Dratna – Druid Winds & the Fall of the Celtic Gods (Review)

Dratna - Druid Winds & The Fall of the Celtic GodsThis is the latest EP from UK one-man black metal band Dratna.

This EP contains 24 minutes of atmospheric black metal. The style reminds me of the late 90s/early 00s quite strongly, but has enough of its own personality to justify its own existence. If you imagine a mix of bands such as Windir and Vinterriket, then you’ll be on the right lines. Continue reading

Dimmu Borgir – Eonian (Review)

Dimmu BorgirDimmu Borgir are a symphonic black metal band from Norway and this is their ninth album, (unless you count the rerecorded version of Stormblåst).

So, Dimmu Borgir have returned, a band that will likely need little introduction. Is this a case of more of the same, or do they offer something a bit different on their latest album? The truth lies somewhere in between.

Although the classic building Continue reading

Eoront – Another Realm (Review)

EorontEoront are a Russian black metal band and this is their second album.

Playing keyboard enriched atmospheric black metal with a deep mystical side, Eoront’s latest album contains over an hour of sprawling, epic music. Continue reading

Haze of Summer – Znoi (Review)

Haze of SummerThis is the debut album from Haze of Summer, a Russian black metal project.

Essentially a one-man band fleshed out with guests acting as session musicians, Znoi is a little over half an hour of melodic/post-black metal that takes influence from the bright, modern approach to the style as championed Continue reading

Arkona – Lunaris (Review)

ArkonaHailing from Poland, Arkona are a veteran black metal band and this is their sixth album.

Lunaris boasts 48 minutes of the kind of second wave black metal that would be right at home had it actually been released in the 90s, probably about the time that Arkona actually formed.

This is an album based on the classic black metal template of the time, forged through experience and the hands of people that have been doing this long enough to know how to write good black metal. And it is very, very good.

Blackened riffs of frosted hate seep Continue reading

Spirit of the Forest – A Void into the Fields of Silence/La Nature Oubliée (Review)

Spirit of the ForestThis is Spirit of the Forest’s third album. They play atmospheric melodic black metal and hail from Canada.

Are you a fan of Emperor, Dissection, Windir and Borknagar? If you are then I’ll happily point you in the direction of Spirit of the Forest and let you listen to their very satisfying new release.

For others that might require a bit more convincing, let me Continue reading

Frozen Ocean – The Prowess of Dormition (Review)

Frozen OceanFrozen Ocean is a one-man Russian Melodic/Atmospheric Black Metal band and this is his latest EP.

Frozen Ocean return with more wonderfully melodic Black Metal that creates plenty of atmosphere. I have previously reviewed The Dyson Swarm, so this new release was most welcome.

This is mellifluous, melodic music that’s enhanced by keyboards to greater heights of atmosphere and mood. The feeling, for me, is very much one of following in the great Windir’s footsteps,

Vocals are deeper screams than are normally associated with the style, giving the polished, shiny music a rougher edge of aggression that suits it.

Grand, epic and richly melodic, (have I mentioned that?), this is a very enjoyable EP that it’s easy to like.

Check it out.

Askrinn – Hjørleifsljóð (Review)

AskrinnAskrinn is a solo Black Metal project from France and this is his début album of Melodic Black Metal.

This is Black Metal with mellifluous melodies and a sound like cold water running down a mountain. It puts me in mind of atmospheric/melodic Black Metal bands like Vinterriket and Windir, and although Askrinn don’t sound the same as either of the two mentioned they share the same kind of feeling to my mind.

The tracks on this release seem to roll out of the speakers like a newly discovered fresh spring, bringing vitality and renewed vigour to all that sup from it. The style is an enjoyable one and the constant, rolling atmospheres that Akrinn creates means that it’s easy to like Hjørleifsljóð.

The music is Pagan/Viking theme, with lyrics apparently sung entirely in Old Norse. I say apparently, as the vocals consist of sharp rasps that fit the music perfectly but are completely indecipherable, at least to me. Either way, the vocals, like the music, have a melodious liquid quality that sees them streaming alongside the fluid music and adding bucketfuls to the emergent atmospheres.

This is the kind of release that it’s easy to just fall into and get swept away with, like a fast-running river. The atmospheres and melodies created are easy to absorb but are not lacking in depth despite this. It’s testament to the brain behind the outfit that these songs are well-composed and delivered so competently.

A top quality Black Metal release. It’s time to hunt this one down.