Svart Records

War Curse – Eradication Review

War Curse – Eradication Review

“Now, don’t get me wrong, being the child of the thrash era, I love when a song turns on end and a chugging lick crescendos into a neck-snapping attack. But, I also miss the days when a band could write a thrash classic that wasn’t waiting around for that mid-song savagery. War Curse also remember those good ol’ days. That’s why they gave us Eradication.” War Curse (and Pepperidge Farms remember).

Sabbath Assembly – A Letter of Red Review

Sabbath Assembly – A Letter of Red Review

“In what should be considered a minor achievement, Sabbath Assembly are dropping their seventh album, A Letter of Red, with the identical lineup as 2017’s excellent Rites of Passage. This is the first time these strange occult-rockers have kept a static lineup, and that means we hope for an album of equal or better quality than the previous (which was a favorite of mine that year). However, the band makes it clear in their lead-up to the album that they are throwing a few change-ups our way: shorter songs, tight production, and a leaning towards 70s hard rock rather than the prog rock they treated us to on Rites of Passage. With the pedigree present, I’m sure they can pull off anything they attempt–can’t they?” Come back to the Sabbath?

Waste of Space Orchestra – Syntheosis Review

Waste of Space Orchestra – Syntheosis Review

“A certain thespian poise dominates throughout Syntheosis, the piece originally commissioned for Roadburn Festival 2018 and then turned into a proper studio recording. Highly conceptual, Waste of Space Orchestra narrate a quite demented story somewhere between magical realism and occult horror. The album develops intently and purposefully, tracing the lines of an imagined ritual and its performers, three mysterious creatures that aim ‘to open a portal that will suck them into a different reality of brain-mutilating color storms and ego-diminishing audio violence.’” Waste not, want more.

Kings Destroy – Fantasma Nera Review

Kings Destroy – Fantasma Nera Review

“I’ll admit, I usually associate certain countries with distinct sounds, especially when it comes to doom metal. The dreariness of British doom sounds miles apart from their Swedish counterparts, and American doom sounds just as removed from the aforementioned. Hell, here in America, you can usually tell from a band’s musical make-up just which city they’ve come from. What I’m getting at here is that, besides Type O Negative, I can’t think off the top of my head another doom metal band from New York state. Brooklyn’s Kings Destroy are hoping their fourth album, Fantasma Nera, will change all that.” No doom til Brooklyn.

The Sabbathian – Latum Alterum Review

The Sabbathian – Latum Alterum Review

“Back in the olden days of… er, 2012, Hour of 13 mainman Chad Davis teamed up with former Nàttsòl vocalist Anette Uvaas Gulbrandsen to form The Sabbathian, dropping a convincing three-song EP in 2014’s Ritual Rites. While musically it was a logical continuation of the Hour of 13 sound but with the angelic vocals of Gulbrandsen, Ritual Rites turned enough heads to leave those salivating for their unique brand of occult doom metal wanting more. But in those five years, so much Scoobie Doobie Doom occult metal has saturated the market to the point that all that’s missing from the albums are hoods, masks, and drawn-out lawsuits. Davis and Gulbrandsen know this, and on the long-awaited follow-up, Latum Alterum, an about-face was performed to steer clear of their contemporaries.” Devil in the details.

Vanishing Kids – Heavy Dreamer Review

Vanishing Kids – Heavy Dreamer Review

“In the high pressure game of Promo Sump Bingo, sometimes you win big. Vanishing Kids, an act wholly unknown to me, lists themselves as “somnambulic doom,” and that sounded interesting enough to snatch from the murky waters and scurry away with to my Ape Cave of Solitude. The thing is, they’re not really doom at all. In fact, they’re one of those rare bands that openly defies easy classification.” Don’t think, just listen.

New Light Choir – Torchlight Review

New Light Choir – Torchlight Review

“The occult/psychedelic movement has been quiet this year, and when it has made noise, that noise has been like bathwater: tepid and lukewarm. Aside from a small handful of notable exceptions, when you search the site for occult rock or psychedelic rock, you find a ton of 2.5s and 3.0s. Not the most fun in the world. But North Carolina duo New Light Choir aim to change that here with their third album, Torchlight. While their first two albums showed promise, there was obvious room for growth, both in production and songwriting. But as is the case with pretty much every genre, it is easy to take things into parody range. Worshiping too hard at the retro altar usually doesn’t work out.” Worship the olden riffs.

Witch Mountain – Witch Mountain Review

Witch Mountain – Witch Mountain Review

“Who remembers Scion AV? Scion was a Toyota offshoot that clearly had headbanging executives in charge: for a few years they sponsored the release of tracks by metal acts ranging from Meshuggah to The Melvins. And there’s the tie-in: the first time I heard Witch Mountain was from a Scion AV download back in 2010. Those two songs became bonus tracks on a European vinyl rerelease of Cauldron of the Wild, so still relatively unknown, but they showed us what Witch Mountain were: heavy traditional doom influenced by Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus, with chillingly mesmerizing vocals courtesy of Uta Plonktin.” 99 problems, but a Witch ain’t one.

Sammal – Suuliekki Review

Sammal – Suuliekki Review

“I have been covered in filth lately. Dragged through a mire of pestilence, I have sampled fruit irrigated by the grotesque and profane. Blast-beats that scorch the earth, inchoate riffs fat with torment and wretched vocals fit only for withering a pleasant disposition. Black metal, death metal, doom, grind and thrash. I’m a mess and I need to divest myself of the depravity that’s accumulated over the months. A panacea is in order, something that can wash away the silt and leave me lighter, fresher. To that end I have chosen to bathe in the antiseptic waters of Suuliekki, the new album by Finland’s Sammal.” Scrub-a-dub-dub.