Tumulus Part 1 & 2 by Advent Varic

Advent Varic is a black/stoner/doom/sludge trio from Boston, Massachusetts. Quite easily, they grew on me, mainly because of their raw, honest sound.

They independently released their EPs Tumulus Part 1: The Beginning and Tumulus Part 2: The Ravaging earlier this month on their bandcamp page and since then I have been listening to them non-stop. They have a very unique approach to black sound, using traditional as well as unconventional means to achieve that. They manage to combine the speed, melancholy and screeching vocals of black metal, with the heaviness and riffage of stoner/sludge. Not quite fast and atechnical to be considered as traditional black metal, while not slow and downtuned enough to be a classical doom/sludge piece, Tumulus is created with creativity to expand the spectrum of slow-ish, heavy music.

It is a mystery whether a full record is on the works, but in spite of that, there is plenty of material and ear bleeding riffage to go crazy about on those 2 EPs.

For those of you who think that the black sound is slowly saturating, lacking an original and fresher approach, I could not suggest Advent Varic enough! I guarantee your jaws are going to drop.

A truly fascinating and brilliant work.

Favourite track: Well there is only 2 tracks in total, so every fucking minute of the approximately 36 of those BOTH OF THEM!

Physical copies are distributed by Interstellar Smoke Records!




Splid by Kvelertak

The 14th day of February can be special for a lot of things (possibly). Until now, it was famous for being a date for an unnecessary outlet of consumerism, constructed by flower, condom and chocolate companies, masked under the excuse of Valentine’s day. But from 2020 on, this will be the date when Splid was released by Kvelertak!

The norwegian sextet have (finally) released their latest work, after going through a rough patch (kinda). They went through a bit of a lineup change, as they saw their (now former) lead singer Erlend Hjelvik leave the band due to personal reasons as well as their drummer Kjetil Gjermundrød, who quit music temporarily to receive treatment for an arm injury (something that was bothering him for years). For many bands this would be enough to bring a negative change to their sound. However, they found a worthy replacement in Mr. Ivar Nikolaisen (vocals), who has also offered guest vocals in the past in Blodtørst and Håvard Takle Ohr (drums). They have both already proven themselves made from similar mold: The danceable black ‘n’ roll music of Kvelertak remains fresher than ever!

The album is finely crafted and once again recorded by Kurt Balou in GodCity studios, who is proving to be a true master. In total, throughout the record there are fewer black elements (blastbeats, tremolo-picking), as opposed to more thrash elements (solos, 2 leads, vocals, downstrokes). Also, they offer their first english-sung songs, Crack of Doom featuring Mastodon’s Troy Sanders and Discord.

It is obvious that Kvelertak is a band that is not afraid to risk in order to evolve, a trait rare as well as criticized upon. This record is another fine specimen of great musicianship and creativity.

The first half of the record offer a heavy punch in the face (Rogaland, Crack of Doom, Discord, Bratebrann), while towards the end of the album the interest drops slightly, without missing on great moments (Fanden ta dette hull! is a great song. The first half offers a small homage to Thin Lizzy\Iron Maiden before it goes full-on ’80s thrash-metal BEAST MODE).

In conclusion, as it is no secret we have a soft spot for these Norwegian punks we liked this record and we hope you liked it too.

Favourite Tracks: Rogaland, Crack of Doom, Nekrosoft, Discord, Bratebrann, Fanden ta detter hull!




Behold Sedition Plainsong by Dawn Ray’d

The Liverpool-based crust-black trio Dawn Ray’d have released their second record, Behold Sedition Plainsong, a rebel’s guide into today’s society.

The record is divided into 11 tracks, all of them mixing black metal with some crust elements, thus betraying some of their influences (Iskra, Fall of Efrafa). They result in a strange sort of raw black metal, which becomes melodic & folk-ish at times (with the atmospheric use of violin as well as acoustic parts) , but always remains undiverted to the genre’s aggressive characteristics.

Musically, the trio evolved greatly since their last piece of work. It looks like the band learns to leave (musical) space where space is due, be it a lamenting violin section, a bark of earth shattering drum sequences, or attacks of striking guitar riffage. This kind of musical clothing suits their lyrical ideas perfectly. Not following the traditional black metal themes, their dialectics include serious social points such as xenophobia, ecological catastrophe, capitalism and industrialism. From the start (Raise the flails) to the end (The curse, the dappled light), there is an anti-Nazi rhetoric to Behold Sedition Plainsong. It was made evident from their previous works as well as their live performances, that this is a very political band, expressing a voice always underrated and frowned upon in the scene/genre ( ¡No pasarán! ).

As a whole, the record shows the character of the band. Serious, sturdy, well-written. It is not the most technical black metal record, but neither does it aim to. Dawn Ray’d do not aim for commercial success or critical acclaim. It feels that the message they want to convey carries greater significance than facebook likes and spotify clicks. This record is a rebellion manifesto.

Favourite tracks: Like smoke into fog, To all, to all, to all!, Songs in the key of compromise, A stone’s throw.