Shadowflag - The Delusion Mechine,
Shadowflag are an interesting musical concept, in that they are taking black metal as a base, combining it with some other extreme metal forms, and then bringing it to life by also including poetry and spoken word. Yes, you don’t have to re-read that last sentence again, I did say poetry. In a black metal band. This is their third album, but right from the beginning they have dared to be different, as in 2013, their self-titled debut featured a 5000-word poem telling the tale of the Voyager and his quest for salvation. They have a stated long-term goal of performing it in its entirety in the Tate Modern 'Turbine Hall' In London, UK. There can’t be many bands who have that as one of their stated aims.
Artistic concepts and conceits are all very well, but how does it work in an audio sense? They have wisely brought in a guest drummer, Anil Carrier from Anaal Nathrakh, and his power and understanding of the genre has set a solid foundation. Musically they can be likened in some ways to Satyricon with hints of Darkthrone and Behemoth, but they aren’t afraid to bring in folk elements at times, and JJ Flames’s vocals ride the fine line between being raw and coherent, so that they contain the right amount of emotion but the power of the words still shine through. This is one that black metal fans should seek out, and as they have some dates lined up in the UK, as well as appearing at the Carpathian Alliance Festival in the Ukraine, there is no excuse for not catching them live either.