Emperor

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!

Ninkharsag – The Dread March of Solemn Gods Review

Ninkharsag – The Dread March of Solemn Gods Review

“Do you like second-wave black metal? Yes? How much are we talking here? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being Emperor, and 1 being Viscount Deathspasm’s underground project, Endless Decembres ov Joyless Apathy, where would you say your enjoyment falls? Go on, close your eyes and come up with a number. I’ll wait. Ok, got it? If it’s between 8 and 10, read on! This sophomore album by the UK’s Ninkharsag is gonna be right up your frigid alley. Between 6 and 7? This might be your thing depending on the strength of the second-wave itch that needs to be scratched. Proceed with caution. 6 or below? Probably not your vibe, I’m afraid.” Dread marches and pedestrian ambitions.

Sarkrista – Sworn to Profound Heresy Review

Sarkrista – Sworn to Profound Heresy Review

“No one likes to be misled. Money is tight, we have bills to pay, so we all wanna know what we’re spending our precious cash on. When you see an album entitled “Sworn to Profound Heresy,” with a cover featuring malevolent-looking priests surrounding a burning church, you probably think you know what’s in store. When those clouds of billowing smoke feature an image of the dark lord, and the band is named after a church sexton, you might think that this was some satanic, second wave-worshipping black metal, probably from a bunch of European veterans. Well… you’d be absolutely right!” Maximum Satan.

Kjeld – Ôfstân Review

Kjeld – Ôfstân Review

“Many moons ago in the distant year of 2015, Kjeld barreled into my eardrums and then my top five with the outstanding Skym, which was and remains one of the most exciting modern black metal records I’ve heard since I started writing for this blog. Nearly six years and thirty-odd firings later, I get to write about Kjeld again.” Kjeld by death.

Wampyric Rites – The Eternal Melancholy of the Wampyre Review

Wampyric Rites – The Eternal Melancholy of the Wampyre Review

“In the night they come, seeking wengeance. Nocturnal creatures bent on destruction, chaos, and wiolence. No matter how much wiolence and wengeance is wrought, they are never sated – they are always wery sad. Such is The Eternal Melancholy of the Wampyre. At least I think it is anyway, because at the risk of sounding like your mother when you showed her that cool new Carcass band with that Heartwork record you just downloaded from Limewire back when you were a teenager, I can’t understand a word of what’s being sung here; it just sounds like wordless screaming. That’s no matter though, as Wampyric Rites aren’t really about the lyrics in my estimation.” I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a wampyre today.

Paradise in Flames – Devil’s Collection Review

Paradise in Flames – Devil’s Collection Review

Paradise in Flames is a Brazilian black metal quartet, having released two albums, two demos, and an EP since their 2003 formation. While their third full-length’s cover poses questions, a glance at their promo confuses further. They cite death metal countrymen Sepultura and Sarcófago as influences, while the Devil’s Collection was mastered by producer Tue Madsen of Meshuggah and Dark Tranquility fame. Such first impressions are baffling, but the looming question is: is Devil’s Collection any good?” Riffing is fundamental.

Onirik – The Fire Cult Beyond Eternity Review

Onirik – The Fire Cult Beyond Eternity Review

“In 2015, I had the opportunity to review Casket Dream Veneration; an album I had much love for. But something happened. As I revisit it again, I find myself in love with it even more. It’s a unique experience—spinning an album loved and forgotten, only to cherish it more than ever. As one would expect, this had me excited for follow-up The Fire Cult Beyond Eternity. Not only does G. Rex remain the mastermind behind Onirik but he invited Dirge Rep (drums; The Konsortium, ex-Orcustus, ex-Emperor, ex-Gehenna, and the list goes on forever) and Semjaza (mixing, mastering, and ambient vox; Thy Darkened Shade) to contribute. This is a dream team of underground black metal proportions!” Burning cults.

Sammas’ Equinox – Tulikehrät Review

Sammas’ Equinox – Tulikehrät Review

“The style approached by Sammas’ Equinox harkens back to the days of olde, when face-painted specters frolicked in the church cemeteries amongst the flames. Not quite as raw as early Darkthrone and not quite as melodic as EmperorSammas’ Equinox occupies the middle ground, offering all the tremolos one could ask for and loading up on the synths for atmospheric grandeur.” Old hrät.