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.
Formed by ex-Eluveitie members: Anna Murphy, Merlin Sutter and Ivo Henzi, Cellar Darling perfectly combines Folk elements with Metal and Rock to create a very lively and unique sound that will captivate audiences. Led by the charismatic vocals of Anna Murphy, this release delivers 14 tracks of superbly catchy and engaging music that will stick in your head long after you stop listening to it.
Opening with the killer “Avalanche”, this track features one of the catchiest chorus sections of 2017. The band keeps minor Eluveitie influences with their folk elements, but they focus on making killer vocal melodies and playful instrumentations that perfectly define their own identity, as we can hear on tracks like “Black Moon”, the brilliant “Challenge”, and the hard rocking “Hullabaloo”.
Featuring the highly distinctive vocals of James Fogarty of Ewigkeit and In the Woods… fame, today we have Sollertia and their debut release “Light”. Playing a very unique mixture of Progressive Doom/Gothic Metal with Dark Metal elements, this release is pretty hard to pin down, but very effective in creating unique songs that are quite engaging. For fans of uniquely dark music, this album provides over 55 minutes of mysterious music that is very enjoyable and it is full of surprises.
After the warm-up intro, this trio sets a somber mood with the melancholic Gothic vibe of “Abstract Object Theory”. The music is quite mellow and very well paced, allowing James Fogarty’s talented vocals to shine. Providing contrasting harsh vocals on a few tracks, Vanja Obscure does a pretty solid job in shaking things up with her shrieks, changing the pace of songs like “Pascal’s Wager”, “The Devil’s Seethe” and “Positive Disintegration”.
Hailing from Finland, today we have the legendary Throes of Dawn finally delivering a new release after six years of waiting. As one of the first Finish Progressive/Melodic Black Metal bands in the 90’s, their sound has truly evolved into a magical combination of Atmospheric/Progressive/Gothic/Dark Metal elements. Featuring over 65 minutes of music, the seven tracks presented in “Our Voices Shall Remain” will transport the listener to very emotional melodic realms.
Slowly building up with the hypnotic atmosphere of “Mesmerized”, the band creates a very subtle dreamy vibe thanks to the distant guitars and bass guitar line. The band’s earlier Black Metal days are still infused in the music, as songs like “We Used to Speak in Colours” start off quite heavily and slowly mellow into the album’s groove. Only using clean vocals, Henri Koivula, manages to sound a bit like Jukka Vuorinen from Decoryah, adding an extra layer of emotions to the music, tracks like “Lifelines” are a perfect example of this.
Hailing from Finland, today we have a very strange and totally awesome release from Kuolemanlaakso. Departing away from their typical Death/Doom influences, this release is Markus Laakso’s brainchild, allowing it to be weirder and less straightforward. While not the typical release for this band, this release delivers eight very unique tracks that showcase a different creative side from some of the band members.
Opening with the gloomy “Children of the Night”, we instantly hear the difference when it comes to tempo and atmosphere. Laakso’s vocals are quite good for the genre, making the tracks quite mysterious while having the authentic deep Gothic Rock/Metal sound. With the catchy and somewhat “Rolls the Dice with the Devil” and “Where the River Runs Red” following up next, the band manages to sound like a mixture of bands like The Vision Bleak, Type O Negative and even some hints of H.I.M… all in a very good way.
As one of the most unique and compelling bands in the scene, Secrets of the Moon returns to further evolve their musical craft with “Sun”. Further moving away from their Doomy Black Metal days, the band manages to spill into Dark Metal territories with seven sinister tracks. The band’s signature atmosphere and tension is always present, but the mood shift is quite evident as the deliver song after song of magical musical darkness.
Opening with the more ‘typical’ “No More Colours”, the band continues their older style with very dense distorted guitars and a very aggressive vocals/drumming combination. However, there is an evident change in their sound as this track feels darker and more sinister than normal. sG’s clean vocals are remind us of a mixture of Decoryah’s Jukka Vuorinen and Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman, allowing tracks like “Dirty Black” to works perfectly with a less distorted and aggressive stance.
Hailing from the USA today we have a very melancholic band named Deathwhite. Delivering their second EP, “Solitary Martyr”, the band perfectly captures the late 90’s Katatonia / Anathema vibe and presents us with five dark and atmospheric songs. With a heavy and yet very depressive sound, this is one of those short releases that you will be stuck listening to for weeks.
Opening with the very dramatic “Pressure”, we are instantly transported to the year Katatonia’s “Discouraged ones” was released and that certain melancholic atmosphere that many albums had those days. The band’s music is quite well crafted greatly complementing a very heartfelt vocal performance. Not all songs are only mellow and the heavy opening of “Suffer Abandonment” is a great reminder of that. This track even features some excellent Doom Metal riffs thrown into the mix.
With a certain familiarity to old-school Bethlehem, today we have Swiss outfit Cold Cell and their powerful sophomore release “Lowlife”. Featuring a very dark and sinister sound that mixes Black Metal elements with more restrained melodic passages and some sprinkles of ambient elements, this release is quite obscure and enjoyable. Clocking in at 53 minutes, this is one release that breaks the mold and nicely sets itself apart from your cookie-cutter BM albums.
Opening with a atmospheric intro, the band’s sinister sound first creeps on you with the Black’n’roll-ish opening of “Lifestyle Lunacy”. In this very moody track we get to hear the band’s full aural spectrum with a very rich and diverse piece. Other tracks feature brilliant melodic/atmospheric passages like “Scum Eradication” and “Dogma”. With the individual named S providing the vocals, we are reminded of the deranged style of Rainer Landfermann in Bethlehem’s “Dictius Te Necare”, but with enough restraint and focus to not draw all the attention to them.
Portugal’s greatest extreme music export Moonspell returns this 2015 with yet another very solid release that is quite diverse and engaging. Never compromising, “Extinct” shows yet another face of this outfit and delivers ten tracks of catchy Gothic/Dark Metal that is always perfectly led by Fernando Ribeiro’s extremely characteristic vocals. In a release that is sure to catch a few people off-guard, the band comes out triumphantly with a fresh an entertaining 45 minutes of music.
Opening with the perfectly arranged “Breath (Until We Are No More)”, the band introduces some very dramatic middle-eastern influenced orchestrations and creates a very unique atmosphere in this opening track. As we progress to “Extinct” and “Medusalem”, we notice that there is a heavier emphasis on the orchestral/classical arrangements and that while the guitars are heavy, they mostly complement a very Gothic/Dark Metal structure to things. A particular thing to note is the killer solo in “Medusalem” that is nicely wrapped in other arrangements making them sound a bit like Orphaned Land for a moment.
Having waited for more than 10 years for a new Empyrium release, the arrival of this release was the highlight of our month. With “The Turn of the Tides”, Ulf Theodor Schwadorf and Thomas Helm return with a release that combines all elements from Empyrium’s past in a very fresh and masterful way. Featuring seven tracks of majestic atmospheric music, the band surpasses all the expectations and once again, sets the bar higher.
The release opens with the ray of light called “Saviour”. In this track the somber piano opening perfectly sets the mood for this majestic release. As the atmospheric elements keep unveiling parallel to Helm’s vocals, the full Empyrium experience begins. The release continues with the already unveiled “Dead Winter Ways”, a majestic track that is both bleak and dramatic. Featuring distorted guitars, this is a first in a few releases for Empyrium.