Then comes “atmospheric black metal”. This tag alone bears a lot of weight, and I’ve decided to include all of the post-black and blackgaze releases under that umbrella term. There might also hide a few “avant-garde” or more experimental entities in there, but at the end of the day it was an arbitrary call to include them or not. When I first started this blog, I wasn’t much into black metal, but it’s one of the first new genres to which I warmed, thanks to the amazingly diverse and creative minds sowing their seeds on the fertile soil of black … Read more
Every year, there are releases that solidify the following statement: “This has been a great year for music.” Rien ne suffit is an example of this. I co-host a radio show at my local university called The Funeral Directory. It’s a metal specialty show on Monday nights. We do it for the love of aggressive music, and partially because we don’t trust anyone else to create the playlists. If you’re like me, you listen to a lot of metal, and perhaps you wrongly assume that certain bands are household names at this point. “Everyone knows Imperial Triumphant”, you might … Read more
Mord’a’stigmata—not a name that is easily forgotten—has been a name on the periphery of my radar for years. The Polish group’s brand of bleak metal never captivated me enough to warrant much attention, but on fifth full-length Dreams of Quiet Places they have refined their sound into something impossible to ignore. Both composition and production have taken a substantial step up from 2017’s Hope, with nods to purveyors of blackened sludge like Rorcal and older Altar of Plagues, alongside psychedelic elements reminiscent of Entropia and older A Forest of Stars (or their lesser-known reincarnation, The Water Witch… Read more
Everything Is Pared Down. Minimal Expectations is the Norwegian-Italian trio Organ:‘s third release, nine years after their 2009 self-titled EP. This album has taunted me for so long, sitting there as a pre-order on Duplicate Records’ Bandcamp page without any official release date… And then, without warning, it came out! Well, to be exact, the album became streamable in full, while the official release date was set to October 30. Let’s see what this beast is made of.
Save for the blast beats and clashing notes, everything reeks of retro prog: the guitar and bass’ … Read more
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