Signal Rex

Arna – Dragged to a Lunar Grave Review

Arna – Dragged to a Lunar Grave Review

Arna lists Spectral Wound as an influence, and the perfunctory cover art bears an uncanny resemblance to that band’s recent (stellar) album, A Diabolic Thirst. But whereas A Diabolic Thirst featured an image with depth and nuance, Arna’s is flat and more minimal, and this is a helpful metaphor for separating the two bands. Arna plays old school, furious black metal, but with a much grimier, flattened production, and at a far more sedate pace than the relentless fury of Spectral Wound.” Arna you tired of black metal yet?

Seance Of – The Colour of Magick Review

Seance Of – The Colour of Magick Review

“On more than a couple of occasions, I’ve mused on decisions made by artists that one might label … pretentious. My musings have not, of course, led to anything useful but why should that stop me? Perth, Australia’s curiously-named, one-man project Seance Of is ready to unleash The Colour of Magick. The last – chronologically speaking – of three records written by mainman AR (also of Grave Worship), this is the project’s debut, with the other two to follow at some unspecified future time. Magnanimously, Seance Of has also decided not to name any of the tracks on this record, instead encouraging “listeners to create their own titles for each of these eight tracks: indeed, this unorthodox freedom is his intent.” Having initially written this off as a pretentious gimmick, it took the ever-wise GardensTale to point out that I was missing a trick here.” Boaty McBoatface metal.

Irae – Dangerovs Magick Zpells from the Mesziah of Death Review

Irae – Dangerovs Magick Zpells from the Mesziah of Death Review

“Getting dibs on albums is pretty rad when there’s a cool band with a new release I forgot about: a mini-Christmas in the otherwise lifeless dregs of the promo bin. That was my initial thought when I saw Portugal’s Irae new release. Last year’s Lurking in the Depths, while not terribly original, was a jolly fun batch o’ blackened tunes. It blended raw-ish tendencies with a healthy dose of groove for a subtle and consistent listen that perhaps held more promise than delivered but was good enough for my heart to leap at the newest installment. Does Dangerovs Magick Zpells from the Mesziah of Death deliver?” Dangerovs toyvs.

Atrium – Ancient Spells Review

Atrium – Ancient Spells Review

“Wolves are neat critters, but their portrayals have gotten a bad rap. The gift shop t-shirt of choice for angsty teenagers who listen to Five Finger Death Punch‘s “Jekyll & Hyde” and convince their friends that they have a “dark side,” the symbol has lost its teeth. Toss in that one individual who identifies as a wolf and barks at a lake, these canines have often become a symbol of try-hards rather than the courageous and loyal representation with which it is traditionally associated. Gazing upon the howling wolf that graces the cover of Ancient Spells, does Atrium offer strength and courage or is it upended by its own insecurities?” Eyes bigger than your belly, Wolfie?

Pestis Cultus – Pestis Cultus Review

Pestis Cultus – Pestis Cultus Review

“Raw black metal is not typically my thing. I like my black atmospheric or symphonic, as a rule. Normally, if you’re after the lo-fi stuff, you’d wanna talk to Messrs of Doom and in Muzaka. But, that said, I rather enjoyed my time with Funeral Fullmoon, so here I am, back in the dark, icy depths of … well, this time, Western Australia.” Lo-fi down under.

Sammas’ Equinox – Tulikehrät Review

Sammas’ Equinox – Tulikehrät Review

“The style approached by Sammas’ Equinox harkens back to the days of olde, when face-painted specters frolicked in the church cemeteries amongst the flames. Not quite as raw as early Darkthrone and not quite as melodic as EmperorSammas’ Equinox occupies the middle ground, offering all the tremolos one could ask for and loading up on the synths for atmospheric grandeur.” Old hrät.

Idolatria – Tetrabestiarchy Review

Idolatria – Tetrabestiarchy Review

“Being a black metal fan entails crankiness. It seems there are more critics and black metal TSA waiting in the wings than any other metal subgenre, just lurking, waiting to hit each new album with a slap of humility – some of it deserved, some of it not. No one’s ever happy, as no release will be raw enough, noisy enough, unlistenable enough, “they have a Facebook and a Bandcamp and don’t exclusively sell cassettes, are you fucking kidding me.”” The fine line between hate and kvlt hate.

Irae – Lurking in the Depths Review

Irae – Lurking in the Depths Review

“Black metal has a weird reputation. If you ask anybody walking down the street about it, given its nuances of church burning and Satanism, they’ll shudder and tell you “that stuff is scary, man.” However, if you ask a person who regularly listens to it, it becomes a different beast entirely: using Burzum‘s self-titled as an example, you’ll hear an angsty Ewok grumbling about his mom taking away his Satanic Bible while abusing a Walmart guitar.” Fear and loathing in Portugal.

Armnatt – Dense Fog Review

Armnatt – Dense Fog Review

“If the metal genre as we know it were an animal shelter, the two most isolated beasts, sitting abjectly in the corner, would be the ungainly, lumbering, shaggy Funeral Doom and the feral, bestial, slightly-rabid Raw Black Metal. Even within this shelter, these are the least loved of the myriad metal breeds.” Bully breeds.