Black Metal

The Day of the Beast – Indisputably Carnivorous Review

The Day of the Beast – Indisputably Carnivorous Review

“The almighty riff. While I’m not entirely convinced of its importance, masochists like Diabolus in Muzaka and Ferrous Beuller spend their days raking the dregs of the Skull Pit’s outer limits in the vain hopes of discovering it laying amid the rusty needles of tech-death or beneath the gore and grime of OSDM, only to return empty-handed and receive yet another beating from the all-knowing ape. While the foundation of countless styles of metal, it’s a frail thing, as its weak implementation or absence can violently derail a song or an album. Worshipers of the almighty and ever-elusive riff, does The Day of the Beast succeed or will they crash and burn with the hordes of Nifelheim-copycats?” Nice to eat you.

Ossaert – Pelgrimsoord Review

Ossaert – Pelgrimsoord Review

Ossaert is an anonymous duo from the Dutch city of Zwolle, which they describe as “indoctrinated.” This is foreshadowing in that the duo, spearheaded by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter P., specializes in a breed of black metal not unlike the many confused faces of Batushka. Utilizing cold, ruthless second-wave black metal run through the dark lens of religion, they balance blasphemy with a spiraling feeling of madness.” Religion as brutality.

Moanhand – Present Serpent Review

Moanhand – Present Serpent Review

“Try as I might, it’s hard to break out of patterns that take months, if not years, to craft and make a template out of. I still put actual milk in my coffee and not that oily Coffeemate bullshit. My breakfast omelets will always have cheddar cheese, bacon, and enough garlic to anger vampires. Above all, I like my doom metal to be… doom metal. Heavy. Oppressive. Mournful. That said, sometimes a little deviation can work wonders, and Roman Filatov, chief songwriter and solo proprietor of Moanhand, is seeking to woo the masses over with his creative take on a classic sound using a wide swath of influences.” Snake’s take.

Passéisme – Eminence Review

Passéisme – Eminence Review

“We here at AMG are fans of all things French. We like croissants with our espressos in the morning. Ratatouille, souffles, bisques, and of course — when budget allows — French wine, all tickle our collective fancy. While nibbling and slurping delicately on these delights, we also like the odd spot of French black metal to help with digestion. Those of us of the particularly cultivated variety enjoy ov French medieval black metal, admittedly a niche-within-a-niche, but wacky enough to scratch a particular itch when it arises. So imagine my delight when the very French-sounding Passéisme crossed my desk with their debut album, the French-sounding-when-you-say-it-with-a-French-accent-in-your-head, Eminence. Then imagine my surprise when I discovered these guys are actually Russian, formed in 2019, from Nivhny Novgorod.” Rasputin Ratatouille?

Portal – Avow Review

Portal – Avow Review

“Before Ion, we thought we had Portal figured out. The kings of murk would release another album of slogging dissonance, just like Swarth or Vexovoid. However, taking the path of least resistance or going with ol’ reliable has never been the esoteric Australian collective’s way, and we were greeted with Ion, a big obscure middle finger to the masses in their abruptly clearest and most pristine listen. In spite of the almost complete abandonment of murk, Ion adhered to their signature impenetrability, creating one of the most challenging listens in recent memory and showcasing that they weren’t just some disso-death one-trick pony. Avow reminds us that Portal is still king.” There will be cake.

Atrium – Ancient Spells Review

Atrium – Ancient Spells Review

“Wolves are neat critters, but their portrayals have gotten a bad rap. The gift shop t-shirt of choice for angsty teenagers who listen to Five Finger Death Punch‘s “Jekyll & Hyde” and convince their friends that they have a “dark side,” the symbol has lost its teeth. Toss in that one individual who identifies as a wolf and barks at a lake, these canines have often become a symbol of try-hards rather than the courageous and loyal representation with which it is traditionally associated. Gazing upon the howling wolf that graces the cover of Ancient Spells, does Atrium offer strength and courage or is it upended by its own insecurities?” Eyes bigger than your belly, Wolfie?

Desaster – Churches Without Saints Review

Desaster – Churches Without Saints Review

“It’s been 4 long years since we got a Desaster album, and the world has certainly gone to Hell in a deathbasket without them. Though it does seem highly on brand for these sleazy creepers to release their ninth platter o’ splatter at the tail end of a global pandemic, so here comes Churches Without Saints, ready or not. For those of you not in the know, Desaster play an unhinged, unpolished style of blackened thrash with loads of classic metal influences crammed into every available nook, cranny and orifice. They’ve never cared about what’s trendy or popular, relentlessly pounding away with their caveman blackthrash style one decade after another like the remorseless war grinders they are.” St. Desaster.

Noctule – Wretched Abyss Review

Noctule – Wretched Abyss Review

Serena Cherry has a knack for melody. In her storied career with Svalbard, the charismatic vocalist and guitarist has co-written and performed a decade of melodic hardcore tinged with post-hardcore, post-metal, and black metal. Now, Cherry tries a little something different in her new solo project Noctule, hoping to “spread her dragon wings and take off in an intriguing musical direction on her own. A labor of love and isolation, Cherry composed and recorded the Noctule debut while in the UK Coronavirus lockdown. Opposed to the melodic hardcore leanings of Svalbard, she now bets it all on black in blackened release Wretched Abyss, an album themed after the popular RPG Skyrim.” Dragon, why do you cry?

Ascète – Calamities et Calamités Review

Ascète – Calamities et Calamités Review

“I’ve been on a bit of an Antiq Records kick lately. Every time I see the word emerge from the mists of the promo pit, my interest is piqued and I grab the promo, often without checking first to see if it’s something I’ll like straightaway. Ever since Véhémence captured my heart back in 2019, I’ve been trying to keep an eye on this label from the lands of France. I’ve received a few heads-ups about Calamites & les Calamités, the debut full-length from the label’s countrymen Ascéte. Sporting black metal of a style that fits right in with their label-mates (Hanternoz comes to mind as a recent example), Ascéte have the sound of a fresh band eager to mark the map.” Fresh blackened meat.

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