Black Metal

Kannustaa – Kannustaa [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Kannustaa – Kannustaa [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Black metal is known for a lot of things. Vulnerability is not one of them. In amongst the hyper-masculine and satanic theatrics, there just isn’t much wiggle-room for nuanced takes musing on the softer side of the human condition. Given that anger is usually a mask for sadness, black metal is clearly one of the saddest forms of art we have. Yet we generally only get the viciously furious or the overwhelmingly maudlin. Enter Kannustaa, an international hybrid band of Americans and Serbians.” Black tears ov rage.

Aethyrick – Apotheosis Review

Aethyrick – Apotheosis Review

“As reviewers, we’ve been indoctrinated to inhale this sound and ask for seconds. This is born partially from two decades of Scandi feet-kissing, but also from a formula that, begrudging as I am to admit, often works quite well. It falls to Apotheosis to prove Aethyrick on their merits and not merely by their company. As you might expect, separating the two is trickier than it sounds.” Standing on the shoulders of monsters.

Ellende – Triebe Review

Ellende – Triebe Review

“Can art be updated? Once released, is a piece of art fixed forever, like chiseled stone? Or fluid, like the hobo wine in the AMG office dispenser? If an artist or musician takes an existing work, and makes changes, have they created an entirely separate piece, or merely created their preferred version? Austrian black metal band, Ellende, raises these questions with its latest (shhhhh) EP, Triebe.” Disastrous moments in filtration.

Schemer Heer – The Dragon, His Angels and the Exaltation of Death Review

Schemer Heer – The Dragon, His Angels and the Exaltation of Death Review

“Imagine, if you will, a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed black metal enthusiast hopping out of bed one bright January morning excited to rake the promo bin for some lovely blasphemous soundtracks for cursing dead gods above with outstretched fist. He sees Schemer Heer, scanning the promo: “Schemer Heer… brings bombastic, black metal and horror…” and he hungrily snatches it up. It certainly looks icy and blasphemous, and he gets all tingly inside, the way others might feel about that special someone or a hug from their favorite teddy bear. He presses play and…Dungeon synth.” Dungeon punked.

Funeral Fullmoon – Revelation of Evil Review

Funeral Fullmoon – Revelation of Evil Review

“Sometimes, on a cold and miserable winter evening, when you haven’t been outside for several days because Lockdown 3.0 and work sucks because you haven’t been to the office or seen any of your colleagues for 11 months and you really want a beer or five but can’t because you decided not to drink for January for some damn fool reason and… well, anyway, you get the picture. On those sorts of evenings, sometimes what you need is an ice-cold sliver of raw, lo-fi black metal.” Feel the moon.

Satanize – Baphomet Altar Worship Review

Satanize – Baphomet Altar Worship Review

Satanize. Now there’s a verb I can get behind. Satanize my music, satanize my wardrobe, satanize my life. For the past few months I’ve been on a metal reviewing hiatus and “satanizing” does a pretty good job capturing what I’ve been doing in my free time. I’ve been spelunking deeper than ever in the infernal netherworld of bestial blackened death metal, listening to every act I can find that worships at the altar of goats and blast beats. Thus, when I saw a band called Satanize in the promo bin, I knew it was time to stir from my reviewing slumber.” Satan stole my legal briefs.

Frigoris – … in Stille [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Frigoris – … in Stille [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Do you remember 2020 having a January? I know logically it must have but, given the monotonous ruination that has been this year, I really struggle to remember anything that happened pre-Covid. One thing of note that research tells me did take place in January was the release of … in Stille, the fourth full-length from German black metallers Frigoris.” Sticks like tar.

Sagenland – Oale groond Review

Sagenland – Oale groond Review

Oale groond is apparently steeped in the history and traditions of Twente, a region our resident Dutch expert told me is a rural area in the Eastern Netherlands. Releases following such long periods of seeming inactivity tend to go one of two ways: the first is that the resulting product is highly polished and evidently the labor of many hours; the second is that the band was truly inactive and subsequent albums demonstrate the lack of imagination which had previously stunted the band. Which way does this go?” groond to a halt.

Dread Sovereign – Alchemical Warfare Review

Dread Sovereign – Alchemical Warfare Review

“I enter this review with a certain amount of trepidation. Two writers whom I thought would be interested in Alchemical Warfare, Dread Sovereign’s third album, were not. Akerblogger reviewed their last effort, and when I offered this to him he said, ‘all yours.’ When I mentioned this new album to Grymm, who like myself is a big fan of Primordial, he said ‘they don’t do anything at all for me.’ Well, not exactly ringing endorsements, but I was still willing to take a chance and hope for the best.” Dread or gold?

Old Nick – The Night of the Ambush and the Pillage by the Queen Ann Styl’d Furniture, Animated by One of the Dozen or So Spells That Thee Eastern Vampyre Has Studied [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Old Nick – The Night of the Ambush and the Pillage by the Queen Ann Styl’d Furniture, Animated by One of the Dozen or So Spells That Thee Eastern Vampyre Has Studied [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“I’m not sure why I spent so much of 2020 deep diving into the raw black metal recesses of Bandcamp. Might be because ice cold nihilism was especially in fashion this season, or maybe all the social isolating helped me connect more with the weirdo basement dweller one man band crowd. Whatever the reason, I wound up having a great time listening to some truly terrible music. A lot of it is borderline unlistenable, and a lot of that’s on purpose, because badly recording and producing one’s bad playing is pretty kvlt. Of course, this doesn’t preclude truly talented musicians drawn to the genre’s gritty mystique from making some rock solid metal albums.”Hey, Doctor Old Nick!