My Purest Heat For You – Guilt Had Ambushed Me Once Again

This EP is apparently about the artists struggle with anxiety. Generally speaking, my anxiety is not fulfilled in terms of repetitive, noisy blackgaze, but to each their own I suppose. The last track is the only thing even worth mentioning here, the first two are just total waste’s of time. Thankfully it’s the longest track on the EP, but the first two tracks are essentially copies of each other, and there are only 3 tracks on here. It’s kinda nice, but the shtick gets old fast, there are much better ways of spending your time than listening to this.


Feign – Atlas

Pretty boring honestly. The mixing was awful as well, with random fade-ins, certain parts of the song being way too quite at times, stuff like that. I actually liked the last track the most, even though it was only a holdover from their demo. It felt like it didn’t force the whole cosmic theme. It was a bit more raw, but still has some spaciness to it. I don’t agree with the bands self proclaimed attempt to “be as melodic as possible”, because this isn’t even close to that. Overall quite average, though there’s enough here to warrant maybe a second list


Eneferens – The Inward Cold

Supremely beautiful. This is one of the rare times where elements of romanticized blackgaze helps the music rather than ruins it. The floating beauty of the blackgaze riffs is grounded by the harsh vocaled doom metal (not quite death doom). It’s like natural beauty being thrown to the ground by crushing reality. It’s a great mix that I was very skeptical of, but it’s pulled off well here. This is way too damn short, but what you do get is a unique bit of atmo black from an area not known for any kind of extreme metal at all (Montana). Awesome work, hope this solo project produces more.


Dakota Westbrook – When the Snow Falls

Not much to say about this, just very decent lo-fi atmo black. But some of the technical missteps are pretty funny. You have the random 2 minutes of silence at the end of the first track, the acoustic guitar segment on Blood on the Ice that seems like it’s been recorded while the TV plays in the background, and the fact that the dude apparently just forgot to mention the 11 and a half minute final track in the track listing on his bandcamp. The album isn’t exactly spectacular, but it’s a nice enough listen, even if it’s a bit repetitive.



A Diadem of Dead Stars – Kingdoms Bathed in Golden Light

On the one hand, I appreciate the display of the beauty of night in the record, and having listened to this late at night, I got a certain cathartic feel with it that I haven’t achieved in a while, maybe since the Augrimmer record I reviewed earlier. I also really appreciated the night time field recordings of crickets and owls, it added a certain charm to the album. On the other, the two main 20 minute tracks do not justify their length at all, and the last track is just about useless. This album should not have been an hour long, even though it wasn’t really a bad listen in hindsight. I liked this, but if you can’t stand any kind of monotony, this is not the record for you, as the two 20 minute tracks can test your patience quite a bit. I have a bit of a tolerance for that, but it only goes so far.


Svirnath – Il regno della natura

In terms of low budget black metal that covers the theme of the beauty of nature, you’re not going to find much better than this. The acoustic guitars are absolutely superb, I can feel the soaring, inspiring riffs of the guitars in my blood, and the entire listen was an extremely joyfull experience that made me grateful to be in an area so full of wonderful nature beauty (Oregon). I’m very weary of black metal albums with real life color photos as the cover, but this made me a believer, at least for now. The only issue I have is the synths, which I felt were just to hollow and empty. I also think, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, that the nature recordings they used during the intro should’ve been used more as a theme throughout the whole album. There’s a lot to like here, just don’t expect a highly produced master piece. Though again, what better way to display the beauty of nature than with a recording that’s much more down to earth?



Forteresse – Thèmes pour la rébellion

I really do appreciate the inspiring aura of this album, but I just don’t think I can get the context enough to full appreciate it. The repetitiveness gets to me, despite all my efforts contrary. I have lots of family in Quebec, and I know the whole situation of them not exactly having the best relationship with the rest of Canada. That said, I’m an American from Oregon, and as such this album just doesn’t quite do it for me. Decent, very listenable, but that’s all really.