Μηλινόη, 21 February 2019


des­pair, demen­tia, dis­sent

black, death, funeral, dun­geon, dark ambi­ent, sadgaze, harsh elec­tron­ics, intense (neo-)classical

This one came too late for most 2018 lists. Joke’s on you. Acathexis low key put out one of the best black metal albums of the year on Decem­ber 26 though Fallen Empire / Entropic. Melodic, dynamic, atmo­spheric. This is that good stuff.

Arch­gooch - The Gooch​-​De­vour­ing Dark­ness (2018)

Don’t mind me. Just dig­ging into some gooch-powered war noise.

I feel noth­ing. I want (for) noth­ing. Yet there is this energy inside me. Death Fort­ressReign of the Unend­ing chan­nels that energy for me. Per­fect death/black for when the mind is turned towards the void. (2018, Fallen Empire)

Irre­vers­ible Mech­an­ism - Infin­ite Fields (2015, Blood Music)

This is com­pletely over­blown, intense, and choppy like a rabid axe. Exactly what sym­phonic death/black should be. What else does a girl need? OK, a fuck­ing break maybe…

I’m lov­ing this blackened hardcore/metal whatchamac­al­lit on KUAR NHIAL’s self-titled debut (2018, Con­soul­ing). The riffs are king, the bass is heavy, the pro­duc­tion is full of neat details, and there is a mys­ter­i­ous touch to it. Ghent, rep­res­ent.

The Night Specter is only the latest in Maurice De Jong’s (Gnaw Their Tongues) ever-expand­ing roster of pro­jects. Eternal Dark Splend­our (2019) is glor­i­ous, dark, haze-drenched black metal. Almost over­whelm­ing. Just give in.

Now THIS is the black ritual ambi­ent your mother warned you about. Or if I were your mother, I’d sneak it into your music player. Peter Johan Nij­land and his crew of per­cus­sion­ists in O SAALA SAKRAAL lay down the law on this shat­ter­ing two-part debut.

It’s dark, it’s earthy, it’s airy, it’s got grav­ity in spades. It pro­por­tions per­fectly the silences and intens­it­ies in an album that reflects the revolving pro­cesses of nature and spirit. What other label, then, to put this out, than Cyc­lic Law?

Timothy Ren­ner’s Entity Drift is a slow-burn suite of dark ambi­ent scor­ing for the Strange Famil­i­ars pod­cast. These are organic, folk­loric drones, the sounds of creatures stir­ring in the night at the edge of your aware­ness. (Hand/Eye, 2018)

UN’s Sen­ti­ment is that clas­sic funeral doom. It’s sad as all heck, and moves ever so slowly but surely. Per­haps not enough of an own voice yet, but the exe­cu­tion is flaw­less. 2018, (sold out) tapes through Tri­droid, digital here:

No band pulls off a blend of cav­ernous funeral doom and black metal quite like Wilt. Last year’s album Ruin (Ven­detta) is a flaw­less, dole­ful trip through the val­leys of the mind, at times nos­tal­gic in its late-90s dark metal mel­an­choly.