Emperor

Aerdryk – Met De Drietand Op Mijn Huid Review

Aerdryk – Met De Drietand Op Mijn Huid Review

“The mighty founder of this blog once famously said, “Atmoblack is just 2 riffs drawn out over 60 minutes with some reverb and synths.” Those of us who are fans pushed back, at the risk of a considerable tongue-lashing. “But it’s about the atmosphere, see? Riffs are not the be-all and end-all. Mother nature is a vibe not a riff.” The matter was never resolved, but after the bruising back-and-forth, both sides retreated to lick their wounds. It was with this in mind that I approached the debut album from Dutch band Aerdryk, Met De Drietand Op Mijn Huid (With the Trident on My Skin).” Atmoblech.

Pestilent Hex – The Ashen Abhorrence Review

Pestilent Hex – The Ashen Abhorrence Review

“Smear on your corpse paint and sharpen up your spiked wristband, we’re setting the Way-Black Machine to 1990’s Oslo. Pestilent Hex is a two-man Finnish passion project that pays serious homage to the second wave of Norwegian black metal. The band remarkably wraps their sound in a cloak of black lace and gothic misery. They clearly love the bands of this era and pay homage to their heroes with detailed fervor. Pestilent Hex spent nearly five years writing and recording The Ashen Abhorrence.” Black and olde.

Katharos – Of Lineages Long Forgotten Review

Katharos – Of Lineages Long Forgotten Review

Of Lineages Long Forgotten seems a slightly ironic title for an album whose lineage is so clear to hear. Writ large across its near 50-minute run are the influence of Dimmu Borgir, particularly circa Death Cult Armageddon and In Sorte Diaboli, and Prometheus-era Emperor. This is no bad thing, however.” Of a long line of blackened kin.

I Am The Night – While the Gods Are Sleeping Review

I Am The Night – While the Gods Are Sleeping Review

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with pining for the olden days of yore. Retro-gaming is a lucrative, enjoyable hobby that not only fires the synapses of Those Who’ve Been There, but also introduces a new generation of gamers to legendary titles. Classic movies get remade and reworked all the time with varying degrees of success. And in metal, people romanticize about a time when being evil required more than initials-for-names and ominous hooded sweatshirts. Two of those people are Markus Vanhala, guitarist for both Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum, and his OG ex-bandmate, bassist Janne Markannen. Yearning to dive into the classic 90s wave of black metal, they enlisted members of Abhorrence, Horizon Ignited, and Paradise Lost to pay tribute to the Black Wizards via their new project, I Am the Night.” Lease the night!

Lifvsleda – Sepulkral Dedikation Review

Lifvsleda – Sepulkral Dedikation Review

“What is the essence of “purity”? Because, really, very few things are as “pure” as we would like (or suppose) them to be. Not the water you drink. Not the air you breathe. Not the hobo wine in the AMG canteen. And certainly, not the line your pal Tony snorted off that toilet in that club one time. So, when bands claim to play “pure” anything, I wonder what they mean. Livfsleda, an anonymous black metal band from Sweden, proposes that they play black metal in its “purest form.”” Purity through propaganda.

Vermörd – Nostalgic Predictions Review

Vermörd – Nostalgic Predictions Review

“What could it mean to be Nostalgic about a Prediction? As the one implies backward-looking longing, and the other forward-looking anticipation, the suggestion is of a mysterious, conflicted deja vu. Vermörd may not have been aiming for anything other than a cool-sounding quasi-oxymoron in titling their debut LP Nostalgic Predictions. Nonetheless, it provides a suitable metaphor for this album.” Prediction of trouble.

Krolok – Funeral Winds & Crimson Sky Review

Krolok – Funeral Winds & Crimson Sky Review

““Delve deep in and listen… listen to the atmospheres of an arcane night and return within your thoughts into bygone times.” So goes Krolok’s description of their second offering of ESL-inflected black metal. The band, hailing from a literal Carpathian forest, bills itself as “atmospheric.” Their actual sound, however, riffs on the age-old question: “What if trve and kvlt, but also having of dungeon synth keys?”” What would Krolok do?

Whoredom Rife – Winds of Wrath Review

Whoredom Rife – Winds of Wrath Review

“Let me start off on the right foot with some honesty: I had, for the longest time, no idea what to say about the latest Whoredom Rife record. If it was a boring record, I’d call it Boredom Rife and be proud of that pun, but I can’t in any honesty do that. Winds of Wrath isn’t a boring record. It isn’t a great one either.” Rife in the middle.

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!