Black Metal

Vanum – Legend Review

Vanum – Legend Review

“When I reviewed Ageless Fire on this very site, I described Vanum‘s sound as “black metal without cross-genre bells and whistles,” and this is absolutely still true. It’s a different beast than Yellow Eyes or Ash Borer,, principle members M. Rekevics and K. Morgan’s other bands, in that it has never tried to be anything but a love letter to black metal days of yore. Bathory has always been a touchpoint, but perhaps the most noticeable change on Legend is just how hard Vanum lean into their Quorthorniness.” Quorthorn the raven, eat my sword!

Freja – Tides Review

Freja – Tides Review

“I’m a simple creature, really. If you make your album even vaguely Nordic-themed, I’ll pay attention. The mythologies that have spawned countless legends, a whole lot of music, and many other artistic expressions are so enduringly popular for a reason, and their themes have similarly lent themselves to some really good metal. Freja is among the newest bands to find influence in this striking topic, a Dutch duo of one C. and W., who describe their style as one of “towering, thundering” atmospheric black metal.” The tides are a raider.

Disembody – Reigniting Hellfire Review

Disembody – Reigniting Hellfire Review

“Ah, who doesn’t like a hellish blast of blackened thrash mayhem? While it may not top my list of metal drugs of choice, nor do I claim the expertise or passionate dedication to the style as our resident Z-man, it regularly delivers a refreshingly crude, ragged, riff-ready charm that goes down easily. Best served raw and unpolished, Finland’s Disembody, um…. embodies, the retro characteristics often found in the subgenre, pulling influences from the darker corners of ’80s thrash and imbuing these fast, fiery traits with ample doses of vitriolic blackened mayhem and grim first wave crudeness.” Disnuance.

Bhleg – Fäghring Review

Bhleg – Fäghring Review

Fäghring is what you might imagine the soundtrack to be if you happened upon a pagan cult in the woods. Kind of “Number of The Beast” meets Midsommar. Birds play a prominent role, and you can almost imagine the canopy of trees gently bending with the breeze throughout. The album begins slowly with a chorus of birds before the chants and drums let you know something more sinister is going on.” Forest packages abound.

Faceless Entity – The Great Anguish of Rapture Review

Faceless Entity – The Great Anguish of Rapture Review

“The Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus maintained that fear of death is irrational, for while we exist, our death is not, and when death comes, we do not exist. This hasn’t convinced Faceless Entity, whose brand of black metal they describe as “audial thanatophobia” (fear of death). The Great Anguish of Rapture represents an extension of their dour meditations to their most broadly philosophical release so far, following the more straightforwardly depressive early demos and 2017 debut In Via Ad Nusquam (On the Road to Nowhere).” Fear and loathing in The Netherlands.

Egregore – The Word of His Law Review

Egregore – The Word of His Law Review

“Now, technically, Egregore‘s full title is, ahem, The Word of His Law: An Address to Abraxas in His Time and Place, Through His Grand Viseer, Thine Pansychopompos. If that gives you any idea, this duo fuses their chaotic tunes with a shroud of supernatural haze that represents their occult nature. Punctuating aural punishment with layers of guitar, synth, and chanting, and undergirded by an unhinged aesthetic, you can expect your ears to bleed, but by, I don’t know, ghosts?” The Code of Harambe.

Blood Torrent – Void Universe Review

Blood Torrent – Void Universe Review

“I miss the 1980s. There’s a special place in my heart for bands that foreshadowed the development of extreme metal while keeping one foot firmly planted in their thrash or NWoBHM roots, like Sodom, Venom, and Slayer. German first-wave black metal enthusiasts Blood Torrent agree. We get lots of promos that cite early-90s second-wave bands as influences, but it’s rarer that albums purport to revive their mid-80s ancestors.” Blood and olde treasure.

Concilivm – A Monument in Darkness Review

Concilivm – A Monument in Darkness Review

“I scoff at the idea of curses, but things have been dicey since I let Concilivm‘s dark magicks into my life. My hated rival Grigori Ilanovich got the promotion I’ve been vying for, there’s a strange shadow on the bedroom wall that seems to be creeping closer each night, and my credit rating has been lowered to “Shoot on Sight.” Can A Monument in Darkness‘s forty minutes of blackened death metal really be the source of all this bad mojo? Spin the debut offering of this duo from Chile, and you too might find yourself consumed by the encroaching blackness. It may well be too late to save me, so I’ll set down this record of my findings.” Dark deeds done dirt cheap.

Lifvsleda – Sepulkral Dedikation Review

Lifvsleda – Sepulkral Dedikation Review

“What is the essence of “purity”? Because, really, very few things are as “pure” as we would like (or suppose) them to be. Not the water you drink. Not the air you breathe. Not the hobo wine in the AMG canteen. And certainly, not the line your pal Tony snorted off that toilet in that club one time. So, when bands claim to play “pure” anything, I wonder what they mean. Livfsleda, an anonymous black metal band from Sweden, proposes that they play black metal in its “purest form.”” Purity through propaganda.