Ulver

Manes – Slow Motion Death Sequence Review

Manes – Slow Motion Death Sequence Review

“The first time I heard the Norwegian oddity known as Manes, I was in grad school. That fateful day, I was grading organic chemistry exams, locked away in that windowless closet of a grading room. With hours of work ahead of me, I took the time to find some new music to ease the pain. After getting caught in the rabbit’s hole of ‘similar artists’ and the ‘who-played-with-who’ links of Metal Archives, I emerged with Manes. And, I figured, this oughta do.” Music for destroying futures.

Hoth – Astral Necromancy Review

Hoth – Astral Necromancy Review

Astral Necromancy, the third release from American metal band Hoth, has caused me to discard far more words than I will publish about it. Very little of these words concerned the Star Wars theme of the band, which seems to interpret that series as a bunch of myths with archetypal themes that can be put into any context. This makes the whole enterprise more appealing, as there are no forced references and the focus remains on the music instead of hunts for little Easter eggs concerning Jar-Jar.” Death to Jar-Jar!

Taake – Kong Vinter Review

Taake – Kong Vinter Review

“But the ones I came back to the most were the underrated groups, like Ofermod, Svartsyn, Urgehal, and Taake. To me, this latter group has some of the best black metal ever recorded. In Taake‘s case, Nattestid ser porten vid, Over Bjoergvin graater himmerik, and Hordalands doedskvad still make me dribble over my lower lip like a fucking vegetable. But, like most black metal giants, Taake‘s recent material has begun to slip in quality. Their 2014 release, Stridens hus, left my throat parched and now my need for nourishment is at an all-time high. The question is: will Taake‘s newest release, Kong Vinter, wet lips or will it cause them to crack and bleed?” Lip care is crucial in a frostbitten kingdom of ice.

Over The Voids – Over The Voids Review

Over The Voids – Over The Voids Review

“In my stint with Angry Metal Guy, I’ve encountered not one, but two overly congested forms of black metal. I’ve either encountered black metal that goes beyond its initial consume-by date, or I’ve been bombarded by one-man basement metal, with the latter only impressing me here and there. So when I get a 4-song, 34-minute album with two of the songs dipping below the 7-minute mark, let’s just say the hairs on my neck and back shoot up straighter than those on Don King’s head.” Basement king or cellar fail?

Dzö-nga – The Sachem’s Tales Review

Dzö-nga – The Sachem’s Tales Review

“Sophomore full-length The Sachem’s Tales sees Cryvas crafting a concept album about Native American folklore, aiming to combine Cascadian black metal with classical music. Joined by female vocalist Grushenka Ødegård and session drummer Aaron Maloney (formerly of Pennsylvania metalcore act This or the Apocalypse, oddly enough), has Dzö-nga given us the next Bergtatt or delivered another Bandcamp black metal record whose hype will fizzle faster than you can say “Ghost Bath”? The Great Tree and the Dzö-nga House.

Vintersorg – Till Fjälls del II Review

Vintersorg – Till Fjälls del II Review

Till Fjälls (“To the Mountains”) marked the début of Sweden’s Vintersorg and thus began one of the better melodic black and folk metal bands around. Though their music phased out the folk influences and replaced them with even more melody, Till Fjälls del II is a definitive statement that they still care about folksy stimuli. Cast your eyes over the rather excellent artwork. Do you see the mountains, the trees, the snow, the Northern fucking Lights? I think you’ll agree that they definitely still care about nature and shit.” Just call him “the Natural.”

Område – Nåde Review

Område – Nåde Review

“Well, Område have done it again. Two years ago, I opened their Edari review talking about the marriage of an album to its artwork. What seems simplistic turns out to quite difficult. Finding the right artist and the right piece of art to match an album’s character is like food presentation. For instance, if not careful, you’ll turn your entire family against your amazing chili dogs. I thought the artwork of Område‘s debut was the perfect match to its sound, but Nåde takes the cake (or, in this case, a foot-long chili coney).” Of trippy music and penis-shaped meats.