deathkin – kohti kotiani kaaosta (2016)

this is so good. in a very good way. so satisfying. came out just 2 days ago, just wanted to check what it is and it completely nailed me to my chair. as soon as the first note hit, i was in. the debut of the obviously finnish quintet “kohti kotiani kaaosta” is, like a good debut imaginative and original, but unlike a debut so immaculate and well crafted.

sharing the “anonymous musicians” thing (which is totally getting out of hand) with the newer black metal acts, but that’s all that is. nothing like the new black metal, the album is pleasing the old metalhead in me.  the vocals strike first, sung in finnish with an impressive control and range, clean, angry shouts, operatic, shrills, throat, chanting… there are precious little instrumental parts. the body of the musical structure, full-on distorted guitars are so clean and audible, again unlike the reverb-laden and dissonant newer structure. one of them is in constant lead-mode, swaying within the main melody with delicious tremolo and solos. and that creativity is continuously adding new and exciting material for the listener to discover at each listening. the shift of melodies is further accentuated by a striking drum work, with a thick organic sound, mechanically precise and maniacally furious. so generous with the blast beats and double bass. you just can’t help but bang your head or play the air drum.

while being especially rich in melody, the careful repetition and recurring of the themes creates a hypnotic, uneasy and chaotic atmosphere. and it is commendable to create chaos through coherent structures. slower parts with spoken word / chanting add to the eerie religious feel. the 6 lengthy songs are seamlessly conjoined by the help of short instrumental interludes. this not only creates a sense of one continuous song with chapters, but also hits at your face as the songs burst in full force.

this is good. so good.

naðra – allir vegir til glötunar (2016)

icelandic black metal is literally bursting out with creativity and extremely well releases and this is a gift. and often we see collaborations and side projects rather than constant bands. naðra is such a project, formed by members of other projects including carpe noctem, misþyrming, 〇 and skáphe (more on that later). allir vegir til glötunar (all roads to destruction) is the sole full-length and follows down a different path; rather than cold, distant, mechanical and insane icelandic releases of late, this is an organic black metal album leaning towards epic & folk/pagan.

the classic 5 piece, individually bearing initials as it is fashion now evidently, includes t. (aka tómas, who also plays guitars for carpe noctem, misþyrming and drums for 〇) on lead guitars, who completely controls the proceedings. leaving the melodic rhythm tremolos / riffs to d.g. (of misþyrming, 〇, and skáphe), t. here is liberated to sway as he pleases, experimenting hidden realms of night, ice and fury, and taking us with him, all the while contributing to dual rhythm. his solos are a joy to behold. the drums, handled by h. (aka hilmar) are quite heavy, loud and thunderous to be honest. so generous on the blast beat and double bass, even on slower passages, drums contribute heaviness to otherwise mellower moments. along with him, bassist g. (of misþyrming) completes the rhythm section.

lastly, ö. (örlygur sigurðarson, who played guitars on〇) has the microphone and his extremely energetic, furious, rather varied and throaty vocals would also feel at home in a death / core release, and maybe even more so. no real complaints, his lyrical lines fit like a glove and occasional shrills / shrieks complement the instrumental parts, but i felt the tone is somewhat out of place.

also, differentiating from other recent icelandic releases, for example the mechanical precision of wormlust – the feral wisdom, the sound is on the scratchy, rather low-fi side with an old school raw production. among quite fast and angry tracks and a 14-minute epic 3rd track “falið”, the slow and heavy pagan metal beauty “sál” is my immediate favourite.

barshasketh – ophidian henosis (2015)

not all black metal comes from norway or poland or a generally black metal inspiring place. barshasketh hails from new zealand. and what they do is good old black metal. ophidian henosis is their third full-length album and contains seven grim tracks of despair. the music reminds so much of early enthroned, or similar late 90’s melodic black metal bands. however, the new zealander quartet do not assault the listener with never ending blast beats but include lengthy, slower passages as breathers. the vocals require a little getting used to and the drumming sways from typical black metal (as one would expect from this) occasionally, but this is an overall good new old style black metal, with lots of exciting variations. the fourth track stands out. 

bütün black metal norveç veya polonya’dan, veya insana black metal hissi veren bir yerden çıkacak değil. barshasketh yeni zelandalı ve yaptıkları bildiğimiz ve sevdiğimiz black metal. ophidian henosis üçüncü stüdyo albümleri ve içinde yedi adet karanlık ve umutsuz şarkı içeriyor. müzik bana epey erken dönem enthroned gibi 90’lar sonu melodik black metal gruplarını hatırlattı. ne var ki, barshasketh dinleyiciye aralıksız blast beat’lerle saldırmak yerine, uzunca yavaş geçişler sunuyor. vokallere alışmak biraz zaman alabilir, davullar da bazen tipik black metal’den uzaklaşabiliyor, fakat albüm genel olarak bol miktarda ilgi çekici varyasyon içeren, eski usul black metal’in yeni bir yorumu. dördüncü şarkı albümde öne çıkıyor.