Impressive catchy songwriting with a lot of progressive hooks and breaks, and a special shout out to the sublime vocal(mix), massive amounts of care went in to each song and you hear the dedication. A melodic death/black band as there are few. In my opinion, they make Opeth look like pussies.
After an confronting heart-to-heart opening, Shining does what 'we' want; spilling out pure hatred shaped by all stylish midtempo black flanked by all kinds of atmosphere. Whether it's by sampling actual pain and anguish, or just an eerie piano giving off an unsettling vibe creeping down your spine.
Summoning does as Summoning is. No need to expect groundbreaking material, but no fan wants that. We want Summoning to be the sure footing in a rapid changing blackmetal scene. More of the same epic Tolkien metal. Some most memorable songs of their discography and some more than welcome filler.
Ghoulish-blackend-dungeon-funeral-doom that sounds like it's oozing from dark and desolate depths from inside a mirky and haunted forest. Not so much songs but more shaped soundscapes made to infer sorrow and a very creepy haunting atmosphere.
Summoning made me fall in love with the whole dungeonsynth/blackmetal universe and this 'non-metal' EP serves as one of my favorite cheesy dungeonsynths ever. I wish it was longer than just these two tracks
Ellende sets forth what once bands as Empyrium set out to do; the feel of classical romanticism draped in anguish, woe and despair. Given a voice by tear jerking melodies, melancholic folk and mid-tempo screeching black metal. Just my cup of tea.
(Funeral) Doom isn't easy, and taking on a 80+ min track isn't always a good idea. Bell Witch however, were able to stretch the slow looming doom and made it so goddamn enjoyable to listen that I almost want it to be longer. Fleeting melodies, crushing guitars, contemplation and the real feels. Damn
Amenra tears us a new one, comforts us afterwards, before pouring salt in the wounds. Its though love, but by god is it intense love. Intense, true, real raging pain, anguish and spite. A mighty impressive record.
I've been looking forward to this one, and boy does it deliver on my expectancies. A grander blend of the mystic folk, soothing ambient and roaring cascadian blackmetal. Though a very pleasant listen, it is a fact that children of these torchbearer are more daring nowadays.
A solid demo/EP of a promising band. Opening with a trashy riff that just before it get's old, shifts into new varieties of the melody, adding texture and layers to the song. Fluisteraar show they have the means to keep a monotone 16 minute song interesting after just a few minutes. Wholly promising
While Pariah was a testament of pure hatred and fury, Harvest seems to be the following sadboy period. The tracks are less sharp, the vocals are less stingy, the whole album has a 'woe me' feel about it and it lacks the dangerous punch Pariah packed. The only track that shines is the titletrack.
'Behold the end of the human era'. Roaring, spiteful and venomous blackend deathmetal. Prepare to get blasted with razorsharp songs filled with hate for entire mankind that are stangely melodic/catchy and fun to listen to!
There is something truly captivating to this record. It sounds so personal, so true and honest. If you let it, it will take you away to a cold, dim and desolate place on even the hottest day. Magnificent sludge/black that comes from the heart and speaks to yours.
Ah, it must be post-metal for that length of title. And it is, exquisite at that. Manatees play/are slow and heavy but with the right momentum to groove and blast when needed. The record stretches over five parts which all have their own feeling and still keep to an overall heavy and brutal sound.
Atmospheric black from South Africa. It checks all the boxes; winding and stretched mid-tempo walls of noise, contemplative acoustics interludes and harrowing screams. But that's just it; it just checks the boxes. It's good, but it lacks some identity sadly.
One of the first encounters I had with postmetal. The mysterious, heavy sound does the title justice. Callisto incorporates shards of jazz to add to the overall tone of the album. The vocals are deep, the production is solid and the album varies enough to keep you interested till the end and repeat.
Falls of Rauros makes it known they have their own sound and stay true to it, and which each release the production value rises. Sadly though, the bone shivering haunting melodies tend to blur together as the best captivating songs are still found on their debut record.
It's good that Agalloch's spirit lives on, but as of now Pillorian has the status, but not yet the trackrecord. Expect solid, more aggressive and upfront melo-black in a clear production, but don't expect the eerie melancholic magic of Agalloch just yet,
Creativity worth praising. This record outgrows genres as a whole, but keeps roots in negro-spirituals and black metal. Mix it up with whatever you can think of, and you get an amazing must-hear-this-mix of music that is not as coherent as an album could be, but none the less damn impressive!
Being blown away as I was by the first, it's impossible for the follow-up to be better. I'd hoped for more of the same, but they've chosen a more agressive, straightforward sound. This is not a bad thing, in fact. it's a very high quality thing. More agressive, less atmosphere.
This is getting out of hand. Anyone with a picture of a forest and can release atmospheric blackmetal nowadays. Earth & Pillars does it all; over-long-intros, muddled, unclear production and each track taking about 15 minutes. The sound is a greenish-grey chaos, and never really innovative.
Dip in darkness and despair in the deep desolate woods with Veldes. Proper folk-black with decent production and interesting hooks and some quality screams. But on a whole the albums tends to lack variety in sound and foremost in the vocals. A good first impression that I don't think will last.
Never was their such an impressive, twisted, avant-garde and progressive piece of pure hate and misery then Altar's final record. The way they disconstruct all known black metal cliches and build it anew in a artsy, abstract but oh-so-compelling way is astounding.
An exercise in melancholy of misty mountains and foggy shores. Calm, deep, intense with great writing and production, but not as memorable as it's predecessor.
By far my favorite 'math-metal' record ever. The sheer intensity and skewed groovy flow with awesome hardcore vocals is amazing. It's recorded, written and listens like a jigsaw puzzle that can dazzle a man.
I hold this one with high regard because it's the first record that really pulled me into the darker territories of metal. In hindsight the production is pretty hollow and the songwriting a tad cliche, but this is definitely MY cliche!
'WITTR'-like doomy blackness, slow and piercing, tragic and majestically beautiful
Quality atmospheric black, lots of major scale epicness with grim undertones, production is a bit flat
Uada seems to be one of the frontrunners of the new American black metal scene, and I like it. It's a fresh take on the old black-trash bond with staggering modern black and old school trashy solo's.
One man synth-black act which leans on Deafheaven. Works very well, too bad he churns out albums like crazy, and most of them are instrumental. The vocals are what keep this one above the rest.
After all these years, no matter how cliche and/or cheesy, I hold this album with regard. It's what introduced me to folkmetal as a genre and is still relevant as the blueprint of what the genre is.
A heavy focus on the concept behind the album, which didn't really do it any good. Find it hard to keep myself interested, though there are some nice riffs. But progmetal with clean vox isn't what I search for in the Mouth of the Architect.
A strange but becoming marriage between almost-pop-songs, power metal and fierce screams and growls makes this album pop-out in freshness.
Most epic blackness, ripping out the darkest depths of the Tolkien universe, we get to hear a symphonic, roaring soundtrack of the underworld. Every song is slow to mid-tempo but somehow very intense in it's delivery.
Battle Metal set the bar for, well, battle metal. The most bombastic, symphonic and strangely upbeat but still very br00tal release in years. So, fucking, catchy! BATTLE! METAL!
A black metal record without the polish, exposing only deep disgust, melancholy and pure hate. The vocals get spat in your face, this album knowns no compromise. Feels really truthful and honest.
I'd say this is Agalloch's crowning glory. An album with clear, layered production and some very solid songwriting. Less folk and more distortion, some of the best songs this band ever made are on here.
Fluisteraars is one of the premium Dutch black metal acts (IMHO), and while they do nothing revolutionary, what they do, they do with great care and passion. Solid riffing, melodic tremolo and very good vocals. Tracks tend to be a tad overlong but each one has enough variety to keep it interesting.
'For fans of Summoning and Urfaust', that's me! Though I can outrightly say that the low production value and horrible keyboard sections don't cut it for me. Sure this album is 18 years old and it was a different standard then, and I can appreciate that, but nowadays this is not for me.
A slow slope into blackend madness. Urfaust's trademark twisted screams flow through mazes of hypnotic downtempo black metal. Dark 'n doomy.
'A kaleidoscoping soundtrack for the modern era'. This record does away with all the nature-religion-folk in black metal, and goes straight for the hardships of urban life. Exquisite songwriting and production, sharp mix of pop and black metal.
The last album made before the ironic death of singer David Gold. His death gives the album even more feeling, depth and personality. Depressive blackened doom.
Equilibrium did it. They made a solid debut album, raising the bar in layered sound and production value for folk metal, and then they raised it again with this sequel to it. The record is even more alive, intense, powerful and oddly cheerful.
This record is huge, in length, in production and in concept. Classical music flirts with folk influences, the string section brushes with the harsh distortion. Think big soundscapes where tension is always rising and falling between the classical and the chaotic brutality.
A post-black-electro ambient record (Think 'Celestite' by WITTR). Though this has nothing to do with black metal other then the intent. It's a fine amateur record, but it's not at all renewing or revolutionary in what it does.
SubRosa is known to be a exciting, diverse doom-metal act with spectacular live shows. And yes, the live show at Roadburn did impress very deeply, but this record just can't. Mostly for the sake of the vocals, they sound flat and without the reach they need and it dampens the music. Shame though.
Agalloch's most prolific folk record. To this day, it's a high water mark for the folk black metal scene. It sets the right tone with subtle humming keys, sharp acoustic melodies and layers of foreboding distortion. It's full of atmosphere but thank god there is a remaster!
Strechted doom metal with clean vocals. A Dutch/French split with mostly the same ingredients. It sounds just fine for doom metal, but I can't say I'm a big doom fan.
One of the new Dutch blackies, Wederganger takes the folky-clean vocals from Heidevolk, takes a decent jug of Amon Amarth riffing and some of Urfaust nasty fury. The result? Interesting, brutal, but not really my cup of tea.
On this split with two of the most promising new BM bands in The Netherlands both bands bring their A-game to this split. Laster's part is intense and furious whereas Wederganger take their time on brooding midtempo pagan black.
The first full-length after the promising demo makes true on all the promises. The production value has gone up and the songwriting fleshes out. The grey mass of distortion becomes the foundation of more experimental music with noise, piano and obscure dance music.
The first offering of Dutch Laster has it all: A 20 minute slab of monotonous grey melancholy layers of distortion, pounding drums and a singer who screeches from the darkest places of his soul. Top it off with a philosophical theme, and there you have another great BM band.
Lugubrum is weird. It takes black metal roots, drowns it in vodka and pokes it long enough that it starts dancing weird. I admire the creativity and guts to do this, but I don't know if I like to listen to it, which is kinda the point.
What's in a name? The same as in this album, an epic tale of history of one of the most brutal and literally frostbitten artic voyages. What best to tell such tale with grim black metal and theatrical interludes? This album is literally made to tell a true story, and it's well worth sitting down for
The first proper full-length after years of touring on demos and a split-up of the band, and I can say it disappointing. It doesn't deliver on the dynamic, deep post-metal I'd come to expect. It has it's moments but is rather flat at the end of it.
My deflowering in post metal is this gem. A rusty gem, with sharp corners that'll cut you. The album ploughs forwards as a living machine spewing dispair and misery. The whole is subtle, shifting between brutal and without compromise to haunting melodic sections (that banjo, whooooo).
Enslaved are good at what they do, and not afraid to do different things. This is a good thing and I can appreciate the band for it, but this album is too power/proggy for me, and the black vox that it has, don't really suit me.
If I ever held an album high on a pedestool, it's this one. A defining record in huge, epic, atmospheric black metal with masterful writing. The whole albums listens like a world in itself, with recurring themes and atmospheres.
The post-masters of Cult of Luna team up with the crazy wife Julie Christmas and it works like a charm. Their deep and haunting post metal is met with the vocal marriage of the growls of Johannes and crazy screams of Julie, and boy does magic happen.
If you're looking for some harsh, old skool blastbeat black metal, come to Switzerland. Apparently it's so fucking cold and grim up there that Paysage D'hiver recorded this. A record that stands as an ode to the blackend chaos and noise of which we came.
Liturgy was (afaik) one of the first bands to brazenly expand the borders of brutal black metal and doing so by making it an exercise in Swans-like texturing and mathematical hypnotizing riffing. It's a record that will disturb you, and won't let you relax, but it is a masterpiece for it.
It's astounding how much quality one man can make. From concept to songwriting to composition and production; this record has it all. It's a one man army with an enchanting tale to tale, and it does it so well. Deep folklore passages and rattling blastbeats topped with delightful screams.
Here's a record from the new BM scene in Iceland where the endless piercing cold and smoking lava get translated into layers of drones and distortion. Twisted, dark, deep and layered. My personal taste is that the layers miss a lil' more variance; it tends to blend together as a big mass of darkness
AMG hailed this as a pure brand masterpiece, and I can see why. It does a lot, from black metal structuring to deathmetal riffing, folk interludes etc. But it's all done too well to my taste; it's too polished, shiny and produced for my ears.
Hailing from Russia is this nice, little expression of amtmospheric black metal. It's nothing new nor exciting, it's rather 'normal' in all it's ways, but it does have a it's own setting, a sense of sincerity.
Seeing Skuggsjá (Wardruna & Enslaved) perform live was a real privilege, since it wasn't really supposed to be more then a one time thing. The record that wasn't supposed to be made is here now and it's a proper reflection of the project. Deep folk and roaring folk-black metal.
Wiegedood's debut blew me away with it's fierce passion, energetic hate and despise. A solid wall of sound, filled with subtle melodies and catchy hooks. It's like cocaine; it destroys you, but it's so addicting, you want more. Moar!
It's amazing that this record is from '98. The production is so good that it might as well be released last week. It reminds of a darker, more black At The Gates. Ferocious blastbeats and a top-notch goblin scream tell you how black metal is supposed to sound.
I want to like this, since I always said there wasn't a Borknagar record that I don't love. But alas, here we are. Extra sad is that Garm (Ulver) is on in the vocals, so the dissapointment is bigger. The main problem is a lack of coherence in the vocals and all-over feel of the album.
Swedes can do everything best, as long as it's dark and depressing. Like a thriller, detective or black metal records. This record is exciting, dark, builds tension and above all, done by one man. Chapeau!
It's a whole other take on the folk side of black metal where the elements don't blend but compliment eachother in a fenomenal way. One equal part classical harp goes great with solid, melodic mid-tempo blackness.
Khanate is a unique piece of work. It sounds like a band dying in the studio and recording every last bit of it. Prepare to not be swayed away by layers of noise, but rather be thrown into a bathtub of rusty razors and salt. This is meant to hurt.
Everything Primordial does feels like an epic stature of pride and power, and 'Redemption' is no different. Solid songwriting, production and (sadly) scarce use of harsh vocals. The second part of the album isn't as memorable as the first.
French post-black of stature. The crashing waves of Cult of Luna-esque post metal dwindle into hysterical and dark black metal blastings and chaos. Lovely! The only thing with this album is the length, it's 2 hours! While it's never boring, it can be overlong if you're not really in the mood.
There is a lot to be said about Deafheaven, and I don't care about it at all. Sunbather blew me away and will continue to do so. The sheer power and atrocities on this record, filled in with bright colors and major scales melodies in contrast with the fierce screams raise the hairs on my arms.
There's also a lot to be said about Myrkur, and again I don't give a shit. I just find this a poorly written and recorded album. The dreamy folk does right by me, but the black metal parts seem forced, unnatural and gimmicky. She tries, but doesn't really succeed.
These guys are known for large-scale and epic theatrical albums, and this one is no other. A fine mix of prog, black metal and folk. But because the record wants to be listened like a book, I don't pick it up as often as I should.
Batushka is bringing back the gimmicks big time, by bells, church choirs and nasty Polish black metal. Remnant of Graveworm, but with a better focus on interesting riffing and production.
Straightforward and to the point are the keywords here. Mgla shows you don't need much to have an effective end-result. Using just the core ingredients of black metal, they forge a solid picture of the genre with catchy hooks and nice riffing.
Ghost Bath is in on the major -scale chaos game. Like Deafheaven they paint a brutal but colorful picture. They even tend to take it over the top with some almost poppy soloing, and the vocals tend to lack impact. Good sound, but I've heard better expressions of it.
Oh the cliche riffing and chanting, oh the tin-like drums, oh the cheesiness of the lyrics, oh the excitement and oh the memories. This brand of folk metal is often too cheesy for my taste, but this particular EP just does something for me. Maybe it was that vacation in Finland..
The opening of this album is so amazingly catchy and full of interesting and creative ideas, you'd expect to be let down by the rest of the album. That's the charm of this one; it keeps 'm coming! Though the first few songs are definitely stuck in my head the most, the rest of it isn't sold short.
Unlike Galar's 'Gjenlevende', Ghost Brigade opens with a solid track, but tends to fuck up the rest. It starts with some pretty good epic melo-death, but lingers on in Godsmack-esque emo hardrock :/ tf.
The new Panopticon focuses less on the folk and more on the thick, heavy barrages of riffing and deep gurgles of gruntwork. This doesn't mean the album is any less atmospheric. If anything, it's ever more intense this way.
An 'EP' which spans 40+ minutes. It's break time for these blackies and they choose to chill with cosmic ambient soundscapes, still solemn and ever lonely. Though there is a sense of companionship in this kind of lonely. An album turn of your head and flow on ethereal rivers.
With all the positive reviews around saying 'Much better then Sunbather!' I needed some time to warm up to this record. At first I didn't hear anything better then Sunbather, but after a while I saw it. A much more experienced, balanced and more aggressive take. Less colorful, extra intense.
As an instrumental post-metal band you have to balance all the ingredients just right to keep it interesting. The Collective takes the easy path by staying at the core of the genre, but it also fails to leave an impression while doing nothing wrong.
Frisian Black Metallers Kjeld deliver their debut with a vengeance. As AMG wrote a 'frigid, punishing, and viciously melodic record that’s a consistently exciting listen'. Clear, to the point, focused and just the right amount of epic to swallow the violence thrown at you.
Sorry, but no. I'm still not convinced. I'm still not in overproduced poppy deathmetal to sell backpack patches to goth schoolgirls. This is not my cup of tea and probably never will be. I can hear these are decent musicians with proper skill, but it's not for me.
One of the less successfull EPs Agalloch has done. It features two 'dismantled' tracks from Pale Folklore. These are 'abstracted' as in turned to a grey mess of noisy soundscapes and drones. Fun lil' excercise might be, but not too interesting to listen to.
A masterpiece which finally got it's well deserved remaster. Now with the production being clearer and having more depth, the epicness of the dark folk-black tales come to right even better.
61 tracks in 43 minutes. That's an achievement. And making it work like one big epic whole is an even bigger achievement. This album is highly underrated as it portraits masterful skill in storytelling through all kinds of dark metal. Truly an awe-inspiring endeavor.
It's big, it's brutal, it's Scottish! So prepare for some folk-laden atmospheric black metal with outstanding flute- and bagpipe sections. Overall not too unique in it's kind, but the Scottish flavor does make it it's own.
A beautiful, compact ode to the atmospheric folk black metal. Omnious as Wolves In The Throneroom, with the epicness of Moonsorrow in a quality production. The quality of songwriiting and production overall gives me goosebumps. I wholeheartedly support passion like this!
Distorion-centered ambient release reminiscent of Agalloch's 'Ashes Against The Grain' closing piece.
I find it hard to keep interested in hearing this chaotic marriage of post-metal and shrieking from our favorite crazy wife Julie Christmas. It's a blend of things better taken apart, and done better by others.
If I have to pick a favorite Moonsorrow record, this is it. A big, layered production sets the tone and atmosphere for thick viking-metal riffing and amazing vocals. It's epic in all the right ways and keeps interesting to the end.
"It’s a formless cascade of sound, a vision rendered with countless layers of synths, brass instruments, woodwinds, and the occasional electric guitar, all the while leaving out the human element. " This is the pure essence of black metal ambient, ever evolving suspense done right.
The most stunning debut of this atmospheric blackmetal outfit. Dark, depressing, mystical, eerie and overall hauntingly beautiful. The atmosphere on this record knows no equal, the solos are solid and the whole gives me goosebumps every fucking time I hear it.
Panopticon sets the bar for expanding black metal horizons with this Kentucky-blues hybrid. Highly melodic, intense and utterly creative songwriting. The only downside is the bit muddled production, but that also shines the light on the clearer acoustic parts, so all is well!
Ecailles de Lune is my favorite Alcest album, because it brings back that harsh Amesoeurs sound and combines it perfectly with the dreamy, almost ethereal shoegaze. The record sounds like the cover looks; a dark but magical night of unspoken tales.