I have to say, it’s been a busy ass day readers. This morning I interviewed the mighty Jimmy Mistry about Strictly Come Dancing and the lovely Flavia Cacace (ooh, the lovely Flavia Cacace…) then wrote reviews of the new records by N-Dubz (na-na-NIGH!) the Black Eyed Peas and a few others, so I figured, since I was having a bit of a mainstream time of it workwise, I’d post up a label profile I wrote a few months ago on Frostscald Records for Metal Hammer magazine (hey, it makes sense in my head) which is intended as a short, bullet-point style introduction to their roster of acts.
Am I the only one to reference Kylie and Dannii Minogue in a feature about black metal? Most probably..
The Rest In Pieces
Now that they’ve been released from prison for church burning and attacking people with axes (as you do) Swedish four-piece Domgard have finally made their first album Nifelhels Skygd despite forming over a decade ago. With a re-jigged line-up and a gaping hole left in the band after former singer Illbrand committed suicide, the self-confessed friends of the dark forces below (we’re guessing they don’t mean the Minogue sisters) offer huge slabs of old school traditional black metal which is as aggressive as it is bleak.
Perennially happy chappie Svart’s (AKA multi-instrumentalist Draug) latest two EPs Forolorad  and Namnlos Och Bortglomnd  illustrate two striking takes on the human condition with the former a hypnotic and considered release that is quite beautiful in its ugliness and the latter being more concerned with rage and venomous riffs. If Forolorad is full of self-loathing then Namnlos… is brimming with hatred for everyone else.
Enthral’s hard to find first album Prophesies Of The Dying  gets re-released and re-mastered this month and unfortunately it still suffers from a horrible bass sound which sounds like a pensioner after too much beans. With complex arrangements and lyrics about anti-religion, madness and depression a go-go, this low budget reissue is for fans only.
Doom band Finnr’s Cane’s debut Wanderlust  gives thrills and chills in equal measure and while at times the record is deceivingly delicate, it’s a fantastic piece of work. Blending old folk chants with occasional blast beats, the trio’s music is ambient, introspective and experimental and fans of Opeth and Katatonia will no doubt take to their tunes.
Deriving inspiration from old pagan tales and mythologies, Drapsnatt’s second effort Hymner Till Undergangen  suffers from a keyboard that’s too high in the mix and their decision to keep things “simple, atmospheric and brutal” has been both a hindrance and a benefit. Their Burzum-like ferocity is exciting for some parts, but the quieter musical sequeways just sound lumpen and unimaginative.
Lekamen Illusionen Kallet (which is often abbreviated to LIK) is the musical guise of Graav and Frostscald have reissued all three of his albums-2003’s Ma Ljuset Aldrig Na Oss Mer  2005’s Besvartade Strofer  and 2007’s self –titled swan song Lekamen Illusionen Kallet . While his first release is far from essential listening and features out of time drumming and bog standard black metal flourishes, the next two are a definite improvement thanks to tighter song structures and slower tempos. Recommended for fans of Joyless and Forgotten Woods.