Skeletonwitch’s Devouring Radiant Light comfortably straddles multiple genres of extreme metal while still effectively retaining appeal to fans within each of those sub-genres; a mature expression overall, but lacking some of the grit of prior offerings.
On Hekatomb, Funeral Mist craft a black metal record that merges multiple styles and techniques without the usual progressive and over-intellectualised trappings that usually accompany such ambitious undertakings.
Northern Chaos Gods may be a “safe” album, playing purely to the strengths of the Immortal legacy, but don’t take it as a negative criticism: this is still a monster of a record.
On Ultra-Nihilism, Cape Town’s Skedel have managed to solve a mystery that has plagued many for over two decades: why have no bands ever successfully and entirely bridged the gap between black metal and industrial?
Lychgate’s ambitious, academic third album, The Contagion in Nine Steps, is a challenging beast that melds abstraction, philosophy and psychology together in a musical interrogation of contemporary society and crowd behaviour.
World’s Blood delivers Wayfarer’s most accomplished and evocative atmospheres yet in an intellectual, deeply engaging record.
Prequelle is ten tracks combining Broadway’s camp, Alice Cooper’s grand guignol shtick, The Alan Parsons Project’s concept album approach and ABBA’s songwriting chops, all structured around pleasant, family friendly themes like the Black Death and the glory of Satan.
Pathological Rites, a reissue of the early-‘90s demo releases of Finland’s Carnifex provides an amusing diversion into proto-death metal nostalgia.
Ihsahn’s newest release, Ámr, continues his musical journey, delving into rock, electronica, new wave and synthpop influences, resulting in something far transcending mere guitar-driven metal. An engaging, provocative listening experience.
Dimmu Borgir’s Eonian is a musical journey crafted in hell: a huge, moving and dynamic series of orchestrations, rather than compositions, all cascading around a central musical theme of bacchanalian excess and self-indulgent pomp.
Icelandic solo project Ljáin delivers a harrowing, lo-fi explorations of abyssal existential angst that combines the rawness of proto-black metal with soaring, enveloping atmospheres on Endasálmar og Klofnar Tungur.
True Norwegian Black Metal stalwarts Carpathian Forest return after a decade-long hiatus with Likeim, an EP that screams 90s black metal nostalgia.
Necropolis is an engaging culmination of over 30 years spent honing the Sol Invictus sound and it delivers a chilling, melancholic beauty that marries folk melodies, martial ambient soundscapes and primitive, neo-tribal rhythm.
Ruff Majik, a proto-funk-meets-sludge outfit from Pretoria, South Africa, is possibly the best live act you've never seen!
If you’re unfamiliar with Thy Antichrist’s back catalogue, expect frenetic, angry and dynamic metal that teeters closer to the edge of death than black, in the line of Enthroned or Grand Declaration of Wa-era Mayhem, on Wrath of the Great Beast.
On Eviternity, Kosmogyr do not let a minor thing like a 7,500km geographical separation get in their way of crafting quality atmospheric black metal in the Scandinavian vein.
Tribulation's Down Below is an instant classic – melancholic, seething and downright beautiful.
Abigor's Höllenzwang is a harrowing journey of a record - running the gamut from frostbitten graveside dirges to blistering calls to war.
Eldamar craft a beautiful exercise in melancholic atmospheres on A Dark Forgotten Past.