I like the beats and I like the yelling: Valgrind, IIIXK, Nekus

Valgrind: Condemnation (2020) Italian slow burners Valgrind released their fourth LP ‘Condemnation’ this year; an album which, unlike the band’s career, wastes no time in setting its stall out. The approach taken here is akin to a melodic death metal version of mid-period Vader, with a vocalist that apes the Martin van Drunen style with … Continue reading I like the beats and I like the yelling: Valgrind, IIIXK, Nekus

A rising damp: Belphegor and Vader

The fault lines between black and death metal have always been a curious place. In one sense artists operating in this realm do exactly what they say on the tin; marrying the soaring melodrama of black metal with the disjointed staccato aggression of death metal. But taking a broader, historical view, it shines a light on … Continue reading A rising damp: Belphegor and Vader

I like the beats and I like the yelling: Paysage d’Hiver, Porenut, Scolopendra

Paysage d'Hiver: Im Wald (2020) After a lengthy silence, bar a couple of split EPs, pillars of raw European black metal Paysage d’Hiver return with ‘Im Wald’, which sees this artist graduate beyond the realms of obscure, half-finished demos into the world of full-length albums, with all the production values that entails. Emphasis on ‘length’ … Continue reading I like the beats and I like the yelling: Paysage d’Hiver, Porenut, Scolopendra

I like the beats and I like the yelling: Polemicist, Oci Vlka, Asgrauw

Polemicist: Zarathustrian Impressions (2019) After Satan and Lovecraft, and of course Tolkien, my boy Nietzsche is probably the most influential figure at work in that complex and ill-defined milieu that is the Philosophy of Metal. But as with any theme frequently delved into by the multitude, there is a stark contrast between surface level and … Continue reading I like the beats and I like the yelling: Polemicist, Oci Vlka, Asgrauw

I like the beats and I like the yelling: Dawn of a Dark Age, Lantern, Vengeful Spectre

Dawn of a Dark Age: La Tavola Osca (2020) ‘La Tavola Osca’ is the *checks notes* sixth studio album since 2014 from the Italian black metal solo project known Dawn of a Dark Age. Previous releases were a tribute to the six elements, each album consisting of six songs, and the first four albums being … Continue reading I like the beats and I like the yelling: Dawn of a Dark Age, Lantern, Vengeful Spectre

I like the beats and I like the yelling: Black Funeral, Convocation, Blood Stronghold

Black Funeral: Scourge of Lamashtu (2020) Black Funeral continue their quest to shed their idiosyncratic, atmospheric tendencies for the sake of furthering melodicism within raw black metal with the release of their latest album ‘Scourge of Lamashtu’. There is an undeniable surrealist quality at the heart of this album, which finds expression through the keyboards … Continue reading I like the beats and I like the yelling: Black Funeral, Convocation, Blood Stronghold

I like the beats and I like the yelling: Sadistic Drive, Sorta Magora, Walpurgia

Sadistic Drive: Anthropophagy (2020) After the ambitious demo ‘Street Cannibal Gluttony’, Finnish surrealist gore revellers Sadistic Drive have added a little water to the dense wiring of their morbid death metal, left the thing to air out some, and returned with a relatively spacious full length by the name of ‘Anthropophagy’. I say this is … Continue reading I like the beats and I like the yelling: Sadistic Drive, Sorta Magora, Walpurgia

The devil’s in the delivery: Misfits and Cro-Mags

This might seem an odd pairing at first glance, but it could be pretty instructive when looking at the cross pollination of punk and metal throughout the 1980s. The Misfits’ lurch into hardcore punk from their patented doo-wop emulation would prove to be a formative moment for many extreme metal artists to come. Equally, Cro-Mags … Continue reading The devil’s in the delivery: Misfits and Cro-Mags