Falls of Rauros

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.

Blaze of Sorrow – Absentia Review

Blaze of Sorrow – Absentia Review

“It’s amazing the things you discover lurking around the Promo Pit. Blaze of Sorrow is not a band that has been on my radar, but between that album art (I mean, look at it), that name (Absentia is such a cool name it nets you twelve band name search results on Metallum), and the promise of “windswept, cascading black metal [that] is undoubtedly melancholic at heart” (I know, I know, marketing copy is marketing copy, but what can I say, it sounded good), I was sold on Blaze of Sorrow‘s Absentia before I’d heard a single note.” Grand declaration of expectations.

Faustian Pact – Outojen Tornien Varjoissa Review

Faustian Pact – Outojen Tornien Varjoissa Review

“There’s something intriguing about black metal. While its origins are saturated with violence and its imagery is so defiantly anti-status quo, it’s calmed down significantly over the last decade or so. With more accessible styles like folk and post-rock taking more of a prominent role, it can be difficult to find the trve kvlt style that once circulated the underground in whispered rumors.” Dirty deals.

Denial of God – The Hallow Mass Review

Denial of God – The Hallow Mass Review

“He dribbles down the court, the clock winding down to an excruciating ten seconds. He fakes left and tears right, leaving his opponent stumbling. This is why the Orlando Magic drafted the Most High with their No. 1 pick, because with God, all things are possible⁠—like a deep playoff run.” I doubt even God can conjure that up this year.