So a little while ago, a buddy of mine dragged me on a 40-minute drive to a sketchy Craigslist exchange in a lovely dark parking lot. Half an hour and not-getting-murdered later, we took off and decided to stop by a nearby record store that’s open late, because I love browsing and he was looking for a couple of things. He wound up spending the entire time there on Facebook but I, being able to free myself from the confines of social media, was able to find some stuff.
Blaze of Perdition – Towards the Blaze of Perdition (Putrid Prophet Productions, 2010)
I wasn’t overly familiar with Blaze of Perdition before picking this up, so this was a nice surprise. Beefy production values give “Towards the Blaze of Perdition” a great sound, relatively clean but still allowing it to sound sinister and foreboding. Vocals are authoritative and spat out with disdain, occasionally reminding me of a more controlled Arioch/Mortuus (Funeral Mist, Marduk), and touches like the Gregorian chants in “The Great Work” truly add to the atmosphere. An all-around solid album.
Throneum / Leichengott – Trupi Jad (S.O.A. Records Department, 2011)
Hey, it’s a split CD with one track by each band coming up to a whopping eleven minutes. You’re probably thinking “man, that shit better have been cheap,” and yeah, it was, but it was a no-brainer for me because I love the shit out of Throneum. Their feral death metal attack with Tom’s frantic vocals is great, and I’m always happy to hear more from them, even if it’s just a single track. Leichengott is a Polish black metal band, and their track “Battle Horns” is decent enough, but we’ll get into them later on when I review their album “Cyrograf,” which I also picked up.
Leichengott – Cyrograf (Flagellum Haereticorum, 2009)
Well, that didn’t take long. So here we have Leichengott’s only full-length, “Cyrograf” from 2009. The rigid drumming sounds like a drum machine at times, but it’s nevertheless fitting for the album. The bass is surprisingly audible, likely due to the high-pitched guitars allowing a more solid distinction between the two. I wasn’t a huge fan of the sound at first, but by the third track it had settled in and what they were going for made a bit more sense; songs like “Cyrograf” and “Devil’s Trail” have some great sections. I might not wear out my copy anytime soon, but it’s definitely worth a few listens.
Winterfylleth – The Divination of Antiquity (Candlelight Records, 2014)
Winterfylleth – The Dark Hereafter (Candlelight Records, 2016)
Since I only had Winterfylleth’s demo and first two albums, finding these two together nicely filled in a little hole in my collection. Winterfylleth’s two latest albums continue the heritage-inspired black metal they’ve forged for themselves, and there are no tremendous surprises here. That’s not a bad thing; Winterfylleth stick to what works for them and have managed to avoid any real missteps in their discography. Despite its runtime of over 40 minutes, I find it odd that “The Dark Hereafter” is considered a full length; its five songs include the bonus track from the special edition of “The Divination of Antiquity” and an Ulver cover, so there are only three songs totaling 25 minutes of new Winterfylleth material here. It strikes me as a little lazy to call that a new album, but whatever it is, “The Dark Hereafter” is good collection of tracks. “The Divination of Antiquity” and “The Dark Hereafter” have some of Winterfylleth’s strongest writing to date, especially on songs like “A Careworn Heart” and “Green Cathedral,” and the aforementioned Ulver cover is simply fantastic. Both releases are heartily recommended.
So that was pretty much a win, but my friend didn’t let me play them on the way home because they’re allegedly too scary. Said the guy who meets random people to buy computer hardware at night.
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