Kurokuma – Born of Obsidian; Vinterdracul – The Murnau Nocturnes (2022)

Hello, dear readers!

Here we have two brand-new albums you might enjoy — if you do, they’re both scheduled to come out TOMORROW, which also happens to be the first Bandcamp Friday of the year!


KurokumaBorn of Obsidian (self-released, 04 February 2022)


VinterdraculThe Murnau Nocturnes (Canticle Throe, 04 February 2022)


British trio Kurokuma are principally identified as a sludge/doom band. But as evidenced by their debut LP (for the recording of which, incidentally, they imported Chicago legend Sanford Parker into England), they tend to incorporate a wider array of influences.

Born of Obsidian starts off ordinarily enough: the first few tracks bring heavy repetitive riffs and blackened-hardcore vocals; fast-paced — kind of like a black/sludge take on Pentagram or a much doomier form of swe-death. Then the psychedelia shows up full-force in “Jaguar,” along with a bouncy bass groove and percussion that really drives home the album’s pre-European/Mesoamerican themes.

From there, the band takes all these elements and blends them together even more, with the result being a smooth emulsification that nevertheless enhances each individual ingredient: resulting in a final product that’s sludgier, doomier, heavier, blacker, more hardcore, more psychedelic, and undoubtedly groovier.


And speaking of a disparate assortment of genres and styles…

It feels like just yesterday we were discussing Marylandic vampiric duo Vinterdracul‘s debut EP offering — but believe it or not, that was three whole months ago. And now, named for the director of vampire classic Nosferatu (1922), here we have the twosome’s first full-length!

Although this one runs almost exactly the same amount of time, it does have about 57% more tracks, which I guess explains the EP/LP distinction? To be honest, the whole thing is a bit confusing. And that’s before we even hit PLAY… although after listening to these Nocturnes that preceding sentence could just as easily serve as a summation of the material.

That earlier release was billed as raw black metal — but enhanced by a plethora of old film or old video game soundtracks. This is the modus operandi once again, although much more heavily leaning on the synth orchestration here, while the “black metal” is more of an aesthetic vibe than an accurate descriptor of the music itself.

Few moments, perhaps most notably the second half of “Four Devils,” are driven by what could genuinely be considered metal guitar riffs. But otherwise, these compositions could have been lifted from a dusty old stack of phonograph records from a house that had been vacant for decades — wavery and detuned — except for the inclusion of robotic drumming pulsing beneath the symphonic tones, plus the vocals: the raspy cries of a soulless narrator whose deathless existence sounds like a state of eternal misery.


The Kurokuma release can be pre-ordered right here (digital/CD/cassette will be available tomorrow, vinyl is expected later this year).

Vinterdracul‘s full-length is also up for pre-order over here (digital only), although crafty readers who browse the social medias may find that the band has been occasionally tossing free download codes out into the ether.


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