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Paysage D’Hiver – Im Wald (Kunsthall Produktionen)

Paysage D’Hiver – literally ‘Winter Landscape’ – might just be the epitome of the black metal trope that from extreme chaos emerges form and beauty. Or, perhaps to look at it another way, as the band’s sole member Wintherr said… Continue Reading →

Pale Divine – Consequence of Time (Cruz Del Sur)

Maybe it’s a lockdown thing as self-confinement injects a mellowing effect on my musical pursuits… Maybe I’ve just been forced to soften the edges of my musical horizons to have any hope of playing heavy metal on the collective house… Continue Reading →

Falconer – From A Dying Ember (Metal Blade)

Cards firmly on the tavern table. I’ve been a fan of Falconer since picking up the second album – probably so far back it was in an actual record shop rather than arriving in a white van driven by a… Continue Reading →

Blight – Temple of Wounds (Svart)

Blight have been crafting their blackened art for more than a decade in which time, as far as I can see, they’ve released about four EPs for your delight. Spinning through, things seemed to have reached a kind of brutalised… Continue Reading →

Runespell / Forest Mysticism – Wandering Forlorn (Iron Bonehead)

Runespell and Forest Mysticism may conjure up a lot of different preconceptions about what’s coming down the speaker cables and out of the bass bins: mad dwarves digging for gold, elves dancing in woodland glades…. armies of darkness marching their… Continue Reading →

Árstíðir lífsins – Saga á tveim tungum II: Eigi fjǫll né firðir (Ván Records)

Árstíðir lífsins is bleakly grandiose pagan metal inspired by skaldic writings of the past. An altogether different league to the hordes of Viking metal bands that have swamped us in the past two or three decades. This is metal as… Continue Reading →

Order of Orias – Ablaze (W.T.C. Productions)

My first encounter with Order of Orias was around the time of its split with Aosoth about five years ago – and what a collaboration that was. Splits and EPs often feel more liberating than full length releases, unbound as… Continue Reading →

Aara – En Ergô Einai (Debemur Morti)

There’s always been a desire to take metal onwards and upwards to its greatest extremes and only a damn-fool metalhead would begrudge that. I mean, that’s what brought us here in the first place right? Take Aara’s blend of high-pitched,… Continue Reading →

Nox Formulae – Drakon Darshan Satan (Dark Descent)

And so the sound of song birds bounced around the forests, the scent of verdant, leaf-strewn soils drifting high into the pristine woodland canopy just as…. The clawed hand of Satan ripped through the fabric of reality and a single,… Continue Reading →

Monolithe – Okta Khora (LADLO Productions)

Listening to Monolithe is a bit like catching up with a friend you take for granted. Off they go every year or two and return with fascinating tales and you can’t remember why you don’t spend more time with them… Continue Reading →

Thy Catafalque – Naiv (Season of Mist)

Thy Catafalque’s subliminal cuts – all weighed down with a suitably metal edge, of course – seem to have been propelling from relative cult status to more something more widely revered over recent albums. From sweet harmonies that wouldn’t go… Continue Reading →

Mesmur – Terrene (Solitude)

And relax… time for some funeral doom. You know the drill. Slow the metronome down to a heartbeat pace that would leave you clinically dead and hope for the best, right? Except that every time I return to this scene… Continue Reading →

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