Delivering twelve hymns of Black Metal with Depresive Rock undertones, today we have Vanhelga and their second full-length release “Höst”. This two person outfit from Sweden consist of 145188 handling all the instruments and 1853 (ex-Lifelover) writing the lyrics, it is quite a mystery who actually handles the vocals in this release. With razor sharp riffs and melancholic melodies, the band delivers quite enjoyable passive aggressive Black Metal.
The opener “A Sinister Longing” is a very direct and pummeling track with powerful guitars and eerie vocals. The band’s rawness reminds us a bit of earlier Burzum, but with better vocals. There is an underlying melodic aspect to their music that starts surfacing more as you get into the remaining tracks of this release. “Lugn” and “Desperation” continue this release with mellow interludes and excellent harsh sections, bringing a perfect balance between the brutal and the depressive.
Hailing from Russia, today we have one-man band/project Frozen Ocean presenting his 2012 full-length release titled “A Perfect Solitude”. Handling all the instruments and drum programming, Vaarwel manages to craft a very powerful and atmospheric release that showcases his excellent songwriting skills. Featuring seven tracks and nearly 45 minutes of chilling music, this release delivers a hefty amount of bleak soundscapes that will surely keep you on the edge of your seat.
The bleak intro “Broken Window” sets a very mysterious and moody atmosphere that is very unnerving in nature. As the raining sounds bleed into “Somewhere Clouds Debark”, the mood keeps being very eerie and ethereal. The powerful distorted guitars elevate this track while maintaining the chilling atmosphere created. The vocals are very interesting since they are quite lush and greatly enhance the atmosphere, reminding us a bit of bands like Falkenbach and Thyrfing.
Delivering another dosage of creepy atmospheric brilliance, today we have Sagntid and their latest release “The Undisciplined Heart of Sagntid”. Keeping the very eerie vibe always present, this one man band delivers the goods once more in a 10-track release that will keep you at the edge of your seat when played at night and in the dark.
Warming up with “Fierce Pride” the mood is very martial and with the addition of sporadic vocals the listener will be immediately immerse into Sagntid’s world. The longest track in this release is the complex “All Contact Ceased”, a very emotional and quite relaxing track that is very hypnotic in nature.
Arriving from Belgium’s Tanquam Aegri Somnia label, today we have a split release of two crushing Black Metal bands: Cult of Erinyes (Belgium) and Zifir (Turkey). Featuring 30 minutes of music this release does a great job in showcasing both bands monstrous sound and punishing take on the genre. We love split releases that demonstrate the talents of bands just enough to make you interested in them and start looking for their albums, and this is one of those well balance split releases.
The three-piece Cult of Erinyes opens the release with the dissonant “Teutoburger Wald”, a 6 minute devastating track that features a very powerful guitar-driven atmosphere. Within the band’s cavernous sound, the blasting drums and pounding bass guitar nicely keep things interesting while the very typical vocals round-up the equation. After pummeling through the second track “The Eschatologist”, the band delivers their best song of the split release: “Hermintry”. Their last track makes a lasting impression thanks to its crushing guitar work and hellish vocals.
In the short-but-sweet category, today we have a very talented entry from the Northern lands of Finland: Neferion and their 2012 demo “The Primordial Mode”. In this four-track release, the band showcases and new and fresh style that allows them to deliver powerful tracks filled with harsh and clean female vocals delivered by the band’s vocalist Maija Saari. Combining a good dose of melody and Thrash Metal this brief release gives you a powerful insight into the band’s musical capabilities.
Opening with the powerful “Nightingale” the band delivers waves of melo-Thrash riffs that immediately grab your attention. The growls are as powerful as any male-growls and the transitions to clean vocals are very well done. The sense of melody of the track is quite engaging and gives the band that clean-cut Finish-style of Melodic Metal presence. “Daunting” keeps the energy flowing and has more of a Modern Metal vibe to it with the chorus part making the band comparable to acts like Kittie and such, but with a more aggressive edge.
Nicely refining their skills over time, today we have Arsenic Addiction and their latest release “Echoes of Mourning: Communion with the Damned”. Hailing from Salt Lake City one of the Mormon capitals of the world, it is quite refreshing to find a band with such an aggressive yet melodic sound and imposing stage presence. Claiming to be Gothic Victorian Metal, the band nicely combines Gothic Metal elements with heavier Black/Death Metal influences all delivered by their female growler: Lady Arsenic.
Opening the release with the imposing “Aphotic Rite”, the band showcases even more Gothic touches than on their previous release. As an intro, this track really gets the listener interested in what is to follow. “Crown of Glass” goes into full swing with the band’s trademark signature and a constant struggle between hellish growls and soaring clean vocals. The band’s sound has that early 2000’s vibe of Gothic Black/Death Metal that is still widely used (and loved) these days.
Arriving in a limited edition 7” today we have Siculicidium’s EP titled “Keringők”. Featuring two tracks, this release has two different ‘reinterpretations’ of Swans iconic “New Mind”. Each track delivers quite disturbing sounding versions of this song that are very traditional to the band’s creepy Black Metal sound.
Opening with “Valse Triste” the band sets a very slow and painful pace. As you can instantly hear, the riffing closely resembles Swans original version, but the mournful vocals greatly enhance the experience. The Black Metal roots of the band are also very present has the song progresses, adding that extra level of personalization the band gives to the track. As unique as Swans original version was, we very much enjoyed this different interpretation of the song.
Showcasing the band’s raw talents in a live setting, today we have Grave Desecrator’s official ‘bootleg’ release “Unblessed Bootleg”. Featuring 11-tracks of brutal old-school Black/Death Metal, this live album delivers an aural assault for any fan of the band that is dying to hear how they sound live. With over 40 minutes of music, this crushing release is a must have for any fan of this band.
Leading this release with the combo of “Hellhound Breed / Sign of Doom / Revelations (Of the Beast) / Stared to Hell”, the band blows away the crowd with crystal-clear renditions of these crushing songs. Butcherazor’s vocals are as brutal as anybody could expect and the powerful riffing is excellently captured in this live recording.
Featuring 41 minutes of solid Southern/Stoner Metal, today we have newcomers Throne and their debut album titled “Avoid The Light”. In this very promising debut album, the band manages to deliver a Sludgy and heavy Stoner/Southern Metal that while not very original, it catches the listener’s attention and never let’s go.
Opening with the slow and painful “Prefer to Die”, flashes of Neurosis immediately came to us thanks to the powerful vocals of Samu. The tone is very doomy/sludgy creating a very thick and simple atmosphere. Things pick up with “Buried Alive” and “3 Days of Rain”, two tracks that establish the band’s Southern influences very early and are packed with traditional riffs.
Arriving from Moonlight Records, today we have another solid Stoner Rock/Metal release that hails from Italy. We have seen a surge in Stoner Rock/Metal releases in the last few years and luckily for Prehistoric Pigs, they fall under the ‘better than average’ category. Cranking out 55 minutes of catchy music, “Wormhole Generator” is a quite a solid release from any fan of the genre.
Starting the release with the trippy “Swirling Rings of Saturn”, the band showcases their very simplistic approach into creating catchy and trippy music. There is nothing very fancy about their sound or event extremely technically proficient, it is just straight up effective riffing and traditional song structures. The fact that “Wormhole Generator” is fully instrumental makes it even better since you can enjoy the hard-rocking tracks without the need of putting up with a (maybe) bad singer on top.