The Accuser: Abigail Williams’ Ken Sorceron Speaks On New Project

Ken Sorceron has never been content with just sitting still. The Phoenix to Olympia transplant is the only remaining founding member of black metal act Abigail Williams, and is prolific in not just the USBM scene, but a prominent figure in underground and extreme music at large in recent years thanks to frequent collaboration with Finnish record label Blood Music as their go-to mastering engineer — with credits on releases from Emperor, Cloudkicker, and Perturbator alike — as well as serving time in acts such as Aborted and Lord Mantis.

Rapdfire Review: Krigsgrav – Waves of Degradation, Tombs – All Empires Fall

Have you ever heard an atmospheric black metal album? Whether it be from one of the many upstarts that released good-to-great albums last year, or from a genre stalwart like Wolves In The Throne Room or Burzum, it doesn’t matter. Have you heard one? If so, you’ve already heard Krigsgrav’s newest LP, Waves of…

Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika

This far into their career, it may not be too big of a stretch to say that Moonsorrow has the most stacked catalog in Finland’s underground metal scene. They’ve been consistently pumping out stellar albums for almost two decades now and have always delivered some of the finest folk-infused black…

Hey! Listen to Barshasketh!

I’ll admit, I’m not huge on black metal as some of the other people on staff here at Heavy Blog. It’s not so much because of the genre’s imagery (though I can completely understand why people are turned off by that), but because of the traditional black metal sound. Most black metal that I’ve listened to is a bit stale—it’s a little too repetitive for my taste, with what seems like unending minutes of tremolo picking—and the general lo-fi recording makes it hard for me to digest. (I’m not against lo-fi music, but when its a genre that can be very compositionally unconventional (like black metal), I like to actually hear what’s going on.)

However, there are always exceptions to every rule. Barshasketh is a New Zealander/Scottish band whose latest album, Ophidian Henosis, was one of my favorite albums of 2015.

Rapidfire Review: Karma To Burn/Ghost Horizon

West Virginia’s Karma to Burn may have been lurking in the hazy underground of stoner rock in several different forms since the 90s, but they’ve never seemed to make the same impact on listeners than some of the other projects they’ve been associated with (most notably Kyuss). Though their tenacious aggression and uncompromising instrumental sound may serve as a decent background to a beer-soaked evening with some good friends, the band’s latest EP Mountain Czar simply doesn’t take enough risks to really stand out from the now overcrowded world of sludgy hard rock

Joining it is Ghost Horizon. This isn’t a type of music that’s easily contained in such bite-sized pieces; it becomes all too easy to lose the emotional weight and feeling of a journey that’s crucial to this genre’s sound. Groups like Wolves In The Throne Room and Agalloch do not typically write songs which lie under the 5-minute mark (as all three of the songs here do). Although it’s certainly not impossible or unthinkable that such a short EP could contain all of the qualities necessary to make this genre work, Astral Possession just… doesn’t. Put bluntly, these songs just are not fully fleshed out enough to have any sort of decent effect on the listener.

Fuath – I

For a musician like Andy Marshall, whose experimentation ranges greatly on his Saor releases, this is a loving pause and meditation on a style of music that has considerably progressed in the past two decades. If you like standard black metal, or are even just starting out in the genre, this is an album to at least listen to. It offers none of the frills of Saor, and it is unapologetic of that fact. One must simply take it as it is: solid, traditional, black metal.

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.

Kvlt Kolvmn – Grima’s “Devotion to Lord”

Kvlt Kolvmn covers noteworthy, unpretentious “trve” releases from the realms of black, death and doom metal.  No one should be surprised that “eco-metal” is now a thing. Black metal and nature have been bedfellows since the genre’s inception, with Wolves In the Throne Room’s Cascadian hippy-shtick following a long lineage of bands channeling the atmosphere…