Can we even peg Drudkh down into a simple position? What manner of darkness lurks in the corners of their ideology? What is their relationship with the “Nordic” parts of the scene, as far as sound, theme and messages go? Do they view themselves as “Slavic” or their own unique creature? What is their position on national identity, when this album revolves around Ukrainian poets and their work? If you’re looking for definite answers when you come to their latest release, They Often See Dreams About the Spring, you will be sorely disappointed. Well into the second decade of their career, Drudkh have no intention on making things easier on us.
In a period replete with an incredible number of black metal permutations, your soul often yearns for something raw and basic that lies at the heart of the genre. While there are plenty of bands out there who have released albums in that vein (think Orm or Imperium Dekadenz), it’s hard to get enough of good, black hearted or epic black metal. That list checkbox stands to be filled by Vaivatar, a Finnish band which creates a symphonic brand of black metal steeped in the influences of the second and third wave of the genre. Head on down below for hands lifted to the sky, screeches piercing forested landscapes and the distant sounds of glaciers crashing.
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.
Black metal is having a fantastic two years. Besides the sheer volume of great releases, the best tell-tale of this prolific outburst is the sheer variety of sub-genres actively contributing to the main genre. This year alone, we’ve seen more “straight-forward” contributions (like Orm’s excellent, self titled release), atmospheric releases (like Somnium Nox’s excellent Terra Inanis), and more avant-garde experimentation (like Dodecahedron’s death metal tinged kwintessens or netra’s weird Ingrats). To this latter category, of black metal blended with unusual influences, we can now add White Ward’s Futility Report, a third release from a relatively unknown band which should, hopefully, garner them more attention.
A wave of bands who reconstruct the genre seems to be emerging for black metal these days. Bands like Imperium Dekadenz or Thrawsunblut are making, amidst a flurry of post black metal and blackgaze bands, black metal that is truer to the source of the genre. Which is not to say there is nothing modern about their sound; rather, it’s that we’re talking of an alloy, a mix of metals of different qualities, containing a hint of the source material that binds it together (quite an apt metaphor, right?). Enter Orm, a band determined to etch out a place for themselves in the ranks of black metal bands appealing once again to the root of what make the genre tick.
We like to joke around here pretty constantly that the amount of quality music out there in the world for us to consume and critique is magnitudes more than we can possibly manage, that we are drowning in a sea of music and are suffering mightily for it. We are all the “Why can’t I hold all these limes?” guy.
Rough week! We have some news to discuss, and Ben of Hadal Maw to interview, but technical issues keep getting in the way. Also, bonus points if you can tell me what artist the episode title is referencing. Beyond having a neat conversation with Ben about the Australian scene and his writing process, we discuss some news with Eden, mainly new music from No Sin Evades His Gaze, Ulsect, The Acacia Strain, Artificial Brain, Alpha Brutal, Orm and Slugdge. Also Violet Cold got signed, maybe? Enjoy.
For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to. For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.