Review: Chernaa – Empyrean Fire


Label: Noizr Productions

The success of blackgaze, and post-black metal more generally, lies largely in the way it helped to expand the emotional palette of black metal. Beyond the misanthropy and nihilism so often espoused by the genre, post-black metal helped carve out a space for emotions that could be described as something other than hateful – a melancholy different to the self-hatred of DSBM, and a sense of longing that is as emotional as it is spiritual. It’s these feelings that Empyrean Fire from Chernaa so successfully communicates – there is an urgency here that goes beyond the speed of the music, but instead speaks of an almost existential anxiety. It is music that is difficult to listen to, for sure; but that also tries to communicate something vital, which can – if you let it – be remarkably cathartic.

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Review: Snøgg – Chhinnamasta


Label: Self-released

That the first full-length from Snøgg is being self-released is the kind of thing that can make you question just what the music industry is playing at. I can only assume that it’s a conscious decision by the band to retain control of Chhinnamasta; otherwise, a lot of people are sleeping out there. The EPs previously released by the experimental black metal duo were superb; Abeloth was a particular favourite. As such, expectations from Chhinnamasta were high; but they have been met in style, with the album being more cohesive, more ambitious, and ultimately more powerful than what the band have released before, Chhinnamasta should cement Snøgg’s place as one of the most exciting and interesting bands in the black metal underground.

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Review Blasts: May 2019 – part 2

Well, I promised myself I’d run TSNTW on my own terms, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. And if that means I want to write two lots of short reviews in a month, then I’m going to write two lots of short reviews in a month. So, for this second installment, we have a live version of a classic from Entombed; righteous crust/hardcore from rising underground stars Redbait; Under A Full Moon’s anti-capitalist funeral doom; thrashing speed metal courtesy of Aggressive Perfector, who contain members of UK black metal upstarts Wode; and stirring, string-driven modern classical from duo Kamancello. Enjoy!

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Review: Omenfilth – Devourer of the Seven Moons


Label: Eternal Death

Whilst south-east Asian black metal typically leans towards the bestial and war metal scenes, Omenfilth, from the Philippines, instead draw heavily from the Hellenic scene of old. Looking to old Filipino mythology for lyrical inspiration, Devourer of the Seven Moons is an album that captures the same kind of darkness and majesty as the likes of Varathron and old Rotting Christ. Packed full of razor-sharp leads and haunting melodies, it is the sound of a band in fine form, full of ferocity and unholy spirit. There is an incredibly powerful force behind Devourer of the Seven Moons, as if the band were possessed by the spirits of old. This is music of darkness, majesty and sinister in equal measure.

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Review: Suspiral – Chasm


Label: Sentient Ruin Laboratories

Metal, at its most extreme, becomes a genre of seemingly contradictory forces that are reliant upon one another to succeed. As volume and speed increases, bringing with it a sense of chaos, so too does the need for control. After all, a great deal of technical proficiency and practice is needed to strike the right balance between a song sounding rampaging and it simply sounding sloppy. It’s that sense of contradiction that Chasm, the new album from Spanish black/death metal band Suspiral, is forged upon. A combination of bestial carnage and ritual-esque repetition, the album is the sound of a tightly-bound beast, straining at its chains, desiring nothing more than to be let loose upon the world to unleash devastation; and yet there is an almost religious aspect to the control displayed, making Chasm a ritual in a very real sense.

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Review Blasts: May 2019

Happy International Workers’ Day! For those of you who have this day as a holiday, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. For those of us in the UK, we have the bank holiday coming. And here at TSNTW, I’m getting back into the swing of things with a series of short reviews. For this installment, we have world-ending black/death metal; speed-laced black-thrash; a furious feminist statement; a wonderful meeting of progressive technicality and black metal horror; and beautiful modern classical. Enjoy!

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Review: Death Vanish – Cold Hammer of Melancholy


Label: Eternal Death

When Death Vanish first made itself known to the world on a split with Misanthropos, the solo project of Valder (of One Master) spewed forth music that was crude, primitive, and very direct – akin to Von, but with an even stronger sense of wrongness. On follow-up EP Cold Hammer of Melancholy, there’s been a bit of a shift, but a slight one. The black metal presented here is even rawer than on that split, somehow taking primitive black metal and making it feel even more prehistoric. This is primal, dirty, violent – and incredibly effective.

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