As the familiar strains that launch Noktvrn harken back to a theme from predecessor Finisterre (both Season of Mist), it is a fitting acknowledgement of an integral part in the ascension of Der Weg einer Freiheit that was played with the release of their 2017 masterpiece in establishing the band as a serious artist of note. It also serves to guide us into the slow-building and considered unveiling of first track proper ‘Monument’, preparing us for the fact that we are taking part in a procession, a conscious movement from one state in an evolution to another.
Recorded towards the end of 2020, Paint The Sky With Blood (Napalm Records) was meant to signal the beginning of a new era in the career of Bodom After Midnight frontman Alexi Laiho. His first release since leaving the groundbreaking Finnish melodic death metal act Children of Bodom the previous year should have been the beginning of an exciting new journey. Instead, his tragic death in late December means it ultimately becomes an epitaph.
A cold nocturnal Scandinavian wind blows; icy tendrils stabbing southwards, searching, seeking for blackened hearts to infect. The hosts wait, apprehensive, yet welcoming, ideas already pregnant. The frost-bitten hunter swirls at first, before plunging its whole intent deep into the waiting prey. Saarbrücken, Germany, nominally a thriving, modern economic centre, is now the scene for the cultivation of a different type of essence, for that which grows inside it is not the spirit of commerce, but The Spirit of melodic blackened metal.Continue reading
Québécois Black Metallers Délétère have often had an air of mystique and the outrageous in their cannon, and the overriding narrative of latest album De Horae Leprae (Sepulchral Productions) is arguably more conceptual, with it being devoted to “Teredinis, a simple leper whose calling it is to become a prophet of Centipedes, as well as an incarnation of the Plague.” With such a vivid and eccentric conceptual idea behind it, its surprising to note that De Horae Leprae is a comparatively simplistic listen, albeit one with plenty of wealth.Continue reading
With Norway being so synonymous with Black Metal from its roots to the present day, by now France can hold an equally high association with its latter-day avant-garde offshoots. As much as black metal was always about experimentation and evolution, France is particularly prominent for bands pushing black metal into even further trajectories, from the philosophical and conceptual reaches of Blut Aus Nord to the likes of Alcest and Deathspell Omega encompassing polar opposite ends of the spectrum. Purveyors of mystique Abduction; whilst not necessarily envelope pushers in comparison to the aforementioned are, however, similarly unconventional in their approach as second album Á L’heure Du Crépuscle (Finisterian Dead End) attests.Continue reading
Full disclosure here, something about Scumpulse piqued my interest enough to pick this one out of the myriad of potential albums to assault my ears with for review, but at the time, I wasn’t sure what it was. Maybe it was that I expected fun, ugly grindcore (which this isn’t)? Maybe it’s that I trust the source that it came from? Or just maybe it’s because the UK is a hotbed of talented, abrasive, creative intent bubbling and broiling just below the surface of everyone’s conscious right now and I didn’t want to miss out on the next thrilling, grimy rendition? Continue reading
The Ghost Cult album round-up is back in town for your vulgar delectation, with our penultimate selection of 2017 taking you down amongst the silt, with a selection of Sludge, Doom and post-Metal antidotes to any festive cheeriness that may be unsettling your disgusted souls…Continue reading
In this exclusive album preview for Ghost Cult, Wintersun mastermind Jari Mäenpää discusses is his biggest musical influences. You can watch the video below. Continue reading
As far back as 2008, with the independently released EP The Heathen Throne, Ancient Ascendant have been very clear in their intentions. And with a couple more EPs and two very well received albums under their belts, the English Black/Death Metal quartet have raised the bar again with latest full length, Raise The Torch (Candlelight).Continue reading
Stirring from a creeping lilt into a frictional sprawl, Symphonic Black Metal artisans Saille usher in their fourth album, Gnosis. Its predecessor, Eldritch (both Aural/code666) made great strides to establish this cerebral aggressor as an act of pedigree and violence; a burgeoning reputation that this darker, more ferocious offspring will serve only to further.Continue reading