20 Underground Black Metal Albums You Missed in 2019

Vast and amorphous as ‘black’ metal music categorization is, the most special and effective pieces continue to be those that focus beyond the empowered self and approach the sub-genre blanket with a deeply felt personal philosophy. The phenomenon of post-rock influenced ‘blackened’ sub-genre fusion is thrilling as a genealogical exercise for extreme metal sub-genre’s accelerated evolution but I’ve chosen to largely focus on bands/projects that appear lucid in purpose, directed by nihilism not matter how graceful they’d seem. As such, I will be fairly inclusive here in terms of bands that stretch beyond what any sense of the ‘classic’ most approachable black metal sound pioneered in the 90’s. I do my best to find compelling and powerful albums stacked with riffs and memorable songs here, but a few of these will be less traditional weirdos for the sake of showing a few out-of-the-box thinkers with the hopes that they’ll find a home as hidden gems for black metal fandom today. Don’t focus on the ratings, I’m keeping it brief with most of these lists this year. Make your own judgments.

I’ve compiled this list not as a “best of” for the wide blanket of black metal in 2019 but to illustrate what black metal is/was beneath the surface in 2019… And where I think it was most interesting and overlooked. From my own point of view these albums were underrepresented and/or passed by quickly by media outlets and some for admittedly valid reasons. So, here are some bands that stood out to me (for GOOD reasons) as I dug through black metal’s innards throughout 2019. There are literally hundreds of great bands that I don’t mention here which I’ve already reviewed, covered, mentioned, or put in my Top 50 for this year so hit the search icon to see if I’ve already covered something vital, otherwise let me know what I’ve missed.


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Artist Arctos
Title [Type/Year] Beyond the Grasp of Mortal Hands [LP/2019]
Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Alberta, Canada based atmospheric black metal band Arctos bring an appreciably naturalist focus to their modern melodic death metal influenced sound without venturing too boldly outside of an expected modern atmoblack sound; As their debut, ‘Beyond the Grasp of Mortal Hands’, progresses so comes multiple hits of symphonic, melodic, and ‘epic’ metal influences that provide personality and flourish without driving home those core melodic statements entirely. With those observations in mind you can expect the whole of the record to express somewhat like an earlier Wolves in the Throne Room album or if a band like Skagos wasn’t as focused on the folk metal side of things but “Autumn’s Herald… Interitus” and a few other tracks steer things further towards early Moonsorrow just enough to generate some interest with me. I definitely hear some progressive and dark metal intentions so far. Arctos will either have to go fully accessible dark/black metal in the future or lean into their melodic black metal songwriting a little harder to keep my attention as a listener. Give “Shattered Tomb” a listen as it should justify most of my thoughts in a nutshell.


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Artist Asagraum
Title [Type/Year] Dawn of Infinite Fire [LP/2019]
 Rating [3.75/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Asagraum‘s main songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, and bassist Obscura (Hanna van den Berg) is somewhat less conservative with her approach to heavily layered and mildly dissonant guitar work on this follow up to 2017’s ‘Potestas Magicum Diaboli’. Beyond a general bolstering of this Netherlands based project’s warmly bleak atmospheric and semi-melodic sound they’re yet recognizably Asagraum on ‘Dawn of Infinite Fire’, though I am yet unsure how I feel about the level of balance and polish employed. Perhaps they’ve found too viable and ‘clean’ a middle ground between Scandinavian black metal styles, not far from Sargeist and nearly as self-indulgent as Nightbringer in terms of the previously mentioned layered riff-centric approach. Something feels quite safe about ‘Dawn of Infinite Fire’ and I don’t mean to imply a generic sound but rather an indeterminate, latently aggressive point of view that goes beyond aesthetics. That said, Asagraum can be highly commended for turning out an appreciably listenable, riff-filled and modern (but not plastic) black metal album that doesn’t appear to be pandering to a bigger audience. I’d love to see what this band could do in terms of more overt melody, or nearby the mindset of classic melodic black metal (as in, sans keyboards). There was some considerable hype surrounding this album among online and print publications but beyond that week or two of fawning I’d felt there were few who’d actually taken the recommendation seriously.


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Artist Hellvetron
Title [Type/Year] Trident of Tartarean Gateways [LP/2019]
 Rating [4.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Hellvetron have more or less doubled their efforts on this second full-length, taking seven years to extend and perfect their dynamic occult black metal sensibilities into an obscure and infinitely reverberating form of blackened death/doom metal. The El Paso, Texas based duo’s first LP was only 25 minutes long so to see ‘Trident of Tartarean Gateways’ extend to a full hour was daunting at first but they’ve justified it with an impressive black/doom metal hybridization that is cognizant of funeral death/doom textures and shadowy black metal atmospherics. Think along the lines of Wrathprayer‘s full-length in terms of atmospherics, Witchrist‘s general doombringing bent, and some Necro Christos paced death/doom crawls that never lose their blackened edge. I’d felt like this would primarily attract the death/doom fan at first but Hellvetron bring a full enough range of sounds that kick in slow, reaching some Demoncy-esque heights as their hollow, distant sound meanders its way forward. Plenty of depth here that easily justifies its hour length, definitely the sort of album I’d had to crank up and sit with patiently.


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Artist Heaume Mortal
Title [Type/Year] Solstices [LP/2019]
 Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Yet another full hour of music that had daunted me for months with its depth and heady atmospheric values, ‘Solstices’ is the debut release from Cowards side project Heaume Mortal. Although guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Guillaume Morlat‘s compositions are similarly brooding here as they are in Cowards‘ slower blackened sludge moments this project focuses more on atmospheric black metal influences without losing the brutal heft he is known for. This is the sort of release that’d drawn me into Les Acteurs De L’Ombre releases initially, something that defies categorization and doesn’t appear to be a simple copy-and-paste splice job, it boggles the mind when I can’t unravel a musician’s intent quickly. ‘Solstices’ suggests itself as a sort of atmospheric black/doom feat with the nearly 14 minute opener “Yesteryears” but things only get weirder from there, jumping over to a Throatruiner band level of black/sludge hiss on “South of No North” and its accompanying “Oldborn”. This shared thread between those first three songs really defined the listening experience for me, as it’d been equal parts engaging and distant in the span of a half hour. Of course the Burzum cover was unexpected but very well done, and I think they’ve extracted the noisome burn of ‘Filosofem’ while adding extra weight to the final third of the song. This would have been a good stopping point for the album, as I didn’t feel “Tongueless (Part III)” added much and the eight minute ambient outro track winds down much too slowly. A fine album that’ll cross borders for folks with equal interest in blackened sludge, post-black, and atmospheric black metal.


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Artist Árstíðir lífsins
Title [Type/Year] Saga á tveim tungum I: Vápn ok viðr [LP/2019]
 Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Árstíðir lífsins is an entirely new experience for me and it’d taken me quite a while to listen through all of vocalist Marsél‘s work in Helrunar prior to spearheading this pagan black metal act in 2008 along with songwriters Árni, bassist of Carpe Noctem and Stefán of since dormant German black metal act Kerbenok. As a pagan black metal band and not a distinctly ‘folk metal’ project the hooks don’t come easily and the melodies aren’t overt so, it will take some patience for ‘Saga á tveim tungum I: Vápn ok viðr’ to sink in, in fact it is much more of a black metal album than I’d personally expected. Use of Marsél‘s deeper register for harmonized moments gives Árstíðir lífsins a dramatic and monastic feeling on “Líf á milli hveinandi bloðkerta”, one of the brighter highlights of the full listen and they iterate on this somber tone as the second half of the album approaches, interlacing scant acoustic interludes and flourishes amidst their otherwise aggressive and distorted path. “Fregit hefk satt” is beautiful, one of my favorite vocal pieces of the year, and could have been the perfect place to end the album to keep it under an hour’s length but the final 14+ minute “Haldi oss frá eldi, eilífr skapa deilir” insists on being the final word, extending the album length to 71 minutes. No doubt many folks won’t mind this ambitious length but the album didn’t feel any more or less ‘completed’ by it.


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Artist Aihos
Title [Type/Year] Hävityksen Maa [LP/2019]
 Rating [3.75/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Although I’ve been personally obsessed with Finnish black metal since around the second Sargeist album I’ll admit to having that blade dulled by a lack of insistently melodic works, where many brilliant bands stopped short of a complete melodic statement for the sake of their attack; Aihos remedy this on about the same level as Aethyrick‘s album last year, and they do so similarly without relying on the currency of others. ‘Hävityksen Maa’ is bleakly dramatic, a sickly spiral out of control that fits itself neatly into memorable and sweeping forms. “Verikruunu” feels as impactful as an mid-’90’s Swedish act without recreating any sense of that material, nor does it entirely delve into the slicker sorrow of Satanic Warmaster too heavily. I loved this balance of austerity and intricate melody, in motion it is equally forceful and beautiful in expression. “Eilinen Palaa” pushed me back towards early Sacramentum and though the compositions aren’t yet that refined there is the sense that Aihos are pushing for something special, or at least deeply connective when writing these songs. I wasn’t entirely sure about this album for a while, but leaving it on my ‘to do’ list for months allowed me to eventually warm up to it quite a bit.


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Artist Wald Krypta
Title [Type/Year] Where None Remain [LP/2019]
 Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Though I’d missed their debut back in 2018 I was glad to get a chance to catch up with Wald Krypta this year and delve into some of the duos side projects in the process. Honestly I’d gotten a bit side-tracked for a few months as I’m definitely in love with this idea of antinatalism tied to the suggestion of veganism, which I know is more related to the personal beliefs of the artists rather than the message of ‘Where None Remain’ itself. Truly extreme thought translating to actual lifestyle that’d influence original musical output is exactly why I love the wild edges of extreme metal more than the agreed upon peaks most often. Anyhow, if you were to take the melodic sensitivity of Satanic Warmaster and the woeful intelligentsia of Judas Iscariot there’d be some basis for the expression of Wald Krypta, a raw and mournfully resonant black metal act keen to create a cold, last-gasping session with ‘Where None Remain’. There is the sense that a ‘classic’ USBM fan will recognize the modus and wrath of this band immediately but it isn’t so uncouth in terms of nakedly emotional outbursts or Scandinavian influence. Hatred and malevolence for humanity is felt  in earnest and without the sense of a self-stroked ego or feigned superiority, a rare feat for modern black metal and cause to keep an ear tuned towards Wald Krypta.


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Artist Sanctvs
Title [Type/Year] Mors Aeterna [LP/2019]
 Rating [3.25/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

At this point I wouldn’t miss a Sepulchral Productions release, as the Montréal label hosts some of the finest melodious black metal in recent years, but I’ve certainly fallen behind in my queue of black metal listening in recent months. Sanctvs sits pretty high on that ‘to do’ list with this debut full-length as the sole solo work from artist Mortheos, whom I know nothing about. ‘Mors Aeterna’ is more of a brutal, claustrophobia inducing rip a la early 2000’s Norse extremism complete with heavy atmospheric keyboards and blasting drum patterns. The nuances come at the edges of a wall of noise and this wasn’t something I’d been expecting to last for full 8-9 minute songs, there comes a sort of ‘relief’ from the meditation these shotgun blasted songs bring as they end. I’m not sure if that is such a compliment, as I’d say the same thing of a sub-prime Dark Funeral record, but I did enjoy my time with this debut. I’d definitely recommend listening to the major peak of the album, “Et scinde les chaines qui le lient à Yahweh”, before making any sort of judgement.


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Artist Glassing
Title [Type/Year] Spotted Horse [LP/2019]
 Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

The inclusion of this one is sure to piss off the average purist, I mean the band isn’t even on Metal-Archives so you know they go hard in their own direction on ‘Spotted Horse’. Glassing aren’t such a stretch of the mind, though, if you’re familiar with modern post-hardcore, post-rock, and those applications to black metal aesthetics. If Deafheaven was a revolting, frightening cultural appropriation of black metal’s ferality into shoegazery then Glassing is an astute reclassification of post-black sentimentality into something viably listenable for the post-hardcorist. Of course we’re not talking about black metal itself anymore, just some of the ringing dissonance and distant screaming voice that’d hint at its influence. Still, I appreciated the horizon they’d purport to expand on ‘Spotted Horse’ which is ultimately a cinematic post-rock album they’ve put as much grit and gnarl into without losing the sleepy, Xanax-thickened cloud they’d create. My only complaint is that its just way too focused on those ringing, glistening chords and the phrasing of the album gets old beyond a handful of listens.


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Artist Murg
Title [Type/Year] Strävan [LP/2019]
 Rating [3.25/5.0] LISTEN on Bandcamp!

When I have fifteen to twenty albums a week to consider and I’ve already got seven I want to cover it is nigh impossible to break through that bubble when your album cover looks like a photo from a sketchbook. The disturbed, frantically scribbled peak on the cover of ‘Strävan’, the third full-length from Swedish black metal artist Murg, doesn’t properly introduce it, in my opinion. When I do not understand an aesthetic I’ll typically approach with hesitation as taste in art often suggests I’ll not ‘get’ the music within; This wasn’t at all the case with the actual expression of ‘Strävan’ an curious mixture of contemplative atmospheric black metal runs and jogging Taake-isms (or, lets say semi-melodic traditions) that accumulate to some worthy extended listens. I’m not of the mind that something a bit plain is ‘mediocre’ or unworthy, and in this case I would say Murg present their own depth when given a fair shake. ‘Strävan’ thrives best within a mid-to-fast paced dynamic that places their most charming ideas within that mid paced section rather than their fast (or dully slow atmospherics). I enjoyed the crossing of traditional and non-traditional paths most of all, that journey feels entirely natural in Murg‘s hands.


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Artist Blodskam
Title [Type/Year] Là​-​Bas [LP/2019]
Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

It was funny reading the presser for Blodskam, knowing it was an old Swedish word for ‘incest’ and having the phrase “it was time to put the family madness on public display” for the revival of the project between brothers which’d started in 1998 but revived in 2014. Of course their own family is Satan, as expressed by the skull-wrenching opener “Bödel”, a banging freak of a song that helps build the case for the ‘psychotic black metal’ self-tag the Stockholm area band suggests. Examination of mental health issues tied to drug abuse do present an effective drug-induced psychosis as ‘Là​-​Bas’ stretches itself across six songs and just over a half hour spin but, I’m never clear if they’re celebrating these horrors as ‘lived through’ events or if Blodskam simply thrives in those dark places. The brevity of this release really benefits its death-rocked Swedish black metal battery as there aren’t a ton of ‘riffs’ to really cling to as much as ‘Là​-​Bas’ is an twisted experience you’re better off riding than picking your way through slowly. I’d consider it an EP, if only because the title track is a soundscape that feels unrelated to the experience and they’d never appropriately brought a reprisal worthy of the first two tracks that brazenly open the record.


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Artist Krigere Wolf
Title [Type/Year] Eternal Holocaust [EP/2019]
 Rating [3.25/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Sicilian black/death metal band Krigere Wolf had reached a productive peak formation with their third full-length ‘Infinite Cosmic Evocation’ in 2016 but it’d seem the line-up of the band had shifted dramatically since then, only retaining their guitarist from that line-up alongside the requisite mastermind Rick Constantino who handled drums, bass and primary songwriting duties for this ‘Eternal Holocaust’ EP. Perhaps scaling back the staff was the exact right redirection the project needed as this EP is probably some of the most focused work from the band yet, still honing in on their love of classic Swedish black/death metal in the 90’s a la Marduk with a modus not too far from that of early Watain if they were a bit more death metal forward. Blasting and semi-melodic works create the appropriate storm of sound but by placing a (great) Dissection cover alongside their own songs Krigere Wolf have highlighted the lack of that level of effective lead guitars in their songwriting. I’m curious to see where they’ll go with their sound in the future.


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Artist Der Rote Milan
Title [Type/Year] Moritat [LP/2019]
 Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

This one I’d overlooked simply because I was unable to figure out who’d sent it to me and didn’t have an associated e-mail. Well, and I didn’t like it enough at first to dig any deeper. Der Rote Milan is a modern German black metal side-project among members of deathcore band Ichor and black/doom act Stellar Master Elite and its production is as clear and present as those associated acts. I know I will sound like an ass describing this band, only because I’d resent the ‘mosh’ riffs they’ve placed in black metal songs. The vocalist here isn’t employing an expressive range and the result is an album of dryly placed dynamic performances that aren’t sure of which niche they inhabit. Lofty progressive intros, plainly beaten blasts, and dryly chugged riffing add up to a difficult full listen that never hits into black metal purity and I think “Gnosis der Vergänglichkeit” is the peak of that uneasiness. This takes me back to that uncomfortable and crowded place for black metal when bands like Cradle of Filth were the pinnacle of visibility, spawning bad imitations of black metal. Maybe that is too harsh for what ‘Moritat’ is, like I said I will sound like an ass writing this, but it felt like I was listening to a deathcore band imitating black metal. Still, it is an above average record if those stylistic notes aren’t as much of an issue for you.


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Artist Sørgelig
Title [Type/Year] Devoted to Nothingness [12″ EP/2019]
 Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Sørgelig is a fairly new undertaking amongst members of Isolert and Insanity Cult that’d initially focused on a lo-fi almost depressive and raw style of black metal until the release of their second album this November ‘We, The Oblivious’ which appears to focus on a more melodic direction. ‘Devoted to Nothingness’ is raw, just on the verge of rehearsal tape obscurae and that cryptic presentation hit exactly the right note with me early in the year as Iron Bonehead issued it on limited 12″ vinyl. Even if you’re not a huge fan of rawness, consider this a demo that portends some of the more melodic leanings of later Mütiilation and that sort of ‘broken but beautiful’ (and a bit insane) black metal bleakness that justifies the intentionally busted production values within. This isn’t an incredibly common style touched upon within the greater bulk of Greek black metal and particularly in terms of the wildly expressive vocal performances throughout, which verge on a Silencer-esque caterwaul at times. Surely the most personality rich and bold release from the band to date, and I’d hoped that freakishness wouldn’t have been so rubbed away for their quite cleanly presented November record.


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Artist Tristengrav
Title [Type/Year] II – Nychavge [EP/2019]
 Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Most metalheads have little to no reference points for the rise of Gothic metal and death rock influences that’ve scattered themselves across black metal this last decade, and those who’ve missed out on sea-changes within groups like Rudimentary Peni and Christian Death may be blown away how heavily metal acts borrow from those bands. The post-punk/death rock side of that equation surely breathes exceptional life into Greek black metal act Tristengrav. Unfortunately their hesitancy to just work together and run with their own crazed ideas has lead to an indefinite hiatus beyond the very warm critical reception they’ve gotten for ‘II – Nychavge’, their first EP and a briliant 17 minute psychotropic jolt of post-punkish black metal attack. I think they fit beautifully in a realm between the crazed genre-mush of Devil Master and the psychotic grotesqueries of Reveal. Here’s hoping they’ll find an island of weirdness to agree upon somewhere in the future because what they’ve created here is absolutely exciting and “new” feeling, despite its modernization of old, old ways.


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Artist Black Mold
Title [Type/Year] Tales of Degradation [Demo/2019]
 Rating [3.25/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

This second demo of mid-paced crust punk n’ first wave black metal from the entirely enigmatic Black Mold finds the project hitting a seriously effective groove. ‘Tales of Degradation’ hooks right into their mid pace and swings confidently with outwardly swung crust punk riffs that blacken with dissonance crawls and rasped vocals that’d almost suggest the gruffness of a hardcore punk background, something punk ‘n roll at least. I loved this demo because it has a certain mid-80’s violence to it a la Amebix, I think the riffs have a ways to go in terms of really swinging into those deeper rhythms and if they took some cues from either early Bathory or Celtic Frost I think they’d be onto something fantastic.


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Artist Nusquama
Title [Type/Year] Horizon Ontheemt [LP/2019]
 Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp

Nusquama represents a collective vision of one of the most compelling circles in modern black metal today featuring members from Turia, Solar Temple, Fluisteraars, Laster, Iskandr etc. and their debut ‘Horizon Ontheemt’ is as stunning as expected. I’d put a lot of pressure on myself seeking to understand the atmospheric black metal within rather than simply enjoy it and as such I’d gotten lost in the weeds as it presented itself. The same thing had happened with Iskandr last year, and that’d ended up being one of my ‘favorites in hindsight’ that year. I won’t got that far with praise for this release as I’ve listened to so much of the ‘post-rock meets atmoblack’ modus this year that it all coalesces into one balmy dream-like state of nothingness in my mind. “Wrevel” has an excellent ‘stomp beat’ moment in the middle that really stood out to me, and the jazzy blackened drone of “Eufrozyne” with its space-faring middle interlude felt equally special, but the album as a whole didn’t make a bold enough statement to really stick with me for the long haul. I might sound reductive but even still Nusquama is middle-tier within a fantastic pedigree, and I mean that as a much, much higher compliment than it sounds.


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Artist Kringa
Title [Type/Year] Feast Upon the Gleam [LP/2019]
 Rating [3.75/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Occvlt vampyric blackened skies drain into view as this Austrian diabolus rears its smoking skull, a moon shared between members of Hagzissa and Brånd, a group of minds dedicated to fantastic black metallic landscapes and dark eastern European horrors. ‘Feast Upon the Gleam’ has been quite a long time coming as the project would form around 2009 and not fully become a ‘band’ until about 2015 beyond a few formative releases, each still retaining that ancient grime while figuring out their own bounding rock influenced rhythms. I’ve seen the bands sound compared to Hagzissa, Pest, and Inconcessus Lux Lucis but I’d say that is largely based on production sound, dig a bit deeper towards something like Mystagos and you’ll get closer to the truth. This is simply the sort of black metal that I gravitated towards this year and though it isn’t the very best example of that clangorous and psychedelic trip it does deserve high mention for being such a repeatable experience.


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Artist Non Opus Dei
Title [Type/Year] Głód [LP/2019]
 Rating [4.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Easily one of the most overlooked avant-black metal albums released this year, Non Opus Dei‘s eighth full-length ‘Głód’ speaks a louder voice to the eternally restless forms of black metal that’ve defined the Polish underground for well over a decade. Sure, we’ve all heard a grip of polyrhythmic and oddly-timed black metal music over the last decade and I won’t suggest that these folks are reinventing it so much as making joyously challenging and inconceivably dark listening experiences with it. The only shake-up here beyond 2015’s underrated ‘Diabeł’ comes with the return of former guitarist V2 (Mateusz Wiśniowski) and though I’m not sure he wrote any of the music, there is certainly a more painterly, mid-paced slash to the guitar work within at least compared to the brutal and compressed feeling of the record previous; Some of this stems from passing through the impressive handiwork of Satanic Audio for the mix and Audiosiege for the master, the result is a ‘lights on’ presence, where none of the twists and turns are obscured by oversaturated reverb or compressed/overstuffed bass tones. That Non Opus Dei‘s dark tonality is actually enhanced by this high fidelity is a revelation, and a good argument for why I’ll hold onto this record for quite some time. Soak in all ten minutes of “Do ołtarzy w piekle” and I’ve no doubt you’ll be won over.


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Artist Shrine of Insanabilis
Title [Type/Year] Vast Vortex Litanies [LP/2019]
 Rating [4.25/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

It causes me great mental anguish (eh, more than usual) to not have made the time to review this latest great work from German black metal act Shrine of Insanabilis, it was a massive oversight on my part. History only repeats itself in my own camp because the same thing had happened back in 2015 where I didn’t get around to listening to their fine debut ‘Disciples of the Void’ until the year afterward. ‘Vast Vortex Litanies’ is exactly the sort of religious experience black metal has/had reached in 2019, the seemingly commonplace earth-rending chaos giants that’d fuel its nihilistic grandeur by way of many incredible circles throughout Europe are yet unnamed in an era of egotistical swine. Svartidauði and Ascension are perhaps the most fitting adjacency in terms of obsidian flow, dynamic range, and esoteric descent and I’d emphasize a Germanic sense of orderliness additionally, a tightly glued set of riffs that blur and recede for effect… not unlike Rebirth of Nefast in a broader sense. ‘Vast Vortex Litanies’ is a pure, blasting beast of a record that grows with each listen and it helps quite a bit that the actual LP’s beauteous packaging makes it a phenomenal article to covet and pour over. Pure class, and exactly the sort of black metal that I am magnetized toward.


If I missed your favorite black metal album from 2019 I’m not surprised! E-mail me or hit me up on twitter if you want me to review your favorite black metal album. If you’re in a black metal band and you want a review of your latest, hit the Contact page and send me a copy, keep in mind I enjoy all forms of black metal but I don’t necessarily need more raw black metal, black n’ roll, or (plain) late second wave worship.

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