Album Reviews

  • The Kryptik - Behold Fortress Inferno (2020)

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    Striking while the iron is hot, Brazilian Black Metal duo The Kryptik follow up their crushing 2019 release with a superbly impressive EP titled “Behold Fortress Inferno”. With nearly 40 minutes of music, this release creates a very sinister symphonic atmosphere paired with hellish shrieks and blistering guitars to deliver one hell of a ride. If you like adorned, raw, and powerful BM, this is one release you can’t miss.

    Setting a very cinematic and gothic mood with the album title track’s opening atmospherics, The Kryptik brings back the days of Charmand Grimloch and his Tartaros project. The chilling atmosphere is nicely complemented by the pummeling blast-beats and hellish screams, creating a very intense experience. The brutality continues as “The Plagues of the Abyss” and “Black Legions March” continue to perfectly balance eerie atmospherics, melodic passages, and creepy interludes with pummeling riffing and a pretty aggressive overall pace.

  • Odiosior - Syvyyksistä (2020)

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    Unleashing one of the most diverse and engaging ‘traditional’ Black Metal releases in 2020, today we have Odiosior and their multifaceted “Syvyyksistä”. Taking elements from tons of different variants of the genre and wrapping them around a pummelling and frosty superbly raw core, this release changes colors like a chameleon. If you like diverse BM this is one of those releases that feels like a buffet of different flavors.

    The release opens with the hyper violent “Viha Minussa” and its bestial onslaughts of shrieks of pain and intense guitars. Some more interesting elements start to appear, like haunting keyboards and funky atmospherics that will play a larger role as the album progresses. With a certain Darkthrone-esque rawness, “Takaisin Kaaokseen” has that playful Punkish sound with crafty drums and catchy passages. On “Laulu Pimeydessä” the band makes keyboards the focal atmospheric point, creating a very engaging and at times chilling song, with a certain horror-movie-like flair.

  • Void Paradigm - Ultime Pulsation | Demain Brûle (2020)

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    Perfectly crafted for those of us that like funky Black Metal with tons of unique and at times bonkers elements, Void Paradigm prepares to unleash: “Ultime Pulsation | Demain Brûle”. In this 38+ minute release, the band presents two songs that create very unique atmospheres and are full of intricate little details to discover. Highly recommended for fans of bands like Ved Buens Ende and Ephel Duath.

    The release kicks off with side A, “Ultime Pulsation”, a chilling song that slowly builds up to a very chaotic catharsis and a hefty dosage of creepy atmospherics and stern vocals. With incisive and punishing riffs flanking the hellish vocals of Jonathan Théry, the release instantly induces anxiety upon the unsuspecting listener. We particularly enjoy how the crafty tempo changes and funky drum patterns shape how the song unravels to the listener while creating some interesting and subtle instrumental passages.

  • Dark Tranquillity - Moment (2020)

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    Unleashing one of the most expected releases of 2020, today we have Sweden’s Dark Tranquillity and their mesmerizing release “Moment”. Featuring over 50-minutes of superbly crafted Melodic Death Metal, the band continues to deliver their signature style music with a few additions courtesy of new guitarists Johan Reinholdz and Christopher Amott.

    Opening the release with great style and energy, “Phantom Days” sets forth this aural journey with the futuristic keyboards of Martin Brändström alongside re-energized melodic guitar passages and exciting guitar leads. As both Amott and Reinholdz have integrated into the band, tracks like “Transient” and “Identical to None” change things up a bit and feel more energetic and engaging, with ripping solos and unparalleled guitar craftsmanship, to go alongside the band’s signature melody.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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