Sep 212021
 

 

For most of us, our introduction to the new album by Iskandr came through a video for the song “Bloeddraad“. It presents a fascinating collage of images, and the music is equally fascinating. It’s the sound of a sinister dream, an embroidery of acoustic chords and ringing guitars, of bestial snarls and flesh-flensing screams, of shimmering synths and eerie, mercurial arpeggios. It includes a slower, spellbinding break near the end that features choral vocals and a feeling of rising, ominous grandeur. And in addition to that, the song has tremendous visceral appeal, thanks to a simple but compelling drum rhythm, accented by bursts of rumbling double-bass.

That was an extremely tantalizing teaser for the new album Vergezicht, but its multi-faceted power was not surprising, given the high standards that this enigmatic Dutch duo had already established through two previous albums and two previous EPs. As tantalizing as “Bloeddraad” is, however, it doesn’t present a complete picture of the experiences that the entire album creates. Vergezicht is, after all, more than an hour long, and it’s that long because the scope of Iskandr’s musical ideas and techniques was wide-ranging. Nor does it represent simply another iteration of the stylistic ingredients of the album that preceded it.

Some sense of this is evident in press materials for the album, which make references to Bathory’s mid-era albums, King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King, the early works of both Enslaved and Hades, as well as Neurosis’ A Sun that Never Sets. Those references are tantalizing in themselves, but also don’t fully capture what Vergezicht presents — and indeed, becoming immersed in the music itself from beginning to end is the only sure way to understand it. Fortunately, you can do that now via the full streaming premiere of the album that we’re presenting in advance of its September 24 release by Eisenwald and Haeresis Noviomagi. Continue reading »

Aug 022021
 

 

As you may have gathered from my two weekend posts, I spent a lot of time listening to new metal over the last 48 hours. I watched videos for new songs too, and have collected five of those here, which I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did.

ISKANDR (Netherlands)

This first video is a fascinating collage of images, with credit for the film going to Teresa Elizabeth Lobos. The music by Iskandr is equally fascinating. It’s the sound of a sinister dream, an embroidery of acoustic chords and ringing guitars, of gritty gargoyle snarls and flesh-flensing screams, of shimmering synths and eerie, mercurial arpeggios. It includes a slower and spellbinding break near the end that features choral vocals and a feeling of rising, ominous grandeur. Continue reading »

Sep 232018
 

 

(While our editor is on vacation this weekend, our ally HGD has generously stepped into the void and gathered the following collection of new black metal to recommend to you.)

Bâ’a

The best part of putting together a collection like this one is being able to discover hidden diamonds in the rough, especially those that appear out of the blue with little warning. The atmospheric black metal band Bâ’a is a prime example of this.

The scant details provided to Black Metal Promotion as a part of the upload of their single “Les Terres de Terreur“, seems to indicate that they hail from France, but there is no information about their membership. The band appears disinclined towards the use of social media as well, with no presence on Facebook or Bandcamp, seemingly preferring to let their music speak for them. After listening to this track, it’s not hard to see why. Continue reading »