Ivan Tibos.

Dark Awake

Hecate or Hekate was a goddess originating from the Anatolian region, also divinized by the ancient Greeks. She was a goddess of magic, witchcraft, natural medicine knowledge, birth, spiritualism, you know, an important entity for sorcery, necromancy, health and death. This mythological figure has been a huge source of inspiration for several religious and artistic trends, and she appears a lot within the darker currents of the musical spectrum too.

Scythe Beast

Well, you know, I do not mind -not ever- to listen to stuff that lacks of originality. I just have a few conditions: please do not act like a cheap copycat, please respect the scene (which does not mean that you cannot reinterpret narrow-minded borders, of course), and please convince me.

And that’s exactly what this German act does: playing uncompromising, no-nonsense Death / Thrash material in the vein of ‘the old school’ (whatever this might mean this time), yet without becoming some cheap ‘tribute’ band whatever.

Demonic Slaughter / Aryman

I have never hid my appreciation (I was about to call it ‘passion’, but that sounds way too, eh, friendly, does it not) for the Polish (Black Metal) label Lower Silesian Stronghold. This label might have a specific philosophy, but from sonic point of view – or better: point of listen – they do house some excellent bands on their roster; and therefore some great releases too.

Thronum Vrondor

Belgium in general (and Flanders more specific) might not be that ‘huge’ as, let’s say, Norway, the U.S., Poland, Sweden or Botswana when it comes to ‘true’ or ‘orthodox’ Black Metal. However, this country houses so many excellent acts for sure. That’s the case right now, as it was in the past. It would be a stupid thing to sum up all bands and projects that deserve to be mentioned, but as part of that (unlimited) list, Thronum Vrondor must be added for sure.

Demonomancer

I do not have the intention to go way too deep into this release’s core, but still I will write down some ideas and thoughts on it, because of 1) the label behind it and 2) the material itself. Let’s start with the label. Dunkelheit Produktionen is a label that I do follow as from 1867 or so. Okay, that’s somehow exaggerated, but this label never disappointed me in the past.

Regiment VX

Since I am such a great, and therefor popular, reviewer (don’t you dare to laugh), I focus on material that I get directly from a band / project or a label - after they did ask me, politely of course, whether I would be that kind to spend some time on listening to, and writing about, this or that specific recording. I am that sympathetic that I do invest my confined spare time on reviewing material that I do like, and which deserves my time and energy. Sort of…

Dronny Darko & Ajna

As mentioned a 1,000 years of cryo-sleep before… Oops, I’m mistaken. I mean: as mentioned a 1,000 times before, Oregon-based label Cryo Chamber might be an institute, a standard, an authority when it comes to Ambient-based collaborations. With collaborations I do not mean ‘split’ releases, yet really two (or more) artists joining forces to create something new, something that withholds elements from all musicians involved, and focusing on a mutual goal to achieve.

Invernoir

Hailing from Rome, Italy’s capital city, Invernoir is quite a young band that includes current and former members of e.g. Ars Onirica and Black Therapy. As a quintet, they independently released a three-track EP in 2018 (actually three tracks and an outro, to be honest), aptly titled Mourn – a title that surely points the musical direction where we have to define this band. After a few line-up changes, the band decided to enter the studio in order to record their debut full-length.

Haissem

Haissem is a solo-outfit by some Andrey V. Tollock, whom you might know from another one-man army too, i.e. Doom-Death project Sunset Forsaken. Haissem however is more productive and diverse, and throughout six years of existence, more than a handful of somewhat differing recordings got released. Amongst those last year’s Kuhaghan Tyyn, available physically via Saint-Peterburg’s Satanath Records.

Novae Militiae

Throughout more than a decade of existence, the mysterious (the members wish to remain anonymous) French act Novae Militiae has not exactly been that productive. At the very beginning, they released their debut Affliction Of The Divine (CD + digital) via Ukrainian label Nihilward Productions (re-released on tape in 2014), and in 2017 Goathorned Productions took care of the release of Gash’khalah (CD + digital).

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