ALBUM REVIEW: Velnias – Scion of Aether

This is a really interesting release to say the least. Velnias have been crafting what they call, ‘Oppressive Rocky Mountain Dirge’ for well over a decade and have had a continual place on my radar. This upcoming release though, Scion Of Aether (Eisenwald) seems to be something else, something greater. The band has managed to fuse their progressive tendencies with post-black metal in order to craft something transcendent and powerful. This record leaps from peak to peak and seems to continually prove that this band is one of a kind.Continue reading

Aurvandil – Thrones

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Founded back in 2006, Aurvandil have released only demos, splits and an EP between 2007-2010. The first steps into the full-lengths were done with Yearning, in 2011, and now I declare Aurvandil are a serious confirmation within the atmospheric black metal sub-genre because of the brand new Thrones (Eisenwald).Including four magical hymns of Iron and Ice to cleanse the Earth of false designs, Thrones is able to take our body and soul into the gelid northern landscapes in order to reach the hyperborean purity.

The using of melodic and slow acoustic guitars in the album kick off with ‘For Whom Burnest Thou’ is like a ritualistic moment which is preparing us for this immaculate journey that will transcend us onto glacial rivers and misty mountains. These two environments I just described are personified by heavy and long hypnotic guitar riffs that are beautifully transfigured as cold breezes running in our veins. However, that’s not the only work done with guitars as we have some melodic lead passages that can be seen as black/post metal performances, like in ‘The Harvest Of Betrayal’ or ‘Ingen Lindring’.

Summon The Storms’ may be seen as the epic peak with its almost twenty minutes running time where all Aurvandil characteristics and aesthetics are blended. It’s genial and certainly created through hard work.

The frozen and harsh vocals are heard all along the album; sometimes a little far, but I interpreted this feature as being in an ample landscape. The lyrics include what best defines this kind of music: ancient values and the eagerness to fight a rotting modern world.

I dare to say I haven’t heard such good straight atmospheric black metal album since the day I bought Walknut’s Graveforests And Their Shadows. Thrones is marvelous, iconic, intriguing and devoted to the cause. It’s a must-have for the past-seeking devotees and for those who have embraced the majestic atmospheric black metal movement.

9.0/10

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Austerre – Withering Illusions And Desolation

AusterreIf ever there were an album title that gave the game away, then the 2007 debut from this now-defunct Australian depressive black metal duo Austere would take the prize, the cake, the plate, the table, and the whole damned marquee – dripping in blood from the wrists of a million suicidal loons, obviously – were such a presentation ever to take place, of course. But the recently re-released Withering Illusions And Desolation (Wintereich Productions) is not about celebration. This is about despair, about futility, about the utter hopelessness of existence and our feeble failure to either discover or impose meaning on the foolish acts that constitute the absurdity that is our waking life. Continue reading