Folk

Mystras – Castles Conquered and Reclaimed Review

Mystras – Castles Conquered and Reclaimed Review

Castles Conquered and Reclaimed is the first release from Mystras, another outing from Ayloss of Spectral Lore fame. Following the epic Spectral Lore and Mare Cognitum split, which only dropped in March, I for one did not expect to see anything else from Ayloss in 2020, and certainly nothing of the scope and scale of this latest project.” Siege the day.

Bell Witch/Aerial Ruin – Stygian Bough Volume I Review

Bell Witch/Aerial Ruin – Stygian Bough Volume I Review

“Dylan Desmond and Jesse Shreibman’s decision to make official their partnership with Erik Moggridge, the man in Aerial Ruin‘s one-man dark folk band, made sense. Moggridge’s guest vocals on Mirror Reaper conveyed grief and loss on a frequency that Bell Witch couldn’t have reached alone. Stygian Bough Volume I pries those mournful dimensions wide in a symbiotic give-and-take quite unlike anything either act has produced before.” Witch in flight.

The Moon and the Nightspirit – Aether Review

The Moon and the Nightspirit – Aether Review

“I love receiving distinctly non-metal promos. I mean, it’s the name of the site, right? Angry ‘Metal’ Guy. Receiving folk, neo-folk, ambient, and similar musical styles feels like a statement from their artists: “no, it isn’t literally metal, but it’s metal in enough ways for you, ‘Guy.’” And I’m not complaining; from Winterfylleth’s The Hallowing of Heirdom to October Falls’s Kaarna to Forndom’s Faþir, some of my favorite musical discoveries have been metal “in all the right ways but one,” and all featured on this site. Since 2005, The Moon and the Nightspirit, a Hungarian duo featuring multi-instrumentalists Ágnes Tóth and Mihály Szabó, have been making traditional folk music; Aether is their seventh full-length album, and it feels like it belongs in all three of the above fields.” Aether realms?

Wino – Forever Gone Review

Wino – Forever Gone Review

“Scott “Wino” Weinrich is at a point in his lengthy and influential music career where he can do pretty much anything he wants. He can cut more albums with his seminal doom act, The Obsessed, or perform with that other seminal doom act, Saint Vitus. He might even pursue collaborations with a who’s who of musicians as he did with Dave Grohl in Probot and with German dark folk artist Conny Ochs. Another option would be to record an album of stripped down, bare bones acoustic Americana rock. It seems as Wino ages, his heart gravitates back to that final option more and more.” Forever Wino.

Hexvessel – Kindred Review

Hexvessel – Kindred Review

“Finnish forest folk band Hexvessel‘s music conjures images of druids and deep, misty woods, and I’ve been a fan since Steel covered No Holier Temple. I love this sort of mystical folk-influenced music, a genre my partner describes as “witchy music.” Right after I wrote about All Tree, I saw them play an enchanting show in an incense-steeped church in London. And now, of course, we’re all stuck in quarantine and unable to actually go wander in the woods. You’d think, then, that I should be excited for another album.” Forest fever.

Forndom – Faþir Review

Forndom – Faþir Review

“When we talk about “power” in the music we review, it usually translates roughly into one of two categories: “loud” and “emotional.” More often than not, it translates into both. Metal music strives to be powerful, whether in the form of “crushing” riffs, “anguished” screaming, or “epic” symphonies. I muse on these definitions because, when pressed to come up with a word to describe Faþir, the second full-length release from Sweden’s Forndom, “powerful” is the word I feel aligns most strongly with the album. And yet, there are no riffs; there is no screaming; there are no symphonies.” POWERS!

Demonic Death Judge – The Trail Review

Demonic Death Judge – The Trail Review

“The fantastically named Demonic Death Judge is a sludge/stoner quartet from Kymenlaakso, Finland, having released two EPs and three full-lengths of plodding and hazy dirges since 2009, The Trail being their fourth. Their first two full-lengths were nearly identical to Louisianan Thou‘s gloomy sludge affairs, pitching molasses-thick riffs, blackened rasps, and decidedly bleak themes.” The path unbakened.

Lord Buffalo – Tohu Wa Bohu Review

Lord Buffalo – Tohu Wa Bohu Review

Tohu Wa Bohu, a Hebrew phrase found in Genesis describing the Earth as “formless and empty” before the creation of light, is the second album from this Texan quartet, and it’s chock full of earthy darkness. First track “Raziel” creaks into the world sounding like a lost track from Nick Cave and Warren EllisThe Proposition soundtrack crossed with Low Estate era 16 Horsepower.” Lost in Americana.

Raphael Weinroth-Browne – Worlds Within Review

Raphael Weinroth-Browne – Worlds Within Review

“And he now works with Leprous as a dedicated cellist, while he also participates in neo-folk troupe Musk Ox and classical duo Kamancello. Across these projects, he has exhibited a flair for flexible use of his instrument, the cello, and I was therefore excited to observe a release called Worlds Within under his own name, solely composed by himself. How does his music fare when divested from the creative control of others’ grubby hands?” Cello again.

Chelsea Wolfe – Birth of Violence [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Chelsea Wolfe – Birth of Violence [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Chelsea Wolfe‘s respected and increasingly revered status within, and outside, the metal scene has steadily grown in recent years. From humble beginnings of her experimental goth-folk early works, to the enchanting Pain is Beauty, Wolfe really hit her stride on 2015’s eclectic masterwork, Abyss.” Birth is violence.