Black Metal

  • Vastatum - Mercurial States of Revelation (2022)

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    Unleashing the perfect mixture of atmosphere and crushing aggression, today we have newcomers Vastatum and their debut full-length release “Mercurial States of Revelation”. Hailing from Canada, this duo has crafted a very unique mixture of old-school Scandinavian Black Metal with a modern and melodic twist that needs to be heard.

    Opening with the momentum builder “Nascent Mother of Night”, the listener is treated to an enveloping atmosphere led by melodic guitar riffs and sinister malice. The eerie mixture of clean and harsh vocals greatly enhances the atmosphere, creating a cavernous vibe similar to The Ruins of Beverast alongside a more straightforward instrumentation. This whirlwind experience is masterfully carried forward on pieces like the “Fall With Seclusion” and the devilish “Mortal Abrogation”.

  • Krvna - Sempinfernus (2021)

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    Unleashing waves of Vampiric Black Metal, today we have Australia’s Krvna and their debut full-length release “Sempinfernus”. With over 35 minutes of intense music, this release reminds us of early Dimmy Borgir, Old Man’s Child, and similar outfits, filled with atmosphere and harshness. For a one-man project, this release packs a mean punch and high replay value.

    Opening with the sinister “From The Shades Of Hades…”, the atmosphere immediately feels tense and eerie thanks to blistering drumming, intricate guitar work and devilish vocals. Things turn a bit more melodic and less chaotic with the melodic onslaughts of “...To The Targovistean Night”, contrasted by its punishing aggressive sections. We are suckes for epic melodies and the track “The Triumph Of The Flesh Over The Spirit” is one fine piece of melodramatic guitar work.

  • Déhà - Ave Maria II (2021)

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    By far one of the most productive musicians in the Metal scene, Déhà’s creativity is probably just bounded by time as he continues to unleash massive albums under his solo project, Wolvennest, Slow, and plenty of other bands. In “Ave Maria II”, he continues work he released over 10 years ago under his side project Yhdarl. Featuring one monumental track of 42 minutes, this release is both haunting and completely harrowing, mixing up dense atmospherics, punishing screams and all mighty riffs.

    Separated into two movements, the first part, “Morituri Te Salutant” sets a very cavernous mood that suddenly turns with the introduction of Thergothon-level distorted riffs alongside dramatic vocal arrangements, similar to what Elend did in the past, but with a heavier dose of distortion. The angelic female vocals are masterfully flanked with incisive guitars and massive growls/screams, perfectly turning beauty into nightmare.

  • Caestus - The Undoer's Key (2021)

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    Another release that we didn’t have time to review in 2021, “The Undoer’s Key” is one hell of a debut album from Finland’s Caestus and their blistering Black Metal onslaughts. In the same vein of traditional Finnish BM releases from Horna, Sargeist and similar outfits, this album delivers 36 minutes of relentless music with savage riffs and hellish screams.

    Opening with the punishing “Reclamation”, the band really warms up with the incisive riffs of “Ultimate Weapon” and its fierce brutality. By the time the album title track drops alongside the dissonant “Burning Hope”, the listener is fully immersed in the band’s piercing sound. Featuring members of Blood Red Fog (bass guitar), ex-Algazanth (guitars and backing vocals), this band delivers swift blows intense music as tracks like “Condescenders”, “Muinaisen Kunnian Taike” and “Dawn of Reckoning” showcase.

  • Ainulindalë - Les chroniques d'Arda (2021)

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    While not a 2022 release, we are reviewing a handful of albums we quite enjoyed at the end of 2021 but didn’t have enough time to review. One of those is the outstanding EP from France’s Ainulindalë, titled “Les chroniques d'Arda”. Featuring a combination of dreamy atmospherics, lush epic arrangements and a hefty dose of aggression, this EP nicely introduces a promising outfit.

    Combining elements from bands like Enid, Battlelore, Turisas, “Les damnés de Numénor” sets a very regal and effective mood. We particularly like the crafty synths paired with solid screams and epic clean vocals. As “Dagor-nuin-Giliath” and “Le geste de Maeglin” up the tempo, the band nicely unleashes crafty drumming alongside melodic guitars to keep things fluid and the headbanging to the max.

  • Beyond Death’s Throne - Haphazard Ethos (2021)

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    Hailing from Spain, something we don’t say enough here at IM, today we have Black Metal duo Beyond Death’s Throne and their punishing debut mini-release “Haphazard Ethos”. Featuring four songs and over 27 minutes of powerful and enigmatic music. With a dense atmosphere and strong instrumentation, this release is the perfect succinct introduction to a promising band.

    The release opens with the atmospheric mood setting intro of “A Threshold Of Harrowed Chants”, as it slowly transitions into blistering drumming and harsh screams. With an emphasis on both melody and brutality, this track grips the listener and never lets go. For darker and more complex Black Metal, we particularly like the deeper harsh vocals paired with ominous clean vocal elements, allowing the band to create a more sinister and eerie atmosphere as in “Diaphanous Lethargy”.

  • Doodswens - Lichtvrees (2021)

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    Unleashing hellish fury all the way from the Netherlands, today we have up-and-coming Black Metal duo Doodswens and their debut full-length release “Lichtvrees”. With a sound reminiscent of 90’s Black Metal with modern production values, this outfit delivers over 36 minutes of high-octane music that will surely propel them to bigger stages over the coming years. With a very raw and yet basic core, this release is both punishing and engaging.

    Opening with the brutal onslaughts of “In Mijn Bloed”, the band sets a very enigmatic mood as the track slowly treads in more atmospheric and slower territories as it evolves. This bleeds into the beginning of the hypnotic “Zwarte Staar”, a 7-minute piece that slowly builds with incisive riffs and crafty percussion. This song showcases the band’s more atmospheric and slower paced side of their sound, will still creating eerie soundscapes that can transform into bestial fast-paced onslaughts at a moment’s notice.

  • Délétère / Sarkrista - Opus Blasphematum (2021)

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    Just when you think 2021 can not get any better with Black Metal releases, Sepulchral Productions drops the split release “Opus Blasphematum” between Canada’s finest Délétère and Germany’s Sarkrista. Unleashing nearly 40 minutes of soul-crushing BM, this release perfectly combines the fury and finesse of these two outfits with three songs from Délétère and four from Sarkrista. For fans of the genre, this is one of the best split releases of the year, so don’t sleep on it and get your speakers ready.

    Canada opens this split with the punishing “Seule affamée”, a perfectly crafted piece that balances menacing riffing with melody and Thorleïf’s gut wrenching vocals. Délétère has been gradually getting better and more brutal over the years, and their intensity is perfectly framed by lush atmospheric and melodic undertones, as “Verminanda”. This track continues the blistering pace thanks to crafty drumming and incisive guitars. The band’s participation ends with the melancholic harshness of “ La cour des fanges”, our favorite song from this side of the release.

  • Negură Bunget - Zău (2021)

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    Releasing four years after the death of Negru, “Zău” is the last piece of the Negură Bunget aural saga. With the original drum track recorded by Negru years back, and all the original musical direction and ideas in place, some of the last members of the band Tibor Kati, Adrian "OQ" Neagoe, and Petrică Ionuţescu, have managed to put this mystical release together, true to its original creation. Mixing both the dreamy/atmospheric and the heavier side of the band’s sound over the years, this release is a fitting conclusion to such a unique musical outfit.

    The release sets a very dreamy and ethereal mood with the opener “Brad”, a 15-minute piece featuring angelic female vocals of Manuela Marchiș, and the band’s signature tempo changes into more aggressive territories. “Iarba Fiarelor” explores richer instrumentation and longer heavier sections, with aggressive growls alongside uplifting atmospherics. The band’s signature style is present in all aspects of this release, giving it a very nostalgic edge.

  • Doedsvangr - Serpents Ov Old (2021)

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    Unleashing all hell with 44 minutes of highly refined and punishing Black Metal, today we have International super group Doedsvangr and their sophomore release “Serpents Ov Old”. Featuring members from bands like Horna, Nordjevel, The Order of Apollyon, and a few guests like Vicotnik and Tsjuder’s Nag, this super release delivers on the promise of being one of the most devastating albums of 2021. If you like Black Metal, it won’t get any better than this release.

    Kicking things off, we have the blistering album title track filled with pummeling drumming and expertly layered guitars, creating a very powerful and punishing experience. Doedsadmiral’s vocals are just perfect for this kind of music, and they perfectly compliment the talents of Shatraug on guitars and bass, as songs like “Flagelist” and “As The Rivers Bleed Their Blessings” and their sinister edge perfectly showcase. There is more than just furious tremolo picking to BM and releases like this are a fine example of it.

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