Feb 042019
 

 

These dudes (The Black Sorcery) look like they mean business. And what kind of mean business do they mean? Take a clue from some of the song titles on their new album: “War Fangs”, Putrescent Infected”, “Angry Spit of the Witches Piss”, and the album title-track we’re premiering: “Wolven Degrade“.

Here’s another clue: Continue reading »

Feb 042019
 

 

Ten years ago the French one-man black metal project Telümehtår made its debut with a self-recorded and self-released demo named Blåck. Now, a decade later, Telümehtår has re-surfaced with a new album entitled The Well, which is set for release on February 16th. Today we present a full stream of its nine tracks, preceded by the following impressions.

Drawing inspiration from the spirit of such early black metal bands as Emperor, Darkthrone, and Ulver, but without slavishly aping them, Lord Telümehtår has created an extravagant, blazing tumult of moodiness and despair, creating the sounds of terrible madness born of pain, yet glorious in their devastation. In one sense, the songs are minimalist in their composition, yet they are wholly engulfing both in their sound and in their emotional impact, creating an air of scarring pageantry, like the surround-sound scores to mythic sagas of impassioned striving and inevitable, calamitous tragedy. Continue reading »

Feb 012019
 

 

Roughly two years after the appearance of their debut recording, Tein-Éigin, the Edinburgh-based atmospheric black metal band Úir are returning with a new EP named Óenach Tailten. It will be released by Pest Productions on February 18th, and today we present a full stream of its three shattering tracks.

“Shattering” is not an exaggeration. There is so much tension, torment, and pain in the music, and it comes through with such authentic passion and unwavering intensity, that it puts any sense of well-being a listener might have in dire peril. Yet paradoxically, there is an almost dreamlike quality to the music as well, a conjuration of haunting loss that crosses a dark border between flesh-and-blood and some intangible realm where ancient spirits still loom in twilight shadows. Continue reading »

Feb 012019
 

 

Two drummers, a pair of guitarists, a bass player, and no human voice at all. That’s the line-up of The Lumberjack Feedback, a group from the north of France whose motto is “Loud and Low”. Mere Mortals is the name of their new album, which follows by three years their impressive full-length debut, Blackened Visions, and what we have for you today is the crusher that opens the new record, a song named “Therapy“.

Deadlight Entertainment, which will release the album on April 26th, describes the music as “a hypnotizing, mesmerizing soundtrack to the apocalypse”, a “deep droning bass and primitive twin percussions as a roaring low-end thunder, ridden by dark melodies crafted by a pair of guitarists like silver surfers riding a tsunami” — “a weak beauty topping a tornado of devastating primal elements”.

I usually prefer to come up with my own linguistic formulations (and I will here, too), but I thought those were some nice turns of phrase, and they have the added advantage of being accurate. Continue reading »

Jan 312019
 

 

On February 1st — tomorrow — Signal Rex will release a compilation of the two demo tapes previously released by the Finnish black metal project Sammas’ Equinox. This new edition, which combines the names of the demos — Pilgrimage / Boahjenásti — includes remastered sound courtesy of Moonsorrow’s Henri Sorvali, and has been captured on CD and vinyl LP formats, with artwork and layout by Álex Tedín at Heresie Graphics.

Today we’ve got a full stream of the compilation, beginning with the four tracks from Pilgrimage (2016) and concluding with the three from Boahjenásti (2017). If you’ve not previously encountered these creations, prepare for an unusual and arresting combination of haunting, horrifying, and hallucinatory atmosphere, primal physical thrust, and affecting strands of melody, with the excursions overlaid by a voice that’s nasty as hell. Continue reading »

Jan 312019
 

 

In my humble opinion, no other domain of deeply underground music channels the madness of spiritual devotion, the intensity of unconstrained zealotry, the casting off of self-advancing calculation, as well as black metal. And few other genres so powerfully capture our most deep-seated terrors or so vividly give form to unseen spirits.

Many bands try to channel manifestations of stellar burning chaos through the fashioning of simulacrums — creating reasonable facsimiles of the real thing, but straining too hard to manufacture the explosion of blood and mind that’s the hallmark of authentic blinding fervor and fear. Needless to say, finding music that combines such genuine blast-furnace intensity with mindfulness about details — which channels extravagant emotional inspiration and reaches with straining sinews for the divine, yet reflects a demanding meticulousness about nuances of sound — is a rarity.

But here we have that rarity, in God Without Name, the first album by Aoratos. The emotional effect of the music is astonishing, though at the same time that effect is no surprise at all given the people whose talents are behind the name Aoratos, which means unseen. Continue reading »

Jan 302019
 

 

There’s a coiled serpent on the cover of Graves‘ new album Liturgia da Blasfemia, but these Portuguese black metallers have harnessed a lot of powerful demon horses in their hard-charging sounds, as well as demonstrating fanged striking power and loosing currents of reptilian venom. But this is an album that’s also more nuanced than you might expect. It conveys moods of wrenching misery as well as extravagant ferocity, and as pitch-black as the music usually is, it also includes moments that channel heart-breaking loss and heart-swelling incandescence.

To put it differently, death and desolation loom over the album like the great heartless reaper of souls we have imagined for millennia, but notwithstanding that ever-present shadow, the album is very much a dynamic experience. All the changing moods, and the expert way in which the band ring those changes through memorable riffs, are a big reason why the album is well worth listening to from beginning to end — which is exactly what we’re making it possible for you to do today, just a few days before its February 1 release by Iron Bonehead Productions. Continue reading »

Jan 302019
 

 

The thorned nightshade gardens of black metal have extravagantly expanded from their poisonous underground root stocks and become hybridized to the point where some of the offshoots have even taken on the kind of prettier hues that appeal to non-vampiric surface-dwellers. But of course there are still many black-hearted horticulturalists out there, devotedly caring for the genre’s barbed and deadly old-growth vines, greedily inhaling their aromas like pestilential perfume and exhaling hate.

The Israeli black metal band Dim Aura don’t completely reject the idea of hybridization, but they’re unquestionably devoted to the perpetuation of cold malice and tyrannical fury. Their newest display of sonic torment and cruelty is The Triumphant Age of Death, an album that will be released by Saturnal Records on March 22nd. It adds to a discography that includes a pair of EPs and a debut full-length from 2013, The Negation of Existence. From that album, we present its first single, an onslaught on organized religion named “Black Heretic Hate“. Continue reading »

Jan 292019
 

 

The four long tracks that made up the 2014 debut album of New York-based Funereal Presence left this writer full of wonder, and mentally and emotionally discombobulated. The Archer Takes Aim was both a savage visitation to the black metal of the genre’s halycon days and an almost experimental reimagining, never remaining in one space for very long, yet displaying such exuberant creativity that it became a beacon which pulled me back over and again.

It is thus a genuine thrill to share the news that Funereal Presence is returning with a new album that will be released by The Ajna Offensive in North America and by Sepulchral Voice in Europe. Entitled Achatius, it again consists of four long-form compositions, and if anything, the music is even more fantastical, more bewilderingly idiosyncratic and ingenious, and even more likely to leave listeners in a state of shock and awe.

The first astonishing revelation from the album is the song we’re presenting today, “Wherein Seven Celestial Beasts Are Revealed to Him“. Continue reading »

Jan 292019
 

 

With their impending self-titled debut EP, Pittsburgh’s Riparian channel a ferocious zeal for musical carnage while displaying impressive technicality, integrating elements of death metal and grindcore, and dosing their rapidly veering rampages with moments of doom and gloom.

“Grimy, weird, and filth-soaked,” is one way that Grimoire Records describes the sound, and it is Grimoire that will release the EP on March 1st. Today we present an outstandingly unhinged track from the EP named “The Nuclear Unclear” through a music video with a beer-lover’s back-story. Continue reading »