Blood of Sokar – Blood of Sokar [US, Black/Doom] (2017)

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Self Released | 4-2-17

I get pretty enthusiastic about black/doom as it is a style which sounds transcendental when done right but whose chemistry is tough to master. Add to this the fact that there really isn’t a defined recipe for black doom as black/death or even black/thrash rather when combined it could sound as melodic or as harrowing as intended. Enter Blood of Sokar whose debut (?) is nothing short that a getting lost in a cursed forest with creatures of the night occasionally stealing parts of flesh from the listener.

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Sickdeer – The Wretched of the Earth [US, Black / Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 3-20-17

I am going to be completely honest and say my attraction to Sickdeer comes from they are local to my area and I am scheduled to see a few shows with them as a support. Finding local music is fantastic as you can both enjoy music, support music, and possibly drink beers with the creators in a parking lot outside the show. I am just joking, that would be illegal and that sort of thing never happens.

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Cold Fell – Irwell [UK, Atmospheric Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 03-02-17

This is the second “atmospheric black metal” record I have reviewed this week and it is only Tuesday. I would like to say I am not opposed to the style whatsoever rather I find that atmospheric black metal is very easy to imitate but very difficult to make interesting. Uk based band Cold Fell doesn’t really sound like your typical atmospheric black metal act with most of their drama coming from raw emotion. Still there are blurred crescendos, long songs, and a general lean towards the narrative. With that said, Irwell, the band’s debut is far beyond any tree laden album covers and comes with a heavy claw to the face.

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Time Lurker – Time Lurker [France, Atmospheric Black] (2017)

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Les acteurs de l’ombre production | 06-02-17

This review takes some projection as this whole album will not be out until June but all of its material is already available as of late 2016. I have some sympathy for bands who put out material late in the year when the years are turning. I am pretty neutral on rereleases on wider distribution. I also have less sympathy for atmospheric black metal bands. Time Lurker pulls at many emotions for me and if it wasn’t for this French band being so enthralling, I probably would have moved on by now. The fact I am still here must mean something.

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Mort aux Gueux – Beuverie, Musique du Diable et Misère Crasse [Canada, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 2-3-17

I feel I am going to have a good handle on some of the darker works in various languages. From what I can surmise, Mort aux Gueux means “Death to the Beggers (?)” and the album title starts out with “Music of the Devil” and then gets really patchy from there. It could have something to do with misery or mother Earth. Whether or not I would actually do well in France or the French Canadian territories is one thing, the tone and theme of Mort aux Gueux is quite another.

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Funeral Chant – Funeral Chant (US, Black / Death) (2017)

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Self Released | 2-3-17

Funeral Chant is already experiencing a small queue of interest from the internet and this can be directly related to the feature from Cvlt Nation. Aside from that however, the interest for Funeral Chant and the growing popularity for this bay area black death act seems to be catching like fire die to other reason. Perhaps this is an example of a quality record that is gaining popularity through its own merit. I am still skeptical.

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Sulphuris Oblivio – Dawn Before Sunset [Brazil, Ritual / Psych / Black] (2017)

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Hammer of Damnation | 1-31-17

Well this is it. A band that is honest to goodness trying to stay hidden and not get their music heard. I have spoken many times about various bands obscuring identities and opting out of most social media which is interesting given the glut of digital culture. Sulphuris Oblivio is not creating a new step rather just entering into an area which has existed for many decades which is just plain weirdness. Somewhere between tribal music, krautrock, dungeon synth, fever dreamt rock and roll, and black metal lies a band who is trying their best not to be liked.

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Imperceptum – The Eternal Path to Nothingness [Germany, Black / Funeral Doom] (2017)

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Self Released | 2-1-17

I believe that it is in the interest of most metal to capture a theme or feeling. whether simple or complex abstract or concrete, most heavy metal intends to fill the listener with a focus. The second album from German black / doom outfit Imperceptum does an admirable job at wrapping in the various emotions of existential obliteration. While this sounds like a very niche focus, the sound of stars collapsing and ceasing to be apart of the material world seems to be a destination for this particular band.

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Svangur Kvöl – Wreck Of The World [Australia, Black] (2017)

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Coming across a band like Svangur Kvöl happens completely by chance. A debut album by a what could be a one person black metal self released project can be hard to keep track of. I think it was the cover and the fact that this album has been made into atleast 6 tapes, which drew my attention. Now that I have it, I am mesmerized by the call of the weird frontier.

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