The Canadians of Blackguard used to be called Profugus Mortis until they won a Nuclear Blast contest on myspace and got a record deal with them. I must say that I’m impressed with this band evolution from a symphonic black metal to a more Folk/Black metal band. While they still maintain they black metal vocals, the music has been greatly revamped with folk influences giving the band a more dynamic sound and removing them from the ‘symphonic black metal’ clone band category.
The only thing I’m disappointed they removed was the violin that separated them from other symphonic black metal bands. Other that this all their bombastic keyboards layered on top of excellent drum and guitar tracks gives this band an edge over any band from North America that plays this genre, and puts them in a competitive level against European bands that are masters of the trade.
This releases is the 9th full length album of Suidakra, and like it’s predecessors it’s very good and different. In this release the Celtic influences are predominant in most of the songs, but the traditional aggressiveness of their musical style is always present. All songs feature a higher technical quality than most of the bands previous work.
“Crógacht” features nine tracks that will leave you begging for more. The intro track will give you a very good idea of what to expect through out the rest of the album. And then “Conaloch” hits with a combined aggressive and melodic aspect to it that will enthrall any listener. In this release the keyboards mark the overall Celtic atmosphere of the whole album.
Horna is one of the few black metal bands that I’ve been a fan since they where conceived and that I’ve never been disappointed with their releases. This Finish band features an all-star line up that includes members of bands that have released some of the finest albums in metal. “Sanojesi Äärelle” is a powerful release that will no doubt become a modern classic of black metal, and that will influence many bands in the scene.
The thing I like about Horna is that no matter how much time it passes, I can always trust on them to deliver brutal and raw black metal albums. Most ‘original’ Black Metal bands have been experiementing with their style of music for the last years releasing mediocre albums in the process (Darkthrone, Mayhem, etc), but not Horna, they stick to the basics and excel at it. And this double CD would put many of the previously mentioned band’s releases to shame.
Blood Stained Dusk hail from …. Alabama, USA?. This American Black Metal masters feature the every enigmatic Pest on vocals and with this they have guaranteed their place in the Black Metal hall of fame. But it’s not only the vocalist that make this band great, all musicians in the band play they instruments with hate and fury to produce on the most brutal releases I’ve heard from 2008.
The guitar work is intense and never let goes, and this band does not play 4 minutes songs, most song in this album are well over 9 minutes. The intensity of the songs only decreases when the ritualistic keyboard passages occur, only to be picked up again, and the blasphemous blasting continues. The keyboards create a majestic cold atmosphere that keeps the listener attentive to whatever surprise is coming next.
Wyrd has been shaping their music over the course of its existence, and now “Kalivägi” marks their newest release with a more refined mix of Pagan Black metal with doom metal. If you are expecting the old heavier sounding Wyrd, you’ll be in for a surprise since while their music is slower they still have some of the rawness of their first releases mixed in with their slower newer stuff.
This release features a majestic combination of acoustic passages, harsh vocals, clean vocals and distorted guitars that create a depressive atmosphere like no other band has done. While the clear vocals are not the best they clearly fit into the music. Imagine listening to Tenhi with some distorted guitars and harsh vocals.
Every time I listen to a terrible demo I say that it can’t get worse than that, well many times I’m wrong. This month I found this demo, and let me say (again), it’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard in my life. As you can see the title of the demo is misspelled (no it’s not one of my many typos), and from this it all goes down to hell (in a bad way).
After their great EP: “Malevolent Grain”, I was expecting this album to continue where the band left off in that release. And they sure did, and raise the bar to a different level. “Black Cascade” features some greatly emotional Black metal that plenty of bands wish they can achieve.
This release takes you into a dark journey mixed with aggressiveness and emotions. The sound quality is not the best out there but it clearly adds to the music and it’s probably intended this way. The four songs clock around 50 minutes, and while some of them can get to be a bit repetitive at some parts, the band makes it up by constantly changing the pace. There are no female vocals or clean vocals in this release, only harsh black metal vocals that sound excellent with the songs.
Avsky hails from Sweden and they attack us with their latest album “Malignant”. This album is considerably better than their previous release “Mass Destruction”. This band plays some raw and brutal old school black metal that will have every fan of the genera banging their heads.
This two man band makes a chilling impression since their first song and never let go. Each song is defined by raw sounding distorted guitars and some bone chilling vocals that would have every listener having nightmares for a few weeks.
Brown Jenkins was a Texan one man band. I say was because it ‘split-up’ late 2008, probably because of creative differences with the voices in his head. I must say that I don’t get this type of bands that play the same (or very similar) guitar riffs for one full album. While I’m always open to hear different types/genres of music, there are some releases that I either don’t get or just plain suck.
It’s been five years since the last release from this Germany band and they are back with a vengeance. Since their last album “Serpent's Embrace” released in 2004, the band lost four members. “Phoenix” marks the return of Agathodaimon like a phoenix from the ashes indeed.
This album in my opinion is Agathodaimon’s best release. The band returns to their more simple symphonic black metal roots. While they are not as ‘symphonic’ as the likes of Dimmu Borgir and other bands in the genre, they hold their own with a quality release like this.