A few months ago, I wrote an article complaining about the over saturation of old school bands in the metal scene and about the lack of the fresh ideas. After I published that article, I found myself facing an angry mob of metalheads who wanted my head on a stick. Names like Horrendous and Tribulation were brought up to indicate the fallacies in my argument. To be honest, I absolutely love these bands. Bands like Horrendous are best examples how to make use of old school ideas in a way that it doesn’t come off as a cheap imitation of the bands from the past. They provide a refreshing break from the tonnes of acts that label themselves ‘old school kvlt metal’ and blatantly rip off the bands that inspired them. Horrendous’s previous release ‘Ecdysis’ ended up being one of my favourite records from last year and now we have ‘Anareta’, trying to top it’s predecessor.
Ever since Incantation started assaulting the masses with their brand of atmospheric death metal, so many bands have tried to emulate the same. But not all of them had the knack and the result was often too much atmosphere with very little substance to back it. Finland’s Desolate Shrine are one of the few bands which has the songwriting skills that backs the dense atmospheric barrage. They’ve proved their merit with their first two full lengths and earlier this year Dark Descent Records released their third, titled ‘The Heart of the Netherworld’.
Of all the subgenres in metal, two of the most extreme kinds have always been black metal and death metal. While death metal is known for its down tuned brutality and gore, black metal deals with treble high tremolo storms and hyper blast beat drumming. Ever since the inception of these two genres, bands have been trying to blend them together, to create a sound that is both brutal and sinister at the same time. I am not talking about blackened death metal. Rather, I am talking about proper black / death metal that have been blended successfully by bands like Archgoat, Preludium, Blasphemy, Necrophobic etc. I am going to introduce you to new bands that do a solid job in bringing out the best of both genres. Both bands are from the UK and both have released their sophomore full lengths recently. Though they both play similar styles of music, there are some contrasting differences that set them apart.