Tag 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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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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Lebensnacht – Syksyn Kuoleminen

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Syksyn Kuoleminen (Dying of Autumn) is the new album from German Black metal one man band Lebensnacht. The overriding theme of the album is Autumn and dying and that it eventually leads to death and Winter. It opens with ‘Herbsttag’ a brooding narration with the sound of rain in the background that leads into ‘Welkes Leben’ a track that opens with some slow bass that’s joined by Robert Brockman’s solemn vocals that gradually builds into anguished cries. He’s backed up by some impressive guitar work in this track lending to the theme of autumn and dying. Next up is ‘Herbststerben’ that begins at a gentle pace that then turns into an awesome anthem with angry vocals raging at the inevitability of Winter and death. ‘Weiße Einsamkeit’ follows as an acoustic instrumental piece accompanied by the sounds of Autumn winds and it works well as a break in the aggression before ‘Lebenswinter’ returns to the anger with a fast paced track with wailing vocals. ‘Kuolema’ begins with a bass line that instantly reminded me of some of the bass work in Metallica’s Black album that continues the theme of despair against the onset of Winter with mournful yet aggressive vocals. ‘Päättyminen’ is the final track and is surprisingly peaceful considering the aggression and despair that came before it. It adds a serene sound and is a good way to finish the album. Syksyn Kuoleminen is a highly impressive work that encapsulates the forboding nature of Autumn and what it heralds and its recommended to fans of Ambient Black Metal. Syksyn Kuoleminen has the same grim message as Game of Thrones’ infamous saying “Winter Is Coming”

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Celtachor – Nine Waves From The Shore

Celtachor - Nine Waves From The Shore

Nine waves from the shore is the debut album from Dublin based group Celtachor. The group combine black/doom and Folk Metal influences into their sound to forge their own distinct style. The group considers themselves the Narrators of Irish Mythology (The Irish equivalent of Amon Amarth if you will) and they perform their songs with the same drive and Passion as the Mighty Nords.  Kicking things off is an Epic ten minute assault ‘The Landing: Amergins Conquest’ followed by ‘The Battle of Tailtin’ which reinforces the similarity to the Scandinavians using ancient tales to drive some impressive guitar shredding and deep Primal drums.  The inclusion of traditional Irish instruments like the Irish Whistle and the Bodhran (Think Handheld drum) add character to the tracks and give a unique sound that’s greatly welcomed.  Vocalist Stephen Roche belts out the lyrics with passion and is backed up by stellar guitars and drums.  And special mention must go to the Albums one instrumental track ‘Tar éis an Sidhe’ which uses the traditional instruments to brilliant effect to create a beautiful haunting track that is ethereal and mysterious as well as somewhat mournful. ‘Sorrow of the Dagda’ also features an awesome last five minutes similar to the songs on Metallica’s Death Magnetic with long solos gradually winding down the song to a sombre conclusion.  This is a highly impressive opening album from the group and lays some firm foundations for their follow up work.  The similarities to Amon Amarth are what lured me in (A Love of Mythology, epic tunes) but give Celtachor some time to really define themselves and their sound and they could go toe to toe with the Vikings.  And wouldn’t that be something to see!

Celtachor is:
Stephen Roche (Vocals, Irish Whistle, Bodhran), David Quinn (Guitar), Emile Quigley (Bass), Anaïs Chareyre (Drums), Fionn Staffort (Guitar, Irish Whistle).

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Inexistenz – Erfundene Welten

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Inexistenz is a one man band from Slovenia and Erfundene Weltene his debut. The style is Depressive Black Metal and this is obvious from the outset as he launches into anguished wails in ‘Verlohren in der Neer’ and Title track ‘Erfundene Welten’ which features a grandiose final five minutes that really captures the despairing nature of the album. The overriding theme of the album is the ugliness of humanity, and therefore the tracks are loaded with despair, Pain, Anguish, Loneliness and outright hatred, the sense of isolation is well captured on the album cover designed by artist Mark Thompson. ‘Zu Misslingen bestimmt’ features some good drum work and aggressive guitars. All the tracks feature impressive drums and guitar riffs showing how talented a musician he is. If the preceding tracks are a dark and terrible night, then final track ‘Belanglos’ is the first light of dawn, a surprisingly hopeful instrumental piece indicating that things can and will get better.  Depressive Metal has always been a hard sell, more so now especially given the current climate and many will be put off by the vocal style but there is something unique about this album that defies explanation and demands to be listened. As stated the biggest hurdle for many will be the vocal style but if you persevere there is a profoundly intriguing album waiting to be discovered here. A very impressive debut!

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