Negură Bunget - Beautifully Haunting
Now I just had the added experience of listening to this amongst a rainstorm while driving and maybe that covered some of the weaker spots on this album, but I have listened to this multiple other times as well and still enjoy where it's coming from. I love the musicianship of this album and the haunting black metal shrills that are drowned out by the furious drumming and guitar playing that just goes full speed. This is not the most technical or talented album. This feels like a young band that was able to find a better than average producer to mix this album in a way that elevated what they were going for. It's not perfect by any means.
I can really feel the, "throw it at the wall and we'll see what sticks" vibes but in my opinion more of what they try at least sticks well enough to make me continue to come back to this album and not want to turn it off by any means. That doesn't make it memorable, but something in this works for me when i'm in that kind of mood. Though, the songs do have a hard time to get going. I forgot about the first minute of song 2 (II), being just skippable but then it starts to get into the song with a more folky vibe that I actually enjoy. But that also is another thing on this album, it's only 4 songs that makes up a total of 53 minutes long. This isn't a doom epic so 15 minute long songs in black metal is a bit off for others but I liked it here. Each song changes quite a bit you could probably make this one long song and it would probably feel the same.
I don't know why I like this, because when I think about it more it's not something I would normally go to but I can see myself falling asleep to this or just having it play in the background without wanting to turn it off. There are a bunch of transitions that are oddly smooth without noticing you're still listening to the same thing so when I put it on I easily forget what I put on but it still is enjoyable when actually paying attention as well. Easy to zone out too for me.
Genres: Black Metal
Underground record worth looking for
This is an amazing black metal album. It takes you to a place. That place is somewhere I don't understand, definitely a dark vibe throughout the album. This is an album is not on Spotify where I get most of my music from however i found it on youtube and listened to it there then had to find a copy I could download. Seriously this is a dark boding album, that doesn't always sound Black metal. There are heavy influences of black, but I also hear alot of doom and folk in this as well. If you're interested in something very atmospheric and takes you to a dark place this will do it.
I have known of Lurker Of Chalice through Leviathan, or Jef 'Wrest' Whitehead, saw some documentaries on him and the american black metal scene and was hooked. I never listened to this album before but fell in deep within Leviathans work. You can hear the darkness, the depression, the sadness, and everything that he feels within this. I wish I could find lyrics to this because some of his vocals are so quiet i'm honestly not sure if they're lyrics or just groans of pain, but if they are lyrics I want to know what he's saying to get that more connection with this. Very talented.
Genres: Black Metal
Old School heavy metal Lordi, a parody version of the metal it seems. This was overall a fairly fun record. Not a big fan of the skits here, they're the boring radio DJ skits with a joke on how this album is so demonic it's summoning demons. Really nothing new to say here though, they're a band that's been around forever and still have a bunch fun doing it. Something you never take too seriously, but can still bang your head and even sing along too.
Genres: Heavy Metal
Appreciated, Cult following Black Metal
This is what I used to think of with Black Metal. The loud driving drums with blast beats, undeniably unique black metal guitar work, undertone of low screeching vocals. This is the kind of album I would have listened to back in the early to mid 00's and then just put away remembering why I don't listen to black metal. This is not for me. If this was the only album of it's kind I would consider this a bad album, but there is a following for this style of music. I can hear there is talent here, and that there is really good overall sounds but nothing grabs me and keeps me involved. I keep falling out of this album when listening to it, for a few riffs and melodies I get drawn in but that only lasts for so long.
I actually was beginning to like the song Stupet, it had a good interlude with fun guitars. There is an unbridled anger that goes on for a bit too much and then takes a step back and pulls into a slow motion shot to watch as the anger erupts. You still feel the anger, just at a distance which I like but this only lasts for a bit before it becomes repetitive. It doesn't feel cohesive, there's no melodic transitions for any of these changes, it just tends to go on for way too long then turns the speed up or down but doesn't feel like much else changes. The end of the album was the worst part of that for me as I tried listening to the end a few times and I always just tune out, there is nothing that holds my attention at all.
This isn't a horrible album. I still give it decent marks, because it never did make me want to turn the music off however once the music was over and it was quiet I honestly didn't notice a few times. It's not a slog to get through, just entirely unmemorable for me. I can continue to put this album on but I will never remember I put it on, maybe this would be perfect study/homework music because it was actually decent as short drive listening music for background noise.
Genres: Black Metal
Better Production Values, Still Got It
I'm not a fan of too much production value in my Black Metal. I want it to sound like they picked up their microphones and instruments out of the trash and recorded by playing back to a tape from a static filled amp. This isn't quite that, they found a bit of money to find decent guitars and an actual recording studio. This is still pretty good. I first listened to this album while on a mountain hike in the middle of winter with snow falling all around me. Fit perfectly, if only their was a bit more static involved to feel like the snow really hitting me with enthusiasm.
This is a great album. Immortal still has it into their 5th album and 10 years. They're such a uniquely sounding black metal band, that although they're are black metal through and through you can still hear the melodic tones in this one. I love melodic death metal a lot and though, as I stated earlier, I prefer the low-fi production for my black metal it works really well here. The melodic death metal is a change of pace that I welcome. The melody isn't progressive, it's not trying something new to take you somewhere else, it implants you right where you're sitting and puts you into a mesmerized state that you just want to sit back and enjoy. It takes away the atmospheric elements of nature or symphonic elements of horns and string instrumentation and just lets the guitar alone do it's thing to create a soundscape to fall into.
This is a definitive change of pace for Immortal that I haven't heard before from them or really since. Very unique album along my black metal library that I will be returning back to for more melody that I didn't know I needed.
Genres: Black Metal
Over Produced Blackened Avant-Garde Metal
Enslaved is an early starter in the scene forming in 1991 amidst the Black Metal revolution in Norway. Now I haven't heard any of their earlier stuff, only later. These guys definitely stand out to that sound. At least on this record, it does not sound like a Norwegian Black Metal band from then. This album did release in 2003, and my late 90's- early 00's black metal is a weak game and I know that many of the older acts who release during this time also had some weaker albums. This is not a bad album but I won't be coming back to this. This is too avant-garde, or progressive, for a black metal mood and it's too black metal for a progressive metal mood for me.
For a black metal album, this is way too cleanly produced. I miss the time of old when the records were made in a cold dirty basement with sub-par equipment. At this point, they're so glossy and overproduced the instrumentation is so clean at times I wonder if it was done by a computer. Listening to this as I write, Queen Of Night, begins and it feels like Opeth or another folk/prog metal band. I'm into it, but then the black metal screams come in with completely different battling instrumentation going on in the background. I hear a lead guitar giving a solo while a rhythm guitar is giving a really cool progressive melody that eventually becomes repetitive and grading. And now an almost Depeche Mode like gloomy singing. Then back to fast beating guitars with the black metal vocals. This is a perfect song to talk about this album really, as it's all over the place and I am not a fan.
It's like a mash up of 3 or 4 good songs being played at once, if I focus one aspect at a time I enjoy it quite a bit. They're vocals keep me involved, the guitar work is super fun, the drums are driving, but together they don't feel like they belong. I would give this album an even worse rating, but I feel there is still talent and worth listening to. I can imagine there are those that find this to be one of the best, but for me it's talent wasted on overproduction and bad songwriting.
Genres: Black Metal Progressive Metal
An Unfortunately Deferred Experience
Emperor is a name i've known for a long time in the Black Metal scene. I even absolutely love Ihashn's solo project. Then why has it been until now to fully check out Emperor's stuff? No idea, but i'm glad that i'm doing this challenge to go through albums I probably would have never listened to. This album is probably perfect, and I have listened to it non-stop over the last week and enjoy every minute of it. This also being 2020, it definitely holds up. Black metal has a way of doing that since it's in a world of it's own.
Anthems to the Welking at Dusk just fits everywhere. Listened to it driving, sleeping, walking around and just everywhere in the background. Doesn't work the best as just plain background music since it can suck me in and then I forget what I'm doing or I forget what I'm listening to and a softer more ambient part finishes into a loud screeching part and i'm scared a bit. Both not exactly negatives. First album of my challenge I really want to give a 5* but I have just started listening to it and may just retroactively go up later.
This is what I feel like Black Metal should be. I love the symphonic elements, and the dark spooky vibes were just pure bliss. I can't even come up with imagery for this album, but I still enjoy it. Some times it feels spacey, some times cold, some video game soundtrack, almost always a sci-fi/horror vibe. Looking forward to hearing more of this.
Genres: Black Metal
Not sure what I expected
So, this is the Drudkh I've heard about. Well I've listened to it. Very atmospheric and folksy.
Fading is a soundscape of birds chirping in some woods or a forest. Interesting start for black metal. By putting birds happily chirping instead of vultures or some other detesting screeches it really takes me out. I enjoy some ambient environmental music, but this is such an odd place to start for black metal.
Summoning The Rain is too literal but at least feels more like black metal. It's fine, the guitars seem too epic sounding and big then I would have liked to fit for what should be a dark boding sound. Maybe i'm too close minded but this feels like too many different styles mashing together that don't work for me. Drums feel too samey and think they would fit very well in like a bad Slipknot song. I don't understand drums too well, but it's noticeable to me when it's dundundun tahtahtah the whole song it really gets irritating.
Glare of Autumn is the where rain was summoned for apparently. Love the concept and use of rain, but wow that's a bit tongue in cheek for black metal. Probably my favorite song on the album if had to choose though, the ambiance actually feels sad. The guitar work and drums get a bit samey here as well but at least it seems to belong here and doesn't overcome it's welcome too much. I still don't like the percussion here either, i'm really getting a Slipknot vibe where they just pound on the trashcans and metal pangs throughout.
Sunwheel interesting riff. I can't quite grasp where I know that from, I get like a traditional folk song vibe or something. I'm too focused on trying to figure out what that riff is, until about 4 minutes in the other guitar comes in like an 80's guitar solo. I really like the folk parts of this song, I would love to hear when it actually goes almost gypsy quality with it's Pagan roots more. There's just too much going on elsewhere to really get into it, alike the rest of the album if they took out the black parts of this and just went Pagan Folk Metal this could be something special.
Wind Of The Night Forests is epic black metal in a good sense. This actually feels cold and empty as it should, until it hits the odd 80's guitar solos again. Why are we putting these in here? If the guitarist wants to play solos get a different band for that, or make your own record. It sounds good but playing Van Halen's Panama over a black metal vocalist is a gimmick that doesn't work for me. At least it ends like i'm about to go on an adventure in an interesting way.
The First Snow is last track. Atmosphere at its peak here, I actually got lost in this. For a while, then I snapped out of it when it dragged on and nothing happened. You could've easily cut this song in half. It's not a bad song, nor a bad way to wrap up this mess but it's 9 minutes of the same 30-40 second loop. It's beautiful and you could let yourself fall into it, but after the marathon that was this album it was terribly noticeable for me.
Overall, this albums not the worst but there was too much that seemed out of place to take me out of it. In metal I want to fall in and let them take me on a journey whether it be in a dark cold night as black metal tends to, or get me involved in a story that folk metal leads me on, or any other genre. This album leads me down a path then puts a purple elephant on the side to distract me while i'm still flowing down the river. This is not for me, I can see why some would enjoy this if they can ignore or accept the random guitar solos and very repetitive percussions but I can't.
Genres: Black Metal
Well this was a ride I don't know why I never got to. Dimmu Borgir was my first black metal act. As I have mentioned elsewhere Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia was my first black metal album. After listening to CoF, I had an urge to listen to PEM again and it still held up in my opinion then noticed Enthrone Darkness Triumphant was next on my list and was looking forward to it. Wow, what a change in direction in 4 years that these albums had. PEM took away the more symphonic elements and went more straight black metal leaving out a bit of the melody this one had.
I've listened to everything that Dimmu Borgir has put out since Puritanical and was always a fan. Now, it's been a few years so I will definitely be going back to them but I need to listen to their early stuff first because I am very impressed. The melodies and atmosphere they put in this is amazing. This is cathedral black metal during a blizzard at night. The instrumentation fits so well, the keyboard and even organ work (even if just using a keyboard's organ tone) does so well I don't understand why more acts don't do this. Beautiful. I don't believe they're trying to scare anyone with this like other acts do, but I'm not sure what they're going for because it's still cold.
A sensation of helplessness, as if your body is already frozen but fear has left you and you're at the acceptance stage to let death wash over you to take you away. That's my description. You want to die at peace but you are being tormented by the cold. The sweeping keys are almost uplifting at points while the guitars and drum work pummel you into a coma unrelenting to let you drift away. Dimmu Borgir has done an amazing job here and looking forward to anything else they put out and going back through their discography and finding so much more to love.
Genres: Black Metal
Where did this come from?
I have never once heard of Deströyer 666 before doing this review. I still don't know much about these guys or what they're trying to play. This is a very unique and different style of black metal. In my opinion this is way more thrash then black, if there was a middle ground genre like Blackened Thrash Metal these guys would be the fore runner. If there is anyone like this I don't know. The closest thing I could think of was Vektor but they are way deeper into thrash then this is. I am definitely not that into much thrash myself but for me this is a really good album. Honestly I feel it deserves a more 3.75 star rating but since that's not possible and I see that so far the rating is on the lower end of the spectrum (without any other reviews as of this writing) I go for the 4.
The album starts off more black metal and the second half feels more thrash. Oddly enough, I actually liked the second half a lot better. Lone Wolf Winter is now placed in my favorites, such good heavy riff song. The beginning felt like it dragged on for me too much and didn't feel like it really knew where it was going until it got to that latter half and it just went full thrash speed hard rocking good times music. Still had the black tinge to it, but it felt more natural in the overall production of the music.
I wonder if this is an album that is more for the thrash fans then black metal fans. As a Black Metal album, is this even highly regarded in the community or is any of their stuff? If this was more my style I would be curious and to delve deeper but it doesn't hit me well enough to put effort into this while my other blacklog piles up. For a black metal album I really don't expect to be banging my head or toe tapping so this just gives me weird vibes. Good album, but hardly atmospheric for black metal.
Genres: Black Metal Thrash Metal
Deathspell Omega is another name stay in the BM scene that I have heard over the years but nothing stuck out. This album is a horrible offender too me, very bland. When I think of Black Metal I think of a cold, dark void of an atmosphere that should suck me in and drown me with despair or other feeling of emptiness. This drowns me in boredom and apathy. I have recently heard of this bands controversies and have been trying to read up on reviews of the band and this album to possibly get another point of view of this album. I even read up on the satanic lyrics and prayers even come off campy and cheesy for me. Nothing in this album feels demonic, it feels too try hard.
This is not a horrible album either, nothing is so blatantly bad I need to turn off as I am listening to this again as I type but I can't find anything to pull out of this. This is background black metal if there was one, but not for atmosphere or driving music or anything. I listened to this once while waiting on an oil change and almost forgot I was even listening to anything. Like a musical score for a video game or movie where things are happening on screen that could use a soundtrack but nothing too compelling to forget what you're doing. This could be good sleeping music or reading music for me. It's doing really well as music to write to, but as Blessed Are The Dead Whiche Dye In The Lorde plays I am more interested in the spelling of 'dye' in the title. Why that choice? I also just noticed how 'whiche' is spelled. Apparently that's an obsolete version of which. Going for an 'old' feel for satanism? I don't think Satan is stuck in the last millennium, we have enough hell on earth now to pick up on.
To say something on the actual music itself, the vocals are fine. They sit in the background like everything else. It all feels toned down like they're trying to make it spooky but it comes off to me as too passive and uninteresting. The instrumentation does not feel too wild for I've heard others refer to this as avant-garde, which I can believe that may be something DsO is going for.
There is an entire scholastic case study to find here within this album and I should make this a 5* for that but I can't. I don't have that much interest in it. I'm going to move on to something I can actually get lost in sonically instead of whatever they're actually trying to do with this. At this point I am listening to the title track and..... got nothing and walked away. Back on Jubilate Deo is where I feel they could've had something. This feels so unconventional and even more out of place. If they made an album around this at least it would be more memorable to me. I just can't finish this again, i'm going to go do something else now. Eh
Genres: Black Metal
Godfathers of Symphonic Black Metal
Cradle of Filth has been a band I've only known since Nymphetamine, and that was probably my first Black Metal album of any kind. It didn't resonate with me and besides hearing stuff from these guys off and on never really was all that interested for one reason or another. I really don't know why I never went back and listened to their older stuff like this one. This is the album I always had pictured in my mind of what Black Metal was before I ever really listened. The first album I did listen to was Dimmu Borgir's Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia and though that album and this one Dusk... and Her Embrace are both symphonic death metal there's still a big difference in sound between them.
Dusk... and Her Embrace is so much more powerful then I had expected going into this. I'm not sure why I've had a negative connotation about these guys, but I have and it kinda hurt my experience going into this album. This is like a haunted forest in a snow storm. The other albums I've listened to for The North's 2nd Decade challenge have been way more atmospheric and you can live in that open ambient space. The ambiance in this album full of pounding moving drums and unrelenting guitar rifts. There's not a bunch of down time in this album which is a pleasant change of pace for everything else. Even Dani's voice helps keep the story moving along nicely. Even when the songs do get a bit 'slower' they still move a story along. There's always something around the corner such as a wolf's howl that keeps you guessing and engaged in.
Everything is good in this album. I'm not sure why, but I can't give this a 5* rating. It feels like it is missing something to me, maybe it's an album that I feel won't stay with me. I've listened to this a few times, and even have wanted to go back and listen to it again a few times more for pleasure before writing this review but I have this feeling like the rest of the bands discography that I will remember it fondly but rarely ever put it on. There's nothing earwormy (for lack of a better real word), that sticks out and urge me to look it up again and listen. It's really good though, and makes me when I have more time to really dive into the rest of their discography and see where they go from one of their earliest records until now.
Genres: Black Metal
Seperating the Man From The Music
Burzum. This is a difficult review to start, as an album untainted it is a necessary experience. I would have loved to go into this album entirely blind knowing nothing about what I was getting into. However I've seen various documentaries on Black Metal, the scene, and Varg (Burzum himself) and I wonder how that affected my listening experience. I can push certain political and criminal affiliations aside to a point. However, when you know how much effort he and the rest of the early Norwegian Black Metal scene put into their art you have to take notice and really dive into what they were trying to do and how they accomplished it with the way they record, live their lives, and just be black metal.
I could tip-toe around the controversy of this man and the music that came from it but I have to say for me it gives me more of an appreciation of the music. The Norwegian Black Metal scene including Varg is a Youtube/documentary rabbit hole that is fascinating to go into. I really don't know if I would listen to any black metal at all if I didn't get gripped into these stories. I have found no other genre of music to have such a definitive interesting story as the black metal scene has and can really be experienced by listening to specific albums that uniquely created a sound. Burzum - Filosofem is the last of that uniquely definitive sound in my opinion. It feels like a closing statement of a generation that lends itself to so many others.
Experience this first, unlike I did, then do yourself a favor and learn your history on this scene. This is an emotional ride, and for me I have a really hard time separating myself from the haunting slow fuzzy sounds of this album from the story. I have listened to this album many times and I am truly closing my eyes and trying to decipher every note, every screech, every emotion that fills this record. I don't understand it, nor will I try to, but I have my personal connection toward this album that works for me. 4 long tracks that just fly by but halfway through the 25 minute run time of 5th Rundgang Um Die Transzendetale Saule Der Singularitat I definitely notice it. The other songs are around 8 minutes long and I never even notice the time, but once I get half way through this one it does start to take you out of it. It's not a bad song, but after about the half-way mark you really do start to notice the repetition it it.
I can't even do a track by track review, because by doing so does not give the cohesion of this album justice including the 25 minute epic that would unfortunately be skipped midway through. It is a very particular naturally intended low-fi sound throughout. With very simple, possibly cryptic lyrics screeched through a bad microphone with fuzz. It's dirty sounding, there's nothing clean about this record. It has not been over-produced to clean out any imperfections. When you hear this and know that every instrument was delicately played and placed exactly when and where he wanted it you just let that take over. It is beautiful, and disturbing. It is warm, and freezing. A must hear experience for any music lover.
Genres: Black Metal
Blut Aus Nord - The Work Which Transforms God
Ambiant Cold Stormy Night
Blut Aus Nord has been a name in the metal scene that I've known for a long time. I have checked in on them from time to time and never found anything that I liked before until I listened to the most recent album 2019s Hallucinogen. The boding dark melodies that were on that album honestly made it for one of my favorites of last year though I did just recently listen to it at the end of the year so didn't end up on my best of lists but retrospectively I could probably put it up there. It just fit so well in my opinion. The Work Which Transforms God is very different speed then that, but why shouldn't it be it was made over 15 years ago. Things and people change.
The pros: Any and all of the ambient slow quiet parts are just amazing, you really do feel that cold nightly atmosphere so well.
--End, Our Blessed Frozen Cells, Devilish Essence, Procession of The Dead Clowns
The cons: The bombastic beats in the louder faster parts of songs over these vocals don't grip me. Even for black metal.
--Metamorphosis, The Supreme Abstract, Inner Metal Cage
End starts off perfect. Short but sets a tone going into The Choir Of The Dead I was not expecting. It starts off very loud and explosive, but doesn't stick around too much. Which is my problem in this album, where I can also see why it can be a very well loved album on my 3rd listen since I'm already expecting it. I've already gone in the haunted house and now I know where the chainsaw man starts revving up his engine so it has it's appeal to watch unassuming listeners come in and get frightened out of their skin but his affect on me wears thin quick and looking to hand out with the zombies in the next room.
Axis, nothing memorable with this one. I am listening to this album again and I passed over this song honestly not even realized it played through, must've just transitioned from The Choir really smoothly. The Fall is another wonderfully beautiful ambient track, and smooth and deserted.
Metamorphosis is black metal through and through and the first non true instrumental track that I was starting to enjoy besides the vocals. Feel like they're going for the Mayhem vibe here but it doesn't fit the tone of the song to me so takes me out.
The Supreme Abstract is an interesting one. There's a subtle haunting humming/whispering that I want to enjoy, and if they made an album around that I may have really came around to it more but it really felt out of place on this album. The rest of the album feels like an abandoned farm house from like a Resident Evil game but this song feels more
Our Blessed Frozen Cells / Devilish Essence are probably my longest favorite part of this album. Devilish Essence is an ambient outro for Our Blessed... and is back to being beautiful and as the song titles say almost frozen and a devilish essence.
The Howling Of God, this song alone is Resident Evil 4. Takes me back into that game so hard, I'm just waiting for someone to yell at me in Spanish and chase me. The eeriness of walking around in that game and hearing the odd screeching the people make in that game when you're in the castle and have the monk-like Los Plagas doing their rituals in between running in and out of the wilderness.
Inner Metal Cage after having a good moment with the last song, I come to another song taking me out of the moment. Best I can get is if X-Files had a crossover with a Law&Order-like crime drama. It's not terrible but the guitars get me out of the cold and into a court house where an Alien killed his cheating wife's lover.
Density is 18 seconds of silence? I put my volume on max and didn't hear anything and was perplexed more than anything.
Procession of The Dead Clowns love the name and the song. Ends on a very high note in my opinion. Long, drawn out, and exactly what I want in my black metal.
Overall after listening to this album again while typing this down my rating has gone up a bit. 3 to a 3.5. Still not an amazing album but better then the first few times, I can see this is already a grower on me with the more ambient tracks really making me love those songs but the bad out of place wierdness that is The Choir Of The Dead, The Supreme Abstract, Inner Metal Cage, for me take me too far out. Maybe If I make a playlist with just End, Our Blessed Frozen Cells, Devilish Essence, The Howling Of God, and Procession of The Dead Clowns and play some Resident Evil I would find this to be a perfect night but as a whole this album is not cohesive enough for me.
Genres: Black Metal
I saw them live around this point at Rockfest and it was amazing! They played a lot of the same songs as that's on this album and those that they did I still feel the chills from hearing them on here. They didn't play many sense it was a festival and couldn't stay on for what this album shares but man am I envious of the people that were there for this recording. Volbeat can command a crowd really well and it shows on this album, now I'm not a huge fan of their main discography or even most live albums in general but this one holds a special place for bringing back to a great day of drinking, partying, and rocking out with the best of them. Definitely a show to see, but if you can't you should listen to this and hopefully you'll better understand why Volbeat are someone to keep an ear/eye out for.
Genres: Heavy Metal
After first rough listen I was not a fan. This is not the same equilibrium I'm used to listening at all. The genre is listed as thrash metal, but not sure if that even fits. It's not horrible, but not what I was expecting and don't want to listen to again, but i will to get a better understanding of what they were going for. The songs are so varied, from some with pseudo rapping and clean vocals without the classic folk melodies I'm used to from them. I was excited hearing the renegade single, but not so much path of destiny with the butcher sisters..
Genres: Trance Metal