Aug 222022

(The highly-anticipated debut album from Native American Black Metal artist Blackbraid is set for release this Friday, and our very own Andy Synn has some deep thoughts to share about it)

Hype… whether it’s the organic, grass-roots, free-range variety, or the artificial, astro-turfed, paid-for by your parents, kind… is a major part of today’s media landscape, whether we like it or not.

It’s not always a bad thing, by any means, but it sometimes becomes a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy where, once a narrative about a band is established by an author or an outlet (or, increasingly, someone with sufficient twitter influence), that becomes the only story that gets any traction.

Case in point, Blackbraid I is not – as some have claimed, and even more have amplified – the “best Black Metal album of the year”, but it is a very good, occasionally unabashedly great, example of how Black Metal can serve as the perfect medium for anyone with a strong enough vision to express themselves.

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Mar 202022


As you can see, I have ambitions for a two-part SOB this Sunday. Part 1 is obviously done, so I can confidently state that it includes singles and advance tracks from forthcoming albums. My plan for Part 2 is to recommend a collection of complete albums that have recently been released, albeit without proper reviews. Let’s get to it:


Blut Aus Nord‘s mastermind Vindsval has characterized his creations under that name as a “process of perpetual regeneration”. In introducing BAN‘s last album Hallucinogen, he observed: “Music is a fascinating quest without end… and it would be a mess to express the same range of emotions, a mess to remain frozen in the same aesthetic, the same energy, a mess to compose and release the same thing again and again… and again.” Continue reading »