Taake

Von – Dark Gods: Seven Billion Slaves Review

Von – Dark Gods: Seven Billion Slaves Review

“A few short years ago, Von appeared to be one of those seminal back metal bands who were only recognized for their genius and influence post-mortem. Hailing from San Francisco, CA, Von were arguably the first American black metal band, and inarguably were hugely influential in establishing black metal’s second wave aesthetic. Formed in 1987, the band disbanded in 1992 after a releasing a pair of demos and recording, but not releasing, a third. Over the years, copies of their demos and live bootlegs were hunted by collectors, especially before the internet made sharing and copying as simple as it is now. For over twenty years, aside from the 2003 release of the Satanic Blood Angel demo compilation and live record, Von were silent and inactive, though their influence has touched bands from Dark Funeral and Enthroned to Taake and Watain.” Natalie Zed is here to tell you how that’s workin’ out for ’em in 2013.

Vreid – Welcome Farewell Review

Vreid – Welcome Farewell Review

“After the tragic, but remarkably metal, death of their vocalist, Windir was laid to rest in 2004. From its ashes came Vreid (“wrath” in Norwegian), which barreled onto the scene, knocking ten tons of shit out of listeners with machine gun riffage, under the command of ex-Windir bassist Hváll. Vreid have a black metal flavor that bears more than a few striking similarities to the misanthropic, war and history flavored style of Windir. Outside of that, Vreid have riff-heavy, black ‘n roll similarities to the likes of Carpathian Forest, some of the attitude and energy of Borknagar’s Universal album and a blend of the rocking grooviness of Sepultura and the more traditional and melodic elements of Taake, Koldbrann, Ragnarok, and middle earth’s own Carach Angren.” With a list of comparisons like that, you’d think it wouldn’t be possible for Madam X to get angry about this…

Koldbrann – Vertigo Review

Koldbrann – Vertigo Review

“I’ve noticed that the face of Norwegian black metal is a changing, it’s becoming more adventurous, more rock infused, more progressive and God forbid, more accessible [well, it can’t get LESS accessibleSteel Druhm]. I can confirm however, that while they’re not just all about the evil any longer, they definitely haven’t lost sight or forgotten about the mighty Dark Lord Satan! Breath people, all is still right in the world.” How does Koldbrann fit in to this new movement? Follow Madam X on her trend analysis.

Things You Might Have Missed in 2011: Winterus – In Carbon Mysticism

Things You Might Have Missed in 2011: Winterus – In Carbon Mysticism

So I’ve been digging through un-opened promos from this year that simply got missed due to scheduling or whatever and man, I’ve really hit the fucking jackpot with this one. I feel terrible that I missed it because it’s awesome. Lately, I’ve had a lot of issues with black metal as a whole. I am not alone in this. Even the ultimately reliable and excellent Taake kind of disappointed me this year. I’m not a post-black metal kind of guy and yet, for the life of me, I can’t find any black metal bands that really fucking rule these days. It’s like the scene just up and left the area I was inhabiting

Cormorant – Dwellings Review

Cormorant – Dwellings Review

Cormorant is a band that I probably would have never found on my own. Instead, I just randomly got an e-mail from their promoter a couple years back, where she hooked me up with the band’s 2009 release Metazoa. I was duly impressed by what these coasties had to offer, so when I saw that these guys had a new record coming out, I definitely reached out to get a promo of it. And I’m happy that I did, though I think that Dwellings is a different beast from Metazoa. Bad? Definitely not. But did the band grow and get a lot better? It seems like the maintained a pretty even keel during the two years away.

Taake – Noregs Vaapen Review

Taake – Noregs Vaapen Review

Taake has easily been my favorite from the second wave of Norwegian black metal bands. I discovered them through a friend of mine back after the classic Nattestid ser porten vid was released and have been a huge fan ever since. Despite having moved away from black metal as a whole, because I think it’s a pretty boring landscape of repetition and monotony these days, I have always kept my eyes on what Hoest and his rotating band of live musicians are doing. That said, I was not a fan of the band’s eponymous release which hit in 2008. I felt like it was bland and it left me without the same sort of awe that the first three full lengths left me in.

Djerv – Djerv Review

Djerv – Djerv Review

So here’s an old record that has been out since June (so I guess it’s not old, but in the world of reviewing that’s a motherfucking eternity). I’ve been meaning to get to it and I just really haven’t had the time or level of mental stability to do it. But now that we’re on a more even keel and the urge to kill is lessening a bit, I’ve been able to come back to this one. And boy am I glad I’ve come back to this one. Because as I said when I reviewed their EP: Djerv is something that is actually truly cool and unique.