Perhaps the most abrasive and extreme of the metal genres starting to bubble to the surface, atonal avant-garde metal has seen some big bands, such as Gorguts and Deathspell Omega, but by and large it’s mostly a thriving underground scene. Names like Pyrrhon and Gigan are starting to simmer and bubble up to the surface, and underneath lurk even more sleeping beasts just ready to awaken and take the world of heavy music to a harsher and more abrasive place than most would have previously thought possible. One such band, Shrine Of Insanabilis, brings this sharp edge to an already pulverizing take on black metal, leaving any listeners perversely curious for another listen even as they’re picking up pieces of their own skull from the ground.

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Starting off with “End All,” a short, terse banger of a track, the newest release from Shrine, Disciples of the Void, is a wild ride through the grim and fiery world of underground modern black metal: the drumming leads the charge with intense, chaotic blast beats as the vocalist shouts and gurgles hideous war cries, all while the crashing guitars clamor over each other in a fiery spectacle of nihilistic hedonism. As maximalist and off-putting as possible, Disciples is as much a test of a listener’s endurance for the grotesque and the horrifying as it is a piece of music.

Black metal, as has been said by other writers here in the past, is in the middle of a renaissance of sorts. The power of the internet takes the idea of a one-man band to new heights, and the boundaries of the genre are ever expanding outwards by virtue of the increased freedom to experiment underground artists now have. The exemplars of this new age through their bringing together of a modern, biting, avant-garde sound with the shit-kicking ferocity that traditional black metal has always contained, Shrine of Insanabilis are a must-listen for any self-respecting fan of underground metal.

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  1. Major Zim

    This is really great stuff. Thanks for sharing! I’m really digging the line they straddle between the atonal avant-garde groups and the melodic more traditional bands. I hear bits of watain, mgla, krallice (especially in the melodic bass runs, nghh) and DsO in here for sure. Between this, Zhrine, UADA, Ultha and so many others I can’t remember off the top of my head, I’d say its fair to say 2016 is already an amazing year for black metal.

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