, ‘Spreading My Wings into the Abyss that Calls’, is a proud new member of my collection thanks to the good folks at Heidenwut Productions. This is an archetypal black metal release, but one that balances the atmospheric requirements with an almost lunatic delivery at times. Atmospheric as fuck, Pale Mist deliver.

The aching tremolo of ‘Through the Thick Fog of Misery and Woe’ drifts from your speaker, leaving a trail of frost behind it. Pale Mist are definitively bleak and ghostly. Building anticipation for inevitable blizzard conditions is something that black metal thrives upon, and Pale Mist have nailed it as the torrent of blackened majesty that is ‘Spreading My Wings into the Abyss that Calls’ begins. Maddening shrieks spill from icy riffs and gloomy walls of sound.

But the centrepiece is the epic caldera of ‘Embraced by the Pale Mist’, that spews volcanic riffage upon us all before the wistful gaze of ‘Gazing, Opening the Barriers’ provides a welcome calm spot, laced with melancholic clean guitar. Closing with the bleak ‘The Welcoming Glow of the Moon’ that spirals into the wilderness, Pale Mist are seriously impressive, and this release is an opening into a world of ice and darkness.

https://palemist.bandcamp.com/album/spreading-my-wings-into-the-abyss-that-calls

https://www.facebook.com/palemistofficial/

https://www.facebook.com/heidenwutproductions/

Hailing from sunny Portugal’s renowned raw black metal scene, Cripta Oculta have unleashed their fourth dose of ravenous, blackened medicine for us to gorge ourselves upon. Out now on Signal Rex, prepare yourselves for ‘Lost Memories’, and the evil which is to come!

The haunting organ that leads ‘Mistérios do Sangue’ out from its blackened altar gives it a more authentic feeling of eldritch occultness than anything else could’ve. It builds the anticipation for what is to come, which is a blazing flow of fearsome rawness and lo-fi hatred. ‘Uma Noite de Trevas’ is harsh, abrasive but bleak and mournful in parts. It isn’t just raw musically; like an emotional wound reopening, ‘Lost Memories’ drags you into an oppressive mire of depression and heartlessness. The hopeless shriek of ‘A Dança do Fado Negro’ personifies everything you can take from this ode to darkness, cold and endless death.

Drawing deep from pagan wells of raw pain and suffering, Cripta Oculta’s black metal is a lonely, feral beast that snarls from abysses unknown. Signal Rex have brought Cripta Oculta to the surface of the shifting, murky underground and allowed their particular sound to be heard. Cold, harsh and utterly enthralling.

https://signalrex.bandcamp.com/album/s-t

http://www.signalrex.com/

Decrepit Throne are a studio black metal project duo from North Carolina and New Jersey, whose debut full length ‘Traitor’s Grave’ is a thrill ride of vicious and eeriely melodic black metal in the vein of Dissection, Emperor and Drudkh. Self released, it is out now through the Bandcamp site.

Opener ‘Lands of Ash’ builds like the dark forces gathering before the storm, from which dark riffs and atmospheres flood your ears. Bleak melodies wrap around croaking rasps, while the languid evil of ‘Lucifer’s Descent’ is a welcome respite from black metal bands who cannot understand the benefits of playing slowly every so often. It really helps to differentiate them, as well as allowing the listener to absorb the little nuances.

The burning ‘Your Death My Solitude’ is a cold hearted belch from darkness, while the ravaging ‘A Defiant Flame Burning’ is another choice cut from a record that reins in the speed and ferocity for good old fashioned evil and darkness. Capturing that crawling black metal vibe perfectly, ‘Traitor’s Grave’ is a record that will haunt your record player for time to come, because sometimes you need something deep, dark and absorbing to sate your desires.

https://decrepitthrone.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DecrepitThrone/

Kafirun - Eschaton

Kafirun hail from Canada, and their highly anticipated debut record ‘Eschaton’ is a deep and winding journey throughout the mysterious and stifling occult. After their previous, highly regarded work like ‘Glorification of Holy Death’, Kafirun look to be taking the first step towards usurping the crown of dense and murky black metal. Seance Records will unleash ‘Eschaton’ on 26th of June.

Opener ‘Lord of Blessed Murder’ is a suffocating, labyrinthine slab of black metal fury, laced with esoteric ambience and gloomy atmospheres. Some black metal howls like the wolf, solid and definable. Kafirun is more like the fog; shifting into miasmic shapes of darkness before reforming as yet another nightmarish vision. It is difficult to describe the way songs like ‘Divine Providence’ seep beneath your skin and provoke shivers of joy. But this is no mere ‘weird/occult’ black metal album. The razor riffing and blasting drums keep it firmly tethered to the traditions bred from Norway’s finest, but it reaches for more.

Kafirun have been a band to keep an eye on for a while, and ‘Eschaton’ moves them beyond a mere new hope into the realms of a new BIG THING. Their grasp of black metal dogma and dynamic experimentalism is perfect, with songs swinging wildly from savage and raw to fucking epic with barely a flicker. This could be the best black metal you will hear all year, and that is no exaggeration.

http://www.seancerecords.com/

https://kafirun.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/KafirunBand

Akerbeltz - Satanic

Spanish black metaller Akerbeltz have been ploughing an evil furrow since 1996, and you would struggle to find a poor effort in amongst the six full lengths and numerous splits they have put out. The newest record, ‘Satanic’ is coming out in June on BlackSeed Productions and is another fury laden romp through dark and bleak places.

Opener ‘The Red Dragon’ draws much inspiration from the endless blasting of Marduk, and the croaking Abbath. Crafted from the most traditional of black metal riffs, songs like ‘A Deed Without a Name’ or the harsh ‘The Crypt’ are glorious to the ears of cold hearted traditionalists. Blasting drums help to enforce that blizzard like assault, while the raspy vocals invike the demons of the north.It seems cliche to claim surprise at the fact that Akerbeltz come from warmer climes, yet are capable of invoking such bleak frozen music but that doesn’t make it any less accurate. Feel the flames of ‘Opus Satanic’ wash over you and cleanse this place of non believers, and you will have faith.

Foreboding atmospheres complete a record that shies away from experimenting and rest comfortably within its traditional cocoon. Akerbeltz are great at what they do, and ‘Satanic’ sits proudly amongst some of the best and most fire breathing black metal in my collection. For that, tradition must be respected.

https://blackseedprod.bandcamp.com/album/satanic-2

https://akerbeltz.bandcamp.com/