Rage and Frustration
Heavy Metal Reviews & Interviews
Top Black Metal EPs by I.Gos
Author – I.Gos
TOP EP LIST, 2017
My top album of the year and top EP of 2017 is Schammasch – The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite. If you know me at all, you probably saw that coming, but seriously, this release is a (short) muthrfckn JOURNEY. It takes the same “evolving” style of Triangle, but in the opposite direction: starting out ritualistic and droning, then getting more progressive and doomy, then blackening out towards the end. Full on black metal doesn’t even flower until the last quarter of the album (“Chimerical Hope”), but IMO the apex of the album is the song before it called “May His Illusion Last Until Dawn’s Awakening”. That said, none of the songs should really be taken in isolation, and the album should be listened to in its entirety if possible. So, if you haven’t listened to this yet (or if you have but you weren’t paying attention), do yourself a favor: headphones, outdoors, stars, 30 minutes… let this elevate you.
Next up is the self-titled first release from Iceland’s Nexion. There’s a bit of some black/death hybrid action going on with this one, and the delivery trades that discordant style (that Iceland is getting to be somewhat known for) for an edge up in the aggression factor. I especially appreciate the demonic aspect on the vocals. A solid first offering all around from this band, and I would be pretty damn interested in a full length.
Here now we have, hailing from Italy, Fides Inversa – Rite of Inverse Incantation EP. Solid occult black metal featuring both the vocal variation and that unhinged, relentless timbre that I always associate most closely with Aricoh/Mortuus’ style in Funeral Mist (skip to about 3:10 and let it play for a bit to hear a spot-on example of this). So yeah, to me this sounds quite a bit like Funeral Mist, but that is a HUGE compliment. Looking forward to another full-length release.
Okay then. EP release from SOBA’s very own Andrew Shiells. THIS SHIT IS AWESOME and everyone should go check it out on Bandcamp. Epic, grandiose, symphonic… and can we just talk about the guitar tone for a second? Goddamn I fucking love it. FFO Abigail Williams back when they were good *cough* uh, I mean, “epic as fuck” (their words, not mine). Looking like an upcoming album is going to be a little deathier, which is fine by me, but I hope that a lot of what can be heard in this release is retained, because it kicks ass.
Aversio Humanitatis (Spain) has got that same sort of meditative avant-garde black death sound that Schammasch has when it is going full metal, and bottom line is that they sound a SHIT LOAD like the aforementioned band. So there are a lot of reasons for me to be pretty stoked about this Longing for the Untold EP. It’s just solid as hell and it emits for me a sense of power aptly captured by the image of the churning sea on the album cover. A must listen.
Nordjevel – Krigsmakt is just so, so fucking good. These Norwegians really aren’t plowing new ground or anything, and they fit nicely into that polished, riff-driven melodic black metal category that is dominated by bands like Dark Funeral and the like. But shit, do they do it well! A new album was supposed to follow the EP in 2017, but it looks like it got delayed. No matter, still able to enjoy this and the self-titled full length from 2016.
Whoa. This Somnium Nox – Terra Inanis came sort of out of left field for me at the last second, but it’s a bit fascinating TBH. Looks like they are calling this a full length but whatever with that… any BM release that clocks in at 28 minutes and has 3 songs, I’m counting as an EP. Starts off with just this crazy, almost blackgrind wide-open hateaggression mode then suddenly gets all melodic and beautiful (4:40) then goes back again. I REALLY like the speed and sound on the double kick and those layered vocals are wicked as hell. Plus there seems to be this underlying cosmic epic aspect to it, but I need to listen to it more. POTENTIAL here people, POTENTIAL!!!