Misþyrming

Mannveira – Vitahringur Review

Mannveira – Vitahringur Review

“Let’s play a game. I write a word, you think of the first thing that comes to mind. Ready? Ok, good. First up: Holdeneye… Did you think, “4.0”? Well done. Next is a bit tougher: Anthrax… Did you think, “The worst of the Big Four”? You’re good at this! Last one: “Iceland.” If you didn’t immediately think “Cavernous, epic, dissonant black metal!” then you simply haven’t been coming to this site long enough. For a nation so tiny, Iceland consistently produces the best black metal in the world (although Norway and Poland are giving it a run for its money this year). More impressively, there is a distinct Icelandic “sound” that is immediately recognizable when you plug into it. So you can imagine my joy when a new Icelandic BM album dropped: Vitahringur (Lighthouse) by Mannveira.” Black ice melts slowly.

Illkynja – Sæti Sálarinnar Review

Illkynja – Sæti Sálarinnar Review

Illkynja, like many of its country’s blackened offerings, is a project shrouded in mystery. It’s unknown how many members are involved or how prolific to the scene–only that the project is Icelandic in origin. Goathorned Productions debut Sæti Sálarinnar features all the hallmarks of Icelandic style: scathing layers of dissonance, pummeling drums, and punishing roars reminiscent of Almyrkvi or Andavald.” Iceland, man.

Hræ – Þar sem skepnur reika Review

Hræ – Þar sem skepnur reika Review

“Iceland. What on earth do they put in the water over there? With a population of a small city, the country is consistently at the cutting edge of black metal. More importantly, there’s a certain aesthetic that is unique to the country; you just know when you’re listening to an Icelandic band. Now we have Hræ, the project of scene-veteran, I, who has appeared in other groups like Endalok, Naught and Guðveiki.” Iceland ascendant.

Idolatria – Tetrabestiarchy Review

Idolatria – Tetrabestiarchy Review

“Being a black metal fan entails crankiness. It seems there are more critics and black metal TSA waiting in the wings than any other metal subgenre, just lurking, waiting to hit each new album with a slap of humility – some of it deserved, some of it not. No one’s ever happy, as no release will be raw enough, noisy enough, unlistenable enough, “they have a Facebook and a Bandcamp and don’t exclusively sell cassettes, are you fucking kidding me.”” The fine line between hate and kvlt hate.

Núll – Entity Review

Núll – Entity Review

“Off the top of my balding head, I can’t think of a genre that’s more difficult to pull off convincingly than depressive suicidal black metal. It takes quite a talented hand to navigate that particular battleship down those choppy seas. Go too hard, and you run the risk of being unlistenable, borderline or not. Go too soft, and you’re tossed into the tar pits and forever labeled a “try-hard edgelord” by those who should know better than to go that route. So I can empathize with any band trying to crack into that difficult niche market, and it doesn’t hurt that in this case, we have a band comprised of members of Carpe Noctem and Misþyrming.” Balancing despair.

Väki – Kuolleen Maan Omaksi Review

Väki – Kuolleen Maan Omaksi Review

“I enjoy a rather hesitant dance with black metal. It doesn’t take a whole lot to turn me off to a sampling of the style – I’d say I’m pretty picky here. But I just can’t help myself trying. Väki, who hail from Finland and purport a strong fascination with death, are the latest to pique my interest, and I couldn’t initially put my finger on why.” Embrace the grave.

Nyrst – Orsök Review

Nyrst – Orsök Review

“My last review took us to Finland to meet the mighty Bythos. This time we’ll head to another region on our quest north through Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Our destination? Iceland. Alongside stalwarts Misþyrming and Svartidauði, the newly conceived Nyrst likes its black metal as cold as the Arctic. In some cases, even more so than their countrymen.” Ice, ice, baby.

Aodon – 11069 Review

Aodon – 11069 Review

“I don’t often review black metal – but, then again, Willowtip doesn’t often release black metal. Those familiar with the label know it for its commitment to releasing brutal and bizarre death metal. The label counts among its ranks such luminaries as Defeated Sanity, Unfathomable Ruination, and has a history with plenty of other bands who push the boundaries of death metal and grindcore. One wonders what Aodon have to do with all of that. Intrigued, and certain in the label’s ability to sniff out quality acts, I decided to find out.” One of these things is not like the others.

Hwwauoch – Into the Labyrinth of Consciousness [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Hwwauoch – Into the Labyrinth of Consciousness [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“I’m beginning to see a trend as 2019 draws to a close: I like me some weird-ass black metal. And, boy howdy, has 2019 has been a weird-ass year for it. Prolifically, having released a new album from each of its equally weird-ass projects by means of several record labels, the Prava Kollektiv has released quality atmospheric black metal en masse: the frostbitten cosmic stylings of stalwart Arkhtinn, the dark ambient maws of the appropriately named Voidsphere, the eerie and empty musings of Mahr, and the hellish and malevolent tones of newcomer Pharmakeia. But the subject of today’s tragically overlooked album is the latest thing your cat typed walking across the keyboard: Hwwauoch.” Say again?