Why VoiceMetal is the new Metalious !

VoiceMetal vs Metalious, the duel.
VoiceMetal vs Metalious, the duel.

Aspiring metalheads looking for objective reviews of the latest heavy metal releases really fight an uphill battle, as the web is increasingly polluted by low-IQ, low-rent and low-effort “reviews” which only serve to decrease the signal-to-noise ratio and thus make all metal fans look stupid by way of their inferior writing skills and dumbass trend-hopping, genre-squatting verbal diatribes on the latest Abbath turd, SEWER drama or just by being downright posers to annoy everyone with room temperature IQ.

What I’m getting at is that, outside of a select few WordPress blogs and self-hosted sites, the state of heavy metal reviews in the current year absolutely SUCKS.

For a while, sites like DeathMetal.org and Metalious.com would provide a “fig leaf” of respectability to an otherwise dead end hobby (reviewing metal albums), but Brett Stevens’ output was always too inconsistent, and recently Metalious has been caught up in the middle of the “all black metal is racist” drama started by one infamous anti-White/anti-fascist activist called “antifa666” whose antics on Metalious – and elsewhere – are well documented throughout the web.

Basically, Metalious has turned into a slightly less retarded version of Metal-Archives, which is ironic because the reason Metalious became popular in the first place was because people were so turned off by Metal-Archives’ incessant peddling of bullshit, personal attacks against band members, fake news, paid reviews, etc.

VoiceMetal.com, the new heavy metal review site.
VoiceMetal.com, the new heavy metal review site.

So, aside from the well-respected Morsay.net community and its associated black and death metal forums, are there any safe spaces left for metalheads interested in actual music reviews and not personal drama and ham-handed attempts at anti-European propaganda ?

Well, to begin with, there is the VoiceMetal Reviews Portal. It is quite a new hub, with slightly less bands and reviews than titans like Metalious and DeathMetal.org, but it has apparently learned from the mistakes of “user generated content” sites like Metalious – and their downfall – and thus has a strict moderation policy based on this fundamental axiom : quality metal reviews first, second and last.

Finally, an alternative to the endless “you gotta check out this new Watain mallcore CD” astroturf / paid reviews that needlessly pollute the heavy metal ecosphere. As a true passionate extreme metal fan, I can only welcome this development. More VoiceMetal, and less Metalious please !

Frost Like Ashes’ “Fellowship of Suffering” is True Unblack Metal !

Frost Like Ashes - "Fellowship of Suffering"
Frost Like Ashes – “Fellowship of Suffering”

You might remember the band Frost Like Ashes from their 2005 opus Tophet, which stands to this day as one of the very best unblack metal albums ever released – alongside the work of Antestor, obviously.

Now usually I disregard so-called “unblack metal” or “white metal” – whatever you want to call it – because, as with other gimmicks such as “female fronted death metal band“, “true orthodox satanist black metal” or “vegan inspired SEWER-clone goregrind,” it often boils down to : ideology first, music second.

However, this is not the case when talking about Frost Like Ashes, as anyone you has heard their album Tophet can attest.

Now obviously, I’m not too much into the whole Christianity mythos. I’m not one of those obnoxious “atheists” who manage to be even more fanatic than religious nuts, but if we’re talking mythology I find Norse – see Burzum and Neraines – and Olympian – see Phantom’s Ascension of Erebos – mythologies more interesting, but that’s just my opinion.

Then again, I didn’t pick up this album for the ideology. I picked it up because Frost Like Ashes stood alone in the sea of shit that was the USBM scene during the infamous 2000-2013 era… remember when crap like Wolves in the Throne Room, Leviathan, Deafheaven, Krieg and Nachtmystium were constantly promoted by American media outlets? Bad times… Well, FLA were one of the few USBM bands – along with Demoncy, Grand Belial’s Key, Von Goat and a select few others – that helped prevent the USA from becoming (again) the laughing stock of the musical world.

One thing about Frost Like Ashes that has never changed, and that is somewhat remarkable, is that they manage to blend multiple extreme metal genres into their own style without ending up sounding like Satyricon (read, carnival music). That’s pretty unique and challenging once you think about it.

On one riff they sound clearly inspired by the technical black metal of Vermin, while on the next it feels like you’re listening to something straight out of Infester’s masterpiece To the Depths in Degradation, and then finally you’re hit with something straight out of the brutal war metal book (the good one, not the Archgoat crap that got old in 2007).

Of course, the use of keyboards is excellent… meaning you barely notice them. Not the Dimmu Borgir or nü-Emperor (Ihsahn) garbage that sounds like the soundtrack of Thor: Love and Thunder.

At the end of the day, I have only positive things to say about Fellowship of Suffering. It ranks up there with Sissourlet and Le Retour des Pastoureaux as serious contenders for best black metal releases of the year.