Album Review: Ereb Altor — “Eldens Boning” (EP)

The oft-disputed subgenre of Viking metal is something I’ve always found hard to define in metal. Is it really a subgenre or just slightly blackened folk metal? Whereas Enslaved, Falkenbach and maybe Månegarm are sometimes referred to as being viking metal, I think Ereb Altor actually really encapsulates—I don’t want to say the sound—but the essence and idea of viking metal really well. The Swedish band is, much like the famous Christmas goat, based in Gävle, a town that’s definitely not pronounced how you think it is. The band’s new EP Eldens Boning features only four songs so that means we get to focus on each and every one of them.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Mortifero — “The Death Ballads”

Mortifero - The Death Ballads

Fresh blood on the scene is always a good thing.  It keeps the older bands on their toes and it brings in new and exciting perspectives, especially if those perspectives come from people who don’t often have their voices heard in the metal and metal-adjacent communities.  However, 2020 was not a year that I thought many new projects would be popping up, but then again, the world is full of pleasant surprises, especially when it comes to Dutch singer/songwriter/bandleader Mortifero.  Her brand-new debut EP The Death Ballads blends a lot of creative influences that definitely keep things fresh.

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Embracing the Descent: April 25 – May 1, 2021

EMBRACING TEMP LOGO

Spotty this column may be, but fulfillments go unfilled, expectations ain’t what they used to be, and so on and so forth. So, expect the unexpected or whatever. Anyway, there’s a handful that flipped a switch this week and I had some extra time and here we are. Oh, and one from a couple weeks ago because…reasons. Try these on for size and don’t forget to check out the full listing from Monday’s Initial Descent.

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Album Review: Spectral Lore — “Ετερόφωτος”

Ετερόφωτος is part of a category of words that I personally adore that have deep, profound meaning but no direct translation from Greek into English.  Literally meaning “Different light,” the closest approximation is “one whose light comes from others,” and it is this concept that Ayloss, aka Spectral Lore, seeks to explore on a very long-awaited full-length release.  Not only does this album explore deep philosophical concepts, it also continues the running build-up in Ayloss’ releases that lay out a full-on personal manifesto for radical self-discovery and fighting back against the entrenched powers that seek to hold us in our place.

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Rainbows in the Dark: NOÊTA — “Elm”

Sylvia Plath, despite being an iconic figure in poetry and American literature, was a relatively unappreciated figure in her own time.  It took her unfortunate and heartbreaking suicide to really draw attention to what a giant spirit and an unmatched gift with words she had, but now her name stands with the greats of history, giving inspiration to so many, inside and outside of literature.  It is from her legacy that the Norwegian/Swedish duo NOÊTA draw inspiration for their sophomore release Elm, the title of which references a poem Plath wrote mere months before her death.

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