Black Funeral – Scourge of Lamashtu (Iron Bonehead)

Unrelenting black metal dementia.

Black Funeral is a band that is staple of purest and truest USBM (United States Black Metal) and their perseverance in keeping the flame of raw black metal alive is something of note. I mean, what hinders them to be the best BM band from US? Absolutely nothing!

Scourge of Lamashtu is here to prove exactly that: their adamant faith in what people have distorted during the years: finest mix of Rawest BM and some kind of Dark ambient. It’s interesting enough that being a veteran band, they mastered this MO and is not because the term RAW is used here that the band make a shitty sound! No: they are masters in what they’ve proposed so far. Have no doubt of that.

The interludes of abysmal sounds with effects intertwined with purest form of Black metal assault like in the track The Vampyric Rabisu at the Thresh is moving. I mean seriously. To hear the grate musical fracas of the demo tape style of the band still thriving nowadays is not to return back in time. It’s to be jailed in the times of old, like the modernity hasn’t come at all.

The repetitive riff in Seven Udug-Hul along with vocal mix may sound confusing but it’s a pleasure to hear such a rotten black metal sound. Of course, if one hears with attention, the riffs are kinda melodic, and you should be asking yourself: raw or melodic? I’d say both, like in an absconded melody inside the noise. This is not Dimmu Borgir or Carach Angren, forget it!

One of my favorite tracks is Gidim Hul (Bloodthirst of the Demonic Dead) which is also the longest of the album. The atmosphere is harsh and that’s the motive I love this track. So much disgrace and suffering going on! Beautiful. Interesting note: the longer the tracks the shorter they sound. Just saying.

The simplest keyboard announces the end called Pazuzu King of the Lilu-Demons which is a terroristic yet a great track of purest black metal assault.

This album is for the defenders of the faith. Experience made Black Funeral to become a cult beyond the black metal pundits. If you don’t like them you are out of the circle. Period.

Scourge of Lamashtu is going to be out tomorrow via Iron Bonehead on CD and LP formats.

Rating: 8.5/10

Roderick Totentanz

MARTHE – Sisters of Darkness (Caligari Records)

The glorious equilibrium

The black doom oriented one-woman band Marthe is commanded by a girl name Marzia. The very fact that she plays in two d-beat bands and also plays guitar in a horror rock band speaks volumes about the final result of this demo Sisters of Darkness.

But don’t get this information deviate you from the main principle here: this is pure muddy black/doom, Celtic Frost style. Interesting enough is that she wants to pay tribute to Bathory and the result is fabulous. I know it seems confusing: she aimed at one and reached another. But the explanation is very simple. Music is not just about emulating someone else’s work; it is a result of one several influences and that doesn’t include only Bathory (Viking era) it also includes Celtic Frost and Black Sabbath in earnest. Does that make Marthe sound less true? Fucking no!

In only 4 tracks Marzia ALONE what the great majority of bands would never cannot: a magistral opus with macabre results using choruses and repetitive riffs. I mean, how many bands have tried that with ludicrous results?

The title track with CF influences is a behemoth of extreme proportions and the riffage and drumming (nothing fancy, mind you) with its mid-tempo to snail pace tone sounds heavier than a conventional black metal outfit.

Married to a Grave is really horror-like style now with true Bathory-esque intonation, and will get doomers aficionados by the throat: horror here is not Misfists-like; it’s ghost-like, no-silly vampiric approach, it’s the real deal. The chorus is second to none and it’s easiest my preferred song of the opus. It causes shrills down one spine.

The song Ave Mysteris is another phantasmal ritualistic satanic ditty that oscillates between psych rock of Coven or Seremonia and heavy-laden version of Burzum or the more sluggish songs of Darkthone. Although Marzia sings with a ghostly vocal, gutturals are totally allowed here. Another hook besides Married to a Grave.

Awake Arise Silence clocks in at 11 minutes and the first part doesn’t go away from that sense that is a dead girl singing from a cemetery like a satanic siren to pull you inside a grave of rottenness and decadence. Fearsome! The macabre riffs ain’t much of a cherish thing either. After that, the Sabbath-esque sound enters the arena with Marzia singing with a real hate in her heart. Not that this is something of my concern but this girl seems to have some axes to grind and won’t let any hatchet be buried. Resentment is the key to a good metal song. Also this song proves something very strong: who says that Black Sabbath cannot be considered Black Metal? I know post-Lord of Chaos movie kids and pseudo-radicals will prolly disagree but who says I care?

This is probably one of the better releases of the year and for sure the best revelation band/project that got me by surprise. I’m not the one who dig surprises. But this demo was a good one.

Sisters of Darkness is out now on Caligari Records.

Rating: 9/10

Roderick Totentanz

Classic Godless North re-released

The purists now have the chance to celebrate.

Godless North from Canada is a force to be reckoned with. Mainly because their very first demo which is forgotten by current boys and girls in the “scene” (Yeah I’m being sarcastic).

While today this kind of sound may sound like an anathema for kids who goes “post-black” or blackgaze, Nebular Carcoma brings back this classic demo called Dark Rites of Mystic Order back and in this time in vinyl for cultists of ugly black metal sound. Counting with an unreleased Burzum‘s cover track Burzum (aka Dunkelheit).

This spectacular classic is going to be re-released for die hards on July 2nd.

Roderick Totentanz

Black.Metal.Revenge (European Tour 2021)

Revenge announces European tour with very special bands.

Time is ripe to detour Covid-19 and make plans for a solid European tour. And Revenge is the band that promising to deliver it. Legit Brutal War Bestial Blackened Death Metal Style.

Special guests include  Profanatica (US), Misþyrming (Iceland) and Ultra Silvam (Sweden).

Countries include Poland, Hungary, Portugal, Germany, Czechia, Denmark, Netherlands, UK, Belgium, France, Austria and Italy.

Tour is schedule to begin in April. Dates as it follows:

  • 8 Apr 21 Warsaw (PL) Proxima
  • 29 Apr 21 Gliwice (PL) Mrowisko
  • 30 Apr 21 Budapest (HU) Dürer Kert
  • 01 May 21 Zagreb (HR) Club Mochvara
  • 02 May 21 Porto (PT) SWR Fest
  • 03 May 21 München (DE) TBA
  • 04 May 21 Prague (CZ) Futurum
  • 05 May 21 Hamburg (DE) Kulturpalast
  • 06 May 21 Copenhagen (DK) Beta
  • 07 May 21 Zwickau (DE) Club Seilerstraße
  • 08 May 21 Berlin (DE) Orwo Haus
  • 09 May 21 Drachten (NL) Iduna
  • 10 May 21 Rotterdam (NL) Baroeg
  • 11 May 21 London (UK) The Underworld
  • 12 May 21 Antwerp (BE) Het Bos
  • 13 May 21 Paris (FR) Backstage
  • 14 May 21 Mannheim (DE) MS Connexion
  • 15 May 21 Abtenau (AT) The Temple Neudegg Alm
  • 16 May 21 Paderno (IT) Slaughter Club

Roderick Totentanz

Valdrin – Effigy of Nightmares (Blood Harvest)

When USBM goes full Scandinavian mode.

Valdrin is a band from Cincinnati, Ohio, thus a USBM (United States Black Metal) that doesn’t resemble anything an American band. This is their third offer that rips all through European standards.

Plus, although not the most original album per se, this is a newborn classic of Black Metal that even being underground gives a run for the money to Swedish bands like Dark Funeral, Lord Belial and Naglfar, practicing what people call “melodic black metal” which methinks is a deceptive label.

A classic like Exsanguination Tunnels has all the serpentine tracts of an ultra-veteran band without being an imitation and without being progressive and that adds points to the Valdrin sound.

The finest adjustments in the sound of the tune Red Burning Candles of Hatred, has a perfect mix of rhythm guitar reverbs and drum fills from hell while repeating with intelligence the theme of the song without being an oversimplification of ANY black metal outfit out there.

The bona fide “melodic black metal” appears on the excellent track Basilisk of Light that showcases a REAL BAND without being irritatingly poser. No. These are great musician showing their art in a strangely professional manner.

The journey of Down the Oubliette of Maelstrom packs this first-rate album with epic parts like an album recap clocking in at 8:35min. The remarkable vocals are also a distinguishing ingredient in Effigy of Nightmares.

Valdrin is a band that was born in a wrong place. Not that I don’t dig USBM but they sound like they don’t belong to the North America.

Effigy of Nightmares are out now on CD/LP/TAPE on Blood Harvest.

Rating: 8/10

Roderick Totentanz

Front / FRΩNT – Antichrist Militia (Iron Bonehead)

Unapologetic Warlike Black Metal.

Front from Finland (stylized FRΩNT) is a war back metal act but a kinda different one. They are both a mix of Blasphemy, Revenge and the likes of Marduk and Endstille with a touch of Blackened Thrash Metal (two guys played in the blackened thrash metal Urn…)

The sound is highly toxic and rock n roll hell, with the title track sounding like a battle field, scorched earth style with a great chorus that is unhinged black metal destruction.

The warp and woof are very Bathory for that sake and the second track Iron Front won’t let the fans of some military rock n roll down. All right motherfuckers!

Venom & Salt is not the hook here, but who cares when one has the most destructive approach in the brutal style of this kind of noncompliance black metal?

The doubt in this EP is the filler Mouths of War where they put even Churchill in the blender. The verdict is: alone this song means nothing but in the context of the EP sounds like an interlude.

Last track Machinegun Blasphemy is the heaviest, disturbing, noise, a pure act of non-diplomatic conversations. This is “panzer metal” (this style doesn’t even exist hehehe) in the best form!

Front is a band that will get better and better by the time. I can’t wait to hear a new offer very soon!

Antichrist Militia will be out TOMORROW via Iron Bonehead.

Rating: 8/10

Roderick Totentanz

Enslaved to release the first single of Utgard this Friday!

After postponing the whole logistics because of Covid-19 the hour is ripe for Utgard!


This Friday, May 22nd, Enslaved will be finally releasing their new single for the upcoming Utgard album via Nuclear Blast.

That was announced before, but the date was sunk between tons of information about the postponing of the album because of the pandemics.

Utgard were to be released by the beginning of the year, but suddenly the band and label cut short the release of the album maybe because they saw no sense in release something without a tour, so they pushed the release for “this fall”. It happens that the fall in Northern Hemisphere can be anytime between September 22nd and December 21st! So the exact date is not set yet. 

They’ve only have released the cover art so far which is second to none. No other information as track listing was revealed so far.


But the fact that the band is abiding to the date set for the releasing of the single is very good news as it shows that Utgard is finally nigh. 

Utgard is the following up to the excellent album E released in 2017 via Nuclear Blast featuring, then, the new member Håkon Vinje. The upcoming Utgard will be the premiere of the new drummer Iver Sandøy.

Roderick Totentanz

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Behemoth featuring Niklas Kvarforth from Swedish Shining in upcoming EP.

New EP will contain 4 songs and an unexpected cover. Maybe not so unexpected for Behemoth M.O.


A Forest, a new EP from the Polish band Behemoth will feature Niklas Kvarforth from Shining fame and this song is a cover version of the band The Cure. There will be four tracks and the title track will come in two versions, studio and live, both of them featuring Mr. Kvarforth.

There is also going to be two unreleased tracks from I Loved You at Your Darkest sessions: Shadows Ov Ea Cast Upon Golgotha and Evoe

The video can be watched here:

A link containing all the services where a single of the music is featuring before the releasing of the EP which will take place on May 29th, 2020, is available here:

This link takes you, besides the video on Youtube, to the one track available on Spotify and the pre-order of a colored 12″ vinyl that is going to be released via New Aeon Musick.


Says the band:
“Covering music outside of metal is a challenge – covering legendary music is an even greater challenge…that is what drove us throughout this process.”

“The tracks act as a continuation on from ILYAYD (I love you at your Darkest) – no more, no less. We hope this brings some respite for anyone struggling during these strange times on our planet! Stay safe, Hail Satan!”


Roderick Totentanz

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ARMNATT – Dense Fog (Signal Rex)

The dense black metal primitiveness


First, I’d like to attest that primitiveness here is not raw black metal per se and that’s exactly why this band is so interesting. Hailing for Portugal that is known for their raw black metal bands or depressive black metal bands or funeral depressive black metal bands or even raw funeral depressive black metal bands, Armnatt comes with a different proposal, sounding very, very Germanic.

But, put in mind, to start with, Armnatt sounds exactly like Darkthrone from Transylvanian Hunger and that being said, you can add, Ildjarn, Judas Iscariot, Maniac Butcher, Silva Nigra, Kult ofenzivy and off course Teutonic entities like Ødelegger.

But all the more it sounds incredibly like VON. It seems a European version of Satanic Blood Angel, the vocalist Velnius chants the strophes like 4 times (and seemed to be rhymed, although I can’t understand a word), and that’s the MO of the band throughout the entire CD.

At first, I was, okay, another horrible black metal band: I’m still with the sensation, but slightly different: THE horrible black metal band that I love…

Flames of Purification, the opener, has a noise of flames… and of purification, mind you.

When the sound starts it’s something that throws the listener back in time, somewhere in Norway, more precisely Bergen,  and the very fact that someone is making this kind of sound in 2020 speaks volume about D.E.D.I.C.A.T.I.O.N. to truest of the true black metal and songs like Dense Fog and Black Devotion shows exactly that! But it’s when the simplest riff-and-drumming of Circumscribing the Circle starts that the black metaller (the true race) will have shrills running down his spine. A cliché as is the sound of this band, but a good cliché.

 When the song Eternal Night starts one feels himself wedged between the old and the oldest spirits of a long-gone black metal agenda but the ones that are back to haunt you.

But is when a song called Vultfigures starts is when one knows is not just sketchy imitation, but up to the hilt black metal. As much as less than mediocre the musicians seem to be, this one (with all the mannerisms of the rest of the album) can surpass the unimaginable wall of trueness.

And that’s the deal of the album and of the band: how one being so primitive, non-inventive can sound so evil? That’s anyone’s guest.

This is sure-fire and one of my quarantine favorite albums, for I’m keen to this kind of simplest takes on BM.

In a sea of bands of all styles that appeared in the internet era and that are going to disappear because of the recession of the pandemic, ARMATT sure will survive as a classic of the black primitiveness for the times to come! NEMA!

Dense Fog will be out in April, 1st on Signal Rex. It will be available on Bandcamp, also on vinyl, cassette and CD formats (Be aware that the world is CLOSED right now and you may find difficult to IMPORT a product because of the pandemic).

Rating: 8/10

Roderick Totentanz 

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ENEPSIGOS – Wrath of Wraths (Osmose Productions)

True Norwegian Black Metal. But with some Swedish flavor…


Although I’m a great fan of Norwegian Metal (not just orthodox Black) and I have to agree that the old school  bands from that country all make a sound different from  the past, although I love them ANYWAY, there have been missing some traditional Norwegian Black approach, such as we still hear in bands like 1349, Taake and Tsjuder. The answer? Enepsigos!

This is the sophomore album and a real tour de force by these warriors from the north: vocalist Doedsadmiral (real name Anders O. Hansen) also makes part in line-ups such as Doedsvangr, Nordjevel (hail!!!) and Svartelder. Completes the team, obscure member Rituul (bass / guitars) and the Italian member on drums Thorns (real name Gionata Potenti) who plays in Fides Inversa (HAIILLLL PART II), Chaos Invocation, between many others.

The sound brings back the sensation of the fast black with riding cymbals but with something of Swedish bands mainly Dark Funeral and Marduk and Setherial, if not in form, at least in the production. So, I’d not be so surprise if their country of origin was Sweden and not Norway.

But I digress: a song like Shields of Faith brings a syncopated drumming and a really noisy guitar in a over the top production and if this musical endeavor is not original as fuck, it is at least well played and Satan knows what is hidden behind the layers if one doesn’t give it SEVERAL spins. This is a kind of album that always will be a surprise.

But the ONLY thing that is not so impressing is the vocals that are really sunk in the final mix.

That being said The Whore is the Temple is like Nile but Black Metal version: strike after strike, uncompromising and unapologetic cacophony, explodes one ear with honest Black Metal onslaught. Its unrelenting approach can be destructive for those who only know “famous bands” left alone those who think post black metal is real black metal.

The peculiarity in Cups of Anger is that – even being a brutal headbanger – it has some space for a trip like a Gregorian evil chant in the middle section.

The closer Water and Flesh starts with an ancient tribal music to explode in the fastest black Scandinavian black throwing the listener back and forth with mortal riffs that come from hell. Even if sounding discombobulating at times, they mete out metal into one’s eardrums, and somewhat one fells they are twinkled-eyed to do that.

The upshot is that for good or ill, Enepsigos brings back that somewhat the lost art of the old masters of the so-called second wave. If you are looking for this kind of approach in your darkest forms of sounds you won’t be left in the lurch.

Wrath of Wraths is out now on Osmose Productions. On Bandcamp, LP and CD (Be aware that the world is CLOSED right now and you may find difficult to IMPORT a product because of the pandemic)

Rating: 7.5/10

Roderick Totentanz

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