I like the beats and I like the yelling: Hymnr, Ungfell, Perilaxe Occlusion

Hymnr: Far Beyond Insanity (2021) True to form for black metal emanating from the vastness of Russia, Hymnr’s debut follows in the footsteps of Forest, Walknut, and a considerable dose of Ukraine’s Hate Forest. The key to this style is the layering and texture of the guitars. As long as the aesthetic foundation embodies a … Continue reading I like the beats and I like the yelling: Hymnr, Ungfell, Perilaxe Occlusion

Across the open sea: Primordial and Mael Mórdha

A common question in metal circles regards new sungenres that took root in the 2000s. Subgenres with the solidity of thrash, death, or black metal that is. Folk metal, depending on your perspective, could strengthen or weaken the case for contemporary innovation in metal on a par with the 80s. It's not entirely clear what … Continue reading Across the open sea: Primordial and Mael Mórdha

I like the beats and I like the yelling: Atvm, Askog, False Emperor

Atvm: Famine, Putrid and Fucking Endless (2021) Hailing from that there London, Atvm have dropped their debut LP ‘Famine, Putrid and Fucking Endless’ into our laps this year. If 2015’s ‘Out of Chaotic Waters’ was a promising chrysalis of an EP, they have now confronted us with nearly an hours worth of bizarre multifacted death … Continue reading I like the beats and I like the yelling: Atvm, Askog, False Emperor

A tale of two halves: Shub Niggurath and Neurosis

Today I’d like to look at two shining examples taken from different traditions within underground metal. In particular how they both tap into what’s commonly referred to as the “spirit of metal”, despite their stylistic and thematic divergences. One is taken from the fantastical and occult backdrop of the Lovecraftian mythos, which finds its voice … Continue reading A tale of two halves: Shub Niggurath and Neurosis

Garden Gnome, or how I learned to stop worrying and love dungeon synth

A tough love letter I was on the point of losing patience with dungeon synth entirely when I came across the oh-so whimsical project called Garden Gnome, who have just put out an album entitled ‘True Gnomewegian Dungeon Synth'. With a name and cover art that strain credulity, it appeared the genre had finally disappeared … Continue reading Garden Gnome, or how I learned to stop worrying and love dungeon synth

I like the beats and I like the yelling: Niadh, Nekromantheon, Ifrinn

Niadh: Our Victory is Eternal (2016) The debut LP from the Colombian black metal outfit known as Niadh is seeing a reissue on Eternal Death records this year. For straight-down-the-barrel black metal this is about as basic as they come. However, I would like to caveat this judgment before we make too much of the … Continue reading I like the beats and I like the yelling: Niadh, Nekromantheon, Ifrinn

On Spotify

“Loud and Clear” is the mission statement released by Spotify earlier this year. This was in response to mounting criticism of the payments that artists receive from the streaming platform. Payments that are famously insulting to artists. Spotify's statement has done little to quell its critics, who have rightly pointed out that the information on … Continue reading On Spotify

Ringare, Morticula Rex, Funeral Storm/Synteleia

Ringare: Thrall of Winter’s Majesty (2021) Somewhere between the ghostly shadow-music of Lustre, the out and out assault of static that is Paysage d’Hiver, and the excessive meanderings of Midnight Odyssey, lies Pennsylvania's Ringare. There is also – rather inevitably for contemporary atmospheric black metal – a distinctively Summoning groove to some of the percussion … Continue reading Ringare, Morticula Rex, Funeral Storm/Synteleia

More notes from the b-tier: Thou art Lord and 1349

By the mid-2000s, all the major branches of metal's family tree were drooping, weighted with creative fatigue. As the newest offshoot to establish itself, extreme metal was very much under the gaze of the mainstream. Albums were becoming larger, both in length but also texturally, with layers of complexity and orchestration being applied in ways … Continue reading More notes from the b-tier: Thou art Lord and 1349