Jun 152024

For this currently foggy-headed writer yesterday was a hell of a day and last night was a hell of a night. There was food grilled near hot coals, copious drinking, fire, and conversation far into the night among people who could barely understand each other. Deep underground with the oxygen cut off, a bigger bed of hot coals started cooking some things; today we will reconvene to discover the results.

Depending on those results we may eat grass and go our separate ways early, or it may be another late night. But yeah, it’ll probably be a late night regardless; there’s still plenty of beer, wine, and dry wood on hand.

And that’s an explanation for why this usual Saturday roundup is appearing so late and is so short, and a preview that Sunday’s black metal roundup may befall the same fate.

Continue reading »

Jun 142024

The last time we premiered music from the multi-national band Wolfdom we emphasized “the band’s talent for interweaving black metal terror and anthemic heavy metal”: “Wolfdom manage to punch the guts, to swagger like a feral beast, to attack with unbridled viciousness, and to send their music into high-flown realms of devilish glory”.

At that time, the occasion was the impending release of Wolfdom‘s 2022 debut album Moonlight Misanthropy, and now we’re happy to spread the news that Wolfdom are returning with a follow-up full-length, this one believably named I Belong To Satan, which is set for digital release on July 31st by the Ukrainian label GrimmDistribution.

And once again, today we’re the bearer of a song premiere, a fiendish and hook-filled romp named “The Reaper“. Continue reading »

Jun 142024

I have not seen The Poughkeepsie Tapes, the 2007 American pseudo-documentary horror film about Edward Carver, aka the Water Street Butcher. After doing some reading about it (e.g., here), I’m confident I never will, because I don’t have a strong stomach and would like to continue sleeping well at night.

I would guess, however, that the Spanish death metal band Krypticy have seen the movie, and probably more than once, given that the song from their new album which we’re premiering today is named “The Water Street Butcher“.

What have they done with this ghastly inspiration? And what kind of black hole is that tiny figure on the album’s striking cover being inexorably pulled into? Continue reading »

Jun 142024

(Our contributor Vizzah Harri has discovered California-based Bloody Keep and their debut album released by Grime Stone Records in January of this year. He wishes to share with you his considerable enthusiasm for it today. Read on….)

You must be a selenite (inhabitant of the Moon) at this point in time to not realize that black metal is probably the kind of metal that, if not incumbent to the highest frequency, probably has the best base for coagulation and experimentation with any other genre.

Grime Stone Records have a penchant for the odd and strange and there are those who would prefer their murky darkness unspoiled with the invasion of even the faintest light (or chiptune for that matter, click on the ‘strange’ link above to take a trip down a rabbit hole you might never have had the chance to know existed). With Bloody Keep we find abstractions of the acrid and abrasive type yet subscribed purely to that which is animistic, and efficacious in its effulgence.

These acolytes of the black arts exist to zapruder the flow of that what is deemed the norm. Wormscored, engaging, fertile with ideas, and glimmering with lustral exuberance. From the bleak and near comical cover to that which can be deemed garish musically. Aberrant to the abhorrent, recalcitrant to such non-divergence. Continue reading »

Jun 132024

Abigorum was founded by Aleksey “Satanath” Korolyov in Saint Petersburg, Russia more than a decade ago. Since then, much has happened to the band, both in its membership and location as well as its musical evolution, which could be called atmospheric black metal but has involved other genre explorations.

Abigorum now consists (as it has for some years) of Korolyov, who moved from Russia to Georgia in March 2022, and his German collaborator Tino “Fluch” Thiele. And their new third album, Foretaste of Justice, is a sign of further evolution. The band explains

Foretaste of Justice is an important chapter in the history of the project, whose genre has changed again, becoming even more melodic and epic. Comparing it to the previous works, the band’s departure from deliberate roughness and gloomy rawness in the music to well thought-out song structures and creating a spiritually uplifting atmosphere is clearly noticeable.

The sound itself did not become light, but retained anger and pain, especially in the lyrics. The album absorbed all the experiences and thoughts of the musicians over the years, which makes it truly philosophical. Continue reading »

Jun 132024

Let’s ponder for a moment the name of the Italian band whose debut album we’re about to premiere. “Miasmic” is an adjective that refers to an unpleasant and oppressive atmosphere, or an odor that is noxious and foul. In this context “serum” would seem to refer to a fluid or exhalation that is itself foul, or when administered would produce the feeling of miasma, though perhaps it also might be interpreted as a means of treating miasma.

Of course, the serum being administered by this Italian death metal trio, whether noxious itself and/or curative, is music. Further clues to the nature of the musical serum might be found in the title of the album — Infected Seed — and in the names of songs such as “Near-Death Visions”, “Lethal Bite”, and “Lost Control”. Even one of the interlude tracks on the album is named “Neurotoxic Venom”.

Fittingly, the album will be released (on June 14th) by labels named Night Terrors Records and Chaos Records. In addition to all these clues about the inspiration for the music, we also have the following insights provided by Miasmic Serum, the band itself: Continue reading »

Jun 132024

(Does the fire still burn, or have Kvaen started cooling off? Our own Andy Synn finds out)

Success, or so they say, can be a double-edged sword. And they’re not necessarily wrong.

It’s something you see even in our beloved Metal scene (where what counts as “success” tends to vary depending on who you ask) – from bands who suddenly get a taste of mainstream acclaim and end up having to simplify and sanitise their sound to satisfy their new audience, to artists whose debut album set such a high bar that everything else they subsequently produce is inevitably judged (and often found wanting) in comparison.

And while Kvaen (aka the solo project of multi-instrumental marvel Jacob Björnfot) haven’t encountered the former issue just yet, there’s definitely an argument to be made that the arc of their career thus far has erred more towards the latter – in the sense that, as good as 2022’s The Great Below was (I even said so myself) it ultimately didn’t quite reach the same heights, or possess the same staying power, as their outstanding debut.

But just because success can cut both ways doesn’t mean that lightning can’t strike twice… so maybe the third time will be the charm?

Continue reading »

Jun 132024

(Today we present Comrade Aleks‘ April 2024 interview of Therthonax, the mainstay of the foundational Greek black metal band Kawir, with a focus on Kawir‘s newest album Kydoimos. The delay in presenting the interview is our fault, not the fault of Aleks or Therthonax.)

As we follow the world-wide cultural program of supporting the Hellenic Black Metal scene, it would be criminal negligence to skip the fresh release of Kawir, one of the oldest representatives of the Greek metal underground.

The band just passed its 30th anniversary in 2023, and Soulseller Records presented their ninth full-length album Kydoimos (Κυδοιμος) on April 19th. Named after the ancient demon of war, this album explores ancient ways of battle in many forms.

Once again Therthonax, Kawir’s only founding member still in the lineup, and his allies dive into the world of old myths and old black metal with zealous rage and determination. Continue reading »

Jun 122024

Almost two years ago we had the pleasure of premiering Liminal Shroud‘s stunning second album All Virtues Ablaze. In an accompanying review I wrote:

Across four expansive tracks on their new album, the music itself is vast and towering, awe-struck and splendid, but also creates a sense of purging, of a kind of ruthless but necessary scourging, a furious confrontation against what’s dismal and discouraging.

In its changing moods the album at times seems daunted by the seeming futility of human existence, and at times it’s beautiful in its portrayal of melancholy, yet also seems to be a fierce rejection of beleaguered submission and an embrace of the horizon that might lie ahead. Like broken rocks buffeted by surging tides, people can withstand the assaults of life and endure, so it seems to say. Continue reading »

Jun 122024

(On June 14th Time To Kill Records will release the fifth album by the Italian black metal band Darkend, and today we’re premiering its full stream, preceded by an extensive review by our writer (and longtime Darkend fan) DGR.)

Even though it would be wonderful for every group we cover to achieve massive stardom, playng to gigantic crowds and existing as a perpetual part of the cultural zeitgeist – since that seems to be the only way we can completely guarantee someone is making a decent living playing music these days – a few artistic benefits are afforded to musicians who are currently dwelling in the underground, ever on the slow burn and amassing more and more notoriety over time, as opposed to a sudden viral explosion that sees them top of the world one week and then trying to maintain that for years afterward.

One of those is that you are free to move within the realms of an artistic spectacle far more than you might otherwise be given room to; every album becomes an opportunity to swing for the fences and execute upon ambitious and grand ideas while also giving room to reinvent oneself as much as you feel.

We bring this up in part because Italy’s Darkend have had a near-two-decade career at this point and it is one that has allowed them to be increasingly ambitious over the course of five albums, while remaking themselves into as much of a spectacle as they are a musical act within that time. Continue reading »