Northern Isolation


Special Hurricane Irene Edition!

This hurricane sucks. I’m bored. Here’s reviews.

Teitanfyre-Morbid Death’s Sceptre

Country: Russia (Pskov)

Label: Ridge of Death

Year: 2011

This is the release I’ve been waiting for. This thing fucking slays. This release is devoid of bells, whistles, or bullshit. Teitanfyre instead relies on straight ahead black metal riffs, tasteful yet destructive drumming, and vocals that for some reason or another remind me of Sakevi from GISM more than anything from the black metal realm. So much of black metal has come to be represented by the extra shit people throw into the mix that records like this have become an endangered specie. Hopefully more bands like Teitanfyre can restore this fading glory and set a higher standard for black metal worldwide.

5/5

Svargaroth-Harvest the Last Souls

Country: Egypt (Cairo)

Label: Self-Released

Year: 2011

The sad thing about this new wave of black metal from the Muslim world is that, no matter how good it is, a lot of people are still just going to look at it as a silly novelty. I mean, they kind of bring it on themselves. Look at the cover of this record. That does not exist in Egypt. Now, I’m in no way qualified to make this statement as this is only the 2nd Middle Eastern black metal record I’ve ever listened to, but musically, there isn’t much worth venerating. On this one, the song writing is pretty solid. The drum machine used on this record sounds fucking awful. Like, I’ve never heard a drum machine sound so horrible in my life. The vocals, not through any fault of the singer himself, sound horrendous. Luckilly, it’s only 3 songs long (and one of them is an intro) so this very novel offering doesn’t last long enough to make you completely insane. Miss.

2/5

Mara-The Underground

Country: USA (Detroit, MI)

Label: Self-Released

Year: 2011

This isn’t a black metal record. I’m not sure what this is. Spooky industrial? There’s moments of very linear guitar/drum music on here, countered by waves of wobbly electronics. There are seconds where it sounds like black metal might happen. In the strict sense of the phrase, it doesn’t. This is kind of like the soundtrack to nightmares I used to have as a little kid about getting left at the grocery store. I am very unenthusiastic about this record. Mara broke up recently. I don’t really care. No more of this.

1/5

Glass Coffin-Laying Waste To The Kingdom of Light

Country: USA (Kentucky)

Label: Self-Released

Year: 2011

As the proprietor of a one-man black metal band, I have something of a soft-spot for others who do the same. This is not an example of this. This is an example of a one-man band I like because the songs hit me in this weird spot that makes me wonder what the hell is going on. J has found this bizarre approach to putting forth old school black metal (think Hellhammer or early Bathory) but with weird little personal effects, like blues scales. It’s also really nice to find a band that isn’t undergoing a severe personality crisis, as most of black metal today seems to be. Glass Coffin knows what works and works with it.

4/5

Dynfari-Dynfari

Country: Iceland (Reykjavík)

Label: Self-Released

Year: 2011

I’ve got to be honest, I’ve never heard a self-released project sound so bombastic in my life. This is the auditory representation of watching a fleet of viking longships coming to rip off your face and the faces of the people you love, then sell the faceless loved ones into slavery. In other words, this is a pretty serious release. And hell, there’s no more appropriate place for black metal to come from than Iceland, if Bathory or Burzum are to be believed. What separates this from the old guard is the Icelandic penchant for droning ambiance, something that is highly visible in their folk music and something that is completely unavoidable in Dynfari.

5/5

Denial of God-The Red Terror

Country: Denmark (Sønderborg)

Label: Horror Records

Year: 2011

Ah, the lost heroes of Danish black metal. The Danes got slighted as black metal grew to international prominence, presumably more comfortable with their rep as home to King Diamond. But the inherently incestuous nature of Scandinavian culture is an enduring one and, while Nortt seems to be the band from Denmark everyone thinks of first, Denial of God are hands down the most enduring and, dare I say, most skillful. Only downside is their very strange sense of aesthetic, which teeters on the realm of King Diamond/Dimmu Borgir (capes, tophats, that kind of shit). This EP certainly doesn’t measure up to their magnus opus, The Horrors of Satan, but for a band that’s been around 20 years and has only released one full-length album, those are some pretty big fucking shoes to fill. That by no means makes this a bad record. Denial of God prove once again that just about everyone in Scandinavia does black metal better than the Norwegians.

4/5

Caruos-Metempsychosis

Country: France (Rouen, Upper Normandy)

Label: Werewolf Promotion

Year: 2011

Before I say a single thing about this band, I have to share a strange thing I noticed while looking up the album info on this one. Check out homeboy on the right.

uhhhhh….

???

You’re tearing me apart, Caruos! Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, the album itself. WHOLE lot of bass noodling on this one. I’m pretty sure black metal isn’t about fretless bass at all. These guys hail from Normandy, leading me to believe at least some of these songs are about Norman folk custom which are pretty fucking bizarre. Aside from all of the weird bass slides and that I can’t stop imagining their drummer in pants/shorts zipper convertibles and playing in front of a shitty picture of the San Francisco skyline, this album is a half decent synth enfused sort-of-folk black metal record. To be honest, there are a lot of records that sound like this that I’d rather listen to.Good if you’re really into folk-black metal.

3/5

Blodsband-Gammelnordiska Besvärjelser

Country: Sweden (Skåne)

Label: Self-Released

Year: 2011

This is one of the most frantic black metal releases I’ve reviewed. Leave it to the Swedes. The vocals are completely out of control. Every track on this record outdoes the one before it. And the wildest thing about all of this, this is the 2nd full-length release Blodsband has released in the past 6 months. I have yet to hear the first one, “Det Eviga och den Döde”, but it’s likely that after hearing this one, I will. I’ll probably review it too. And I’ll probably give it a really good review. Again, one of my top 5 records of 2011, without a doubt.

5/5

Akitsa-Auprès de la Mort, Triomphant!

Country: Canada (Montreal, QC)

Label: None Shall Defy

Year: 2011

Now that Xasthur is dead and gone and Jeff Whitehead is probably going back to jail for beating and raping his girlfriend, Akitsa is kind of leading the way for the wall-of-grim approach the black metal (the best band that doesn’t feature Dominick Fernow, that is). Akitsa deviates from the tradition of unending blast beat and indistinguishable vocals/instrumentation on this release by actually writing a song that are slower than 300 bpm (BLASPHEMY!). The final track is a synthesizer opus which, honestly, I’m getting pretty fucking sick of. We listened to Daudi Baldrs. We don’t need anymore black metal synth jams. Overall, it’s an EP so literally one song could ruin it. 2/3 of this record is pretty good so hey, why not?

3/5

Arckanum/Contamino split

Country: Sweden (Mora/?)

Label: Carnal Records

Year: 2003

One from the vaults. Arckanum has a new record coming out next month so I figured, why not go back and find a random old Arckanum release I’ve never heard and pick at it. This wasn’t a very good release to do that with, but hey, we’re here, might as well go for it. This record came out before Arckanum started being the fastest one-man black metal band on the planet, so you have here a kind of midpoint between Fran Marder and ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ which, in my opinion, are two pretty big milestones. Unfortunately, Arckanum only offers up 1 track on this split. The other 3 are by Contamino, who aren’t the worst band in history, they just sound like every other band in history, but abridged highly. They command a majority of this split and their contribution clocks in at a mere 6 minutes. Not the greatest, I’ll just stick to Arckanum records from now on. Wait, was that just a wookie noise in the closing track? What the fuck is going on here.

3/5


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hey, write TEITANFYRE instead of TEITANBLOOD in the end of Teitanfyre review. Cheers ))

Comment by Demons

HAH! I made the same mistake 15 times.

Comment by northernisolation




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