Symphonic Black Metal

Daidalos – The Expedition Review

Daidalos – The Expedition Review

The Expedition is a concept album that tells the story of the doomed 1845 voyage of Captain John Franklin and his crew of 129 men and their frost-filled journey through undiscovered portions of the northwest passage. Grizzled sea captains? Ice pirates? Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi may not crave such things, but I sure do. Daidalos have certainly plucked a worthy story from the annals of history on which to base their album. And as is their right, the band has chosen the soothing sounds of symphonic, epic black metal to tale this tale.” Voyage of the damned.

Imperial Circus Dead Decadence – 殯――死へ耽る想いは戮辱すら喰らい、彼方の生を愛する為に命を讃える――。 Review

Imperial Circus Dead Decadence – 殯――死へ耽る想いは戮辱すら喰らい、彼方の生を愛する為に命を讃える――。 Review

“I have irregularly listened to Imperial Circus Dead Decadence for a decade, and while I can instantly identify their sound, it’s not one I can concisely describe. Think of the blackened melodeath hybrid of Chthonic spliced with Fleshgod Apocalypse’s brutal symphonics and Cradle of Filth’s gothic drama, and you have a ballpark estimate. That is, at least, before tossing in a heaping helping of neoclassical power metal in the vein of Versailles.” The Circus is in town, and it is crazy!

Katharos – Of Lineages Long Forgotten Review

Katharos – Of Lineages Long Forgotten Review

Of Lineages Long Forgotten seems a slightly ironic title for an album whose lineage is so clear to hear. Writ large across its near 50-minute run are the influence of Dimmu Borgir, particularly circa Death Cult Armageddon and In Sorte Diaboli, and Prometheus-era Emperor. This is no bad thing, however.” Of a long line of blackened kin.

Unru – Die Wiederkehr des Verdrängten Review

Unru – Die Wiederkehr des Verdrängten Review

“There’s something about abstractness in music that rides a fine line between tantalizing and off-putting. While anything tagged “avant-garde” is immediately greeted by a chorus of hissing and boos, there are ways to create effectively challenging tunes using relatively standard methods. Some metallic styles are born out of this aesthetic, as post-metal’s emphasis on landscapes or drone’s focus on overwhelming density spring to mind, but black metal has always maintained a bit more straightforward nostalgia in the unholy trinity: tremolo, blastbeats, and shrieks. Unru seeks to challenge such things.” Dare to be difficult.

Aquilus – Bellum I [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Aquilus – Bellum I [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Griseus by Aquilus was the best metal album of the 2010s never reviewed by AngryMetalGuy.com. It is a wonderful, ethereal, expressive, other-worldly experience tied to the metal genre by its atmospheric, blackened qualities, but spending just as much time and energy on its classical ones. It is, in short, symphonic black metal, but is so much more than this implies. This brings us to December 2021 and its long-overdue sequel, a decade in the making.” Music of blackened socialites.

W.E.B. – Colosseum Review

W.E.B. – Colosseum Review

W.E.B. was not what I was led to believe them to be. The promo titling called them “Symphonic Metal,” which in my mind doesn’t extend to the extreme side of things. Upon sampling their new fifth installment, Colosseum, however, I came to realize I was misinformed. ,b>W.E.B. is perhaps one of the most extreme bands I’ve heard in the last two years that rightfully claim the symphonic metal tag.” False flags and sticky WEBS.

Bryan Eckermann – Plague Bringers Review

Bryan Eckermann – Plague Bringers Review

“Bryan Eckermann, of such acts as Scars of the Flesh and Wings of Abaddon, is something of a multi-instrumentalist. In the aforementioned bands, for example, he covers guitars, bass, and drumming, which is already more than a lot of musicians can say for themselves. Since 2014, however, he has also stood at the helm of his own solo project, for which he does, well, everything. Vocals? Eckermann. Keys? Drums? All Eckermann. Mixing? Mastering? Recording? Still Eckermann.” One-man army.

Elderblood – Achrony Review

Elderblood – Achrony Review

“Blasphemy and the rejection of religion is not a new thing to black metal at all, but geography does play a part. As Diabolus in Muzaka mentioned in his review for Elderblood’s Messiah, there’s something distinctly Polish about these Ukrainians. Christianity, especially the heavily ritualized flavor of Eastern Orthodox, runs deep in Slavic heritage – especially considering the virtual elimination of traditional Slavic religion at the hands of Christian tyrants. Nergal’s continuing rejection of Polish theocratic movements, Batushka’s use of Russian Orthodoxy, and Elderblood’s latest album cover have all shown the region’s unflinching hate. With these Ukrainians, you can expect vitriol and blasphemy in the fullest measure.” Burning faith.

Firienholt – By the Waters of Awakening Review

Firienholt – By the Waters of Awakening Review

Firienholt sound pretty much exactly as you’d expect based solely on this album art. Falling somewhere in the center of a Venn diagram split between atmospheric black metal, symphonic folk-ish metal, and dungeonsynth, By the Waters of Awakening offers an experience that not only relaxes and soothes, but also evokes a desire for bone-chilling winter to return forthwith. Tambourines, flutes, strings, trumpets and French horns, and glistening synths decorate a light dusting of blackened frost across a wondrous landscape of mournful melodies and heartfelt verses. This is not an album for headbanging.” Serenity now!

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.