Self Released | 1-18-18
After a short rest following end of the year festivities, this is the first Tape Wyrm review of 2018. I thought it would be fitting to celebrate the passing of the new year with a record that sounds like the collapsing of worlds and the coming of an age of darkness.
From a very Latin background, the title for this EP translates to something like to cause a short space of time. While the track titles are rendered in cryptic aesthetics, the lyrics are still Portuguese which yield abstract and cosmisc themes. If the album titles and track lengths were not a giveaway, Benthik Zone reaches for the heavens and tries to pull down the blackness beyond the light.
I am just learning about this band and their records as Via Cosmicam ad Europam ab Gelid Inferis was released in September of 2017 and would have fit perfectly on this site for much of the same reasons as their 2018 did. It sometimes takes a band and their releases to reach certain places much in the same way light does across the galaxy. For now, Causa Modicum Temporis Spatium has arrived coming from somewhere beyond the heavens.
I, Voidhanger Records | 12-8-17
I was halfway through reviewing this project’s 2015 debut before realizing it was released in 2015. Because of this, I can now see the scope of The Clearing Path as not just an atmospheric black metal act with more interesting aesthetic rather a black metal project that starts on earth and ascends to the stars.
Watershed Between Firmament And The Realm of Hyperborea follows the project’s debut Watershed Between Earth and Firmament. For anyone confused, Firmament is a cosmological divide between the sky and heaven (sort of) and Hyperborea was the land of Ice Giants according to Greek Mythology. Both of these themes that have been placed in the titles heralds a black metal record bent on exploring the cosmos through shrieks and fretless bass. Though I am not usually into progressive black, The Clearing Path succeeds beyond all measure and creates a record I am sure will be a hit with people needing this type of music. The question is no will anyone hear it. This record is being handled by I, Voidhanger Records which means a good shot for this to be heard by more than less people. The fact it is being released at the end of the year doesn’t bode well for any end of the year list however. Regardless of anything, the pace and focus of The Clearing Path doesn’t seem to follow normal calendrical systems rather something more ancient and astral.
Self Released | 11-24-17
I need to ease up on my pre judgements surrounding atmospheric black metal. For a style that has a ton of directions, I feel I have been jaded to a legion of albums with trees on the cover and a fawning for post rock melodies. Mammon is tagged at atmospheric black on Bandcamp yet does not walk the line of nature reverence, philosophical transcendence, or emotional longing. Rather this Detroit based band feel cold as concrete, full of disease, and possibly undead rot.
Self Released | 11-29-17
Album art is important not only as an initial invitation but also as a showcase for music. Though I can not find any information on the artist “P. Seliverstov” since the band itself has no information, it is going to remain a mystery. The cover for Glance however is entrancing and artfully skilled at pulling the listener into a world of gloomy mastery.
Ván Records | 11-24-17
For the sake of brevity, I decided to just put “black” as the genre as a full explanation would be too long for the post. It only takes a couple of minutes into the opener “Vaporous Flame” to realize that Almyrkvi’s debut operates on a different level than most atmospheric black metal as well as what has become known as Icelandic black metal. With no real place to stand, this act seems content in gazing up at the stars or most specifically the void between stars.
Self Released | 05-15-17
I usually joke about finding bands that are nowhere to be found on the internet. When I found the La Inexorable Amargura En La Existencia demo, I thought I struck gold and could retire early. Here was a fantastic Argentinian atmospheric black metal demo that had two mentions on Facebook and no Metal Archives entry. If band discovery was investment stock, this has the potential to be gigantic.
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.
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.
Self Released | 1-17-17
No matter how hard I try, there is always something I miss. 2016 was a great time for heavy metal as well as the year that W released three albums and 1 EP. I do not know why I am just learning about this but let us use the dawn of 2017 to get acquainted with a great black metal project that is buried under six feet of snow.
Self Released | 10-23-16
The Pacific Northewest is always a place where I like to keep my ear out for up and coming bands. Since the fall out of the Cascadian wave which sort of overtook this area, there have been great developments in black metal which do not rely on album covers with trees and waterfalls. Spektral Hatchery is another wonderful band out of Washington which explores the atmosphere of black metal in hypnotic dissonance.