. . .

It’s been a while since the last FF/RW, so I hope this one will make up for lost time with some particularly strong picks from various schools of black metal. A couple excellent releases that have received more widespread coverage didn’t make the cut (Nihil – Verdonkermaan, for one), so listen to these gems that may have slipped through the cracks.

— Wyatt Marshall

. . .

Glaciation – 1994
Glaciation’s “1994” is one hell of an initial offering. It’s a tribute to the early days of black metal in name, subject and sound. Interesting fact: the band’s anonymous founder once sewed Glaciation’s LP-sized patch—prominently featuring some of the more notable forefathers of black metal, with classic Varg in the center—into his back. Here is the title track.
[Buy: Tour de Garde]

Dødsengel – Imperator
Dødsengel, from Norway, plays epic occult black metal—their latest release, Imperator, comes on a double cassette and clocks in at over 2 hours. Though Imperator has more than its fair share of instrumental interludes and features NWOBHM soaring vocals interspersed with growls and shrieks, it’s theatrical without going too far over the top and well worth a listen.
[Buy: Barghest]

At Dusk/Procer Veneficus – Oceanborn / Magnetic Armor
At Dusk plays gloomy and creeping lo-fi black metal. The one-man project from California contributed “Oceanborn,” a smeared synth-rich dirge, to this self-released split with Procer Veneficus.
{Buy: At Dusk]

Dressed in Streams – Azad Hind
Azad Hind is Dressed in Streams’ second release (their debut self-titled also appeared on FF/RW) and witnesses the band continuing to experiment with atmosphere and texture-rich melodic black metal. Restrained synth and a reliance on Indian themes—both musically (the opening track of the album, “Leaping Tiger,” begins with a classic Indian raga performed by Gangubai Hangal) and in imagery used on j-cards—gives Dressed in Streams’ material an exotic and epic feel.
[Buy: Colloquial Sound Recordings]

Sannhet – EP
At first listen, you may think Brookyln’s Sannhet exclusively plays instrumentals. If that were the case, the band’s brand of forward-thinking black metal would be more than enough to suffice. Listen closely, though, and on the occasional track (not this one) you’ll hear smothered distorted screams buried beneath layers of distortion and angst.
[Buy: Sannhet]

More From Invisible Oranges