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Unearthing The Metal Underground: More Of The Black Metal Scene

The metal phenomenon has exploded across the world in recent years, and with the advent of services like YouTube and Bandcamp there's far more music out there than any metal fan could ever hope to hear. That's why each Monday we take a look at three lesser known bands in the metalverse that you should be paying attention to.

We've covered underground black metal extensively in the past, digging up bands that specifically go for a heavily symphonic sound, black metal groups that experiment with non-traditional ideas, and even the highly misanthropic acts.

There's still quite a few underground black metal outfits that deserve a wider audience though, and today we'll cover three that each put a slightly different spin on the style.

Aurvandil

Taking a classic kvlt black metal sound, French band Aurvandil drags it out with 9 – 20 minute tracks that lull you in and perform their hypnotic black magic. Aurvandil focuses on a one-two combo, using acoustic and atmospheric segments that explode into fast paced black metal.

While the long song lengths and repetition won't work for everyone, these massive tracks are a journey worth taking if you want black metal to be lo-fi and exude a feeling of years gone past. Following the 2011 album “Yearning,” Aurvandil's latest slab of aural drudgery “Thrones” will see a digital release at the end of April.

Into Infernus

Hailing from Florida – the least frozen and bleak of all places – Into Infernus channels an energy altogether devoid in its homeland, creating a European style symphonic black metal that will be immediately recognizable to fanatics of the genre.

Highly theatric, the debut Into Infernus album “VII” strongly brings to mind the best of Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Fairytale Abuse, Siebenbürgen, and so on. The band is currently crafting a follow-up to “VII,” and in the mean time you can download the album on a name-your-price basis at Bandcamp or stream the full release below.


Astral Winter

Our final look at underground black metal today ends with an unsung hero in the scene. Astral Winter is the solo project from Australian musician Josh Young, who also has another atmospheric black metal project titled Hammerstorm, and shows that sometimes a single musician can outshine a full group.

The project's debut full-length “Winter Enthroned” (reviewed here) is by turns epic, symphonic, and atmospheric. It's everything grand about black metal rolled up into one package – and created by only one man!

“Winter Enthroned” was followed by an ambient/acoustic interlude with the album “Predition,” and since then a new album titled “Forest of Silence” has been in the works. Unfortunately its been a few months since any solid updates, but with any luck there will soon be news over at the Astral Winter Facebook profile.

These are but three of the horde of black metal projects out there, and there are many more worth hearing. Let us know what you thought of these picks and be sure to recommend some of your own in the comments below.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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