Southern Lord was having a sale (may still be ongoing) where it was possible to pick up some CDs for $1 apiece. I managed to get Striborg’s Embittered Darkness/Isle De Morts, Abruptum’s Evil Genius and Lair Of The Minotaur’s War Metal Battle Master.
Taking these each in turn I will start with Abruptum. This is a compilation of their earliest work including two demos and a 7” EP. Abruptum are a Black Metal duo from France. This is an honestly great album. Typical second wave of Black Metal, right down to what I presume are ridiculously pretentious song titles, but I do not know as they are in French.
Secondly, I will come to Lair Of The Minotaur. Wikipedia tells me that they are a Doom/Thrash Metal band, which is odd as they remind me of Killswitch Engage, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Out of all the albums I got from Southern Lord this was the most instant for me.
Last, but maybe not least is Striborg. Striborg is a one man Black Metal act from Tasmania, Australia. This leads me to wonder about whether geography really does dictate the kind of music you make. A large part of Tasmania is a wooded wilderness, which is as close to the Scandinavian countryside as you can get in Australia. Could he make Black Metal if he was from the Bondi district of Sydney? Anyway, while Lair Of The Minotaur was instant Striborg was not. The first time I listened to this it was a struggle. Low production quality and over 70 minutes long led to it being a bit of a chore. However second time I listened to it the opposite happened. I loved every moment of it and managed to keep the wife out of the room as she proclaimed she was ‘scared’ of it.
Whether you like Striborg or not there are plenty of excellent releases on Southern Lord, so I recommend you check them out. If you give Greg Anderson some money, he might have enough to book studio time and make a new Sunn 0))) album.
Here is a picture of the cat, displaying her opinion of Striborg: