despair, dementia, dissent
black metal, death metal, funeral, dungeon, dark ambient, harsh electronics, intense (neo-)classical
Veneration of Profane Antiquity (2018) is a retrospective album of alternative mixes from Ævangelist’s past. What this means is that one of the most convoluted-sounding black/death metal projects around sounds at times even more ghostly and obscure.
It’s a selection of tracks containing favourites like “Gatekeeper’s Scroll” and “The Only Grave”. The new mixes are heavy on the hiss and tremble, lending a spectral quality to it all. Insightful, but if you’re new to the project, start with one of the main albums.
I wrote this review of Akhlys’ The Dreaming I (2015, Debemur Morti) three years ago. I’ve had a lot more dreams since then, disturbing ones too. A lot has changed. But I stand by this. A legendary, formative album for me.
Atheist - Piece of Time (1989, Death)
Great stuff from the dawning of the age of technical death metal. Still one foot in the primordial ooze of heavy metal, this album nevertheless marks the band’s first steps towards the experiments that were to come.
DungeönHammer smash! Retro yet contemporary, this duo (which contains half of Dead Nanderthals) deliver a convincing album of plodding old school black/thrash/doom-tinged metal on Infernal Moon (2018, Pulverised / Me Saco Un Ojo ). Full review in the upcoming issue of Ex Abyssō.
Hellhammer - Satanic Rites (1983, Prowlin’ Death)
I just have to put this next to the previous one. For no other reason than one makes me want to listen to the other. Ungh!
Speaking of heavy, UK industrial metallers khost had some of their tracks pulled through the wringer by Godflesh a while back and the result is as you’d expect: Needles into the Ground (2016, Cold Spring) is absolutely filthy and crushing.
Neige & Noirceur put out a creepy black ambient album this year. Vent Fantôme (2018, Avantgarde) deals in spectral whispers, heavy guitar drones, and blood-curdling narrative growls. Builds up rhythm on side B, but never all the way up to metal intensity.
This is some filthy blackened funeral doom… Scythe - Blades of Forgiveness (2016, Bestiarie).
Hiss-drenched, desperate. Calls to mind Celestiial, but instead of the smell of wet earth and forest cathedrals we get run-down flophouses & torture chambers.
Super-solid blackened death metal from Slovenia’s Teleport. The Ascendance EP has dynamic compositions, strong lead guitars, and just plain old good riffs. Their cosmic themes are more abstract, shadowy here than on their other releases.
One of the best metal albums this morose girl’s heard this year. That’s Ethereal Sepulchre by Tyrannic. (2018, Seance).
Perfect blend of black, thrash, doom, and death. Grab your scythes! Full review in the upcoming issue of Ex Abyssō.
Underdark do melancholic black metal really well. Both their 2016 Mourning Cloak EP and this year’s split with with Antre are testament to this. The latter band hold their own here as well, with a bodhrán intro and an equally dour and sullen black metal track.