Album of the Day recap: 16/7/18 – 20/7/18

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Whilst the Album of the Day feature is now a social-media based feature, I figured it would be useful to have a post at the end of each week recapping the previous selections for the week gone by, all in one convenient place. So, here’s this week’s selections:

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Review: Cosmic Church – Täyttmys

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Label: Kuunpalvelus

And so, farewell to one of underground black metal’s most intriguing acts. Täyttymys is the swansong from Cosmic Church, and whilst it would be inaccurate to say that the solo act was ever one of the biggest names in underground black metal, they were certainly one of the more promising. Previous album Ylistys was (or should have been) a modern classic, full of atmospheric black metal, just on the right side of raw whilst still possessing a real sense of grandeur, tapping in to something bigger than humanity. Täyttymys picks up where that album (and previous EP Vigillia) left off, summoning grandiose, genuinely epic black metal that feels as if it is more than just music, and is instead trying to communicate something fundamental to existence.

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Album of the Day: Lindow Moss – 1st

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Label: Self-released

The appropriately titled 1st by Nottingham newcomers Lindow Moss is one of the best demos I have heard this year. Filled with raw, primal violence and fuck-you attitude, its black metalpunk draws from the same pit of darkness as the likes of Bone Awl and Sump. It is nasty, riff-filled, and utterly lacking in grace – yet, my god, what an onslaught it is. With a bleeding red-red production and atmosphere that suggests everything could collapse at any given moment, this is the spirit of the underground in musical form, full of spit and bile, hideously ugly yet all but impossible to resist.

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Album of the Day: Ulver – Nattens Madrigal

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Label: Century Media Records

Are Ulver the best band to have arisen from 90s black metal? It might feel like a contentious statement, but in terms of artistic evolution, it seems a reasonable statement to make. Even during their early days they were pushing at the boundaries of the genre, what with their second album Kveldssanger being a folk album, and the way they would leave the genre behind with albums like Perdition City and their evolution into prog and pop is remarkable. Their last actual black metal album, Nattens Madrigal (or Nattens Madrigal – Aatte Hymne til Ulven i Manden to give it its full title), represents a high point of the genre, being one of the best raw black metal albums ever made, and as such, it’s no wonder they left the genre behind. Without changing drastically, how could they possibly top this?

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Album of the Day: Morbithory – Unholy Fucking Diné Black Metal Hell

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Label: Death Portal Studio

The sole release (to date) from MorbithoryUnholy Fucking Diné Black Metal Hell is a demo of the rawest, most delightfully vicious kind. With a slight crust edge to the riffs, and a single-minded fury propelling the music forward, Unholy… is for those who like their black metal to be punishing, crude, and barbaric – but not simple. There’s subtle melodies at play here, and some of the solo work is superb. Released in 2013, it would be a shame if this demo is all the band releases, as this is excellent.

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Album of the Day: Feminazgul – The Age of Men is Over

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Label: Self-released

Everyone break up your bands and go home: Feminazgul is the best band name ever, and no name will ever top this one. Whilst the band name will likely grab your attention, the music of The Age of Men is Over will ensure it is held, with its raw, atmospheric black metal that smothers the listener like a dream of justice and violence. Haunting keyboards combine with buzzsaw guitars, all topped off with vocals that howl like an ancient spirit, newly awoken to enact its vengeance upon the world. It is music of one world ending, and a new one arising from the ashes; and as such, it is quite glorious.

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Album of the Day: Darkthrone – A Blaze in the Northern Sky

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Label: Peaceville Records

Released 26 years and a day ago, A Blaze in the Northern Sky is a pivotal album for Darkthrone, and black metal as a whole. It saw the band shed their death metal skin, evolving (or regressing, depending on your point of view) in to the black metal beast that made them their name. Even now, A Blaze… stands up as an incredibly strong album, with its long, captivating songs, and aura of raw cold; but there’s also something more, a feeling of hatred and isolation that few albums have matched since.

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