Xanthochroid – Of Erthe and Axen, Act I
[Matt has shown interest in reviewing the whole of Of Erthe and Axen, once the second act is released. Therefore, I can’t link to nor quote our review, but the sole fact that the album figures in our list of recommendations is telling.]
Ehnahre – The Marrow
The band’s long, drawn-out pieces are very atmospheric and even entrancing, often relying on slow, repeated motives and spoken word passages to build a ritualistic summoning of heartfelt and mystic music. The outstanding compositions on The Marrow go from the angry to the hopelessly desperate, and utterly rewarding as a listening experience.
The Hirsch Effekt – Eskapist
The first time I listened to this album, I kept waiting for the hiccup, the misstep, the “I wish they had done something else” moment where I could safely pick my jaw up off the floor. It never happened. And that takes me back to my original point: this album is not just great, it’s embarrassingly great.
Der Weg einer Freiheit – Finisterre
Finisterre simply blew me away. I don’t really know what change happened that made me react differently, but I believe this has to do with tighter production and compositions. The atmospheric elements are more poignant, the heavy-hitting parts hit harder, and each song is a rewarding experience to get through, especially on a powerful sound system where you can get the most out of these blast beat and double bass drums sections. Finisterre is redefining, ever so slightly, modern black metal.