Karg – Weltenasche (2016)

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From Harakiri for the Sky’s vocalist, today we have Karg, a one-man battalion delivering highly atmospheric Black Metal/Post-Black Metal. Featuring eight tracks and over 70 minutes of dreamy music, “Weltenasche” is a very soothing and yet demoralizing release that will certainly appeal to all fans of Depressive Black Metal to Post-Black Metal.

Opening with the incisive “Crevasse”, we are treated to a very moody and diverse track filled with tempo changes and heavy atmospheric elements. The album continues to perfectly juxtapose aggressiveness and melody as we can hear in the progression of “Alles wird in Flammen stehen”, which some parts remind us a bit of Dornenreich. The band’s raw emotions are instantly felt in songs like “Le couloir des ombres” which has a certain Alcet-like vibe, but with the Karg imprint dominating.

Teethgrinder – Nihilism (2016)

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Elevating the definition of musical violence to the nth power, today we have Teethgrinder from the Netherlands and their crushing Grindcore/Brutal Death Metal music. Delivering nine pummeling tracks, this release rivals Anaal Nathrakh’s “The Whole of the Law” for the most mercilessly brutal release of 2016.

The band preps the listener with the dissonant sounds of the deranged intro track “Sommambulant”, a piece that somewhat describes the madness that is about to take place in this release. Shit gets instantly real with the violent screams of “The Soil has a Thirst for Blood”, a track that is both intense and punishing thanks to the killer drums and ravaging riffs. We particularly enjoy the sporadic audio clips inserted on tracks like “Isolation” and “Pale Flowers”, which remind us a bit of the song intros Macabre uses.

Dysemblem – Strength of Giants (2016)

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Arriving from the UK, today we have new-comer(s) Dysemblem and their debut release “Strength of Giants”. With a pummeling old-school Death/Black Metal style, this outfit delivers 32 minutes of an action packed release that shows a great deal of promise and a hefty dosage of violence.

Opening with the relentless riffing of “Down the Chasm”, the band makes a big impression with such a punishing sound. The mixture of harsh growls and crafty drums makes for a very entertaining back-to-basics track. The Death Metal influences are key for making tracks like “Gourd of the Damned” very catchy while being superbly brutal. With a certain Swedish Death Metal edge to it, “Gloria Victis” is one of our favorite tracks as it reminds us a bit of old-school Grave and Centinex.

Dendrites – Dendrites (2016)

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Hailing from Greece, today we have Hard Rockers Dendrites and their self-titled debut release. Adding some elements of Groove Metal into the mix, this Greek outfit delivers ten superbly catchy tracks that will resonate in your head for days to come.

Opening with the momentum builder “The Wheel”, we are instantly very surprised on how ‘American’ does the band sound. The band’s vocalist and guitarist Thanasis Tiblalexis as a very distinctive voice which reminds us of Shady Blue of Chrome Division and Markus Hammer of The New Black. The band continues to totally rock with pretty solid tracks like “Breath”, “How Many Times”, and our personal favorite “Peace of Mind”.

Aenaon – Hypnosophy (2016)

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Finally ready to take the scene by storm, today we have Greece’s Aenaon and their latest full-length release “Hypnosophy”. Having refined their music over the year years of their existence, the band is ready to take the spotlight with this very mature and musically brilliant release. Perfectly blending experimental elements into a highly efficient Progressive Black Metal foundation, the band delivers 55 minutes of intense music.

The album opens with the magnificent, “Oneirodynia”, a track that combines influences of Emperor, Ihsahn, and Arcturus in a very tight and perfectly executed nearly 8 minutes piece. The band has added a permanent saxophone player, which adds a good deal of depth and originality to their music. Not disappointing the band’s fans of heavier pieces, tracks like “Fire Walk With Me” deliver relentless high octane experiences.

Wolf Counsel – Ironclad (2016)

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Hailing from Switzerland, today we have Sludge/Doomsters Wolf Counsel and their sophomore release “Ironclad”. Delivering over 43 minutes of ripping tunes, the band nicely pummels the listener with tangy riffs and plenty of headbanging moments. Perfectly blending Sludgy element into a Doom core, the band crafts a unique signature style that differentiates them from the rest.

The release rips wide open with the incisive opening riffs of “Pure as the Driven Snow”. The band instantly marks their territory with piercing riffs and a very mellow and gloomy tempo. Things quickly move into the Sludge/Southern Metal territory with the catchy album title clad. Here we also get a good combination of clean and harsh vocals, making things interesting and diverse.

Earth and Pillars – Pillars I (2016)

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Recently released on Avantgarde Music, today we have Italy’s two man battalion Earth and Pillars with their sophomore release “Pillars I”. Delivering four tracks with over 60 minutes of relentless Atmospheric Black Metal, this band stands out from the competition with their Dark Ambient and Noise-ish influences. While everybody is trying to sound like Alcest, Deafheaven or Ghost Bath, this band marks their own path with their ravaging sound.

The opener, “Pillars” slowly builds up to a chaotic mixture of blistering riffs, hyper fast drums, harsh screams and very prominent keyboard atmospheric elements. This mixture works very well in creating an oppressive and wall of sound that at times has some certain Noise-ish influences that bands like Ash Borer combine with their Black Metal, as we can hear in the multi-faceted “Myth”. This track has a very moody and cinematic vibe to it, making it an exhilarating listening experience.

Dreaded Void – The Abyssal Plane of Suffering (2016)

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Arriving from Australia with great brutality and rawness, today we have Dreaded Void and their debut EP “The Abyssal Plane of Suffering”. Delivering over 20 minutes of gut-wrenching Black Metal, this is one of those few releases that while being quite brutal and harsh, it manages to be engineered to sound perfect.

The EP kicks off with the blistering riffing of “Abyssal”. This track is filled with hate as we can hear from the combination of screams and growls that overtake the intensity of the riffing and drumming. There is a nearly instantaneous wall of sound being delivered via the relentless riffing onslaughts. Like a bag of bricks directly to the face, “The Murk” continues the ravaging with very brutal screams and a very sinister mood.

Sirenia – Dim Days of Dolor (2016)

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Taking the scene by surprise by changing lead singers, Sirenia manages to come out on top with the brilliant “Dim Days of Dolor”. Delivering over 55 minutes of signature Sirenia Symphonic/Gothic Metal, the band shows no signs of slowing down while unleashing their best release to date. If you are concerned on how Emmanuelle Zoldan fits with the band’s style, you are in for a treat as her vocals perfectly blend with the bombastic nature of the music.

Opening with the explosive “Goddess of the Sea”, the band instantly shows that their sound is still as bombastic as ever and that Emmanuelle’s seductive vocals seamlessly integrate with it. One of the things we love more about Sirenia is the lush and vibrant choir arrangements and this track instantly satisfied our cravings. The catchiest song on this release, and probably the band’s history, comes under the album title and delivers a brilliant chorus section and very digestible and engaging riffs. Once you hear this track, you will not be able to get it out of your head.

Dark Sarah – The Puzzle (2016)

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Hailing from Finland, today we have Heidi Parviainen’s Dark Sarah and their sophomore full-length release titled “The Puzzle”. Delivering ten bombastic songs of very dramatic and theatrical Symphonic/Gothic Metal, Heidi continues to come out the shadows of her ex band Amberian Dawn and establish her-self (and the new band) as one of the most dynamic and engaging bands in the genre. If you like bands like Nightwish, Epica, Cornoatus, etc. this is one release you don’t want to miss.

After the opening intro, “Island in the Mist” opens up with heavy riffs and magical keyboards. With this approach the track feels quite engaging and very bombastic as Hedi’s vocals appear adding to the magic. With Erkka Korhonen (Northern Kings) and Sami Salonen handling the guitar duties, tracks like “Little Men” and “Ash Grove” are both heavy and playful, changing tempos perfectly and allowing the music to be as dynamic and explosive as possible.

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