Here’s a perfectly two-(dark)sided article. In fact we do have two black metal albums (Somnium Nox and Meuchelmord) and two dark/neofolk ones (Falgar and Ekstasis).
Ready to join the dark side?
Somnium Nox – Apocrypha (Australia, 2016)
A nice one-track EP delivered by this Australian black metal duo.
As soon as I noticed they mentioned “didgeridoo” amongst the played instruments I genuinely hoped for that blend of black art a la Saor or Downfall of Nur: a lot of atmospheres where folk-ish instruments are meant to craft heart-touching melodies. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Otherwise a really raw gust of furious riffs came towards me. Didgeridoo only plays some minor parts here and there, though.
I might mention the tasty bluesy, mid-paced interludes. Definitely a smart move and an unusual presence as well.
Meuchelmord – Nostalgia (Germany, 2016)
Cernunnos’ Meuchelmord is back and well after its own rebirth from ashes, last year.
The raw-style German one-man army delivered here his very first long-play album, delightfully entitled Nostalgia. And as you can guess it’s not gonna be a happy one. No sir, it won’t!
Even if, and please excuse my euphemism, the once strictly DSBM act sweetened a bit during the years, ending up with a definitely canonical – cold – black metal record.
Honestly, I felt he was better in a depressive habitat, but we can’t deny Cernunnos knows how to manipulate the black art at its own advantage.
That being said, you might enjoy Nostalgia if you like black metal, but you’re gonna love it if you’re one of those “retro-proto-icy-raw” Satan-worshippers.
Surprisingly the tune I enjoyed the most is the only non-metal one, in fact the (ritualistic) ambient Zwischenspiel discloses all the mournfulness held by the German composer.
Falgar – En La Vanguardia (Puerto Rico, 2016)
The new album of Etienne’s Falgar still hits the dusty roads of neofolk (once again!). And possibly reaching the highest point out of his discography, since his change of style. Though En La Vanguardia could be easily the best work ever from the Puerto Rican one-man band.
The album is impressively atmospheric and melodic. But “romantic” would be the best adjective to label the 10-track collection.
Ekstasis – The Adversary (USA -Cascadia-, 2016)
Second Ekstasis’ work in a row we feature on this column, and also a second win for them -even if not so brilliant this time-.
For their sophomore record, The Adversary, the Cascadia based super-group relies on the helping of Pest Productions for delivering a new collection of 6 haunting (dark)folk tunes.
The vocal is definitely more present on this new one, but the overall formula doesn’t seem to be changed a lot from The Book Longing. Assumed this isn’t a flaw per se, this record does sound like a carbon-copy (musically wise) of their previous one.
Anyhow, it’d be stupid complaining too much about it, but at least you know what to expect.
If you enjoyed Ekstasis first opus you’re gonna cherish The Adversary as well.
P.S.: Skylark is, without the single doubt, the best number out of it!