Mavradoxa – Nightmarrow (Review)

Mavradoxa - NightmarrowMavradoxa are an atmospheric black metal band from the US and this is their third album.

Afer enjoying 2017’s memorable Lethean Lament, Mavradoxa have now returned with a shorter album, (43 minutes vs its predecessor’s 62 minutes), that sees them focused, lean, and firing on all cylinders. Continue reading

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Bhleg – Solarmegin (Review)

BhlegBhleg are a Swedish folk black metal band and this is their second album.

Roughly four years after Bhleg’s enjoyable debut album Draumr Ást appeared, the band have now returned with a colossal new album; Solarmegin is a 98-minute celebration of the sun. Yes, that’s right; this album is a big one. Continue reading

Crystalmoors – The Mountain Will Forgive Us (Review)

CrystalmoorsCrystalmoors are a Spanish pagan/folk black metal band and this is their third album.

This is a double-album release consisting of two different parts. The first is named The Sap That Feeds Us and the second is named La Montaña.

The Sap That Feeds Us is pagan/folk black metal that should find fans in any that favour the work of Dissection, Primordial, Agalloch and Drudkh.

I like the blackened Continue reading

Hryre – From Mortality to Infinity (Review)

HryreHyrye play atmospheric black metal and come from the UK. This is their debut album.

Featuring harsh black metal that’s born out of the early atmospheric style, it also has some progressive and folk influences that it welcomes into its wind-swept embrace.

Over 66 minutes the band paint dark pictures through extremity Continue reading

Sov – Aklamerad Kalamitet (Review)

SovSov are a Black Metal band and this is their début album.

Sov play underground and honest Black Metal that might superficially seem like the standard fare at first glance, but a deeper scrutiny reveals a band with impressive creative power and a lot of raw talent.

This is an interesting release in that it manages to cultivate an air of both natural forest-dwelling and sophisticated blackened art. The music is suspended between the more naturalistic elements and the modern, progressive influences so that these six tracks are a pleasing blend of the early second-wave style and a more up-to-date interpretation of the genre, à la Watain and Deathspell Omega. Continue reading

Old Forest – Dagian (Review)

Old ForestOld Forest are a Black Metal band from the UK and this is their third album.

This album features four long songs and a fair amount of variety across the 48 minute playing time. The band play Atmospheric Black Metal that has a contemporary feel with nods towards the Pagan, Folk, Gothic, Depressive and Progressive sub-genres of Black Metal.

These additional influences make their presence felt during the tracks and manifest in different ways, from exploratory sections, to enhancing cleans, to Folk instrumentation, subtle synths, and more.

It’s a hugely impressive demonstration of musical ability and songwriting skill; even only a couple of minutes into the first track Morwen, with its Doom-laden intro and understated-yet-powerful cleans, you know this is going to be a special release.

The songs have a lot of content, all contained in a modern Black Metal wrapping and serviced by a recording that’s meaty enough to do the material justice without loosing its Blackened lustre.

The emotive guitars do everything requested of them with ease, whether this is playing fast, slow, or even at a good rocking pace. The guitars serve as a bedrock for the other instruments to be built around, both the standard ones such as the drums and bass, and the non-standard ones that serve to add so much additional atmosphere to the tracks.

Vocals are as varied and interesting as the music; Blackened screams, Gothic cleans and lots in the middle.

Old Forest have produced a very gratifying release that manages to successfully combine old and new into a cohesive atmospheric package. Dagian is impressive, emotive and destined for a lot of positive feedback I would imagine.

For any fans of expressive Atmospheric Black Metal.