Northern Isolation

Things. Also Stuff.
11/10/2011, 11:51 AM
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , , ,

More fucking black metal records. Some you know, some you don’t, some you should, some you shouldn’t.

Leviathan-True Traitor, True Whore

Country: USA (San Francisco, CA)

Label: Profound Lore Records

Released: 11/8/2011

Wrest is apparently an abusive rapist piece of shit, which is something that has turned me off the Leviathan in a big way. This weighs heavily on my conscience as I navigate this newest effort from one of the US’ most  high-profile black metal exports and find, much to my chagrin, that it is actually incredibly unique. I expected to be able to hone in on Wrest’s tendency to revert, possibly subconsciously, to very obvious black metal traits (tremolo picked hyper-riffs, unyielding blastbeats, etc.). But these old adornments are all but lost on this new effort. Instead we find an intricately twisting maze of wailing riffs, polyrhythms, shockingly audible vocals, and a dedication to atmosphere that only deepens the power this record commands. One of the most mature black metal releases I have ever heard. I’m fighting back the urge to delete all of this and just write “Fuck Wrest, this sucks”. But it really doesn’t and I hate it.



Country: Czech Republic (Brno)

Label: Naga Productions

Released: 11/1/2011

With melodic black metal, one walks upon the edge of a knife, especially now when elements of genres like shoegaze routinely work themselves into black metal. On one side, you run the risk of eliminating all heaviness from the record; on the other, you run the risk of eliminating all melody from the record. It is a narrow path. To say that Heiden has strayed into the former’s territory would be an overstatement. However, it dwells right on the edge. This record has undeniable elements of grimness, all of which seem very well-timed. By “well-timed”, I mean that every time I start to forget why I’m reviewing this for a black metal blog, Heiden throws in a healthy pinch of black metal to remind me. I have to say that this almost doesn’t make the cut based solely on the fact that it is hardly a black metal record at all. Additionally, my total lack of Czech comprehension makes me feel like I’m missing out on something profound. If you like seeing the far borderlands of black metal, the distant territory where this music has transformed through cross-pollination and self-driven innovation, this record is for you. If you swear by the old guard, run from this as fast as possible.


Rancid Entity-Demo

Country: UK (Leeds)

Label: Depressive Illusions Records

Released: 10/30/11

This is the dark side of my black metal demo addiction. Sometimes I find this. I can’t figure out how this record sounds the way it does. It’s as if Rancid Entity (who appear to still be in grade school) utilized every single shitty recording technique available to bring this demo to fruition. The vocals are way too high in the mix which is a shame because the guitar sounds completely demented.  This record sounds kind of like Duke Nukem music from the early 90’s. I can’t give this record a good review because, even if the songs were amazing, I’d never know. But personally, I love this record.


Blut Aus Nord-777-The Desanctication

Country: France (Mondeville, Lower Normandy)

Label: Debemur Morti Productions

Released: 11/11/2011

This is, apparently, the sequel to “777-Sects” which came out earlier this year. Somehow, they’ve managed to become even more terrifying than they were 7 months ago. Their ability to randomly throw you into what feels like a pit of unending despair somehow sharper. That being said, this release is a lot more dynamic than previous offering from Blut Aus Nord (who’s poorly translated German name doesn’t even really bug me that much anymore). There are a number of weird elements on this record that through me off, not the least of which being the repeated presence of electric drums and an eerie desert atmosphere which, at points, is almost reminiscent of Mr. Bungle’s “Disco Volante” (though that may just be cognitive dissonance). Truly out there, truly worth listening to, when it comes out that is.


Throne of Katarsis-Ved Graven

Country: Norway (Kopervik)

Label: Candlelight Records

Released: 10/24/2011

Oh Norway, our old friend. It’s been a while since I’ve given any Norwegian band a chance at all. The aftermath of 1993 can still be seen in the viking fantasy of just about everyone who listens to black metal at one point or another (myself included). Where I have praised other artists I’ve reviewed this week for eschewing the traditional black metal security blanket, Throne of Katarsis still clings to it tightly. I do not think this comes across as a fault. Though I”m not a huge fan of the bands from which Thrones of Katarsis is stitched together from (Gehenna, Skuggeheim, Myrkraverk), this record proves them to be above the sum of their parts, so to speak. Punishing riffs that rise majestically from the murky depths to pierce the soul. There’s just a little something for everyone out there.


I gave 3 5/5’s this week. I need to become meaner again.

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