Mgła

AthanaTheos – Prophetic Era (Or How Yahveh Became the One) Review

AthanaTheos – Prophetic Era (Or How Yahveh Became the One) Review

““French philosophy” is, in some circles, a punchline. It evokes the image of an edgy atheist, fedora on head, sipping his black espresso (symbolic, of course, of the darkness of his existence – the horror of reflecting on Sartre in a café surely cripples the best of men) and smoking a strange, thin cigarette in perpetuity – pretension personified. AthanaTheos, a French black doom atmospheric dissonant epic death metal band has tried their hand not just at an album but an epos – an epic poem set to music.” Profits of doom.

The Committee – Utopian Deception Review

The Committee – Utopian Deception Review

“Now that mega-corporations have paved the internet highways with the asphalt of targeted ads and misinformation, the digital utopia has become a divisive dystopia where that same creativity grows mainly in the cracks between the concrete. But its connective power still remains unabated, and The Committee is testament to that. It was certainly possible for a band whose members live scattered across Europe to exist, but it would surely be more difficult, possibly insurmountably so.” Join the meeting.

Blaze of Perdition – The Harrowing of Hearts Review

Blaze of Perdition – The Harrowing of Hearts Review

“Hack comedians, when they have nothing of value to say, pepper their routine with profanity and musings about their genitalia to shock the audience into laughter. Metal bands have, fortunately and unfortunately, far more options. Behemoth’s #ILYAYD disaster, and to a lesser degree the middling and overrated The Satanist, showed a band with nothing to say except “please listen to us, we’re still here and iconoclastic – also, buy our dog food!” I bring up Behemoth because, as someone who disliked their last two bloated bores of records for the poor implementation (instead of the existence) of rock influences, Blaze of Perdition does a similar thing but, fortunately, does it well.” The Rock of Judgment.

Mavorim – Axis Mundi Review

Mavorim – Axis Mundi Review

“One-man bands make me both impressed and apprehensive. I’m impressed because having a musical vision is special to begin with and being able to execute it solo takes real talent. I’m apprehensive because there’s no give-and-take or real collaboration for the visionary, and most creators of any stripe lack the will to kill their darlings.” One man with a bully pulpit.

Avslut – Tyranni Review

Avslut – Tyranni Review

“I don’t like black metal. Not in its traditional form, anyway. Give some blakkened fukkin thrash or blakkened fukkin death and I’ll bang my head till my skull cracks open, but usually traditional black metal just leaves me shrugging. Often the riffs feel secondary to the atmosphere and it’s telling that a band like Mgla could get as big as they did with a shtick that was essentially “we play black metal, but with riffs you actually care about.” Of course, there are always exceptions. Swedish quintet Avslut earned some acclaim on forums I frequent with their 2018 debut Deceptis, which I enjoyed for its ability to work clever riffing into a traditional black metal template.” Riff tiff.

Krater – Venenare Review

Krater – Venenare Review

“Germany’s Krater began their black metal journey in 2003, and the 16 years since have seen the band in a constant state of evolution. After a debut that tended towards the pagan side of black metal, 2011’s Nocebo saw Krater moving in a more aggressive second-wave direction, and 2016’s Urere built upon that sound by adding more melodicism and wrapping it in a clear and powerful production. Venenare is the culmination of this evolutionary process, incorporating many different styles and sounds picked up along the way but at the same time transcending descriptive labels and tags by appearing as pure, unadulterated black metal.” Blackened pot luck.

Power from Hell – Profound Evil Presence Review

Power from Hell – Profound Evil Presence Review

“A few years ago I had a strange and insatiable desire to find the simplest and punkiest blackened thrash imaginable. My search led me to find gems like Chapel and other bands I didn’t enjoy as much, including Power from Hell. Led by vocalist and guitarist “Sodomic,” the Brazilian trio have been kicking around since 2001 and released four albums before their 2015 Hells Headbangers debut Devil’s Whorehouse.” Power outage.

Ars Magna Umbrae – Lunar Ascension Review

Ars Magna Umbrae – Lunar Ascension Review

“Dissonant black metal is having a bit of a moment. With the late-aughts explosion of woodsy atmoblack now a decade old and on the wane—if ever so slightly—and artists turning to other inspiration for blackened evolution, those reclusive and mysterious French musicians of Deathspell/Aus Nord who first pioneered a more technical, terrifying sound are suddenly elder statesmen of a mini-movement. Now there’s K. M., the appropriately cryptic single member of Poland’s Ars Magna Umbrae, with a new album of dissoblack tunes.” Magna opus.

Barshasketh – Barshasketh Review

Barshasketh – Barshasketh Review

“One of the saddest things in music is the “almost there” album. It’s the album that has all the traits of something that should work, and yet it doesn’t. It’s the kid on the soccer team who is bad, but not bad enough to know he’s bad. It’s the guy in the friend group who everyone tolerates, but no one would be sad if he moved away. It’s the hundreds of albums that are released every year, met with a shrug at best, and are swiftly forgotten.” That’s not ominous or anything.

Kriegsmaschine – Apocalypticists [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Kriegsmaschine – Apocalypticists [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“Basic blasts, hammer blasts, gravity blasts, heel-toe blasts, bomb blasts, swivelling foot bomb blasts. Extreme metal certainly has all bases covered when it comes to extreme technical drumming. It’s a race, people. Who can play the fastest? Who can hit those hollow boxes the hardest? Who can sweat the most? Speed isn’t everything. In fact, speed can be a hindrance. Black metal is mostly known for its speed and rage, but its greatest asset is it’s ability to formulate a sense of unease and evilness. For Kriegsmaschine evilness and unease are achieved not through blistering speed and ridiculous technical acrobatics, but by taking a step back and approaching things from a different angle.” Murder maschines.