Category Archives: Black Metal

Grey Widow – I

Grey Widow - I - cover

I is the debut album from English group Grey Widow. The group was formed by members of other bands such as Dopefight, Parole, Thread and The Ergon Carousel and as such is seriously heavy. The album has an oppressive sound with snarling bass and anguished vocals with a distinct sludge metal style mixed with black and doom metal. Each track has a strong feeling of Despair and anger punctuating everything from the vocals to the drums and there is a somewhat distorted sound also in the mix which adds to the malicious atmosphere that permeates the album. The album gets more aggressive the further you progress with vi being a highlight and viii sounding like the onset of hell. Overall the album has an old school approach in that it sets out its theme and expands on it impressively but also manages to keep it minimalist, there is no filler here, no track to simply bulk up the numbers. What is here is dark, nasty, uncompromising, seething with rage and it wants to smash your head in. Fans of doom, sludge or just good metal in general will find plenty to love here and many may find their new favourite band. An excellent listen.

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Hammerstorm – The Lonely Wanderer

Hammerstorm - The Lonely Wanderer
The Lonely Wanderer is the debut release from international Atmospheric / Black Metal duo Hammerstorm. Featuring Immortal Frost Productions’ very own Surtur on vocals and Slikver (Astral Winter’s Josh Young) handling all instruments this long running relationship has had a hand in some of the genres best work and this is a strong first release that deserves to be heard and indeed successful. Opening with ‘Mystics Of His Soul’ where Surtur screams over some medieval keyboard. It essentially acts as an intro to second track ‘The Lonely Wanderer’, which carries the same melody on keyboards but it soon takes a back seat to some traditional Black Metal guitars and frenzied drumming. ‘Along The Shades Of Darkness’ is a battle hymn that opens with combative percussion, speared with classic Black metal shredding from Slikver. Unfortunately, the momentum gained from previous songs is lost somewhat by long intros to most of the tracks. ‘Whispers From The Depths Of The Forest’ is a personal favourite due to the varied musicianship on it. The quickly executed guitar riffs are comparable to classic Iron Maiden. The only downside is that the lyrics seem slightly lost in the mix. Elsewhere ‘When Darkness Falls Upon Me’ leads the second half of the album. The opening drum track sounds misplaced though and lets the track down. However, after a minute and a half this is no longer the case and business is resumed. Well worth checking this one out.

Hammerstorm is:
Slikver (All instruments), Surtur (Vocals).

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Obscure Abhorrence


Wolvhammer / Krieg – Split 7″

Wolvhammer / Krieg - Split 7"

This July will see much admired Broken Limbs Recordings release a mouth watering split featuring two of America’s finest bands in Wolvhammer and Krieg. Side A features Wolvhammer with their track ‘Slaves to the Grime’. This Minneapolis/Chicago blackened sludge quintet are due to release their third LP entitled ‘Clawing into Black Sun’ through Canadian label Profound Lore Records in the same calendar month as this offering. Therefore hardcore fans will undoubtedly be salivating with agitation at the prospect of two physical releases in such a short space of time. The track is six minutes of pummeling guitars that is carved only by the frenetic vocals of Adam Clemens. The guitars (in parts) are somewhat reminiscent of Danish, Funeral/Doom metal trio Black Wreath on their 2009 Magnum Opus ‘A Pyre of Lost Dreams’. A very strong offering altogether. Side B features New Jersey Black metallers Krieg’s ‘Eternal Victim’.  Once again the quality of the guitar playing is something that is of most prominence here. Having been around since 1995, these guys effortlessly convey a unique ambience that many bands strive, unsuccessfully for their whole career. There are indeed similarities in the sound of both acts, this is most likely due to the fact the bands have crossed paths in the past, Wolvhammer guitarist Jeff Wilson has previously played guitar with Krieg. There will only be 500 copies of the split 7″ available through the label so fans will need to act fast if they would like to own a physical copy.

Wolvhammer are:
Adam Clemens (Vocals), Jeff Wilson (Guitar), Brenden Seven (Guitar), Joe Noel (Bass), Heath Rave (Drums).

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Krieg are:
Neill Jameson (Vocals), D. Weston-Ball (Guest Vocals), A. Poole (Guitar), D. Zdanavage (Guitar, Bass), J. Dost (Drums).

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Weltschmerz – Odium Humani Generis

Weltschmerz - Odium Humani Generis
Weltschmerz (more or less translated as, world-pain or world-weariness) is a Black Metal band originating from Amersfoort in The Netherlands. Having been playing together since early 2009, Odium Humani Generis is the groups inaugural full length, having previously released a handful of recordings including their debut EP Cry For War. Opening track ‘Ab Æterno’ is a classic black metal outburst, boasting an attractive mixture of slow and fast guitars that set the tone of the record. The brooding ‘None of Us Will See Heaven’ culminates in a crescendo of blast-beats and irate guitars. Elsewhere, tracks such as ‘Geschrei in der Nacht’ and closing track ‘The Night is My Domain’ are further highlights of note. The dazzling artwork is another remarkable piece by Polish painter, Zdzisław Beksiński, it complements the album’s sound perfectly. Overall Odium Humani Generis is a favourable debut that the band seem to have taken their time to record just the way they wanted. Having played a smattering of live shows already this year, the group will undoubtedly benefit on album number two. Weltschmerz will play Switzerland in November, check them out if you can.

Weltschmerz are:
Hreim (Vocals), Hræsvelg (Guitar, Bass), Eitr (Guitar), Valr (Drums).

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Immortal Frost Productions


Scutum Crux – The Second Sun

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The Second Sun is the debut album of British Black Metal group Scutum Crux. ‘Reign of Apzu’ starts the album as an instrumental piece that has a militaristic sound akin to music that an army would march to. Fitting perhaps as it leads to ‘Chaos Ritual’ a blisteringly fast track that is destined for live show highlight status.  The sound of the band is similar to Cannibal Corpse with guttural, snarling vocal work paired with machine gun drums and riffs.  ‘Demon Scutum’ carries on with this style to great effect as does ‘Invocation of Powers’ that has a disorienting stop/start pacing broken up by some heroic drum and guitar shredding.  ‘View from Niburu’ is the albums second instrumental piece and is a moody electronic track that would not sound out of place in Blade Runner.  ‘Under the Second Sun’ is slower paced than the other songs on the album but compensates for an initial lack of urgency with a more sinister opening before going into high gear. ‘Black Winter’ is a more brooding track with a more reserved pacing than its predecessors but still has moments of eye watering speed. ‘Horus’ is the final track and is another instrumental.  The Second Sun is an impressive first album with excellent guitar and drum work to help the band differentiate themselves from others in the black metal genre. If you are on the hunt for a new band Scutum Crux is a good place to start.

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Scutum Crux is:

Demiurge (Vocals, Guitars), Svarth (Drums), Nebullah Q (Bass).


HellHate – Retsonretap

Retsonretap

Retsoretap is the debut EP from East Ukrainian Black Metallers Hellhate. The group is made up of Ugrum (Guitar, Vocals), the brilliantly named Rabid Blasphemer Noxious (Bass) and Drummer Bloodsucker. ‘Hellhate’ is first with slow brooding guitar work that gradually builds over its short running time and plays like a teaser for ‘Retsonretap’ which has a much more classic black metal/rock sound referencing other groups like Black Sabbath with its mix of guitars and drums. ‘Up to the Stench’ has a frantic pace complemented by Cradle of Filth style shrieks and deep primal bass drums along with impressive string work. Elsewhere, ‘Your Pain is my Bread’ is yet another fast paced number that has an undercurrent of malice running through it, giving it an aggressive tone.  ‘Incense smells not better than Crap’ completes the EP with another furious track with Ugrum’s vocals easily carrying the song to its conclusion. Overall the impression of this EP is that the group has found what they are trying to accomplish soundwise but are still tinkering with each component to fully realise their vision. Retsonretap is well worth a listen if you’re a follower of Black Metal and are looking for a new group to sink your teeth into. They have real talent to be certain but it feels as though they may be holding back somewhat from fully delivering what they’re obviously capable of.  Perhaps, subconsciously the trio are withholding the best for the full-length?  Only time will tell.

Hellhate are:

Ugrum (Vocals & Guitars), Noxious (Bass), Bloodsucker (Drums)

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Serpent Eater – Hyena

Serpent Eater - Hyena

Serpent Eater are purveyors of Black Metal, Death Metal and Doom.  The five-piece have their roots firmly set in Cologne, Germany and have been creating music since 2011.  The band do not reveal their Christian names, instead they go by their initials.  The band race out of the traps with smashing beats and pummelling guitars abound on opening track ‘Ebola’.  Elsewhere, ‘Last Cold Word’ is a slower moving behemoth, incorporating meandering rhythms and prowling guitars, backed by rugged drum work from CM.  Title track ‘Hyena’ is a sludge soaked slice of bleak rampancy,  just shading five minutes.  This is probably the best example of the musical versatility of the band, as they switch seamlessly from Black, Death and Post Hardcore with ease.  ‘Trepanation Nation’ has an achingly vicious groove that is to die for, it is another strong contender for track of the album.  It fades out exquisitely, leaving the listener yearning for more of these delightfully frenzied sounds.  A few more tracks here would have been most welcome.  However, hopefully there will be loads more to come from this exciting young band in the near future.

Serpent Eater are:
RGD (Bass), CM (Drums), DW (Guitars), DS (Guitars), GR (Vocals).

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