Nov 012023

(Didrik Mešiček wrote the following review of the third album by the Vancouver-based trio Crystal Coffin, which was just released yesterday.)

In my continued search for black metal that’s not quite the typical ’90s second wave sound that we all love/hate (choose whichever applies to you) I’m often intrigued by qualifying words like melodic, symphonic, or folky before the name of the subgenre. This time it’s the Canadian Crystal Coffin that’s caught my attention, a band that supposedly falls into the melodic group, if Metal Archives are to be believed. Their new album, The Curse of Immortality, will be released independently on the 31st of October, two years after the band’s previous album, The Starway Eternal, and that’s what I’ll be talking about today.  Continue reading »

Feb 042022


Today I must bring this list to an end. It’s not because I’m really finished — I have dozens more songs I’d like to add and write about. It’s because we’re now a week into February and I really ought to spend more time focusing on the songs of this year instead of yesteryear.

So, please do me a favor and hold your fire. I know I didn’t include some of the songs you’ve been waiting to see, and please don’t question how the hell I chose the ones I did include, at the cost of your own favorites, because it was anything but an organized, scientific, and well-thought-out process. I’m happy with what I chose, but easily could have chosen others.

That statement is as true of today’s final songs as all the ones that came before. I picked a few — okay, more than a few (though accompanied by fewer words and no artwork) — but in coming down to the wire I yielded even more to random impulse than probably ever before.

On Monday I’ll add a “wrap up” post that compiles everything on the list from eager beginning to anguished end, all in one place. And with that, here are the final choices, this time arranged alphabetically. Continue reading »

Nov 232021


(The music, the artwork, and the lyrics of Vancouver-based Crystal Coffin are fascinating in and of themselves, but reveal themselves to be even more fascinating and alluring with the additional info furnished by this excellent interview of the band conducted by Comrade Aleks.)

Oh modern black metal scene! A cabinet of curiosities! You can find everything here from old school die-hard true and evil devils to Cascadian naturalists, from true / untrue occult visionaries and charlatans to bands who are hard to categorize. And as many bands say, they don’t care about categories and genre definitions, it’s for labels, for listeners and for us “journalists”.

Crystal Coffin is another blackened riddle one could notice due to the premiere last month of their second album at NCS. This Vancouver-based trio performs (crazy or intellectual – choose for yourself) progressive and melodic black metal with truly authentic stories behind their albums.

Crystal Coffin is carried on the shoulders of Rob Poirier (drums), Aron Shute (vocals, bass), and Lenkyn Ostapovich (guitars, keyboards), and well, it seems we spoke with Lenkyn, but most of the time his voice did sound like the voice of Crystal Coffin’s collective mind, and that’s not bad as far as it works. Continue reading »

Oct 132021


Before listening to a note, I loved the idea of Crystal Coffin‘s new album, The Starway Eternal. So let’s begin with that idea, which also helps explain the cover art and the adventurous sensations afforded by the music. As presented in the press materials:

“Cast against the historical realities of the Chernobyl power plant meltdown of 1986, the assumed protagonist – an operator at the power plant – discovers the portalway behind an inoperable console and soon finds that her longing for meaning in this chaotic world answers the opportunity to seek out the purported gods and angels that live among the cosmos in our known solar system.

“To find such entities would be to imbue a sense of importance in our collective existence beyond the daily disorder and existential despair that one accepts. Her trips into various corners of space reveal little to no such beings, and during one such fruitless endeavor, her portalway back to earth is shut permanently; reactor 4 at Chernobyl back on earth has suffered its meltdown during shutdown operation.

“Frantic, she makes the decision to return to earth by falling through the fiery atmosphere as a lonely, final and futile act of desperation. Of course, survival is impossible, and such an act becomes a metaphor for our time, wandering the earth with little connection to anything beyond the physical world”. Continue reading »