Just when you think you have a band figured out, Unreqvited continues to push its aural boundaries with the lush and brilliant “Mosaic II: la déteste et la détresse”. Taking the best elements of its earlier releases and adding more dynamic and contrasting ones, this one-man outfit manages to create a magical atmosphere that is quite hard to come out of. If you are into Atmospheric Post-Black Metal and you think you have heard it all, this release will change your opinion.
Opening with subtle atmospherics in “Nightfall”, the track slowly evolves into an excruciating passage to the bowels of hell thanks to its punishing shrieks. However, the music stays dreamy and ethereal, creating a very interesting and powerful contrast. With a heavier vibe, “Wasteland” continues spiraling into madness with dramatic guitar work and intricate drum patterns, creating a very visceral and yet melodic experience.
Featuring two of our favorite artists, this Sylvaine and Unreqvited EP kicks off our 2020 reviews with a bang. Showing a slightly different face of both artists, this release will submerge the listener into their ethereal realms while delivering over 25 minutes of dreamy music. If you are a fan of either, you can’t miss out on this very magical release.
Opening the EP we have Sylvaine with “No More Solitude”, an acoustic piece that is full of raw emotion and dramatic piano passages. With “Falling”, we get a darker and more solemn piece that is nicely adorned by Sylvaine’s dreamy vocals arrangements and minimalist guitars. Both tracks are devoid of Metal elements, showing a more fragile side of the artist.
Unleashing one of the most monolithic Atmospheric Death/Doom releases of 2019, today we have Portugal’s OAK with “Lone”. Featuring four tracks and around 50 minutes of soul crushing music, this release highly recommended for fans of bands like Mournful Congregation, Shape of Despair and Ahab. Piercing through the listener’s psyche, this album is heavy and punishing, unlike anything else you will hear this year.
Slowly building up momentum with the gargantuan opening track “Sculptures”, this duo craft a very punishing atmosphere thanks to massive slow riffs and crushing growls. With a very mellow pace, this track crafts a mysterious cavernous atmosphere as the guitars unleash minimalist notes of desperation. Expertly crafting desolate passages, “Mirror” continues the funeral procession with more crushing guitar riffs and crafty drum patterns. The tracks’ catharsis is well earned and after a while of atmospherics the listener is treated to some truly haunting growling passages.
Now on a bigger label and with an organically evolved sound, today we have Fen’s debut release on Prophecy Productions titles “The Dead Light”. Featuring nearly an hour of dreamy Atmospheric Black Metal, the band continues to evolve with more proggy influences added to their already very distinctive aural identity. If you liked anything that the band has put out before, this release will surely propel the to higher levels thanks to its craftsmanship and atmospheric brilliance.
Opening with “Witness”, the listener is instantly immersed in the band’s world with subtle guitars and a very moody intro passage. As the track slowly picks up, we can feel a bit of a Lantlôs vibe created by the cascading guitars and somber clean vocals. As the two parts of the album title track come along, we get to hear a proggier side of the band with sweeping crafty passages that mix faster paced sections and crafty tempo changes. These two tracks have a certain vibe that can be compared to a version of Opeth playing Atmospheric Black Metal.
With a huge infusion of Post-Black Metal bands these days, it has become a very interesting job to listen to all their releases and find diamonds in the rough. Today we got lucky and found Sertraline’s latest EP release “These Mills Are Oceans”. While most bands try to copy the genre pioneers, this outfit marks their own path with the perfect balance between shoegazey guitars and furious BM onslaughts.
This short and sweet release kicks off with the Post-Rockish beginning of “Eyes As Tableau”, a track that slowly builds up to pretty cathartic moments of dreamy guitars and harsh vocals. The particularly enjoy how well is the bass guitar mixed, allowing it to lead the way. For those looking for more dreamier Lustre kind of tracks, “Their Cities” is that perfect mood shifting track that will send you into an aural trance.
Unleashing a truly transformative and trascendental release, today we have Finland’s Vesperith and her self-titled full-length release. As a one woman entity, Sariina Tani has crafted a unique experimental release that will transport the listener to the bowels of hell with waves of aural dissonance and will bring them back to the surface with angelic chants. Not for the impatient listener, this release will grow on you with time, but once it does, it is unrivaled when it comes to cinematic experiences.
Setting a very dramatic and enigmatic mood, “The Magi” gets the journey started with eerie atmospherics and haunting vocals. After some moments of peace and clarity, “Fractal Flesh” unleashes crushing drums and harsh vocals to infuse uneasiness on the listener. The mixture of Black Metal and atmospheric elements works magically on this track.
Brilliantly blending elements of some of our favorite bands like Ellende, Advent Sorrow and Woods of Desolation, Nachtig unleashes an excellent self-titled debut release. As a one-man entity, helmed by V. V., this band delivers some of the most demoralizing and misery inducing 55 minutes we have heard in quite a long time.
After the traditional atmospheric opening, “Der Tag bricht an…” blasts away with harrowing vocals and that crispy metallic sounding guitar distortion we love from bands like Ellende. The song structure is perfectly designed for some furious headbanging passages through killer tempo changes. The moody “Der Kreis Des Sterbens” is our favorite track in this release, particularly the second half, where we get some truly depressive atmospherics that set Nachtig apart.
Continuing the band’s brilliant rise as one of the best Melodic/Atmospheric Doom/Gothic Metal outfits, Hanging Garden delivers their latest opus titled “Into That Good Night”. Featuring eight tracks and nearly 46 minutes of highly addictive music, the band perfectly blends elements from their heavier earlier days and their more dynamic and Gothic Metal influences of later days. Full of melancholy and expert songwriting abilities, this release is yet another highlight on their already storied career.
Opening with the playful riffs of “Of Love and Curses”, we got a certain Lacrima Profundere vibe as the more enigmatic atmospheric interludes nicely contrast the heavier parts of the song. The more traditional Melodic Doom Metal roots of the band can be found on the dreamy “Fear, Longing, Hope and the Night” which has a certain Insomnium vibe. We particularly enjoy the crafty guitar melodies and the combination of growls and clean vocal arrangements, making it a superbly catchy song.
The highly productive Déhà is back with his Atmospheric/Funeral Doom Metal project SLOW and their latest masterpiece of sorrow with “VI - Dantalion”. Crafting monolithic atmospheres around soul crushing riffs, this release unleashes nearly 80 minutes of powerful music. Just when you think the boundaries of the genre cannot be pushed further, an album like this comes along and shatters them completely.
Warming up the listener with the bleak soundscapes of “Descente”, the album slowly gets fired up as you come across the 17-minute behemoth of “Lueur”. The slow growls lead to monumental riffs and tense atmospherics, creating a very unsettling mood. The dramatic arrangements created by the synths perfectly complement the ravaging guitar structures. However, what really captures the listener is the dramatic tempo changes and mood swings within songs like the later and “Futilité”. Alternating a ‘shorter’ song between 10+ minute pieces, Slow explores darker territories with the harsher vocals and more sinister atmosphere of “Géhenne”.
Unleashing incomparable misery, today we have Belgium’s Imber Luminis and their latest full-length release “Same old Silences”. This one-man band from Déhà, of Clouds and SLOW fame, definitely creates one of the most oppressive and bleakest Atmospheric Black Metal atmospheres every recorded. While not technically complex or over the top, the masterful use of bleak keyboards paired with chaotic screams of desperation creates a very unique vibe that will crush your hopes and dreams.
Opening with the behemoth album title track, divided into three movements, the band unleashes 24 minutes of pure misery. Weaving back and forth between excruciatingly bleak passages of clean vocals and simple piano to inhuman growls and shrieks of desperation adorned by punishing riffs, this track completely transports the listener into the bowels of hell. The Doomy elements perfectly blend with the aggressive BM influences crafting a very powerful amalgamation of styles.