Perdition City

Enslaved – E Review

Enslaved – E Review

Enslaved is Norway’s biggest and most successful (currently active) metal band. They have garnered a following of intensely loyal fans who adore their every release with the fervor of the newly converted. In fact, I once counted myself a huge fan. There was a string of records that Enslaved released between 2000’s Mardraum: Beyond the Within and 2008’s Vertebrae which are practically unassailable. Not every one of those albums was perfect—Isa and Ruun were both only great records when sat side-by-side the excellent Below the Lights and Vertebrae, but they were consistently addictive listens from a band that could do no wrong. And I, along with everyone else, lathered Axioma Ethica Odini with praise, only to declare it one of my biggest disappointments of the year in 2010. I meh’d the hulking RIITIIR, and ¯\_(ツ)_/¯’d its follow-up In Times, declaring it a testament to the excesses of the modern recording industry. In sum: Enslaved went from being one of my favorite bands in 2008 to being a band whose newest release almost didn’t get reviewed by me. But with all the ranting and raving about how is the best album they’ve put out in a while, I couldn’t keep myself away.

Ihsahn – Arktis. Review

Ihsahn – Arktis. Review

Ihsahn is always in motion. Following a storied career in one of the premier black metal bands of all time, he’s released five full-length albums. Nearly all of those records have been critically acclaimed, but only one has been critically acclaimed by me. While I enjoyed The Adversary, Ihsahn‘s post-Emperor zenith was angL. Starting with After, however, Ihsahn started to lose me. What made his earlier material so good—riffs, riffs, more riffs, and slick composition (also riffs)—began to be replaced by increasingly abstract compositions. And when songs like “Scarab” started getting replaced with tracks like “M,” I stopped enjoying new Ihsahn albums. Yet Arktis. marks the next phase for Ihsahn, having finally left the Nihilists behind him.” Praise Zarathustra!

Behemoth – The Satanist Review

Behemoth – The Satanist Review

There is no way to dodge the issue, expectations for The Satanist are sky high. It’s easy to understand how that could be. Behemoth‘s most recent release was in 2009 but felt overwrought and flat; it had the form but little substance and the sound was loud but fatigued. Nearly 5 years later, Anno Domine 2014, Nergal has been through a bout with cancer and a fight with the Polish legal system. The narrative arising is simple. Indeed, it’s low hanging fruit: the best art arises from adversity. The long wait — 4.5 years between records is almost unheard of for a band on Behemoth‘s level — has set the stage for what has the makings of a rebirth of sorts for Poland’s best-known extreme metal act. The Satanist can set the stage for a new era in Behemoth‘s storied career and, as one would expect, the attention of the metal world is firmly fixed on it.