Nechochwen

Ironflame – Where Madness Dwells Review

Ironflame – Where Madness Dwells Review

“About two and a half years ago, I covered Blood Red Victory, the third full-length album from Ironflame, and I nearly dropped the 4.0hammer™ on it. That record had some incredible traditional anthems on it, and the chorus of “Honor Bound” still runs through my head every so often—usually when I’m forced to deal with a commitment that I regret making. The Ohio-based Ironflame is the brainchild of one Andrew D’Cagna, an artist probably best known for his work as a drummer in blackened bands like Nechochwen and Obsequiae, but this project reveals that D’Cagna’s abilities cannot be contained to just one instrument or just one style of music. When I reviewed Blood Red Victory, I felt like D’Cagna was on the verge of true greatness, and I’m happy to report that follow-up Where Madness Dwells proves that, as usual, I was right.” Iron evens the score.

Nechochwen – Kanawha Black Review

Nechochwen – Kanawha Black Review

“It seems like forever since Nechochwen graced our collective lobes with an album. It’s actually been 7 years since the excellent Heart of Akamon, but it feels longer given everything that’s happened since it dropped. Now we finally get new platter Kanawha Black and with it, a different approach for the West Virginia twosome. The Native American themes are still present, and their fusion of genres is still in play, but now the breadth and scope of it all has been thrown wide open.” Mad ambitions.

Feral Season – Rotting Body in the Range of Light Review

Feral Season – Rotting Body in the Range of Light Review

Feral Season is a great band name, and Rotting Body in the Range of Light is an album title I can definitely get behind. It’s nice when a band is able to immediately tell you what you’re going to be in for before you’ve reached the play button, and everything about this package, from the promo text to the “black metal” label to the album art, looked promising.” Angry kitties and suspicious promises.

Obsequiae – The Palms of Sorrowed Kings Review

Obsequiae – The Palms of Sorrowed Kings Review

“Back in 2015 I was taken off guard and enchanted by the superb sophomore album from Obsequiae, entitled Aria of Vernal Tombs, which marked a strong improvement over their impressive debut. Despite operating a bit outside my regular wheelhouse, the album’s raw blend of folky and medieval melodic black metal struck a chord that left me gobsmacked, gushing over the album’s elegant melodies, accomplished song-writing and earthy tones. Well finally the band have awoken from their slumber, returning to the ye olden days with another taut yet epic collection of melodic black metal tunes on their long awaited third album, The Palms of Sorrowed Kings.” Royal tidings.

Akando – Attack from Ambush Review

Akando – Attack from Ambush Review

“I was always fascinated by Native American history and culture. Of course, the version I had in childhood was the over-edited one, in which the native inhabitants of my country simply (and vaguely) disappeared one day, to eventually evolve into the society that dominates the land today. As I aged, my appetite to learn finally overcame the primary school version of events. Today, I’m always glad to see an effort made to tell this saddest of stories to large audiences, and extra happy when those large audiences are heavy metal fans.” Warrior spirit.

Bhleg – Äril Review

Bhleg – Äril Review

“Leaves crunch as feet hit the concrete. The air contains a faintly sweet aroma as it passes through the trees. All the things that can be pumpkin-spiced are, indeed, pumpkin-spiced. In the United States, it’s officially autumn through most of its impressive landscape.[1. Where I live (Northeast Florida), all that’s changed is that I’ve gone from wearing sleeveless t-shirts to t-shirts with sleeves.] And what better way to bring in the season than with some atmospheric black metal with folk tinges?” Folk on the pumpkin.

Wayfarer – World’s Blood Review

Wayfarer – World’s Blood Review

World’s Blood operates at a similar intersection of folk, atmospheric black metal, and progressive tendencies as Agalloch. I would make some terrible puns about if it can take up that mantle or if it would merely be a pale imitation of those folkloric influences but I won’t do so as a man of class.” Class is cancelled.

Dzö-nga – The Sachem’s Tales Review

Dzö-nga – The Sachem’s Tales Review

“Sophomore full-length The Sachem’s Tales sees Cryvas crafting a concept album about Native American folklore, aiming to combine Cascadian black metal with classical music. Joined by female vocalist Grushenka Ødegård and session drummer Aaron Maloney (formerly of Pennsylvania metalcore act This or the Apocalypse, oddly enough), has Dzö-nga given us the next Bergtatt or delivered another Bandcamp black metal record whose hype will fizzle faster than you can say “Ghost Bath”? The Great Tree and the Dzö-nga House.

Coldfells – Coldfells Review

Coldfells – Coldfells Review

“I’ve reached a conclusion in recent times that the enjoyment gleaned from music at any particular time very much depends on my mood. I pick myself up by joining The Night Flight Orchestra; relax by basking in Mitch Murder‘s warm glow; wallow in self-loathing by screaming with Deadspace. While such a sentiment may seem obvious I also mean in a wider sense. My life was ebbing low at the turn of the year and I was finding new releases sincerely disappointing.” Mood is the medium, Coldfells is the message.