Pantheon of Blood – Tetrasomia (Review)

Pantheon of BloodScything, razor-sharp Black Metal from Finland. This is their third release and shows much promise for the future.

There are good melodies aplenty on this release, with a sound that is at once on the raw side but not really enough to qualify as “necro” or to obscure the music that is on display here. The vocals are suitably high and screeching, (in a good way), so there are no problems in this department. The instruments are all played competently and the band have a good grasp of the basics of songwriting, which can only develop further in the future.

I enjoyed this release – it is relatively short, but then it is an EP, and should be viewed as a taster for a (hopefully) upcoming full-length. I look forward to hearing what they come up with.

Give them a listen and see what you think.

Wormlust – The Feral Wisdom (Review)

WormlustThis is eerie, progressive Black Metal. Imagine a more aggressive Blut Aus Nord in some ways; Blut Aus Nord crossed with Mayhem perhaps. A good starting point. In fact I’d like to coin the phrase Ambient Aggressive to describe them. They have plenty of ethereal, ambient-esque feelings and melodies in them, whilst having an underlying aggressive core. First song Sex Augu, Tolf Stjornur is a classic example of this – blasting drums, frenetic bass, with insanity-inducing almost-ambient guitar work/noise on top.

The album cover initially can make you wonder what kind of music is contained within, but when you’re listening it makes sense – spooky, trippy, insane, out-of-the-ordinary. This is a brand of Black Metal that is much more unique and interesting than most. They also do mellow very well. There is not an abundance of it; but in between bouts of discordance and mayhem there are quieter moments, (A Altari Meistarans in particular), and the atmosphere here is suitably unhinged as you may expect, only without the chaos.

The melodies used throughout this album are all high-quality and are designed to slowly send the listener insane, or at the very least to wrench up the tension levels. It’s this combination of brilliance and craziness that, for me, marks this as an exceptional release. That and the fact that the band make it sound so effortless. An album such as this could easily sound like a patchwork of conflicting styles in lesser hands. In the hands of artisans however, we have a soundscape birthed from insanity and directed by demented geniuses who know how to control the chaos for their own ends.

Wormlust are like the wind; capable of going from a gentle breeze to howling terror in the space of a second. As such they are liable to scare the casual listener away. Those who persevere however will be richly rewarded.

Perditor – Divine Riddles (Review)

PerditorPerditor are a Black Metal band from Holland. They play a razor-sharp brand of Black Metal that has a palpable aura of menace about it. Indeed; this is not for the faint-hearted. This is an hour of evil music.

Underneath the grimness though is not just a band going through the motions; this is the real deal and thankfully the music can more than keep up with the passion on display here. The songs are well-written and complex enough to keep interest while still having a scything, brutal, black heart. There are plenty of well-thought out blackened melodies on offer here, and a lot of ideas that elevate this release far above the run-of-the-mill.

It would be criminal to not mention the vocals as well.  While sticking predominantly to the style that one would expect for a Black Metal album; the vocalist is highly accomplished and has a surprising range and versatility that, like the music, is much better than the average.

With this album Perditor acknowledge the past while stamping their own identity on the Black Metal template; twisting it to serve their will rather than being a slave to it. And thus true power and purpose was born.

This is a superior album in every way. If you have a taste for the blackened art then you should seek this release out immediately. There is a depth and longevity to this album that you will not want to miss. Highly recommended.

Favourite track: Servus Diaboli.

Colosus – Blestem (Review)

ColosusWell this is a surprise. For some reason I wasn’t expecting to like this release that much. Not really sure why – something just put me off it for some reason. I’m happy I’m wrong though as what we have here is some excellent atmospheric Black Metal from the UK. Just the right combination of feeling, grimness and sound quality to ensure that the album sounds suitably murky but clear enough to make everything out.

We start off with a suitably (un-)pleasant intro, followed by the almost-thirteen minute “Mormant” which is a well-executed chunk of depressive Black Metal. Here Colosus shows the ability to produce a very atmospheric track that draws you in and slowly absorbs you until, before you know it, it is almost over and you are left wanting more. Thankfully the next track supplies.

The vocals scream and wail, almost in the background; almost used as another instrument. Not a million miles away from a band like Vinterriket; such a comparison is a good place to start actually, although it only a starting point as Colosus are certainly no clone.

Interspersed within the pieces of Black Metal are more ambient interludes. Thankfully these are not mere filler though and add to the atmosphere of the album and provide another facet of the journey to get lost in.

Overall a very strong album, and one that I will be enjoying absorbing myself in for some time to come.

Xul – Malignance (Review)

XulFrom Canada; Xul play a bludgeoning brand of blackened Death Metal, with plenty of confidence and assurance. Xul combine both Black and Death Metal in a meaningful way – imagine a sound that is half-way between Behemoth and Dimmu Borgir, sans symphonics, (if that makes any sense).

At about 38 minutes in duration the album is just about the right length. Gritty and raw but still sounding tight and professional – the songs zoom by in  a whirlpool of brutality and dark melody.

Sit back, hit play and hold on!

Night Heir – A Maze of Evenings (Review)

Night HeirAtmospheric metal from the US. There is plenty of variety and individuality on display here, with varying styles from Black Metal to Doom, and everything in between. The band are not afraid to experiment, so you’ll find plenty to hold the interest on this album if you like your metal with a touch of the Avant Garde/experimental.

I also notice what seems to be an In The Woods… influence, so if you imagine a band like In The Woods… with extra Black Metal, Doom, Folk, etc. parts thrown in you’ll be on the right lines.

This will not be to everyone’s tastes of course, but if you are in the right mood then stick this album on and relax, zone out and just get swallowed up in the atmosphere and the journey.

If you’re looking from something a bit different then give them a listen – you won’t regret it!

Stellar Descent/Aylwin – Farallon (Review)

FarallonThis is a split between Stellar Descent an Aylwin, and long, epic, Cascadian-style Black Metal is the order of the day here.

The songs by both bands are well constructed examples of this particular sub-genre and are positively brimming with atmosphere and feelings that evoke the harsh reality of a beautiful yet potentially deadly landscape.

I think this style of music has a lot to offer, especially when done well and with obvious passion such as is displayed here.  Both bands also benefit from strong recordings and sound, whilst still within a recognisably Black Metal style.

Highly recommended this; for anyone who likes their Black Metal bleak and unforgiving, yet naturalistic and wild.

Frostbitten – We Feared the Wrath of Lord Lucifer (Review)

FrostbittenFilthy, dirty, primitive, raw Black Metal with teeth and a real bite. Not for the faint-hearted. Primitive or no; there are still plenty of good ideas on display here. Slower songs as well as faster ones, mood as well as brutality, bludgeoning as well as razor blades.

Elements of doom rear their grim heads relatively frequently within the strictly blackened framework and this works extremely well. There is even a welcome variation in vocals; The Hooded Robe demonstrating that clean vocals (in a filth-ridden-doom-kinda-way) definitely have a place in Black Metal.

This is a prolific UK band that is not afraid to try new things and deserves support. Check them out now!