Thron – Abysmal (Review)

Thron - AbysmalThron are a German melodic black metal band and this is their second album.

Thron play professionally-recorded black metal influenced by the second wave, with bands such as Dissection, Dimmu Borgir, Naglfar, Necrophobic, and Marduk worthy of mention as decent starting points for Abysmal. Continue reading

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Blood Worship – Death’s Omnipotence (Review)

Blood WorshipThis is the debut EP from Swedish black metal band Blood Worship.

Here we have 21 minutes of cold, venomous black metal. The promo blurb says that it’s for fans of Dissection, Naglfar, Marduk, and Satyricon, and it’s hard to disagree with that assessment. I’d also throw in a bit of A Grand Declaration of War-era Mayhem regarding some of the band’s riffs too, although this is largely a more minor aspect of their sound. Continue reading

Christ Dismembered – Christ Dismembered (Review)

Christ DismemberedChrist Dismembered are an Australian black metal band and this is their debut album.

With a duration of only 28 minutes, this album goes for the throat big time. Yes, it’s time for some raw second wave black metal, and Christ Dismembered play their brand of misanthropic hatred very well. Continue reading

Omnizide – Nekroregime (Review)

OmnizideThis is the second album from Swedish black metallers Omnizide.

As the follow up to 2014’s very pleasing debut album Death Metal Holocaust, Nekroregime continues the band’s blackened assault on the senses, added to and infected by some good old-fashioned death metal influences here and there. Continue reading

Daemonium – Имя Мне Легион (Review)

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

Here we have a release full of savage Black Metal with a distinct Scandinavian quality and lots of evil feelings.

Evoking the spirit of bands like Marduk, Dark Funeral and Naglfar, as well as Dimmu Borgir and a taste of Emperor; Daemonium proceed to blast and pound their way through these songs like they really mean it.

This is somewhat of a nostalgia-inducing release for me as it takes me back to the late 90s period of Black Metal. This is no bad thing really, as Имя Мне Легион is produced, performed and delivered with real passion and bile.

The singer has a great, throaty rasp that is perfect for this style of music. He’s not adverse to going deeper too and his vocals never seem too far away from the action.

This album is packed full to the brim with Blackened, frosty melodies and razorblade riffing. Subtle keybaords lurk in the background adding extra flavour and their contribution shouldn’t be discounted.

I do enjoy this style of balls-to-the-wall occult Black Metal. The feeling of malevolent brutality and otherworldly sped-up hatred is a tough one to beat. The fact that it also comes wrapped up with an extra atmospheric element, thanks to the keyboards, is just a bonus.

Although the style is an old one, Daemonium play their Black Metal with such enthusiasm that it’s hard to be dismissive; plus the fact that they genuinely seem to know what they’re doing means they have written a really enjoyable album.

I’d definitely recommend this one for your further investigations.

Hagl – Lenket til Livet (Review)

HaglHagl are from Norway and this is their début album. They play Black Metal.

Boasting an album cover that’s creepy, mysterious and threatening, the same can be said of Hagl’s music.

This is Black Metal that’s shrouded in esoteric knowledge and forgotten evils.

Impenetrable vocals that somehow seem excreted rather than vocalised rasp out of the darkness that the music wears like a cloak. Indeed, it creates this darkness and wields it like a weapon.

Atmospheric enhancements and subtle sound additions allow the music to have depth as well as mystery.

Lenket til Livet is somewhat of a cross between Naglfar and Khold, if the former was slowed down and the latter had less groove and more of a Doom vibe.

Enter the world of Hagl and feel the darkness slide across you like a shroud.

Darkenhöld – Castellum (Review)

Darkenhold

Darkenhöld are from France and this is their third album.

They play Dark Black Metal with a strong melodic sensibility; this is a band who are comfortable adding a Blackened melodicism to their sound whilst retaining their core of grim fire.

This is Atmospheric Black Metal without being ostentatious or flashy. The band have a firm grasp on this side of things and although the keyboards and enhancements are an integral part of their identity they know how to control them and reign them in for full impact.

Somewhat of a cross between Dimmu Borgir and Naglfar, they join the ranks of some excellent recent Atmospheric Black Metal releases by the likes of Akrotheism, Imperial Conquest, Rauhnåcht, Unfathomed of Abyss, and others, proving that the style is alive, healthy and vibrant.

This style of Black Metal always takes me back to the mid/late 90’s and Castellum is no exception. This is a very enjoyable listen and the songs seem to roll out of the speakers with an easy flow, to be welcomed like old friends that you’re always happy to see.

Give them a listen.

Ctulu – Sarkomand (Review)

CtuluCtulu are a Black Metal band from Germany and this is their third album.

Ctulu play their Black Metal at speed and with much venom. Their sound is akin to the mid-90’s Swedish Black Metal style which is one that’s always been close to my heart. Think bands like Naglfar, Dissection, Dark Funeral, Marduk, etc.

Sarkomand is not just a derivative though, it has its own personality swimming though the Blackened riffs. A highlight of this release for me is said riffs; Ctulu are strong writers when it comes to the dark melodies of the guitars.

Note; this is not Melodic Black Metal, but rather Black Metal that has a lot of melody in it. It’s a subtle distinction to the uninformed but an important one. There’s nothing jolly or happy here; this is grim, dark Black Metal with melodies that will cut you to ribbons if you’re not careful.

The vocals are raspy croaks befitting the style, although they also throw a few Mayhem-esque semi-clean/chants into the mix on occasion as well as some actual mournful singing – it all definitely adds to the listening experience.

Cold Black Metal is always a good listen and Ctulu play it well. Their chilled delivery is served at the right temperature and this collection of tracks tastes just right to me.

If you enjoy the second-wave sound then Ctulu are a band you should check out. They may be playing the style but they stand tall in their own right and Sarkomand exists on its own merits, of which there are many.

Recommended for fans for frostbitten grimness everywhere. Quality stuff.

Karne – Faith in Flesh (Review)

KarneKarne are a Black Metal band from France. This is their début album.

Karne play the kind of Black Metal that’s fast and aggressive. Blackened riffs and dark melodies tear out whilst scythe-like vocals scream from the dead of night. The singer has a voice like ragged silk and her performance is worthy of dark praises.

The songs rage along effortlessly, propelled by melodic bile and vociferous emanations. It’s the kind of Black Metal that’s easy to like.

The melodies and riffs seem to coast along as the band channel all of their collective hatred and grim determination into these dark musical expositions.

This is Black Metal for fans of Marduk, Immortal, Gorgoroth, Naglfar, Dark Funeral and the like. It’s well-written and very enjoyable. Faith in Flesh is mainly a high-speed affair, but they also know how to lock into a good groove when they need to.

Karne also manage to foster the true Melodic Black Metal atmosphere and mood that the best of these kinds of bands manage. There is just the right combination in their sound of polish and evil, cult malevolence. For me, it works just right.

Check them out.

Humut Tabal – The Dark Emperor ov the Shadow Realm (Review)

Humut TabalThis is the second album by US Black Metal band Humut Tabal.

Humut Tabal play frigid Black Metal with dark melodies lashing out from every angle. The riffs are catchy and purposeful and the songs are driven by a sense of urgency and grandeur.

Speed is very important on The Dark Emperor ov the Shadow Realm and the band give it their all when they need to. They’re not adverse to slower/mid-paced sections too though and there is enough mixture between the two to keep things interesting.

The band base their sound on the likes of Mayhem, Satyricon, Naglfar and Emperor. Using this base they then build on it with their own personality as well as injecting some Classical/Experimental influences into their compositions. They’re confident enough in their own abilities to pull it off with panache.

Vocally the high pitched shrieking is classic Black Metal and sounds just right for the music.

The complete package is rounded off with a strong recording that serves the band well.

On the whole the band have created an enjoyable and powerful set of songs.