Lorn – Arrayed Claws (Review)

LornLorn are an Italian black metal band and this is their latest EP.

Apparently this is an EP, but at 40 minutes in length it’s longer than some albums.

The artwork firmly caught my eye when this appeared; as soon as I saw the cover I knew I had to listen to it. I’m glad I did. Continue reading

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Echoes of the Moon – Entropy (Review)

Echoes of the MoonThis is the second album from this one-man US atmospheric Post-Black Metal band.

This has a rich, warm sound, making it clear very early on that Entropy is all about the emotive content and taking the listener on a journey.

High-pitched near-static screams are employed to provide a focal point for the colourful music. I favour this brand of ultra-shrieked screams for this kind of extremely atmospheric Black Metal, so was not disappointed to hear them when they first appeared. Deep growls also appear here and there; these are unexpected but work well alongside the mellifluous music.

These songs have a good grasp of mood and feeling, effortlessly played out across long tracks and glorious soundscapes. This can be essentially seen as one 72 minute piece of music broken up into smaller slices, but however you look at it it’s an extremely effective work.

Featuring elements of psychedelic, progressive and depressive Black Metal, this is very atmospheric and richly textured. Resplendent melodies, extended guitar solos and understated synths all enhance the flavour of the emotive riffs and Entropy is an album to be savoured and enjoyed in its entirety.

I’m very impressed by this, and it’s criminal that this will effectively get no real exposure other than a few lucky people that stumble upon it; it really is that good.

Entropia – Ufonaut (Review)

EntropiaThis is the second album from Polish Post-Black Metal band Entropia.

As a firm fan of their stellar début album Vesper, Ufonaut is long-awaited and well-received.

In Entropia, Progressive Metal and Post-Metal meet a fiery Black Metal heart; combined together they take the airwaves by storm and Ufonaut’s blackened blend of atmosphere, shoegaze, Post-Rock and psychedelia is a hit.

Heavier and darker than its predecessor, Ufonaut is a more mature beast to an already forward-thinking début. On the whole the songs are also shorter and more focused, resulting in an album that knows precisely what it wants to do and goes about doing it with shadowy panache.

High-energy blackened delivery meets more depressive, introspective moments. As the songs progress there’s more and more to get lost in as the band build momentum and atmosphere. Tsunamis of pounding drums and otherworldly synths add to the textures of the songs in places, creating the atmosphere in firm, energetic layers.

With involving and engaging tracks, this is an album that makes the most of its time in the abyss and furnishes the listener with all manner of listening pleasures, so much so that Ufonaut is a real embarrassment of riches in some ways.

After waiting three years for their second album I have not been disappointed. All hail Entropia!

Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä (Review)

Oranssi PazuzuThis is the fourth album of Black Metal from Finland’s Oranssi Pazuzu.

Oranssi Pazuzu play Black Metal that incorporates elements of psychedelia and Progessive Metal into its dark embrace.

This is the great thing about what Black Metal has become – it has developed way beyond the initial confines of the original genre into all manner of weird, wonderful and splendid things, probably more so than any other genre in many ways. Purists may disagree and say that Black Metal is one specific thing or another, of course. Whether they’re right or not is largely irrelevant, but what is relevant is that Black Metal has been used time and time again as the base inspiration for many a band’s exploration into wider sounds and different pastures.

All of which serves as a slightly long-winded introduction for Värähtelijä; here is an album that does exactly as previously described – it takes the base of Black Metal but does so much more with it than your average Darkthrone clone.

Here we have music that has been expanded upon with psychedelic and progressive properties, as well as the claustrophobic apocolyptica of Neurosis and the extravagant otherworldliness of Sigh. All of this is wrapped up tightly in an emotive, atmospheric blackened cloud and hidden deep in a murky cave somewhere, awaiting discovery by you.

Yes, you.

The atmospheres created on Värähtelijä are surely born of the void, born from some howling, other place that refuses to conform to our physical laws. Surely? The depth, texture and mood displayed on these tracks is more than most bands manage in a lifetime. That’s not so say it’s always 100% effective in everything it does, but again; it’s way more effective than most bands succeed in being when they add a bit of mood to their music. However, Oranssi Pazuzu aren’t “adding a bit of mood to their music”; this is pure mood music and everything here is designed to emote and emote strongly. And it does.

This is certainly not one-dimensional and there’s a lot of different ideas, sounds and styles incorporated into their trippy take on dark music.

Hugely impressive and a great absorbing listen for anyone into music that takes time to appreciate as it seeps into your mind and takes over.