Esoctrilihum – Eternity of Shaog

Esoctrilihum – Eternity of Shaog

Black metal is an ever-evolving beast and there are a handful of bands who are consistently pushing the underground of the genre into new territory; generally these bands are one person projects who release music independently or on small labels – for the aesthetic, of course. One such band is France’s Esoctrilihum, who have released four full lengths since 2017 and with Eternity of Shaog – the fifth – the band have pushed themselves once again, a little further out from the underground.

Sole member Asthâghul might be a mysterious figure, but Esoctrilihum gives us a small glimpse into the mind of a person who has been creating an individual space for themselves in the pantheon of black metal that is out there. This is a unique vision and one that stands far apart from much of the “popular” black metal or even the less known acts that exist and that it is the work of one person only, makes it all the more impressive in its complexity and concepts.

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Neige Morte – Bicephaale

French obscurity masters Neige Morte are adept at creating soundscapes so abhorrent that just getting through to the end of their second record is a lesson in endurance. Bicephaale doesn’t trip on the more prevalent French rawness or prettiness, instead it resides in filth and dissonance and the very dirt of the earth. “500 Jours de Haine” strips back any semblance of melody to begin the album and punish with swirling vortexes of noise. All gnashing vocals and clashing guitars and sickening drum beats – it’s truly a cacophony and the discordance is dizzying and bewildering. The echoing martial drum beat that blurs into view around fuzzy guitars and XT’s vocals allow the band to step back ever so slightly yet they never lose that forceful rhythm and desolate tone that has been built up so far.

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