Black Bow Records continues to be a great source for sludge and doom bands that I hadn’t come across before, as much of the label’s early 2017 roster are groups that are fairly new. One of their latest finds is Serbia’s Nula, who formed in late 2013 and released a two-track demo in 2015. On February 24th Black Bow will be releasing their newest three-song EP ‘Kenoma’, which finds the band offering an intriguing mix of sludge/doom with some gothic and groove metal influences seeping into the mix. It doesn’t quite sound exactly like what you’d expect from any of those genre tags though, and today we’re excited to exclusively premiere the second song Silazak U Prah so that you can discover Nula’s sound for yourself.
There’s simply thousands and thousands of bands out there that are trying to keep the flame of old school black metal alive, while many others are taking the style down bold new paths every single day. And like every other kind of music, black metal continues to have small bands with massive loads of potential go unnoticed in the public eye for the most part. One excellent band that stands out amongst the rest is Ende who for years now has been dishing out their own personalized style of black metal that works too fucking well, and still respects the original flame all the way home. Many others have flown under the radar for years just like Ende, but it’s this duo that truly stands above the rest, and if that fact is ever going to become apparent then it’s with their brand new album of ‘Emën Etan’.
These Frenchmen have been going at the black metal grinding wheel for literal years, with their humble start back in 2012 with ‘Whispers of a Dying Earth’ that showed their arrival to the world, but it’s with their sophomore album of ‘The Rebirth of I’ that Ende truly showed what they were capable of. Talk about going from zero to one thousand moving from one record to the next because everything Ende did everything that they could have right with ‘The Rebirth of I’ down to the band’s logo itself. It was decisively atmospheric, had fuck tons of power amongst its spine-tingling riffs, awesome power, and black metal prowess that it’s simply stunning to give the record a spin. But then after hearing such excellence for months on end, a question appears: can Ende do it again? They showed with a follow-up split with Sorcier des Glaces the following year titled ‘Le Puits des Morts’ that they can indeed keep the quality going, but what’s to tell for a full-length? It’d be another few months before we’d receive any sort of announcement from Ende, but when we did we were given ‘Emën Etan’.
the perfect embodiment of modern black metal
To call this third full-length from these Frenchmen a worthy successor to ‘The Rebirth of I’ would be an amazing understatement in every single way. Does ‘Emën Etan’ top everything that Ende has before it? Maybe. The first thing I noticed with this record was how there were significantly fewer riffs than before, yet Ende did not cheap out in the overall quality of the ten tracks we get here. Every single song from the calm yet menacing interludes to the all out black metal onslaught that we get the rest of the time is so finely crafted with nothing but utmost care to when you hear ‘Emën Etan’ a few times it’s not hard to consider this Ende‘s magnum opus so far in their relatively short career. Yet, somehow, everything feels so much more powerful and aggressive with this record. Ende uses clips of chanting in churches that slowly transition to the sound of a woman burning at the stake to straight up smashing your skull with the vocals that feel more violent, guitars and bass that are still melodic but feel much more hyper, and a drum beat that’s simply immaculate. There’s so much to love with ‘Emën Etan’ as it feels like the perfect embodiment of modern black metal that’s been constantly looking at the great black metal acts of the past for inspiration, and out of that has come releases that has led up to this ultimate example of what black metal can become in today’s world of progressive thinking and innovation. It’s rare to see a band like Ende incorporate so many things that are great from the genre from its intensity to even atmospheric elements, and all of that is balanced so perfectly in ‘Emën Etan’ that it’s nothing short of astounding.
If there is any fan out there in the entire world that enjoys black metal even a little bit and doesn’t investigate ‘Emën Etan’ upon its release, then that’s the very definition of a mistake. Ende has been pumping out top notch material for years now and they’ve no signs of slowing down yet. With time comes experience and with experience comes skill. That absolutely rings true with this Frenchmen as they’ve done nothing but astound and amaze with just about every single album they’ve put out, and ‘Emën Etan’ maybe just be the epitome of what Ende can do. There are so much talent and skill in this band that it’s palpable, and I cannot help but say that if you want an intense black metal experience that very few others can replicate nowadays then you are absolutely going to want to discover Ende. And should you want to hear what’s already one of my absolute favorites of this year, then mark your calendars for March 1st and experience ‘Emën Etan’ as quickly as you can!
We here are Transcending Obscurity are more than proud to present to you all an exclusive premiere of the full version of ‘Emën Etan’! An immense thank you to Ende who felt comfortable with entrusting us with such an extreme honor! A listing of all the songs can be found right below, and a private YouTube link to the album can be seen below. Don’t waste any time and check out what’s a landmark album for underground black metal! Enjoy over 50 minutes of scathing intensity that few can replicate!
- Among the Graves
- When Crows Flew Over Marhn
- Das Hexenhaus
- The Black Hen’s Blood
- Insidious Portrait
- Emën Etan
- The Witch’s Fire
- Under a Carpathian Yoke (Vlad Tepes cover)
Sweden has plenty of great grind bands, and I still feel like I’m finding new ones worth checking out on a regular basis. This month I’ve been introduced to Resonance Cascade, a newer grind act that formed in 2012 and released their first recording back in 2014. On February 24th they’ll be releasing a split with fellow Swedes Järnbörd courtesy of WOOAAARGH, Everydayhate, and Downfall Records, giving listeners another chance to hear their gnarly, razor sharp grind. With the split a little over a week away from coming out, Resonance Cascade has put together a video for the song Dead Peasant which we’re excited to exclusively premiere today.
Austin’s Of the Sun released their debut full length ‘A.M. Radio’ way back in 2009, and now the group is preparing their sophomore effort ‘Before a Human Path’ for release on April 14th. With a sound that they’ve dubbed “Southern progressive metal”, they channel a sound that falls somewhere between groove metal and death metal with a noticeable progressive flair. Though it has been over six years since the release of their debut, it’s clear that Of the Sun hasn’t been resting on their laurels and has utilized that time to further hone their ideas. Today we’re pleased to offer you a first taste of what ‘Before a Human Path’ has to offer with an exclusive stream of the second track, Nebulamorphous.
January is usually that time of the year, where everyone seems to be recovering from the holiday season. The month in terms of metal releases is usually quite dull. But this time around, the momentum of quality releases from 2016 seems to have spilled over into the first month of 2017 as well. So without further ado, here is that thing we do where we tell you what kicked ass this month (according to us atleast). ~ Shrivatsan R
Ashenspire (UK) – Speak not of the Laudanum Quandary (Avant Garde Metal, Code666)
Pelagic Records continues to have one of the best rosters when it comes post rock from around the world. 2016 saw releases from bands like pg.lost, Mono, and Wang Wen (to name a few), and the label is starting off 2017 in strong fashion with the sophomore full length from Brazil’s Labirinto, ‘Gehenna’. While it has been over six years since the release of their debut full length ‘Anatema’, Labirinto has kept themselves busy with several EP’s and a split with thisquietarmy, making ‘Gehenna’ their ninth release to date. On this album they take a noticeably darker slant, exploring sounds based around an apocalyptic vision, and this is also displayed through the stunning cover art created by Manuel Dischinger. With the album’s February 10th release date approaching, today we’re excited to premiere the title track, which closes out the ten-song album and spans close to twelve minutes in length.
Last year Mortiis released his first new full length in six years, ‘The Great Deceiver’. Since 2004’s ‘The Grudge’ Mortiis and his backing band have been creating industrial rock, comparable to groups like Ministry, Combichrist, and Nine Inch Nails as well as some of the longer running industrial classics. One of the cool elements of a lot of industrial music is it lends itself well to remixes, and that’s exactly what is in the works for 2017. On April 21st Mortiis will be releasing ‘The Great Corrupter’, featuring remixes from artists like Die Krupps, Godflesh, Merzbow, and more. There will also be some unreleased material from ‘The Great Deceiver’ recording sessions, which promise to head in a slew of different directions. While April is a few months away, today Mortiis is premiering the Die Krupps remix of Doppelganger, and we’re excited to be one of the sites streaming the track first. The song will be available for free download through the band’s website early next week week, and as an added bonus the playlist also includes a remix of The Shining Lamp of God by Leæther Strip!
Extreme music today is a global phenomenon. Barring a few remote corners of the world, metal and punk styles have been taken up by bands around the world and in doing so they impart it with a certain style or aesthetic that is native to their land. Having gone through years of globalization, extreme music today can be tracked down to a particular geographic location based on it’s characteristics.
So we decided to focus our spotlights on some of the lesser known scenes from around the world, starting with Spain. People tend to associate Spain with bands like Dark Moor, Mägo de Oz and Avalanch, all of which lean towards the power / progressive end of the metal spectrum. However, Spain happens to be the home for some of the grimiest and most gnarly underground death metal bands active today. So we present to you a list of Spanish death metal bands that you shouldn’t miss out on. ~ Shrivatsan R
It has been a long time coming, but 2017 will see the release of Thera Roya’s debut full length ‘Stone & Skin’. The Brooklyn sludge/post metal band has been putting out material since 2013 in the form of EP’s, splits, and singles and making a name for themselves through regular touring. With plenty of time to hone their ideas across shorter releases, it’s clear they’ve been able to push their ideas to an entirely new level on ‘Stone & Skin’. While there are familiar elements to their approach, both on the melodic and abrasive side, the way that Thera Roya brings everything together helps them to feel genuinely different. Today we’re excited to bring you a premiere of the third track from the album, Dream of Arrakis, in advance of its February 17th release date.