Burzum

Blood Stronghold – Spectres of Bloodshed Review

Blood Stronghold – Spectres of Bloodshed Review

“Collaborations in music (and metal) have been around since you were a tyke on your grandpappy’s arthritic knee. When they work, differing artists can bring out the best in each other, highlighting each other’s strengths, and masking their weaknesses. Blood Stronghold follows in this grand tradition: an international amalgamation of Australia’s Nightwolf (from Runespell) and veteran Polish drummer Krew (from numerous projects I honestly haven’t of).” Blood is thicker than…forts.

Irae – Lurking in the Depths Review

Irae – Lurking in the Depths Review

“Black metal has a weird reputation. If you ask anybody walking down the street about it, given its nuances of church burning and Satanism, they’ll shudder and tell you “that stuff is scary, man.” However, if you ask a person who regularly listens to it, it becomes a different beast entirely: using Burzum‘s self-titled as an example, you’ll hear an angsty Ewok grumbling about his mom taking away his Satanic Bible while abusing a Walmart guitar.” Fear and loathing in Portugal.

Naxen – Towards the Tomb of Times Review

Naxen – Towards the Tomb of Times Review

“This German black metal trio is relatively new to the scene, having released a single EP, 2018’s To Abide in Ancient Abysses, which, while not particularly unique, was a solid two-track, eighteen-minute foray into cranky darkness. Now we’re greeted with their first full-length, Towards the Tomb of Times, which, while also offering an awesome and epic oomph of alliterative accomplishment, equals more of the same darkness and black metal shenanigans that we came to expect with its predecessor.” Action Naxen.

Faustian Pact – Outojen Tornien Varjoissa Review

Faustian Pact – Outojen Tornien Varjoissa Review

“There’s something intriguing about black metal. While its origins are saturated with violence and its imagery is so defiantly anti-status quo, it’s calmed down significantly over the last decade or so. With more accessible styles like folk and post-rock taking more of a prominent role, it can be difficult to find the trve kvlt style that once circulated the underground in whispered rumors.” Dirty deals.

Mavorim – Axis Mundi Review

Mavorim – Axis Mundi Review

“One-man bands make me both impressed and apprehensive. I’m impressed because having a musical vision is special to begin with and being able to execute it solo takes real talent. I’m apprehensive because there’s no give-and-take or real collaboration for the visionary, and most creators of any stripe lack the will to kill their darlings.” One man with a bully pulpit.

Bhleg – Äril Review

Bhleg – Äril Review

“Leaves crunch as feet hit the concrete. The air contains a faintly sweet aroma as it passes through the trees. All the things that can be pumpkin-spiced are, indeed, pumpkin-spiced. In the United States, it’s officially autumn through most of its impressive landscape.[1. Where I live (Northeast Florida), all that’s changed is that I’ve gone from wearing sleeveless t-shirts to t-shirts with sleeves.] And what better way to bring in the season than with some atmospheric black metal with folk tinges?” Folk on the pumpkin.

Murdryck – Födelsen Review

Murdryck – Födelsen Review

“’The first draft of almost everything you produce is shit. And the second draft is usually also shit. But you never wind up with anything worthwhile without producing those early drafts.’ A wise supervisor once told me these words, and she was right. Whether a terrified n00b trying to avoid the perils of the AMG Skull Pit, or attempting a complicated academic research paper, the early stages of anything worthwhile are often about finding your identity and your voice. That process can be messy and unglamorous, but it’s how anything great gets made.” Revise, Mutherf_ _ _ _ _!

L’Acéphale – L’Acéphale Review

L’Acéphale – L’Acéphale Review

“Twenty-nineteen has, so far, been an interesting year for metal. Not including the fact that the infamous Lords of Chaos has finally hit the big screen. And it seems to be the catalyst for some interesting current events. Events brought on by weirdos that wish they were 1) Norwegian and 2) friends with Count Grishnakh. Churches of all denominations have been going up in flames around the world and one can only wonder how far this will go. Hell, as of this writing, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has gone up in smoke. And one can only wonder, with the nonstop success of the French scene, who is responsible.” Burning times.

10:13 – Result of an Iron Age Review

10:13 – Result of an Iron Age Review

“I think we can all agree that the world is fucked. I was a middle school librarian for a few years and, while the majority of the population consisted of illiterate miscreants, the smarty-pants who could actually read (anything besides the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid) would always go for a dystopian/post-apocalyptic book. From the holy trinity of Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and Divergent to newer and depressing takes on the genre, I’m convinced there’s gotta be something masochistic about indulging in a future whose bleakness rests solely on human shoulders, but every few years a new book or new movie will convince us again that such a future is inevitable without serious change. This brings us to newcomer 10:13, a new instrumental black metal act from the United States, whose sole member is multi-instrumentalist Neil Carter.” In the Age of Iron, they were metal.

Dødsferd – Diseased Remnants of a Dying World Review

Dødsferd – Diseased Remnants of a Dying World Review

Dødsferd is one strange duck. If there was a band you could sue for false advertising, it would be this one. I still remember the shock of hearing the band’s debut, Desecrating the Spirit of Life. I mean, how did this one get by me? I thought I’d heard every ’90s Norwegian black metal gem out there. After my friend realized I wasn’t joking, he gently corrected me. ‘Dude, these guys are from Greece and this is brand new.'” Contract the disease.