Sep 142017

 

(Norway-based writer Karina Noctum, who usually brings us interviews, brings us another enthusiastic review, this time focusing on the 2017 album by Australia’s Impetuous Ritual.)

Even though it is coming out a bit late (sorry for this), I decided to write this review anyway. But before I attempt to describe this beauty of an album, I would like to tell you that Impetuous Ritual have nothing to do with Portal. If you thought they did, they deny this, even though it seems that pretty much everyone says so. Their mystical Roman-numeraled personas are to remain unknown, and that’s fine. Now we have lots of musicians called I, II, III, IV, and so on in BM. Someone should start using binary codes just to make a difference.

Back to the music. I think this is absolutely one of the best albums this year. It is very Australian! I adore the sound. True madness, darkness, and old-school feeling. The band show their cumulative experience in a piece that may seem raw, but is technical and well-produced. The album shows that it is absolutely possible to combine those qualities. This is the kind of album that leaves others with no excuses. Bad production and poor musical skills are by no means what makes something raw.

Jul 122017

 

(Norway-based NCS contributor Karina Noctum usually brings us interviews, but this time it’s a review — of the eighth Limbonic Art album, the first one in seven years.)

Limbonic Art is a Norwegian Black Metal band formed in 1993 that blends melody with the melancholic pace and ambient elements of Funeral Doom. It is now the solo project of Daemon (Zyklon) project, and one of my favorite one-man bands.

I discovered Limbonic Art 15 years ago. I was drawn to the cover of Moon in the Scorpio, a beautiful artwork, at the music store and ever since then I’ve been following every new release. I like the fact that it is melodic but not the kind of annoying melodic that wears you off.

Every release has a distinct nature that keeps it interesting, from the devastating, relentless, tight, and fast-paced music of Ad Noctum – Dynasty of Death to the more experimental and varied sound and ambience of In Abhorrent Dementia. Every album is different and yet each one carries the Limbonic Art mark.

Their latest album Spectre Abysm is perhaps one of the albums that remind me the most of the band’s first album, Moon in the Scorpio. The grandiose dark and ritualistic ambience of the early days is combined with excellent guitar and bass work and awesome layered vocals, all firmly framed in the Norwegian BM style.

Jul 112017

 

(On June 9th Agonia Records released In Death, the latest album by the Swedish black metal band Svartsyn. As always, it was all the work of Ornias, this time aided again by the drummer Hammerman. Norway-based Karina Noctum was able to put questions to Svartsyn, and she brings us the results of the dialogue here today.)

 

Svartsyn is a Swedish one-man band that started in 1991 under the name Chalice, renamed Svartsyn three years later, and ever since it has stayed true to the cold and dark Black Metal sound. Svartsyn is at the lifeless heart of Black Metal.

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I think Svartsyn style is kind of trance-inducing, pretty dense. How do you achieve this sound?

I follow my instinct of how I want my sound. I work very hard to achieve this sound.

Feb 032017

 

(Norway-based NCS contributor Karina Noctum brings us this interview with members of the French band Au Champ des Morts, whose new album Dans La Joie we premiered and reviewed here.)

After I listened to the La Jour Se Lève EP last year and then heard an album was in the making, I started anticipating it. Besides, Au Champ des Morts are from France, and I like the French approach to Black Metal.

The new album is really a fine piece of dark art. The anguish and despair of the good old days is totally there. The contrast in the titles is interesting. I really like it! It invites you to take stuff for what it is, the dark and fearful mythology that culminates in the vision of the end of the world. ACdM play a bit with the ironical modern sanitization of religion that is just an attempt to put a nice package around something that actually withholds lots of darkness.

Jan 172017

 

(Our Norway-based contributor Karina Noctum brings us this new interview with Andreas Vidhall of the Swedish band Stilla.)

Stilla is an interesting band with a distinct sound. Their artwork is pretty somber, cold, organic, and melancholic, and so is the music.

The last album Skuggflock has some Darkthrone-ish influence and I simply love that. Another band that I like for the same reason is Hate Meditation. But in spite of those common vibes, you can’t really say the bands are alike. I prefer to use the word “vibes” since the degree of presence and the way in which a band let their influences flow into their own compositions (whether consciously or unconsciously) varies so much. Personally I find it delightful to listen for those details, it keeps it interesting.

Skuggflock gives you a bit of Ulver-like ambience at times, but it can switch to avant-garde Arcturus style,  slighty goth, and even stoner. It’s complex if you pay attention to the details, but everything is done in a subtle way, not messy or overwhelming. It’s just enough detail and change to enrich the musical experience. You can say Stilla dwells both in the past and the present. They have succeeded in composing an album that gives you the ’90s BM vibes while incorporating diverse influences that render it modern — but not so modern as to call it “post-black”. I think they have kept a balance, and that also makes the music enjoyable.

Jan 122017

 

(Norway-based Karina Noctum returns with this interview of Jørn André Størdal, composer/guitarist of the Norwegian metal band Fleshmeadow, whose debut album Umbra we premiered and reviewed here just last month.)

Fleshmeadow are a pretty interesting band. They have a relentless, tight tempo that reminds me of Keep of Kalessin. They have the Norwegian sound roots firmly in place, but have dared to blend in sounds from other modern metal styles, including drumming patterns that range from straightforward powerful BM to a more blues/postmetal subtle elegance. When it comes to the guitars you’ll find BM-oriented harmonics and pretty techy scales that at times blend to conform again to a BM pattern.

So it is varied and textured. It is a refreshening musical experience, if you take into account the amount of black’n’roll that is coming out of Norway now. Layered over a  powerful drumming discharge is a subtle atmospheric layer skillfully created with the guitars. So it is both a beautiful and intense musical experience. This is a good solid release that deserves all your support.

Dec 302016

hyperion-band

 

(We present Karina Noctum’s interview of Erik Molnar, one of the guitarists in the Swedish band Hyperion, whose 2016 album Seraphical Euphony appeared frequently in our readers’ year-end lists and is indeed damned good.)

I have not made any end-of-the-year list and I probably won’t do it this year neither, because I think it’s difficult to rank albums, so I prefer to stick to interviews at this time of the year. I chose Hyperion this time, an excellent band from Sweden.

Metal music to me is pretty closely connected to my emotions and I really appreciate it when a band gets me to feel something, and even more if it manages to awaken a wide variety of emotions. That’s one of my main criteria for a band to make it to my personal egalitarian list.

Hyperion is just one such band. Their music evokes a wide range of emotions, and I love that. Seraphical Euphony is a pretty interesting album that has a really well-structured composition and it succeeds in giving the listener awesome epic buildups and symphonic elements. Interspersed throughout the album you will find both melancholic and merrier tunes beautifully entwined with powerful Black and Death Metal riffs and a totally relentless and crushing Swedish style of drumming.

Nov 102016

SINGLE_Black copie

 

(Karina Noctum, who usually brings us interviews from her home in Norway, brings us some welcome news this time — and first reactions to the music.)

I’ve been actively looking for bands to interview or write about lately, and it’s getting difficult to find something that isn’t generic, synthetic, lacking feeling, or flawed somewhere. Lots of bands out there are just trying to fit into some pre-existing mold either musically or image-wise, and it may get tiresome and rather boring to go through them while looking for some jewel, but well, I keep doing it because something really awesome always comes to compensate for everything that’s uninspiring.

So today I got to listen to something really awesome that is going to be released on February 10. It’s Nidingr’s new album! if you are a Mayhem fan, you may know of them. It’s Teloch’s side project. Teloch is one of those guitarists who has developed a unique sound. (I wish he had taken more of his own style to Mayhem’s latest album). Teloch’s style is pretty harmonius, elegant, and absolutely representative of the Norwegian sound. So this is what you should expect to find in Nidingr’s new album.

Nov 082016

mist-of-misery-band

 

Norway-based metal writer Karina Noctum brings us another interview, this time with members of Sweden’s Mist of Misery, whose new album Absence we premiered and praised in a review at our site here.)

 

So, you guys are by no means amateurs. Tell us about your other projects, and have any of you been to a school of music?

Mortuz: I have several other projects, such as Eufori and Soliloquium, and yes, I have been to a school of music, or rather a school of audio engineering several years ago.

Phlegathon: I also play guitar in Hyperion. For a while I studied various musical courses at The University of Stockholm, but I would not regard it as such a particularly serious undertaking.

Nov 032016

nordjevel-1

 

(Norway-based metal writer Karina Noctum returns to us with this interview of frontman Doedsadmiral and guitarist Nord of Nordjevel (“northern devil”), whose self-titled debut album was released at the beginning of this year, and who recently released an amazing video for the song “”Djevelen I Nord”.)

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I think Nordjevel is one of the best new bands that we have right now here in Scandinavia. But the fact that the band has a solid sound and a pretty professional image has a lot to do with its experienced musicians, so please tell us about your background and what elements of your other bands you have brought with you to Nordjevel…

Nord: What do you mean by “pretty professional?” Haha. Well, we have been around the block a couple of times, and we had a really strong vision for what Nordjevel would be. It changed a bit along the way, as visions tend to do, but it was only for the better.

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