Symphonic Black Metal

冷 – 日落 Review

冷 – 日落 Review

“Rare is the promo we receive for extreme metal out of Taiwan, save for the odd gross slam record. Naturally, getting any promo from a region not particularly well known in the West for their burgeoning metal scene draws the eye, and mine eye was surely drawn. Enter (translated into the Latin alphabet as Laang), a melodic black metal outfit from Keelung City.” Rare and unusual.

Night Crowned – Tales Review

Night Crowned – Tales Review

“Ever since they smashed onto the scene with their 2020 debut Impious Viam, following up on the more quietly well-received EP Humanity Will Echo Out, Night Crowned have presented an almost ideal example of symphonic/melodic blackened death. Take a template of symphonic, subtle synth-accented black metal, and add a bunch of catchy melodies, well-pitched dramatic compositions, and that uniquely Swedish death metal flair, and you’ve got Night Crowned. But the group are more than that; they have a distinctive sound that has only strengthened over the years, and Tales continues this trend.” Evening royalty.

Sodomisery – Mazzaroth Review

Sodomisery – Mazzaroth Review

The Great Demise combined Dissection black, Hypocrisy death, and Amon Amarth melodeath to deliver a rollercoaster of intricacies, riff changes, builds, and atmospheres. At times, it worked. At times, it didn’t. As a whole, The Great Demise was missing the fluidity to pull everything together. Now they’re back with a Covid-inspired follow-up whose theme concerns mental health. This concept alone instills high-charged emotion into the album. But how Sodomisery delivers it completely floored me.” Sodom misers!

The Circle – Of Awakening Review

The Circle – Of Awakening Review

“When we discuss this majesty in metal, common threads lead to Fleshgod Apocalypse and Septicflesh and their ominous orchestras, the strength of battle in the rhythms of Bathory and Amon Amarth, while colossal vastness grants Ahab its weight or Ataraxie its bleakness. Germany’s The Circle utilizes all of the above in its dense and expansive blend of melodic death, doom, and black metal, capped off by symphonic soundscapes and a Gothic vocal style.” Might, majesty, and muscle.

Hasard – Malivore Review

Hasard – Malivore Review

“AMG.com has had mixed feelings about the musical work of ‘Hazard,’ the enigmatic songwriter behind Les Chants du Hasard. Claiming fatigue from this project following its most recent album, Hazard returns in 2023 with something that’s just as experimental but much heavier. Hasard principally extracts the black metal and secondarily extracts the orchestrations from its progenitor’s sound, carefully examining what remains in uncomfortable detail and manipulating it into deformed shapes.” At all Hasards.

Keep of Kalessin – Katharsis Review

Keep of Kalessin – Katharsis Review

“Despite the positive review we gave to Epistemology, Norway’s Keep of Kalessin polarizes the rowdy AMG staff. For reasons I can’t fathom, despite the band’s 30-year history and commercial success, nearly none of my peers has heard of them except Grier, who hates their guts. I enjoyed Epistemology when it came out. Keep of Kalessin’s over-the-top brand of symphonic black metal lacked consistency, but the best parts of the album steamrolled me with a vigor that I still feel eight years later.” Keeping the faith.

…and Oceans – As in Gardens, So in Tombs Review

…and Oceans – As in Gardens, So in Tombs Review

“2020 saw the overdue restoration of Finland’s …and Oceans, lost to the wastes for nearly 20 years despite their earliest music releasing in parallel with such peers as Emperor and Dimmu Borgir. Cosmic World Mother was a strong return to their original melodic black metal, tinged with symphonic and electronic elements they had acquired over subsequent releases. It featured a couple of my favorite black metal tracks from recent years which set up expectations for a successor. As in Gardens, So in Tombs has arrived but does it deliver?” Surf’s up.