Midnight Odyssey

Svneatr – Never Return Review

Svneatr – Never Return Review

“2021’s Chinook was an impressive feat. While Vancouver’s Svneatr is undeniably second-wave, the album showcased and established a formidable blend of melody and riffage in a package wrapped in the tightly wound razor-wire frigidity you expect from black metal – reminiscent of Master’s Hammer or Vredehammer. Tracks like “Lavender,” “The Wind Stirs,” and “The Veins of the Earth” were some of the best tracks in the style that year with this dueling style, benefited by a rougher DIY aesthetic, even if some movements were lost in the fold. After three years, we are graced with Chinook,’s follow-up, Never Return.” Sunbathing, Svneating, just leave the Sun alone!

Skuggor – Whispers of Ancient Spells Review

Skuggor – Whispers of Ancient Spells Review

Skuggor is exactly what you expect it will sound like. Gothic font and grainy nature photo with themes of darkness, mist, and myth? You betcher ass it’s atmospheric black metal. “But I’m sure there’s something unique here, Hollow,” I can hear you say. Have you heard atmospheric black metal? You don’t listen to this shit for the neatest thing since Deftones. You listen cuz you want to be sucked into arcane and forlorn woods of ancient magic and nature untouched by human hands. I mean, duh.” Idiots.

Olhava – Sacrifice Review

Olhava – Sacrifice Review

“Less black metal than Trna, and more evocative synths a la Unreqvited, there is no rushing Olhava. Shimmering soundscapes are what they do, albeit that, where Unreqvited has (at least since 2018’s Mosaic I: L’Amour et L’Ardeur) hints of light and promise in the sound, Olhava is all shades of loss and a sense of hopeless grey.” 50 shades of sadboi.

Midnight Odyssey – Biolume Part 3: A Fullmoon Madness Review

Midnight Odyssey – Biolume Part 3: A Fullmoon Madness Review

“The Biolume trilogy is massive, not only in runtime but also in the scope of its storytelling. The records move from darkened subterranean halls on In Tartarean Chains, through a blinding desert of celestial light on The Golden Orb to stare at the haunting night sky, dimly lit by that same light reflecting off a dead satellite on A Fullmoon Madness. Perhaps it was always inevitable that, as we moved up through these levels, each would be vaster in scope and scale than the last.” Size matters.

Omega Infinity – The Anticurrent Review

Omega Infinity – The Anticurrent Review

“The infinite expanse. Oceans above. Stars whose light is a glimpse into the ancient past. Physics. Astrophysics. Space: the Final Frontier. Space odysseys are great unless you’re beaten to death with a bone by your ape bud or gaslit by your own computer – super awkward. Plenty of black metal has ventured beyond the firmament for some ethereal goodness, but do any of them chronicle creation?” Omega men.

Liminal Shroud – All Virtues Ablaze Review

Liminal Shroud – All Virtues Ablaze Review

“I was first alerted to the upcoming release of All Virtues Ablaze, the second full-length record from Canada’s Liminal Shroud, in a social media post by Hypnotic Dirge Records. That post brought excitement, as I loved the band’s debut record, Through the False Narrows, which was a proper, pitch-black soundtrack to my 2020 Autumn. Hypnotic Dirge’s post also, however, brought sadness, as, in a rather classy fashion, it was promoting the upcoming release of All Virtues Ablaze, even though Liminal Shroud had moved labels (to the very good Willowtip) because Hypnotic Dirge is winding down its operations.” Thresholds, shrouds and bittersweet endings.

Kluizenaer – Ein Abbild der Leere Review

Kluizenaer – Ein Abbild der Leere Review

“Formed as a solo project back in 2015, Kluizenaer—a German outfit, despite choosing the Dutch for ‘hermit’ as its nom de guerre—dropped a debut album, Radbraak, that a few cursory searches of the usual sources has failed to uncover. Since I am assured by the promo blurb that the debut comprised “abstract sound collages of blackened ambient and noise,” I did not intensify my searches. Radbraak was followed by two more obscure EPs before 2018’s locate-able Das ungebrochene Schweigen (The unbroken Silence), by which point Kluizenaer had evolved into a trio.” Evolution/mutation.

Unreqvited – Beautiful Ghosts Review

Unreqvited – Beautiful Ghosts Review

“Hi gang, what did I miss? Having taken July as a mini sabbatical following the arrival of a second shark pup, it’s nice to find the site still standing (no thanks to the readers or most of the staff) and to get back into the swing of things with a familiar face. Unreqvited and I go way back to my nameless_n00b days, when its third full-length album, Mosaic I: L’amour et l’ardeur, became the very first to get a 4.0 out of me. Its sequel, Mosaic II: La déteste et la détresse, failed to scale quite the same heights due to a very weak final third, which really held back an otherwise very good album. We somehow missed Unreqvited’s next full-length installment, last year’s Empathica, altogether and so we here we find ourselves, exploring love and passion on sixth outing, Beautiful Ghosts.” Ghosts or just ghosted?