Ulver

Ulver – Flowers of Evil Review

Ulver – Flowers of Evil Review

“Off the back of 2017’s The Assassination of Julius Caesar and the Ulver Primer which we ran a few weeks ago, 2020 has bequeathed unto us a new full-length title from Norway’s Ulver. Flowers of Evil sits in an unusual place as successor to the most poppy Ulver release, an album which I underrated at the time but have come to love. Rarely simple and never expected, Ulver has built a career out of subverting expectations and always pushing into new territories. How does such a band follow the most accessible album of their story?” Just look at the flowers.

Bell Witch/Aerial Ruin – Stygian Bough Volume I Review

Bell Witch/Aerial Ruin – Stygian Bough Volume I Review

“Dylan Desmond and Jesse Shreibman’s decision to make official their partnership with Erik Moggridge, the man in Aerial Ruin‘s one-man dark folk band, made sense. Moggridge’s guest vocals on Mirror Reaper conveyed grief and loss on a frequency that Bell Witch couldn’t have reached alone. Stygian Bough Volume I pries those mournful dimensions wide in a symbiotic give-and-take quite unlike anything either act has produced before.” Witch in flight.

Horrific Demise – Excruciating Extermination [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Horrific Demise – Excruciating Extermination [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“It’s winter again, and Ulver’s first three records express the beauty and wonder of the season that left us when we grew up and got annoyed at clearing a foot of snow off our cars so we can dutifully trudge to work. Horrific Demise’s debut record Excruciating Extermination conjures a world where Harambe comes back and decides to use your scrotum as a speedbag. That’s right, it’s one of these again.” Ouch.

Bhleg – Äril Review

Bhleg – Äril Review

“Leaves crunch as feet hit the concrete. The air contains a faintly sweet aroma as it passes through the trees. All the things that can be pumpkin-spiced are, indeed, pumpkin-spiced. In the United States, it’s officially autumn through most of its impressive landscape.[1. Where I live (Northeast Florida), all that’s changed is that I’ve gone from wearing sleeveless t-shirts to t-shirts with sleeves.] And what better way to bring in the season than with some atmospheric black metal with folk tinges?” Folk on the pumpkin.

Geistaz’ika – Trolddomssejd I Skovens Dybe Kedel Review

Geistaz’ika – Trolddomssejd I Skovens Dybe Kedel Review

“Denmark. It’s one of those places oft-overlooked, by me at least. If I think of Scandinavia, Norway and Sweden immediately come to mind, belatedly followed by Finland — which I’m reasonably sure is not actually part of Scandinavia — and only then, Denmark. Similarly, when I think of metal, and black metal, in particular, the same countries come to mind, probably in the same order. Denmark just isn’t really on my geographic or musical radar. I realize this will be deeply offensive to any Danish readers but I’m British and we currently specialize in offending other Europeans by the disparaging way we talk about them and their countries.” Dis-Danes.

Thief – Map of Lost Keys Review

Thief – Map of Lost Keys Review

Thief is the pet project of Dylan Neal, a dulcimer player (dulcimist?) for the unconventional experimental black metal band Botanist. Thief’s music takes on a different theme entirely, however, from Botanist’s quirky style of environmentally themed “green-metal.” Map of Lost Keys, Thief’s sophomore album, swaps the hammered dulcimer for a myriad of electronics to produce late night music designed for haunted ballrooms and electric churches. While no traditional black metal demon shrieks or vicious tremolo picking can be heard on Map of Lost Keys, Thief remain obstinate in their attempt to appeal to fans of heavier genres.” Mischief managing.

The Sabbathian – Latum Alterum Review

The Sabbathian – Latum Alterum Review

“Back in the olden days of… er, 2012, Hour of 13 mainman Chad Davis teamed up with former Nàttsòl vocalist Anette Uvaas Gulbrandsen to form The Sabbathian, dropping a convincing three-song EP in 2014’s Ritual Rites. While musically it was a logical continuation of the Hour of 13 sound but with the angelic vocals of Gulbrandsen, Ritual Rites turned enough heads to leave those salivating for their unique brand of occult doom metal wanting more. But in those five years, so much Scoobie Doobie Doom occult metal has saturated the market to the point that all that’s missing from the albums are hoods, masks, and drawn-out lawsuits. Davis and Gulbrandsen know this, and on the long-awaited follow-up, Latum Alterum, an about-face was performed to steer clear of their contemporaries.” Devil in the details.

Vuohi – Witchcraft Warfare Review

Vuohi – Witchcraft Warfare Review

“It’s 6:50 PM on a cold Saturday night. I’m tapping my foot impatiently, waiting for my lovely girlfriend — a few months my elder, and perhaps a bit slower moving, therefore — to come out from her room. ‘Come on, darling,’ I say, double-checking my tie in the mirror, ‘we’ll be late if we don’t leave soon.’ I hear the door open, and expect to be floored; she always looks so good in dresses, and this is a formal event. I turn around and do a triple-take — she’s wearing a strawberry onesie. I’m left confused as to what her intentions were, and I may perhaps never figure it out. May as well make the most of it, right? This ethos permeated my listening time with the Finnish band Vuohi’s debut full-length Witchcraft Warfare.” Kitchen sink-core.