Guest Column: Five Albums That Will Change You By Stonehaven’s Nick VanWalleghem
Rhinocervs’ RH-13 comp
A compilation album from California-based Black Metal label Rhinocervs. In my opinion, the U.S. couldn’t offer anything more perfect than this as far as the genre goes. There isn’t a moment of kindness in this work. It is pure speed and it is also free of the “post” moniker that is often slapped into “USBM” these days by means of incredibly slow tempos and washy studio tricks. Its completely raw, only available on tape and haunting, to say the least.
Blue Hummingbird on The Left — Blood Flower
From the hailed Black Twilight Circle, this is Blue Hummingbird on The Left’s first release. What makes it most unique are some of the textures deployed in this work. From war flutes in the introduction of “Cuauh Youalli” to murder howls at the beginning of “Southern Reigns Supreme,” this release best represents the native pride that BTC thrives upon.
Walknut — Graveforests and Theirs Shadows
Quite possibly the record that is most influential to me, bar none. In the vein of albums such as Burzum’s Filosefem, this release is among the greatest of Pagan BM in my book. It represents the greater picture of what all Black Metal tries to illuminate. Beyond the imagery of Satan, the occult, or just plain hatred, this record is the music of the villain. It is hard to put a finger on the tone of this album. There is an all encompassing fuzz — better yet — aura about it. It is unlike anything ever created in the genre in that respect.
Silencer — Death – Pierce Me
In the realm of Depressive Black Metal, the primary emotion evoked in the music is sadness. But, this album is simply terrifying. This is the only album the outfit ever released, as frontman Nattramn is permanently institutionalized in a Swedish mental health facility. The vocals are the main attraction of this album — hard to swallow, but unparalleled by any other DBM act.
Folkvang/Pagan Hellfire split — Firmament Eclipse
Two acts from separate continents — Folkvang from Belarus and Pagan Hellfire from Canada — prove the vastness of Pagan Black Metal in this release. The rawness of these recordings make it seem as if there is a dream-like veil pulled over them. The first time I heard this album, I asked myself, “Am I really hearing this?” This album isn’t easy to come across. I believe it was limited to 300.