Kamphar- Mellon Skogkledde Aaser (1997/2004)

What ding-dong dreamed up the idea to “digitally remastered” this album? Emperor started that stupid trend. While that album did sound like it was recorded in a cave with a bear being water-boarded in the background. But that was the exception, not the rule. Messing with the original version of an album has the same mentality as moving Confederate war memorials. It is an attempt to make history “better” instead of allowing future generations to make their own judgments.

Bands want to make their work as good as possible, but at the same time I want to listen to a 1997 album, not the 2004 reworked version of the album. The raw, dirty, analog sound was what made Black Metal and brought it to the attention of the world. Cleaning up this album changed what was originally a blackened pagan/folk sound to Viking Metal/ Symphonic Black Metal. While good, great really, it is not the album that I wanted to review.

Here is a review that explains and dissects the album in great detail. richieblackmetal is more generous and forgiving giving it 85%. I can’t label it a dumpster fire, but by 2004 the best symphonic black metal album had already been out for seven years. This work is akin to Bob Dylan reworking Blowing in the Wind in a hip-hop style. Remastering Mellon Skogkledde Aaser destroyed it’s historic relevance. It was a piece of the Norwegian black metal story and now it’s just another album.

Dawn- Slaughtersun (1998)

Album reviews of 99% are gross exaggerations. Almost always. Going to Metallum for evidence I stop at the first review, utterly amazed.
Slaughtersun is definitely in the top 1% of all metal albums. Dawn is Swedish blackened-death metal and Slaughtersun came out in 1998 back when death and black metal were genres with well defined parameters. Yes, Metallum labels them as “melodic black metal and death metal”. That is wrong. Blackened-Death is a distinct sub-genre.

Back in 1998 there were two restrooms, male and female, no family restrooms. Trans-gender and gender-identity were not common terms and Black Metal had screeched vocals and tremolo riffs. That was not considered “melodic black metal”, it was just black metal. The change in terminology and labels does not help, it just makes everything more confusing. In the years since this album the black metal sound has been more thoroughly explored which explains the change in nomenclature. However, Slaughtersun is still blackened-death metal.

And what an example it is, a friend of mine played this CD on repeat for three days straight after it came out.


Burzum- demo II (1991)


This second Burzum demo marked the crystalization Black Metal as a genre. This recording is low, muddy and the production quality is poor, all of which adds to the feeling. Many people don’t like the low recording, bitching and complaining… Which is cool. Some people like the clean radio sound and sitting down to pee.

Either way, this demo represents the moment when black metal emerges from the sub genre of death metal/ metal as a distinct separate genre with tremolo guitar riffs and shrieked vocals.


Random Black Metal Bandcamp; The Great Old Ones

Today we have a random Black Metal Bandcamp post about The Great Old Ones’ new album EOD; A Tale Of Dark Legacy which is based on a novella by H. P. Lovecraft.  In 2017 there isn’t a lot of new ground to cover in black metal. There has to be something more to an album or a band now a days besides for being straight “black metal” and basing the lyrics on a book doesn’t cut it.   The premesis is good, but not enough on its own.  At the end of the day a good gimic doesn’t make up for uninspired music even it it is played perfectly; 65%.

Bone Awl discography

A bone awl is a primitive tool made for punching holes in leather.  The band plays harsh, lo fi,  guttural, punk influenced black metal. The duo’s sound is raw, unrefined, lo fi, appropriately underground and a classic black metal act.

Back in 2002 Bone Awl was playing black metal in a style that no one had ever heard and they started down a path that  USBM maintained (generally speaking) for a decade. Besides for that, the major music apps (like Spotify, Pandora, Google music, etc.) don’t have any of their music, which is annoying but gives them credibility as a black metal band.
I’ve been listening to this discography for hours and honesty isn’t close to getting old. Some release are better than others and there are a couple  outright wonky ones in there, but in so far as discographies go this one is stellar, 96%. 



Misery- Miséricordes (2012)

The next random download, for which there is actually a download, comes from the apparently now defunct GhostsOfSaturn, Misery’s Miséricordes, which is good French Funeral Black Metal, yet again, real underground. This album was limited to 44 cassettes and now is only available for free download, which is cool, though a very French way of going about things.


Relationship Advice and Black Metal Wednesday; Identifying Patterns and Deep Mountains- Lake of Solace (2014)

Single women in their thirties can not follow instructions. I’m not being an asshole here because it’s an established pattern. If given a task or job with detailed instructions, they’ll follow most of them, but there will always be one or two details that are omitted or changed. And, they’ll go out of their way to explain why they know better than to follow all the instructions. Same thing if they’re told to do something by a male (boss, police officer, doctor, etc). They will always argue. It is instinctual. Telling a single woman what to do is like as dumping blood in the water near sharks. Like sharks they can’t control themselves in this frenzied state, which is the reason they are single. Instead of blood, though, it’s alcohol that often creates this frenzied state.
Most women who have been with the same man for a decade or more don’t make a habit of arguing and flipping out when they have been drinking. It’s that simple. By the time a single woman is in her thirties there have normally been a few major relationships that have failed, and alcohol is always in the details somewhere.
Like sharks, single women in their thirties fill a critical role in the ecosystem, I’m just not sure what it is. The moral of the story is use caution when dumping alcohol into middle aged women.

Lake of Solace is a Chinese horde playing atmospheric black metal that I couldn’t pass up for the fact that I’ve never heard of a Chinese black metal band before. Their freshman album received two glowing reviews on Metallum, which seemed hopeful. Halfway through Lake of Solace I was still not impressed. On the sixth track they try out some growled vocals, but the vocals were sung a couple tracks back. Then, there are some acoustic guitar parts…
Atmospheric Black Metal is a genre that can become boring or silly quite easily. The sound is a difficult one to manage, and honestly there are few bands that pull it off really well, Durkth and Burzum being the notable exceptions… and this is no exception to the rule. It’s all over the place, a mismatch of sounds and styles with little real flow as a band or as an album, 65%.

(Here is a classic Black Metal post with a download link.)

Circle of Ouroborus- Alttarimyllyt (2015)

Experimental Black Metal, Circle of Ouroborus is a Finnish band that doesn’t “sound” like anyone but themselves. It is a distinct sound; lo fi, but clean, erie and haunting with clear experimental rock and Finnish folk influences intricate black metal guitar pieces. They have a lengthy discography and this release doesn’t dissapoint, easily one of this year’s better albums, 89%.

circle of ouroborus/ roman cross split