From the ashes of several previous bands and the eerie corners of Sweden came Head of the Demon. In the eighth year of their existence, they are about to release their third album, aptly named as Deadly Black Doom, on Walpurgis Night, the 30th of April.
Northern Spain is home to a wide variety of legends and folklore tales. One of them is “La Santa Compaña”, a myth that revolves around a procession. The procession is leaded at midnight by a living person carrying a cross and holy water. This is not the bizarre part. The person is then followed by a flock of grieving souls in white robes with candles. While very few people are capable of seeing the dead, they leave behind the scent of wax in the air. Those who claim to have seen or felt their presence say they hear prayers or funerary songs. While no one knows precisely the meaning of their march, many suspect it is a way of announcing an impending death – another soul to join the ghastly congregation.
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.
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.
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.
Nowadays we are used to albums that try to recreate a particular style, scene or sound. We are also more or less used to bands that try to do their own thing, trying to find their own character to distinguish themselves from the flock of sheep, with mixed results. It’s not that often that we stumble upon a record that respects that old legacy, with obvious nods to certain bands, but still finding their own personality. I feel like Premature Burial would be one of those.
Even today, despite having known it for most of my years as a metalhead, there’s an enduring brilliance about The Somberlain that endures the test of time.
Here at Ride into Glory we provide strong support to upcoming underground bands and artists. We try to highlight high quality new releases and promising debuting artists as often as we can.
The land of extreme metal is vast and without a guiding path it is easy to get lost in the endless sea of new releases and bands. Especially if you are only interested in the sounds that could be Into the Coven (meaning, extreme metal with a prevalent traditional metal structure underneath), finding upcoming artists might look like a daunting task. We thought that highlighting some contemporary bands who have yet to release their debut full-length albums might help readers find a new artist to follow, revisit a band whose first demo they heard a while ago, or just collect the young and new bands they are familiar with in one place.
When we think of the past, we tend to focus on the brighter bits while ignoring the bad parts that characterized it. This feels truer than ever in a genre like metal, where the bulk of classic releases for all the main genres were released in the 80s/90s. For this reason, there is a desire for many bands to emulate the sounds of the past and to relive the glory days.