Jan 192020
 

 

Five individual tracks. That’s what I’ve combined into this first installment of our usual Sunday expedition into the black realms. The second Part includes a few complete records, recently released, that I’d like to recommend. I haven’t written it yet, and may not finish it in time to post it today. Astonishingly, I have some other activities planned, and they may push Part 2 into Monday.

DARK FORTRESS

Last week brought another advance track from Spectres Of The Old World, the eighth album by Germany’s Dark Fortress. I’ve already provided some background details about the album when writing about a previous single, “Pulling At Threads” (here), and won’t repeat it. That previous song, although quite welcome, was a very short one for Dark Fortress, ending abruptly and without offering much in the way of unorthodox, progressive, or challenging permutations, which is what we’ve come to expect from the band as they’ve evolved. So, what of the new one, “Isa“? Continue reading »

Dec 222019
 

 

You can tell from the title of this post that I have ambitions for putting a lot of black/blackened metal in front of you today. As I explained in yesterday’s post, the torrent of new music hasn’t let up just because we’re on the brink of the holiday season and the turnover from 2019 to 2020. So I’m trying to make the most of this weekend for round-ups of new music before the new week makes me focus again on LISTMANIA and premieres.

DEEMTEE

Did you miss Deemtee’s debut album when it was released last June? If you did, and you’re also a fan of such bands as Deathspell Omega, Oranssi Pazuzu, Valborg, Blut Aus Nord, and Ved Buens Ende, it’s well worth carving out some of your year-end time to check it out. We premiered a full stream of Flawed Synchronization With Reality, and I’ll excerpt only these words from the very wordy review which accompanied that: Continue reading »

Mar 212018
 

 

(With a bow toward the Waxing Lyrical series begun by Andy Synn at our site, Karina Noctum posed questions to Morean of Alkaloid (and Dark Fortress) about his creation of lyrics for the ravishing new Alkaloid album, Liquid Anatomy, which will be released by Season of Mist on May 18th. The answers are fascinating.)

 

Alkaloid are going to release their latest album called Liquid Anatomy on the 18th of May, and I took this opportunity to ask about the lyrics. Musically, we know already it is going to be a remarkable album because the band counts among its members such metal luminaries as Hannes Grossmann, Christian Münzner (Obscura), Danny Tunker (Aborted, Prostitute Disfigurement, God Dethroned), and Morean (Dark Fortress, Alkaloid, Noneuclid).

Morean is not only a versatile vocalist, but also an excellent guitarist and a classical composer. His hymn to the city of Rotterdam was performed by the Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest not so long ago. If you are interested in classical music then I recommend you check his double guitar composition Schattenspiel.

We have Morean’s opening insights into his writing of lyrics and choice of themes, and that’s then followed by a more detailed dialogue. Continue reading »

Jul 162015
 

Morean_Alkaloid-Photo by Christian Martin Weiss

Photos accompanying this interview by Christian Martin Weiss

(Andy Synn had the chance to interview the Dutch artist Morean about the three bands in which he is currently involved — Dark FortressNoneuclid, and Alkaloid. We’ve divided the interview into three parts, which will appear on three successive days. Today’s focus is Alkaloid. Check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)

 

All jokes aside, all three of the bands discussed in this interview have a certain “Progressive” edge to them (though I’m trying not to over-use that word if at all possible) – Dark Fortress are a Black Metal band, and Noneuclid tend (at least in my mind) towards the Thrash-y end of the Metal spectrum. However your latest band, Alkaloid, is probably the most Progressive AND the most Death Metal focussed group of the lot. Was this something you were always aiming for?

M: You put your finger right on it. Not everyone in Dark Fortress and Noneuclid is equally into Death Metal and shred orgies. And despite all the artistic freedom we take in those bands, there were quite some things Alkaloid wanted to do that would never have fit with the other bands, and I think the same is true for Obscura. So we wanted to give it one last shot to start something fresh from the beginning, where we have complete freedom to do what we want without having to fit our ideas into 10 or 20 year old band concepts – even if they’re our own. In my own artistic development, I feel that with Alkaloid many things that have been growing in the other bands finally are falling into place. And the personnel in Alkaloid [Linus Klausenitzer, Danny Tunker, Hannes Grossmann, Christian Münzner] are very inspiring, there are very few limits to how far the composers in the band can go. It’ll be exciting to see where this band will end up going in the future. Continue reading »

Jul 152015
 

Noneuclid on the sofa

 

(Andy Synn had the chance to interview the Dutch artist Morean about the three bands in which he is currently involved — Dark Fortress, Noneuclid, and Alkaloid. We’ve divided the interview into three parts, which will appear on three successive days. Today’s focus is Noneuclid. Check out Part 1 here and Part 3 here.)

 

Moving on to talk about your work in Noneuclid, which also includes your Dark Fortress band-mates Seraph and V. Santura, along with Linus from Obscura/Alkaloid, and recently departed vocalist Bruce. For those unfamiliar with the band, can you give us some background on the group?

M: We started as a group of friends playing covers together once a year. I had just graduated from the conservatory and was looking for an outlet for my metal-related ideas, and we had way too much fun playing together, so after a while we decided to make Noneuclid a more permanent outfit. That was back in 2004. I set out to write the first album with just the wish in mind to have a few songs to play; little did we suspect they’d be perceived as being this unusual. To us, it was just metal to begin with, but then things went off on a pretty wild tangent with everything that ensued in the years after. Continue reading »

Jul 142015
 

Morean-1

 

(Andy Synn had the chance to interview the Dutch artist Morean about the three bands in which he is currently involved — Dark Fortress, Noneuclid, and Alkaloid. We’ve divided the interview into three parts, which will appear on three successive days. Today’s focus is Dark Fortress. Check out the next two parts here and here.)

 

So, first of all, I just want to say thank you for agreeing to answer these questions for me/us. Both Venereal Dawn and Metatheosis were amongst my favourite albums from last year, and it’s looking very likely that The Malkuth Grimoire will end up in my top ten at the end of 2015 too.

Now, obviously I’m a big fan of all the bands you’re involved in, so this is probably going to be a pretty long and in-depth interview, but let’s start with a simple question… how the hell do you find the time for all of this?

Morean: Thanks for the compliments! How do I find time? Well – I don’t. I have to steal whatever time I put into one band, commission, or project from all the other bands and projects. It’s a problem almost everyone in all these bands has, and it’s getting worse. It’s also the reason why it takes years sometimes before a band is able to get into the studio or back on the road. Continue reading »

Oct 222014
 

 

(Our Nottingham-based writer Andy Synn ventured down to London to catch the Venereal Dawn Tour MMXIV and files this report, with video of the performances.) 

From the moment it was announced, there really was no way I was going to miss this show. Two of my absolute favourite bands, Dark Fortress and Secrets of the Moon, along with one of this year’s best discoveries, the ineffable Schammasch, all on the same bill?

Sold.

The fact that it was down in London, at The Underworld (a venue I’ve always loved) was both a blessing a curse, as it pretty much guaranteed a great sound and atmosphere for the night, but also necessitated leaving work early and making a three-hour (give or take) drive through the irritating London traffic.

Still, totally worth it. Continue reading »

Oct 142014
 

 

Here’s a rather large selection of new songs and videos released in the last few days that I decided were worth your time — and who better than me to decide how you should spend your time?  Exactly.

I’ve arranged these offerings in alphabetical order by band name. It’s quite a varied selection, so I’m hoping everyone will find something to like.

BLOODBATH

We’re now two songs into the ramp-up for one of the most highly anticipated extreme metal releases of the year — Grand Morbid Funeral, the first album by Bloodbath since 2008. The second song, “Famine of God’s Word”, was revealed yesterday through a lyric video. I’m of two minds about the song.

On the one hand, the instrumental music is just downright vicious — a brutally heavy, galloping, squalling, skin-flaying, gut-punching romp, with an eerie lead guitar melody that floats through the song like a phantasm. Continue reading »

Sep 192014
 

 

(Andy Synn reviews the new seventh album by Germany’s Dark Fortress.)

Quite often I see the music of Dark Fortress categorized as “Melodic Black Metal”, and while it is strongly, and darkly, melodic, and it’s definitely Black Metal… I still feel like that particular classification is something of a misnomer.

I don’t know about you, but when I think “Melodic Black Metal”, my mind immediately goes to the masterful Dissection and all their ilk, and while the earliest Dark Fortress albums certainly fell in line with that style, their third album, 2004’s Stab Wounds, signified the beginning of a major stylistic shift, one that has, over the years since, led the band into deeper, darker waters.

The addition of Morean on vocals for 2008’s Eidolon seemed to be the final piece of the puzzle necessary for the band to fully manifest their new-born identity, one of fire and anguish and boundless creative freedom, and paved the way for the complex and multi-faceted metallic madness of Ylem, perhaps the band’s finest hour thus far.

Venereal Dawn is certainly a spiritual follow-up to Ylem in many ways – indeed, without many of the creative seeds planted by that album much of Venereal Dawn simply would not exist – and yet it is far, far removed from being a simple copy.

Intimately progressive and hauntingly introspective, it is perhaps a less extreme and less technical album than its predecessor, albeit still dripping with black fire and venom, yet it remains just as challenging and creatively ambitious, and always true to the band’s own unorthodox ethos. Continue reading »

Aug 202014
 

Photo by Guðný Lára Thorarensen and Guðmundur Óli Pálmason

Here’s a quartet of things I saw and heard over the last 24 hours that I thought were worth your time. I could have sub-titled this “The Exception to the Rule Round-Up”, because the vocals are almost all of the clean variety.

SÓLSTAFIR

I’ve written about every advance track that has appeared from Sólstafir’s new album Ótta, which will be released by Season of Mist on August 29 in Europe and September 2 in North America. So I guess it stands to reason that I’m going to write about the full-album stream that premiered yesterday at Noisey.

I love the album, but I’m not sure were going to review it. We didn’t get our promo copy of the album from the label until less than 24 hours before the stream went up (and only about 10 days before the European release date), and I do sometimes wonder what the point is of writing a review when everyone can hear the album for themselves, especially when there are so many other albums whose music is less accessible that are also worth praising. There’s always a point to bringing music to the attention of people who might not be aware of it, but anyone who regularly visits our site couldn’t possibly remain unaware Ótta.

Anyway, whether we write more about the album or not, you really should go listen to it. Among the previously unreleased songs, “Non” in particular has been getting repeated spins among our staff. The goddamn riff at the end is just glorious. Go here — you’ll be glad you did: Continue reading »