One of the elements missing from a lot of the writing on black metal is an acknowledgement of the nostalgia that underpins much of the genre. Whether it’s a yearning for a lost golden age of one’s culture, a disgust with modern conventions, or an invocation of a more primal, naturalistic state, black metal sets its gaze towards the past. Perhaps no culture has a greater understanding of the psychological complexities of nostalgia than the Germans. Their language contains words untranslatable into English, like weltschmerz (an emotional exhaustion brought on by knowing that the world can never live up to the promise of the imagination) and sehnsucht (impossible yearning for something achingly familiar that may not actually exist). With this in mind, it makes sense that German black metal amplifies the genre’s already-present nostalgic quality, creating a uniquely identifiable sound that’s both mournful and epic. Continue reading
I had never heard of Narvik until this album found its way into my inbox, but I was still compelled to cover their latest full length album, Ascension to Apotheosis, for a couple of reasons. For one, this particular black metal band hails from Germany. Freiburg, to be more specific. And we all know where I stand on the black metal scene currently emerging from that particular region of the world (here’s a clue: I like it). But secondly, the band name in a reference to a very northern town in Norway that was home to the late Robert Burâs, a prominent name in extreme metal, and a name each member of this band thinks highly of. Coincidentally, is also the hometown of a few relatives of mine — relatives I’ve been trying to visit for some time. Story time over. I was both curious and excited to check this effort out, and overall it is a quality representation of black metal, even if it doesn’t necessarily seem do a ton to stand initially.
Germany is not a country known for it’s doom. Particularly moody doom with a touch for extended intros descending into atmospheric passages. But that’s exactly what Germany’s Into Coffin deliver across their debut LP. With nothing but a short demo under their belt, Into Coffin, sharing members with Infuria and Omnivore, deliver a surprisingly put together albeit lengthy, debut, Into a Pyramid of Doom. Continue reading
Is it March already? I mean… it’s been March for three weeks already? What year is it? What’s going on? Who am I? What’s my purpose? Spoiler alert: NOTHING… for all of it. Zero. Zilch. There is no point to anything. Everything we do for our century-ish of life is so incredibly pointless when you think about it. No matter what we do while our consciousness is trapped in these bodies we abuse on the regular, we all die. Rich, poor, healthy, sick… all ends in the same result. So who gives a shit? Anyway, the theme of quarter one has been nihilism, in case you haven’t noticed. So why am I here doing is if it doesn’t matter? Easy answer: I want you all to join me in my cynicism and general disdain for our existence. So let’s get drunk and talk about metal! Welcome to the end of March, cretins! Continue reading
Little is known about the one-man black metal project out of Karlsruhe, Germany that is Voidcraeft. Conceived from the mind of one referred to as قرف (don’t worry, I’m not sure either), a self-acknowledged recluse fascinated by pessimistic literature, Voidcraeft’s latest Ἕβελ is a journey through dark nihilism and emptiness. And these concepts are presented with some of the more complicated black metal structures you will experience. Complex on a both a sonical and intellectual level, Ἕβελ seeks to challenge an audience on all levels, and succeeds in doing so. Continue reading