Many younger metalheads will find it difficult to believe, but there were times when a combination dubbed ‘symphonic Black Metal’ was actually cool. Not only to the listeners of this nowadays considered weird genre, but to wider metalhead population. Black metal could contain melody and be listenable, it could contain keyboard parts, which weren’t tacky and so on. Similar combination still happens today, but in the end it usually ends up being too radio / TV friendly (which is allegedly going versus all imaginable Black Metal standards).
Yet some artists are balancing between both worlds quite well, and this year one of the most recognizable release in that genre came from Ringarë, band from the States that now divides their life between Pennsylvania and Sweden. This is the bands debut full length which had been in the works for well over a decade. But Ringarë’s evolution can be traced back to the times which I had mentioned in the beginning, the end of the nineties, when guitarist Esoterica played in a band called Krieg und Tod. That band evolved into Troglodytic, which morphed into Ringarë further on.
As I mentioned before, Ringarës debut full length has a certain mid-nineties feel and it brings me (once an avid Emperor fan) back to the day when I started to get familiar with the scene which had been in full bloom at that point. Uncomfortable dissonance is paired with crystal clean melodies and swift rhythm changes with atmosphere. Maybe today’s supporters of trve kvlt black metal will find it weird, if not even humiliating, but that’s their own problem. Some of us still remember the good old days. (Black Mary)