Nordicwinter - Sorrow (2021)

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Canada continues to impress us with their constantly growing Black Metal scene, today we have one-man outfit Nordicwinter with “Sorrow”. Being the band’s fourth full-length release, this release unravels nearly one hour of highly melancholic Atmospheric BM, filled with mournful and doomy passages. If you like heavily emotional music that combines both lush atmospheric arrangements and savage onslaughts of harshness, you are in the right place.

The album sets a very hypnotic and tempered mood with the start of “Somber Winds Of Despair (Part I)”. As this song progresses we are treated to wonderful harsh shrieks paired with melancholic guitars and a very restrained tempo. We particularly enjoy the overly dramatic atmospheric keyboards that nicely envelop the slow and painful distorted riffs. Creating a very dense and yet lush atmosphere, tracks like “Sullen Echoes” and “This Mournful Dirge” are very immersive, as we foundouselves getting lost in their magical misery-inducing atmosphere.

Malum - Devil’s Creation (2021)

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Just when you think you have heard all the great Black Metal bands from Finland, an outfit like Malum shows you that there are still plenty more to discover. Thanks to Purity Through Fire, today we have “Devil’s Creation”, the band’s fourth full-length release. Unleashing nearly 40 minutes of well polished and intense music, this release is for fans of outfits like Algazanth, Behexen and Satanic Warmaster.

After a brisk mood setting intro, “Serpent of The Abyss” blows things wide open with ravaging screams, intense riffing, and crafty atmospherics. The band’s sound is raw and powerful, while certain melodic undertones allow their music to be immersive and crushing. Typical Black Metal pieces like “Messiaan kuolema” and the album title track deliver waves of traditional drum patterns alongside furious guitar and vocal work, making the band’s approach to the genre timeless and violent.

Ifrinn - Caledonian Black Magick (2021)

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Mysterious Scottish entity Ifrinn is ready to unleash their debut EP titled “Caledonian Black Magick”. Featuring over 24 minutes of crushing Black Metal, the band keeps things powerful and simple with a very direct and in-your-face approach. Recommended for fans of old-school BM with no room for weakness, this release is raw and powerful.

Opening with the excruciating album title track, the band sets an all-out war pace with its ravaging riffs and drumming, paired with hellish snarls. There is a certain feeling of unholiness and darkness as the opening track suddenly shifts into a somber melancholic passage just before another wave of brutality. If the first track was not enough to hook you on this band, “Silent Seas of Sorcery” delivers waves of incisive riffs and crafty drums. We particularly enjoy when the track descends in tempo and creates a very enveloping and sinister atmosphere.

Decline of the I - Johannes (2021)

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Creating the perfect soundtrack to induce nightmares, today we have Decline of the I with their latest effort “Johannes”. Featuring a new lyrical concept and band members, this release builds on the band’s unique and demoralizing brand of highly atmospheric Black Metal and elevates the listener’s experience to a whole new level. With over 50 minutes of cavernous and bone chilling music, this release is highly recommended for fans of bands like The Ruins of Beverast and Blut Aus Nord.

Opening with the hellish “A Selfish Star”, the listener is treated to very crafty atmospherics featuring spoken word ramblings and haunting clean singing. This atmosphere is further exacerbated by the layered aggressive guitars and harsh screams, and nicely shocked into tranquility by some dreamy slower tempo passages. The cinematic experience bleeds into the punishing “The Veil of Splendid Lies” and its superbly crafted drum patterns alongside dramatic guitar leads and haunting choral arrangements.

Kankar - Dunkle Millennia (2021)

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Unleashing over 44 minutes of highly versatile Black Metal, today we have Germany’s Kankar and their debut release “Dunkle Millennia”. Borrowing bits and pieces of bands like Uada, Mgła, Inquisition and Gaerea, this duo ravages through 11 superbly catchy and well crafted tracks. If you like, melodic, firm, and yet crafty music, this is one release to explore.

Setting a very punishing and explosive mood with the opener “Gier”, the band nicely focuses on creating incisive melodic onslaughts that are catchy and aggressive as tracks like “Krater in Sarx”, “Zerfall des Lichts”, and “Vergeltung” level everything in their path. The Mgła-esque buzzing guitars and tempo, allow tracks like “Thüringer Schwarzmetall” and “Der Schütze”, to unleashe furious heabanging sessions as they are equally melodic and brutal.

Escumergamënt - ...ni degu fazentz escumergamënt e mesorga… (2021)

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Mysterious entity “Escumergamënt” delivers one of the most punishing and dense Black Metal debut releases of all-time with the piercing “...ni degu fazentz escumergamënt e mesorga…”. Featuring over 44 minutes of high-octane Black Metal filled with gaudy old-school atmospherics, this album creates very interesting and demoralizing atmospheres as it barrelsdown your speakers.

Featuring members of Stilla and Setherial, this release starts with eerie atmospherics in “Of Old Night And Winter”. This track slowly transforms into heavier territories with crafty drumming and completely crushing shrieks of pain. The band’s riffing is quite intense and perfectly fits that old-school vibe they are going for on songs like the opener, “To Envy The Corpses” with its catchy passages, and blistering onslaughts of “Antediluvium”.

The Beast of Nod - Multiversal (2021)

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Mixing up Technical Death Metal with Progressive and ‘Video Game’ Metal elements, today we have a very intense and exciting band from the USA called The Beast of Nod. With comparisons to bands like Dethklok, Powerglove, and similar outfits, “Multiversal” delivers over 50 minutes of playful high-octane music that is extremely technically proficient, fun, and greatly engaging.

Opening with the magical “Flight of the Quetzalcoatlus”, we instantly get that Proggy/Techy vibe with intricate guitars, crafty drumming and playful tempo changes. The vocal styles vary between growls and shrieks, allowing for the music to change moods and intensity quite nicely, as the jazzy “Contemporary Calamity” showcases.

Imperia - The Last Horizon (2021)

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As one of the first impressive singers in the early days of Symphonic/Gothic Metal, Helena Iren Michaelsen has always been one of our favorite singers since her days in Trail of Tears. Unleashing a double album with Imperia, we are treated to over 72 minutes of lush Symphonic Metal with “The Last Horizon”. With tons of different elements ranging from rock to folk, this release has certainly something for everybody.

Opening with the lively, “Dream Away” sets a very epic and engaging vibe that is further developed and enhanced with killer songs like “Starlight”, the Doro-esque “To Valhalla I Ride”, and the explosive “Flower and the Sea”. Featuring dramatic arrangements, heavy riffs, and crafty atmospheric elements we are instantly attracted to dynamic songs like “Blindfolded” and “Only A Dream”.

Aara - Triade I: Eos (2021)

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After their crushing 2020 release “En Ergô Einai”, Aara showcased their blistering brand of Atmospheric Black Metal, making this album one of the highlights of the year. Wasting no time and keeping their momentum going, this Swiss trio now unleashes “Triade I: Eos” with nearly 45 minutes of even more impressive and commanding music. If you like furiously paced guitars and lush atmospherics filled with intensity, this is one release you can’t miss.

Setting a somber atmosphere with the first few minutes of “Fathum”, the band suddenly explodes with a very ferocious into all-out onslaught of piercing riffs, crushing drums, and shrieking vocals. The intensity delivered is nicely contrasted by subtle atmospheric and melodic elements, creating a very unique and powerful experience that nicely bleeds into “Tantalusqual”. One of our favorite tracks has to be the haunting “Naufragus” and its majestic atmospheric keyboards, giving us that Symphonic Black Metal vibe of bands like Limbonic Art and early Emperor.

Nachtig - Der stille Wald (2021)

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One man entity, Nachtig is ready to unleash misery to the masses with its second full-length release “Der stille Wald”. As yet another brilliant Black Metal project from V. V. (Cosmic Burial and Valosta Varjoon), this outfit explores the more atmospheric and depressive corners of the genre. Unleashing over 54 minutes of crushing music, this release is perfect for anybody looking for bands similar to Mortualia with some sprinkles of Heretoir.

The album title track opens the proceedings with fury and melancholy. Featuring mid-tempo drumming alongside piercing riffs and hellish vocals, a very oppressive and excruciating mood is quickly established. Perfectly pairing subtle atmospheric keyboards with weeping guitar riffs, the vibe continues to be misery-inducing as tracks like “Im Hohen Gras” and “Berg und Tal”. There are some hints of modern Post-Black Metal elements, making the songs lush and delicate while retaining the band’s core rawness.

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