Unleashing one of the most ambitious and epic Black Metal releases of 2017, today we have Imperious and part one of their double release “Tales of Woe – The Journey of Odysseus”. As epic as the Iliad, this release if full of excellent atmospheric elements to accompany blistering BM tracks that perfectly convey the grandeur of Odysseus journey. Originally self-released by the band in 2015, it is great that Massacre Records is giving this epic album a proper and wide release.
After setting the mood with the mellow “At The Shores of Ilion”, the band launches the first onslaught with “To Abjure Temptation” and its intense riffing. Setting a very hectic and lush tone since the beginning, hooks the listener instantly into the bands style and approach. The Empyrium-esque “At the Cave of Polyphemus” leads way to incisiveness of “The Sharpened Pale” and the dark and sinister vibe of “Insidious Winds” and its 14-minute of devastation.
Joining forces with Throats Productions, today we have Hypnotic Dirge Records unleashing another brilliant release filled with Atmospheric Black Metal goodness. “Origins” is a split release between USA’s Ah Ciliz and Italy’s one-man outfit Chiral. Featuring a total of five crushing tracks, we are left with great impressions from both of this promising bands.
Opening with Ah Ciliz, the band unleashes the raw power of “Cascadia”, a song very intense and expertly crafted to pack a mean punch. Lurking beneath the punishing riffs and excellent drum patterns, we have a lush melody that makes this track quite engaging. Moving into more atmospheric territories, the lush “Moonlight in Night Season” perfectly changes the pace and delivers a very melancholic and emotional side to the music.
Having a great eye for aurally abusive releases, I, Voidhanger Records, unleashes this December, the debut release of experimental Death/Doom/Black outfit Tongues. With “Hreilia”, the band delivers seven highly disturbing, chaotic and yet very enjoyable tracks that are quite bizarre in nature. Mixing elements from Death/Doom/Black Metal genres into a very unique amalgamation of styles, this release transports the listener to a hellish universe since the first track.
Opening with the funky weirdness of “Perennial Waves”, the listener gets to warm up to a very dissonant and yet enthralling mournful opening that suddenly explodes into full-on madness. We particularly enjoy the sickening vocals and the very raw vibe transmitted. The madness takes a more traditional Black Metal shape with the punishing “Theophagous Wounds of Earth”, and its killer bass guitar line. This is certainly one of the most brutal tracks in this release with a relentless drum track and incisive riffs.
Unleashing probably the best Melodic Death Metal release of 2017, today we have Grecee’s Aetherian and their full-length debut release “The Untamed Wilderness”. Picking all the best elements from bands like Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, Amon Amarth, Dark Tranquility, and Nightrage, this outfit delivers an intense nine-track performance that is worthy of recognition. If you are a fan of melodic DM, this is one hell of an album you can’t afford to miss.
Opening with “Clouds Gathering”, the band sets an Insomnium-esque start which is blown wide open with the catchiness of “The Rain”. With instant headbanging-inducing riffs, this track showcases the band’s knack for catchy and technically proficient song writing. As the band pummels through killer songs like “The Path” and “As the Veil Fades”, we also start noticing the band’s unique signature style as they incorporate influences and make them their own with a very refined style.
Unleashing over 34 minutes of highly Atmospheric Black Metal, today we have one-man Lustre with “Still Innocence”. Featuring five aurally oppressive songs, this release continues the legacy of the band as one of the premiere atmospheric outfits. Filled with melancholy and catchiness, this release will certainly resonate with the listener after the first spin.
Opening with the hypnotic pace of “Dreaded Still”, Lustre sets a very ethereal and trippy mood thanks to the keyboards taking the center stage. The mood transforms into a more mysterious and eerie one with the powerful “Nestle Within”. The atmosphere of this track is quite magical as it feels like from a different realm of existence. The percussions set the tone very effectively and appease the listener.
Delivering one of the most savage and demoralizing Black Metal experiences of 2017, today we have Italy’s L'Infinito Abisso Dell'anima and their release “In Viva Morte Morta Vita Vivo”. Featuring over 44 minutes of punishing music, this band perfectly blends barbarian BM with some hints of melodic/depressive BM influences. Not for the faint of heart, this release will blow the lid off your speakers and have you begging for mercy.
Opening with the highly poignant riffs of “Condannato All’Oblio”, this outfit unleashes a relentless fury filled with a punishing intensity. The vocals perfectly fit the sense of urge and pain transmitted through the intense guitarwork and intricate drum patterns. Settling into the band’s sound, “Spiragli D’Ombra” takes a more melodic and darker shape, thanks to mid-tempo passages filled with melancholy and hate. It is quite impressive how effective the band is at transmitting raw emotion.
In the same vein of bands like Mgła and Batushka, Polish outfit Over the Voids delivers a barrage of savage Black Metal tunes in their debut self-titled release. Set to be unleashed by Nordvis productions, this mysterious band perfectly combines intensity with craftiness to deliver on of the most hectic and devastating Black Metal releases of 2017.
Starting with the 14-minute demoralizing opener “Battle of Heaven”, the band unchains killer riffs and quirky atmospheric passages to create a very dense and powerful atmosphere. With furious guitars and hyperintense drums, “Ghosts Lay Eggs” continues to steamroll through the listener’s speakers with gusto and fury. As the song winds down, we are able to breathe again but still under the influence of the band’s devilish tremolo picking and sinister melodic outbursts.
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”.
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.
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.