Falls of Rauros

Falls of Rauros – Key to a Vanishing Future Review

Falls of Rauros – Key to a Vanishing Future Review

“This multi-instrument outfit continues to work with its traditional format of six tracks over forty-five minutes. But, while this new record doesn’t have anything you haven’t already heard, the band has a knack for execution. Somehow, they continue to breathe uniqueness into each effort and supply just enough originality to make each new record different from the last.” Vanishing returns?

Alda – A Distant Fire Review

Alda – A Distant Fire Review

“How was I supposed to pass on that album cover? Gorgeous, gorgeous stuff. That the associated album was labelled as “blackened folk metal”—or “atmospheric black metal” on the trusty Encyclopaedia—was icing on the cake, but really, I was drawn in by the album art. A Distant Fire is the fourth full-length release from the American Alda, which I’m told means “tree” in a language invented by J.R.R. Tolkien.” Tree aggressive.

Noltem – Illusions in the Wake Review

Noltem – Illusions in the Wake Review

“It’s an uncomfortable moment in a reviewer’s life when you stumble across some promo blurb from a band’s label or PR company that is actually right on the money. While I recognize it must be no easy life if your day job is relentlessly writing promo for bands, these mini-essays are normally so pumped full of hyperbole, so riddled with awkward phraseology and so glowing with praise that this band is the second coming of [insert relevant genre titan], that the write-ups are effectively useless as a guide to the band one is about to sonically ingest. Every now and again, however, the promo hits the nail on the head. Such was the case for Connecticut-based atmospheric black metal trio Noltem and its debut, Illusions in the Wake.” Good PR.

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?

Snaer – Frozen Alchemy Review

Snaer – Frozen Alchemy Review

“From Pittsfield, Maine, Snaer is a quartet founded in 2015, having released a 2019 EP entitled Do It Yourself, a title that conveys their aesthetic and work ethic. Featuring a thrash- and doom-infused style that feels icy and brutal in equal measure, debut full-length Frozen Alchemy effectively balances mystical and punishing. Raw spiraling riffs conveyed through Viking metal-esque chord progressions, blackened rasps, complex percussion, and a nice progressive edge all greet the ears with frigid bite.” Lead to gold or lead to goat?

Morwinyon – Pristine Review

Morwinyon – Pristine Review

“Italian duo Morwinyon formed in 2019 as a side project of post-black group Falaise, offering three full tracks and an ambient outro for an atmosphere worthy of its debut’s namesake – Pristine. Utilizing a synth-heavy ambient black metal template of Golden Ashes or Midnight Odyssey, there’s little new to be found. However, it revels in its saccharine melodic qualities, liberally serving serene soundscapes for the blackened escapist, even if it might only offer cavities and headaches to the more discerning listener.” Bittersweet.

Eave – Phantoms Made Permanent Review

Eave – Phantoms Made Permanent Review

Phantoms Made Permanent is the sophomore release from Maine’s Eave. It follows their 2016 debut, Purge, and 2018’s EP, Banners to the Moonswept, which I — inadvertently — smuggled into a 2019 EP post. Since Banners, Eave’s original three-piece line-up has acquired a fourth member, with the addition of guitarist Gabe Shara, and they have moved across to Bindrune Recordings. When I wrote up the excellent Banners, I said that if that EP was a foreshadowing of what we could expect from the next Eave full-length, that was pretty exciting.” The future is now!

Dawn of a Dark Age – La Tavola Osca Review

Dawn of a Dark Age – La Tavola Osca Review

Dawn of a Dark Age is an Italian black metal duo formed in 2014, brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Vittorio Sabelli (aka Eurynomos, also of Suici.De.Pression), currently featuring vocalist Emanuele Prandoni (aka Anamnesi of Progenie Terrestre Pura and Grind Zero). Sabelli has released five full-lengths since the project’s inception: volumes 1-5 of The Six Elements series (in order: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Spirit / Mystères). This presumably culminates in sixth full-length La Tavola Osca, even if I’m unsure what it has to do with the elements.” Bend them all.

Horn – Mohngang Review

Horn – Mohngang Review

“It’s neat seeing a progression of an artist across a project’s discography. From Anathema‘s death/doom to prog-rock stylings, Ahab‘s crushing funeral doom to, like, pretty funeral doom, to the deathcore to symphonic black metal to straight-up black metal of Abigail Williams, it shows true growth and maturity to acknowledge the past while stepping into the future. Today’s is German act Horn, comprised of sole member Nerrath, a prolific pagan black metal act with two demos, eight full-lengths, and an EP since 2002.” Change is in the air.