Symphonic Black Metal

Tragedy in Hope – Sleep Paralysis Review

Tragedy in Hope – Sleep Paralysis Review

“Firstly, the vocal techniques applied to Sleep Paralysis happen to be fairly androgynous, which adds mystique to the project. Secondly, Sleep Paralysis feels very much like a concept album, dealing with a wide spectrum of mental and emotional distresses, including actual sleep paralysis. Drama bleeds all over this album, and Sasha often takes on multiple roles, both male and female, in the service of each segment in the story. My third and final discovery complicates matters.” Bedtime worries.

Caedes Cruenta – Of Ritual Necrophagia and Mysterious Ghoul Cults Review

Caedes Cruenta – Of Ritual Necrophagia and Mysterious Ghoul Cults Review

“To be honest, I’m not entirely sure where the line between black metal and blackened death lies. There’re folks who are entirely justified for crying “DEATH” when you add some bass to the mix, but others will be completely in the right to scold them for hopping a little too hard. Since groups like Belphegor and Marduk have blurred the lines with their bottom-heavy yet grim AF aesthetics, it’s a horde of near or far-sighted folks blurring everything.” Ghouls night ovt.

Keys of Orthanc – Of the Lineage of Kings Review

Keys of Orthanc – Of the Lineage of Kings Review

“The title track and introduction for Of the Lineage of Kings, the fourth full-length release from Canadian Lord-of-the-Rings-meets-black-metal fans Keys of Orthanc, amusingly, feels like the perfect theme music for me as I compose this introduction paragraph. For one thing, this review is late — I’m not sure I’ve ever penned a review quite so long after the album has already come out. Life, it gets in the way. And yet, I am determined — determined, against all odds, to overcome the aforementioned life and get news of Of the Lineage of Kings out to you, the reader.” What heroes do.

Stormkeep – Galdrum Review

Stormkeep – Galdrum Review

“The potential of a debut release is a magical thing. This year, I’ve been blown away by first-ever offerings, left dismayed and discouraged by initial encounters, and experienced decided mediocrity with hope for something better next time. Suffice it to say, I like writing reviews with no prior experience for a sound; the temptation to compare an act to what they once were is, to me, less exciting than the comparison to what they could be. And so, from the dark corners of the United States, I present to you Galdrum, the debut full-length from Stormkeep, who play symphonic black metal and have an awesome album cover.” Dark impressions.

Paradise in Flames – Devil’s Collection Review

Paradise in Flames – Devil’s Collection Review

Paradise in Flames is a Brazilian black metal quartet, having released two albums, two demos, and an EP since their 2003 formation. While their third full-length’s cover poses questions, a glance at their promo confuses further. They cite death metal countrymen Sepultura and Sarcófago as influences, while the Devil’s Collection was mastered by producer Tue Madsen of Meshuggah and Dark Tranquility fame. Such first impressions are baffling, but the looming question is: is Devil’s Collection any good?” Riffing is fundamental.

Serment – Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté Review

Serment – Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté Review

“Some black metal bands are sheer aggression and violence, while others are all about slow-build atmosphere and ambience. Lurking around the fringes, just outside these respective circles of firelight, are the folk black metal bands, crooked harps and battered lutes clutched in their claws. By far the most interesting – to me at least – are the black metal acts that dip their bucket in multiple wells, and we have one such specimen on our hands today. Quebec’s Serment is the one-man side project from Forteresse’s guitarist and bassist, Moribond.” Folk in the eye.

Creature – Ex Cathedra Review

Creature – Ex Cathedra Review

“A mere six months ago I wrote a TYMHM piece on the second Creature album Contes Funèbres, noting that while that album had a black metal base and clear elements of 70s prog, it also contained an anachronistic theatricality, like a corpse-painted staging of Les Misérables. If Contes Funèbres was broadway, Ex Cathedra is opera.” Shock me, Amadeus.

Carach Angren – Franckensteina Strataemontanus Review

Carach Angren – Franckensteina Strataemontanus Review

“But Franckensteina Strataemontanus is not a true retelling of Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley. If any of you know the myths and legends surrounding the creation of this story, you know that there’re a lot of tales that involve Johann Konrad Dippel. There’s no proof that Shelley was ever inspired by this strange individual, but the connection is hard to ignore. An individual who reportedly invented nitroglycerin, experimented on dead animals and human cadavers, and created an elixir that would allow him to live until the age of 135. Here, Carach Angren provides us with a slight reinvention of the classic Frankenstein story. One that uses artistic license to make Dippel the psychotic creator of an unloved monster.” Frank n’ frowners.

Old Corpse Road – On Ghastly Shores Lays the Wreckage of Our Lore Review

Old Corpse Road – On Ghastly Shores Lays the Wreckage of Our Lore Review

“”I’m gonna take my hearse down the Old Corpse Road, I’m gonna… hooooowl ’til I can’t no more.” I’m running out of decent black metal introductions. Like, how many dead horses do I have to beat in order to get across that, gee whizz, ye fuckwads, it’s another black metal album. I guess I could go into how these Brits are somewhere in concept between Winterfylleth and Primordial, but I don’t know, that sounds as fresh as quarantine-old crackers on top of that soup that’s been “aging like a fine wine” at the back of my fridge.” Corpse in the water.

Khôra – Timaeus Review

Khôra – Timaeus Review

“Once again, I picked promo for an irrelevant reason. German/Irish blackened death trio Khôra wound up in my review queue because their name sounds like the name of one of our cats (Kora). I feel like that’s a perfectly reasonable justification for album selection. If it isn’t, well, then I guess I don’t care. Khôra doesn’t care either, and put out whatever the hell they want regardless of what your tastes or expectations are.” Cats and jammers.