Never ceasing to amaze us, today we have another killer release from Sun & Moon Records: Svoid – Storming Voices of Inner Devotion. Hailing from Hungary, this band nicely blends Post-Punk, Post-Rock, and Black Metal in a very unique way, kind of sounds like a mixture of Amesoeurs and Watain. Delivering 11 tracks of truly unique and catchy music, the band delivers one of the most unique and chaotic releases of 2016.
Opening with the devilish riffs of “Through the Horizon”, this track has a very unique tempo that completely contrasts the Black Metal elements, similar to what Ihsahn achieves in his latest releases. This contrast is actually what makes this release quite engaging an intoxicating, as you feel that something is a bit off, but in the best of ways. Creating a unique balance between the Post-Punk/Post-Rock and the rawness of their Black Metal foundations, tracks like “Crown of Doom”, “Death, Holy End” and “Never to Redeem” are truly magical and super interesting.
We rarely review split releases, but due to the involvement of both the legendary Drudkh and the gritty Grift, this one made the cut. As a collaboration between Nordvis Produktion and Season of Mist, this four song split release is filled with melancholic Black Metal. Hailing from Ukraine and Sweden respectively, these two outfits have perfected the craft of highly emotional Black Metal that is both aggressive and memorable.
Opening the release we have Drudkh and their “His Twenthy- Fourth Spring” master piece. This track delivers the band signature tempo changes that weave from intense BM passages to more melodic and refined interludes. With a very graceful pace, this track has a certain Vreid/Windir vibe that we find magical. The heavy hitter “Autumn in Sepia” delivers another onslaught of brilliant riffing and tight drumming, perfectly paired with harsh vocals and a very atmospheric chorus section.
Hailing from the dark depths of South America, today we have Colombian trio Nox and their demoralizingly crushing Black Metal 7-inch “Ancestral Arte Negro”. Featuring four raw and punishing tracks, this release brings forth a very organic BM sound that reminds us of the early days of the genre.
The release kicks off with the brutal onslaught brought forth by “Espectro”. The music is quite straightforward, but to the point delivering catchy riffs and powerful shrieks. The grainy sound behind the band’s sound gives it that certain vibe that 90’s releases used to have. Preparing for all-out war, “Atravesando El Umbral” is yet another powerful piece filled with pummeling drumming and a very chaotic and devastating tempo.
Just went you think a band can’t get any better, Harakiri for the Sky unleashes their third full-length release “III: Trauma”. Featuring an even more depressing and more refined sound, this Austrian duo delivers nearly 75 minutes of majestic music. Further expanding and perfecting their melancholic Post-Black Metal sound, the band keeps blowing our minds with their excellent musicianship and brilliant song writing abilities.
Opening with “Calling the Rain”, we instantly get an opus that sounds like a combination of Alcest and Katatonia, without being a rip-off of them. The band’s pace allows their music to grow and deliver waves of melancholic onslaughts as only a handful of bands can do these days. Not settling for one particular musical influence, “Funeral Dreams” moves into more melodic Death Metal territories with some similarities to October Tide… if they played with Black Metal inclinations.
With many Black Metal bands experimenting with all kinds of new elements and some others just focused on releasing kvlt stuff that sounds like it was recorded on a toilet, it is quite refreshing to hear bands like Valgaldr which keep the Norwegian BM torch alive. In “Østenfor sol” the band delivers around 42 minutes of raw and savage BM with the grace and melody of bands like Taake, old Satyricon, old Dark Throne, etc.
Opening with the raw onslaughts of “Tusen Steiner”, the band instantly delivers waves of riffs that are nicely paired with intense drumming and the traditional shrieks. The first standout track in this release is the killer “Et Slott I Skogen”, which features some awesome melodic riffs that will have you headbanging in seconds. This is exactly what we expect from a Norwegian BM band, killer melodic riffs paired with crushing intensity and rawness.
From the mastermind behind Galaktik Cancer Squad, today we have Morphinist and their original debut release album from 2013 which didn’t see the light of day until 2016. In “Terraforming”, this one-man battalion delivers 35 minutes of truly skilled Atmospheric Black Metal with some Post-Black Metal and Doom influences. If you are a fan of Argwohn’s unique musical vision with GCS, you will definitely enjoy this one.
Opening with the 15 minute behemoth “Terraforming I”, the album starts in a very Doom-like manner with crushing riffs and a very sluggish tempo. After some more mood setting passages, things blow up with a furious BM pace. The transitions are quite seamless and very well delivered, making such changes not contrasting but rather complementary in an extremely unique way.
Hailing from Italy, today we have the very unconventional Avant-garde Black Metal outfit VIII and their sophomore release “Decathexis”. Featuring over 45 minute of highly entertaining and chaotic music, this release is quite engaging and well crafted, as you never know what to expect next.
Opening with the Black Metal onslaughts of “Symptom”, the band starts punishing the listener with the aggressive side of their music. The throbbing bass guitar line stands out from the band’s relentless onslaughts. The tempo changes featured in this track give it a sinister edge when paired with the extra atmospheric elements.
Featuring a unique mix of Depressive Black Metal with Alternative Rock, Germany’s Freitod third full-length release “Der unsichtbare Begleiter” is quite a unique one. Clocking in at 44 minutes, this album has a very dreamy and melancholic vibe to it, making it one of the freshest sounding albums we have heard in quite a while.
Opening with the powerful riffing of “Unter schwarzen Wolken”, you can instantly hear that he tempo is a bit different of what you would expect. The harsh vocals and guitar work reminds us a bit of Harakiri for the Sky. The clean vocals are what really make this release magical as they transmit a sense of helplessness that only bands like Katatonia manage to achieve. Perfectly weaving back and forth from semi-aggressive Black Metal passages to more passive Rock-ish soundscapes, tracks like “Die falsche Krankheit” and “Der unsichtbare Begleiter” make this album truly magical.
Hailing from Indonesia, today we have Black Metal battalion Barzakh and a re-release of their crushing 2007 album “In A Meaning the Note”. BM bands from this country have a very distinctive sound and as soon as you listen to one song from this album you can recognize it. Delivering around 26 minutes of devastating music in the span of seven songs, this album is quite intense and not for the faint of heart or mind.
Opening with the crushing catchiness of “Shadow in the Grief”, the band delivers very melodic riffs underneath their fowl harsh screams and intense tempo. This track is a very solid opener as it grabs your attention in a very direct way. Keeping the level of intensity, we have “She's Not Honoured” and “Hatred in Mourn Heart” pummeling the listener while maintaining the band’s characteristic vibe and throwing in some cool guitar leads to keep things fresh.
Hailing from Italy, today we have two-man outfit Abisso and their debut release “WRNSS” out on Third-I-Rex. Featuring around 40 minutes of soul crushing Black Metal, this release creates a crushing atmosphere that is oppressive and nature and never lets go. Highly consistent, Abisso’s oppressive sound is nicely contrasted by a few experimental elements that the band introduces occasionally. If you like powerful Black Metal which focuses more on atmosphere than speed, this is the album for you.
Opening with the dissonant “I”, the band slowly builds up their atmospheric vibe with incisive riffs and tight drumming. The deeper vocals fit the atmosphere perfectly as they command more attention than your traditional BM shriek. Continuing their atmospheric onslaught, “II” provides the perfect progression in the band’s aural abuse. Avoiding being too linear, the band experiments with intricate bass guitar lines and some interesting guitar leads that change the direction of the track momentarily.