It’s autumn here in the northern hemisphere, and aside from the excessive use of pumpkin, apple cider and cinnamon in just about everything*, that means record labels are pumping out a lot of high-profile releases before the rush begins to clear out a lot of inventory with holiday sales. In the metal world, that means new stuff from big-name bands, and 2017 is no exception: The Black Dahlia Murder, Enslaved, Converge, and so on. But while these bands certainly yield a bountiful harvest of riffs, screams and darkness, there are some other crops listeners shouldn’t overlook.
For those of you who like ferocious and blistering black metal with plenty of atmosphere to go around, Asagraum’s Potestas Magicum Diaboli should be your go-to this fall. The band’s co-conspirators Trish and Obscura hail from Norway-by way of-Canada and the Netherlands (respectively), and have worked their way through the underground as full and live members in several bands, the more familiar ones being Isvind, Craft, Nattefrost, Nargaroth and Sammath. And with their debut album, these two fantastic musicians and composers have honed this experience into rippers like “Black Sun Prayer” (listen below) and “Leviathan.”
Speaking of things called Leviathan. Although the band clearly sits in the European traditions of bands like Gorgoroth, Taake and Tsjuder, they also create some of their riffs in an off-putting, dissonant style. But rather than take this to the level of Deathspell Omega and non-Memoria Blut Aus Nord, they apply it in a subtle way that reminds me of some of Wrest’s earlier work (think of “Sardoniscorn” or “Return to Evernight”).
But enough chatter, check out the track below. Potestas Magicum Diaboli is out now via Kvlt. And if you live in Europe, the band has a lot of shows planned in the near future.