(review) An Autumn For Crippled Children – As The Morning Dawns We Close Our Eyes

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Friesland´s An Autumn For Crippled Children released their new opus. For those who don´t know AAFC play a mixture of depressive black metal and post black metal passages topped with heavy usage of synth. This synth in song structures provides a soundscape that is so melancholic yet so strong and mighty at the same time. These eight songs speak of sadness, depression, love, melancholy and I can relate to the music and lyrics of the songs. Vocals are screaming black and guitars provides almost cosmic cold yet at the same time melodic hooks which are in tune with the atmosphere of the songs. There are no blast beats, this is mid tempo atmospheric black metal and I enjoyed every single second listening to this opus. My personal highlights: Of Your Light, As The Morning Dawns We Close Our Eyes, Last Night I Believed In You.

8/10

(review) A Forest of Dreams – Quando A Morte Chama Por Nos

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A Forest of Dreams is hailing from Portugal and it is a spawn of Mario Rodrigues. This is the third full length opus and it contains eight songs. Music of A Forest of Dreams can be described as black metal. It is a mixture of old school raw and fast black metal similar to early nineties bands like Darkthrone and Gorgoroth, but it also incorporates some very eerie and great atmospheric parts in the song structures like for example in Delirium de Lilith which is one of my personal favorites on this opus. Vocals are great, fit perfectly to the music and besides aggression and speed there are couple of very nice melodies and hooks underneath layers of darkness and it emphasizes the strength of this record. Songs titles are in Portuguese so I can´t really understand what they are about but the music speaks for itself quite sufficiently. Good album.

7,5/10

(review) Vreid – Wild North West (Season of Mist)

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Norwegians Vreid released new album with Season of Mist. This new opus is a concept album about life and awaiting death which is inevitable for every one of us. All of us know that Vreid rose from the ashes of legendary Windir when Valfar passed away. Your can hear Valfar´s ghost on this album. There are eight songs on this one with lyrics in English. Music of Vreid is a perfect mixture of melodic and atmospheric black metal in its roots yet so much more. On this record we can hear thrash metal influences like in excellent epic and cold Shadows of Aurora, being one of my personal favorites, I listened to this one over and over again. Vocals are great, mainly black metal screaming but you can understand what is being sung about so that is another plus for me. I can safely say that this one is one of, if not the best opus in Vreid´s existence until now. All is here, coldness, atmosphere, emotion, melody, aggression and that reminds us why we love black metal so much. Other songs that are kind of highlights for me are Into The Mountains and Spikes Of God.

10/10

(review) Vritrahn – Werwolf – Vritrahn – Werwolf (Werewolf Records)

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This opus is a result of collaboration between two known entities from Finnish underground scene, namely Vritrahn (Infernal Darkness, White Death…) and Werwolf (Satanic Warmaster, Orlok, Infernal Darkness…) This opus provides 9 songs of relentless fast in your face black metal, crushing everything in its path. But, there are many thrash and eighties inspired speed metal influences in some song parts and of course melancholic melodies only Finnish black metal bands can give to us. Lyrics are in English and deal with misantrophy, Satanism, blasphemy and similar themes that we are so fond of. My personal favorites are Silver Aurora, Blasphemous Metal and Crucifucked(S.S.).

8/10

(review) Ancient Wisdom – A Celebration In Honor Of Death (Avantgarde Music)

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Ancient Wisdom has been in the scene since 1992 and I am a great fan of debut opus For Snow Covered The Northland and listen to it on tape that I have since nineties a lot. Ancient Wisdom has always been a spawn of Vargher known for his work with Bewitched and Naglfar among others. 17 years has passed between last release and this new fifth full length opus. This one has seven songs celebrating death and cycle of life. Music of Ancient Wisdom is atmospheric black metal, leaning more on mid tempo anthems and clever use of synths delivering ominous and sinister eerie atmosphere than blast beats. I also love vocal lines, being harsh yet understandable and Vargher always does great job singing. As I said, some bands make synth and piano song structures just too much and achieve just the contrary what they wanted to achieve, but Ancient Wisdom delivers eerie and almost otherworldly atmosphere and bring up emotions that are buried long time ago. My personal favorites are: Breaking The Circle Of Life, And God Saw.

8/10

(review) Djevel – Tanker som rir natten (Aftermath Music)

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Norwegian black metal horde Djevel are back with their new opus. This is already their seventh full length opus and it contains six beautiful songs, all of them being almost ten minutes long each, except one bordering around four minutes. That is pleasing because epic black metal is what are we about to receive from this trio. Ciekals and Kvitrim are joined by none other than legendary Bard Faust on drums for this opus and it sounds fantastic. Music of Djevel can be described as classic Norwegian black metal for new millennium, having necro old school roots but delivering so much more in atmosphere and emotions. Lyrics are in Norwegian language, so I don´t really understand, but I let atmosphere and music remind me why black metal is and always will be best way to express all your emotions. Harsh vocal screams exchange with clean chanting and it works fantastic in song structures. Although this opus is very long it does not get boring or repetitive not for one second. One of the best black metal releases to come out this year for sure.

9/10

(book review) Dayal Patterson – Black Metal: The Cult Never Dies Volume One

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Here is the second installment of Dayal Patterson´s black metal series. This book marks the spot where Dayal went to self release and he founded a little label for his books, some merch and music. His long time experience as metal fan made interviews in his books interesting, his introductions and background stories mandatory and intense read and I read this second book in couple of days. The book starts with return to Norway and features interesting interviews with Satyricon and some of Satyr´s words were really hard to swallow in my opinion because I do not agree with him. Also Kampfar, Solefald, Wardruna and Kampfar are couple of great stories and interviews from Norwegian scene in first third of this book. Second part is dedicated to Polish black metal scene with Xantotol, Mastiphal, Mgla, Kriegsmachine, Arkona leading the way. Third and most interesting part for me was story and interviews about depressive suicidal black metal scene with Bethlehem being by far the best story and interview in this book, I just couldn´t believe some of the stuff I was reading. This is great book. Go get it and read it!

(book review) Dayal Patterson – Black Metal Evolution Of The Cult

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This is one of my all time favorite books. Dayal Patterson is a long time metal devotee and scene active fellow, writing zines, being part of Metal Hammer crew and getting to investigate lots of things about his favorite metal genre, namely black metal. This book is an in depth story about black metal from its beginnings with old school first wave Venom, Mercyful Fate, Celtic Frost, Hellhammer across Norwegian early nineties black metal story with Mayhem, Burzum, Gorgoroth and others to more modern post black metal bands like Alcest and meanwhile going around the world and delivering stories of Swedish, US, Greek and other black metal bands we all so love. I read this book for three times now and it never gets boring, every time I find some information and story I did not catch last time. Superb!

10/10

(review) Volc Vermaledide – Nietig

Volc Vermaledide is a spawn of S.Mordenare Raben, known in the scene among other things as former vocalist of Cirith Gorgor and Walpurgisnacht. This is first full length opus although this entity has been in existence since 2002. There are five songs on this one. Music of Volc Vermaledide is atmospheric black metal with song structures leaning equal to aggressive blast beat parts, but also slower, more melancholic parts. These parts are what makes this album great, I love the sound of keyboard parts, being sad and emotional and making my flesh crawl with goosebumps. My personal favorite is a concept trilogy of Severed, Lost and Omega. Vocals are superb, various from black metal screams to clean parts, spoken word, angry shouting to growls, depending on the atmosphere of the song. Lyrics delve in inner demons, darkness, sadness and fighting with your inner demons and accepting the inner evil. This is a great album.

7,5/10

(review) Lidskjavl – Midgar´s Saga

Lidskjavl are hailing from Madrid, Spain and this is their first full length opus. There are nine songs on this release. Music of Lidskjavl is melodic black metal with Viking Norse lore influenced lyrics. Besides black metal there are some death metal influences mainly in growled guttural vocals, in fact dual screeched and growled vocal lines make this effort an interesting listen coupled with aggressive blast beats, but also epic and melodic hooks and grandiose song structures with fantastic guitar melodies. My personal favorites are Berserker, Renegade of God. Clever use of samples, like clanking swords, horses and bells are always welcomed and I love it. This is a strong debut.

7,5/10