Recommended for fans of: Shining, Blut Aus Nord, Dark Fortress
Ok, so this officially makes three Black Metal centric editions of The Synn Report in a row, and I swear I’ll try and change things up in April, but the release of the new album from Canadian iconoclasts Idol of Fear earlier this month meant that I couldn’t resist making them the focus of this article.
It helps that the band are an atypical example of Black Metal (some have tagged them as “experimental”, though I think that’s pushing it a bit far), as while the genre’s fundamentals are still a part of their sound they are, more often than not, incorporated and arranged in a pleasingly unorthodox fashion.
The guitars, for example, don’t hesitate to spin up some terrifically twisted tremolo melodies when they need to, but are just as often to be found strutting their stuff in a ghoulish, Shining-esque groove, or cutting loose with some strange, proggy solo work.
Similarly, the snarling vocals are delivered with a crisp sense of clarity and a wealth of cruel character, rather than just attempting to sound as evil and nasty as possible, and while blastbeats do make an appearance here and there, the overall pace of the music is far slower, and the drumming far more measured and intricate, than your average bunch of blackened blasturbators.
Combine that with an overarching atmosphere of encroaching darkness and dread (similar in many ways to the vaunted “Dark Metal” of Bethlehem) and you’ve got a trilogy of albums seemingly purpose-built to challenge your expectations when it comes to Black Metal!