Monday, December 10, 2018 14:03

Archive for the ‘Black’ Category

BALMOG – VACVVM LP (BlackSeed Productions)

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

Balmog - VacvvmSvmma Fide’ was an immense record and I’m amazed that I didn’t review it. In fact, I’m convinced I did but it’s not here on the site (anymore) so I must be losing my marbles.

Anyhow, Balmog returned early this year with their third full-length, ‘Vacvvm’, and the criminally-underrated Spanish, Sinmara-sounding wrecking ball just keeps on getting better.

There are eight songs on this album with a 40-minute duration. The music soars confidently and throbs with intent, vertebrated by sensational stickwork (in true Iberian fashion), embellished by ambient flourishes.

I enjoy how the vehicles of expression shift seamlessly from the background to the forefront, the sheer dynamism of a potent and genuinely spectacular, wondrous slab of Black Metal.

Stock clichés like occult and esoteric and mystical and ritualistic could be used freely here. Or fucking great. The world is on fire.

Evilometer: 666/666


Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

Fuil Na Seanchoille - HungerHaving already expressed my appreciation of Fuil Na Seanchoille’s debut full-length some five years ago, it was great to see ‘Hunger’ getting a vinyl incarnation.

As stated previously, this is a fantastic slab of resilient, defiant, raw Black Metal worthy of a place in any collection.

I’m not mad about the specified luminous green colour of the vinyl but, when the music is this good (eight stunning offerings spread across 51 minutes), who cares?

Evilometer: 666/666


Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

Ancient Records - Demo Compilation IIIt’s almost five years since I reviewed the lucky dip that was ‘Demo Compilation Part 1’ and a lot of piss has steamed beneath the Ancient Records bridge since then, most notably the public spat between Sir N., who is credited with all the material on that particular release, and Swartadauþuz, who wrote and performed the music – in conjunction with lyricist / vocalist Likpredikaren (Demonomantic / Summum) – on the substantially-better follow-up being contemplated right now.

This massive double-LP – housed in a classy gatefold jacket, with all the lyrics included – is essentially a collection of unused and “mostly unreleased” material written and recorded between 2007 and 2016; subsequently remixed and remastered at Afgrundsmysticism Studios in 2017.

Swartadauþuz could certainly never be accused of over-selling himself. Considering that he regards many of his best albums as mere demos and that the tracks on this release are off-cuts that just about saw the dark of night, it’s hard not to admire his dedication to the black arts.

There’s a real mixed bag of material on ‘Demo Compilation Part II’ that hints at most of the best bands associated with this inimitable Swedish madman. Nineteen songs in total and, surprisingly in this age of cunts, still widely available at the original asking price.

Evilometer: 666/666


Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Sortilegia - Sulphurous TempleArcane Death Ritual’ was immense and, on follow-up ‘Sulphurous Temple’, Sortilegia delivers another 40 minutes of cavernous, distorted, repetitive, hypnotic raw Black Metal in a similar vein to that stellar debut.

Sometimes more of the same can blunt the attack but in the case of this duo, there’s a simple, bewitching trance-inducing sound (buzzing guitar, spectral shriek, coffin-lid drums) that I’ve come to expect (albeit after only a couple of albums) and here’s hoping that Sortilegia never stray from the path that spawned them.

Evilometer: 666/666


Sunday, July 29th, 2018

Ljáin - Endasálmar Og Klofnar TungurLjáin released two EPs within ten days of each other during the summer of 2016 and these are brought together on one abrasive, dissonant, cascading record, ‘Endasálmar Og Klofnar Tungur’.

H.V Lyngdal (Wormlust) is the visionary and sole creative force behind this act and he musters a very vicious and visceral brand of noisy Black Metal with ambience buried deep beneath the maelstrom.

The plastic-y programmed drums are light years away from those contributed by Bjarni Einarsson on ‘The Feral Wisdom’ but the goal is much different and this record succeeds in being an unnerving, unpalatable and uncouth kick in the testes of expectation and conformity.

A gloriously messy outburst of unfettered chaos that may have been recorded inside a giant kettle.

Evilometer: 666/666


Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Embrace Of Thorns - Scorn AestheticsEmbrace Of Thorns’ fifth full-length is a pummelling maelstrom of Blackened Death Metal that largely eschews variety, embellishment and beautification in favour of all-out aggression.

While sparse classic Black Metal parts, atmospheric Death Metal nods and gear changes are reluctantly dispersed across ‘Scorn Aesthetics’, for the most part the record focuses primarily on battering and bludgeoning in a relentless, merciless and decidedly violent fashion.

Ferocious vocals, machine-gun drumming and razor-sharp riffs jockey for pole position as a cacophonous torrent of rage steams through the speakers, leading one to wonder if restraint, balance and variation have any place in music designed to celebrate darkness and disgust.

Whatever the fuck that means.

Evilometer: 666/666


Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Malum - Night Of The Luciferian LightConsidering that it brings nothing new to the sacrificial altar (something I have no problem with, whatsoever), Malum’s second full-length album, ‘Night Of The Luciferian Light’, is refreshingly refreshing.

Essentially, what we have here is 46 minutes of good old-fashioned, evil-sounding Black Metal delivered with intent, purpose and no little class.

The seven spells are fantastic and the overall vibe of the record is bang on. Ritual titles hint at some pretty nefarious, Satanic deeds in the name of the dark lord but I can’t gain a greater insight as the vocals are predominantly standard indecipherable BM shrieks (alongside unholy chants) and the text in the accompanying booklet is so miniscule that I couldn’t read it even if my stupid fucking eyes worked any better than my stupid fucking ears.

Evilometer: 666/666


Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

Slidhr - The Futile Fires Of ManSlidhr’s complete surrender to / celebration of the all-consuming darkness is even more pronounced than hitherto on sophomore full-length, ‘The Futile Fires Of Man’, a journey into the maw of madness, the pitch-black heart of enlightenment, devoid of all hope, resigned to the utter forlorn pointlessness of everything.

Working from a palette of blacks, greys and charcoals, this record is suitably oppressive, bleak and suffocating, to my ear a darker, duller, denser and more resigned experience than any of Slidhr’s previous offerings. The somewhat subdued, ostensibly murky production breathes an added layer of sheer horror into proceedings as the cold death of all things pertaining to mankind the pathogen takes hold.

The sinister soundtrack to a glorious purge of a breed without purpose.

Evilometer: 666/666

MYLINGAR – DÖDA DRÖMMAR LP (Amor Fati Productions / Vigor Deconstruct)

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

Mylingar - Döda DrömmarMylingar is a destructive Swedish force delivering punishing, suffocating, chaotic Black / Death carnage in the vein of Portal, Altarage, Irkallian Oracle, Grave Miasma, Teitanblood, Vassafor, Grave Upheaval, Abyssal, Impetuous Ritual, Adversarial, Antediluvian, etc.

As associates / competitors go, those are pretty phenomenal but the pummeling ‘Döda Drömmar’ is capable of claiming much-craved territory even in such ferocious company.

Evilometer: 666/666

FUNERAL MIST – HEKATOMB LP (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

Friday, July 13th, 2018

Funeral Mist - HekatombAnd so it came to pass that completely out of the blue Funeral Mist’s third full-length, ‘Hekatomb’, was upon us, a foul curse upon our wretched, meaningless existences.

It’s been an unbelievable nine years since Arioch conjured the frankly magnificent ‘Maranatha’ and – due to his Marduk duties – I was resigned to the distinct possibility that Funeral Mist was dead in the water.

Thankfully, this is not the case and ‘Hekatomb’ is as solid a Black Metal album as you could wish to hear. From the lyrics to the trademark stunning vocals through to the musicianship, production and presentation, everything about this record, which is a slight departure from previous FM releases sound-wise (catchier) but still packed with venom and aggression, is nigh on perfect.

Another masterpiece from a true Black Metal great.

Evilometer: 666/666


Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Perverted Ceremony - Sabbat Of BehezaëlPaying glorious homage to the olden days of yore, Perverted Ceremony’s debut LP presents 41 minutes of unapologetically raw and analogue Black Metal filth and decay from the bowels of the underground. The mood and disposition evident on ‘Sabbat Of Behezaël’ is pure, unholy, rotten.

Listening to this record is like taking a trip to the past, to times when Black Metal was fresh and invigorating, when enemies were freed from life rather than unfollowed, churches were aflame and long before the opportunistic neckbeard brigade jumped on board with their page-monitoring software, Instagram accounts, 24-hour internet presence and heads full of pure shit.

Evilometer: 666/666

SIGRBLOT – BLODSBAND (BLOOD RELIGION MANIFEST) 2LP (The Ajna Offensive / Invictus Productions)

Monday, July 9th, 2018

Sigrblot - BlodsbandSigrblot’s sole full-length, ‘Blodsband (Blood Religion Manifest)’, is one of my all-time favourite releases. These two records are excellent from start to finish and somehow the fact that the band just disappeared into the obscurity from which it was borne adds to the appeal.

Alas, this gem is long-since sold out and with no reissue in sight probably ever. It’s also banned by the great guardians of the moral compass, which possibly makes you a criminal for reading this. What a fucking world we live in.

Evilometer: 666/666

MARDUK – VIKTORIA LP (Century Media Records)

Saturday, July 7th, 2018

Marduk - ViktoriaOn ‘Viktoria’ – Marduk’s 14th full-length and the sixth with Mortuus behind the mic – the Swedes treat us to just over half an hour of war-mongering bloodlust. World War Two seems to be the pervading theme once more and, even though the album is hardly mandatory if you already own some recent-vintage Marduk, it’s still a fine LP and a reminder of why Marduk is one of the truly great BM bands.

Proceedings can seem a little monotonous at times and it does appear that they might be going through the motions to a small degree but, all in all, ‘Viktoria’ is a superb, powerful record and a worthy addition to the Marduk can(n)on. Critics should bear in mind that a shitty, blighted-by-bastards world with a new Marduk album – even if it’s not their best – is a vastly preferable alternative to one without it.

Evilometer: 666/666


Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Bestia Arcana - HolokaustonBestia Arcana returned with another swirling, chaotic maelstrom of intangible, indecipherable, ferocious pitch black malevolence; four epic statements heralding an occult realm that I’ll never, ever experience (?) or understand.

On the rare occasions that I read interviews with anybody related to Nightbringer or Bestia Arcana, I genuinely couldn’t comprehend what the fuck they were talking about. Just big words and ideas flying right over my dumb skull.

Anyway, ‘Holókauston’ is an outstanding album, which surfaced on vinyl in January and is an at-times-difficult but rewarding listen. Fitting ambient passages provide a welcome counterpoint to the overwhelming aural violence and the precise, devilish drumming – revealed through a transparent production – elevates proceedings above and beyond.

Evilometer: 666/666


Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

Knokkelklang - Jeg BegraverKnokkelklang’s debut full-length is a delightful listen. At once unnerving and unsettling, ‘Jeg Begraver’ is reassuring and life-affirming in its undeniable obscurity and indisputable uniqueness. One of those records that brings me back to the days when I was getting hooked on underground Black Metal and the many dark treasures it can bring.

Evilometer: 666/666