Storming the listener with waves of melancholy and aggression, today we have one-man project Oerheks and their 2023 demo “Landschapsanachronismen”. Delivering nearly 25 minutes of music in two crushing tracks, this release showcases a very promising band with excellent ideas and a knack for oppressive atmospherics paired with lush interludes.
Creating a truly haunting and crushing release, today we have Germany’s Fvnerals and their devastating release “Let the Earth Be Silent”, which we are sure the earth will be after listening to this towering album. Presenting an amalgamation of Doom/Post-Metal and Ambient elements, this release unleashes over 40 minutes of highly intoxicating and yet bone-chilling music.
Opening with the masterful “Ashen Era”, we are quickly led down a dark and sinister path thanks to the punishing riffs and eerie atmospherics. As soon as Tiffany Ström’s vocals come into play, the vibe is weirdly shifted with eerie dreaminess but still delivering its dark nature. This overall feeling of helplessness is perfectly maintained as “Descent”, “For Horror Eats the Light”, and the enigmatic “Annihilation” pass by making their mark.
Delivering a very interesting concept of covering tracks from each other, today we have Norwegian artists Frøkedal and Sâver. In this split release we get two very unique pieces, one highly atmospheric, the second with a Folkier edge, creating a dark and engaging release that we found ourselves playing in repeat a few too many times.
Unleashing waves of old-school Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal, today we have one-man battalion Inherits the Void and and ‘their’ sophomore full-length release “The Impending Fall of the Stars”. Mixing elements from the early days of bands like Old Man’s Child and Dimmu Borgir, with the raw melody of Immortal, this release delivers 43 minutes of intense music.
Opening with the album title track, we instantly get waves of crushing riffs, a la Galder style, perfectly adorned with subtle but lush keyboards and hellish screams. The immediate vibe is quite retro, but with crisp production values. As “Palingenesis”, “Where the Oceans Lost their Might” and “Sullen Laments of the Wanderers” roll by, the listener will find itself headbanging to the expertly crafted melodic core of the band’s sound.
With all the killer reviews coming out in January, we almost missed “Into Sorrow Evermore”, the epic seventh full-length release of Germany’s Imperium Dekadenz. Featuring around 50 minutes of melodic and highly atmospheric Black Metal, this release feels like a mixture of Vreid with Der Weg einer Freiheit. If you like atmospheric stuff, this is probably one of the best in quite a while.
Opening with the engaging “Into Sorrow Evermore”, the band nicely sets a moody vibe as the wave of blistering guitar riffs and furious drumming sets in. We like this tempered approach as the band’s sound slowly expands and envelops the room very effectively. The headbanging continues with the crushing “Truth under Stars” and it nicely mellows out with the solemn opening of “Aurora”.
Unleashing a very interesting compilation of some of their earlier digital material, today we have A Diadem of Dead Stars with “Emerald Sunsets”. Hailing from Greece, this band has a very unique and at times gritty sound that perfectly blends influences from bands like early Ulver, Empyrium, and more modern Atmospheric Black Metal elements from outfits like Heretoir and Saor.
Opening with the blistering “The Furrow of Woes”, we quickly get aggressive BM guitar riffs and a moody tempo. This track nicely evolves into some eerily magical (early) Ulver-esque passages of clean vocals and powerful guitars. There is a certain Doom-ish magic to the band’s sound that nicely keeps things interesting and different, as we can hear in songs like “And Swallows Flew Away From This”.
Hailing from Russia, today we have Atmospheric Death/Doom outfit Mare Infinitum with an engaging release titled “Cryosleep”. Showing further evolution in the band’s sound, this album adds some bombastic Symphonic Metal elements to the band’s powerful Doom core. Evoking thoughts from Therion to Epica to Funeral and Swallow the Sun. For over 46 minutes the band dazzles listeners with a high octane release.
The release starts with the highly theatrical and Therion-esque piece “Your Final Bow”, a song with very dramatic choir arrangements and excellent clean male vocals. This track sets a very imposing and lush backdrop, which serves quite well for the traditional deep growls and weeping Doomy guitars the band lays down. With an even more dramatic edge, “The Flight Of No Return” is a fragile piece that nicely shakes things up with crafty tempo changes and excellent guitar leads.
It has been a while since we heard anything from Woods of Desolation and their supremely bleak take on Black Metal. As one of the originators, alongside fellow Aussies of Austere, of the Depressive/Post-Black Metal genres, this one-man band has always delivered unwavering soul crushing music and with “The Falling Tide” they are back at it. If you are a fan of total bleakness, this release is a must have in 2022.
Immediately setting a decadent mood with “Far From Here”, the band’s long hiatus is instantly gone as it continues where it left off. Fierce riffing onslaughts and crushing drumming are expertly flanked by atmospheric oppression. We particularly enjoy the moody tempo changes, as the album pummels through highly emotional songs like “Beneath a Sea of Stars” and “Illumination”.
Unleashing unrivaled melancholy and atmospheric bleakness, today we have newcomers Mournument and their debut release “Smouldering Into Dust”. Reminding us of bands like Agalloch and Empyrium with a Doomier edge, this release delivers six tracks and 46 minutes of brilliant music. Perfect for a gloomy fall/winter day, this album is one of the best and most complete releases we have heard in 2022.
Opening with “On Rain and Thunder”, we get lush acoustic guitars and violins setting a bleak and desolate soundscape. As the clean vocals make their way, the Tenhi/Empyrium vibe slowly transitions into heavier territories with Agalloch-esque mournful distorted guitars. “Chasm of Abandoned Souls” continues the onslaught with more traditional Doom elements and an eerie mixture of deep clean vocals and harsh screams.
Crawling out of the depths of hell, today we have Norway’s Dødsengel and their latest opus “Bab Al On”. Playing a vicious Atmospheric/Occult Black Metal, this outfit has some serious Blut Aus Nord vibes minus the industrial aspects. Unleashing some of the most decadent and misery inducing soundscapes, this release clocks in at 72 minutes of pure evil and atmosphere. If you like dense and ritualistic BM, this is certainly one of the best releases of 2022 for that.
The album starts with the cavernous ritualistic intro “Ad Babalonis Amorem Do Dedico Omnia Nihilo”, creating a very unsettling atmosphere that quickly leads way to hellish vocal arrangements and piercing guitars. The band goes full-on with the crushing “In the Beginning” and its hellish tremolo picking alongside relentless waves of aggression. Just as you think you can settle for all-out war, the band changes directions with the eerie “Annihilation Mantra” and its haunting vocals.