As one of the most interesting split releases of this young 2018, today we have Spectral Lore and Jute Gyte’s split “Helian”. Featuring two tracks and over 40-minutes of intense (and highly experimental) Atmospheric Black Metal, this release demonstrates the two ‘bands’ different takes and musical translation of Georg Trakl’s poem. Which each outfit delivering a chilling and unique experience, this release is certainly not for the faint of heart.
Jute Gyte kicks off the release with a very dissonant opening that slowly transitions into a trance-like state with disparate guitars and funky atmospherics. The vocals are quite disturbing, as they capitalize on the weird atmosphere generated by the repetitive riffs and dense distortion. As the track progresses, it feels like we are descending into madness as it just keeps getting more and more chaotic and bizarre. Truly unique and interesting first ‘half’ of this release.
Hailing from the USA, today we have Atmospheric Black Metal duo Veiled and their ravaging full-length debut release “Black Celestial Orbs”. Perfectly blending melancholic passages with the ravaging intensity of the USBM sound, the band unleashes nearly 40 minutes of masterful music that will instantly gain them recognition among the underground BM bands in the USA.
Opening with the intensity and violence of “Luminous”, we get a very Ash Borer-like layering of guitars and intricate drums that sets the bar quite high for this release. Coming off from the opening track’s high, “Portal” slows things down a bit before furiously pummeling the listener with crushing riffs and hellish vocals. The band’s music is a whirlwind experience of crushing passages and well-timed tempo changes that further contribute to the oppressive atmospheric experience created, as one can listen to in “Enshrouded”.
Originally released on 2017, “V – Oceans” is too much of an album to not have on vinyl, so Code666 is handling this task. Slow is a one-man project which hails from Belgium and it crafts some of the most devastating and bleak Atmospheric/Funeral Doom Metal we have ever heard. Featuring five songs, this is definitely a release you need to take in with full attention and on a dark and gloomy day.
The album starts with a very slow and mournful progression in “Aurore”. The riffing is slow and painful, allowing for the atmospheric elements to shine and lead way to the crushing growls. The band’s mastermind, Déhà, has tons of musical experience and by participating in outfits like Clouds. In Slow, he takes things even further, unleashing songs that are over 10 minutes long and perfectly paced for bleakness, just like the dreamy “Ténèbres”.
Unleashing one of the most harrowing and despair-filled releases of 2017, today we have Sweden’s Ofdrykkja and their sophomore full-length release “Irrfärd”. Featuring a highly oppressive and atmospheric sound, this band unleashes seven ravaging tracks of crushing music that is quite dense and engaging. If you are a fan of bands like Lifelover, Dodsferd and similar outfits, you will definitely enjoy this one.
The album title track starts the release with a very moody and bleak acoustic intro, just the perfect warm-up for the emotional beating to come. As “En vandrares börda” warms up, we are treated to incisive riffs that are nicely paired with clean acoustic guitars. As the mournful vocals make their entrance, the track’s sound and atmosphere tours sour, creating a very demoralizing song.
Unleashing a truly intense musical outburst, today we have one-man Nyctophilia and their full-length release “Dwelling in the Fullmoon Light”. Seeing the light of day on CD format via Mara Productions, this eight tracks sonically abusive release is ready to deliver its brutal and frosty message to a wider audience. Perfectly balancing atmosphere with ravaging intensity, this release is intended for any BM fan that is also into creepy and overpowering atmospherics.
After the warm-up intro, the release fully kicks in with the punishing drumming and riffing of “As Nothing Remains Here”. The track is quite intense and very well developed, bringing back memories from bands like Anorexia Nervosa, thanks to its crushing production and intense demeanor. The brutal onslaught continues with the pummeling “Dark December Forest” and the more mysterious and dense album title track. Both of which go from Immortal-esque moments into darker and more somber vibes.
Originally released in 2015, today we have Circle of Salt’s savagely primitive and raw debut full-length release: “Suffer the Cold”. Featuring two tracks and nearly 40 minutes of levelling Atmospheric Black Metal, this one-man battalion delivers one hell of a crushing sound that will strike fear into the uninitiated.
The release opens with the 19-minute album title track, as it creates a very martial and dense atmosphere with commanding riffs and precise percussions. The band’s sound is quite oppressive and yet simple and raw, there is a certain beauty to be able to craft such a devastating atmosphere with barbaric proportions with only a handful of instruments. Maikan’s harsh vocals perfectly adorn the desolate landscape crafted by the intensity and craftiness of this track.
Unleashing over 34 minutes of highly Atmospheric Black Metal, today we have one-man Lustre with “Still Innocence”. Featuring five aurally oppressive songs, this release continues the legacy of the band as one of the premiere atmospheric outfits. Filled with melancholy and catchiness, this release will certainly resonate with the listener after the first spin.
Opening with the hypnotic pace of “Dreaded Still”, Lustre sets a very ethereal and trippy mood thanks to the keyboards taking the center stage. The mood transforms into a more mysterious and eerie one with the powerful “Nestle Within”. The atmosphere of this track is quite magical as it feels like from a different realm of existence. The percussions set the tone very effectively and appease the listener.
Crafting a very disturbing and eerie dark cloud of sound, today we have Sum of R and their full-length release “Orga”. Hailing from Switzerland, this two-man outfit unleashes a very unique aural exploration that is quite minimalist and ritualistic in nature, with plenty of creepy elements. Recommended for fans of Void ov Voices, Raison D'Etre, Sunn O))), etc., this release will induce nightmares if played in the dark.
The album sets a very martial and disturbing tone with the first few tracks, “Please Ring the Bells”, “Overgrown” and “We Have to Mark This Entrance”, allowing the listener to get into a very eerie and spacey frame of mind. We were particularly disturbed (in a good way) by the funky samples at the end of the third track. The unnerving aural dissonance of pieces like “Cobalt Power” make this release quite a treat to listen to, while others like “Hypnotic State” bring back some more familiar Lustre-influenced elements.
With Agalloch disbanding recently, it is time for a new band to take the throne to the best Atmospheric Black Metal outfit in the USA. With “Lethean Lament”, Mavradoxa makes their case to the throne. Unleashing over 60 minutes of highly engaging and intricate music, this release showcases the band’s creativity while unleashing very melodic and powerful songs.
Opening with the Empyrium-esque “Cicadan” acoustic guitar/violins intro, the band settles into their main sound with the crushing guitars of “The Phantom Visages”. With some very mellow and even ‘Doomy’ riffs, this song is quite engaging and sets a very melodic and sinister atmosphere. As a two-man operation, the band gets things quite heavy when needed with the harsh vocals and blistering riffs.
Delivering one of the most engaging and crushing Death/Doom/Sludge Metal releases of 2017, today we have Jupiterian and their sophomore release “Terraforming”. Unleashing a unique mix of atmospheric elements with traditional Doom/Sludge riffs, the band has crafted over 38 minutes of music that will keep you at the edge of your seat while clamoring for more.
The release immediately sets the tone with the slowly building atmosphere crafted in “Matriarch”. Crafting a powerful wall of sound, the guitars are quite punishing and quite relentless from the start. As “Unearthly Glow” rolls around, we get a more structured Death/Doom dynamic with powerful growls and weeping guitar leads, all tucked between crushing riffs and a very tight tempo.