Windir

Firtan – Marter Review

Firtan – Marter Review

Firtan got a middling review from the gone-but-unforgotten Akerblogger, praising its atmosphere and moments of clarity but cautious of its scattered songwriting and inconsistent passages. To their credit, the German quartet listened, tightening up their songwriting to enhance its more streamlined approach. While it clocks in at quite a bit longer than Okeanos, the third full-length Marter makes the most of it, creating a distinct flow and balancing its power and atmosphere with concise performances and a lethal multipronged attack.” Flirtan with disaster.

Saor – Origins Review

Saor – Origins Review

“We’re now a decade into Andy Marshall’s uniquely Scottish take on metal, blending furious black metal with majestic melodies and Scottish folk instrumentation. Saor is an experiment which has demonstrated great results, with the likes of Aura and Guardians being some of the strongest folk/black metal albums of the 2010s. 2019’s Forgotten Paths was solid but easily my least favorite release, but with a new decade comes a new record called Origins. Is it a return to Saor’s roots, or does it represent a new beginning?” Roots, icy roots.

Hexenklad – Heathenheart Review

Hexenklad – Heathenheart Review

“Canada’s Hexenklad is a semi-supergroup of sorts, boasting members of SIG:AR:TYR, Eclipse Eternal and Pagan Ritual. On their second full-length Heathenheart they dish out a wide-ranging variety of pagan black/folk tunes bearing marks ranging from Moonsorrow, Ensiferum and Windir. They’ve also taken the opportunity to pose for some excellently over-the-top LARP Guild photos and videos. Talent is abundant, as is the ambition.” Heathen hearts, big eyes.

Vreid – Wild North West Review

Vreid – Wild North West Review

“Like I Krig and Milorg, this new release is a concept album. Instead of learning some history, the concept here is the ups and downs of life as we wait for death. But, more specifically, bassist Hváll says the inspiration for Wild North West comes from his struggles, knowledge, and experience. One of the coolest parts about the album (not to bring Windir up again) is that some of what you’ll hear Valfar wrote back in 2002. Crazy enough, you’ll also hear him play it. He hasn’t risen from the grave, but it sure as shit feels like it.” Wild and dead.

Fuath – II Review

Fuath – II Review

“Representing a darker, meaner interpretation of black metal, Andy Marshall, better known for Saor, unleashed his Fuath (Gaelic for hatred) project around now over 5 years ago (fuck me, my life’s getting away from me). I excelled in black atmosphere and understated but sticky melodies and remains one of the decade’s better examples of atmospheric black metal, in a sub-genre full to the brim with mediocrity. It was intended to be a one-off but the inspirationally-entitled II is now primed for release.” Atmo-II: Electric Boogaloo.

Miasmata – Unlight: Songs of Earth and Atrophy Review

Miasmata – Unlight: Songs of Earth and Atrophy Review

“The epic and atmospheric, fantasy-inspired black metal stylings of Sojourner continue to go from strength to strength, with 2018’s very good outing, The Shadowed Road, matched by last year’s Premonitions, which – if not actually better – was, as Eldritch Elitist said in his List, “a far more consistent effort” than its predecessor. But, wherever Sojourner’s travels take them next, they will be going there without New Zealand bassist, Mike Wilson, who has set off into the back metal wilderness for a sojourn of his own, with his new solo project Miasmata.” Participation atrophy.

Endezzma – The Archer, Fjord and the Thunder Review

Endezzma – The Archer, Fjord and the Thunder Review

“It’s a silent and foggy evening on the banks of your fjord. You’ve finally got a moment to yourself, away from the chaos of the clan. You press play on your Windir tape as you sit back to watch the fog unfurl over the water. Then a light. Then an arrow. All of a sudden a buff trio of mythological malevolent creatures arrive to upset your reverie and rain fire upon your name. Endezzma has arrived with a slow, evil intent that rapidly turns to chaos and hellfire.” Fjord world problems.

Tulus – Old Old Death Review

Tulus – Old Old Death Review

“In 1993, while we were all giggling at ‘What About Bob?’ and rooting for the Minnesota Twins while wearing jean jackets and reading Seventeen magazine, Norwegian black metal band Tulus began churning out some evil tunes. Three demos, one compilation, one six-year breakup and reunion, minor lineup changes, and six full-lengths later, does 2020 promise newfound fame or do they need to stay buried for another thirty years?” What is old is olde.

Primeval Mass – Nine Altars Review

Primeval Mass – Nine Altars Review

“What is it about black metal that drives artist to go at it solo? You rarely hear about one man thrash or prog metal bands, yet some of the biggest and most influential black metal artists take their journey solitary, including the likes of Panopticon and early Windir. They usually get by with the assistance of a guest musician or two. And most of these hermits even specialize in the same subcategory of atmospheric black metal. Maybe the inherent misanthropy of black metal specifically has something to do with it, or people copying their examples. Maybe it’s simply an easier genre to solo than others. Whatever the case, Primeval Mass is another example, with main man Orth taking up vocals, guitars and bass, leaving drums to session musician George C.” One man, nine altars.