IN ROTATION: Our most played albums in February 2019

13 min read


This month I’ve had an irrepressible yearning for icy black metal of various forms. Maybe it’s because I’ve just endured another scorching Australian summer and as the fiery season reduces to embers I can feel the sweet kiss of winter in the air. Whatever the reason, this month’s epic playlist has been bombastic. So here are five albums from my February ‘in rotation’ list.

Misþyrming – Söngvar elds og óreiðu (2015)

This month, my dose of Icelandic black metal was provided by “Söngvar elds og óreiðu“, the spectacular debut release for Misþyrming. This album is so engaging and thickly layered that with every replay you discover something new and exciting. Along with the raw, pure and true black metal sound I really enjoy the injection of innovation and moments of surprise. I still remember my giddy excitement the first time I heard the disorienting, contorted melodies of track three ”Endalokasálmar”. Standout tracks: “…af þjáningu og þrá” and “Söngur uppljómunar” 


AVATHAR – Bûrgulu kû-ghâra (2019)

AVATHAR is an enthralling, epic atmospheric black metal 7-piece from Finland. The band have a long history, having formed back in 2000, however “Bûrgulu kû-ghâra” is only their third full-length release. “Bûrgulu kû-ghâra” is a spectacular album and one that I feel has been critically overlooked since its release last month. The album’s foundations are planted in black metal but are built upon with copious layers of immersive, majestic melody. The themes are heavily centred around works by Tolkien and the band cite Summoning as a major influence, and this shows in all the right ways. The album contains a blend of beautifully polished, high-quality compositions, rich in sweet melodies but riddled with frigid, gloomy, dark atmosphere. Standout tracks: “Pimeyden Aika”, “Autumn of Lothlorien” and “Lost in the Waves”

UUNTAR – Voorvaderverering (2018)

Uuntar are an outstanding melodic pagan black metal band from the Netherlands, created by two underground dutch metal veterans Herjann (Arjan Peeks) and Nortfalke (Swerc). Both band members are deeply involved in the industry, running record and production companies as well as being participants in a handful of other active metal projects. UUNTAR’s work is a powerful and heartfelt homage to the ancient traditions and past customs of their country, with a particular focus on burial rites of the north-eastern region. “Voorvaderverering” is full of rich Scandinavian folk elements, dense, epic melodies and gritty riffs. The album is unyielding and has a rough unpolished feel that will very quickly have you battle-ready. Standout tracks: “Een Germaanse grafheuvel” and “Bloed om bloed”  

Hermóðr – Forest Sky (2019)

 “Forest Sky” is the latest offering and the eighth full-length release from Hermóðr,  a mesmerising Swedish one-man atmospheric black metal act. I’ve had this album on high rotation since it’s release in mid-January and it has been incredibly satisfying. The album is thick with melancholy yet can lift you up with moments of ethereal beauty. Standout tracks: “Echoes in the Woods” and “Hunter and Prey

FROZEN DREAMS – Voices of the Arctic Winter (2019)

FROZEN DREAMS is yet another breathtaking one-man atmospheric black metal band from Sweden and brain child of the gifted ‘Weird’ (aka Markus Sjödahl). “Voices of the Arctic Winter” features frigid black vocals over heavy synth melodies that induce an ambience of fantasy and adventure. This is a truly gorgeous album and one that has served me well this month, acting as a backing track through my work day and whisking me away to another world during those gruelling working hours. Standout tracks: “A Dying World” and “A Cry for Demise

Proua Metallist