Symphonic Black Metal

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.

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.