Bold and inventive, or messy and incoherent? All of the above.
The charm of Hellfenlic is its unabashed love of black metal’s history, with The Infernal Sea once again showing themselves to be proficient necromancers.
A tantalising glimpse at the next chapter in Cold In Berlin’s tale, and whet’s the appetite nicely for the upcoming full-length.
Slow and ponderous, of course, but at times it becomes monotonously so; yet elsewhere they demonstrate they can pick the right moments to shift gears and keep the music interesting.
The Québécois black metal exponents find all the right pieces and puts them in all the right places.
Vestigial Spectra is exactly what a collaboration album should be – a record neither artist would produce on their own, yet is full of those key references from both parties.
An unhinged, almost maniacal take on doom, with a kick of psychedelic uppers for good measure – equal parts groovy and devastating.
Painting such a vivid picture with the power of music alone, a soundtrack without a movie beyond the one playing in your head.
Pulsating drums, haunting vocalisations, menacing guitar drones – prepare to be swept along in the swirls and eddies of the musical maelstrom.
A bleak atmosphere of hateful intent with blast beats thundering and riffs whipping around at breakneck pace, yet something is lacking here.
An exquisite piece of sound sculpting, one that takes a listener on a true journey – if they are willing to sit still and let the waves crash over them.
A bizarre blend of doom and surf rock, drenched in a delicious psychedelic coating – until the painful descent into twee indie.
Not your typical blast of feral screeches into the uncaring night, a record that injects a spark of life – even joy – into a field that so often is too intransigent.
A worthy addition to the clinical dismemberment school of death metal. Sounds fun, right?
Rife with darkness and a profound sense of desolation, this is the sound of a band genuinely enjoying themselves.
A brilliant demonstration that black metal can be multi-faceted, a swirling, alluring, enrapturing madness from the mysterious trio.
The machines are here – is this the start down a very dark path, or a view towards a gentler world of aid and compromise?
Monuments To Absence is a testament to the harsh beauty Fen brings to the black metal scene.
An epic wall of sound that pulls the listener helplessly in – but is it music?
The chameleonic Japanese trio join forces with the anger-fuelled industrial hellscape decorators from New York for a blistering ride of a record.
Walking that delicate knife-edge of being rooted in history, yet talking bold leaps forward too, one of black metal’s great innovators returns to where it all began.