1: Deathspell Omega - The Synarchy of Molten Bones

2016-12-20 04:06:58 by johan

The Synarchy of Molten Bones Deathspell Omega have always been a rewarding band to listen to, you never know what you'll get, you might not even be 100% happy with it, but ultimately it's a worthwhile endeavor. So when they once again out of the blue announced a new release expectations were immediately dialed to 11. From the moment you hit play there is no doubt what this is, there is simply never mistaking DsO for any other band. The pace has been picked up significantly from 2012's Drought which is a welcome development and there are hints here and there of their, in my opinion finest moment, 2007's Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum. The one nagging aspect is that I do at times feel like this isn't nearly as groundbreaking as some of their earlier efforts, but that doesn't stop this from being another top notch effort.


Deathspell Omega

2: Antaeus - Condemnation

2016-12-19 07:57:17 by johan

Condemnation I'm often conflicted about albums released late in the year which I immediately like, always makes me question if it will have staying power. This however is Antaeus, so staying or not, power it surely has. With eight real songs clocking in at about 40 minutes there is no filler to speak of here, this just rips from the moment you hit play until the end. I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the borderline inhuman skills of session drummer Menthor, his unrelenting blasts adds an order of magnitude to the existing chaos. This is nothing short of a spectacular album.



3: Spektr - The Art To Disappear

2016-12-18 06:52:49 by johan

The Art To Disappear Spektr probably has more detractors than fans; straddling black metal, industrial and ambient you're bound to never fully satisfy any individual fanbase. With The Art To Disappear Spektr have made their most accessible album to date (not that this necessarily means much in the given context), there are long periods of fairly standard fare black metal, then inevitably punctuated by ambient interludes and industrial noise. My main complaint is that it's a bit too polished and clean feeling, a nice dirty dose of chaos would probably have put this album over the top.



4: Inquisition - Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith

2016-12-17 05:48:13 by johan

Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith Given the progression on the last two Inquisition albums my hopes for this one were high to put it mildly. So while they deliver a quality album with which I can have few quibbles it just doesn't reach all the way. It feels very much like the clear and obvious successor to 2013's Obscure Verses for the Multiverse but breaks little new ground. Now don't get me wrong this is a solidly good black metal album, but the last two albums have just had that something special which I'm not getting here. That said, Inquisition treading water is still better than 60% of everything else out there.



5: מזמור - Yodh

2016-12-16 03:35:06 by johan

Yodh Another new find for me מזמור play a doom tinged black metal, or a black metal tinged funeral doom. The five tracks meld the two genres perfectly as to never lose your interest despite the long runtime of each (none clock in under ten minutes). This is an album of woe and despair, perhaps one of the best ones I've heard in many years. This has quickly become my goto album for those dark nights when you won't go gently ...



6: L’Homme Absurde - Monsters

2016-12-15 04:25:22 by johan

Monsters L'Homme Absurde might take the prize for the most disturbing artwork on my list this year, the music is not nearly as disturning however. It's atmospheric post black metal done about as right as it can be done. As expected most of the album stays in the mid tempo range however they do venture out on occasion with some blasting passages that keep things interesting and give this a black metal edge on the otherwise post black metal album. Sometimes the small things make all the difference.


L'Homme Absurde

7: Behexen - The Poisonous Path

2016-12-14 04:34:41 by johan

The Poisonous Path Behexen are nothing if not consistent, one can quibble about which the best (or favourite) release is, but the releases are quality black metal. So chances are if you've enjoyed their previous releases you'll find things to like here too. The flip side to consistency is that it gets predictable and might lose your interest. Luckily for most of the time Behexen is interesting enough to keep it interesting.



8: Ash Borer - The Irrepassable Gate

2016-12-13 04:31:48 by johan

The Irrepassable Gate I've heard Ash Borer's name tossed around the past few years but the little I had heard could never hold my attention long enough to make them worthy of further investigation. After having sat through The Irrepassable Gate I might just make time to go back and revisit their past. While this album doesn't necessarily bring much new to the table the mix of raw black metal with atmospheric passages works well enough to make me want to reach for another spin.


Ash Borer

9: LVTHN - Eradication of Nescience

2016-12-12 04:26:12 by johan

Eradication of Nescience Like Forlet Sires, LVTHN is another band I had not previously heard of prior to randomly running into them this year. With this album we're back in familiar raw black metal territory, albeit generally slower than my normal fare. While they try to keep it fresh blending old and new sounds, after a while the songs have a tendency to meld, and I sometimes wonder if I've not heard that riff before; then just as you're about to give up they toss in something completely new and once again you're hooked.



10: Forlet Sires - Journey Towards Ruin

2016-12-11 07:08:17 by johan

Journey Towards Ruin Journey Towards Ruin is Forlet Sires debut and a fine debut it is. Mostly straddling the rawish and post black metal, they mix in some doom elements to keep it interesting. While there are some questionable moments (the female vocals towards the end of the second track come to mind), they mostly get it right. There are moments when I'm thrown back and reminded of Shroud of Despondency's debut For Eternity Brings No Hope and that is an excellent thing. This is band worth keeping your eyes on.


Forlet Sires