Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Black Metal Briefs, Great and Not Great


Have I mentioned there is a lot of black metal out there? A few releases are excellent. Most of it falls into predictable patterns. But even when a band does manage to try some new combination of things, it doesn’t always work out.

The Ash Eaters: Nothing Is Real (2014)
4 out of 5 stars

The Ash Eaters is one of the few black metal bands remaining with a distinct sound of its own. He cleverly blends open chords and chugging palm-muted ones before turning them upside-down, without ever lingering for too long on any one idea. This makes it instantly recognizable. The EP has the added benefit of, first, being an EP (the band excels at the format) and, second, of having a good measure of his unusual vocal style.

Acherontas: Amenti - Ψαλμοί Αίματος και Αστρικά Οράματα (2013)
3 out of 5 stars

Well, now, here's some black metal with a driving rhythm section, mid-paced melodies, and atonal counterpoints. That's one of the fads now. Acherontas also have chanted vocals and very long traditional folk sections. It's kind of cool, but I want to hear something new. Maybe blend them seamlessly for a start.

Heretic Cult Redeemer: Heretic Cult Redeemer (2013)
3 out of 5 stars

On the one hand, Heretic Cult Redeemer remind me of Dark Fortress: black metal with a deliberate, somewhat doomy pace. On the other hand, they have a bit of the current French scene in the way they use dissonance. But when I slap both hands together, all I can say is it's pretty good. But not great.

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