Inhumankind – Self-Extinction

The Music

The Words

The Spanish duo of Pablo Selnik and Àlex Reviriego, Inhumankind, was one of the surprises of the Spring. It would seem indeed rather bare to have a flute and double bass duo alone play songs inspired by black metal! Fortunately, the two musicians are joined by three competent singers: the harmonized vocals of Celeste Alías and Marta Valero, and the growls of Eric Baule. At first, I didn’t expect much — many projects claiming to bridge classical music and metal have come and gone without any memorable release —, but Inhumankind are able to keep … Read more

The X-Files: Grave Upheaval – Untitled

Yesterday morning, a new folder arrived on my desk. The sole name of Grave Upheaval made my skin crawl, but I opened it anyway, driven by my instinctive curiosity and my hunger for the unknown. What awaited inside was almost too much for me to bear, it almost broke me. Just recalling this is hard for me. However, I’ve agreed to testify in front of this comity, so here’s the complete story.… Read more

Tele.S.Therion – Luzifers Abschied

The Music

The Words

Tele.S.Therion is a self-described acousmatic black metal ensemble based in Italy, with members from various European countries. They have been making music since at least 2009, and Luzifers Abschied is their eighth and latest release, from 2017. So… what is acousmatic black metal about, exactly? Simply put, it’s a “veiled” collective improvisation. The band refers to how Pythagorus would give lessons behind a veil, so his students would better concentrate, but I find the analogy here to be questionable, at best. How Tele.S.Therion operates is that each musician will add their improvised performance to a recording … Read more

明日の叙景 – わたしと私だったもの

The Music

The Words

It never fails to warm my heart when I come across a nominally “black metal” band that is willing to shed all vestiges of trve kvltitude and incorporate taboo elements of hardcore, metalcore, screamo, world music, pop, or any other style that results in a synthesis of musical ideas that stretches the boundaries of black metal’s comfort zone. On their debut full-length わたしと私だったもの (Watashi to watashidatta mono) – or, by its English title, Awakening –, Japanese quartet 明日の叙景 – read “Asu no jokei” – mingles their blackened approach with the post-hardcore intensity of fellow countrymen Envy … Read more

Außerwelt – Transitions

Germany’s post-black metal outfit Außerwelt recently released their debut full-length album, Transitions. The album starts without hesitation and into the soaring riffs of “Isolate the Sun”. Their intention is clear: Transitions is about crafting an atmospheric aura not too far from the mellower post-rock scene, but with added tremolo riffs, and other crushing chords and pounding drums. As far as post-black metal goes, this is quite on the soft side, acting as a bridge or gateway from and to post-rock and black metal. This is a really well crafted album, as each song on it thoroughly explores a theme … Read more

Vexovoid – Call of the Starforger

Italy’s Vektor, Vexovoid, just released their debut album, Call of the Starforger. Despite their name, more reminiscent of Portal than anything else, Vexovoid’s sound lies somewhere between aforementioned Vektor, and Voivod. Their own take on progressive, blackened thrash metal is nothing new, thanks to Terminal Redux being one of the absolute best albums of last year, but this had the side effect of making this special brand of metal highly demanded. Call of the Starforger is great and the flow of riffs is unstoppable, making it a very welcome addition to the not so expansive array of releases … Read more