A triumph for those who love their death metal dark, gritty and vicious, and also for vintage horror movie aficionados. And if you like both? Then yeah, you might want to give this a spin.
A remarkable and surreal work that’s a cut above most modern black and post-black metal. Whether that’s because it’s free of the clichés and rehashed sentimentality that we’re now drowning in, or if it’s simply down to Luo Jing’s singular vision and his willingness to embrace eastern and western phrasing and structure, isn’t clear but at the very least, you won’t be hearing anything else like it any time soon.
An impressive work of atmosphere, misery and mountain-sized riffing. Ambitious enough to push its own boundaries in composition and musicianship yet comfortable enough to remain true to the hallmarks of death-doom’s classics, this is a short, sharp descent into the abyss that deserves recognition.
As a love letter to classic black metal, to canny songwriting and to The Elder Scrolls’ rich lore, this is a winner in every respect.
As The Morning Dawns… subverts expectations of what a ‘genre’ album should be, either by pairing resolutely melancholy themes and pained screams with upbeat, surging riffs that eliminate even the possibility of a good mope, or in pushing their sound so stridently forward while still throwing in moments of pure chaos.
It provided a level of immersion that had been missing from many streamed events and though it probably won’t make artists more accepting of people filming entire bloody shows when concerts resume, this was the perfect chance to experience a performance from one of music’s great innovators in a truly unique way.
There’s enough substance that Liquid Crystal goes far beyond the status of “something extra for the fans” and firmly into “if you like your music as dark, mesmerising and colossal as that monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, you’ll want to check this out” territory.
Part 3 of our Roadburn Redux coverage. “It was maybe one of the most egalitarian musical ventures to have been attempted, not just during this lockdown but ever.”
Such an ebb and flow of energy runs throughout Rúnahild’s work but on Sacred Feminine, it feels more pronounced, moving to and fro between emotional poles while heading to a destination that is simultaneously personal and universal.
It’s a shining example of why instrumental bands as often more expressive than their language-constrained counterparts. The riffs don’t just sing, they scream and murmur and exalt, each shift from delicate intricacy to distorted tremolo a poem in and of itself.
In the wake of Hades’ colossal 2020 success, David Bowes grabbed a conversation with Supergiant Games’ soundtrack composer and audio director Darren Korb to chat orchestras, voice acting and why early access is the key to confidence.
The three have always possessed the sense of being keenly attuned to each other’s conjurations but here, it feels more expansive, the drive less to create their own psychosonic universe than to create a unified space where they, the audience and, by extension the home listener, can merge and drift off.
Sometimes, split releases make for odd bedfellows and on the surface this one falls into that category, but there are commonalities that make it work. Both Nadja and Disrotted are capable of transforming an atmosphere through sound and though they may use differing strokes and palettes, the two are equally adept when it comes to clarity of the outcome.
Whether Kvitravn marks a transition, an evolution or a continuation of Wardruna’s fresh take on Norse folk is best left to those involved in its creation to discuss. From an outside perspective, though, it feels like a move away from Runaljod’s grandiosity and into something that feels more intimate, warmer, and perhaps with a more liberal sprinkling of hope and loss.
This isn’t so much a step up from their debut as it is an evolution in form and skill, a complex and intuitive record that marks Kjeld as a band to watch out for in 2021.
Covid Diaries achieves what few others will – it captures the essence of 2020. It’s grim and foreboding, charting the narratives of the sceptics, the faithful and of Earth itself. It’s a grand satire that works on almost every level and if it’s uncomfortable to listen to, that’s because we are living in uncomfortable times.
That Which Whets The Saccharine Palate is an album that works because it feels wrong and sounds great. It’s almost ungainly, like it doesn’t quite fit in its own skin, but like any good monstrosity, that is its beauty.
David Bowes spoke to Alison Chesley of Helen Money about her latest album Atomic and the joys of being embraced by the metal community.
It’s a ragged rendition of Sonic Youth’s ‘White Kross’ that puts the perfect rusty nail in the night’s coffin . . . a weird and wonderful conclusion to a night of utter sonic devastation.
For an album that could have been a cut-and-paste mishmash of two disparate releases, what Whitehead has instead delivered is an intensely personal work that is beautiful, chilling and heart-wrenchingly inked in sorrow, one whose story comes not from words or melody but rather from the atmosphere of overwhelming solitude that permeates it.
An intriguing look at the roots of a band who have carved out their own place in the death metal universe as well as a glimpse of the state of Australian extreme scene in the mid ‘90s.