Posts Tagged ‘black metal’

Gruzja - I iść dalej

The debut record from Polish black metallers Gruzja, ‘I Iść dalej’, is out now through Godz ov War Productions, and immediately faces an uphill task in standing out within the seething cauldron of the Polish black metal legions. But they take an interesting approach…

Gruzja’s approach to black metal is much like the scathing fire of Impaled Nazarene or necropunk Darkthrone. Their forte isn’t the supreme blasphemy, nor the icy introspection, but a kind of filthy, Bathory/Celtic Frost primal racket, layered with an uncomfortable tone. Songs are dosed in a poisonous smog, with a nasty edge to everything they do. The savage ‘Gruzini’ howls from the speakers with venomous rage, while the more midpaced grind of ‘Moja Ratyzbona’ has a rusted, ragged edge to it. Imagine Marduk if they were all junkies, and you can get a rough idea. It isn’t all one dimensional however; the likes of ‘Manam’ does have a bit of space to breathe, and the unsettling, industrial crawl of ‘Ilu nas było?’ brings to mind Anaal Nathrakh.

‘I Iść dalej’ is a record that rips at you with a nasty attitude, but also is capable to unsettling you deeply. Part vicious feral animal, part hypnotising void scraping, Gruzja don’t compete with their countrymen and their ideas of black metal. This is a record that sounds like no one else, and for that there is much commendation.

https://godzovwarproductions.bandcamp.com/album/i-i-dalej

https://www.facebook.com/GodzOvWar/

http://godzovwar.com/shop/en/

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Feral Light - Fear Rides a Shadow

A two man, ferociously black metal machine, Feral Light’s second album ‘Fear Rides a Shadow’ is out now through Pulverised Records, and is another example of the malevolent fury seeping through the USBM scene.

The cold riffs permeating the opener, ‘Wake’, feels like the precursor to oblivion; the oblivion that arrives with the cascading savagery of ‘Arrow/Beast’, that is possessed of a thrilling juxtaposition of almost black and roll still riffing while being infested with a toxic, black metal fury. The production lends the guitar work a rough edge, and the unholy screams and growls accompany this ‘feral’ attitude. It immediately makes songs like ‘Spirit Inanimate’ feel more memorable, and some of the more unusual melody lines, particularly in the introverted rage of ‘Psychic Dirt’ are immediately earworms.

If you don’t feel moved by the type of black metal thrust upon you in album highlight ‘Cold Monochrome’, then your lust for black metal is truly one dimensional. Feral Light bring us the evolution, where the blasting and shrieking ferocity of the past meets the shapeshifting progression of the future. ‘Fear Rides a Shadow’ is an album that shows no fear, and takes no prisoners.

https://www.facebook.com/ferallight/

https://ferallight.bandcamp.com/

https://www.pulverised.net/

Aethyrick - Praxis

The debut album from Finnish black metallers Aethyrick aims to capture the spirit of black metal’s original, primal flames and yet take it to new and vast regions. ‘Praxis’ is out now through Sinister Flame Records, and is a swirling and savagely atmospheric record.

The opening track has both snarling, traditional second wave-isms and a plethora of sweeping, atmospheric highs that imagine snow crested vistas blasted by howling winds. If there’s one thing black metal does better than everything, it is evoking imagery. There’s some glorious moments on this record where it opens up from furious black metal into soaring beauty, and it is possibly best done in ‘Pilgrimmage’.’Quietude’ pays homage to those slower, darker bits of prime My Dying Bride in black metal form, while the mesmerising flights of ‘Adytum’ are essential listening.

‘Praxis’ is the kind of record that black metal bands try to make to show they aren’t just one dimensional, but few actually achieve. Equally epic and fierce, when the music dives back through the clouds to the blizzard beneath it feels natural, and when it soars above, you never want to leave. Aethyrick are special.

https://aethyrick.bandcamp.com/music

http://www.thesinisterflame.com/store.htm

Vorga - Radiant Gloom

The debut EP of multinational melodic black metallers Vorga, ‘Radiant Gloom’ is a four track blast of warming black metal for these frigid winter nights. It has just been released independently, and is available through Bandcamp.

Opening track ‘The Black Age’ is a thick, chunky slab of blood-drenched black metal fury. Enschewing the standard feelings of ice and bleak coldness, Vorga attack with blood running from their mouths, fiery and primal in their assault. The production is rich, the musicianship is great and the riffing, while slightly derivative in places, has enough oomph behind it to put it above your carbon copy, cut and paste black metal band. ‘Argil’ has a thread of melody, running like a vein up a shredded arm, while the howl of ‘Divine’ has an intense gallop to it.

Closing with the vibrant thunder of ‘Hunger’, Vorga’s debut supplies you with plenty to be excited about. A black metal band not trying too hard to be kvlt and instead creating some great songs with a superb tone to them. This is hopefully going to lead to a bright future for them, and I look forward to more.

https://www.facebook.com/VorgaBand/

https://vorga.bandcamp.com/releases

https://vorga.de/

ysbryd jewelcase.jpg

Rising from the potent German black metal underground, Ysbryd keep flames of traditional black metal burning brightly with their debut full length, ‘Kraft’. Originally released last year in a limited cassette run, Purity Through Fire Records were so impressed they’ve given us a wider release, and it is out now.

After the cold opener ‘Diafol’, a gloom-sodden clean guitar melody, ‘Schmach und Schande’ is a miserable, ancient form of primal black metal that would please Bathory and Venom, while still oozing with frigid, black melodies. The haunting calm of ‘Im Kriege’ contrasts wonderfully with the crashing rattle of the blackened riffs cascading from ‘Ritual der Befreiung’, and there is no doubt that the sense of bleakness permeates every element of ‘Kraft’. This is a one man black metal record that isn’t a mere copy and paste black metal effort. The mind bending start to ‘Glanz und Gloria’ shows you how the paradigm can be contorted into new forms.

‘Kraft’ is a record that sticks to the traditional black metal tropes but executes them in a way that incorporates an otherworldly vibe at times and a wistful melancholy at others. A great debut record, and I look forward to see how the Ysbryd sound matures through their next release.

https://www.facebook.com/ysbrydblackmetal/

https://shop.purity-through-fire.com/en/

 

Valkyrja - Throne Ablaze

Swedish black metallers Valkyrja’s fourth full length, ‘Throne Ablaze’, comes after a five year wait, and in that time the band have set themselves to the task of creating something even faster, harder and more blasphemous than their previous work. It is out now through WTC Productions.

First track proper ‘Crowned Serpent’ breathes with a hellish cocktail of Marduk’s ferociousness and the more dense, atmospheric tendencies of the likes of Naglfar. This is black metal done in a precisely Swedish way; dripping with melody but most of it is drowned in a viciousness, an ancient and corruptible violence infusing each riff. Even when the pace slows, like in the wretched ‘Transcendental Death’, there are no missteps. ‘Throne Ablaze’ is a record that encapsulates the bile-ridden beauty of Swedish black metal in all its neck snapping, blood stained glory.

From the hatred cascading across the icy ‘Tombs into Flesh’ to the flame licked guitarwork of ‘Paradise Lost’, this record barely takes its foot off the pedal. Don’t allow ‘Throne Ablaze’ to slip past you, because Valkyria have crafted a punishing exercise in the infinite balance of both the melodic and the blasphemous. ‘Throne Alze’ is a record that has both in plentiful amounts, and you’ll not get tired of it.

https://www.facebook.com/valkyrjaswe/

http://w-t-c.web-republic.de/store/

Funereal Presence - Achatius

The forever changing and labyrinthine world of black metal is a wondrous locale to spend time. Wallowing in the strictest of genre staples or left adrift above worlds of experimentation, sometimes you don’t know what you’ll get when you start a record. Such is ‘Achatius’, the follow up to Funereal Presence’s 2014 debut, ‘The Archer Takes Aim’. This is a record that plows its own furrow, and it is out February 15th through Sepulchral Voice Records and The Ajna Offensive.

As opener ‘Wherein Achatius is Awakened and Called Upon’ builds glacially, you start to feel something is different here. Ok, torrents of fiery black metal do proceed to cascade from your speakers after a bit, but there is an underlying almost psychedelic nature to it. Traditional black metal tropes wrestle with a sound that you just don’t hear anymore. Imagine Funereal Presence’s riffing to be like a solar flare, burning unfathomably hot in its core but grasping outwards into realms unknown before being sucked back. ‘Wherein a Messenger of the Devil Appears’ is full of these moments, and in fact ‘Achatius’ feels like a record not afraid to put in anything deemed essential to create the right sound. Hell there’s even a goddamn cowbell!

I love this record for its unorthodox style, the exhilarating freedom it has to do anything, yet the dedication to grounding it in a traditional black metal form. Intense, full of variety and moments that’ll blow your mind, Funereal Presence have created probably the most unique record you’ll come across this year in the genre. Stunning.

https://funerealpresence.bandcamp.com/releases