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.
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 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.
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.
Unleashing one of the most devastating and aurally dissonant releases of 2017, today we have Kassad and their debut full-length release “Faces Turn Away”. This one-man band from London manages to unleash very violent outbursts that are nicely framed around some more melodic and atmospheric passages, greatly exacerbating the contrast created. For over 45 minutes this release will certainly keep you engaged and demoralized.
Opening with the pummeling “Shame”, we get a brutal onslaught like the ones delivered by outfits like Anaal Nathrakh with intense riffing and superbly harsh distorted vocals. This track suddenly transforms into a more Post-Black Metal piece with dreamy passages and catchy percussions. “Pariah” continues the flow with more brutality and intense drumming, while unleashing more traditional Black Metal riffs.
Unleashing one of the most unique and aurally abusive releases of 2017, today we have Austria’s Las Casas Viejas and their album “goul/H”. Featuring an amalgamation of dreamy Post-Rock passages, with Doom/Sluge/Black Metal elements, the band creates a very unique atmosphere and evangelizes the listener with five brilliant tracks filled with unique elements and surprises.
Slowly building up the momentum in their opener, “Morbundus”, the band starts off slow with some interesting aural abuse, luckily it slowly progresses into delivering more punishing and demoralizing guitar riffs and a plethora of harsh vocals. Mixing Sludge elements with some different ideas, this piece perfectly leads into the Doom-esque “Kein Ort 1: nicht die Stadt und Lethargie”. The female vocals at times remind us of late The 3rd and The Mortal elements, allowing the band’s sound to have an extra unconventional element.
With Poland’s underground scene reaching maturity with the acclaim of acts like Mgła and Batushka, other outfits like Blaze of Perdition have not gone unnoticed. Delivering their fourth full-length release with “Conscious Darkness”, the band unleashes a very oppressive and ravaging release that will rattle your senses. Crafted around a thick and punishing atmosphere, this is one release you do not want to miss.
Opening with the ravaging riffing onslaught of “A Glimpse of God”, the release sets a very dark and demoralizing mood. The mixture of piercing guitar work with punishing vocals create a very dense and effective atmosphere that sets the pace for this release. Kicking off with a blistering first few minutes, “Ashes Remain” unleashes furious drumming and sickening atmospheric elements paired with more violent vocals, makes for a demoralizing 15-minute behemoth of a track.
With Agalloch disbanding recently, it is time for a new band to take the throne to the best Atmospheric Black Metal outfit in the USA. With “Lethean Lament”, Mavradoxa makes their case to the throne. Unleashing over 60 minutes of highly engaging and intricate music, this release showcases the band’s creativity while unleashing very melodic and powerful songs.
Opening with the Empyrium-esque “Cicadan” acoustic guitar/violins intro, the band settles into their main sound with the crushing guitars of “The Phantom Visages”. With some very mellow and even ‘Doomy’ riffs, this song is quite engaging and sets a very melodic and sinister atmosphere. As a two-man operation, the band gets things quite heavy when needed with the harsh vocals and blistering riffs.