Sol Kia – Zos Ethos (Review)

Sol Kia - Zos EthosThis is the debut album from Sol Kia, a Belgian experimental black metal band.

Zos Ethos features a member of Neptunian Maximalism, and contains 45 minutes of experimental psychedelic black metal. Continue reading “Sol Kia – Zos Ethos (Review)”

Red Fang – Arrows (Review)

Red Fang - ArrowsThis is the fourth album from Red Fang, a sludge rock band from the US.

Red Fang play scuzzy, murky sludge rock, and do so with swampy skill. Across 43 minutes the band kick out the jams with commendable ability, but also provide more depth than your average purveyor of this style does. Continue reading “Red Fang – Arrows (Review)”

Årabrot – Norwegian Gothic (Review)

Årabrot - Norwegian GothicÅrabrot are a Norwegian rock band and this is their ninth album.

Norwegian Gothic is a complex, multifaceted listen. Årabrot specialise in a dark, avant-garde form of music that may take a diverse array of influences into itself, (noise rock, experimental, pop, punk, soul, metal, folk, industrial, etc.), but ultimately Continue reading “Årabrot – Norwegian Gothic (Review)”

Genghis Tron – Dream Weapon (Review)

Genghis Tron - Dream WeaponThis is the third album from US experimental rock act Genghis Tron.

Thirteen years after their last album, and with a new drummer, (Sumac/Baptists), and singer in tow, the mighty, inimitable Genghis Tron have returned to us. Dream Weapon presents us with 46 minutes of new music, and it might not be what you’re expecting. Continue reading “Genghis Tron – Dream Weapon (Review)”

Decline of the I – Johannes (Review)

Decline of the I - JohannesThis is the fourth album from French post-black metallers Decline of the I.

After enjoying 2015’s Rebellion and 2018’s Escape, when Johannes appeared I knew I had to sample its dark wares. Armed with a new lineup formed around the band’s core artist, Johannes is a 51-minute journey into thoughtful mood-driven darkness.

These new songs are layered explorations of post-blackened detail and nuanced soundscapes. The music is multifaceted and textured, drawing in a range of influences to build on the band’s black metal foundations. The five songs on Johannes are each masters of their own creation, while still fitting into the whole, and provide the listener with a creative and rich landscape to explore.

Each song boasts a lot of content, with a wealth of good ideas and enriching sounds ably showcased by the band. There’s an epic streak to Decline of the I’s music, more apparent than ever in their latest work. Sometimes it’s hidden in plain sight, while at others it ascends to malevolent prominence. Either way, a certain amount of majestic grandeur is ever-present in the music, and it works very well indeed.

The band’s ability to blend sharp aggression with menacing atmosphere is very effective. I really like the use of guitars on this release. Some of of the riffs and blackened rhythms feel like they cut to the core, and combined with the skilful and inventive use of melodies, contribute to the thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying musical experience that these five songs offer. Lighter moments appear, balancing the blackened heaviness of the distorted sections. Existing somewhere between post-rock, jazz, and experimental atmospheric ambient minimalism, these parts may not be too common, but they add value to the songs.

Piercing screams are joined by darker growls and choral accents. The singers all do a great job, and, like the music, the vocals are very accomplished.

Despite how much I enjoyed both Rebellion and Escape, I think that Johannes is probably Decline of the I’s richest, most complete and well-realised work to date.

Very highly recommended.

Culted – Nous (Review)

Culted - NousCulted are an international blackened doom band and this is their third album.

It has been many years since 2014’s Oblique to All Paths, although we were gifted with an EP in 2019 – Vespertina Synaxis – A Prayer for Union & EmptinessNous contains 64 minutes of new, apocalyptic material, which Continue reading “Culted – Nous (Review)”

Sow Discord – Quiet Earth (Review)

Sow Discord - Quiet EarthThis is debut album from Australian one-man doom/noise band Sow Discord.

Across this album the artist behind Sow Discord fuses industrial and noise influences into a doom-fuelled 45 minutes of dark apocalyptic atmospherics. He does this very capably, with a keen ear for texture and malevolent mood. He’s Continue reading “Sow Discord – Quiet Earth (Review)”

The Ruins of Beverast – The Thule Grimoires (Review)

The Ruins of Beverast - The Thule GrimoiresThis is the sixth album from one-man German black/doom metal metal band The Ruins of Beverast.

The Ruins of Beverast’s music is an intriguing and exotic combination of atmospheric black and doom metal. Okay, so what’s so exotic about it, you might ask? Well, it’s the artist’s sublime ability to combine lesser-heard influences, (an occasional touch of Continue reading “The Ruins of Beverast – The Thule Grimoires (Review)”

The Body – I’ve Seen All I Need to See (Review)

The Body - I've Seen All I Need to SeeThis is the eighth album from US experimental sludge band The Body.

You never quite know what you’re going to get with The Body. I’ve Seen All I Need to See contains 38 minutes of experimental music that focuses on an exploration of distortion and of the live aspect of the band’s sound. This means Continue reading “The Body – I’ve Seen All I Need to See (Review)”