Melodic Black Metal

Mörk Gryning – Hinsides Vrede Review

Mörk Gryning – Hinsides Vrede Review

“Ah, youth. A time Steel and Huck no longer remember. When all beer is good, all kisses sweet, and anything is possible. For Goth Gorgon and Draakh Kimera, two teenagers in Sweden, this meant donning corpse paint, forming a band, and releasing an album before they were old enough to legally buy the champagne to celebrate. That album, Tusen År har Gått, was a fun combination of old-school, second wave black metal, with a definite slant towards the melodic. Think early Sacramentum, or, more recently, Wormwood. Tusen År har Gått would go on to be extremely well-regarded in metal circles, spawning a few, less interesting follow-ups.” Gryning pains.

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.

Uada – Djinn Review

Uada – Djinn Review

Uada have captured the hearts of many fans searching for plenty of melody with their fury or Mgła without the controversy. I was (and remain) a huge fan of the tight, energetic debut, but 2018’s Cult of a Dying Sun left me colder. I felt that the band were going through the motions, which concerned me given it was but a sophomore release. Take the essential formula of these two albums, ladle on more melody and add a few pinches of Mgła controversy and you have Djinn.” Djinn and juice.

Ages – Uncrown Review

Ages – Uncrown Review

“There’s something distinct, and distinctly satisfying, about the mid-90s surge of Scandinavian melodic death and melodic black metal. When the likes of Emperor, Sacramentum and Dissection were changing the face of metal they were precocious kids with precise and warped visions of what they wanted darkness and evil to sound like. I feel an oxymoronic cold warmth when hearing bands which fit this sound. Many bear the torch but few get so high as those early pioneers.” Heavy is the crown of ice and darkness.

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.

Serment – Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté Review

Serment – Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté Review

“Some black metal bands are sheer aggression and violence, while others are all about slow-build atmosphere and ambience. Lurking around the fringes, just outside these respective circles of firelight, are the folk black metal bands, crooked harps and battered lutes clutched in their claws. By far the most interesting – to me at least – are the black metal acts that dip their bucket in multiple wells, and we have one such specimen on our hands today. Quebec’s Serment is the one-man side project from Forteresse’s guitarist and bassist, Moribond.” Folk in the eye.

Irae – Lurking in the Depths Review

Irae – Lurking in the Depths Review

“Black metal has a weird reputation. If you ask anybody walking down the street about it, given its nuances of church burning and Satanism, they’ll shudder and tell you “that stuff is scary, man.” However, if you ask a person who regularly listens to it, it becomes a different beast entirely: using Burzum‘s self-titled as an example, you’ll hear an angsty Ewok grumbling about his mom taking away his Satanic Bible while abusing a Walmart guitar.” Fear and loathing in Portugal.

Firelink – Firelink Review

Firelink – Firelink Review

“It’s only been thirteen months, but here we are. A new Firelink record. For those who missed it, The Inveterate Fire burst out of nowhere in May of last year, searing the ground with each blackened step through the burgeoning field of Dark Souls-themed metal. Melodic, devastating, and deceivingly mature, that first Firelink shrine blazed high up my year-end list. Needless to say, my expectations for Firelink reached unreasonable temperatures immediately after first learning of its release.” Fi-YAH!

Sodomisery – The Great Demise Review

Sodomisery – The Great Demise Review

“Sweden’s Sodomisery began as a project that included live members from the monstrous Diabolical, as well as Katatonia‘s Niklas Sandin on bass and Netherbird‘s Johan Fridell on vox. At the completion of their 2017 self-titled EP, Fridell and Sandin left and a new lineup formed. Borrowing from their experiences with Diabolical, Sodomisery unleashes a crushing mix of black, death, Swedeath, thrash, and melodeath for their debut, The Great Demise. I know what you’re thinking: that’s a lot to digest. Well, at least the record title sounds uplifting?” Big death, big prizes!