Atmospheric Black Metal

Waldgeflüster – Ruinen Review

Waldgeflüster – Ruinen Review

“Having first encountered Munich’s Waldgeflüster on their split with Panopticon earlier this year, I was intrigued and further encouraged to investigate their brand of atmospheric black metal. A couple from our valued community rate their work as among the best in the genre. Try though I did, I found myself somewhat underwhelmed.” El Cuervo vs. buzz.

Torrid Husk & End – Swallow Matewan [Split] Review

Torrid Husk & End – Swallow Matewan [Split] Review

“On a Saturday morning I was lazily kicking back in bed, gazing through the shades at the vibrant colors of the gorgeous day ahead, feeling the mild spring breeze float through the window when I decided it was time to delve into Swallow Matewan, a split release between West Virginia’s Torrid Husk and Greece’s End. Some 40-odd minutes later of listening to the despairing double dose of violent, rainbow killing, unicorn enslaving atmospheric black metal and I was left emotionally damaged and wallowing in self-pity.” Unicorn enslaving is frowned upon in this establishment.

Panopticon & Waldgeflüster (Split) Review

Panopticon & Waldgeflüster (Split) Review

“We’re familiar with Austin Lunn’s home-grown, folk metal Panopticon around these parts. His bluegrass-infused black metal has garnered justifiable (though some say excessive) acclaim, especially as his work has progressively become more melodic and accessible. But this time around he’s sharing album space with German folk-meisters Waldgeflüster, with whom I am less familiar. The split apparently had its roots in the bottom of many beers – as many of the best ideas do – shared between Lunn and Winterherz (of Waldgeflüster) and I was eager to hear what they’d produced.” Split the album, don’t split the beers.

Temisto – Temisto Review

Temisto – Temisto Review

“I can almost hear the collective groans as I break the news that we have another old school death metal band on our hands, hailing from Stockholm, Sweden no less. That horse has been pounded into dust after all and the number of sub-par clones has exceeded the saturation point. Yet being a sucker for old school death I always approach such situations with a glimmer of optimism, particularly when bands like Horrendous and Tribulation have demonstrated that old school death metal can be executed with a degree of originality and innovation.” We review death metal. Deal with it.

Wildernessking – Mystical Future [Vinyl Review]

Wildernessking – Mystical Future [Vinyl Review]

South Africa’s Wildernessking is an atmospheric black metal band that has undergone a maturation before our very eyes. Starting as Heathens the band played an immediate (and still excellent) form of black n’ roll. The early material was reminiscent of Enslaved, but lacked the Norwegians’ progressive punch. The writing was concise and to the point, and the word “atmospheric” would never have crossed my keyboard in those days—until the release of the track “Morning” in 2011. In 2012, under the new moniker Wildernessking, these South African ex-heathens released The Writing of Gods in the Sand, which unfurled their sound into expansive, atmospheric territory. The record had a production that helped the band’s music to balance between a raw, heavy black metal feel and their growing interest for more airy writing. Mystical Future progresses Wildernessking‘s journey, taking steps further away from the intensity and riff-driven black metal, toward a more expansive, atmospheric sound.

Vardan – Enjoy of Deep Sadness Review

Vardan – Enjoy of Deep Sadness Review

“”Do you realize that if you fall into a black hole, you will see the entire future of the Universe unfold in front of you in a matter of moments and you will emerge into another space-time created by the singularity of the black hole you just fell into?” Neil deGrasse Tyson probably didn’t picture those words describing the unfolding, infinity of one-man black metal artist Vardan‘s latest journey into heartbreak and isolation, but they certainly do.” Black holes, ESL failures and a one man black metal act with awful corpse paint. It’s all here, folks.

Shining – 8 ½ – Feberdrömmar I Vaket Tillstånd Review

Shining – 8 ½ – Feberdrömmar I Vaket Tillstånd Review

“I came across Shining for the first time while reading Angry Metal Guy’s Best Heavy Metal Songs of All Time back in 2011. Since then Kvarforth and his menagerie of Scandinavian black metal projects and collaborations (Shining, Skitliv, Diabolicum, Den Saakaldte and Bethlehem) have been a constant on my playlist. I’d go so far as to say that, were I to have some kind of guarantee that it would arrive on my sunny shores, I would absolutely order a copy of When Prozac No Longer Helps – hand numbered in Kvarforth’s blood of course!” Madam X and Kvarforth are clearly a match made by the Sid & Nancy Dating Service and/or Hell. Will love blossom once again or will the knives come out?

Teloch Vovin – I Review

Teloch Vovin – I Review

“You know that scene in The Midnight Meat Train, just after the butcher’s death, the one where the conductor introduces Leon to those unholy reptilian creatures that live beneath New York City? Or maybe you’ll better remember it as the scene where Leon’s tongue is ripped straight from his mouth and he’s told, you’re it, you’re the next butcher! When I think of Teloch Vovin, that’s the first place my mind travels to. They’re also from the seedy underbelly of New York.” Madam X seems enthralled with New York’s seedy underworld… could it have been the lure of sacrificial blood that drew her, or was Teloch Vovin‘s sticky, murky black metal the attraction? Maybe it was the smell of garbage and falafel.

October Falls – The Plague of a Coming Age Review

October Falls – The Plague of a Coming Age Review

Back in ’10—when I was wearing an onion on my belt ’cause that was the fashion in those days—I reviewed a record from Finnish atmospheric black metallers October Falls called A Collapse of Faith. At 40+ minutes of a single song, my Angry Attention Deficit Disorder hindered me from loving this record. While it was good, had great melodies, interesting ideas and an old school production that added a fuzzy atmosphere to the whole thing, I was never able to really bring myself to come back to it. It might have been perfect for some of the depressing, snowy days that we get here in Sweden, but I’ve got a quite bit of go-to music for that. Still, I was curious was when I received the promo for The Plague of a Coming Age. With its fantastic cover art, and its 9 easily distinguishable songs, I thought this might be a step in a direction I could enjoy.

Drudkh – Handful of Stars Review

Drudkh – Handful of Stars Review

Not to be snatchy or anything, but I have to say that Drudkh is probably one of the most hyped underground black metal bands of all time (to the point of not really counting as underground anymore, I think). After Microcosmos made a big splash in 2009, I wasn’t sure that they were going to be pulling out a new record in 2010, but the band is back with a record that is proving to be a major disappointment for a lot of fans. It’s not a surprise, however. How do you follow up a record that was hailed as the greatest thing since Varg Vikerness first took a shit on a microphone and called it art?