Cicada the Burrower – Corpseflower (Review)

Cicada the Burrower - CorpseflowerThis is the fourth album from one-woman black metal band Cicada the Burrower.

Corpseflower is an intriguing and engaging collection of tracks that mix jazz, post-hardcore, psychedelic rock, and post-rock into a 31-minute progressive/post-black metal framework that also incorporates elements of blackgaze and depressive black metal. Continue reading “Cicada the Burrower – Corpseflower (Review)”

Yawning Sons – Sky Island (Review)

Yawning Sons - Sky IslandYawning Sons are an international rock band and this is their second album.

The satisfyingly named Yawning Sons is a collaborative project consisting of members of Yawning Man and Sons of Alpha Centauri.

Sky Island is an engaging slice of Continue reading “Yawning Sons – Sky Island (Review)”

Genghis Tron – Dream Weapon (Review)

Genghis Tron - Dream WeaponThis is the third album from US experimental rock act Genghis Tron.

Thirteen years after their last album, and with a new drummer, (Sumac/Baptists), and singer in tow, the mighty, inimitable Genghis Tron have returned to us. Dream Weapon presents us with 46 minutes of new music, and it might not be what you’re expecting. Continue reading “Genghis Tron – Dream Weapon (Review)”

Decline of the I – Johannes (Review)

Decline of the I - JohannesThis is the fourth album from French post-black metallers Decline of the I.

After enjoying 2015’s Rebellion and 2018’s Escape, when Johannes appeared I knew I had to sample its dark wares. Armed with a new lineup formed around the band’s core artist, Johannes is a 51-minute journey into thoughtful mood-driven darkness.

These new songs are layered explorations of post-blackened detail and nuanced soundscapes. The music is multifaceted and textured, drawing in a range of influences to build on the band’s black metal foundations. The five songs on Johannes are each masters of their own creation, while still fitting into the whole, and provide the listener with a creative and rich landscape to explore.

Each song boasts a lot of content, with a wealth of good ideas and enriching sounds ably showcased by the band. There’s an epic streak to Decline of the I’s music, more apparent than ever in their latest work. Sometimes it’s hidden in plain sight, while at others it ascends to malevolent prominence. Either way, a certain amount of majestic grandeur is ever-present in the music, and it works very well indeed.

The band’s ability to blend sharp aggression with menacing atmosphere is very effective. I really like the use of guitars on this release. Some of of the riffs and blackened rhythms feel like they cut to the core, and combined with the skilful and inventive use of melodies, contribute to the thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying musical experience that these five songs offer. Lighter moments appear, balancing the blackened heaviness of the distorted sections. Existing somewhere between post-rock, jazz, and experimental atmospheric ambient minimalism, these parts may not be too common, but they add value to the songs.

Piercing screams are joined by darker growls and choral accents. The singers all do a great job, and, like the music, the vocals are very accomplished.

Despite how much I enjoyed both Rebellion and Escape, I think that Johannes is probably Decline of the I’s richest, most complete and well-realised work to date.

Very highly recommended.

Harakiri for the Sky – Mӕre (Review)

Harakiri for the Sky - MӕreThis is the fifth album from Austrian post-black metallers Harakiri for the Sky.

I always enjoy a new Harakiri for the Sky record. Both 2016’s III: Trauma and 2018’s Arson were first-rate albums from a first-rate band, and Mӕre is no different. Continue reading “Harakiri for the Sky – Mӕre (Review)”

The Ruins of Beverast – The Thule Grimoires (Review)

The Ruins of Beverast - The Thule GrimoiresThis is the sixth album from one-man German black/doom metal metal band The Ruins of Beverast.

The Ruins of Beverast’s music is an intriguing and exotic combination of atmospheric black and doom metal. Okay, so what’s so exotic about it, you might ask? Well, it’s the artist’s sublime ability to combine lesser-heard influences, (an occasional touch of Continue reading “The Ruins of Beverast – The Thule Grimoires (Review)”

Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou – The Helm of Sorrow (Review)

Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou - The Helm of SorrowThis is a collaboration between post-rock/folk solo artist Emma Ruth Rundle and doom/sludge metallers Thou, both from the US.

This is the second collaboration between these two artists, although sadly I managed to miss out on the full album that the two released together last year. On the strength of The Helm of Sorrow, this is a real shame, as something special appears to have been created here. Continue reading “Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou – The Helm of Sorrow (Review)”

Gjoad – Samanōn (Review)

Gjoad - SamanōnGjoad are an Austrian post-rock band and this is their debut album.

This is nature-inspired music that’s highly evocative and atmospheric. Shades of post-rock, ambient, doom, and folk inform the bulk of the material here. There’s a clear black metal influence too, although this is mostly apparent Continue reading “Gjoad – Samanōn (Review)”