Ragnarok

Svarttjern – Shame Is Just a Word Review

Svarttjern – Shame Is Just a Word Review

“The moon is full, the candles in my bedroom are flickering, and the neighborhood feels like it’s burning to the ground. The sirens scream up and down the street, the homeless behind the dumpster are cursing at each other, and the drug dealers in next door’s complex are firing warning shots into the air. My bartending friends say the place is overcome by angry, aggressive creeps. And my colleagues at the psychiatric ward say the patients are howling at the moon. It’s like a re-imagining of Carrie, minus everyone’s favorite whipping boygirl. Yet, it’s a perfect night for the chaos that pours from my speakers.” Blackness in the night.

Ragnarok – Non Debellicata Review

Ragnarok – Non Debellicata Review

“Like Marduk, a fair comparison in sound and style, Ragnarok continues their reign of destruction upon the shoulders of a founding member. From the debut record, Nattferd, to 2012’s Malediction, Jontho has been the mastermind behind the band, as well as their sole drummer. A role he greatly succeeded at, as he is one of my favorites in the genre. Then in 2016, with the release of Psychopathology, he slithered out from behind the drums to lend his voice to the band. The jury’s still out debating if this was the best move for the band, considering that one of the best drummers in the field is no longer drumming. So, let’s bring them back in and see what the verdict is.” Personnel follies.

Svarttjern – Dødsskrik Review

Svarttjern – Dødsskrik Review

“I’m a sucker for HansFyrste’s ghastly vocal style, he could probably read from the phone directory and I’d be very okay with it. The bug in my ear took effect around Ragnarok‘s Malediction and it only got worse when I discovered Svarttjern‘s and later release Ultimatum Necrophilia. Thankfully it’s a solid 2-years beyond the release of Ultimatum, which means we get another shot of Svarttjern, decked out in all their bullet belt and corpse paint finery.” Phone directory grimness would be very kvlt.

Ragnarok – Psychopathology Review

Ragnarok – Psychopathology Review

“There really isn’t much more to be said about Ragnarok that hasn’t already been said by our beloved Noctus and Madam X (and the rest of the black metal community). Ragnarok, like Urgehal, are one of the most underrated black metal acts on the planet. Perhaps it’s due to their consistency and unwillingness to fix-what-isn’t-broken that’s kept them from reaching black metal stardom (if “stardom” is actually attainable in this genre).” Consistency is the hobgoblin of great black metal (because it requires hobgoblins).

Sacrificium Carmen – Ikuisen Tulen Kammiossa Review

Sacrificium Carmen – Ikuisen Tulen Kammiossa Review

““Love at first sight” is an interesting concept: a basic mammalian response formed by some pesky, involuntary biological and cognitive mechanisms. And I wonder, can music elicit something similar? Can you, perhaps, start loving a record during the first minute of a sample track? Can this kind of appreciation evolve into a long-lasting bond with a piece of music? The début by Finnish black metallers Sacrificium Carmen, Ikuisen Tulen Kammiossa, had that sort of a struck-by-lightning influence on me.” But will an early frost kill this blooming love?

Svarttjern – Ultimatum Necrophilia Review

Svarttjern – Ultimatum Necrophilia Review

“Back in 2012 I reviewed Ragnarok‘s Malediction and promptly fell hard for the band’s fifth vocalist – HansFyrste. His blend of Hell and damnation hit all the right spots with this AMG spokeswoman for all things “necro,” and naturally prompted me to go scrummaging around into his side projects.” When Madam X scrummages, black metal reviews get written. Read all about her latest bout of stalking and obsession.

Madam X’s Top Ten(ish) of 2013

Madam X’s Top Ten(ish) of 2013

“Wow, what a year! A large portion of 2013 has had me working my ass off in preparation for my stint out at sea with 70,000 Tons of Pure Fucking METAL! I’ve tried to curtail my excitement, but fuck it, this is huge – Carcass, Septicflesh, Finntroll, Overkill… what more could a girl ask for?” As Madam X shamelessly drops free plugs for a certain novelty cruise line, she also delivers her best albums of the year. That lady can multi-task!

Eudaimony – Futile Review

Eudaimony – Futile Review

“Ever wondered what hell the unholy union of Germany’s Dark Fortress and Secrets of the Moon would spawn? Alright, now let’s make things a little more interesting and maybe just a little more sordid. Let’s bring in Sweden’s Naglfar and turn this into a lascivious little three-some. Taking it a step further, ever wondered what their bastard child would sound like? Well here you have it! Eudaimony is the spawn of just such an unholy, messy union, with former Dark Fortress front man Matthias Jell (Azathoth) on vocals, Naglfar’s Marcus E. Norman on guitars, bass and synthesizer and Secrets of the Moon‘s Jörg Heemann (Thrawn Thelemnar) on drums.” Grim, unhappy blackness from a veritable super group of black metal luminaries? That’s got Madam X written all over it…in BLOOD!

GWAR – Battle Maximus Review

GWAR – Battle Maximus Review

“When a brother falls, be he killed in battle, disintegrated or turned Mormon, it takes an ordeal of thundering proportions to find that Scumdog with enough bombastic enormity to crush the competition and fill the fallen’s truculent footsteps. And so Battle Maximus is born, a musical trial-by-combat and but one Scumdog remains – the the zit-encrusted, shred-ulously incredulous Pustulus Maximus (aka Brent Legion, ex-Cannabis Corpse). Shock rock or monster metal, call it what you will, after a three year wait and regroup, GWAR are back in the ring with their kooky Lordi or A Band of Orcs theatrics and their caustic, blood-soaked poetry as only they can deliver!” Battle, blood and pustulence! What more can anyone hope for? Madam X dives into the Gor Gor and reveals the horrors that lurk inside the new GWAR shit show.

Vreid – Welcome Farewell Review

Vreid – Welcome Farewell Review

“After the tragic, but remarkably metal, death of their vocalist, Windir was laid to rest in 2004. From its ashes came Vreid (“wrath” in Norwegian), which barreled onto the scene, knocking ten tons of shit out of listeners with machine gun riffage, under the command of ex-Windir bassist Hváll. Vreid have a black metal flavor that bears more than a few striking similarities to the misanthropic, war and history flavored style of Windir. Outside of that, Vreid have riff-heavy, black ‘n roll similarities to the likes of Carpathian Forest, some of the attitude and energy of Borknagar’s Universal album and a blend of the rocking grooviness of Sepultura and the more traditional and melodic elements of Taake, Koldbrann, Ragnarok, and middle earth’s own Carach Angren.” With a list of comparisons like that, you’d think it wouldn’t be possible for Madam X to get angry about this…