Album Review: Order of Nosferat — “Vampiric Wrath Unleashed”

Modern black metal demonstrates an immeasurable amount of variety — in songwriting, genre crossovers, range of influences, melodicism, technicality, and so much more. Every year brings something new and exciting to the genre. This is all well and good, but any chance to revisit the simpler roots of the genre (and do it effectively) is certainly welcome. With lo-fi buzzsaw riffs and atmospheric dungeon synth, Order of Nosferat ring in the winter solstice with their latest offering of undead evil, Vampiric Wrath Unleashed.

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Initial Descent: December 18 – 24, 2022

Order of Nosferat

I can just about see the ass of 2022; its hindquarters just ripe for the kicking. Alas, that also means we’re down to the few remaining releases for the year, so Initial Descent is going to be a little light this week. And what better way to celebrate the holiday season with some nasty vampiric black metal? So first up let’s roll out the fangs and stash the garlic for Order of Nosferat, followed closely on the heels by Vampiric Tyrant. Yessiree, there’s something in the mead over there at Purity Through Fire, so maybe we can balance it out a bit by…nope, looks like this new release from Grymmstalt is going to be purely black and gnarled as well. Well, let’s lean into it then. Grab your corpsepaint and your black and white cover art and we’ll cover the metal bases throughout the week.

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CANTO: Mizmor, Written In Torment, Cradle of Filth, and More

Mizmor - Cairn

At least this is another short work week.

  • Having only seen Mizmor once, and feeling the need to increase that number, we’ll start with some recently announced live dates. An upcoming August tour, mostly on the other side of the country as myself, will feature material from Cairn. Make that happen if you can.
  • Looks like Cradle of Filth have switched over to Napalm Records. I can definitely see that match working out, so I’m not going to question it. As a reminder, Cradle of Filth are on the road the next few weeks if you feel like adding another show to your schedule.
  • True black metal legion Hats Barn have set June 24th as the international release date of Y.a.HW.e.H, their sixth album. That will be out through Osmose, and purchase information is available here. We’ll check back when the first track drops later this month.
  • The Devil Wears Prada have announced summer tour plans, with Stray From The Path and Dying Wish. Those dates are in August and September, and tickets can be acquired here.
  • Written In Torment have set the release date for Black Command, their fourth album. That will be out on July 4th through Purity Through Fire. Check out a new track, “Contra Passo”, right now.
  • One additional signing to highlight today, that being Opponent joining the Solid State Records roster. To mark the occasion, they released a new video for “Betrayed”. Give a watch below.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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CANTO: Chevelle, Hooded Menace, Knotfest Los Angeles, and More

Today was a long, weird day. Probably because the world is on fire, but that’s just speculation.

  • We’ll start with the recently announced Chevelle tour dates. Those are U.S. dates that run from September 1st through November 21st. Naturally, this tour supports the recently released new album, Niratias, which is out now through Epic Records.
  • Slipknot have announced Knotfest Los Angeles, which will take place on November 5th at Banc Of California Stadium. That will be headlined by, well, Slipknot… but also Bring Me The Horizon, Killswitch Engage, among others. Tickets go on sale this week at this location.
  • Black metal collective Aussichtslos have set September 30th as the international release date for Einsicht. Their second album will be available through Purity Through Fire on CD, with a vinyl run coming sometime in the future. Check out a new track, titled “Flächenbrand”, right now.
  • Hooded Menace dropped a new video, and that sounds like the ideal way to wrap up Monday. “Those Who Absorb The Night” is taken from The Tritonus Bell, which is set for an August 27th release through Season of Mist. Pre-order it here, if you feel so inclined.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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Album Review: Hænesy — “Garabontzia”

The more I listen to black metal, the less I find myself caring about about things like rules or categorization. I’m not looking for black metal to change my worldview, or adhere to a set of parameters that maybe made sense over 20 years ago, but mean little now. I want the music to align to what I need at a given moment, and whether it does that via second wave lo-fi buzzing guitars, symphonic sweeping tremolo lines, or post rock shoegaze, it doesn’t matter in the end. I don’t need it to educate me, I need it to carry me – a weird thing to say about black metal, but there you go. And Garabontzia, the latest from Hungarian band Hænesy does that nicely, channeling post black metal whipped through a haze of reverb and ambient keyboard to deliver a spacious wave of noise that crashes in ever softening reverberations.

Are we still talking about black metal? Does it really matter?

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