Dark Funeral – Where Shadows Forever Reign (2016

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Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Dark Funeral

Album: Where Shadows Forever Reign (2016)

Genre: Black Metal

Label: Century Media Records

 

 

 

Dark Funeral have inhabited a somewhat curious position in black metal. Formed in the midst of the second wave in neighboring Sweden, the band survived the turn of the century, when many of the Norwegian torchbearers were either seeking alternative paths or floundering altogether. Dark Funeral, along with countrymen Marduk, took up cleaner production and more conventional, recognizable song structures and acted as a lightning rod for new black metal listeners. Whilst they never delved into the outright commercial properties of Dimmu Borgir, the band nonetheless wrought a fair bit of distain in more experienced circles. They never used keyboards or clean vocals, and their guitar leads were rarely melodic enough to be called “mainstream”. Nothing musical about the band could be called anything less than black metal; nonetheless, Dark Funeral had become far more accessible than many believe black metal has any right to be.  Continue reading

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Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika (2016)

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Author: Crono

Artist: Moonsorrow

Album: Jumalten Aika

Label: Century Media Records
The new Moonsorrow album is finally here! After a five year wait, we finally have the follow-up to Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa! This album is the seventh from Moonsorrow, and it is definitely worthy of the Moonsorrow names. To me, the previous album Varjoina… did not live up to the amazing one-two punch that was Verisäkeet, arguably Moonsorrow’s best album, and V: Hävitetty, one of my personal favourites. But to my delight, Jumalten Aika has met the bar that was set by those two amazing albums. Continue reading

Borknagar – Winter Thrice (2016)

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Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Borknagar

Album: Winter Thrice

Label: Century Media Records

 

When a Scandinavian band releases a winter-themed album in the middle of their winter, it usually means that my first experience of that record is on a sweltering Australian day, whilst dodging bushfires and dropbears. The real success of the album comes if that music can still transport me to a land of windswept fjords and frost fallen earth. Continue reading

Swallow the Sun – Songs from the North I, II & III (2015)

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Author: Crono

Artist: Swallow the Sun

Album: Songs from the North I, II & III

Label: Century Media Records

 

 

Swallow the Sun is a well-known band. They’ve been around for years, over ten of them actually, and had several releases. For me, they’ve been a little hit-and-miss, sometimes awesome, sometimes just okay. There are some classic songs for me, such as The Giant from way back in 2005, but death-doom is not an easy style to do, and I’ve never found a band that properly captures the gothic gloom of mid-90s bands (I’m thinking bands like Theatre of Tragedy) and blends it properly with the intensity of death metal that developed in the early 2000s. Continue reading