Nov 212017

 

(Karina Noctum reviews for us the new second album by the Norwegian black metal band The 3rd Attempt, which will be released on December 1 by Dark Essence.)

The 3rd Attempt started back in 2014. The masterminds behind it are former Carpathian Forest guitarists Tchort (Blood Red Throne, Green Carnation) and BloodPervertor (Trail of Tears). The band was then completed with vocalist Ødemark (Midnattsvrede) and drummer Tybalt (FortidDen Saakaldte). That’s a pretty awesome line-up with lots of expertise that really gets to shine in their latest album.

Egocidal Path is a display of skillful composing and performing. It is not just another Black Metal release, it’s actually an attempt to blend and experiment without transgressing boundaries. It’s innovative but still safe ground for those black metal fans who are not fond of too many surprises. A good rendition of traditional solid metal with a modern touch.

Nov 062017

 

On November 10, Dark Descent Records will release, Deliverance From the Godless Void, the latest album by Finland’s Desolate Shrine. Our man Andy Synn recently reviewed the album (along with the band’s preceding three albums), calling it “another triumph of will and wickedness, and well worth getting hold of if you’ve ever had an urge for a truly masochistic metallic experience.”

With “a production that may be more powerful than ever”, Andy wrote, “the band are still as foul and filthy at heart as they have always been, at times bringing to bear a crippling sense of dissonance and discordance,” meshing together “neck-wrecking grooves”, “gnarly, guttural vocals,” “bulldozing riffs,” “strangling bass lines,” and “foul, demonic atmospherics” to produce a truly electrifying experience.

And now Norway-based metal writer and NCS contributor Karina Noctum brings us this interview with L.L., the main man behind Desolate Shrine just days before the album’s release:

Oct 232017

 

(Norway-based metal writer Karina Noctum prepared this review of the new fifth album by the Norwegian band Sarke.)

Sarke released their fifth full-length Viige Urh on October 13. This time they are infusing the Viking theme into the music. This is not being done in the same metal fashion as other epic, folk bands have done. They borrow from genres which you wouldn’t normally see mixed into anything Viking. They are attempting to sound unique without straying too far from their original sound, and they succeed.

This album is excellent and it is not going to bore you at all because it is complex and comes with many musical surprises along the way. In addition, it is super-infused with feeling! So it is also unique in that sense. With Viige Urh, Sarke get a bit less thrashy and voyage much more into the dark waters of Viking, Stoner, and Doom.

In fact, Sarke kinda mess with your head by blending so many different soundscapes into a whole, and it is amazing how they manage to do this while maintaining a hold on the album’s integrity. It is absolutely not a mess, yet it is ever-changing and even gets a bit experimental. I guess it takes lots of years to get to this point. It can’t be done easily.

Oct 162017

 

(Norway-based metal writer Karina Noctum returns to NCS with this review of the new EP by the Swedish death metal band Skineater.)

In addition to contributing to NCS, I do like to post music on two fairly big Facebook pages (Death Metal Institute and Viking, Folk, Black Metal and more). We get hundreds of post requests weekly and I keep on opening them because at times I stumble across something as good as Skineater’s Cerebral Relics.

This Death Metal band has members from acts such as Wombbath, In Thy Dreams, Pale King, Geist, Infernaeon, Ninety Minute Reflex, The Absence, Defiatory, Feared, and Wachenfeldt.

Oct 032017

 

(Karina Noctum brings us this interview with Gerson “Demonslaught” Toro of the veteran Colombian black metal band Guerra Total, whose latest album Nihilistic Malthusian Manifesto (The Ouroboros Cosmic Indifferentism) was released early this year.)

Guerra Total means Total War in Spanish and it comes right from the country with the longest armed conflict in the world, Colombia. I decided it was time for me to interview a South American band because they do get limited publicity and deserve any kind of support one can give. Besides, I do know of many who appreciate the South American thrash sound and I think for many of them and all others who are into exploring new things it may be interesting to listen to some Blackened Thrash with a Colombian twist like the one Guerra Total offers.

When it comes to South America, Brazil is the country with the most successful, renowned metal bands. But for those who really like Brutal Death Metal, Colombia is the country to choose. The Brutal Death scene is kind of modern, taking into account that the country’s raw and violent metal sound can be traced back to the ’80s.

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.

******

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.

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