Feb 252021


Loud, raucous, and ravishing sounds tend to be our daily fare around here. And perhaps because of that, the striking contrast created by Wÿntër Àrvń‘s new album Abysses is all the more stunning. Rather than ignite raging bonfires it instead places glowing embers beneath the imagination, and alters moods in a way that is, in a word, magical.

Abysses is almost entirely instrumental and the instruments are entirely acoustic, though their tones are varied and the combination of them is always captivating. The bounty of the music is enhanced by the joinder of a new member in this former solo project, and by guest appearances. And it’s our great pleasure to present a full stream of the record today, in advance of its release by the distinctive Antiq Records label on March 1st. Continue reading »

Oct 112020


I don’t have much to say by way of introduction here, other than to urge you to listen to the music in Part 1 of today’s column if you haven’t, in addition to the fine new sounds I’ve chosen for this Part.


Sulphur Pit” was first released by this Tasmanian band as part of its 2008 debut demo Ecclesia Diabolus. But the song has been “re-imagined and re-written” for Ignis Gehenna‘s new album Rites of Transvaluation (which is the successor to 2017’s Baleful Scarlet Star) and in fact iit’s the song that opens the new record.

I haven’t heard the earlier version of “Sulphur Pit”, and so I’ve taken this new version just as it comes. It’s quite a striking experience. At more than eight minutes in length, it has room to change and explore. An aura of ritual emanates from the opening ambient tones, but the music becomes a flame-like ecstasy of rippling chords, climbing the scale and descending. In the midst of those quasi-deranged manifestations there are outbursts of ravishing savagery (the teeth-bared roars are always savage), and the music also conveys a kind of poisonous and bombastic grandeur, as well as melodies both bleak and baleful. Continue reading »

Mar 212018


Obsessively devoted as I obviously am to the sounds of extreme metal, it’s rare that I’m able to indulge genuinely beautiful music, unless it’s delivered in the context of something heavy and harrowing. With that confession offered as a context of its own for what I’m about to write, I will say that the album we’re premiering here is the most beautiful and the most thoroughly enthralling listening experience I’ve had this year (and longer).

The album is Au Devant du Gouffre by Wÿntër Ärvń, which is the solo project of a French musician who calls himself Arvernian. It will be released on CD by Antiq Records on April 10th, although a digital version has become available today on Bandcamp.

The album is almost entirely an instrumental performance, and the instruments used are entirely acoustic. It could be characterized as Neofolk or Darkfolk, although its creator has disclosed that his influences (perhaps more spiritual than in any other way) “remain very strongly embedded in the black metal of the ’90s”. Continue reading »