Signal Rex

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.

Trono Além Morte – O Olhar Atento de Escuridão Review

Trono Além Morte – O Olhar Atento de Escuridão Review

“Let me tell you something which you might already know but have most likely never heard stated directly: Master-baiting is incredibly easy. To set a Muppet trap, one only needs a handful of specific pearls to effectively get me off of one musical tangent and thrusted furiously into another. Slap the black metal tag on something, slather it in cvlt artwork and croon it to me in a foreign tongue and I’m about as sonically revved up as they come.” Muppets are cheap dates.

Draugsól – Volaða Land Review

Draugsól – Volaða Land Review

“It’s no secret that—following a legacy now two decades old—black metal is synonymous with Scandinavia. For most, this refers to Norway and Sweden, but, depending on who you ask, this may also include Finland and Iceland. Regardless if these countries meet the rules for the “Scandinavia” tag, they have a plethora of black metal bands, with legacies all their own. And I thank that goat-headed deity for that.” Feeling Scandinavia, looking frozen tundra.

Siaskel – Haruwen Airen [Things You Might Have Missed 2016]

Siaskel – Haruwen Airen [Things You Might Have Missed 2016]

“Very few things impress me more than a band that knows how to incorporate ideas from their native lands or languages into their music. Take Orphaned Land‘s beautiful incorporation of Middle-Eastern motifs in their message of unity, for example. I’m a sucker for this kind of sound.” Roots, bloody roots!