Mo’ynoq – Dreaming in a Dead Language

Some music has urgency; it feels like the notes have to keep coming or you’re going to suffocate but the more of them that sound, the more buried you feel. Black metal is the genre which most often elicits this feeling, probably because it’s so fast and abrasive. Something about…

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Extremity – Coffin Birth

In trying to find explanations for how so many things in our world are unique and yet able to be categorized by our minds – such as, for instance, how two chairs could share practically no traits in common and yet still both be recognized as chairs – Plato created…

Death’s Door – July 2018

Hello my Hellions, and welcome to Death’s Door. Don’t even bother wiping your feet on the mat this time around. The blood runneth over. What an absolutely insane summer it’s been for death metal. So great that we’ve had to eliminate a multitude of records from our monthly list because…

KHôRADA – Salt

KHôRADA has a strange property for a group made up of two of the most beloved metal bands of yesteryear: any thought related to them that strikes me is pretty much entirely independent of their pedigree, which is fairly impressive when you consider the members of KHôRADA. Formed in the aftermath of Giant…

Wayfarer – World’s Blood

“World’s Blood is black metal of the American West.” Thus begins the description of this album by Profound Lore records, and I’ll be damned if it isn’t accurate. Another descriptor I’ve heard of this record from a friend is “Cormac McCarthy black metal.” I’ve been telling anybody who will listen that this…

Kvlt Kolvmn // October 2017

Happy Halloween, 2017, from your nefarious friends at Kvlt Kolvmn! Hard to imagine a better day for this column to land near, what with all the ghouls, spirits, demogorgons and Eleven’s traipsing around with their sugar receptacles and real world terror encroaching from every corner of this planet. God, what a miserable year in so many ways. Thankfully, that misery has not extended into the world of black metal, which continues to drop sensational releases month after month. October is no exception. This month saw the release of several exceptional albums that not only continued to solidify the importance of black metal’s existence as one of the premier subgenres within the metal universe, but also its ability to offer complex, fierce statement of countercultural urgency. That last component is important for one particular album that screams thoroughly against some of the prevailing philosophical dogma that runs rampant in the darkest corners of the subgenre. Despite the most truly reprehensible portions of its collective ranks, black metal can indeed speak the language of justice. But enough talk. Let’s metal.

Hey! Listen to Arctos!

Folks, up here in the U-S-of-A, it’s finally starting to get cold again, and for me, that means a few things: one, wearing black jeans all the time instead of black jean cutoffs, replacing my personality with fun jackets, and listening to a shitload of black metal. The entire discographies…

Ensiferum – Two Paths

In the 2000s, metal went through a strange phase. Scandinavian high octane melodeath bands found a shared passion for melody, hooks, and flashy guitar work with power metal bands as well new lyrical inspiration from folklore. Overnight, it seems metal spawned a whole scene with a new pool of clichés (well, sort of new) to exploit. Folk metal was nothing new at the time but there was a huge rebranding of it and every label was jumping on board. New bands popped up every year, some great and some boring as hell. One of these bands, Ensiferum, unfortunately introduced heavy metal’s most notorious edging expert, Jari Mäenpää, into the world. Jari left in 2004 to focus on Wintersun, but Ensiferum has continued its steady output of quality music since his departure. Their new album, Two Paths, continues their streak.