I usually think about Death or Black Metal in general, or Grindcore, when considering the sonic scene from Czechia. When it comes to Ambient, Drone, Ritual, Occult and the likes, however, my ‘knowledge’ is limited to just a handful of projects. AutopsiA, Blear Moon and Orbbiss are some examples, but one cannot ignore the impact of Lamia Vox on the audible part of my (intoxicated) brain.
The Rock / Metal / New Wave scene from Belgium has a lot to offer. Quite a lot is bullshit, let’s be honest. But we do surely have a very vivid and worthy scene too, both in Flanders (the Dutch-speaking North) and Wallonia (the French-speaking South) (and the other communities). Unfortunately, seen on worldwide scale, the Belgian scene is somehow underestimated.
How many extreme bands do you know from Kazakhstan? I have to admit that my knowledge was limited to just a handful of acts from out there. But I do follow for some years is SevenSins, originating from the far East of this immense country, quite close to the Russian Federation and not that far away either from China or Mongolia. Anyway, this band started as a Death Metal oriented act at the end of this century’s first decade, and throughout these years they released three full-length albums and one EP.
Krister Bergman is quite active under his own name, as well as under monikers like Pulse Detonations (with Japanoise artist Hiroshi Hasegawa), V.O.E.R. (aka Vestige Of Earthly Remains), Demons That Drove (with finally, after years of ear-deafening silence, a fabulous yet monstrous release a couple of years ago via Basement Corner Emissions) or Secondstroke, amongst several others.
Black Metal themes (lyrics & artwork) are often inspired by Tolkien or Lovecraft, amongst others. But it is not that common to use Joanne ‘J.K.’ Rowling as source of inspiration. As you probably know, she’s the author of e.g. the Harry Potter saga or the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ adventures.
Statement (as mentioned in my review for this French project’s former album as well): “taking shape from personal neurosis, fears and anxiety, Blurr Thrower aims to exhume the secret ether from the meandering of the Human soul”. Don’t come telling me, afterwards, that I did not warn you…
The origins of From The Vastland are rooted in Iran, the birthplace of founding member Sina. Iran actually has an extremely small yet enormously interesting Black Metal scene, but breathing ‘Iran’ and ‘Black Metal’ in one gasp is not always that evident. Some acts therefor remain in anonymous spheres, but in the case of From The Vastland, Sina took the decision to move over to Norway. For more information about this story, check out the .net or the information in some of my previously posted reviews.
The Frenchman Julien A. Lacroix is a very sympathetic human being, acting under his own name (rather ghostly and glitchy Ambient / Experimental / Electronic Music), as Ninurta (eerie and horrific Ambient; with a fine collab in 2020 together with Chile’s Filmy Ghost), as α Ori (Glitch / IDM / Experimental / Cyber-Electro), and as Moloch Conspiracy.
The Finland based act Dispyt did not disappoint at all with their debut Den Ständigt Närvarande Ångesten, originally independently released in 2017 and re-released (+ re-mastered) in 2019 via Belgium’s Immortal Frost Productions. It is that very same label that now takes care of the releasing duties for the sophomore full-length album, Under Tiden Jag Sålde Min Själ Till Satan.
Armenia-based (Funeral) Doom label Funere once more comes up with a unique piece that twists with atmospheres and emotions. During its young existence, this label did release just a limited amount of things, but without exception all of them are quite unique in approach and professional in essence. Quite the same, evidently, goes for this debut recording by a mysterious Icelandic act.