Black Metal

  • Imha Tarikat - Hearts Unchained - At War with a Passionless World (2022)

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    Hailing from Germany, today we have relentless Black Metal outfit Imha Tarikat and their latest opus “Hearts Unchained - At War with a Passionless World”. With a heavy focus on melody and raw emotions, this release unleashes a well polished and yet crushing onslaught of ten powerful tracks. For fans of outfits like Fell Voices and Vanum, this band means business as it levels everybody on their path.

    After an unsettling intro, “Radical Righteousness” quickly delivers waves of rawness and brutality, with crafty drumming and hectic guitars. While seemingly just raw and powerful, the band’s sound takes a turn as “Touch of Mercy” showcases a different side full of melodic guitars and a playful bass guitar line. We particularly enjoy how the band seamlessly weaves back and forth different styles, but all is glued together by the aggressive vocals.

  • Dødsengel - Bab Al On (2022)

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    Crawling out of the depths of hell, today we have Norway’s Dødsengel and their latest opus “Bab Al On”. Playing a vicious Atmospheric/Occult Black Metal, this outfit has some serious Blut Aus Nord vibes minus the industrial aspects. Unleashing some of the most decadent and misery inducing soundscapes, this release clocks in at 72 minutes of pure evil and atmosphere. If you like dense and ritualistic BM, this is certainly one of the best releases of 2022 for that.

    The album starts with the cavernous ritualistic intro “Ad Babalonis Amorem Do Dedico Omnia Nihilo”, creating a very unsettling atmosphere that quickly leads way to hellish vocal arrangements and piercing guitars. The band goes full-on with the crushing “In the Beginning” and its hellish tremolo picking alongside relentless waves of aggression. Just as you think you can settle for all-out war, the band changes directions with the eerie “Annihilation Mantra” and its haunting vocals.

  • Orphique - Consécration Cadavérique (2022)

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    Canada continues to amaze us with their Black Metal talent, with bands like Délétère, Monarque, and Forteresse leading the way, there are plenty of additional bands with unique and explosive styles such as Orphique. As a one-man project of David Potter, “Consécration Cadavérique” perfectly blends multiple styles with sheer brutality and intensity to create a very powerful and punishing release.

    Opening with the moody “Onirique”, the band unleashes a crushing opening that slowly transitions into more melodic and sinister territories. We love how the track transitions into heavy atmospherics and a slower pace and then it jumps back at the listener with sheer brutality. If the first highly impressive track did not hook the listener, “Vampirique” and “Chromatique” combine lush atmospherics, crafty acoustic guitars and a mixture of high-octane onslaughts and dreamy interludes.

  • Eternal Helcaraxe - Drown in Ash (2022)

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    With the amount of promos we get, sometimes we miss some truly unique gems like “Drown in Ash” by Eternal Helcaraxe. Luckily, we have a system to check out nearly every single album we receive and review some of the most impressive ones. Hailing from Ireland, this outfit delivers a highly melancholic and melodic blend of Atmospheric elements and fierce Black Metal. From start to finish this release will keep you to the edge of your seat and will leave you wanting more.

    The onslaught begins with the somber “Withered Strands Of Existence” and its lush dreamy opening that suddenly turns hectic with waves of crafty guitars, pummeling drums and harsh vocals. There is a certain melancholic magic on the clean vocal arrangements that flank the intensity of the music, making the song quite effectives. With an Austere meets Saor vibe, tracks like the album title song, “Where Dead Things Roam Free” and “None Of It Mattered” fiercely explore the bands multiple facets from relentless aggression to minimalistic acoustic interludes.

  • Karg - Resignation (2022)

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    Releasing an album nearly every two years, today we have Karg and their release “Resignation”. Masterminded by J.J. of Harakiri for the Sky fame and featuring PF of labelmate’s Ellende, this release delivers over 46 minutes of highly melancholic and very well arranged Post-Black Metal. The band’s sound reminds us of a mixture of Heretoir with Harakiri for the Sky with a dreamier edge, so any fan of those (or similar) bands will certainly love this release.

    Opening with the 11-minute “Was bleibt”, the track starts very traditionally and it soon blends in dreamier and lush atmospheric elements, like the dramatic string and wind instruments near the 9-minute mark that perfectly pair with solemn clean vocals. This is exactly what makes “Resignation” a very interesting release as it manages to stray away from just the typical all post-Black Metal bands are doing these days. However, the album still has plenty of heaviness and catchiness as “EBBE//FLUT” shows the listener.

  • Kathaaria - To Be Shunned by All​.​.​.​ As Centres of Pestilence (2022)

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    Finally catching up with some of the September releases we flagged to review but didn’t get to, today we have Kathaaria’s sophomore release, after 14 years, title “To Be Shunned by All​.​.​.​ As Centres of Pestilence”. Playing a weird and decadent interpretation of Black Metal, this duo crafts six very interesting songs that have influences from the Scandinavian Avant-garde Black Metal scene.

    Opening with the piercing “Agenda Nihil”, the band immediately makes their pitch of uncompromising madness with the intricate riffing and drummer of this sinister song. Things are just getting warmed up as “The Last Act of Rebellion” keeps the madness going with some playful tempo changes and very crafty arrangements, delivering a tricky and yet very enjoyable song that goes beyond your typical BM piece.

  • Terra - Für dich existiert das alles nicht (2022)

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    Unleashing a gargantuan slab of Black Metal with tons of atmospherics, today we have UK’s Terra and their sophomore release “Für dich existiert das alles nicht”. In the vein of Ash Borer, Fell Voices, and the like, this release punishes the listener with ravaging onslaughts of Black Metal aural abuse thanks to its unsettling atmosphere. With four tracks clocking in at over 60 minutes, this release is as brutal as it is brilliant.

    Opening with “The Beginning”, the band slowly envelops the listener with raw distortion, massive drums and piercing vocals. The band’s style is definitely an acquired taste as it relies heavily on its punishing atmosphere but once it settles, it is demoralizing and extremely powerful. The riffs on tracks like “Verisimilitude” are as heavy as they can get and nicely weave back and forth from the drone-ish/ambient-like atmospherics. This particular style is quite effective and immediately transports the listener to a dark and foggy world where sound transcends consciousness.

  • Catacombes - Des glaires et des briques (2022)

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    We are constantly impressed on how Sun & Moon records always manages to find very interesting underground bands like Selbst, Blaze of Sorrow, etc. The label has done it again with the incisive Catacombes and their crafty and engaging Black Metal on their sophomore release “Des glaires et des briques”. The band’s music is raw and direct, with a certain Peste Noire meets Monarque approach that will lead to plenty of weird headbanging sessions.

    After a mood setting opener, “Cathédrale” creates a very decadent and moody atmosphere with fierce guitar riffs and hellish vocals. The pace is not always intense, allowing the atmosphere and tempo to accommodate more experimental and even Doomy passages. However, not all tracks are the same as pieces like the album title track and “Face à Godasses” are commanding and pummeling from start to end. The band can easily switch gears and they are not afraid of showing it.

  • Ellende - Ellenbogengesellschaft (2022)

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    Completely blowing us away, today we have Ellende’s latest opus “Ellenbogengesellschaft”. As one of the most anticipated releases of 2022 for us, this album delivers nearly 50 minutes of highly melancholic atmospheric Post-Black Metal unlike anything you’ve heard before. L.G manages to improve the band’s sound by introducing additional elements while keeping its raw core untouched.

    The elegant intro “Ich bin” nicely sets a solemn mood that is quickly elevated with “Unsterblich”. In this relentless track we get our first dose of the band’s signature blistering aggression nicely adorned with subtle atmospherics and dramatic tempo changes into lush melodic passages. The mood of the track completely changes when it transitions to weeping guitar leads and dreamy choral arrangements.

  • Wyrms - Sarkhral Lumænor - La lueur contre les fléaux (2022)

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    Unleashing one blistering barrage of punishing Melodic Black Metal riffs, today we have Wyrms and their fourth full-length release “Sarkhral Lumænor - La lueur contre les fléaux”. Other than having one of the longest album titles in 2022, this album perfectly blends unparalleled intensity with sinister BM foundations, creating a very Windir/Vreid meest Atmospheric/Suicidal BM atmosphere.

    Immediately setting a hellish pace, “La messe de l épée” slowly transitions from dreamy atmospherics into all-out Black Metal onslaughts filled with intense guitar work and ravaging drumming. This level of intensity is perfectly on display on pieces like “Fort blanc et bêtes noires” and “Entre gueux et rats”, where the melodic aspect of the band's sound nicely creates a very effective and direct mixture that will have listeners furiously headbanging.

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