Black Metal

Abhor – Sex Sex Sex (Ceremonia Daemonis Anticristi) Review

Abhor – Sex Sex Sex (Ceremonia Daemonis Anticristi) Review

“Cometh the day, cometh the dissemination of yet more black metal. I am reliably informed by the album’s one sheet that Abhor and their new release entitled Sex Sex Sex (Ceremonia Daemonis Anticristi) is “anticipated.” Quite by whom is unclear, considering that these Italians have toiled in obscurity for 8 albums across 27 years without generating much in the way of “buzz.” It also seems unnecessary to include biographical information about the band when confronted with such a title. I couldn’t resist the allure of Sex Sex Sex irrespective of the band producing it, such is my delight at the premise of satanic copulation.” Sexy beasts.

Wyrms – Sarkhral Lumænor – La Lueur Contre les Fléaux Review

Wyrms – Sarkhral Lumænor – La Lueur Contre les Fléaux Review

“Let’s get one thing straight with these guys: avant-garde, avant-schmard. Unlike many French compatriots, wacky innovation is not the name of the game here. Wyrms stick rigidly to the melodic template which has been honed to a fine sheen since Dissection and Sacramentum first did their thing. Sarkhral Lumænor is about as modern as a jousting contest, and as subtle and flexible as chain-mail armor.” The wyrm you know.

Celestial Grave – Vitriolic Atonement Review

Celestial Grave – Vitriolic Atonement Review

“Three years ago, I covered Finnish black metal mourners Celestial Grave‘s debut record, Secular Flesh. At that time, the album was released under a label which today gives me pause. That label isn’t a friendly place, for several reasons upon which I won’t elaborate here. However, Celestial Grave is now releasing their sophomore album, Vitriolic Atonement, under the much smaller and less problematic (for now, anyway) The Sinister Flame. And thus, I picked it up to give it the full treatment. I’m glad I did, too.” Welcome is a grave.

Epoch of Unlight – At War with the Multiverse Review

Epoch of Unlight – At War with the Multiverse Review

At War with the Multiverse is a familiar, yet fresh take on their established formula, featuring a re-jinked line-up that has tirelessly honed the material comprising this long-awaited return. Whereas Epoch of Unlight’s sound has previously featured a technical, thrashy black metal core embellished with melodeath and progressive elements, At War with the Multiverse flips the tact a little.” Run to the Unlight.

Mo’ynoq – A Place for Ash Review

Mo’ynoq – A Place for Ash Review

Mo’ynoq is one of black metal’s most frustrating bands – a sky-high potential that never feels capitalized upon. Garnering an underground reputation with their self-released Dreaming in a Dead Language, the North Carolina quartet dealt in second-wave trademarks with an otherworldly twist about them. Balancing two vocalists, frosty tremolo and bouncy riffs, a touch of melody, and a maniac on the kit, the debut should have been a rousing success. Alas, as reflected in the gone-but-not-forgotten Lokasenna ‘s cautiously optimistic review, Mo’ynoq never really got past tripping over their own feet.” Mo’ better?

Behemoth – Opvs Contra Natvram Review

Behemoth – Opvs Contra Natvram Review

“While I don’t consider myself to be a huge Behemoth fan—in fact, I haven’t even listened to all of their releases—I rather enjoy most of the band’s albums with which I’m familiar. Demigod is a blackened death classic, and I like The Apostasy quite a bit too—and not just because it features an appearance by my beloved Warrel Dane (R.I.P.). The Satanist had some great moments, but the amount of pretense on display was a bit unnerving. And that sense of foreboding was ultimately justified with the release of its follow-up, the at times cringy I Loved You at Your Darkest. While initially hesitant to cover that album’s successor, I was overcome by curiosity.” Curiosity and the beast.

Altars Ablaze – Life Desecration Review

Altars Ablaze – Life Desecration Review

“Metal fans are stupid, mindless idiots just looking for their next fix, demanding MOAR of the same exact shit they’ve heard a billion times over. That includes me, and that most certainly includes you. Especially you. With this powerful knowledge in hand, bands who tailor their music for themselves rather than for their fans are free to produce some of most unique and compelling metal around. On the other side of the same coin, some bands with this same knowledge often phone it in, delivering a fan-servicing slab of decent material without a lick of personality in the name of album sales. Czechia’s Altars Ablaze, a blackened death metal quintet formed from members of Heaving EarthSupreme Conception, and others, explicitly refuse to cater to the unwashed masses.” Fan service or fan sacrifice?

Hierophant – Death Siege Review

Hierophant – Death Siege Review

“I was first introduced to Italian noisemongers Hierophant with their 2013 sophomore effort, the provocatively titled Holy Mother: Holy Monster. An absolutely punishing release, it included all the hallmarks of acts like Oathbreaker, Celeste, and Hexis in its blackened hardcore/sludge combo. However, with a cutthroat crusty edge, it forsook all subtlety for punishing vitriol, excruciatingly dense and brutal.” Death sieges us all. Hold fast!