Odradek Room – A Man of Silt (2017)

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With a keen eye for unique and boundary pushing release, today we have the latest Hypnotic Dirge Records release with Odradek Room’s sophomore album “A Man of Silt”. Unleashing over 50 minutes of superbly crafted Progressive Death/Doom Metal, this band merges influences from bands like Anathema and Opeth with lush instrumentations and a very somber mood. If you like complex music with high replay value, this is certainly one of the best releases in 2017 for that.

The intro “Arising in the Void” provides a very dark and somber opening into the band’s unique musical voyage adorned with an Armenian duduk. The release continues to blossom with the transition into heavy guitars and growls in “Selfness”, a 7-minute piece that sets the experimental proggy tone for this album. Hailing from Ukraine, the band crafts very unique songs filled with highly atmospheric passages that are quite intricate and yet lush and filled with emotion, as delivered in “Texture of Reality”.

Moonspell – 1755 (2017)

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Only getter better and better with time, today we have the legendary Moonspell and their latest musical opus “1755”. Featuring over 50 minutes of highly emotional and intense music, the band continues to refine their sound while unleashing some epic songs with their signature style. If you have followed the band over the years, the constant quality of their releases is unrivaled, this is yet another excellent album that will stand the test of time.

Opening with the reinterpretation of “Em Nombre do Medo” from the Alpha Noir album, the band sets a very dark and sinister mood with the enhanced classical/choral arrangements added to this already intense song. The Middle-Eastern elements of the album title track make it quite engaging a unique, creating a very mysterious atmosphere that is perfectly complemented by Fernando Ribeiro’s signature vocals.

Gloam – Death is the Beginning (2017)

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Hailing from the USA, today we have Gloam and their sickening latest EP titled “Death is the Beginning”. Unleashing three powerful tracks of raw and relentless Black/Doom Metal, the band crafts a very powerful and effective sound that is quite ravaging and violent. Sounding like a ‘slower’ version of Watain (kind of like Weapon), this EP is certainly a great way to get acquainted with the crushing sound.

The band sets the mood with the very sinister intro track, “Anguish”, setting a very melodic and engaging backdrop while not revealing too much of what is to come. Unleashing their fury, “…OF a Carrion Kind” rips this release wide open with punishing riffs and tight drumming. The band’s sound is instantly fully immersive and quite engaging. We enjoy how they blend their harsher elements like the vocals, with the more melodic musical core and end up creating a very relentless aural experience.

Wakener – Rise to Fall (2015)

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Hailing from Finland, today we have Melodic Death Metal batallion Wakener and their debut demo titled “Rise to Fall”. Featuring over 20 minutes of catchy music, the band showcases a very in your face attitude and a knack for crafting engaging tunes. Reminding us of old-school Kalmah, Amorphis, and Satm1na, this new band is ready to deliver killer neck snapping tunes that will keep you waiting more.

Opening with the demo title track, “Rise to Fall”, we are treated to a hectic track filled with solid riffs and a very groovy vibe. Things turn a bit more sinister and even Thrashier with the crushing riffs of “The Artist”, showcasing the band’s versatility and command of their instruments. Reminding us of a mixture of old Sepultura and Kalmah, “Organized Hate” keeps things rolling with a very direct and full of attitude approach.

Brujeria + Powerflo + Piñata Protest - 11/23/2016 - Slim’s - San Francisco, CA

Touring on support of their 2016’s release “Pocho Aztlan”, Brujeria finally made it to San Francisco with the company of Powerflo and Piñata Protest. On a Monday night, usually shows are not very full, but this one was the exception as a fully packed Slim’s was bracing to receive the unparalleled energy that Brujeria brings to the table.

Hanging Garden – I am Become (2017)

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Just in time for the Fall and Winter seasons, today we have the Hanging Garden’s very dark and atmospheric “I am Become”. These Finnish Melodic Death/Doomsters unleash 46 minutes of catchy and crafty music that is quite diverse in nature. Filled with brilliant melodic Death/Doom Metal elements, this album perfectly blends the band’s old-school sound with their more modern and atmospheric influences.

Kicking off with “As Above, So Below”, we get a certain Insomnium guitar driven vibe that invites the listener to head bang while listening and settle into a dark and melodic vibe. Things go into a Swallow the Sun vibe with the aggressive riffing of “Hearthfire”, a track which features guest vocals from Tomi Joutsen from Amorphis fame. Interestingly enough, the band’s more Atmospheric Rock side comes out in the excellent “Elysium”, a piece that is quite melancholic and moody.

Sum of R – Orga (2017)

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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.

Kassad – Faces Turn Away (2017)

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Unleashing one of the most devastating and aurally dissonant releases of 2017, today we have Kassad and their debut full-length release “Faces Turn Away”. This one-man band from London manages to unleash very violent outbursts that are nicely framed around some more melodic and atmospheric passages, greatly exacerbating the contrast created. For over 45 minutes this release will certainly keep you engaged and demoralized.

Opening with the pummeling “Shame”, we get a brutal onslaught like the ones delivered by outfits like Anaal Nathrakh with intense riffing and superbly harsh distorted vocals. This track suddenly transforms into a more Post-Black Metal piece with dreamy passages and catchy percussions. “Pariah” continues the flow with more brutality and intense drumming, while unleashing more traditional Black Metal riffs.

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.

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