Dark Funeral

Drakonis – Blessed by Embers Review

Drakonis – Blessed by Embers Review

“I’m getting too old for this shit. That was my initial thought after starting my third or fourth listen of Blessed by Embers, the debut album by U.K. black metal band Drakonis. Hailing from Northern Ireland, the group initially had some promising signs that drew me in. The promo blurb told of a band that had captivating live shows, a string of EPs that garnered positive reception, and a style that mixed black and death metal without falling neatly into any one genre (several members are also part of folk metal band Waylander, so they have some experience under their belts as well).” Olde and cranky.

Sicarius – God of Dead Roots Review

Sicarius – God of Dead Roots Review

“When we last saw Californian black metal band Sicarius, they were receiving high praise from yours truly for their outstanding debut Serenade of Slitting Throats. I returned to Serenade so its follow-up God of Dead Roots can be put in proper context for this review. This was beneficial, as the differences were in little things – at face value, God of Dead Roots certainly sounds like Sicarius, and Mick Kenney finds himself back behind the boards.” Roots and replanting.

Voltumna – Ciclope Review

Voltumna – Ciclope Review

“How convenient! An extreme metal record distributed by none other than Extreme Metal Music. Can’t get much more straightforward than that! The band is Voltumna, who I am sure every single person here has heard of before. The record is Ciclope. The time is now. The place is here. The reviewer is me. Time to crack open this cyclopic skull and see what lurks inside! Blackened death metal? Just what I wanted!” Extreme gifts.

Avslut – Tyranni Review

Avslut – Tyranni Review

“I don’t like black metal. Not in its traditional form, anyway. Give some blakkened fukkin thrash or blakkened fukkin death and I’ll bang my head till my skull cracks open, but usually traditional black metal just leaves me shrugging. Often the riffs feel secondary to the atmosphere and it’s telling that a band like Mgla could get as big as they did with a shtick that was essentially “we play black metal, but with riffs you actually care about.” Of course, there are always exceptions. Swedish quintet Avslut earned some acclaim on forums I frequent with their 2018 debut Deceptis, which I enjoyed for its ability to work clever riffing into a traditional black metal template.” Riff tiff.

Negator – Vnitas Pvritas Existentia Review

Negator – Vnitas Pvritas Existentia Review

“You know that feeling when you’ve entrusted someone you don’t know to do a job, and you realize early on that they are capable and competent and that, for this particular task at least, you don’t have to worry? Listening to Negator’s latest effort, Vnitas Pvritas Existensia, is a lot like that. Within the first 5 minutes, you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into: furious, no-nonsense Germanic, occult black metal (with a distinct paucity of U’s in the song titles).” Goats til Sunday!

Nordjevel – Necrogenesis Review

Nordjevel – Necrogenesis Review

“As I’m typing this, I’m in the most comfortable of cargo shorts and death metal t-shirts. Birds harmonize from the tops of leafless trees as my eyes and nostrils water due to flowers, weeds, and various fauna having a mass self-orgy. Yep, it’s springtime here in the realm of the Grymm, and yours truly isn’t quite prepared for the eventual descent into summer[1. Which I’m predicting will be next week.]. So what’s a man-cat to do to try to cool off just a little bit more? As I’m currently out of ice cream, it only makes sense to crank some icy-chill black metal from the happiest of lands: Norway! Nordjevel‘s second album, Necrogenesis.” Evil in the shade.

Infernal Execrator – Obsolete Ordinance Review

Infernal Execrator – Obsolete Ordinance Review

“Infernal Execrator is a band that enjoys beating its listeners into tenderized meat, then massages the broken flesh with salt and vinegar. Their 2014 debut, Ad Infinitum Satanic Adherent, was a nonstop bloodletter that didn’t leave much to the imagination. But this year’s Obsolete Ordinance appears to have the flavors of a midsummer stew. How rich are these flavors?” Stewing in evil juices.

Sicarius – Serenade of Slitting Throats Review

Sicarius – Serenade of Slitting Throats Review

“One of my top modern bands is Anaal Nathrakh, and seeing that instrumentalist Mick Kenney produced the debut of Californian black metal band Sicarius‘, charmingly called Serenade of Slitting Throats, got me intrigued. When I started listening, that rush of excitement hit once again; now this is a band worth watching.” Benicio del Toro approved.

Zornheym – Where Hatred Dwells And Darkness Reigns Review

Zornheym – Where Hatred Dwells And Darkness Reigns Review

“First, a question: do you love King Diamond? If the answer is no, you’re dead to me. If the answer is yes, congratulations; my definitive opinion deems you worthy. If, however, you’ve always been enticed by the inherent fun of the King‘s horror-fiction but have never been able to click with Bendix’s unique vocals, or perhaps found the music a little lacking in extremity, then… you’re dead to me. But fear not, fallible one, a saviour crests on this wan-mooned abyss of night. Zornheym, a Stockholm based predator culled from the likes of Dark Funeral, Diabolical, and Facebreaker, have collectively extended their talents into a symphonic project whose oeuvre borrows from both black and death metal.” A one way ticket to the nervous hospital.

Hate – Tremendum Review

Hate – Tremendum Review

“I typically like to treat albums as self-contained works. Music evolves with the artist; any band will tell you that a given record is a time capsule chronicling a band’s creative impulses at a given point, and that, ideally, it should not be beholden to prior albums. Yet certain works regarded as important transitional pieces may not be appreciated as such until years later.” Does that language worry you?