Belgian Metal

Enthroned – Cold Black Suns Review

Enthroned – Cold Black Suns Review

“I’ve drifted away from black metal over the years. In hindsight, the signs were there; my listening habits shifted away from the genre, I stopped actively seeking out new black metal, I read black metal reviews more for the writing than the record, and – the final straw – while browsing Bandcamp recently, I came across a record and, upon learning it was black metal, muttered “meh” and moved along without pressing play. Then along came Enthroned, with their follow-up to 2014’s great Sovereigns. Despite my ambivalence towards black metal, my interest was piqued; sometimes a bit of nostalgia and familiarity is needed to rekindle a flame.” Back to the black.

Raketkanon – RKTKN#3 Review

Raketkanon – RKTKN#3 Review

“As Dr. Fisting and I sat on the floor outside the washroom at Angry Metal Guy Headquarters, quaffing the last of the Christmas party hobo wine, we agreed that, while folks these days might consider Raketkanon and their shtick kind of weird, back in 1994 the band would have been comfortably on stage opening for Faith No More. Their bizarre accouterments, kitschy stage shows, and (what seems to be, although I could be wrong) nonsensical lyrical dialect would be right at home in an Angel DustKing for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime era. That works for me: I love Faith No More, and more than that, I love bands that push the envelope and are willing to go on unexpected forays, even within single songs.” Freaks with a flag (and record deal)

Predatoria – Casting Shadows Review

Predatoria – Casting Shadows Review

Predatoria’s debut EP, Unmarked Graves…Tell No Tales is one of the best death metal EPs I’ve ever heard. It’s crushing and catchy, merging the best aspects of Bolt Thrower and Amon Amarth with a vocal performance that reminds of Chris Barnes on Torture Killer’s Swarm. Given that I’m fond of all those things, the skillful mixture of them into twenty-odd minutes of death metal glory was an offer I couldn’t refuse. Three years later, Predatoria has evolved and diversified their sound a bit.” Warfare evolved.

Ethereal Darkness – Smoke and Shadows Review

Ethereal Darkness – Smoke and Shadows Review

Ethereal Darkness arrives here today not because some fast talking, over promising PR firm submitted the promo while breathlessly proclaiming it the next big thing. It’s here because the mysterious and unnamed man behind this solo project submitted it to us via our contact form and the music did all the talking from there. Operating out of the shadows of Belgium, Smoke and Shadows is the act’s debut, featuring a kind of melodic death mixed with black metal and sadboy overtones.” Smoking darkness.

My Diligence – Sun Rose Review

My Diligence – Sun Rose Review

“One of these days, I’m going to have to visit Belgium. You see, not only did this fine little country spawn my favorite album last year, but it is spitting out a couple more interesting bands in 2019, starting with the horribly-named My Diligence. Honestly: I don’t mean to start a review on such a negative note, especially when the music far surpasses the name, but it’s just not a great moniker. That aside, what My Diligence bring to the table is an intriguing progressive stoner mix influenced by a few solid bands. Think of the harmonious stoner-pop sensibilities of Torche, the progressive leanings of Elder, and a dash of Queens of the Stone Age’s quirkiness, and you’ve got an idea of what this band’s second album, Sun Rose, is all about.” Stone the Sun.

Lemuria – The Hysterical Hunt Review

Lemuria – The Hysterical Hunt Review

“It would probably surprise nobody to learn that my background as a metalhead began with symphonic metal. Somehow (read: through a series of ill-advised sessions of reckless YouTube binges) I discovered it during the early days of high school. Symphonic metal enlivened me and became my gateway into this marvelous metalverse. Today I return to that hallowed ground upon which my transformation manifested. Waiting there for me is Lemuria—a symphonic black metal band from Belgium, est. 1999—with their third epic The Hysterical Hunt.” Night hunt at the opera.

Splendidula – Post Mortem Review

Splendidula – Post Mortem Review

“Coming from the Latin ‘splendidus’, ‘splendid’ is defined—by one (free) online dictionary that this n00b found, anyway—as an adjective meaning ‘magnificent; very impressive.’ Of what relevance is this to Post Mortem, the second album from Splendidula? Quite possibly none but having made the splendid-Splendidula link in my head, I got my hopes up.” Album autopsy.

Saqra’s Cult – The 9th King Review

Saqra’s Cult – The 9th King Review

“The saqra of South American lore pesters, pranks, and provokes the lovely people residing in the former domain of the Inca Empire. Though unclear whether that tradition begat their codpiece affinity, Saqra’s Cult‘s 2017 debut Forgotten Rites embraced that legacy surprisingly well for a bunch of Belgian black metallers glomming onto a different continent’s folk tales. Tribal black metal works about as well as [Insert Anything You Can Imagine, Really Here] black metal ever works—pretty damn well (if you can riff). But with The 9th King losing a lot of their overt South American influence, can Saqra’s Cult still put the can in Incan?” That pun stands alone.

Paragon Impure – Sade Review

Paragon Impure – Sade Review

“Founding member and driving force Noctiz has only managed one full length release thus far, 2005’s To Gaius! (For the Delivery of Agrippina), with technical and personal setbacks apparently stalling efforts around 2009 to release a follow-up album which was to be titled Fall of Man. That unreleased material has been reworked and incorporated into this—their second full length in thirteen years—Sade. No, not that Sade, the English singer of “Smooth Operator” fame; Sade as in the Marquis de Sade, that cheeky French noble whose sexuality and writings thereof have been an inspiring, deep, rich vein of perversity for metal artists to plunder ad infinitum.” Sade songs say so much.