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

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Wyrd – Death of the Sun (2016)

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Author: Crono

Artist: Wyrd

Album: Death of the Sun

Label: Moribund Records

Genre: Black/Folk/Doom Metal

 

Wyrd is a band that is near and dear to me, having spent many of my university years listening to their albums, Heathen, Vargtimmen 1 & 2, and The Ghost Album getting the most frequent rotation. Imagine my delight when after seven years of silence, Wyrd drops a new album without almost no warning. I was very intrigued by this new album because of the addition of several members to the band. Almost all previous Wyrd albums have been the creation of one person, Narqath, but on Death of the Sun, the band is now a six-piece! Going from one person to six people is quite a large jump, so a change in sound is impossible to avoid. But now time for the real question: how does the album hold up? As far as I’m concerned, very well! 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

Panopticon – Autumn Eternal (2015)

Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Panopticon

Album: Autumn Eternal

Label: Bindrune Recordings

 

After three releases in the vein of DSBM/Atmospheric Black metal, Panopticon, the brainchild of Austin Lunn, rose to prominent attention with 2012’s Kentucky. For what may have been the first time in black metal, Panopticon incorporated the use of traditional folk music from the southern United States, including banjo, steel string guitar and fiddle. The unconventional approach worked for some, and others disregarded as a gimmick, but Kentucky was widely regarded as a high achievement in American black metal, and the term ‘Appalachian Black Metal’ was used to distinguish the music’s influences from its northern Cascadian cousins. Continue reading

Nechochwen – Heart of Akamon (2015)

Author: Crono

Artist: Nechochwen

Album: Heart of Akamon

Label: Bindrune Recordings

Nechochwen has actually been around for quite a while, starting originally as a neofolk solo project. However, their second album, Azimuths to the Otherworld, introduced heavier guitars and vocals. Heart of Akamon is the final realization of this slow shift towards atmospheric black metal, and it is an album with lots of variety and a few pretty heavy songs. The riffs and vocals can hit pretty hard, and you can tell that they really tried to make as intense of an album as they could while maintaining some of the aboriginal-inspired neofolk from their previous albums. The result is a strong album with lots of variety. Continue reading

Tengger Cavalry – Blood Sacrifice Shaman (2010/2015) (Re-recorded)

Artist: Tengger Cavalry

Album: 血祭萨满 / Blood Sacrifice Shaman (2010)/ Blood Sacrifice Shaman (2015)

Label: Dying Art Productions (2010) / Metal Hell Records (2015)

Reviewer: Dan

Tengger Cavalry is most definitely the most popular Folk Metal band hailing from China to include Mongolian traditional instruments and combine it with throat singing. Now they re-recorded and rearranged their first album and also shortened it a bit. Continue reading