Occultist Blackened Death Metal at it’s best here: Black Flame delivers fiery music that leaves everything smoldering and covered in ash. These Italian bastards want to watch everything burn and their music portrays their hatred and energy very well. Black Flame’s sound isn’t groundbreaking but it’s a testament stating how black metal doesn’t need to always be atmospheric or epic to be good. Like Marduk’s latest album, you’ll be headbanging and air riffing along with the music while you jam Black Flame’s new album.
Imperial Triumphant’s new album “Abyssal Gods” is immediately something that we all want to hear again but at the same time lacks substance and true comprehensive song writing structure. Experimental? Sure. Black Metal? I suppose. Interesting? Indeed! Will this achieve success by reaching a wide range of fans through their strange blend of blackened death weirdness? Probably not.
Well here we are again: another solid black metal act. However, this time I get a massive blend of instruments, ideals and influences. The use of atmosphere, wind instruments, keys, and wonderful folk melodies really gives Umbras de Barbagia a name for itself. I try hard to grasp at who else is doing this at the moment in black metal. Saor? Close, but Downfall of Nur seems more traditional and less epic. The folk bits combined with the enriched black metal atmosphere pushes aside almost everything else you can think of. This album commands your attention and demands your focus. This may be one of those albums that no one was expecting yet could be the best thing you hear all year.
Black Metal: It’s one of the biggest genres in the metal business right now. There are more black metal bands popping up than ever. It’s definitely one of my favorites and it’s rare when I do not like a black metal band. Thrash Metal: This genre can be a bit toxic for me. On one side, I love the speed, the energy, the vibe and the overall “drink, mosh and headbang” mentality. Then again, most thrash bands are not listenable because they cannot create cohesive riffs and/or the vocalist just sounds terrible. Well Frosthelm blends both black metal and thrash in such a way that I feel like we’re getting something brand spanking new here. Blackened Thrash is nothing new but this band nails what this genre should be.
Drowning the Light returns with their new album, From the Abyss, which is a hauntingly dark atmospheric piece with raw steel traditional black metal moments. Blending these two carefully within a cauldron of hate, we get the 13th full length album. Now this may not beat out the already exceptional black metal albums we’ve received already this year but it definitely ranks up there amongst the best of this year. 2015 is a great year for black metal and Drowning the Light deserves a spot light, even though it’s a dull and foggy light.
These sumbitches from Colorado just became one of my favorite bands! Ancient Wind is a new band and their debut album “The Chosen Slain” just takes several things I enjoy about several other bands, gives them a rad and creative twist on them so it’s not a simple mimic and delivers a new tasty metal album for me to consume and enjoy. The Chosen Slain is awesome, melodic, black metal, warrior marching stuff and you’ll bang your fucking head no matter what. Horns up, drinks down yer throat and ALL HAIL ANCIENT WIND!
Pandemia is a Czech Republic death metal band that definitely gives off wild old school death metal groove, sadistic tone, raw tone and dark energy. Been around since the mid 90′s, the gang is back from a 6 year gap from their last album to give us this blazing album “At The Gates of Nihilism”. I wasn’t sure what to expect from these guys since this is my first album by them but I can proudly say that this was a definite headbanger, something I’ll enjoy gladly listen to multiple times.
Manchester’s Axis of Light recently released their third album and it’s probably the best example of quality black metal found within terrible production. “L’appel du vide” (or The Call of the Void) is the prime example of how good a scratchy and distorted black metal album can sound. The production is definitely garbage but it gives the music a more raw feeling to it. Axis of Light concentrated on riffs instead of production and I actually do not mind that one bit. This 4 song offering is passionate, highly addictive and without a doubt the most raw sounding black metal release of the year!
(Written by Hogan, guest writer) So since I first heard “Where the Corpses Sink Forever”, which is like 9 months after it came out, Carach Angren has become like basically my second favorite metal band. Lammendam is an abrasive retelling of a Dutch fairy tale of the ghost of a Harlot and the phantom ship is a reinterpretation of the folktale of The Flying Dutchman. Corpses is an original story of a man trapped in a state of infinitely reliving the horrors of war. I’ve always loved the atmosphere and explicit, cohesive way they tell their stories and wrap them seamlessly around the music.
Cries of Your Sins returns with yet another high impact release this year, following up on a similar demo/EP release that he did last year, this years sample of the band’s musicianship and talents steps it up a notch on many levels, keeping things definitely black metal but adding elements of melodic death metal and post-black bits to make this release stand out even more. This 2015 demo will more than likely be the best demo you’ll hear all year long.