Blackened Death Metal

Wolves Den – Miserere Review

Wolves Den – Miserere Review

Wolves Den, a German blackened death quartet, unleashed an unsung monster of a record back in 2015 named Deus Vult. While it wasn’t genre-defining or anything like that, I often question why it gets such little fanfare. Perhaps with their sophomore full-length, Miserere, they can establish some kind of foothold in the heart-voids of our fair metal community.” Misery loves running with the pack.

Dawn of Ouroboros – The Art of Morphology Review

Dawn of Ouroboros – The Art of Morphology Review

“I found Dawn of Ouroboros out walking after midnight through the Bandcamp grounds, and while I may have ultimately been hauled back to my angry metal prison in a most silverback-ed and unceremonious fashion, you can bet your sorry ass that I managed to smuggle the Californians’ debut back with me. You’re welcome.” Muppet Mythos.

Venomous Skeleton – Drowning in Circles Review

Venomous Skeleton – Drowning in Circles Review

“Having been raised in church, I found my religious experience carried over into my vast expeditions into metal’s colorful multiverse: I find myself reaching more and more for the stuff that incorporates a unique tone of reverence, a sound of standing beneath the colossal or infinite. For bands like Batushka, Ancient Moon, and Behemoth, this liturgical and hieratic atmosphere is proposed through its ritualistic songwriting and uses of common religious musical elements (Gregorian chants, choirs, etc.) contrasting with blasphemy’s twisted dagger in an aural representation of madness. Sonne Adam‘s death/doom solo LP Transformation did this for me.” Worship music.

Black Curse – Endless Wound Review

Black Curse – Endless Wound Review

Endless Wound is so singular in its focus, so confident in its ability to do one thing extremely fucking well, that any convoluted preamble would be far too indulgent. So, convoluted, indulgent preamble aside, I will simply say this: Endless Wound feels like a future death metal classic.” Black curse, bold words.

Bythos – The Womb of Zero Review

Bythos – The Womb of Zero Review

“Yet, while these Scandinavians continue what they helped to create, their Finnish brethren have been at it for almost as long. Unfortunately, n00bs to the scene are enchanted—as we all have been—by the murders and mysteries of the Norwegian and Swedish camps. My favorites from that landmass, which shares borders with both Norway and Sweden, are the trio of Behexen, Horna, and Sargeist. Though their language is different, the message is the same. Bludgeoning, destructive, hateful, and vicious. But, what if a band came along, with members from all three of my favorite Finnish outfits? With the intention of slowing the pace, adding layers of melody, and capping it all off with the hooking guitar leads of Watain and Dissection? I wonder what that would sound like…” Panic Womb.

Khôra – Timaeus Review

Khôra – Timaeus Review

“Once again, I picked promo for an irrelevant reason. German/Irish blackened death trio Khôra wound up in my review queue because their name sounds like the name of one of our cats (Kora). I feel like that’s a perfectly reasonable justification for album selection. If it isn’t, well, then I guess I don’t care. Khôra doesn’t care either, and put out whatever the hell they want regardless of what your tastes or expectations are.” Cats and jammers.

Wardaemonic – Acts of Repentance Review

Wardaemonic – Acts of Repentance Review

“Length alone does not a smart song make. Anyone can throw a dozen disparate riffs together without rhyme or reason under the pretense of progressive songwriting. That’s what’s kind of amazing about Wardaemonic‘s fourth LP, Acts of Repentance. These songs aren’t necessarily clever, but what they lack in songwriting tact is made up for by a dense, captivating atmosphere.” Repentance, then war.

Gaylord – Wings of the Joyful Review

Gaylord – Wings of the Joyful Review

“At its core, metal has always been about rebellion. About sticking it to the man, and society at large. About thumbing expectations and demands and just banging your fukkin’ head. But metal is also, for most, an irrelevant beast. In an era of Coronavirus and global warming, singing about Satan and wizards seems quaint at best, and ridiculous at worst. On top of that, metal is generally white. And male. And often not particularly kind to people who aren’t male and straight and white. Into this breach steps the provocatively named Gaylord, with its second LP, Wings of the Joyful.” Big tent metal.

Ruin Lust – Choir of Babel Review

Ruin Lust – Choir of Babel Review

“The few times I’ve run reconnaissance to the front lines of war metal—sometimes called bestial black metal—it hasn’t exactly inspired me to take up arms. On paper, the bastard child of grindcore and raw black metal sounds like fun, but the unrelenting frenetic assault often turns tedious for this reviewer. I don’t mind dense music, but I like it smart, and that’s not really war metal’s MO. “Then why are you reviewing a war metal album?” the insolent reader may ask. I’ll tell you, though you deserve no such courtesy.” Towers of noise.

Necrowretch – The Ones from Hell Review

Necrowretch – The Ones from Hell Review

“I tend to steer clear of death metal as a genre. There are two principal reasons for this. First, I don’t really like death metal – the unrelenting nature of the music, coupled with the dying frog vocals, just doesn’t do it for me. Second – and as a function of the first – I don’t know much about it. But, if you stick a ‘blackened’ tag in front of ‘death metal,’ shit, I guess I’ll give it a go. So, French stalwarts Necrowretch, I hope you feel suitably honored by the amateur treatment your fourth full-length, The Ones from Hell, is about to receive.” Death for dummies.