As the sun lay in the sky, moving with a miserable pace, I recede from the suffocating heat into a familiar yet welcome place called Old Forest. I could not be more pleased with this release and I find myself let wanting and wailing with every listen. Now, some may whisper that this is different, changed yet it is not, they speak nonsense. They have not wandered into that Old Forest, journeyed into its depths, witnessed the trees weep and walk with a cold clamor. These have always been Black Forests of Eternal Doom.
Now, from the first two tracks, it is downright the familiar trees you know and love to wander. However, the title track, Black Forests of Eternal Doom, followed by Shroud of my Dreams, A Spell upon Thee, and Hang'ed Man show that this Old Forest still holds great secrets, unfound until now, hidden away until we were ready. I could pick any of those four tracks as showcase pieces yet I felt the title piece was the most correct one to pass along. It is mighty, humming, howling, and melodic. Shroud of my Dreams is the tune that will draw you deeper into this place. A Spell upon Thee has that heaviness I know so well from previous albums and it immediately had my swayed my head to that harmonious beat. The mixture of vocals is simply beautiful to top it off with that blend of vocals. Hang'ed Man grows into a stellar piece as it continues one with riveting guitar work on the tail end.
Black Forests of Eternal Doom has been on repeat for a solid week and I cannot break the grip it holds upon me (nor do I want to). This artist has surprised me with each album I have grasped, always leaving me staggering for more, and just when I think I am free from Old Forest... it calls me back. Let this week be about old passions reignited with vigor, passion, and that old dark spark we all know and love...even if we won't admit it. /,,/
Shhhh... You hear that, child? That is the sound of one man, lone against the world, banging his weapon against the drums, howling at the sky for blood. That man is Nalfein, the artist called Svalblod, and he is welcome in these hallowed halls. Im Wald which means In The Forest is an astounding first release for a solo artist. Melodic black metal with folk and atmosphere bound to it, these album thrums and grooves like a wicked storm.
Beginning with an end, The Death of a Wanderer blows in on an ill wind not long until the electricity begins to flow, surging to a riff filled exit. Off To Mithril Hall where Svalblod keeps a killer pace until it slowly winds down. Next, we have Zirael, starting off with some simple guitar strings, this piece explodes into a wild ride that makes you shout along as the name is called, ZIR-EA-EL!!! Fog on the Barrows is a change, that slow, sorrow strum that seems to span across fields and mountains, a slow fog creeping across remains with whispers. Lastly, split into three parts, Autumn. Part I follows the sorrow from the previous, a heavy piano beckoning one to The Tomb of My Lost and Beloved. Part II (myyyy favorite track after so many listens) starts off with a deceptive wail as it screams into existence. However, In Lonesome October is quite the treat where at the 1:45 mark this piece grows into something so much more, so alluring and haunting. Great riffs and change ups really show the prowess of this artist as his vocals and instruments work in riveting harmony. Finally, As Grey Skies Weep Over the Forests, we reach that precipice which is the end. A track full of sullen strength, we journey along as Svalblod howls amidst great death.
This is a masterful release, truly. The amount of effort and energy poured into Im Wald is absolutely awe inspiring. I know I showcase Black Metal a lot but it is due to individuals like Nalfein that I find myself compelled to share such a gift. So, with this album to carry us into the week, let this be a reminder. Take a chance, do the work, follow that wild dream, fore there may be only a few that appreciate your work (or many) however it will mean worlds to those who lack the skill or drive to channel their sorrows and hardships. Cheers to Svalblod on this epic creation, and to you, for giving him and I the chance to bring something different to your day. /,,/
I happen to recognize many references to The Witcher when researching some of the names and anyone who appreciates that series is a welcome addition in my life. Also, look up Gwynbleidd if you want an artist fueled by The Witcher lore and who has some epic tracks (Blackened Folk Metal greatness... and they need to make more!)
And lo, the earthquaked, the skies turned sour, and an avalanche falls upon us this week as we return once more with Grima. Will of the Primordial is the third release from this Siberian duo and I cannot say enough about it. The most notable portion is just how much more weight and power this installment brings forth, vocally and instrumentally. It is a force of nature and I am left in awe at the vast skill Grima possesses. By far one of my favorite wails/screams at times as far as a metal artist goes but just the small visitation I have had with Will of the Primordial I can tell they have earned the praise and given us all a gem from the cold reaches.
This weeks showcase track will be the astounding, all powerful track called The Shrouded in Darkness. However, there is not a single bad or uninspired piece to speak of, the whole damn thing brings down the mountain. The instumental parts are haunting and luring, while the other six tracks thunder and surge with accordian and guitar duoship that few are capable. This is an awesome follow up from last weeks showcase and continues our trend of a blackened, cold summer.
Do yourself a favor, do Grima a solid, and give this a listen. The music video they produced is visually epic and the attire they selected is straight wicked (Gonna have to get me a mask like that). Let us weather this week with grace and power like that that Grima has shown us in their work. Stay frosty, my friends! /,,/
,,Though it is summer and the heat and humidity choke and cook the air I find myself frozen to the core. I awake in my darkened bedroom to a rustle, a harsh cold gripping the room. The curtain blows and the window is open yet the air is frigid. There, in the corner of my room stands this shrouded visage holding an instrument with hands that should not longer hold anything. The jaw drops, the accordian plays, and my room is sundered by this being...this artist of death.
Path. This is how this "Путь" is apparently pronounced (after some research and diving to decipher this enigmatic and enchanting find). The album is called Songs of Death and I cannot get enough of it. It haunts me, it tortures me to listen onward, to wander out into the cold and sleep beneath the tree with no leaves, the siberian landscape claiming another as my soul journeys into the void where this artist must have hailed.
Ten songs. There are ten tracks on this stellar album and each one rivals each other, each one hiding something stirring within its blizzard. Above The Ancient Coffin is the showcase track but that's only because it was one of the first ones I really latched on to. However, now that I have given each song due attention, I could pick any of them and feel satisfied. If this is the only thing Path ever creates I am grateful. If they produce anything more of this magnitude I will have to move to Siberia. Speaking of, I believe my recent Grima interest somehow spawned this find but I am curious why not before. Perhaps I am only now ready for such a treat. I care not, for this has been an epic find for my collection.
Here are some pointers on tracks to give a listen:
The ashes of your hair, Rachel - 3:50 to the end (grooves into an epic ending)
Within the white palace - The beginning build up will hook you (Also, check out The White Palace from Omnium Gatherum...not sure what it is with those places but they spawn monstrous metal tracks)
The flowers of evil - 3:00 to the end is gorgeous, haunting, and that fire crackling in the background is enthralling)
Cult I: Lights of the distant hills - 3:45 to the end thunders and cracks as it manifests into a churning explosion of energy.
Oh, and how about the fact that the album art and track names are awesome. Look at that cover art! Stare into those skeletal sockets and let that darkness serenade you with bone chilling goodness. Theres just so much right about this album, so much win. Siberia has some talented black metal artists and I am grateful to find these gems.
So it seems, as the heat increases, the cold only cascades more, as Path grips this week with a bleak storm. And soon, very soon, Grima shall follow with their newest album. How delightful. My skin crawls with anticipation... or perhaps that is simply the worms in my cadaver for my spirit wanders towards the Taiga. Stay frosty this week, my friends. /,,/
I, The Mad Barron, am in need of an apprentice. An individual that will carry on my weird legacy. Details in the video below. I look forward to meeting whomever survives the gauntlet.
I mentioned Tolkien-inspired Metal last week and, coupled with the fantasy kick I seem to be on in all aspects, this seemed like a golden opportunity to showcase Erebos. There should be some out there already familiar with this solo artist however this album marks big change in the previous intrumental only trend: vocals. Partnering with a member from Armorer (who is now on my radar) these two fantastic wraiths have created a stellar album.
A Flame That Pierces With A Deadly Cold harbors epic tracks that sunder and swell as if a volcano and a tsunami were colliding, straight CATACLYSMIC. The showcase track for this week will be Whirlwinds of Flame however do give the rest of the album a listen. The Onslaught of Morgoth lures you in with a mystical beginning before thundering down upon you with unrelenting with broad, enchanting power. Of Dusk and Dawn marches onward with riveting riffs and resounding wails. And, of course, there is that sweet, sweet album art to tempt you should you resist. JUST LOOK AT IT! IT. IS. AWESOME!
Do some digging on Erebos on your own. Since fantasy is always about the mystery and adventure, let this week, and artists, bring you some spice to your routine. Until next week, press play, turn up the volume, and let the sound bolster your spirit. /,,/
You know, I usually have to hunt for delicious Metal treats however, due to some unknown algorithm or sorcery, YouTube has been surprising me lately. Now, I am sucker for album art so I find myself drawn to something simply by that aspect however the last few I have stumbled on have been pure gold. I'm talking liquid steel injected straight in your veins, I'm talking drowning in molten metal, I'M TALKING HOT BUCKETS OF IRON CASCADING ACROSS YOUR BODY! And so, here with are, honoring another Metal Monday with an artist that must possess a demon's soul, Firelink.
I call myself a gamer, been doing so for many decades, and as such am familiar with many different series and styles. Sadly, Dark Souls is not my cup of tea. I gave the first game a hard run but I found it to be awkward and difficult for the sake of being difficult. Before you cast me into the sun you so much praise, let me say that it is a great game series, no denying it. Lore wise, setting, story, art style, all fantastic, it's just not my type of game. I could bash my head against it and probably knock it out but (like Metal) there is so much out there I am already chasing or completing and I just don't have the energy to handle the rage that game would inevitably send me into. Alright, my worthless opinion is over, on to what really matters.
Firelink. What a glorious find. An album that conjures you to listen, beckons you to stay, haunts you when you leave. I woke up and one of the tracks was stuck in my head and I haven't listened to this album for a bit. The Inveterate Fire is a monstrous creation of which I can only hope for more. Beginning to end, track by track, progressive, melodic, blackened, death metal goodness. Need incentive? Go six minutes into Kindled or The First Sin and let them play. Always bonus points to me for long tracks especially when they are wild rides such as these. Besides being inspired by a game series, this is a welcome addition to fantasy metal, something different from the plethora of worthy Tolkien inspired artists. Bonus for any Americans, these wraiths are based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Each point to this artist covered only ranks them higher in my book.
Kindled will be the showcase track for this week.
It may only be five tracks yet you won't want those to end, just like those play throughs or defeats you climb back from, challenging you withstand its allure once more. Regardless of all my nonsense, this week will be marked by zeal and fire. You get knocked down, you get back up. You taste defeat? Wash it down with you enemies tears on the next round. SHAKE YOUR FIST AT THE GODS! STIR THE ANCIENTS WITH YOUR ANGER! MAY YOUR FLAME BURN HOTTER AND BRIGHTER! /,,/
Awaken by the fire at my feet
In this world of isolation, my sanity will deplete
My body is a vessel
Destined by fire, the last of its kind
Kindle it with flesh or let it fade and die
The stench of death paints the air in this endless cycle of despair
A murky would where souls are lost my hollow body is one with the dark
My final steps into the kiln, I'm left with one final choice
Condemned to the darkness, a flame that's sparkles
To die in fire or repeat the cycle
The age of darkness and souls, continued by mighty Gwyn
Flame will end, man will rise once again
Through the darkness, humanity restored
Link the fire
Bearer of the curse
In 2005, a demo was released called Hymn of the Wood by Noltem. Now, there isn't a whole lot to summon up as far as videos or information yet I stumbled onto this gem and found it haunting and melodic. Sorrowful, serene, and stirring, Noltem debuted with a beautiful demo. Rivers Held In Ice, Hymn of the Wood, and The Final Dawn are winding tracks that keep calling you back for more, pulling you into the black woods that only some venture. Give these three a listen and let yourself escape to the cold woods instead of the heat of the summer. Let these Connecticut wood wraiths lure you into the recesses of the trees, where all the wild things dwell. /,,/
It may be summer but a cold wind blows... Grima looms before us as they return with their third album Will of the Primordial. Pre-orders began 07/06/2019 and the release is for the beginning of August 2019. Cannot speak highly enough of these cold wraiths hailing from Siberia, there prowess and power growing evermore with each album. Check out the video below to hear Enisey and witness the creative madness from Grima! We will return once the album releases and my physical copy arrives, covered in black frost and old roots. /,,/
Falling like a stone,
Flying like a songbird
Crawling like a fox,
With Yenisei’s dawns.
Everything and none
Fright and happiness
The circle of the sun
Is spinning the spindle of fates
Like a whirlpool.
Wind in the hair,
And Yenisei waters' depths in the eyes.
Falling like a stone,
Flying like a songbird
Crawling like a fox.
It is about damn time for Bane to visit this page and with it unleash a wicked wind of haunting atmospheres and wraithlike energy. Necrodeath Ritual is short yet deliciously sweet. As always, Bane always astounds with their ambience alone, building up or exiting with stirring sounds. However, they are like a force of nature, calm and harmonious one moment, a cascading nightmare the next. Absolutely incredible work album after album.
This is a split with Neftaraka (whom I am shamefully unfamiliar with however I will fix that soon) but I am focusing this showcase on the Bane side of things. Melodic, black, and captivating, this portion of the split is a must for anyone seeking some tracks that rival those I love from the OST of Jin-Roh, while the black metal enthusiast will not be left without. The showcase track for this week will be In A Dying World (switching the blog track to The Final Destination for bonus effect).
The links below will provide the album rundown so give it a listen from beginning to end, let yourself be taken elsewhere, allow your mind to wander and sink into the deep. As always, a thanks to the Encyclopaedia Metallum for offering so much to those of us who chase and call the Metal. Now, go out, into that dying world, find those wraiths you can relate, and wail together while the moon still glows.
THE MAD BARRON
The Source Of The Metal