Twelve

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Feral Season – Rotting Body in the Range of Light Review

Feral Season – Rotting Body in the Range of Light Review

Feral Season is a great band name, and Rotting Body in the Range of Light is an album title I can definitely get behind. It’s nice when a band is able to immediately tell you what you’re going to be in for before you’ve reached the play button, and everything about this package, from the promo text to the “black metal” label to the album art, looked promising.” Angry kitties and suspicious promises.

Alda – A Distant Fire Review

Alda – A Distant Fire Review

“How was I supposed to pass on that album cover? Gorgeous, gorgeous stuff. That the associated album was labelled as “blackened folk metal”—or “atmospheric black metal” on the trusty Encyclopaedia—was icing on the cake, but really, I was drawn in by the album art. A Distant Fire is the fourth full-length release from the American Alda, which I’m told means “tree” in a language invented by J.R.R. Tolkien.” Tree aggressive.

Alkuharmonian Kantaja – Shadowy Peripherals Review

Alkuharmonian Kantaja – Shadowy Peripherals Review

“I like my music weird. It’s a problem, and it’s great. You see, I don’t think there’s really a lot of truly “weird” in metal. Weird musicians, sure. Weird concepts, absolutely—how about those guys who write about mollusks?—but actual, genuine, weirdness? I don’t know. So when I see the fabled “avant-garde black metal” tag floating about in our pile o’ promos, I tend to take first and ask questions later.” Undue diligence done dirt cheap.

Iskandr – Vergezicht Review

Iskandr – Vergezicht Review

Iskandr is a duo hailing from the Netherlands who purport, on their third full-length release Vergezicht, to play black metal with “battle-hardened” aggression and mythical atmospheres. I mean, what a great intro. I was already intrigued when I learned that the band drummer is one M. Koops, who makes up one half of Fluisteraars, a different black metal band from the Netherlands who stole my heart early last year.” Flying the banners of Dutch black metal.

TRNA – Istok Review

TRNA – Istok Review

TRNA first came to my attention not long ago, when I volunteered to review Istok, their fourth full-length release, without knowing anything about it. I learned that the band describes their own music as “celestial blackgaze” and thought, what could go wrong? Obviously, that answer to that is “everything,” but I was optimistic. As I read about the band’s story, one that drifts away from their Russian homeland to try and capture the spirit of an altogether dreamier, darker, and more abstract place, I grew increasingly intrigued.” Space gaze.

Rise to the Sky – Per Aspera Ad Astra Review

Rise to the Sky – Per Aspera Ad Astra Review

“Since founding Rise to the Sky in 2019, Sergio G. has written and released two EPs and four full-length albums of highly atmospheric death-doom metal. Six releases in two years would be impressive for any band, really, but the fact that he does it all largely on his own is another twist to the story, one that has had me, on at least one occasion, wondering if everything is going okay in his life. Apparently he’s doing alright, so I can only assume he really likes what he does.” Doom adds life.

Fluisteraars – Gegrepen door de geest der zielsontluiking Review

Fluisteraars – Gegrepen door de geest der zielsontluiking Review

Fluisteraars was undoubtedly my biggest surprise discovery of 2020. Everything about Bloem was simultaneously right for me and completely wrong for me. But I came back to it, again and again, and finally, it wormed its way onto my year-end list and continues to be a staple of my listening for long walks on the side of the road. I was stunned to learn that they had a new album coming this year, but looking forward to new material from these guys.” Flowers of melo-evil.

Mythopoeic Mind – Hatchling Review

Mythopoeic Mind – Hatchling Review

“I love learning new words. Yesterday, Cherd made me aware of ebullient, and I’m still waiting for an opportunity to use pulchritudinous, which I learned from the review of the last Shape of Despair album (also waiting for a new Shape of Despair album), in casual conversation. Mythopoeic is another new word for my vocabulary, which is becoming increasingly pretentious at a frightening rate, and it’s also the main reason I selected Hatchling for review today. According to the notes that came with the album, this is the sophomore release from Norwegian prog-rockers Mythopoeic Mind, formerly the studio project of one Steinar Børve of Panzerpappa.” Words can hurt.

Fearancy – Dæmonium Review

Fearancy – Dæmonium Review

“With a couple of slight modifications, Dæmonium would make a solid power metal album, and, at first, I wondered if I was in for a thrashy-power-metal group masquerading as melodeath. The vocals, however, immediately dissuaded me from that notion, in the form of rasping shouts that care for neither heavy brutality or catchy adventure. Across the album, the vocal performance is the Thing That Is Not Like The Others, and while I have respect for the style – and don’t think it’s performed badly by any means – I definitely think that this album would feel like a heavy power metal act if not for them.” Melopowerdeath.