Jun 262017


(We present Andy Synn’s review of the new album by Australia’s Somnium Nox, released last month by Transcending Obscurity Records.)

When you say the words “Atmospheric Black Metal” what most people seem to think of these days are the shimmering soundscapes and ethereal melodies characteristic of the so-called “Post-Black Metal” scene.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a fan of many of those bands who fall under that vaguely defined “Post…” umbrella, but when I think about the term “Atmospheric Black Metal”, I think of bands like Wolves In The Throne Room and Altar of Plagues, bands for whom atmosphere is about more than just the simple juxtaposition of ambience and dissonance, it’s about texture and tension, mood and momentum.

It’s something that isn’t painted in broad strokes, but which is built up, painstakingly, piece by piece, into something altogether greater than the mere sum of its parts. Continue reading »

Feb 272017


The powerful debut album of the Australian band Somnium Nox ushers the listener into another world, operating at a depth that seems to affect the subconscious mind like a form of hypnosis, as well as frequently pushing the pulse of the blood to racing levels. It’s an immersive, emotionally compelling experience, by turns spellbinding and abrasive… and in the opening minutes, it includes the haunting tones of a didgeridoo.

“Haunting” may be the single best word to describe the atmospheric black metal of Somnium Nox, as it does seem to emanate from a shadow realm, giving voice to primordial powers and wandering spirits that may be submerged but haven’t disappeared.

The album consists of three long tracks that connect to each other seamlessly, and today we have the premiere of the second one — “The Alnwick Apotheosis” — in advance of the album’s May 15 release by Transcending Obscurity Records. Continue reading »