Osmose Productions

Mournful Congregation – The Exuviae of Gods – Part I Review

Mournful Congregation – The Exuviae of Gods – Part I Review

“Every now and then, while minding my little ol’ business as I knock shit off my dresser like a good cat, the random thought of “Hey, whatever happened to such-and-such band” will pop into my furry cranium and, like clockwork, that band will release something new almost immediately afterward. In this case, said band is Australian funeral powerhouse Mournful Congregation, a band that doesn’t always drop new things at a constant rate, but when they do drop those new things, they’re always heavy, reflective, and… well, mournful.” Short mourning.

CMPT – Krv i Pepeo Review

CMPT – Krv i Pepeo Review

CMPT (“Death”) is an anonymous black metal project from an unspecified Balkan nation. (The band smartly chose their name based on visual similarity to the Cyrillic “смрт,” instead of transliterating the giggle-inducing pronunciation “smrt.”) Krv i Pepeo (“Blood and Ash”) is their debut full-length, impressively being released on Osmose Productions.” Death and bread lines.

Krolok – Funeral Winds & Crimson Sky Review

Krolok – Funeral Winds & Crimson Sky Review

““Delve deep in and listen… listen to the atmospheres of an arcane night and return within your thoughts into bygone times.” So goes Krolok’s description of their second offering of ESL-inflected black metal. The band, hailing from a literal Carpathian forest, bills itself as “atmospheric.” Their actual sound, however, riffs on the age-old question: “What if trve and kvlt, but also having of dungeon synth keys?”” What would Krolok do?

Nattverd – Vandring Review

Nattverd – Vandring Review

“It’s hard to think of an example of the third part of a trilogy being the best. Return of the Jedi? No way. Return of the King? Nope. Spider-Man 3? The Matrix Revolutions? Godfather Part III? It seems like the concluding chapter of these epic sagas never quite lives up to what preceded it. Just over a year ago, I reviewed Norwegian black metal band Nattverd’s sophomore album, Styggdom. Man, it had an awesome cover. The music, however, while maintaining a wonderfully oppressive atmosphere, simply dragged at times. It was too long, with too few actual riffs to sink your teeth into. Nattverd are now back, and have declared that their latest album, Vandring, is the concluding chapter in a trilogy that began with the EP Skuggen, with Styggdom forming the middle section. Considering my somewhat underwhelming response to Styggdom, expectations for Vandring to buck the trilogy trend were low.” Third time’s the harm.

Nattverd – Styggdom Review

Nattverd – Styggdom Review

“Nostalgia. In times of uncertainty, people seek its warm and motherly embrace: the familiar smells, the sense of safety, the notion that things were ‘better and less complicated’ back then. Artists have been trading off nostalgia for years now, whether it’s dropping the Millennium Falcon in The Force Awakens or the Pixies reuniting to perform Doolittle, there’s an undeniable comfort in the familiar. Perhaps this is the reason ‘traditional’ sounding black metal appears to be making a comeback of sorts.” Familiar demons.

Bütcher – 666 Goats Carry My Chariot Review

Bütcher – 666 Goats Carry My Chariot Review

“Did you ever stop and wonder what a collaboration between Mercyful Fate, Celtic Frost, Agent Steel and Darkthrone circa Transilvanian Hunger would sound like? You probably didn’t, but Belgium blackened speed metal deviants Bütcher certainly did, and then they created 666 Goats Carry My Chariot to see if such a crazy musical time heist was even possible. It is, and I for one welcome our new time warping speed overlords, even as I flee from the super weapon of mass destruction they’ve wrought.” Goat show.

Avslut – Tyranni Review

Avslut – Tyranni Review

“I don’t like black metal. Not in its traditional form, anyway. Give some blakkened fukkin thrash or blakkened fukkin death and I’ll bang my head till my skull cracks open, but usually traditional black metal just leaves me shrugging. Often the riffs feel secondary to the atmosphere and it’s telling that a band like Mgla could get as big as they did with a shtick that was essentially “we play black metal, but with riffs you actually care about.” Of course, there are always exceptions. Swedish quintet Avslut earned some acclaim on forums I frequent with their 2018 debut Deceptis, which I enjoyed for its ability to work clever riffing into a traditional black metal template.” Riff tiff.

Denial of God – The Hallow Mass Review

Denial of God – The Hallow Mass Review

“He dribbles down the court, the clock winding down to an excruciating ten seconds. He fakes left and tears right, leaving his opponent stumbling. This is why the Orlando Magic drafted the Most High with their No. 1 pick, because with God, all things are possible⁠—like a deep playoff run.” I doubt even God can conjure that up this year.

Akrotheism – The Law of Seven Deaths Review

Akrotheism – The Law of Seven Deaths Review

“It seems to me that there are really only two doors that need to be sought in the hunt for black metal of real quality. One leads to a well whose mechanism is complex and unconventional. But, with patience and a deft touch, it reveals a spring of challenging and creative potential. The other leads to a charred room whose blackened walls contain a particularly fecal Mark Z, resplendent in bullet belt and lobbing liberal handfuls of sickle cell anemia with feral abandon. Greece’s Akrotheism predominantly stand in the former, but somehow manage to channel a little of both.” Two corners, one trvth.