With the End in Mind – Unraveling; Arising (Review)

With the End in MindWith the End in Mind is a one man black metal band from the US. This is his debut album.

Here we have 55 minutes of expressive, expansive Cascadian atmospheric black metal. Well, this is something quite special. First seeing the light of day in 2016, it’s now getting a new lease of life via Temple of Torturous Records. Continue reading

Forest of Grey – Crypsis (Review)

Forest of GreyForest of Grey are a black metal band from the US and this is their debut album.

Crypsis is a thoroughly engaging 30 minutes of atmospheric black metal, with a firm Cascadian influence. Divided into two lengthy tracks, the band have produced an album that’s both engaging and highly captivating. Continue reading

Tyakrah – Wintergedanken (Review)

TyakrahTyakrah are a German black metal band and this is their debut album.

Tyakrah offer up 37 minutes of black metal. Their musical vision is raw and harsh, but not without its atmospheric moments. Melodic and depressive aspects of the blackened style can be heard in this epic music too.  Continue reading

Hope Drone – Cloak of Ash (Review)

Hope DroneHope Drone are an Australian Post-Black Metal band. This is their début album.

Well this is a long one; 7 tracks across 77 minutes. Hope Drone don’t do things by halves it seems. But then why should they? This kind of music demands complete immersion and Cloak of Ash provides ample opportunity for this.

The music has a Black Metal base onto which is built Post-Black Metal wanderings and Atmospheric Sludge Metal influences.

Hope Drone take the Cascadian Black Metal template and use it to fashion themselves a wide-reaching, emotive album that’s highly textured and richly delivered. All speeds and tempos are catered to as well as heavier and lighter sections, which means that Cloak of Ash is a diverse and pleasurable listen that succeeds in painting in shades of darkness and light.

The Black Metal is never too far from the surface. Even the Post-Metal and Sludge/Doom elements of their sound have that Blackened twinge to them, although that doesn’t stop them from dripping with a darkened beauty. The band can play ugliness and aggression extremely well, but there are enough moments of resplendent glory and delicate allure here that it’s easy to become mesmerized with the band’s hypnotic performance.

The lighter elements are augmented with some Ambient/Drone interludes. When these segue gently into incredibly effective mid-paced atmospherics it’s a very uplifting and transcendental experience. Of course, I’m aware that words like transcendental get bandied around far too often when describing bands like Hope Drone, but it fits like a glove and conveys the appropriate feeling that the band can sometimes create.

The agonised screams are harsh and unforgiving, reminding you that no matter how the music sounds or where it takes you, this is still music forged from the underworld.

Hope Drone have truly created a wonderfully realised piece of Blackened art. I’m thoroughly impressed and completely in thrall to it.

An essential listen.

Crowhurst – Crowhurst (Review)

CrowhurstCrowhurst are from the US. This is their latest album and it’s a bit different from their usual experimental, noise-drenched output; this is Black Metal.

The guitars are as thick as syrup and they’re both heavy and melodic. Crowhurst foster an interesting atmosphere of colourful darkness that is rich in both texture and emotional content. This is Black Metal that may have a cold heart but it has an exterior that’s warm to the touch.

The screaming vocals are high pitched and piercing. They’re set low enough in the mix to become one with the music but high enough so that they’re not lost or overwhelmed.

Part Blut Aus Nord, part Xasthur and part Deafheaven; this is richly evocative music that has elements of the Cascadian and Shoegaze movements in addition to the band’s own heart of darkness.

The final track, Luna Falsata, finally gives in to some of their usual style of harsh electronics and experimentalism, as well as also featuring the vocalist of Oxbow.

This is a highly impressive collection of songs that show a mastery of a genre that the band don’t normally dabble in.

Highly recommended.