Elegiac – Black Clouds Of War

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Label: Hatework Propaganda 

The rate of releases from one-man black metal act Elegiac is certainly impressive; what’s more impressive is that, among the horde of splits, EPs, and albums released since the original 2014 demo, there’s barely a bad song to be found. Latest album Black Clouds Of War continues that trend of consistency, unleashing an hour’s worth of pagan nihilism and misanthropy over ten tracks. This is raw, hateful black metal that brooks no compromise, offering no mercy and expecting none in return.

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Elegiac – Rise From The Ashes

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Label: Self-released

Over the course of the past few years, since release of Elegiac‘s first demo in 2014, the one-man black metal band have been steadily carving out their own identity. Whilst earlier records were very much those of an act testing the boundaries of their sound and, to some extent, finding their feet, later records have seen Elegiac assert their sound and style. That is evident on latest album Rise From The Ashes, which is is a prime demonstration of Elegiac’s aggressive, misanthropic brand of USBM. Following in the raw footsteps of previous album Edge Of ReasonRise From The Ashes is vicious and uncompromising.

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Elegiac – Edge Of Reason

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Label: Self-released

USBM one-man act Elegiac are releasing music at a faster rate than I can keep up with; since the original demo in 2014, the band have put out a further ten releases, including two full-lengths. That’s an incredible rate of releases, even more so conspiring there hasn’t been a bad one yet. Second album Edge Of Reason keeps up that trend, this time venturing in to repetitive, raw black metal territory. And even if it doesn’t show the same rate of improvement previous releases have, it’s still a step ahead of most of the rest of the black metal underground.

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Wormskull – Demo 1

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Label: Self-released

This does exactly what you’d hope for on a blackened metalpunk demo. Despite containing just 3 tracks and lasting a mere 7 minutes, Demo 1 by American duo Wormskull is a real slice of nastiness, sure to result in banging heads and raised fists. There’s nothing especially clever or sophisticated about it, and nor should there be. Metalpunk often works best when stripped back, focusing on filthy riffs and vicious vocals, which is exactly the case here. Rabid and dangerous, this is how metalpunk should be.

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Elegiac – Spiritual Turmoil

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Label: Self-released (digital, cassette) / Narcoleptica Prod. (CD) /

Since releasing his initial demo in 2014, one-man USBM act Elegiac have been incredibly active. Since that November 2014 release, sole member Zane has released two EPs, contributed to four splits and one compilation, and has now released his first full-length, Spiritual Turmoil. The title is well lived up to; this album embraces the raw DSBM sound and mindset that has been lurking within many of Elegiac’s previous releases, though as would be hoped for given past form, there’s more to the album than just that. Even so, it’s a harrowing, cold journey, full of sorrow and desolation; exactly what you’d hope for from a black metal album with such a title, really.

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Elegiac / Helvete – Split

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Label: Sacrificial Sounds

In some aspects, this split could hardly be more trve if it tried. The band names and logos; the song titles; all that’s missing is cover art of a shirtless guy in corpsepaint in a forest. But musically, both Elegiac and Helvete offer something far more interesting than typical one-man black metal fare. Instead, the sense of “trve” applies here in the way that both acts pull black metal in to whatever direction and shape they desire, and at times almost leave the genre behind. Such a mindset is worthless if the end result is unlistenable, indulgent garbage however, but thankfully, both bands have instead recorded sides that are worthwhile both in terms of music and attitude.

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Elegiac – Obsidian Moon

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Label: Self-released (CD/Digital) / Red River Family Records (Cassette)

It’s safe to say that, amongst the hordes of solo black metal acts, there’s plenty of individuals who are content to do little more than recreate Transylvanian Hunger and Aske in their bedrooms and basements. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But sometimes, you get the sense from a band that, even if their sound is undeniably rooted in the classics of raw and one-man black metal, there’s still a sense of ambition and a desire to grow lurking within the music. Such is the feeling present on Obsidian Moon by Elegiac, a one-man band from California. As worthy as the EP itself is, it’s hard not to feel that it’s part of a journey towards greater things, and that whilst it is clearly rooted in the cornerstones of the genre, there’s an awareness of and willingness to embrace new ideas.

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