Mark here, owner of Fólkvangr Records, a US based black metal record label. Rewind, Repeat is a monthly guest column here at Indy Metal Vault that will shed some light on albums you may have missed, forgotten about, or just seemed to have gotten lost in your “I’ll play this one later” pile when you decided to listen to Blackwater Park again for the 200th time.
Are you tired? Maybe tired isn’t even the right word… are you exhausted? Like, no matter what time you go to bed, your alarm still goes off at 4:45 AM and you are just god damn bone-weary? Is this just the normal state of existence for people in 2017? It seems to be. I work my day job, I work out, I run the label, I go to pub quiz every Tuesday night with the few people who can still put up with me in person, I try my best to write this column in a timely fashion (sorry about the delay) and another week goes by and I feel like I have been in a constant state of forward motion with no real time spent at rest. That being said, I still make sure to try and ingest a constant stream of books and music and now I am finally getting to the point of all these questions… what are you reading and listening to? I know you came here to see what I am listening to, but now it is time to give back. So let me know in the comments on here or Facebook and give me something interesting to get me through the next few weeks until I see you all here again.
Amiensus – All Paths Lead to Death
Rochester, Minnesota | Progressive Black Metal
There is a whole lot going on with All Paths Lead to Death, the new EP from Minnesota’s Amiensus. For some reason I feel like this album would have fit in great on my CD shelf back in the 2000’s, and I mean that in the best possible way. That was during the time when people were getting weird and everyone was saying their project was avant-garde, and I loved it all. Maybe it is just me, but the incredible clean vocals in the opening track “Gehenna” really brought to mind Code’s album Resplendent Grotesque and some of the riffs throughout the album had me thinking of Emperor. I could probably sit here and compare it to a few other albums, but who cares about that really. Just go and listen to this one start to finish and buy some merch from their Bandcamp, as they are trying to get their van repaired for some festival dates coming up.
Lutomysl – Overcoming Babel
Zhytomyr, Ukraine | Black Metal
I’ll admit that I am late to the game on this one. Overcoming Babel was released in 2012 by Ukrainian one-man band, Lutomysl. If I missed this one, maybe you did too? I am still working my way back through his catalog, since he released a number of full length albums from 2002-2012, but based on this album alone I am impressed. There is a frantic fury to these riffs and the vocal delivery that just draw me in. I think I spent three days straight last week with this album on repeat while at work and I am still not sick of a single song. How did I find this band if they have been inactive since 2014 you ask? I think I saw someone liken them to Poland’s Mgła and that was all the encouragement I needed to seek them out.
Nhor – Momenta Quintae Essentiae
Herefordshire, England | Ambient/Folk
How many times can I listen to Opeth’s Damnation album while staring out the window watching the Monsoon rains? An infinite number of times probably, as many as my time on Earth will allow. But this year I decided to mix things up a bit and when the storm clouds blocked out the sun and the raindrops started to fall, I put on Nhor’s Momenta Quintae Essentiae. I don’t know what Nhor had in mind when he wrote the track “Nosce Te Ipsum,” but if it wasn’t meant to be the soundtrack for watching a storm then he sure fooled me. This is also a prime example of a targeted ad on social media hitting its intended target, because the only reason I even know about Nhor is because of a sponsored ad on Facebook. It doesn’t hurt that they are labelmates with one of my favorite projects, 1476.
Nocternity – Onyx
Athens, Greece | Black Metal
“But Mark, you haven’t told us what you are listening to in the gym yet!” you exclaim. “Nocternity!” I scream back in reply while pretending to swing a broadsword around through the air. But in all seriousness, Onyx is a killer album in a killer catalog. This will get you from barbell squats to deadlifts and back again. Also, with a track titled “Valyrian Steel (Blood of the Dragon),” how can you not love this raw, melodic black metal? Greece seems to always be on the right track when it comes to black metal and Nocternity are just another example of that. Take note that the band still has LP’s available on their Bandcamp with a limited edition golden dragonskin gatefold jacket… and with dragons marching through Westeros as we speak, I feel like Onyx is more relevant now than ever before.
Ulvesang – S/T
Nova Scotia, Canada | Dark Neofolk
Alex, Ana and Laura were able to craft pure magic into their self-titled debut album. Not only have I been listening to this album consistently all month, but I have been listening to it consistently all year. If all dark folk music sounded like Ulvesang, I wouldn’t be the least bit upset. They can take over the entire genre as far as I am concerned. I can’t wait to see what Alex and Ana have in store for us with the band’s second full length album, which also happens to be their debut with the Swedish label Nordvis. You can also check out Ana’s work with her atmospheric black metal band Astral Path if you want to be crushed into tiny particles of cosmic dust.
Maestus – Voire Dire
Macabre Omen – God’s of War – At War
Wodensthrone – Loss