Kvlt Kolvmn – June 2020

Welcome to Kvlt Kolvmn. Another month of hell, another month of premium black metal. Our favorite places may be unsafe to visit, but icy soundscapes of death and evil are always a healthy substitute. Hope your continued quarantine is chock full of some of the best black metal has to…

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Brotthogg – Echoes of the Past

A new year always brings with it a bevy of renewed personal/cultural expectations. I have historically tended to gravitate mentally toward the hopeful notion that a new trip around the sun brings with it some form of clean slate where possibilities are endless, causing my excitement for what life’s next…

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The Anatomy Of – Eternal Storm

Eternal Storm caught me by surprise and consequently murdered our faces with their absolutely fantastic debut record Come the Tide. A melodeath opus that puts them squarely in the elite camp populated by the likes of Insomnium, Dark Tranquility, and Be’lakor, Come the Tide will populate many a year-end list,…

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Arctos – Beyond the Grasp of Mortal Hands

Other than the blackest, darkest depths of winter, I find that summer’s zenith is when I listen to black metal the most. The genre’s obsession with every manner of the frigid, frostbitten, grim pastoralia one associates with the long Scandinavian cold season is practically a simulation of stepping into a…

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An Ode to Spring – Metal, Thematics and Politics

Since the vast majority of Heavy Blog contributors fall on the left side of the map (shocking, we know), focusing on the latter seems like the way to go. Criticizing the other side of the political map is easy enough; taking a hard look at your own camp is where things get tricky. Thus, let us turn our eyes on one of the most typical leftist refusals to engage: the retreat. There are few places in the cultural world where this retreat is more obvious than in music and, more specifically, in metal. Even more specifically, the current throes which are black metal is undergoing are even more lucrative for our needs. There, leftist retreat is alive and happening right now, both because of the virility of the claims on the other side (read: the amount of black metal that’s truly awful) and because the themes of black metal have already been declared by the larger, more abstract “left” as anathema in the past.

Rapture – Paroxysm of Hatred

For the uninitiated, a paroxysm is defined as “a sudden attack or violent expression of a particular emotion or activity,” and such a word is certainly apt to describe the music of Grecian death/thrash metal band Rapture. As of late, the proto-death metal genre these guys traffic in has been hurting…

Grafvitnir – Keys to the Mysteries Beyond

Grafvitnir exists at the limits of extremity and melody. If one were to plot a simple chart to describe metal, with “Melody” as the X axis, and “Extremity” as the Y, Grafvitnir would be the little dot in the top right corner, with full marks in each category. Yet Grafvitnir doesn’t balance their thirst for convulsing blast beats and throat-shredding vocals and lightning tremolo with their desire for sweet, sweet melodies so much as the two sides battle, warring opposites ripping and clawing and dancing, circling their way around one another, imprisoned in brutal stalemate for the duration of Keys to the Mysteries Beyond. The end result is something that sounds like Storm of the Light’s Bane-era Dissection on amphetamines — and if that sentence sounds appealing, you’d better get listening, bucko.