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Tutupatu – IV

Bold and inventive, or messy and incoherent? All of the above.

The Infernal Sea – Hellfenlic

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.

Cold In Berlin – The Body Is The Wound

A tantalising glimpse at the next chapter in Cold In Berlin’s tale, and whet’s the appetite nicely for the upcoming full-length.

Mourning Dawn – The Foam Of Despair

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.

Délétère – Songes D’Une Nuit Souillée

The Québécois black metal exponents find all the right pieces and puts them in all the right places.

Nadja & Fawn Limbs – Vestigial Spectra

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.

Bonnacons Of Doom – Signs

An unhinged, almost maniacal take on doom, with a kick of psychedelic uppers for good measure – equal parts groovy and devastating.

Unverkalt – A Lump Of Death: A Chaos Of Dead Lovers

Painting such a vivid picture with the power of music alone, a soundtrack without a movie beyond the one playing in your head.

Catafalque – Dybbuk

Pulsating drums, haunting vocalisations, menacing guitar drones – prepare to be swept along in the swirls and eddies of the musical maelstrom.

Woe – Legacies Of Frailty

A bleak atmosphere of hateful intent with blast beats thundering and riffs whipping around at breakneck pace, yet something is lacking here.

ChiaraOscuro – Rancor:Succor

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.

The Wytches – Our Guest Can’t Be Named

A bizarre blend of doom and surf rock, drenched in a delicious psychedelic coating – until the painful descent into twee indie.

Uada – Crepuscule Natura

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.

Dying Fetus – Make Them Beg For Death

A worthy addition to the clinical dismemberment school of death metal. Sounds fun, right?

Asphodelus – Sculpting From Time

Rife with darkness and a profound sense of desolation, this is the sound of a band genuinely enjoying themselves.

An Autumn For Crippled Children – Closure

A brilliant demonstration that black metal can be multi-faceted, a swirling, alluring, enrapturing madness from the mysterious trio.

Cloudland Canyon – Cloudland Canyon

The machines are here – is this the start down a very dark path, or a view towards a gentler world of aid and compromise?

Fen – Monuments To Absence

Monuments To Absence is a testament to the harsh beauty Fen brings to the black metal scene.

Wujod – God Is Here

An epic wall of sound that pulls the listener helplessly in – but is it music?

Boris & Uniform – Bright New Disease

The chameleonic Japanese trio join forces with the anger-fuelled industrial hellscape decorators from New York for a blistering ride of a record.

Ruïm – Black Royal Spiritism – I. O Sino da Igreja

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.

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