Agalloch

Anael – Mare Review

Anael – Mare Review

“Black metal carries an image, a culture, and an aesthetic. You know the hallmarks: corpse-paint, leather, spikes, frosty forests, an appreciation of all things blasphemous and evil. Initially shocking and terrifying, its image becomes tacky and cringeworthy with repeated exposure, so I’ve discovered greater appreciation for humble musicians who don’t buy into the novelty. Anael is such an act.” Restrained kvltness.

Scáth Na Déithe – The Dirge of Endless Mourning [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Scáth Na Déithe – The Dirge of Endless Mourning [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“There’s something special about the Irish metal. Mythological elements intertwine with its primordial melodies in a unique blend of sounds that conjure rage, desperation, melancholy, and heritage, often simultaneously. One-man project from Rush, Scáth Na Déithe is a shining example of this balancing act of death and black metal.” Dirge and purge.

Over The Voids – Hadal Review

Over The Voids – Hadal Review

“The Fall, the sole member of Over The Voids, has stated that the great motivator is his ‘fear of death.’ This infatuation with the unavoidable is the pulse of metal and the life force of Over The Voids, a spectral blackened project that seeks to evoke the mystery of the second wave whilst constructing an immersive narrative.” Death fuels art.

Fellwarden – Wreathed in Mourncloud Review

Fellwarden – Wreathed in Mourncloud Review

Fellwarden is an atmospheric black metal project created by Fen frontman, the Watcher and joined by fellow Fen drummer, Havenless. Much like many black metal projects we know (think Agalloch or Panopticon), Fellwarden‘s music is inspired by the nature that surrounds them. For the Watcher and Havenless, the nature that surrounds them means the rearing landscapes and quiet, understated majesty of the fells of North-Western England.” Mournclouds in your coffee.

Blaze of Sorrow – Absentia Review

Blaze of Sorrow – Absentia Review

“It’s amazing the things you discover lurking around the Promo Pit. Blaze of Sorrow is not a band that has been on my radar, but between that album art (I mean, look at it), that name (Absentia is such a cool name it nets you twelve band name search results on Metallum), and the promise of “windswept, cascading black metal [that] is undoubtedly melancholic at heart” (I know, I know, marketing copy is marketing copy, but what can I say, it sounded good), I was sold on Blaze of Sorrow‘s Absentia before I’d heard a single note.” Grand declaration of expectations.

Drakonis – Blessed by Embers Review

Drakonis – Blessed by Embers Review

“I’m getting too old for this shit. That was my initial thought after starting my third or fourth listen of Blessed by Embers, the debut album by U.K. black metal band Drakonis. Hailing from Northern Ireland, the group initially had some promising signs that drew me in. The promo blurb told of a band that had captivating live shows, a string of EPs that garnered positive reception, and a style that mixed black and death metal without falling neatly into any one genre (several members are also part of folk metal band Waylander, so they have some experience under their belts as well).” Olde and cranky.

Dzö-nga – Thunder in the Mountains Review

Dzö-nga – Thunder in the Mountains Review

“We all have those times where we look back and say to ourselves ‘what was I thinking?’ That’s kind of how I feel about reviewing Dzö-nga‘s second album, The Sachem’s Tales, back in 2017. Today, a folky atmospheric black metal album with classical influences seems so far out of my wheelhouse that it’s not even in the same hemisphere. Yet, I did enjoy my share of Agalloch and Cascadian black metal back in the day, and as such, I was able to appreciate Tales as an inspired and engrossing piece of woodsy black metal with intriguing Native American themes. Led by vocalist and guitarist Cryvas, this Boston project has now returned with another opus, this time based on H.W. Longfellow’s epic poem ‘The Song of Hiawatha.'” Spirits of nature.