Las Casas Viejas – goul/H (2017)

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Unleashing one of the most unique and aurally abusive releases of 2017, today we have Austria’s Las Casas Viejas and their album “goul/H”. Featuring an amalgamation of dreamy Post-Rock passages, with Doom/Sluge/Black Metal elements, the band creates a very unique atmosphere and evangelizes the listener with five brilliant tracks filled with unique elements and surprises.

Slowly building up the momentum in their opener, “Morbundus”, the band starts off slow with some interesting aural abuse, luckily it slowly progresses into delivering more punishing and demoralizing guitar riffs and a plethora of harsh vocals. Mixing Sludge elements with some different ideas, this piece perfectly leads into the Doom-esque “Kein Ort 1: nicht die Stadt und Lethargie”. The female vocals at times remind us of late The 3rd and The Mortal elements, allowing the band’s sound to have an extra unconventional element.

Blaze of Perdition – Conscious Darkness (2017)

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With Poland’s underground scene reaching maturity with the acclaim of acts like Mgła and Batushka, other outfits like Blaze of Perdition have not gone unnoticed. Delivering their fourth full-length release with “Conscious Darkness”, the band unleashes a very oppressive and ravaging release that will rattle your senses. Crafted around a thick and punishing atmosphere, this is one release you do not want to miss.

Opening with the ravaging riffing onslaught of “A Glimpse of God”, the release sets a very dark and demoralizing mood. The mixture of piercing guitar work with punishing vocals create a very dense and effective atmosphere that sets the pace for this release. Kicking off with a blistering first few minutes, “Ashes Remain” unleashes furious drumming and sickening atmospheric elements paired with more violent vocals, makes for a demoralizing 15-minute behemoth of a track.

Mavradoxa – Lethean Lament (2017)

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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.

Blut Aus Nord – Deus Salutis Meae (2017)

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Unleashing one of the most disturbing and decadent releases of 2017, today we have legendary Blut Aus Nord with their latest opus “Deus Salutis Meae”. Featuring ten tracks filled with hate and punishing atmospheric onslaughts, this release combines all of the band’s previous musical endeavors into a ravaging mixture of elements that while hard to describe is quite intense and powerful. If you are looking for a traditional Black Metal album, you better look somewhere else as this release is a whole different beast.

The mood of this release is quickly set with the creepy “δημιουργός” opening piece that causes aural discomfort while it peaks our curiosity. Things instantly escalate with the dissonance and rawness of “Chorea Macchabeorum”, a punishing piece that showcases the band’s more Industrial edge mixed with some funky vocal arrangements. This chaotic feeling is continued with the pummeling riffing of “Impius” as it exacerbates the level of dissonance with more eerie vocal arrangements and BM-esque shrieks.

Echolot – Volva (2017)

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Unleashing over 55 minutes of brilliant Psychedelic/Progressive Metal, today we have Switzerland’s Echolot and their sophomore release “Volva”. Channeling their inner Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath influences, this three-piece outfit release for very intricate and engaging songs that will keep you engaged from start to end. With tons of bands flocking to these genres, it is quite refreshing to hear new ideas in this release.

The album opens with the groovy proggy guitars of “II”, a track that brilliantly introduces the band’s musical skills and vibe. The warm and fuzzy distortion is quite inviting and eases the listener into Echolot’s sonic world. Slowly building up, “III” continues the album’s progression with Doomy riffs and very moody vocals, greatly enhancing the atmosphere in this release and keeping it diverse and fresh sounding.

Jupiterian – Terraforming (2017)

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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.

Narbeleth – Indomitvs (2017)

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Hailing from Cuba, today we have Black Metal one-man battalion, Narbeleth, and their fourth full-length release “Indomitvs”. Delivering over 35 minutes of savagely raw BM songs, this release showcases true raw power and determination to craft some of the most brutal and ravaging songs ever produced. If you are tired of overproduced and ‘pretty’ sounding Black Metal, this is the album you have been waiting for.

Wasting no time, the riffing onslaught opens with the first note of “The Distortion of Life”. In this track we get that certain 90’s Black Metal vibe with a very guitar and vocals driven approach to the genre. The intensity is relentless and the craftmanship is quite high, as the band continues its demolishing path with “When the Sun has Died”. Keeping things fresh and interesting, the eerie vocal arrangements in “The Lower Point of the Star” will certainly grab your attention and creep you out at the same time.

Vassafor – Malediction (2017)

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Unleashing a punishing and foul onslaught of Black/Death Metal madness, today we have New Zealand’s Vassafor and their sophomore full-length release “Malediction”. Blending elements from old-school Black and Death Metal into a killer wall of sound, this album delivers almost 50 minutes of some of the most decadent and punishing music ever recorded.

Starting with the pummeling “Devourer of a Thousand Worlds”, the slowly creep into the band’s mind with a barrage of demoralizing riffs and creepy vocals. Clocking in at 16-minutes, this track is the perfect opening into Vassafor’s madness. Filled with old-school vibes, “Emergence (of an Unconquerable One)” has a certain Grindcore edge to it due to its incisive guitar leads as well as a retro Death Metal side to it thanks to its meaty hooks.

Enslaved – E (2017)

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Overflowing with creativity and musicianship, today we have Enslaved’s latest opus “E”. Delivering over 45 minutes superbly catchy Progressive Black/Viking Metal, the band continues to refine their explosive sound with a few new tweaks and a whole lot of energy. Just when you think the band can’t get any better, they manage to push the envelope and perfectly balance their old-school elements within the confines of their more modern endeavors.

The album opens with a very light and to a point Post-Rockish vibe on “Storm Son”. This slowly evolves into more Progressive and Enslaved-like territories with dual vocal arrangements, catchy riffs and tight drum patterns. This opener is quite effective as it nicely bridges the band’s last release “In Times”, with what is coming in “E”. The headbanging continues with the extreme catchiness of “The River’s Mouth”, a piece that is quite interesting as the clean vocals remind us a bit of Fear Factory and create a unique contrast.

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