Kvlt Kolvmn // June 2017

Well, it’s been a minute, but we’re back with a vengeance for another installment of Kvlt Kolvmn! Hope you didn’t miss us too much. But hey, who am I kidding? Of course you did. You may notice a different, less handsome and syrupy voiced face attached to our beloved Kolvmn this month. I know, major disappointment. I will be assuming the writing of this column for a bit, but never fear! I will try my best to live up to Scott’s sterling reputation for excellent black metal picks. That’s why we’re here, and what I intend to deliver to your anxious ears. Because it has been a few months since our last installment, we’ll be covering releases from both this and last month that are worthy of mention. So buckle up and prepare yourself for some black metal madness!

Kvlt Kolvmn – March 2017

Well, third time’s a charm, I guess—this here is the third consecutive installment of Kvlt Kolvmn Take Two, a monthly round-up of my favorite BM releases from the past 30-ish days. The only reason I’m surprised I could fill the column out this month is because of relatively little time I spent with black metal this month; there was just way too much incredible music coming out from virtually every other genre (seriously, if you haven’t yet, take a read through this month’s Editors’ Picks). Still, the black metal I did listen to was some of the best I’ve heard so far this year, with one album currently in the running for my BM AOTY. So without further ado, let’s dive in:

Hey! Listen to netra!

From Ingrats’ opening jazzy piano and drum duo on “Gimme a break,” it’s apparent that one-man experimental black metal project netra is taking on the genre from a more sophisticated headspace than the torch-bearing, forest-wandering forefathers of the genre. It’s easy to connect the dots to more progressive-leaning artists like Ulver or Altar of Plagues, and to a lesser degree, Norway’s Shining, but those comparisons fall short of capturing netra’s homogenous blend of nostalgic blackened melodies with ambitious electronic leanings.

Dodecahedron – Kwintessens

It seems to come up every time a new record pops up within the niche that Gorguts, Portal, and Deathspell Omega built; there’s not much room left in the sphere of dissonant, atmospheric, and abstract extreme metal due to the limitations of the style. Murk chords and blastbeats can only carry a record for so long (as we’ve seen with first casualty Plebeian Grandstand), and the novelty is wearing thin. Bands such as Ulcerate and Sunless thrive on the death metal end of the spectrum by offering depth and creative riffing, but black metal has yet to have much success in challenging Deathspell’s monolithic reach. Dutch black metallers Dodecahedron are the best bet at carrying the torch into new territory, whose debut five years ago came (from seemingly) out of nowhere and quickly reached cult status. The group, who has significant ties to prog-fusion group Exivious, takes a more overtly progressive and technical approach to the sound, and therefore, into further extremities.

Heavy Buys – November/Black Friday Vinyl

Welcome back to Heavy Buys! We launched this feature a couple months ago to share some recent physical music purchases we’ve made, whether it’s a small-time purchase to round out one’s collection, or a debt-inducing splurge. Vinyl, CDs, and even cassettes are all possible topics here. As long as its physical media, it’s fair game. While Jimmy’s inaugural installment covered his autographed copy of John Zorn’s Hemophiliac, I’m starting a monthly column covering all of the vinyl I’ve purchased in the past 30 days (give or take). This stack of records comes from several hours spent in four separate stores, including trips during a weekend visit with friends in Maine, my go-to hometown shop in New Hampshire, and a Black Friday binge while down in Connecticut with my girlfriend for Thanksgiving with her family. After you’ve gone through all of my picks, be sure to comment with any of your own finds!

Promises Kept: How Oathbreaker Have Raised The Bar for Post-Black Metal

Today’s musical landscape moves and changes faster than ever before, aided largely by the internet and social media. As such, new genres of music evolve at a far more rapid pace than they ever did in the pre-internet Dark Times. Post-black metal is one such relatively young and nascent genre, and it’s already seen a significant amount of creative innovation and commercial success.

Underling – Bloodworship

When it comes to experiencing new music, two things are certain: you can never judge a book by its cover, nor should you ever trust what the artists themselves say about their music until you’ve heard it for yourself. Underling — a Bay Area supergroup featuring members of Fallujah, Arkaik, and Battlecross — are proof enough of both of these rules, as their debut album Bloodworship looks like and is marketed as an atmospheric black metal record. Coming from a group of established death metal musicians, this should be somewhat of a departure on paper at the very least. However, when considering the record’s scope as a whole, Bloodworship is a far cry from the distant reverberations of Wolves in the Throne Room. It’s actually much more than that.

Starter Kit: Post-Black Metal

Starter Kit analyzes the ins-and-outs of some of the more obscure and niche sub-genres within the metal spectrum and offers a small group of bands that best represent the sound. Read other Starter Kit entries here. Comprised of lilting, reverbial cleans, and hard-hitting, harsh walls of distorted aggression, the disparate…