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.
Completely worth the wait, today we have Shatraug’s Mortualia’s latest album, “Wild, Wild Misery”, after a wait of six years. Delivering eight completely punishing Depressive Black Metal anthems, this is one of those releases that makes you feel completely powerless and yet totally addicted to it.
Opening with blast beats of “Withdrawn”, this release kicks off in style as it sets into a very dissonant and oppressive atmospheric masterpiece. The riffs make up a very melodic component of Mortualia’s music, as we can hear in the superbly catchy opening of “Return to Silence”. Helming bands like Horna and Sargeist, Shatraug bleeds some of those influences on songs like “Out” and “Stolid”, but with the added Doom influences, making the music slow and very excruciating… in the best of ways.
In recent years we have been plagued with subpar Black Metal bands; luckily for us Dodsferd is one of the most interesting bands in the scene nicely transitioning from Depressive Black Metal to a very weird, but yet effective atmospheric Black Metal that will leave you scratching your head… in a good way. Featuring five tracks and nearly 50 minutes of music, the band continues their sonic onslaught with a very unique release titled “Wastes of Life”.
Opening with a very traditional atmospheric piece titled “Wastes of Life”, the band picks with where they left off creating a very oppressive and eerie atmosphere. Leading the charge with some very dramatic clean guitars, “Sterile Death, Without Mourning” delivers 12 minutes of brilliant atmospheric madness. The track suddenly shifts to a very mellow tempo filled with creepy atmospheric arrangements and Wrath’s signature shrieks.
Just when you think that Horna and more specifically Shatraug, has the market corned for raw and demoralizing Black Metal, we get a band like Luciferian Rites and their soul crushing sophomore release “When the Light Dies”. Featuring total savagery from start to finish, this Mexican band deliver one of those raw and punishing Black Metal releases that instantly standout from the rest.
The album opens with the fulminating violence of “Eternal Misanthropy of the Black Cosmos”, a crushing track that sets a very intense mood with pummeling riffs and eerie vocals. The music is by no means innovative, but it is so flawlessly executed that it sends chills through our skin. Ravaging through songs like “Incinerated Cross” and “Infernal Manifestation”, we are still blown away by the raw brutality behind the band’s sound and the crisp quality of the production behind this release.
Hailing form the forests of Washington State, today we have USBM act Wende with “Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft”. As a one-man battalion, this outfit delivers six tracks of crushing Black Metal with heavy atmospheric elements and a very raw and decadent sound. The band can easily be compared to Burzum’s good old days, since after the first few minutes the sheer rawness will transport you to those times.
With a crisp metallic sound to the guitars, “… of War or ‘der Ritter’”, the album makes an instant splash with a 10-minute piece that creates a very decadent atmosphere. Progressing with the trippy “…of Death or ‘Verklaung’”, we get chilling 80’s horror movie atmospheric ambiance. Fully warmed up, “…of Truth of ‘Nichts und Schonh’” really drives it home with gut-wrenching screams and a wall of distortion that only a few bands manage to achieve.
Unleashing one of the most barbaric Black Metal releases to date, Moribund Records unearths Mortualia’s sophomore release “Blood of the Hermit”. Featuring around 60 minutes of nihilistic raw music, this release will crush your soul and you will be begging for more. Shatraug is the true raw Black Metal master and with this release he shows how melancholic rawness can affect your psyche.
Opening with the bestial “Becoming Meaningless”, Shatraug unleashes pure evil with a doomy/atmospheric induced coma filled with punishing guitars and inhuman screams. Lasting 12 minutes, this song is a brilliant exercise in expertly crafted melodic riffs that suddenly turn sour with the harsh screams. With a more typical structure, “Manic Euphoria” keeps the tempo slow but the dissonance to its highest for 10 minutes of pure hatred.
Featuring members of Nanda Devil, today we have the American band called Chasma and their experimental Black Metal sounds. With a very experimental European sound, it is nice to hear that some bands in the USA are not getting stuck with the typical USBM approach to things and are crafting some very interesting releases with foreign influences.
With three monolithic tracks each clocking on average around 10 minutes, the band creates very emotionally charged music that flows from instrumental sections to harsh-scream filled passages that will rattle your ears and soul. Mixing some Doom Metal influences with Black Metal, the band creates a less pretentious ‘Depressive Black Metal’ sound that only a handful of European bands can achieve.
All the way from Australia today we have Thrall and their sophomore release “Vermin to the Earth”. Featuring seven tracks of hard hitting well-produced Black Metal, Thrall does a great job in following up their debut release “Away from the Haunts of Men”. The band plays very typical BM but with a crispier production and nice tempo changes that sometimes shake things up allowing them to not bore the listener to death.
The guitars are very well constructed and in all tracks they nicely shine due to the excellent production. The vocals are probably the most exciting part about this album since they bring that hellish scream that singers like Attila Csihar love to deliver, and they never get to high-pitched to the point of making your ears explode. In the first two tracks (“Vermin to the Earth” and “Oblivion”) we can nicely hear the tempo changes in the songs, making them less vanilla than your average BM release.
Shatraugh is without a doubt one of Black Metal’s most productive and decadent minds to ever hail from Finland. With his countless bands (Horna, Sargeist, etc) and different projects, it’s very hard to believe that in each one we are treated to an even more raw and primitive side of his inner psyche. With Mortualia, Shatraugh delivers some of the most raw and crushing Black Metal assaults ever laid down on record.
Originally released back in 2007, Moribund is kind (or evil) enough to make this true gem available to all fans of desolate and disarming Black Metal. Clocking in at 77 minutes (70 minutes of the original release plus a 7 minute bonus track), this album offers the listener quite an obscure and decadent journey into the bowels of hell.
As a new addition into the good but nothing out of the ordinary category, today we have Necronoclast’s “Ashes”. This one man band from the UK delivers solid Black Metal tunes that are soon forgotten due to their lack of originality. While the atmosphere is tick and evil (and all that shit), there is a certain familiarity about it that will leave you looking for something else.
Staring with the mid-paced “Ghostways”, the evidence of old Burzum, Darkthrone, etc is present but not quite compelling. Greg Edwards does at solid job in handling all instruments, but the music feels devoid of originality. While sometimes is good that one person handles everything, many times the lack of inspiration completely kills the flow of said releases.