Brandon N.

Reviews 157
Approval 94%

Soundoffs 713
News Articles 62
Band Edits + Tags 330
Album Edits 1,081

Album Ratings 3158
Objectivity 69%

Last Active 11-07-21 3:38 am
Joined 10-13-09

Forum Posts 747
Review Comments 28,745

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10.27.21 NOTHING BUT BLACK METAL NOVEMBER 202109.22.21 Personalized Black Metal Recs FOR YOU
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Personalized Black Metal Recs FOR YOU

Looking to get into black metal?? If you're someone with an ounce of self-worth w/mental health trending positively, probably not! But if you're like me (hates himself, feels like an inconsequential thread in the tapestry of my own life) you MIGHT just have that cloying feeling of wanting to get into music's most grim sub-genre. I can help you with that! And if you're already a fan of the genre, I can help you find more of what you're looking for! How this will work -- comment 3 bands you already enjoy and/or some black metal sub-genres you're curious about, and I will give you 3 artists you're looking for, the best place to start with them, and a short lil description of how they relate/sound compared to the band you used a reference. I will also try and provide youtube/bandcamp links to where you can these records. To get the ball rolling, here are 2 great and easily digestible bands/albums I highly recommend, (and 1 not so easily digestible for the veterans checking this list out)

German black metal can be hit or miss, but Thorngoth are great and Leere is a consistently fantastic release and a great black metal starter. It is a very straightforward, with simple song structures built on the tried and trve foundation of tremolo riffs, blast beats and necrotic vocals. What elevates Leere is 1) its fantastic production, and 2) strong use of melody. In terms of 1, Leere has an incredibly clean, but not overly sterile production, making the record extremely legible, but not to the point where it robs the instrumentation of its power. For point 2, melody obviously isn't new to black metal but when it's as well done as it is here, it can still lift the track/album to new heights. Melodically, Thorngoth revel in triumph and bombast resulting in very uplifting harmonies. Again, nothing new, but the way they LINGER on these gorg moments for JUST the right amount of time makes hair stand on end. All of this makes Leere an ideal starting place for black metal newbies.
2Cara Neir
Portals to a Better, Dead World

Cara Neir are not part of the black metal orthodoxy, but have enough of the genre's DNA in their veins to qualify for the list. They've released 16 items in various forms during the decade I've been listening to them and not only are they are IMPECCABLE, but they are one of the few black metal adjacent bands that keep you on your toes. Portals to a Better, Dead World (2013) is a highlight in their GOATED discography. I would hesitantly call this album "blackened post-hardcore" though CN's music is so amorphous it's difficult to reduce it into a single term. But that's what makes this so great, the diversity; "Closing Doors", from screams to riffs, imagines Axe to Fall era Converge in corpsepaint while "Exalting the Shadow Proprietor" evokes Cradle of Filth in skramz band. These may sound like sloppy combinations and in the hands of another band they would be... any knob can slapdash two random genres together but only masters and can make them sound like they've always belonged.
3Penance Stare
House of Bastet

Penance Stare is a one-woman black metal project from the UK, and some of the darkest, most harrowing black metal I've ever heard. A fusion of the aforementioned genre with industrial, darkwave, and shoegaze, House of Bastet is a release that contradicts itself at every turn. The music is chilly, not in the typical black metal fashion, but with cold, industrial-like stoicism, bringing together a mechanical grinding for the percussion and the noisey ambiance of shoegaze. In contrast, the screeched vocals brim with anguish and together with the almost indifferent attitude of the music create an album that is highly uncomfortable but oddly rewarding to sit through.

USER: parksungjoon
Looking for a band similar to: Bríi

Coming straight outta the gate with a difficult one. I feel like the easier/safe options for Bríi would have been Mesarthim or Violet Cold (which I guess I also recommend) due to the electronic/trace elements I picked up on Sem propósito. However, I feel like Kalisia's Cybion better captures the adventurousness of Bríi. Are these carbon copies? No, but they do share similarities and for me, something about their spirits (hehe) very much seems to resonate with each other. This was a toughie!

USER: dedex
Looking for a band similar to: Altar of Plagues

Not going to lie, I don't really care much for AoP after White Tomb but I still think Celeste is a good fit. Like AoP, Celeste appreciate the destruction in slower to mid-paced songcraft, utilizing sludgy bludgeoning to offset the speedier, black metal moments. This shit is nasty.
6Unholy Vampyric Slaughter Sect
The World Trapped in Vampyric Sway

USER: dedex
Looking for a band similar to: Murmuure

First, let's all agree that there really isn't another entity out there like Murmuure. Okay, now that we've got that out of the way, I can see anyone who digs Murmuure enjoying Unholy Vampyric Slaughter Sects abstract and eccentric take on black metal. While their older albums are also certainly worth investigation (and probably would be a bit of a closer fit) The World Trapped in Vampyric Sway is still a wild ride. Scathing bursts of obtuse and off-kilter black metal arrangements that are broken up by ambient sections, spoken word segments, movie samples, and weird industrial metal bridges. The production is much cleaner than Murmuure, but the weirdness... well yeah, that's here in spades

Looking for a band similar to: Deathspell Omega

Released in 2012, Azoic's Gateways is something of an Icelandic black metal hidden gem. At the time (2012), Iceland's extreme metal scene was making a name for itself, but had still yet to establish itself as a major player in the worldwide black metal market. With that in mind, it's kind of mindblowing how Azoic -who features members of now established bands like Svartidaudi, Sinmara, and Ophidian I - came and went without much fanfare. Gateways very much subscribes to winding and dissonant song play Deathspell Omega has made famous, albeit with some more muscular death metal (Ulcerate) riffing thrown in the mix as well. What makes it stand out (to me at least) are the brief melodic passages and bits of clean singing, which give an identity of their own despite the obvious similarities to the previously mentioned bands.
Dernieres Reminscences

USER: madrigal30
Looking for a sound similar to: post-black metal

This is a great opportunity to plug one of my favorite post-black metal bands, Marunata. In my opinion, they do Ecailles de Lune-era Alcest better than Alcest does. That have that rare and innate ability to create music that is somehow nostalgic the first time you hear it. Their black metal sections hit a bit harder, and seem to have some strong reverence for 1980's post-punk. The only downside here is the project has a fairly limited discography with an EP, a demo, and a song featured on a split release. Worth it nonetheless.

USER :Avagantamos
Looking for a band similar to: Drudkh

Drudkh is a band who on paper are easy to describe, but in the practice of finding something similar is kind of difficult. Svrm fuses Drudkh's very atmospheric and melodic playing with a more intense and urgent punk delivery. They also have some folk-y interludes that further tie them to Drudkh. When it comes to really describing what makes Svrm good, it's just that they write really beautiful music. Not only are the melodies immediately infectious, they are long lasting. The first time I heard this record, I had "Позбавлення" ringing in my head for days afterward.
Heart of Akamon

USER: Cryptkeeper
Looking for a band similar to: Panopticon

Panopticon is another band who is incredibly idiosyncratic, so I let Austin do the heavy lifting for me and chose Nechochwen, a band Panopticon released a split with last year. Don't get me wrong - these bands definitely have cultivated their own sounds - but they have a lot in common too. There's that element of "American" folk present and a lot of the leads have a similar quality to Panopticon's. That being said, Nechochwen's music is more outwardly triumphant. Everything feels so large on Heart of Akamon and the reverence the members have for their heritage really shines through.
Albino de Congo

USER: someone
Looking for a sound similar to: jazz

I know Imperial Triumphant are all the rage these days (makes sense, they're quite good), but the pinnacle of jazz-infused black metal, for me, will always be the Belgium-based weirdos Lugubrum. They've evolved quite a bit since their formation, but Albino de Congo lands almost in the middle of their progression from more straightforward and raw black metal to the weird, jazz-fusion stuff they perform today. As such, it offers the best of both worlds; there's necrotic screeches aplenty and the production is rough around the edges, but there's also a zeal to the music that immediately informs you that these are disciplined musicians. What I love most about this record is while it is obviously jazzy, it's not OVERTLY jazzy. Black metal is still very much the focus with the jazz elements acting as spice more than than a main dish. Some further reading about the album:
12Arcana Coelestia
Le Mirage de L’idéal

USER: ConbinaryCode
Looking for a sound similar to: doom metal

Another opportunity to gush about one of my favorite, underrated albums. Blackened funeral doom act Arcana Coelestia is unfortunately now split-up, but their legacy will forever be enshrined within the 3 nearly flawless albums they released during their lifetime, the best being their second album, Le Mirage de L'ideal. I am generally not a fan of slower metal, but within the first minute, this album had me hooked. This record is morbid but regal; the metal instrumentation is bare-bones and minimalist giving the music a rawer quality, but the atmospherics and keyboard embellishments are still some like I've never heard before. They're surprisingly dynamic given the rougher production, and i'll be damned if they aren't the most beautiful melodies I've ever heard in my life. Still, despite the beauty, Arcana Coelestia still manage to capture the death and decay usually associated with funeral doom. Otherworldly.
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