Kvlt Black And Rollers Slegest will kick off a new run of tour dates this week, supporting Vreid and Kalmah. All dates are on sale now. The band is out on the road supporting their recently released new album Introvert, via Dark Essence Records. Continue reading
In today’s largely homogenised music scene, we’re always desperate for a “new” sound and bands that mix and mashup old styles to create something new always get plenty of attention. With their debut album, Black Wash (EVP/Hassle) Melbourne, Australia’s Pagan promises to unite the world’s two biggest consumers of black eyeliner; emos and black metallers.Continue reading
Swedish black and roll legends Alfahanne are releasing their new album Det Nya Svarta via Indie Recordings on April 7th. Today Ghost Cult partners with the band to bring you the world première of their new music video for the track ‘Avgrundsgravitation’.Continue reading
It seems that for their debut on Metal Blade records, Germany’s Ketzer have performed a near-complete musical about face. Once firmly entrenched in the realm of blackened thrash, new album Starless sees them embrace punky black and roll.
Where 2009’s Satan’s Boundaries Unchained and 2012’s Endziet Metropolis were fast, furious and bludgeoning, Starless (Metal Blade) is barely recognizable as the same band. Instead, we’re given a fairly tame, mid-tempo mix of blackened vocals, occasional punk and post-metal atmospherics.
It’s this jumping around in tone that is probably the most baffling thing about the album. ‘When the Milk Runs Dry’ is a slow-paced (dangerously close to plodding) atmospheric number, while ‘Godface’ is pure three chord punk and almost strays into catchy territory. It’s not unpleasant, but the inconsistency of tone robs Starless of any cohesion.
‘Count to Ten’ literally does just that, ‘White Eyes’ boasts female choirs and almost jazzy guitar solos while managing to also be abrasive. The acoustic interludes of ‘The Hunger’ and ‘Silence and Sound’ are sandwiched in without really adding much to the mix. The 11-minute creep of ‘Shaman’s Dance’ unfortunately outstays its welcome, ending up rather more of a repetitive slog than anything epic.
It’s not a horrible listen, and there are enjoyable moments – ‘Godface’ and the searing rock of ‘Earthborn’ especially – but there’s a lot that just doesn’t really gel as a whole and it all sounds a bit confused.
Anyone looking for blackened thrash of previous efforts will be in for a shock and will find little familiarity to take solace in. At the same time, Ketzer’s new sound fails to really impress or excite enough to make the change seem like a good idea. Starless isn’t without its merits, but ultimately falls a bit flat.
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TJ Fowler of Ghost Cult Magazine interviewed Frost of Satyricon at this years Tuska Open Air Festival. Frost discussed playing the summer festival circuit, touring, their latest album, and the influence his band has had on the black metal genre among other topics.
If there is one thing that metal heads really seem to love it’s nostalgia; a reason for many fans to look back with rose tinted glasses at music from decades gone by with an unwavering belief that the past was the golden era as they moan about current music not being “as good as it was in the day”. Luckily for them there are new bands like Vampire who can let them indulge in such times without sounding like a dated rehash.
Vampire’s self-titled debut (Century Media) sits firmly in the camp with the early death metal acts, that area of rabid, punk tinged thrash with a dose of real menace, but does so with black metals haunting atmosphere. Even down to its analogue recording this album is current only by release date, seeped in death metal’s vintage years right to its very core. Not that Vampire are seeking to reinvent the wheel by any stretch, what they are doing however is making an album that has hooks as sharp as the stake and riffs as immoveable to your mind as the scent of garlic to the air. The production is purposefully raw, but still crisp and modern sounding and really escalates the evil, black metal tone with a primal ferociousness which makes this close to the product of a wrestling match between Celtic Frost and Watain.
Like the typical vampire image we all have in our heads (think Christopher Lee Hammer Horror Dracula), these Swedes’ debut album is of decades gone by, is recognisable to most and even a little cartoonish in its nature. It is still dark and brooding and most importantly does not age. Like the aforementioned film, there are plenty more advanced versions of what they do, but very few of which are as damn fun as this.