If you, much like the ravens lurking outside our drafty Scriptorium, are on the hunt for something new and shiny, I'm happy to present an alternative from our standard fare. Today on the docket: a healthy platter of horror-tinged gothic dungeon synth, conjured from the mind behind the (equally stellar) Order of the Wolf. In this newfound context outside the underground black metal sphere, he goes by Spectral Child. Moribund Kingdom is the first haunted creation of this alter ego, and will see a 2020 cassette release from Akashic Envoy.
I like to think of Spectral Child's Moribund Kingdom as an alternate soundtrack to the horror-themed action games that (only partially, I swear) defined my adolescence. While it certainly isn't a sonic match to, say, the grossly high-octane riffage of the equally high-octane Painkiller series, the mood is similar. Consistently menacing, in a word. Frightening in a sincere sense--like if the more intense moments of the soundtrack to Amnesia were distilled and reproduced in synth-based form. That comparison, again, is a bit of a stretch, but the fact remains: there is something about Spectral Child that feels intrinsically attached to the world of video games wherein a lone protagonist braves a world designed exclusively to confound and cause harm.
Move aside, typical intro. In a tidy break from the normal band bio hullabaloo, Märvel have brought a genuinely intriguing story detailing the release of their latest. As they tell it: back in the primordial aughts, three Swedish exchange students in Denver found themselves in an exciting situation--after being picked up by a US indie label, the original vers kion of this EP was recorded. And then...it didn't see the light of day. This was due, firstly, to the label not releasing it as planned, and, secondly, the untimely demise of the master tapes in 2008's Universal Studios fire. Thankfully for us slumbering Villagers (and you as well,) the four tracks that constitute Märvellous have been reborn anew.
This current iteration of those lost songs is not, however, an exact replica. In the band's words, "we wanted to play, produce and record the songs as well as we possibly could." And so here we are, listening to the pseudo-original tunes from a band who have since gone on to prove themselves worthy to shoulder the burden of rock 'n' roll revitalization.
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
We as human beings have to struggle. We all have our issues and faults, but it takes pure bravery to pour yourself into your music and lyrics. That's where Benighted in Sodom comes in. Matron Thorn (Reuben Christopher Jordan) is an enigma and a dime-a-dozen musician. Since 2006, Benzo (as he abbreviates it) has been the vessel for Thorn to release the pain and tragedy of his life in a healthy and therapeutic way. So in 2019, after a few years of no studio output, he returned with two new albums, and Carrier of Poison Apples is the most recent. Described by the man himself as his life story, Carrier of Poison Apples could be seen as his most personal album to date. As for the content of the music, let's find out!
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Death metal is a genre I love. I first heard "Shredded Humans" by Cannibal Corpse when I was 10 years old, and have been a fiend ever since. While I tend to be a person who likes when bands experiment and progress, I also can't deny that I love a really raw and old-school death metal release that wears its influences on its sleeves, and that's where Necropsy comes in. Finland is quite known for their influx of death metal bands (metal in general) but even Necropsy remains a name unknown to most. Though they have only released two albums as of now (mind you, they formed in 1987,) they do remain a cult name within underground death metal's bowels.
This EP immediately kicks in with "Meat Ceremony," one of the most uptempo songs on this release. Complements to the guitar work, as it is catchy as hell but also as simplistic and barbarian as you can get. The main riff to this song is drowning in hooks and memorability but without sacrificing brutality. While not the best song on this release, it makes so much sense for it to be the opener. Now we move on to the aptly-titled "Fucking Dead," and man oh man is this song fucking great. As soon as the song begins we are immediately greeted by one of the nastiest doom metal riffs I have heard in a while, this riff is absolutely devastatingly heavy. The whole song continues to build upon itself before going into another catchy riff that will be sure to be stuck in your head for days.
Written by: Izzy
Have any of you noticed this trend in recent years of more post-black bands mixing in elements of post-hardcore, and vice versa? Harakiri For The Sky, Asunojokei, Cara Neir, Unfurl, Oathbreaker, Glassing, King Apathy, John The Void, Møl, they all do it, and as both a hardcore nerd and someone who's often annoyed by the stagnation of black metal due to the attitude of trve kvlt worship many bands have, it's a trend I've loved to see popping up.
I adore black metal, it's easily one of my favourite non-core genres, but post-black especially is where I get off, as you can likely tell by the Sunbather aesthetic plastered everywhere on my Instagram (@izzlesreviewvault yes I'm a self promoting shill.) I'm absolutely a sucker for any bands that know how to blend the heavy, melodic, emotional, and vicious aspects of the genre or experiment and mess with the genres aspects all together, and no one does that better than the post-black community. But despite my adoration for a good black metal album I'm not particularly active in the black metal community for, uhm... obvious reasons.
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.