Am I missing any albums? Do you agree?
Sadistik Forest – Mordbid Majesties
Am I missing any albums? Do you agree?
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
Ofermod, a name every black metal fan should know. This legendary act from Sweden have since their formation in 1996 offered the world two of the best black metal releases ever in Tiamtü and Thaumiel. It’s been five years since then and only Belfagor remains in the band. Sadly he has had quite the shaky past (which I won’t get into) but has since then focused his life on religion and music. Ofermod are to many a true act of black metal and genuine darkness with it’s music and ritualistic approach. It doesn’t just feel real it is real.
I am happy to tell you that Belfagor hasn’t lost his touch and he is back to spread the darkness once more. Already on the opening track The Alpha of the Antichrist you will hear the drums and guitar play haunting you with it’s riffs. The vocals are just as gnarly and perfect for this music as I remember it. This is evil shit right here I tell you. Funeral Mist, Watain and Ondskapt are bands I think are close but I do not really think any band out there, that I know of, delivers genuine darkness as Ofermod does. Just listening to music based on Sitra Achra (look it up) is heavy and surrounded by chaos.
True black metal is back, a cosmic journey into chaos not many band can offer but Ofermod. It’s hard to beat Tiamtü and Thaumiel but Sol Nox is a good try at it. It’s definitely one of the best black metal releases of the year, even though it might not be as good as Ofermod’s past work. They can be seen as different beasts entirely though and Sol Nox is an album any Ofermod fan will be pleased with.
Sol Nox is out now through Shadow Records.
Label: Shadow Records
For fans of: Funeral Mist and Ondskapt
Favorite song: To Dare the Tower
Fresh from the pits of hell Svartsyn are back to bring darkness onto the world of the living. For the Swedish black metal scene Svartsyn has been one of the cult bands that you know always deliver sinister mid paced, traditional black metal that we all love. Originally named Chalice and formed in 1991 it’s one of the oldest bands still going with In Death being the bands 9th full-length release. Something very few bands can be proud of. That being said it’s quite hard to fathom that Svartsyn are not known by a wider audience than they are today. Not only due to the amount of albums they’ve released but because they’ve been such an influential band.
What you will notice from the get go is that fans of Svartsyn will feel right at home here. It’s just as brutal and devastating as ever, exactly what underground black metal is about. The song-writing is on point with In Death reeking of… you guessed it death, Satanism and darkness. Fans of the purest of Swedish black metal will definitely have a great time with In Death as it captures some of the best moments in Svartsyn’s vast discography and a lot of similarity with other Swedish black metal legends Ondskapt, Arckanum, Ofermod and Craft can be heard during the album.
My favorite tracks from the album are Dark Prophet, Black Thrones of Death and Exile in Death. Be sure to get In Death and support one of Swedens best underground black metal acts. In Death is out now through Agonia Records.
Label: Agonia Records
For fans of: Ondskapt and Arckanum
Favorite song: Exile in Death
Atrexial comes from sunny Spain but it’s not all sun and rainbows over there. The band focuses on the brutality of death metal and mixes it with the elegance and darkness of black metal, blackened death metal at it’s finest. Souverain being the bands debut album.
Starting with a haunting instrumental intro you have heard in horror movies you know there is darkness brewing. The spaniards wastes no time and with The Hideous Veil of Innocence you get an onslaught of riffs and great quality blackened death metal that their piers in Behemoth would be proud of. And guess what? Atrexial doesn’t slow down and this is just the kind of brutal aggression I wanted in my music this Tuesday morning along with my coffee to wake up. This sheer aggression reminds me of Swedish black metal giants Dark Funeral or Valkyrja at times. Which is definitely music made for my ears!
Founding member Naga S. Maelström (Human Carnage and Cauldron) along with his two brothers in arms Louen (Nyctophobia) and Labelua (Ex-Ered, ex-Famishgod, ex-Abrahel) has created one of the best debut albums of 2017. There is nothing I dislike with this album really. It’s a powerful experience filled with horror, torment, darkness and death. Just the way mama used to make it. A mix of death and black metal made really well and quality songwriting that makes this a complete album. Favorite three songs on the album I would say are Catharsis Through Torment, Illuminatur and Shadows of the Nephilim.
Atrexia’s debut album Souverain is out now through Godz Ov War Productions. Also with this review I will start broadcasting the labels more at the bottom. Seing my main reason for reviewing albums is to promote the well made music from the underground it’s best to highlight the labels behind the bands as well. I hope you will like it.
Label: Godz Ov War Productions
For fans of: Behemoth and Dark Funeral
Favorite song: Shadows of the Nephilim
The Greek trio in Acrimonious have actually escaped my grasp and I only got to know about them when I saw they were going to support Valkyrja and Mgla on their tour. I am not even surprised anymore that I sometimes miss veteran bands, there is simply too much great metal to be able to know them all. Having been formed in 2003 Acrimonious is one of the older bands still kicking from Greece. Eleven Dragons is the bands third full-length release and it’s been five years since their last release Sunyata, which received a lot of praise from the black metal community.
Acrimonious plays the more standard, what you expect from today’s black metal, kind of style. Satanism and occultism is on the agenda, with shrieks and growls that gives you nightmares. The riffs are relentless and punishing, adding to that satanic feel and guides you to the depths of hell. The album is one of the longest ones I’ve listened to since I started this blog, clocking on one hour and six minutes. At first I was afraid that would make me lose interest after awhile but Acrimonious does a splendid job keeping the listener interested throughout Eleven Dragons. It’s nothing I haven’t really heard before but at the same time it’s so dark and well made I can’t help but to get sucked into this vortex that will lead me straight to hell. Acrimonious also feels like the real deal, I wouldn’t be surprised if they wrote this album while performing their black arts.
Over one hour might feel like a but too much for quite a few of you out there but don’t let the time get to you. This is fine black metal coming from the same circle of hell where Watain, Ofermod and Nightbringer resides. Eleven Dragons is out now through World Terror Committee.
For fans of: Watain and Ofermod
Favorite song: Satariel’s Grail
Oh my Satan! Been a long time since I got so overwhelmed by a new black metal act. I stumbled upon Portugese band Viles Vitae yesterday as someone recommended the band in a black metal facebook group and I thought why not look them up. I am glad I did as I instantly realize these guys are the real deal as I get hit with the darkness that is The Vortex Of Disharmony. Viles Vitae never stops and keep on giving it’s listeners sheer brutality accompanied with catchy riffs and primal vocals we all love in raw black metal.
Viles Vitae captures the essence of black metal well in IV. It’s raw, primal sound together with strong musical performances all around, dark atmosphere and solid sound quality makes this EP a must have for black metal fans all over the world. The four songs features the translation of the four basic elemental principles still used in ritual magic. Which in itself tells us this is a band that truely grasps the spirit of black metal and as written on the bands bandcamp “the death is all around, the ritual has just started”. I couldn’t have said so better myself.
Viles Vitae debut EP IV is out now through Caverna Abismal Records. Give it a listen and embrace the darkness!
For fans of: Dark Fortress and Lord Belial
Favorite song: Sunless Redeemer