Posts Tagged ‘Saturnal Records’

Curse upon a Prayer - The Three Woes

Finnish black metallers Curse Upon a Prayer dropped their hotly anticipated new EP ‘The Three Woes’ back in July on Saturnal Records, and it is a three prong assault of highly traditional black metal hatred from a band that draws attention due to its anti-Islamic themes. However that doesn’t really come across a huge amount in their lyrical content.

‘Let Thy Kingdom Come’ is a howling thrust of classic black metal coldness, where raspy shrieks haunt blastbeat laden riffs, and the second wave gods are appeased. The fiercely melodic and gloomy ‘Thou Shalt be Cursed’ is more reminiscient of the likes of Gorgoroth than their Finnish brethren, and it allows Curse Upon a Prayer to not just be another BM band squeezed from their home soil. Blasphemies reign supreme throughout the closing beast ‘Woe! Woe! Woe!’ as well, bringing us to a disappointingly early finish. It is a masterful piece of regal, melodic black metal that will be a definite mainstay in my best songs for 2018.

‘The Three Woes’ is a superb EP, full of fire and rage, bringing forth fearsome blasphemy that will scald and flay you. Hopefully there will only be a short wait until their next full length, becasue Curse Upon a Prayer are incredible.

A cold and melancholic black metal band from Finland, Aegrus are a two man project that really embody the spirit of true Finnish black metal; cold and raw but with a miserable coating that is almost suffocating in places. ‘Thy Numinous Darkness’ is the second full length from these guys with Saturnal Records releasing this on the 20th of October.

Opener ‘Embodiment of Chaos’ is savage, cold and bleak but later in the song an almost soaring solo appears out of nowhere, elevating this beyond your standard black metal cliches. There’s a grandiose spirit lurking amongst each heartless riff, with an infectious something hidden in the waves of screams in ‘Call of Lucifer’. Aegrus are full of these moments, where the music transcends beyond one dimensional black metal into the ethereal realms of the greats. ‘Psalms of Satan’ is a driving blizzard with ghostly vocals and eerie melodies conjuring up images of the occult.

The harrowing title track, possessed of some cool dissonant riffing in the closing stretch; the majesty of ‘The Black Streams of Death’ or the soaring glory of ‘Transcendence’, ‘Thy Numinous Darkness’ is a record that has everything you could look for in a modern black metal record. Melancholic, yet raw and savage. Cold of heart, but fiery in delivery. Aegrus are one to look out for.

Kyy - Beyond Flesh - Beyond Matter - Beyond Death

Finnish black metallers Kyy (Finnish for viper) have returned with their debut full lenth folow up to the dark and evil ‘Travesty of Light’ EP, and what a full length it is. Presenting itself as an evolution of the blackness that infested their debut EP, ‘Beyond Flesh, Beyond Matter, Beyond Death’ is a different animal altogether.

Gloomy intro aside, the fiery ‘Legio Serpenti’ is an excellent beginning to an album that twists and turns as it progresses. ‘Legio Serpenti’ seems pretty straightforward at first, but peering into its dark depths reveals a swaying, demonic slant. ‘Death Within’ is also fairly relentless, but there’s a more mid paced assault on there; something a bit more regal and icy cold hits at the more mid paced level for black metal. That savagery rears its head on the fearsome ‘Panta Rhei’, as well as the glacial ‘Lord of the Desolate Paths’.

Kyy capture a bit of that traditional Finnish melancholy as well, but the appearances of that are a lot more subtle. The aforementioned ‘Lord…’ has an excellent slice of gloom underpinning the harsh black metal above. Kyy’s evolution from their debut comes mainly in the maturation of their songwriting, and the additions of badass riffery like the scathing ‘Bloodline of Edom’, or the passionately bleak ‘Destroying Tiphareth’. Kyy’s work is savage yet cold, fiery and intense but there’s always this atmosphere of morbidity about it.

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Beyond Flesh, Beyond Matter, Beyond Death’, as it absorbed the lessons learnt from the excellent ‘Travesty of Light’ debut and put them to work crafting a record full of teeth, blood and rage, coated in a cold and lonely atmosphere. Excellent.


Kyy, meaning ‘viper’ in their native tongue, are a new black metal war machine vomited forth from the black pits of Finland. Their debut recording, ‘Travesty of Light’, is due to be released this August by Saturnal Records, and is 14 minutes of blood drenched rabid black metal.

Opener ‘Death – The Great Liberator’ has this great, uneasy vibe running through it, almost a swaying riff enclosed by harsh growls and a layer of murk. It is refreshingly different from a lot of black metal you hear these days, and I have to give Kyy a lot of credit for that. It’s easy for black metal bands to go purely blasting/tremolo, so to hear variations is always welcome.

‘Everlasting Fire’ is a bit more traditional, barrelling forward with an almost necropunk attitude. Dashes of latter Darkthrone clash with an icy regality reminiscient of Satyricon to create an intriguing mix. The musicianship is top notch, and the production is raw enough without losing any of the instruments. The guitars sound razor sharp and the vocals are a torrid howl of desperation and nightmares. The gloomy title track has dashes of Gallhammer at the start; a melancholic trudge through a misty evening. The crushing ‘Immaculate Serpent King’ brings to a close one of the more accomplished and interesting black metal releases you’ll hear all year. I recommend picking this up as soon as you can, as it is brilliant.

Occult black metal from the frozen, icy north of Finland sounds like just the ticket to me. Funerary Bell are in the midst of writing their second record, four years on since their debut ‘The Coven’. In order to whet the appetite for blood, this two track EP has come out on Saturnal Records as a taster of what is to come.

‘Afterlife on Earth’ is a hypnotic menacing slice of black metal, with a slower deliberate pace, and lacking a general straight to the jugular assault. This works well, as it helps Funerary Bell stand out amongst every sub standard Darkthrone/Mayhem clone out there. The atmosphere is choking, cloying, with dashes of Eastern melodies in there too. There’s a definite feel of the ritualistic here, the summoning of ancient demons and darkness untold. There’s maybe even a bit of Mercyful Fate hiding in there too.

‘Eleanor’s Garden’ growls forth from a cold void, a place of emptiness. It’s harrowingly bleak, but still retains that hummability that is strangely innate to their music. Funerary Bell make memorable dark music, and their EP is definitely making me look forward to the full length. Hail darkness!