Darkthrone

Gràb – Zeitlang Review

Gràb – Zeitlang Review

“A hefty chunk of metal has to do with reckonings. Whether about the absence of God, the rejection of the superficially “beautiful,” or the fact that we will all be worm-food one day, bands use the medium to highlight the darker side of a showdown we all must face. If pop is about how we’d like things to be, metal is about how things are. Part of reckoning is looking back honestly at our lives as we get older.  Zeitlang (Yearning), the debut album by Gràb—a German black metal trio created by former Dark Fortress front-man, Grant—centers on an old man who retreats to a cottage deep in the mountains to reflect on his life.” Gràb life!

Manfrea – Noire Review

Manfrea – Noire Review

“Novel genre mixes are always fun. I thought I had one of those when I grabbed Noire, sophomore effort from Moscow musicians Manfrea, from the bin. Blackened metalcore, it said. Russia seems to have developed a penchant for experimental, envelope-pushing metal, so it’s only natural my thoughts went to bizarre concoctions of Trivium and Darkthrone and the question how two such disparate genres could possibly mix. My esteemed colleagues immediately shot down such ruminations when I pondered these questions aloud, by proposing the suspicious half of this amalgamation might be more along the original, non-melodic metalcore line, which would make the figurative distance between genres considerable shorter.” Near and Noire.

Fustilarian – All This Promiscuous Decadence Review

Fustilarian – All This Promiscuous Decadence Review

“While many a reviewer despises grabbing black metal promos stuck in the ’90s, I love it. For nothing else, it gives me an itch for my favorites. Sometimes I won’t even finish the new promo before I abandon it for the road down memory lane. I always start with Darkthrone—sometimes Transylvanian Hunger, other times it’s Hate Them. Then it’s Mayhem‘s De Mysterii Dom Sathanas and Wolf’s Lair Abyss. From there, it’s Gorgoroth, Immortal, Funeral Mist, and Horna. Before I know it, the review is past due and the album is already on the shelves.” Lateness and decadence.

Viserion – Natural Selection Review

Viserion – Natural Selection Review

“For a relatively young genre, metal has found its fair share of adherents who quickly discovered their musical niche and haven’t budged from that sound. While this applies to both listeners (I’ll proudly wave the tattered OSDM banner until the day I die) and practitioners, it’s most noticeable with new and emerging bands not only harken back to a particular sound, but actively refuse to grow beyond it. Much like the Vogons in the immortal tome A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, these bands refuse to evolve. This may merely be my own bias showing, but this phenomenon seems to be most pronounced amongst the black metal set. Ever committed to all things trv, it would appear these corpse painted cretins believe that metal peaked somewhere around 1993. So when I picked up Viserion‘s debut Natural Selection, I was understandably apprehensive.” Status woe.

Groza – The Redemptive End Review

Groza – The Redemptive End Review

“I was tentative about taking this album. I was familiar with Groza‘s debut Unified in Void from 2018, granting it a casual listen and making that “not bad” Obama Rage Comic face from 2012. If one peruses the Metallum profile of these Germans, you’ll be graced with the shocking sight of a whopping 0% average review score from three reviews. Why, you ask? Probably because — and maybe this is obvious given the act’s name and a certain Polish full-length debut — Groza sounds a hell of a lot like Mgła. That’s unfair, awarding no merit to an album simply because it imitates another. I mean, if fans cancelled every act that sounded like Transilvanian Hunger, we’d have no black metal left.” The end of influence?

Bizarrekult – Vi Overlevde Review

Bizarrekult – Vi Overlevde Review

“I’ve been sitting on this one for some time. Label it black metal and give it enchanting artwork, and Madam X is all over it. Even before passing it over to me for review, she was pre-ordering the vinyl. And for good reason. On a white backdrop, that tree-covered moose walking on mountains is one of the more original album covers of the year. But the artwork isn’t the only good part of the album. Under that mysterious cover lies a thick slab of Norwegian black metal.” Kvlt Moose is loose.

Ossaert – Pelgrimsoord Review

Ossaert – Pelgrimsoord Review

Ossaert is an anonymous duo from the Dutch city of Zwolle, which they describe as “indoctrinated.” This is foreshadowing in that the duo, spearheaded by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter P., specializes in a breed of black metal not unlike the many confused faces of Batushka. Utilizing cold, ruthless second-wave black metal run through the dark lens of religion, they balance blasphemy with a spiraling feeling of madness.” Religion as brutality.

Svneatr – Chinook Review

Svneatr – Chinook Review

“Another day, another black metal album. Just like my daily bowl of Lucky Charms and cup of coffee, it will either be delicious or tiresome. Is it gonna be Starbucks’ ashtray blend or Trve Kvlt’s Diabolical Divinations roast? Is Lucky Charms gonna hurt that shady cavity I’ve got developing in my molars or will it delight with its blend of hearty bits and sweet marshmallows? It’s a toss-up – just like black metal. While I have history with Vancouver’s Svneatr, sophomore effort Chinook hopes to follow up 2018’s excellent The Howl, The Whisper, The Hunt with a cold, riffy second-wave shenanigans. Does Chinook live up to to the hype?” If you want to destroy my Svneatr

Funeral Fullmoon – Poetry of the Death Poison Review

Funeral Fullmoon – Poetry of the Death Poison Review

“It’s a mere four months since I reviewed Revelation of Evil, the full-length debut from Chilean one-man black metal project Funeral Fullmoon and, frankly, I didn’t expect see him back so soon. Now, part of the reason it’s only been four months is because the January release of Revelation of Evil was in fact a re-issue through Inferna Profundus Records of a cassette-only release from last September, something I discovered about quite late into the writing process. Even allowing for my own failures here, that’s still only an eight-month turnaround from the man currently going by the name Magister Nihilifer Vendetta 218.” Vardan the interruption.

Wreche – All my dreams came true Review

Wreche – All my dreams came true Review

Wreche is the black metal brainchild of Oakland, California artist John Steven Morgan, working solo since the project’s debut with drummer Barret Baumgart. It professes a style “more unhinged, personal, and varied” than 2017’s offering. Trashing guitar completely, Morgan instead focuses entirely on synth, piano, vocals, and drums, not unlike Mories’ Golden Ashes project. If you’re catching weird vibes, you ain’t wrong.” Jazz in a blackened place.