Black Metal Roundup: Hangatyr + Kult + Dark Man Shadow

0

Reviews by Jason Guest

And again appears more black metal from around the globe. This time, we have the second album from both Germany’s Hangatyr and Italy’s Kult as well as the third album from Germany’s Dark Moon Shadow. Grim one, grim all, let us delve once more into the depths of darkness and bathe in that blasphemous balm brought to us by Beelzebub…


Hangatyr – Elemente

Named after Odin (who else?), Hangatyr have returned with album number two, Elemente, four years after Helwege. A long time, perhaps, but worth the wait and showing much improvement. Where Helwege was an interesting debut with some accomplished musicianship and complex song-writing that  introduced a band yet to fully realise their ambitions, with Elemente they are much closer to distinguishing themselves from the horde. Melodic, melancholic, and fire-driven, that their home is Thuringia, the German free state known by its nickname “the green heart of Germany” (also home to Bach, Goethe, and Schiller), comes through in their music, the dense forests of the land filling the textural depths and visceral nature of their riffs and sturdy arrangements. As with most sophomore releases of this ilk, the album could do with more variation between the songs, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less potent. With progressive elements as on Helwege adding an effective dimension to the album, it may be no masterpiece but it’s dark, sinister, and worthy of your time.

Hangatyr - Elemente7.5 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Elemente
  2. Die Sprache Der Zwölf
  3. Eisenwald
  4. Zwischen Dern Ufern
  5. Zersetzung
  6. Grimmfrost
  7. Gelobt Und Gejagt
  8. Sie Vergessen Night
  9. Rückzug

 


Kult – Unleashed From Dismal Light

Italy’s Kult are back with album number two, their debut, Winds of War, appearing in 2006. Yep, that was a long, long time ago. During that time, it appears that Kult have been tearing at the frayed ends of sanity and channelling their malice to make them as tightly focussed a unit as can be. As raw and primitive in both sound and execution as that of the 1990s, Unleashed From Dismal Light is grim. Awash in ice cold melodies, abundant in brutal and unforgiving riffs, and brimming with hatred, the bleak nihilism that dominates the album is near tangible. Drenched in darkness, there may not be anything new here but the band’s conviction that fires the material’s execution is undeniable. Replacing the recently departed Werewolf, new vocalist Tumulash’s performance is a perfect fit for the band, his approach and delivery (his anguished screams such as in ‘Malicious Metamorphosis’ in particular) augmenting the dismal soundscape that the band lay out before us. After such a long absence, Kult’s return is a welcome and successful one. Let’s just hope that we don’t have to wait so long for the next one.

Kult - Unleashed From Dismal Light7.5 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Specter’s Recurrence
  2. Malicious Metamorphosis
  3. Exercitus Mortorum
  4. To Flagellate Life
  5. Raging Curse Upon Man
  6. Into Deadly Coils
  7. Sone Fo Nightfall
  8. Senza Pace

Dark Man Shadow – Victims of Negligence

Album number three – and first in ten years – and Germany’s Dark Man Shadow are as dramatic and grandiloquent as ever they were. Symphonic, haunting, melodic, the instrumentation is well-balanced and the dual vocals are utilised well. Sorroth’s more aggressive approach gives the album its darker, belligerent side, whereas Samotha’s operatic style is haunting and embellishes the grandiose and romantic aspects. In terms of production, there’s a gloss to the album that enhances its melancholic and the mysterious elements. With a clear sense of dynamics, structure, and arrangement, the tracks are as complex as they are multi-layered and intricately detailed and emotive. Of the tracks, ‘Slur’ and ‘Majestic Uprising’ stand out as the most powerful, both of which balance the gothic and the romantic with the dramatic and the stirring. Victims of Negligence may not be delivering anything new to us but it’s an ambitious and impassioned piece of work.

DMS_Booklet_V1.indd7 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Repayment For Committed Injustice
  2. Betrayal Of Trust
  3. Slur
  4. Len Dopis (Just A Letter)
  5. Due Of Commercialisation
  6. Seven Seasons
  7. Dying In The Corner
  8. Majestic Uprising