Like many Metalheads, you may have been introduced to Heavy music by listening to movie soundtracks, video games, or watching the WWE. In my opinion, those are very interesting ways to be introduced to music. It is also the way many underground bands find commercial success. Those mediums were my gateway to Heavy Metal. However, it was not how I was introduced to Aphyxion. Hailing all the way from Denmark, Aphyxion entered the industry with quite an impressive start. From being the youngest band to ever perform at the Wacken Open Air Festival to being called “the new saviours of Melodic Death Metal” by Dom Lawson of Metal Hammer Magazine, and even opening up for Metallica on the two years ago at their Copenhagen show, Aphyxion Metallers has managed to become well-decorated in their career thus far and with their new album, Void (Prime Collective), they have the potential to achieve commercial success. Continue reading
Whilst the UK hasn’t always been recognised as a hotbed for Black Metal bar the occasional, exceptional case; recent times suggest the burgeoning of a rich scene in the underground; from the likes of A Forest Of Stars getting wide plaudits to the new breed which includes Wode, Underdark and Dawn Ray’d flying the flag. Also throwing their hat into the ring, Nottingham up-and-comers Antre offer a somewhat esoteric and widely influenced strain of the genre with a full-length debut that not only personifies the depth the genre has to offer but also puts them as a prime force in the UK’s scene. Continue reading
As concept album’s go, Russian Astro-Doom quintet Below The Sun’s debut album Envoy (Temple of Torturous) tackles quite a big one: the enormity of space itself. But the band manage to tackle the big black with a big bleak album.
The anonymous group – who all go by names like Void, Vacuum, Quasar and Lightspeed – deal in a space-themed combo of doom, post and black metal. Apparently the album concept revolves around a personified narrative of Voyager-1 – the first man-made object to leave our solar system – or as the band describe it “humankind’s first step in fulfilling our destiny – transcending the Solar System and paving our way to the stars.”
From the opening chords of ‘Outward the Sky’ to dark melody of final track ‘Earth’, Envoy is a slow, sparse and atmospheric listen. It’s hard to pick standout moments mostly because everything blends into one black mass and doesn’t really lend itself to individual observation. The music on offer is often understated, but hauntingly melodic at the same time.
The 10-minute “Alone” is probably the album’s centre-piece, building from light atmospherics to a swirling mass of chords, blastbeats and screams of the title over and over. If the band is trying to recreate the desolate, isolated nature of outer-space, they do a pretty good job. Feedback, reverb and whispers feature throughout, and it’s a surprisingly eerie listen at times, but isn’t afraid to smack you with a crushing riff and guttural screams to shock your system.
With its six songs – averaging around ten minutes each and half of which is purely instrumental – Envoy is a bleak soundscape epic in scope. It won’t appeal to everyone, but it really captures the mood of how it might feel to float alone in space for eternity.
Despite being active as a band for over a decade, this is only the second release from Dutch electronic black metallers Control Human Delete. The Prime Mover is a collection of razor sharp production, traditional black metal themes, drum programming, samples and synthesizers. Continue reading