Enlarge Ash announcing that Nargaroth has signed with Season of Mist!

14 Upcoming European Black Metal Releases We Can’t Wait to Check Out


This year, we’ve been lucky enough to get some truly wicked content from bands like Vulture Lord, Nordjevel, Mork, and Khold. Right now, the future of black metal looks bright with so much exciting material on the horizon. Kampfar will unleash their latest gem, Til klovers takt, on November 11. The highly influential Satanic outfit Ofermod and the blackish, melancholic Ofdrykkja, both from Sweden, will each unveil albums on November 25, as will brilliant Norwegian pioneers In the Woods… with their newest effort, Diversum.

Sweden’s Deathstars may not be what you would call black metal, but best friends Emil Nödtveidt and Andreas Bergh certainly come from black metal backgrounds. Their follow-up to A Perfect Cult (2014) has been in the making for years. Let’s hope that it arrives in 2023.

With so many exciting new releases coming right around the corner, here’s a list of 14 European black metal bands with upcoming releases that we’re genuinely stoked to experience!


Order and their members have taken to social media to provide updates on their third album. Order’s The Gospel was one of the best moments of 2021, with the band’s dream lineup of Mayhem’s co-founder Kjetil Manheim; Mayhem’s “first” vocalist Billy Messiah — a punk rocker; ex-Gluecifer‘s Stu Manx; and Cadaver‘s Anders Odden. This True Nordic Black-Death Metal outfit was founded by Odden in 2013 and originally featured ex-Cadaver’s René Jansen, who tragically passed away from leukemia in 2014.


We still have not recovered from the awesomeness of Eternal Hails…… (2021). Although some might disagree, we believe that the closing track, “Lost Arcane City of Uppåkra,” is one of Darkthrone‘s most memorable moments. As Fenriz told Premier Guitar, it is truly “otherworldly.” Even though Darkthrone is one of the most prolific black metal bands, we were still a bit stunned when they announced in September that they would be releasing their next chapter, Astral Forces, on October 28. Fenriz and his partner in crime, Nocturno Culto, have not played a gig together since 1996 partly in order to focus on creating as much content as possible and also to avoid situations that feel inauthentic. You never have to worry about Darkthrone selling out.


In the words of Darkthrone’s “The Ones You Left Behind,” the news that Nargaroth has signed with Season of Mist made us feel “Excited!!! Delighted!!!” René “Ash” Wagner and the ultra-cool label broke the news in a brief yet hilarious video on August 24. We are so thrilled that a major label had the balls to recognize the iconic Nargaroth’s top wolf status.

In the video, Wagner also stated that he had just returned from LA where he recorded drums for his upcoming, eighth album and would be returning in October. Last month, Nargaroth travelled to Mexico and Guatemala. Next year, the band will conquer Switzerland at Black Hole Fest. We look forward to watching Wagner continue to make “Krieg,” not Liebe, all around the world.


According to Dødheimsgard’s mastermind, Vicotnik, the recording of the group’s next album has already been completed. Vicotnik is one of the most inventive men in metal, so we’re extremely curious to hear the surprises that he has in store for us. This will be DHG’s first effort since A Umbra Omega (2015).

Similarly, Vicotnik has spoken about the possibility of picking up where Ved Buens Ende left off with the phenomenal Written in Waters (1995). Vicotnik co-founded VBE with Agressor / Czral (Aura Noir, ex-Cadaver) after ditching his Askim-based group Manes and moving to Oslo. Vicotnik and the DSBM pioneers Strid may also release record in the future. Although Strid has worked on new material, Vicotnik has acknowledged that it may never see the light of day. The band only has one ’90s member remaining, Ravn Harjar — two have sadly passed away.


Vicotnik has joked about the fact that Thorns always seems to be in the process of making a new album. We have faith, however, that Thorns’ Snorre Ruch will pull through for us. Given Snorre and Thorns’ massive impact on the scene, it is hard to fathom that they’ve only released one full-length record to date, their 2001 self-titled album. All black metallers should know that Ruch and Mayhem’s Euronymous were the architects behind the black metal style of riffing. Snorre’s killer riffs can be heard on Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Although he does not play on the finished product, he was involved in the creative process and even drew the cover.

Ritual Death

This is a huge update; Ritual Death will unleash its “Black Metal Terror” on December 5! Ritual Death’s self-titled album will be their first full-length effort. Ritual Death’s members are top players in the “Nidrosian black metal scene.” They have made some of the most enjoyable and individualistic black metal of all time with bands like Dark Sonority; Mare; One Tail, One Head; Celestial Bloodshed; and Kaosritual. No, despite the praises we could continue to sing, it would be impossible to properly emphasize the achievements of Ritual Death’s vocalist and guitarist Luctus, drummer Nosophoros, and organist H. Tvedt. Luctus plays guitar with the Finnish greats Behexen, fronts the highly unique four-piece Beyond Man, and more. Yet, we wouldn’t want to forget to show our love for the group’s bassist, the Italian-born Lord Nathas of Funeral Harvest, as well.


Ljå, or “Scythe,” is a truly underrated group. These reapers manage to have a unique sound while still channeling raw, old-school aggression. In 2020, this incredible Stavanger band took to Facebook to spread the good news: “There will soon be a new album… We are finishing the mixing and releasing LP vinyl.” This will be their first full-length endeavor since losing Djevel‘s Trånn Ciekals, who was known in Ljå as “Darktrond.”


The lethal Sarkom has warned us about a new EP that is sure to cause a blizzard winter! We can’t wait to get hooked on more of their “Anti-Cosmic Art.” Last year, Sarkom hit us with two different EPs, each of which contained two atypical songs that are guaranteed to make you crack a smile — “Steam Rock Fever,” “Rock Bottom Manifest,” “Svøpt i en dynge av dritt,” and a cover of Prodigy‘s “Breathe.” Sarkom is composed of members of DHG, So Much for Nothing, Svarttjern, and ex-Svarthaueg. These guys are undeniably fun and oh-so-very blasphemous. Whereas many black metal bands are like energy leeches who will leave you feeling down, this in-your-face crew will make you feel capable of lifting 666 lbs of steel.

Den Saakaldte

Den Saakaldte, which is a play on “saakalte”/”so-called,” is one bone-chilling band. The outfit was founded in 2006 by the Greek-born Sykelig, owner of Telerock bar and former frontman of Naer Mataron. (Unlikely fact: Vicotnik stepped in on vocals in Naer Mataron to fill Sykelig’s absence.) Over the years, Den Saakaldte’s roster has included some top names. Den Saakaldte currently boasts members of outfits like Arcturus and Nocturnal Breed. Pesten som tar over will be the band’s first full-length effort since Kapittel II: Faen i Helvete (2014). The band enlisted artist Chadwick St. John, who has worked with Darkthrone, to design their latest cover. In September, Den Saakaldte posted that parts of the video that they were working on for the track “Av Satans ild,” which will be on the record, were shot in a building from the 1600s.


Expect Dødsengel’s newest album, Bab Al On, on December 16. Dødsengel has already unleashed the record’s magnificent opening, “Ad Babalonis Amorem Do Dedico Omnia Nihilo.” Bab Al On will be the duo’s fifth first full-length effort and their first since Interequinox (2017). Only the song “Arcane Slumber” on the split Ekstrophë came between the two to help bridge the five-year gap. In case you might have missed it, Dødsengel’s bizarre and creepy sophomore album, Mirium Occultum (2010), is simply classic.


Nattefrost’s Solo Project & Carpathian Forest

In March, Carpathian Forest took to Facebook to announce: “He [CP’s Nattefrost] is there [in CP’s Vrangsinn’s studio] for a recording/mixing session of an upcoming Nattefrost release, and to do the final touches on the artwork for CARPATHIAN FOREST’s upcoming album “Likskue-Dødens arkitektur.”‘ Nattefrost’s solo project is one of our favorites, but we were genuinely worried that we might never hear more of this “True Primitive Narrow-Minded Black Metal.” Nattefrost’s upcoming masterpiece will be his first release since his split with Fenriz’ Red Planet, Engangsgrill (2009). In the past, Nattefrost has had some of the very best musicians contribute to his solo work. We predict that Vrangsinn will appear on Nattefrost’s next effort, seeing as he was only absent from Nattefrost’s EP, Drunk and Pisseskev at Ringnes 2004 (2006).

In any case, Vrangsinn and Nattefrost’s collaboration with the rest of the crew — the Svarttjern boys Audun, Malphas, and Erik Gamle — on Carpathian Forest’s Likskue-Dødens arkitektur is bound to be a skull-crushing hit. It will be Carpathian Forest’s first studio since their lucky number six, Fuck You All!!!! (Caput Tuum in Ano Est) (2006).

Shining & Høstsol

Although he recently set sail on a long cruise, Niklas Kvarforth has been working hard on another Shining album, which will follow X — Varg utan flock (2018). We can look forward to stellar lyrics like “What doesn’t kill you, disappoints me.” Yet, Niklas himself never disappoints and neither will his latest achievement: “Our eleventh album will be monumental!” Niklas has stated that XI will be released around April/May of next year.

Niklas is especially proud of his new Shining lineup after deciding to axe all members, except guitarist Peter Huss, and start afresh. The rockstar has successfully added Mayhem and Cradle of Filth‘s Charles “Ghul” Hedger as a second guitarist, Dimmu Borgir and ex-Cradle of Filth’s Nick Barker on drums, and ex-Necrophobic‘s Alex Impaler on bass. Niklas posted: “Finally, Shining have truly become, and sound like a real band!” In addition to the album, Shining’s current roster will be bringing you some cover songs. We know that Niklas has wanted to tackle the likes of Rihanna and Madonna.

This year, Shining released a two-song split LP, Ugly & Cold, with Høstsol — Niklas’ project with Mayhem and ex-Shining’s Hellhammer, Manes‘ Cernunnus, and Ajattara’s Kalmos. This may just be the best lineup ever! The Ugly & Cold features “Din Skördetid Är Nu Kommen” from Høstsol’s upcoming debut album. Høstsol had optimistically written that they hoped to drop the record this fall.

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