Tag Archives: Vindland

Tabitha’s Top Six Picks for 2016

2016

If there’s one set of memes floating around on social media that everyone seems to believe, it’s that 2016 was a shit year.  The election was particularly messy, with proponents for both candidates treating their pick for POTUS as though they were some sort of elderly messiah.  People deleted each other on Facebook, protested in the streets, and everyone seemed to believe their political acumen was that of a tenured law professor at Harvard.

On top of the media circus, everyone fucking died.  Lemmy died at end of 2015 and ushered in a wave of celebrity death in 2016.  First we lost David Bowie, then Nick Menza, then Glen Frey of The Eagles, Prince (he was he one everyone pretended to love after he died),Leonard Cohen, and George Michael.  It wasn’t only music that took a hit; we also lost Gene Wilder, the mom from the Brady Bunch, Alan Rickman (better known as Professor Snape), and, the one that hit the hardest, Carrie Fisher.  More celebrities died of course but the list is exhaustive so I’ll just stop there.

2016 only redeemed itself with its metal.  This year saw great new releases from giants like Testament, Darkthrone, and Destruction.  Even the new Metallica album was an adorable attempt from them at being a thrash band again.  The underground metal of 2016 was particularly exciting.  Here are my top six picks.

6. Desaster- Oath of an Iron Ritual

destaster

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that Desaster is probably the most fun band to see live on this list.  The German black/thrashers have steadily been upping the ante with their most recent releases and The Oath of an Iron Ritual the pinnacle of circle pit, fist pumping success for the band, as far as quality goes.  Memorable thrashy riffs, breaks, and soloing set this album apart.  Blackened Teutonic bliss.

5. Murdryk- Antologi MMXV

murdryck

Murdryk’s Antologi MMXV makes the number five spot despite the band’s weird aversion to being compared to being compared to Dissection.  Killer riffs nonetheless, as well as emotional solos, and haunting atmosphere made this one memorable for me.

4. Baphomet’s Blood- In Satan We Trust

baphomets-blood

Thrash! Death! Sex! Destruction! Baphomet’s Blood easily takes the number four position for top picks of the year with their release of In Satan We Trust.  The band’s flirtation with Motorhead’s gritty vocal stylings and riffing, combined with anthem-ic choruses and slaytanic solos make for an unforgettable sound.  Think fist pumping, pentagrams, and broken necks.

3. Wode- Wode

wode

I got hip to this album later in the year.  Holy shit!  Amazing! The riff progressions on Wode’s debut self titled release are masterful.  This is definitive orthodox black metal tempered with unparalleled melody and emotion.  The raspy vocals and slightly lo-fi production give this release a chilling atmosphere.  Truly memorable.

2. Destroyer 666- Wildfire

destroyer 666

D666 always destroys but 2016 was a particularly good year for the Australian blackened thrashers.  Ignoring the whole racist scandal, the band released Wildfire, which stands alongside Cold Steel as an equal.  Fearlessly epic and heartlessly blackened simultaneously, Wildfire gets a lot of rotation on mine and so many others laptops and record players.

  1. Mare Cognitum- Luminiferus Aether

mare

This is the album I can’t leave alone.  Blackened melodic atmosphere with depressive and ambient interludes woven throughout, pair beautifully with Jacob Buczarski’s tortured vocals and melancholy guitar solos.    This is a memorable release that I’ll continue to return to for years after its release.  Luminiferus Aether slides easily into the number one spot for 2016.

Honorable Mentions:

Embalmer- Emanations From the Crypt: This one was well worth the wait.  Probably the most brutal release this year.

Dark Funeral- Where Shadow Forever Reign: This was a great comeback for the band. Melodic and frostbitten.

Nokturnal Mortum & Graveland- The Spirit Never Dies: Epic and amazing.  Double props to Rob Darken for ruffling Antifa’s sensitive little feathers.

Condition Critical- Extermination Plan: Thrash-terpiece

Vindland- Hanter Savet: Beautiful traditional, no bullshit, black metal with the melodious chill of Sweden’s best

There are so many more great albums I could mention but I have to stop somewhere. List your favorites in the comments.  Happy listening!  Hails!

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Vindland- Hanter Savet

vindland

The latest album causing a rift within the underground elite is French sextet Vindland’s debut, Hanter Savet.  This isn’t happening by accident either.  Vindland’s unique blend of melodic black metal and triumphant Viking metal is a refreshing diversion from the typical, trve kvlt sound we normally find coming out of France.  The sound of Hanter Savet is reminiscent of Windir but the guitar riffs have the catchiness and classic sound of Sargeist or Taake.

Vindland manages to create a triumphant and heroic sound without relying on the use of folk instruments the way so many bands do today.  The simplicity of their formula is what makes this release so charming.  Being a sextet enables the band to create a really full, almost orchestral kind of sound.  The wall of dissonance Vindland is able to create is pretty remarkable.

The album opens predictably, with a formulaic black metal riff.  A lot of the album sounds like tailor-made, melodic black metal, but Vindland differentiates themselves by cleaning up the guitar parts and injecting affecting, instrumental passages throughout the album that send listeners on an emotional joyride deviating from victorious to tortured.

The production is clean but maintains an underlying grittiness that is often lost among the more melodic bands.  The album’s true strength is in its atmosphere.  The Tolkien lyrical themes are a bit played out, but at least no one can accuse the band of being pretentious.  This is pure, unadulterated viking/black metal; unafraid to be fucking nerdy or glorious.

Skeud Ar Gwez is a particularly interesting addition to this album.   Its slow and haunting, DSBM intro progresses into a full on dissonance that perfectly coalesces with an almost power metal essence, only to end with the same melancholy that opened the track.  The track practically tells a story.  In true epic fashion, the album ends with a bonus track, which I find rather quaint.  Although Vindland merely added to a saturated zeitgeist of melodic black metal, they did it with an expertise that earns them an instantaneous spot amongst the best in the genre.  Hanter Savet is a must listen for 2016.

8/10

https://vindland1.bandcamp.com/releases