Black Metal. I’ll be honest: sometimes its hard to articulate why some black metal albums resonate with me and why others don’t. I think it’s because black metal isn’t a very accessible art form in general. It’s one of those things that is going to click with you or it’s not. This latest album of black metal is one of the ones that really did something for me. It feels like at least once a year there is a black metal band that comes out of the woodwork and puts out something that I find really impressive. I think Uncrown might be that album this year.

First of all, the band, Ages, is an unknown entity to me. From what I can gather, this is album number two for the band and they ply their trade in Scandinavian black metal. Their black metal feels a little more in line with what you find out of the Northwestern U.S. scene in that it’s more focused on atmospherics rather than pummeling aggression in the Mayhem vein or symphonics in the Dimmu Borgir realm. I’d slot these guys in with Agalloch and Wolves in the Throne Room. Hell, one of the dudes plays an instrument called an Oud, which looks to be something out of the lute family. That should give you a bit of a flavor of the sound of which these guys are attempting. One difference in Ages approach is that there are no really long songs. Everything is kind of in the 4-6 minute range. So, it’s accessible in that way. This honestly feels like a good album to start with for someone not overly familiar with black metal. It’s not overly harsh. I mean, compared to Aerosmith, it’s fucking harsh. But, for a black metal album, this is fairly accessible stuff. Just find a rainy day and let this one melt into your mind. This will be a really nice cold weather album.

4 flip flops out of 5

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