Author: Perran Helyes

Leviathan – Scar Sighted

US black metal has gone from Scandinavia’s unwelcome runt sibling to being widely recognised as responsible for birthing some of the most beautiful, bestial and bizarre sounds in the genre. With Agalloch, Nachtmystium, Cobalt, Wolves In the Throne Room, Absu, and more recently acts like Liturgy and Deafheaven, USBM has a habit of pushing the envelope. For Jef Whitehead, aka Wrest, sole member of longstanding USBM outfit Leviathan, this undoubtedly comes from within. If 2011’s engaging but questionable “True Traitor, True Whore” was an emotional reaction to sexual assault allegations surrounding Whitehead at the time, reaping twisted but flawed...

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Enslaved – In Times

Often metal’s most interesting and unique bands aren’t those who claim to transcend it, but those who push boundaries from within. Artistic evolution and maturation that at the same time furthers and widens our very perception of what “metal” can really be, and not just almost, insultingly abandoning it as an immature art form. It’s why, great and compelling as those albums are, Opeth’s “Heritage” and “Pale Communion” don’t often hit the same heights as their exquisite fusion of the 70s prog they so vehemently worship into their bestial and deathly Morbid Angel template on “Still Life” or “Blackwater...

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Carach Angren – This is No Fairytale

The idea of “gateway bands” is always an interesting concept. Those artists who have that special something about them to get you hooked on a style but are often the most palatable or the most similar to what you already know and love for obvious reasons, like weaning yourself on a particularly flavoursome korma before the full vindaloo comes and violates your senses. They’ve often got a lot more to them than status may suggest; in the realm of black metal for example, Cradle of Filth’s very best material is still timeless, Dimmu Borgir’s gargantuan bombast is still damn massive,...

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Morgan of Marduk Talks with ThisIsNotAScene

Marduk started out 2015 with their new slab of savagery, “Frontschwein,” and now they continue with their world domination. On the first night of Marduk‘s February UK tour with Belphegor, ThisIsNotAScene caught up with guitarist and main man Morgan. How are you doing? I’m good, we’re back marching across the world so everything is good y’know. We’re here in Plymouth, not too many tours find their way this far south. Have you played here before? No, I think the closest we’ve played is most probably Cardiff or somewhere, I’m not really familiar with all the places. In 2010 I think...

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Ensiferum – One Man Army

Folk metal might be viewed as a troll-slaying, ale-chugging gimmick of a genre by the uninitiated, but with a dedicated following and more diversity than the range of facial hair at a festival, it repeatedly churns out some of the most exhilarating stuff found in heavy music. Finland’s Ensiferum, nearly a decade and a half since their debut album, remain top of the pile, frequently emulated and yet to truly stumble. New sixth record “One Man Army” seems set to turn more heads and propel them further than perhaps 2012’s slightly more mellow “Unsung Heroes” did though. Not that...

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