Resonance - The Slow Death, Nihilistium, Norse, Wraith, Skorbvstr, Snow Wolf records
Mourning In Autumn Split Album
Nihilistium, Scheinwelten, Tanak Bihis, Neant and Grimtone 9/10
This split album explores the textures and extremity of raw and atmospheric black metal by the next wave of musicians compelled to explore the darkness whilst paying homage to the masters of the genre. At an appropriately evil 13 tracks each artist is fairly represented.
Grimtone deliver black metal in its most raw pure form with “Bring Me Your Blood” and ‘’ Embody the Hate” with furious riffing and up-tempo torment. Scheinwelten explore raw primal atmospheric and melancholy with their expansive riffs on ''Before'' delving into utter madness with “Decay”. Neant deal with the horrific, a soundtrack to your nightmares as ‘’L’évangile Selon Jean’’ and “Neurasthénie” demonstrate with its literal multiple personalities coherent in its madness and its layers of horror.
Whilst Tanak Bihis revel in the Blasphemy of “’Unceremonial Burial’’, one woman act Nhilistium prove the most diverse across the three tracks represented. From initial beginnings as a DSBM act and whilst elements of that certainly remain on “Revisiting pain”, Nihilistium have evolved into a raw primal black metal force as heard on the cover of Mayhems “Freezing Moon”’, and yet ‘’Moonlight Funeral Sonata’’ explores another dimension. An atmospheric, haunted piece of work that works its way into your psyche without sacrificing its melody or inherent darkness.
Mourning In Autumn represents dark ambient, black metal and depressive black metal in all its beautifully ugly glory. Highly recommended.
The Slow Death – Siege 9.8/10
After what seems like an eternity Siege from Australia’s the Slow Death is Finally upon us and what a magnum opus it is, four glorious tracks with over an hour running time.
Is this death /doom or funeral doom? atmospheric doom? Leave the labels and comparisons off this, all I know is that Siege is a finely crafted incredibly heavy album recorded by some of the best musicians in the world, each song is meticulously created, every riff and emotion allowed to breathe and extend to its natural conclusion, nothing is forced off an intensely deep personal record.
“’Famine’’ will haunt you with its beauty and the clean vocals of Mandy Andresen before delving into the ferocity of Gamaliel’s vocals and the intense riffing courtesy of Stuart Prickett. At 13 plus minutes it is allowed to travel the spectrum of evolution and all forms of heaviness along with some groove and good old-fashioned metal. “Pestilence “is even bigger if such a thing were possible, moments of soaring passion and silence with beautiful musicianship that transitions seamlessly into some of the heaviest riffs ever heard.
Siege deals with inevitably and personal experience and feels confessional in its honesty. A Breath-taking album where a moment is never wasted and is a benchmark for a demanding yet rewarding genre that lures you into its emotion and commands you to feel. Essential
Norse – Ascetic 9.5/10
Australia’s Norse have excelled in making the ugly attractive and compelling as it bathes in perpetual black darkness. Ascetic continues this mindset through natural progression and intense visceral music that commands attention.
Unique and utterly original Ascetic is a record that defies normal convention. Nothing is the same. For example, Accelerated Subversion that begins with its terrifying blast and breaks into dissonant almost industrial torment. Radical depression is exactly the opposite, a subtle introduction in introspection that delves into the band’s strengths of utter despair, heaviness, and bleakness.
Members Forge and ADR create uncompromising soundscapes that express their musical vision, uncompromising in their attention to detail and the creation of rhythm without traditional structures and fearless in their presentation. Useless and Fearless Filth Seeker will leave their mark upon your psyche combining blasting speed with the acoustic and the harsh vocals of ADR. Willing to pursue many different avenues of extremity without ever losing their way.
Ascetic is more than just individual tracks, a complete body of work that pursues the tragedy of the human condition and the emotions that pursue true pain. Multidimensional yet focused. To attempt to label this an insult, yet its heart begins in black metal that continually grows and mutates into other darker heavier dimensions, its soul dissonant, restless, and accusatory as Zero Insight reveals.
Uneasy listening at its terrifying best. Ascetic challenges you, throws you off balance and drowns you in their brutal aesthetic. Superlatives and sound bites are not required, this is a genre bending release that follows no rules except their own. Terrifyingly brilliant.
Snow Wolf Records Compilation 8.5/10
Compilations are a tricky beast, yet Snow Wolf Records have truly gone for it with this one! This Wretched Earth is a release with acts from 14 countries across six countries all presenting their own unique style of Black Metal.
Featuring a host of exclusive tracks from the next wave of global extreme music. Some of the highlights include Egypt’s Lycopolis “Great One from the Throne”, Iran’s Akvan, the raw fury of Canada’s Spectral Dance and their “Black Metal Invasion” and Australia's mighty Drugoth and The Ire of Shograath.
The darkness continues with the excellent Starer and the atmosphere of Five Minutes Before Dawn, the Hellish dungeon Synth of Odyrmos from Greece with Silver Star and completed by the epic Deus Vult from Ukraine’s Haissem all a reflection of the diversity of black metal and the artists compelled to explore it.
Snow Wolf deserve special recognition for creating a huge offering of Black metal that is diverse and passionate. Its epic at a huge 16 tracks with great care taken in the band and song selection. Raw, primal, and ritualistic, from the primitive to the atmospheric This Wretched Earth is a compilation worthy of your immediate attention.
Wraith - Undo The Chains 8/10
Hailing from Indian USA with the self-proclaimed motto of No Bullshit Thrash Metal, Undo the Chains is an album that reverently invokes the power of 1985 Metallica combined with punk edge of titans Motorhead along with the Teutonic power of German thrash. Yet this is not a shameless rip off, Wraith Bristle with an energy that sounds as fresh as it is recognizable
From the 1-2 punch of Undo The Chains to the glorious Dominator, the bands statement is clear, this is thrash metal with tight riffing huge catchy bridges offset by the harsh blackened throat of Matt Sokol and his intelligible lyrics
Excellently recorded with a thick crunchy production, you can’t help but grin devilishly at the power of Cloaked in Black with its riff after riff after riff and Gate Master with its twin guitar attack and short stabbing vocals. the level of musicianship on display is excellent culminating in Born to Die a true highlight bringing the harder edge with the riffs complementing the vocals “The prices I’ve paid, the choices I’ve made “through to another short sharp catchy solo.
No track outstays its welcome and this record is so gloriously metal that you’ll be tipping beer on your head and smashing the furniture on the hunt for posers by the time you get to the epic Terminate (all 4.14 of it) with its chants and huge metal attack.
Wraith have perfected their spirit of the 80s approach to metal Time Wins is more proof of this with its ode to battle, all tracks are lean, focused and crystal clear in their intent. Undo the chains is not post metal or any of the current trends. It’s an homage to the mighty thrash/metal gods of which there are no other you should worship!
Skorbvstr - akkurat min kopp te 9/10
‘’Svar på spørsmålet’’ is a track drenched in hallucinogenic nightmares that begins simply with waves of guitar noise and huge drums. Its raw, dense, dripping in huge soundscapes and grooves. It is just one of the highlights off ‘’akkurat min kopp te’’.
Skorbvstr take any expectations and throw them out the window. It is hard to believe this is a solo act from Kentucky USA. ‘’Null’’ continues the nightmare with its raw blast beats whilst ‘’ekte black metal er for mainstream’’ starts as a doom piece before throwing itself headfirst into insanity and then back again. Its disorientating, compelling and addictive with a strong sense of melody and dissonance. “’projeksjon’’’continues this assault with special mention to the ferocious primal vocals, and waves of noise. This is uneasy listening in its most pure form, relentless, unpredictable, and utterly heavy