Blackgaze

AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeö: Asu no Jokei – Island

AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeö: Asu no Jokei – Island

“Back in the primordial days of this here blog, we attempted something called “AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeö.” The basic idea was to select a bunch of unsigned bands and give them the collective review treatment to find the most worthy buried gems. It was our humble effort to remind folks that the metal underground is still an important part of the world of metal.” Unsigned in the East.

Am Himmel – As Eternal as the Starless Kingdom of Sorrow Review

Am Himmel – As Eternal as the Starless Kingdom of Sorrow Review

“Metal, and black metal-adjacent styles in particular, has traditionally tended towards the chthonic over the celestial in its imagery. But Am Himmel (“In the Sky”) choose to base their horror in the heavenly rather than the hellish. Their music purports to express, it seems, the eternal divine separation in “starless” metaphysical voids. It could be a project born out of piety or heresy. In either case, the import of existential terror is evident.” Heaven as Hell.

TRNA – Istok Review

TRNA – Istok Review

TRNA first came to my attention not long ago, when I volunteered to review Istok, their fourth full-length release, without knowing anything about it. I learned that the band describes their own music as “celestial blackgaze” and thought, what could go wrong? Obviously, that answer to that is “everything,” but I was optimistic. As I read about the band’s story, one that drifts away from their Russian homeland to try and capture the spirit of an altogether dreamier, darker, and more abstract place, I grew increasingly intrigued.” Space gaze.

Deafheaven – Infinite Granite Review

Deafheaven – Infinite Granite Review

“Every Deafheaven album prior to this has been a reaction to the last. If the cold, heavy New Bermuda was an attempt to establish the band’s bona fides to a skeptical metal world after Sunbather, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love was the group embracing the warm blackgaze sound they pioneered and drifting away from the black metal scene about which they have always been so ambivalent. In that respect, Infinite Granite breaks the mold: it is a continuation of the aesthetic of OCHL, not a reaction to it.” Bad reactor.

Agrypnie – Metamorphosis Review

Agrypnie – Metamorphosis Review

Agrypnie is a German black metal band from Hesse, and no newcomer to the scene, having released five full-lengths, a split, an EP, and a compilation since 2005. Perhaps “avant garde” is a tag given to bands that are just difficult to pinpoint, as these guys employ a kitchen sink of influences and guest vocalists in their aural assault in sixth full-length Metamorphosis.” Kafkanated.

An Autumn for Crippled Children – As The Morning Dawns We Close Our Eyes Review

An Autumn for Crippled Children – As The Morning Dawns We Close Our Eyes Review

“What got you into metal? For me, it was blackgaze. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe your pal Doomy wasn’t raised on a diet of Bathory and his enemies’ livers; but as a teenager in the 90’s, I was mostly into indie rock and shoegaze. My entry into metal came later on, when bands like Lantlôs, Deafheaven and Alcest combined the dreamy, ethereal tones of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive with the fury of second-wave black metal. Within this group was the Netherlands’ An Autumn for Crippled Children, who leaned even more heavily into indie territory with their embrace of dream-pop and post rock.” Won’t someone think of the children?

Eave – Phantoms Made Permanent Review

Eave – Phantoms Made Permanent Review

Phantoms Made Permanent is the sophomore release from Maine’s Eave. It follows their 2016 debut, Purge, and 2018’s EP, Banners to the Moonswept, which I — inadvertently — smuggled into a 2019 EP post. Since Banners, Eave’s original three-piece line-up has acquired a fourth member, with the addition of guitarist Gabe Shara, and they have moved across to Bindrune Recordings. When I wrote up the excellent Banners, I said that if that EP was a foreshadowing of what we could expect from the next Eave full-length, that was pretty exciting.” The future is now!

Suldusk – Lunar Falls [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Suldusk – Lunar Falls [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“Spotify’s Discover features serve me well. For without my Discover Weekly playlist or the Artist and Playlist radio station features, I do not know whether I would have stumbled across Suldusk‘s stunning debut album Lunar Falls in time to join the flurry of this year’s Things You Might Have Missed posts. Suldusk is the one woman neo folk blackgaze project of Emily Highfield of Melbourne, Australia.” Lunar folk.