Article by David Rosales.
I. Where is the music?
It is very rare to find a general fan of black metal today who has not at least heard of the name of Watain. The kind of fame it has attained, however, is the kind that is mostly based on peripheral affairs rather than the art which Watain is supposed to dedicate itself to. Watain is the kind of ‘entity’ (as most of these bands are now given to call themselves) that is surrounded by a nebulous aura which may at first, if one is inclined to be generous in providing the benefit of the doubt, seem like an hint of something truly profound going on. Now, whether that is the case in regards to the real, transcendent or philosophical knowledge or experience of the people behind Watain is not for the writer to say. On the other hand, the music itself does not seem to display any of the more-than-human qualities it should if one is to believe all the hype. In fact, it reveals itself as a very mundane affair when one is given to delve into a holistic examination of the music in itself, and even more so when seen in relation to the extra-musical portions of the ‘entity’.
Continue reading Watain – Reaping Death (2016)
Article by Lance Viggiano.
Autechre‘s elseq 1-5 is a four hour anthology consisting of five individual EPs, each compiled together loosely upon conceptual coherence between the constituent tracks. elseq 1-5 is an exercise in release format rather than just content; the artists behind Autechre seek to utilize the immediacy of the digital age, releasing tracks “as they go” without traditional limitations imposed by the “album.” Granted of course this collection appeared as a hulking and impenetrable dump rather than a sequence. This point bears worth remembering as this overview proceeds as the temptation to view elseq 1-5 as a complete work, or works, is ingrained in popular habits.
Continue reading Autechre – elseq 1–5 (2016)
Article by Lance Viggiano.
Veneror create long, flowing, compositions in the style of Sacramentum which carry a melancholic but sinister emotive pallet through melodious arpeggiated twin guitar harmonies. Structurally these songs cycle in between two or three motifs yet eschews a sense of heightened dynamics while coarse vocals ride atop giving a sense of continuity rather than circularity. This is further reinforced by the chromatic development which carries itself into reprieves which close each section with sparsity before jaunting into the next. The resultant unbroken sequence of phrases is not unlike what Revenant would use to great effect on their infamous and only full length album.
Continue reading Veneror – Percussimus Foedus cum Morte (2013)
Article by Lance Viggiano
Darkthrone have spent the records FOAD through The Underground Resistance regressing into their pre-Celtic Frost influences. Sensing their customers’ growing unpopularity with this black ‘n’ roll approach, Fenriz and Nocturno Culto try to save face on Artic Thunder by regressing into their own work. The upshot is that nobody but Miller Lite Throne can sell mediocre riffs in cyclical songs as well as these two. The downshift is that they cannot muster enough enthusiasm or energy to play their own ideas with the dedication of a devoted bar-tier cover band.
Continue reading Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder (2016)
Arghoslent, a speed metal/black metal hybrid famous for their politically provocative lyrics, have taken notice of criticism of their songs as disconnected bundles of riffs and heavy metal conventions which go nowhere despite having promising beginnings. Those who read the subtext of their statement, “CORRECTION: The band has decided not to write new music since it is ‘merely a collection of riffs and heavy metal wank’,” can infer that the band is re-focusing on their songwriting as a result of those quoted incendiary statements made here at Death Metal Underground.
Continue reading Arghoslent Declare Intent To Complete Songs