Kvlt Kolvmn – 2018 in Review

Welcome once more to Kvlt Kolvmn. It’s that time again. The year has shed its final layer, curling itself into a corner and awaiting its imminent demise. Though, thankfully, not without plenty of bite left. It’s been a doozy of a year for all things metallic, with black metal being…

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Hey! Listen to Ghostbound!

I love that I’ve written so much about avant-garde music lately that I don’t have to once again start with an intro about how weird of a genre it is. The Lychgate review I recently wrote is a pretty good summary of how I feel about the moniker. Actually, referring to that review is a statement about avant-garde in and of itself since there’s little in common between that album and the band we have in mind today, Ghostbound. The first has more black metal on it and a lot more abrasiveness, whereas Ghostbound’s All is Phantom draws more on the epic nature of progressive rock and the dramatic thrill of bands like Marillion. But it also layers those ideas on top of frequent blast beats, prominent strings, thick guitars and much more that comes from metal and its approach to the avant-garde. In short, it’s a wild ride of an album which leaves us beggared for an exact definition.

Lychgate – The Contagion in Nine Steps

Metal, usually black metal, that’s made under the avant-garde auspices tends to have this grandiose flair to it which seems to come from opera and from the theater, in vocals and instruments both. In that sense, Lychgate are perhaps not the best example of the genre. While enough touches of the avant-garde style exist on The Contagion in Nine Steps to merit the moniker (like the synths on “Republic”, which open the album or the vocals on the selfsame track), those touches are enveloped in so much sounds from atmospheric black metal and doom that they often lose definition. But this might not be a bad thing; it makes The Contagion in Nine Steps a more approachable album than, let’s say, Dødheimsgard’s A Umbra Omega and less overbearing than album like Aenaon’s Hypnosophy.

Kvlt Kolvmn // March 2018

Black metal has a history of problematic behavior. From the onset of the Second Wave, the subgenre has come under attack for its outward manifestations of physical violence, arson, and abject anti-normative behavior. Needless to say, in the few decades that this type of music has existed, things have changed.…

Release Day Roundup – 3/30/18

Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure…

For Fans Of – Emperor

It’s amazing how much ground Emperor covered over the course of just four albums. From helping to pioneer black metal to introducing symphonics and progressive elements to the BM formula, there really aren’t many more important bands within the Norweigan scene, or even the genre as a whole. Back-to-Back classics In the Nightside Eclipse and Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk may be two of the best introductory black metal albums, as they make the harshest parts of the genre accessible without losing an ounce of immaculate songwriting prowess. We now welcome you to a different form of introduction, exploring six bands that have taken influence from Emperor, added their own unique, bold twists and churned out records that more than capably carry the torch onward into a world of textured symphonics and atmosphere. Head past the jump to enter our inaugural black metal FFO; there couldn’t be a better band to commence the frost and torment.