Northern Isolation

09/04/2011, 3:48 PM
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Book of Sand-The Bees and the Butterflies

Country: USA (Minneapolis, MN)

Label: Mouthbreather

Year: 2011

This release is pretty much exactly what I’ve always wanted from a black metal band: the perfect mix of American folk music and black metal. The fiddle is prominently featured on this record, which is another addition to the list of odd instruments thrown into black metal that create killer ambiance. The vocals almost don’t even exist and have more in common with the rushing of wind than anything human, which, in turn, gives this record a constant undercurrent of windswept Americana. This is what the apocalypse will sound like when it finally reaches Minnesota.


Disguster-Ferocious Hell Blizzard

Country: USA (Holyoke, MA)

Label: Self-Released

Year: 2011

The only other band from the Cawmenwealth I’ve reviewed on here was Panzerbastard, who were downright awful. This is not that good, but it’s miles ahead of Panzerbastard. The vocals on here are this sort of mutated birdcall that reminds me more of Seth Putnam making fun of black metal than actual black metal. This record is musically not unimpressive, though the production is so low that it’s hard to tell at times. The latter half of this record far outweighs the former, a welcome relief after all that no-production bird rape. Long story short, if muddy anti-production and vague song progression are your bag, I highly recommend this release. If not, go buy some Emperor records.



Country: USA (Chicago, IL)

Label: Sol y Nieve

Year: 2010

For the first few tracks, I was convinced I had accidentally started reviewing another blackened ambient noise project. Eventually, I discovered some drums that informed me otherwise. It’s not good when people mistake your project for more bullshit ominous tones music. As a matter of fact, I’m getting pretty fed up with this whole noise-as-black metal trend that I’ve been seeing all over the place as of late. The two things are very good on their own, they do not need to be combined, tactlessly I might add. This band actually does occasionally put a foot into the world of black metal but, when they do, it continues to sound like utter shit. For fuck’s sake, where is the integrity?


Avulse-I Am The Liquor

Country: USA (Brewer, ME)

Label: Self-Released

Year: 2011

Black metal in America is awesome because it gives places like Maine a chance to be the stylistic forerunners of the genre here. Isolated bored kids are going to be pretty similar everywhere you go and Maine is kind of just Norway minus all the Norwegians. This record, as you may have noticed, is heavily inspired by the drink, which remains a common theme throughout. This may be a joke (the title comes from Trailer Park Boys). What I’m starting to believe is that, rather than a joke, this album is a very blunt appraisal of living in Maine, especially inland along the Penobscot River where it isn’t even seasonally interesting most of the time. The songs on “I Am The Liquor” are way too short. Avulse has an amazing thing going here and it should be drawn out for all to hear. The oddest feature on here is “Kiss the Bottle”, a Jawbreaker cover. What black metal band covers Jawbreaker? What the fuck is going on?

*Avulse apparently relocated to Portland, ME.


Shitestrom-Nihil: Aeternum

Country: USA (Erie, PA)

Label: Christhammer

Year: 2011

This record wins the award for worst intro track I’ve ever heard. It’s the sort of rave techno tremolo-picking nightmare that I used to have when I drank too much. The songs on “Nihil: Aeternum” are strange, lots of abrupt time changes and what appears to be multiple vocalists. There is one oddity on here, though, which serves as this records inevitable downfall: no bass. Now, I usually am not one to judge a band for having no bass, but in this case, the cymbals are so high in the mix and the guitars so trebly, i need a big fat ass to anchor this all down for me. This lacks that. But seriously, turn the fucking cymbals down. They render this nearly impossible to listen to.


Todesweihe-Necronomicon Ex Mortis

Country: Germany (Kassel, Hesse)

Label: Darker Than Black

Year: 2011

Are you fucking serious? I’m not even going to bother. This record probably came with a press release criticizing people like me for our “obvious Jewish behavior”. It’s times like this I wish the Jews did run the media so I could make sure this never reached a single listener. Step it the fuck up, Germany.


Margg-Balkhorno Horn

Country: Iran (Sari)/Ukraine (Kiev)

Label: Margin Art Records

Year: 2011

Holy fuck! Finally! A band from the Islamic World that doesn’t suck terribly! Maybe it’s the fact that Tizagoth moved from Iran to Kiev and there’s been a Ukrainian cross-pollination, but this record is slow as fuck. Not Hate Forest slow but certainly “Quintessence” slow which is still pretty fucking slow. But Margg is a distinctive band that doesn’t really sound like one thing or another. It’s this kind of originality that is decidedly lacking in modern black metal and hopefully will slowly rear its head once more, with help in part from bands like Margg and…


Triumfall-Deaths are his Monument

Country: Serbia (Kragujevac)

Label: Self-Released

Year: 2011

…Triumfall. If I had a dollar for every single black metal song that eases you in with folk or electronic intro bullshit (I’m guilty of it too), I’d be a millionaire. Triumfall doesn’t fuck about with that shit. Listening to this single is kind of like trying to french kiss a belt-sander. Nothing to offer here except straight ahead, uncompromising black metal that kills its foes and impales the prisoners. This is the kind of release the world needs more of and as this band has only been around for 5 years now, we can hope to see more increasingly violent releases from these Serbian madmen.



Country: Israel (Tel Aviv)

Label: Self-Released

Year: 2011

Ok, new rule. Israel isn’t allowed to make black metal anymore. There isn’t a single thing about this record that doesn’t make me angry: the idiotic cover, the stupid name, the junior latter-era Emperor mockery. corny synths all over the place. Oh, and then they go and try to sound like King Diamond. Fuck you. Maybe Margg will develop nuclear weapons and blow up this horrible fucking band.



Country: Ukraine (Kharkiv)

Label: No Colours Records

Year: 2011

I like to end this reviews, especially ones like this one that are all over the place, on a high note. This is, statistically, unable to fail. As any discerning black metal fan might notice, a black metal band coming from Kharkiv is likely to involve members of Drudkh, Hate Forest, Astrofaes, Blood of Kingu, or all of them. In this case, the answer is all of them. Thurios (most famously vocalist for Drudkh) delivers his vocals once again here, for a soundscape 100% created by one Dmitriy K. who handles all instruments. The music on this is strongly reminiscent of Thurios’ main band, but is definitely less rooted in the folk traditions of the Ukraine, instead focusing more on nature. This is yet another enduring example of the Kharkiv school of black metal remaining fresh, relevant, and outstandingly brutal.


A new feature on here, here’s a list of upcoming releases that may be of some interest:

9/13: Wolves in the Throne Room-Celestial Lineage (it leaked already. I’m not telling you where)

9/13: Einherjer-Norrøn

9/13: Vader-Welcome to the Morbid Reich

9/13: Anthrax-Worship Music

9/16: Arckanum-Helvítismyrkr

9/27: Brutal Truth-End Time

9/30: Thulcandra-Under a Frozen Sun

10/4: Absu-Abzu

10/4: Danava-Hemisphere of Shadows

10/18:Tsjuder-Legions Helvete

11/1: Metallica+Lou Reed-Lulu

11/1: Megadeth-Th1rt3en

11/22: Root-Heritage of Satan

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Just an FYI: Avulse and all of the other ISL projects relocated to Portland from Brewer a couple years ago.

Comment by PH

A good call IMO.

Comment by northernisolation

No prob, everything else is right on though.

Comment by PH

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