Occasionally I stumble across a diamond in the rough when perusing the delight of all hoarders: the janky warehouse of off the grid black metal. In this warehouse you’ll find every band I was in, so you know it’s a good place.
Satanic Prophecy is a one-man band from the United States. He plays Black Metal in the vein of old Gorgoroth and Mutiilation with the vocal style of what Summoning did on “Lugburz.” That’s a good thing.
Perusing Winter Solace’s catalog of material can be an experience for those unwilling to stoop to the depths I and many others like to stoop to when looking for new black metal bands to listen to. Some of it is what I would call “Misguided Retards Attempting To Play Instruments In An Effort To Emulate Their Flavor of the Fucking Month Favorite Band and/or Political Leaning” and I’d say this: Buy all of it. It’s shit. You’ll never hear anything as shitty. You gotta buy it. You just have to; it’s horrible, but it shows how low-IQ, reactionary, and unwilling to move out of their parents’ homes the youth of the world have become. That’s not the main reason I love Winter Solace. I like that the label offers actual good bands – like Satanic Prophecy.
“Azoth” was recorded in 2016, and to me is a blast from the past and black metal done in the correct manner. It stays raw as fuck, it hits you in the head. In fact the only thing I don’t like about this band and many others is the Kiss cosplay. Just don’t take photos; it’s cooler.
We begin the album with…
The Hermit – The requisite blastbeat of 1998 comes full force and the riffs of the past shine through as we slide around and come right into a melodic Swedish riff. The tempo is the perfect 90s BM tempo, and the riff is similarly perfect. Howling, loud, way way too reverbed-out, almost in Enbilulugugal territory but closer to “Lugburz” Land, smack you upside your ballsack and shit on your stomach.
The song starts to slow down and hits a drone doom style part. Maybe not the “drone doom” fucking shit garbage that everyone talks about, because it isn’t one note for 45 minutes.
Right back into rightfully black territory we go and we’re off to the fucking races because I’m really digging this. The guy plays in time, he is definitely not playing badly here. I don’t know if the drums are programmed or not. I expected way worse, as my experience with new black metal has been one of absolute disgust and disdain.
Process of Discovery – A blast and a dissonant riff. That’s really all you need for black metal to be good. We guys in the 90s knew this. I never understood why bands wanted to play death metal and do all that techno technical garbage on a black metal album. Another thing about newer black metal I hate: Extreme speed on the drum blasts. It sounds rather gay when you’re making Satanic stuff. Satanic music should not sound like mosh shit. I am not saying I don’t like mosh or death metal or anything like that: I’m saying Black Metal is a different beast.
This song follows the same formula as the first. I love the production here, but I tend to love raw music. We get some Gorgoroth sounding vocal style in here too – mixed with “Lugburz” vocal reverb and that “Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” style shit. The slight change in tempo and riff is perfection. This is what black metal actually sounds like, and I don’t get why other bands can’t understand this. The part before the ending of the song around 3:31 is really perfect when it slows down. Tjolgtjar did this type of thing alot. And I mean alot. And it works and it’s black.
Azoth – Love the main riff of this song. Reminds me of when I was younger, in high school. When Black Metal had just hit. Around 2 minute mark, interesting -and good – change in riff. Anyway back when Black Metal first began as a thing and not just a Venom record. When no one was into it and no one even heard of the genre. Back then, we bought new albums like “Under A Funeral Moon” and worshiped at the altar of this glorious Satanic force being put into music.
I’m enjoying this album; this song being my favorite. It’s a nostalgic trip to the Satanic past for me and I love the riffing. Guitar is definitely this guy’s thing. The vocals at the end are excellence in audio demonic possession. It’s how Black Metal is supposed to sound.
Burning Star In a Dead Galaxy – Ok so this one starts off…and I only have one thing to say about it. This song does indeed sound like a dead galaxy. It DOES NOT, however, sound like a burning star in one. It sounds like a dying star in an already dead galaxy. I suppose that star would still be burning. Slimy riff of evil darkness. This is making me want to cut my arm open, put the blood in one of my many goblets and pour it all over an inverted cross. On my stupid neighbor’s porch. I would have to do it in front of them. Because that’s pretty much what I would want them to know about me.
This song is kind of like…the meditation track, for me. Having no vocals and being stuck firmly in True Black Metal, raw and destructive, kill the religious people and spit on the Bible. I love that there were no vocals to distract you from its spite. It sounded like spite, and I’m not sure why, but it was kind of glorious in that regard.
It didn’t break any new ground. It didn’t make me say oh neat, this guy is going to crazy places with a new take on BM. All it did was make me feel the power and glory of Satan flowing through my veins. That’s the best thing Black Metal can do. Black Metal is not a political movement; it is art against overproduced music, rockstar egos, and organized religion. This song sounded like that.
Honor – After 2 minutes and forty odd seconds of real black metal we all of a sudden get hit with a riff I don’t know what to say about. Can’t find the right words. It’s Megadeth and Metallica. They ripped it off of Bathory, but it’s the Bay Area homogenized Bathory wannabe riff. The vocal saves it from being “In My Darkest Hour II.” I like it – but I call it as I see it. We are saved around 4:38 and move back into pure raw black metal the way I like it to sound when I’m listening to it on a fucking stereo. And then we get “In My Darkest Hour III” for a little bit before we come back to (in)sanity. Don’t get my words wrong, I quite enjoyed this song. Around 8 minutes we move back into Norway then we go to France then we get to America. It literally ends with a Havohej style riff. I can’t say enough good things so I’m gonna stop right now.
Buy this album on tape or CD. If you are into Black Metal – or were into Black Metal back when it was still fresh – you will find this offering very pleasurable.