Atmoshperic Black Metal

Mannveira – Vitahringur Review

Mannveira – Vitahringur Review

“Let’s play a game. I write a word, you think of the first thing that comes to mind. Ready? Ok, good. First up: Holdeneye… Did you think, “4.0”? Well done. Next is a bit tougher: Anthrax… Did you think, “The worst of the Big Four”? You’re good at this! Last one: “Iceland.” If you didn’t immediately think “Cavernous, epic, dissonant black metal!” then you simply haven’t been coming to this site long enough. For a nation so tiny, Iceland consistently produces the best black metal in the world (although Norway and Poland are giving it a run for its money this year). More impressively, there is a distinct Icelandic “sound” that is immediately recognizable when you plug into it. So you can imagine my joy when a new Icelandic BM album dropped: Vitahringur (Lighthouse) by Mannveira.” Black ice melts slowly.

Disparaître – Urchig Review

Disparaître – Urchig Review

“I’ve moonlighted as a metal reviewer for a couple of years now and I never cease to be amazed that bands – and black metal bands in particular – seem to have a burning wish not to make it easy for fans and reviewers to find them, nor to find out anything about them. Ok, I get it, you might not want your real name out there. I’ll give you that. So maybe you come up with some sort of creepy-weepy pseudonym to go by and, perhaps, splash the cash on a black cloak, maybe some face paint and. if there’s any change from that, possibly some barbed wire to wrap round a good stick that you can waggle about menacingly. Alright, I can get on board. But then there are bands … or projects, I don’t know, like today’s subject Disparaître, where there’s really very little out there. No proper Bandcamp page, no Facebook page that I can find, obviously no website, and even Metal Archives has nothing beyond a nationality: French.” Socially/sonically distant.

AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeö: Grabesfurcht – Wachkoma

AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeö: Grabesfurcht – Wachkoma

“Back in the primordial days of this here blog, we attempted something called “AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeö.” The basic idea was to select a bunch of unsigned bands and give them the collective review treatment to find the most worthy buried gems. It was our humble effort to remind folks that the metal underground is still an important part of the world of metal.” Grabesfurcht in the morning.

Nordicwinter – Sorrow Review

Nordicwinter – Sorrow Review

“I don’t know how much the brand Ronseal means to people outside the UK but here, it immediately conjures an advertising slogan: “Does exactly what it says on the tin.” Sometimes, you come across bands that embody this. Nordicwinter is Ronseal. Despite being from Canada, it would appear that its very raison d’être is to deliver in audible form the desolate, lonely wastes of a single Scandinavian season – I’m not going to say it, you know, the one … traditionally between Autumn and Spring. Sorrow takes this to extremes, however.” 12 inches of Sorrow.

Grima – Rotten Garden Review

Grima – Rotten Garden Review

“Atmospheric black metal. We all like to pretend we’ve had our fill. I fully expect to scroll down on this review to comments bemoaning lupine throne room infestations and the Snowy Forest Industrial Complex. I get it. Few things have worn out their welcome in the new millennium more than atmoblack and Bernie Sanders memes. But the fact remains that the sharp harshness of black metal and the soothing beauty of ambient passages go together like chocolate and peanut butter, and there are still plenty of artists treading the well worn wooded paths of this sound. Siberian Federal District denizens Grima play it better than most.” Morbid gardeners.

Frigoris – … in Stille [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Frigoris – … in Stille [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Do you remember 2020 having a January? I know logically it must have but, given the monotonous ruination that has been this year, I really struggle to remember anything that happened pre-Covid. One thing of note that research tells me did take place in January was the release of … in Stille, the fourth full-length from German black metallers Frigoris.” Sticks like tar.

Silver Knife – Unyielding/Unseeing Review

Silver Knife – Unyielding/Unseeing Review

Silver Knife’s sound is driven by an “aggressive melancholy.” The scathing edge to their knife is laced with poison, ready to slice through the next layer, ready to inflict greater pain. A reinvigorating dose of melancholic black metal has been missing from 2020. This year needs a realistic soundtrack. The depressive duo of Silver Knife met before the world collapsed in 2008. Dutch multi-instrumentalist N. (most known for being one of the three masterminds behind weird black trio Laster) and Belgian S. (most known for wielding the axe for Hypothermia, Trancelike Void and Monads) have painted a collaborative picture of melancholic dread with Unyielding/Unseeing, their first release.” Knife life.