Abhoria – Abhoria (Review)

Abhoria - AbhoriaThis is the debut album from US black metallers Abhoria.

So, here we have a 42-minute black metal release that claims inspiration from Immortal, Dark Funeral and Emperor. How could I resist sampling its dark delights?

Abhoria present their second wave-influenced assault with a Continue reading “Abhoria – Abhoria (Review)”

Modern Rites – Monuments (Review)

Modern Rites - MonumentsThis is the debut album from Modern Rites, a Swiss/US black metal band.

Featuring members of Aara and Kuyashii, Monuments contains 37 minutes of modern blackened aggression that mainly exists in the melodic black metal sphere, but not exclusively. The music also borrows from the wellspring of 90s industrial music, (which can be especially felt in some of the melodies, structuring, and atmospheres), as well as some of the more brutal strains of modern black metal. Continue reading “Modern Rites – Monuments (Review)”

Noctule – Wretched Abyss (Review)

Noctule - Wretched AbyssNoctule is a one-woman black metal band from the UK, and this is her debut album.

Brought to us by the singer/guitarist of Svalbard, Wretched Abyss is a 42-minute Skyrim-themed album that takes some of the darker and melodic elements you can hear in Svalbard’s sound, and wraps them around a blackened core. Continue reading “Noctule – Wretched Abyss (Review)”

Dark Divinity – Messianic (Review)

Dark Divinity - MessianicDark Divinity are a melodic death metal band from New Zealand, and this is their debut EP.

The promo blurn tells us that “Following in the footsteps of genre originators At the Gates, The Haunted & Dissection, the band also take cues from death/black metal acts such as Immortal, Morbid Angel & Death.” Bold words, but backed up by 18 minutes of music that cuts like a serrated knife, you’ll find no complaint from me. Continue reading “Dark Divinity – Messianic (Review)”

Ossomancer – Artes Magickae (Review)

Ossomancer - Artes MagickaeOssomancer is a black metal entity from the US and this is their debut album.

Ossomancer combine old and new, taking a base of second wave black metal and transporting it to the present day. Continue reading “Ossomancer – Artes Magickae (Review)”

False – Portent (Review)

False - PortentThis is the second album from False, a black metal band from the US.

Portent contains 41 minutes of atmospheric, melodic black metal. Effortlessly combining USBM with the old-school Norwegian variety, False have crafted an album that moves beyond either individual style. Continue reading “False – Portent (Review)”

Skeletonwitch – Devouring Radiant Light (Review)

SkeletonwitchThis is the sixth album from Skeletonwitch, a blackened metal band from the US.

Well, this is not what I was expecting to hear from Skeletonwitch. I confess that I’ve only ever really heard a small amount of the band’s prior material, and what I did hear was kind of a thrash/melodic metal affair, from what I recall. I approached this Continue reading “Skeletonwitch – Devouring Radiant Light (Review)”

Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods (Review)

ImmortalImmortal are a Norwegian black metal band and this is their ninth album.

Immortal are pretty legendary by now, and as this album is their first since 2009’s All Shall Fall, it has a lot of expectations riding on it. Continue reading “Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods (Review)”

All My Sins – Lunar/Solar (Review)

All My SinsAll My Sins are a Serbian black metal band and this is their debut EP.

This is the band’s first EP after two demos that came out over 13 years ago. Hopefully we won’t have to wait just as long for any further material in the future. Continue reading “All My Sins – Lunar/Solar (Review)”

Opus Inferii – Ancient Mysteries Unveiled (Review)

Opus InferiiOpus Inferii are a Brazilian Black Metal band and this is a re-release of their 2012 début album.

Here we have 48 minutes of Occult Black Metal. It’s raw, infused with darkness and cold to the touch.

Ancient Mysteries Unveiled has a solid sound that’s underground enough to suit the music but strong enough to not do the band any disservices.

This has the air of 90s-era Second Wave Black Metal and there’s a Swedish Melodic Black Metal influence at play here too, alongside a Norwegian one as well. Kind of like Dimmu Borgir stripped of orchestration and merged with Dissection, as well as a hint of mid-period Immortal here and there. This allows the band to not be constrained by just a single style. There are quite a few nice touches and ideas on this release, including moments of introspection, atmosphere and grandeur alongside the ritualistic violence.

The songs contain both blast beats and mid-paced sections, with a good balance between rhythm and dark melodics. The riffs are bleakly emotive but also know when to get heavier and meatier as required.

The singer’s Blackened rasp is one that does the genre proud. There are no issues with his performance at all.

This is such a classic style and it’s always a joy to hear Black Metal that’s played with such conviction and with talent. Add to this an infectious sound that allows the band to show off their wares without impediment and you have a recipe for success.

I really enjoyed this. A great combination of older Black Metal styles wrapped in darkness and shrouded in mist. Opus Imferii have impressed.