Kvlt Kolvmn // February 2018

Welcome to Kvlt Kolvmn, “Is This Even Black Metal?!” Edition. We hope you’ve had a frosty, satan-blessed month. But, I mean, let’s be real. Such exclamations are couched in the traditional, stereotypical norms of a community that has built and staked its reputation on an allegiance to popularly assumed constructs…

Post Rock Post – Anathème

These French delay aficionados certainly deal with the intimacies of build up and crescendos but do so in a way that is infected with a kind of cheery optimism that’s hard to resist. The main comparison point has to be Alcest. Fūjon is almost like a dirtier Shelter, doing much to better the formula of that album by injecting the production and composition with a bit more life and meat.

Nullingroots – Into the Grey

It has been a fantastic year for black metal. Releases from all over the black metal spectrum have been hitting listeners left and right. From the return of legends like Wolves In the Throne Room to tripped out new comers in the vein of Asira, black metal has both reborn and brought back to its essentials in 2017. As deep winter descends and the year winds down to a close, the book of frostbitten sounds must remain open for just a little more as we induct Nullingroots among these great names. These guys have been active since 2014 and have always paddled in a type of post black metal that should be immediately accessible and appealing to fans of the classics; there’s something remaining here of the austere and depressing atoms of the genre, gilded with plenty of progressive and gaze-y influences.

Path of Might – Hallowed Gate Style

Path of Might can serve as an excellent example of the blending between light and heavy; this St. Louis based band first made its appearance on Heavy Blog on the merit of their insanely thick riffs, high octane composition and overall blistering aggression. However, their most recent, Hallowed Gate Style, is a clever departure from all of this. We say “clever” because it’s not a clean break; some of the main sensibilities of the band’s original sound have been maintained, creating a heavy and muscular take on progressive stoner metal/rock.

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…

Kvlt Kolvmn – September 2017

Black metal. What does it even mean anymore? The internet kerfuffle over Sacred Son’s album artwork for his eponymous debut once again presents the age old question of what is and isn’t “trve”. For myself, I consider this argument to be a bit superfluous. Technology advances, society shifts, tastes develop and refine, and the definition of whatever is pure in art alters itself with the times. Sure, there are specific tropes that make black metal what it is, but that in no way means that this subgenre does not have room for development while maintaining the sinister core of what makes black metal, well, black metal. I would go toe-to-toe with anyone who claimed that Leviathan, with all its genre-mashing opulence, was any less fundamentally evil and true to the spirit of black metal than, say, Bathory or Mayhem. This may be sacrilege to some, but I’m sticking by it. There is plenty of room in this style of music for madcap experimentation and growth, and stifling that because an album’s art doesn’t include corpse paint is beyond ridiculous. Now that I’ve offended just about everyone, on to the delights of September! Once again, Scott and I have curated a list of black metal records for you that both fall into the traditional format of the subgenre, and also transcend its confines into more experimental territory. As always, please argue, caterwaul, and protest in the comments and provide us with the albums you found the most intriguing in the month of September. Enough exposition. Let’s get down to it.

Der Weg einer Freiheit – Finisterre

Germany is a stunning country. From the odd, historically juxtaposed vistas of Berlin, to the mist-covered streets of Hamburg, or the lush solitude of Burgstadt, it is a beautiful tapestry of rich and horrifying history, amazing beer, and incredible architecture. With such a fantastic backdrop it is somewhat surprising, unfortunately, that Germany is not particularly known for its homegrown metal scene. While the country is not without its fair share of well-known bands of the heavy variety (Kreator, Rammstein, Caliban, and The Ruins of Beverast to name a few), the nation’s black metal scene has never been an especially notable one. Der Weg einer Freiheit (DWEF from here on out) set out to change that with their own distinct flavor of post-/atmoblack, flying surprisingly mostly under the radar as their first few records received marginal amounts of buzz. However, in 2014 their third full-length album, Stellar, made waves in the scene with an absolutely stunning assault of black metal ambition that landed them on many a metal year-end list (including that of yours truly). It was a panoramic, emotionally invigorating record that catapulted the band’s already solid reputation into the stratosphere. With the release of their fourth record¸ this year’s Finisterre, the band are posed with the challenge of following up their best record with something equally impactful. On every count, they have succeeded. If you have been sleeping on this band, awake. We are witnessing the rise of a group that is sure to become the bedrock of German metal for years to come.