Archive for Belgian Black Metal

Saille release video for Blood Libel

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 4th June 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Belgian black metal band Saille have recently released the video for their single, Blood Libel, taken from their second album Ritu which was released via Code666 Records and Aural Music on 18th January. The story portrayed in the video is based on the actual incidents of blood libel, which is a false claim that religious minorities murder their children to use their blood in aspects of their religious ceremonies or holidays.

The video for BLood Libel can be viewed below. The video was directed by Nicolas Daenens who previously worked with Saille for their video for Plaigh Allais two years previous. The video for Blood Libel was shot on location in a region of Belgium called Meetjesland, which featured both the woods and abandoned church that appear in the video.

Saille online:


Thurisaz – The Cimmerian Years [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 12th June 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Thurisaz
Album: The Cimmerian Years
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Atmospheric Blackened Death Metal

Thurisaz, named after the rune of the same name, have been dominating the Belgian metal scene since 1997 with their blend of atmospheric black metal and death metal. The blackened death metal quintet have returned with their most recent album “The Cimmerian Years”.

“Broken” is the first track of the album. It’s not an impressive track as such, due to slow drum section at the beginning and the use of bass and acoustic guitar mixed in with some strange sounds. However the track doe improve within the last few seconds of the track with the introduction of a heavier, more distorted guitar riff.  Fortunately, it’s only a short track. “My Precious Unknown” begins where “Broken” finished. The guitar riff has a touch of old skool black metal to it’s composition and the drums are brilliantly played. The riff changes before the vocals can be properly heard. The harsh vocals aren’t as good as one would expect, as they sound very strained. The clean vocals, however, are pretty good, blending well with the grunts and screams.

The third track, “Second Mirror”, is next beginning with a faded in guitar intro which gradually become louder. The keyboard sections work brilliantly with the drums and guitars and the screams sound much better than the previous track. The riffs seem to have more technicality to them. The clean vocals make an appearance on this track as well, bringing some softness to the brutality of the track. “Second Mirror” is certainly an improvement in the album, especially after the two previous tracks. The track ends on an aggressive yet symphonic styled note.

”No Regrets” comes next, beginning with a strange voice talking. The aggression of the guitars and drums come bursting on straight after, combined with the calmness of the keyboards which bring about a very dramatic atmosphere. The screams are still going strong and the grunts have become more powerful as well. Parts of this track have a very “Hecate Enthroned” styled sound which makes it more enjoyable. The last half of the track is dominated by clean vocals though the screams and grunts can still be heard, fortunately enough for those you aren’t a fan of clean vocals. “Fare Thee Well”, the fifth track on the album, begins with clean vocals which are followed by a slow paced riff and drum beat. The use of deep clean vocals gives the track a very bleak and depressing sound while the grunts bring the much needed aggression. The track increases in pace and heaviness eventually, though towards the end it goes back to been slow placed and lighter.

”The Carnival of Miscreation” has a power metal sound to begin with which is soon replaced when the vocals make themselves heard. The track has a brilliant contrast in sound between the melodic sections and brutal riffs. The clean vocals slightly ruin the track in certain sections however the screams make up for it. The piano section half through is both solemn and hypnotic. “Inner Voices” follows after, composed entirely of vocals and acoustic guitar, which sets a very calm mood for the listener. The clean vocals work well with the acoustic riff, which is no surprise. “Unhealed” brings back the aggression and brutality. The screams are a welcome change to the previous track as well. Part of the track turns softer for a while, with just piano and drums and some female vocals. The brutality does return however, combined with clean vocals and screams.

The last track of the album is “A Glance of Misperception”. The intro is eerie and soft. The brutality comes in eventually at a slow pace. The guitars bring some melody to the track as well. It’s almost three minutes into the track before any vocals are heard. After the first vocal section, the track turns soft again. Vocals can be heard of the eerie piano medley as well during in the second soft section of the track. Fortunately the track turns brutal again with the introduction of the grunts.

Despite the first two tracks, “The Cimmerian Years” is a brilliant album and it’s easy to see why “Thurisaz” have dominated to the Belgian metal scene. This is a must have album for any fan of atmospheric blackened death metal.


Nico Davidson

Avatar – Millennia [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , on 27th February 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Avatar
Album: Millennia
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal

“Millennia” is the latest and last release by now disbanded Belgian black metal quintet “Avatar”.

The album begins with the track “Mirrors”, which begins with a slow piano intro. The slow picking of a guitar soon follows. Surprisingly,  the combination works really well. Almost two minutes in the track turns heavy but retains it’s slow pace. The sound of synthetic organs from a cheap keyboard join in the rest of the music when the track turns heavy and the steady beating of a double bass pedal follows after that. The keyboard generated sound of flutes brings the track to a calming end, which is unusually good for a black metal track.

“The Unbodied Serpent” is next. It begins with a folkish and medieval sounding guitar intro, which is soon accompanied by keyboards and some very rough and raw vocals. The drums sound somewhat soft compared to the rest of the music. The use of female vocals along side the harsher male vocals is very reminiscent of “Ethereal”. The keyboards have a very eerie sound to them throughout part of the track and the drums seem to get heavier. The guitars get heavier as well with some nice tremolo picking in sections. The only problem with this track is that it’s too long, though the use of a guitar solo, despite being unusual for this genre, is very nice.

Following after is “The Ancient King”. It begins with an “Iron Maiden” sounding riff, which is soon followed by heavily beaten drums, synth sounds and pure black metal-styled brutality. The vocals, again, are rough and raw. The keyboards perform some nice eerie riffs again, which work very well with the vocals and drums. The use of a guitar solo, just like in the previous track, is brilliant. The bass performs some good riffs in sections of this track as well. “Smoky Mountain” comes next and it begins with an eerie sounding keyboard intro, which sets a dark and grim mood which is soon ruined by clean guitars making an appearance. The track does turn partially heavy and female vocals make an appearance. The keyboards can be heard all the way through the track which is a good thing. The male vocals finally make an appearance over half way through the track, bringing a bit more heaviness to it.

The title track “Millennia” begins with a combination of clean and distorted guitars, which are soon accompanied by keyboards and drums. The vocals seem to over power the track. The track itself seems to have a grand and epic sound to it, something which is rare in black metal, though it doesn’t ruin the track. After a line of clean vocals about two minutes in, the track turns heavy and a great solo finds its way on to the track as well. There is also a brilliant eerie keyboard section towards the end, which eventually is accompanied by a slow, hypnotic bass riff and a clean guitar riff.

“Le Secret Du Soleil”, which is French for “The Secret of the Sun”, is next. It begins with a sample sound of running water, mixed with a keyboard section and an acoustic guitar riff.  The keyboard sounds of flute soon dominate the track, with the distant sound of water in the background along the acoustic guitar. Following after is “Ultra Mare” that brings back the symphonic brutality with a keyboard and guitar intro, followed by pounding drums. The bass line is very rhythmic and works very well with the vocals when they make an appearance. The vocals sound more rough and raw than they have been on the previous tracks. The guitar riffs seem to switch between slightly melodic and brutal. The female vocals make an appearance towards the end and they work brilliantly well with the harsher vocals, which is always a good thing.

“The Summergate” comes next. it begins with a trumpet sound generated by the boards, followed by drums and a sinister sounding guitar riff.  The vocals sound like they’re overpowering the track. The drums keep a nice and constant fast pace throughout parts of the track. The keyboards help give this track a certain atmosphere. The final track “Weltschmerz” which is German for “World-weariness” comes next. it has a somewhat odd intro for a black metal track, as the drums sound very techno and there’s a use of samples from what would seem to be speeches by world leaders. When the keyboards come in, they add more of a techno sound to the track. Samples of other speeches and radio transmissions make appearances throughout the track. There is a slight use of harsh vocals over halfway through the track, which works oddly well.

The sound quality and production of “Millennia” isn’t great, which adds to the sheer brilliance of the album. The use of female vocals on some of the tracks gave the album a bit of a Gothic metal sound as well. However, the techno-sounding track at the end came as a surprise and did ruin the black metal element of the album slightly, despite the slight use of harsh vocals on that track.


Nico Davidson