Melodic Black Metal

Vreid – Wild North West Review

Vreid – Wild North West Review

“Like I Krig and Milorg, this new release is a concept album. Instead of learning some history, the concept here is the ups and downs of life as we wait for death. But, more specifically, bassist Hváll says the inspiration for Wild North West comes from his struggles, knowledge, and experience. One of the coolest parts about the album (not to bring Windir up again) is that some of what you’ll hear Valfar wrote back in 2002. Crazy enough, you’ll also hear him play it. He hasn’t risen from the grave, but it sure as shit feels like it.” Wild and dead.

Sarkrista – Sworn to Profound Heresy Review

Sarkrista – Sworn to Profound Heresy Review

“No one likes to be misled. Money is tight, we have bills to pay, so we all wanna know what we’re spending our precious cash on. When you see an album entitled “Sworn to Profound Heresy,” with a cover featuring malevolent-looking priests surrounding a burning church, you probably think you know what’s in store. When those clouds of billowing smoke feature an image of the dark lord, and the band is named after a church sexton, you might think that this was some satanic, second wave-worshipping black metal, probably from a bunch of European veterans. Well… you’d be absolutely right!” Maximum Satan.

Mare Cognitum – Solar Paroxysm Review

Mare Cognitum – Solar Paroxysm Review

“There’s atmospheric black metal, and then there’s Mare Cognitum. Two sides of the same planet. On the former, the sphere is completely devoid of life, eroded by endless recycling of ideas to the point of being uninhabitable. Then you have Mare Cognitum, a one-man force of nature who consistently releases quality material. Mastermind and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Buczarski’s side of the atmoblack world thrives against the eroding tides of time.” Renewable energies.

Miasmata – Unlight: Songs of Earth and Atrophy Review

Miasmata – Unlight: Songs of Earth and Atrophy Review

“The epic and atmospheric, fantasy-inspired black metal stylings of Sojourner continue to go from strength to strength, with 2018’s very good outing, The Shadowed Road, matched by last year’s Premonitions, which – if not actually better – was, as Eldritch Elitist said in his List, “a far more consistent effort” than its predecessor. But, wherever Sojourner’s travels take them next, they will be going there without New Zealand bassist, Mike Wilson, who has set off into the back metal wilderness for a sojourn of his own, with his new solo project Miasmata.” Participation atrophy.

Yoth Iria – As The Flame Withers Review

Yoth Iria – As The Flame Withers Review

“The debut of a band formed by seasoned veterans is, in a way, the best of both worlds. You get the fresh perspective of a new artist, eager to try something different, without the inexperience that may lead to errors in performances or songwriting. You also get all the good of a collection of artists who know what they’re doing, without the expectations that come with extensive back catalogs, hard-earned fan bases and established styles. Yoth Iria is one such acts, and As The Flame Withers is such a debut.” New black is the new black.

Kannustaa – Kannustaa [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Kannustaa – Kannustaa [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Black metal is known for a lot of things. Vulnerability is not one of them. In amongst the hyper-masculine and satanic theatrics, there just isn’t much wiggle-room for nuanced takes musing on the softer side of the human condition. Given that anger is usually a mask for sadness, black metal is clearly one of the saddest forms of art we have. Yet we generally only get the viciously furious or the overwhelmingly maudlin. Enter Kannustaa, an international hybrid band of Americans and Serbians.” Black tears ov rage.

Frigoris – … in Stille [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Frigoris – … in Stille [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Do you remember 2020 having a January? I know logically it must have but, given the monotonous ruination that has been this year, I really struggle to remember anything that happened pre-Covid. One thing of note that research tells me did take place in January was the release of … in Stille, the fourth full-length from German black metallers Frigoris.” Sticks like tar.

Malakhim – Theion Review

Malakhim – Theion Review

“Black metal is my mac ‘n’ cheese. It’s something I can consume at pretty much any time. First thing in the morning? Delicious! A quick lunch at work? Get that puppy in the microwave! When I’m hungry and don’t know what to have for dinner? There’s always mac ‘n’ cheese! Best of all? It goes with pretty much anything. Even ice cream. Trust me on this. The downside is that I don’t remember most of my mac meals; one has to be pretty special to stand out. 2021 has brought me my first go-to meal, courtesy of Theion, the debut album of Malakhim, a Swedish black metal quintet formed in 2017.” A gooey fate.