Black Metal

  • White Ward - False Light (2022)

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    Just when you think a band can’t get any better, you get a release like “False Light”, showcasing that White Ward’s sound and creativity are boundless. Digging deeper than in “Love Exchange Failure”, the band explores more sultry dark-jazz/avant-garde territories with the 66 minutes of music unleashed here. As one of the finest releases of 2022, this album needs to be enjoyed and carefully examined to get the fullest out of it.

    Starting this magical tour-de-force we have the powerful “Leviathan”, a track that nicely builds up to some harsh Black Metal passages and nicely transitions into sultry jazzy greatness. With a more somber and darker tone, “Salt Paradise” mixes the guest clean vocals from Jay Gambit (Crowhurst) and the band’s more enigmatic and atmospheric side. “Phoenix” and “Silent Circles” nicely balance the band’s heavy side with melancholy and crafty instrumentation.

  • Lord Belial - Rapture (2022)

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    The moment we saw the name Lord Belial in our promo inbox, we immediately thought it was a re-issue of their earlier works, but we never expected that “Rapture” would be a brand new album from this Swedish outfit. We have been fans of the band’s unique take of the genre since their 1997 release “Enter the Moonlight Gate”, which featured a more melodic approach with some female vocals and additional elements. For nearly 50 minutes the band captures their past glory with a very interesting and yet punishing release.

    Opening with the blistering “Legion” and the equally punishing “On a Throne of Souls”, one would never guess that this band has been quite a while in hibernation and that it still features all its original members. The band’s sound is savage and brilliantly produced by none other than Andy LaRocque. Mixing that old-school Scandinavian Black Metal of bands like Immortal, Tartaros, Naglfar, etc. with a more melodic and melancholic edge, the band manages to deliver pummeling pieces like “Rapture of Belial”, “Destruction”, and “Belie all Gods”.

  • Black Void - Antithesis (2022)

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    Showcasing a different side of Lars Are Nedland, today we have his latest project Black Void, a sort of polar opposite release from his 2021, White Void “Anti”, release. Perfectly combining Punk and Black Metal with a mild dose of his soaring clean vocals, Lars delivers around 40 minutes of intense, hellish, and masterfully crafted music featuring a few guest appearances and a stellar supporting cast.

    Opening with the sleazy “Void”, a statement piece that while it starts with typical Black’n’roll fare plus some hefty Punk-ish influences, the listener is still treated to majestic clean vocal arrangements and plenty of melody. Creating chaos and confusion, “Reject Everything” and “Death to Morality” pounce at the listener with ravaging guitars, courtesy of Jostein Thomassen (Borknagar), and a good dose of harsh vocals thrown into the mix.

  • Watain - The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain (2022)

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    With every release, Watain manages to further refine their craft to be more incisive, sinister, and piercing, and “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain” perfectly reflects this. Featuring nearly 50 minutes of bone-chilling music, this release blends aggression with atmosphere and musicality, to create some of the foulest and most oppressive Black Metal anthems to date.

    Opening with the vicious “Ecstasies in Night Infinite”, the listener is quickly blasted with the band’s ravaging guitar work alongside Erik Danielsson’s evil snarl. This opener has a certain retro Dissection-like vibe that sets the tone for the release. We particularly love how elegant melody is infused into the band’s music on tracks like “The Howling”, “Black Cunt”, and “Serimosa”, that still have that razor sharp BM edge, but sound different than most bands.

  • HiddenT - Where Light Ceases to Exist (2022)

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    Latin America is full of quality Black Metal bands and over the last few years Sun & Moon Records have uncovered hidden gems like Selbst, and now HiddenT. Hailing from Chile, this outfit perfectly adds unrivaled melodies and harmonies to an aggressive core, making them sound like early Borknagar and “Cainan Chronicle”-era Ancient.

    The release starts with the mystical atmospheric “Last Winter Ritual” and it quickly escalates with the punishing album title track. There is a certain magical balance between the fierce riffing onslaughts and the eerie clean vocals that grace melodic passages. This nicely bleeds into songs that have some Post-Black Metal vibes like “Delirium Tremens” and our favorite, the headbanging anthem “Under a Shadow Reflection”.

  • Pact - God Only Knows (2022)

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    Unleashing an hour of hellish old-school Black/Death Metal, today we have Pact and their latest full-length release “God Only Knows”. Featuring an assortment of traditional Black/Death Metal tunes and some more sinister and atmospheric songs, this release nicely shakes things up when they start to get a bit repetitive.

  • Solipsism - Our Night Never Ends (2022)

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    Always uncovering some very interesting underground bands, Sun & Moon Records present us today with Solipsism and their debut full-length release “Our Night Never Ends”. Unleashing nine tracks and around 46 minutes of fierce Black/Post-Black Metal, this Slovakian outfit makes a very good first impression with a well balanced mixture of harshness and melody.

    The release opens with the dissonant “Becoming the Void” and a very crafty melodic riffing onslaught that quickly escalates into full-on Black Metal mode. While this is heavy, there is also a certain duality as the band dabbles in more melancholic Depressive BM/Atmospheric BM territories with its bleak screams and subtle keyboards as tracks like “(V)Zostup tragédie”, “Solus Ipse”, and “Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost” move the release forward.

  • Tome of the Unreplenished - Earthbound (2022)

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    When there are seemingly endless amounts of Atmospheric Black Metal bands that all sound the same, it is quite nice to hear outfits like Tome of the Unreplenished and their take on the genre. In “Earthbound”, this originally a project, now a full fledged band, delivers over 46 minutes of captivating music filled with eeriness and interesting ideas.

    The opener “Tellurian” unleashes furious riffs and blast beats, more typical traditional Black Metal that slowly transforms into more melodic and atmospheric soundscapes. Particularly a certain epic/folky vibe thanks to the clean vocal arrangements. The band’s style is more of a mixture of Saor and Windfaerer, as tracks like “Unbound” and “Tryst at the Gales of Cyprus” brilliantly mix atmosphere and melody.

  • Bâ'a - Egrégore (2022)

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    Hailing from France, today we have Black Metal outfit Bâ'a and their intense sophomore release “Egrégore”. Featuring Rms Hreidmarr on vocals, this trio delivers 42 minutes of ravaging music with some resemblance to Au Champ des Morts and Anorexia Nervosa minus the over-the-top arrangements. Each track being more intense and punishing than the previous one, this is one of those releases that will leave the listener begging for mercy while asking for more at the same time.

    The release immediately takes over the listener’s speakers with the ravaging “In Umbra et Luce” and its mysterious opening guitar, which quickly transform into a relentless barrage of pummeling riffs. There is a certain sinister pace to the band’s sound that borders into melodic territories as tracks like “Domitor” and the fierce “Bellum”.

  • Abbath - Dread Reaver (2022)

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    Everytime people count Abbath out, he comes back with a vengeance, and with “Dread Reaver” he returns to silence all haters. Showcasing his signature style with a more mature and Heavy Metal edge, nine tracks and 40 minutes of music unleash a barrage of riffs alongside his signature snarls. Not slowing down one bit, this release is as savage as anything he has released in the past.

    Wasting no time to inflict aural domination, “Acid Haze” quickly pummels the listener with Abbath’s signature frosty riffs alongside killer guitar leads and blistering drumming. Firing on all cylinders, the band victoriously marches like an unstoppable bullet train with tracks like “Scarred Core”, “Dream Cull”, and the old-school Heavy Metal infused “Myrmidon” anthem, one of our favorite tracks in this release.

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