Album Reviews

  • Visions of Atlantis - The Deep & the Dark (2018)

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    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.

  • Twilight’s Embrace – Penance (2018)

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    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.

  • Harakiri for the Sky – Arson (2018)

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    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.

  • Untervoid – Untervoid (2018)

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    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.

  • Abysmal Grief – Blasphema Secta (2018)

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    Unleashing a truly decadent and terrifying release, today we have Italy’s Abysmal Grief and their very unique amalgamation of Dark/Doom Metal with eerie atmospherics and Avant-garde elements. Clocking in at around 45 minutes of pure decadence, “Blasphema Secta” is a very unique release has a certain retro and raw vibe that will haunt your dreams.

    Setting up the mood with the creepy atmospheric intro, the band eases into the madness of “Behold the Corpse Revived”. This track has a certain The Vision Bleak meets Dark Lunacy vibe with hits lush instrumentation and very determined and chilling pace. Things get a bit wacky with the harrowing “Maleficence” and its eerie catchiness. This track sets a very playful mood with some Gothic/Punk-ish elements thrown into the mix.

  • WildeStarr – Beyond the Rain (2017)

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    Hailing from North America, today we have Melodic Progressive/Heavy Metal outfit WildeStarr and their superb full-length release “Beyond the Rain”. Perfectly delivering that old school Heavy/Power Metal vibe through the sultry vocals of London Wilde, this album is perfect for fans of bands like Accept and Doro, but that want a certain Power Metal edge thrown into the mix.

    Opening with the melodic riffing of “Metamorphose”, we get the first glance of Dave Starr’s guitar skills and a preview of how well they mesh together with the other instruments to create memorable and epic-sounding songs. Tracks like “Beyond the Rain” and “Pressing the Wires” warm up the listener with catchy riffs and very commanding leading vocals.

  • Slow – V – Oceans (2018)

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    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”.

  • Ofdrykkja – Irrfärd (2017)

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    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.

  • I I / Lihhamon – Miasmal Coronation (2017)

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    Closing off 2017 with one truly punishing and demoralizing release, today we have Ván Records unleashing “Miasmal Coronation”. In this split release, we are introduced to the pungent and piercing sound of German Black/Death Metal bands: II and Lihhamon. With each band unleashing around 15 minutes of ravaging music, you will be begging for mercy before the release is done.

    The release kicks off with I I’s mysterious atmospheric opening in “Indoctrination of Deaths Command”, however, this atmospheric start is quickly replaced by pummeling riffs and crushing vocals. The band’s intensity is quite palpable, and their ravaging Black/Death Metal sound is instant evidence of this. The band continues their onslaught with brutal tracks like “Weltenfresser” and the incisive “Miasmal Execration”. With a buzz saw-like guitar sound, we particularly enjoy how massive their sound is. I I leaves on a more melodic tone with the superbly catchy “Vidargängr”.

  • Halphas – Dawn of a Crimson Empire (2017)

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    Featuring the rawness and brutality of bands like Horna, Baptism, and Entartung, today we have Germany’s Halphas and their devastating debut release “Dawn of a Crimson Empire”. Unleashing eight hymns of pure devastation, this band has a timeless sound and a level of intensity that is uncanny.

    Immediately after the warm-up intro, the band beings building momentum with the diabolica-sounding mid-tempo opening of “Call from the Depths”. As the song progresses, its intensity increases, creating a very punishing and demoralizing piece with crushing vocals. The traditional BM riffing of “Through the Forest” kicks things up a notch with pummeling drums and incisive tempo changes. We particularly enjoy the expert guitar layering the band does, allowing their music to be quite expansive and raw.

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