Thus Spoke

Words of (questionable) wisdom
Inherits the Void – The Impending Fall of the Stars Review

Inherits the Void – The Impending Fall of the Stars Review

“The middle of the Venn diagram of melodic and atmospheric is where I find my favorite kind of black metal. Sizzling with the energy and catchiness of epic tremolo refrains and blastbeating tempos, and shimmering with veils of synth. If it’s a good example at least. Hence, I rushed to pick up Inherits the Void’s sophomore record The Impending Fall of the Stars as soon as I saw the magic adjectives melodic and atmospheric applied to their black metal style.” Void estate planning.

Rigor Sardonicous – Praeparet Bellum Review

Rigor Sardonicous – Praeparet Bellum Review

“What have the Romans ever done for us? Apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health? According to Rigor Sardonicous, a language to use as an idiosyncratic gimmick. Their name, and the majority of their song and album titles are in Latin, Praeparet Bellum—roughly, Prepare for War—being no exception. It marks their return after an eleven-year hiatus but seems to more or less pick up from where Ego Diligio Vos left off. Low-fi, grimy death-doom so low it’s barely within the range of human hearing, and so gritty and slow it feels like drowning in a vast quantity of sand.” Rigor mortis.

Har Shatan – Manum Inicere Alicui Review

Har Shatan – Manum Inicere Alicui Review

“The last time Har Shatan released an album, I barely knew what black metal was. Solo project of enigmatic Zepar, it has been radio silence from them for almost fifteen years. Whether it was long-gestating concepts, or a more sudden flash of inspiration, something prompted a re-emergence. I couldn’t tell you what that is, however. Not only because I lack a lyric sheet, but also because Manum Inicere Alicui does not speak musically of anything more profound or interesting than another one-man black metal album, albeit, a well-played one.” Back from beyond.

Gevurah – Gehinnom [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

Gevurah – Gehinnom [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

“I was unaware of Gevurah prior to this year, and I’ve really been missing out. The mysterious Quebecois duo utilizes an eerie, dissonant flavor of black metal to explore Jewish mysticism and the esoteric left-hand path. Their name, Gevurah, refers to one of the emanations of the infinite—to be reductive, God—specifically the ‘left hand’, denoting judgment. Previous LP Hallelujah! traded in the dark obscurantism and enigmatic melodies of the esoteric, and looked upward in awe. But Gehinnom—whilst retaining notes of dark atmosphere—has the force, bleakness, and inevitability of the unfathomable eschatology that follows with the divine.” Blackened pathways to the obscure.

Verberis – Adumbration of the Veiled Logos [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

Verberis – Adumbration of the Veiled Logos [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

“I’ve probably banged on before about how much I love Ulcerate. Luckily for me, mastermind Jamie Saint-Merat has his fingers in quite a few other death metal pies. Verberis is one of them. The wordily titled Adumbration of the Veiled Logos takes the twisting disso-death that was the band’s staple, and ramps the atmosphere up to 11.” That’s a lot of ulcers.

Dødsengel – Bab Al On Review

Dødsengel – Bab Al On Review

“Just in case you’re not familiar with left-hand-path magic, I’ll introduce the subject of Dødsengel’s Bab Al On. Babalon is a Thelemic goddess embodying both female sexuality and motherhood. Variously depicted as an abstract archetype of licentious liberation, a ‘sacred whore’ astride the demonic Great Beast, and a deity of incarnation and destruction, she essentially stands against the patriarchal ideal of order in her chaotic physicality. Dødsengel dedicate their fifth full-length to this (un)holy mother, with an iteration of their already obscure and restless black metal as strange as it is compelling.” Mommy issues.

Dream Unending – Song of Salvation [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

Dream Unending – Song of Salvation [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

“Almost exactly one year ago, Dream Unending’s debut Tide Turns Eternal dropped out of seemingly nowhere but instantly lived up to the band’s ethereal moniker. Its lush blend of uncompromisingly heavy death doom with a peaceful melodicism made for one of the most chill death metal albums ever. With Song of Salvation, the duo (with several other talented musicians in tow) have doubled down and improved on their expansive sound.” The never unending story.

Hetman – Black Heart Review

Hetman – Black Heart Review

“The bucket of solo black metal(-adjacent) projects is seemingly bottomless. Hetman—or alternatively Getman as the two transliterations are interchangeable—were an unknown quantity to me until now. The solo project from Cerberus of equally underground black/death project Demonium, with ex-Demonium member Storm providing session drums, Hetman’s black metal de choix is noteworthy in at least one respect. Rather than opting for an atmospheric, raw, or electronica-fused approach, they favor the folky variety.” Folking the darkness.

Vengeur – Par Feu et Par Flammes Review

Vengeur – Par Feu et Par Flammes Review

“There’s electronic metal, and then there’s this Vengeur record. Superficially similar, Herman ‘Vengeur’ Pańkow’s solo project could hardly have less in common with that subgenre. ‘Witch house,’ ‘dissolved genres,’ and ‘avant-garde’ are just some of their Bandcamp tags. The fact that this is on I, Voidhanger should also give fair warning of its idiosyncrasy. Nothing, however, could prepare me for what would come after I pressed play on Par Feu et Par Flammes.” Beat of the electro-heart.