Windir

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.

Nachtterror – Judgement [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Nachtterror – Judgement [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“Earlier this year, I channeled all the might that my status as an exalted AMG writer imbues me with and demanded the promo Maeskyyrn’s Interlude from Hypnotic Dirge (read: I sent a politely-worded email). They obliged and sent not only Maeskyyrn but also Nachtterror. Reviewing schedules being what they are, we couldn’t get to symphonic black metal six-piece Nachtterror‘s record in time for its release. And that is a damn shame because Judgement is a seriously good and incredibly varied slab of metal.” Metal cup runeth over.

Denial of God – The Hallow Mass Review

Denial of God – The Hallow Mass Review

“He dribbles down the court, the clock winding down to an excruciating ten seconds. He fakes left and tears right, leaving his opponent stumbling. This is why the Orlando Magic drafted the Most High with their No. 1 pick, because with God, all things are possible⁠—like a deep playoff run.” I doubt even God can conjure that up this year.

Vinsta – Drei Deita Review

Vinsta – Drei Deita Review

“Sometimes metal is addictive in its brutality. Sometimes it is so technically impressive that we come back to it time and time again. Other times, it’s catchy, burrowing its hooks into our helpless brains and infecting us from within. But, in my own opinion, the best metal is simply compelling; it has an abstract quality about it that draws you in and becomes increasingly rewarding with every subsequent listen. So it was with Drei Deita (Three Foreboders), the second full-length release from Vinsta, a solo project from Austria’s Christian Höll.” Resurgence intensifies.

Rauhnåcht – Unterm Gipfelthron Review

Rauhnåcht – Unterm Gipfelthron Review

“Shit, there’re still albums coming out in 2018? Good ones, too? Yet, with my top ten already complete, it’s easy to write off December. But Madam X‘s watchful eye doesn’t sleep. And thank your lucky stars for that. Because we would have walked right past Rauhnåcht‘s newest release, Unterm Gipfelthron.” Nearly missed.

Vreid – Lifehunger Review

Vreid – Lifehunger Review

“It was June 2006 and I was helping a friend move into a downtown apartment. It was hot and we were scrambling up and down two flights of stairs as fast as possible before a cop could ticket us for taking up half-a-lane of traffic with our truck. When it was finally over, we grabbed lunch and went to my favorite record store down the street. This place had the strangest collection of albums I’d ever seen and a surprisingly large metal section for a town full of hippies and reggae fans. The album I selected that day was something I had heard many things about. From a band that rose from the ashes of Windir.” Vreid it and weep.

Cor Scorpii – Ruin Review

Cor Scorpii – Ruin Review

“2018 has been a damn good year for folk-oriented black metal. Okay, quantitatively speaking, that’s not true at all; more accurately, there have been two particularly captivating releases in the new Sojourner and Vallendusk records that on their own have single-handedly carried the style in recent months. This seems more than a bit unfair to Norway’s Cor Scorpii. Formed from the ashes of Windir by drummer Steingrim and guitarist Strom (neither of whom are actually still in this band), their decade-in-the-making sophomore effort, Ruin, is relatively featureless when stacked against the current crop of folk-black trailblazers.” Folking in the ruins.

Divine Element – Thaurachs of Borsu Review

Divine Element – Thaurachs of Borsu Review

“Based on my review stats thus far into my AMG career, I’ve got a 66 percent chance of snagging a record featuring Spectral Lore guitarist Ayloss whenever I pull an I, Voidhanger release from the promo bin. It’s easy to see why the label is so eager to back his work; he’s one of the few black metal guitarists I can recall who possesses a unique playing style, slapping an unmistakable stamp onto pretty much every product he touches. But before he staked his claim to black metal fame with Spectral Lore, he cut his teeth on Divine Element.” Sharp teeth, sharp riffs.