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”.
Completely catching us by surprise and blowing us away, today we have Sweden’s Avslut and their debut release “Deceptis”. With a name like Avslut (audio/visual slut, average slut - as defined by urban dictionary), we were quite skeptical about this release, but since the moment it started we were totally wrong. Released by Osmose productions, this band delivers over 43 minutes of lush melodic Black Metal similar to outfits like Dimmu Borgir (minus the fluffy stuff) and the brutality of Dark Funeral.
Opening with “Pestilens” the band viciously smacks the listener with intense drumming and intricate riffing. The atmosphere crafted is instantly chaotic and quite destructive, with hellish vocals and a blistering pace. Perfectly mixing superbly fast passages with more melodic and crafty riffs, the band pummels through tracks like “Förlorad” and “Existensens skugga” with such grace and demoralizing brutality.
Going back to their original Death/Doom Metal roots, today we have On Thorns I Lay and their amazing release: “Aegean Sorrow”. Keeping the Death/Doom Metal flame alive, the band delivers over 45 minutes of truly demoralizing music that reminds us of their sound back in the 90’s and outfits like Celestial Seasons (early days) and Forest of Shadows. If you are looking for Death/Doom Metal, this is the album to get in 2018.
Opening with the incisive riffs and gargantuan growls of the album title track we are taken back in time to the heydays of the genre. The band however adds a certain dimension of modern Melodic Death/Doom Metal as we can hear in the melodic guitars of “Erevos” and the crushing “In Emerald Eyes”, were we get a Swallow the Sun/Hanging Garden-esque contrast of deep growls and catchy guitars.
Delivering a hefty dose of catchy and energetic Power Metal, today we have Italy’s Frozen Crown and their debut release “The Fallen King”. Featuring over 44 minutes of music divided in ten songs, the band showcases excellent songwriting skills and a great balance between intensity and melody. If you are a fan of bands like Rhapsody, Stratovarius and similar outfits, you don’t want to miss this one.
Formed by multi-instrumentalist (and vocalist) Federico Mondelli, the band quickly sets a very energetic pace with the intricate “Fall No More”. The band’s riffing is quite traditional, and allows the songs to change tempos and showcase other elements quite well. The male vocals are pretty standard for the genre, but the highlight is Giada Etro’s singing. We are familiar with her voice from her work with Ashes you Leave, but here she takes things to a completely different level in tracks like “To Infinity”, “Kings” and the superb “I am the Tyrant”.
Unleashing one of the rawest and most pummeling releases of this young 2018, today we have Finland’s Blood Chalice and their debut full-length “Sepulchral Chants of Self-Destruction”. As a joint release from Regain Records and Helter Skelter, we get 27 minutes of lo-fi bestial devastation in the shape of ten tracks. For the fans of intense Death/Black Metal, this release will keep head banging from start to finish.
Opening with the violent “The Unholy Angel of All”, the band sets a very intense pace and a ravaging sound that is quite effective for the genre. The punishing vocals deliver an unholy experience as they resonate on killer tracks like “The Passage” and the moody “Coven”. We particularly enjoy the crunchy riffing on “The Four”, a song that expertly changes tempos and pummels the listener when they least expect it.
With a completely revamped line-up since their last full-length release, today we have Austria’s Visions of Atlantis and their signature high-octane Melodic/Symphonic Power Metal. Unleashing “The Deep & the Dark”, the band’s first full-length release since 2013, fans of band will be completely blow away by the power and intensity behind the ten songs presented in this release.
Fronted by the highly talented Clémentine Delauney, the band sets sails in this very exciting journey with the energetic album titled track. The atmosphere is very well set with the symphonic elements as the musical playfulness kicks in full gear with incisive guitars and superbly catchy female vocals. The male Power Metal vocals are handled perfectly by Siegfried Samer, as he provides an excellent balance in his leads and duets with Clémentine, as we can quickly hear in the magical “Return to Lemuria”. This last track has a certain Sonata Arctica-esque magic that is driven initially by the Chris Kamper’s keyboards.
Hailing from the UK, today we have Melodic Death/Doom Metal outfit Twilight’s Embrace and their self-released EP “Penance”. Unleashing four highly melancholic tracks, this release features that old-school Death/Doom sound that fans of bands like My Dying Bride, October Tide and November’s Doom will completely love and enjoy. In a short but sweet time, the band will certainly win you over with their crafty song writing and engaging music.
Opening with “Dying Earth”, the band sets a very moody atmosphere with weeping guitar leads and catchy riffs. The song structure is quite traditional for the genre, but it quickly hooks you into head banging alongside the music. Changing up the pace, “Curtain Call” delivers more waves of melancholy as the growls perfectly complement the tempo of the track. We particularly enjoy the certain retro vibe and bleak atmosphere crafted around this track.
Continuing their meteoric rise on the Post-Black Metal ranks, today we have Austria’s Harakiri for the Sky and their fourth full-length release “Arson”. Delivering their most refined album to date, this duo unleashes a very melancholic vibe through their poignant style while perfectly balancing aggression with melody. Formed back in 2011, this outfit has constantly been improving upon their previous releases and now they are more than ready for wider appeal.
Opening with the intensity of “Fire, Walk With Me”, the band quickly showcases their signature style of mixing intricate drumming with crushing guitar leads and energetic singing. With Matthias Sollak handling all instruments, the band’s sound stays quite intact while adding a few refinements that allow longer songs like “The Graves we’ve Dug” and “You are the Scars” flow perfectly. With some hints of Melodic Death Metal elements from bands like October Tide and In Mourning present in the previously mentioned songs riffing, we get a mellower and yet aggressive sound that quickly surrounds the listener.
Unleashing a powerful barrage of killer riffs and chaotic vocals, today we have Untervoid and their self-titled mini-debut release. Hailing from Poland and featuring members of outfits like Armagedon and Kriegsmaschine, this short but sweet release is as relentless and powerful as they get. Four track are all you are going to need to be on the lookout for more material from this outfit.
Kicking off with demoralizing intensity, “Messer” opens up the release with incisive riffs and hauntingly demonic vocals. The mixture of growls, screams, and hollering creates a truly eerie experience. Perfectly blending Black and Death Metal elements with sinister songwriting, tracks like “Twilight” sneak up on the listener with determination and violence. While Destroyer’s guitar work is killer, his vocal versatility is what makes this release even more impressive. Fans of Ulver, Borknagar and Bethlehem will certainly find them appealing.