Feb 242020
 

 

(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the French band Regarde Les Hommes Tomber, which is set for release by Season of Mist on February 28th.)

One thing which struck me, in a way that it didn’t first time around, when listening back to the first two albums from underrated Black Metal coterie Regarde Les Hommes Tomber, was just how much their sound, their style, and their whole approach, reminds me of Abigail Williams.

Seriously, just take a listen to the slow-burning menace and spiteful savagery of songs like “They Came… To Take Us” and “The Incandescent March” (from 2015’s Exile) and try to tell me you don’t see/hear the resemblance to Ken Sorceron and co. circa In The Absence of Light/Becoming.

Of course the fearsome French five-piece are far more than just a European derivative of their American cousins, and others have also pointed out some of the band’s sonic similarities to artists like Altar of Plagues, Amenra, and their countrymen in Celeste too, but now that I’ve made this connection in my mind it’s impossible for me to un-hear it.

It also makes me wonder whether the reason for the band’s relatively low profile, at least when compared to some of the French scene, might be because – much like Abigail Williams – they don’t neatly fit into some people’s perceptions of what a Black Metal band should sound like or how they’re supposed to present themselves.

But, just one listen to Ascension makes me think that not only are Regarde Les Hommes Tomber fully aware of all this, they also don’t give a damn about fitting neatly into anyone’s preconceptions. Continue reading »

Feb 122020
 

 

One week has passed since I posted the last of these round-ups, and dozens of new songs have emerged since then that I’d happily throw your way, in addition to the many dozens I haven’t foisted upon you from preceding weeks. However, it turns out that I had overlooked new tracks from some of my favorite bands, discovering those only two days ago. I can’t resist including them here, along with a few newer discoveries.

HEAVEN SHALL BURN

We seem to have fallen off the radar screen of Century Media, because we haven’t received a single press release about the new album by Heaven Shall Burn, whose many previous releases we’ve covered with religious fervor. Even worse, none of my NCS compatriots breathed a word to me about the fact that three songs from the new album have debuted for public consumption. I had to find out about them yesterday via a YouTube side-bar. What is the world coming to? Well, I know it’s going to shit, I just didn’t know it was this shitty. Continue reading »

Dec 052019
 

 

Time is short, and always fleeting, so I’ll dispense with further introductory comments and get right to these three new songs (and a new video) that caught my attention.

SVART CROWN

We’ve been writing about the music of Svart Crown at NCS since the fall of 2010, when we got the chance to hear and review their second album Witnessing the Fall in advance of its release. Since then they have released two more terrific albums, 2013’s Profane (reviewed here) and 2017’s Abreaction (discussed in part here). And now Century Media has announced that it will release this French band’s fifth album, Wolves Among the Ashes, on February 7th next year. The first song in today’s small collection is the first track made public from that new album. Continue reading »

Sep 302015
 

Gustav Dore

 

(Andy Synn presents a trio of album reviews.)

Now I’m sure you all know by now just how much I love Black Metal, in all its many and varied forms. Whether it’s the grime-soaked grooves of Horned Almighty… the blast-furnace assault of 1349… the harrowing sonic rituals of Enthroned… the grim grandeur of Secrets of the Moon… the riff-packed assault of Nidingr… the mesmerising madness of Dødsengel… the ambient anguish of Leviathan… whether it’s “Old School”, “Second Wave”, “Progressive”, “Post”… to me the very essence of the style is its simple refusal to be restricted or limited by the expectations and pressures of others, and the insistence of those who perform under the black banner on doing things their own way, no matter the consequences.

Of course there are stylistic elements that these bands all share– for all its growth and constant opposition between progressive and regressive forces, Black Metal IS still a distinct (though wide-ranging) genre – and yet there are still bands who seem, on the surface of things, to utilise most of the right sonic elements, but whom I still struggle to really think of as “Black Metal” all the same. Continue reading »