Posts Tagged ‘USBM’

One of the very first American black metal bands, Summon’s classic debut ‘Dark Descent of Fallen Souls’ is being released on vinyl for the first time by Werewolf Records in collaboration with Hells Headbangers. Originally released in 1997 into a world sodden in American death metal, Summon’s stride towards the blacker world was brave yet done with foresight. Due out at the start of September, it is time to be reacquainted with an old friend…

After the suitably medieval synth intro, the savagery and primal 90s feeling is immediately in place with the title track. You can feel the influence of the likes of Mayhem, Marduk and the like on the fuzzy, burning riffs and the manic rasping screams. ‘Eve of Anti-Creation’ is a beautifully blasphemous ode to the black metal of old, of the frozen North, and it feels like a welcoming embrace. An embrace of studded leather and inverted crosses, but you get my meaning. A feeling of cold familiarity smothers you during the harsh ‘Under the Midnight Shadows’, and the olden black magicks arise once more in the haunting ‘Beyond the Gates of Storm’.

Summon are a band I’ve been familiar with but never had a chance to fully embrace. The rerelease of this allows me, and more like me to really reconnect with a USBM legend, whose legacy should never be forgotten. ‘Dark Descent of Fallen Souls’ is a ghostly, traditional masterpiece of purest black fucking metal, and it is glorious to behold.

https://werewolfrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dark-descent-of-fallen-souls

https://www.facebook.com/SUMMON-115792518441039/

http://neuntoter.org/

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For all it may lack in the traditions and anarchy of the Norwegian scene, the American black metal scene has some incredible musicians in it. Highland are the newest addition, releasing their debut full length ‘Loyal to the Nightsky’ in May via Bandcamp. This is some exhilarating black metal for traditionalists, with relentless riffing from start to finish.

From the use of the word ‘Nightsky’ in the album title, you may think that you’Ll be getting some kind of Emperor knock-off here, but that is certainly not the case. Highland may lack the grandeur of Emperor but that in no way means that they lack the finesse. They are visceral and almost early Satyricon like in their execution. Take the savagely direct ‘Towards the Absolute’ as example; cold buzzing riffs swirl around combinations of blasting and more straightforward drumming, while a scathing yet easily comprehensible snarl leads us onward. There are more gloomy tracks too, where the bile is toned back a bit, like parts of ‘Abu Sindi’, or the intro to the dark ‘Immortal Queen’.

The menacing ‘Burning in Forgotten Times’ is my highlight; a bleak crawl into the void with some doomy riffs (rad Iommi-isms) and a overwhelming negativity about it. But you could take most of the songs here and find purest second wave worship of the highest order. Like a more waspish Marduk, or Impaled Nazarene, Highland show that the USBM scene isn’t just atmospheric sky staring, but there is a bleak, cold and ruthless set as well. Feel the icy rage of ‘Wallachian Night Terror’ and tell me I’m wrong.

https://highlandmetal.bandcamp.com/album/loyal-to-the-nightsky

https://www.facebook.com/highland666