Black Lion Records, based in Lycksele, Sweden, may not be quite at the level of some of the bigger European players out there like Season of Mist or Nuclear Blast, but if this mid-level label is not yet on your radar, then please allow Hated One Metal Reviews be the first to clue you in.
Currently representing over forty acts from all over the globe – but with a natural focus and bent toward bands from their native Swedish soil, of course – Black Lion Records have spent the past nine years steadily establishing themselves as one of the premier mid-level labels of the entire world by consistently representing rock solid act after rock solid act.
Not limiting themselves to being a one-trick pony either, Sweden’s Black Lion also back bands from all over the genre map. From the Portuguese prog-metal magnificence of Apotheus, to the classic thrashiness of Sweden’s Defiatory, to the doomy blasts of Italy’s Tethra or the U.S.’s Marrowfields and Hinayana (now with Napalm Records), and to the varied black metal brilliance of France’s Vindland, England’s Kull, or Sweden’s Mist of Misery and Wormlight, Black Lion Records have brought them all to greater prominence and prestige.
Speaking of Umeå, Sweden’s Wormlight, this emergent outfit will return with their second LP, Nightmother, on May 7th through Black Lion Records, and if it is melodically charged, absolutely sunless black metal that you are seeking, then seek no further, for Wormlight has you covered and then some.
Called forth from the cold void by drummer King Antichrist, bassist Arktos, guitarist Latormortis, and vocalist/guitarist Tiamat Invictuz, Wormlight’s sound upon Nightmother is like two equally strong but opposing forces that are at constant war with each other: It is frostbitten yet warm, cabalistic yet accessible, and easily understood yet mystifying. Truly, it is an intriguing sound, indeed, and one to be paid close attention to as we fly headlong into our shared dystopian future.
Some of the finest selections to grace the track listing of this acrimonious, nefarious behemoth of an album include the head-nod-inducing “Whispering Night”, the seven-minute majesty of “Hounds of Apophrades” (“Apophrades Hemerai” were a series of unfortunate, unlucky, impure days upon which no business was to be conducted according to the ancient Athenian calendar), the ensnaring, melodic web of “Fateweaver”, and the wickedly menacing closer, “By Empty Cradles”.
Taken as a whole, however, Wormlight’s Nightmother does seem a smidge one-dimensional, but if you focus in and just enjoy the riffs, the haunting melodic nuances, and the sheer puissance of each individual track, then this album surely stands on its own as yet another estimable release to be issued from both Wormlight and Black Lion Records.
To have a go at Hated One’s absolute favorite track off Nightmother, “Hounds of Apophrades”, simply press play below, and if you are digging what you are hearing, then be sure to support Wormlight further by following the links provided below! Ω
Rating: 91 / 100 (A=)
Release Date: May 7th, 2021
Genre: Black Metal
FFO: Dissection, Unanimated, Immortal, Sacramentum, Naglfar, Watain, Gaerea, Uada, Mörk Gryning