Bathory

Hinsides – Under Betlehems brinnande stjärna Review

Hinsides – Under Betlehems brinnande stjärna Review

Under Betlehems brinnande stjärna is the debut album by Swedish one man raw black metal act Hinsides and it’s full of the influences one might expect. There are heavy doses of first (“Genom döden återfödt,” “Under Betlehems brinnande stjärna”) and second wave black metal (“Skymningsfärd,” “På jordelifwets sorgetåg”), but the compositions feel a touch more contemporary and lone member M. A. plays everything within an inch of its life.” In Hinsides.

Bizarrekult – Vi Overlevde Review

Bizarrekult – Vi Overlevde Review

“I’ve been sitting on this one for some time. Label it black metal and give it enchanting artwork, and Madam X is all over it. Even before passing it over to me for review, she was pre-ordering the vinyl. And for good reason. On a white backdrop, that tree-covered moose walking on mountains is one of the more original album covers of the year. But the artwork isn’t the only good part of the album. Under that mysterious cover lies a thick slab of Norwegian black metal.” Kvlt Moose is loose.

Tragedy and Triumph – Where Mountains Rise and Hearts Fall Review

Tragedy and Triumph – Where Mountains Rise and Hearts Fall Review

“When one thinks of Viking metal, two bands should come immediately to mind, one the genre’s progenitor, the other its standard bearer. I’m inclined not to name them, as it seems insulting to our readership, but rest assured Tragedy and Triumph cite both as touchstones. With that in mind, Where Mountains Rise and Hearts Fall is 54 minutes of relatively straightforward death metal with a melodic bent and a follow-the-bouncing-ball harsh vocal delivery.” All the world’s a raid.

Cross Vault – As Strangers We Depart Review

Cross Vault – As Strangers We Depart Review

“There are certain key words and taglines that all but guarantee your friendly stronghold Steel will seize a promo as his own, jealously guarding it from interlopers, pretenders and would-be promo usurpers. Putting “Viking doom” in your promo blurb alongside reference to Bathory is one such way to score a hard ticket to the iron reviewing table. Germany’s Cross Vault have been toiling away in relative obscurity since 2014, heavily influenced by acts like Warning and crafting downcast material that often feels like a follow up to that act’s monumental Watching from a Distance opus. By 2015 a heavier, more grandiose sound made an appearance alongside the Warning-isms, somewhat justifying Viking era Bathory comparisons. After 4 years of silence, third album As Strangers We Depart sees the band once again searching for that perfect blend of doom, gloom and epic sounds.” Doom n’ boom.

An Autumn for Crippled Children – As The Morning Dawns We Close Our Eyes Review

An Autumn for Crippled Children – As The Morning Dawns We Close Our Eyes Review

“What got you into metal? For me, it was blackgaze. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe your pal Doomy wasn’t raised on a diet of Bathory and his enemies’ livers; but as a teenager in the 90’s, I was mostly into indie rock and shoegaze. My entry into metal came later on, when bands like Lantlôs, Deafheaven and Alcest combined the dreamy, ethereal tones of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive with the fury of second-wave black metal. Within this group was the Netherlands’ An Autumn for Crippled Children, who leaned even more heavily into indie territory with their embrace of dream-pop and post rock.” Won’t someone think of the children?

Siniestro – Vortexx Review

Siniestro – Vortexx Review

“Thrash was my first true introduction to all things metal. Like many of the morally derelict denizens who write for this site or haunt the comment section, I dipped my toe in the swamp with Sabbath, but it wasn’t until I took a deep dive into the likes of Testament, Kreator, Slayer and Anthrax that I knew I was more than willing to drown in this sea of riffs n’ roars. Though now I now prefer my metal far more fetid, thrash still holds a special place in my heart. This led me to pluck the latest from blackened thrash outfit Siniestro from the oft-mentioned but rarely-survived primordial promo sump.” Cloudy with a chance of thrash attack.

Bunker 66 – Beyond the Help of Prayers Review

Bunker 66 – Beyond the Help of Prayers Review

“There’s something so alluring about the melding of two genres like black and speed metal. When executed correctly, these seemingly disparate styles join forces to create a noxious stew altogether stronger than the sum of their individual parts; powerful, bombastic and able to dissolve your stomach lining. Bands like Blackevil, Bewitcher, Hellripper and a cornucopia of their spike-and-denim clad contemporaries prove what transpires when icy BM and the meat-and-potatoes chug of 80s speed form their unholy union. Bunker 66 are no strangers to this format, and are eager to continue the sacrilegious scourge with their new album Beyond the Help of Prayers.” Bunker busters.

Lucifuge – Infernal Power Review

Lucifuge – Infernal Power Review

“When I reviewed Lucifuge‘s last effort, The One Great Curse, it was a different age. OK, it was February 2020 but it feels like it was a different age. I remember sitting in riverside bar – indoors, no less – sipping a craft beer, while tapping out my thoughts on what was the third full-length in as many years from this Germany-based four piece. Well, one year (and a global pandemic) on, and Lucifuge is back with fourth offering, Infernal Power.” All the power, 100% less Danzig.

Midnight Odyssey – Biolume Part 2: The Golden Orb Review

Midnight Odyssey – Biolume Part 2: The Golden Orb Review

“In November 2019, I picked up the Midnight Odyssey-reviewing baton from a tired and broken Dr A.N.Grier, who had aged a number of cat years during his time with the 160-minute beast, Shards of Silver Fade. By contrast, I was able to listen to its successor, and first episode in a planned trilogy, Biolume Part 1: In Tartarean Chains, twice through and still have time for a 15-minute power nap, in the time it took poor Grier to labor his way through Shards. For anyone who thought this was a sign that Australian gloomster and one-man Odyssey, Dis Pater, had learned to curb his more expansive tendencies, however, Pater has all 102 minutes of Biolume Part 2: The Golden Orb to tell you otherwise.” Maximum adventures.

Reaper – The Atonality of Flesh Review

Reaper – The Atonality of Flesh Review

“It was just over one year ago that I wrote about mysterious Swedish duo Reaper and their debut record Unholy Nordic Noise. A viciously irreverent mixture of first-wave black metal, speed metal, and crusty HM-2-laden punk, the record saw the band going boldly where many bands had gone before and successfully delivering a short and sweet platter of simple, yet satisfying blasphemy. The disgustingly croaked vocals combined with the musical style to give me the impression of Abbath taking a bath with Bathory‘s Bathory, and the resulting sound was as cathartic as it was entertaining. Well, these guys seem to believe that more is more, so they wasted no time in following the debut up with The Atonality of Flesh.” Tone up that flesh for summer.