Much to the chagrin of posers and falses across the globe, Terminus arises from a brief autumnal break with another grip of records to interrogate. While you're all out having fun watching the leaves change, we're hermetially sealed inside our respective apartments, digging our way through the trenches of obscurity to bring you hidden nuggets of gold. Pay me, you savages.
We open with Russia's Blackdeath, a stalwart black metal legion of over 20 years whose music has always been critically applauded but strangely underappreciated by the public. Their new record demonstrates why- it's a nightmarish journey into dissonance and decay that nonetheless holds the old second wave true. Many will call this "experimental," but it's really just a wonderful example of making something very new from old tools.
Following is Henbane Chariot, a project related to mystical pagan black metal band Secret Fire whose latest EP we covered earlier this year. HC are cut from similar raw material, but the textile is woven very differently, with greater emphasis on upsetting harmonic textures and abstract, impressionistic guitar work. It's far from the most accessible record of the year, but its seemingly random clusters of chromatic notes slowly take shape into a recognizable mosaic the more the listener studies.
After our interlude is (of course) another record from Terminus favorite label Antiq. Paydretz is thematically in perfect alignment with that label's style of chivalric and florid black metal, but its musical DNA has much more to do with (of all things) folk and power metal from ages past. Don't let that scare you off- there's a tremendous amount for the listener to sink their teeth into. Pull down a French history text, pour a glass of wine, and realize why those styles should never have been forgotten in the first place.
Concluding is the return of Duister Maanlicht, whose openly Darkthrone-worshiping style of black metal we covered last year. 2021's entry significantly raises the stakes, with more dynamic songwriting, more elegant riffing, and a more distinct personality. While this still hews closely to the band's established style, it's safe to say DM has interests in branching out from the mere tribute of last year toward a greater range of sounds and ideas.
0:00:00 - Intro
0:05:56 - Blackdeath - Also sprach das Chaos (End All Life Productions)
0:45:15 - Henbane Chariot - Allpine Seance (Throne of May)
1:21:42 - Interlude - Forêt Morte - “Lighthunt” fr. ...Those Dismal Moments (Independent, 2005) (Likely safe to say you cannot find this physically anymore)
1:30:59 - Paydretz - Chroniques de L'Insurrection (Antiq)
2:16:58 - Duister Maanlicht - Influisteringen Van De Duivel (Christian Metal Underground Records)
3:00:03 - Outro - Ganzmord - “Enemy of Humanity” fr. Monolithic in Darkness (Antinomian, 2005) (CD copies float around in underground distros with some regularity- the attached link is just one instance.)
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