Brandon N.

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Last Active 05-07-21 2:25 pm
Joined 10-13-09

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04.29.21 Chick-Fil-A Sauces RANKED04.19.21 The Spirit's Black Metal 2021 (ongoing
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11.03.20 NOTHING BUT BLACK METAL NOVEMBER 202009.23.20 27k comments
08.31.20 don't ya'll just love when women....08.21.20 Carcass is back on streaming platforms!
08.18.20 Top 10 discogs "WAP" is better than03.10.20 18 Visions interview
03.02.20 RIP ENBILULUGUGAL01.21.20 2010-2019 in BLACK METAL Pt.2
01.16.20 2010-2019 in BLACK METAL Pt.110.30.19 Why do you love black metal?
10.03.19 66 metal albums from this year09.27.19 Ba(toomuch)ka?
09.20.19 blink-182 R A N K E D09.13.19 5 ALBUMS FROM THIS WEEK YOU SHOULD LIST
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The Spirit's Black Metal 2021 (ongoing list)

This will be (hopefully) be an ongoing list of all my favorite BM albums released this year. I’m sure I’ll have several other lists dedicated to the genre and/or other specific subsects in the future, but as my favorite black metal territory it only felt right to start here. More in-depth descriptions to come. It should go without saying but I'll say it anyway - every release here is highly recommended and well worth your time.
1Old Nick
A New Generation Of Vampiric Conspiracies

I would consider Old Nick the black metal newcomer of 2020. As an insanely prolific act, the project released a slew of EPs & splits last year that progressively endeared the black metal underground to their quirky yet surprisingly competent raw black metal. A New Generation Of Vampiric Conspiracies is the Californian act's first full-length and continues their penchant for stirring modern internet culture absurdity with genuine songwriting chops to create some of the most eccentric yet amazing black metal you've ever heard.
Jigoku: Spiraling Chasms Of The Blackest Hell
3Mare Cognitum
Solar Paroxysm

see my review
4Dark Watcher
Hymns Of A Godless Land

Black metal with a western twang is still a sub-genre that’s finding its footing, but between Wayfarer’s excellent 2020 release A Romance with Violence and now Dark Watcher’s superb Hymns of a Godless Land, it finally feels like this niche is being fleshed out the way it should be. What Dark Watcher does – perhaps even better than their contemporaries – is creating a stirring cinematic feeling to their music that ascribes to both the prairie gunslinger and raw black metal components of their music. In theory, these two entities should be in competition with each other, but thanks to the keen and studied ear of main composer/guitarist Hodag, it feels like black metal should’ve started wearing spurs long ago. Though only 3 songs long, Hymns of a Godless Land proves that Dark Watcher has all the makings of a western classic and I for one am excited to see what these Stetson-wearing trailblazers will do next.
5Cara Neir
Phase Out
Burning Dawn of Vengeance

Along with Lampir and Sanguine Relic, Valac is one of the best examples of modern, raw, USBM; cold yes, but more grounded in a blackened mystique than frostbitten magic. Burning Dawn of Vengeance is the Santa Fe act’s sophomore record, boasting fuller production while losing none of the skeletal appeal of their debut. It’s a fairly straightforward release, toeing the line between melodic trems and stomping Darkthrone-esque dirges, but never feels derivative despite its adherence to the standard black metal formula.
Towergeist II

Towergeist are another entity flying under the Grime Stone Records banner, which at this point is an assurance of quality all its own. Unlike some of the other bands on the label, like flagship act Old Nick, Towergeist indulge in a traditionalist form of black metal, best compared to Transilvanian Hunger/Panzerfaust-era Darkthrone. If this description doesn’t sound particularly exciting, I wouldn’t blame you; this type of black metal is peddled far too often in the underground. However Towergeist’s grasp on melody, when to use it, and its dichotomy between mid-paced marches elevates their craft above that of their contemporaries. If you’re looking for a modern take on classic black metal, Towergeist II is one of the best you’ll find so far in 2021.
8Lace Shawl
The Secret Botanist

More thorough description coming, but ... happy black metal?
9Lamp of Murmuur/Dai Ichi
Virgin Womb Of Eternal Black Terror

Really digging this new Lamp of Murmuur/dai-ichi split, Virgin Womb of Eternal Black Terror. The name of the album is dumb, but the actual music is pretty fantastic. Over the last year or so, Lamp of Murmuur has cultivated a big following thanks to a sound which oscillates between a very specific Northwestern US melodisicm and more traditional black metal qualities. They are incredibly consistent and their material here lives up to not only the hype, but their own high standards. dai-ichi is a much different entity, and to me, their sound is super reminiscent of the stuff from CW Productions (Cirrhus, Grand Mood, etc...) as there is a distinct punkiness to their delivery, rendering it immediately catchy. Though these two bands certainly exist in the same realm of each other, they stand on two different sides of the spectrum so it’s fun that they were paired together for this release.
Vacuum Solution

No matter how many times a band or album in this style appears, the collision of black metal and trance music will never cease to amaze me. On one hand, this fusion would see the corpses of Dead and Euronymous churn in their grave; on the other, isn't this type of sonic rebellion what black metal is about? And now that Violet Cold are out of the picture, Mesarthim have usurped their LED-lit throne as the new sovereigns of danceable black metal magic. Though they certainly have the catalog to back up their claim to the crown, one need look no further than the Australian duo?s latest EP, Vacuum Solution, which is perhaps their most thorough examination of EDM influenced black metal yet. At their best, they make it sound like these two genres need each other and even at their worst the songs are still good enough to wring some enjoyment out of. With the globe's current state of affairs, maybe some black metal to shake your ass to isn't the worst thing in the world .
Ihum Jolhduc
12Victory Over The Sun
13A Pregnant Light
Kiss Me Thru the Phone
Én Gang Rådden, Altid Rådden
15Grinning Death's Head
16Clandestine Blaze
Secrets of Laceration

If you find yourself missing The Black Twilight Circle, this release is for you.
18Violet Cold
Empire of Love
Beautiful Ghosts
Mystical Extraction

Even going into this record knowing what it would sound like, I was still very much floored by Gonemage’s debut album. Continuing in the spirit of Cara Neir’s last outing, Mystical Extraction the dungeon crawler alternative to Phase Out’s platformer black metal. Imagine if Bergtatt-era Ulver and Castlevania’s Symphony of the Night soundtrack sired a child that was raised by Dillinger Escape Plan and Slowdive and you’re halfway to understanding what Mystical Extraction sounds like. Nothing here seems cobbled together though, with multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Galimgim carefully curating elements from the aforementioned genres and sculpting them in ways that feel fresh yet nostalgic all at once. Black metal and video games both share a certain reverence for the past, but if Mystical Extraction is any indication, they’ve always had more in common than we could have ever imagined.
Feminazgul/Awenden Split
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