(Andy Synn reviews the new album by the UK’s Dawn Ray’d, which will be released on October 2nd.)
Despite what some people might have you believe, Black Metal is not, nor has it ever really been, a monolith.
In fact if you look back at the early days of the scene, and in particular those responsible for laying its foundations, you’ll quickly become aware of the variety of personalities, approaches, and opinions which, collectively, contributed to the genesis of the nascent genre, while also planting the seeds for the variety of different styles and sub-genres to come.
Of course while the guiding principle of Black Metal may well be “do what thou will”, this doesn’t mean you can claim that anything is Black Metal. There are certain markers you still need to hit, certain rules you might say, that apply even here.
But within these (relatively loose) confines you’ll find a world of different approaches, different beliefs, different ideologies – from nihilism to humanism, asceticism to Satanism – all clashing and coalescing in a tumultuous display of pure passion and unflinching intensity.
Which is why, regardless of what you might think about their personalities or their politics, I have little hesitation in declaring The Unlawful Assembly to be one of the best Black Metal albums of the year. Continue reading »