Naturmacht Productions

Grima – Frostbitten Review

Grima – Frostbitten Review

“Finally, I have wrested reviewing rights for Russia’s Grima from the grips of the dastardly Cherd of Doom. Not, it should be noted, because he accepts that he underrated the masked duo’s last two albums but because he has other pressing deadlines. Underrate them he did though, in my opinion at least. 2019’s Will of the Primordial and the 2021 follow up, Rotten Garden, were both 4.0s if you ask me (not that Cherd did ask me). Atmospheric black metal powered by the icy winds of the tundra and the exhaled air of a bayan or accordion, Grima is very much my cup of vodka.” Roll out the blizzard barrel.

Marrasmieli – Martaiden Mailta Review

Marrasmieli – Martaiden Mailta Review

“Nostalgia is powerful. As I write here, I’ve found that I can often remember exactly where I was when I first heard a noteworthy promo, and the ability to relive those experiences through music makes me happy. When I first heard Between Land and Sky, the debut full-length release from Finnish Marrasmieli in January of 2020, I was commuting to work, comparatively new employment that I enjoyed, blissfully unaware that we were not all that far away from everything changing. While the year itself turned out to be less-than-great, the album certainly was, and I came back to it a lot as uncertainty took over. Because of this, Between Land and Sky has a special sort of significance to me, and the news that Marrasmieli has returned with a new full-length album was thrilling.” Wistful introspection and pandemic nostalgia.

Firienholt – By the Waters of Awakening Review

Firienholt – By the Waters of Awakening Review

Firienholt sound pretty much exactly as you’d expect based solely on this album art. Falling somewhere in the center of a Venn diagram split between atmospheric black metal, symphonic folk-ish metal, and dungeonsynth, By the Waters of Awakening offers an experience that not only relaxes and soothes, but also evokes a desire for bone-chilling winter to return forthwith. Tambourines, flutes, strings, trumpets and French horns, and glistening synths decorate a light dusting of blackened frost across a wondrous landscape of mournful melodies and heartfelt verses. This is not an album for headbanging.” Serenity now!

Disparaître – Urchig Review

Disparaître – Urchig Review

“I’ve moonlighted as a metal reviewer for a couple of years now and I never cease to be amazed that bands – and black metal bands in particular – seem to have a burning wish not to make it easy for fans and reviewers to find them, nor to find out anything about them. Ok, I get it, you might not want your real name out there. I’ll give you that. So maybe you come up with some sort of creepy-weepy pseudonym to go by and, perhaps, splash the cash on a black cloak, maybe some face paint and. if there’s any change from that, possibly some barbed wire to wrap round a good stick that you can waggle about menacingly. Alright, I can get on board. But then there are bands … or projects, I don’t know, like today’s subject Disparaître, where there’s really very little out there. No proper Bandcamp page, no Facebook page that I can find, obviously no website, and even Metal Archives has nothing beyond a nationality: French.” Socially/sonically distant.

Lebensnacht – The Realm Beyond Review

Lebensnacht – The Realm Beyond Review

The Realm Beyond is the second album from Germany’s Lebensnacht, a German duo, which has been active since 2008. They specialize in mid-paced, atmospheric BM, with a heavy emphasis on ethereal synthesizers, like early Wolves in the Throne Room or Lustre. This is all mashed together in an incredibly raw and harsh mix. Where Lebensnacht differs from many other bands is the strong depressive black metal element that pervades its work, providing an ominous air to the music.” Birds in the Mud Room.

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.

Keys of Orthanc – Of the Lineage of Kings Review

Keys of Orthanc – Of the Lineage of Kings Review

“The title track and introduction for Of the Lineage of Kings, the fourth full-length release from Canadian Lord-of-the-Rings-meets-black-metal fans Keys of Orthanc, amusingly, feels like the perfect theme music for me as I compose this introduction paragraph. For one thing, this review is late — I’m not sure I’ve ever penned a review quite so long after the album has already come out. Life, it gets in the way. And yet, I am determined — determined, against all odds, to overcome the aforementioned life and get news of Of the Lineage of Kings out to you, the reader.” What heroes do.

Grima – Rotten Garden Review

Grima – Rotten Garden Review

“Atmospheric black metal. We all like to pretend we’ve had our fill. I fully expect to scroll down on this review to comments bemoaning lupine throne room infestations and the Snowy Forest Industrial Complex. I get it. Few things have worn out their welcome in the new millennium more than atmoblack and Bernie Sanders memes. But the fact remains that the sharp harshness of black metal and the soothing beauty of ambient passages go together like chocolate and peanut butter, and there are still plenty of artists treading the well worn wooded paths of this sound. Siberian Federal District denizens Grima play it better than most.” Morbid gardeners.

Morwinyon – Pristine Review

Morwinyon – Pristine Review

“Italian duo Morwinyon formed in 2019 as a side project of post-black group Falaise, offering three full tracks and an ambient outro for an atmosphere worthy of its debut’s namesake – Pristine. Utilizing a synth-heavy ambient black metal template of Golden Ashes or Midnight Odyssey, there’s little new to be found. However, it revels in its saccharine melodic qualities, liberally serving serene soundscapes for the blackened escapist, even if it might only offer cavities and headaches to the more discerning listener.” Bittersweet.

Havukruunu – Uinuos syömein sota Review

Havukruunu – Uinuos syömein sota Review

“I’ve been the greatest cheerleader of Bathory/Immortal purveyors for years. Like Rimfrost and Havukruunu, to name but a couple. Similar in approach, different in delivery, these two bands have satisfied my thirst for aggressive, galloping, pummeling, crab-walking, Viking-esque black metal. Both have seen their share of black metallery, yet one has passed on and one remains. This leaves a lot of pressure on the survivor. But, since 2015’s Havulinnaan, Havukruunu has proven its Bathor-ian mettle. Though 2017’s follow-up Kelle surut soi is the only contender in the catalog, that album is a beast. Yet, the stakes still remain high. Will this year’s Uinuos syömein sota live up to its full potential? Will it fall victim forever to a style conceived and put to rest by Thomas Börje Forsberg?” Crab inwasion.