Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Solo Black Metal Scene
Band Photo: Hellveto (?)
Each week in "Unearthing the Metal Underground," we'll be putting the spotlight on a few quality underground bands in an attempt to get the word out. This week we’ll be uncovering three bands that aren’t connected by geographical location, but rather by their decision to go it alone as solo black metal musicians.
By eschewing the benefits and difficulties inherent to a full band, the solo black metal artist is completely unchained by outside influence. A one man black metal group is only constrained by the limitations of his own imagination to create exactly the sound and feel he wants in any release. With how it easy it has become to create a professional sounding release at home it shouldn’t be any surprise that creative minds would want to completely take the reins of their musical direction.
Ravenhelm is a one man act, headed up by Munnin the Imapler, that leans heavily towards the pagan and folk end of the black metal spectrum. The project is currently set to go on indefinite hiatus after the release of the next full-length album “Raven’s Caw.” The latest album “Runemal” is set to be released later this year. You can get a taste of Munnin’s take on the solo black metal style through the band’s MySpace page.
Juno Bloodlust is another one person act (Juno plays up the androgynous aspect, stating “I am not a man nor a woman, not a human being nor a dead one.”) who hails from Japan and follows the grand tradition of using his/her name as the band title. Bloodlust is much more aggressive and violent than Ravenhelm, using plenty of that fast and furious drum work made famous by the genre. The music has a bit of that Gothic feel found in bands like Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir, using keyboards for occasional forays into the symphonic and atmospheric. When the symphonic elements drop to the background the guitar work has a tendency to head into disturbing territory, keeping up the atmosphere at all times. The project has also seen guest appearances from Oplexicon. Sample Juno Bloodlust tracks can be heard here, and you can find the song “Total Eclipse, Sinister Prophet” below. The track is off the five way split “Oriental Abyss,” which was released through Zero Dimensional Records.
Poland’s Hellveto is easily one of the most productive of the solo black metal acts, currently sitting at a full twenty five releases and counting. The man behind the music is L.O.N., and his style leans heavily towards an epic, pagan mood that’s hard to find anywhere else. Our review of the 2008 album “Neoheresy” can be found at this location, and the review of the latest album “Kry” is available here. An assortment of Hellveto tracks can be heard here. The title track off “Kry” can also be found below.
Certainly there are more quality solo black metal acts across the globe. If you'd like to recommend some other good underground bands, please feel free to discuss them in the comments below. Check back every Monday as we delve into a different scene or genre to unearth new underground metal bands.
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