Archive for atmospheric black metal

Dargor – Descent Into Abyss

Posted in Review with tags , on 19th December 2021 by izaforestspirit

Descent into Chaos
Released 6th May 2021
Atmospheric Black Metal

Dargor - Descent into Chaos

Then a lot of people hear the words “black metal” and “Poland”, the first band name that usually comes to mind is Behemoth. Even if their style has shifted away from their black metal roots to create a mixture of black metal and death metal; more commonly known as blackened death metal, they remain the country’s most recognizable and successful extreme metal band. But those who are more familiar with the Polish metal scene will know that there are other black metal bands worth checking out such as Mgła, Vesania or Batushka to name but a few. This brings me to ‘Descent into Chaos’ – the second EP from the Polish black metal band Dargor. The project was launched in 2018. Both their EPs are self-released and available from their Bandcamp page.

So, what we have here are five tracks of melodic atmospheric black metal. There’s a subtle balance between the eerie yet melodic guitar work and the coarse-sounding vocals. The opening track Abysses is a good example of this contrast. The guitars create a haunting atmosphere and the vocalist really does sound like a tortured soul crying out in pain. Another song that caught my attention is Decay which features more eerie and atmospheric guitar tones, ghastly vocals ending with a surprisingly melodic and soothing keyboard outro.

In summary, ‘Descent To Chaos’ is definitely one of the more memorable black metal releases I’ve heard this year. If Dargor continue along the same path they’ll have a bright future ahead of them.

7/10 Iza Raittila

Black Sigma – Lost

Posted in Review with tags , , on 17th May 2021 by izaforestspirit

Black Sigma
Released 1st April 2021
Atmospheric Black Metal

Black Sigma - Lost

‘Lost’ is the debut album from the Belgian atmospheric black metal artist Black Sigma. The project was launched last year by the musician known as Occulta, who used to be the vocalist of the symphonic black metal band Avatar back in the ‘90s.

After several listens I can state that the main two adjectives I would use to describe this album would be ‘atmospheric’ and ‘melancholic’. There is a fair bit of melody in the guitar work and it is paired with haunting black metal shrieks. Occasionally Occulta mellows things down like in the piano outro to Always Alone and the ambient-esque closing track Desolation. The style is fairly similar to the German ambient black metal duo Bann. A lot of the songs have long instrumental parts with the vocals being used sparingly.

The second half of the album includes some subtle doom undertones in the guitar patterns ,for example in the title track. That particular song also features a variety of vocal styles ranging from shrieks at the start, to My Dying Bride -style semi-growls and eerie whispers. I also enjoyed the ambient keyboard and guitar passages on Apocalypse 3.0.

In summary I can confirm that this is definitely my kind of black metal. Black Sigma is one of the most promising newcomers to the scene and I look forward to hearing more from him.


Iza Raittila

Finsternis – The Old Tongue

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 27th December 2020 by izaforestspirit

The Old Tongue
Released 25th September 2020
Melodic Black Metal/Atmospheric Black Metal

‘The Old Tongue’ is the debut EP from the Alabama-based American melodic black metal band Finsternis. The band was formed in 2018 and it features two members and one former guitarist from the melodic death metal band Curse The Flesh. This EP and their other demos are available from their official Bandcamp page.

It never ceases to amaze me as to which odd corners of the world might spout out some decent-sounding black metal music. This time it’s Mobile, Alabama in the United States of America. I cannot say that I have heard of it before and it is definitely not a place that I would think of as being associated with the genre. Based on the three songs on this EP it sounds like one of their primary influences is Swedish black metal, particularly old Marduk and to some extent Dissection.

All three songs are fairly similar in structure with only a handful of nuance differences to tell them apart. The opener We Unholy Few draws you in with a slow, eerie intro before the aggressive guitars enter the fold. The vocals are pretty much the usual coarse-sounding, distorted shrieks normally associated with the genre. Then, as the song progresses, they balance things out with some melodic parts towards the end. I liked the atmospheric guitar passages on Of Burden and Lament, which is quite possibly best track on the whole EP.

Overall, it’s hard to judge a band based on just three tracks. ‘The Old Tongue’ is a promising melodic black metal EP which I would recommend to fans of the aforementioned bands. They managed to create the right kind of dark atmosphere and the production is remarkably good. I look forward to hearing a full length album from these guys.


Iza Raittila

Forn Kadr – Mystic Arcane Lands

Posted in Review with tags , , on 21st October 2020 by izaforestspirit

Forn Kadr
Mystic Arcane Lands
Released 9th June 2020
Atmospheric Folk Metal/ Atmospheric Black Metal

‘Mystic Arcane Lands’ is the new EP from British atmospheric black metal duo Forn Kaldr. The band was formed in 2017 by guitarist/drummer Kaldr and bassist Robin Green. Their music is instrumental and it is influenced by nature, mythologies and bands such as Amon Amarth and Caladan Brood. All their releases are available from their Bandcamp page.

Atmospheric and melodic are the key words that come to mind when listening to this album. I actually had some trouble telling the first two songs apart. They sound so alike that had it not been for me checking the Bandcamp page, I would have assumed that this was one very long song. The title track stands out due to the ambient-style keyboard intro. The intro and some of the guitar patterns reminded me of the Australian post-black metal artist Calea Dreaming, whose work I reviewed last year. The song is well structured offering a varied pace with each instrument contributing to the atmosphere, especially the guitars. If there was a soundtrack for a walk in the woods on a cold autumn night, this would be it. The keyboard mimics the sound of raindrops falling, a calm moment before stormy weather resumes. Then the seasons change in the aptly named The Last Breath of Winter. No keyboards, the drums remain in the background and all the focus is on the atmospheric guitar passages.

In all honesty, there is not much in the vein of black metal on here. Only the final, bonus track A Forgotten Age has a black metal tinge to it due to the raw guitar riffs. It has the right kind of eerie atmosphere to it as well.

Overall, ‘Mystic Arcane Lands’ is for some those who enjoy atmospheric metal. If you are fan of black metal instrumentals, then there is a chance that you might like it too. I found it relaxing and suitable on an autumn evening at home but not particularly memorable or stimulating.

Iza Raittila

Interview with VoA from Ad Inferna

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 17th June 2014 by izaforestspirit

The French industrial band Ad Inferna have 7 albums and over a decade worth of experience to their name. Iza caught up with their keyboard and guitar player VoA VoXyD to discuss the band’s black metal roots, collobrations, movie soundtracks and their latest release ‘Opus 7: Elevation’.
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Iza: You originally started out as a symphonic black metal band and then after debut album ‘L’empire des Sens’ you switched to an electronic/industrial style with ‘Trance N’ Dance’.
What was it that persuaded you to change the style of your music?

VoA VoXyD:
Right after our album “L’Empire des Sens”, we encountered a lot of issues with our first label, essentially some money problems. The studio we have been recording in (Excess Studio) was asking for 1 month of recording bill and it has been very tough to finish the recording with them and starting the mastering in the Kohlekeller Studio. Once everything was finally done, our label Last Episode went bankrupt, we then signed for a sub division of Metal Blade called Silverdust, everything was fine with them, but we found out that someone printed some Ad Inferna shirts with a very tricky sentence on the back – something we never claimed, some words that Arkames never wrote down. Then, we decided to stop for a while and we had a very long 7-year break. Once back, we didn’t feel comfortable enough to release a black metal album, cause we’d changed a lot, and we didn’t find any good reason to release a fake black metal album. TnD is NOT a very good reference for Ad Inferna, but it reflects our wishes to want out with the black metal scene and with our past.

Iza: Do you still follow what is happening in the metal scene or are you more interested in the industrial one?

VoA: Personally, neither, but I’m still a big fan of the black metal bands between 1990 and 2000. I really don’t have any clue about the industrial scene!

Iza: Your first electronic album ‘Trance N’ Dance’ was very dancefloor-orientated yet over the years I’ve noticed that your songs were becoming more and more atmospheric especially on the albums ‘Ultimum Omnium’ and ‘Im Mortelle’. Was this planned or were you just experimenting?

VoA: I think we are part of artists who just wanna explore more and more horizons between each album. The composition period is generally very short but intense, and depending of our state of mind, our album will be more or less metal, more or less atmospheric. I personally always enjoyed the atmospheric side and it’s so easy and logical to include it in Ad Inferna.

Iza: Your first two electronic releases ‘Trance N’ Dance’ and ‘DSM’ featured the female singer Asphodel (Penumbra). Then after ‘DSM’ you have had various guest singers doing the vocals. What happened? Why did Asphodel leave the band?

VoA: I don’t know. We’ve been very close but I think she was super busy with her other band. But we miss her, she has a huge talent and we wish her all the best.

Iza: You have collaborated with various artists over the years including Zombie Girl, Vasi Vallis (Reaper/ Frozen Plasma), Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle of Filth live) and Morfeus (ex-Limbonic Art). Who has been your favourite person to work with and why?

VoA: All of them have been professional with us. Obviously, my preference is to work with Melissa Ferlaak who is my partner in life, and also because I have followed this band since the beginning, I really enjoyed working with Morfeus. But it’s always exciting to work with all of them, they all have a particular way to impress us, and that’s a good feeling!

Iza: Let’s talk a bit more about your latest album ‘Opus 7: Elevation’. Can you elaborate more about your inspirations for this one?

VoA: All I can tell you is that it’s a huge album that we are 200% proud of. We have worked intensely on this album to create a 100% unique sound and a kind of “soundtrack” for the music we really wanted to do for a while now. It’s a book, a movie, a piece of our existence that you can’t cut off such everything inside is linked together. The lyrics are awesome, and we plan to provide translations in several languages for non-French people. What you see on the artwork is what you gonna listen with the album, then if you’re interested or fascinated by religion, possession, weirdnesses and ghost stories, you’ll definitely like it!

Iza: ‘Opus 7: Elevation’ sounds dramatically different compared to its predeccessor ‘Im Mortelle’. The atmospheric/ambient elements are still there, but the overall sound feels more aggressive and sinister. Can you explain the reasons behind this?

VoA: Absolutely. Im Mortelle is more “pop”, easier to understand and to listen to. It’s a very good album because of the catchy songs like “Moïra” or “Equinoxe” but the composition of Im Mortelle has been radically different. We were focusing on making some independent good songs, one by one, trying to make a song the most efficient and emotional possible. The concept was different and deserved a very ominous way to compose. As I said before, Elevation is a book, with chapters and themes, and for that we have been focusing on a whole concept, from the beginning to the end of the album. It’s a one song album, with a lot of aggressive parts, and dithered of more or less short movie oriented passages.

Iza: In many ways this album features an interesting and complex mix of styles. We have the industrial/electronic programming and synths, classical operatic vocals and black metal screams and guitars. How would you describe this new evolution in style? Do you have a name for it?

VoA: A very good question again. I like the term of “Operatic Electro Dark” that a magazine used to describe our sound. But you’re right, and everything you mentioned is true.

Iza: I’ve noticed that the last few albums have a certain “soundtrack quality”. Some of the songs sound like they were written for the opening scene of a Gothic horror movie. What are your thoughts on this?

VoA: Besides Ad Inferna, I run my own recording studio (Akamaradara Studio) here in MN, USA, and I am a music composer, and even if I’m trying to avoid the “too much soundtrack oriented” for Ad Inferna, I must admit that I broke my rules on the last opus!

Iza: If you were to pick one song from the latest album which you would play to someone as an introduction to Ad Inferna, which one would you choose and why?

VoA: Without any doubt: Elle est Moi (Track 10) and InVisible (Track 13 only on the physical CD)

Iza: I’ve heard rumours that this will be the last Ad Inferna album. Is this true and if so why?

VoA: Maybe?

Iza: Do you have any final words for your fans and your readers?

VoA: Along with “L’Empire des Sens”, “Elevation” is the album that I’m the most proud of (as is Arkames). I would like everyone to forget the name of Ad Inferna between those both albums and just focus on the music. Thanx a lot for your interest Iza.

‘Opus 7: Elevation’ is out now on Advoxya Records.

Vattnet Viskar release debut album “Sky Swallower”

Posted in News with tags , , , on 10th September 2013 by Pieni

 photo vattnet_viskar1_zps925849f6.jpg

Despite their Swedish name, Vattnet Viskar (“the water whispers”) hail from Plaistow, New Hampshire. Formed in 2010, Century Media Records is now proud to present an unique atmospheric black metal in the form of the band’s debut full-length “Sky Swallower”.

Quoting guitarist Chris Alfieri: » We are extremely proud of this release and are very excited to experience our debut with everyone at the Century family. We put our hearts into making this album and we think it shows. Enjoy at HIGH volumes! «

The band has also recently released a video for the track “Breath Of The Almighty”, directed by Josh Graham:

Vattnet Viskar online: