Proscriptor Ends Absu

After three decades of existence, Proscriptor McGovern has decided to finally end famed American black metal band Absu. While the “Absu” trilogy will never be finished due to Proscriptor’s difficulty in maintaining a stable lineup and the histrionic ego-drama of a certain guitarist, the band leave behind a decent catalogue with unfortunate dips in quality over recent years. Though this begs the question, was there anything else that Absu could express?

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Funereal Presence – Achatius

Following the tale of one of the fourteen holy helpers Achatius, more commonly known under the name of Saint Agathius, the patron saint against headaches and more importantly a central figure in the various wars against the Ottomans. His story is that of a soldier who was tortured and decapitated for not relinquishing his faith and therefore becoming a martyr. Funeral Presence expand on this brief tale by playing a form of Black metal that exists within the confines of the first wave yet but with subtle influences in overall scope and direction from the second wave.

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Gevurahel – Un Nuevo Amanecer Satánico (2019)

Coming back not with a reformulation or evolution of their sound but a deepening of their purpose, Gevurahel give us a new presentation of old and new compositions that fine tune their expression of satanic devotion. The musical style has been boiled down to essentials of unity and comprehensibility, letting the variation and exploration take place in a more controlled way. These designs are not random nor do they respond to a musical urge, but rather to an inner insistence upon necessity with respect to purpose. That is, the direct opposite of music for its own sake.

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Treblinka’s “Evilized” – Song Analysis

There was this short period of time, when death metal sounded really gloomy. This type of death metal was sometimes considered as black metal, which was judged back then not as much by used techniques, but rather by imagery, themes and atmosphere. When black metal proper was defined, for lack of a better name, the term dark metal, which over the years garnered various applications, was sometimes used to describe this style of death metal.

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Witch-Hunt – Darkened Anthology 1992-2002

Witch-Hunt hail from Virginia and were formed by brothers Brian and Ben Straight at a young age. The band would go through multiple periods and lineup changes that resulted in only one full length and a band trying to find its identity through various styles and constant lineup changes. On Darkened Anthology 1992-2002 the band showcase the best songs of each period in a “best of” style and such each section will be reviewed separately.

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Irillion – Fatanyu (Self-released, 2019)

Ostensibly positioning themselves somewhere between the exalted primitivism of Demoncy and the “flowing” school of Eastern European black metal, Irillion emerged as one of the more promising black metal-acts of recent years with 2016’s Egledhron. Not so much for their choice of style, but for displaying courage to move beyond established forms in intuitive pursuit of the most effective and far-reaching mode of expression. This recently released second EP entitled Fatanyu retains the sonic signature and raw, essentialist approach evident on the debut, but trumps the debut in terms of composition and stylistic refinement.

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Fester – Silence (Lethal, 1994)

Back in the day, this Norwegian band was derogatorily referred to as a “life metal”-band by scenesters. Especially their sophomore effort Silence suffered a reputation of being an exceptionally weak, pretentious and – above all – boring release. Although recent years have given rise to sporadic reevaluations of the band’s work, Fester remains largely neglected to this day (and some would say deservedly so).

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