Paracletus is covering most of other music under its huge shadow but there are some other releases I've been listening recently and probably worth a mention.
Arckanum seem to get better with time and Sviga Læ sounds to my ears as the best record they recorded since their return with Antikosmos. The dark anti cosmic current manifests itself through a record based heavily on atmosphere and elements of melody that are more present on an Arckanum record than ever as much as I can recall.
Far from being anyone’s favorite band, Furze have always been worth checking out as their black metal has ever been capable of dragging attention whether because of its rawness or because of the fucked up aesthetics and execution. Reaper Subconscious Guide is Furze’s tribute to early Black Sabbath and this would not be a difficult thing to realize even if it wasn’t stated beforehand. Basically Furze are doing their thing using the musical aspects of doom metal as the foundation of their new work. It still sounds completely fucked up with chimes appearing out of nowhere and the vocals being the focal point. My favorite parts are those were the voice reminds me of a certain ‘mocking’ style that I have associated with some darkwave bands.
A record that I haven’t heard in ages yet I recently returned to, is Amen Corner’s Fall, Ascension, Domination. Coming from 1993 is one example more (if needed) of the wide sense the term black metal possessed in early 90s before the norwegians usurp it and lead it to degeneration. Dark and atmospheric Amen Corner paid attention to the lessons taught by Samael, Mortuary Drape and their compatriots Mystifier and their debut was a monument of dark, occult metal that is worthy of everyone’s attention even today.
Solefald have a new record out and my first impressions are positive. I haven’t heard it much until now, but so far I like it. I also didn’t pay any attention to the lyrical content but if the lyrics have to do with the title of the album (Norrøn Livskunst) I couldn’t care less about them, although the band’s approach to norse themes has always been miles away from the usual Viking bullshit. One way or the other, it still is contradictory for a band that is musically forward thinking, their lyrics to mention Odins and Vallhalas. All in all a good work but their debut remains unsurpassed in my book.
Some of the most noteworthy records of the year were delivered recently by Necrite, Sargeist, Electric Wizard and Essenz and hopefully I will have the chance to study them with the respect they deserve and elaborate on them in the future.