Atmospheric Black Metal

Vertebra Atlantis – Lustral Purge in Cerulean Bliss

Vertebra Atlantis – Lustral Purge in Cerulean Bliss

“Mastermind behind such acts like Summit, The Clearing PathCosmic Putrefaction, and Turris Eburnea, G.G. or Gabriele Gramaglia’s resume is vast and varied, and sets a pretense for new project Vertebra Atlantis. Working with drummer/vocalist R.R. from Homselvareg and Vrangr from Spells of Misery, debut Lustral Purge in Cerulean Bliss offers a fusion of dissonant death metal and atmospheric black metal, not unlike labelmates Prometheus‘ debut.” Dissonance dissidents.

Cosmic Burial – …to the Past Review

Cosmic Burial – …to the Past Review

“Atmospheric black metal is the gift which keeps on giving. It will not stop giving, even if you beg it to. Since the mid-90s it has grown out of its blackened roots, adopting folksy strings, shimmering guitars and cosmic synths as it has developed and stratified. There are now literally thousands of bands doing very similar things, all attempting to stand out through the delicate fusion of black metal with emotive atmospheres. Germany’s Cosmic Burial is one such group – or rather, one such individual given that this is (not unusually) a one-man affair.” Too much past, not enough present.

Waldgeflüster – Dahoam Review

Waldgeflüster – Dahoam Review

“Sometimes, an album seems to come along at just the right time, as if the capricious gods of the promo bin have taken a break and their serendipitous cousins, briefly, have the run of the joint. I recently went back to my homeland for a visit after a Covid-induced absence of nearly two years. When you return home after being away for so long, the earth feels more earthy, the sky deeper, the sea icier and fresher. It’s a sensation that’s hard to describe to anyone who has never left. But German band Waldgeflüster know. Their sixth album, Dahoam (“At Home”) is all about rediscovering the beauty of the familiar through wiser, more traveled eyes.” Homely.

Groza – The Redemptive End Review

Groza – The Redemptive End Review

“I was tentative about taking this album. I was familiar with Groza‘s debut Unified in Void from 2018, granting it a casual listen and making that “not bad” Obama Rage Comic face from 2012. If one peruses the Metallum profile of these Germans, you’ll be graced with the shocking sight of a whopping 0% average review score from three reviews. Why, you ask? Probably because — and maybe this is obvious given the act’s name and a certain Polish full-length debut — Groza sounds a hell of a lot like Mgła. That’s unfair, awarding no merit to an album simply because it imitates another. I mean, if fans cancelled every act that sounded like Transilvanian Hunger, we’d have no black metal left.” The end of influence?

Vouna – Atropos Review

Vouna – Atropos Review

Vouna was one of my first reviews here at AMG. While I certainly feel dated by the release of Atropos, it also allows me time to reflect. Sole member Yianna Bekris has undoubtedly honed her craft, and I’d like to think that I have as well, even as the morale-boosting beatings continue and the terrifying ape-in-charge keeps staring at me from the dark corner over there. An associate of Wolves in the Throne Room‘s Weaver brothers, Bekris took me completely off-guard with Vouna‘s self-titled debut in 2018, an effort dubbed “funeral doom” but was anything but the bellowing subterranean lurching we’ve come to know and love. Atropos offers a huge step forward, adding a healthy dose of obscurity and an unrelentingly bleak atmosphere to sink your teeth into.” Bleak houses.

Felled – The Intimate Earth Review

Felled – The Intimate Earth Review

Felled approach black metal differently than many. There’s a lot of mournful folk imbued within these sonic landscapes, thanks to a lead violin which takes center stage as often as, if not more often than, the lead guitars. Dour atmosphere grips with a cold, unforgiving hand and drags you across snowy tundra, no thought given to your ability to weather the journey. All that matters is that the melodies and moods cut through your thin flesh-wrapper and find a home deep inside your marrow.” Intimate despair.

Firienholt – By the Waters of Awakening Review

Firienholt – By the Waters of Awakening Review

Firienholt sound pretty much exactly as you’d expect based solely on this album art. Falling somewhere in the center of a Venn diagram split between atmospheric black metal, symphonic folk-ish metal, and dungeonsynth, By the Waters of Awakening offers an experience that not only relaxes and soothes, but also evokes a desire for bone-chilling winter to return forthwith. Tambourines, flutes, strings, trumpets and French horns, and glistening synths decorate a light dusting of blackened frost across a wondrous landscape of mournful melodies and heartfelt verses. This is not an album for headbanging.” Serenity now!

Atrium – Ancient Spells Review

Atrium – Ancient Spells Review

“Wolves are neat critters, but their portrayals have gotten a bad rap. The gift shop t-shirt of choice for angsty teenagers who listen to Five Finger Death Punch‘s “Jekyll & Hyde” and convince their friends that they have a “dark side,” the symbol has lost its teeth. Toss in that one individual who identifies as a wolf and barks at a lake, these canines have often become a symbol of try-hards rather than the courageous and loyal representation with which it is traditionally associated. Gazing upon the howling wolf that graces the cover of Ancient Spells, does Atrium offer strength and courage or is it upended by its own insecurities?” Eyes bigger than your belly, Wolfie?

Noctule – Wretched Abyss Review

Noctule – Wretched Abyss Review

Serena Cherry has a knack for melody. In her storied career with Svalbard, the charismatic vocalist and guitarist has co-written and performed a decade of melodic hardcore tinged with post-hardcore, post-metal, and black metal. Now, Cherry tries a little something different in her new solo project Noctule, hoping to “spread her dragon wings and take off in an intriguing musical direction on her own. A labor of love and isolation, Cherry composed and recorded the Noctule debut while in the UK Coronavirus lockdown. Opposed to the melodic hardcore leanings of Svalbard, she now bets it all on black in blackened release Wretched Abyss, an album themed after the popular RPG Skyrim.” Dragon, why do you cry?

Dordeduh – Har Review

Dordeduh – Har Review

“Until a few months ago I was only peripherally aware of Dordeduh. I had heard their debut album, 2012’s Dar de duh, and thought it was “good” but not really worth revisiting. Similarly, I was aware of the apparent amazingness of Om, Negură Bunget’s 2006 opus, in which Edmond “Huppogrammos” Karban and Cristian “Sol Faur” Popescu played a pivotal role. While that album was stunning in scope, the black metal production values turned me off. Potential, yes: essential, no. Fast forward to 2021, and on a whim I clicked on the first track released from Har, entitled “Descânt.” It was then that I knew I had to not only hear this album, but bring it forth to the Angry Metal Guy faithful.” From Romania with love.