Lynx keeps a foot in both worlds: the mysterious atmosphere of the classic material, and the more emotional nature of post-metal, but without the self-pitying dwindling melodies of emo. In this way, it keeps what black metal delivered alive, but leaves out some of the technique and structure that made songs the original genre distinctive and expressive.39 Comments
Modern metal bands will often add all sorts of odd and extraneous elements to the music. What is most curious and notable, even as one cringes to the sounds of flutes or children’s choirs and such, is not what is in the music but what is lacking in the music: an aggressive, adventurous, feral spirit that is the common element of all metal music. While experimentation, new ideas, and new textures and elements are not in and of themselves bad things, most bands, being the crowdists they are, get the horses of the apocalypse before the meat wagon. As Socrates so sagely reckoned all those years ago, the spirit informs the final shape that the physical body will take – to build the creation without spirit is, in essence, to create something that lacks shape and indeed lacks the very essence of being.No Comments
There won’t be a challenging listen anytime soon from millennial metal bands. The best we can hope for is something engaging, because given how neutered the general public is today, most things, “underground” or not, will be geared with mass appeal in mind. When we as seasoned listeners encounter a new metal band we approach their newest release with the hope that they at least have some framework of metal history at hand to draw from in order to at least give their inherently gimped effort a palette of direction that resembles metal. But with that mass appeal looming in the back of the creator’s mind, that history may be utilized as a checklist for social acclaim to adorn empty musical gestures instead of a well to draw inspiration to guide a commanding voice. Those type of Frankenmetal releases are easily dismissed as a series of “Ta-da!” moments wrapped around a rancid kernel, but by blunting the confrontational elements of disjunct pieces you can somewhat pull the wool over the listener’s eyes as if you are more steadfast in your artistic message than you actually are.8 Comments
Records praised as “innovative” have a first-mover advantage: we all take that assessment at face value, not having heard the album, and then can only see through it after a half-dozen listens, at which point the record stands revealed. These iconoclastic pioneers usually tend to be the opposite, wielding piecemeal structuring as a cudgel to mask songwriting pitfalls or a lack of overall message in general, and Trance of Death manages to dupe the listener on both counts at first.
Squandered potential proves a crueler disappointment than an outright bad effort in many ways especially when so few modern bands even remotely approach the mantle of the greats of the past, and the most recent EP from unfairly described “black metal” act Thantifaxath is as glaring an example of this scenario as one could imagine.23 Comments
Autarcie could be easily dismissed for being assembled from the elements we expect from narcissistic yet generic post-black metal or “modern metal.” Instead, it presents to us a transition between black metal and either assimilation or a new form which is organic and local, and yet while the band does more with the elements of modern metal than that genre, its failure to conquer the modern mindset within precludes it from achieving the ancient sensibility and sensation of black metal, leaving it as identifiably “post-metal” in spirit but second-wave black metal in form.4 Comments
Often when analyzing music, it can be useful to look to other genres to develop an understanding its relation to the order of nature. Written and recorded music has been around for centuries, and with a multitude of genres emerging in the last hundred years, few have completely died out and disappeared.43 Comments
Article by Anton Rudrick.
Mgła provides us with a perfect example to round a trio of examples that together shape the main misunderstandings as to what black metal is through their misrepresentation of it in either carelessness or ignorance. While modern Watain plays a completely undefined mixture of incoherent tropes around a stomping heavy rock that never condenses into anything original, and modern Behemoth is a shock rock outfit with sterile tekdeaf (modern technical “death metal”) techniques, Mgła is the one that closest comes to black metal by its purposely limited form closely resembling it. However, at best it could be said that they are a musically poor black metal band devoid of the traditional character that fuels the adversarial music, and at worst it could be classified as a post metal band experimenting with close variations on a very simple theme.26 Comments
This band has been around for two decades. I recently found out about them and recommend the album Ruined from 2014.
If you would enjoy a fusion of Cynic and Satyricon, you should enjoy this. Some of the tracks are less effective than others because the band is experimenting with different song arrangements and techniques. The core of this band is killer chord progressions which are very melodic and form a basis for adding riffs to a song without randomness. The bass guitar playing is most excellent throughout. The vocals are simply effective in context with nice rhythmic placement but fairly generic texture. I give Ruined an A-. I had to deduct a point because there was one track I disliked, “Prey.”
- “Not Competent”: Drummer has some unusual time signatures like early Cynic. This is a great mix on this recording. I like how you can hear the bass guitar. The feel of the double kick drums lacks a bit of groove. There is a great amount of variety in the guitar parts and some nice melodies. The leads early on sound like a Satriani jam slowed down or something. The vocals don’t add much to the recording, but they do not harm it either. And he does a great job of singing in the right spots and not over-doing it. It’s a bit mellow and understated for a black death band, and that actually makes it more relaxing and pleasant to listen to. The riff changes are pretty smooth. However, they lead to surprising places. And the songs suck you in and then end before you are ready for them to. Which keeps me listening to the next track.
- “Redacted”: Here’s more of a tight blast beat type intro with a mellow Killing Joke styled guitar riff over it. Now we finally start hearing some thrash and it rules, but then we get stuck in some doom mire before thrashing again. Around the three minute mark we start to get into some utterly awesome late 80s thrash guitar riffage, but with death metal highs. Then a sudden surprising uptick into a blast-beat outro.
- “Ruined”: An alternate time-signature intro which doesn’t seem to fit in well. Followed by A Perfect Circle Type Riff and then back to the intro again, and then soloing. Not so sure about this tune. Skip.
- “Prey”: A mysterious sounding intro riff which is very enticing. Followed by a double kick groove with a really unusually beautiful sounding chord progression with some nice bass touches also. This song has a very nice riff progression overall and it takes you deeper and deeper into its reality.
- “Wasting Games”: Horror film score-like catchy grinding intro riff rules. Killer slow groovy, heavy riff with some Danzig styled vocals. Nice! Followed by a blast beat. WTF?! This is F’ing weird progression and it conquers. This song should have been like first on the album ha. More hard rock, but different riff (plus blues solo) after that. Oh yeah mama!
- “Orthodoxy”: Grainy whiskey inducing into. Starts to get kind of apocalyptic with a dreary tempo. This song is kinda chill. It’s smooth with a charcoal flavor and its on the rocks. Not sure about going straight into the blast though after that. Oh well. Its a cool riff though at least. Picks up into insane blasting and jazzy chords. Thinking this track would have been better split into two separate shorter tracks. I dig them individually, except for the 6/8 time riff because I hate A Perfect Circle and stuff like that. But that’s over quick and we get a radical sounding simple riff which triumphs. This song is very interesting overall.
- “Downturn”: This song starts with a Gothic sounding blasted riff which is neat. The second riff has a Swedish death metal beat and it rules. I am now wishing they had used that beat way more on the recording because it rules. Around the 1:25 mark there is an extremely nice epic black metal riff which is simply unusually Gothic and melodic sounding. Nicely done. I am confused to why they ruin that mood by putting the technical jazzy stuff afterwards. But then back into black metal riff with Swedish beat again, and at that moment I am loving it.
Article by David Rosales
Ocerco’s brand of atmospheric death metal is strongly reminiscent of what Ulcerate has taken to extremes in albums like Vermis. However, the wankery is under control, so Ocerco comes out slightly ahead if you have to (metaphorically) take the pulse and listen to the breathing of their music. While Ulcerate drowns the listener under raw impact and worn-out variations on a theme stretched beyond credibility, Ocerco seems to at least move on with an idea of build up in mind.
On A Desolação, Ocero seems to have something of an ear for an ambient-like build up and song extension that is augmented by their wise decision to make ample use of silence to refresh the listeners’ senses. However, there is only so much one can do when given these limited working materials. Ocerco’s limits are self-imposed and consist of revolving around dissonant chords which have no particular direction or purpose other than upholding circular music that returns again and again to the same idea with a slightly different coloring.
Fans of French harmonic stroking who have a knack for making up excuses for pleasure-oriented music with little use but evoke a single idea per album might rush to defend this album. But hipsters like Debussy have salvageable merits within their confines, especially when it comes to his piano oeuvres, which are best experienced as a set rather than expecting too much from one of their songs, which play more like a short sentence. Ocerco, on the other hand, is simply post-rock with harsh vocals and dissonant chords.5 Comments