despair, dementia, dissent
black metal, death metal, funeral, dungeon, dark ambient, harsh electronics, intense (neo-)classical
A relentless, deep single: Birth by Dead Neanderthals is twelve minutes of intense synth and sax droning over an unstoppable death waltz. An excellent example of their craft.
A concept split EP where Farsot and Coldworld join up for some romantic black metal-meets-acoustics. Toteninsel (2018, Prophecy) is good stuff, warm and dreamy. Too bad the cover kind of butchers the divine painting this release is inspired by.
Out now: Graven’s Heirs of Discord brings about half an hour of absolutely furious death metal with a grind/hardcore edge, by ex-members of Swarm of the Lotus and others. Quite unorthodox, with extended doomy passages and other stylistic escapades. Absolute high grade material, and a band to look out for! (2018, Thieving Hand / Negative Grade)
Listen to “Backwards to Oblivion” in my latest show.
On their seventh album, Helrunar present us with warm and smoothly produced black metal, heavy on good leads and melodies. There’s a clear and audible maturity and thoughtfulness behind this album, and its strongest tracks are mysterious, spellbinding affairs. Sadly, Vanitas Vanitatvm (2018, Prophecy) lacks a slight bit of urgency once it passes the first few tracks, and it doesn’t convince over it’s entire 63-minute length.
This is some bloody heavy metalcore with a couple of surprising twists. I Want To Be Nothing by Pale Ache. Twenty crushing minutes in your face.
Bequeath Thy Grievous Loss by The Spirit of Iuvenium (2018, Pacific Threnodies) is the kind of baroque dark goth dungeon synth your teacher warned you about. Ah, but this is good stuff. So fill up those chalices and invite your vampire buddies, because it’s time for a party…
Much has been said about Ulthar’s excellent debut album Cosmovore (2018, 20 Buck Spin), but let me add my 2 cents, because this package of tirelessly dynamic riffing deserves all the praise it gets. Like much of the year’s best metal, it takes cues from different moments in metal history. It’s death metal, but its edges are raw, blackened, technical, and thrashy. And the album doesn’t shy away from spacy synth interludes either. If this ultimately means a decrystallising of metal’s subgenres, I’m all for it. Let all the branches remerge. Regardless, Cosmovore doesn’t tell a story as much as it is an entity: a devouring beast intricate in composition yet singular in its purpose to swallow absolutely everything whole.
Listen to “Infinite Cold Distance” in my latest show.
What else to play after a whole morning/afternoon of depression sleep than the new Vouna album?Yes, it’s downcast and sad, but there’s an uplifting lightness, too. A lovely piece of unorthodox and forward-looking funeral doom. Out now on Artemisia.