Into the Coven

Into the Coven: Ysengrin – “Initiatio” Review with Insight from the Band

After over a decade of activity, Ysengrin, the project directed by Guido Saint Roch, released their final album: Initiato. The musical trajectory of the band was always very interesting and it is therefore fitting to end the life of this musical project by an even more curious final album. The main constant of Ysengrin’s career is the aim to create a music that sounds obscure, even a bit mystical, by the means of mid-tempo blend of black and death metal.

New Releases

New Release Highlight: Devil Seed – Devil Seed Review

Not much is known about Hungary’s Devil Seed, even as of writing this article their self-titled debut album has not received much attention with no related or past projects to speak of. All we have to go off of is the band name presumably being a reference to the song off of Candlemass’s King of the Grey Islands. Lucky for us, as far as hints go, that’s a pretty good one. Marrying the synth-rich riffy atmosphere of Epicus Doomicus Metallicus with powerful, front-and-center vocals reminiscent of Solitude Aeturnus, Devil Seed’s self-titled debut album presents an unexpected and incredibly welcome slab of epic doom firmly rooted in the classics of the genre.

Guides and Primers

Hold High the Flame: A Look at Post- New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM)

Looking back, it’s hard to view 1984 as anything other than a banner year for heavy metal. The sheer amount of world-beating releases across a wide range of styles is almost unmatched by any year to follow. What we now call traditional metal provided an onslaught of classics, thrash and power metal both launched themselves headlong into the international fray, Sabbath’s legacy was in fine form via the first releases from Trouble, Saint Vitus and Paul Chain Violet Theatre, and thirty-five years on most black metal still comes up short against the triumvirate of Apocalyptic Raids, Morbid Tales, and Bathory’s self-titled debut. It would also mark the (semi-official) end of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, the very movement which would sow the seeds for much of the development that followed. So then, with metal exploding worldwide on an previously-unmatched level, with this article we’re taking a look at what happened in the wake of the NWOBHM.

Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Reverend Bizarre – II: Crush the Insects Review

In that light, Crush the Insects is a surprising follow up to the debut because it takes several VERY different tacks on the band’s patented take on the genre: namely, it bothered being accessible in a way their other full lengths really aren’t. Whereas that first album was innately gripping, by virtue of its riffs and the way the band painstaking arranged/structured the way each passage glacially flowing into one another in lieu of conventional hooks, Crush… was very clearly an attempt at crafting a more traditionally memorable record than its predecessor ever attempted. It’s the closest thing to a “fun” album the band ever crafted; the band themselves even cheekily pointed it out with a sticker on the original CD issue of the album as “The Biggest Sell-out in True Doom”. Go figure.

Demo Dungeon

Demo Dungeon Special: Latin American Demos

As media, communications, and technology became more accessible, the Latin American region saw an ever-increasing rise in metal bands. For this Demo Dungeon special, we look at some demo-only bands from various countries. As these are demo recordings, sound production tends to be of low quality, but just like with the pioneering bands of the early and mid 80s, the rawness of these recordings are part of the charm. These bands, like their predecessors before them, had to fight tooth-and-nail to play a demonized style of music in dangerous and neglected parts of the world.