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Orsaeth & Gnarles Bronson expose two great interlinked black metal acts from the UK. These are two of the stronger releases of the year that have sadly been overlooked by a lot of people. If you like your music moody and emotional with thematic leanings you’re in for a huge treat!

A Forest of Stars (or, their proper title, A Gentlemen’s Club A Forest of Stars) are a seven piece psychedelic black metal band from Leeds. Their sound is something out of the ordinary within the black metal scene, as they strive to build a very Victorian era atmosphere with their music. The members of the band all use stage names that would fit right in with a high society club in nineteenth century England. Taking their musical cues from the dark side of the Victorian era, their latest release, the excellent A Shadowplay For Yesterdays, is a smoky, eerie, devilish mind trip. It’s black metal played through the eyes of a classy opium den in 1892 England. Deranged shrieks and wheezing raspy vocals dance in and out through the haze of slow doom-y, haunting breaks, mind warping hallucinogen-induced fast passages and an occasional progressive rock flourish. The keyboards add the element of psychosis, and a strange chanting choir is the finishing weave bidding this tapestry of madness together. Thematically, it toes the line of all-out, woozy punishing black metal, but just when one expects that, it changes into something else, whether that be something heavier and grandiose, or something bouncy and sinister. Shadowplay is a concept album, about a man who finds himself torn between a path of righteous virtue, and blasphemy and sin. The music powerfully represents this internal struggle; crafting an amazing tale of sin and virtue, soaked in sinister and supernatural themes, lore, and embellished with probably more than a little psychedelic drugs.

Check out the chilling and innovative music video for the song “Gatherer of The Pure” from A Shadowplay For Yesterdays.

For more information about the band check out their amazing and effective website

That’s all from Orsaeth! Now for Gnarles Bronson!

The Water Witch are a band consisting primarily of former and current members of Leeds-based black metal outfit, A Forest Of Stars. Recently, they have bestowed upon us their own beautiful and intricate black metal creation.

Black metal, both atmospheric and experimental, is surging into the forefront of extreme metal more than ever before – and with The Water Witch having released these two debut songs from The Heavens in Traction, it’s safe to say that the surge is intensifying. Fans of Castevet, Deathspell Omega, Leviathan, Xasthur, and Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum will find that this band manages to step outside the confines of traditional black metal, caring not an inkling of a fuck about the indemnification of black metal elitists around the globe. Get your ambience heightened with this worldly mist of Earth-metal.

Before trying this band, make sure to cleanse your pallet first by giving yourself 10 minutes of silence before pressing play.