Album Review: Soul Dissolution — “Sora”

September seems to be the month of choice for atmospheric black metal albums. I have already discussed the first of these releases, Ellende’s Ellenbogengesellschaft, a gorgeous record that showcases what kind of powerhouse Ellende continues to be. In the case of another release, Belgian band Soul Dissolution are releasing their third album, Sora, an album I have been eagerly waiting for since their 2018 effort, Stardust.

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Album Review: Ellende — “Ellenbogengesellschaft”

Ever since I started listening to black metal and writing album reviews, there has always been one band that has consistently shown up in my list: Ellende, an Austrian powerhouse of atmospheric black metal who heavily employ soulful melodies and raw emotion. I have been into this band since 2016, when I first heard their self-titled debut and have always wondered whether this band/project would continue to create atmospheric black metal in what I considered to be a space filled with ‘saturation.’ However, every time Ellende released anything, I’m always impressed with the level of quality and nuance they put into each effort. Now, with their fourth album, Ellenbogengesellschaft, Ellende continues to push the limits of their own creativity, showcasing that they always have more to show than just a melancholic melody.

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Album Review: FERN — “Intersubjective”

Solo projects are interesting vehicles for creative and sonic exploration, especially if the main project is known for creating extreme (metal) music. Exploring this so-called “side content” is a treat and something that allows a deeper dive into understanding how various musical influences come together in the mainline band album. In the case of FERN, the solo project of The Ocean’s drummer Paul Seidel, their debut album Intersubjective oscillates between art pop, industrial, and ambient electronica, pulling the already established fans into this intimate and heady atmosphere that offers a huge look under the hood.

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Album Review: Putrescine / Kosmogyr — “Desolate Tides”

Whenever bands come together for a split, it fulfills two major conditions: it showcases their hard work in a unique way outside of the standard album idea, and it shows whether the two bands in question are able to find common ground in their music or if they’re too wildly different. A split that recently did this was Towards the Nameless Darkness, which found common ground in how both bands approached making black metal. On Desolate Tides, the new split between Putrescine and Kosmogyr, they not only find common ground—one bound by the sonic influences, emotional trappings, and the never-ending cycle of (musical) rebirth—but show a certain camaraderie that I don’t see that often with splits.

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Album Review: Sigh — “Shiki”

Sigh - Shiki

Sigh is a trailblazer of a band with a career nearly spanning three decades. Any thoughts of this band sitting on their laurels or going through the motions are crushed within the opening cadence here. Sigh continues to strive toward new heights, constantly reinventing themselves to create music that is both hauntingly eerie and extremely catchy all at once. All of this is encapsulated on their twelfth album, Shiki, which not only showcases the beginning of something new, with the pomp and circumstance of ceremony, but also shows us a sense of this band’s mortality.

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