Schammasch – Hearts of No Light (Review)

Schammasch - Hearts of No LightSchammasch are a Black Metal band from Switzerland. This is their fourth album.

Was it really 2016 that the epic Triangle was released to an unsuspecting world? Apparently so. An incredibly strong release, it narrowly missed out on the top spot for my best albums of 2016 list. It was followed up in 2017 by the even more avant-garde EP The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite, which provided a compelling dose of atmospheric material. Continue reading

Midnight Odyssey – Biolume Part 1 – In Tartarean Chains (Review)

Midnight Odyssey - Biolume Part 1 - In Tartarean ChainsMidnight Odyssey is an Australian one-man black metal band and this is his third album.

As ridiculous as it sounds, I almost didn’t want to review or even listen to this album. Why? Because the band’s last album – 2015’s immense Shards of Silver Fade – was so hideously good that I couldn’t imagine being anything but disappointed with Biolume Part 1 – In Tartarean Chains. After all, Shards of Silver Fade claimed the coveted top spot in my end of year list for 2015, so this new one had a lot to live up to.

Anyway, enough preamble. Time to judge Biolume Part 1 – In Tartarean Chains on its own merits, of which there are many. Apparently this is the first in a trilogy of albums. I can’t wait to hear the next one already. Continue reading

Blut Aus Nord – Hallucinogen (Review)

Blut Aus Nord - HallucinogenThis is the thirteenth album from Blut Aus Nord, a French black metal band.

You never quite know what you’re going to be getting with a Blut Aus Nord release, and on Hallucinogen the band have mutated once again. Their latest incarnation is an avant-garde progressive black metal monster, emphasising atmosphere and feeling via engaging blackened soundscapes. Continue reading

Haunter – Sacramental Death Qualia (Review)

Haunter - Sacramental Death QualiaThis is the second album from US black/death metallers Haunter.

Sacramental Death Qualia is a mutant, constantly-shifting hybrid of progressive black/death metal. Mixing impenetrable dissonance with grim blackened melody and classic progressive beauty, the music combines darkness and light in such way that it can be almost jarring on Continue reading

Salvaticus – Ordo Naturalis (Review)

Salvaticus - Ordo NaturalisThis is the second album from US black metallers Salvaticus.

2014 seems quite long ago, but that was when the very enjoyable Hidden Manna was released. I really, really liked that record, and it even made my end of year list for that year. Over five years later, the band have now returned with Ordo Naturalis, and it seems they have been busy. Continue reading

Mavradoxa – Nightmarrow (Review)

Mavradoxa - NightmarrowMavradoxa are an atmospheric black metal band from the US and this is their third album.

Afer enjoying 2017’s memorable Lethean Lament, Mavradoxa have now returned with a shorter album, (43 minutes vs its predecessor’s 62 minutes), that sees them focused, lean, and firing on all cylinders. Continue reading

Kaleikr – Heart of Lead (Review)

kaleikr - heart of leadKaleikr are an Icelandic black/death metal band and this is their debut album.

This is black metal that’s progressive and emotive. Heart of Lead is an album that you can almost visibly see change as it develops and unfolds. As it runs through its playing time, Kaleikr’s music becomes increasingly darker and more unhinged. Continue reading