Watain

Sargeist – Unbound [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Sargeist – Unbound [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“Like many of you, I respect the hardworking artists of the underground. Guys with main bands, side-projects, and loads of guest appearances. Black metal, in particular, is a genre full of artists like this. Shatraug is one. To the casual Finnish black metal fan, Shatraug is the guitarist for the mighty Horna. To others, he’s the man behind Gandr, Mortualia, and Necroslut, as well as guitarist for Hoath and Doedsvangr. And that only scratches the surface. The other band you might know Shatraug from is Sargeist. And their newest release, Unbound, might be their best to date.” A man of 50 shades.

Lucifericon – Al-Khem-Me Review

Lucifericon – Al-Khem-Me Review

Al-Khem-Me. Like alchemy. Get it? It’s kind of a silly pun, but upon further reflection, the word does serve as a decent metaphor for what Lucifericon are trying to do here. Ancient alchemists like Nicolas Flamel attempted to turn common metals into gold; by the same token, this Dutch quartet attempt to take decent riffs and turn them into vast and smoldering blackened death metal songs.” Lead or gold?

Invocation Spells – Spread Cruelty in the Abyss Review

Invocation Spells – Spread Cruelty in the Abyss Review

“Two years ago, I passed on a little Chilean black/thrash band named Invocation Spells. Not because they, or their third full-length record, The Flame of Hate, sucked, but because I already had a handful of promos to prepare for review. So, when I saw their name pop up on the Almighty AMG Promo Sheet again, I knew I’d have to check them out. Though this little two-piece outfit ain’t the next generation of black/thrash, their Aura Noir-meets-Darkthrone approach—with the aggression of a second-wave black metal outfit—is a good fit for the genre.” Chile and means.

Acârash – In Chaos Becrowned Review

Acârash – In Chaos Becrowned Review

“When a band comes out of the woods calling themselves an occult rock band, I can’t help but think of Ghost. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t particularly think of Ghost when I think of occult rock (I more think of those odd, ritualistic LaVey recordings I’ve heard) but that seems to be the way many o’ metalhead think. The silly Satanic lyrics, the soaring vocals and the doomy, gloomy, rocking, old-school riffs of Opus Eponymous are what people associate “occult rock” with these days. On the immediate surface, Norway’s Acârash don’t disagree with this assessment of occult rock but, boy, do they have a darker, blacker outlook on the style.” Ghost reveries.

North Hammer – Stormcaller Review

North Hammer – Stormcaller Review

“‘Just so you know I’ll be milking this for a long time.’ These were the first words out of my girlfriend’s mouth after acting willingly (albeit with trepidation) as a last-minute road trip and concert companion to see Watain and Deströyer 666 after the flu struck down two friends who were originally supposed to go. I knew that sitting through myriad episodes of Dr. Phil or Real Housewives of [Pick a Place with Pretentious Snobs Galore] was my price to pay for seeing one of black metal’s most entertaining live acts rampage through the excellent ‘Nuclear Alchemy’ and other great songs, and that was fine. I knew what I signed up for, and honesty is always the best policy.” Our word is our bond, until we break it!

Watain – Trident Wolf Eclipse Review

Watain – Trident Wolf Eclipse Review

“From Rabid Death’s Curse to Lawless Darkness, Sweden’s Satanic three-piece, Watain, have enjoyed one of the best careers the black metal community has ever seen. With each release, the band explored more and expanded farther than the record before. The result is that 2007’s Sworn to the Dark and 2010’s Lawless Darkness are a couple of my favorite albums of all black metal. But, then, a peculiar thing happened. That thing was 2013’s The Wild Hunt.” Hunting season is over.

Degial – Predator Reign Review

Degial – Predator Reign Review

“It’s that time of year again where people are scrambling for gifts to buy people, malls to populate, and year-end lists to create. It’s also the time of year when I try to step outside of my blackened, doom-laden comfort zone and try my hand at less bleak, more visceral waters. In other words, I done burned myself out on black metal for a bit, and what better pick-me-up is there than Swedish death metal?” Satisfying like Swedeath Fish.

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.