Saor – Forgotten Paths

When you throw off what black metal might like to think of itself, or the image certain members of it would like to present rather, the essence of the genre seems to be rooted in love rather than hate. Perhaps more than almost any other genre of metal, black metal…

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Windfaerer – Alma

There are a few genres of bands getting better. There’s the “I couldn’t stand this band before but is a true 180 degrees”. There’s the “they used to be good, then they sucked and now they’re back”. But my absolute favorite is those bands who released albums you almost really, really liked and ended up just being OK with. Their music was fine but it didn’t leave a mark with you. But now, now they’ve released something new and everything you wanted them to do differently on that previous release, everything you thought would make them great instead of just good, has been done and you’re blown away. That’s the story of my relationship with Windfaerer.

Negura Bunget – Zi

One of the hardest lines to draw, critically, is that between something being fine, and something being actively good: there are a multitude of albums that are pleasant, ones that will draw in fans of the genre and leave them feeling not-unsatisfied, but there’s an ephemeral, yet certain, difference between…