Skaldic Curse was a band from UKBMs early 2000’s heyday, featuring members of Fen, Akercocke, and other contemporaries. Sadly, defunct after their second album World Suicide Machine I must admit I was rather surprised to see this album in my inbox for review as they officially split up back in 2011.Continue reading
Of all the grandchildren of heavy metal subgenres, one of the most precocious and still burgeoning is atmospheric black metal. As my colleague Richie HR noted in his recent new column for Ghost Cult, it seems that even the most mainstream bands are reaching for opportunities to expand their sonic palettes to include the more unconventional, and extreme styles. However, time and time again we return to the underground to seek greatness, from those who follow their own path, and eschew typical glory. One of those bands is Fen.Continue reading
Since their previous album, Omnia Mutantur (self-released), was a collection of their demos and EP, Heimweh (Ván Records) is technically the first full-length album by Black Metal band Crom Dubh. This London-based quartet has been writing Viking-themed music since 2003, and show their experience and skill on this album.
Upon seeing the track list I was immediately intrigued by not one but two two-part songs; namely ‘Cutting Teeth’ and ‘Kings’. In both cases the first part is a short instrumental piece that serves as a gentler introduction to the heavy second part. The guitar lines on ‘Cutting Teeth’ have enough variation to keep things interesting, and the blastbeats are on point. The grunts are also quite varied and sometimes the vocal lines combines with the guitars have a little of that folk-metal vibe. That folky feel comes back at several points later on the album but most clearly in the guitar lines in ‘Sedition’.
In ‘Kings I’ the band shows that they are capable of great subtlety, with not only a gentle but dark melody coming through on one side, but also a corresponding echo on the other. I would have liked the intro to have a bit more of a build up to the main event, but because ‘Kings II’ continues in the same chord it at least sounds like it belongs together. ‘Kings II’ shows a much greater amount of variation than the previous songs, and it really works rather well. The sound is still dark, but the alternating melodies of the guitars open the piece up and make it really enjoyable and captivating to listen to.
All in all, this is a very interesting Black Metal album with some hints of folk. I want to mention that the drumming is absolutely phenomenal and carries the music very well. The rhythms are always effective and interesting, and the fills spice things up nicely. Just listen to ‘The Invulnerable Tide’ and you’ll understand what I mean.
A thoroughly enjoyable listen, and the band can take great pride in having this as their first full album.