Bathory

Mongrel’s Cross – Arcana, Scrying and Revelation Review

Mongrel’s Cross – Arcana, Scrying and Revelation Review

“I was but a mere Angry Metal Applicant when Mongrel’s Cross released their sophomore full-length Psalter of the Royal Dragon Court during the summer of 2018, and I can still remember sitting down to read Mark Z.‘s review. I was still in the diaper stage of exploring black metal, and having already enjoyed the output of their Australian countrymates Deströyer 666, I happily indulged in Mongrel’s Cross‘ epic, thrashened version of the style.” Read the bones.

Soulburn – Noa’s D’ark Review

Soulburn – Noa’s D’ark Review

Originally formed by two members of Asphyx when their band went on hiatus, Soulburn resurfaced under their original moniker in 2014, after a hiatus of their own and a stint carrying the name To The Gallows during which Rogga Johanssen briefly joined the line-up. Nowadays, the cast still includes founding member Eric Daniels, as well as Legion of the Damned guitarist Twan van Geel and Graceless members Remco Kreft and Marc Verhaar. On paper, a team like this should be able to make a pretty killer record.” Death reclamation.

Megaton Sword – Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire Review

Megaton Sword – Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire Review

“Is that a Megaton Sword in your armor or are you just happy to see me? In trvth it is I who is happy to see Megaton Sword riding the tide of righteous battle on their debut full-length ode to all things edged and deadly. This Swiss cutthroat crew is carved from the same olde school stone as acts like VisigothEternal Champion, and ageless legends like Cirith Ungol, and they deliver heroic tales of braver and medieval butchery on the excellently titled Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire.” Big iron.

Ragehammer – Into Certain Death Review

Ragehammer – Into Certain Death Review

“After the absolute walloping Ragehammer dished out on The Hammer Doctrine, I wanted more Ragehammer but was perfectly content spinning that wonderful little record again and again. Since I avoid social media like the plague vodka-based drinks, I generally don’t know who’s releasing what until I dig through the ol’ promo sump. Seeing Ragehammer was a pleasant surprise, as The Hammer Doctrine still gets regular spins ‘round these parts.” Hammer.

Raventale – Planetarium II Review

Raventale – Planetarium II Review

Raventale is a strange one-man act. Founder and multi-instrumentalist Astaroth Merc started the project in 2006 as a vehicle for his atmospheric, droning black metal, but over time the sound underwent massive mutations. Death/doom influences began creeping in and the musicianship grew by leaps and bounds. By the time of 2017s Planetarium, the project was starting to sound like a heavier SIG:AR:TYR, riffy and full of beautiful guitar-work while retaining a powerful black metal core. That album was based around a space theme and the long-form compositions did it justice with expansive vibes and deep, rich moods. For whatever reason, Merc opted to follow that up with a full-on funeral doom approach on 2019s Morphine Dead Gardens, which I loved muchly. Now barely a year later he’s clicked back into blackened mode with a conceptual sequel to Planetarium.” Astronomy domine.

Svederna – Härd Review

Svederna – Härd Review

“There is a vast root system that feeds the evergreen Swedish black metal tree. Svederna, releasing their third full-length, are nourished by the richness of blackened soil. Big daddy Bathory watches all, followed by a rabble of miscreant off-spring in the form of Marduk, Dissection, and Watain. These are just the tip of a massive iceberg; there are countless black metal bands (and death metal is a different story altogether) buried in gold beneath the surface. Svederna, then, are modern flag bearers adding to the lineage.” Branches of evil.

Havukruunu – Uinuos syömein sota Review

Havukruunu – Uinuos syömein sota Review

“I’ve been the greatest cheerleader of Bathory/Immortal purveyors for years. Like Rimfrost and Havukruunu, to name but a couple. Similar in approach, different in delivery, these two bands have satisfied my thirst for aggressive, galloping, pummeling, crab-walking, Viking-esque black metal. Both have seen their share of black metallery, yet one has passed on and one remains. This leaves a lot of pressure on the survivor. But, since 2015’s Havulinnaan, Havukruunu has proven its Bathor-ian mettle. Though 2017’s follow-up Kelle surut soi is the only contender in the catalog, that album is a beast. Yet, the stakes still remain high. Will this year’s Uinuos syömein sota live up to its full potential? Will it fall victim forever to a style conceived and put to rest by Thomas Börje Forsberg?” Crab inwasion.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Nifelheim – Servants of Darkness

Yer Metal Is Olde: Nifelheim – Servants of Darkness

“There’s something immensely satisfying about listening to musicians who are utterly devoted to their craft. In the realm of blackened thrash, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who fits that description more than Nifelheim‘s founding members, Swedish twins Erik “Tyrant” and Per “Hellbutcher” Gustavsson. These are the guys who apparently kicked out their first guitarist for being “wimpy” enough to have a girlfriend, the guys who once claimed that Venom is the most recent band they actually like.” Trve darkness.

Serment – Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté Review

Serment – Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté Review

“Some black metal bands are sheer aggression and violence, while others are all about slow-build atmosphere and ambience. Lurking around the fringes, just outside these respective circles of firelight, are the folk black metal bands, crooked harps and battered lutes clutched in their claws. By far the most interesting – to me at least – are the black metal acts that dip their bucket in multiple wells, and we have one such specimen on our hands today. Quebec’s Serment is the one-man side project from Forteresse’s guitarist and bassist, Moribond.” Folk in the eye.