Black Metal

Band Of The Week: Crowhurst


If there is one thing I really enjoy  about music, it’s when I come across bands/artists that are taking chances. Not just taking chances though, but, putting out music that is deeply rooted in inspiration and emotion. This weeks band of the week Crowhurst, is just that. The music is dark and full of rage, all the while being experimental and pulverizing. There are shades of industrial, black metal, and ambiance throughout the songs. Led by vocalist/keyboardist/sampler Jay Gambit, Crowhurst have brought back the dark industrial vibe that has been missing from the genre for some time. One can tell from listening to them, that they really believe in what they are creating. Nothing seems forced or misplaced. If you are looking for something dark, heavy and bombastic, then Crowhurst is what you need.


Crowhurst- Crowhurst II:


Crowhurst- Take This Pain Away:


Against The Grain: Scour


There are certain genres of heavy music that most people just don’t get. In fact most people would give you “the look” if they heard what you were listening to. One of the best things about being into heavy music is the matter of not caring what people think about what you listen to. Which brings me to Scour. This band is a “supergroup” consisting of Philip H. Anselmo (Pantera, Down, Superjoint, etc) – vocals, Derek Engemann (CATTLE DECAPITATION) -Guitar, Chase Fraser (ANIMOSITY) – Guitar, John Jarvis (PIG DESTROYER) – Bass, and Jesse Schobel (STRONG INTENTION) – Drums. Their debut E.P. sounds nothing like their main projects. Their sound can be derived from influences of the  ’90s Scandinavian black metal movement. The six songs that appear on the E.P. are nothing short of heavy, dark, and pummeling. The songs “Dispatched,” “Clot,” “Codes,” and “Tear Gas,” all exemplify what modern day black metal with a bit of thrash should sound like.

For all his faults and tendencies to put his foot in his mouth, Philip Anselmo, has delivered one of his best vocal performances on an album in some time. His ferocious growls and screams are right in line with how black metal vocals should sound. Musically this band is top notch. I for one would love to see them have time to really work together and create a full length album.

So if you are looking for something different and heavy, then Scour is what you need.


Scour- The Grey EP:

Against The Grain: Emperor


Emperor is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1991. They are regarded as highly influential by critics and emerging black metal bands. They dissolved in 2001, but reunited from 2005 to 2007 for a few festival dates and brief US tours, and will once reuniting in 2014. Ihsahn and Samoth met as youngsters and the two young men began playing together under various names; first Dark Device, then Xerasia, then Embryonic. The group soon evolved into the now well-known band Thou Shalt Suffer. Soon, however, Samoth began to write music outside of Thou Shalt Suffer, and together with Ihsahn and a new bass player called Mortiis (later of his own eponymous band Mortiis), Emperor was formed. After a short while together, the band released a demo entitled Wrath Of The Tyrant.  After a record contract was signed, Samoth moved to rhythm guitar, Ihsahn continued the vocal duties and lead guitars, and Faust was recruited as a drummer. In the summer of 1993, the band began working on their first full-length album. Emperor ceased wearing corpse paint, they stated that it was becoming a trend and losing its original significance and symbolism. In 1994, Samoth was sentenced to 16 months in prison for burning the Skjold Church in Vindafjord, together with Varg Vikernes. . In 1994, In The Nightside Eclipse was released, earning Emperor more notoriety. After Samoth’s parole, the band was joined by Trym and Alver on drums and bass respectively, and at the end of 1996, Emperor entered the studio to record Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk. Featuring a much more progressive sound than their earlier works, Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk won the ‘album of the year’ by a lots of European magazines and critics. Continuing their career as a trio, with Ihsahn handling keyboards , vocals, guitars and bass, the band recorded their third album IX Equilibrium and toured Europe and the United States. It was around 2000 when Samoth and Trym started to gravitate more towards more of the death metal style, while Ihsahn directed his musical exploration towards the more artistic and progressive side of extreme metal. In 2001, Emperor decided to disband after releasing one final album, Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire and Demise which was composed entirely by Ihsahn. Emperor would go on to reunite in 2005 for a slew of shows up till their break up again in 2007. Now in 2014 Emperor is headlining all sorts of European festivals. 

The amount of influence Emperor has spread over the years and across the many sub genres of metal is exponential. The mere greatness they exhibit in their playing and songwriting is fantastic. While not for everyone Emperor are pioneers and took it to the next level for extreme music.


Emperor Live:


By: Brian Lacy


Against The Grain Part 1: Ulver


In this new feature we go on a journey to other genres and explore what they have to offer. Today’s offering is Ulver. They formed in Norway in the early 90’s. Their sound tends to be classified as Folk Black Metal. They blend different genres such as rock, folk, metal, symphonic, classical, and electronic to create their unique sound. Their albums have all been different from their others. They are one of the few that evolution has never held them back. Bergtatt, the debut album has been hailed as not the heaviest or most aggressive black metal.What makes the album stand out from all, is its use of unique atmosphere to create something that is eerie and oddly tranquil. Another one of their albums that is quintessential to their catalog is Blood Inside. On this album, along with their folk, black metal, symphonic sound, they began to incorporate jazz elements. Thus allowing the band to have awkward yet enriching time signatures.

While Ulver isn’t for everyone, they truly are excellent songwriters. One can always appreciate a well written and arranged song. If you’ve ever wanted to venture to the darker side, Ulver is a great place to start.

From Bergtatt: Troldskog Faren Vild

From Blood Inside: It Is Not Sound

By: Brian Lacy