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.
I, Voidhanger Records | 2-3-17
Back in 2015, Tome Of The Unreplenished sounded different. It isn’t that much of a change but the Cypriot born now British band’s debut was much more geared towards atmospheric black metal that frayed at the edges of concrete. Cosmoprism: The Theurgy – Act I shatters all bonds with the material world and travels towards the celestial nothingness with an EP that attempts to fathom the unknowable and reign in the horror of the indescribable. This, of course, will not be done in 4/4 time or with any sort of musical structure.
Caligari Records | 5-23-16
Ohhhh goodness, my head. It is swirling with madness and chaos. Inculcator is a black / thrash project which looks like it falls in line with the Voivod / Vektor mission of space based thrash. Once you learn that Inculcator is a one man side project for the one man band Abyssal, things become clearer. Oh wait, did I say clearer? I mean more disconnected and crumbling to shambles. That is what I meant. If you ever want to know what it felt like to be hit by an asteroid in zero gravity, please take a step towards Void Abecedary.
Self Released | 10-31-15
Doing end of the year planning can be disheartening because I know quality releases do not care about months and schedules. Take Sunsunmoon, a British black metal band which oozes as much charm as it does synth. This demo came out in October and it just surfaced on a larger radar. We are entering into the cusp era where great 2015 releases are going to be buried until next year or even the year after. If bands could just stop releasing things now until January 1st, that would be wonderful.
Goatprayer Records | 7-3-15
UKDM! UKDM! UKDM! Alright, United Kingdom Death Metal isn’t really a thing. In fact, I tried to get a tag going on this site but there were just not enough bands to warrant it. There is death metal from the United Kingdom and a lot of it is really good. In the second age of death metal, there are a few truths and one of them is that good music can be almost anywhere and most likely fucking dangerous.
Ván Records | 3-29-15
Crom Dubh is interesting for a variety of reasons. First of all this 4 piece is interesting for their addition into the UK extreme metal scene whose both black and death production has been fantastic in the last couple of years. Second of all, Crom Dubh’s debut Heimweh is worthy of note specifically for the band’s employment of the atmospheric style which is smooth and well oiled. Heimweh comes on the wings of a few other silent demos and EP releases and is even now shining bright on a lonely hill waiting for more people to show up. Though audience is relative, Crom Dubh’s relative obscurity is surprising given the sound which could be appealing to a wide spectrum of listeners. Perhaps Heimweh will be the time which the sky cracks open and pours ink black water over this land.
Lupus Lounge | 2-27-15
Would you look at that cover? I literally have zero idea what is happening between the dragons, beasts, and goddamn robots. A Forest of Stars comes with a mountain of expectations with their name, album title, and general style of “psychedelic” black metal. It would be easier if this band was just disciples of post rock and made long black metal landscapes which had crescendos and piano interludes. The fact that this British band has so much more weird shit in their album is cause for pause, praise, and possibly alarm.
Self Released | 2-21-15
Ethereal Shroud was one of Tape Wyrm’s first reviews back in the early years of 2014. The 2014 cassette release of 2013’s Absolution|Emptiness was a fantastic step into the worlds of sorrow and desolation from a relativity unknown artist. Despite me raving about this project to everyone I knew, Ethereal Shroud has been still hidden from the greater public. Perhaps this will be the year that a dark cloud blots out the sun.
Self Released | 7-3-14
I mean, come on. Why not? Space Witch’s debut full length begins with a shlocky sci fi clip of a maniacal overlord wishing destruction on earth. Afterwards, a slow deluge of stoner doom floods the landscape while effects dance in the air. By looking at the tracklist, Space Witch’s self titled release has two songs both coming in at 30 minutes. It does not take a genius to figure out what the next hour will be and smell like. With all of that said, this British band manages to make the best of expectations and give its listeners a wild ride through mind melting cosmic space.
Exitium Productions | 6-14-14
I have made it once of my prime directives to find as much cool stuff from 2014 before the year closes out. I know I will still be finding really good black and death demos for the next few years but at least, for now, I am frantically searching for as much as I can find. These searches are made easier when one stumbles across an amazing label which is devoted to some very dark underground heavy metal. Exitium Productions, which is now closed, has been working for the past two years in putting out some of the most frightening black and death metal. The last remaining demos and full lengths sound the funeral bell for a label that just discovered. Adversary seems like a fitting place to start.