My Dying Bride - A Mortal Binding (2024)


The legendary My Dying Bride is back with another mournful release filled with their magical Gothic/Doom Metal exploits. With nearly 55 minutes spread around in seven tracks that showcase the band’s signature powerful style. Never disappointing, the band always delivers very engaging and diverse releases and “A Mortal Binding” is no exception.

Opening with “Her Dominion”, we instantly get the signature Andrew Craighan riffs alongside the band’s crafty tempo changes, with the drumming handled by Dan Mullins since his return to the band last year. The perfect balance between the fragility of the atmospheric elements like the subtle keyboards and violins is nicely outflanked by the staple combination of growls and dramatic clean vocals of Aaron Stainthorpe, and tracks like “Thornwyck Hymn” and “The 2nd of Three Bells” really exploit these elements.

Selbst - Despondency Chord Progressions (2024)


Having been fans of this one-man project since their early days on Sun & Moon records, Selbst has greatly matured over time and with “Despondency Chord Progression” the band reaches new heights in terms of demoralizing and punishing music. Featuring seven tracks and nearly 44 minutes of music, N takes a different approach with this release focusing more on creating layered atmospheres that are both crushing and yet elegant and refined.

The release opens with the Spanish titled “La encarnación de todos los miedos”, a very typical Selbst track with fierce vocals and incisive guitar riffs. This track continues with the brutality and harshness of “Relatos de angustia”, making the perfect opener to set the vibe. The masterfully titled “When True Loneliness is Experienced”, mixes in some more melodic and highly melancholic passages, creating a very depressing and chilling vibe that is only exacerbated by the eerie clean vocals thrown into the mix.

DOOL - The Shape of Fluidity (2024)


After taking the scene by storm with “Summerland”, DOOL had set an impossibly high bar for their follow-up release. Fast-forward four years and the band is ready to unleash “The Shape of Fluidity” to the world, featuring nine tracks and nearly 50 minutes of their signature Dark Rock. Further improving their energy level and songwriting abilities, this release more than delivers on the potential and promise of this excellent outfit.

From the opening single, “Venus in Flames”, Raven Van Dorst’s presence is immediately felt thanks to her signature vocals and guitar playing chops. The album starts with a bang, thanks to a very well crafted and energetic song with some epic passages and dreamy interludes. The band’s music is very melodic and guitar driven, with pieces like “Self-Dissect”, the album title track, and “Evil in You” delivering highly intoxicating riffs and perfectly crafted tempo changes. While other songs like “Currents” serve to create atmospheric pauses and brace the listener for what follows.

The Vision Bleak - Weird Tales (2024)


Schwadorf and Kontanz are finally back with another set of bizarre and playful tales of horror. In “Weird Tales”, the duo unleashes a single 41-minute long piece that is divided into 12 chapters, each with their own uniqueness and magic. For those that are not familiar with the band’s music, they play something they call Horror Metal, which is a horror-themed Gothic Metal, filled with eerie and playful atmospherics as well as excellent storytelling and even some theatrics.

After opening with some spooky atmospherics that set a very cinematic vibe, Schwadorf and his melodic guitar riffs continue to build momentum as the dual vocal onslaught of a mixture of harsh and clean vocals unleash the band’s dramatic theatrical style. Chapters “In Rue d'Auseil”, “In Gardens Red, Satanical”, and “Once I Was a Flower” instantly transport the listener into the band’s sinister and fantasy-filled world, creating a very mystical and enjoyable vibe.

Hour of Penance - Devotion (2024)


Five years since their last release, Hour of Penance is finally back with the pummeling “Devotion”. Showcasing their mixture of Brutal and Technical Death Metal, this band is ready to wail at the listener with ten tracks and nearly forty minutes of intensity. Far from disappointing, this release sets a new bar in terms of brutality and execution for 2024.

The release kicks off with the brutal “Devotion For Tyranny”, a track that packs powerful punches in the shape of pummeling drums and crushing riffs. Like a bag of bricks to the face, the opener alongside “Parasitic Chain of Command”, “Birthright Abolished”, and “Retaliate” quickly dominate the listener with their sinister vibes and crushing instrumentation. The band has refined the art of being brutal and incisive as these songs clearly show.

Sarcasm - Mourninghoul (2024)


Unleashing an interesting sounding mixture of Necrophobic-meets-Dissection hybrid, today we have Sweden’s Sarcasm and their latest offering “Mourninghoul”. Featuring eight tracks and nearly 45 minutes of fierce music, this release has a nice old-school vibe with a modern mix/production edge. If you are looking for ravaging guitar-driven melodic songs, this is certainly a solid release to check out.

The album starts with the savage “As Northern Gates Open” and its waves of melodic riffs. The harsh snarls perfectly complement the velocity of the drumming and are nicely contrasted with lush melodic passages. As “Lifelike Sleep” and “Withered Memories of Souls We Mourn” roll in, we hear the band’s versatility as they incorporate crafty atmospherics and engaging headbanging moments into their crafty style.

Korpiklaani - Rankarumpu (2024)


The always lovely and enjoyable music of Korpiklaani is usually on our drinking party rotation. With the band releasing an album almost every three years, “Rankarumpu” arrives just in time when we need some new party songs. The band’s style has been well refined over the years and they are completely dialed in producing some superbly catchy and lively music, over 43 minutes in this release. If you are a fan of the genre or the band, this album does not disappoint.

Led by the charismatic and talented vocals of Jonne Järvelä, the band’s Finnish folk tunes onslaught starts strong with the perkiness of “Kotomaa” and “Tapa sen kun kerkeet”. The band’s instrumentation is always quite diverse and engaging, with cool intricate details and a very epic folky vibe on songs like “Aita”, “Saunaan”, and “Mettään”. With the band always keepings things catchy and engaging, each song has its own unique soul and magic.

Vesperian Sorrow - Awaken the Greylight (2024)


Our favorite North American Symphonic Black Metal band, Vesperian Sorrow, is finally back with the excellent “Awaken the Greylight”. Being the band’s six full-length, and after shedding/gaining a few new members since their last one, we were afraid this one would suck. However, we are glad to be completely wrong as this release delivers 54 minutes of some of their finest music to date.

The release quickly explodes with “As The Pillars Were Raised”, a very typical track for the band thanks to its intense drumming and dramatic keyboards, something not surprising as Christopher Nunez still handles those duties in this release. The interesting part comes with the soaring clean vocals that alternate between the harsh one, giving the band a certain Mercenary-esque edge, thanks to new vocalist, Orlando Logan Olivero, tracks like “Antediluvian - Proceeding the Unshaping”, “An Epistle to the Prime, Vivified”, and “Traverse The Vorthonian Passage” have an even more epic vibe to them.

Acathexis - Immerse (2024)


Featuring members of bands like Mare Cognitum, Los Males del Mundo, SLOW and Wolvennest, today we have Acathexis with a truly unique and demoralizing release titled “Immerse”. Featuring four tracks and nearly 56 minutes of music, each song is a tour de force when it comes to tempo changes and raw emotions. Not unexpected from such a stacked line-up, this release is probably one of the most underrated albums of 2024.

The release starts with the dreamy opening to “Dreams of Scorched Mirrors”, a track that immediately delivers a big punch to the face with its piercing vocals and intense riffing. The vocals in this release are insane, perfectly covering different styles and levels of intensity, and they are courtesy of Dany Tee of Los Males del Mundo and Those Endless Eyes fame. Aside from the insane vocals, the music creates a very thick and moody atmosphere that has tons of layers that need more than a few spins to discover.

Ad Mortem - In Honorem Mortis (2024)


Delivering a swift and brutal onslaught of Black Metal sickness, today we have Germany’s Ad Mortem and their debut full-length release “In Honorem Mortis”. Filled with piercing guitars, hellish screams and crafty drumming, this release contains eight tracks and over 43 minutes of intense music. Highly recommended for fans of Horna, Sargeist, Bexehen, etc., this album is one of the most punishing and yet refined releases of 2024.

Things escalate quite quickly with the atmospheric opening of “Von hohen Himmeln”, that swiftly transforms into all-out war with intense riffing and blistering drumming. E. Aggressor’s vocals are your traditional BM harsh creams, perfectly fitting to the tremolo picking ways of the band. As “Größer als das Leben”, “Labyrinth”, and “Der letzte Feind”, roll around, the band also has a certain melodic edge to their sound with some crafty melodic interludes that quickly erupt into more crushing passages.


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