Articles by Matt Daniels
The musicianship is tight and flooded with memorable moments that along with the band’s impressive songwriting show that Ascension have the ability and name to climb beyond genre leaders like Nightbringer.
Dimmu Borgir rarely fail in producing a bombastic album rife with spectacle, but perhaps can be guilty of relying too much on orchestration, which has nearly usurped the throne on this one. The lack of ravaging blackened metal and that extra bite in some tracks lets the comeback down a little.
Blut Aus Nord continue to be a band who push boundaries and obliterate conceptions within the black metal genre and throughout the ten tracks of disharmonic horror on ‘Deus Salutis Meae’ they continue to shape and shift their unsettling reality.
Tchornobog’s music is nothing short of outstanding, a swirling maelstrom of dissonance and doom, of petrifying cacophonies and tortured textures. Each instrument grows into an entity of tendrils reaching out to devour and consume, to pierce the listeners soul in order to bear witness to every emotion or event that inspires such an involved creation.
What Cradle do here is what Cradle do best and that’s tell a tale of horror. The tracks are lengthy and fleshed out, brimming with depth and intricacies, stunning solos and seductive riffs all bound together and brought to life by Dani’s evocative lyrics. For an album consisting of only eight tracks it has immense depth and more than its share of captivating moments.
This is Akercocke free of Satan’s leash, completely unrestrained and at their creative best, and not even a goat sacrifice in sight! Welcome back gentlemen. As ‘Unbound By Sin’ states “It’s been too long, too long away”.
‘Spectre Abysm’ is one of those albums that relishes the structure of atmosphere and has no interest in quick stabs of ferocity to tell its demonic story, hence the lengthy tracks and drawn-out blasting. The seven tracks on display are so crammed full of crazed old-school black metal riffage and hyper blasting that it’s impossible not to love it and there’s certainly enough hooks to keep the complainers quiet. Daemon’s song-crafting is otherwordly, passionate and utterly devastating in its density of consuming soundscapes, making the listener tumble through a cosmic journey through a really quite brilliant album.
Instead of creating a carbon copy of his epic debut the band have forged another classic to stand the test of time, proving this to be a magnificent and heartfelt return to that point where Vargatron and Vintersorg intersected. Some may have cried out when hearing there would not be a part four of the elemental series, at least not yet, but whether or not the new album is seen as a standalone or straight-up continuation of the brilliant original, fans will love and respect it as a stunning work of beauty and storytelling.
There is a cavernous, supreme sound about Tyrannosorceress, almost Sulphur Aeon-like in the way that they play, shifting from deep atonal ambiance to Cthulhu-raising fury, making the albums atmosphere feel like it’s being filtered through a cthonic void.
Matt Daniels spoke to Emin Guliyev from Violet Cold about how he will overcome the obstacles of being in a band based in Azerbaijan and the future of Violet Cold.
This is not for all. My god it’s not for all! Reader beware, this is not an easy listen. Some will love it but I sincerely doubt anyone in the black metal community will abhor it wholeheartedly. It has the right amount of raw murk to keep the Trve horde at bay and enough bleak blackened noise to get others going, whilst followers of the twisted will be in their element.
‘Futility Report’ is one of those albums that makes reviewing both blissful and difficult as really there are no words to do this album justice. There is so much staggering depth, beauty and heart that this release simply calls out to be heard. White Ward have made ‘Futility Report’ a glorious concoction of post black metal with an infusion of jazz greatness that truly turns an already slick album into a modern metal masterpiece.
‘Violate and Control’ is the auditory equivalent of being strapped forcefully to a gurney and pushed down an endless corridor of screaming, semen-throwing psych patients. The noise is here to asphyxiate you. To take you to a place of utter discomfort and hold you down until it becomes unbearable. The blend of harrowing dissonance and blast-driven metal makes for an utterly consuming and soul-piercing sensory experience.
Watchcries don’t hide behind any fancy exterior but rather strut around with bare-knuckle vigour. This is down and dirty music with all harm and hatred bared as wide as the bands gnashing teeth. They make that kind of vital music made to dive head first into a whirlwind moshpit to. Watchcries don’t so much sucker-punch you but rather full-on mallet you in the face until it’s awash with blood.
The album latches on to your body and quakes you to your core, leaving you shaken and mentally wasted, but more importantly ready to hit the play button once more. Headbang your heart out to your new favourite death metal band!
Moments fracture and seizure into a volatile state whilst others fall into a void where its vacuum consumes your being. Ulsect have showcased a deft understanding of the nauseating dread sickness that this genre evokes, piling on layer upon layer of hatred, claustrophobia, and utter inhumanity.
Hate deserve a standing ovation for this release due to its grit and ferocious transitional style, compelling themes and the damn savage nature of these ten auditory gut-blasts. One thing is for sure, don’t you dare reduce them to a mere comparison, this album has legs that’ll carry them into dominance. ‘Tremendum’ is a passionate and bold statement from a band redefining their Hate.
By the album’s end you’re dust, with eardrums suitably fucked up… and that’s really all you need from an album like this.
To say Nightbringer’s sound is distinctive is an understatement, no band on earth or in the depths sounds quite like them. With all the dread magnificence of the most chilling of bands and the revered flair of glory days Emperor, their sound is a sure-fire statement of diabolical intent making them formidable figures among the hordes.
It’s an intimate album and not just for its maker, the beauty of ‘Anomie’ and the essence of Violet Cold is that the album becomes intimate to you and I for whatever connective reasons may arise or just for the simple fact that it takes you off into a dream-like state. Whilst all of Violet Cold’s music may not be to your taste the simply wonderful thing about this project is that you can pick one that is.
This is music for the journeyman, invoking sights, sounds and smells of the bleak and downtrodden path of life, kicking up just the right amount of dust into your eyes as a sting of grimness. It’s music that tells of travelling from place to place with only a guitar slung over the shoulder and a bottle of whisky for company.