Archive for Black Metal

Behemoth – I Loved You at Your Darkest

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , on 8th October 2018 by izaforestspirit

Behemoth
I Loved You at Your Darkest
Released 5th October 2018
Black Metal/Blackened Death Metal
Released via Mystic Production/ Nuclear Blast


It’s been four years since the Polish blackened death metal horde unleashed their masterpiece ‘The Satanist’ onto the world. Now they have returned with a new, long-awaited full length release entitled ‘I Loved You at Your Darkest’. I absolutely adored their previous opus so I have high hopes for this…

As far as themes go, this album offers the usual array of topics present in Behemoth’s music, including: Satanism, the occult, critical views on Christianity, particularly Catholicism. One new addition is the reference to alchemy on the opening and closing tracks aptly named ‘Solve’ and ‘Coagvla’.

The children’s chanting at the start of the first track ‘Solve’ gets a little irritating after a few seconds. I was relieved to hear the guitars reminding me that this is in fact an intro to a Behemoth album and not to some children’s choir. ‘Wolves Ov Siberia’ is a savage beast of a song with packed with aggressive, coarse guitar riffs, Nergal’s bleak shouts and Inferno’s relentless drumming. It sounds as harsh and bleak as a Siberian winter. ‘God = Dog’ is more complex and melodic than its predecessor and it features some progressive tones in the guitars. It has the hallmarks of a classic Behemoth track, including the eerie atmosphere, aggressive yet melodic guitars and powerful vocals. The one thing that I could have done without is the children’s choir which essentially continues from where it left off in the intro.

Oddly enough one of the slower tracks, the gloomy sounding ‘Bartzabel’, has quickly become one of my favorite songs on here. I can’t get enough of that eerie mid-tempo groove guitar in the chorus and Nergal’s haunting vocals. The rest of the album varies in pace depending on the song ranging from the fast and abrasive black metal on ‘Sabbath Mater’ to the slower, more melodic ‘Havohej Pantocrator’.

In summary, ‘I Loved You at Your Darkest’ is very different from its predecessor ‘The Satanist’. Parts of it reminded me of Behemoth’s black metal era while others show the band’s willingness to experiment with some new styles. It is not the easiest of albums to listen to, and it requires a lot of patience from the listener. But rest assured, patience will be rewarded.

4/5

Iza Raittila

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SVARTIDAUDI live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live, Metal with tags , , , , on 23rd September 2018 by izaforestspirit

Antimateria, Sacrilegious Impalement, SVARTIDAUDI
Olympia, Tampere
22 September 2018

It’s been several months since I last attended a black metal show. The last one was Behexen back in January. Black metal tends to be something that I usually listen to at home. Some of my favorite black metal bands never play live shows and out of the ones that do tour, not all are worth seeing. I’ve had mixed experiences of black metal shows, ranging from the really good, decent to the downright abysmal. This time I decided to check out a bunch of black metal bands whom I have not heard of before. Svartidaudi was the only name that I recognized from the line-up but I can’t say that I am familiar with their music.

First up was Antimateria, a solo artist with session musicians playing atmospheric black metal. This turned out to be my favorite performance of the night. It was the most melodic-sounding out of the all the bands and their style reminded me of Moonsorrow mixed with hints of Mustan Kuun Lapset. 4/5

Krypts was the only death metal band of the night. I had high hopes after looking them up on The Metal Archives. ‘Death Metal’ and ‘Lovecraftian horror’ listed in amongst the lyrical themes seemed promising. I was disappointed when I actually heard them. Yes, they played death metal but the music was slow, droning verging on doom metal at times. That might sound decent when played in the comfort of your own living room but when it comes to death metal live, I would have preferred to see something with more energy and aggression. 2/5

Luckily Sacrilegious Impalement were much better. They certainly put on an energetic performance. Their style wasn’t anything super unique; just good, old school black metal. Some songs featured some melodic elements but not quite as melodic as the first band. They reminded me of Horna at times. 3.5/5

Then it was time for the main act of the night. Svartidaudi also put on a good performance. They are essentially the Icelandic equivalent of Deathspell Omega. So if you like that kind of black metal, then this would probably be the band for you. Personally I found them to be a little bit one-dimensional despite all the technical greatness. 3.5/5

 

 

In summary, this was a good night out and I made some new discoveries. I wasn’t sure what to expect from these bands. Antimateria was the show that I enjoyed the most and the main one that stood out for me. Svartidaudi are good live but not really my type of black metal.

Iza Raittila

Psyclon Nine – Icon of The Adversary

Posted in Industrial, Metal with tags , , , , on 17th September 2018 by izaforestspirit

Psyclon Nine
Icon of The Adversary
Released 24th August 2018
Industrial/ Industrial Metal with Black Metal elements
Released via Metropolis Records

I really wasn’t expecting to hear anything new from Psyclon Nine again. It’s been five years since their last opus ‘Order of The Shadow: Act 1’. The following year proved to be a very turbulent time to the band with various factors contributing towards what effectively became the end of Psyclon Nine. Or so I thought… It turned out that band needed some time to recover, regroup and refocus. After several line-up changes and a few successful live shows in 2015, it became pretty clear that Psyclon Nine were back. They are now a trio and frontman Nero Bellum is the only original member left.

So that’s the background out of the way, now on to music… If I were to sum this album up into just a few words it would be ‘creepy, gritty and disturbing’. As far as genre classifications go, there’s a fair bit of dark ambient on here. This is most notably on the opening track. The eerie-sounding, analog synth and voice samples are also prominent on Behold An Icon. Nero Bellum’s black metal -esque shrieks are as haunting as ever and the guitars have a coarse and unsettling feel to them.

The predominant style is industrial metal as evidenced by the likes of Crown of The Worm which reminded me a lot of their previous works. It has all the markings of a classic Psyclon Nine song; in other words thunderous guitars, atmospheric synth noise and harsh, creepy vocals. Beware The Wolves also caught my attention due to the change in vocal style, from shrieks to an eerie rasp which reminded me of Marilyn Manson’s trilogy. The only disappointing part of the album is the final track The Last. I’ve never been a massive fan of dark ambient so having to endure it for nearly fifteen minutes seems a little too much.

In summary, ‘Icon of Adversary’ is one of those bleak, creepy “feel bad” albums. ‘Creepy, gritty and disturbing’ seems to be very fitting for Psyclon Nine in 2018 given what they have been through. I would personally skip the final track unless you’re really into dark ambient but other than that this is a good industrial album and black metal fans might like it too.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Anaal Nathrakh reveal new album details

Posted in Grindcore, Metal, Misc., News with tags , , , , on 7th August 2018 by izaforestspirit

Good news for fans of Anaal Nathrakh. Two years after the well received ‘The Whole of The Law’, the British black metal/grind-core act return with ‘A New Kind Of Horror‘.

Here’s what their vocalist Dave Hunt (a.k.a V.I.T.R.I.O.L.) had to say about it:

This is not a happy album, it is bitter, vengeful, sarcastic, sardonic, violent, terrified and horrified, terrifying and horrifying in equal measure. Above all, it is human, and all that that entails. It’s as sincere as we could make it.

You can check out the art-work and track-listing below:

. The Road To…
2. Obscene as Cancer
3. The Reek of Fear
4. Forward!
5. New Bethlehem/Mass Death Futures
6. The Apocalypse Is About You!
7. Vi Coactus
8. Mother of Satan
9. The Horrid Strife
10. Are We Fit for Glory Yet? (The War to End Nothing)

‘A New Kind of Horror’ will be out worldwide on 28th September 2018 via Metal Blade Records.

In the main time you can catch Anaal Nathrakh live in Europe on the following dates:

09/08/18 DE – Schlotheim – Party.San Open Air
11/08/18 UK – London- Blackheart
02/11/18 DK – Aalborg – Aalborg Metal Festival
03/11/18 UK – Leeds – Damnation Festival
05/11/18 NL – Rotterdam – Baroeg
06/11/18 FR – Paris – Backstage
09/11/18 NL – Deventer – Burgerweeshuis
10/11/18 DE – Oberhausen – Helvete

For more details visit:

http://www.anaal-nathrakh.com
https://www.facebook.com/Anaalnathrakhofficial

Hanzel und Gretyl – Satanik Germanik

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 31st July 2018 by izaforestspirit

Hanzel Und Gretyl
Satanik Germanik
Released 6th July 2018
Industrial Metal / Groove Metal / Extreme Metal
Released via Metropolis Records

Hanzel und Gretyl - Satanik Germanik

The New York -based industrial metal duo Hanzel und Gretyl have been around since the mid-90s. They’re often hailed as the only non-German band in the Neue Deutsche Härte scene. Their music has evolved a great deal since the beginning, ranging from experimental-industrial to industrial metal, groove with even hints of black metal and melodic death metal. Their latest opus ‘Satanik Germanik’ promises to be their darkest and most metal-sounding album.

This is essentially picking up from where Hanzel und Gretyl left off with ‘Black Forest Metal’ – the first part of the so called ‘Grimm Shiza’ era. As the title suggests there are some satanic themes plus references to stories by the brothers Grimm. So if you enjoyed that album, there is a good likelihood that you will like this one too. However, if you were hoping for the more wacky German space metal from their ‘Fukken Über’ -era, then I would suggest you skip straight to the party track Trinken Mit Der Kaizer (Die Bierz From Hell). Good to see that these two haven’t lost their sense of humor.

As far as the style goes, most of the songs have a dark, gritty black metal tinge that is particularly audible in the guitars while the industrial elements are not as prominent as they were in their previous works. Singer Vas Kallas’s voice makes this eerie, croaking sound, like the old witch from the Grimm stories, which combined with the coarse guitar riffs gives the music a creepy feel. They also occasionally slow down the pace like on the groove metal styled track I Am Bad Luck, which puts the emphasis on the bass guitar. Speaking of the bass, it also comes into the fore on 13 Moons; a track that is probably the closest they have ever come to producing a black metal song.

In summary, ‘Satanik Germanik’ can easily be classed as Hanzel und Gretyl’s heaviest album to date. In many ways it sounds exactly like I expected it to. It is not another ‘Über Alles’, in fact it is very similar to ‘Black Forest Metal’. And yet it’s darker, haunting and more serious than the earlier works; even moreso than their previous album. Luckily there’s still the odd party track to please fans of their older material.

4/5
Iza Raittila

Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 1st July 2018 by izaforestspirit

Immortal
Northern Chaos Gods
Released 6th July 2018
Black Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records

Immortal - Northern Chaos Gods

Immortal doesn’t need much of an introduction. They’ve been a part of the Norwegian black metal scene since the early 1990s. Three years ago they parted ways with their original vocalist who has since released an album under his own name. Following Abbath’s departure, Immortal decided to continue as a duo with guitarist Demonaz taking over vocal duties. Personally I like Immortal’s old works, but I wasn’t too impressed with their last offering ‘All Shall Fall’. I’m quite curious to see how this albums compares to the Abbath album. Can there still be Immortal without Abbath at the helm? There’s only one way to find out…

Without even pressing the play button, it’s pretty evident that this is an Immortal album. All the usual themes are here including references to all things grim and frostbitten and not forgetting the words ‘Blashyrkh’ and ‘Ravendark’ in two of the song titles. In many ways Gates to Blashyrkh feels like a continuation of ‘Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark). The guitar patterns are very similar and it is definitely one of the more catchy tracks on here. I also enjoyed Grim and Dark which, despite the title, is anything but grim. Aside from the harsh vocals, the song it itself is actually rather uplifting at times thanks to the rocking guitar melodies. It reminded me of the mid-career works, particularly ‘At The Heart of Winter’.

The title track deserves an honorable mention as one of more coarse-sounding black metal songs on here, hankering back to the band’s early days. If it’s pummeling drums, harsh vocals and shredding guitars you were looking for, then Northern Chaos Gods is definitely the track for you. Obviously Demonaz’s vocals take some getting used to, but that should not be a problem for Immortal fans.

In summary, ‘Northern Chaos Gods’ is far more memorable than its predecessor. In fact, it’s quite possibly the best album the band have produced in years. It proves once and for all that Immortal have a future without Abbath.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Karma Violens – Serpent God

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 29th April 2018 by izaforestspirit

Karma Violens
Serpent God
Released 13th April 2018
Black Metal/Extreme Metal
Released via Growl Records

Karma Violens - Serpent God

Serpent God’ is the third album from the Greek extreme metal band Karma Violens. These guys have been around since 2002 and they have toured with bands such as Judas Priest and Arch Enemy. They initially started out playing metalcore but this album marks a shift in style towards black metal direction with a “gloomy and dark atmosphere” and it is recommended for fans of Emperor, Behemoth, Mayhem and Batushka. That description looks promising, let’s see how it sounds…

This is one of those cases when it’s fairly easy to detect where these guys are from even if I hadn’t read the information about them. Greek black metal has a rather distinctive sound – it tends to be fairly atmospheric and usually has at least some melodic parts. Rotting Christ, Astarte and Naer Mataron are good examples of this style. So Karma Violens are in good company.

There’s more than just a hint of black metal. There’s the slower, gloomy, atmospheric tracks like Serpent God which reminded me of early Mayhem due to the raspy vocal style. Then they occasionally pick up the pace with more aggressive-sounding, faster songs such as The Constractors where the guitars and the pummeling drums really take the reins. A Letter to the Worthless Chamber caught my attention as one of the more memorable songs on here, it’s got this “still creepy but almost catchy” black metal feel to it that made me think of the later works of Immortal mixed with some elements of Naer Mataron.

Overall, I am relieved that this wasn’t metalcore. Karma Violens were clearly aiming to create an atmospheric black metal album, and in that they have succeeded. ‘Serpent God’ isn’t a ‘flawless album’ but it definitely has its moments.

4/5

Iza Raittila