Black Metal

Istapp – Blekinge Review

Istapp – Blekinge Review

Sweden’s Istapp (translation: icicle) was a big surprise for this Angry Metal Guy. A Swedish melodic black metal from Blekinge Län (which is basically the far south of Sweden) I had never heard of them. They’ve been around in the scene for a while, apparently, having released several demos and then a demo compilation (with practically the same track list as Blekinge). More surprisingly, the band’s vocalist is reported to have been in Spawn of Possession until 2009, which is a strange connection given that the band is at almost the opposite side of the spectrum from the well known and worshiped tech-death band. But while Istapp isn’t going to win any awards with the hardcore fans of black metal with their clean vocals, their pristine production and their melody, they are certainly going to win a lot of fans who like their metal fast, melodic and, more importantly, awesome.

Watain – Lawless Darkness Review

Watain – Lawless Darkness Review

This Angry Metal Guy rips on black metal a lot. One of the most overdone and ill-performed genres in the history of metal has to be black metal. The problem is that when black metal is performed poorly by individuals who are not invested in it, then black metal is boring, simplistic and uninteresting. But when black metal is performed with the force and fanaticism of Sweden’s very own Watain, then it is a force to be reckoned with. And finally Lawless Darkness the new full-length from this Uppsala/Stockholm, Sweden-based black metal act is here and it is a force be reckoned with. It harkens back to the days of yore, when black metal was new, vile and most importantly, dangerous and excellent.

October Falls – A Collapse of Faith Review

October Falls – A Collapse of Faith Review

Depressed Finns are really no surprise in metal these days. It seems like Finns are a pretty morose bunch in general. A country famous for bands like Poisonblack, H.I.M., Sentenced, Insomnium, Black Sun Aeon and Swallow the Sun, it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that some pretty bleak and depressing stuff comes out of Finland. And let me be clear, that’s not even naming huge groups of bands that I’m sure others could probably come up with. But October Falls isn’t your standard “depressed metal” band from Finland. There are no silly ESL lyrics about being buried in a plastic bag or any of that jazz. Instead, October Falls is a “depressive” black metal band with folk sensibilities.

Darkthrone – Circle the Wagons Review

Darkthrone – Circle the Wagons Review

This review is late. Nearly three months late in fact. But perhaps it is best to look at Darkthrone’s Circle the Wagons outside of the usual fervor surrounding an iconic band releasing new material, especially one that sets internet message boards alight as much as Darkthrone. Despite being considered the grandfathers of the True Norwegian Black Metal genre, Fenriz and Nocturo Culto have now become one of the more hated bands in extreme metal. Their drastic shift away from the sound that they pioneered; adopting a more crust punk, thrashy, rock ‘n roll influenced approach polarized their fanbase and turned their recent albums into records you will either love or hate.

More Shroud of Despondency Amazingness

As far as I’m concerned, one of Wisconsin and Michigan’s best kept secrets is the solo project of one Rory Heikkila: Shroud of Despondency. I posted earlier about his amazing tracks from the record Objective: Isolation which is soon to be released (hopefully). And now, he’s apparently gotten together with the drummer and vocalist from Owlscry to create 5 new tracks of fucking amazing black metal. This stuff is sans bass and vocals and “slightly unmixed” and still it is fucking better than most of the stuff I’m getting in as promos. It is fucking phenomenal, to say the least. One observer put it like this: “Dude, your music is so good it makes me cry.” Not because it’s so emotionally evocative (though, it’s that too) but because it’s just so fucking good and as a musician you can’t help but be a little jealous.

Ragnarok – Collectors of the King Review

Ragnarok – Collectors of the King Review

It’s about time someone took black metal to some new exciting levels. A music style can only go so far until it becomes somewhat stale, and for every album released, there are ten others that do the same thing – and almost none of the time is it markedly better. Black metal is no exception, and I have a lot of respect for bands that try something new and innovative. But there are some bands that don’t need to. Some bands, no matter how many albums they release of the same style, never grow stale and are always the best of the trade when it comes to the style of music they perform.

1349 – Demonoir Review

1349 – Demonoir Review

I first became acquainted with 1349 at their landmark Hellfire album which marked them as leaders of the post-90’s Norwegian black metal scene. It seems with their subsequent release, Revelations of the Black Flame, they lost a lot of support from their “true” supporters for their favoring more ambient passages and relying more on atmospherics than blistering black metal. Luckily, 1349’s latest offering attempts to strike a balance between the two extremes in the genre and Demonoir looks like a very solid album, treading the waters between dark ambient and black metal to great effect.

Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones Review

Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones Review

There are some musicians that are capable of making a sound, no matter how simple, but always make it sound distinctive to the composer. In the same way, all of Thomas Gabriel Warrior’s creations have a distinct feeling and mark to them, which is why I’m so glad we have this new band on the scene. Warrior has teamed up with three young musicians to continue his creation through the new name, and judging by this record, Triptykon is a name we’ll he hearing more of in the not so distant future.

Warrior had stressed before that this CD would be Monotheist part two, which to me is a relief. After the brilliant Monotheist, I was left wanting much, much more. I’m not saying that Monotheist was too short or unsubstantial, Monotheist had the stamp of Warrior plastered over every sound that was put on the record. If you were in love with Monotheist, like me, you would have had nowhere else to turn to get a similar experience. The terrifyingly gripping feeling just couldn’t be found anywhere else in the metal scene.

Trident – World Destruction Review

Trident – World Destruction Review

An outgrowth of the ideas of a former Dissection guitarist (Johan Norman) and a couple of members of the band Necrophobic, Trident hits the stores on the 22nd of March throughout Europe and hits a totally virgin audience. These guys pretty much came out of nowhere, having basically played locally in Sweden and apparently they circulated a demo or something that got them picked up by Regain. Formed in 2007, Trident is a blackened death band in the veins of the aforementioned bands and is yet another Swedish assault on Christendom and the senses that will surely inflame passion in some corners.