Kveldssanger

Ulver – War of the Roses Review

Ulver – War of the Roses Review

Ulver is one of the greatest metal bands ever. If there were a “Big 4” for 90s metal, Ulver would be one of them because those first three records, Bergtatt, Kveldssanger and Nattens Madrigal (for the uninitiated) are absolutely essential Norwegian black metal records (obviously Kveldssanger isn’t black metal per se, but it is still an awesome record). But, of course, that same experimental drive that pushed the band into black metal also pushed them out of it, and Garm has been very critical of the scene since leaving it. That said, Ulver is also like Katatonia or Anathema in that their post-(extreme) metal music has been widely accepted by metalheads largely because of the already existing cred. But I get the feeling that War of the Roses will try that patience.

Falkenbach – Tiurida Review

Falkenbach – Tiurida Review

The new year sees cult hero Markus Tummers aka (Vratyas Vakyas) and his one man project Falkenbach rise from a long wintry slumber to release Tiurida, album number five. Those familiar with Falkenbach will know they/he specialize in sometimes epic, folk-heavy viking metal influenced primarily by Bathory and likely Ulver as well. Being that their last release, Heralding – the Fireblade, was a re-recording of the old demo material, they haven’t released new material since 2003’s excellent Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty. That’s a mighty long time to keep fans waiting for some new stuff! So has the time away changed the style or vision? Has the endless wait by long suffering and loyal fans been amply rewarded with musical treasure? Well, gather all ye around the merry campfire and let me tell you the tale of my review whilst playing yea old mandolin. Please don your hoods and chant along appropriately.

Náttsól – Stemning Review

Náttsól – Stemning Review

Norwegian metal is famous for two things in modern times: the rise of modern black metal, and more recently, Norway’s fall into disrepute within the metal scene. Since the latter occurred, we have often been hailed with the new band that is somehow breathing new life into the old scene or still making black metal in the old style,and the next band to be hailed in that line is Náttsól, whose debut album Stemning hits European shores in June and the American shores in July. Náttsól we are told, breathe a new and icy life into the dead Norwegian scene that has been a disappointment to us all since the early 2000s. Surely, they’ll be the ones!

Oskoreien – Illusions Review

Oskoreien – Illusions Review

Oskoreien is another one of those DIY projects that I was directed to which delighted me to check out. There was a time when you, as a metal guy, probably got friended by Oskoreien on MySpace, when the creator was in full-on promo mode. The tracks that I remembered hearing were very much in the Ensiferum / Wintersun kind of vein. Lots of sweep picking and sort of melodic death influences. So when I got my hands on the Illusions EP I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Petrychor – Dryad Review

Petrychor – Dryad Review

I frequently complain about black metal these days. Partially this is because I think that a lot of post-black metal is fucking boring and partially ’cause the not-post-black metal is also fucking boring. In general, black metal is in a place where nothing really that interesting is going on. Sure, there are bands out there that are putting out good material, but for the most part the signed stuff is so-so and the classic bands are disappointing with new material and the state of the scene, in my opinion, is pretty sad. So I was pleasantly surprised to get turned onto this piece of art by the Californian do-it-yourselfer just called “T”. The project is called Petrychor and displays all of the things that I would hope to hear out of this budding scene sort of embodied in a single 3 song EP entitled Dryad.