WINTERFYLLETH – “The Dark Hereafter”

CoverFollowing on from 2104’s excellent and career defining release, “The Divination Of Antiquity”, England’s heritage black metal heroes Winterfylleth are back.  With their label sold and becoming part of the Spinefarm family these songs have been in the can for a while, so its good to see them finally see the light of day.

The title track kicks things off with familiar blast beats and whirling guitars and those who bathed in TDOA will know the track “Pariahs Path”. “Ensigns Of Victory” is my favourite track from the opening three, which have a different feel to the last two tracks with the familiar folk tinged black metal assault.  Continue reading

METAL CULTURE – THE BLACK METAL BREWERY (Edinburgh, Scotland) – All Five Ales

BMB Group“Hi Mark, do you mind if I drop some beer round for you to drink and write about?” said Alex.  “Seriously? Are you winding me up? Of course bud’  I replied…. And soon enough the boss was at my door with a selection of fine ales from the Loanhead based… It’s in Scotland, look it up… Black Metal Brewery, which was spooky as we’d both been to see northern monkey black metallers, Winterfylleth, the night before.

Now Alex has asked me to write about these lovely bottles of brown wonderment because he knows I’m a member of CAMRA and suspects I might know a thing or two about beer.  I’m not a total beer scoring uber nerd but I do drink a lot of real ale. It’s nice. It’s proper. Making it is an art form. Now my wife – Brutal Ruth – says I’m what’s known as a ‘functioning alcoholic’ (she can talk, flat out on the sofa watching ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ with an empty bottle of rose next to her..) but I prefer the term ‘drinking enthusiast’. Continue reading

ANGMAER – “Towards Darkness’ Paradise”

Angmaer - Towards Darkness' Paradise_Cover

One-man, black metal band: a phrase that can strike pre-emptive disappointment into the heart of even the most stalwart extreme music aficionado. It can frequently be the case that these projects lack any kind of individuality or panache, aspects which are thankfully becoming more mandatory in the genre. UKEM’s recent signing, Angmaer, is luckily not guilty of this particular sin.

As the bio states, this is very true to the 1990s’ golden age of BM. The character must be incredibly hard for one person to capture this successfully on their own, and in that Towards Darkness’ Paradise is most assuredly a great success. Although it embraces a touch of the clarity brought to later BM releases, it retains an undeniably classic quality. Continue reading

WINTERFYLLETH – “The Divination Of Antiquity”

WF14So here we are; 4 Winterfylleth albums in… yet it only seems like yesterday that these boys were playing in front of a few staunch separatists like myself in sweaty underground clubs. The band as a group, since all but the very earliest live outings, has been consistent and since the second album, “The Mercian Sphere”, the same lads have written and recorded the music.  The thing is, the band themselves have been on a bit of a journey in the last 12 months, and I believe that this has resulted in the album of their careers thus far. A tour with Enslaved, festival appearances around Europe and then time to reflect and write have resulted in something very special indeed. Continue reading

VARIOUS ARTISTS – “One And All, Together, For Home”

Various Artists - "One And All, Together, For Home"

Various Artists – “One And All, Together, For Home”

Beautifully packaged on both CD and Vinyl versions, a collection of bands delve into their nation’s musical cultural heritage and produce music generally not associated with their ‘regular’ output.  The idea was born from Roman Saenko (Hate Forest, Drudkh, Old Silver Key, Rattenfanger and others!) and Drudkh feature with 2 tracks based on Ukrainian folk songs. Continue reading

FYRDSMAN – “Omen In The Sky”

FyrdsOmenIn 2010 a very special EP was released by a gentle man called Tim Shaw under the moniker Fyrdsman (the name given to the local men who fought alongside the trained warriors in Anglo Saxon England during the ‘dark’ ages). So good was this release (available again here) the pressure to hear more from this melodic black metal musician was tangible. Whilst most of the songs were pretty much written,  a combination of funds or lack of and a re-location has made those smitten by the EP endure a long wait for the album to see the light of day. Continue reading

AMIENSUS & OAK PANTHEON – “Gathering” (Split)

AmiOakIf I could have picked two US Metal bands to collaborate for a limited split EP, then Tridroid Records had been reading my mind and have released my dream EP this year, giving the label a further tentative step into the world of CDs.  In keeping with their model, this EP is available for free download to anyone that wants it, but I think it is safe to say that the CD will sell out rapidly. Continue reading

ROTTING CHRIST – “KATA TON DAIMONA EAYTOY”

RCSo after 26 years as a band, 11 albums and counting, Rotting Christ have just written and recorded a masterpiece. Not many bands of this maturity will always pull this off, so I have so much respect for the Tolis brothers Sakis and Themis, the men whom are now solely behind the recording of the band’s music.   Continue reading

WINTERFYLLETH – “The Threnody Of Triumph”

WF TTOTFriends, Romans and Englishmen, here we have the third album by the mighty Winterfylleth, a band unashamedly close to my heart. OK confession time as for myself, ‘The Mercian Sphere’ resonated deeply within me, and not wanting to sound like a sycophantic prick, was and STILL is a spiritual experience with each listen. Some music can at times have me in tears, and that release did, and for all the right reasons! Continue reading