Filed under: Reviews | Tags: Abstürmer, Addaura, Aetherius Obscuritas, Kilju, Moonfrost, Theudho, Waning
A few days ago, I was thinking about how angry I always am when I do these reviews. I was thinking about how positivity when approaching these records might be a nice change of pace. Constructive criticism might actually help some of the weaker ones get better. I had all these thoughts and than, shortly afterward, I had a second thought. “Fuck that.” New year, same old angry bullshit. I have been incredibly lazy with this post.
Abstürmer-Abstürmer Nuclear Hell
Country: Canada (Calgary, AB) or Norway (?) There seems to be some confusion/heavy posing.
Released: 6/6/1966 (but actually sometime this month)
This band is a joke. Apparently in Canada, having a fake black metal band is still very hilarious. Only difference is, these guys accidentally are a real band who can really write songs that don’t suck. To be honest, this Absturmer EP kind of sounds the way I wish Behemoth could sound, because Behemoth are a fucking joke. A stupid Polish joke. But in any case, Absturmer are ACTUALLY a joke, but still kick out some super frantic blackgrind. They are also fond of bikes, cats, and short shorts. I’m expecting a message from the members of this band threatening me for not buying into their “hilarious” facade like the rest of the internet has. At least I like the record.
Label: Self Released?
If you read the Finland part of Lords of Chaos, you will have at least heard the word Kilju before. Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind apparently didn’t do any research into what it is (fermented sugar and yeast. Sounds disgusting, especially because all the tutorials I’ve found seem to include plastic buckets). This band takes the formula for blackened death metal and twists it around a bit. Gone are the Dissectiony hyper riffs. The recipe on this record calls for more isolation between the influences. It’s almost as if two bands are playing at once, which I have to say, I don’t totally hate.
Country: Switzerland (Solothurn)
Label: Gravity Entertainment
Ah Switzerland. I can always rely on you to produce extreme metal that makes me extremely uncomfortable. This record helped me come to the conclusion that black metal probably should never progress. This album is fantastic, to be sure. But, like so many bands that get their records reviewed on here, there is nothing here that cannot be found elsewhere. This stands as a testament to the genre, that experimentation does not always denote progress. This is deeply familiar, yet it does not prevent it from being extremely good.
Country: Hungary (Szigetvár)
I knew this was all too good to be true: three generally positive reviews in a row? Unthinkable. As should be expected, the fourth release to work it’s way on here this month brings us back to a familiar tone: the tone of horrible black metal making me fucking furious. Ok, this maybe isn’t horrible. The vocals are definitely horrible, not to mention the singer at times has a heap of trouble keeping up with the music, something that overdubs appear to be powerless to correct. And while we’re on the subject of the vocals, how many fucking effects are you going to pile on one vocal track? It’s like the first time I used garageband and I decided it would be fun to record my vocals and put a million effects on it to make it sound funny, except these guys decided that the world needed to hear that. The music itself isn’t awful, if not vanilla as far as black metal goes. But my fucking god, those vocals really do fuck it up for me.
Theudho-When Ice Crowns the Earth
Country: Belgium (Ghent, East Flanders)
Label: Aurora Australis Records
As an American separated from the culture of fringe weirdos in Europe by a big fucking ocean, I forget that most of Europe can legitimately lay claim to viking heritage as a result of those raping seafarers basically running amok across the continent for 200 years. I throw this record on here primarily for that aesthetic link, for this is not a black metal album. Moments of this album remind me of about a million other bands that sing about being vikings. But no one of them sounds exactly like this, making this, in a way, the perfect viking metal album: bits of Amon Amarth, bits of latter era Bathory, bits of Unleashed. Who really gives a fuck about anything else? This band gets a big fat F- for originality, but let’s be honest here: who really gives a fuck about that? There’s something delightfully saccharin about a band who’s elements you can recognize almost immediately in their sound. This record hits my viking sweet spot.
Addaura-Burning For The Ancient
Country: USA (Seattle, WA)
Hey atmospheric black metal bands. You all have the same “atmosphere”. It’s called “uneven production”. All bad or all good, pick a side.
Waning-The Human Condition
Country: Sweden (Gothenburg, Västra Götalands län)
Label: Antonym Records
This is violently unappealing. This record reminds me on some level of the more melodic side of early 2000′s metalcore, but with the vocals of latter-era Dimmu Borgir. I don’t need to be reminded of what I thought was super cool when I was a sophomore in high school and this band, I have concluded (at least from this record), serves only to do that. Unfortunately for Waning (should they ever hazard to give the slightest shit about what I have to say on here, which I doubt they ever will), these connections date their sound to a very specific time: 2003. Dark fucking times (notice that I said “fucking” and not “medieval”).