Jan 18, 2023
PURE WRATH (Indonesia), album – Hymn to the Woeful Hearts, song – The Cloak of Disquiet
— A blue flame vocalist glowing his vivid tormented brilliance. String instruments bringing delicate beauty in stark contrast with the thickly textural black metal.
KVAEN (Sweden), album – The Great Below, song – Damnations Jaw
— Galloping evil black thrash packed with flying calloused fingertips and melodic glory.
DET EVIGA LEENDET (Sweden), album – Reverence, song – Retch
— The singer of Mare Cognitum is one of the best singers of the year. Darkening skies and the black ash of fury.
CHAOTIAN (Denmark), album – Effigies Of Obsolecence, song – Gangrene Dream
— Thick, monstrous, vicious death driving and demonic and twisting into massive rolling riffs.
BÂ'A (France), album – Egrégore, song – Domitor
— Tempestuous, theatrical, contemplative and landing in with an upheaval of guitars.
KATHAROS (Sweden), album – Of Lineages Long Forgotten, song – I Waged War
— A blizzard of drumming with pellets of brutality and swirling majestic wizardry. Metal made for warriors.
NON EST DEUS (Germany), album – Impious, song – Fuck Your God
— The vocalist is a slash of screaming sharp pain, wicked lyrics and the sound its own meditation.
AN ABSTRACT ILLUSION (Sweden), album – Woe, song – Slaves
— Psychedelic, progressive, electronic, and beautiful, propelled to death and black within tight gymnastics of instrumentation.
ULTHA (Germany), album – All That Has Never Been True, song – Der Alte Feind (Jeder Tag Reißt Wunden)
— Black metal that stalks in a glorious icy landscape, and you fight with a spiked battering ram. Strength, beauty, breathless building glory.
HATH (NJ), album – All That Was Promised, song – Kenosis
— Epic, cascading drama with scorched earth vocals and beautiful, tangled, snarling, vividly thoughtful compositions.
TÓMARÚM (GA), album – Ash in Realms of Stone Icons, song – Condemned to a Life of Grief
— Proggy guitar interludes, the melodic and wildly technical harmony is a majestic black melodic.
TORTURIZED (Germany), album – Aftermath, song – Ecocide
— Angular, beefy, electronic and strange. Stunning.
INEXORUM (MN), album – Equinox Vigil, song – Dark Sky Sanctuary
— Sexy frigid vocals with a clean heavy metal style in a post-atmospheric black metal with a chugging death and harmonizing pleading guitars.
AENAON (Greece), album – Mnemosyne, song – Synastry of Hearbeats
— Modern atmospheric death with experimental jazz saxophone, and retro spacey electronic creating true theater.
AETHEREUS (WA), album – Leiden, song – Son of a Nameless Father
— Tortured duels with haunting, piano and violin create an intense and lovely noodling melodic death.
DESICCATION (CA/NV), album – Cold Dead Earth, song – The Fall
— Futuristic atmospheric black metal breaking with industrial-style drumming and a blistering vocalist.
CRYPTAE (Netherlands), album – Capsule, song – Sessile
— Cryptae releases yet another surging ocean of hypnotic, raw, strange nightmares.
DAEVA (Philly), album – Through Sheer Will and Black Magic, song – Loosen the Tongue of the Dead
— Black metal and thrash and punk with a serpent vocalist that is both raw and wintry and incredibly produced.
GRIMA (Russia), album – Frostbitten, song – Giant’s Eternal Sleep
— I listened to so many records, and this just stood out. A howling beast of a vocalist that devours. A carnival of instrumentation within a romantic, bleak, screaming black metal.