The Canadian wave of Black Metal is here to stay and the latest masterful offering comes from the legendary Monarque and their latest EP “Jusqu'à la Mort”. Featuring three songs and over 20 minutes of uncompromising Black Metal, the band instantly reminds us why they are one of the most feared and crushing outfits to ever come out of Canada. Not for the faint of heart, this release is both traditional and yet modern sounding, while keeping their ravaging style intact.
Opening with the EP title track, the band sets a furious pace with hectic drumming and oppressive riffing. The hellish harsh vocals create a very dissonant and eerie vibe, similar to early 90’s European Black Metal. With a certain melodic edge thanks to the keyboards and tempo, this track is one hell of an opening statement. Things get a lot more catchier with the brilliant “Le Serment Prononcé”, a track that while filled with violent guitar work, it also features a very amenable tempo to headbang non-stop.
Stepping aside from all the controversy behind the band, we are just glad that we finally get a follow up to the amazing 2015 “Litourgiya” release. The Metal Blade signed and Bartłomiej Krysiuk-led Batushka delivers a very powerful release that is filled with interesting ideas and a massive atmospheric component. Featuring ten tracks, this release explores a more Black Metal side of things with pummeling tracks that are brilliantly balanced by eerie choir arrangements and superb drumming.
After setting a somber opening chants in “Wozglas”, the band explodes into the catchiness of “Dziewiatyj czas”. This song perfectly blends vicious Black Metal onslaughts with dreamy chants and a very melodic guitar driven vibe, similar to bands like Thyrfing and Vreid. The album’s second single, “Wieczernia” delivers another hellish onslaught of harsh vocals paired with funky guitars, which are quite punishing in nature. In “Powieczerje” we get an interesting mix of classic rock thrown into the band’s atmospheric style, creating a very unique and engaging song that is hard to not listen to over and over.
Taking the world by surprise with their incisive debut release “Söngvar elds og óreiðu”, this Icelandic outfit returns with “Algleymi”. With four years between releases, Misþyrming has had a chance to hone their craft through intense live performances and deliver 46 minutes of the best and most innovative Black Metal we have heard in 2019. Pushing the boundaries while staying true to their raw nature, this release is even better than the band’s debut.
The album kicks off with the crushing “Orgia”, a track with the intensity and viciousness of the band’s debut release. As “Með svipur á lofti” rolls in, we start to notice the band’s new melodic tendencies, which nicely enhance their devastating sound. The band’s sound is greatly enhanced as they at times and Black’n’Roll-ish in songs like the hypnotizing “Ísland, steingelda krummaskuð” and the brilliant “Hælið”. Both of these tracks are quirky and particularly the later has a certain twangy vibe to it that is hard to describe, but makes you want to listen to it over and over again.
Originally hailing from Mexico, Sadness is a one-man project that delivers harrowing Blackgaze music in the same vein of bands like Alcest, Heretoir, Falaise, etc. Cranking out more than a five releases in the last couple of years, this outfit is as productive as Cold World and many others. With over 37 minutes of music divided in five tracks, this release is a good addition to anybody’s Blackgaze collection.
Opening with “Eye of Prima”, the band unleashes their best song with a lively and yet bleak track filled with a subtle atmosphere and very engaging clean vocals. This track slowly progresses in to more aggressive territories with harsh screams and a darker pace. Our personal favorite is the dreamy “Cerrien”, a track that is quite intoxicating thanks to its funky atmospheric keyboards and the odd pace. The Shoegazey parts of “Lana”, make it a very entertaining song and quite a delight to hear.
Keeping their momentum going, Sepulchral Productions Délétère unleash “Theovorator: Babelis Testamentum”, a 20 minute EP that continues to demonstrate the unholy abilities of this outfit to deliver bone chilling Black Metal. If their 2018 release “De Horae Leprae” wasn’t enough, the three tracks in this EP create a certain harrowing vibe that only a handful of BM bands can create. If you are a BM fan and haven’t heard from these guys, you are completely missing out.
Opening with the “Theovoratoris Aduentus”, the band sets an eerie atmosphere early on with raw keyboards, and suddenly explodes into all out war with pummeling drums, intense riffs and crushing vocals. The band’s sound is far from linear, and as the opener continues to progress, we are treated to creepy melodic passages that are both haunting and intoxicating. We are big suckers for Black Metal that you can headbang and enjoy due to its melodic nature, and “Babel Insanifusor” delivers just this. This track features a more organic and stripped down sound that will send shivers down your spine.
German masters of the bizarre Bethlehem are back to full form with the punishing “Lebe dich leer”. Reminding us of their “Dictius Te Necare” and “Dark Metal” days, the band delivers 41 minutes of truly punishing music filled with madness and brutality. Jürgen Bartsch and company are ready to take back their throne and this release is one huge step in the right direction.
Opening with “Verdaut in klaffenden Mäulern”, the band makes an instant impression with the demonic shrieks of Onielar, also the front woman of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult. With her completely ravaging vocals, the already mysterious music takes a completely different and pummeling turn, making it quite violent, mystical and at times quite experimental, like on “Niemals mehr leben”. Atmospheric pieces like “Ich weiß ich bin keins”, will send chills down your spine thanks to the whispered vocals and the very deranged song progression.
Better known as Sleepwalker (夢遊病者), this international band formed from people from multiple corners of the world like Japan, Russia and USA unleashes the latest EP with “Yus” (Ѫ). Combining Black Metal with unique elements and crafted very bleak atmospheres, it feels like Darkthrone and Kayo Dot had a very odd bastard child.
Side A delivers an atmospheric opening which sets a mystical backdrop, only to quickly evolve into dissonant madness. This track perfectly transmits a feeling of helplessness with its odd atmospheric elements and brutal onslaughts. The harsh screams seem a bit distorted, but create a unique vibe that when paired with the rest, create a very uneasy vibe.
It is not very usual to receive promos from bands from countries like Iran, so today we are quite excited to review Erancnoir’s self-titled third full-length release. This one-man outfit delivers over 40 minutes of punishing Atmospheric Black Metal with similarities to bands like NONE and Lustre. With a thunderous approach to the genre, this release is certainly a very interesting contribution to the genre that fans should not miss out on.
With only two tracks covering the album’s duration, the first piece clocks in at 25 minutes and it is certainly a punishing and excruciating journey through dark and sinister worlds. This title track slowly builds up into hellish shrieks of pain and droning riffs that increase in intensity. The atmospheric keyboards are subtle enough to create a magical aura and perfectly complement a ravagingly raw musical core.
Unleashing a 34 minute dose of Atmospheric Black Metal, today we have Iceland’s latest export: Óreiða. In this self-titled debut release, this one entity outfit delivers a dissonant Black Metal sound filled with hatred and brutality. While not as raw as your typical BM bands, the music presented here is crafted to incite discomfort and repulsion… in a good way.
Opening with the pummeling “Dagar”, we get a powerful wall of sound crafted by the hellish distorted guitars and the furious pace. The guitar layering gives this track that extra punch to incite unrest. The violent onslaught continues with the raw brutality of “Draumar”, a track that slowly builds up by adding some atmospheric elements and creating a more dramatic aural assault.
After taking the scene by surprise with their amazing sophomore release “Litany”, Dead to a Dying World is back after four years with an even more impressive and masteful release with “Elegy”. Perfectly blending elements of Doom/Sludge/Black Metal with very emotional vocals and dramatic viola arrangements, this band crafts a very unique sound that is both intoxicating and ravaging. Focusing on creating immersive atmospheres and melodramatic moods, this outfit has created a near perfect release.
Opening with the dreamy western-eques “Syzygy”, the band creates a very martial and enigmatic end-of-time mood. Quickly shifting into 5th gear, “The Seer’s Embrace” delivers crafty guitar riffs and intense vocal arrangements. The mixture of heavy guitars and viola sounds a lot like late 90’s band Forty Days Longing, as it creates a very unique and powerful contrast. The band focuses on crafting unique melodic passages, as this track evolves into many different up and down moods.