After catching everybody by surprise with their dreamy 2017 debut, “Sirens & Slumber”, Bay Area’s Mountaineer returns with a more mature and equally aurally pleasing release titled “Passages”. Divided into two four-track sections, this album further expands the band’s dreamy Post-Metal/Post-Rock/Shoegaze sound.
The first movement, “Hymnal”, opens with the very moody and dreamy “Passage I”. The band sets a very light and emotional opening that quickly escalates into Post-Metal territories with lush guitar riffs and the visceral raspy screams of vocalist Miguel Meza. The battle between dreamy and crushing passages reaches its climax as “Passage III” intertwines both styles very skillfully and “Passage IV” slowly winds down a very emotionally intense first part of this release.
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.
Just in time for the Fall and Winter seasons, today we have the Hanging Garden’s very dark and atmospheric “I am Become”. These Finnish Melodic Death/Doomsters unleash 46 minutes of catchy and crafty music that is quite diverse in nature. Filled with brilliant melodic Death/Doom Metal elements, this album perfectly blends the band’s old-school sound with their more modern and atmospheric influences.
Kicking off with “As Above, So Below”, we get a certain Insomnium guitar driven vibe that invites the listener to head bang while listening and settle into a dark and melodic vibe. Things go into a Swallow the Sun vibe with the aggressive riffing of “Hearthfire”, a track which features guest vocals from Tomi Joutsen from Amorphis fame. Interestingly enough, the band’s more Atmospheric Rock side comes out in the excellent “Elysium”, a piece that is quite melancholic and moody.
Being huge fans of moody and atmospheric music, today we are quite pleased with the return EP of Finalnd’s The Chant, titled “Approacher”. Delivering four brilliant tracks, this release is for highly melancholic people that love bands like Anathema, The Gathering, The Man-Eating Tree and Katatonia. Filled with raw emotion, this is one of those releases that will captivate you from start to end.
Kicking off the release with “Unsolved”, Ilpo Paasela’s vocals are instantly recognizable as they emerge through the atmospheric keyboards. The track nicely builds up and sometimes reminds us of bands like Lacrimas Profundere and To/Die/For but a bit less Gothic. Things turn a bit into Industrial territories with the sinister “To Surrender”, a piece that showcases the band’s versatility and range.
Cranking up the level of melancholy to 11, today we have Bay Area’s Mountaineer and their debut full-length release “Sirens & Slumber”. After blowing us away with their two song EP back in 2016, this band formed by ex-Secrets of the Sky’s guitarist Clayton Bartholomew, continues to further develop their highly atmospheric sound by moving into Katatonia-esque territories. Delivering nine brilliant tracks, this is definitely one of the releases to get in 2017 if you are a fan of deeply melancholic music.
Opening with the dreaminess of “Foam”, the band sets a very ethereal mood with such a lush opener. Taken from the band’s first 2-song 7” release, “Coma Fever” leads with ripping Doom riffs and the contrasting vocals of Miguel Meza. The album continues with this lively pace on tracks like “Measured Breaths” and “Womb”, the band excels a wrapping a ton of atmosphere around heavy Doomy riffs.
Delivering one of the dreamiest releases of 2017, today we have Last Leaf Down and their latest release “Bright Wide Colder”. Brilliantly combining Shoegaze with Depresive/Atmospheric/Post Rock elements, the band manages to produce 13 mesmerizing tracks that will hypnotize you for the duration of this release. If you like bands like Katatonia, Slowdive, Alcest and Les Discrets, this is definitely an album you don’t want to miss.
Opening with “Purple Skies”, the band sets a very atmospheric mood with dreamy guitars and emotional clean vocals. This mellow mood is nicely continued by excellent tracks like “Ghost Trails”, “Blind Mind”, and the cathartic “Deaf Heart”. The band does a brilliant job in crafting unique songs filled with melancholy and superbly catchy moments.
Hailing from Germany today we have Fjoergyn and their latest very impressive foray into the realm of Avant-garde Black Metal with “Lucifer Es”. Joining the elite list of bands like Anomalie, Agrypnie, and Nocte Obducta, which are re-defining the genre, this band delivers 61 minutes of action packed music that commands your attention from start to end. Perfectly crafted for fans of the bizarre and complex, this release is one hell of a ride.
After opening with the somber “MMXVII”, the band perfectly blends punishing riffs with intricate atmospheric arrangements as we hear in “Leviathan”. The mixture of vocal styles is something that instantly sticks out from such a unique mixture of elements, giving the band that extra level of creepiness. With tracks like “Viva La Inquisition” exploiting the band’s heavier side, Fjoergyn delivers a very expansive and relentless sound that very few bands can pull off.
Blurring the lines between Doom, Post-Metal and Shoegaze, today we have Glare of the Sun and their monumental debut release “Soil”. Featuring eight tracks of quite diverse and engaging music, this Austrian/German outfit delivers thunderous riffs crafted to perfection for very moody songs. This band manages to craft a unique musical vision out of more traditional influences, delivering a powerful initial statement.
After opening with the dreamy instrumental “Awoken”, the band fully immerses the listener into their perfect mixture of atmospheric guitars with heavy Doom-esque riffs in “One Step Nothing”. Alternating vocal styles between harsh screams and eerie clean vocals, the bad creates a very enveloping atmosphere that instantly grabs the listener with its surreal soundscapes. In the first few songs Glare of the Sun manages to craft very intricate and engaging songs that are hard to peg down to a single genre or influence.
Elevating the definition of musical violence to the nth power, today we have Teethgrinder from the Netherlands and their crushing Grindcore/Brutal Death Metal music. Delivering nine pummeling tracks, this release rivals Anaal Nathrakh’s “The Whole of the Law” for the most mercilessly brutal release of 2016.
The band preps the listener with the dissonant sounds of the deranged intro track “Sommambulant”, a piece that somewhat describes the madness that is about to take place in this release. Shit gets instantly real with the violent screams of “The Soil has a Thirst for Blood”, a track that is both intense and punishing thanks to the killer drums and ravaging riffs. We particularly enjoy the sporadic audio clips inserted on tracks like “Isolation” and “Pale Flowers”, which remind us a bit of the song intros Macabre uses.
For fans of highly melancholic and atmospheric music, today we have Hanging Garden’s latest opus “Hereafter”. Perfectly continuing their musical journey into more Atmospheric Rock territories, this Finnish band has come a long way since their crushing Death/Doom Metal days. Featuring 21 minutes divided in five tracks, this release delivers highly melancholic music filled with great guest vocal appearances, perfect for any fans of the band or highly atmospheric music.
Opening with the heavy riffs of “Penumbra”, the band complements the clean vocals of Toni Toivonen with the crushing growls of guest singer Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow the Sun). This track is quite melodic and yet delivers some crushing riffs and heavy moments. Continuing with the heaviness, “Sirkle of Onan” keeps things heavy thanks to a firm pace and Victor Wegeborn’s Post-Metal styled vocals.