Sep 042018
 

 

(In this post Andy Synn presents reviews of three of the best black metal albums released so far in 2018.)

You could perhaps consider this article something of a rebuttal to my “Three Faces of Death” piece which was published last week, wherein I stated that 2018 seems to have been a very Death Metal heavy year so far, and that the Black Metal scene has (arguably) been lagging a little bit behind so far.

After all, while this statement is still generally true, some of this year’s blackest highlights – Funeral Mist, Ordinul Negru, Slidhr, Gaerea, Aklash, Ascension– have been more than capable of going toe-to-toe with whatever their deathly brethren have brought to the table.

It’s really just a numbers game at this point, and while I don’t see this torrent of dominating Death Metal ebbing any time soon, I’m pleased to be able to redress the balance somewhat by featuring the following three albums of blackened brilliance. Continue reading »

Jun 122018
 

 

Metal songs that prove to be absorbing and addictive at the same time are those which pull off the trick of creating a strong sense of atmosphere and mood while also triggering a physical response and implanting seeds of melody that flower quickly and sink their roots into the listener’s memory. But of course, it’s not really a “trick”, which seems like a superficial word to use for the substantive value of good song-writing and powerful performance, a suggestion of artifice rather than true magic. And there is indeed true dark magic in the song we’re about to present.

Song of Nova” is the name of this track, and it’s the first glimpse of what Dagny Susanne has achieved in her guise as Nachtlieder on this project’s new album, Lynx, which will be released through Nigredo Records near the end of August. Continue reading »

Oct 192015
 

Nachtlieder-The Female of the Species

Photo by Åsa Hagström

The Female of the Species is the second album by the Swedish one-woman black metal band Nachtlieder, due for release on December 7 via the always interesting I, Voidhanger label. What we have for you today is a somewhat unusual premiere of music from the album — featuring two songs instead of one.

These two songs — “Lonely Mortal” and “Eve” — appear back-to-back as the fourth and fifth tracks on the album. And they will give you a sense of how the music flows within the album, and of the contrasts that Nachtlieder has created. After you hear them, you may conclude that the peaceful, self-reflective quality of the photo on the album cover is a misdirection. Continue reading »

Aug 172014
 

 

This is a collection of new (or newish) songs I heard yesterday that I wanted to recommend. The music is quite diverse, yet each song contains elements of black metal — hence the “Shade of Black” title. Lots of creativity on display in what you’re about to hear — and a few things that will hit you like a semi-truck with the pedal all the way down.

HOD

San Antonio’s HOD will release their new album Book of the Worm, on September 9 via Arctic Music. The cover art, which I like a lot, was created by Jon Zig. Earlier this week Revolver (Revolver???) premiered a song from the album, and I finally caught up with it — or more accurately, it caught up with me and rode me down into the mud.

The song is “Where Are the Demons”, and the answer is — right here, in this song. It’s one of the best things I believe I’ve ever heard from HOD  — a slashing, galloping, ravaging powerhouse assault, loaded with writhing, head-whipping riffs, frenzied chord progressions, and blistering percussion. It’s a hellish inferno with tremendous surging power, but a very interesting and technically impressive  song at the same time. And the vocals will bring the grizzlies down from the hills.

The album can be pre-ordered here. A previously released track can be heard at this location. And this is where the demons are: Continue reading »