All posts tagged 2016

Named after the frost resistant flowers, Helleborus from Colorado, USA are a black metal duo that experiment with the symphonic black metal while adding elements from other styles like psychedelic rock. The band’s debut full length on Satanath Records, titled ‘The Carnal Sabbath’ displays a degree of hypnotic mysticism that manages to resonate deeply with the listeners. The music carries an enigmatic flavour, while not being overtly abrasive. Though there is a smooth flow to the music, none of the venomous black metal qualities are lost. Rather, the melodic and atmospheric take on the style manages to blend well with some of the more harsher qualities of the style. Some of the flairs added by Helleborus instill a psychedelic quality to the record, making this an album that is easy to lose oneself in.


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When one thinks of a black metal / punk combination, bands like Impaled Nazarene or even recent acts like Atrament and Ancst come to mind. The music of the aforementioned bands however, is a bit different from Germany’s Bait, who recently released their EP ‘Sunburst’. Bait’s vision of a black metal / hardcore union gives equal weightage to both sides. The way the band mixes these styles is a fresh and interesting take on this hybrid sub genre. Usually, the anti establishment views of punk rock is mixed with black metal nihilism to produce a scathing sound that focuses on high speed and punk flavored riff work. Bait on the other hand, also incorporate some of the atmospheric and dissonant elements of the black metal genre to produce a well rounded mix.

Bait Sunburst

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When industrial metal meets black metal, the results almost always sound diabolical and it often invokes images of a dystopian future ruled by the machines. So when The Electric Hellfire Club guitarist Ricktor Ravensbruck teamed up with Julian Xes of  Kult of Azazel to form a industrial black act called Wolfpack 44, the sound the band would be pursuing became quite obvious. What wasn’t obvious however, is how evil and demented the music sounds. The band’s debut outing titled ‘The Scourge’ is 45 minutes of nihilistic industrial dissonance with heavy, Satanic black metal vibes to boot. Describing the music on this album as demonic would be an understatement. Every track on the album is unrelenting in it’s intensity and seldom lets the listener catch his / her breath.

Wolfpack 44

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Usually I am very wary of bands that use synth in metal and try to avoid such bands as much as possible. But the horror themed doom metal band Blizaro is a band that has won over me and my criticism of synth usage. Returning after a period of 6 years, Blizaro make a spectacular comeback with their second full length ‘Cornucopia della Morte’. The band’s unique mix of doom metal with soundscapes that one would find in old school horror movies is refreshing and the progressive leanings of Blizaro only adds to the uniqueness of the sound.

Blizaro Cornucopia Della Morte

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Poland over the years has become the hub for quality death metal which often features influences from black metal. Heretique is no exception to that rule and with ‘De Non Existentia Dei’, the audience get blackened death metal that does not hesitate to show off a few frills. The take on the style is quite modern and the band manages to maintain a level of dark intensity throughout the record. This combination makes the album a highly enjoyable affair and one that does not compromise on any of the core black metal or death metal values to achieve that enjoyability.


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