Wolves In The Throne Room - Crypt Of Ancestral Knowledge (Relapse Records) [GC]Its not very often I choose to review the newest black metal releases for a few reasons, to start with there are people on our team who know much more about it than I do and are therefore better placed to review it, I never know if the band I am reviewing are Nazi scumbags and its always in the back of my mind when listening which is distracting and finally I have the attention span of a small child so 8 minute songs are usually off limits for me! Having said that Wolves In The Throne Room are black metal royalty and haven’t released anything poor in 20 years and as far as I know they aren’t Nazi’s so today I will take my chances!!
It all begins with the swooping, symphonic and majestic fury of Beholden To Clan which engulfs you in a dark cloud of atmospheric and epic guitars and as mentioned the keys add another huge swathe of grandeur to proceedings, the vocals also really stand out in the mix which really helps to complete the songs huge feel and the production is top notch and not one piece of the jigsaw is missing sound wise, and the mid-section of this song is filled with a haunting beauty you wouldn’t get anywhere else, stunning stuff to start with.
As you may have already guessed I fucking loved this and if you don’t then you really need to sit down and have a long think about your life! There is not one part of this EP that can be criticized apart from the fact its only an EP, its everything you could want, its majestic, bleak, heavy, thoughtful, epic and many many other things. I mentioned at the start that I don’t usually review black metal releases although I have done a few in my time here and I can say now that this is easily the best one I have done so far! If this isn’t in your EP of the year type lists, I can’t help you. Utterly Breathtaking stuff. 10/10
The Hirsch Effekt - Urian (Long Branch Records) [Matt Bladen]
As the djent sound has evolved from its beginnings the use of ambiance has become paramount and on Urian by The Hirsch Effekt the usage of electronic atmospheres and whispered German makes for evocative soundscapes that split up the dense techincal metal, driven by chunky riffs and some virtuoso bass playing.
Annisokay - Abyss Pt.1 (Arising Empire) [Zak Skane]
Traditional Australian doom. Yup, this is one of my new favorite things. My love affair started back in May of this year with the killer debut album from Melbourne’s Oceanlord. Now, after a few demos and singles, we have the debut from Adelaide’s Rocky's Pride And Joy, brought to us by the excellent Electric Valley Records. Where Oceanlord plays a traditional doom vibe, a bit cleaner and with atmosphere, Rocky's Pride And Joy brings the dirt and grime. The best word that I can come up with for eight tracks on All The Colours Of Darkness is filthy. Filthy doom, and I am here for it.
What do I mean by filthy doom? Everything from the riffs to the vocals screams unclean in the best kind of way. Take the opening Sabbath worship riff of Red Altar and partner it with those evil female vocals and you will know exactly what I am talking about. RP&J bring the riffs all day and all night, layered on top of the vocals and lyrics the conjure all type of unholy beings. Revenge is up next, with a slow, plodding pace and another filthy riff, you can see where All The Colours Of Darkness is heading. You want dirty? How about a song called So Said The Roach? Somehow the riff is grosser (in the best way) that the song’s namesake.
Australian doom is a thing, and I am all about it. Bring me more of the evil from down under. Be it the sea inspired atmospheric doom of Oceanlord or the ultimate underneath vibes of Rocky's Pride And Joy. If you like riffs, if you like occult flavored doom, if you like your metal a bit filthy, All The Colours Of Darkness is for you. 8/10