Behemoth – I Loved You At Your Darkest

Behemoth have always been a band with something to say. How they say it has changed over time, but they have always had a message, a drive, ambition. Be it their rebellion against the conservative Polish culture, frontman Nergal’s battle with leukemia, or institutional religion in general, they’ve always had an edge. With any artist who is quite a ways into their career, they often run the risk of having their reality being overwritten by their aesthetic. Behemoth have always been in charge of their aesthetic. From their fantastic album art and exemplary music videos to their coordinated live performances, their thing has always been “the whole experience”. While this is kind of a genre staple for black metal, few other bands have had the dedication and budget to do it to the extent Behemoth have. All of this is to say that there’s so much going on with Behemoth, so many things riding on every aspect of their work, that it’s surprising nothing has gone wrong yet. Well, enter I Loved You At Your Darkest.

Kvlt Kolvmn – August 2018

Greetings once more, lovers of the black. Welcome to Kvlt Kolvmn. The time is ripe for another fresh batch of black metal selections hellbent on freezing your blood and pulverizing your heart into a fine pulp. Thankfully, August offered an abundance of such releases, particularly in the experimental camp. If…

Mamaleek – Out of Time

Anonymity in black metal has always been a double-edged sword. While it’s refreshing to see artists solely focused on their music and presentation rather than themselves as artists, it can also be frustrating to be unable to spotlight bands that truly excel at their craft. This latter point certainly applies…

Hey! Listen to Fleshmeadow!

December is a shocking month to release music in. If you’re thinking about doing so, don’t. Most publications have already settled on their end-of-year list, and if they haven’t been published yet they’ll be coming soon. Music journalists are going into shut-down mode as they give themselves some time off and try to recover from the mountain of listening they did in preparation for their end-of-year list. Listeners are on holidays and are enjoying their time off with loved ones. If they’re listening to music it’s going to be their personal favourites and not some new record that’s dropped. What this all means is that albums released in December are likely to get lost, falling into an abyss from which escape is near-impossible even for those with a formidable PR machine behind them. When you’re independent you’ve almost got no chance. That’s my theory for how an album as great as Fleshmeadow’s debut Umbra slipped through the cracks in late 2016 and why they’re still a largely unknown quantity. But we’re trying to fix that because these blackened death metallers are ready to rip your face off.

Mantar – The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze

Despite being just a guitar and drum duo, Mantar still sound just as massive as their modern sludge metal brethren. On their third album The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze, Erinç Sakarya (drums, vocals) and Hanno Klänhardt (vocals, guitars) continue their consistent trend of dropping an abrasive slab of blackened, crusty sludge every two years, all…

Kvlt Kolvmn – July 2018

2018 has been quite the year for metal as a whole. With big releases from big bands hitting all the high notes, and several subgenres experiencing some of their most consistently impressive output in decades, it’s fairly safe to say that this has thus far been a premium year for…