Ave Noctum

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Reverend Darkstanley

The Negative Bias – Narcissus Rising (ATMF)

I admire all attempts to evolve black metal – but appreciate that sometimes, the harder you try, the more unblack metal it’s gunna sound. That’s just the way it is. So, for example, there’s a big difference experimenting within the… Continue Reading →

Thief – Map of Lost Keys (Prophecy)

Dylan Neal’s other band, Botanist, might not be to everyone’s taste (hammered dulcimer black metal anyone?) but it certainly makes a change from listening to a very long line of black-metal-o-likes queuing up to deliver their take on something that… Continue Reading →

Batushka – Hospodi (Metal Blade)

It’s the black metal spat that has divided the metal fraternity. Well, not really. Most people already seem to have decided – fairly or unfairly – which side of the fence they are on in the ‘Trve’ versus ‘Fake’ Batushka… Continue Reading →

Panzerfaust – The Suns Of Perdition: Chapter I: War, Horrid War (Eisenwald)

How have I not alighted on this band previously? World War II (loosely) themed Canadian black metallers Panzerfaust have been kicking around for a while now but, with only three albums before this, it’s perhaps understandable they could have flown… Continue Reading →

Vulture – Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves (Metal Blade)

In an era when metal has taken on so many forms it’s somehow comforting to think back to thrash metal as one of the genre’s purest. Who can argue with Fistful of Metal, Feel The Fire and Kill ‘Em All?… Continue Reading →

Murg –Strävan (Nordvis)

If you somehow managed to miss Murg’s frost-bitten and pretty fucking stunning debut, perhaps holed up in your wintery forest domain wearing corpse paint and living only on food you caught and strangled with your bare hands, I can only… Continue Reading →

Óreiða – Óreiða (Harvest of Death)

I’m pretty much a sucker for black metal in all its forms so it seemed a no-brainer to plumb for this first full-length from Icelandic band Óreiða. Two demos and a split since 2016 and the band have put together… Continue Reading →

Árstíðir lífsins – Saga á tveim tungum I: Vápn ok viðr (Ván)

Let’s get a few things straight before we skin the boar (not a euphemism, smut fans – this is pagan black metal and therefore entirely serious), light the smoky fires and ready our tales of legend and times long past… Continue Reading →

Akrotheism – The Law of Seven Deaths (Osmose)

What a difference five years can make. Akrotheism sprang into action in 2014 with a delicious platter that set out to tear your soul to shreds while casually leaving you skipping and whistling down the road at the same time… Continue Reading →

Downfall of Gaia – Ethic of Radical Finitude (Metal Blade)

Downfall of Gaia’s towering tremolo-soaked excursions should be enough to drown even the hardest of hearts in the band’s emotional vortex. The mix of post-black metal and cascading, sludgy breakdowns provide an excursion that feels both familiar and intriguingly unique… Continue Reading →

Entheogen – Without Veil, Nor Self (I, Voidhanger)

I always appreciate a bit of swirling chaos of a bleak mid-winter evening so this glorious second wind for Entheogen’s self-release last year couldn’t be better timed. As a baseline for what promises to be a cracking year in extreme… Continue Reading →

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