Obsequiae

Majesties – Vast Reaches Unclaimed Review

Majesties – Vast Reaches Unclaimed Review

“Tanner Anderson, Carl Skildum and Matthew Kirkwood unofficially formed Majesties in 2016 with melodic death metal in mind and Gothenburg, Sweden in their hearts. It wasn’t until 2022, however, that their debut album, Vast Reaches Unclaimed, coalesced to present a classic conundrum for conscientious music reviewers: how do we talk about a really good pastiche?” Majesty and decay.

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.

Mystras – Empires Vanquished and Dismantled Review

Mystras – Empires Vanquished and Dismantled Review

“When Mystras’ first outing, Castles Conquered and Reclaimed, dropped last year I expressed some surprise that Ayloss had the capacity to write and release another record, alongside the epic Spectral Lore and Mare Cognitum split, never mind something of the scope of Mystras. Castles paired raw, harsh black metal with traditional medieval folk to offer a scathing and emotive assessment of the poverty, oppression and injustice suffered by medieval European peasants and the sacrifices made to fight back. Scroll forward a year and Mystras is back with their sophomore effort.” Unfathomable productivity.

Źmiarćvieły – Čornaje Połymia Review

Źmiarćvieły – Čornaje Połymia Review

Źmiarćvieły is an anonymous collective from Belarus… maybe. They keep it under wraps. Like the enigma of their members, number, or location, the name itself is shrouded in mystery, its translation from Belarusian is equally murky. Debut Čornaje Połymia is a childlike EP that managed to stack itself into an undercoat to get into the R-rated LP screening. It’s a gamble, truly, to submit your debut EP without notoriety.” Masked bravery.

Véhémence – Par le Sang Versé [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Véhémence – Par le Sang Versé [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“Medieval black metal. I barely know what the phrase means, but the concept is absolutely drenched in potential, and not the kind I can easily resist. For today’s thing you may (or may not) have missed, the conceptual and instrumental depth of Apocalypse Orchestra meets the sweeping, majestic anger wielded by Obsequiae, with bits of extra influence here and there from the French black metal scene. Joining said scene, Véhémence’s sophomore effort, Par le Sang Versé seeks to bring the past to vivid life in a powerful display of⁠—what was it again?⁠—Medieval. Black. Metal.” Ye olde blackness.

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.

Ungfell – Mythen, Mären, Pestilenz Review

Ungfell – Mythen, Mären, Pestilenz Review

“2017 saw the release of the début full-length by Switzerland’s unusual, folksy black metal band called Ungfell. I was introduced by the ever-insightful Alex at Metal-Fi who held it up as one of his best of the year. While Tôtbringære was only just shy of real greatness and probably deserved a nice write-up, I never put pen to paper. Scarcely a year later and I’ve resolved to rectify this deficiency by reviewing their sophomore album called Mythen, Mären, Pestilenz. Does it stack up?” Swiss misery.

Marsh Dweller – The Weight of Sunlight Review

Marsh Dweller – The Weight of Sunlight Review

“Having recently relocated from South Carolina (a.k.a. The Land of Eternal Swampass), the name Marsh Dweller immediately piqued my interest when I saw it on our promo list. I always seem to find myself applying band and album names in stupidly personal ways, and a moniker like that reminded me of the long nighttime walks I used to take through a nearby salt marsh while listening to Baroness and picking my underwear out of my asscrack.” This too, shall ass.