Black Metal

Blood Stronghold – Spectres of Bloodshed Review

Blood Stronghold – Spectres of Bloodshed Review

“Collaborations in music (and metal) have been around since you were a tyke on your grandpappy’s arthritic knee. When they work, differing artists can bring out the best in each other, highlighting each other’s strengths, and masking their weaknesses. Blood Stronghold follows in this grand tradition: an international amalgamation of Australia’s Nightwolf (from Runespell) and veteran Polish drummer Krew (from numerous projects I honestly haven’t of).” Blood is thicker than…forts.

Dawn of a Dark Age – La Tavola Osca Review

Dawn of a Dark Age – La Tavola Osca Review

Dawn of a Dark Age is an Italian black metal duo formed in 2014, brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Vittorio Sabelli (aka Eurynomos, also of Suici.De.Pression), currently featuring vocalist Emanuele Prandoni (aka Anamnesi of Progenie Terrestre Pura and Grind Zero). Sabelli has released five full-lengths since the project’s inception: volumes 1-5 of The Six Elements series (in order: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Spirit / Mystères). This presumably culminates in sixth full-length La Tavola Osca, even if I’m unsure what it has to do with the elements.” Bend them all.

Enshadowed – Stare into the Abyss Review

Enshadowed – Stare into the Abyss Review

“At least in my part of the globe, winter is upon us, thus it is the season to get down and gloomy with the darker, atmospheric arts. My regular rotation has seen a spike in melancholy, ranging from melodic death, downtrodden doom, and black metal. So with my mood well adjusted, I nabbed the fourth LP from long standing Greek act Enshadowed from the promo bin, teeth gritted and fists clenched ready to grimace and headbang through a respectable slice of black metal, or so I envisioned.” Black winter day.

Dismalimerence – Tome: I Review

Dismalimerence – Tome: I Review

“Naming a debut Tome: I is a ballsy move. Not only does it hew awfully close to a famously divisive metal work (Wintersun‘s Time I), but it’s a sign that a band considers this a “serious album,”TM requiring both patience and effort to understand and appreciate. Chicago’s Dismalimerence is nothing if not serious. Its name is an awkward portmanteau of “dismal” and “limerence,” indicating an ugly or depressing infatuation. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, and repeating it in quick succession after a few drinks is challenging.” Wherever I may Tome.

Vspolokh – Помре Review

Vspolokh – Помре Review

““In mainstream literature, the anti-hero dies. In Ural literature, everyone dies.” This cheery adage is not only the plot of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, but also the philosophical basis for the music of Russian black metal group, Vspolokh. The band makes no bones about its admiration for its Ural heritage, playing a form of music it describes as “Ural Chthonic Black Metal.” Color me intrigued.” Blackness and death in a Russian winter.

Mora Prokaza – By Chance Review

Mora Prokaza – By Chance Review

“Your fifth grade science fair project. Frankenstein’s monster. That godawful sandwich you made of leftover hash browns, macaroni and cheese, hot dog buns, and spaghetti sauce. Said godawful sandwich growing furry mold sitting in the back of your fridge after vowing you’ll eat it later. What do all these have in common? They’re experiments, forays into the unknown. Rife with experimentation, will Mora Prokaza‘s latest blackened oddity fall into the happy slurpee realm or the “acquired taste” maggot cheese kingdom?” I’ll just stick with the Haggis.

Hornwood Fell – Cursed Thoughts – I II Review

Hornwood Fell – Cursed Thoughts – I II Review

“Now, here’s an interesting concept. One that wouldn’t slip by ole Grier. Hornwood Fell‘s eighty-minute epic, Cursed Thoughts – I II, happens to be a combination of two records released earlier this year. With the help of Third-I-Rex and Kadabra Music, the band was able to combine this independently-released two-parter into a single release. The first part inspired by Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal and the second by the poems of Edgar Allan Poe.” Deep thoughts.

Serment – Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté Review

Serment – Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté Review

“Some black metal bands are sheer aggression and violence, while others are all about slow-build atmosphere and ambience. Lurking around the fringes, just outside these respective circles of firelight, are the folk black metal bands, crooked harps and battered lutes clutched in their claws. By far the most interesting – to me at least – are the black metal acts that dip their bucket in multiple wells, and we have one such specimen on our hands today. Quebec’s Serment is the one-man side project from Forteresse’s guitarist and bassist, Moribond.” Folk in the eye.

Creature – Ex Cathedra Review

Creature – Ex Cathedra Review

“A mere six months ago I wrote a TYMHM piece on the second Creature album Contes Funèbres, noting that while that album had a black metal base and clear elements of 70s prog, it also contained an anachronistic theatricality, like a corpse-painted staging of Les Misérables. If Contes Funèbres was broadway, Ex Cathedra is opera.” Shock me, Amadeus.