Atmospheric Black Metal

Fuath – II Review

Fuath – II Review

“Representing a darker, meaner interpretation of black metal, Andy Marshall, better known for Saor, unleashed his Fuath (Gaelic for hatred) project around now over 5 years ago (fuck me, my life’s getting away from me). I excelled in black atmosphere and understated but sticky melodies and remains one of the decade’s better examples of atmospheric black metal, in a sub-genre full to the brim with mediocrity. It was intended to be a one-off but the inspirationally-entitled II is now primed for release.” Atmo-II: Electric Boogaloo.

Mare Cognitum – Solar Paroxysm Review

Mare Cognitum – Solar Paroxysm Review

“There’s atmospheric black metal, and then there’s Mare Cognitum. Two sides of the same planet. On the former, the sphere is completely devoid of life, eroded by endless recycling of ideas to the point of being uninhabitable. Then you have Mare Cognitum, a one-man force of nature who consistently releases quality material. Mastermind and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Buczarski’s side of the atmoblack world thrives against the eroding tides of time.” Renewable energies.

Malist – Karst Relict Review

Malist – Karst Relict Review

“Like distant thunder, the world of atmospheric black metal is simultaneously a comfort and a terror. I’ve been craving new atmospheric music lately. Thinking back, my two most recent forays into its claws have been the most recent offerings by Old Growth and Winterfylleth. Good enough albums, but neither really grabbed me the way I’ve been hoping for. Whether because of too much atmosphere, not enough variety, or just an altogether lack of menace or edge, atmospheric black metal of this particular vein was not all that good to me in 2020. So when I encountered Karst Relict, the third full-length in as many years from Malist, the solo project of one Ovfrost (Bewailer), I was cautiously optimistic.” Malist in Hell.

Forhist – Forhist Review

Forhist – Forhist Review

“Sometimes, we all gotta get back to basics. When you’re Vindsval from the influential band, Blut Aus Nord, that means returning to your atmospheric black metal roots. Blut Aus Nord has always been an interesting proposition, veering wildly between the avant-garde (The Work Which Transforms God, 777 trilogy) and the traditional (The Memoria Vetusta trilogy, Hallucinogen). While I admire the boundary-pushing stuff, I have a mighty soft spot for those Memoria Vestusta albums, which I think comfortably inhabit the apex of melodic black metal. Forhist is Vindsval’s solo project, and Forhist the debut under this moniker.” Blut Aus More.

And Now the Owls are Smiling – Dirges Review

And Now the Owls are Smiling – Dirges Review

“While padding lightly through the damp forests of local Seattle trails, I’ve encountered foreboding signage cautioning passerby of barred owl swoopings. In broad daylight, owls have been known to swoop down with virtually no sound and claw at the back of people’s heads with their sharp talons, oftentimes drawing blood. Thankfully, I have not yet experienced such a spooky and downright horrifying encounter myself, but I do know of multiple runner friends who have found themselves in one of these harrowing situations. I have little reason to believe And Now the Owls are Smiling‘s band name was inspired by the vengeful owls of the Pacific Northwest seeing as the one-man band hails from Norfolk, England.” Hoot force.

Old Growth – Mossweaver Review

Old Growth – Mossweaver Review

“Two reviews ago, I picked up my “last” review for the 2020 calendar year. Now, here I am, submitting my real last review for 2020 about as late as you can submit one, uncharacteristically content with my tardy contribution. I really did plan on being done a couple of weeks ago, but then I heard the first few seconds of Mossweaver and I knew I couldn’t let the year end without shining a spotlight on this one.” Moss peeping.

Afsky – Ofte Jeg Drømmer Mig Død [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Afsky – Ofte Jeg Drømmer Mig Død [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Every year, the chase is on to find that underground band no one’s ever heard of. The one that you present to everyone who loves music and watch as their expressions change from an unconvinced “Who is this?” to “Holy shit, this is amazing!” Well, folks, for those of you with a taste for pure black metal, unadulterated by frills and ribbons, I have the album for you.” Afsky and answered.

Auðn – Vökudraumsins Fangi Review

Auðn – Vökudraumsins Fangi Review

“It’s one thing to write a review of a returning band you’ve reviewed before. It’s a whole other ballgame to review a returning band that one of the most respected and revered staff members on the site has covered previously. If their review was controversially critical about a popular young artist well on the rise, the pressure only mounts. Not that I disagree with Grymm’s take on Auðn’s last offering. Being relatively fresh to black metal and its myriad offshoots, I hadn’t heard Farvegir Fyrndar before, but on a cursory spin, the unpopular stance that the production ruined an otherwise very solid piece of Icelandic atmo-black rang true with yours truly.” New day, new production.