Krakow – Alive (2017)

KrakówAlive (Dark Essence Records, 24 March 2017)

 

From the first time I heard them, Norwegian post-metallurgists Kraków quickly became one of my favorite bands out there, through their grasp of the beautiful and fragile meshed with the ugly and frightening, spread out over long meandering compositions that enthrall the listener with their aural stories.

As many times as I’ve listened to their releases (the three most recent of which were written about right here), the appearance of a live album was certainly exciting news. On top of that, we’ve recently learned that another new record will be appearing later this year! In this post you can find out more about that live album — and then at the end, what we know so far about their next one!

 

Continue reading

Advertisements

Rattenfänger – Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum (2012)

RattenfängerEpistolae Obscurorum Virorum (Dark Essence Records, 12 November 2012)

Today we’re digging really deep into our pile of stuff to write about and share with you. It recently came to our attention (via Patricia Thomas Band Management) that Ukranian death metal troupe Rattenfänger have started work on a new album, a follow-up to their debut which came out a little more than five years ago. The forthcoming second album, expected to be recorded during summer and fall 2018, has quixotically been described as “more ambient, but heavier and more aggressive” than the first had been.

This news was very exciting to us here at Valley of Steel, and if you haven’t reacted the same way, it’s probably because you never heard Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum. Let’s fix that straight away!

Continue reading

Hail Spirit Noir – Mayhem in Blue; Aenaon – Hypnosophy (2016)

Hail Spirit NoirMayhem in Blue (Dark Essence Records, 28 October 2016)

 

AenaonHypnosophy (code666, 25 November 2016)

 

Longtime readers should already be familiar with Hail Spirit Noir and Aenaon: both of these Greek avant-black bands’ second albums were reviewed right here about three years ago, after they were both released in early 2014. And very longtime readers may even recall that the HSN debut album was covered here when it came out back in 2012. All three of those records (all via Code666, sublabel of Italy’s Aural Music) ended up on my respective lists of those years’ top releases.

One band has since shifted to Norwegian label Dark Essence, but otherwise you’ll find that not much has changed for the bands’ third releases (each of which came out in late 2016), especially not in terms of quality — as you may have noticed, both of these once again made an appearance on my Top 16 of 2016 list. So without further ado, here are Mayhem in Blue and Hypnosophy!

 
Continue reading

Krakow – diin (2012), amaran & genesis (2015)

diin

Krakówdiin (Dark Essence Records, 14 September 2012)

 

amaran

Krakówamaran (Dark Essence Records, 09 February 2015)

 

genesis

Krakówgenesis (Dark Essence Records, 07 August 2015)

 

Hey, folks. So last week as you may have noticed, we had a bit of a blast from the past: I wrote about an album that came out in the latter part of 2012, one which I have enjoyed listening to immensely since I first heard it, and one that likely would have found its way onto my list of that year’s best releases if I had just gotten around to hearing it sooner. Well today, we’ll be taking a look at another album that also came out around the same time — late 2012 — and has become one of my favorite things to listen to since I first discovered it. That album is called diin, and was the second to be released by Norwegian post-rockers Kraków. Today we’ll also discuss that band’s third record amaran (and the EP that closely followed, genesis) — and since I’d made the mistake of finding that earlier album too late and excluding it from my 2012 list, I made sure to rectify that when it came time to put together my list for 2015, since those two (jointly) happened to rank among the best things I heard last year.

Anyway, that’s surely enough in the way of introduction — you can just expect that we’ll be covering several entries from this band’s discography — part of which I was sorry to have missed once, and all of which you would be wise not to miss now!

 

Continue reading