Northern Isolation

Satan Came Early
10/31/2011, 6:38 PM
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , , ,

Winter came early this year. It only seemed fitting.

Circle of Ghosts-Miserable Life Retrospective

Country: Canada (Toronto, ON)

Label: Self-Released

Released: 10/13/2011

It never ceases to amaze me how some of the best bands remain unsigned. Miserable Life Retrospective lays claim to some of the most darkly atmospheric black metal I have ever heard. I am quite partial to the unique chord structures that seem to pop up everywhere on this record, proving this band to be far more than just another drop in a sea of clones. The vocals sound like wind rushing through trees. The winter storm is interrupted briefly by a repetitive synth track called “At Plath’s Grave”. which is a refreshingly different subject matter than what one normally finds on the records reviewed on here. This all being said, I find the suicide veneration inherent on this record to be a little bit ridiculous, as I do with most releases who use suicide and misery as a primary point of subject matter. But then again, Satan and Vikings are well-trodden, equally ridiculous paths to take. And besides, Circle of Ghosts captures the ambiance of killing yourself fantastically.



Country: Germany (Gotha, Thuringia)

Label: Lupus Lounge

Released: 10/28/2011

Now, I may be misreading this, but this record reeks of “new black metal”. By that, I mean black metal records that were released in the latter half of the 1990’s and into the 2000’s. It reminds me dynamically of Immortal’s later efforts, which is by no means a bad comparison. Something about this reminds me of mid-era Dimmu Borgir, minus the synths. Something about the song structure and the vocal delivery. The most outstanding element of this record for me is subtle complexity of the bass. I listen to so much raw black metal that I rarely even remember that there is bass in black metal. But on here, the bass lilts softly in the back, behind walls of double bass and harsh guitars. In the back, yet audible. Solid shit.


Conspiracy 666-Conspiracy 666

Country: Brazil (Lages, Santa Catarina)

Label: Bosque Produções

Released: 10/15/2011

This opening track on this 2-song demo sounds exactly like a song I wrote a few years ago, except less about the Appalachians and more about whatever the fuck this song is about. I’ve always been impressed by how, when Brazilians make music, they make it times 1000. The intensity of Brazilian takes on metal and hardcore especially is something bands from elsewhere often have trouble maintaining. This falls under that yoke, but to be honest, the songs on here are a bit to sparse for me. Granted, this two song demo is a poor representation of what these songs could be. Better studio next time, boys.


Old Silver Key-Tales of Wanderings

Country: Ukraine/France (Kharkiv/Paris)

Label: Seasons in Mist

Released: 10/18/2011

Before I say anything about this, I have to point out that this band is all of the members of Drudkh along with Neige from Alcest. This is a marriage of two forces in black metal I respect greatly, but also two forces in black metal that exist outside of the realm of tradition. This record will not go over well with a lot of people. This record takes the Alcest formula and pushes it even further into the realm of shoegaze, though often still relying on black metal structure as a canvas. I dunno, this one is black metal experimentation in the right direction, where so many others have gone wrong.


Under That Spell-Black Sun Zenith

Country: Germany (Osnabrück, Lower Saxony)

Label: War Anthem Records

Released: 10/28/11

Everything about this record comes across as trite and played in my ears. I feel like this is not a black metal but, in fact, a sound collage.


Happy Halloween you dumb idiots.

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