A blog dedicated to posting black metal pictures, videos, new releases, reviews and all the other good stuff.
n. 1. A philosophical proposition, doctrine, or principle of reasoning.
Necktarium - The Dreamless Sun
If I had to fall asleep to any black metal band, it would very likely be this one-man band from South Asia. Ambient, dreamy and relaxing whilst retaining that cold, raw, melancholic atmosphere. When I think of Necktarium I think of the clouds, and I’m sure you’ll understand where I’m coming from after a brief listen.
This one-man blackgaze piece has been around for three years now, though it only has a single demo to its name that clocks in at a mere 22 minutes. If you like dreamy trance-inducing music and you enjoy your black metal, there is very little chance that you won’t enjoy this. This “dreamy” image that I keep going on about isn’t just something I’ve made up, it’s enhanced by the band’s own description - “dreamy post-black metal”, according to the bandcamp page - and the songs themselves are about nighttime feelings, dreams and melancholy.
If you haven’t grasped the picture yet, this shit is pretty fucking dreamy. The demo is available for free download on their Bandcamp page, linked below, and word on the street is that there’s due to be another EP coming soon on Khrysanthoney records! Go download this guy’s music if you follow my recommendation, and then let me know what you think in my inbox.
Cursed Altar - Mørke
Today I recieved the CD I ordered from Cursed Altar’s bandcamp and was greeted with a free copy of a different EP, along with my purchase - The Darkest Place on Earth is the Mind of Man.
Out of the two CDs I recieved, the one I didn’t order was the one I was most impressed by. This EP(named As The World Survives We Will Die Off As A Moment In Time) has all the makings of a decent atmospheric album - melancholic riffs(both acoustic and electric), a steady drum beat behind it, and a mix of clean and screamed vocals. The screams are blatantly packed with emotion, and can be heard particularly well in the song Clarity.
Cursed Altar’s latest release(the one I did order) isn’t to my taste. One 7 minute song(which is slightly unremarkable) and a short ambient track. See what you think yourselves, but it’s not something I’d purchase again(even though it was only £1.29!). Their earlier EP is great, however, and I suggest you get it as soon as possible! Available for free download at the Bandcamp page.
Finster - Dunkelreich (LIVE)
Finster is a 4-piece black metal band from Germany, featuring the man behind Alrakis, A1V. Finster produce top quality atmospheric black metal, but much to my disappointment they’re yet to put out any albums/EPs. However, they have a large number of live videos on YouTube. Get watching!
Bardo - 1
It’s been ages since I wrote a recommendation like this. I’ll try to get back into the habbit of it, I suppose! Imma kick it off with a one-man Hungarian funeral doom/black metal band called Bardo. The man behind the act - Khrul - may be known to some of you from other bands like Witchcraft, Funebre, Shadowthrone, Kill With Hate, Marblebog, Siculicidium, etc. To some, a discography consisting of one EP and absolutely no lyrics might be a put off… but if you listen to Bardo’s first and only EP - mysteriously named “I” - it will very quickly become clear how unnecessary vocals are.
23 minutes of soul-shredding tremolo riffs, backed by an ominous sounding keyboard, is enough to sate the ears of anybody that likes their black metal with a little touch of doom and/or dark ambient. Although relatively short, it’s absolutely all you could ask for in terms of pure heart-rending epic music - and it’s not all the same. Even the trvest of you all can’t deny that a lot of black metal is repetitive and quite simply boring. Bardo offers quite the opposite of that. Khrul certainly made use of his pedals and amp effects on this project, as you’ll notice on your musical journey through this little album of perfection.
Bardo - I - Yes, these are the real song titles.
Thanks to malevolentmatthias for encouraging me to start writing these recommendations again! Head over to my recommendations page to see some older posts, and if you can think of a particular band you want shared with the world, just drop it riiiiight here.
Krallice - IIIIIIII
From last month’s album Years Past Matter. If you’re a fan of Krallice you’ll enjoy the album. If you’re not a fan, or you’ve not given them a listen before, I’d recommend listening to their first three albums beforehand.
Just as progressive as ever.
Lamentations of the Ashen - Eventide Sentinels Bedecked With Ineffable Twilight
Yeah, long title. But the song itself is brilliant. Black shoegazey doom-filled metal at it’s finest. Give their Facebook page a like and spread it!
Galdr - Futhark
The second song from Galdr’s self-titled debut album. This full length is one brilliant piece of atmospheric black metal. Lo-fi and melancholic, with your classic tremolo-picked riffs and relatively simple drum pattern. Burzum traits are very clear here - from the screams to the synth in the background. They give it their own touch, however; the most prominent being the desolate, wintery feel. You’ll soon see what I mean. Download their album ASAP - and check out the beautiful album cover!
Formerly known as Thulcandra!
A Forest of Stars - A Shadowplay for Yesterdays
My album of the year 2012 - or as they might say, 1892. It displays uniquity, experimentation, raw musical talent and creativity worthy of a standing ovation. One hour of euphoria. Here are my thoughts on A Shadowplay for Yesterdays, by A Forest of Stars - who are on their way to becoming my favourite band.
1. Directionless Resurrectionist
“Once upon a time there was a lady of no repute, who, by force of a certain stranger, had engaged in violent night-time actions, against her very will…”
This short intro sets the scene for this concept album. Eerie, experimental, and ultimately… pretty fucking crazy. It also begins the storyline with a short narrative.
2. Prey Tell of the Church Fate
“You that seek to encode reality, to defraud sanity - be damned!”
Pain-wracked wails opens the first song, backed by curiously prominent bass(something almost unheard of in black metal!). Admittedly, I felt the generic tremolo riffs were slightly unremarkable - that is, until it hit the 3 minute mark. There was something about the melody in that riff that was so majestic. Maybe it was the mix of violin and guitar? I don’t know. But I liked it. The relentless tremolo noise soars on until the end of the song - which I don’t feel particularly stands out as much as some of the others. But it was a nice opening.
3. A Prophet for a Pound of Flesh
“Half baked men of soiled cloth, scream tales of avarice and sloth…”
Well, shit. That was unexpected. As soon as this song started I felt like I’d stumbled into a Black Sabbath track. It was a pleasant surprise which only got better. This 10 minute behemoth traipses through Sabbath riffs, all the way to your black metal wailing, and then… is that a flute? It sure sounds like it. And then acoustic guitar - and then… violin? Tribal drumming? I knew A Forest of Stars were experimental, but I never quite expected a third album likethis. The contrast from the second song is incredible. This casts images of mountainous highland landscapes, in my mind at least. The mixture of male and female vocals towards the end makes it that tiny bit better.
4. The Blight of God’s Acre
“He’s a seaside side-show freak, armed with the tools of the trade, standing in shadow by cemetery gates…”
Pleasant reverb-ridden bass yanks you from whatever the scene the last song put you in and places you into the middle of a Victorian circus. The drop into thrashy guitar eradicates the track of any remaining traces of folk metal. If there’s one thing A Forest of Stars do tremendously(there’s a lot more than one thing!) it’s their power to make a long song entertaining.
5. Man’s Laughter
A perfectly conducted ambient piece. The spacey synth is incredibly Pink Floyd like - and that’s not a bad thing at all. As it fades out, you’re greeted with something quite… unpleasant. Incoherent, fuzzy samples change the mood of this song in an instant, into something quite uncomfortably eerie. Excellent!
6. The Underside of Eden
“Whom God helps? None but himself. So if God is death, death is god, yes?”
A very possible contender for my favourite song of the album. It opens with melodic, crushing riffs - vaguely reminiscent of Katatonia - followed by dark, slower singing in the background. A surprisingly nice change from Mr Curse’s guttural wailing. Oh wait. And it’s back. Good things come in small packages, I suppose. As the song nears its end, another new vocal experience arrives. Some incredibly creepy chanting makes way for what is most likely the best song on the album.
“On a lonely wander through twisting streets of yonder, his one good eye spying, prying, a shadowplay for yesterdays…”
Click the link above! I’m not incredibly sure if I can do this song justice just through words, so just listen and watch. Whoever said black metal music videos were all bad, eh? Definitely the best one I’ve seen. If you’ve got a contender, send it to me!
8. Left Behind as Static
“This life is but an echo of a lost broadcast, our voices and our loves, just as crackles in static…”
A surprisingly jazzy opening - yet another indicator to the skill of this band, and their ability to change it up! I was not very impressed with the following section. They weren’t particularly engaging riffs, but the keyboard in the background made the process a little more enjoyable. I was feeling a little bit disappointed, until it transcended into something truly beautiful. Was that a motherfucking guitar solo? Whilst that was great, this is probably one of the average songs of the album. Then again, average for A Forest of Stars is still pretty damn good.
9. Corvus Corona (Part 1)
“White noise blasted black, never again to sleep, silence a distant memory, a mutiny for sanity…”
A wonderfully gratifying little dramatic monologue right there, which gives birth to a captivating, otherworldly build up. The instruments all come together. The keyboard, the drums, the guitar. As it progresses into the following track, it’s other half, it becomes something truly magical.
10. Corvus Corona (Part 2)
“I opened my eyes and I stared right through my photographs of you… I opened my eyes and I choked out through my memory of faith…”
Mister Curse has an uncanny talent to pour so much raw emotion into his lyrics, it should put many a DSBM artist to shame. This song is a masterpiece, backed by the luscious violin from Katheryne and the spacey synth of the Gentleman.
The perfect ending to my album of the year. The bonus track is something to behold, too. But I’ll leave that one to you awesome followers. As with Gatherer of the Pure, I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. A Forest of Stars are an inexplicably talented bunch of Englishmen(and woman). If you haven’t seen the interview I did with them a while a back, check it out now! Also, give me your thoughts on the album!
Very nice DSBM band, check their Facebook page.
Submission by skogenshjaerta.
Solstheim - Aeon
“Blending together a potent mixture of old school aggression and symphonic atmosphere.” - an excerpt from their Facebook page
Solstheim liken themselves mainly to Emperor, Bathory, Arckanum and Enslaved. All of which are great bands. If you like them, then these talented Scots are definitely worthy of your attention.
After 2 years of hard work, Glasgow-based Solstheim have released their second EP upon the world of black metal - for free, no less! Their rapid tremolo picking forms a wall of melodic noise, supported by ravenous drumming. At the forefront of their attack stands their vocalist with his ferocious roars. Those looking for constant, faultless aggression are in luck - because this band is like a fucking bulldozer. The songs aren’t tediously long either, nor are they too short. And the desolate, dark, mountainous landscape on their EP cover forms an image that, in my mind, sums up Solstheim.
And yes, fans of the Elder Scrolls games will most likely recognise their name.