Satyricon & Munch (Napalm Records) is the coming together of two icons of Oslo, Norway – the visuals of artist Edvard Munch inform a new piece of music by black metal veterans Satyricon. With the music inspired by — and presented as part of — a new exhibition at Oslo’s MUNCH museum, this 56-minute recording of new material exists also independent of its visual counterpart. If expecting a full-on black metal album, approach with caution; for those ready for an atmospheric, instrumental journey, this dark trip may be worthy of your time.
Kardashev are a progressive death metal band out of the blazing desert land of Tempe, Arizona. Their sophomore full length, Liminal Rite (Metal Blade), is an epic journey overflowing with atmosphere, beauty and bone crunching, head rattling metal. One moment you find yourself in a tranquil trance, the next your ears are pulverized with viciously biting brutality. Continue reading
Tómarúm is a band tailor-made for extensive, elaborate compositions, overflowing with equal parts technicality and atmospherics. The Georgia-based progressive black metal group put the general public on notice with their scintillating debut full-length, Ash In Realms Of Stone Icons (Prosthetic). Just as each glance at the album cover (courtesy of Mariusz Lewandowski) presents new findings, so to does each listen trigger new emotions.Continue reading
De Arma’s new three-track EP Nightcall marks something of a turning point for the Swedish gothic rock band. Following their 2021 album Strayed in Shadows, the band have now signed a multi-album deal with Silent Future Recordings, for whom Nightcall is the first offering.
There’s a slow, mournful funeral march coming through the mists, on a still silent plain, on The Buried Storm (Prophecy Productions), the latest release by Darkher. Led by multi-instrumentalist Jayn Maiven, the album at times bears a resemblance to Neurosis or Triptykon at their most quiet and reflective. With each song centred around the vocal layering of Maiven, the instrumentation often stripped to cello and violin backing, it’s an evocative and understated musical landscape. Often bringing to mind Bat For Lashes, one that sings her siren song with a doom folk backing, this is soothing music for people who like it dark.
Some bands fit easily into a singular genre. And though it makes for much simpler categorization, it can inhibit an artist or artists that feel they want to branch out or try something new without alienating a fanbase. The French foursome Celeste do away with this notion entirely, and have dipped their toes in many different areas of music, most recently on their sixth album, Assassine(s) (Nuclear Blast), an effort that brings forth elements of Doom, Black Metal and atmospherics.
Apostle Of Solitude’s fifth full-length doubles down on the formula last expressed on 2018’s From Gold To Ash, condensing their signature melancholic Doom Metal even further to its most foundational elements. Until The Darkness Goes (Cruz Del Sur Music) is just a little over thirty-six minutes long, making it their shortest album to date, with the six songs herein almost exclusively driven by slow riffs and mournful vocal harmonies.
Having been involved in making underground music for nigh on thirty years, vocalist Gaahl has amassed a body of work ranging from high voltage Black Metal with Gorgoroth and the less polished Trelldom, to the traditional folk stylings of Wardruna, ramping up his progressive blackened leanings with God Seed, before releasing GastiR – Ghosts Invited (Indie Recordings), the debut offering of current vehicle Gaahls Wyrd, in 2019.
NOÊTA is a duo based between Norway and Sweden and consisting of multi-instrumentalists Ândris and Êlea, the latter of whom also provides vocals. Their music is an intriguing hybrid of dark folk and dark ambient styles, with just a hint of black metal seeping in around the edges.
With the release of their fourth full-length, Demon Head has gone from a particularly rustic Occult Doom band to full-on Goth Rock with a few sparse Doom elements. Glossy guitars and Robert Smith-esque vocals among other elements became prominent with 2019’s Hellfire Ocean Void and Viscera (Metal Blade Records) pushes them to an even further extent. But while this album should feel like the culmination of a well-realized evolution, the results are those of an unfortunately awkward misstep.