Behemoth

Viserion – Natural Selection Review

Viserion – Natural Selection Review

“For a relatively young genre, metal has found its fair share of adherents who quickly discovered their musical niche and haven’t budged from that sound. While this applies to both listeners (I’ll proudly wave the tattered OSDM banner until the day I die) and practitioners, it’s most noticeable with new and emerging bands not only harken back to a particular sound, but actively refuse to grow beyond it. Much like the Vogons in the immortal tome A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, these bands refuse to evolve. This may merely be my own bias showing, but this phenomenon seems to be most pronounced amongst the black metal set. Ever committed to all things trv, it would appear these corpse painted cretins believe that metal peaked somewhere around 1993. So when I picked up Viserion‘s debut Natural Selection, I was understandably apprehensive.” Status woe.

Agrypnie – Metamorphosis Review

Agrypnie – Metamorphosis Review

Agrypnie is a German black metal band from Hesse, and no newcomer to the scene, having released five full-lengths, a split, an EP, and a compilation since 2005. Perhaps “avant garde” is a tag given to bands that are just difficult to pinpoint, as these guys employ a kitchen sink of influences and guest vocalists in their aural assault in sixth full-length Metamorphosis.” Kafkanated.

Praise the Plague – The Obsidian Gate Review

Praise the Plague – The Obsidian Gate Review

“For as generally tired and played out the genre has become as of late, black metal pairs exceptionally well with a cornucopia of disparate genres. Sure, we all know that it goes together with death metal, like a harmonious, spiked-gauntleted, and dog-food-promoting Reese’s peanut butter cup. Doom, however, seems like a stranger chocolate for our humbled corpse-painted nut butter of dubious origins. Something about not only the speed involved, but also the “hurry up and get to the fucking point, already” aspect of doom that would, on the surface at least, seem contradictory to the icy, tremolo-infested sound that birthed many a hooded sweatshirt-clad frost-dweller. Thankfully, we have German quintet Praise the Plague.” Gate creepers.

Elderblood – Achrony Review

Elderblood – Achrony Review

“Blasphemy and the rejection of religion is not a new thing to black metal at all, but geography does play a part. As Diabolus in Muzaka mentioned in his review for Elderblood‘s Messiah, there’s something distinctly Polish about these Ukrainians. Christianity, especially the heavily ritualized flavor of Eastern Orthodox, runs deep in Slavic heritage – especially considering the virtual elimination of traditional Slavic religion at the hands of Christian tyrants. Nergal’s continuing rejection of Polish theocratic movements, Batushka‘s use of Russian Orthodoxy, and Elderblood‘s latest album cover have all shown the region’s unflinching hate. With these Ukrainians, you can expect vitriol and blasphemy in the fullest measure.” Burning faith.

Noctambulist – The Barren Form Review

Noctambulist – The Barren Form Review

Noctambulist is a blackened death metal band from Denver. Their 2019 debut album Atmospheres of Desolation was an interesting and twisty take on the brutal arts, aptly reflecting its name through an onslaught of vicious vocals, shredding riffs, and relentless percussion, through a contemplative dissonant melodic template. According to the illustrious Kronos, it still needed to hone its songwriting and set out on its own non-Ulcerate-ordained path.” Form and friction.

Svneatr – Chinook Review

Svneatr – Chinook Review

“Another day, another black metal album. Just like my daily bowl of Lucky Charms and cup of coffee, it will either be delicious or tiresome. Is it gonna be Starbucks’ ashtray blend or Trve Kvlt’s Diabolical Divinations roast? Is Lucky Charms gonna hurt that shady cavity I’ve got developing in my molars or will it delight with its blend of hearty bits and sweet marshmallows? It’s a toss-up – just like black metal. While I have history with Vancouver’s Svneatr, sophomore effort Chinook hopes to follow up 2018’s excellent The Howl, The Whisper, The Hunt with a cold, riffy second-wave shenanigans. Does Chinook live up to to the hype?” If you want to destroy my Svneatr

Wormlight – Nightmother Review

Wormlight – Nightmother Review

Nightmother is a malevolent ode to the “unholy feminine.” The band promises an “opus bereft of the warmth of the womb” and a “sublime and bacchanal celebration of matriarchal sovereignty.” I’m not 100% sure what this all means, but it looks suitably fun and debauched. The sound Wormlight employs is a (relatively) accessible form of melodic black metal.” Happy Nightmother‘s Day!

Akiavel – Væ Victis Review

Akiavel – Væ Victis Review

If you’re about my age, you probably remember being a teenager and being rather surprised by Arch Enemy’s “Nemesis” video. For those unfamiliar, a speedy melo-death riff kicks the song off and we see a girl dressed like a Hot Topic version of Britney Spears in the “Oops, I Did it Again” video. She lets out a scream, and everyone watching goes “whoa, I can’t believe a girl can make those sounds!” The novelty wore off quickly despite my efforts to like the band because I liked Michael Amott’s work in Carcass. The Angela Gossow version Arch Enemy was inoffensively boring, and the band has since deteriorated into being offensively boring in the current Alissa White-Gluz iteration. The takeaway here is that Arch Enemy at their most popular is bland and uninspiring, and I’m lost as to who would take musical inspiration from that sound. Enter French death metal band Akiavel.” Archetypes.

Wolvennest – Temple Review

Wolvennest – Temple Review

“Belgium is a weird place. Maybe it’s the chocolate or waffles, but any country that offers groups like Neptunian Maximalism, Emptiness, or Amenra & Co. needs to have its cholesterol checked. Spewing out bizarre organic atmosphere with haunting repetition, artists like these have strangely minimalist tendencies that end up feeling bigger than the individual parts suggest. While spanning a broad range of metallic subgenres, it comes across as otherworldly, surreal, and fiercely dark. To add their two cents to these Belgian shenanigans is Wolvennest.” Temple of Weird.