CVLT Nation’s Top Ten BLACK METAL Releases of 2015

TEN – Orgy of Carrion Perverse Homage to the Rotting Divine

LO-FI RAW Fucking Punk Infused USBM from Orgy of Carrion that will have the hairs on the back of your neck stand up in fear! Everything that DEFILED LIGHT releases is uncut FILTH!

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NINE – FALSE Untitled

First off, I feel it’s worth mentioning that I’ve been a fan of extreme music for close to twenty years now. Not meaning to drop that as a scene credit point, but more just a testament to the fact that I breath, eat and shit this vast sub-culture up. I’ve grown up alongside it and the music has been the soundtrack to my life. I’m into just about every genre under the sun, but what really makes my mouth water these days is bands that go above and beyond the typical format and length that most projects ascribe to. Anyone can theoretically pick up an instrument and create a thirty second grindcore song or twenty minutes of feedback-based doom. But what really makes an album stand out is if it’s permeated with depth and allows one to completely immerse themselves in a band’s sound, which False have unequivocally done with this album. Unholy church choir synthesizers and keyboards? Check. Blast Beats? Check. Guitar melodies ridden with venom and pestilence? Check. Even with those requirements met, False have still conjured something darkly unique from the depths of their collective, blackened soul. This is an album that has a vast scope contained within each song. With five tracks composing this savage declaration of war, you’d best hire a fucking Sherpa to ascend to the darkened summit this band has created, because this is an album that has a number of highs and lows throughout it, not only due to the duration of each track, but also the texture contained within and the thought behind every moment False has created.

Read the full review HERE

 

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EIGHT – BARGHEST Into Weeping Firmament

Barghest’s newest release, the three song EP Into Weeping Firmament, is a quick foray into the annals of history, with a bit of modern spite. Despite a lineup change since their last scorching release, the Louisianian quartet continues to bring the spite, excelling at the execution of their simple formula. Infectious riffs, pounding drums, snarled vocals, and a lot of burning hate make up the core of this album. From the aesthetics of the artwork, the sound of the band itself and even the track names, this group exudes early low-fi black metal worship. While many bands try and re-capture the early primitive hate that made the bands of yore so beloved, many only succeed in making pieces that are shadows of the original style, but Barghest successfully channels the hate and agony of bands like early Bathory and Burzum while still bringing in new elements of originality to make a truly enjoyable listen.

Read the full review HERE

 

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SEVEN – LUBBERT DAS Deluge

Stop whatever you are doing and listen to some of the raddest black metal you will hear this month, brought to by LUBBERT DAS. This band has created a tape that is a must hear for any elite black metal fan that loves it when bands push the genre forward. LUBBERT DAS is on my radar now, and has earned a spot on our end of the year list for top black metal releases! The emotions that this band evokes is so pure that I have not been able to stop listening to this release. I have a feeling that after you press play below you just might feel the same way! LUBBERT DAS is the kind of band that makes what we do so much fun.

 

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SIX – VANUM Realm of Sacrifice

Despite having worked closely together in the past, Vanum represents the first pairing of the duo for a shared project; a pairing that – judging by the quality of this release – was clearly overdue. Referencing obvious comparison points such as Morgan’s and Rekevics’ other bands, or perhaps even prominent subgenre buddies such as Wolves in the Throne Room, would be lackadaisical at best and would wholly fail to describe Vanum’s introspective sound and distinctive character. Whether through thoughtfully crafted repetition or through flagrant variations in tempo, the four lengthy compositions that make up Realm of Sacrifice revolve around wonderfully uneasy melancholia and a slow-fast dynamic that erupts from near-silence to a whirlwind of raw and unhallowed black metal in the blink of an eye.

Read the full review HERE

 


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FIVE – SERPENTS LAIR Circumambulating the Stillborn

The songs don’t particularly sound catchy and that’s not to say that the album features a lot of dissonance. Mostly, they don’t come across as catchy because the songs wind down epic runtimes evolving from start to finish. Serpents Lair don’t repeat many riffs. The songs morph from one riff to the next. The best aspect of that approach is that you never think you’re listening to the same songs no matter how many times you play them. The repeat listens can last forever, and you will always notice an interesting riff or song segment that you may have overlooked before.

This is a proper full-length, as noted earlier, and most of the runtimes last five to eight minutes. The musicianship is great, as the riffs are played well, the vocals feature some range of styles, and the drumming keeps pace without being overdone.

Read the full review HERE

 

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FOUR – AKHLYS The Dreaming I

Akhlys features none other than Nightbringer mastermind Naas Alcameth. The riffs on The Dreaming I swirl around almost Mitochondrion style, touched by black metal iciness and straight one-armed snare drum blasts. Akhlys features some of Alcameth’s style similar with Nightbringer, using dense, high-speed tremolo-riffing and occasional ritualistic passages. The vocals are high-pitched and the guitars use obscure melodic leads to haunting effect. The Dreaming I almost sounds like a soundtrack piece to compliment some of the theme and lyrics, which involves an exploration into dreams. This aspect helps it win favor easily, as the content and imagery conjured by the music helps pique the listener’s interest. If you liked Alcameth’s work with Nightbringer, particularly manifested in Nightbringer’s latest full-length release, Ego Dominuus Tuus, you will love The Dreaming I.

Read the full review HERE

 

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THREE – MISÞYRMING Söngvar elds og óreiðu

Oh, shackle the devil already! What is this refined black metal art doing toiling in the bowels of obscurity? Fallen Empire Records proudly presents us this band with the letter from God-knows-what alphabet.

No, really f*ckers, if you want refined, textured, intelligent black metal art, start here on Mispyrming’s Söngvar elds og óreiðu. It’s intense, and somewhat chaotic on occasion, like a maelstrom devouring fishing vessels on the sea into deep dark chasms where no life can exist. It is also, however, beautiful and resplendent to the ears. The songwriting shines on such majestic pieces as “Songur uppljomunar,” for one. This isn’t some album comprised of blasting from end-to-end with no arrangements. Each track devotes a riff to each section that is precise in a way that few black metal bands can muster for full-length releases.

What’s more is that this band hails from Reykjavik, Iceland, home to bands Sinmara and Svartidaudi. Some of the aforementioned bands might be members of this band and other projects from Iceland. The scene there is quite small, but features an extremely talented nucleus of musicians.

Read the full review HERE

 

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TWO – WIEGEDOOD De Doden Hebben het Goed

When Gilles Demolder (Oathbreaker), Wim (Rise and Fall) and Levy Seynaeve (Amenra, Hessian) decided to collaborate on a new project, the product of their union was never going to sit quietly at the back of the room; the common denominator here being the undulating, blighted aural landscapes fashioned by these already-established acts, each carving their unique perspective upon the scorched earth with harsh and unforgiving hands. Wiegedood (Dutch for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is a name that evokes incredibly powerful imagery, yet the unmitigated powerlessness implied by such a word becomes the foundation of the band’s sound; a broiling mass of hopelessness and disconsolation that is incredibly naturalistic and equally austere, creating an immersive wave of cold, atmospheric black metal that is more frequently associated with the Pacific Northwest and yet fundamentally rooted within Europe’s finest.

They may be an entity devoid of the intrinsic characteristics of their other projects, yet the black sun of Amenra casts its baleful shadow tenuously over De Doden Hebben het Goed; the downtrodden fury of opener ‘Svanesang’ as thick and impenetrable as much as it is breathtakingly paced, and even when the landscape becomes a place of near silence – a lonesome, mournful guitar note the only thing to break the uneasy silence – the atmosphere still speaks of desolation and futility that is as provocative as it is crippling.

Read the full review HERE

 

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ONE – LEVIATHAN Scar Sighted

Onward with what is most important here: the music, which is something that is the only and invincible protagonist of this album, and the only thing that really matters in this smoldering pile of bile-drenched sonic wretchedness. As previously mentioned, with Scar Sighted Wrest is back at what he does best and at what we have all fallen in love with him for over the years: creating deformities in our minds that are so out there and so fucked, that you wonder how on earth your ears are even hearing such a barrage of disfigured and mutilating hatred. Many staple elements of Leviathan’s sound remain, but also, much has changed. Wrest’s demonic and robotic vocal meanderings remain, and they are the shit of the most horrifying horror movies. Vocals so out there and ruined and drenched in torment that you can’t even decipher what orifice of his body they came out of, possibly a gaping wound in his throat with a mic in it, shoved all the way down his windpipe. The guitar work is immense, and reminds us once again, who, along with Deathspell Omega, invented this wretched and disembodied way of being so awesomely anti-musical, and was one of the first people to use dissonance, atonality and completely anti-musical notes to sculpt riffs and solos that wind and twist like a daunting hallucination.

Read the full review HERE

 


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Sean Reveron

Sean Reveron