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.
Always pushing the envelope when it comes to unique aural experiences, Ván Records is set to unleash one of the most unique, and yet intoxicating releases of 2021 with Wolvennest’s “Temple”. Clocking in at nearly 80 minutes, this eight song release is filled with haunting atmospherics, eerie arrangements and solid doses of heaviness. Mixing elements from all kinds of genres like Psychedelic Metal, Ambient, to Apocalyptic Folk, and everything in between, this is one truly majestic experience that demands attention and patience.
The album warms up with the ambient/atmospheric elements of “Mantra”, a track that slowly evolves into a mystical piece with piercing guitars and eerie vocal arrangements. Reminding us a bit of Dark Buddha Rising but with some restraint, plus the enigmatic vocals of Shazzula. The mood feels rising with “Swear to Fire” and its incisive riffs and ghastly vocal melodies mixed in with a very crafty tempo and cathartic guitar leads.
Delivering a 26 minute slab of crushing music, today we have International entity Ordo Cultum Serpentis and their debut EP “Derej Najash”. Featuring two tracks of 13 minutes each, the band’s sound is as close as we can imagine the depths of hell to sound like. Mixing a great deal of ambient elements with chugging slow riffs and creepy vocals, this release is perfect for a dark somber night.
Opening with “Chapter 1”, the album starts with a ritualistic vibe of eerie chants and sounds and slowly descends into madness with superbly slow distorted guitars and desolate atmospherics. As the track evolves, there are fierce fast-paced passages with hellish shrieks and a very cavernous vibe. The second piece, “Chapter 2”, continues with the ritualistic atmospherics and sparse drumming, slowly building into savagely punishing simple riffs and more disturbing vocal arrangements.
With the state of affairs in 2020, music has been a great escape for many. With “Another World”, Light Field Reverie beautifully transport the listener on a highly ethereal journey with their captivating music. Featuring both members of Draconian and Sojourner, this release unleashes over 40 minutes of majestic music that incorporates tons of different elements outside of the normal Metal music scope.
Opening with the dreamy “Ultraviolet”, we are greeted with the sultry vocals of Heike Langhans and very moody atmospheric elements ranging from electronic beats, to dreamy synths. Alongside the atmospherics, we also have a well defined Doom-ish structure of heavy guitar riffs and crafty drums, creating a very piercing and yet enigmatic sound, as tracks morph between highly emotional passages to heavier counterparts, like on “The Oldest house”.
France has been on the forefront of pushing Black Metal to new auditory levels with bands like Blut Aus Nord and Throane. Today we have the latter’s new effort: “Une Balle Das Le Pied” a one-track, 13-minute 7” release that continues Dehn Sora’s musical exploration with plenty of unique elements. Not for the close-minded, this short but sweet release encapsulates a very unique concept alongside hellish music.
Unleashing a hellish attack on your senses, the juxtaposition of Industrial elements and trance-inducing Dark Ambient influences creates a very thick and chaotic atmosphere, similar to what Yeruselem crafted last year but with a more punishing and hypnotic edge. The song is divided into three main movements separated by eerie interludes. However, every single part delivers relentless aggression with harsh screams and crushing guitars.
Unleashing a very dreamy and ethereal debut release, today we have Cosmic Burial and “Impakt”. Featuring over 75 minutes of instrumental music, this album goes from the bowels of hell, thanks to some furious BM onslaughts, to the depths of space, thanks to hypnotic atmospherics. Led by V. V. of Nachtig and Valosta Varjoon, this one-man battalion creates a very unique and enigmatic sound that will enshroud the listener from start to end.
Setting a very bleak mood with “EO40”, the track dabbles between solemn keyboards and harsh melodic riffs. Similar to bands like Lustre, but with a simpler tone and a more direct approach. Tracks like “VK184” nicely experiment with different tempos and create very unique melodic passages that can be considered brilliant headbanging moments. There is a certain magical aura behind the music, and this is thanks to the crafty use of synths.
Unleashing a truly transformative and trascendental release, today we have Finland’s Vesperith and her self-titled full-length release. As a one woman entity, Sariina Tani has crafted a unique experimental release that will transport the listener to the bowels of hell with waves of aural dissonance and will bring them back to the surface with angelic chants. Not for the impatient listener, this release will grow on you with time, but once it does, it is unrivaled when it comes to cinematic experiences.
Setting a very dramatic and enigmatic mood, “The Magi” gets the journey started with eerie atmospherics and haunting vocals. After some moments of peace and clarity, “Fractal Flesh” unleashes crushing drums and harsh vocals to infuse uneasiness on the listener. The mixture of Black Metal and atmospheric elements works magically on this track.
One man Australian battalion Midnight Odyssey is finally unleashing their newest full-length release “Biolume Part 1 - In Tartarean Chains”, that is by far one of the most captivating Ambient Black Metal releases of 2019. Taking the listener into a sidereal journey with his mastery of atmosphere and pace, Dis Pater delivers over 70 minutes of lush and hypnotic music.
The album kicks off with the spacey and dreamy atmospherics of “Hidden in Tartarus”. This track crafts a very unique ambiance thanks to doomy riffs and very ethereal clean vocal arrangements. Sending chills through your spine, this atmosphere is continued on the heavier “Forever Silenced”, a track with more Doom-ish undertones and contrasting harsh vocals. This song reminded us a bit of the earlier days of Therion, just when they started getting into the Symphonic days of their career.
Originally unleashed back in 2014, “Alunar” marks the debut of one-man Atmospheric/Ambient Black Metal entity Aureole. Delivering over 43 minutes of bone chilling atmospheric music, this release creates a very cavernous vibe that will send shivers down your spine. Brilliantly crafted for those who are patient and like things to slowly evolve and unravel, this release is ready to take you on a sidereal journey.
The album kicks off with the haunting “I: Citadel Alunar”, a track that slowly builds up momentum with its mellow riffs and hellish screams. Perfectly mixing dramatic synths with tense drone-ish moments, this track creates a chilling vibe. In tracks like “II: The Voice of Nebular Flame” and “III: The Senility of the Hourglass”patience rewards the listener with slow and intricate build-ups and crafty transitions.
From mastermind Naas Alcameth (Nightbringer, Akhlys), today we have a very interesting Black Metal/Dark Ambient release titled “Gods Without Name”. Under the moniker of Aoratos, this outfit unleashes nine highly atmospheric pieces to comprise their debut release. Full of ideas perfectly executed, this release is in the vein of experimental BM bands like Blut Aus Nord as well as Mysticum and with some hits of Diabolos Rising thrown in the mix.
After setting a very hellish ambiance with “Parallax I”, the band slowly drifts into heavier territories with the ravaging “Holy Mother of Terror”. The band unleashes a commanding aural onslaught filled with dissonant riffs and blistering drumming. Paired with hellish vocals, the attack continues as “Of Harvest, Scythe and Sickle Moon” unravels. The band’s sound is both raw and punishing without the need to sound like it was recorded on a shed, allowing the listener to experience it at full blast and not damage their speakers.