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.
Hey there Spooky Buddies, it is Dark Mark’s favorite time of year! For as long as I can remember I have loved things that might be considered a bit dark and strange, which didn’t always make me easy to relate to for my friends and family, but I think I turned out alright. October is a month in which I spend 98% of my time re-watching X-Files and various cheesy horror films and listening to Type O Negative’s “October Rust” and “Bloody Kisses” on repeat, so there isn’t room for much else. Lucky for you, I was able to scrounge up some truly terrifying tunes for this month’s edition of Rewind, Repeat that shockingly DON’T feature Peter Steele on vocals. I know you probably think I found a loophole with that statement and am just going to give you a bunch of My Dying Bride albums. Well I thought about doing that, but I really did put some effort into these picks. So pop in your vampire fangs and get ready for some tricks and treats!
Nhor – Wildflowers: Autumn
Herefordshire, England | Ambient/Folk
Is it fair for me to put another Nhor title in this column after I just had them on here in August? I don’t care, it is my column and I will do what I want. With purposeful and perfect timing, Nhor has just released the latest chapter in his Wildflowers series, aptly titled Autumn. I have to say this blew me away. If you are new to Nhor’s catalog, this is as good a place as any to start because if you aren’t fully entranced by the time the opening track “Where They Once Were” ends then this just isn’t for you and we can’t be friends. This almost feels more like a November album than an October album to me, but I was so excited to see it get released that I knew I had to include it here (don’t worry, I’ll still be listening next month while walking off various holiday food comas).
Runespell – Unhallowed Blood Oath
Australia | Black Metal
And here comes the dark, grim and evil stuff that you were expecting. This is doubling as my gym pick for the month as well, and even though I have been battling a killer case of bronchitis, you better believe it’s getting me pumped all the same. I don’t know how he did it, but Nightwolf managed to open a portal right back into the 90’s and pull a classic out of the void. It shares a lot of elements with the early Scandinavian scene and as that is what I cut my teeth on, it was I still prefer to listen to these days. This album also lends some credence to my theory that desert climates are capable of producing music that is just as dark, hateful and ruthless as the icy North. What is more grim than being baked alive by the sun?
Sanctuaire – Feu Sacré
Québec, Canada | Melodic Black Metal
Following up on the incredible EP Le Sang sur l’Acier, Québecer Monarque Helserkr strikes black gold again with the full length album Feu Sacré. At times folky and ambient, at times raw, cold and full of fucking riffs, this album rips its way through seven solid tracks. I don’t think any new ground has been excavated here, but I don’t always need new ground. I am a creature of habit after all. This only came out a few days ago so I haven’t gotten to spend as much time with it as I’d like but it is definitely in my repeat listens column for the next few weeks here.
Ungfell – Tôtbringære
Zurich, Switzerland | Black Metal
There is something that feels really fresh about this album. Yes they blend traditional folk elements and edgy, raw black metal like so many other bands do, but there is something that sets it apart that I can’t quite put my finger on. It could be the passion and energy with which they attack every song… yeah I’ll go with that. This is a cassette I bought on a whim and the more I listen to it, the more I like this album. I was familiar with their album Demo(lition), but Tôtbringære sees Ungfell ramped up to ten and I am loving it. I don’t know much about the Swiss scene, but I am definitely going to do some more digging after this.
Vampyric Blood – Howling in Candlelight
Lappeenranta, Finland | Black Metal
Do you like a heavy handed dose of theatrics with your black metal? I certainly do. The aesthetic and the drama of it all are what drew me to the genre as a kid and they still have a tight grip on me. So solo project Vampyric Blood created by Lord of Shadows speaks to me on many levels. A friend recommended them to me and said “I have a feeling you’ll like this” and he was spot fucking on. I feel like this would be a perfect release on cassette but as far as I can tell it is only out on CD from Dark Adversary so far… maybe I will send a messenger bat on over to Lord of Shadows and see if we can’t make a deal, because Howling in Candlelight is everything I know and love about black metal.
Type O Negative – Black No. 1
Type O Negative – Christian Woman
Type O Negative – Love You To Death