Archive for January, 2015

Hagalaz’ Top Black Metal Albums of 2014

Posted in best of, black metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2015 by blackmetallurgy

Due to my preoccupation with doom metal and horror movies this past year, I haven’t paid as close attention to new black metal as I should have. However, I have come up with a list (there’s not quite ten, but they are my favorites that I feel like I can do justice to). For instance, while I really loved the new Twilight and the new 1349, what I have heard of them, I haven’t been able to listen to them enough to give good reasons why others should. Likewise, there are other I-am-sure-fantastic new releases from the Finnish bands- Goatmoon, Sargeist, and Satanic Warmaster- that I haven’t been able to track down or listen to enough yet.

But here you go. Here are my favorites from the past year.

Myrkur- S/T EP
Myrkur’s debut EP provides a mental journey to a frosty land. Clearly paying homage to her forebears while remaining startlingly original, this self-titled EP has me waiting on tenterhooks to see what this young lady has up her sleeve next.

Kampfar- Djevelmakt
Although they seem to have slipped under the radar for the most part this year, Kampfar’s newest release Djevelmakt is a strong contender. The old-school Norwegians have polished their mix; Djevelmakt has a noticeable lack of low-fi fuzz. Nevertheless, Kampfar’s sound is as mighty and as innovative as always.

Behemoth- The Satanist
I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much from Behemoth this year. As much as I love their live show, I’ve not been all that impressed with their last few albums; they sound pretty much exactly alike. I’m very happy to say that Behemoth proved me wrong this time ‘round. Maybe it’s just that I’m a geek for the Orthodox black metal approach, but The Satanist hit me in all the right places, particularly “O Father, O Satan, O Sun.”

Enthroned- Sovereigns
Enthroned’s newest is one of my absolute favorites this year. In terms of pure creepiness, it’s like a ten. Dark and eerie, it’s horrifyingly beautiful in that way that I like my black metal.

Folge Dem Wind- To Summon Twilight
When Jason over at Burning Fist asked me to review Folge Dem Wind’s new album, described to me as “primitive black metal,” I was skeptical, because what the hell is primitive black metal anyway? Jason knows my tastes pretty well, however, and I have a thing for the French school of third wave black metal. The sheer tenacity and wildness inherent in FDW’s newest release makes me want to run through the woods with the wolves.

Primordial- Where Greater Men Have Fallen
I like Primordial. They are great. I have never just been completely dumbfounded by Primordial however. Not until this year. Holy crap. J sent me a link to the title track from this album, and I’m still just in awe at the bombast and magnitude of this thing. And that’s just the first track. The whole thing is like that. How’s your mind? Blown? Thought so.

Mayhem- Esoteric Warfare
Mayhem’s newest album was every bit as amazing as I could have hoped. While those who maintain the view that the band should have quit after Euronymous’ murder will probably hate Esoteric Warfare on principle, those willing to give it a go will find an album with the old school in its bones and some of Attila’s most powerful vocals yet.

Triptykon- Melana Chasmata
Triptykon is sitting pretty at the top of this list, to the surprise, I am sure, of absolutely no one. While I was fond enough of their last offering, Melana Chasmata blew me away completely. Featuring artwork from the late, great, H.R. Giger, Melana Chasmata makes for an awe-inspiring eulogy.

Teitanblood- Death
Once again, I called my favorite early, and I was right. The appropriately named Death is absolutely devastating, the soundtrack to the ugliest pit in hell. Utilizing distortion and echoes in such a way as to create a bottomless feel along with buzzsaw guitars and constantly hammering blast beats, Death is truly a monument of horror.

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-Hagalaz

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