Album Review: Hulder – “The Eternal Fanfare”

Hulder - The Eternal Fanfare

Is everything old new again? Are we back on loving the second wave of black metal? I can’t keep track. Maybe it just takes someone new to the field, bringing a level of execution that makes people look up and go “Oh yeah…there WAS a reason this thing birthed a whole series of sub genres and offshoots and the such.” Hulder, the solo black metal project certainly knows how to deliver a forceful, tightly woven black metal album, and on their latest mini LP The Eternal Fanfare show that injecting a more robust production doesn’t take away from the general necro vibe, and that – done right – there’s still vitality in a sound folks starting railing against almost as soon as it came out.

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Album Review: Saor — “Origins”

Folk-infused black metal (folkened black metal?  blackened folk metal?) comes in so many varieties, seemingly as many as there are cultures across the globe.  If you’re a connoisseur of this genre, then there’s no way Saor is a new name to you.  Born from a desire to blend the Scandinavian fury of black metal with the Scottish folk of Andy Marshall’s native home, the outfit has been steadily gaining traction from the strength of each output, even beginning to play live shows across the world (a performance not to be missed, from someone who was lucky enough to catch them).  On Origins, the fifth full-length from the project, new beginnings are indeed seized and new paths forward forged.

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Album Review: Grave Gnosis / Hvile I Kaos —“Towards the Nameless Darkness”

grave gnosis - towards the nameless darkness

I don’t tend to listen to splits, especially when the bands in question have different musical styles that might not work well together. Despite this, I still like giving splits the benefit of the doubt, as I think they are a good showcase for bands that you aren’t familiar with and you haven’t had the time to jump into a full-length album. In this scenario, Towards the Nameless Darkness is a teaser to what both Grave Gnosis and Hvile I Kaos have been working on as they prepare to release their next albums, and for someone who is familiar with one of the bands, it might be an opportunity to experience what I have heard so much about.

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Album Review: Inexorum – “Equinox Vigil”

Inexorum have quickly climbed up the ranks of bands I need to keep my eyes on, but it was not always so.  You know how this story goes: someone (usually Vince or Angela) mentions an album they are thrilled about, in this case it was 2020’s Moonlit Navigation, I swear on God I’m going to listen to it, and then I don’t.  It took me far too long to get around to Moonlit Navigation, but when I did it was like a cartoon mallet came down on my head: I couldn’t avoid it if I wanted anymore.  So, I told myself I would make the same mistake twice when the next release came around.  Enter: Equinox Vigil.

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Album Review: White Ward — “False Light”

white ward - false light

White Ward is not afraid of change. From the adventurous and heartbreaking Futility Report to the intricate, dangerous intimacy of Love Exchange Failure White Ward is mutable, changing sound according to their experiences – a testament to a moment in time. With an atmosphere akin to fluorescent lights illuminating a dark hallway, the band continue to push their musical limits, blending their brand of post-black metal with dark jazz and synth sections making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. False Light, their third album, is a continuation of their sonic explorations on Love Exchange Failure with a new, refined eye, one that speaks deeply to my avant-garde tastes.

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