Self Released | 3-15-120
Dungeon Synth has an air of mystery and sheltered presence. The act of uncovering recordings from the past seems to be part and parcel for a bedroom genre shrouded in cloaks and daggers. Northern Spirits Call From Afar is a rerelease of music made between 2013-2019 and limited to a handful of private cassettes. The music then made it to a compilation which was split, last year, between two releases Walking The Paths Of Old and Distant Apparitions. Now, Dungeons Deep Records presents almost the entire work of Forlorn Kingdom and the mysterious entity known as Grimroth on one record. All of this fanfare frames a wonderfully crafted array of icy castles, ghostly fog and lofi dungeon crawling which is both stately as well as haunted. As of writing this review, there are currently 24 of 150 copies of this tape left and I expect it not to last much longer.
Desert Wastelands Productions | 5-1-19
Allow the reverberations of instinct to take over. I think this is from Italy since the tag indicates it is “Horror Glorifying Death Metal from Fulci’s Land.” This demo comes by the way of Desert Wasteland which also released Astriferous’ demo. If that Costa Rican massacre was any indication then Tenebro is going to be of the same caliber. We will go with that. If the lack of information is offsetting, it is just apart of the luddite style death metal that I have come to love and worship. If any sound was akin to kunckledragging ogres then Tenebro is one of the grossest abominations to stalk the land. Heavy, inattentive, and only concerned with the lust for violence, this is death metal with a 10th grade reading level that dumps intelligence for strength.
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.
All hail the gloom of tomorrow! It seems odd for an underground band to begin their career with a full length. In a genre full of demos, splits, and EPs, starting with a 56 minute record feels novel in a style where most do not reach that length with their longest releases. Totalitarian is different in the fact they want nothing else than to slowly step on the necks of their listener.
Aural Music | 5-6-16
Doom can be so hot and accessible. Usually my searches through Bandcamp trawl on on the bottom of the ocean floor looking for new black and death albums with the occasional doom thrown in for good measure. Belfry, the debut album from Italian traditional/stoner doom outfit Messa, has come on the wings of no previous material nor no huge press hype yet it has been 6 days and already it is relativity popular and a hit with certain crowds. Why is this? Well, it is my belief that not only is doom with female vocals backing traditional doom enticing to people but Messa does this formula exceedingly well.
Drown Within Records | 10-20-14
Sedna comes all the way from Italy on a very tiny and very new record label called Drown Within Records. I say tiny becasue there are two other bands present with much difference between the rosters. I only make mention of the record label as Sedna does not seem like a band who is finding their way rather one that has a lot of things already figured out. The band’s name, album title, and even artwork may not give any clear indication to what lies inside, yet Sedna’s music conveys a well of information in which the listener finds themselves consumed.
Razed Soul Productions | 4-11-14
Woooosh. I love it. I love it all. Bland Vagar is an Italian black metal band who concerns themselves with wolves. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. The band is listed under a production company called Razed Soul productions but the tape comes to us from our good ol’ friends Caligari Records. I have already gushed about my fascination with the quality of Caligari releases and Bland Vargar is no different. Somewhere in the afterglow of woodsy black metal is still the spark of greenish darkness — one that clasps hard around the throat.