REVIEW: Ghostlight, Avantasia

The latest offering from Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia is Ghostlights, coming after a four year wait since their previous album The mystery of time. I usually get quite impatient waiting years for new albums from my favourite bands, however I have to make an exception for Avantasia knowing how busy Tobi is. In these four years we were treated with an Edguy album - Space Police: Defenders of the Crown - and a tour to accompany it...
VOTA REVIEW: The Spirit Never Dies split, Graveland/Nokturnal Mortum

Nearly a decade has passed since the two undisputed kings of Slavonic Pagan Black Metal graced the same record together. Once again the war horns have sounded in the east, and both Poland and the Ukraine's finest have answered the call. The wait is finally over. It's not often that I review CDs, in fact this is the first one, and to be honest I still would have preferred this on wax, but as it's the only format available I had no choice...
VOTA REVIEW: Ostara demo, Necropole

With Hellfest now behind us and Mütiilation's amazing show as well as the beautiful French countryside etched firmly in my mind, I have been on a bit of a French Black Metal binge lately. After hammering my way through the obligatory Les Legions Noir stalwarts Vlad Tepes, Mütiilation and Torgeist as well as modern French hooligans Peste Noir I finally got round to this beautiful little demo tape from newcomers to the French Scene Necropole. I received a flyer for the band’s first demo...
VOTA REVIEW: Guthmers Hahl, White Medal

The UK's Black Metal scene is probably the strongest it's ever been at the moment, with a lot of creative and hard working bands consistently releasing inspiring and solid records (long gone are the embarrassing cringe worthy days of bands like cradle of filth) and no band is harder working than one man Black Metal Project White Medal and its unique brand of "Yorkshire Heathen Black Metal". The project is the brainchild of one of the most consistent and productive artists in the Britisht...
REVIEW: Monumentor, Askeregn

Norwegian Black Metal was once a tag of quality due to the scene producing a rather large handful of classic acts over the years, but it works as a negative too when bands receive praise and hype simply based upon the geographical location they were thrust into this mortal coil from as opposed to the quality of the music on display. Luckily Trondheim’s Terratur Possessions has assembled some of the finest Black Metal not...
REVIEW: Obsequiae – Aria of vernal Tombs

The Renaissance period is widely considered to be the bridge between the Middle Ages and modern history, and Aria of Vernal Tombs is a testament to the brilliant art that can be created by bridging two very distinct periods of sound together. Using the glorious tradition of sense of melody and song from our collective past and coupling that with the joys of modern day Extreme Metal is no easy feat, but Obsequiae manage to pull this off harmoniously. My first experience...
VOTA REVIEW: Death Rune EP, Sons of Fenris

Sweden based label and dark Germanic Heathenism collective Scythe Of Death Productions has graced the underground with some fantastic music in recent years, with some of Black Metal's finest bands rallying under the SDP banner and unleashing Abgrundjaskalkaz inspired rituals on those whose ears are ready to tread the path of the primordial void and return to Ginnungagap(I may write an article on dark Germanic Heathenism in the future so watch this space)...
REVIEW: Stormcrow, Cain’s Offering

There's a lot of hype around these days. Some of it is brought on by Hollywood's blank cheque approach to Blockbuster reboots of cherished movies, but more often than not it's brought on by ourselves. We look forward to something so much that impossibly unrealistic expectations begin to take shape, and no matter how good the end product it's always underwhelming. Such was the enormous, beastlike hype that I had managed to conjure up prior to the...
VOTA REVIEW: Ad Maiorem Sathanae Gloriam, Countess

When you think of Black Metal, Holland is not the first country that springs to mind. However the Netherlands is home to some fantastic BM bands like Urfaust, Murw, Hekel, Mordeahoth and Cultus to name a few. None of these hold such cult status (with the exception of Urfaust these days) as Countess, though. Formed in the early 90's and heavily influenced by the music of Bathory and Venom, Countess unleashed its orthodox Black Metal into the underground tape trading circuit...
REVIEW: 1585 - 1646, Possession (Belgium)

In a society that is constantly sanitised, with all elements of danger and freedom slowly becoming absent from most people's everyday lives, it’s no surprise that folk are in turn now looking backwards towards a more care free and 'dangerous' time. Possession fit this to a tee, harking back to a time when the lines between what is black and what is death weren’t so clearly defined. Where fast paced, satanic and savage Extreme Metal was all that was...
REVIEW: Opus: Decay, Abominor

Icelandic Black Metal continues to go from strength to strength with a strong release coming from the 323,000 population of the isle on an almost monthly basis. With a style that encompasses sharp and suffocating riffing that reflects the harshness of the volcanic surrounds and it’s Northern location, it’s no surprise why it is such fertile ground for dark and twisted extreme metal that gives the feeling of being the yang to the yin of the supposed ‘happiest people on earth’...
VOTA REVIEW: Zeitgeist, Heimdalls Wahct/Trollzorn Split

Now I have to say that I'm a huge fan of splits. They’ve always been a great way to discover new bands as well as a chance to get hold of some rare tracks from bands you already know. It's no secret around here that I'm a huge fan of German Pagan Black Metallers Heimdalls Wacht, and their unique brand of Heathen Black Metal has always struck a chord with me. It had been two years since the band's last full length Ekte Westfäölske Svatte Metal so I was pretty hyped at the chance to...
REVIEW: Darkwinter Possession, Deheubarth

Hailing from South Wales and named after an ancient Welsh kingdom, one man Black Metal project Deheubarth are set to release Darkwinter Possession via the always dependable Ulthar records, former home of Liverpool’s most exalted acts Ninkharsag & Coltsblood. The band describing themselves as the fear of ancient Cambria and the manifestation of the spirit of the Brythons is more than apt, with their approach involving no frills or modern trickery which allows the sheer...
REVIEW: Hurlemort, Maléfices

Métal Noir Québécois is fast becoming one of the most consistent scenes in the underground thanks to a string of quality releases of unified spirit. On the rawer side of this are one man cult outfit Maléfices who are on their way to becoming underground Black Metal darlings.
Hurlemort is a rehearsal for a planned live performance in autumn 2013 and increases the quality and delivery of the previous material both in means of production and in execution...
VOTA REVIEW: Atmosphere, Kladovest

For those of you who don’t know, Kaldovest are a Ukrainian atmospheric Black Metal project consisting of Dimitry K.(of Flammersjel) And Thurios (of Drudkh and Astrofaes fame). Here I will be reviewing the Cassette version of the album Atmosphere from 2012 released by Warewolf promotions/Putrid Cult and limited to 320 copies. From the album title and the cover art alone you can already guess what awaits you within which is something that really is nothing short of what it....
REVIEW: Demo, Doomentor

Most blackened doom tends to be firmly stuck on the extreme end of the spectrum. Doomentor however utilise the more straight up rocking aspects of traditional doom whilst maintaining an extreme edge and aesthetic. They do this by channelling an eclectic mix of old Samael and Psalm 9 Era trouble for their debut demo release on Germany’s Messe Noir Productions...
REVIEW: Arcane Death Ritual, Sortilegia

Canadian Black Metal is unquestionably going from strength to strength in recent times with a string of quality releases that include this brilliant debut LP from two man band Sortilegia. This full length release is another jewel in the crown of the exceptional German label Ván Records that seem to be releasing quality Metal across all sub genres on an ostensibly monthly basis...
REVIEW - Söngvar elds og óreiðu, MisÞyrming

Icelandic Black Metal continues to go from strength to strength and MisÞtyming(pronounced ‘Mæs-tær-meing’) find themselves firmly added to the already long list of stellar releases from the isle in the last few years with their latest offering Söngvar elds og óreiðu. Like other contemporary’s Svartidauði and Sinmara, MisÞyrming utilise what is often a claustrophobic sound with eerie and dissonant guitar riffs that jar in and out of your cerebral with a razor sharp intensity, whilst...
REVIEW - Ildsvander, Slaegt

A thrilling shot of adrenaline with a very raw and urgent sounding approach is present in this eagerly anticipated debut full length from Danish two Man Black Metal outfit Slaegt. Ildsvander comprises of 10 tracks that rarely break the 3 minute mark and coming courtesy of Danish label Posh Isolation it follows the release of a brilliantly received demo and split tape release with Yorkshires finest White Medal...
VOTA: REVIEW - Sejr, Angantyr

Hail! Angantyr is a one man black metal project from Denmark created by ex-Holmgang member Ynleborgaz and today I will be reviewing the cassette version of the album Sejr, released by Total Holocaust Records and limited to 500 copies. With it, Angantyr stand defiant in the face of Christianity, and the indignation fueled rage felt towards the bastardisation and destruction of our ancestor’s cultural beliefs erupts from the speakers like a warband of Danes launching a raid on a monastery... READ MORE


Artist - Jesters of Destiny
Title - The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown
Label - Ektro

Thirty years after Jesters of Destiny arrived, dropped Fun at the Funeral and disappeared back into the night, they’re finally back with a second full length release courtesy of Ektro Records, and whilst it could never live up to first album, the eccentricity of the band shines through once more and it’s a crazy ride from start to finish. Pick it up on April 4th!



Artist - Hammerfest IX
Date - 23rd- 26th March
Venue - Pwllheli, Wales  

One of our main highlights of the year, this month we’re off to Wales for Hammerfest, HRH’s Heavy Metal flagship. With the return of two Power Metal titans alongside a host of others, this year looks to be one of their best ever. We’ll be covering the whole festival and conducting interviews as well so lookout for the cameras!