Review: Shroud of Despondency – Family Tomb

shroud of despondencyIt always pains me when I become a fan of someone’s work or a band when they decide to call it quits or reveal that their new album will be their last. This is the case for Shroud of Despondency, a black metal act from Milwaukee, Wisconsin that gives us pure black metal that delivers rawness and power as well as atmosphere and melodies. The band consists of two members now, Rory Heikkila (all music) and Ron Blemberg (vocals) and they deliver a rather AAA performance with their ‘DIY’ plug in and record methods that they disclaim on their Bandcamp page. Well using ‘shit equipment’ doesn’t matter when the talent is truthfully present and their use of this equipment and software gives them a great progressive approach on an old school sound using newer methods. Shroud of Despondency is done with all of the bull shit and this final album is their negativity on full blast for us all to enjoy.

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Review: Shadowland – A

shadowland ASimply called “A”, Shadowland releases a beautiful and cold ambient/atmospheric wonder that expands the mind and blissfully delivers soul massaging synth for us all to consume and enjoy. This Russian band has no members (so says Metal-Archives) and has been pretty active for the past year, releasing a bunch of demos and EP’s that I will definitely head back and listen to. “A” is my first listen of this band and I must say it grabbed me pretty fast and held me tightly. The atmosphere that Shadowland creates is vast and imaginative as well as the music being captivating and soothing. A nice album to drift off into sleep or to calm down after a nice day for sure.

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Review: The Unchaining – Ithilien

The Unchaining - IthilienOh atmospheric black metal, how you can be so good at times. You’re obviously so inspiring to us all who enjoy it and often times influence us so much that we just absolutely must create something of our own. I know it is true due to the fact I hear something new yet similar on a weekly basis. Yet, no matter what somehow I always still end up loving it. The Unchaining’s newest release for example is a low production, epic black metal one man army who’s influences are obviously Summoning with a tad bit of Burzum and Erang in there as well. The Unchaining’s simple sound is settling and warming as this simplicity still provided me with grand scale epic atmosphere. This release is a no brainer for fans of this genre!

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Review: Ghost Bath – Moonlover

coverSometimes when you hear of an oriental metal band you may think of poppy choruses, boasting loud guitars and females dancing in school girl outfits. Well Ghost Bath is from China and no they do not possess the energy and light show of your semi typical event. No this is a brooding, emotionally deep, depressing type of album. Ghost Bath sucks you in slowly and then proceeds to blast your face off, only to take it all away and get truly emotionally low with the music. If there was anything that would push you over the edge and make you want to take the plunge, it’s this album.

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That is so Cvlt: In Defense of the Untrue Black Metal

I fucking love Deafheaven. I remember when Sunbather came out it blew my mind and the minds of several friends and acquaintances. There were a few members of my local metal community, though, that resented it’s popularity and it’s inclusion into the black metal soundscape. I can recall many a Facebook post casting them off as nothing but “hipster garbage”. I see people to this day still saying Deafheaven and bands like them should not be anywhere near black metal. They find the genre, ironically, sacred.  Since Sunbather’s  release many other bands have emerged from the woodwork sporting the moniker of “Untrue Black Metal”. I am here today to talk to you all about how I believe these bands are among the coolest things to happen to the black metal genre in a very long time.

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Review: Unsacred – False Light

unsacredWhen you think of Richmond, Virginia do you think of frost bitten Scandinavian black metal? Well you will now with Unsacred’s new album “False Light”. The inspired writing and fierce riffing found within the false light is a vicious blasting of all of the senses. An attack that only Marduk has displayed so far this year, Unsacred’s no holds barred sound offers us a pleasurable experience with their integrity and energy. All hail the Scandinavian sound from Virginia!

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TL;DReviews #1: Lord Dying, Sylosis, Archgoat & Chapel of Disease

lord dying sylosis archgoat chapel of diseaseWelcome to the FIRST installment of my new lazy as fuck review series. Sometimes I just do not want to go into full detail about an album. I can review an album with a brief description and a score just fine, right? Well this is an off shoot of my old series “Qreviews” or Quick Reviews”. This TL;DR (meaning “Too Long, Didn’t Read”, which originated from Reddit I believe) series will offer 4-6 bands per post, with links to the bands so you can jam this shit and buy the music that deserves to be purchased.

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Review: Ennoven – Redemption

ennovenEnnoven is a one man project from Warsaw, Poland who is influenced by the power and beauty of nature. A common theme with atmospheric and ambient black metal bands. Does this one stand out from the rest and deliver profound musical offerings that the others fail to bring to the black metal party? Short answer is yes, the guitars resonate and gleam, the bass is nasty and the drumming serves it’s purpose. Vocals have this Sviatibor sound to them, just that distance howling scream that sits on top of the music perfectly. The music often touches things outside of the black metal realm too with wildly noticeable post-rock riffing that folds and flows like the endless ocean into one another. The rolling whimsical style of the music makes this a skin crawling experience and the album flows on and on until the very end, something I love since it grabs me and never lets go.

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Review: Saagar – Vacuidad

saagarSometimes when someone is inspired to create, the art that is birthed from this inspiration has so much depth and creativity driven from that which inspired it that those who enjoy the previous works of art will obviously enjoy the new art. This is true especially within metal, ambient and dungeon synth genres as you will take something that stands out from the rest and with it, will spawn hundreds of others that will try to copy that sounds. Saagar’s sound is derived from two other projects as well as some outside influences which involve themes such as negative emotions, death, emptiness, desolation, astral projections and the dark side of nature and life in general.

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Review: Eryn Vorn – Avalanche

Eryn VornEryn Vorn is, I think, a 1 man black metal band from some unknown depths of this planet. Little can be found online about this musical project but the name Eryn Vorn comes from the Lord of the Rings. Eryn Vorn is a wooded cape in Eriador within Middle-earth. Of course it is, so many bands use lore and names from that fantasy setting it’s almost not even a surprise anymore. You wouldn’t know if the songs are inspired from this same realm of fiction unless you completely read or studied the content but it’s all related. The songs are simple, repetitive and magical. While this does not feel as epic as Summoning, Ered Withrin or Caladan Brood, this smaller scale release from Eryn Vorn still has an adventurous grasp about it.

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