Acoustic essentials: Empyrium and October Falls

The initial loadstone for foundational black metal was an explicit exercise in self-limitation. Cut the fat away from metal as it was becoming by the late 1980s, the meaty production, the excessive riffs, the complex and the bouncy rhythms and what are you left with? Obviously this ascetic quest was quickly jettisoned by the turn … Continue reading Acoustic essentials: Empyrium and October Falls

I like the beats and I like the yelling: Necronautical, Sentiero dei Principi, Etxegiña

Necronautical: Slain in the SpiritOut 20th August on Candlelight Records Mancunian symphonic black metallists return with album number four: ‘Slain in the Spirit’; displaying that oft sought but rarely found blend of undeniable continuity with the past and expanded horizons. Symphonic black metal can be a highly dense form of music at times. Ethereal iterations … Continue reading I like the beats and I like the yelling: Necronautical, Sentiero dei Principi, Etxegiña

I like the beats and I like the yelling: Lunar Funeral, Gnosis, Shrieking Demons

Lunar Funeral: Road to SiberiaOut 24th July on Helter Skelter Productions There was a moment between ‘Witchcult Today’ and ‘Black Masses’ where Electric Wizard looked like they were about to morph into a richly atmospheric garage rock version of themselves. Darker than Uncle Acid, heavier than Purson, and infinitely more interesting than Conan. But sadly … Continue reading I like the beats and I like the yelling: Lunar Funeral, Gnosis, Shrieking Demons

A return to humility: Ancient and Ulver

“What does black metal mean to you?” The phrasing of this question implies that musical messages are not just inter-subjective, but utterly atomised. Music and culture hold no collective meaning, but exist solely to serve individual egos and their alleged stake in the zeitgeist. Culture becomes nothing more than a means to furnish one’s personality … Continue reading A return to humility: Ancient and Ulver

I like the beats and I like the yelling: Galvanizer, Fulanno, Nigrum Pluviam

Galvanizer: Prying Sight of ImperceptionOut 30th July on Me Saco Un Ojo / Everlasting Spew Prima facie, the second album from the Finnish outfit known as Galvanizer is another shameless old school offering no different from the last ten to come out this week. So given the fact that I enjoyed ‘Prying Sight of Imperception’ … Continue reading I like the beats and I like the yelling: Galvanizer, Fulanno, Nigrum Pluviam

I like the beats and I like the yelling: Necromantical Invocation, Remote, Evocator

Necromantical Invocation: Dogme et Rituel de la Haute MagieOut 24th July on Helter Skelter Productions This debut demo/mini album originally released back in February 2021 sees a CD and vinyl release on Helter Skelter this week. Necromantical Invocation is the brainchild of one Echetleos, who is something of a polymath in the Greek scene at … Continue reading I like the beats and I like the yelling: Necromantical Invocation, Remote, Evocator

Metal’s Retromania Part VI: until the light takes us

This series is a result of one of many book clubs that formed during lockdown. A friend put forward a book by music journalist Simon Reynolds’ called ‘Retromania’, an exploration of the nostalgia cult within pop culture. Many of the themes outlined by Reynolds resonated deeply, and his implicit invitation to his readers to apply … Continue reading Metal’s Retromania Part VI: until the light takes us

I like the beats and I like the yelling: Thecodontion/Vessel of Iniquity, Exil, Krossfyre

Thecodontion/Vessel of Iniquity: The Permian-Triassic Extinction EventOut 3rd September, CD release on I, Voidhanger Records, cassette release on Bad Moon Rising (Taiwan)/Dead Red Queen Records (USA) As the march of history continues apace, beyond our control or understanding, extreme metal’s quest for new sonic pastures to capture the moment can sometimes look like panic. In … Continue reading I like the beats and I like the yelling: Thecodontion/Vessel of Iniquity, Exil, Krossfyre