With a very well curated roster of artists, Eisenwald surprises us today with Odal and their highly melodic release “Welten Mutter”. Featuring over 47 minutes of crafty Pagan Black Metal, this German outfit manages to carve a unique style out of combining traditional elements with unconventional instruments. If you are into bands like Thyrfing and Månegarm, this is a band that will catch your attention.
Opening with the melodically intense “...um Ewiges zu schaffen”, the band sets a very lively and intense mood with piercing guitars and catchy tempo changes. We particularly enjoy the band’s superbly melodic core, as waves and waves of riffs make tracks like this, and “Hellwach schwelgend”, and “Schattental” very enjoyable. The additional string instruments nicely give that Pagan/Folk BM edge to the music, breaking any monotony and keeping things interesting.
Unleashing a very interesting Ambient-infused Black Metal release, today we have Lunar Mantra and their latest EP “Psychosomatika”. With a completely crushing and nicely layered sound, this band reminds us of Decline the I, Nightbringer, and Blaze of Perdition, thanks to their ferocity and intricate atmospheric layering they craft. If you like dense and punishing Black Metal with some Ambient elements, this release is a solid candidate for your collection.
After a short intro, “Nexicthon” quickly delivers waves of ravaging guitars, firm harsh growls, and very unique and anxiety inducing tempo changes. The band’s sound is quite elaborate, with tons of underlying atmospheric elements that create an enigmatic aura around tracks like the ritualistic “Azothic Pyres” and its hypnotic guitar work. While not as straight-forward as some would expect, we love that the band challenges the listener with complex layering and crafty songwriting.
Delivering eleven piercing icicles of frosty Atmospheric Black Metal, today we have one-man battalion Paysage d'Hiver and their latest full-length release “Geister”. For the uninitiated, this band is Tobias Möckl's (Darkspace) solo-project that mainly focuses on Winter-inspired raw and punishing music. Captivating the scene with countless demos, this is just the second official full-length release, and it is one hell of a pummeling ride.
With the typical samples of eerie winds, “Schattä” takes a bit to blast off into infamy with razor sharp screens and violent riffs. The band’s core sound is raw and savage, while the trippy atmospheric undertones allows it to create a captivating experience. As the release pummels through “Bluet”, “Wüetig”, and the more mellow “Undä”, the listener experiences various levels of intensity under the same intoxicating atmosphere.
Masterminded by Alex Poole, Ringarë is an Atmospheric Black Metal outfit that focuses on creating lush and ethereal soundscapes, and contrasting them against frosty and bitterly furious BM onslaughts. With a singular and very bombastic style, “Thrall of Winter’s Majesty” delivers over 40 minutes of intense and transcendental music that only bands like Lustre or Spectral Lore are capable of unleashing.
Starting the uplifting etherealness of “Witness to Winter's Lament”, this track sets a very dreamy mood that is suddenly muddled by waves of crushing guitar riffs and very contrasting harsh vocals. We particularly love the duality of the band’s sound and their ability to quickly poison dreamy parts with venomous aggression. More in ambient territories, “O'er Winters Shroud” is an instrumental piece that feels quite cinematic and liberating, providing a breather from the harshness of this release.
Unleashing waves of old-school Black Metal with tons of Dark Ambient elements, Germany’s Lebensnatch took us by surprise with “The Realm Beyond”. Released via Naturmacht Productions, this album has that naivety and minimalist approach of early 90’s BM that newer and more polished bands have lost. If you like overly dramatic and yet simple atmospherics alongside raw and basic BM, this release should be at the top of your list.
Opening with the dreamy “Fallen Soul Under A Pale Star”, we get a very nice retro vibe surrounded by dramatic atmospheric keyboards/synths. The band’s sound is raw and retro, making their music quite direct and not overly adorned. With a certain (old) Burzum-esque vibe “Moon And Stars”, this is our favorite track due to its simplicity and very effective harshness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.