The Ashen Abhorrence (Debemur Morti Productions) is the debut album from Finnish duo Pestilence Hex, who delivers a full-on blast of heavily old-school Norwegian-influenced black metal. The project brings together vocalist M.Malignant (Corpsessed / Tyranny) and multi-instrumentalist L.Oathe (Desolate Shrine / Convocation) two musicians better known in death/doom circles, but who certainly appear to also know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to the black stuff.
“Blut Aus Nord is not available for interviews” proclaims the press release accompanying Disharmonium — Undreamable Abysses (Debemur Morti), the band’s fourteenth full album since their inception in the mid-nineties. That Blut Aus Nord are conspicuous about being enigmatic says a lot about their attitude.
‘Death and the Twilight Hours’, our third cryptal offering here, crawls with a Blakkheim-esque ominous misty creep around the moonlit haunted castle ruins, before the candelabra bring themselves to light and a cascading guitar line that is part Dissection, part Andy LaRoque continues to layer scything atmospheres, hewn from the six-razor wires ripping flesh and liminal peals from the busy part-mortal fingers, encased skeletal conductors that dance upon the decaying fretboard, ushering us to the next section of L.S.’ raspy vocals… but our decomposing ring-leader isn’t master of ceremonies for long, as soon we are embraced by the cold winds of nowhere, and a wild tapping solo that leads a baroque segue into a minor key early-Katatonia descending guitar lead passage. It is breathlessly visual, musically telling a tale with an atmosphere Sheridan le Fanu would have been proud of.
I Am The Night – While The Gods Are Sleeping (Svart)
While The Gods Are Sleeping is the debut album from Finnish black metal artists, I Am The Night. The band is made up of veterans of the scene that includes members of Insomnium, Paradise Lost and Omnium Gatherum. Here is an album dripping with nineties Norwegian black metal goodness clearly inspired by the works of Mayhem and Emperor. The traditional style and sounds are performed flawlessly by I Am The Night. The band not only plays a great tribute to the classic second wave of black metal but still manages to stamp their own signature on it.Continue reading
Recorded in July 2021 at The Crypt South, Psychic Contortions (I, Voidhanger) is the fourth studio album from Minnesota duo Feral Light, aka Andy Schoengrund (vocals, guitars, bass) and Andrew Reesen (drums), who have previously been involved with bands such as Wolvhammer and Empires and features seven tracks of obscure and experimental crust-infused black metal, with a distinct originality that sets them apart from the pack.
QAALM is a new band featuring members and former members of Act Of Defiance, Harassor, and Seven Sisters Of Sleep. Described as atmospheric funeral doom, the LA-based group worked on writing and recording throughout 2020 and 2021, and Resilience & Despair (Hypaethral/Trepanation) is their resulting debut album. Continue reading
Flying the Viking flag since 1995, Swedish folk/black metallers Månegarm return with their tenth full-length studio album, Ynglingaättens Öde (Napalm Records). Loosely translated as “the fate of the Ynglinga kin” and based on an old Norse poem entitled Ynglingatal, the band keeps with their tradition of songs recalling paganism, ancient myths, warriors, and kings, their latest offering telling the story of the house of Ynglinga, an old Nordic dynasty.Continue reading
I guess it’s a sign of being in the business for too long, when you look at a band’s name and presentation and immediately have some ideas of what’s ahead. With Incandescence’s Le Coeur De L’Homme (Profound Lore) I had an inkling towards it being the work of a multi-instrumentalist working within the confines of blackened death metal. Well, I almost nailed it. Le Coeur De L’Homme leans more into black metal and features Louis-Paul Gauvreau handling vocals while Philippe Boucher is the mastermind behind everything else. Continue reading
Following on from dropping their debut EP Celestial Towers Of Silver Ash in 2021, Vivienne is the follow up release from Oceansnow, having signed with Italy’s Avantgarde Music a label specialising in quality black and doom metal in all their forms, with recent notable releases from the likes of A Pale December and Noircure, and a stable which also includes Abigor and Violet Cold. Continue reading
No two ways about it, this shit is terrifying Black Metal as it was meant to be presented: in a haunting display of magnificently uncomfortable, anxiety inducing foreign sounds. The purveyors of such unsettling filth, Black Death Cult, do so with six “WTF” tracks on Diaspora (Profound Lore). It’s a release in 2022 that could find familiar company just as well in the early nineties. Primitive production and unsavory wailing that inexplicably left the mouth of an actual human.