When it comes to the underground world of black metal, there are many acts known to churn out multiple releases, if not be involved with other groups. Those familiar with that very world may well know of the musicians Wampyric Strigol and Lord Valtgryftåke. Both are active in numerous other outfits including (but in no way limited to) Wampyric Rites, Aurae Lunae and Winterstorm for the former, and 13th Temple, Old Castles and Evighetens for the latter, while both are active in Winterstorm They and a number of their ocontributions to the genre belong to the collectives Pure Raw Underground Black Metal Plague and Valdivian Black Circle [according to Metal-Archives]. So it should come as no surprise that they would forge together another outlet named Grymmstalt. The year of formation is unknown, but their initial demo Endlichkeit released earlier this year with cassette distribution handled through Mahamvantara Arts Records. The duo did not sptop writing, however, coinceiving enough for their debut full-length effort Anthems of Mournful Despondency to close out the year from Signal Rex. But does this new venture offer more quality raw black metal to the collectives, or does it end up just another cassette among the many uninspiring offerings littering the style?
REVIEW – Arche: Transitions
Finland plays home to quite a number of innovating acts in the metal world, specifically in the doom metal realm. While groups like Church of Void, Shape of Despair, and many others have helped establish this style, becoming names forever linked to it, there’s one monicker hidden in the depths of modern-day obscurity primed to breakout and helm the frontlines: Arche. Formed in 2014 by ex-Worthless members Eppe Kuismin (guitarist/vocalist; ex-Crystalic ex-Lowmen), Ville Raittila (drummer; ex-Fleshkraft, ex-Razoreblend and Panu Raatikainen (bassist, ex-Razorblend) worked hard to unleash their debut EP Undercurrents in 2015 before vanishing. Re-emerging as a two-piece with Panu remaining in Worthless, the act has signed with Transcending Obscurity to release their long overdue debut full-length Transitions. But was the long wait worth it?
REVIEW – Vorgrum: Nature Emerge
Vorgrum is a currently one-man folk/pagan metal act given many of the musicians involved departed earlier this year. Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, the entity was forged together by Folter and issued a small handful of studio recordings. Among them is the debut EP The Awakening back in 2011, and full-lengths Last Domain (2015, Nocturna Records) and Party in the Deep (2018, Sound Age). The “Ancient Whisper” single dropped digitally amid the roster shake-up, soon followed by a brand new EP titled Nature Emerge to continue where that prior performance leaves off.
REVIEW – Beastiality: Sacrificial Chants
Sweden’s Beastiality formed around 2011, and has since only put out some minor releases. Of them, two were more than demos and a split. There was the Live in Stockholm in 2015, and their debut full-length Worshippers of Unearthly Perversions two years later through Invictus Productions. A few years have passed by and the four-piece remains with Invictus to unleash a new EP titled Sacrificial Chants.
REVIEW – Verikalpa: Tunturihauta
Finnish folk metal act Verikalpa formed back in 2006. They issued two singles before finally signing with Inverse Records for their debut album in 2018, then moving over to Scarlet Records for their follow-up effort Tuoppitanssi in 2020. They’ve stuck with Scarlet for their third album, Tunturihauta, which is due to drop shortly. With so much time to nurture their sound prior to a proper studio/label debut, one can imagine this six-piece’s latest will be a solid one full of the folklore of their native country. Right?