Black Metal

Artist: 
Myrkur
Label: 
Relapse

As a budding metal-head, there's nothing I appreciate more than a female lead vocalist that screams like the best of them. Not only does Amalie Bruun (lead singer, lead... well, everything except drums, Myrkur is a one-woman project, which is incredible) manage that throughout Myrkur's new album, "Mareridt", she has also managed to capture an atmosphere in this black metal album that skirts the edge of Viking metal. 

Sounds Like: 
Wolves In The Throneroom
Sounds Like: 
Primordial
Name: 
Chris Ewing
Date Reviewed: 
09/14/2017
Artist: 
Belphegor
Label: 
Nuclear Blast

Belphegor previews their upcoming album with a hard hitting song "Baphomet". In true Belphegor style, the double bass on the drums is ear blasting and just wicked. The guitars have a wicked, eerie sound and compliment yet highlight the drumming. The vocals by Helmuth are phenomenal and honestly give me chills. This is such a great song and is only around 4 minutes long. The drumming on this track is totally insane, no where near Black Tongue or Infant Annihilator but still crazy.

Sounds Like: 
Exhumed
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
09/12/2017
Artist: 
ÆRA
Label: 
Self-released

Loud vocals and grungy guitar seems to be the selling point for  ÆRA, a newly formed bandcamp black metal band from Missouri. Only 3 tracks long, this EP is explosive and worth the listen. All the tracks are 5 minutes or longer but they all are really decent. This album is very ambient but is also super heavy so it's not for the faint of heart. I really enjoyed this album and cannot wait to see what these guys put out next. The vocals are super rough and grungy, with gutturals to loud screams. The guitars compliment each other but never take full stage.

Sounds Like: 
blackened doom metal
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
09/06/2017
Artist: 
Morta Skuld
Label: 
Peaceville Records

Morta Skuld's song "Breath in the Black" is the single off the February 2017 album Wounds Deeper Than Time. This is some old school death metal right here and it rocks. The blast beats on the drums are mind blowing and its dark and gloomy enough to satisfy any doomhead. The vocals are growly and dark, no pig squealing, but they rock. The guitar and bass are just insane and compliment the drumming so well. For me this song is heavily drum and vocal focused so its important to see the guitar/bass playing a role but not taking over.

Sounds Like: 
old school death metal
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
04/01/2017
Artist: 
Valfreya
Label: 
Independent

Promised Land is viking metal band, Valfreya's newest release which has 12 songs on it. I already like viking metal and female vocals so I was already pretty excited for this album and I really wasn't disappointed. The songs are all interesting and engaging and combine both female and male vocals to create unique songs. Some have both and some have one or the other. I really enjoyed the female vocals and loved when classical instruments were incorporated into the songs.

Sounds Like: 
Nordheim
Sounds Like: 
Korpius
Name: 
Danielle Perry
Date Reviewed: 
03/20/2017
Artist: 
Zeal and Ardor
Label: 
MVKA Records

Zeal and Ardor has been described as slave folk metal, folk mixed with black metal, and more. I think the slave narrative mixed with black metal with rpm influences is more accurate. However you want to describe this album, it’s beautiful. A lot of metal albums aren’t beautiful, they’re brutal, rough, adrenaline kicking and more. But this is chilling and empowering. This metal blends so well with the folk that you almost forget that its two different genres. The rpm is not distracting or overpowering, it adds to the creepy yet intriguing beauty of this album.

Sounds Like: 
slave narratives mixed with black metal and folk
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
02/24/2017
Artist: 
Ex Deo
Label: 
Napalm Records

Of the album's I've looked at this semester, this is by far one of the heaviest. My initial attraction was for the appeal to Roman antiquity, and I was gratified when I heard the opening chords of heavy, bloodthirsty, and war-driving music. The lyrical content is based around the concept of Roman warriors during the times of antiquity, and the heavy, incessant riffs give one the feeling of being on the battlefield.

Sounds Like: 
Kataklysm
Sounds Like: 
Alestorm
Name: 
Kenny Bartz
Date Reviewed: 
02/22/2017
Artist: 
Mayhem
Label: 
Self-released

Mayhem has released a live version of De Mysteriis  Dom Sathanas and it’s fantastic. There really isn’t much to be said about Mayhem that hasn’t already been said. They’re the black metal band. For a live album it doesn’t sound distant, far away and doesn’t have a lot of crowd interference. When there are bits of crowd sound bites, it only adds to the beauty of the album. With powerful and trembling double bass and overwhelmingly loud guitars, this album rocks you to your core.

Sounds Like: 
Immortal
Sounds Like: 
Emperor
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
02/08/2017
Artist: 
ONI
Label: 
Blacklight Media/ Metal Blade Records

This album was thrust upon me by my good friend Andrew and honestly, I'm happy to have come across it. Oni's new debut album "Ironshore" is a technical metal masterpiece, mixing both the sounds of black, heavy metal, with the blustering sounds of upbeat pop and technical sound. This album features only nine songs, but each song is a different journey, and a different sound.

Sounds Like: 
The Human Abstract
Sounds Like: 
Protest the Hero