Season of Mist

Tombs – Under Sullen Skies Review

Tombs – Under Sullen Skies Review

“In the early 2010s, powered by bands such as Deafheaven and Liturgy, “hipster metal” became the favorite pejorative for acts that thumbed traditional metal conventions. Embraced by the mainstream, many of these groups, unfortunately, just weren’t very good, which led to metal purists rejecting them. This resulted in said mainstream accusing said purists of being snobby gatekeepers. Cue lots of sulking, posturing and finger wagging. In among the noise, however, were some real gems that were unfairly tainted by the “hipster metal” label. Although less overtly “subversive” (read: “pretentious”) than their  Brooklyn counterparts, Liturgy, Tombs weirdly found themselves in this boat with their excellent debut, 2011’s Paths of Totality.” Trend Tombs.

Auðn – Vökudraumsins Fangi Review

Auðn – Vökudraumsins Fangi Review

“It’s one thing to write a review of a returning band you’ve reviewed before. It’s a whole other ballgame to review a returning band that one of the most respected and revered staff members on the site has covered previously. If their review was controversially critical about a popular young artist well on the rise, the pressure only mounts. Not that I disagree with Grymm’s take on Auðn’s last offering. Being relatively fresh to black metal and its myriad offshoots, I hadn’t heard Farvegir Fyrndar before, but on a cursory spin, the unpopular stance that the production ruined an otherwise very solid piece of Icelandic atmo-black rang true with yours truly.” New day, new production.

Mörk Gryning – Hinsides Vrede Review

Mörk Gryning – Hinsides Vrede Review

“Ah, youth. A time Steel and Huck no longer remember. When all beer is good, all kisses sweet, and anything is possible. For Goth Gorgon and Draakh Kimera, two teenagers in Sweden, this meant donning corpse paint, forming a band, and releasing an album before they were old enough to legally buy the champagne to celebrate. That album, Tusen År har Gått, was a fun combination of old-school, second wave black metal, with a definite slant towards the melodic. Think early Sacramentum, or, more recently, Wormwood. Tusen År har Gått would go on to be extremely well-regarded in metal circles, spawning a few, less interesting follow-ups.” Gryning pains.

Molassess – Through the Hollow Review

Molassess – Through the Hollow Review

“In 2006, siblings Selim and Farida Lemouchi started a psychedelic occult rock band called The Devil’s Blood. In 2013, it collapsed. During its existence, the band drew a loyal following in underground music. Its music balanced retro occult and innovative psych rock. Selim, guitar player and spiritual heart of the band, was uncompromising in his vision, resulting in shows that were as much Satanic rituals as they were concerts, including buckets of pig blood and candles all over the place. In 2014, after struggling with depression for much of his existence, Selim requested permission to die from his mother and sister shortly before taking his own life. 5 years later, Roadburn overlord Walter Hoeijmakers asked the former members of The Devil’s Blood whether they would be interested in creating a commissioned piece of music. Molassess was born.” Blood and life travel strange pathways.

Crippled Black Phoenix – Ellengæst Review

Crippled Black Phoenix – Ellengæst Review

“I’ll open this review with the sentence I used to close my last Crippled Black Phoenix review: Crippled Black Phoenix are a band I want to like more, but the material continues to fall short of their potential. And with that thought the band’s latest album, Ellengæst, was bestowed upon me, giving me several weeks to think about how I’d be going in with high expectations and coming out feeling like I’d only eaten half a meal. A quick scan of the promo material did raise an eyebrow: the size of the band has been cut in half (CBP have always been immersed in drama), and there are a number of interesting guest vocalists as a result.” Crippled but dangerous.

Carnation – Where Death Lies Review

Carnation – Where Death Lies Review

“This Belgian troupe make nothing original. They make nothing challenging. They make nothing to push their chosen genre to the next stage of evolution. Yet, they are an inspiring testimonial to the effectiveness of a tried-and-true formula perfected. The formula for Carnation comes from old school death metal, with the same vitriol and verve first put forth by early EntombedCannibal Corpse, and to some extent, the less progressive half of Death.” Instant deathfest.

Venomous Concept – Politics Versus the Erection Review

Venomous Concept – Politics Versus the Erection Review

Venomous Concept return with a pissed off chip on their shoulders, albeit with a satirical tongue in cheek mentality, on fourth LP, Politics Versus the Erection. The grizzled supergroup, comprising vocalist Kevin Sharp (Brutal Truth, Lock Up), Napalm Death duo Shane Embury (bass) and Danny Herrera (drums), along with guitarist John Cooke (Corrupt Moral Altar), dropped their super charged debut Retroactive Abortion back in ’04 and have been sporadically active since.” Erect the Concept.

The Devil’s Trade – The Call of the Iron Peak

The Devil’s Trade – The Call of the Iron Peak

“This album couldn’t have come at a better time, nor could it have come at a worse time. As dark and defeated as any piece of music I sampled these two years writing for this blog, The Devil’s Trade‘s Season of Mist debut The Call of the Iron Peak simultaneously captures the disillusioned despair and troubled spirit of our world and drags me down below that threshold towards a core of utter emptiness sourced from the very soul of sole songwriter Dávid Makó.” Iron sharpens despair.

Gaerea – Limbo Review

Gaerea – Limbo Review

“Is black metal good? The answer is no. Or at least, I would have said no when I started writing here. Flippantly, sure, but I was a different man and back in 2013 black metal was a different beast. Most of the mass clogging the drain of the promo sump was of the two-waves-one-man variety, and with the exception of luminary avant-garde acts like Sigh and Dodecahedron, it seemed like the only alternative to reliving the early Norwegian days was playing blast beats over Slowdive.” Time changes a man.