Aurvandil

Aurvandil – Thrones Review

Aurvandil – Thrones Review

“I don’t review much black metal because I’m pretty tired of the genre and there are more avid and enthusiastic reviewers at AMG who can deal with it properly. However, for unknown reasons, I took quite a shine to Aurvandil‘s 2011 opus Yearning and gave it high marks. Now we get Thrones, which was originally released last year as a limited edition cassette, though why anyone would release anything on cassette is beyond my simple mind (why not an 8-track edition or if you really want to be kvlt, go with a phonography cylinder).” In the mood for 50 minutes of low-fi blast beating? Here’s your huckleberry.

Abigail Williams – Becoming Review

Abigail Williams – Becoming Review

I’ve never been an Abigail Williams fan. Their debut was lackluster and derailed by metalcore underpinnings. In the Absence of Light had some actual potential but was far too generic. Needless to say, I had modest expectations as I sat down to examine their new album. Well, Steel Druhm was nearly knocked from his stately Chair of Metal Judgment [Metal Chair of Judgement? – AMG] by what he heard on Becoming. Gone are the tepid attempts to recycle left-over Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth riffs and horror movie symphonics. In their place is raw, shoegazey, post-rocky, contemplative blackness, loaded with doomy atmosphere, close in spirit to Wolves in the Throne Room and Agalloch, with elements of Aurvandil and Emperor mixed in. It’s a startlingly major change to be sure (even more so than their previous shift from black-core to Dimmu-worship), and proves there’s no wagon they won’t gleefully hop onto. Surprisingly though, their newest disingenuous switch works well and they may have found the style they can excel at. That is, if they can stop pursuing every new fad and trend (the technical term is “chasing their own fail”).

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2011

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2011

We made it through another year here in Angry Metal World. We overcame Terminal Reviewer Burnout Syndrome, careers and personal lives, just to bring you more of our self-righteous, ego-driven babbling and blathering. Why did we do it? Because we care so damn much! Now, as the year grinds us all towards inevitable doom, it falls to me to get the metal wheel a rollin and name my picks for the best albums of 2011. This was a pretty solid year, so it was tough to figure out which albums belonged where, but you demanded it, so I’m delivering the goods, Yeah!

Aurvandil – Yearning Review

Aurvandil – Yearning Review

Steel Druhm has become increasingly disillusioned with black metal over the past year or two. Apparently I’ve reached the saturation point where all the Dimmu Borgir wannabes started to sound just like all the Emperor wannabes and so on ad nauseum. There’s a clear stagnation in the scene and only the best are able to rise above the fetid swamps of mediocrity. Thankfully, into this dark morass comes a beacon of light by the name of Aurvandil with their debut Yearning. Hailing from France, Aurvandril is the brainchild and creation of founder and sole performer Aurvandil (although he apparently used a session drummer here). Mr. A is deeply entrenched in the traditional sounds and ethos of Norwegian blackness and Yearning freely references the great works of Burzum, Emperor and Enslaved while also offering a refreshing take on what came before. Its clearly a sound and style rooted in the 90’s but for whatever reason, the execution feels fresh, engaging and highly impressive. Equal parts punishing and beautifully melodic, it has a sweeping, epic atmosphere that one can’t help but appreciate. It’s good enough to partially offset my black metal malaise so he/they must be doing something right!