Tattoos Picture Page 1 Tattoos Picture Page 2 Tattoos Picture Page 3 Tattoos Picture Page 4 Tattoos Picture Page 5 Tattoos Picture Page 6 Tattoos Picture Page 7 Tattoos Picture Page 8 Tattoos Picture Page 9 Tattoos Picture Page 10 Tattoos Picture Page 11 Tattoos Picture Page 12 Tattoos Picture Page 13 Tattoos Picture Page 14 Tattoos Picture Page 15 Tattoos Picture Page 16 Tattoos Picture Page 17 Tattoos Picture Page 18 Tattoos Picture Page 19 Tattoos Picture Page 20 Tattoos Picture Page 21 Tattoos Picture Page 22 Tattoos Picture Page 23 Tattoos Picture Page 24 Tattoos Picture Page 25 Tattoos Picture Page 26 Tattoos Picture Page 27 Tattoos Picture Page 28 Tattoos Picture Page 29 Tattoos Picture Page 30 Tattoos Picture Page 31 Tattoos Picture Page 32 Tattoos Picture Page 33 Tattoos Picture Page 34 Tattoos Picture Page 35 Tattoos Picture Page 36 Tattoos Picture Page 37 Tattoos Picture Page 38 Tattoos Picture Page 39 Tattoos Picture Page 40 Tattoos Picture Page 41 Tattoos Picture Page 42 Tattoos Picture Page 43 Tattoos Picture Page 44 Tattoos Picture Page 45 Tattoos Picture Page 46 Tattoos Picture Page 47 Tattoos Picture Page 48 Tattoos Picture Page 49 Tattoos Picture Page 50 Tattoos Picture Page 51 Tattoos Picture Page 52 Tattoos Picture Page 53 Tattoos Picture Page 54 Tattoos Picture Page 55 Tattoos Picture Page 56 Tattoos Picture Page 57 Tattoos Picture Page 58 Tattoos Picture Page 59 Tattoos Picture Page 60 Tattoos Picture Page 61 Tattoos Picture Page 62 Tattoos Picture Page 63 Tattoos Picture Page 64 Tattoos Picture Page 65 Tattoos Picture Page 66 Tattoos Picture Page 67 Tattoos Picture Page 68 Tattoos Picture Page 69 Tattoos Picture Page 70 Tattoos Picture Page 71 Tattoos Picture Page 72 Tattoos Picture Page 73 Tattoos Picture Page 74 Tattoos Picture Page 75 Tattoos Picture Page 76 Tattoos Picture Page 77 Tattoos Picture Page 78 Tattoos Picture Page 79 Tattoos Picture Page 80 Tattoos Picture Page 81 Tattoos Picture Page 82 Tattoos Picture Page 83 Tattoos Picture Page 84 Tattoos Picture Page 85 Tattoos Picture Page 86 Tattoos Picture Page 87 Tattoos Picture Page 88 Tattoos Picture Page 89 Tattoos Picture Page 90 Tattoos Picture Page 91 Tattoos Picture Page 92 Tattoos Picture Page 93 Tattoos Picture Page 94 Tattoos Picture Page 95 Tattoos Picture Page 96 Tattoos Picture Page 97 Tattoos Picture Page 98 Tattoos Picture Page 99 Tattoos Picture Page 100 Tattoos Picture Page 101 Tattoos Picture Page 102 Tattoos Picture Page 103 Tattoos Picture Page 104 Tattoos Picture Page 105 Tattoos Picture Page 106 Tattoos Picture Page 107 Tattoos Picture Page 108 Tattoos Picture Page 109 Tattoos Picture Page 110 Tattoos Picture Page 111 Tattoos Picture Page 112 Tattoos Picture Page 113 Tattoos Picture Page 114 Tattoos Picture Page 115 Tattoos Picture Page 116 Tattoos Picture Page 117 Tattoos Picture Page 118 Tattoos Picture Page 119 Tattoos Picture Page 120
Luxury Villa and Home Page 1 Luxury Villa and Home Page 2 Luxury Villa and Home Page 3 Luxury Villa and Home Page 4 Luxury Villa and Home Page 5 Luxury Villa and Home Page 6 Luxury Villa and Home Page 7 Luxury Villa and Home Page 8 Luxury Villa and Home Page 9 Luxury Villa and Home Page 10 Luxury Villa and Home Page 11 Luxury Villa and Home Page 12 Luxury Villa and Home Page 13 Luxury Villa and Home Page 14 Luxury Villa and Home Page 15 Luxury Villa and Home Page 16 Luxury Villa and Home Page 17 Luxury Villa and Home Page 18 Luxury Villa and Home Page 19 Luxury Villa and Home Page 20 Luxury Villa and Home Page 21 Luxury Villa and Home Page 22 Luxury Villa and Home Page 23 Luxury Villa and Home Page 24 Luxury Villa and Home Page 25 Luxury Villa and Home Page 26 Luxury Villa and Home Page 27 Luxury Villa and Home Page 28 Luxury Villa and Home Page 29 Luxury Villa and Home Page 30 Luxury Villa and Home Page 31 Luxury Villa and Home Page 32 Luxury Villa and Home Page 33 Luxury Villa and Home Page 34 Luxury Villa and Home Page 35 Luxury Villa and Home Page 36 Luxury Villa and Home Page 37 Luxury Villa and Home Page 38 Luxury Villa and Home Page 39 Luxury Villa and Home Page 40 Luxury Villa and Home Page 41 Luxury Villa and Home Page 42 Luxury Villa and Home Page 43 Luxury Villa and Home Page 44 Luxury Villa and Home Page 45 Luxury Villa and Home Page 46 Luxury Villa and Home Page 47 Luxury Villa and Home Page 48 Luxury Villa and Home Page 49 Luxury Villa and Home Page 50 Luxury Villa and Home Page 51 Luxury Villa and Home Page 52 Luxury Villa and Home Page 53 Luxury Villa and Home Page 54 Luxury Villa and Home Page 55 Luxury Villa and Home Page 56 Luxury Villa and Home Page 57 Luxury Villa and Home Page 58 Luxury Villa and Home Page 59 Luxury Villa and Home Page 60 Luxury Villa and Home Page 61 Luxury Villa and Home Page 62 Luxury Villa and Home Page 63 Luxury Villa and Home Page 64 Luxury Villa and Home Page 65 Luxury Villa and Home Page 66 Luxury Villa and Home Page 67 Luxury Villa and Home Page 68 Luxury Villa and Home Page 69 Luxury Villa and Home Page 70 Luxury Villa and Home Page 71 Luxury Villa and Home Page 72 Luxury Villa and Home Page 73 Luxury Villa and Home Page 74 Luxury Villa and Home Page 75 Luxury Villa and Home Page 76 Luxury Villa and Home Page 77 Luxury Villa and Home Page 78 Luxury Villa and Home Page 79 Luxury Villa and Home Page 80 Luxury Villa and Home Page 81 Luxury Villa and Home Page 82 Luxury Villa and Home Page 83 Luxury Villa and Home Page 84 Luxury Villa and Home Page 85 Luxury Villa and Home Page 86 Luxury Villa and Home Page 87 Luxury Villa and Home Page 88 Luxury Villa and Home Page 89 Luxury Villa and Home Page 90 Luxury Villa and Home Page 91 Luxury Villa and Home Page 92 Luxury Villa and Home Page 93 Luxury Villa and Home Page 94 Luxury Villa and Home Page 95 Luxury Villa and Home Page 96 Luxury Villa and Home Page 97 Luxury Villa and Home Page 98 Luxury Villa and Home Page 99
Famous People Page 1 Famous People Page 2 Famous People Page 3 Famous People Page 4 Famous People Page 5 Famous People Page 6 Famous People Page 7 Famous People Page 8 Famous People Page 9 Famous People Page 10 Famous People Page 11 Famous People Page 12 Famous People Page 13 Famous People Page 14 Famous People Page 15 Famous People Page 16 Famous People Page 17 Famous People Page 18 Famous People Page 19 Famous People Page 20 Famous People Page 21 Famous People Page 22 Famous People Page 23 Famous People Page 24 Famous People Page 25 Famous People Page 26 Famous People Page 27 Famous People Page 28 Famous People Page 29 Famous People Page 30 Famous People Page 31 Famous People Page 32 Famous People Page 33 Famous People Page 34 Famous People Page 35 Famous People Page 36 Famous People Page 37 Famous People Page 38 Famous People Page 39 Famous People Page 40 Famous People Page 41 Famous People Page 42 Famous People Page 43 Famous People Page 44 Famous People Page 45 Famous People Page 46 Famous People Page 47 Famous People Page 48 Famous People Page 49 Famous People Page 50 Famous People Page 51 Famous People Page 52 Famous People Page 53 Famous People Page 54 Famous People Page 55 Famous People Page 56 Famous People Page 57 Famous People Page 58 Famous People Page 59 Famous People Page 60 Famous People Page 61 Famous People Page 62 Famous People Page 63 Famous People Page 64 Famous People Page 65 Famous People Page 66 Famous People Page 67 Famous People Page 68 Famous People Page 69 Famous People Page 70 Famous People Page 71 Famous People Page 72 Famous People Page 73 Famous People Page 74 Famous People Page 75 Famous People Page 76 Famous People Page 77 Famous People Page 78 Famous People Page 79 Famous People Page 80 Famous People Page 81 Famous People Page 82 Famous People Page 83 Famous People Page 84 Famous People Page 85 Famous People Page 86 Famous People Page 87 Famous People Page 88 Famous People Page 89 Famous People Page 90 Famous People Page 91 Famous People Page 92 Famous People Page 93 Famous People Page 94 Famous People Page 95 Famous People Page 96 Famous People Page 97 Famous People Page 98 Famous People Page 99 Famous People Page 100 Famous People Page 101 Famous People Page 102 Famous People Page 103 Famous People Page 104 Famous People Page 105 Famous People Page 106 Famous People Page 107 Famous People Page 108 Famous People Page 109 Famous People Page 110 Famous People Page 111 Famous People Page 112 Famous People Page 113 Famous People Page 114 Famous People Page 115 Famous People Page 116 Famous People Page 117 Famous People Page 118 Famous People Page 119 Famous People Page 120

Through Cruelty to Illumination: German Black Metal

This will be the first in a series of scene reports. If your favourite band of the particular scene isn't represented here, tell us about it!

For some time now the German black metal scene has been burgeoning away. It’s proved itself to be a more than capable successor to the Norwegians of old, straddling the middle ground somewhere between the orthodoxy of the Norse sound and the experimental mindset of the French pioneers. What I find most compelling within the scene is the fantastic melodicism that has wormed its way into the region’s sound almost universally, causing Germany to spew forth some great acts since the mid-90s. Satanic elements have been widely downplayed (though we can forgive Katharsis on the grounds that they are one of the best) with many bands focussing strongly on pagan and folk heritage, and – without trying to pigeonhole the genre more than necessary – Germany has also made brilliant and forward-thinking contributions to the spheres of “atmospheric” and “depressive” black metal. Here are a handful of acts worth your time; some well known, some not so much. Feel free to add your own recommendations.

Luror

Luror are one of my favourite bands from Germany but the project has proved divisive. Some claim it to be bland and uninspired; others hail both The Iron Hand of Blackest Terror and Cease to Live as masterpieces. I am a member of the latter camp, because one focussed listen to Cease to Live particularly exposes the genius behind Luror. The mind in question is that of Unhold, perhaps best known for his work with the notorious Absurd.

I’ve never held Absurd in much high regard but Unhold’s move into solo waters is a different experience altogether. Listening to Luror’s second full-length, Cease to Live is like experiencing a grand work of classical music; it’s majestic, unbound, moving, and has some bloody fine riffing. A conscientiously composed work of black metal, the melodies and harmonies wind in and out of each other in an almost hypnotic fashion. It honestly wouldn’t sound out of place if performed by an orchestra, and when black metal expresses a sense of classicism I am on board (see Make A Change… Kill Yourself).

The debut, The Iron Hand of Blackest Terror, is different territory in many ways. While the production on Cease to Live is, dare I say, perfect for its melancholic despondency, its predecessor suffers from poor recording values. But overall …Blackest Terror is a far more aggressive and raw effort that the sound detracts little from. There’s also the peculiar classical guitar-led number, ‘In A Room In Hell’ that merges mournful clean vocals with utterly insane screeches over the top. The release is deep-rooted in orthodox timbres but remains an intensely entertaining journey. If straight-up black metal isn’t quite your thing, aim for Cease to Live; without doubt a master class in speedy black metal with a nihilistic, depressive edge.

Highlights:
The Iron Hand of Blackest Terror: ‘Into the Burning Fog’, ‘In a Room in Hell’, ‘A Fanfare of War Sounds in The Sky’
Cease to Live: ‘Through Cruelty to Illumination’, ‘Cease to Live’, ‘A Bleak Sun Enlightens Me’, ‘Boundaries of Evil’.

Wigrid

Wigrid awoke in the year of 1998 at the behest of sole-member Ulfhednir and became swiftly celebrated for writing the best Burzum material that Burzum never wrote with the 2002 debut, Hoffnungstod. Fortunately, Varg’s early material that Wigrid draws from remains, for the most part, still incredibly immature and poorly realised. Ulfhednir did away with Burzum’s tendency to descend into crooked pantomime and walked away with several atmospheric and beautifully composed tracks all of varying length and feeling.

Hoffnungstod ranges from brutal, stomping black metal to pondering dirges and moments of clarity, often within the reaches of one song. Vocal work is very reminiscent of Varg’s howls but within Wigrid’s music, it’s effective and heart-wrenching.

My advice is to listen to this album on a grey, rainy day when you’re feeling down on your luck and try your hardest not to get sucked into hopelessness, because it’s practically impossible to not feel worse after a spin of this record. Hoffnungstod represents for myself a place of solace that I can retreat to when nothing’s quite right. The sheer artistry that Ulfhednir conjures from these despairing tones is totally bracing. For this reason alone, Wigrid can be hailed as one of the finest depressive black metal acts of recent times, miles apart from the dross that developed in the wake of this once popular sub-sub-sub genre.

Highlights:
Hoffnungstod: ‘Ort der Eisamkeit’, ‘Die Enstehung’, ‘Hoffnungstod’

Throndt

Throndt seem to be a somewhat hidden gem within German black metal. Not widely known by any rate and barely operational from the looks of their discography. Only one self-titled album exists, with two splits with equally obscure bands on either side. F. Grimnir is the soul behind Throndt’s glorious homage to the forest and winter, taking on the roles of vocals, guitar and bass. Two additional musicians perform drums and cello.

“Glorious” is a pretty apt description for what goes on in Throndt. The album opens with an understated plucking of an acoustic guitar, only to throw the listener into the deep when roaring buzzsaw guitars take form around what can only be described as a ‘jovial’ folk melody. Not quite Nargaroth’s Jahreszeiten mind you. From here the direction is solid; think Darkthrone encompassing folk and you might have an idea.

A downside to Throndt’s attack is that it does come off as very traditional, some riffs are just blatant black metal fodder as can be seen on second track, ‘Das Geschenk Der Holl’. But time and time again I forgive the record on the grounds that it’s a great ride. And listening to black metal fodder riffs will never stop being fun. Whether it’s the down-trodden doom of ‘Im Kerker’ or the warlike attitude of ‘Winterruh’, Throndt never ceases to please. A welcome addition to the album is the four acoustic interludes, spread symmetrically through the album’s eleven tracks. These delicate folk compositions break the album up nicely and shit you up each time the metal abruptly returns.

Highlights:
Throndt: ‘Heimat’, ‘Winterruh’, ‘Zwischenspiel’, ‘Im Kerker’

Lunar Aurora


No article discussing German black metal can deny Lunar Aurora a place. A chance discovery placed me directly in the thrall of the uncompromising brutality displayed on Mond, but each album from this grim institution has a sound completely of its own. Aran and co. were never afraid of experimenting with black metal right from the early days. The cold and synth-laden sound of the 1995 demo A Wandering Winterdream Beneath the Cold Moon founded their archetypal sound which would be built to new heights with each subsequent release.

Whether it’s the strange, off-kilter riffing of ‘Zorn aus Äonen’ from Elixir of Sorrow or the wall of power chords powered by Mond’s ‘Grimm’, it’s nearly impossible to favour one album over another for the vast differences in aim and approach.

Undoubtedly one of the greatest acts to come from German shores, it’s unfortunate that they are currently on hiatus. However, they are still signed to Cold Dimensions where the website lists the classic line-up, suggesting that they are due to make a return at some point. The incredibly strong discography all comes highly recommended.

Highlights:
Andacht: ‘Geisterschiff’
Mond: ‘Welk’
Elixir of Sorrow: ‘Zorn aus Äonen’
Of Stargates and Bloodstained Celestial Spheres: ‘Blutbaum’

Moonblood

Moonblood heroically stuck to their guns when it came to their brand of raw, epic black metal. They released material on vinyl and cassette only, no doubt adding to their cult status. All their promotional pictures were of that brilliant grainy, black and white style; swords, torches, fire breathing and snow covered gravestones all working towards that ‘true’ black metal approach.

Moonblood’s most celebrated release is perhaps the 1996 full-length, Blut Und Krieg, an unsavoury adventure into warlike, raw as hell black metal. The recording is what you’d expect from such staunch purveyors of tradition; wafer-thin guitars, buried drums and echoing snarled vocals but the composition really shines through the low sound quality. Riffs are military deathmarches towards hell, spurring the imagination into images of undead hordes battling elves and humans. Old school? Yes. Good? Definitely.

Highlights:
Blut Und Krieg: ‘…And Snow Covered the Lifeless Bodies’, ‘My Evil Soul’, ‘Blut Und Krieg’

Blogroll

a2294b1c5406d177047ee9effa65bbd7