Hulder – The Eternal Fanfare (Review)

Hulder - The Eternal FanfareThis is the latest EP from Hulder, a one-woman black metal band from the US.

A 26-minute mini-album, The Eternal Fanfare has strong roots in the classic 90s era. It uses these influences well, but is not restricted by them. The artist behind the band clearly knows what she wants to achieve with her music, and uses influences Continue reading “Hulder – The Eternal Fanfare (Review)”

Marrasmieli – Martaiden Mailta (Review)

Marrasmieli - Martaiden MailtaMarrasmieli are a black metal band from Finland and this is their second album.

I enjoyed 2020’s Between Land and Sky a great deal, which made Martaiden Mailta one I was definitely looking forward to. Marrasmieli play atmospheric black metal with a clear folk influence, but they balance this against a heart of pure blackened darkness. Continue reading “Marrasmieli – Martaiden Mailta (Review)”

Kvaen – The Great Below (Review)

Kvaen - The Great BelowThis is the second album from Swedish black metal solo act Kvaen.

I really enjoyed 2020’s The Funeral Pyre, but never had a chance to give it a proper review, so I jumped on The Great Below as soon as it appeared. As I suspected, this is not one to miss. Continue reading “Kvaen – The Great Below (Review)”

Wolves in the Throne Room – Primordial Arcana (Review)

Wolves in the Throne Room - Primordial ArcanaThis is the seventh album from US black metallers Wolves in the Throne Room.

A new Wolves in the Throne Room album is a huge event, especially for me, as they’re essentially one of my favourite bands.

With a rawer, sharper sound than Continue reading “Wolves in the Throne Room – Primordial Arcana (Review)”

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 “Crystalmoors – The Mountain Will Forgive Us (Review)”

Panychida – Haereticalia – The Night Battles (Review)

PanychidaThis is the fourth album from Czech band Panychida, who play black metal.

Panychida’s 2013 release Grief for an Idol was an enjoyable slab of Pagan-influenced black metal, which is why I have been looking forward to their latest release.

Let’s start off with the album artwork; I like a good cover and this is one Continue reading “Panychida – Haereticalia – The Night Battles (Review)”

Fimbulvinter – Начертаны Резы Древних Заклятий (Review)

FimbulvinterFimbulvinter are a Russian Black Metal band. This is their début album.

Fimbulvinter’s Black Metal is thoroughly of the old-school, so much so that it even contains a relatively high proportion of proto-Black Metal in the form of more classic-era Metal riffs and licks, including leads and solos.

There’s a pagan feel to some of the guitars and the band successfully capture the original Scandinavian style while also infusing the music with other elements. Infectious riffs from even earlier times are frequent additions and there’s enough of a melodic edge through the leads to grab the attention.

The songwriting is really strong and the band’s grasp of dynamics and pacing is good. These songs are exactly that; songs. Coupled with the highly enjoyable leads and the well-considered rhythm guitars, Начертаны Резы Древних Заклятий aptly demonstrates the band’s considerable talent in writing tracks that are actually quite catchy and memorable.

Screamed vocals make up the bulk of the release, but growls also appear on occasion adding that little bit extra variety and interest.

At only 36 minutes in length Начертаны Резы Древних Заклятий doesn’t outstay its welcome; in fact it leaves you hungry for more. The Metal leads, blackened guitars, solid riffs and rasping hatred that flow easily from the band make this album an extremely enjoyable listen.

Definitely one not to overlook. Very highly recommended.

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.

Kampfar – Profan (Review)

KampfarThis is the seventh album from Norwegian Black Metallers Kampfar.

Kampfar play Black Metal with speed and melody, drawing the listener in and then slicing at them with hidden blades.

Serrated screams and powerful cleans are both used to great effect on this release. The screams provide the focal point as they are meant to, while the cleans add an emotive enhancement to the songs that works really well.

Kampfar incorporate influences from both Melodic and Pagan Black Metal into their sound, as well as Progressive Black Metal elements akin to, (but not as pronounced as), a band like Enslaved. This results in songs that have a characterful epic feeling to them in addition to the razor sharp edge of Blackened aggression that they foster so well.

The songs are well-written and played, with lots to keep the interest of the listener. Some of the guitar melodies are particularly compelling and taken holistically there’s a grand amount of atmosphere contained on this release.

Highly recommended.