Posts Tagged ‘black metal’

Desolate Shrine are nothing but productive. ‘Deliverance from the Godless Void’ is their third album for Dark Descent Records in six years, and their fourth overall. It is another exercise in pure, devastating aural darkness and hatred. If you like black metal, doom or death, this is within your wheelhouse. A miasmic fabrication of extremity awaits.

‘The Primordial One’ comes pouring from the speakers like a molten river of blackened death metal lava. Blastbeats smash down upon devastating riffs, while brutal roars echo from caverns of darkness. Desolate Shrine are immediately dense, pushing waves of sound at you in an unstoppable force. But they cannot stay one dimensional, with eerie melodies seeping from the gloom in the dissonant, doom laden ‘Unmask the Face of False’. ‘Deliverance from the Godless Void’ has no regard for the boundaries of black, death or doom metal. Desolate Shrine take these genres and combine them into a set of songs that crush not only your ears but your soul, your mind and your hope. For me, the centrepiece and masterpiece is the massive storm of ‘The Graeae’, building from desolate clean guitars into a galaxial riff that envelops everything in its path. Metaphors run short when trying to describe the titanic weight and power of such a song.

‘Deliverance from the Godless Void’ is disgustingly heavy, weighing you down mercilessly until you crumble into nothingness. These songs may be lengthy but never overstay their welcome, and the almost hour running time feels like no time at all. It does feel like your delivery from the Godless void is nothing but a trip to hell. Not a hell that burns, but a hell that suffocates and tears at your weak flesh. This is stunning.

https://www.facebook.com/desolateshrine/

https://desolateshrine.bandcamp.com/

https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/deliverance-from-the-godless-void

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Australian black metallers Greytomb have completed work on their masterful new record, ‘Monumental Microcosm’, where they have begun to add new and more dissonant layers upon the already healthy and fire breathing Australian black metal scene. Sharing a drummer with label mates Somnium Nox and Norse certainly adds a sense of comradeship with those bands, who approach black metal a little differently from most. It is out on Transcending Obscurity in December.

Opener ‘Null’ is a mindbending journey through clanging dissonant notes, blizzarding blastbeats and snarling, groaning vocal emanations that bring to mind Atilla Csihar’s performance on ‘Ordo ad Chao’. Intense, twisted and eerie are probably the most apt descriptors to a record that seems to peer from beyond space time from a place of insanity incarnate. Like the dying scream of distant planets, Greytomb feel both terrifying fragile and yet mighty in their wrath.

‘Antimeta’ strides forth from these dark plains of existence wielding riffs of fire and a tortured howl; pausing briefly for toxic air before the storm of blasting returns. ‘Monumental Microcosm’ is an album of dizzying highs and terrifying lows, where unholy melody plays with unchecked brutality in a maddening theatre of cosmic destruction. As ‘Force Majeure’ brings us to a cloying, suffocating end we should be thankful for everything Greytomb showed us before our universe collapses around us.

https://www.facebook.com/Tombofthegrey/

https://tometal.com/

https://greytomb.bandcamp.com/album/monumental-microcosm-atmospheric-black-metal

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Originally created as an outlet for JB of Spain’s Graveyard to try out some new ideas that wouldn’t fit in there, Apologoethia have blossomed into an outfit whose debut release, ‘Pillars’, is a cohesive and vibrant statement of intent of black metal ruthlessness. Due out on the 24th of November through Invictus Productions, ‘Pillars’ is going to be an essential journey.

‘Pillar I: De fundamenta spiritus’ is a howling torrent of black metal, spiralling tremolo riffing spraying across the speakers while scowling vocals rasp blasphemies. This is a magnificent dose of blackened metal steeped in the traditions of the second wave. The slower sections of ‘Pillar II: De humanae natura’ have a great, doomy atmosphere but surrounded by the kind of single mindedness that we all find so pleasing in latter day Behemoth. Apologoethia are more than capable of being both visceral, savage and yet thrashy in the ways of early Celtic Frost or Venom. Riffs are both razor sharp and laced with venomous, eastern melodies that enhance the majesty of this filthy racket.

‘Pillar III: De absentiae vitae’ is a virtuoso lead guitar performance, with spiralling leads and galloping rhythms creating something that is both macabre and memorable in one fell swoop, and closing with the triumphant, grandiose ‘Pillar IV: De aeterno praesentia’ that marches upon the thrones of kings, banner in hand and challenge raised. Apologoethia come with the regal and terrible wrath of conquering kings; savage yet graceful in their war.

https://www.facebook.com/apologoethia/

https://invictusproductions666.bandcamp.com/album/apologoethia

Malokarpatan - Nordkarpatenland

A joint release from The Ajna Offensive and Invictus Productions sees ‘Nordkarpatenland’, from Slovakia’s Malokarpaten, released on both sides of the Atlantic this Halloween. Following from their acclaimed debut in 2015, Malokarpaten have steeped their second record deep into Eastern European folklore to bring us black metal of a truly esoteric and pagan nature, infested by the dark spirit of heavy metal.

‘V okresném rybníku hastrman už po stáročá vyčína’ is the first proper track, and it features some killer lead guitar work that is very classic heavy metal, while the rougher vocals keeps us firmly planted in proto-black metal territory. When you think of Eastern European black metal you’re going to go more towards the Drudkh style, but Malokarpatan are more on your Master’s Hammer side of things. The band also like to sneak in strange samples from Slovakian movies just to keep everything a little odd. ‘Ked gazdovi upeleší sa v chyži ne’ has some Iron Maiden-esque leads in it that would make most cry with jealousy!

This is definitely the kind of black metal that takes as much from King Diamond as from Mayhem, and while there is a defiant icy streak of pure northern blasphemy about them, Malokarpatan have got a flair for the theatrical at times, and possess many vintage metal riffs lurking away in their collection. ‘Nedlho po púlnoci opacha sa dopla’ is gloriously old school, and done with no hint of fashion or irony. ‘Nordkarpatenland’ exists as an album that captures the raw filth of early black metal and retains the indomitable spirit of heavy metal within.

https://malokarpatan.bandcamp.com/album/nordkarpatenland

https://invictusproductions.net/

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‘Void Masquerading as Matter’ is mysterious Canadian trio Thantifaxath’s first release since 2014, and is another slab of bleak and dissonant black metal. Dark Descent Records are bringing this EP to us, and you can catch Thantifaxath on tour in Canada with Cruciamentum this month which sounds like a hellacious live apocalypse.

Opener, and superbly titled, ‘Ocean of Screaming Spheres’ is a burning torrent of black metal fire; relentless guitar work sprays dissonant riffs upon a scorched, heaving earth while blastbeats rain down. Eerie piano-led atmospherics provides respite, but not comfort from the onslaught and you’re left with a palpable sense of dread. ‘Self Devouring Womb’ opens with waves of dissonant guitar, building gradually under tortured screams into a hypnotic, throbbing beast. It builds and builds, never quite reaching the crescendo that you’re expecting, before the bottom drops out and quiet acoustica takes over in a jarring change of pace.

‘Void Masquerading as Matter’ is a disturbing record; dissonant black metal that never quite keeps to your expectations. It is that oddness, that otherworldly evil that pervades each track that keeps bringing me back to Thantifaxath. There’s a blackness about them that isn’t of this world, or even this space time. It makes their black metal both mentally jarring and terrifyingly dark at the same time. ‘Void Masquerading as Matter’ is one of the best and weirdest black metal records you’ll hear all year.

https://www.facebook.com/DarkDescentRecords/

https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/

http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/

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A one man swampy black metal project from the dark recesses of Floridian marshland, Worm’s debut record ‘Evocation of the Black Marsh’ is due out at the end of the month on Iron Bonehead, and is a particularly nasty slab of raw, sludgey black metal with more subtlety and nuance than you might expect…

‘Altar of Black Sludge’ couldn’t really be better named, as a morbid crawling riff oozes from underneath occult atmospheres of dread before the ‘Winged Beast of the Phantom Crypt’ envelopes a harsh riff in a suffocating miasma and unholy screams vomit forth from dark places. All the best parts of early Bathory combining with the latter swaying doom of Celtic Frost make ‘Gravemouth’ a modern, mutating classic. Sure, black metal plays the major influencing role here but there’s an undeniably sludge and doom undercurrent here too. The title track sounds like Xasthur covering EyeHateGod, which is inevitably awe inspiring.

Monstrous, fetid crushers like ‘Evil in the Mire’ and ‘Swamp Ghoul’ raise foul spectres of southern sludge and when layered with a malevolent black metal spirit allows ‘Evocation of the Black Marsh’ to become as good an embodiment of a title as any album you’ve heard in ages. Poisonous, asphyxiating bands like Worm aren’t ten a penny, and therefore you need to find this.

http://www.ironbonehead.de/

https://www.facebook.com/IronBoneheadProductions/

Prostitution - Egyptian Blue

By looking at the cover, you’d expect Prostitution’s ‘Egyptian Blue’ to be a prog rock opus of epic proportions. But no, these New Yorkers are some vicious black metallers and this is their latest EP, coming on the heels of 2013’s ‘Listless’. Their sound spreads from Darkthrone to Pink Floyd, and their psychedelic aesthetic jars with standard black metal themes, but damn it if it doesn’t work out pretty well.

Opening track ‘Hypergiant’ is a sprawling, raging monster of a track; all shrieking tremolo and bloodcurdling screams at the start before it begins to evolve, slowly and deliberately into something grander. While always retaining their metal heart (blastbeats reign supreme over much of this EP), the expansive nature of their riffing brings to mind latter period Enslaved, particularly ‘Ruun’, and the soaring ‘The Boat’ melds spiralling fretwork into spacious waves of black metal fury.

Closing with the tour de force of ‘Elevated Droves’, where blastbeats disappear into dense voids of chugging riffing, and atonal melodies haunt plains of progressive metal, ‘Egyptian Blue’ is a thrilling and adventurous piece of extreme metal. Black metal is the core, but like bands like Ihsahn or Ved Buens Ende it isn’t the cage. Prostitution are a stunning proposition.

https://www.facebook.com/Prostitution666/

https://prostitution.bandcamp.com/