Norwegian Black Metal

Darkthrone – Circle the Wagons Review

Darkthrone – Circle the Wagons Review

This review is late. Nearly three months late in fact. But perhaps it is best to look at Darkthrone’s Circle the Wagons outside of the usual fervor surrounding an iconic band releasing new material, especially one that sets internet message boards alight as much as Darkthrone. Despite being considered the grandfathers of the True Norwegian Black Metal genre, Fenriz and Nocturo Culto have now become one of the more hated bands in extreme metal. Their drastic shift away from the sound that they pioneered; adopting a more crust punk, thrashy, rock ‘n roll influenced approach polarized their fanbase and turned their recent albums into records you will either love or hate.

Ragnarok – Collectors of the King Review

Ragnarok – Collectors of the King Review

It’s about time someone took black metal to some new exciting levels. A music style can only go so far until it becomes somewhat stale, and for every album released, there are ten others that do the same thing – and almost none of the time is it markedly better. Black metal is no exception, and I have a lot of respect for bands that try something new and innovative. But there are some bands that don’t need to. Some bands, no matter how many albums they release of the same style, never grow stale and are always the best of the trade when it comes to the style of music they perform.

1349 – Demonoir Review

1349 – Demonoir Review

I first became acquainted with 1349 at their landmark Hellfire album which marked them as leaders of the post-90’s Norwegian black metal scene. It seems with their subsequent release, Revelations of the Black Flame, they lost a lot of support from their “true” supporters for their favoring more ambient passages and relying more on atmospherics than blistering black metal. Luckily, 1349’s latest offering attempts to strike a balance between the two extremes in the genre and Demonoir looks like a very solid album, treading the waters between dark ambient and black metal to great effect.

Troll – Neo Satanic Supremacy Review

Troll – Neo Satanic Supremacy Review

Troll is the side project of former Dimmu Borgir bassist current The Kovenant vocalist Nagash (aka Lex Icon), but it also has the honor of being the first project he was ever involved with at the very young age of about 14. However, after the band fell apart it soon became his solo project and has gone through some various incarnations over the year. If one were to give Neo-Satanic Supremacy a cold listen, one would not every know that a major transformation had taken place in the band’s history. No, instead one would assume that Nagash had quit Dimmu Borgir to produce this very record. Because, well, frankly it sounds like the band circa 1998.

Ihsahn – After Review

Ihsahn – After Review

Easily one of the most anticipated records of 2010 for me has been Ihsahn’s new offering. While I was a passing Emperor fan, really just a fan of In the Nightside Eclipse and Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk-era, I was taken by Ihsahn’s solo stuff. The Adversary felt fresh, progressive enough, a step away from the later Emperor material of which I wasn’t a fan, and it captured the sonic styles and textures that he was never quite allowed to explore while in Emperor. The record didn’t stick with me as I had hoped, while I listened to it occasionally it didn’t hold a steadfast position in my discography. On the other hand, angL blew me away. Probably the finest record of 2008, angL has maintained a steady place in the rotation and is a record that I’ve showed to dozens of people. Perfectly produced, perfectly composed and smartly written, angL contained everything that I wanted out of a new progressive metal record. So, of course, when I heard that Ihsahn would be releasing a new record in 2010, I became justifiably excited.

Gorgoroth – Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt Review

Gorgoroth – Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt Review

Gorgoroth is almost more infamous than famous these days. Known for the extremity of its members, its outrageous and genuinely evil and offensive stage shows and, most recently, its law suit, the band has gained the respect of the black metal scene in recent years for moving ahead of the pack with a calculated but extremely raw sound. 2003’s Twilight of the Idols and the band’s 2006 release Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam had seen the band slipping from the hands of the former primary writer into the hands of King ov Hell. With that, the sound of Gorgoroth became far more aggressive, blasty and chaotic. Of course, with the split, Gorgoroth reverted to Infernus who wasted no time in producing a new ode to Satan: Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt.

Ov Hell

Ov Hell

The big news from Indie Records that I received in my inbox today was that Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir) and King (ex-Gorgoroth, ex-God Seed) are forming a new black metal band called Ov Hell.  Some of you will have read how I feel about the word “ov” before and now I feel like I have a […]