Think of those final chapters in Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic novel The Road (or the far inferior film adaptation if you must) where the characters find themselves upon the shore absorbed in grey. Think of trees so weak that even the touch of a beam of pure sunlight of light could disintegrate them into ash. Think of ocean waves so proud and majestic they refuse to give into the silence of an annihilated world around them as they rumble and crash into the end of their journey. Think of the sorrow of what humanity has done to this august planet. Think of the mighty rebirth of what will be when She shakes this disease (and claims Her plastic ;) ).
Using an effective and emotive combination post-hardcore/metal, doom, sludge, and black metal Hope Drone create a cyclonic atmosphere of a world gone to ash. Cloak of Ash is a miasma of despair, yet amid this there is a certain quality of beauty to be found upon its grey shores. It’s an interesting beast to say the least. Check it out! Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
For how much metal delves into histories of their nations I’ve always been rather disappointed that the Native Americans are so poorly represented. Sure, there are songs about the Native Americans and even bands that capture the atmosphere of the spiritual aspects of Native American culture, but until now nothing I’ve heard has been full on Native American; capturing the history, the nature, and the spiritualism. Having a large part of my heritage being Native American (I’m of Seneca descent and grew up in NJ, a Lenni-Lenape region) I’ve always had interest in Native American culture, in particular the music. Naturally there’s always been a desire to want to hear the traditional music and tales blended with my favorite form of music, heavy metal (obviously). So you can imagine my glee when I saw that our very own Irmelnis had posted on her Facebook wall a link to an album preview for Heart of Akamon by Nechochwen, a full on Native American metal band. Not only did they come from a label I’m really starting to come to admire quite a bit (Bindrune Records) who hosts some amazing artist like Panopticon and Falls of Rauros but also integrate Lenape and other Eastern Woodlands Native American history and lore into their music. Damn straight I went right to the Metal State inbox to see if we had gotten a promo of the record. And oh yes we did, and oh yes am I more than content and have bought the entire discography already. Where has this band been my whole life? Read the rest of this entry →
Since I received the promo for the debut record from Myrkur I believe I have hit a record for the amount of times I have written and then deleted my review. This is by far from saying that there is little to say about the album. In fact, there are lots to say about this groundbreaking record. I just didn’t want to fall into cliché over-emphasizing that the record is a one-Woman project nor under-emphasize a solid female voice in black metal. I didn’t want to beat the dead horse of picking on the kvlt elitists I’ve seen saying not such nice things about any black metal that isn’t Mayhem or Burzum (and then pretty much becoming no better than the elitists themselves). I also didn’t play into Myrkur’s image which forgoes sexuality but delivers some much-needed femininity because it kept turning into a diatribe for a more balanced female voice in metal and that would be better left as a separate rambling and not a review. I wanted to say how much I love the shamanistic and ethereal nature of M but that kept becoming a love letter to the finer facets of modern black metal and over-emphasizing Garm from Ulver’s involvement in the creation of the record. I wanted to quote one of my favorite The Big Lebowski lines, the one where Maude talks about ‘vagina’, but it just felt hammy. I would have liked to touch upon some of the alien and almost Lovecraftian nature of the heavier moments but just wasn’t able to clearly get my point across.
There was a lot I have to say, but lack of an angle I could commit to and some writer’s block just made me say fuck it. However, a record this good should not go unrecognized regardless of my difficulty in writing up a review nor did I want to spend so much time on something and not produce anything. So I decided to just shoot some words from the hip and post it up as one of my ever-so-famous Tales From Bandcamp posts to let you readers out there an opportunity to discover this great entry into the pantheon of black metal. Give it a listen, share it with your friends, toss some money at the artist, and let us know what you thought. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
Posted by ChristopherMammal
So much good metal has come out during the year to date that it’s impossible to listen to all of it. In black metal I took a long time to select the 15 best albums I’ve heard this year, then narrow that down to the five I like the most up to now.
Those who know me won’t expect my top picks to be old-school, aggressive, scrotum-busting tirades of fury and deafening thunder. Because my taste is influenced by my love of prog rock and other non-metal, I tend to prefer the melodic, symphonic, progressive or atmospheric forms of the various metal genres. As for my taste in black metal… hey, blame Dimmu Borgir.
Posted in Album Reviews
Tags: Arktos, atmospheric black metal, avant-garde black metal, Beautality, Black Metal, Carnival of Flesh, Ebonillumini, Einfallen: A Tale Ov Torment & Triumph, Mammal’s most recommended new albums, Mother Augusta, Post Atmospheric Black Metal, Stories from a Fallen World, symphonic black metal, The Burning Sun of Despair, The Pulse of Mourning, Thurisaz
One modern trend I will probably never tire of is the astral themed black metal records. Agalloch with The Serpent and the Sphere, Vattnet Viskar with Settler, Krallice with Years Past Matter, and so on. It seems that each time a trippy post black metal album uses the stars as inspiration an album its scope and berth are as wide as the glittering sea above us. Keep the Astral Metal coming please.
Catching my eye on the Bandcamp homepage with a beautiful photo taken by the Hubble Telescope I was easily compelled click to preview Isolate by Australian band Mesarthrim. What I did not expect was that it would cut so heavily into my Ghost listening time; an album I’ve been frothing at the mouth for and was released today.
Dear Astreria! This album is outright phenomenal. Heavy doses of reverby keyboard notes and major keys give the music such a triumphant sound that is as big as its subject matter. There’s that overwhelming sense of positivity that you get from power metal but without all the cheese, superfluousness, and…. ummm.. well, power metal. Nearly every moment here is just so uplifting. The ambient moments are equally relaxing and introspective and add so much to the ponderous nature of the songs. They perfectly compliment the mystical nature of the core of black metal.
This is a monumental album and should be given some love and attention asap. Best part is the band is only asking for a single dollar for this beast. You really can’t go wrong taking a chance here. This album will transport you to a far away place, give you peace, and when you return you will be a happier person. As always, tell all your friends about the music if you like it and let us know what you though in the comments. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
Posted by Reggie
Release Date: 10 Jul 2015
Length: 69 Minutes (is that a coincidence?)
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
Studio Albums: The Principal of Evil Made Flesh (1994); Dusk…and Her Embrace (1996); Cruelty and the Beast (1998); Midian (2000); Damnation and a Day (2003); Nymphetamine (2004); Thornography (2006); Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder (2008); Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa (2010); The Manticore and Other Horrors (2012).
Location: UK Read the rest of this entry →
Posted by Reggie
Label: Walpurgis Night MMXV
Release Date: 15 May 2015
Genre: Black Metal
Length: 46 Minutes
Previous Album: The Serpent Creation (2011)
It isn’t every day that I decide to sit down and willingly listen to music saturated with black metal blast beats or listen to music even slightly blackened by any signature black elements or anything relating to “black” and “metal” in the same sentence. Even if it’s a little bit black metal it’s sort of like asking a strict vegetarian to try this all-beef burger because it’s so good and they’re sure to like it. I’m not a vegetarian, but you get the picture. Black metal and I tend to not get along well, though I have much respect for the genre. It is intense and in most cases quite extreme. What’s not to respect about that? And, there are some blackened/near black/mostly black/partly black metal bands I do like, but they are usually the ones that most “true” black metal fans don’t like. Anyway, before I decided to review Forgotten Horror, as you might have guessed bears its roots in black metal, I gave the album no less than 8-10 listens so I could be honest with my feelings. Read the rest of this entry →
Right off the bat, the most striking thing about Vattnet Viskar’s sophomore album would be its bright and happy cover art. If you didn’t know any better you could imagine that an album of cheery electronic music lies within it. However, Vattnet Viskar is a post-metal band and that photo isn’t as cheery as you may think it is. If you are from my generation (the 80s) or earlier you surely remember the Challenger mission. Things didn’t go very well and spaceships exploded and lives were lost. The photo in the cover art is inspired by a photo of Christa McAuliffe while she was on a ‘Vomit Comet’ training simulation about a year prior to being tragically lost in the Challenger launch disaster. It’s a quite a surreal and contrasting pic. So happy and at a peak in life only to have it all soon violently ripped away from her. But, still kind of life-affirming in a way. Now, does that cover art look a bit more metal to you?
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 6 March 2015
Length: 54 minutes
Genre: Extreme prog/Viking/black metal
Studio Albums: 11 previous
Location: Bergen, Norway
It’s rare that something can execute being so violently melancholic and at the same time life-affirming and uplifting. Last time I can think I’ve had those feels hit me this hard simultaneously was when I first saw the first ten minutes of the Pixar film ‘Up’. It’s quite the enigma of emotional cocktails. Ghost Bath masterfully pulls at heartstrings with the aptly titled Moonlover. Whirlwinds of chaotic black metal peppered with lush soundscapes of post-rock all meld together to create this unique, indescribable sound of heart-wrenching beauty. It’s just something that has to be heard to be understood.
And with that, I’ll leave this post short and let you all have at it. If you fancy bands such as Deafheaven than this is mandatory listening. All others, do give this masterpiece a shot. Be prepared for some feels. Let us know what you think! Peace Love and Metal!!!!!