24 Jun 2016

Neige et Noirceur: "Les Ténèbres modernes"

The ground trembles with every lumbering step from Neige et Noirceur
Neige et Noirceur is arguably among one of the better known Quebecois black metal bands, and is - of course - shrouded in a degree of mystery. The sole member, Zifond, has previously called himself Spiritus, but by now goes by the name Sion Daus. Since the creation of Neige et Noirceur in 2005, Zifond has conceived an abundance of releases losely tied together under the black metal category.

22 Jun 2016

Minus One World: "Sewage"

Breakaway attempt at innovation ends up an airless affair
Minus One World from Salo, Finland, are something akin to mold breakers. Created in 2008, they haven't been much for following trends or traditions since then. Their 2013 EP Sewage is upbeat and almost pleasant when held against the filthy and abrasive traditions of the country's once sprawling death and doom metal scene.

20 Jun 2016

Serpenthia: "Beyond"

Finnish unknowns positively surprise with a grand declaration of war in EP format
Like Sweden and Norway, Finland is home to its own host of excellent black metal bands, even if bands like Horna, Behexen or Impaled Nazarene doesn't ring a bell quite as loudly as, say, Marduk or Darkthrone. Serpenthia from Joensuu has very little in common with the bestial cacophonies of Beherit or the raw tremolos of Satanic Warmaster though.

17 Jun 2016

Power Glove: "Trials of the Blood Dragon OST"

Hits but mostly commercialised misses for undiscerning fans
Mysterious Australian elecro-duo Power Glove have been lurking and looming for some time, poking their cyborg heads out once in a while to drop off a new track, an EP or a soundtrack at regular intervals. Their hugely popular soundtrack for the Ubisoft game Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon in 2013 was many people's first look into the neon-bathed vector lines of retro-futuristic synthwave music, and now they're back, revisiting the franchise that to some degree broke new ground for them.

15 Jun 2016

Twilight Fauna & Filsufatia: "Fallen Leaves in a Tide of Sorrow"

As an international effort, this split shows that failure has no nationality
Though the black metal genre is rich in history, for better or worse, many amateur musicians now seek musical refuge in hugely simplified riffs hidden behind veils of distortion and ambience. These one-man "bedroom" bands are deservedly so notorious for being awful beyond comprehension.

13 Jun 2016

Phidion: "Flesh of the Forsaken"

Rich in history without looking forward too often
When the five man strong thrashing death metal outfit from Stockholm come into play, their moods vary from narrow interpretations of ominous aggression, menacing fury and focused anger. The group's third release, the Flesh of the Forsaken EP from 2012, explores a lyrical universe consisting of the recurring history of humanity's affinity for warfare as well as other topics, set to a barbaric soundtrack of mid-paced, thrash-laden death metal that only Swedes can deliver.

10 Jun 2016

Forteresse: "Thèmes pour la rébellion"

News from Canada's prime metal export bodes well
It's time to dust off the accent button on your keyboard, the Canadian black metal scene is stirring once again! Athros, Moribond and company return with another dose of black metal from the northern hemisphere, fully five years since their last album.

From their debut in 2006 until the release of the critiqued fourth album Crépuscule d'Octobre in 2011, Forteresse had a long streak of releases coming out at regular intervals. But apart from a single track, Wendigo, on the 2014 split with three other Canadian black metal acts, the Québécois separatists have been laying suspiciously low.

8 Jun 2016

Dèigh: "Nothingness"

Blatant disregard for quality or musicianship
Having started out some time in 2012 in Madrid, Spain, Dèigh as an entity works its way towards the term abrasive black metal with a demo in 2012 and the Nothingness EP in 2013. Precious little is know about the project, however, by the time Nothingness is released, pertaining to the traditional atmosphere of mystique surrounding many branches of black metal.

6 Jun 2016

Stranglion Rot: "Rotten Heart of Evil"

Culmination of zeal and an urge to create, Stranglion Rot delivers a good piece of death metal
Throwing Finland's musical heritage of gloomy, doom-inspired death metal to the wind, one-man project Stranglion Rot unleashes 22 minutes of fast d-beat death metal on Rotten Heart of Evil. Hailing from an unknown part of Finland, the album sounds more akin to something produced in 90s Sweden, opting for barbed wire strings, jackhammer drums and hoarse growls.

Relying on sheer riffing rather than a more composed wholesomeness, Stranglion Rot does not hold back. At times the arrangements come off as the ramblings of an inexperienced songwriter, but sole member Hietala often manages to get the message across through his hellishly catchy guitar lines.

3 Jun 2016

Iotunn: "The Wizard Falls"

The next big thing in Danish metal
Coming from out of nowhere with just a five track EP, Iotunn are by now causing major waves within the Danish metal community, and playing numerous shows both locally and abroad. Born from the love of progressive music as a 70s prog rock band, their origins serve them well in their current incarnation where tradition and forward-thinking go hand in hand.

1 Jun 2016

Durvasag: "EP Promo 2012"

Canadian thrashers return with renewed effort
Though blackened Canadian thrashers Durvasag ultimately failed to impress with their 2011 demo, Pure Fucking Thrash!, their 2012 EP shows greater promise and a degree of growth within the band. Where the first demo was produced by lead singer Mark Arruda, the EP is instead produced by Mario Rafael, lending the two compositions a greater deal of personality.