Label Spotlight: Solar Asceticists Productions

~ Analogic Occult Editions for Transgressive and Nihilist Souls ~

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, you really should check out what’s going on over at mystical French underground tape label Solar Aesceticists Productions. You know how it’s nice to see a little extra effort put into the packaging or presentation of a release, how a personal touch or extra something special can really show the passion behind it and/or help with immersion into the art? Well, Solar Asceticists Productions take this very seriously and label head Carl Neomalthusian is a modern day alchemist, injecting an almost unforseen level of care and ritualism into his work.

Originally launched in 2015 as Mithra! Infrasound, an offshoot of Mithra Templezine before rebranding autonomously shortly after, the label has now had fourteen cassette releases to its name and the large majority have had the option of a unique ‘limited edition’ version available for purchase. These rare editions have contained multiple intricate ingredients and artefacts such as crushed bone powder, hallucinogenic substances, ritual incenses, Icelandic green moss and various handmade art pieces, to name just a few. This hasn’t been a mere gimmick, either; each special package is meticulously constructed and compiled by Carl with the artist’s work front of mind, totally complementing it and enhancing the overall experience.

And that’s not mentioning the roster. Carefully curated to contain only the finest of experimental, abyssal and transcendental sound; you’re sure to find something to your taste no matter what your preferred flavour of aural depravity. Read on and listen deeply as for our next Label Spotlight we sample four of the most recent black manifestations from this very underrated bastion of exquisite darkness. Hails.

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Artist: Abyssal Vacuum

Year: 2018

We’ll open proceedings with some French wretchedness from Abyssal Vacuum, and that’s a suitable name if I’ve ever heard one. The solo project of guitarist and throatsman Sebastien from Ominous Shrine, debut three-track album ‘MMXVII’ is a powerhouse of occult cavernous black with deathlike physicality; an otherworldly carnage, primitive, yet like nothing seen on earth.

Each of the numerically titled tracks on offer grabs and undeniably moves you through the use of great morbid riffage (unsurprisingly, given his killer work in Ominous Shrine) and driving percussion, but it’s all thrown gloriously off-kilter with just the right amount of reverb and atonality perfectly creating a negative vortex of swirling atmospheric unease.

As you traverse the alien landscape of the album it only becomes even more mesmerising and unsettling; such as the entrancing tremolo underpinned by ponderous bass thrums in the excellent ‘II’, or the chilling final section of ‘III’ before it fades out and returns to the sound of water leaking down from hell knows where, full-circle with the opening ambience of the journey and complete with the terrifying realisation that no matter how far you traverse its endless expanses you’re trapped somewhere in a pitch black subterranean tomb, your death imminent, your fate sealed.

Plumbing depths of unnameable cosmic horrors and seething menace, it’s a truly great first conjuration from the project and I sincerely hope we hear more soon. Available now for name-your-price download or pre-orderable in a special “Troglodytic White Remains” edition cassette package; containing a white velvet sigil-printed pouch, white printed tape, white “Benjoin Blanc” natural incense in rock form and three special art cards created with photos taken in ancient occitanian caves. Superb.

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Artist: Cendres

Year: 2017

‘Schattengestalt’ (“Shadow”), the second demo from enigmatic French act Cendres (“Ashes”), is horrifying from the very start. Based on themes of the underworld, the instant you press play it seemingly opens a portal to hell and the resulting next seventeen minutes is the hypnotic and disturbing sound of various demons or inhuman entities inexorably dragging their way into this reality. Or perhaps, dragging your consciousness back into theirs.

Originally self-released in miniscule quantity back in 2015 but now receiving the treatment and hopefully wider attention it deserves, this is a wonderful hidden gem that will affect you in all the wrong (read: very right) ways. Hellish screams and psychotic descending motifs initially throw you off balance, setting the tone admirably before the “Ambient Psychedelic Black Metal” kicks first track ‘Schattengestalt I’ into gear. Powerful repeating riffs surge through a deliciously lo-fi muffled drone, dread oozing from your speakers as vocal emissions strangulated from tormented subdimensions rake down your spine. Experimental it may be but this is cult shit, no fucking around. The track eventually builds and mutates into a completely destroying, all-consuming industrial churn; and for an almost ten minute song feels like it’s over all too quickly.

After that assault on the tenuous strands holding your mind together, they move it up another notch with ‘Schattengestalt II’. A brief few seconds of the best horror synths heard in a while heralds the coming of some of the most queasiness-inducing dissonant rawness I’ve experienced so far this year. The vibe is altogether more menacing on part II and the two tracks work together well, complementing each other and becoming a single warped composition.

Sadly, the “Sleep Paralysis” special edition is sold out but it came packaged with a raw textile pouch, a unique handmade charcoal drawing representing visions during sleep paralysis, and a small quantity of Salvia Divinorium so you could experience the hypnagogic hallucinations in the correct state of mind, all portals fully opened. Name-your-price digital and precious few standard edition tape copies still available; grab one before they disappear forever.

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Artist: Hyrgal

Year: 2017

Every time I listen to the debut full-length from French heathens Hyrgal, it unfolds another layer of itself to me. Exposing new whispered intricacies and nuances hidden in the howling fury with every journey through its emotive passages, this release is the dark flower of this article; slowly opening and revealing the depth of its scent and affecting beauty over time.

And while I know I haven’t had nearly enough time yet to absorb everything this release has to offer, the trio of gentlemen responsible for it probably have. Originally active for a few years from ’07 – ’10 that only bore one split as a solitary fruit, they reactivated in 2016 with a renewed purpose and lineup now consisting of members and ex-members of Pillars, Svart Crown, Karne and Marble Crown to record the long overdue full-length ‘Serpentine’.

A well rounded album with a myriad of influences and textures swirling throughout, at first glance it appears a mere Cascadian style but there are many other forces at play here. The heavy rhythm guitars and layering create a rushing, powerful density; combine this with the great basswork and there’s often a low ominous wind that blows throughout this release like death over the fields. The use of bleak, irresistibly ensnaring melody is absolutely top notch in each of the five songs and two instrumental compositions. Tracks like my personal favourite ‘Représailles’ can lift you away akin to the throes of a symphony while ‘Aux Diktats de l’Instinct’ has hints of punkish aggression, and the dynamic final act ‘Etrusca Disciplina’ is simply sublime. You’ll be taken places from which you won’t want to return.

The album is also available on CD and vinyl from Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions and Naturmacht Productions, but the special handcrafted “Mount Blue Pine” cassette edition available here is where it’s at. Coming lovingly packaged with a raw Eco-Textile hand-printed textile pouch, a clockworked French Army insign and some handmade incense; there’s just five copies left so don’t hesitate to own this beautiful piece of art.

With every track on here a winner, this is an album with many secrets to tell. Let it speak.

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Artist: Adherent

Year: 2017

And the final piece we’ll check out today is ‘Demo MXVIII’, the first release from US raw black project Adherent. Released back in October, it’s also listed on Metal Archives as ‘Tranquility’. Now, tranquility might seem an odd quality to attach to a raw black metal release at first, but listen through and it will all make sense.

If the title, or the introductory piece ‘Intro / Dreams in the Etherial Forest’ with its almost 7 minutes of gently austere synths doesn’t give it away, the fact that the next 5 tracks are also titled ‘Tranquility I-V’ may give you a hint that the rawness on offer here is of the somewhat transcendent variety. Not quite Black Cilice levels of carrying you away on swathes of ritually intoned distortion, don’t let that mislead you (the press release names Drowning The Light and Abyssic Hate as comparable sounds, which is also true); but it’s definitely playing in roughly the same ballpark and oozes a similar solemn black majesty from its compositions at times. Great stuff, and when you finish traversing the epic misanthropic depths of all the ‘Tranquility’ tracks the album has one last surprise in store: the final piece is a cover of a cut from a certain longstanding and controversial US “cult horde”. But I’ll leave you to unearth that mystery alone.

One of the few releases on the label that didn’t come with a special edition of arcane artifacts, it’s still very worth your time regardless. Unfortunately sold out of limited transparent blue tapes, support with a name-your-price download below and do yourself a favour: keep an eye out for all future Solar Asceticists Productions releases. You won’t regret it. Hails.

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Support Solar Asceticists Productions:

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Satanath Records & Grimm Distribution Label Spotlight

In our second spotlight it’s time to amplify the emanations of another label doing some great shit under many people’s radars, and why not make it two this time: Lethal subterranean killers Satanath Records and their partner in malevolent machinations, Grimm Distribution.

Satanath is based in Russia while Grimm Distribution is in Belarus; and although they both drag some truly unique and varied sounds up from the deep underground Grimm has the far more eclectic of the two rosters, working way outside the spectrum of black metal. In keeping with the general theme of this site we’ll stick to the BM releases, however; for the more open minded among you I highly recommend checking out the rest of their artists. You’ll unearth some great, unique and, at the very least, interesting stuff.

First up, Satanath Records. They’ve been doing their thing since 2012 and have put out close to 200 albums. It’s owned and ran by Aleksey K who has his own dark space ambient/electronic project entitled Satanath (that you can check out here) and says of the label “All metal genres welcome in our satanic horror house“. So, without further ado, let us enter and bear witness to the blackened nightmares that await within the blood-drenched halls of the house of Satanath.

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Artist: Inhibitions

Year: 2018

Kicking off with a quick glimpse of some forthcoming Hellenic black metal, Inhibitions have been drawing down the night since 2008 and ‘La Danse Macabre’ marks their third full-length ritual manifestation. One track is available for free download/streaming on Bandcamp now: ‘The Calling’ starts off with some severely skin-crawling shit before launching into a lurching, gothic-piano-twinkling black metal blast. There’s something arcane and hidden about this particular track, an unspeakable evil lurking just out of view that makes you doubt your sanity and fills you with fear. So heed the call and join the dance; full album out January 13th next year and if the rest of it matches up to this, it could be a good one.

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Artist: Enoquian

Year: 2017

Next up with just the right level of black destruction (and a sweet name and logo to boot), are the mysterious Argentinian demons Enoquian. They formed in 2015 and have no prior releases to their name bar this debut album ‘Llamas de Gloria Primera’. Which explains why they’ve never crossed my path before now.

A brief moment of chilling ambience sets the tone before the fury kicks in. This is raw unbridled black metal, stripped back and caustic. Some thrashy or death influences creep in through a side window to fuck up your shit when you least expect it, but overall throughout the album they stick to the same formula: a short ambient intro, then unleash the hounds of hell. Which, surprisingly and to their credit, doesn’t get old. There’s enough variety in the tunes to keep each song fresh, and some of the introductions create a genuine horror vibe that only enhances the grimness that follows.

Good throat-shredding vocals cap it all off and the production is kept just on the right side of kvlt; although I’d love to hear what these tracks sound like with an absolutely crushing production. There’s some huge riffs in there with perfect skittering drums behind them that would just annihilate your cranium with a more weighty sound; they’re good as it is, I just can’t help but wonder.

Very pleased I heard this, it’s a great debut and I get the inkling their next one will be fucking incredible. Well worth a listen. 


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Artist: Garhelenth

Year: 2017

Dropping on 14th December is the second full-length from Armenian true black metal duo Garhelenth, ‘About Pessimistic Elements & Rebirth of Tragedy’. One track is available for free download on Bandcamp now, the irrepressible ‘To Impersonal Mankind’; while another militaristic stomper ‘Self Humiliation’ is available for your consumption on YouTube here. This is exactly what it says on the tin – black metal with no bells or whistles; guitarist/vocalist and main man Hilnorgoth is vehemently against letting anything pollute the essence of his creation. Centred around mid-paced repeating hypnotic riffs and a rotten infectious darkness, this wishes for nothing more than your slow death. Be warned. 

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Artist: Hak-Ed Damm

Year: 2017

Hak-Ed Damm Ist Fucking Krieg. Formed in Canada in 2007 these commandos base their attack on the horrors of WW2’s historical fact, and the result is mightily fucking impressive. 

Throughout second full-length ‘Holocaust Over Dresden’ the assault only lets up on the suitably sombre and forlorn ‘Auschwitz-Birkenau’; every single other track is pure war punishment that would give Marduk a run for their money (although they do have a greater grasp of melody than that comparison may suggest). Vocalist Winterthrone‘s shrieks rip through the mix and special mention must be given to Zaïtsev‘s frenzied performance on the fretless bass, easily matching the ferocity dished out by skinsman Silencer and the twin guitar weapons of Exu and Amok.

What’s my favourite track? Couldn’t possibly tell you. They’re all fantastic. Give this a spin next time you feel like some sheer, relentless carnage; you will not regret it.

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Artist: Solfernus

Year: 2017

Czech blackthrash war incoming. Solfernus have been unleashing a hate torrent for fifteen years strong, so their assault is honed razor sharp on only the second full-length in their artillery, ‘Neoantichrist’. The four man army counts two members of Root amongst their ranks but take few musical cues from the Czech black metal institution; this has far more thrash pumping through its veins. 

That’s not the only influence however as various other strains of blackness and metal mayhem are stirred through their sonic brew, but regardless, it rules. From the muscular shred-fest of ‘Between Two Deaths’ to the stirring anthemic title track their collective experience shines through, grabbing you by the throat and forcing you to march to the beat of their blasphemic drums as Khaablus spits his vocal venom. They still achieve an admirably shadowed atmosphere (like on the crawling, winding ‘Mistresserpent’) but overall it’s a more direct in-your-face sound that works well. In the mood for something to stir the blood? Check these guys out.

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Artist: Tyakrah

Year: 2017

I’ve already mentioned German epic BM duo Tyakrah on these pages; this is only to serve as a reminder to seek out their debut album ‘Wintergedanken’ if you haven’t as yet. Last time I said it was “…a wonderful and chilling ode to the cold season. Solid compositions with some seriously great raw melodic leads, interspersed with moving atmospheric and ambient passages” and my opinion hasn’t changed; this is probably ever-so-slightly more rough than the average Epic BM fan will be used to, but the use of melody and guitar work is far above the average. 

Refreshingly, tracks like ‘Geforne Tränen’ and ‘Fährten im Schnee’ forge a great wintry atmosphere without the use of overdone synths or minutes of drawn-out wind noises throughout, almost solely creating the mood through the guitars, drums and vocals (although there are still the great aforementioned ambient/melodic interludes included). Highly recommended, and keep an eye out for the fantastic ‘Erstarrende Nacht’, it’s an absolute stormer. Can’t wait to see what these guys do next.

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And now to Grimm Distribution. Operating out of Belarus since 2011, they also have a multitude of excellent releases with which to pleasure your ear holes; and they get a lot stranger than Satanath. Here’s a few of their black metal offerings.

Artist: Enoid

Year: 2017

Kvlt Swiss misanthropist Enoid released his last album in 2016 on Satanath Records, twenty years after the project’s unholy formation in 1996 when it was originally known as Organ Trails. This year sole member Bornyhake honours the past by re-releasing the first two demos summoned under the name Enoid, ‘Livssyklus & Dodssyklus’, from 2005 and 2006 respectively. 

Now, you may be thinking this is just an exercise in nostalgia. Guess what: you would be wrong, bucko. From what we can hear of the fully remastered material thus far it still sounds absolutely vital and could have easily been released yesterday. The passion inherent within teaser track ‘Edicius’ is palpable as it burns with sinister intent. Excellent grim vocals and an extremely satisfying guitar tone are the icing on the cake as the song slowly unfurls black wings dripping in contempt; the original demos are available on the official Enoid bandcamp here so you can hear both the sound update and venom of the entire source material for yourself. 

Great stuff, the false need not enter here. Pre-orders up now for a December 16th release. Oh and Bornyhake has finally assembled a live band; so the whole, unfettered pestilential darkness of Enoid shall finally descend over the Earth. 

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Artist: Evil Nerfal

Year: 2018

EVIL NERFAL IS JUST UNDERGROUND BLACK METAL, NO FASHION, NO TRENDS, CRUSH ALL POSERS AND YOUR METAL OF SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

So says the descriptor on Columbian melodic orthodox duo Evil Nerfal‘s Facebook page. Which is a fair warning of what you’re in for on ‘En Las Fauces Del Demonio (Taedium Daemoni)’, the teaser track from only their second album in their ten year existence, ‘Bellum Est Pater Omnium’. From the raw militaristic intro to the melodic twists and turns, these demons have never cared what you think and don’t seem keen to start now. A solid track, full of promise and misanthropy. Full album drops January 9th next year.

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Artist: Lucifer’s Dungeon

Year: 2017

Menacing tones echoing in cryptal darkness. Faint remnants of screams, the stone floor is wet and slick beneath your feet. The deeper you go, the hotter it gets, your dread increasing with every step. Then before you know it… You’re in Lucifer’s Dungeon.

That’s an apt, if not slightly cheesy decription of the introductory track to ‘The Dark Army Raises’, the debut full-length from impious Russian horde Lucifer’s Dungeon. What lies within the dungeon? Fourteen tracks of raw, mostly mid-paced melodic black metal that’s heavy on the atmosphere, interspersed with some great dark ambient/dungeon synth style interludes. Released back in May and with a gestation period of around nine years (!), it’s an intriguing album with an old-school feel that’s sure to hit the spot with many cult aficionados.

The key here really is the vibe; the chilling air of horror and/or misery in the dark ambient sections is top notch and the black metal elements pleasingly choose to match that instead of breaking out into breakneck blasting; which shows an excellent coherent vision for an album that’s oddly made up of so many small, seperate yet cohesive parts, and works very well in its favour. 

Should you give this a try? Yes. There’s nothing overly technical here, with no blistering speed or lush melodicism; what you do get however is a commendably solid album with a raw charm all it’s own. They also have a new full-length dubbed ‘Antihuman’ coming March 2018 in celebration of their ten year anniversary, so if you dig this, get keen to return for more subterranean delights.

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Artist: Freiheit

Year: 2017

Some Russian black/death. Diabolical trio Freiheit (“Freedom”) unleashed their debut full-length ‘Безумие. Ненависть. Смерть’ about six months ago now, and it’s an extraordinarily fun concoction. 

A riff-propelled beast that borrows from many sources; one minute it reminds you of the early days of Finland’s Ajattara and the next it’s bludgeoning your bleeding and broken frame with some pure death metal, then before you know it you’re back banging your head to some black ‘n roll influenced rocking vibe that has you by the balls (or respective sensitive areas). The variety in the virulently violent assault is compelling and engaging, they know how to hold your attention and distill their sound down to its most potent form. 

Despite the myriad of influences apparent in their sound there’s no bullshit here; every note is carefully calculated for maximum power and that’s exactly what is delivered. They also recently played some of their songs at a local children’s orphanage, apparently to great success. Which rules. Lovely fellas that deserve your attention. Total support.

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Artist: Cryostasium

Year: 2017

And as we come to the end of this Grimm expedition, one final salvo. US one-man dark ambient BM artist Cody Mallard conjoured his latest EP ‘Starbound’ a month ago; his thirty-third (!) release under the Cryostasium moniker since the project’s birth in 2002. Off the top of my head I don’t believe I’ve heard a single one, and you might not have either. But hey, what better place to start than here?

I can tell you right now I’ll be going back and checking out more of his work, as this surprised me immensely. Oppressive, cold riffs are thrown in a blender and slither askew over psychedelic and dark ambient elements. The vocals vary between the faint demonic howls and haunted synthetic la-la-la’s of a man gone insane, trapped far away in a hell of his own creation. There’s recurrent use of bells which only serves to fuel the odd atmosphere. Occasionally (and fittingly as they did release a split together) the songs hit almost Xasthur-like levels of dysphoria; tracks like ‘Magnetic’ or EP closer ‘Adventurine’ sometimes call to mind what Malefic might have produced if he was rocking knees-up in a corner singing to himself instead of just mentally tortured.

Featuring great Luciana Nedelea artwork that perfectly illustrates the warped, otherworldly sounds within, this may just be my pick of the entire bunch. Quality stuff, I can’t wait to head back over the rest of his discography; and it’s a fitting end to this spotlight. Hails.

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Fólkvangr Records Pagan Black Metal Mini-Spotlight

Fólkvangr Records, for the uninitiated, is a US based mainly-cassette label that’s been putting out nothing but top quality releases throughout their relatively short life thus far. If you don’t know, then get to know because since the label’s inception around a year ago their carefully curated roster has included such killer and diverse artists as Sojourner, Chiral, Enisum, Violet Cold, Chaos Moon, Suicide Forest, Sovereign… The list goes on. The two newest artists to score a gorgeous cassette release are longtime UK blackened Anglo-Saxon/pagan metallers Forefather and Spanish pagan black metal horde Lóstregos; a pair that complement each other quite well. I listened to a lot of  blackened and not-so-blackened pagan/folk many years ago, less so these days but when these two releases landed in my inbox I jumped at the chance to take a look. So, check out the rest of the Fólkvangr stable here and read on below as we take a deeper dive and preview both forthcoming slices of heathen glory.

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Artist: Forefather

Year: 2017

UK duo Forefather have been storming yonder shores since 1997 and the brothers Wulfstan and Athelstan prefer to be known as ‘Anglo-Saxon Metal’ over anything else. If you believe Encyclopedia Metallum they’re apparently loathe to be labelled Black Metal these days, and while their sound does retain many blackened elements they’ve indeed strayed away from the frantic tremolo-blasting assault prevalent in days of yore and let the folky/traditional heavy elements run free. Which isn’t a bad thing, mind. Drenched in heritage, ‘Tales From A Cloud Born Land’ is their side of a split with Meads of Asphodel called ‘English Steel’ that was released a few months back. Now on its own the material is given its chance to really shine… And this glistens like moonlight off a broadsword dripping with the blood of slain enemies. Triumphant, and ‘metal’ as fuck. 

The campaign kicks off with a short instrumental piece, a stirring riff that foreshadows the journey to come before the great ‘Two Sacred Oaks’ commences the galloping ride into battle with epic choruses that will make you raise that blade high. But as good as this track is what comes next blows it out of the water; third track ‘One Blood One Bone’ is simply superb. This thing is possessed of an irresistible groove with Athelstan’s ripping leads flying all over the place and catchy vocal phrasing that weaves into and around the perfect interplay between the drums and guitar. I say perfect because I dig it when the percussion does exactly what the song needs and nothing more, providing a solid base for the guitar work and glorious melodies to shine, and the intuition here is impeccable. Exhilarating stuff, the undeniable high point of the release for me. 

Although in my opinion/dubious personal taste the EP peaks early, it’s not a downhill spiral from here by any means. ‘Strongbow’s Death’ slows it down for a swaying midpoint rest-stop before the fight begins anew with ‘In Victory We Feast’; the only track on the EP to utilise blasts and the one that most harks back to their earlier material, although soaring clean vocals are draped elegantly over the top. Keys are tastefully implemented too and sit just right in the mix serving to subtly accentuate rather than overpower. 

The last two pieces have almost zero vestiges of anything even remotely resembling black metal, but if you have a wide genre scope of music consumption then kudos to you, and read on. Whereas the last track had some of the more furious sections of the EP, ‘Out of Time’ goes in totally other direction with a soaring, saccharine ballad. Never thought I’d be covering a ballad in these pages, but here we are and it works. Final track ‘Daughter of Twilight’ is where the keys finally get their moment in the sun; a simple rolling instrumental to close out proceedings.

Steeped in history and reverence, the brothers have effortlessly crafted yet another outstanding ode to the myths and legends of old England. Even if at first glance you think it won’t be for you check it out anyway, you may be pleasantly surprised and it’s worth the price of admission for ‘One Blood One Bone’ alone. Onward to glory!

Support: Pick up a digital download from their own Bandcamp here, or pre-order a smoke-tinted transparent cassette with hand-numbered three panel sleeve from Fólkvangr Records at the link below. Limited to 100, so don’t miss out. Releases in a week on October 27th.

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Artist: Lóstregos

Year: 2017

Next up, Spanish four piece Lóstregos bring us back into altogether darker territory with their debut full-length ‘Lendas Baixo o Luar’ (“Legends Low On Moonlight”). This was my first time experiencing their brand of pagan fury; I missed their first EP last year, but on the strength of this I’ll be treating my ears to that very soon. With a wonderfully organic sound more rooted in Black Metal than Forefather’s release Lóstregos tell tales of woe and wonder via lengthy, continuously unfolding compositions that are a sheer delight to behold. 

Straight from the get-go you can’t help but be struck by the integrity of the music and sound. Introductory piece ‘Pasaxe de Lenda a Mitro’ is an earthy acoustic track with traditional sounding female vocals; it’s raw and honest, like you’re sitting at a somber campfire. The feeling is totally and immediately immersive, and carries on effortlessly throughout the four tracks to follow. 

Now, I could write a play-by-play on each of them, but the progressive nature of these compositions means every one is a journey in itself and jam-packed with moments that make you sit up and take notice. Take for example the killer midway solo in ‘Tebras da Montaña’ that eventually leads into the emotive final section, which then becomes the rollicking and riotous cello infused opening of ‘Gallaecia’. In fact, the solos scattered throughout are a real feature that frequently drop in at the perfect moment to artfully change the tone and atmosphere of a track on a dime. 


The versatility and energy in this release is incredibly enjoyable. One minute it’s thrilling unbridled fury and the next pulsing with a deep melodious emotion. Some passages absolutely shred and some will have you out of your seat screaming along with lyrics that you can’t understand, but the language barrier doesn’t even matter. The dual vocals from L.B and I.V are also great with their impassioned rasps and howls taking everything to a new level; while the whole thing culminates in the final twelve minute ride of ‘Onde Reverdece a Santa Praga’, reaching stratospheric heights before settling back at the fire again for an acoustic introspective fade to black. 

Raw, honest, thrilling and immediate; a compellingly triumphant debut album. If it sounds like I’m just hyping this release for the sake of it, I’m not. I’ve been flogging this for a couple of weeks, I really dig it, and the fact that it’ll probably fly under the radar of many people who would enjoy it is borderline criminal. If you’re in any way into folk or pagan black you’d do much worse than to suss this out. Hails Lóstregos.

Support: Pre-order your copy of ‘Lendas Baixo o Luar’ on foil lined transparent cassette with hand-numbered three panel sleeve from Fólkvangr Records at the link belowalso limited to 100 copies, so jump on this while you still can. Visit their own Bandcamp here, or pick up a special limited edition CD from Darkwoods here / Damnatio Ad Bestias here. Full unleashing on November 1st.

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Submissions welcomed.