Guides and Primers

Hell Symphony: The Czech Black Metal Sound (Ft. Interviews with Master’s Hammer, Root, and Blackosh)

As black metal began to arise as a global movement in the early 1990s, regional scenes began taking hold. Beyond the infamous Norweigan one, many small regional scenes emerged in Sweden, Finland, Greece, Brazil and perhaps most curiously, the Czech Republic. The scene in this country had its origins in the 1980s as underground tape trading managed to expose a handful to the occult sounds of Venom, Bathory, and Mercyful Fate among others in spite of the restrictions under the iron curtain.

Into the Coven

Into the Coven: Malokarpatan – “Krupinské ohne” Album Premiere

Opening the album with paying due respect to Hammerheart-era Bathory, Malokarpatan take their time to tell you their stories – and such dark and grimy stories, they are. The longer-form songs build up to smooth, galloping leads or choruses; they keep taking twists and turns as the story unfolds with the use of interludes varying from synths to acoustic passages. But at the heart of it all lies the signature “dark heavy metal” riffage of the band.

Into the Coven

Into the Coven Album Premiere: Hellehond – Verslonden

From time to time we see a new band emerging from the dark, ancient corridors of the past, through the cobwebs and mildew, carrying a torch enkindled by the flames of bygone times. Disregarding the evolution of trends and habits over time, these bands go all the way back to the origins for inspiration. Interested more in the roots of the black metal tree than young branches, Hellehond, a new band from the Netherlands, are here to pay their tribute to the spirit of old school.

Into the Coven

Into the Coven Album Premiere: Flamekeeper – “We Who Light the Fire” with an Interview

Flamekeeper is the natural result of the journey from Italy to Sweden for Marco S., the main person behind occult black/death metal band Demonomancy and also The Devil’s Mark Studio. Carrying Mediterranean influences like Necromantia with him, he arrived at the epic metal masterpiece, Hammerheart by Bathory. The debut effort of Flamekeeper is an approach to that Hammerheart sound that is rooted more in black metal in spirit, yet with plenty of clean heavy metal sounding sections.

Into the Coven

Album Premiere: Front Beast – “Shadows” with an Interview

There is virtue in simplicity. While some modern extreme metal acts try to push the boundaries of the sub-genres (which mostly results in unimpressive ways for me); Avenger, the sole member of Front Beast, pursues the simplicity of the old. Active in many different projects ranging from traditional occult doom to black/thrash to grind or death metal, Avenger focuses his efforts for Front Beast on paying tributes to the forefathers of black metal like Bathory, Venom, or Hellhammer. Shadows is the latest output of this black/thrash/heavy metal act and it stays on the path Front Beast has always consistently been walking on for the past 20 years.

Into the Coven

Into the Coven: Diabolic Night – Beyond The Realm Review

Germany. The country where young people into heavy metal, beer, and Satan in 80s took heavy and thrash metal they listened into its logical extreme and laid foundation to what came after: speedy black/thrash metal attack. To this day the country is still a hotbed for similar hybrid sounds with plenty young bands still playing traditional speed or heavy metal touched by more extreme kinds of metal. Diabolic Night have been one of the most promising of these young bands with their pre-debut material and here they have their first full-length effort to build upon the demos.