Have you tried jamming Helcaraxe?

Reviews 137
Soundoffs 194
News Articles 2
Band Edits + Tags 27
Album Edits 37

Album Ratings 2279
Objectivity 62%

Last Active 03-15-20 11:11 pm
Joined 07-14-15

Review Comments 10,093

05.08.24 what it means to me04.19.24 Gimme nocturnal recs
03.28.24 DEDES TOP 50-CORE OF IT ALL03.18.24 DEDES TOP 50 BM-this time, with passion
03.04.24 DEDES TOP 50 DM ALBUM EVAH01.14.24 The Year of Dedes
10.01.23 Whiskey and Music08.24.23 Lookit
07.31.23 One Piece and good jams06.19.23 Break/Breakcore recs plx
04.10.23 2k? 2k.03.09.23 Oh how long it's been
07.24.22 Beer recs07.13.22 Poke Bowls
07.07.22 Paladins07.02.22 Chili
More »

DEDES TOP 50 BM-this time, with passion

After hours of blood, sweat, tears, millions of neurons firing (and millions perishing in the fervor of list making battle) I present to thee the 50 best bm albums ever made everything I say is law you can no longer voice dissent or the divine judgement of mx will split the skies asunder and raining lightning upon you. 1 is actually 1 this time.
The Mantle

This time i'm starting with 1 first due to some misreads on the last list. Agalloch took me so many goddamn listens to click when I discovered them nigh 10 years ago but when I did they're sulken wintry post-rock tinged style of folk bm became an addiction, hell I think I jammed nothing but The Mantle on the school bus ride for like a month straight lmao. I think there's something decidedly less romantic about their style of winter worship, but rather it's dull and gray and dismal, like a Russian communist block full of gopnik's trying to steal your shoes for cigarettes rather than some epic frozen mountain with viking charges taking the reigns.
Roads to the North

-Lunn making the move from Kentucky to Minnesota must have been massive for him, as a man intrinsically deeply tied into his Appalachian roots. It shows how deeply intertwined he becomes with both worlds when those twangy acoustics and heartwarming violins manage to be repurposed to create less the sound of miners sitting by crackling campfires outside the Blue Ridge mountains, and instead bring to mind verdant pines that stretch endlessly. Beautiful album and showcases too how much of a nutty drummer Lunn is (man is a drum fill fanatic lmao). Shoutout to the garbage shitstorm YT channel hipsterblackmetal for bullying Kentucky’s tin whistle cause of all things that’s what got me into Panopticon.
Autumn Eternal

More Panopticon!! Much of the same can be said here -but- there is a greater post-rock structure (Lunn has stated one of his biggest influences is actually GY!BE) emphasized here as well as a bit more reservation, i.e no wicked arpeggio's ala "Echoes of a Disharmonic Evesong". It's for sure still loaded with big bpm's and is a cathartic album but the more twinkly energy of it all makes for some TEARJERKERS (i've had a few tears shed to "Pale Ghosts" but for even bigger tears jam "Rune's Heart" off the Nechochwen split).

Phil McSorely was/probably is a degenerate piece of shit. What I will say, however is his skewed worldviews and wicked misanthropy helps create what I view was one of the most impressively spiteful and bleak albums ever, matched for me only by the likes of The Downward Spiral. I'm an extremely patient and collected man with more than his fair share of uh, sadness and tragedy let's say, and during those moments of collapse the hellfire-pissing rage that oozes from this album almost starts to make sense. It's anger rooted from unchanging and unhealthy world philosophies. Also it riffs.

I adore music that can paint local imagery at it's most vivid and gorgeous. I think people in the states, hell especially in my corner of the country (ex-coal mining valley in PA) people neglect the beauty surrounding them, fantasizing vineyards in Italy or sun-soaked Hawaiian beaches. Not Andy Marshall. He's painting odes to his homeland, misty fields and deep-cut loches and rollicking hills. Passionate, crushing drum bits and graceful flutes and powerful bellows make this album absolutely goddamn cathartic at all times. whew baby.
6Caladan Brood
Echoes Of Battle

Ok, so that's a bold claim, but i will say as much as from what i've heard with the genres (limited) niche Caladan Brood is a band who have transcended the Summoning tag while still being wildly influenced by them. The vocals are more witchy and scathing, instrumentation bigger and more patient and filled with more grandeur, more epic baritone singing. Echoes of Battle is, imo, a masterful evolution upon the og Summoning sound.
Nattestid Ser Porten Vid

And finally we arrive to a -traditional- BM album! These are the fuzzy tremolos and moderately poor production rates you were -probably- looking for. This is, to me, the most concentrated and blissful representation of what exactly black metal is at it's core. Skinny pale dude with a "menacing" demeanor on all his album covers? Hell yes. Winding frosty trems and blast beats? Hell yes! Nazi accusations retorted against by edgy statements that read like the world's most evil 15 year old wrote them? Uh, maybe. Idk but it's black metal so who cares riffs 4 dayz hell yeah!!!!!
Storm of the Light's Bane

I friggin adore this, hell this is one two albums that got me into black metal (the other being The Satanist by Behemoth). It's so fun and goofy and corny that I feel the edginess that surrounds the band ideals eludes it and becomes even more preposterous, because the album is simply too damn...uplifting? Not per say that it has some sort of greater positive message lmao absolutely not but rather that whilst I could imagine slammin down a 6-pack and windmilling with the gang to "Night's Blood" I cannot quite imagine doing as such with uh, most other BM albums. The riffs are wildly melodic and bouncy and fairly big on thrash (trash more like lmaoooooooooo) influence which makes this record more lighthearted than a lot of classic BM is.
To the Nameless Dead

Primordial oozes energy and POWER thanks in no small part to Alan's massive vocal projection. He's rife with the energy of "small but wild eyed fighting Irishman" (albeit being surprisingly collected in interviews) and this paired with martial/militant vibes that permeates the instrumentation of this record makes for something that makes you want to raid an ole Saxon village.
Uinuos Syömein Sota

This is the absolute apex of raise-your-horns mead-chuggin longsword-clashin viking energy. It is so goddamn cathartic and so rife with riff quality that even upon my maybe 30th listen I still feel the primal surge to romp about like a goddamn fool when those massive drum fills in the t/t kick in.
11The Ruins of Beverast
Rain Upon the Impure

I'm not usually terribly into things so completely covered in FILTH and MURK, but something about the way this album does it is just so wonderfully oppressive and sinister that it's hard to imagine i'm rotting away in some medieval dungeon. It's a big album with a lot of moments that drone on for exceptionally long, which serves in the albums favor to manifest a truly hypnotic loop that imo is kinda just mesmerizing??? Also "Soil Of The Incestuous" for best guitar solo uhhh maybe ever so ye.
Bergtatt - Et eeventyr i 5 capitler

Bergtatt is so goddamn ethereal and is, imo, the perfect balance Ulver found between raw black metal and dark folk atmosphere. It's like a gentle but cold and distant kiss given by a love freshly lost, both consoling and languid in the same moment.
Let The Devil In

Riff central and beyond full of cheesy satanism. This, imo, is the 2nd greatest album for representing just what the hell BM is at its core. Wispy rasps and vicious barks, fuzzy and FAST guitar work and high bpm's galore (no Dark Funeral speed playing but you get the point).
14Falls of Rauros
The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood

This is an album that grew greatly in appreciation for me. It’s an extremely trawling record, in that everything about it moves at a slow and minimalistic pace. It’s in this, however, that it becomes astounding just how many layers of atmosphere can be stripped from this-of pleasant wafts of pine filling the air, the small snowmelt streams that run over beds of stone, of distant breezes feeding into a wintry chill. While this is certainly a wintry album, I think it’s more so an album that makes you feel closer to the primordial tides of nature as a whole.
15Wedrujacy Wiatr
O Turniach, Jeziorach I Nocnych Szlakach

Goddamn gorgeous Polish atmoblack. See my review for more tbh
Exercises in Futility

This is nihilism exercised (heh) towards the whole of society and by god is it bitter. "Blessed be the stone workers/It took a quarry to bury their dreams" or "There is something about the rigid posture of a proper authentic blind man/As if extended arms reached to pass his blindness onto others". Call it 7th grade edgelord bullshit or what have you, by god this is so satisfyingly bleak.
Über den Sternen

This album is absolutely transportive, delivering you into realms where fae twirl about misty pine forests and gentle creeks roll about expanses of moor. It’s whimsical and archaic and gives me cozy tavern times, at all times, through an impressively balanced blend of black metal, gothic metal and dark folk. The Wild Swans top 20 song evah also I got the artwork as a chest piece so uhhh album slaps yeah
Scar Sighted

Ugly, catastrophic, sad. Scar Sighted is an album that oozes dismal self-reflection and torment, in it’s nonsensical phlegmy screams, off-kilter rhythms and liminal atmosphere. Jeff Whitehead has, up until recent years been extremely consumed by depression and suicidal thoughts and it manifests in every ugly orifice of this record, even in it’s rare melodic moments (i.e, the last riff on “Garden of Coprolite” which is gorgeous and heartwrenching).
19White Ward
Love Exchange Failure

Man, I must've jammed this on just about every rainy main street nighttime walk i’ve had in the last year (which might sound hyper specific but I promise, these occasions are more frequent than one might imagine). The mournful yet equally loving noir vibes this gives off (thanks both in part due to how tasteful and eloquent the sax/piano implementations are and as well how cathartically the BM influences build from this balanced bedrock) don’t just tug at the heartstring, they shear apart violently each and every thread.
20Deathspell Omega

Yeah uh, these dudes are bad. Like really bad. And edgy and probably should’ve kept their anonymity. HOWEVER. Paracletus -is- an impressive amalgamation of structured chaos. It’s a combination of complex, dissonant patterns strung together in such a way that they begin to form something cohesive out of the tangled, gnarled mess that they should be, and it makes this record something constantly frenetic and frightening while still retaining an impressive number of hooks and some sort of melodic underpinnings. “Wings of Predation” rules, “Have You Beheld the Fevers?” rules, whole album fucks. Jam it. But uh don’t buy it.
Ashes Against the Grain

There are times where I may actually prefer this to The Mantle, if seldomly. The post-rock structures are amped up and the folk influences slight stripped back, and it makes this albums perhaps even more gray and dismal, even if there is something a bit warming to the soul about songs like “Falling Snow” (of which I will say alongside “Limbs” are both contenders for top like, 5 Agalloch songs imo). Still beautiful, still melancholic, still a mastapiece.
22Cradle of Filth

This is, imo, still the apex of how zany and theatrical CoF can be. They are a band extremely contingent on just whatever Dani Filth is doing at the moment, and here I think is where the breadth of his ridiculous range is flexed, in which he jumps from creaking whispers to guttural spoken words to pterodactyl shrieks and w/e the fuck exists between.The riffs are also immaculate here, serving as a nice albeit simpler backbone to CoF’s blood-curdling blood-sucking blood-pumping brand of symphonic BM.
The Rime of Memory

This album is an absolutely massive ode to the simple loves of life and how fleeting they can be, and how it’s often only once we approach the end that the gravity of how meaningless our ponderings on life’s purpose can be when it lies simply in all the small joys. It’s so goddamn cathartic and heartwarming and journeys through sorrow and ecstasy like no other album i’ve heard. God Lunn’s such a beautiful lad he make me cri
24Falls of Rauros
Patterns in Mythology

Patterns is odd in that there don’t seem to be any overt prog/classic rock influences but yet the structure of this album exudes it (especially in those tasty guitar leads). It makes for a record that flows freely like a cool mountain stream, with harrowing distant yells like the soft winds that accompany it. It’s lovely, it’s ethereal, decidedly not kvlt. 2nd best Falls.
De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas

I’m not sure this one needs explaining but i’ll add a little bit of backstory here-this is the first -extreme- band I ever saw live, and it warped my perception on just what a show could goddamn be. Attila muttered (grunted? murmured???) into a skull, there was fog thicker than a Silent Hill frame, flashing lights that synchronized with the drum fills (an epileptic nightmare) and they were dousing the front audience in pigs blood. For lil 17 y/o me, this was what I was fucking born for. The edgy child in me still commends this. Mayhem rule.
The Gathering Wilderness

My reasons for adoring this are quite similar to why I love To The Nameless Dead, however there is something -sometimes- preferable about the slow-burning doom-laden approach off this record. It is decidedly more morose and hopeless, and has in particular one of the most poetic gut punching verses in Primordial’s discog (off of “The Coffin Ships, a song regarding the Irish potato famine). “Young hearts born with grief/Shall pay the penalty of truth/A season of stolen youths/Shall teach old hearts to break”.

Absofuckinglutely romantic. As I dive ever further into an endless abyss of forlorn love and unhealthy relationships and deep rooted loneliness, I find songs/albums that exemplify the pain of lost loves and the harrowing clouds of reminiscence that entail it to be consoling, albeit saddening as well. This record does this wildly well with it’s dreamy soundscapes and curdling shrieks and smooth, almost bluesy singing that merge together into something that, while intense, is equally so lighthearted and loving. More lyrical references cause uhhh I can?? “warm thighs/tousled hair/our footsteps in the snow/fading”.
A Romance with Violence

See review for the deets. Epic well-composed yeehaw black metal. Sickest drum stick clacks of all time off of “Vaudeville”.
The Palms of Sorrowed Kings

Lazy finger to point once more but uhhh see review for details. Epic well-composed Skyrim metal. Sickest trems of all time off of “Ceres In Emerald Streams”.

Everything Niege touches is beautiful and Kodama sure as HELL ain’t different. The album is patient, with loads of gentle refrains and -occasional- moments of swelling bombast that don’t seem as much to be a payout to all those post-rock-esque crescendos but rather a compliment to them. Kodama is much akin to being caressed by muses with swan-like grace atop an endless expanse of clouds while being spoon fed Haagen Dasz. It’s magical.
Kelle Surut Soi

Again, high-tier wicked viking raid music. It’s all catharsis, it’s all fiery RIFFS, it’s all super tight drum fills and ridiculously potent screams all the time. Kelle Surut Soi radiates with an energy that could part the seas themselves, that could raze villages in a sea of flames or call forth the most wicked of blizzards. Almost as good as Uinous imo.
Onryo II: Her Spirit Eternal

Garas says it best but for my own two cents to toss in, I think this is just another uniquely wholesome record to spring out of the more streamlined regions of BM. There is a punk energy for sure, but i’d argue that the records influence themselves stems from BM ala Sargeist or Behexen, but instead taking those structures, removing the gimmicky satanic shizz and injecting a near lethal dose of jolliness that honestly always gives me a pleasant lil smile. “Yuki Onna” especially elevates my mood to nigh indestructible happiness that not even my stinky neurons can ruin.
33Falls of Rauros
Vigilance Perennial

This is definitely one of the most lush albums FoR ever put forth. They’ve always been a patient and meticulous band but here it’s less about the meandering guitar leads that always wind back into these rather subtle climaxes and more so about slow, grinding build-ups that end in a more predictable but even more bombastic crescendo of sorts. “White Granite” is in particular a beautiful goddamn heartthrob of a track, and the album as a whole as per usual echoes FoR’s ability to paint nature as a primordial and lavish entity that we are all, at all times, rooted to.
Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical...

This is an album that has fallen quite immensely for me as it is -extremely- one note, but it does still play that one note goddamn well. Stomping high octane riffs? Hell yeah dude. Mongolian throat singing frog vox? HELL YEAH! It’s a simple record but it’s fun and a bit whimsical I s’pose (again, frog croaks boi).
Oath Bound

Best Summoning and a masterclass in fantasy world-building. You can see the images of vast vistas shrouded in dust, desolate mountain peaks that spiral towards the sky, gilded knights traversing upon their mounts into eternity. I would say they do well to present the world of LOTR well, but I myself have only read The Hobbit (one day I will rectify this!). It’s a beautiful album for sure with clouds of loss that hang overhead, being melancholic but not overtly so (even on tracks like “Land of the Dead” which imo is PEAK).
The Satanist

More on “albums that were my first -real- introduction into BM!”, The Satanist’s rather abstract and intriguing views on occultism really drew me into the mysticism of the genre. Ofc I know recognize Darski as being a big headed edgelord who’s main purpose in life is to promote his Behemoth dog food brand, but at the time this shit to me felt visceral and perhaps even intellectual. While this might not be the infallible masterpiece I once perceived it to be, it is still a great representation of how to equally measure bombast, nuance, and sheer force ov riff into an almost strictly black metal sphere. Also “O Father O Satan O Sun” still has the 2nd sickest solo in all of BM and is super cathartic to see live.
Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk

I rarely jam Emperor, but w/e I do I feel a slowly creeping and greater appreciation for them. They brought a technical proficiency to BM that I think was somewhat absent from the style at it’s time without diving into prog territory. Honestly I wish I had more to say but uhhh I don’t have any heavy thoughts on Emperor given how I always love them in the moment but they elude me immediately after.
Far Away from the Sun

Honestly this is just Storm of the Light’s Bane but faster a little less catchy lmao. Super lightning in a bottle meloblack that I haven’t touched in years, iirc it had a really thick plodding drum tone tho so uhhh there’s that riffs m/m/m/m/////
39Wolves in the Throne Room
Diadem of 12 Stars

It’s been a minute since i’ve touched but I still dig this more than Two Hunters. If ever there were a record who’s slogging drone-ness was something I actually enjoyed greatly even if it does form a sort of intangible web to which there is neither end or beginning, then goddamn it is this.
Blackbraid II

Honestly one of the most thunderous and POWERFUL albums in general i’ve encountered in sometime. While there are grinding midtempo tracks for sure, much of this album barrels onward like a great and wicked storm, uprooting trees and home alike. I think the Native American shtick, while probably in earnest, is surprisingly not significant to the whole of the record which makes me believe that one day we could see an even more dynamic version of this if those elements can be incorporated on a bigger level
A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy

This is some truly grimy yet impressively fun BM (with heavy DM and even some doom elements measured out). Eccentric vocal and electronic effects splurge together alongside brooding riffs to make something that, while cavernous and sort of alien, still has enough aloofness to allow for it all to sound a bit goofy in a pleasant way. I.e maybe one of my top 50 BM tracks in “Glory Glory Grotesque” which has some wildly groovy riffs and all sorts of odd warbling snarls. Owns bones.
In the Nightside Eclipse

Same as before but even moreso was this one a grower. Hits me with that fun Halloween energy that never fails to lift my corny SCARY GOTHIC EVIL (lmao hardly) soul.
43Cradle of Filth
Hammer of the Witches

Same stuff I have to say about Midian but with slightly less zany vocal theatrics and a highkey massive improvement on drums (seriously, this dudes blast beats are of some fine, fine caliber). CoF slumped in what would have otherwise been seen as an irredeemable downfall that culminated in the wildly bloated slog of Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa but -something- happened and the energy and love came back. Namely Dani Filth actually sounds creatively charged instead of commiting entirely to a half-hearted version of those pretodactyl screee’s that he is renowned for.
44Rotting Christ

Greece has a surprisingly bustling and unique BM scene that imo spawns some of the greatest guitar work in the genre, with Theogonia being rife itself with tons of fun, war-storming arrow-raining spear-clashing guitar leads. It also showcases why Sakis is such a damn good vocalist in spite of lacking some of the ferocity of other harsh vocalists with almost staccato half-spoken snarls that add a surprising amount of bite.
45Macabre Omen
Gods Of War - At War

Another BM band from Greece! The same atmosphere applies here-extremely war-centric riff heavy shield-donning BM. The vocals are less traditional, applying equal measures of typical BM rasps with choral chants and DSBM style tormented howls. This does add to a slightly greater sense of doom and lament that allows for a greater traversing of a true olden battles timeline, from the beginning bloodrush and catharsis to the graying corpses it always ends with. t/t especially gets a little uh, harrowing to say the least.
46Mare Cognitum
Phobos Monolith

Everything MC has done always culminates into this wonderful, high-octane cosmic journey that feels as if you are barreling on a comet towards the outer realms of the universe where laws of physics as we know begin to escape. It’s all mystique, all ethereal, all thunderous cosmic forces wrapped into some wildly proficient compositions. It’s beautiful and patient even if you may find the catharsis on full blast for many minutes at time.

I’ve jammed this quite recently and I still have great trouble understanding why I love it so damn much. I think it’s because it’s a more nuanced and diverse approach to war-centric BM (with this band writing music revolving WWI), allowing for balances of ferocity and melancholy to help paint the image of what was a massive tragedy that has been lost to the annals of history. It’s nice sometimes to see something less glorifying to the tragedies of war in extreme metal
48Moonlight Sorcery
Horned Lord of the Thorned Castle

Lol ty Hawks for these fine fine riffs. Wildly lightning-in-a-bottle BM/power metal hybrid that could riff into the end of the space time continuum. Also has some extremely powerful screams and bouncy Castlevania style keys that makes this album wildly fun.
49Imperial Triumphant
Vile Luxury

Ugly, dissonant, weird, cacophonous jazz BM that rears great spite towards all the sinful indulgences of big cities and big corporations. Nothing sounds like Imperial, nothing sounds like Vile Luxury. From the off-kilter big band beginnings of “Swarming Opulence” to the disheveling downfall that is soon to come, the album is a noisy and dismal attack on all things lavish and opulent. Down with 1920’s noir society!!
50Der Weg Einer Freiheit

Big cathartic wall of sound that never loses its reign. For being an album comfortable riding out the same riffs and sliiiigggght riff variants for exceptionally long periods of time, there is a sense of creative energy that worms its way through by creating space and ambiance when you’ve grown perhaps a bit accustomed to the constant barrage of (extremely fucking fast lmao) blasts and tremolos. It makes for something often a bit lacking in memorability but impressive on the whole in its endless wave of grandeur and beauty.
Show/Add Comments (41)


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2023
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy