Album Review: Seth — “La Morsure du Christ”

Intricate black metal is alluring as it satisfies many musical cravings.  There is a rawness in the growled vocals and a beauty in the layered sounds.  There is also an interesting juxtaposition in the furious tempos and almost meditational atmospheric breaks.  French metal scene pioneers, Seth, released what the band is referring to as the sequel to their debut album almost 23 years later, La Morsure du Christ.  This album is a nod to Seth’s beginnings and their original style consisting of blast beat drumming, snarled vocals, rhythmic and melodic guitar, and expertly combined sounds.

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Album Review: Kardashev — “The Baring of Shadows”

Astute readers of this site might recognize that I have already written some words about Kardashev and their monumental EP The Baring of Shadows.  When I think about the releases that I missed in 2020, The Baring of Shadows was one that made me feel like I needed to actually write something about it, simply because of how hard I was kicking myself for foregoing the chance to talk about music that touched me so deeply.  Naturally, then, when the EP got a major label reissue, I knew I couldn’t let this chance slip through my fingers a second time.

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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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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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