Epitimia - Allusion (2020)

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Crafting a very unique and cinematic Post-Black Metal experience, today we have Russia’s Epitimia and their latest opus: “Allusion”. Featuring seven tracks and nearly one hour of extremely crafty and well engineered music, this release has a little bit of everything. Not going down the same path of most Post-Black Metal bands, this outfit focuses on creating a brutal experience that manages slower and melancholic passages quite efficiently.

After a lush opening, “Clue I: Animist” delivers blistering harsh vocals alongside intense guitars creating a hash but intriguing atmosphere. Weaving back and forth between melodic interludes and aggressive passages, this track sets a very engaging mood. After a punishing opening, “Clue II: Melancholia I” hones in on more melancholic and intricate territories with some more experimental and seemingly free-form sections near its end.

Boreal - The Battle of VOSAD (2020)

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Atmospheric Black Metal is one of those genres where bands can either deliver excellent and chilling releases or just completely shit the bed. Luckily for us, Boreal’s debut full-length release “The Battle of VOSAD” is quite good, providing a solid experience to the listener. For fans of bands like Limbonic Art or Mysticum, this release creates a haunting and yet magical vibe.

Opening with the lush intro of “The Battle”, the band sets a very regal and fantasy-like ambiance before hitting the listener with a Mysticum-esque Industrial-ish sounding Black Metal with powerful vocals and solid riffs. The drums, which sound more like programmed drums, but you never know these days as software has gotten quite good, set a very martial and hypnotic pace, keeping the atmospheric elements flowing effectively and elegantly.

Sad - Misty Breath of Ancient Forests (2020)

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Unleashing a thunderously frosty release, today we have Greek battalion Sad and their latest full-length release “Misty Breath of Ancient Forests”. Delivering over 54 minutes of raw and crushing Black Metal, this band carries the flame of old-school BM with intensity and gusto. For fans of bands like Horna, Sargeist and similar, this album will pummel your senses from start to end.

The duo kicks off this release with the blistering “Self Hatred”, a track that brings that Satyricon “Mother North”-era vibe but with a sharper edge and pummeling guitars. With a very melodic approach, the band’s frosty style delivers a great contrast between non-stop aggression and well paced melodic passages. Tracks like the desolate “Enjoy Your Pettiness” and the two parts of the album title track create a very hectic and effective atmosphere.

Carcass - Despicable (2020)

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As a fine wine, Carcass has nicely matured over time while keeping true to their signature sound, the band continues to aggressively tour and give killer performances. As a preview for their upcoming full-length release, the band delivers “Despicable”, just in time for Halloween. Featuring four tracks and nearly 20 minutes of music that will not be part of their next release, this album delivers the signature melodic/catchy Death Metal/Death’n’Roll sound we all love.

The release kicks off with the signature Carcass guitars of “The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue”. In this track we get a nicely paced piece filled with chugging riffs and crafty tempo changes. Jeff Walker’s usual snarl is as powerful as always, and on “The Long And Winding Bier Road” it shows that clean vocals can also create very catchy and engaging chorus sections, alongside pretty epic guitar leads.

Shaidar Logoth - Chapter III: The Void God (2020)

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Unleashing a very unique and auraly abusive release, today we have experimental/atmospheric Black Metal duo Shaidar Logoth and their gargantuan “Chapter III: The Void God” release. Featuring a mix of traditional USBM with more esoteric atmospheric/ambient elements and a splash of Post-BM elements, this release delivers over 47 minutes of creepily captivating music.

The release opens with the multi-layered “Nest of Pigs”, a track that slowly builds up with a very ethereal feeling thanks to the Post-BM-ish guitars in the first few minutes. The band’s aggressive side is not to be trifled with as this opener reaches a high point with blistering BM aggression through intense riffing and drumming. The band’s more atmospheric/ambient influences help transition this track into the cavernous “Anguish Cradle”. This song creates a very unique and effective oppression sound with a slow drawn melody and a chaotic ending.

Interview with Alexander Krull of Leaves' Eyes - 2020

Interviews during the pandemic times are a lot of fun since we get to talk to people completely outside of our circle of friends. Today we have a very fun chat with Alex Krull the mastermind behind Leaves' Eyes about their upcoming release "The Last Viking", one of the most epic albums of 2020. In this interview we discuss the album's themes and the life of a modern Viking. With tons of cool features on the artbook edition, this release is set to be one of the most awesome ones of 2020.

Throane - Une Balle Dans Le Pied (2020)

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France has been on the forefront of pushing Black Metal to new auditory levels with bands like Blut Aus Nord and Throane. Today we have the latter’s new effort: “Une Balle Das Le Pied” a one-track, 13-minute 7” release that continues Dehn Sora’s musical exploration with plenty of unique elements. Not for the close-minded, this short but sweet release encapsulates a very unique concept alongside hellish music.

Unleashing a hellish attack on your senses, the juxtaposition of Industrial elements and trance-inducing Dark Ambient influences creates a very thick and chaotic atmosphere, similar to what Yeruselem crafted last year but with a more punishing and hypnotic edge. The song is divided into three main movements separated by eerie interludes. However, every single part delivers relentless aggression with harsh screams and crushing guitars.

Bergeton - Miami Murder (2020)

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A bit outside of our regular reviewing domain, today we have electronic music project Bergeton and their debut release “Miami Murder”. Formed by Morten Bergeton Iversen (Teloch) from Nidingr and Mayhem fame, this one-man outfit crafts a unique mixture of video game-like music with more traditional electronic elements, and of course some heavy distorted guitars thrown into the mix. If you are the type of Metal head that enjoys Ulver and similar outfits, then this release will certainly appeal to you.

Kicking off with the hypnotic “Arabian Nights”, “Depeche Load, and “Fort Apache Marina”, we are instantly transported to the times of 8-bit music from Nintendo and old-school computer games. However, Bergeton adorns this style with more lush and rich electronic elements to these tracks and some nice ripping guitars to the former track. The playful nature of the music is quite engaging and far from linear, tracks like “Lambo” have a cohesive and yet differential feeling to them, keeping the album interesting and fresh.

Leaves’ Eyes - The Last Viking (2020)

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As one of the most senior bands in the scene, Leaves’ Eyes has marked the path for countless others. With “The Last Viking”, the band delivers their signature bombastic music with a few additional surprises and great intensity. Featuring over 60 minutes of lush songs, this release showcases the band having fun while staying true to their lyrical and musical foundations.

Leading with the cinematic opener, “Death of a King”, the band continues with the folkier and Turisas-esque “Chain of the Golden Horn”. This very lively track unleashes masterful choir arrangements and Elina Siirala’s enchanting lead vocals. With a folkier and very dynamic guitars/drums approach, this and other tracks like “War of Kings” have a very epic and powerful sound. Our personal favorite is the dramatic “Black Butterfly” with its lush instrumentation and superbly catchy duet between Elina and Visions of Atlantis Clémentine Delauney.

Slagmark - Radical Malice (2020)

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Behind a crushing debut release, there is usually an equally inspired and punishing demo. With “Radical Malice”, Germany’s Slagmark showcases their relentless and grim approach to Black Metal that nicely transferred into their brilliant “Purging Sacred Soils” debut full-length. Now being released through Purity Through Fire, this demo unleashes nearly 20 minutes of raw and uncompromising old-school Black Metal filled with buzzsaw-like incisive guitars and hellish shrieks.

Opening with the ravaging “Behold the Raging Darkness”, the band sets a very hectic mood with bustling riffs and precise drumming. The screams are typical of such releases, but nicely round up the band’s raw and blistering aural approach. The demo title track continues the furious onslaught with another intense track filled with vicious guitars and a very desolate vibe, just perfect for unruly headbanging.

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