Articles by Chris Keith-Wright
Liturgy are a polarising band and their fifth LP, being an attempt to write an opera, will surely do them no favours in changing opinion. However, the record is incredible in how, for the most part, the quartet manage to pull off the impossible. Surely, the most ambitious album of 2020?
The band continue their constant and considerable evolution, but despite it all, genre debates and line-up changes aside, this record still sounds resolutely like Tombs. Only the best bands can do that.
A fine raw black metal debut album from Canadian trio, Liminal Shroud, unfortunately undercut by poor production that despite their aesthetic, weighs too heavily upon the material on offer.
Individually each track is worthy of praise, but with only three on offer, it’s difficult to understand what Kiova are really offering the listener.
Old school razor sharp death metal meets the more modern flourish of the genre, as well as the scrambling, hallucinatory implementation of grindcore. Devastating.
Shaidar Logoth’s third LP is remarkably accomplished and, despite only housing four tracks, takes the listener on an epic journey not soon forgotten.
A fine record, verdant with energy and growth, and truly – forgive me – a breath of fresh air in a scene that can prove itself stale or frozen of life.
‘May Our Chambers Be Full’ may at first feel like an odd listen, but it is endless rewarding, and, as it drags you into its own world, becomes ever more awe-inspiring.
This is a funeral. Not for an individual, but for the world; both real and imagined.
If you’re willing to go on a wild ride, Convulsif will pay you back and then some with this LP. Recommended for all those with a screw loose.
Adult Themes is what is says on the tin: a record dealing with the issues we care about in our little lives. It just so happens to kick ass while doing it.
‘Legions of a Different Kind’ is a triumph. No more, no less. Bow down to your undead overlords. Their reign of terror has only just begun.
Wayfarer’s fourth LP is another unique mix of black metal and dark Americana – and their most successful to date. A record that transports the listener away from 2020 to an alternatively soundtracked Spaghetti Western, is a very welcome one indeed.
Spirit Adrift serve their fourth album in five years, another heady dose of classic heavy metal worship with doom influences, too. It’s another extremely enjoyable listen, albeit losing some of the dynamic variation of their previous efforts.
With what surely seems like an overly long, overly ambitious 70+ minute experimental death metal record, Portland, Oregon mavericks Aseitas prove to be yet another new name to follow, as they present a sophomore LP that delights, confuses and, most importantly, delivers at every turn.
Horsewhip’s sophomore record is a half hour of quality blackened hardcore punctuated by exciting ideas that don’t quite come off. From legendary veterans of the scene, the future is bright for their new venture – but this album falls slightly short of greatness.
Uada prove with their third album that they may be the melodic black metal band that breaks beyond the genre’s confines and finds a large, commercial audience.
Anna von Hausswolff’s fifth full-length album is certainly not the album we were all expected, but the instrumental pipe organ LP is so fragile and infused with emotion, that one can simply not escape from its beauty.
1000 Island is a highly recommended album and although not quite a tonic to this year from hell, surely the energy boost needed to not take it lying down, to get up and scream in condemnation, in disbelief or just in sheer frustration.
There’s promise here, but this mathcore Milan quartet are still very much finding their feet on their debut LP.
An impressive atmospheric black metal album from the Icelandic mainstays, unfortunately hampered by poor production throughout.