Tag Archives: black metal

Blood Coven

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Since I started this blog, I have wanted to do a tribute to Cleveland metal. Being a Cleveland native myself, I am no stranger to the greatness that is Cleveland’s music scene, despite its being the home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The first Cleveland band I will pay homage to is the ruthless, Black/Death metal act Blood Coven.

Formed in 1993 by Dann Saladin, Blood Coven is a force to be reckoned with, terrorizing Cleveland with brutal live performances and intense new releases. Despite forming in ’93 the band only has three full length releases to date, Ashes of Autumn Burning, Battle Cult Empire and 2012’s Of Blood and Battle. The newest full length album seems to be re-mastered versions of earlier tracks compiled onto one merciless and beautifully crafted LP. The band maintains it’s distinctive sound, never watering down their unique blend of Black and Death metal for the mainstream masses. What sets Blood Coven apart form so many other Black/Death acts is their range in vocals (from shrieks to growls) and stunningly melodic, clean soloing.

While so many bands have forgotten the art of soloing, Blood Coven celebrates it, featuring a beautifully rendered solo on every track. The guitars range from melodic unmuted tones to heavy distortion and in true Black/Death adulation, the lyrics are heavily Anti-Christian. Tracks like Ashes of an Autumn Burning, An Angel’s Rage and Bloodwrath, grip the listener into a dark world of unadulterated pain, to no protestation.

The band has suffered a slew of lineup changes over the years and is currently looking for a rhythm guitarist. I am confident, however, that Blood Coven will find a guitarist soon. Until then, I welcome you into the bowels of Hell itself with Blood Coven. Happy Listening! Hails!

http://www.myspace.com/bloodcovenband

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Gestalte

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Everyone once in awhile it is necessary to go above ground for some much needed fresh air. My lungs have had their fill, however and I have plummeted deeper than ever into the very core of the underground to bring you Gestalte, black metal savages, hailing from the Netherlands. There is nothing quite like traditional, no frills, raw black metal and Gestalte continues to carry black metal’s message of evil.

Gestalte, (pronounced guh-stawlt) means a unified whole in Old German. Clearly the band has extracted their name from esoteric doctrine as the lyrics indicate a deep fascination with the occult and high ceremonial magic. The band formed back in 2009 and is soon to release their first, self-titled LP under small indie label, Heidens Hart Records. The demo is spellbinding and highly evocative of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas era Mayhem. The vocals range from high shrieks to low, Atilla-like, vibrations and the guitars maintain a hypnotic repetitiveness, definitive of atmospheric black metal. The production is shoddy yet listenable, in true kvlt fashion and the blast beats invariably attack the listener.

The band has been having some troubles with their bassist Wraak, which has lead to a delay in the release of their LP. We can only hope the issues are soon resolved. Overall, the demo drew me in and I have no criticisms. As usual, I will let you be the judge of that. Below is my favorite track off their self-titled demo, Pazuzu (Winged King of Desert Spirits). Happy Listening! Hails!

http://www.myspace.com/gestalte/music

Abduction

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Doom and gloom is everywhere you look anymore. French quartet Abduction are no exception to this rule with their 2010 demo Heights’ Shivers. An intriguing mix of melody emblematic to Sweden’s distinguishable sound and shoegaze, Heights’ Shivers conjures images of dreamscapes and dead forests drenched in rain.

The demo showcases solid musicianship, catchy melodies and hypnotic acoustic interludes. Not intricate enough to be defined as progressive and not depressive enough to be shoegaze, at times the demo fails to capture a definitive feel, specifically the song Banquet for Another Dead World, leaving he listener a bit confused.

Emulating bands like Sweden’s Dammerfarben, China’s Midwinter and even early Opeth, the demo will likely please most shoegazers and headbangers alike, with progressive changes and depressive lapses, followed still by melodic black metal riffing. Time will tell if Abduction is to hone their sound to a more tangible feel. For now Heights’ Shivers is an interesting addition to my collection, but, as usual, I will let you all put this artist to the test. Happy Listening. Hails!

http://www.last.fm/music/Abduction

Appalachian Winter

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Who says America isn’t “cold”? Hailing from the ice capped mountains of Pennsylvania, I bring you Symphonic one man project Appalachian Winter. With five full length releases since 2008, visionary and brainchild behind Appalachian Winter, D.G. Klyne shows no signs of slowing down. Appalachian Winter’s unique brand of Symphonic Black/Folk Metal is sure to please even the harshest critics because, while the genre drips in cheese, there is an intelligence in the band’s sound, reminiscent of Summoning or (dare I say it) Nordland era Bathory.

In an age when Europe is so often celebrated for it’s legacy in Black Metal, Appalachian Winter seeks to put America on the map with the band’s latest release, Ghosts of the Mountains. Song titles like Rebellion Within the Young nation, Pennsylvanian Fire and The Cemetery Where Slaves Lie Buried celebrate the darkness of the American countryside. From hearty minstrels to battle hymns to sheer symphonic eargasm, Ghosts of the Mountains resonates a fullness and quality unmatched by many.

While the band’s material can be difficult to procure, D.G. Klyne has made some of his music available free for download on Lastfm.com. One can’t help but recognize the integrity of an artist willing to do that. While I’ve yet to hear a track I didn’t like, I will let readers put this artist to the test. This is the first track from new release Ghosts of the Mountains entitled Rebellion Within the Young Nation. Happy listening. Hails!

http://www.last.fm/music/Appalachian+Winter?ac=appalachian winter

Dawn

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First in my artillery of clandestine talent are Swedish Melodic Black Metal pioneers, Dawn. The quintet are seasoned veterans in the genre, bludgeoning Sweden with their brand of Black Metal since 1990. Despite being active for over twenty years the band has only released two full length albums to date, Nær Sólen Gar Niþer For Evogher and Slaughtersun.

Lack of recording is most likely the reason this band has yet to be signed. That said, those two releases deliver a symphony for the senses. What stands out about Dawn is the brightness of their sound. The production quality is impressive to say the least yet they remain kvlt, never sounding overproduced. Drummer Tomas Asklund (former Dissection, Gorgoroth and Dark Funeral) is clearly the creative force behind the band as the style is akin to Storm of the Light’s Bane era Dissection.

The ’94 release Nær Sólen Gar Niþer For Evogher is a genius throwback from beginning to end, ranging from the haunting melodies of Eyesland to the epic beauty of As Tears Fall and even the victorious battle cry that is Everflaming; Nær Sólen Gar Niþer For Evogher promises not to disappoint. The album reaches a climactic point at track 7, Svarter Skiner Sólen, leaving the listener hypnotized. Overall the album is good, solid, classic Swedish Black Metal. The world needs more bands like Dawn. But I will let you be the judge. Happy Listening. Hails!