This is the second album from Vermilia, a one-woman black metal band from Finland.
Sometimes you happen upon an album that instantly strikes you as something exceptional. Ruska is exactly one such album. It delivers a 37-minute album of pagan and folk black metal; this simple description does not even begin to do justice to Vermilia’s work though. Continue reading “Vermilia – Ruska (Review)”
Norden is a one man black/Viking metal band from Poland and this is his second album.
This is a Bathory-influenced Viking metal album, (complete with Bathory cover song), that combines this with elements of black and pagan metal to produce a blackened, yet still authentic, take on the Bathory style of Viking metal. Continue reading “Norden – Z Popiołów i Krwi… (Review)”
This is the latest EP from Thy Worshiper, who play pagan/folk Black Metal.
The band’s previous release Czarna Dzika Czerwień is one that I really enjoyed, so this EP I was eager to hear.
Featuring music that’s heavy on percussion and non-standard instruments, (such as didgeridoo, darbuka and djembe, to name a few), Thy Worshiper continue their individual and characterful melding of folk, pagan and Black Metal influences into their enticing brand of music.
These tracks are rich and layered songs that cover themselves with emotion while providing enough substance and grit to back it up, ensuring that they have produced a real collection of songs and soundscapes, rather than novelty or throwaway music.
Vocally, the female vocals sound even more beautiful and powerful than before, and combined with the rhythmic pulsing of the music are a real highlight. The male vocals remind me of those of The Meads of Asphodel in places on this release more than on their previous album, which adds a different slant for me.
Clearly a lot of work has gone into arranging and composing this EP, and the end result speaks from the heart and burns as deep as fire.
Another sterling release from this important band.
Skvara are a Ukrainian Black Metal band and this is their second release.
This is underground Black Metal with a raw, fuzzy sound. It’s dark and cold, just as we like it.
The guitars seem to slither out of the dark murk of the songs like snakes sliding through water. The frozen, Blackened melodies do well to create both atmosphere and aggression, while the bass is actually audible and makes a good contribution.
Seething, screeching vocals lash across the back of the music like a vinegar-dipped whip, with every scream a torrent of pain and outrage.
Throughout these 34 minutes Skvara show that they have a deep love for the Black Metal Old-School elite. Importantly, however, they also show they have ambition and talent for the music, as the songwriting on Carpathian Pagan Terror is already quite proficient for such a young band.
Good riffs, melodies and ideas are included and for the most part these songs are very well-composed and performed. Skvara pretty much have all of the necessary components for an enjoyable Black Metal release. If they manage to tighten up their songwriting in a couple of places then they will very quickly become a force to be reckoned with, as this release clearly shows they have a massive amount of promise and potential already.
Einherjer are from Norway and this is their sixth album. They play Viking-influenced Black Metal.
This is an album that has a lot of variety in it. We get melodic, almost martial Pagan-influenced interludes, scorching fury, rhythmic sections, colourful leads, mid-paced workouts, subtle keyboards, lots of interesting instrumentation and experimentation, blistering guitar solos and a cold Black Metal core.
Black Metal screams, shouted group vocals/chants and other vocalisations are included across these 44 minutes.
The band have a quirky, almost jaunty feel to them in places. Some of the rhythmic riffing may have that Black Metal sheen but they also have a more upbeat feel to them as well, recalling bands such as Countess and Sigh being played by Darkthrone or Satyricon, perhaps.
They also have a bit of a driving Rock influence to some of the guitar leads and solos; sometimes it’s just so damn Rocking you can feel the wind in your hair.
I like that each song has its own identity and the band keep things interesting by incorporating a whole plethora of different ideas and sub-styles into their central Black Metal vision.
The album whirls by in a blur and is over before you know it. Av Oss, For Oss is a very strong album and a big achievement for Einherjer.
This is the seventh album from German band Obscurity. They play Death/Pagan/Viking Metal.
The band play a melodic blend of largely mid-paced Death Metal with Viking and Pagan influences.
The singer has a varied bark that seems just as home with deep grunts as it does with higher screams. After seven albums his voice is perfectly in shape and sounds really good.
The obvious and lazy reference point for a band like this is Amon Amarth, and that certainly gives you a basic impression of Obscurity but it’s not the whole picture.
Vintar is a strong collection of songs. The band play with an obvious passion and it’s clear after so many albums they’ve honed their art to a fine cutting edge. All of the instruments are well-played and the riffs and song structures in general show a good ear for composition, structure, tunes and dynamics.
I enjoyed this. It won’t set the world on fire, but it may just cover everything in a frosty winter coating…