Posts Tagged ‘black metal’

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‘Unsettling Whispers’ is the full length debut from Portuguese black metallers Gaerea, following their self titled debut EP. Transcending Obscurity is handling this, and it isn’t just your average black metal album. Gaerea aren’t afraid to mix in some more sludgy/hardcore elements as well to create something uniquely abrasive.

Opener ‘Svn’ builds with ominous intent, harsh screams and whispers crescendoing behind cold guitar and glacial tones with serious intensity. Black metal has always been at its best when it plays with your comfort level, and ‘Svn’ definitely does that, as a fiery torrent of blasting follows up. There is a lot to like about Gaerea; their sense of melody and space when their black metal soars, like the glacial ‘Lifeless Immortality’ or their ferocious grandiosity in the raging but regal ‘Cycle of Decay’. The closing ‘Catharsis’ is much more toward the sludgy side, but with definite layers of blackened menace.

Gaerea are a band that can capture the imagination with their brutality, abrasive screams and their blackened majesty. ‘Unsettling Whispers’ is epic enough to appeal to windswept black metallers and raw and bleak enough to draw in the less corpsepainted legions. An album that shows how genre splicing can have superb results, Gaerea are awesome.

https://gaerea.bandcamp.com/album/unsettling-whispers-black-metal

https://www.facebook.com/gaerea/

https://tometal.com/

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Krolok almost became one of those lost gems that people speak of in hushed reverent tones when they released their ‘When the Moon Sang Our Songs’ originally in 2014, in a run of just 24 copies. Containing members of Malokarpatan, and hailing from Slovakia as well, Krolok bring that old black metal mysticism back to creaking, eldritch life. It is out now through Inferna Profundus Records.

The intro is full of horror movie cliches, like thunder and lightning, dark chanting, rattling chains and screaming. It seems a bit tacky at first until ‘Ride a Roan Steed’ kicks in, and the full old school black metal, evil feelings arise from deep within these dusty riffs. This is an ode to early Darkthrone, Mayhem and Burzum, when black metal was fuzzy, clattering and had an aura of danger to it. Like a spirit arising from ancient tombs, Krolok feels like a relic from a bygone era. It is an era that black metal fans constantly return to however, and ‘When the Moon Sang Our Songs’ has that intangible that fits in quitely nicely.

Their early Carpathian Forest cover is adept, and suitably , whilst ‘The Violet Castle in the Sky’ vanishes into heavy, dark ambient territory before once more returning to the scything black metal riffs. The dungeon electronica of ‘Cosmic Rituals’ closes this record in mysterious circumstances. A truly old school album in a time when ‘old school’ is more of a buzzword than a reality, ‘When the Moon Sang Our Songs’ is a masterclass in how to make things sound authentic. Cold, bleak and utterly miserable, it is like the second wave was the final evolution of black metal.

https://www.facebook.com/krolokband/

https://krolok.bandcamp.com/

https://www.ipr666shop.com/

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Domedag is the work of Swedish multi-instrumentalist Nicklas Rudolfsson, best known for work in Necrocurse and as the drummer for Sacramentum back in the day. ‘Nu Nalkas Domedagen’ is due out soon on Archaic Sounds Records, and is for fans for apocalyptic Nordic tales through the medium of blasting, and doom laden, black metal.

Opener ‘Nu nalkas ragnarok’ is bestial in its clattering ferocity, drawing you in with black magic and killer riffing that continues in the likes of ‘I Flammor’. These songs are broken up with eerie, folky interludes that are reminiscient of Wardruna or Isengard, and it allows the actual songs a bit of time to breathe. ‘I Flammor’ is magnificent in its ‘summoning’ tone, as if demons were ready to rise to its call, while the ominous chug of ‘Baring at fanders’ builds excellently to the deathly, doomy ‘En bitter forsmak’. ‘Nu Nalkas Domedagen’ is a record that doesn’t stick to genre tropes, instead spreading the net wide to capture just the right kind of metal to express the darkness within. ‘Frost rost dod’ is probably the closest to a traditional black metal song, but even it possesses some sideways steps.

Be it blackened ferociousness, doomy melancholy or deathly crush, Domedag has put together a record here that throbs with a feeling of adventure. Dark and terrible, but also wondrous and wreathed in mysticism, ‘Nu Nalkas Domedagen’ could be a sleeper hit record this year. Seek it out.

https://www.facebook.com/domedagsmusik/

http://archaic-sound.com/brands/domedag

https://domedag.bandcamp.com/album/nu-nalkas-domedagen

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‘Perversión’ is the third in a horrendous trilogy of filthy black/thrash from Swedish/Chilean ragers Corpsehammer, and as you’d expect with a name like that, this four track EP bludgeons past you at such a force, you’ll need to play it a few times to grasp its true greatness. It will be out on the 13th April through Morbid Skull Records.

Opener ‘Reino – Sangro Del’ throbs with this menacing atmosphere, as spoken word descends into howling madness and the barrelling necrosis of the riffs appears. There is definitely an old school Scandinavian vibe here, meshing with an almost Discharge-like d-beat intensity. ‘Rito _ Magia’ is more of the tortuous, blackened death carnage, where cavernous vocals roar beyond ancient and terrible metal. ‘Perversion’ feels like if you touched its rusted, bloodied edge you’d be guaranteed to get tetanus. Or something worse.

This is a excellent completion to the trilogy, and continues to encapsulate a murky, raw sound that Corpsehammer have nailed. An ode to Darkthrone, Hellhammer and the like, Corpsehammer revive the old days and make it feel fun again. Short but ultimately satisfying, ‘Perversion’ is simple, nasty music for nasty people. Superb.

http://www.morbidskullrecords.com/

https://www.facebook.com/corpsehammer/

Ermerging from the ashes of respected Edinburgh black thrashers NNGNN, Valaraukar are a new two man band that draw mighty inspiration from the abyssal wells of gloriously savage black metal. Their two track demo, ‘Harnessing of Hostile Forces’ is available now through Rat King Records on Bandcamp.

Opener ‘Hostiles Forces’ flows with fearsome intent, moving smoothly like a giant black snake. Relentless double kicks provide a beefy engine for the rapid fire tremolo riffs to cascade across, and the song rampages bleakly onwards. ‘Conquering the Void’ continues this path, rife with cool riffing and an innate sense of the cold, the heartless and the bleak icy abysses. Valaraukar have put chains upon the dark beasts, and drawn them under their control.

‘Harnessing of Hostile Forces’ is a magnificent statement of intent, and while it still betrays their roots in NNGNN’s thrashy world, Valaraukar are vanishing deep into the morbid depths of icy black metal, and it is a joy to be a part of.

https://valaraukarband.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/valaraukarband

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Greek black metallers Nigredo contain members of such genre luminaries as Embrace of Thorns and Ravencult, and they are taking the way we view black metal and turning it this way and that, trying to find a new angle. Their debut full length ‘Flesh Torn-Spirit Pierced’ squeezes elements of thrash and death into their black template, and it is due out in April on Transcending Obscurity.

Nigredo is an alchemical term for decomposition or putrefaction, the first step in creating the philospher’s stone. This is apt as Nigredo shape the black metal genre to create their holy grail, and the opener ‘Ten Repellant Antiforces’ is a surging, vibrant piece of fury. Rampant blastbeats thrust through blistering riffs, while a pervading eerie undertone slithers beneath. The fiery ‘Necrolatry’ thrashes like old school Marduk, while ‘Choronzon Possession’ begins the journey into the more swirling occultisms that become prevalent in the later half of this record.

The atonal melodies stabbing through the excellent ‘Mental Glimpses at Cosmic Horrors’ betrays the band’s influence by the likes of Blut Aus Nord or Deathspell Omega. ‘Flesh Torn – Spirit Pierced’ is a perfect alchemy of the traditional meeting the avantgarde, where icy tremolo riffs collide with unusual arrangements. While not as out there as some black metal that heads in this direction, Nigredo keep the attention firmly locked upon what they are going to do next. The dissonant ‘Sons of Worthlessness’ is a perfect example of the revelry found within this sphere of discordance.

‘Flesh Torn – Spirit Pierced’ is one of 2018’s more interesting records. Comfortably within the established black metal dominion, their steps outside of the pentagram are the most interesting moments, when the tones and the melodies take on that otherworldly nature. Beginning tethered to the frozen north, it gradually leads you beyond, to a maddening world beyond the icy safety of the forests. Fantastic.

https://www.facebook.com/NigredoGr/

https://nigredogr.bandcamp.com/

https://tometal.com/

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A one man project from Portland, Oregon, Adzalaan are dropping their debut record ‘Into Vermilion Mirrors’ in April through a joint effort by Invictus Productions and Vrasubatlat. This is a record that weaves its way through the black/death genre, realising new progressive ideas within the core ideals while still keeping the atmospheric pressure on.

Opening track ‘Haven to Flesh (Intro)’ is a thrumming, eerie piece of music that hums with a dark intensity. When ‘Succumb and Vanquish’ kicks in, blastbeats torrent through the cavernous vocals and a gloriously traditional guitar tone. This is the blackest of the black, fierce and bleak. ‘False Cleansing’ is more of the chaotic, murky same; oily, thick deathly black metal that is relentless and venomous. The haunting ‘Wretched Oaths Fall from Wicked Tongues’ is my favourite however, a miasmic threatening blackness crawling from the abyss to take terrifying revenge on us all.

‘Into Vermilion Mirrors’ is a twisting, writhing serpent of a record. Black through and though, Adzalaan’s embrace of dark death metal passages really helps to enhance the evil intent possessed within each riff, in each ragged howl, and this gives us a record that is simply great. Never staying still, Adzalaan move within dark tides, and ‘Into Vermilion Mirrors’ is their anchor to this world.

https://invictusproductions666.bandcamp.com/album/into-vermilion-mirrors

http://www.vrasubatlat.com/