Agalloch

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.

Obsidian Tongue – Volume III Review

Obsidian Tongue – Volume III Review

“It’s six years since this Maine duo dropped their sophomore effort, A Nest of Ravens in the Throat of Time, a time when we still linked to Myspace pages in reviews. How time flies! A Nest of Ravens was a great record, atmospheric black metal, sprawling, blisteringly heavy in places with folky elements too. Their debut, Volume I: Subradiant Architecture, wasn’t too shabby either. That Obsidian Tongue mainman and multi-instrumentalist Brendan Hayter did a brief stint in the much-missed Woods of Ypres and currently mans the bass for metal-infused folksters Thrawsunblat maybe gives some sense of where Obsidian Tongue are coming from.” Tongue on the third date.

Falls of Rauros – Patterns in Mythology Review

Falls of Rauros – Patterns in Mythology Review

“A wild Muppet appears! Maine is about as renowned for its black metal as it is for anything else that isn’t lobsters, blueberries, or Stephen King, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna trust my homelands trvest export alone with Arizonan Ne’er-do-well Grier; I’m worried that his review isn’t biased enough, yo. There’s also the tiniest, itsiest little bit ov a possibility that alcohol and boredom coaxed me into challenging the Assumed Non-doctrinaire to a medieval weapons duel for the reviewing rights.” Fight for the Falls.

Suicide Forest – Suicide Forest Review

Suicide Forest – Suicide Forest Review

“Summer: blah. Rampant blinding sunlight, not a dead tree to be found, and everywhere I go is plagued by incessant seasonal euphoria… I hate it, yo. Without autumn’s dying beauty or the melancholic jubilation of winter nights, I find little to sustain the part of me that feeds on natural darkness and am forced to hunt down anything that’ll let me at least hear that which I cannot presently see or feel. Enter Suicide Forest.” Put some winter in your summer.

Lice – Woe Betide You Review

Lice – Woe Betide You Review

“So, yeah: Woe Betide You is a pretty sweet album. It’s not necessarily fighting for a spot on my current list of AotY candidates, yet Woe Betide You is one of the most dynamic albums I’ve reviewed to date, right up there with Great Leap Skyward‘s Map of Broken Dreams.” Infestivus.