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 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.
Unleashing over 55 minutes of brilliant Psychedelic/Progressive Metal, today we have Switzerland’s Echolot and their sophomore release “Volva”. Channeling their inner Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath influences, this three-piece outfit release for very intricate and engaging songs that will keep you engaged from start to end. With tons of bands flocking to these genres, it is quite refreshing to hear new ideas in this release.
The album opens with the groovy proggy guitars of “II”, a track that brilliantly introduces the band’s musical skills and vibe. The warm and fuzzy distortion is quite inviting and eases the listener into Echolot’s sonic world. Slowly building up, “III” continues the album’s progression with Doomy riffs and very moody vocals, greatly enhancing the atmosphere in this release and keeping it diverse and fresh sounding.
Delivering one of the most engaging and crushing Death/Doom/Sludge Metal releases of 2017, today we have Jupiterian and their sophomore release “Terraforming”. Unleashing a unique mix of atmospheric elements with traditional Doom/Sludge riffs, the band has crafted over 38 minutes of music that will keep you at the edge of your seat while clamoring for more.
The release immediately sets the tone with the slowly building atmosphere crafted in “Matriarch”. Crafting a powerful wall of sound, the guitars are quite punishing and quite relentless from the start. As “Unearthly Glow” rolls around, we get a more structured Death/Doom dynamic with powerful growls and weeping guitar leads, all tucked between crushing riffs and a very tight tempo.
Hailing from Cuba, today we have Black Metal one-man battalion, Narbeleth, and their fourth full-length release “Indomitvs”. Delivering over 35 minutes of savagely raw BM songs, this release showcases true raw power and determination to craft some of the most brutal and ravaging songs ever produced. If you are tired of overproduced and ‘pretty’ sounding Black Metal, this is the album you have been waiting for.
Wasting no time, the riffing onslaught opens with the first note of “The Distortion of Life”. In this track we get that certain 90’s Black Metal vibe with a very guitar and vocals driven approach to the genre. The intensity is relentless and the craftmanship is quite high, as the band continues its demolishing path with “When the Sun has Died”. Keeping things fresh and interesting, the eerie vocal arrangements in “The Lower Point of the Star” will certainly grab your attention and creep you out at the same time.
Just in time for the gloomy October weather, today we have Amenra and their ravaging sixth full-length release “MassVI”. Unleashing over 41 minutes of music spread out in six tracks, the band continues their musical journey into darker and gloomier territories by making their sound even more massive and emotional. Perfectly engineered to be loud and punishing this release is one that you can’t miss.
Opening with the slow progression of “Children of the Eye”, the band brings back the punishing riffs and raw screams that have made them a household name in their genre. This track slowly introduces Doomier and more melodic and emotional passages that feature mournful clean vocals. After a short spoken-word track, the band comes back with a vengeance with the moody and hypnotic guitar work of “Plus Près de Toi”, which is part sludgy and part highly atmospheric.
Unleashing a very interesting sophomore release, today we have Switzerland’s Krane with “Pleonexia”. Crafting a very unique sound that blends Post-Metal with Post-Rock passages, this band sounds like the perfect child of Neurosis and From Nebula with some influences of Cult of Lune and Russian Circles sprinkled in. With over 35 minutes of music, this is one of those mostly instrumental releases that keep you wanting to play it over and over again.
Setting the mood with the mysterious “Deception”, the band slowly lures the listener into their world as “Strategic Level” kicks in with intense percussions. In this track the band comes out of its shell and delivers a somewhat ritualistic build-up into Neurosis-esque heavy riffs. With a certain futuristic edge provided by either a Theremin or some funky electronic synths. Delivering a bit of a shift in pace, “Destabilization” sooths out the listener before the next onslaught.
Unleashing their latest opus, today we have Seattle’s Bell Witch with “Mirror Reaper”. Clocking in at a massive 83 minutes, this one-track release is going for the record of longest Funeral Doom Metal song. After the untimely death of founding member Adrian Guerra, we wondered about the future of Bell Witch, luckily for all the fans the new release has arrived and it is a monumental one.
Slowly building up momentum with sparse punishing riffs and killer growls, this track is in no hurry to reveal its secrets. As things get settled for a bit, we have weeping guitars and very dramatic atmospheric elements that perfectly blend with the melancholy of the clean vocals. We particularly enjoy that when listening to this behemoth of a song, we get lost in the musical progression and before we know it we are more than 40 minutes into the track.
Hailing from Swtizerland, today we have Antiversum and their ear popping, soul crushing mixture of Black/Death/Doom metal in their debut full-length release “Cosmos Comedenti”. Featuring over 37 minutes of hellish music, the band mixes Black/Death Metal influences with Doom and Sludge to create a very think and visceral listening experience. With influences from bands like Neurosis, Amenra, to Centinex, this is one release you don’t want to miss.
Opening the album, we have the harrowing “Antinova”, a piece that slowly builds up a sound wall filled with pummeling riffs and crushing growls. There are some Black Metal influences thrown into the mix that create a more dissonant and imposing atmosphere, as the song progresses in a very Sludgy/Post-Metal-ish way. Continuing the aural assault, we have “Chao E Orta Est”, a slow progressing track that is quite dissonant and aggressive.
As one of the most devastating albums of 2017, today we have “No Stars Upon the Bridge” by Hallatar. Formed by Juha Raivio (Swallow the Sun) to pay homage to Aleah Starbridge, this band can be seen as a continuation of Trees of Eternity with a more raw and emotional edge. Joined by Tomi Joutsen (Amorphis), and Gas Lipstick (ex-HIM), with the guest appearance of Heike Langhans (Draconian), this release is full of despair and loss, transmitted in very emotional songs that will rock your senses.
Opening with the punishing riffs of “Mirrors”, the album starts with a very powerful and commanding tone. In this track we get to listen to Tomi’s vocals in a raw and uncomposed way, perfectly transmitting the state of a grief-stricken madman, this is indeed a truly haunting experience. “Raven’s Song” is a very nice and short poem that switches the mood of the release as it mellows a bit with the highly melancholic “Melt”. In this song, the clean vocals are full of emotion and perfectly kick of a moody track that features interesting tempo changes and powerful atmospheric elements.