Review: Agrona – Realm of the Fallen


Label: UKEM Records

The debut album from Welsh band Agrona is an interesting one. Though it doesn’t really stick within the constraints of what a black metal album should sound like, nor does it really push at the boundaries of the style. There’s something about Realm of the Fallen that is simultaneously trve and kvlt, whilst also feeling like it has been created without any consideration of genre. Sitting somewhere between Dimmu Borgir and Anaal Nathrakh, it is a very distinctive album that moves will bulldozering force, the energy of which ensures that it combination of styles works even as the album itself is constantly shifting form.

Continue reading

Album of the Day: Dimmu Borgir – In Sorte Diaboli


Label: Nuclear Blast Records

I can’t help but think that Dimmu Borgir have become the Jean-Claude Van Damme of symphonic black metal. For those who care for the kind of thing they do, there’s plenty of enjoyment to be found in their respective careers; but also a few duff moments, too. In Sorte Diaboli probably best demonstrates (and succeeds at) this idea of black metal as big budget, no-brains entertainment; the black metal version of Timecop or Universal Soldier, completely unoriginal, and unloved by critics, but – for those who are in to that sort of thing – a solid slice of entertainment.  Continue reading

Review: Son Ov Leviathan – Vi Veri Vniversum Visus Vici


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.

Continue reading

Album of the Day: Necronautical – The Endurance at Night


Label: Cacophonous Records

The debut from UK black metal band Necronautical, Black Sea Misanthropy, was a record I was very taken with, as shown by my inclusion of it as one of my favourites from 2014. Yet for some reason, the follow-up, The Endurance at Night, didn’t click with me for some time. I’m really not sure why, but it wasn’t until I saw the band live, opening for the mighty Winterfylleth, that I really realised just how good these songs are; and it confirmed my initial thoughts from their debut, that Necronautical really do have the potential to become a pretty big name in UK black metal.

Continue reading