Tag Archives: Black Metal

Inside The Satanic Satire Of Philly Death-Metal Cult Band Zorn


Photo by Matt Bernknopf

Four men carry a coffin through a crowd, the box hoisted on their shoulders. They work their way through the audience and set it at the front of a stage. Meanwhile, a band has started playing. The guitarist on the left is dressed like a witch, the cartoon kind with a big floppy hat and schoolmarm’s black skirt. The guitarist on the right is a dead ringer for a 1800s preacher—stiff black suit, black Stetson hat. The music—a combination of the throbbing wail of Bauhaus and the hothead smash of Discharge—swells to a crescendo, followed shortly thereafter by a snap.  Continue reading

Lifetime Achievement: The Dark Worlds of Dungeon Synth Artist Aufhocker


Any artist with an extensive back catalog can be intimidating upon first discovery, but dungeon synth/dark ambient artist Aufhocker—the alias of Canadian multi-instrumentalist Andru Jorj—has put out an impressive 16 releases since November 2017. This figure is even more notable when you take into account that Jorj has, in the same period, released music as the D-beat/crust project Disaxis, the drone/black metal entity Varituuk, the noise/experimental creature CHVX, and the keyboard-driven ska/reggae revivalists The Stylephonics.

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Album of the Day: Bosse-de-Nage, “Further Still”

Much of the current discourse surrounding black metal revolves around the artists who transcend it. Deafheaven are often at the center of this conversation, driving a sharp divide between genre purists and those who throw around terms like “post-black metal”—even though the prefix “post-” offers no real insight into what a band might sound like. Not so with San Francisco’s Bosse-de-Nage: this formerly-anonymous quartet “transcend” black metal in a different way, reaching for something more celestial and unbound. Continue reading

A Brief Guide to Hellenic Black Metal

Greece’s unjustly overlooked black metal scene has been raging since the late ’80s. “Hellenic black metal,” as it’s often called, became a force in the cradle of Western civilization around the same time as the most infamous happenings in the Norwegian scene. Yet the bands associated with Hellenic black metal were worlds apart from the church-burning hordes—not just aesthetically, but also sonically and philosophically. The Hellenic sound was defined by an embrace of traditional heavy metal riffing, elements of Greek folk music, a reverence for epic stories rooted in the country’s history and mythology, and a sun-dappled atmosphere that places the music firmly next to the Mediterranean Sea rather than a freezing fjord.

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Album of the Day: Abstracter, “Cinereous Incarnate”

On the Bandcamp page for Abstracter’s third full-length album, Cinereous Incarnate, the band share a suitably bleak quote from Neil Gaiman—“Hell is something you carry with you, not somewhere you go.” In turn, Cinereous Incarnate—“ashen-grey in human form”—is a foreboding dirge, meditating on a dark world caked in ash, resulting from all the Earth’s nuclear arsenal detonating at once. Continue reading

The Cavernous, Blood-Soaked World of Maurice de Jong

Maurice de Jong_1244

Maurice de Jong is a remarkably pleasant person. The composer of songs with titles like “And There Will Be More of Your Children Dead Tomorrow” and “My Body Is Not a Vessel, Nor a Temple. It’s a Repulsive Pile of Sickness” has an infectious laugh and a gentle demeanor. His enormous discography, released under a mountain of pseudonyms, deals with some of the most sickening, perverse, and terrifying elements of the human condition. In emails, he uses smiley emoticons.

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Album of the Day: Unreqvited, “Stars Wept To the Sea”

Little is known about melancholic post-black metal act Unreqvited. Evidently, it’s a one-man project based in Ottawa, Canada—who is singularly known as the symbol 鬼, from Japanese folklore—that features both operatic female vocals (most notably on the sweeping opener “Sora”) and throat-shredding screams. One of Unreqvited’s listed affiliations online is “the Circle of Nine”; whether that’s a direct reference to the gothic RPG Legacy of Kain is unclear, although Stars Wept to the Sea, Unreqvited’s second full-length, shares its rich, textural grandeur and epic polish.

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The Black Metal Magic of I, Voidhanger Records

I Voidhanger

When Luciano Gaglio founded I, Voidhanger Records a decade ago, the music journalist—perhaps unwittingly—put forth his mission statement in the name of the label. If he had called it, say, Transilvanian Hunger Records, it would be pretty obvious what kind of music he hoped to put out. But Gaglio instead name-checked “I, Voidhanger,” an obscure track from Darkthrone’s Plaguewielder, a mid-career oddity that’s maligned when it’s listened to at all. Gaglio throws down that gauntlet of oddity and obscurity with every release on the label. Continue reading