Fen – Stone & Sea

In tomorrow’s Editors’ Picks column (spoiler), I muse about the values of retrospectives and here I am, afforded again with the opportunity to discuss a posture or perspective that seems to inherently contradict our idea of how music is made. We’d like to think that music is this unmediated thing,…

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Sinmara – Hvísl Stjarnanna

Sinmara’s previous release, the 2017 EP Within the Weaves of Infinity, was a notable turning point for the Icelandic black metal group: it contained a much greater focus on clearly defined threads of melody, compared to their debut LP Aphotic Womb. Aphotic Womb, twisting and dripping with malevolent dissonance, slid…

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Saor – Forgotten Paths

When you throw off what black metal might like to think of itself, or the image certain members of it would like to present rather, the essence of the genre seems to be rooted in love rather than hate. Perhaps more than almost any other genre of metal, black metal…

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Acathexis – Acathexis

Considering the lineage of Acathexis (including members of Mare Cognitum and Yhdarl), the expansive atmospheric black metal of Acathexis should come as no surprise.  As with Mare Cognitum, there’s a certain level of polish present; submerged in reverberation, towering tremolo riffs and blast beats rise from the depths (in this…

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Karg – Dornenvögel

I’ve written before about black metal’s love affair with the idea of the auteur, most at length in one of my favorite pieces, my longform essay on black metal and Romanticism, where I discussed the idea of the tortured artist/genius figure. To borrow what I said there, “the figure of…

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Súl ad Astral – Oasis

Even the most extreme forms of music gather around a common sound or genre; that’s something that I’ve said before on the blog. I find it to be one of most fascinating norms of human behavior out there. Even thing that nominally carve innovation, breaking the mold, and radical tendencies…

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Cantique Lépreux – Paysages Polaires

Paysages polaires, at heart, is unabashedly Romantic — its choice of artistic references (early 20th-century Québécois poetry, a late 19th-century French painting) and untempered spirit are earnest tributes to the land that Québec-based Cantique Lépreux hail from.  Stylistically, the band are closer to “traditional” Québécois black metal, wherein one can…

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Kvlt Kolvmn – October 2018

Maybe it’s the change in the weather, or the average day falling into an early, seemingly perpetual night. Perhaps it’s the trees, left barren and naked against the pale sky. Or it could be my own sense of depleted, frustrated exhaustion as the end of the year draws nigh. Regardless…

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