Album Review: Khors — “Where the World Acquires Eternity”

It’s not every day that you run into an album that actually teaches you something.  I’m no student of history, so there’s lots for me still to learn about world events of the past, but the last place I would expect to get a lesson is an atmospheric black metal album from the depths of the Ukraine.  Still, if anyone can do it, it would be Khors, quite possibly the most influential band you’ve never heard of.  Their titanic seventh full-length release Where the World Acquires Eternity showcases not only their use of concept but also some extremely smart songwriting.

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Second Circle: The Glorious Dead and Eave

Second Circle

In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.

As I scanned over our list of promos and wondered what I should take for a review this week, I was put into a predicament.  Both Eave and The Glorious Dead came highly recommended, I had listened to singles from both Phantoms Made Permanent and Into Lifeless Shrines (respectively) and really enjoyed them, I’m a sucker for both of the genres these albums fall into and they’re both Bindrune releases, which is synonymous with extremely high quality in my mind.  How, then, to choose which one to review?  As a now infamous taco commercial suggests, “¿Por qué no los dos?”

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Album Review: Ruadh — “The Rock of the Clyde”

I’ve gone on record before about how I like death metal, both in print and on the Audio Thing™, and I will, until the end of time, stand by my assertion that death metal is best when it beats you senseless about the face and head.  Black metal to me is a different story.  I think black metal is best when it is at its most elegant and refined.  I like black metal that uses old-school influences to inform and build on contemporary pieces to elevate the whole affair to a new level.  It’s why I like bands like Saor, Panopticon, Deafheaven, Aara and Falls of Rauros so much.  Enter Ruadh and their sophomore release The Rock of the Clyde, which emphasizes the old school in both black metal and cultural influence, while still retaining a sophisticated sound. Continue reading

Album Review: Aara — “En Ergô Einai”

Folks, it has been a LONG wait for this one.  I can’t tell you how much I’ve anticipated this review ever since “Arkanum” debuted over at No Clean Singing.  I have not been floored by a track like that in a good while, and I think I grabbed the full promo the minute it was available.  After having about six weeks to sit with it, I have only gotten more psyched up to talk about what almost assuredly will be in my top releases for the year, Aara’s sophomore album En Ergô Einai. Continue reading

Album Review: Spectral Lore & Mare Cognitum — “Wanderers: The Astrology of the Nine”

Spectral Lore and Mare Cognitum - Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine

Do you like black metal? Concept albums? Sprawling epics created by musicians dedicated to their craft? What about space and the cosmos? Did you spend a period of your life obsessed with Holst’s The Planets? Ever thought that what The Planets needed was a complete re-imagining driven by all of the above? Well then, Mare Cognitum & Spectral Lore have got you covered with Wanderers: The Astrology of the Nine.

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