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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Incessant/Perennial Umbra/2021 EP Review

 


  Incessant  are  a  band  from  Ireland  that  plays  an  old  school  form  of  black  metal  with  some  elements  of  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2021  ep  "Perennial  Umbra".


  Clean  playing  starts  off  the  ep  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  Melodies  are  also  added  into  some  of  the  heavier  riffing  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  along  with  some  death  metal  growls  and  shouts  also  being  utilized  at  times.


  When  guitar  solos  and  leads   are utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  yet  old  school  style  which  are  also  mixed  in  with  a  more  modern  sound.  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  along  with  the  main  focus  being  more  on  a  mid  tempo  style.


  Incessant  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  as  well  as  mixing  in  some  death  metal  elements  and  modern  influences  to  create  a  sound  of t heir  own.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Incessant  are  a  very  great  sounding  old  school  black  metal  band  with  elements  of  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Spectral  Rites"  and  "The  Serpent's  Voice".  8  out  of  10.


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/incessant_ire/    


  

Artach/Sworn To Avenge/Depressive Illusions Records/2021 Full Length Review

 


  St.  John's,  Newfoundland,  Canada's  Artach  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  shows  the  music  going  for  more  of  a  raw,  epic  and  melodic  style  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Sworn  To  Avenge"  which  will  be  released  in  June  by  Depressive  Illusions  Records.


  Wind  sounds  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  more  of  a  heavier  musical  direction  while  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  also h ave  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  the  vocals  also  give  the  music  more  of  a  first  wave  black  metal  vibe  but  modern  at  the  same  time.


  Some  of  the  riffing  also  shows  an  influence  of  thrash  metal  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in a   very  melodic  style.  Blast  beats  are  also  added  into  the  faster  sections  of  the  music  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  good  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  a  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  also  very  long  and  epic  in  length.


  Melodic  vocals  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  the  tremolo  picking  also  giving  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  second  wave  feeling  when  it  is  utilized  as  well  as  one  song  also  introducing  clean  playing  onto  the  album,  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  briefly  on  a few  songs  and  keyboards  are  also  added  on  the  closing  track.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  nature,  ice  and  winter  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Artach  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  raw,  epic,  melodic  and  old  school  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Ice  Throne"  "Into  The  Frozen  Woodlands"  and  "Winter's  End".  8  out  of  10.


Facebook.com/ArtachBlackMetal

Instagram.com/ArtachBlackMetal  

Vegard/Aeons Of Winter Eclipse/Death Kvlt productions/2021 Full Length Review

 


  United  Kingdom's  Vegard  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  the  atmospheric  style  of  black  metal  from  their  previous  releases  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Aeons  Of  Winter  Eclipse"  which  will  be  released  on  vinyl  this  year  by  Death  Kvlt  Productions.


  Melodic  guitar  solos  and  leads  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  heavy  riffing  a  few  seconds  later  while  some  songs  also  add  in  a  small  amount  of  clean  playing  and  nature  sounds.  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  can  be  heard  which  also  gives  the  recording  more  of  a  raw  feeling.


  Keyboards  are  also  mixed  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  which  also  gives  the  music  more  of  an  atmospheric  and  symphonic  feeling.  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  along  with  the  tracks  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.


  The  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  90's  influences  along  with  the  guitar  solos  and  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  when  they  are  utilized  as  well  as  a  later  track  also  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  introducing  classical  guitars  onto  the  recording, as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  clean  singing  and  whispers  can  also  be  heard  and  the  closing  song  is  also  an  instrumental.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  nature,  mythology  mysticism  and  individualism  themes.  


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Vegard  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  atmospheric  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Woodland  Supremacy"  "Storm  Rapture"  and  "Under  Winter  Blackthrones".  8  out  of  10.


Bandcamp
Spotify

  


  

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Portent/Black Humours & Sour Chasms/2021 Full Length Review

 


  Portent  are  a  duo  from  the  United  Kingdom  that h as  had  music  reviewed  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  mixture  of  black  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Black  Humours  &  Sour  Chasms".


  A  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  while  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording.  The  riffs  also  add  in  a  decent  amount  of  melody  along  with  the  solos  and  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  and  some  of  the  riffing  also  shows  an  influence  of  death  metal.


  Elements  of  doom  metal  van  also  be  heard  in  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  also  done  in  a  very  old  school  style  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  amount  of  blast  beats.


  When  tremolo  picking  is  utilized  it  also  gives  the  songs  more  of  a  raw  feeling  along  with  the  tracks  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  as  well  as  some  of  the  riffing  adding  in  a  progressive  touch,  clean  playing  and  classical  guitars  can  also  be  heard  briefly  and  on  the  closing  song  a  small  amount  of g rowls  can  also  be  heard.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  death,  madness  and  paranoia  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Portent  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black  and  doom  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Circular  Finality"  "Blood  Crescent"  and  "Conspiracy  of  The  Bereft".  8  out  of  10.


ps://portentuk.bandcamp.com/album/black-humours-sour-chasms  

Néfastes/Scumanity/Source Atone Records/2021 Full Length Review


 

  Néfastes  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  a  misanthropic  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Scumanity"  which  will  be  released  in  June  by  Source  Atone  Records.


  A  very  fast  and  raw  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  brutal  sounding  blast  beats.  Vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  a  small  amount  of  melody  is  also  added  into  some  of  the  guitar  riffing.


  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  the  music  also  adds  in  both  old  school  and  modern  influences.  One  of  the  tracks  also  adds  in  a  brief  use  of  apocalyptic  soundscapes  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  direction  along  with  a  couple  of  tracks  also  adding  in  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing,  a  later  song  is  also  an  instrumental  and  a  brief  use  of  guitar  leads  is  also  added  on  the  closing  song.


  Néfastes  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  very  fast,  raw,  brutal  and  misanthropic  sounding.  The  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  an  aversion  to  humanity  and  misanthropic  themes.


  In  my  opinion  Néfastes  are  a  very  great  sounding  brutal  and  misanthropic  black  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Fuck  With  the  Bull,  You  Get  The  Horn"  "Scumanity"  and  "Carved  Into  The  Flesh".  8  out  of  10.


https://youtu.be/m-vZ6Rjicgw


  

Gorgon/Traditio Satanae/Osmose Productions/2021 CD Review

 


  Gorgon  are  a  band  from  France  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  satanic  and  old  school  form  of  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2021  album  "Traditio  Satanae"  which  will  be  released  in  June  by  Osmose  Productions.


  A  very  fast  and  raw  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats.  The  riffs  also  add  in  a  lot  of  melody  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.


 A  lot  of  the  music  is  very  heavily  rooted  in  the  90's  while  also  sounding  very  modern  at  the  same  time.  The  songs  also  add  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  some  of  the  riffs  also  adding  in  some  dark  sounding  melodies  as  well  as  th e guitar  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  when  they  are utilized  and  the  whole  album  also  sticks  to  a  heavier  direction.


  On  this  recording  Gorgon  remains  true  to  the  old  school  style  of  satanic  black  metal  that  they  had  established  on  previous  releases.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  Blasphemy,  Darkness  and  Death  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Gorgon  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  fast,  aggressive  and  old  school  satanic  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Blood  Of  Sorcerer"  "My  Filth  Is  Worth  Your  Purity"  "The  Long  Quest"  and  "At  the  Beginning  Was  Hate".  8  out  of  10.


➡️ BANDCAMP: https://osmoseproductions.bandcamp.com/album/traditio-satanae

📻 Digital Platforms (Spotify, Deezer, Itunes...): https://backl.ink/146210751


https://youtu.be/tiboy4WiBlM  


  

Auld Interview

 


1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new ep?

 Arron: While wanting to focus on writing our debut album with the momentum of the release of the EP, the direction has been more to ensure we can, to our satisfaction, suitably fill a live set without the constant repetition. This has included focus on diversifying some of our content with instrumentals, unplugged and more potential collaborations moving forward. 

2.Recently you have released a new ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on the recording? 

 Arron: Drawing elements from Atmospheric Black Metal, Folk, Black/Void-gaze and rock, our sound is inspired by folklore and nature, writing melody and harmony over a wall of noise creating heavy dark ballads. 

3.One of your songs also covers Scottish folklore, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic? 

 Arron: The band to varying degrees all have history and heritage from the British Isles and many an interest in history, folklore and poetry. We relish the idea of bringing these old stories back to light and creating our own. The song in question, Am Fear Liath Mòr, is based on the folklore of a shadowy grey may who haunts the foggy mountains of Ben MacDhui and the lyrics include an excerpt from “Constancy of an Ideal Object” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Also Hollow Mews includes reference to the Sidhe from Irish mythology and part of the lyrics draw influence from William Butler Yeats. Daniel: In addition to playing black metal, I have a history of playing Scottish pipe band music, as well as Celtic folk music. This is paired with a fascination with the tales and poetry of Scotland in particular and the Celtic lands in general. It was, in fact, the shared appreciation for black metal and Celtic folk influences that drew Arron and I together in what would become the genesis of Auld. 

 4.What are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored so far with the music? 

Arron: As mentioned above a lot of our lyrical themes cover folklore, myths, legends, poetry and nature. We have also worked with the Irish and Scottish diaspora and historical battle themes. Daniel: “…of petrichor and I” is a lament from the perspective of a sacrifice. A journey to the high green places that Skye is known for, in order to give one’s life to ensure the rain falls for everyone else. Hollow Mews draws from the feelings of isolation inherent in urban existence, the drive to return to the wild and tumult of the life we led before we became civilised. It draws, as Arron said, from Yeats, and from the Irish myths of the Sidhe that were the most important part of Celtic mysticism prior to and indeed long after the Christianisation of the British Isles. Cianalas, a song not on the EP but a regular part of our live performances, is drawn from a concept of the same name which refers to the inevitable haunting homesickness that befalls any native of the isles of the Hebrides who leaves to explore the world. 

 5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Auld'?

 Daniel: “Auld” is the Scots word for “old”. Back before this was anything more than a concept that Arron and I tossed around at practices for the other band we were playing in, the idea was that it would be a group dedicated to recontextualising old ideas. Old melodies, old sounds, played in a way that opened them up to a new audience. Folk instrumentation, which we’ve introduced in the title track of the EP, was always planned to be a central pillar of the Auld sound. As we go forward, we’re going to be introducing more ancient instruments and older tunes, contrasting that melancholy and that sweetness that Gaelic music really showcases with the heavier sounds of black metal. I’d even be interested in introducing some piobaireachd (Highland bagpipe and vocal melodies known for being haunting and meditative) into the Auld sound. 

6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the ep cover? 

 Daniel: The EP cover is centered around a photograph taken by Marcus McAdam, a Scottish photographer who specialises in pictures taken on the Isle of Skye. It’s a picture of a rock formation known as the Quiraing, on the northernmost point of the Isle. As soon as I saw the photograph I felt that it was a perfect visual encapsulation of the atmosphere that Auld was sonically pursuing. The logo was created for us by the genius Vojtěch over at Moonroot art, who also did the amazing heron piece we used for our music video for Hollow Mews. There’s also some pretty exciting art ready for future use that we’re keeping pretty close to our chest for the time being. Arron: I actually took a photo from the exact same spot in Quiraing on the Isle of Skye while I was spending time in Scotland in 2009.

 7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance? 

 Daniel: It’s hard to pick a favourite show. Questfest 2020 was amazing fun, and the guys at Girthsword do an awesome job putting that together every year. Playing at Heathenfest 2019 was also great fun, but it’s hard at this point to go past our very first show, supporting Christ Dismembered and Fatigue. It was this short moment of fruition in which everything just fell into place, and it validated, at least to me, every minute of effort that we had put into writing, arranging, and practicing. Seeing that people actually enjoyed the music we made was intoxicating, which is why we’re all still doing this. This answer may change in a few months depending on how a certain performance we can’t really divulge too much about shapes up. Arron: One of my favourite memories was the community, camaradarie and atmosphere of Heathen Fest 2019 in Moruya. Sharing the stage with Hobbs Angel of Death for what would ultimately be his last show was an absolute honour. Daniel: With regards to how we would describe our stage performance, it’s difficult to talk too much about an experience from inside the performer bubble without sounding a little ridiculous. I can definitely say that we aim for an air reminiscent of the highland mists, the green and the grey of a land at once inhospitable and lived in for millennia. I’m sure the dumb jokes I use to fill in time detract somewhat from that, but old habits die hard.

 8.The new ep was released on 'Eschatonic Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

 Daniel: Eschatonic Records is run by some of the most supportive people we’ve ever come across, and right from the beginning the entire conversation was what they could do to build a platform to support us. I initially came across them through their work with Black Mountain, and as soon as I went to Jay to talk about Auld, Eschatonic Records immediately began helping us get everything together. Jay helped us through every step of the recording process and has been a huge advocate of our work, and for that I personally am immensely grateful.

 9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of atmospheric black metal?

 Daniel: I would say that thus far the worldwide reaction has been greater than I expected. As someone involved in the local scene for years at this point, every time I see someone from Europe or the US listen, like, or comment, it is absolutely humbling. I personally consider it a privilege to be able to share the music we’ve made with anyone from anywhere, so it’s especially amazing to see that come to fruition with people from so far away. 

 10.What is going on with 'Black Mountain' these days, a band that also shares a couple of the same band members?

 Daniel: Josh and I have been the two shared members doing double duty between Auld and Black Mountain, and due to some changes that have taken place in my personal life, I have actually left Black Mountain. So while I can’t speak from an insider’s perspective regarding Black Mountain, I know that Jay from Inhuman Remnants, Unholy Vendetta, and a plethora of other heavy acts has temporarily taken over bass duties until they find a full-time bassist. I can say that I’ve seen their name on the line-up for a gig in the not-too-distant future and that I’m excited to see what Black Mountain sounds like from in front of the barrier. 

 11.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

 Arron: There are plans for an upcoming album and I think the story of that will all be driven by where the band is heading musically. If we wanted to pump out a derivative album that all sounded the same that might be a fairly clear and short race. However we all feel passionate about not necessarily pushing ourselves, but exploring what we are capable of and incorporating a diverse range of instruments and capabilities within our bailiwick. So this could mean broader collaboration with other musicians to create a larger sound or bringing it back with some instrumentals closer to the folk/neofolk sphere. 

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays? 

 Daniel: For me, the influences are vast and diverse. Metal bands include Agalloch, Saor, Cân Bardd, Sadness, and Woods of Desolation/Remete. On the other side, a large proportion of influence for sound and for the way I’ve approached composition for Auld has been driven by Celtic folk music by groups such as The Battlefield Band, Silly Wizard, and The Tannahill Weavers, as well as pipers like Davy Spillane and folk musicians such as Andy Irvine. Arron: Emperor, Moonsorrow, Drudkh, Enslaved, Primordial, Wolcensmen, Alcest, Arkona, Andy Irvine, Daoiri Farrell.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts? 

Daniel: These open-ended questions always kill me! There’s always so much to say. Auld is, without a doubt, the project that I’ve been involved in which I feel the most affection for. I’ve never been more excited about a band. The group of musicians we’ve assembled just clicks musically so well that any reticence I’ve had ingrained into me to bring new ideas or suggest different directions has disappeared. This, coinciding with the fact that, against all odds, people seem to enjoy listening to it, has completely altered my approach to the concept of being in a band. Thank you so much for reviewing the EP and for asking these questions. It’s been great to engage and to talk about it. Arron: From what started out as just two passionate people jamming with a singular purpose just for pure personal pleasure, this has grown into more than we expected and taken on a life of its own. I look forward to nurturing our creation through the years to come.

Bandcamp: auldau.bandcamp.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/auldAu
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/30e6rTkpakt9WXD0COkPq9
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/auldau/