From it’s birth in the coldest extremes of Scandinavia, black metal slowly spread across Europe like a harsh plague, invading territories with a barrage of riffs, twig shaped logos, minimalist artwork and sounds often characterised by especially harsh, thin vocals. Over the years, the style has become more refined, mixing the purer elements with death metal depths and complexities. In allowing itself to be more inclusive of a few other extreme metal styles, it seemed to become even more influential – a huge surprise for a metal subgenre born within such extremities. In short, it’s all come a very long way from it’s roots; it’s no longer about painting your face white and considering burning a church during your spare time.
Scandinavia has never been short of extreme metal bands, but there’s always room for more! Funeralglade is a new melodic death metal/deathcore band from Finland, trading in huge riffs and a fearsome bottom end. With the members all still in their teens, their debut release ‘May The Funeral Begin’ (released via Inverse Records on August 18th) very much marks the beginning of a musical journey for these musicians, but the presence and weight of their riffs is well beyond their years.
It very much seemed that by the end of 2016 there were very few places across the globe that hadn’t been affected by a plague of black metal. Bands were springing up in some very unlikely places and seemingly on a weekly basis. No longer just the product of various Scandinavian territories and a few other places, for such a niche genre, black metal seemed to be big business (relatively speaking, of course). While many bands seemed happy to screech and hiss their way down a familiar path, there genre still had other avenues to explore.
Hungary’s Sin of God play straight up death metal. With no tricks and very little fusion, most of the time these guys play pure death metal the way you liked it (or not) in the early 90s. Their 2016 release ‘Aenigmata’ is a good step forward production-wise from 2012’s ‘Limbus’ – the drums are much tougher and heavier sounding, while the riffs have more bottom end – but, essentially, it brings more of the same as before. If you like your death metal in a largely traditional style, this mightn’t be a bad thing.
How to describe Satarial? Aside from possessing a broad extreme metal tendency, this Moscow based outfit are almost impossible to pigeonhole. A rather clumsy description might be “operatic battle black metal”. It sounds implausible, but that’s kind of where the bulk of their inspiration comes from on their 2016 release ‘Blessed Brigit’. It should be a mess; it should be so confrontational that almost no-one would want to listen…but, somehow, their noisy sound collages are fascinating in their aural brutality – and after over a decade of plying their ugliness, the fact that they still sound so original and so vibrant is no mean feat.