Mammal’s most recommended new albums: Black metal

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So much good metal has come out during the year to date that it’s impossible to listen to all of it. In black metal I took a long time to select the 15 best albums I’ve heard this year, then narrow that down to the five I like the most up to now.

Those who know me won’t expect my top picks to be old-school, aggressive, scrotum-busting tirades of fury and deafening thunder. Because my taste is influenced by my love of prog rock and other non-metal, I tend to prefer the melodic, symphonic, progressive or atmospheric forms of the various metal genres. As for my taste in black metal… hey, blame Dimmu Borgir.

I’m presenting the albums in alphabetical order by name of the artist. A rating of 4 out of 5 is “Excellent” and a full 5 is “Best in Class”.


BeautalityBeautality – Einfallen: A Tale Ov Torment & Triumph (2 CDs)

Genre: Atmospheric/post black metal
Release date: 16 March 2015
Label: Nordavind Records
Tracks: 6
Length: 1 hour 46 minutes
Location: London, England
Personnel: David Ravengarde (harsh and clean vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums), Aaron Hartman (lead guitar), Adam “Tup” Tupper (drums), Emma “E” Houston (keyboards, organ, bass)
Previous studio albums: Providence (2012)

I’m not being the slightest bit derogatory in saying that the softer, more melancholic passages from beautality remind me of the music in the computer game “Diablo II”. One of the factors that made that game such a winner with me was the mood generated by the music, a sense of foreboding tempered by hope. This album is more post black than atmospheric black. The music is not only dark and gloomy, it also inspires contemplation and introspection.

Mammal’s rating: 4 out of 5

Visit Beautality on Facebook.


Carnival of FleshCarnival of Flesh – Stories from a Fallen World

Genre: Symphonic black metal
Release date: 1 May 2015
Label: Self-released
Tracks: 6
Length: 35 minutes
Location: Beograd, Serbia
Personnel: Jake O’Bayne (guitar, bass), Vojin Ratkovic (drums), Dachaz (vocals), Dam (keyboards)
Previous studio albums: This is their debut full-length album

The symphonic approach by Carnival of Flesh adds the kind of orchestral depth and almost cinematic sweep that grabs me tightly. At times the vocals are… grandiose? So is the music. The combination is theatrical and exhilarating. This new band comes out of the box polished, gleaming and brimming with quality to compete at the topmost level.

Mammal’s rating: 4.5 out of 5

Visit Carnival of Flesh on Facebook.


EbonilluminiEbonillumini – Arktos

Genre: Avant-garde black metal
Release date: 1 June 2015
Label: Hungersleep Records
Tracks: 10
Length: 1 hour 6 minutes
Location: London, England
Personnel: Christina Poupoutsi “The Maiden” (vocals and keyboards), J. D. Tait “The Monk” (guitars, keyboards and vocals), Andre Thung “The Montadea” (drums and percussion), Richard Alan Weeks “The Manitou” (bass, guitars, vocals and additional percussion)
Previous studio albums: Pacificum (2013)

Black metal is the root of Ebonillumini’s music. From that root grows a wondrous tree whose branches reach into jazz, classical, acoustic and dark ambient music. The album is a conceptual spiritual journey to some of the most entrancing places on Earth. At times the music is deep, solemn and heavy, at other times it becomes a caprice, a joyride. Christina Poupoutsi’s unusual vocal style is a sheer delight.

Mammal’s rating: 4.5 out of 5

Visit Ebonillumini on Facebook.


Mother AugustaMother Augusta – The Burning Sun of Despair (EP)

Genre: Black metal
Release date: 22 June 2015
Label: Self-released
Tracks: 4
Length: 31 minutes
Location: Parma, Italy
Personnel: Vinteren (bass, guitars, vocals), B. (session drummer)
Previous studio albums: This is their debut release

Mother Augusta, a one-man band with guest drummer, sounds like a full line-up. That one man, Vinteren, is fascinated by serial killers. The album is a tortured exploration of the relation between the murderer Ed Gein and his mother, whose name was Augusta. Vinteren draws you into the depths of despair, but he does it with great style and flair.

Mammal’s rating: 4 out of 5

Visit Mother Augusta on Facebook.


ThurisazThurisaz – The Pulse of Mourning

Genre: Atmospheric black metal
Release date: 31 March 2015
Label: Sleaszy rider records
Tracks: 9
Length: 45 minutes
Location: Wervik, Belgium
Personnel: Peter Theuwen (grunts, clean vocals, guitars), Mattias Theuwen (screams, guitars), Pepijn De Raeymaecker (drums), Kobe Canniere (keyboards, clean vocals), Nick Meganck (bass)
Previous studio albums: Scent of a Dream (2004), Circadian Rhythm (2007), The Cimmerian Years (2011)

I’ve loved Thurisaz since their first album. Their last two albums were so good that it would take something extraordinary to equal them. “The Pulse of Mourning” does just that. So far it’s my black metal album of the year. These guys play some of the most melodic metal of any genre, and the vocals are as superb as always.

Mammal’s rating: 5 out of 5

Visit Thurisaz on Facebook.

See also…
Mammal’s most recommended: Assorted genres
Mammal’s most recommended: Art rock, post rock & math rock


Posted on August 24, 2015, in Album Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. The cheesy name Beautality really puts me off, but I listened anyway and damn, the music is nice! Mother Augusta sounded interesting as well. More black metal to the people! \m/

  1. Pingback: Mammal’s most recommended new albums: Core | A Metal State of Mind

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