Bosse-de-Nage – Further Still

Blackgaze is now established; it’s time to recognize this and move on. What does this mean, exactly, to be established? It means many things but it mostly means that bands, and journalists writing about those bands, no longer have to “apologize” for using that name. It also means, perhaps more importantly, that the genre now has tropes, tropes created from the expectations of the not-negligible number of listeners the genre now enjoys. This posits unique challenges for any bands looking to make music within the blackgaze space but it mostly affects the veteran bands that have been operating within it for a while now. Think of the latest Deafheaven record; their change in style is a direct response to the pressures and expectations now working on the band.

But they’re far from the only ensemble to face this issue; Bosse-de-Nage have been, up until Deafheaven’s explosion into popularity, one of the most associated with blackgaze or post-black metal in general.

Release Day Roundup – 9/14/18

Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure…

Firtan – Okeanos

There are few genres in music that have a deeper and more fundamental connection to nature and history than black metal. From its earliest thematic inception, the most evil of metal’s subgenres has sought to restore through music and philosophy a way of life that, for the most part, has…

Kvlt Kolvmn // April 2018

Ah… April. Flowers blooming. Trees displaying their green, lush foliage in all their splendor and glory. Grass is full. Rain falls gently. Just the perfect, exact opposite setting for icy black metal darkness. Curse you, sun. Curse you. Or… maybe not? I guess it depends on your opinion of black…

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.

Succumb – Succumb

Most music nerds can name at least one instance where an album stopped them dead in their tracks. You know the feeling. Those moments when the mind slowly pushes out all other thoughts and daily duties that regularly clutter the brain in order to make ample room for complete and total fixation on one incredible piece of music. There’s no multi-tasking in this space, no working on our various outside projects with music happily and quietly occupying the background. Instead, the music muscles its way front and center. It is music at its most alive, vibrant, and commanding of our full attention. In those distinctly transcendent moments, the music is everything.

Locrian – Infinite Dissolution

In recent years, an almost non-stop debate has begun as to what can be considered true “kvlt” black metal. Must it remain true to the first two waves, forever doomed to copy the styles of Bathory and Mayhem, or can it expand, incorporating (gasp) major scales and ambient parts? If…