Review: Bosse-de-Nage – Further Still

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Label: The Flenser

There’s often a tendency for post-black metal bands to focus on the “post” part of the equation, with the more memorable sections of their music being the more expansive and, for want of a better word, “pretty” sections. This has been as true for Bosse-de-Nage in the past as it has for any other post-black metal band; but now, on Further Still, those moments are relative calm are all-but abandoned, with the songs instead being tight, controlled bursts of fury. If most other post-black metal pulls from post-rock, shoegaze, and Cascadian black metal, then Further Still is post-black via way of Battles in the North and the most furious of post-hardcore. It is vicious, unrelenting, and impossible to deny its power.

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Review: Koniec Pola – Cy

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Label: Devoted Art Propaganda

Cy isn’t your typical release. The new album from Polish band Koniec Pola opens with the sound of bells, swirling winds, warped percussion, and, after several minutes, a burst of heavily twisted voices. It gets no easier from there. Stradling the lines between post-rock, post-black metal, traditional folk, and all wrapped up in a defiantly avant-garde mindset and psychedelic atmosphere, Cy is the kind of album that you might get if Negura Bunget and Einsturzende Neubauten decided to do a record together. Based around the concept of a place that is simultaneously real and imaginary, and making use of unique instruments crafted by the band themselves in addition to the traditional bass/guitar/drums set-up, Cy is a unique album, full of adventurous, experimental spirit.

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Review: Underdark / Antre – Split

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Label: F H E D / Callous Records / Grandad Records

The metal scene in Nottingham is in rude health as of recent years, with new, exciting bands forming, gigging, and releasing records. There’s especially been a growth in the size and quality of the local black metal scene recently, with bands such as Underdark and Antre at the front of this. The new split between the two acts is a furious ten minutes of searing black metal, and demonstrates just why both bands have something of a buzz around them at present in the underground.

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Seventh Genocide – Toward Akina

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Label: WOOAAARGH

Toward Akina, the second album from Italian band Seventh Genocide, is a pretty distinctive beast. Though the marketing and press releases tag this album as post-black metal, the emphasis is very much on the “post” part of that equation. There are far more sections on Toward Akina that recall Pink Floyd’s psychedelic sounds, or even the raw emotional passion of late-90’s/early-00’s screamo than there are moments of classic black metal coldness. It may not appeal to those who judge a record by it’s kvlt appeal, but if genre is less of a concern than the music simply being good, then Toward Akina has a lot to offer.

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Violet Cold – Anomie

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Label: Tridroid Records / Folkvangr 

“That’s not black metal!” is a response that is often mocked, associated as it is with the kind of fan who desperately clings to the past, unwilling to accept innovation or change. Most of the time, it is a useless sentiment, saying more about the speaker than the music they’re leveling the accusation at. Yet whilst listening to Anomie, the latest album from Azerbijani band Violet Cold, I find myself understanding and sympathising with the sentiment. The one-man act have a considerable discography that touches upon a multitude of genres, yet Anomie is being presented by much of the media and labels involved as an atmospheric black metal album; and whilst that’s one aspect of Anomie, it is far from the whole story. To approach the album as you would any other black metal album, with all the weight of expectation that brings, would be to do yourself, and it, a disservice. And just because it isn’t necessarily black metal, doesn’t mean that it isn’t any good.

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Forlatt – fantom

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Label: Self-released

Fantom is an album that is far from easily accessible. The fourth release by solo artist Forlattfantom is an 86 minute journey of solitude and misery, with the music wrapping the listener up in layers of melancholia. It is hardly an album that can be listened to casually, containing as it does some incredibly long songs (three run to over fifteen minutes each) that unfurl over time, gradually revealing their secrets and depths. Yet it is hard to resist its charms, as the moods contained here – as sorrowful as they are – are filled with a kind of beauty, that is balanced with enough moments of post-black metal aggression to ensure that fantom never risks feeling stagnant.

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