This is a really fine piece of underground black metal. I love the sound and the song writing is great. Check it out for yourselves (note that the drum sound is (more) odd in the youtube video than on proper vinyl):
Negativa are a prolific and mysterious force hailing from Spain. The entity’s two central figures, multi-instrumentalist DB and vocalist D.R., respectively maintain the well-regarded Délirant (of the Mystískaos cabal) and Atrabilis. Together, as Negativa, do the duo create delirious, tortured, but credibly avant-garde black metal, worming deep within atonality and tension to find bittersweet resolution and maimed ‘n’ malformed melody.
Of the band’s prolific clutch of releases, arguably, Negativa’s 01 is the perfect distillation of their aesthetic, a shocking bolt-from-the-blue originally released in 2014 on super-limited cassette. The soundfield is sharp, almost crystal-clear, but somehow alien and unsettling. Their push & pulse takes on a folding-inward variety of shapes, vortex-like, building ever-denser and -taller walls around the listener. Suffocating yet emitting a paradoxical expanse of space, the four-song spell hypnotizes from there; each body/mind-fold sluices energy and happiness from the spirit, Negativa‘s obsidian metallics growing stronger with each passing, parasitic minute. By the end of 01, that listener is literally rendered a zero, a hollow shell of cursed corporeal garbage.
Seek the beginning of the end with this noble new vinyl edition of Negativa’s 01 and rue its rotten (re)discovery.
Back from the dead, Swedish black metal outfit Leviathan return after 18 (!) years of silence with the followup to their 2002 debut “Far Beyond The Light”. The new LP “Förmörkelse” is written by, and all instruments are played by, Roger “Phycon” Markström. He got some help with prominent guest appearances, by members from Dråpsnatt and Vintersorg. We caught up with Roger to get a comment about the new album…
The new album has taken quite some time to be completely finalized and that is really kind of bizarre and weird, but also fascinating… I have for a long time had an urge to continue the ‘Leviathan journey’ and from time to time I was contacted by labels giving lousy offers. I have also ‘from natural causes’ learnt that it is important to be able to trust each other, in the relation between the artist and the label. After finally finding a label to work with, I got up to speed with the writing which was performed by me and me only in utter lonelieness, except for my Gibson guitar. I took my ideas and created promos and then the real recording of the album took place in three different studios in Skellefteå, Sweden.
This all may sound like a walk in the park, but behind this is misery – the album is truly about personal experiences, from the last 18 years, in the form of violence, drugs, alcohol, knives, bloodshed, disgusting perversion and perfect purity – these dark and sometimes tragic happenings constitutes the fundament for “Förmörkelse”, and without them the album wouldn’t exist…
Nebular Carcoma press release
“One of the most cult names before the term “cult” began being bandied about with reckless abandon, Leviathan appeared out of nowhere in 2002 with one album, Far Beyond the Light, and then disappeared forever. Granted, the man behind this Leviathan was no newcomer: one Phycon, who concurrently drummed in Armagedda before their demise and the precursor Volkermord. As such, the breadth of ambition across Förmörkelse was startling if not completely unexpected. So pure, so cold, and yet so brimming with lifeless life – an intentional paradox, perhaps – here did Phycon ably bridge the ’90s wave of black metal which so informed his youth with the yet-to-burst wave beginning at the dawn of the new millennium. It was an invigorating experience for all who heard it, and has since become a collector’s item, released as it was by Shining‘s since-closed Selbstmord Services label.
But, just like how Far Beyond the Light appeared literally out of nowhere, so, too, does Leviathan’s comeback with Förmörkelse. Almost picking up right where the debut album left off, after a tense intro does Leviathan-the-man waste no time in establishing a splendorously grim atmosphere, roiling with the rippling physicality which so endeared that debut whilst maintaining a perversely invigorating melancholy. Each of the subsequent nine tracks build both with patience and urgency, each deliriously dark texture taking its time to wrap its black leathery wings around the listener. An ages-old sort of melodicism is intertwined throughout, often draped in haunting / shimmering shades of chorus pedal, which works as ghostly counterpoint to the gnashing pulse so central to the Leviathan aesthetic. And central to that is Phycon’s exquisitely deft and daresay-swinging drum-work, which even shines during the album’s moments of restraint and repose, allowing space and shade to work their magick as Förmörkelse moves on. And, by record’s end, the listener is left with catharsis and climax – so pure, so cold, and yet so vibrant.
Indeed, Leviathan’s brilliance radiates outward through the ages, across decades, and remains just as vital and timeless as when the band began. If it takes nearly another 20 years for the follow-up to Förmörkelse, so be it: we are only richer for experiencing Phycon’s vision when he so chooses to reveal it.”
With three vinyls out and a fourth on its way we wanted to dig a little bit deeper into this relatively new atmospheric black metal entity, from the land of thousand lakes. Please allow us to present Aethyrick – atmospheric black metal from Finland.
1. The background
What first got you into this genre, and what drives you to create the music you do?
“The answer to both is the fact that black metal manages to awaken sensations and emotions in me in the way that no other genre can. In my early adoloscence I first discovered death metal and groups such as Deicide served to push me in the right direction, but when I heard Cradle of Filth’s debut for the first time, my fate was sealed. Very soon after this Marduk, Emperor, Mayhem and all those classic giants followed and deepened this connection. As cheesy as it sounds, it all changed my life. It swung open the gates to a realm that I had been circling around since my childhood and that instantly became my spiritual home. In a way what I’ve done ever since is about re-living and perpetuating that initial encounter and the effect it had on me on various levels, but it is clear that the spiritual dimension to all this has just been expanding since those teenage years. And here we are, after 25 years, still pacing around in that holy labyrinth without any need to find a way out.”
So does that mean that we can thank Glen Benton of Deicide a little, and maybe their selftitled debut album, for your existence? The starting point for a chain of events to follow…
“Glen Benton and the first two Deicide albums certainly gave a considerable push, but the initial momentum can be credited to Marko Palmén from Evocation for making me aware of death metal in the first place. A bit surprising maybe, but the thing is that our fathers have been friends since childhood and so we visited their family in Sweden quite often when I was a kid. Evocation had just released their debut demo so Marko gave me a copy and expanded my musical horizons quite a bit, hah. I wasn’t entirely sold from the get-go but the thing slowly grew on me and became an access point into this kind of extreme music.”
2. The present
That’s certainly an intriguing childhood story. Let’ s move on from history and musical forebears for now… So, please describe your creative process.
“Not very glamorous or mystical, I can tell you that. When inspiration strikes, it strikes without warning. We don’t invoke it, we don’t bribe or force it, we just obey it when it raises its head from the abyss. Of course the events and forces that kick us forward in this respect are manifold and even obscure to us, but the actual process is not that out of the ordinary. We just sit down and work on new stuff when time, mood and circumstances permit and then proceed to hone things further together until we reach the end result we both can agree upon and which still maintains the original spark that gave rise to it in the first place. We practically never work face to face so it’s down to sending ideas and files back and forth. But I don’t mind this as we do things almost in real-time. It would be another thing if we needed to kick each other frequently to get things forward.”
Sounds like the process is working. A generic question, but what are your opinions about black metal anno 2020?
“A lot of utter shit or too neutral stuff out there, that’s for sure, but I’m not one of those who label it all unworthy of any attention. Quite the opposite actually as I tend to keep both my mind and eyes open in case there’s a new release that might sweep me off my feet. Of course that’s a rare thing to occur and most of the albums released these days just pass me by, but there have been many exceptions to this too and this is what keeps me optimistic about this genre’s future as well.”
Are there any relatively recent releases or bands to emerge, that you could praise and hail, as positive exceptions?
“The most recent one is Lifvsleda’s debut album Det besegrade lifvet. I know it’s not their first release, but for some reason or another I never checked them out before. I’m glad I did now as it’s one of the best albums I’ve heard in a while. Another example is Faidra’s Six Voices Inside, what an awesome release of mid-tempo black metal that is, simple in form and rich in atmosphere.”
Some seriously great recommendations there, I notice that both are Swedish. Also, the Finnish black metal scene is getting more attention it seems, what are your views on the Finnish scene, bands, labels etc?
“Is it? I think it’s been getting quite a lot of attention at least since the turn of the millennium. But I might be a bit biased here, so don’t take that as a god-given truth. I personally feel there’s a satisfying level of integrity amongst the people involved in our country’s scene, by which I mean that the spiritual element is genuinely present and not just glued on for the sake of appearance. Naturally this doesn’t apply to everyone, not even to the majority, but considering that generally people are what they are I think the situation in Finland is something that can be applauded.”
I believe it is getting appreciation at least, or maybe I am spending my time in a ‘Finnish black metal filter bubble’ 🙂 Your last album, “Gnosis”, was released earlier this year. Please tell us more about it.
“Gnosis is the middle chapter in our album trilogy that started out with Praxis a year before. Musically it continues on the same path as the debut, but I feel that our way of expression has evolved quite a lot between those two albums. The core idea is still the same but somehow the atmosphere has reached new heights – and this I say without putting down the debut which I still enjoy immensely. Lyric-wise the themes revolve around divine knowledge gained through magical praxes, but this is of course a rather broad concept so the actual content of the lyrics is quite varied. None of these albums is a concept album in the strict sense of the word but each poem on them is closely tied to the title of the album.”
I completely agree and I would say, at least most days, that “Gnosis” is a step forward. Regarding magical praxes and Chumbley, would you like elaborate on the subject?
“This is a topic that could easily grow into an interview of its own, but I’ll keep it brief now. Even if I’m a bit over-simplifying things here, the Sabbatic Craft tradition, in the form initially brought into life by Chumbley, is essentially traditional witchcraft with high magical motives. We both have found our place under the large wings of this particular tradition, and this is actually the biggest factor behind the birth of Aethyrick. In my experience it’s very hard to find other musicians that not only share musical preferences but that walk the exact same esoteric path as you do, so in our case this band was pretty much written in the stars. Aethyrick explores both musically and lyrically our relation to this current and functions both as a mirror of revelation and a diary of things done and learnt upon this path that has once chosen us.”
3. The future
Your musical direction indicates that you seem stable with your sound, what’s next for you guys?
“Next step is to wait for our third album, Apotheosis, to arrive from the pressing plant. Should be out by the end of this year, but we shall see how it goes. Sounds a bit fast, I know, but we didn’t feel any need to stall this just for the sake of not having two full-lengths released the same year. We won’t be making this a habit, though. With this album trilogy things progressed surprisingly efficiently and we’ve just gone with the flow and let everything happen freely. There will be album number four from Aethyrick as we’re slowly working on new songs, but there will be a bit longer pause this time. Or not, who the hell knows!”
That is an impressive productivity, yet with supreme quality. Is it somewhat correct to assume that the forthcoming third album, “Apotheosis”, will continue in basically the same vein as “Praxis” and “Gnosis”?
“Yes, Apotheosis is clothed in the same raiments as the two albums before it, but I would say the overall feeling is even more star-embracing than on Gnosis. At least that’s how I see it as I think it’s a bit more majestic than its predecessors – and by this I don’t mean an increase in the keyboard department but rather the general feeling of the tracks as a whole…”
That sounds very interesting indeed. With that said, we look forward to the third album in the trilogy and thank you for the interview.
Very nice and spectacular represses, from 2020, of these Finnish black metal classics from Behexen were added to the store. The colours are spectacular, esp the “Nightside Emanations” release that comes in red, black and white multicoloured edition. “My Soul for His Glory” comes in a nice mixture of white, silver and gold.
If you don’t know these releases, just check them out below:
A brand new release from this great, but not very productive band. Last album came 2014 and now they are back with this great piece of Finnish quality black metal. Check it out below and order “In Purge There Is No Remission” here.
So, this is a relatively new and unknown German band playing uncompromising black metal that could be compared to early Watain or Mayhem. The guitar work is ripping, the sound is raw and 100% organic. If you add great song writing skills on top of that, the result is supreme underground cult black metal. “In The Sign of The Five Angles” is their first release ever and we can proudly announce that we have this gem on vinyl.
Myrkur is the Danish one-woman project by Amalie Bruun, born 1985. A singer, songwriter, piano and guitar player who has created her own personal style between atmospheric black metal and traditional Nordic folk music. The word Myrkur is Icelandic for “darkness”.
We added the latest album by her, which is the incredible folk masterpiece “Folkesange”. At the same we included the seven track mini album titled “Myrkur”, this time released in a nice transparent green vinyl, with splatters.