After last weeks surprise split album, I found myself wandering back to Forest Mysticism. Called by that wonderful wood wraith D. once more, we give heed and Hearken. It may only be three tracks long but let me tell you it is a strong trinity. Right out the gate, and our showcase piece, Never Seen Again is an enthralling, powerful song that will cascade you with majesty and might. The title track, Hearken, follows second and, though shorter than the first, is a thunderous one that leads into a wicked end run. Lastly, as is the way with these recent albums, an instrumental piece called Rivers of Silver (seem familiar!?) to leave you to wander and wonder.
Forest Mysticism had already hooked yet this reaffirms this projects promise and prowess. Hearken and wander into this week with bewilderment and renewal by a veteran of their craft. /,,/
Well, somehow... sadly... my elaborate explanation of this album was just eaten... I am furious and don't have the energy to reiterate all that I had. Know this, Runespell brings the hammer, Forest Mysticism brings the thunder. Buckle up you buncha savages for a two part, six track monster to fuel your week. New or familiar, these are tracks that will offer a taste of the prowess from these powerful wraiths. Stricken with sadness at my lost words of grandeur, I leave you with the best gift of all... Wandering Forlorn. /,,/
Before the plague, we harken back to the forgotten year of 2017 where there came a rumble. A most mighty force thundering across the verdant plains, a wailing force called Blencathra loosed its first album known as These Bones Became the Roots of the Forest...... and so it did. Leaving a wake of musical destruction in its path, Blencathra emerged into the world with a sundering power, summoning the wicked winds and warrior spirits... and the world was not the same.
It seemed no more than a ruse at first. Atmospheric Blackened Pagan Metal? Where!? There seems to be only wind and atmosphere within On The Trail of Our Ancestors but lo, it is the calm before the storm. Whereupon finding The Forest Temple there is an explosive energy. This can only be described as the warsong for cavalry, a lightning paced track of battle and prowess! Then, As The Shadows Rise, where a brotherly chant summons a call from the earth, raging across the battlefield like an earthquake. The guitar work within both tracks is absolute madness and musters the fighter within before shifting to the more tranquil of times with Drifting Through Autumn Trees, slowly weaving between war and wonder. There becomes a Fading Autumn Sky to maginfy the aura, a breathe of air between battles. There comes a Carpathian Moonrise with a furious tone, looming and haunting for those willing to listen. Lastly, like a lonely mountain, Centuries Pass In Isolation, where once war raged there remains only the spirits and animals to linger, carrying us out of most astounding album.
I have been meaning to visit this album earlier yet I believe now was a prime moment. In this tumultuous time coupled with those moments in between that offer silent reflection and natures grace, Blencathra brings a wonderful album to our midst. Let this album rouse your spirit and comfort you with the thought that all is natural, conflict and calm, and so we should ride the wave with strength and resolve. /,,/
The Forest Temple
In seasons pass I wander the cascade
lost in the wake of Mabon
now ripen the lakes, to the tarns we ride
auburn eye in silence
lost in reveries....
gripping sward cold
vengeance under bloody skies
to perdition we ride
charge the slaughter
cast the blows with pride
on this horse until thou meets thy fate
ride the storm this night
severed lives within a blinded eye
bodies forced into the ground
treachery formed against the crown of our realm
now the time has come to fight
guiding chaos light
returning the battle cry
in certainty of mine fate
With heart of stone
and head of hate
soul condemned with the blackest of marks
cowards and traitors
condemned to die...
Well, I didn't feel up to posting an update and that's okay. I do this because I love to and want to and if I make it feel obligatory it takes some of the sweetness and fire from it. However, thanks to a metal pen pal called Jarak, that fire was stoked and rekindled.
Today, we have Skogen. The swedish black metal group named after the woods from where they hail, I was reminded of them by my fellow metal enthusiast. I had previously put the album Eld on my wishlist but had forgotten. I was drawn to it when the cover art called to me with its northern tones and blackened atmosphere. I clicked play on a track without thinking and began skimming the store page of the album Vittar. It was within the description, as the showcase track for this week wailed into existence, that I knew this was to be in my collection. It spoke of DRUDKH and WODENSTHRONE in reference and I was immediately hooked. Two of my favorite artists mentioned in tones and similarities!? You bet your sweet ass I'm listening. And, here we are!
Now, my Swedish is awful and Google translate can only help me so much so there isn't a lot lyrically I can offer without diving into translations yet the one I did include did not disappoint. Of course, listening to Vittar in entirety is enough for you to understand the haunting and nature thronged tones woven within, offering a journey of an album that is wondrous and dark.
Now, the showcase track may be Ur mörkret hon kommer but I must add that this album offers a split depending on what you may be seeking. Höst, Skymning, and Slutet are there for your instrumental needs but there are many of those moments strewn between the long tracks harboring inside such as Skuggorna kallar and Under fullmånens sken. Now, there are ten tracks which means this singular album boasts a heavy amount of content and replayability. Mighty string work and thunderous drums will summon you to the woods and mountains, awaiting to embolden and rouse your spirit. I slept on this album and then I literally slept to the album (yes, I can sleep while listening to metal) so I know this album is a wonder on its own with a grand power lurking to be unleashed.
Not sure how I keep missing such gems but I am super grateful to have found it and have been listening to it for days while playing Mordhau and ESO. So, task yourself with a project or run, put on those headphones, and dial this bad boy to eleven because your soul within yearns for this dark, earthborn melody. Here's to finding Skogen and to one hell of a metal monday! /,,/
Ur mörkret hon kommer
Jag vandrar en väg, bland mylla och snår
Mitt i naturens sköte
I mörkrets näste, hon står och ser på
Och kallar på mig för ett möte
Jag vänder mig om och går dit in
En obskyr uppenbarelse
Hon suktar efter själen min
En diabolisk förförelse
Ur mörkret hon kommer
Tar min själ
Sakta förtvina i hennes famn
Ingen ska någonsin finna mig
I en glänta i skogen
Hon kan komma uppenbara sig
Och kalla på dig för ett möte
Trollbinda dig och för dig bort
Ur mörkret hon kommer
Tar din själ
Sakta förtvina i hennes famn
Ingen ska någonsin finna digUr mörkret hon kommer
Out of the darkness she comes
I walk a road, among
the mills and lanes
In the midst of nature's care
In the nest of darkness, she stands
And call me for a meeting
I turn around and go in there
An obscure revelation
She sighs for my soul
A diabolical seduction
Out of the darkness she comes
Takes my soul
Slowly despair in her arms
No one will ever find me
In a glade in the forest
She can come to light
And call you for a meeting
Enchant you and lead you away
Out of the darkness she comes
Takes your soul
Slowly despair in her arms
No one will ever find youOut of the darkness she comesOut of the darkness she comes
You know what this Monday needs!? Some fantasy inspired Black Metal! Born from the same vein as legendary Summoning and my more recent favorite Caladan Brood, Belore brings us yet another glimpse into world of magic and might wiht their debut release Journey Through Mountains and Valleys.
This is an absolute blast of an album and as big and vast as the title suggests. Now, none of these tracks have lyrics for me to offer so we must approach this album with a more individual understanding. Simply put, put on your headphones, press play, and steel yourself for an epic ride through a fantastic realm. After several listens I still find myself uncertain on a showcase track so we may as well start with the first one, The Valley of the Giants. I typically will not critique and album however I found something of a personal annoyance yet I must elaborate and clarify on why it really doesn't matter. Besides the fact that my opinion is absolutely worthless, my issue is oddly with the naming of the tracks. I feel the "The" before every track to be redundant and takes away from the mystical allure of each one BUT I did read that each of these is supposed to be a single story so adding that into each track name is fitting when considering they are separate yet part of a whole. Still, I think "Valley of Giants" Whispering Mountains" Bewitching Horns" and "Serenity Of Steel" all sound way better and more attractive when presented that way. I apologize to Belore for my pickyness and want them to know that I support and enjoy their works wholeheatedly.
Journey Through Mountains and Valleys has offered me more than most of the albums in this genre and I find that to be impressive and welcome since I get quality AND quantity. Though I was hesitant about "The Bewitching Horns" because I thought it was a song about my ex-wife however I have been left wildly thrilled by the contents of this album. I strongly recommend this for any atmospheric black metal fan as well as anyone into heroic fantasy such as Warhammer, Tolkien's works, and D&D (I listen to this type of music when I am causing a ruckous in For Honor so it is most fitting for certain games as well). Overall, Belore has been an easy addition to my collection and helped fill a gap in this area leaving me hopefull of future epic works! Keep the spirit alive, brother! /,,/
I am running off a crap amount of sleep and feel like garbage... so it must be monday! You know what can make this day better? ÄERA!!! This post atmospheric black metal band, named in old Germanic for EARTH, blindsided me in December 2019 and I have left it for a proper time to showcase. This full release, titled Schein, is a five track monstrosity which is them best option to unleash on such a wild day. As is the way, the cover art for this album is deliciously wicked with that skull merged with the landscape, a lone torchbearer navigating this haunting place. (Check out the Bandcamp site for even more wicked art!).
I'm gonna be somewhat brief since I am not wholly coherent and slightly delusional so here we go! First track, the showcase piece as proper, is Feuers Gabe (Fire Gift? Gift of Fire? I dig it either way!). That chilling yet soothing sound of a boreal wind is merely a ruse for lies in wait as this first track strums into existence. The vocal howl at 2:05 should be enough to sell you alone but trust me it is only a taste of the prowess within Schein. The first vocals at 3:17 begin the lyrical journey that you will ushered into and be stricken by its song.
Next up, we have Auf Kargem Grunde (On A Bare Base) which kicks off with a sundering energy and keeps that power all through this wild track. Do this... listen to the shift from 3:50 to the end and I guarantee you will understand why I dig ÄERA so much. Third in line, we have Silhouette and this track is big, grand, straight crushing with its energy. The whole damn thing is great so just click play, sit back, and stay out at those sad trees. Following fourth from this powerhouse is Heimkehr I - Ruin and I immediately get a Fates Warning Pleasant Shade of Grey vibe (once again) from the tone and voice tracks mixed together, birthing a track that is unique and enchanting. Listen to the whole track! And, lastly, Heimkehr II - Im Nebel. This is how you end an album and moreso we have a track that is filled with atmosphere and slick song structure.
Schein is a force to be reckoned with and I hope ÄERA continues to release works this amazing in the years ahead. I know, I forgot to upload the Boreal Hymn's track last week to the site itself so... go listen to it anyway! Here's to a week that, though seemingly daunting, will be met with zeal, fire, and ardour in response backed by an album so strong! /,,/
FIRE GIFT Something is stirring in the roots Like a tremor deep in the bottom The trees feel it in the earth That seemed petrified forever The foundation is shaken The floor breaks open And it rises Lean portrait of flesh and blood Escape the ground floor See how it creeps How it winds It feels the cold of the air It smells the scent in the grass Strange in this world But forced to be their creation It smells It looks It tastes good It runs It runs For the first time No desire No striving No will No fear No suffering No agony And no choice So it becomes one with all the trees With the bushes and the grasses With the streams and the lakes With sun and moon But the darkness falls Approach cold, approach doubt, approach fear Shadows in the twilight Dance, rise Cold eats under the skin Fear draws confused shapes in front of your eyes So it attacks the fire That the cold displaces The distance seemed so out of reach Burns down step by step Defies doubts, takes courage It lives It lives
Es regt sich etwas in den Wurzeln
Wie ein Zittern tief im Grund
Die Bäume spür`n es in der Erde
Die ewiglich versteinert schien
Da wird das Fundament erschüttert
Der Boden bricht auf
Und es erhebt sich empor
Hageres Bildnis aus Fleisch und Blut
Entflieht dem Erdenschoß
Seht wie es kriecht
Wie es sich windet
Es spürt die Kälte der Luft
Es riecht den Duft in den Gräsern
Fremd in dieser Welt
Doch gezwungen ihre Schöpfung zu sein
Zum ersten Mal
Und keine Wahl
So wird es eins mit all den Bäumen
Mit den Sträuchern und den Gräsern
Mit den Bächen und den Seen
Mit Sonne und Mond
Doch bricht die Dunkelheit herein,
Naht Kälte, naht Zweifel, naht Furcht
Schatten im Zwielicht
Tanzen, erheben sich
Kälte frisst sich unter die Haut
Die Angst zeichnet wirre Schemen vor den Augen
So greift es das Feuer
Dass die Kälte verdrängt
Die Ferne schien so unerreichbar
Brennt nun nieder Schritt für Schritt
Trotzt Zweifel, schöpft Mut
This Metal Monday will showcase the coldest, longest twenty minutes of your life! Boreal Hymn has presented us with the demo Tundra and it is past time we gathered round and listened to this wicked frigid release.
First up, we have the slick first track called Labyrinthian Graves which sets the tone for the album and is definetly a metal title. Honestly. the intro may be my favorite part however the span from 1:30 (where he screams "dying") until 2:00 is riveting and hooks you with its howling power. Second up, we have Glimmer In The Umbra (no, I did not plan on featuring two tracks two weeks in a row with the word Umbra in it... just goes to show you how metal that word is!). Similar to the previous track at first glance, Glimmer In The Umbra builds into something else such as at 2:11 to 2:44 is more sorrowful while afteward it really embraces northen folk influence. Speaking of, Banner of Grief fully follows up on this style and atmosphere by bringing in something more akin to Gealdyr with pagan tones and vocals. Lastly, Defiance Against The Breath Of Gods waits for us at the end and I think that is an excellent track title to finish with, a mixture of old and new. I dig the energy and power within the track, seeming to be bigger, heavier than the others. I can't pick a favorite part because it is altogether awesome and with only five minutes you really get a lot thrown at you that will beg you for another listen.
Overall, I am all for Boreal Hymn. This side project from the Seer boys is a delight and I hope to see more in the years ahead. On a strange side not, for some reason I kept getting Hacride vibes and I cannot describe why, perhaps something about the unique style or vocals? Regardless, check them out as well!! /,,/
This is a work in progess. This may be elaborated on, tweaked, or added to if it gains momentum. For now, enjoy.
You know, for as long as I can remember I have been different. It has taken decades to realize what I am, for the thing that others have seen lurking within me. Of course, I know what you are thinking “Dude, we get it. Your “inner demons” are manifesting, blah blah blah.” Well, you got the manifesting part right. Turns out I am a god damned werewolf. Ain’t that some shit!? Even more surprising is not knowing you are one rather piecing it together across spans of wild encounters and strange occurrences, detrimental and grim decisions. There were red flags that something was amiss, that I did not really belong around others yet that’s a hard thing to discern when the world is full of monsters. I mean hell I was married to one and couldn’t see it.
Honestly, if I looked at the women I have chased in my life there were some pretty obvious signs that they weren’t really human, save for one maybe. For example, I was traveling with a companion and we happened upon some young maidens. Now, initially I was drawn in by their flesh and the urge to hunt however I was the one unaware of the hunter within their midst. When I met her gaze I became enthralled, a trick I had not learned to be aware until later. She had porcelain skin with raven black hair yet it was her eyes that drew me in, captivated me in a manner I had not known. After some time passed and my hunt became more focused, my brother made an appearance. And, without hesitation, he said these words about her. “Her, and her family, are all vampires.” Now, I brushed off his notion because I figured he was just trying to protect me, though wise he is, however I was blind as usual. Looking back, his comment is more amusing than ever for I now see him for what he is, a vampire. Of course he noticed their behavior and abilities, he was one of them though not of the same clan. Vampires hate when you just lump them together, quite sensitive they are about their lineage and blood lines.
Well, things may have lasted save for the fact that my powers were growing and I knew not how to control them. We were much like Romeo and Juliet in our pairing, both from rival blood and madly in love. I look back and see the beast within throughout my life now and how it has affected and ruined so many things, so many families, loved ones, friendships. I ignored it, overlooked it, but have come to face it finally, hone it, tame it, at least for my own use. It pains me to be so oblivious even more so when believing that I was right or knew what I was doing...how foolish, how arrogant. Heartbroken, I fell into the arms of a witch whom I had become acquainted with over the years. My rage was too strong and, though she knew of some affliction and wanted to help heal me, I became a monster. She was the best at weathering my fury but my cruelty was unjust and without limit, the years thereafter were a blood soaked haze.
My blind, careless nature, wreathed in hatred, left me unaware of my own brothers hunger and growing rage. As much as I was incapable of taming myself, I was always the one willing and able to calm his vampiric onslaughts that came about from his thirst. He was always so even keel and clever when moderately sated yet, on rare occasions, he was a terror upon the land. I see now that he and I are truly brothers for we are damned by thirst and hunger, each one aiding the other over the years to combat our animalistic behavior. We may be fiercely independent and want our space but those things are worthless if all we lay in is ruins wrought by our own hands. I lost him for a while when the thirst snuck up and inflicted harm against one we called friend.
Heartbroken and angry, I sought another hunt, something to occupy my mind and body. There came a moment when I met a creature of rarity, a thing so unusual I could not but help to follow. I did not see her for what she was and my brother was gone to warn me. I mean, after a saint (the only woman not a monster that I hunted), a vampire and a witch, I figured it couldn’t get worse. Oh, so wrong. So blind. So foolish. More dog than wolf I seem to be, always seeking a master. We were betrothed, married, happy… then my brother returned. I will give him this, his cunning and guile is impressive. Upon meeting her he said nothing, was cordial, charming even. After some time, when we were stalking through the night like the old days, did he speak. He spoke a word that made my blood run cold and I did not want to believe him. She was, as I was to discover, a succubus. Though she looked like a normal woman this was but a ruse and I had been too angry and egotistical to see past the illusion. I bided my time until it was the right time to strike, to escape the dreamlike hellscape I had thought was my life. My brother aided me in freeing myself yet the danger only grew for her brood was enraged by this and still seeks my head after all these years.
The bond between my brother and I is strong for we have been hunted and wandered together for years but a vampire and a werewolf were not meant to live within the same cave. After some time and a training montage, I sought my own cave, for the experience of freedom and to perhaps master the beast within. I chanced upon the witch once more and she aided me in my soul journey, allowed me to dwell in her grove and chase her familiars. I was happy, for a time, yet distracted. I could tell the tameness of the place was having ill effects on my true goal. Her spells were powerful yet my willpower had grown vast and my hunger was far greater than ever so I left, wandering back out into the world once more to howl at the moon and sleep upon the mountainous stars.
I journeyed for some time through ruins and forests until I reached the shores of a place unknown to me. It was there I heard a song, a call on the wind that drew me nearer and nearer to the waters of a black lake. There, upon some rocks, basking in the sun was a beautiful young woman with her back to me. Her blonde hair was wet and shimmered in the sunlight while her head moved with the tune of her enchanting song. I sat and listened for some time, enjoying the soothing sound, the words resonating within me, calming my anger. It was when she stopped that the most shocking thing happened. She dove into the water. It was not the act that surprised me, but rather the fact that I had not noticed she had a scaly lower half that was very much like a fish. She was a mermaid, a siren to some, and she vanished before me without a trace into that dark water. Though drawn by the sound it was more of the place that I now realized I was drawn to for it was perfect. Remote, wild, and free. Staring into the black mirror of the lake I see back to my past, to my failures, to the horrors I unleashed. My tears break the tension of the water and muddle my dark reflection, giving me a moment of clarity, of inner reflection. I howl at the sky like I have never done before and I feel whole, the separate halves now joined.
We have yet another glorious Metal Monday to behold! Not only is that reason to rejoice but the fact that today is the day the new VELNIAS album released makes it all the sweeter. Scion Of Aether brings us more of that blackened folk doom metal we have come to love by this wild artist. Having stumbled onto Velnias some years in a compilation with many astounding artists I was left awe struck by the power unleashed upon me and so now I can share this new, dark gem with you, listeners.
Scion of Aether begins with Fissures within the Construct, a delightful, instrumental opening that sets the tone for what awaits. Now, I will say this about the song lengths. The instrumental ones are short and sweet while the main tracks are all a minimum of nine minutes... as it should be! Flowing into the next track we have Pariah of the Infinite and by the gods this one is lyrically awesome. I mean check this out "I invoke thundering fires..." "Raise the indomitable juggernaut" "Break the smothering tide against the prominence of iron will" !?!?!? THIS IS WHY I LOVE METAL! Eleven minutes of crushing energy! Resting from that monstrosity, we have Aurora Rune, which was the pre-released track and I have been quite taken with it. On par with previous track, this one builds into a rigtheous monster and has one of my favorite parts in the album starting at 3:38 but explodes at 3:47 when he howls "Behold the indifferent gaze and wanton grimace of a blind eternity" will straight melt you. You gotta finish the rest of the two-thirds left because Velnias offers no breathing room, just a stormy sea swelling to hurl and haunt you without remorse. Fourth, we get an instrumental break with Confluence of Entropic Umbra. Just some looming guitar work that is merely the calm in the storm. Supernal Emergent follows in tune with some delicious guitar work in the beginning before setting off into a gallop. "Blossom of the void..." "The pulse of the expanse..." "The haunted shell..." Velnias is all around astounding. Lyrics are wicked good and the instrument work is stellar. And lastly, the aptly named Oblivion Horizon. I cannot put the lyrics because the whole damn song is too slick to dice up plus it gives you reason to visit their page, have yourself a metal sojourn just for you. The intro to this last track will hook you for sure and carry you all the way through this fifteen minute monster of a track.
If anything, this album was released at the proper time. Though we feel doom upon us it is within the doom that we find the solace and strength and so Velnias echoes through my hallowed halls and resonates out to the world in need of song and stirring words. Let this aether wraith wander your life this week for each day is long and these tracks perfectly fit that need. Go now! Enjoy this delicious weekly treat and reconvene next time for more Metal Monday Madness! /,,/
As usual, I am way late to the game when it comes to certain artist but I will be damned if I don't give them their dues. This week we have the hellenic black metal artist known as Celtefog. Forged by Archon himself, this project is daunting and monstrous, like a great titan of old. We venture this time to the Outlands.
There may only be five tracks yet these pieces are absolutely astounding. Kicking things off with the over ten minute long first track, The White Fjord. Slow building, and a tad over two minutes before it even begins to grow, this track builds into an absolute maelstrom. The pacing, creativity, and atmosphere created along the way will hook you and lull you setting the mood for what lies in wait. Next we have Natur (Nature) and with it begins a familiar recording voice I have heard before. The first time I came across this usage was in Fates Warning's Disconnected Part II (a killer track for atmosphere and the Pleasant Shades of Gray album is awesome). Natur then explodes with life, wailing and crashing a while before getting into a resonating and captivating part from 5:22-6:42 that is so delicious. However, at the 8 minute mark, like clockwork, the growl and spoken part kicks in with slick guitar work and female vocals molded in as well. It is overwhelming in the best way possible and awesome to believe how this worked out so well. Up On The Hills is third track chiming in with bells and thunder before a diablo-esque guitar begins taking me back to Tristram all those years ago. And just like the descent into hidden madness that game offered, Up On The Hills is a wild ride full of misery and sorrow, chillingly beautiful. Another sweet span from 3:40-6:18 before a stellar ending that will leave you crushed. Following next, fourth in line, we have To The Celtic Lands. Some of my favorite guitar work on this album lay in this track as well as the lyrics are gripping and grim with a journey that leads toward redemption and renewal in the old ways. Listen beginning to end with the words to really get the feeling. And now, last, and most importantly, 279 BC. This is a track that caught me by surprise. We are lured by the sounds of the sea and the birds and a humming guitar in wait. Yet, as it progresses the instrumental work within swells into a phenomenal track. Though it seems sparse on lyrics, I discovered within the music video (below) some extra bits that really set the stage. It was the nail in the coffin for me to add it to my collection because I was enthralled by the brilliance of this track. Play the video, crank up the volume, and let Celtefog envelope you.
So, Outlands comes with high praise and this is just the tip of the iceberg really. I have been weeding through the other albums (yeah, I bought them all) to find what other wonders I may have been missing. I am certain I will find so much more given time however for you, for this week, much needed, we look to the Outlands. No matter the hardships we endure there can be a new dawn for each of us should we have the energy and resolve to face the challenge. /,,/
THE MAD BARRON
The Source Of The Metal