Album Review: Nine Treasures — “Awakening from Dukkha”

The Mongolian folk metal scene has definitely had an awakening in the last decade and one of, if not, the biggest band in that movement have been Nine Treasures who’ve managed to combine the feeling of Mongolia with metal in a rather positive and charming way. Formed in 2010, the band celebrated its 10th birthday last year and are now releasing a best of album in the form of Awakening from Dukkha.

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Album Review: Korpiklaani — “Jylhä”

Alcohol has been deeply intertwined with Korpiklaani in the past, but much like alcohol does, the band has matured. The process that seemed to start with the band’s previous release, Kulkija, now continues with Jylhä, although it’d be hard to say it continues on in the same vein. An album full of different kinds of stories that seem joined together by the title – Jylhä – a fairly untranslatable phrase that comes closest to “majestic.” In a dark and awe-inspiring sort of way.

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Album Review: Soen — “Imperial”

Soen - Imperial

I bloody hate snakes. I don’t wanna look at them and I don’t want them anywhere near me. However, if there’s an exception that makes me excited, it’s this black mamba on the cover of Soen‘s new album. Their previous release, Lotus, was my favourite album of 2019 and naturally I have massive expectations of Imperial. This will be the fifth full-length album for the Swedish supergroup, founded by ex-Opeth man Martin Lopez and vocalist Joel Ekelöf.

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Reinventing Black Metal Part II: SRD

Photo: Simon Pelko

In the first part of this series I implied black metal is overrun with Satanic imagery and it just isn’t interesting anymore. However, we also focused on the unique situation of Al Namrood and their struggles. Today, we’re taking a look at Srd, a band which will unfortunately be much less known to most readers. Slovenia isn’t traditionally a country that produces a lot of amazing metal and I’m sure the large majority would struggle to name a single band coming out of it. However, as a Slovenian myself, I’ve been lucky to have seen Srd live quite a few times by now, even though the band is rather young and has only been founded in 2016. Now, you might think I’m biased because everyone tends to like supporting their local scene. And you might have a bit of a point there, which brings me to my next pretentiously philosophical idea. Black metal’s relation to ethnic culture.

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Reinventing Black Metal Part I: AL NAMROOD

Black metal. The most controversial of all the metal subgenres. Be it arson, national-socialistic views, suicide and even murder—black metal has seen it all. Yet amidst the craziness of the 90s and the (largely) Norwegian 2nd wave scene, there has been a certain staleness that has crept into the music. Satan just isn’t as cool, nor as much of a figure of defiance as he used to be. In that sense, black metal is having a bit of an identity crisis and it’s perhaps a fitting time to ask ourselves what black metal really is—from a more philosophical point of view. In this introduction/interview series we’ll be taking a look at some bands that are taking the idea of black metal and doing something fresh with it. At the end we may find some conclusions, but experience suggests we’ll just end up with more questions.

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