Written by Mass
This week Iranian metalhead Mass hits us with four albums within his realm of speciality, black metal. If you like atmosphere and post black metal then these are some essential listening in 2020.
- Artist: Frigoris
- Album: …in Stille
- Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal – Post Black Metal
- Release Date: January 24th, 2020
- Country: Germany
- Highlights: Die Gleise an denen wir starben I (Nur ein Moment…) – Funkenflug – Einkehr
- Rating: 8.5
Verdict: … In Stille is a journey through the dark side. It is full of elating riffs and a mesmerizing atmospheres which take the listener to the realm of everlasting darkness, where the climate is adverse and frigid and the land is barren and hostile to visitors; it is melancholic in parts and forbidding in others, and the sound of pain in is almost omnipresent, even when there is no vocals (as on the single acoustic track Nur ein Moment…). Overall, no faults found with this album. Highly recommended.
- Artist: Belore
- Album: Journey Through Mountains and Valleys
- Genre: Epic Black Metal – Epic Atmospheric Black Metal
- Release Date: January 24, 2020
- Country: France
- Highlights: The Whispering Mountains – The Valley of the Giants – The Initiation Ritual – The Howlings Fields
- Rating: 9.0
Verdict: Colossal epic atmospheric black metal album. The sound of this work is captivating and stupendous, and the ambience which the band has created mesmerizes the listener.
As one could rightfully expect, the concept behind this work is an epic tale of unknown, esoteric lands, populate with magical creatures and adventurous undertakings, of stone giants and medieval battles, of a goddess older than time, a deceased king and departed heroes. Reading the lyrics alone withdraws one from their immediate surroundings and hurls them into another realm; I assume you can picture what the combination of them with this magnificent music can do. The artwork also is indicative of the nature of this album done by Céline Ducrettet.
Journey Through Mountains and Valleys is this one-man band’s first ever release and it is of profound intricacy. I cannot imagine what Aleevok (the mastermind behind this band) will potentially offer in the years to come. I can only contemplate the possibility of even more glorious days.
- Artist: Dawn of Ouroboros
- Album: The Art of Morphology
- Genre: Post-Black Metal – Atmospheric Black Metal
- Release Date: March 30th, 2020
- Country: USA
- Highlights: THE WHOLE ALBUM
- Rating: 9.0
Verdict: Hailing from Oakland, California, Dawn of Ouroboros is a four-piece post-black metal band with strong atmospheric and progressive influences and ounces of death metal and melodic black metal. The album is structured in two sides of five and three songs and there is an interlude in the middle of section one (Gateway to Tenebrosity).
I would like to take a moment here and appreciate the beast behind the mic, Chelsea Murphy and her world-class voice and singing styles, who has burnished the band’s exquisite musical sculpture with a sheen of her brilliant vocal capability. The screams, the clean parts, the hums, the growls, all are in perfect harmony with and magnify the music. Seeking of music, what we are presented on The Art of Morphology is an extensive array of death metal – melodic, progressive – on the one end and black metal – atmospheric, melodic, post – on the other, all the while providing superb musicianship both in technique and creating ambience. In addition to all the substantial metal it provides, this album also offers emotive passages of atmospheric elements, such as the pitter-patter of the rain and rumbling of the sky (Revivified Spirits) or a neoclassical/ambient section (Valiant Abscond), on almost all tracks and that is Dawn of Ouroboros’s first offering to the world of metal is nothing short of a masterpiece.
- Artist: Karg
- Album: Traktat
- Genre: Post-Black Metal
- Release Date: February 7th, 2020
- Country: Austria
- Highlights: Jahr Ohne Sommer – Tod, Wo Bleibt Dein Frieden
- Rating: 7.0
Verdict: Kar has been in this business for more than a decade and have a surprising 7 studio albums under their belt. So, we can claim that they know who they are and what they want to sound like. Traktat oscillates between post rock/metal and black metal and meets both at some points. The post rock/metal parts are what keep this album above average; the melodies are touching and the piano lines, which are infused here and there, actually enrich the experience; there could be more of them and they would be appreciated. If I want to find faults with this release, I can say that drumming is overabundant and, as the runtime of the album is more than an hour and a quarter, it becomes hard to bear in parts. We do have variations in tempo and tone, but they are just not enough. What’s more, and as far as singing is concerned, I can say that I am not a big fan of (post-hardcore-style) screaming in music and I find it difficult to fit many other genres except said post-hardcore. And you find screaming aplenty in this work. There could be infusion of other extreme metal singing styles to be more appropriate the ambience of this album.