Necrophobic – Mark of the Necrogram (Death/Black Metal)


What’s that sound? It’s the sound of a black metal tank coming in full speed. I’m not going to lie Necrophobic has been one of my favorite bands last years (I honestly didn’t listen to them much until a couple years ago) and Mark of the Necrogram was my most anticipated album for 2018. Thing is with having really high hopes it can crush your expectations completely leaving you unsatisfied and probably give the album more backlash than it might deserve (as I did with Origins album last year). However with the case of Necrophobic and Mark of the Necrogram it’s done something hardly any albums do. They live up to my high expectations and more! Hell here I am halfway into the album when I start writing this and I am ready to say this is the best album Necrophobic ever released. I will let that one sink in for me a bit first though since this album needs to grow on me a few months, let the hype die down a bit, before I go and say something crazy like that. Because you know what? Necrophobic got a discography worth dying for. Their full-length debut The Nocturnal Silence is considered one of the best extreme metal albums ever and even their “weaker” (I still think they freaking rocks) albums such as Womb of Lilithu and Bloodhymns would demand huge sacrifices to pull off.

From the self-titled opening track Mark of the Necrogram to Undergången this album never stops delivering. Be it guitar riffs, blasting drums or Anders incredible vocals nothing is left to chance as they all perform as if possessed throughout. This is almost 50 minutes of pure dark magic. I just need to add that the news of Unanimated making a return and releasing a new album later this year is the only album within the black/death mixed realm I can see being as good as this. That’s a big maybe too as I got no clue how well Unanimated will perform in 2018. We are only two months into this year but I hereby set my first perfect score of the year. This one will be hard to beat and we already got a strong candidate for album of the year. Hell I am quite sure Mark of the Necrogram will be an album the metal community talks about years from now. Sweden are off to one of the best black metal starts ever with Watain, Tribulation and now Necrophobic putting out some of their best releases ever. The black king that is Necrophobic is back and there will be no prisoners.

Label: Century Media Records
For fans of: Dissection and Unanimated
Release date: February 23rd, 2018
Favorite song: Tsar Bomba
Score: 5/5


Ataraxy – Where All Hope Fades (Death/Doom Metal)


The album title Where All Hope Fades really capture the sound of Ataraxy. Their death-doom mix is one gruesome experience that brings horror along with every hammering bass rhythm or when the deadly vocals kicks in. This is an album fans of Hooded Menace, Krypts and Undergang will enjoy listening to. One Last Certainty and the epic dirty sounding finisher The Blackness of Eternal Night are the two tracks I will take with me from this album as they superb. What brings the score down a bit is the fact I think the other four tracks don’t have the same bludgeoning force in them. Still a good album but it could be even better in my opinion. There is something dark brewing from Ataraxy though and I am sure they will only get better and better.

Label: Dark Descent Records
For fans of: Krypts and Undergang
Release date: February 16th 2018
Favorite song: The Blackness of Eternal Night
Score: 3/5

Auðn – Farvegir Fyrndar (Atmospheric Black Metal)


I have a problem dear readers. I missed my chance to see Auðn live in Copenhagen about a month ago. It’s even more of a problem because when listening to Farvegir Fyrndar I get mad at myself for not going. Farvegir Fyrndar is a great album, as one could expect from the Icelandic band from their awesome self-titled debut only a few years ago. Auðn’s raw yet balanced mix of black metal is haunting and captures the listener. It’s got everything you look for in an atmospheric black metal album really. It’s in all honesty hard to beat their debut album since that is one of the best atmospheric black metal albums released these past five years. I think Farvegir Fyrndar is just as good though. They got for the same path as they did with the first album but why shouldn’t they? I thought the same way on Harakiri For The Sky’s latest album Arson. If it aint broke don’t fix it. They are only two albums in as well so there is no need to, they can just fine tune some things here and there to carve thei way upwards the black metal hierarchy.

Auðn are proving to be one of the best Icelandic metal bands out there by now and if you haven’t heard them before then now is the time. A great sophomore album and I can’t see Auðn slowing down either.

Label: Season of Mist
For fans of: Winterfylleth and Dynfari
Release date: November 10th, 2017
Favorite song: Eilífar nætur
Score: 4/5

Magoth – Anti Terrestrial Black Metal (Black Metal)


Germany might not be most known for their black metal scene (even though they sure as hell got one) but more for their powermetal and thrash scenes. However with bands like Thulcandra, Nargaroth, Endstille, Falkenbach (I know they are mainly viking/pagan) and Dark Fortress leading the way it’s always worth looking out what the scene got cooking. And guess what? There is a new band to follow from Germany with their aggressive onslaught of black metal. Magoth is a name you better keep in your memory as their debut Anti Terrestrial Black Metal is one of the best black metal debuts I’ve heard since starting this blog.

That being said I am a huge Dark Funeral fan and you know what? This album sounds a lot like the early Dark Funeral albums. I am a simple man at times. Music doesn’t have to be groundbreaking for me to like it, it just needs to sound good. Sometimes maybe even, depending on my mood, sound like an influence from one of my favorite bands. Other than that I hear Nazghor, Nordjevel and Rimfrost at times. All of this is some really good stuff in my world. These are bands known for producing quality black metal so there is definitely worse bands Magoth could take after.

All in all this is a superb album right up my alley. I’ve come to listen through this album time and time again since I first heard it and that’s a quality stamp for me. Anti Terrestrial Black Metal is a wicked debut album but I am sure some will slate it for being too unoriginal. I am not one of those people though, I love what I hear and I want more of it.

Label: Independent
For fans of: Dark Funeral and Rimfrost
Release date: June 30th, 2017
Favorite song: Metal Fortress
Score: 4/5

Vvilderness – Devour the Sun (Post-Black Metal)


I found this gem in my youtube feed the other day. I haven’t listened to an post-black metal album for quite some time but damn did Vvilderness make me want to have a long session with only class atmospheric music. Because that’s what their album Devour the Sun offers. Class atmospheric post-black metal. Only thing keeping this album from hitting the higher ratings is the fact I think the start lacks a bit compared to the second half, which is just superb. New Earth and Aftershine brings you 18 minutes of some of the best atmospheric music I’ve heard in a really long time. Bringing post-black, atmospheric music and folk elements together into one entity is not entirely new but Vvilderness does it well and Devour the Sun is an album from late 2017 you might have missed, like me, but shouldn’t have. Fans of Harakiri For The Sky and Alcest will do well to check this one out.

Label: Independent
For fans of: Harakiri For The Sky and Alcest
Release date: 6 November 2017
Favorite song: New Earth
Score: 4/5

Horna – Kuolleiden Kuu (Black Metal)


Horna, one of the longest running Finnish black metal bands and by far the most active one having released a whopping nine full-length albums, 19 splits and Kuolleiden Kuu is the 11th EP. Add live albums and compilations to that. Now that’s a lot of black metal arts coming out from one band! Kuolleiden Kuu is simply put 16 minutes of classic Horna black metal. They know how black metal is done and got no reason to change their sound. Fans of Horna will definitely enjoy this EP and that’s good enough. A solid album that might not generate any new fans for the horde of Horna but it will please the ones they have.

Label: World Terror Committee
For fans of: Sargeist and Behexen
Release date: 4 January 2018
Favorite song: Viattomien Silmin
Score: 3/5

Scaphism – Unutterable Horrors (Death Metal)


As far as death metal goes Scaphism has released an album that checks every box for what an old school album should be. You got the guitar shredding, death metal growls, gore and horror themed metal produced in a neat package. It’s hard to not headbang to the Unutterable Horrors Scaphism unleash upon the listener. It’s easy to digest and it’s 28 minutes of classic death metal you’re most definitely going to enjoy but probably not remember. With the opener Gruesome Unmentionables and Unutterable Horrors (what a name) Scaphism were off to a really great start and it’s the best track on the album. They don’t really lose focus and throughout the album they lay down the hard hitting catchy melodies. A perfect example of an album rated good, there is really nothing wrong with this album and it’s catchy enjoyable metal but it brings nothing new to the table and is easily digested (for good or bad depending what you’re after).

There is a lot to like on Unutterable Horrors and if you really like death metal like me this is worth looking into for sure. However if you’re more picky with your choices then there are better albums out there.

Label: Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
For fans of: Obituary and Malevolent Creation
Release date: 12 January 2018
Favorite song: Gruesome Unmentionables and Unutterable Horrors
Score: 3/5