Album of the Day: Archgoat – The Apocalyptic Triumphator

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Label: Debemur Mori Productions

When it comes to bestial black metal, few bands exemplify the sub-genre better than Archgoat. The Finnish veterans are arguably second only to Blasphemy in setting down the template for all-consuming, heretical black metal, undercut with a hugely sexual (yet far from sexy) urge. Third album The Apocalyptic Triumphator is one of the most notable albums released in the sub-genre over the past few years, in that it demonstrated how to remain utterly true to the sound, without ever risking feeling generic or uninspired.

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Album of the Day: Darkspace – Dark Space I

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Label: Avantgarde Music 

There’s some albums which you can always turn to, and no matter what your mood or state of mind, you can easily sink in to them, letting them play for hours at a time, with the music losing none of its impact or power as the years go by. The first album by Darkspace is one such record for me, with the atmospherics of Dark Space capturing a the cold, dark emptiness of space in a way that no one else has – at least, musically.

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Review: Son Ov Leviathan – Vi Veri Vniversum Visus Vici

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Label: Self-released

Symphonic black metal has been seeing a quiet renaissance, with Cradle of Filth re-establishing themselves as a dominating force in black metal once again, and Emperor’s live appearances helping remind everyone why their mixture of symphonic and progressive black metal became so revered. Meanwhile, in the underground, bands such as Necronautical and Ethereal have released records that have made people sit up and take notice. US one-man act Son ov Leviathan are a new entry on to the scene, with Vi Veri Vniversum Visus Vici demonstrating a more ferocious take on the genre than might typically be expected, with devastating results.

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Review: Husk – Fangs

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Label: Death Kvlt Productions

Fangs is an aptly named EP. The debut release from one-man band Husk is the sound of teeth and claws; of watchful eyes in the night; of terror come to life, unleashing violence upon innocent flesh. The three tracks of raw black metal on Fangs are minimalist in approach, with a commitment to atmosphere; but whilst that word usually implies something meditative and hypnotic, in this instance it is an aura of tension and dread, and the promise of death.

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Review: Grafvitnir – Keys to the Mysteries Beyond

Grafvitnir Keys to the Mysteries Beyond Cover Artwork

Label: Carnal Records

A howling gale comes from the north, with razor-sharp winds that cut to the icy bone and chill to the core. Such is the sound of Grafvitnir, and the Swedish veterans demonstrate all their experience on fifth album Keys to the Mysteries Beyond. Built upon a foundation of Satanism, this album is black metal to the core, recalling the likes of Watain, Marduk, and hints of Dissection in its vicious attack, with just the right amount of dark melodies in the mix.

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Album of the Day: Twilight Fauna – Fire of the Spirit

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Label: Ravenwood Recordings / Fragile Branch Recordings

I’ve recently found myself wanting the audio equivalent of returning home after a long week travelling for work; of a sense of familiarity and belonging, after an extended period of isolation and disconnect. Fire of the Spirit has been meeting that need perfectly, with Twilight Fauna‘s brand of black metal and traditional folk producing a warm, all-encompassing atmosphere that is remarkably refreshing for the soul.

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Five of the Best: Anti-fascist black metal bands

When people think of black metal and politics, odds are they think of bands who are on the far-right of the spectrum. It’s no surprise. Fascist imagery abounds in black metal, to the extent that it’s considered utterly normal by some, and there’s a long history of some of the big names of the genre espousing authoritarian, prejudiced views; and this is to say nothing of the whole NSBM sub-genre. But recent years have seen more and more bands making explicitly anti-fascist black metal. There’s always been those who have had views we would now recognise as anti-fascist – most notably Summoning – but that’s not always come across in their music. So, here are five bands playing various styles of black metal, where you won’t need to follow up on interviews to know their anti-fascist leanings.

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