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Showing posts from January, 2021

The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom - The 300th Post (This. Is. Fjordhammer!)

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What An Unbelievable Journey, And It's Only Getting Better! It seems insane that on the 6th February 2019, I sat down and did my first review for this new blog. My review for Behemoth's I Loved You At Your Darkest is by no means one of my literary masterpieces, but it was the start of something incredible that in 2021 is leading me to new and amazing opportunity. Through my love of music and writing I have entered a world of awesome and phenomenal people that are ridiculously talented and creative beyond measure. I've been very fortunate to become part of Noizze and RAMzine and continuing to tread down the music journalism path. As I reflect on the times that I very nearly gave up writing, I become so thankful that I persevered and kept going, because now I can't live without it! Having interacted with bands and PR companies from around the world, I feel truly blessed to be a part of this crazy music community. It seems so surreal that quotes from my reviews have be

Asphyx - Necroceros

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Genre: Death/Doom Metal Release Date: 22nd January 2021 Record Label(s): Century Media Records Band Members Martin van Drunen - Vocals Paul Baayens - Guitars Alwin Zuur - Bass Stefan Hรผskens - Drums Asphyx - The Nameless Elite Review Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜ Favourite Track(s): The Nameless Elite, Botox Implosion, The Sole Cure Is Death, Molten Black Earth, Three Years Of Famine Dutch death/doom pioneers Asphyx are back with crushing new album  Necroceros . After listening to a few of the singles, there was a fair bit of hype surrounding this album in death metal circles, and it does not disappoint! A totally brain destroying outing from veterans of the scene. It's been 5 years since Asphyx last graced us with an album, and 2016's Incoming Death was going to be a hard act to follow, but  Necroceros has made short work of that without hesitation. If anything  Necroceros contains more death, more doom and more Dutch force in it than 2016's  Incomi

Hulder - Godslastering: Hymns Of A Forlorn Peasantry

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  Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Genre: Black Metal Release Date: 22nd January 2021 Record Label(s): Iron Bonehead Productions Band Members The Inquisitor - Everything Hulder - Upon Frigid Winds Review Rating (Out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜ Favourite Track(s): Upon Frigid Winds, Sown In Barren Soil, De Dijle, Lowland Famine, A Forlorn Peasant's Hymn, From Whence An Ancient Evil Once Reigned The highly anticipated debut album of one of the most exciting projects in the black metal scene to date. Hulder is the solo project of The Inquisitor, a Belgian woman currently residing in the US. With lyrical themes focusing on Belgian folklore and all things medieval (including the torture),  Godslastering: Hymns Of A Forlorn Peasantry is a relentlessly aggressive album drenched in the rich trappings of traditional, blood thirsty black metal. After the incredibly well received 2018 demo  Ascending the Raven Stone , Hulder has continually grown and evolved to bring us the dark and danger of the medieval er

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (26th January 2021)

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As We Enter The 5th Century Of January 2021 I don't think I can remember a January as long as this one in all my 24 years on this earth. However, the joy that the falling snow brought was very much needed as the white reflected light burst through my windows on Sunday. The cold has been inspiring, and has lead me to resurrect my solo project Vanaheimr, which I will release more news on in due course, but as the cold bit I revisited my very early black metal roots and stripped it back to it's evil core. Felt good to be wrapped up in that fast, thrashing void of noise again, listening to Darkthrone and Bathory helped a lot with that as well to be fair. Anyway, January is in it's final throws and not long until I can drink beer again! Dry January has been absolute torture but very much needed after the frivolities and excessive drinking during a Lockdown Yule. I have plenty of craft tins and a drop of mead waiting for me to enjoy it while listening to some of the finest metal

Hand Of Kalliach - Shade Beyond

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  Key Facts   Country: ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ Genre: Atmospheric Celtic Metal Release Date: 8th December 2020 Record Label(s): Independent  Band Members Sophie Fraser - Vocals, Bass John Fraser  - Vocals, Guitars, Drums Hand Of Kalliach - White Horizon Review Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜ Favourite Track(s): Fรกilte, Fathoms, White Horizon Hailing from Edinburgh and infused with Celtic and Scottish pride and power, the husband and wife duo that make up Hand Of Kalliach, create phenomenally atmospheric metal somewhere between the realms of melodeath and Celtic metal. Arsing in December last year, Shade Beyond is an energetic and strangely hypnotic EP which is sure to capture audiences with its unique and deeply rich textural sound. In an incredibly short space of time the band managed to be recognised and honoured with 'January's Band Of The Month' on the Midnight Hour show on Metal Meyhem Radio. This furious hybrid mix of folk songwriting elements with melodeath principles is certa

Wolvencrown - A Shadow Of What Once Was

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Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal Release Date: 26th February 2021 Record Label(s): Clobber Records Band Members Nick - Vocals, Guitar Will - Keyboard Matt - Drums Reece - Bass Jack - Guitar Wolvencrown - A Shadow Of What Once Was (Part I) Review Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜ Favourite Track(s): A Shadow Of What Once Was (Part I), A Shadow Of What Once Was (Part II) Building on the foundations of rich textural atmospheres and dynamic, evolving melodies laid out in their stunning debut album  Of Bark And Ash which was   released in 2019, Wolvencrown have returned with an eerie and haunting EP that makes you think of dark, sinister, primeval forests far out from civilisation.  A Shadow Of What Once Was is a refined expansion of this already uniquely dynamic sound, ushering in the next era and iteration of Wolvencrown. Adorned with the strikingly eerie and tenebrous artwork of Joan Llopis Domenech, the EP is packed with classic black metal riffs alongside i

Thou & Emma Ruth Rundle - May Our Chambers Be Full & The Helm Of Sorrow

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  Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Genre: Sludge/Drone/Doom Metal Release Date:  May Our Chambers Be Full : 30th October 2020 The Helm Of Sorrow : 15th January 2021 Record Label(s): Sacred Bones Records Band Members Mitch Wells - Bass  Matthew Thudium - Guitars  Andy Gibbs - Guitars Bryan Funck - Vocals  Tyler Coburn - Drums KC Stafford - Guitars, Vocals Emma Ruth Rundle - Vocals, Guitar Thou/Emma Ruth Rundle - Ancestral Recall Review Ratings (out of 5๐Ÿค˜):  May Our Chambers Be Full : ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜.5 The Helm Of Sorrow : ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜.5 Favourite Track(s) May Our Chambers Be Full : Ancestral Recall, Killing Floor, Out OF Existence, The Valley The Helm Of Sorrow : Crone Dance,  Creative and collaborative droning, doom metal monolith Thou have teamed up with the haunting yet mesmerising singer-songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle (ERR) to create a set of haunting collaborative EPs. It felt wrong to review them separately, as  The Helm Of Sorrow seems like the natural continuation of  May Our Chambers Be Full , and

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (19th January 2021)

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Another Slow January Week For Sure This month is taking its sweet time I can tell you, but as we reach its end we're starting to get to the exciting part of winter when album releases slowly start to trickle out. I've definitely been getting lost in a lot of music the pst couple of days as I battle with this ridiculous melancholy that has reared its irritating head. Anyway, I won't go on a bout Lockdown struggles as I've done that already! Today is one of those beautiful and rainy winter days where I want nothing more than to batten down the hatches and read a damn good book, accompanied with a fine cup of tea of course. Or a long walk listening to the classic black metal albums is always an option to. Whilst having all this time to immerse myself and think, I've definitely been toying with ideas to revive Vanaheimr in a new light as I am exposed to more new music and inspiring artists. Like many artists at the moment, motivation to create music is at a premium but

Antre - Dark Spectrum

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  Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal Release Date: 15th January 2021 Record Label(s): Independent Band Members Dan Oldcorn - Bass  Barry Chadwick - Drums  Chris Marsland - Guitars  Donny Hopkins - Guitars  Patrick MacDonald - Vocals Antre - Become The Dammed Review Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜ Favourite Track(s): Through These Dead Eyes, Become The Dammed, Cursed Existence Spilling forth from the English city of Nottingham, Antre (an archaic word for cavern) rob your soul and gives it to the void (last Robin Hood themed joke, promise.) with new EP  Dark Spectrum . After 2019's blistering debut album Void , Antre carry on the anthemic atmospheric black metal sound whilst upping the aggression to create a blisteringly fast four track EP. Honing their craft in the depths of the dark chasms from whence they spewed forth, Antre are definitely a band to be keeping your eye on. Through barrages of noise and pure anger, Dark Spectrum is a journey through the

The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom - Lockdown Struggles

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  It's Harder The Third Time Round, But What Can You Do? I think everyone agrees with the sentiment in the title. This lockdown is hitting so much harder than the previous two (the fact I have to say two instead of one is a joke in itself). I mean, I absolutely love winter and I've enjoyed being out as the sun sets in beautiful shades of red and orange. January as a month though, is a nightmare. It lasts so long regardless of how quickly you spend your time and given that we are 14 days into 2021, the world just continues to descend into chaos and madness. The bleakness of today seems to echo that of the emotions we are all currently experiencing. There is a bit of hopelessness attached to that, but the best thing for me it comes out of frustration instead of the darker place that I was previously in. The anger I feel towards the situation is that I feel it's holding me back from my progression as a person, not a new source of pain to suffer through. Whilst I've said re

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (12th January 2021)

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Well, The First Week Of 2021 Was Eventful... After the tumultuous week that was the first week of January 2021 it is fair to say things got real pretty quickly. The fact that we've basically spent a year in some form of lockdown is starting to ware me down and my patience is starting to get very thin, to be completely honest with you. Whilst there is still a lot to look forward to in 2021 it is hard to not think pessimistically as COVID continues to rage on, depriving us of live music and more. I think one of the more crushing aspects is that it is crushing the will to create music in me, over the last week I have felt so uninspired and only occasionally picked up my guitar. I'm sure a spark will ignite and the fire will come back to me but it is still depressing that it feels like there's no point in even playing guitar some days. Anyway, it's easy to focus on the negatives, so to combat the lockdown blues I am trying new ways to expand my music range and engaging in n

Malakhim - Theion

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  Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Genre: Black Metal Release Date: 8th January 2021 Record Label(s): Iron Bonehead Productions Band Members TK - Bass VT - Drums AK - Guitars AN - Guitars E - Vocals Malakhim - The Splendour Of Stillborn Stars Review Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜ Favourite Track(s): The Splendour Of Stillborn Stars, There Is A Beacon, Chalice Of Ruin, His Voiceless Whisper, Slither O Serpent  A sinister adaptation of the Hebrew word "malachim" (meaning "angels" or "messengers"), Malakhim are a young and ferocious band that channel the likes of Mayhem, Emperor to create a nostalgic blend of vile melodies with modern evil. With ominous, doom bringing riffs, Malakhim are surely ushering in the apocalypse with debut album  Theion . With a primal malice the band reinvigorate the Mayhem-esque old school black metal sound. Theion is the product of the evolution of an already dark sound, established in the band's two EPs 2019's I and 2020's II

Blacklist - The Replacer

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  Key Facts Country: ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Genre: Alternative Rock Release Date: 18th December 2020 Record Label(s): Independent Band Members Saul Blease - Bass, Vocals Elliott Tottle - Guitar Joe Webb - Drums Blacklist - The Replacer The Replacer by Blacklist Review   Rating (out of 5๐Ÿค˜): ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜ If there is one thing that Bristol is famous for, it's its rich multicultural and diverse music scene. Ranging across various genres, the city is a hive of creative activity, boasting a famous rock and metal scene as part of this illustrious musical heritage. Now the scene is set, we can cast our eye to the latest, exciting addition, Blacklist. An alt. rock trio which describe themselves as the love child of the Foo Fighters and Muse being delivered, kicking and screaming, by a midwife in the form of Royal Blood. With such big names to model themselves on Blacklist have crafted a contemporary and exciting sound of big riffs and catchy melodies encased in this gritty and grunge-y production that

The Metal Scholar's Weekly Listening List (5th January 2021)

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The First Edition Of The New Year!  Well, Christmas went far too quickly didn't it? And to top it off we find ourselves in another lockdown, 2021 is off to a monotonous and frustrating start. However, I won't let this get me down, it is a fresh year which means lots of fresh new music (hopefully!). The winter can be a deeply inspirational time for me, and just an interesting time in general. I don't know why I love it so much, but we all know nothing beats chucking a Darkthrone album on and walking through a frosty wasteland. Anyway, January is notoriously slow for releases and will probably be a slow month in general because it goes on for 84 years. I am determined to find some releases though and as I said last month probably go back to some that I missed or knew about but forgot to listen to. It's going to be an interesting year for music I think, how it will adapt and overcome this crisis is something I'm invested in greatly, as I myself have had a bit of a focu