Zhrine

Illkynja – Sæti Sálarinnar Review

Illkynja – Sæti Sálarinnar Review

Illkynja, like many of its country’s blackened offerings, is a project shrouded in mystery. It’s unknown how many members are involved or how prolific to the scene–only that the project is Icelandic in origin. Goathorned Productions debut Sæti Sálarinnar features all the hallmarks of Icelandic style: scathing layers of dissonance, pummeling drums, and punishing roars reminiscent of Almyrkvi or Andavald.” Iceland, man.

Aoratos – Gods Without Name Review

Aoratos – Gods Without Name Review

” You may not have noticed but 2019 has been pretty fucking shitty for black metal thus far. Fortunately, the same dude behind Nightbringer and Akhlys (the so-called ‘Naas Alcameth,’ presumably because ‘Kyle Spanswick’ wasn’t brutal enough) has decided to right the ship by unleashing unto the world his first release under the Aoratos moniker. Gods Without Name promises a particularly theological (but nameless) acclamation of the genre and I’m delighted to report that your black metal collection should now be one record fuller.” Anonymous beatdown.

Totenmesse – To Review

Totenmesse – To Review

To was advertised to me as “dark ambient” and it felt mightily appropriate to absorb something subtle and atmospheric considering the (finally) dropping temperatures here in Western Europe. Alas, it was immediately apparent to me that it is, in fact, black metal of the Polish ilk and while it may be dark, it most certainly demanded my attention more directly than ambient. In many ways, it’s typical of the Polish scene to draw on death metal in the formulation of its black metal. But is there more to say beyond this?” Come for the genre mislabeling, stay for the Polish hospitality.

Gaerea – Unsettling Whispers Review

Gaerea – Unsettling Whispers Review

“A black metal Transcending Obscurity release with monochrome artwork: who could have ever foreseen this one falling into my velvety grasp? Portugal’s Gaerea certainly put their Muppet-est foot forward when casting Unsettling Whispers into the Angry Metal Promo Sump, and yet I was wary. Black metal is the best metal, ov course, but it’s also everywhere and lately sounding too similar to itself. Sure, a few vague details got my attention, but I’m a poseur and all the Muppet love in the world can’t make an album innovative or objectively meritorious; did I perhaps build my hopes too high only to find yet another band trying to be either Ulcerate or Agalloch?” Black metal art.

Slaves BC – Lo, and I Am Burning Review

Slaves BC – Lo, and I Am Burning Review

“Remember Dodecahedron, oooh and how a certain timeless scribe-god lauded their last effort as being worthy of emulation? Yeah, I ‘member, and I also ‘member thinking the lad a tad light in the heart box when he confessed to its ability to bring him to actual physical discomfort. ‘That’s not a thing!’ says I, omitting a slanderous phrase or six from this recollection for the sake of the children. Dialing up the reverb and deliberately hitting ‘wrong’ notes can establish a malevolent aesthetic effectively enough, yet I have never encountered music genuinely able to instill honest-to-God fear in me through sound alone. Well, ‘had’ never.” Fear and the Muppet.

Auðn – Farvegir Fyrndar Review

Auðn – Farvegir Fyrndar Review

“Hveragerði’s Auðn constructed themselves a respectable following with their self-titled debut back in 2014, blending bits of Primordial‘s folkier approach to their music. With Farvegir Fyrndar, the five-piece aims to broaden their scope, simultaneously crafting a denser atmosphere while retaining their ferocity when the situation demands.” Black Ice(land) strikes again.

Draugsól – Volaða Land Review

Draugsól – Volaða Land Review

“It’s no secret that—following a legacy now two decades old—black metal is synonymous with Scandinavia. For most, this refers to Norway and Sweden, but, depending on who you ask, this may also include Finland and Iceland. Regardless if these countries meet the rules for the “Scandinavia” tag, they have a plethora of black metal bands, with legacies all their own. And I thank that goat-headed deity for that.” Feeling Scandinavia, looking frozen tundra.

Concert Review: Ulcerate, Zhrine, Phobocosm, and Vukari at Reggie’s, Chicago, Illinois – November 27th, 2016

Concert Review: Ulcerate, Zhrine, Phobocosm, and Vukari at Reggie’s, Chicago, Illinois – November 27th, 2016

“So it was with great portent that night fell upon Reginald’s Emporium of the Fine Arts, cloaking Chicago in a sickly sodium glow. Just on the edge of Chinatown, next to a bombed-out taco joint under the Green Line, brutality was brewing, summoned in darkness from the ragged edges of the Earth. And as the sun set, than the venue was assailed by… no one at all.” The abyss is a lonely place.