The Finnish trio of blackened death metal cultists known as Desolate Shrine bring forth hell’s fury on their new album “The Heart of the Netherworld”. Their simple stance on death metal meets atmospheric blackened chaos breathes fire and wrath onto us. Their sound sits well with me, as they conjure up the forces from the Netherworld to create a soundtrack of debauchery and uncertainty. The evil experience feels genuine and not cheesy or forced. This is the dark magic of Desolate Shrine, masters of unholy darkness and fierce sound.
Astral Blood, a deadly combination of musicians that just said “Fuck it, let’s release a super bad ass black metal EP for people to enjoy” and did just that. Atmospheric, elaborate, detailed, layered and massively epic. The music shifts so often and leaves you on the edge of your seat. The beginning and ending tracks have this seemingly endless build up that hits a climax and abruptly ends. The ‘Interlude’ track is deep, artistic and interesting. Overall, I am left satisfied yet wanting more. I am now blood thirsty, thirsty for Astral Blood.
Canadians are their darn atmospheric black metal! Always giving me something ENJOYABLE with SUBSTANCE, how dare they?!?! Do you know how much music is submitted to me?! I mean I get this self titled album from a band called Boreal Tundra, from a label called Neckbrace Records, and I just wildly enjoy what I hear. The next morning, I listened to the album on the commute to work, the chilling environment went well with the music that was coming out of my speakers. Cold and callous production, howling and grim vocal work, thick yet well placed bass tone and hauntingly torturous guitar tone and riffing. Toss in the tragic keyboard ambiance and you have a solid piece of art here. Boreal Tundra kicks 2015 off right with a solid atmospheric black metal release that raises the bar on lo-fi, self produced recordings. How am I going to review other albums when I just want to constantly listen to this!?
The Apache Revolver won me over with their delightful post-rock/black/surfer styled melancholic masterpiece of an EP also known as The Morningstar EP. Now without warning, the band returns with another beautiful and depressing EP, with more emphasis on experimentation, new use of vocals, odd riff stylings and keyboard pieces. The Midwinter is also as stressful and anxiety driven as it is raw and cold, yet somehow The Apache Revolver just knows how to make it work, they know how to make it appealing and they fully embrace the direction they’ve taken. What the fuck, why is this so good?
Chilling black metal with ripping guitars, scathing vocals and relentless ass beating drumming? Ctulu has it all. When it comes to the original ‘kvlt’ worship, with added frost bitten atmosphere that old school Immortal fans with admire, Ctulu pretty much nail that feeling and blackness right on the head. Without sounding too stale or derivative though, the band kicks in their own style (as much as they can without changing too much) and deliver punishing songs. Time to slap on your corpse paint and spiked gauntlets, Ctulu is coming for you.
Combining black metal and death metal is nothing new and the sub genre itself continues to grow and expand beyond anything I could have imagined. Death Fortress now enters the ring and comes in with this hay-maker of an album that I have just loved since the moment I first pressed play. Key quality elements of black metal with blistering death metal brutality is what Death Fortress brings to the party and everyone is leaving in a body bag. Behold one of the best albums of 2014.
Before I shove off into 2015 releases, I want to shed some light on this dark band: Satanic Warmaster. Now with a name like that, you can just automatically picture a church burning to ashes just off a snowy path with a wooded area in the background and the moon lifted high in the night. Gladly, I can report that this music also paints that exact picture. One of the more fierce black metal acts of the year, Satanic Warmaster returns with a promising sound that previous fans will like and black metal enthusiasts will love. This album made me a fan of the band after one full listen….I need to journey into their back catalog now. SW summon the cold, the fury and epic raw feeling that you desire from a great black metal album.
This week I will start compiling a massive list of media for you all to consume on Saturday’s. I run this website as a hobby so I am not always keeping up with content during the week like the other websites but I still want to maintain some credibility when it comes to sharing the best of the best from the underground as well as some of the newer stuff from the more established bands. This week we have black metal updates, music videos and more! Sit back, grab a coffee and listen.
Schammasch’s new album “Contradiction” is one of the more massive displays of doom this year! The destroying vocals, the raunchy guitar tone and the annihilating drum work just round off to be a very enjoyable album to sit through.