Murk Rider – Exile of Shadows (Review)

Murk Rider - Exile of ShadowsThis is the debut album from US black metal band Murk Rider.

Three enormous songs, with a combined duration of 82 minutes? Okay, I’ll bite.

An album of depth, both musically and thematically, Exile of Shadows is black metal in only one of its aspects, albeit a primary one. The band also occasionally incorporate apocalyptic sludge and stoner doom into their melting pot, as well as strands of classic heavy and speed metal. This curious, (yet effective), mixture means that Continue reading

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Paths – In Lands Thought Lost (Review)

PathsThis is the third album from Paths, a Canadian black metal band.

Paths is a one man project aided by a session drummer, (from Panopticon). Together they play Scandinavian-influenced atmospheric black metal. For fans of this kind of thing, I have to say that In Lands Thought Lost is definitely above the average, and should be sought out at the earliest opportunity. Continue reading

The Lion’s Daughter & Indian Blanket – A Black Sea (Review)

The Lion's Daughter & Indian SummerI’ve been following The Lion’s Daughter for a while now and enjoyed their previous outings into the world of Blackened Sludge, so when I found out they were collaborating on an album with Folk group Indian Blanket I was intrigued.

I wasn’t sure what to expect upon pressing play, but it wasn’t this. I though it might be good, but this? This is a jaw-droppingly stunning album. In much the same way that Panopticon successfully incorporated bluegrass into Black Metal on their album Kentucky; The Lion’s Daughter and Indian Blanket, against all odds, have managed to successfully incorporate Folk into Sludge. The results are as astounding as they are fantastic.

If only I had heard and reviewed this at the end of 2013 it would probably have topped my end-of-year list I can tell you that now.

The album combines heaviness and softness in equal measure, using the best tools for the job depending on the needs of the song. Regardless of style it’s always dark, always emotionally charged and always tinged with melancholy.

Sludge Metal and acoustic passages; blast beats and strings; raw-throat shouts and delicate crooning; it’s all here. Taking the very, very best bits of bands like Neurosis, Isis, Year Of No Light, Agalloch and Wolves in the Throne Room then combining them with haunting Folk-inspired orchestration and Dax Riggs-style acoustics and vocals; this is a masterpiece of music awaiting discovery by any Metal fan looking for the best in unconventional heavy music.

To the cynical reader this may all smack of hyperbole, but the simple fact is that I absolutely love this album and it really is just that good. Do yourself a favour and get it immediately. 

Absolutely brilliant.