Black Metal Festival Shut Down Over Protests Of Anti-Fa Groups



In a story Ghost Cult has been following the last few days, this past weekend’s Messe des Morts festival was interrupted and ultimately shutdown over the inclusion controversial Polish band Graveland.Continue reading

Messe des Morts Begins Today, Anti-Fascist Protests Expected


The acclaimed underground kvlt festival Messe des Morts starts today in Montreal, Canada. However, the exclusive event that only expects about 250 attendees (including bands) will face protests from Anti-Fa related groups planned for the entire weekend. Continue reading

Macabre Omen – Gods of War – At War


Light the torches and raise the cries as pagan black metal band Macabre Omen return after 10 years with their follow-up to their debut studio album, 2005’s The Ancient Returns (Obscure Abhorrence). Coupled with the ominous cover, the name Macabre Omen brings up visions of cheesy melody lines splattered with lashings of awkwardly placed black metal. This is not a band that should be judged by their cover however, and while they may only be on their second album with just a handful of splits filling the gaps, the band have had a solid twenty years since conception to perfect their craft.

It’s a call to banners as ‘I See, the Sea’ opens the album with rousing calls reminiscent of ancient armies making their way into battle. Gods of War – At War (Ván Records) certainly has a touch of the epic about it, even as the melodic folk-inspired lines give way to more aggressive blasting under scream by vocalist Alexandros. While the opening track remained distinctly melodic, the album takes much darker turns, particularly on the title track where the black metal is dialled up. ‘Man of 300 Voices’ takes a different tone however; an acoustic opening to the track barely seems out of place, particularly as more traditional instruments make an appearance before moving into epic vocal lines that dominate the song.

Pagan black metal can be a hard genre to master, but Macabre Omen have managed to produce a sound that plants itself somewhere between the more Bathory and Graveland. Despite maintaining a consistent sound throughout, Gods of War – At War has successfully walked the line creating an album that has enough variety between tracks, but still maintains an identifiable sound that brings the piece together. While it may not be breaking any ground artistically, it certainly would hold its ground on soundtrack heading into battle.



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Woodtemple – Forgotten Pride



There are occasions you come across a band that are so busy worshiping other music they are incapable of breaking out of the mould created by that band. Composed in the midst of a shrine to Graveland, Woodtemple’s fifth studio album Forgotten Pride (Sacrilige) is yet another copy of the band with one vital difference; it contains Rob Darken himself. Far from bringing another dynamic to the band though, Darken’s input serves to make Forgotten Pride even more Graveland-esque than the previous releases.

Despite the addition of Darken, the album lacks the rich density that calls his fan back time after time. While the music itself holds its own, with layers upon layers of keyboard voices make up the vast majority of the tracks and Aramath’s croaked vocals rattling over the top, the lack of variety between tracks quickly turns this into a metal by numbers exercise. Each track moves through a variation of the setup, with so few changes between tracks it can be hard to tell one piece from the next. Coupled with an overly clean production that erases any rawness or grit from the backing, leaving the vocals as the only aspect anchoring it in the black metal genre and the music taking a stance more firmly at the heart of symphonic folk.

Love or hate the genre, the lack of the music individual identity leaves this album trailing behind the style it attempts to copy. Fans of Aramath may still find some merit in this record, but for the casual Woodtemple listener this far from their best work.



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