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  • As We Draw / Euglena / Hexis
    By on September 14th, 2011 | 131 Comments131 Comments Comments

    genre: Hardcore/Post-Metal/Black Metal
    country: France/Russia/Denmark

    Just released online today, this is a massive wall of soundish hardcore release, filled with intense screams and heavy as fuck parts. You can easily hear both sludge and screamo influences here. Hexis is a danish band, that is best described as… Well, you can pretty much sum it up with “Celeste-esque” – massive hiss and fast drummings, intense screaming and earrape that just wont stop. The russian Euglena is heavy and brutal, starting out with a long intro with guitars weeping and sustained screams. As We  Draw is a very powerful trio from France, a country that has a rumour of producing bands with really good emotion and melody, this is definitely true about AWD as well.

    You can download this split for free on bandcamp, or pay what you want, or you can pre-order the 12″ as well.

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  • Drudkh – Forgotten Legends (2003)
    By on May 25th, 2009 | 112 Comments112 Comments Comments

    forgotten-legends

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    Bitrate: 320 vbr
    Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
    Country: Ukraine
    Notes: One of my favorite black metal release and my favorite release from this band. I will be uploading more from them over the coming days in anticipation of their coming album.

  • Wolves in the Throne Room – Black Cascade
    By on April 9th, 2009 | 123 Comments123 Comments Comments

    Musically, at the point when a subcultural style becomes incorporated into the market, it is simultaneously stripped of its cultural message and becomes simply another meaningless object of mass consumption. Consider the plethora of politically motivated punk rock bands (Against Me! Greenday e.t.c) whose commercial success has seen the timeless display of politics relegated and contained to the bands personal history. Even the brash political lyrics of the mid-nineties Hip-Hop Scene (N.W.A, Wu-Tang Clan e.t.c) declined rapidly, while interest in the soundscape that those lyrics roamed increased exponentially. However, the extreme Black Metal scene has, and is still consistently defined, by its (anti)-political message, stubbornly maintaining its distance from the market whilst remaining self-consciously and traditionally burdened by the atrocities of its own festering scene. Ironically, it is this close-minded attitude that has allowed Wolves in the Throne Room (Olympia, WA) to breathe new life into the flagging scene. Through a process of reification, Wolves in the Throne Room (Hereby referred to as WITTR) have separated subject ((anti)-politics) from object (music), allowing both creative and political freedom to manifest itself with veracity.

    Since the release of second album Two Hunters (2007, Southern Lord), WITTR have ascended to the upper tiers of the underground scene by creating a transformative and apocalyptic musical manifestation that has come to completely transcend the Black Metal label. Formed by brothers Aaron (Drums) and Nathan Weaver (Guitar, Vocals) and accompanied by former Middian guitarist Will Lindsay (replacing former guitarist Richard Dahlen), the band have consistently stated that their combined musical goal was “to create a musical expression of an expanding consciousness that linked the mythic and apocalyptic visions of Black Metal” with “life-changing actions on the physical plane” and with Black Cascade (2009), the bands third full-length album, WITTR have further sought to differentiate Black Metal from a force of pure negativity and have forged an individual, neo-Arcadian philosophy in their own image.

    Despite being founded upon a traditional Black Metal musical aesthetic, Black Cascade voraciously incorporates genre as a means to broaden its appeal. Genres are woven together, with ambient and environmental samples rising and falling through the material. Melodic, Shoe-gaze drones are compounded with hazy electronics and psychedelic swings of tempo that blend together effortlessly and inter-relate between each extended composition.

    The opening track ‘Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog’ acts as both an homage to traditional Black Metal musical structures whilst at the same time using structure to deconstruct the notion of the subject; complementing traditional Black Metal tempos with ever changing dynamic shifts to produce a sophisticated layered composition that elevates transient melodies to the forefront of the song rather than make spectacular the modified heavy metal that features so prominently in the works of early Black Metal bands (such as Burzum and Mayhem).

    ‘Ahrimanic Trance’ takes the formal qualities of ‘Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog’ and promotes them further, outdoing both the ferocious speed and melodic drones of the opening track yet maintaining a sense of stylistic unity between the two.

    Joined thematically with the environmental sample ending the track before, third track ‘Ex Cathedra’ begins slowly but builds into an uncompromising powerhouse only to be broken down at the peak of its finery and outdone by a truly beautiful piece of proceeding electronic atmosphere.

    Closing track ‘Crystal Ammunition’ remains similar in focus but introduces sombre Arcadian-folk that juxtaposes perfectly with the shrill of Nathan Weaver’s vocals, bringing the album to its perfectly balanced conclusion.

    Recorded onto a two inch tape and mixed on a 1973 Neve Console by Producer Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))) ), the entirety of the album benefits hugely from the hazy recorded sound, allowing for guitars and electronics to merge and create not just a sound, but a ‘soundscape’, bereft of Black Metal contradictions and brimming with enticing melody. With the release of Black Cascade, Wolves in the Throne Room have provided the possibility of moving beyond the colourless walls of Black Metal routine into the bright environs of an imaginary state and, in doing so; have changed the direction of American Black Metal for the near future.

    Slothbear

    Tracklisting:

    1. Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (10:33)
    2. Ahrimanic Trance (14:06) (Slothbear’s Top Track)
    3. Ex Cathedra (10:59)
    4. Crystal Ammunition (14:21)

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  • The Legion – Bloodaeons [demo] (2000)
    By on March 18th, 2009 | 115 Comments115 Comments Comments

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    bitrate: 192 kBit/s
    genre: Black Metal
    country: Sweden
    notes: N/A

  • Graven – The Shadows Eternal Call (2005)
    By on March 17th, 2009 | 114 Comments114 Comments Comments

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    bitrate: 254 kBit/s
    genre: Black Metal
    country: Germany
    notes: N/A

  • Psyopus – Odd Senses
    By on March 2nd, 2009 | 119 Comments119 Comments Comments

    psyopus-odd-sense-cover-art

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    bitrate: 220 kBit/s (VBR)
    genre: Hardcore
    country: USA
    notes: N/A

  • Sigh – Hail Horror Hail (1997)
    By on February 23rd, 2009 | 125 Comments125 Comments Comments

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    Bitrate: 320 vbr
    Genre: Avant-Garde Metal/Black Metal
    Country: Japan
    Notes: More Avant-Garde than Infidel Art, more Black Metal than Imaginary Sonicscape.

  • Sigh – Infidel Art (1995)
    By on January 31st, 2009 | 106 Comments106 Comments Comments

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    Bitrate: 320 vbr
    Genre: Black Metal
    Country: Japan
    Notes: Another favorite of mine. This is before Sigh became experimental, so if you enjoyed Imaginary Sonicscape then expect something different.

  • When Mine Eyes Blacken – When Mine Eyes Blacken (2009)
    By on January 23rd, 2009 | No Comments Comments

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    Bitrate: 128cbr
    Genre: Depressive/Suicidal Black Metal
    Country: New Zealand
    Notes: Not your average DSBM, this is a very soothing album. In case you ever wanted to do your homework to black metal.

  • Lifelover – Konkurs (2008)
    By on January 19th, 2009 | No Comments Comments

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    bitrate: 256 VBR kBit/s
    genre: (Depressive) Black Metal
    country: Sweden
    notes: N/A