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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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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Underdark – Mourning Cloak

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Label: Third I Rex (CD) / Sell Your Soul Records (vinyl)

Sometimes, hard work pays off. Nottingham’s Underdark have certainly been working hard since forming in November 2015, pushing hard to get gigs in the local area and beyond, and catching the eye of record labels as a result. Originally digitally self-released, their debut EP Mourning Cloak is now getting pressed on CD by Third I Rex and vinyl by Sell Your Soul Records, giving the band’s blackgaze further exposure. It’s not hard to see why the band have been finding such success so quickly, as theirs is a convincing, passionate strand of blackgaze, that does not forget the harsh black metal aspect of the subgenre, combining it well with more restrained moments of relative calm.

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