May 252020


Last fall the Vancouver band Boreal Hymn made a very auspicious debut through a demo entitled Tundra. Uniting the exceptional talents of Bronson Lee Norton (the vocalist of Seer and Eyes Without A Face) and instrumentalist Colby Hink (of Wormwitch and ex-Old Graves), Boreal Hymn created a musical experience that could easily be called transportive.

To paraphrase some of the the words of acclaim from commenters on the demo’s Bandcamp page, the music was a shifting slice of dark pagan metal incorporating dark growls, lofty vocals, and evocative chants, conjuring visions of crackling fires, hoary trees, and vast open spaces — evocative and expansive. And to repeat some of what I wrote about the demo at that time, the sensations of the music ranged from cold and dismal to fiery and majestic, sometimes undeniably bleak, but persistently enchanting.

And so it’s a real pleasure to premiere a new Boreal Hymn recording today — a cover of Bathory’s classic “Man of Iron” from Blood On Ice (1996) — especially because Boreal Hymn will be donating 100% of the sales in May to The Canadian Mental Health Association for Mental Health Awareness month. Continue reading »

Nov 122019


Some of you might remember that in the regular Sunday edition of this feature two days ago I mentioned that I had an idea for quickly highlighting a bunch of new albums that I didn’t want to neglect. I referred to it then as a collection of “teasers”. What I meant by that, as you’re about to see for yourselves, is a strategy that’s less satisfying than writing everything I’d like to say about these albums, but better than by-passing them altogether. What I’ve done is to pick just one song from each release as a jumping-off point, in the hope that you’ll go ahead and jump all the way in without further persuasion.


The first album I’d like to highlight is Ritual Chalice of Hateful Blood, the debut full-length by Hell’s Coronation, which was released on October 31st by Godz Ov War Productions. The song I’ve picked as a teaser for the album is “Fullmoon Is the Sinister Light of Providence“, which also happens to be the song that’s set up to stream first at the album’s Bandcamp page, although it comes fourth in the running order. Continue reading »