Melodic Black Metal

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!

Wolves Den – Miserere Review

Wolves Den – Miserere Review

Wolves Den, a German blackened death quartet, unleashed an unsung monster of a record back in 2015 named Deus Vult. While it wasn’t genre-defining or anything like that, I often question why it gets such little fanfare. Perhaps with their sophomore full-length, Miserere, they can establish some kind of foothold in the heart-voids of our fair metal community.” Misery loves running with the pack.

Naglfar – Cerecloth Review

Naglfar – Cerecloth Review

“These Swedes have been around a long time and, I’m sad to admit, I kinda gave up on them after 2007’s Harvest. Yet, here we are, some thirteen years later, with Naglfar‘s newest record plopped in my lap. Upon initial inspection, Cerecloth looks, feels, and smells like Naglfar. Former bassist, Kristoffer W. Olivius, is still at the mic, after replacing the mighty Jens Rydén on 2005’s Pariah. And, as it’s been since ’95’s Vittra, each instrument is as crucial as the next. The result is some of the strongest songwriting in the genre. Never groundbreaking and never meant to be, Naglfar is a true purveyor of that melodic black metal sound.” Olde and still colde.

Membaris – Misanthrosophie Review

Membaris – Misanthrosophie Review

“I am worried. I find myself in the midst of an unfamiliar situation that I am not sure I am equipped to handle. I am not talking about the global pandemic—I know I am not equipped to handle that. No, the situation I am talking about is that I am staring down the barrel of awarding another 4.0. You need to understand that, when March began, I had awarded a total of three 4.0s across my whole time at AMG. Now, I am very seriously considering awarding a third this fucking month!” The struggle is real.

Canis Dirus – Independence to the Beast Review

Canis Dirus – Independence to the Beast Review

“Our sharky hero runs, surgically-repaired legs pumping, swag clutched to his chest. He doesn’t look back. He doesn’t need to. He knows what’s chasing him: a velveteen puppet and a number that is two times six. Eventually, lungs heaving, he sinks down behind a dumpster to study his haul… This, dear reader, is a more a less accurate depiction of what it takes to successfully smuggle something tagged as ‘black folk metal’ out of the promo sump and how I come to be reviewing Minnesotan duo Canis Dirus‘ third full-length, Independence to the Beast.” Free beasts and folk thieves.