Batushka

Wolves Den – Miserere Review

Wolves Den – Miserere Review

Wolves Den, a German blackened death quartet, unleashed an unsung monster of a record back in 2015 named Deus Vult. While it wasn’t genre-defining or anything like that, I often question why it gets such little fanfare. Perhaps with their sophomore full-length, Miserere, they can establish some kind of foothold in the heart-voids of our fair metal community.” Misery loves running with the pack.

Venomous Skeleton – Drowning in Circles Review

Venomous Skeleton – Drowning in Circles Review

“Having been raised in church, I found my religious experience carried over into my vast expeditions into metal’s colorful multiverse: I find myself reaching more and more for the stuff that incorporates a unique tone of reverence, a sound of standing beneath the colossal or infinite. For bands like Batushka, Ancient Moon, and Behemoth, this liturgical and hieratic atmosphere is proposed through its ritualistic songwriting and uses of common religious musical elements (Gregorian chants, choirs, etc.) contrasting with blasphemy’s twisted dagger in an aural representation of madness. Sonne Adam‘s death/doom solo LP Transformation did this for me.” Worship music.

Amnutseba – Emanatism Review

Amnutseba – Emanatism Review

Amnutseba is a “lacerating ‘n labyrinthine” black metal group from Paris. After releasing a couple demos, re-released in vinyl as compilation I-VI, they reemerge to release Emanatism, a devastating tour-de-force packed to the brim with noisy ideas. What separates it from any other Deathspell Omega– and Satan-worshiper? It is, in a word, unhinged.” Midnight in Paris.

Faustian Pact – Outojen Tornien Varjoissa Review

Faustian Pact – Outojen Tornien Varjoissa Review

“There’s something intriguing about black metal. While its origins are saturated with violence and its imagery is so defiantly anti-status quo, it’s calmed down significantly over the last decade or so. With more accessible styles like folk and post-rock taking more of a prominent role, it can be difficult to find the trve kvlt style that once circulated the underground in whispered rumors.” Dirty deals.

T.O.M.B. – Thin the Veil Review

T.O.M.B. – Thin the Veil Review

“I would kill for a good atmospheric album. Just ask Kronos about that time that we discussed the atmospheric sludge/doom beauty of The Osedax around the water cooler when Gardenstale mentioned he was gonna give it, AT BEST, a 2.5. Have you seen any Gardenstale reviews lately? Didn’t think so.” Thin lines between love and hate.

Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze – Offerings of Flesh and Gold [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze – Offerings of Flesh and Gold [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Offerings of Flesh and Gold blends ritual ambiance, drone, and even aspects of dungeon synth with black metal, and I don’t know if it’s my latest fascination with enigmatic black metal projects like Death. Void. Terror. or Ancient Moon, but this debut hits the sweet spot.” Bull markets .

Shrine of Insanabilis – Vast Vortex Litanies Review

Shrine of Insanabilis – Vast Vortex Litanies Review

“This year, I learned that anonymity can only carry you so far in life. Ask Mr. Tobias Forge or either of the two proposed leaders from two of the bazillion Batushkas out there how that all panned out in the end, at least in terms of legal issues. And since their debut album, 2015’s impressive-if-repetitive Disciples of the Void, we’ve learned that Shrine of Insanabilis are German, and that their drummer, Serpenth, also played in Acherontas. Ah, well, so much for mystery.” He would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids.

Nightfell – A Sanity Deranged Review

Nightfell – A Sanity Deranged Review

“Synergy is such an interesting concept. Take two things, add them together, and occasionally the resulting whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. This effect is rendered even more powerful when the constituent ingredients are seemingly at odds. In the same way that peanut butter slathered all over a bacon cheeseburger elevates it to another level of awesomeness, the curious mixture of hardcore/crust journeyman Todd Burdette (Tragedy, His Hero is Gone, Warcry, and many more) with jack of all metals Tim Call (Aldebaran, Mournful Congregation, The Howling Wind, and many more) has produced Portland, Oregon’s dark metal monstrosity, Nightfell.” Frankenstein lives!

Crimson Moon – Mors Vincit Omnia Review

Crimson Moon – Mors Vincit Omnia Review

Crimson Moon originated as a single-man black metal project in 1994, the creation of Scorpios Adroctonus. In 1998, he moved from America to Germany and expanded the project. But the output of Crimson Moon has been sparse, with only three albums since it was formed. The last was 2016’s Oneironaut, which impressed many (including our own Al Kikuras) with its expansive, but occasionally excessive, approach. Now the band is back with Mors Vincit Omnia (Death Conquers All) in, by their standards, record time. Is that occult itch about to be scratched?” Institutional blasphemy.

The Negative Bias – Narcissus Rising Review

The Negative Bias – Narcissus Rising Review

“When last this great Hall ov ours was graced by The Negative Bias, I was pretty pissed off; how dare these Austrians arrive outta left field with such a straight-up banger like Lamentations of the Chaos Omega so close to list season? Their follow-up might be more considerately scheduled this time around, but I found myself just as angry when news of Narcissus Rising reached my ears. Hierarchically speaking, I would have to cover it — all two tracks and forty-two fvcking minutes ov it.” Go big.