Formed around a central artist who is Bizarrekult’s driving creative force, he’s joined by a range of other musicians, (including a member of the mighty Adliga), who round out the band nicely. The end result of their efforts is Den Tapte Krigen, a 42-minute slice of expressive modern black metal. Continue reading “Bizarrekult – Den Tapte Krigen (Review)”
Ashen Horde boast current and ex-members of bands such as Abhoria, Norse, Somnium Nox, Inferi, Equipoise, and Virulent Depravity in their ranks, and we’ve met them before on Nine Plagues and The Alchemist. Now they’re back with Antimony, a 51-minute vision of gripping extreme metal, (49 minutes without the bonus Therapy? cover). Continue reading “Ashen Horde – Antimony (Review)”
Containing 39 minutes of material, Reue is fast and sharp, (although not exclusively so), offering black metal that’s melodic and well-written. The artist behind Leipa has a clear vision for his music, and has more than enough talent to realise it. Continue reading “Leipa – Reue (Review)”
So here we are again. It’s December, and year end lists are flying around like shrapnel. Due to the inherent subjectivity of music it’s always interesting to see what people have made of the preceding year.
For me, I made a concerted effort to drag myself away from the depths of black metal’s always-enticing abyss to spend some more time with other genres and styles that I also love. I said something similar last year, but I feel this year I was more successful in achieving that end. Of course, I still love black metal, still listen to it constantly, and you’ll still find some great examples of the blackened arts in the list below.
2022 was a strong year for death metal for me, and I enjoyed more death metal bands in a deeper way than I have done for some time. In every year there are standout releases, but I felt this year the standard was raised throughout. Possibly I was simply more receptive to it. Either way, you’ll find more death metal-related acts, and in higher spots, in this selection than you’ll have seen in my lists for a while.
As with last year, grindcore was largely absent from my year, disappointingly, as was hardcore. Additionally, the sort of lengthy, ugly, abyssal doom that I love so much has been largely lacking too. It’s all probably out there somewhere, but I didn’t catch it.
The top two spots this year are both claimed by albums/bands/styles that I simply could not have predicted would be at the pinnacle of my list by the year’s end, (one of the bands I hadn’t even heard of in January). I hope you enjoy these excellent records even half as much as I do.
Lastly I just want to say a big thank you to any and all that might read this site. It’s only a small endeavour, and I do it purely for the love of all things METAL and to support bands that I enjoy in whatever minor way I can, but if this is you, a heartfelt thank you for enduring my scribblings.
Imha Tarikat’s well-written contemporary black metal is satisfying and rewarding to listen to. It combines elements from the modern and classic styles into something all of its own. Elements of hard rock, heavy Continue reading “Imha Tarikat – Hearts Unchained – At War with a Passionless World (Review)”
After enjoying 2021’s Life of a Purist, I wasn’t expecting to see a new Udånde album so soon, but I’m not complaining. Providing us with 39 minutes of melancholic black metal, 2022’s Udånde offers a harrowing journey into nightmare and desolation. Continue reading “Udånde – Slow Death – A Celebration of Self-Hatred (Review)”
An experimental black metal band featuring members of Blood Incantation and Wayfarer? Sign me up! Promethean Pathology contains 39 minutes of darkness, and offers a journey not to be missed for connoisseurs of the underground. Continue reading “Lykotonon – Promethean Pathology (Review)”
Delivering 29 minutes of sharp modern black metal, Houle is an album full of melody, atmosphere, and flowing violence. Continue reading “Houle – Houle (Review)”
Wonderbox Metal gets sent a lot of new music, (which is great), but there’s no way that everything can get covered unfortunately, (which is not so great). This column hopes to redress this balance, if only slightly, by taking a look at a handful of releases that a record label has recently sent out that might have otherwise slipped through the cracks.
I like the output of Vendetta Records a great deal, so I wanted to revisit them once more. However, unlike last time when I looked at a few of their upcoming releases, this time I wanted to focus on a few gems from earlier in the year that you, (and I), may have missed. Continue reading “Label Roundup: Vendetta Records – Afsky, Vukari, and Ultha (Reviews)”
It has been a while since we last heard from Fell Ruin, but I liked 2015’s Devices and 2017’s To the Concrete Drifts enough that when I discovered a new album was coming out, I knew I wanted to absorb its dark charms. Continue reading “Fell Ruin – Cast in Oil the Dressed Wrought (Review)”