Rainbows in the Dark: Veliu Namai — “Alkai”

What do you think of when you think of the Baltics?  Perhaps it’s lush fields, maybe towering mountains or pristine seaside hamlets?  Maybe it’s cities older than my country, rich with history and culture both familiar and foreign?  Maybe it’s all of that, or none.  I’m willing to bet, though, that it’s probably not what you hear when you throw on Veliu Namai’s Alkai, but maybe it should be.  On their fourth full length release, the Lithuanian trio dive deeper into the history and mysticism surrounding their Baltic heritage, all the while stretching the limits of what they can do musically.

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Album Review: Änterbila — “Änterbila”

With varying degrees of economic, social, and political turmoil occurring all over the world, it’s no surprise that a growing number of metal artists have used struggles of the past in order to craft heavy music for the present. The latest among this group is Änterbila, who help us bring 2022 to a close with their self-titled debut album of rip-roaring black metal about Swedish peasantry from the 18th – 20th centuries. Folk-inspired elements top off Änterbila to present a short but solid introduction that is hopefully just a taste of what’s to come.

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Album Review:  Bhleg — “Fäghring”

I have been enamored with Swedish black/folk metal band Bhleg ever since my other half reviewed the trio’s previous album back in January of 2021.  I am excited to see Bhleg back at it again so quickly with their latest release, Fäghring.  Additionally, this is the fourth and final installation of their album tetralogy “Ár.”  Each album from Bhleg is more refined, dynamic, and impressive than the last, and Fäghring is no exception.  Unique instrumentation, vocal variety, and intricate compositions make this album a must listen and an epic finale to “Ár.”  Bhelg have mastered the world of black metal and folk music and continue to grow and perfect their distinctive sound.

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Album Review: Bhleg — “Ödhin”

I’m a simple man.  I see a Nordvis promo and I click it.  We all have our labels that we’ve come to instantly associate with quality in our heads, and for me it doesn’t get much better than the Swedish label’s self-styled brand of “poor music for poor people.”  I haven’t yet met a release of theirs that I didn’t appreciate, and I certainly didn’t see that trend stop when I picked up Ödhin, the newest release from Swedish folk/black metal duo Bhleg (who may just have the best name on the scene right now). 

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Rainbows in the Dark: Hagathorn — “Hartworld”

I’ll be honest here: I’m feeling a little burned out on heavy music as of late.  Not that there hasn’t been a long list of stellar heavy releases this year, not that I’ll never go back to it, but I just feel tired of loud and aggressive when everything outside the music world is almost unbearably loud and aggressive.  I need a break, something that does a better job of helping me escape and take my mind away to a better, more peaceful place.  Enter Hagathorn and their debut release Hartworld, which rings incredibly close to what I need.

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